Disclaimer: You know One piece? I don't own it.
Luffy shivered slightly and pushed his straw-hat back from it's place covering his eyes as a dark shadow fell over him, looking blearily up at the sky, before he stretched and yawned, finally waking up from his long afternoon nap on the deck by the mast. He lay there for a moment as his eyes processed the sky above him, before he gasped slightly and sat upright suddenly, waking Zoro who was napping a few meters away from him with his sudden movement.
'What?' he asked his captain a little grumpily.
Luffy turned to him and grinned. 'Looks like we're in for a bit of bad weather.' He told his friend, pointing up at the clouds which were darkening before their eyes, a sudden, violent wind appeared from nowhere, the sudden chill giving the two men goose-bumps.
'Hmmm… this looks bad.' Zoro muttered taking in the sight of the clouds before he spun around towards the main deck, his earrings twinkling as he turned – the glinting metal reflecting the first of the lightning. 'NAMI!!' he yelled.
The door to Nami's room shot open and the red haired navigator stalked out towards Zoro, preparing to yell at him for disturbing her while she was in her rooms. Sanji, Usopp and Chopper looked out from the kitchen where Sanji was teaching the other boys how to make cookies, interrupted from their task by the tone of the swordsman's voice – when they saw rapidly darkening clouds their mouths dropped open.
Nami walked slowly to the edge of the deck and placed her hands on the rails. 'Pressure is dropping rapidly, but the wind is increasing… it also looks as though a warm wind is colliding with a cool breeze from the east. In other words…a waterspout...it's like a cyclone but over the sea' She muttered her face pale and her eyes narrowed slightly, adding the brief explanation when she noticed the blank looks on her nakama's faces.
'We need to get out of here or it'll smash the Going Merry to pieces.' She explained to Luffy, her voice shaking slightly.
Luffy's smile faded slightly and he crossed his arms. '…that's not good.' He looked at his crew and noticed that they were all waiting for orders in varying states of nervousness. 'Prepare for a storm!!!' He yelled, his usual grin back in place as he punched the air, obviously excited at the thought of a potential adventure.
Zoro grinned slightly, strange as the younger boy was, sometimes the green haired swordsman couldn't help but be amused at his Captain's odd demeanor. Zoro yelled for Usopp to follow him as he passed, and together they raced up the mast to hoist the sails before the huge winds struck, they knew that if the massive gusts hit the ship while the sails were unfurled there was a very real danger that Going Merry would capsize. Chopper began securing all the equipment and supplies he could, so they wouldn't lose their food to the ocean when the large waves began battering the ship and the bad weather truly struck hard.
Nami had pulled out a handful of maps and was now desperately plotting a course to steer them away from the waterspout that was building in the distance.
Sanji however after quickly securing his kitchen and Nami's tangerine trees which were already fairly well secured as the chef tended to Luffy-proof the kitchen between meals, was unable to find anything else to do that wouldn't get in the way of the others who were all finishing up their own precautions. So he simply lit a cigarette and leaned against the mast out of the stiff winds that were blowing, and watched their captain as he stood defiantly on the figurehead, staring the huge waterspout down in a way that almost looked as though he were challenging it.
The cook started to feel a little uneasy as he watched his young captain dance on the slippery wood, meters above the surface of the water, yelling unintelligible things at the massive storm, but he couldn't put his finger on the cause for his discomfort, Luffy always rode on the figurehead in rough weather - if he fell off, he used his rubber arms to launch himself back onto the deck again, so falling in wasn't a problem for the rubber-man, in some ways it was even safer for the boy to ride in rough weather as he was ready for the possibility of falling. When the water was calmer he tended to be caught off guard more easily. But, when the waves started to swell to a size that splashed over the sides of the deck, Sanji found himself walking rather quickly towards the rubber boy.
