A One Piece Crack-fic by Aoikami Sarah
Chapter Three – Waiting For A Miracle
Zoro craned her neck to check the women's cabin, but there was still no sign of Robin. She slumped back down and pouted. The sun filtered down through low-lying clouds, but it was still quite warm. Finding it almost impossible to get comfortable, Zoro rocked to her feet and nearly collided with Sanji. "What?" she growled.
"Do you really smell?" the chef asked with a strange expression on her face.
Sanji sniffed her. "Yes you do. It smells like… flowers."
With teeth clenched, Zoro took a swing at Sanji who dodged it. "Leave me the hell alone!" she shouted, jogged to the main mast and climbed back up to the crow's nest.
"Che," Sanji scoffed. "What's her problem?" She watched Zoro climb and pouted. Her attention was diverted as Nami and Usopp emerged from the men's cabins with the reluctant doctor in tow. "Oh! Cute!" Sanji squealed and glomp-tackled Chopper.
Zoro was surprised and irritated to find Luffy sprawled out sleeping in the crow's nest but the idea of going back down and getting sniffed at by more of the crew made her mind up to stay. She sat down beside the sleeping captain and stared at her as she snored lightly. "How are you taking this so well?" she wondered aloud.
"Mmmm… ah, Zoro. Is it time for dinner already?" Luffy mumbled as she woke.
"No, wingnut, we just had lunch."
"Aw." Luffy righted herself and made a face that told Zoro she was thinking about something. "I don't know," she said.
Zoro rolled her eyes. "You don't know what?"
"I don't know why I'm 'taking this so well'. Why aren't you?"
The swordswoman folded her arms over her ample bosom and grimaced as they didn't sit where she wanted them to. She tried to make herself comfortable but finally gave up and let her hands fall in her lap. "I wanted to be the greatest swordsman in the world…"
Luffy blinked at her. "What's it matter if you're a girl or a guy?"
Zoro stared at her, disbelievingly and smiled softly. "Exactly, it shouldn't matter. That's what I told someone a long time ago, but now that I'm in her shoes I feel like I lied to her. I am weaker. My body is smaller, more frail. I can feel it." She hung her head.
"So you want to be the strongest swordsman or the greatest? I'm confused." Luffy cocked her head to the side and scratched it by rubbing her straw hat back and forth.
Zoro pursed her lips. "Jeez…." She muttered as she stood up, tears forming in her eyes. "I don't know how you do it, Luffy."
"Do what!" she wailed. "I'm so confused!"
"Thank you, Captain." The swordswoman pushed Luffy's straw hat down over her eyes and left the crow's nest.
When Zoro and Luffy joined the rest of the crew, things were as normal as they could be. Chopper was busy happily organizing her first-aid kit. Nami checked the horizon through his telescope and barked to Usopp to set a course to avoid an oncoming storm. She saluted her and hurried off to the rudder inside the galley. Usopp narrowly missed colliding with Sanji as she spun out with a tray of drinks. Sanji danced around Usopp, growled at her to be careful and her single, exposed eye turned to a heart. She wiggled with joy next to Nami as she demurely offered him a refreshing beverage.
Everything was as it should be, except for everyone's genders being switched, nothing had really changed. Zoro sighed. "I'd still like my manhood back, thanks," she grumbled as she found a good spot on the deck on which to have a little lie-down.
Everyone's head turned as Robin finally stepped out of the women's quarters. "I think I have it," he announced and held a book over his head.
The crew gathered around him as Robin pointed out an account of a strange situation from nearly 100 years before. "According to this story an entire crew of marines returned to base as women. I'm sure the government didn't make this public, but one of these 'women' wrote about the experience. Here, she writes that the ship encountered a strange purple-colored fog in the middle of the day. When the ship sailed through it they were surrounded in a flowery scent…"
"See! It wasn't me!" Zoro shouted at Sanji who simply shrugged.
"Everyone fell asleep," Robin continued, "and when they woke, 'he was she'."
Luffy pounded her fist into her palm. "Ok! Now we just gotta find the purple haze!"
Nami's eyes widened. "Change course back into that storm! Now!" he shouted and Usopp and Sanji rushed to move the rudder back. "I thought it looked weird!" he held his telescope up for the others to see.
Luffy grasped it first. "Ua! Purple haze!"
"Hallelujah," Zoro breathed a sigh.
Once the course was reset, everyone stood at the bow and waited as the Going Merry grew closer to the storm. The wind died and the ship coasted toward the dark violet horizon. Chopper grew into her large form to better see what was ahead and gasped. "Oh! Guys!" she cried in alarm as her tee-shirt tightened over the large form's chest. "We should change first!" She removed the shirt and transformed into the more gender-neutral reindeer form. Everyone dashed to their respective quarters and hastily threw their old clothes back on.
Just as they hurried out, the bow of the ship ducked into the haze.
"Do you think this'll really work!" Usopp cried.
"It better or…" Sanji began, but it was already working. She fell mid-step to the deck. The others followed a second later and the Going Merry sailed slowly into the purple haze.
When they came to, the Straw Hat pirates lay on the deck for a while before sitting up and staring at each other in silence. Everyone had indeed changed back to 'normal'. The first person to speak up was Zoro.
"Well, that was interesting," he grumbled, deeply satisfied at the return of his baritone.
"I think we all learned a little something today," Nami said, winking.
"Yeah, like being a girl is fun!" Luffy said, mimicking groping his own breasts. Nami smacked him on the back of the head.
"I learned that I'm still me, even without my antlers," Chopper said, rubbing them affectionately.
"I learned Sanji's still Sanji no matter if he's a dude or a chick," Zoro said with a grin.
"I learned Marimo makes a really ugly girl," he snarked back.
Zoro simply shrugged. "Least I smelled better than you."
"If it weren't for that account in the travelogue," Robin commented. "One would think we'd simply experienced some form of hypnosis."
"It was real, alright," Usopp corrected and started to laugh. "I forgot to change my underwear!"
There was only a brief pause before everyone else burst out laughing. Usopp made up and sang a song about how tight his drawers were as he danced back toward the men's cabins to change. The Going Merry sailed into the sunset and all was right with the world. Again. For now.