'Oi, Luffy!' He began loudly, trying to speak to his captain through the sound of the approaching thunder. 'Come down here for a second.' He gave an internal sigh of relief when the boy turned to face him, stretched his grin even wider and jumped down to join his chef on the deck, one hand firmly clutching his straw hat to his head to prevent the strong winds from blowing it into the sea.
'What's up Sanji?' He asked excitedly. 'Isn't this fun?' Behind him, the lightning in the storm flickered continuously, making the rubber-boy's already excited eyes shine strangely. Sanji grunted in a non-committal kind of way and inhaled deeply on his cigarette, the ominous feeling that Luffy was in some kind of danger building steadily.
'Yeah, fun.' He eventually muttered. Luffy grinned at him, a sudden gust of wind blowing his black hair about his face and making the tip of Sanji's cigarette glow red. The waves continued to build higher and were by now beginning to wash over the deck.
Zoro and the others all walked rather unsteadily towards Luffy and Sanji, fighting to stay upright as the ship lurched on the rough sea, having apparently finished securing the ship and sails. Nami stepped forwards with a map held tightly in her hands, trying to shelter it from the howling winds rain.
'There's an island near here.' She said loudly, straining to make herself heard over the wind. She pointed to a rather small speck on the increasingly dampening paper gripped in her hands. 'It's not inhabited by regular people, however there is a small Naval prison.' She held up her hand quickly, effectively quelling their sudden objections, the rain began to fall heavier with every passing second.
'The prison is in the very centre of the island, surrounded by thick forest. If we dock here,' She pointed at a jutting section of shore on the east side of the island. 'They'll never know we arrived and we can haul anchor as soon as the storm dies down.' There was silence as everyone turned to their captain for orders, he stood there a strange grin on his face his black bangs beginning to stick to his face as the whipping rain continued.
'We'll sail to the island.' He stated. 'There's no way Going Merry will survive a storm like this without taking on some damage. If Nami says we can sail in there unseen, then we'll sail in there unseen.' He nodded at his navigator who smiled back a little startled, although pleased that he trusted her so absolutely. Everyone else stared at their usually clueless captain open-mouthed. Where did he come up with THAT? Zoro thought to himself, lightning suddenly struck the water right next to the ship followed by a loud crack of thunder, everyone flinched at the sound and Chopper clamped his hooves quickly over his sensitive ears. Luffy grinned at his stunned friends. 'Let's go!!' He shouted happily, normal grin in place as he startled them back into motion.
Another massive wave crashed into the Merry Go's starboard causing Nami to stumble slightly, Sanji dove towards her meaning to steady the young navigator, but instead almost caused her to drop the maps into the strong winds when he grabbed her hands. A crash of thunder sounded right above the ship making the deck vibrate slightly as the deep sound continued, by now the sky was almost a pitch black and the swirling clouds continued to move steadily towards the rather vulnerable little ship as the blinding rain was now falling in relentless torrents, drenching everyone to the skin and making the bucking deck even more dangerous. One wrong step and any of them could be swept overboard, into the black choppy water.
'Watch it you stupid love-cook!' Zoro yelled as he watched Nami madly grab at the maps before they flew into the gusting wind. Sanji turned his head towards the swordsman so fast the crew heard his neck crack.
'Ouch.' Chopper muttered sympathetically under his breath, making a mental note to check Sanji's neck later for displaced vertebrae.
'Don't use that harsh tone in front of the lady.' The blonde chef told the other man in an equally harsh tone, ignoring the fact his cigarette had gone out in the rain and taking a dramatic puff, his livid face dripping with rainwater. 'You might offend her delicate ears.'
Nami whacked them on the back of the head with an open handed slap and almost lost her footing as the boat rocked dangerously, a giant wave hitting them from behind, her sandals slid helplessly on the deck, finding it almost impossible to grip on the slick and wet timber, she grabbed the rail to re-gain her balance.
'You idiots!' She scolded over the thunder, pushing her sopping orange hair from out of her eyes with the back of one wrist. 'There are more important things to worry about right now.' The two turned away from their argument almost guiltily as a huge wave rolled over the deck, drenching everyone further from the waist down.
Both Nami and Zoro who were standing next to Luffy, grabbed their captain by the arms, before he could fall to his knees as the strength in his legs was sapped by the unexpected contact with the sea water, a side effect for anyone that ate a devil-fruit.
'Luffy!' Usopp cried bounding forwards. The rubber-boy stumbled to his feet with a rather startled oath and for a moment they refused to hold him. Nami and Zoro held him up silently, understanding how weak sea water made their rubber friend.
Sanji had quickly swept Chopper clear of the wave, turning his body slightly so any sea-water splashes that fell on the young reindeer were kept small and insignificant. The little deer looked at him gratefully.
'Thanks, Sanji.' He murmured, knowing he would have been completely drenched up to his antlers by the sea-water, and as he had also eaten a devil-fruit had narrowly avoided complete momentary paralysis, which may have been enough for him to be swept overboard.. The cook nodded and set him back down carefully, his hooves making small clacking noises as they contacted the deck again.
Luffy raised one hand a little lethargically as he finally stood on his own feet again. 'I'm fine!' He grinned at his crew to prove his point, holding his hat as the winds almost blew it from his head 'That water is cold!!' he announced with a slight shiver. Lighting cracked behind him making everyone except him jump at the sudden sound. The young Captain's grin turned a little feral, his eyes burning with something that looked like anger as he turned to face the now massive storm front. Sanji watched him again, the feeling of premonition now so strong it was almost surreal, and the constant flickering of lightning and black swirling clouds did nothing to dispel his fears.
'We'd better get inside before these waves get any stronger!' Chopper yelled over the approaching thunder. 'Those waves are just going to get bigger.'
The others nodded and began to move towards the galley which was the closest shelter, slipping on the wet deck as the ship rocked and swayed on the rough water. The boat tipped suddenly, again throwing Nami slightly off balance. She stumbled and tripped over a rut in the boards, her sandals sliding and she began to fall. Luffy reached out an arm to steady her and the others continued to the galley, unaware of what was going on behind them.
'Whoa, thanks Luffy!' she grinned. His gave his trademark grin in return, and Nami watched in horror as it slid slowly off his face, his complexion paling slightly at some unknown danger behind her. His eyes widened and a look of sudden concentration crossed over his face, a look she had only seen him wear a few times. She shivered and realized with a sudden jolt that all of those times had been during battles when he was considering his options.
Nami turned slowly, thinking that if anything was bad enough to scare Luffy like that, she didn't want to see it. She gasped as she saw the 20m wave barraging a path through the water towards the Going Merry picking up speed as she watched. Luffy grabbed her around the waist and flung her towards the galley. 'GUYS!!' he yelled. 'CATCH!!' Zoro and Sanji turned first, startled, at the sound of urgency in Luffy's voice. When they saw the wave there was only a slight moment of hesitation before they both leaped forwards. Sanji reaching to grab the startled Nami, and Zoro darting back down the stairs towards Luffy knowing full well that if they were hit by that monstrous wave, the ship would capsize and their captain could not swim.
Luffy stood his ground, by now the growing wave was much too close for any kind of retreat. He was unaware of his first-mate's mad dash towards him, and he raised his arm in preparation. The only way his crew would survive this wave would be for it to be broken up, he narrowed his eyes 'GOMU, GOMU RAPID FIRE!!'
'NO!' Sanji yelled eyes wide, reaching towards his captain as he rocketed himself away from the deck and towards the giant monster, the blonde's feeling of dread from earlier returned stronger than ever as his captain's potential danger became reality.
Luffy didn't hear his cook's startled cry as he flew silently through the turbulent air, easily making up the distance between the ship and wave, he twisted to one side so that his punch would have more strength behind it. Then with a loud battle cry, he plunged his fist directly into the monster wave. The moment his first punch hit the wave, Luffy felt his energy being sapped. He growled deep in his throat as he fought away the sudden exhaustion. No. He thought wildly. If I give up my nakama are as good as dead. He blinked twice as he hit the wave rapidly several more times, each time sapping more of his quickly fading strength. His vision was beginning to dim. Not yet, NOT YET!
He gritted his teeth and hit the wave a few more times, until he felt himself begin to fall towards the sea. No! The rubber boy thought wildly as his head span with fatigue NOT YET!! He thought wildly, he stretched his right arm back as far as it would reach, now finding it difficult to breathe properly. "GOMU, GOMU, BAZOOKA!'
He flung his arm towards the monstrous wave as fast and as hard as he could, smashing into it so hard that the massive wall of water shuddered. For a moment there was nothing and the boy though that he had failed, but then the wave shuddered again and with a mighty roar that drowned out the thunder, shattered completely into a billion tiny droplets, the danger to the ship completely expelled.
Luffy gave a small triumphant grin as he watched the wave break up, before the sea-water from the broken wave showered over him soaking him completely, draining the last of his strength and his eyes drifting shut as he finally faded into the grey that had been clouding the edges of his vision since he first touched the wave. And then he knew nothing, as the water below rushed up to greet him.
Zoro watched his captain battle the monster wave anxiously as he leant on the rails that surrounded the deck, the rest of the crew watching unmoving from the small walkway just outside the galley door. No one moved, no one spoke, the only sign that the scene was not a moment frozen in time was the rain that was battering continuously down on the ship.
Nami was holding onto Sanji tightly, but the blonde chef was so intent on his captain's safety that he didn't even notice. They were squinting into the stinging rain desperately keeping their Captain in sight as they knew eventually his strength would fail and he would fall into the depths of the sea, they just hoped he would be able to destroy the wave first. If he didn't, there would be no way for the others to jump into the turbulent waters to save him.
Chopper's hooves flew up towards his mouth when his sharp eyes saw his friend's movements becoming increasingly sluggish as he battled the wave. 'Luffy…' he muttered under his breath. The reindeer looked up when Usopp placed a comforting hand on his head, the long nosed young man swallowed visibly before looking down at their youngest crew-member. He gave a strained grin and looked back to watch the rest of the battle.
The crew gasped when the wave exploded and they were showered with water even at the distance at which they stood, they all watched Luffy in horror as he began to fall towards the water, seemingly unable to save himself before he finally landed in the water with a huge splash. The was a moment of complete silence as the incessant thunder stopped, lighting flashed lighting up the last of the white-wash Luffy had caused when he fell into the water and then the thunder started again, the crack it made so loud that it sounded as though the sky were falling. The rain began to fall even harder.
Sanji ran towards the railings taking off his jacket preparing to dive to Luffy's rescue, when he heard a splash to his left. Zoro had already dived in. Sanji spun wildly around to the others almost slipping over the rails in his haste. He grabbed on quickly with one arm as the ship rocked. 'Someone grab a rope!' he instructed before turning to face the rough waters again his eyes desperately scouring for any sign of Zoro or Luffy, not daring to even close his eyes to blink in the whipping rain should he miss a sign of either one.
A few tense moments ticked by.
'Here!' Nami yelled finally arriving next to Sanji and tying the strong piece of rope around her waist. 'Usopp has the other end, I'm going to dive in and show Zoro the way back to the ship!'
Sanji stared at her in disbelief. 'No way! There's no way, it's too dangerous.' He reached for her waist, meaning to untie the rope. She side-stepped him and leveled a glare right into his eyes.
'Sanji, I'm much lighter than you or Usopp, so you can pull me back on deck easier, and Chopper can't swim as he also ate a devil-fruit. There's no way I'll be of as much help hauling Zoro and Luffy back up to the deck as you would.' She took a deep breath and continued, talking rapidly. 'I'm also an excellent swimmer, so there's as much chance of me finding them as you.' She flicked her sopping orange hair back off her shoulders to signify that she was done talking, and performed a perfect swan dive off the side of the ship and into the turbulent waters barely making a splash as she entered.
Sanji looked after her in disbelief, his cigarette dangling loosely from the end of his mouth. He shook his head slightly and despite the seriousness of the situation, couldn't help but find he had a small wry grin tugging the corners of his mouth. I think I've been underestimating her. He thought, before snapping back into action and helping Usopp and Chopper feed the rope through to Nami.
The moment Zoro had dived in, the extreme chill of the water penetrated into him, making it difficult to move properly as he seemed to weigh five times more than normal. He pulled his head out of the water and took a brief second to suck in a deep breath and to orient himself in the water before forcing his limbs to move. He was surprised to see how far the current in the water had already carried him from the Going Merry, but he didn't give it much thought, he simply swam as fast as he could towards the area he had seen Luffy fall, praying it was the right spot.
He raised his head above the water again for a brief moment to suck in another deep breath before diving. He knew it was pointless to call out his captain's name, the curse from the devil fruit caused the younger boy to sink like a stone, and so he dove, swimming desperately, hardly aware of the salt water that was stinging his open eyes or his own need to breathe. Luffy's been under here longer. He kept thinking. I just hope his heartbeat has slowed from the contact with the water, if he's too exhausted to squirm around much his lungful of air will last longer.
A piece of driftwood, knocked by the gale-force winds from the Marine island Nami had been talking about, floated in front of his eyes and he grabbed at it blindly, heart leaping as he thought it was Luffy. He let it go quickly, an almost primal desperation to find his friend now reaching boiling point. He HAD to find Luffy, there was no way that he would allow the boys dreams be destroyed like this.
He could still hear the thunder above him, it was echoing strangely under the water, somehow sounding more threatening but for once he was grateful for the lightning, its constant flickering his only source of light in the oil-black water. He tried not to think about the likelihood of finding a single person in all the water that was surrounding him, not to mention that at worst that person had to be found in a matter of minutes before it was too late. He ignored the pain in his lungs and dove deeper and deeper.
Finally, a few long minutes after entering the water - Zoro caught sight of something flapping in the currents under the sea, he turned his head towards it to see Luffy still sinking quite slowly towards the bottom of the ocean. YES! Zoro thought, diving deeper towards his captain ignoring the pressure that was building up inside his head from having so much water forcing its way down on him.
Luffy's eyes were closed and his face relaxed as though he was sleeping. His black bangs drifted slowly in front of his face, moved by the underwater current and his complexion in the darkness was a ghostly pale, but what scared Zoro most was that the boy's mouth was slightly open; he hoped that Luffy hadn't swallowed too much sea-water. The swordsman grabbed the piece of shirt that had caught his attention and began hauling his captain back up to the surface.
Please don't let it have been too late. He thought wildly, his own eyes beginning to dim, as he realized just how far away they were from the surface. We're not going to make it. He thought faintly. He shook his head mentally and cast one look at his captain, whose face was covered by his mop of black unruly hair, the strong and ferociously protective boy who he had depended on many times, and was at this point totally dependant on him.
The first-mate slapped himself mentally. We WILL make it. He glared upwards, his vision darkening by the second and his lungs screaming for air. His heart was beating so hard that the sound filled his ears, drowning out everything else. The pain in his lungs was now excruciating as he fought the urge to breathe.
Finally, his head broke the surface of the water, but the swordsman then made the mistake of breathing too deeply, the sudden oxygen causing his head to spin and he blacked out momentarily. He woke a few seconds later to find Nami holding both his and Luffy's heads out of water, although she the effort of doing so meant that her own head couldn't stay above the water, she was watching, holding her breath under water as she waited for Zoro to regain consciousness. He quickly took over Luffy again and she resurfaced with a gasp. She looked at the swordsman anxiously. 'You alright?' She asked her teeth chattering slightly from the severe chill of the water.
'Yeah.' The green haired swordsman muttered, shaking slightly. 'You?'
She nodded at him before turning to look at Luffy who was still out cold his black bangs hanging limply over closed eyes, he was very pale. She swung around to Zoro. 'Here.' She instructed, handing him some of the rope that was their life-line to the Going Merry. He grasped it tightly having some difficulty getting his numb and frozen fingers to work properly, when he had grasped the rope firmly enough, she gave two sharp tugs, they waited, floating in silence in the dark and turbulent waters before they began to feeling themselves being pulled strongly back to the ship. The thunder still rumbling continuously and loudly overhead, preventing conversation even if the two had the energy to spare.
The navigator snuck another look at Luffy and bit her lip, she didn't say anything to Zoro, but Luffy had been above the water for couple of minutes now and still wasn't showing any signs of waking up. She hoped that the rest of the crew would pull faster and prayed that they hadn't been too late.
On the deck of the Going Merry there had been silence, all three people on board desperately watching the piece of rope in the marksman's hands, waiting for it to move so they could haul their friends back to safety.
A strange rumble caught Sanji's attention, he wasn't sure how, but it sounded different to the thunder they had been listening to for the past hour. He gasped and clutched at his shirt, suddenly feeling as though a massive weight had just descended right into his chest, his mouth opened wide and his already doused cigarette fell silently to the deck.
Usopp and Chopper, startled by the Cook's uncharacteristic display of fear looked up to see what had startled him. Chopper stumbled backwards, tripping over his own feet and landing on his tail and Usopp seemed unable to move.
It the near distance, the massive waterspout was still barraging its way directly in the path of where they had last seen Luffy fall, now about 100m port from the Going Merry, the great, swirling clouds had all pinpointed together to form a monstrous waterspout, lighting flickered and thunder sounded from inside the massive tube of swirling water, echoing strangely, giving the impression of a giant hungry beast.
Usopp finally found his voice, 'We have to move, the Going Merry will go under if it's hit by something like that!' he screamed at the others, turning to run for the wheel, meaning to steer the ship away from trouble.
Sanji grabbed him by the collar roughly. He glared at the long-nosed boy. 'Nami and the others are still in the water, are you saying we should just abandon them?' He growled.
Usopp looked right back into the face of the livid cook, his face was pale and his eyes were huge. 'I don't like it anymore than you do.' He yelled over the roaring winds. 'But if the ship breaks up then there will be no way for us to rescue the others,' He paused, averting his eyes. '…especially Luffy.'
Chopper tapped Sanji on the leg. 'Sanji, please.' The little deer implored, trying to stay calm in the increasing wind and rain and fighting to be heard above the crashing waves. 'Usopp's right, if we stay in the path of that thing, there is no way that any of us would survive the night!' He held up Nami's map of the nearby island. 'If we can sail here, we should be able to wait out the storm.' He continued, quickly, not allowing the chef time to intervene. 'Luffy has Zoro and Nami, between them between them they should be able to keep him safe.' The little doctor stared full into Sanji's eyes. 'What would Luffy say if we endangered our lives and his ship for no reason, for all we know they're safe already.'
Sanji's temper flared unstoppably and he spun around angrily to glare at the small doctor, momentarily forgetting about Usopp. 'For all we know they aren't.' He yelled over the winds. He looked down into the young deer's eyes and saw the quiet desperation and the unfathomable sadness; but he also saw the resolve, and the intensity gave him goose bumps. Sanji stared at the youngest member of the crew as though he were seeing him clearly for the first time, a small bubble of pride blew up in his chest as he looked at his friend, he hadn't noticed how far the little deer had come since they'd left drum island, clearly their youngest nakama was no longer a child. It seemed that he had been underestimating a lot of people recently.
Chopper stood rock solid on the swaying deck as he stared back at the young cook. He was a doctor. It was his responsibility to make sure that as many of the crew were safe and healthy as he was able. He believed they would find Luffy and the others, he wasn't sure how, but Luffy always managed to defy everything the reindeer had been taught about logic and medicine, it was after living with Luffy and the crew of the going merry that he now truly believed if you wished for something hard enough and put in enough effort. Even you're wildest and most incredible dreams could come true.
Luffy would survive and his nakama would survive with him, whether through his incredible luck, someone helping him in some way, or as had occasionally happened when Luffy was truly in mortal danger, the presence that always seemed to watch over the rubber boy, would lean forward and lend a helping hand.
The doctor stared at the blonde man, resolve coursing through his tiny frame, at this point in time, his purposes was to do everything he could to keep Usopp, Sanji and himself safe, even if that meant turning from the storm and he would do anything in his power to do this, even if it meant fighting Sanji. If something were to happen to one of the others if he had the power to do something and hadn't tried his absolute hardest , he would never be able to face his captain again.
Sanji lowered his head slowly until a veil of blonde hair covered both eyes, rain water dripping from the ends in a steady stream. 'Ok.' He murmured, barely audible over the thunder. 'We'll wait on the island.' Usopp placed one comforting hand on the cooks shoulder before turning to run to the wheel, leaving Chopper to the rudder.
Sanji sighed again and closed his eyes, his thoughts in turmoil. Why did he have such a bad feeling about Luffy? Luffy always came out on top, and the others would ensure that no harm came to him while he was vulnerable in the water if they were able. He turned, intending to head for the galley to help Chopper with the rudder, even in his largest form the reindeer would have some trouble steering the ship in these waters.
He had just about reached the mast when he heard Usopp's voice from the top deck, tight with fear. 'Sanji, Look out!' The cook turned automatically to look behind him, another wave was heading straight for the ship, and although it was not large enough to be of any real danger to the ship like the one Luffy had battled, there was no doubt that it would wash over the lower deck, right were Sanji was standing. The blonde looked around quickly for something he could grab onto to avoid being swept overboard, a thick piece of rope dangled, slightly unfurled from the mast, no doubt blown loose by the massive winds. He ran and grabbed at it, tying the end tightly around his waist, and then he turned and braced himself for the impact. 'Sanji!!!' He heard Usopp yell one more time before the full force of the wave slammed into him, his head rammed into the mast and he felt himself pinned as the wave continued to rush over him, he forced himself not to black out as his head spun, he had not had a change to take a proper breath before the wave hit and the collision with the mast had knocked what little he had left out of his lungs.
He forced himself not to breathe in the water that was still rushing over him, preventing him from moving, he was fighting to keep his mouth closed, the pressure of the water trying to force its way down his windpipe.
Finally, after a few long moments the wave passed and Sanji gasped in a breath of air, the pain in his head intensified and he fell forward onto his knees.
'Sanji!' Usopp cried again, unable to leave the top deck or the wheel he was desperately trying to control would spin wildly in the huge waves, throwing them off course. The jolt of falling to his knees caused the blonde's spinning head more agony and the chef slumped forwards unconscious, the rope still tied around his waist.
They watched the approaching waterspout with horror as it began sucking up the water around them growing in size and gaining power. Zoro gripped his captain tighter and grabbed some of the rope Nami was still attached to and tied it around his waist. He looked at her with a strange glint in his eye. 'Whatever happens…' he said cryptically, not finishing his thought.
Nami understood though and gave a wan smile. Zoro grinned humourlessly and slashed at the rope that tied them to the Going Merry with the small knife he kept in his sash. If they were going to have a chance of survival, the swordsman knew they would more easily be dragged under by being connected to the distant boat, than they would if they were separated from it.
The green-haired swordsman then gave the impression that he was about to smile, without actually smiling, and both he and the red-haired navigator turned to face down the massive twister their captain limp between them.
A/N – So, what do you guys think? They'll get to the island next chapter and Smoker will come into the story. Please review, constructive criticism is always welcome. I'd really like to know what you think. The rest of the story is mapped out, so the next chapter should be up in a week or so.