Fandom: One Piece
Genre/Rating: Friendship, General/T
Word Count: 1348
Summary: Luffy tells Zoro about his dreams of being a pirate. AU, pre-Grand Line.
Notes: I was practicing starting off a story and this just kind of evolved. They might be a little OOC, hopefully not though.
The sky is slowing turning from blue to a vivid pink-orange and the sun has taken on a soft gold as it drops towards the horizon. Wisps of clouds hang on either side of the glowing orb, edges glinting with the same tone. Gentle waves of mirroring colours lap against rocks further out to sea.
A cheap, black car rests on the deep green cliff edge, engine humming to warm the two figures seated on its bonnet against the chilled air of late autumn. Both are silent, the only noise coming from the waves and engine.
The smaller of the two has wide eyes filled with awe at the scene unfolding before them. His hair is dark and scruffy, held in place by a worn old straw-hat atop his head, and his clothes are equally so: faded jeans a size too large, wrinkled hooded jumper of deep red with words no longer clear printed across its front, and many-year-old sandals upon his feet. A faint scar that runs the length of his left eye seems to stand out against his features. He sits cross-legged on the car, elbows resting on his knees and head resting on his hands.
The sun has almost joined the waves to pass behind them, when the boy speaks, as if suddenly remembering. "I have these dreams sometimes," he says.
His companion spares him a glance of acknowledgement before turning back to the view. He is taller, wider, older, with muscles rippling beneath a thin cotton shirt. His hair is short bristles of green; his eyes thinner and less emotive. His clothes are similarly dishevelled and aged, but instead of sandals, his feet are covered securely by large boots. He is leaning back, strong arms holding him aloft, and his long legs are stretched out before him, calves hanging idly from the bonnet edge. The sleeves of a black trench coat are sliding gracelessly and ignored to his wrists.
"We're pirates," the younger continues. "I'm captain and you're my first mate. We have a navigator, a cook, and a marksman – they're the best crew I could ever want! I have these cool powers that mean I can stretch like rubber and you're a master swordsman."
This latter comment elicits a soft snort of laughter from the elder teen. "Are we, Luffy," he replies, but it's not a question.
A cheerful laugh erupts from the raven-haired boy and he flops back onto the car with a loud thump. "Yeah! It's so cool!"
A grunt is the only response, but Luffy carries on regardless, "We all have these awesome goals and a ship and lots of meat!" he exclaims, his eyes bright as he sits up again, pumping a fist in the air with a cheer. "We fight all the bad guys and get chased by marines! Wanna hear all about it, Zoro?"
Zoro sighs, but the corner of his mouth twitches slightly at this show of enthusiasm. "Sure, kid. Knock yourself out."
"Well, first there's Nami! We met her first and she can always tell the weather and she's the best navigator ever. She's going to make a map of the world and she loves money which is a little silly since we have so much meat and Sanji would make her anything she wants. She got these cool tangerine trees after we fought the fish guy with a funny nose who made her cry – that's when she joined the crew properly – but she never lets me eat 'em! She's kinda mean sometimes though and she always hits us!"
Zoro snorts a little at the boy's odd way of describing his dream-crewmate. "And who's Sanji?"
"Sanji was a chef on this huge fish ship. He didn't wanna be our cook at first but I convinced him to come so he could find the All Blue, which is this cool ocean with every type of fish there is, and I'm so happy 'cause he cooks real good and he fights cool – he spins round and only kicks and he always looks after Nami and his eyes go all heart shaped and funny when he looks at her which is why you call him 'lovecook'. You don't like each other very much and you always fight and he calls you marimo 'cause he says your hair looks like algae. He's mean too and he never lets me put meat in the bread or eat before Nami, but he cooks heaps and it's so nice that it doesn't matter that much."
Luffy stretches his legs out in front of him, mimicking his friend's position. He lets his grin widen further as he continues with even more gusto than before, "I think I like Usopp better though! He plays with me all the time and makes up the best games and tells the best stories and he never yells at me like Nami and Sanji do. He used to tell this sick lady stories to cheer her up and then this evil guy tried to kill her but we stopped him and then Usopp joined our crew and he's the best sharpshooter ever. He's gonna be a brave warrior of the sea!"
The pause that follows makes Zoro feel that some sort of response is necessary, but all he can come up with is; "They sound … nice."
"Of course they're nice, Zoro," the younger of the two exclaims with a laugh. "They're our nakama! It doesn't matter that we fight sometimes – or even that time when you and Sanji didn't talk to each other for a month after you said he was overcompensating and then he said that being first mate wasn't literal and then Nami and Usopp laughed really hard and no one would tell me why it was so funny – because we're nakama and we always look out for each other."
"I'm sure we do," Zoro replies wryly as he mentally pictures the hundreds of ways someone can murder at sea without being caught. If the swordsman in Luffy's dream is actually the same Zoro as the one in real life, surely that stupid cook wouldn't have lasted a whole month after saying something like that about him, regardless of what ideas Luffy has about his dream-nakama.
"Why was what Sanji said funny, Zoro?"
The older man glances over at his friend, wondering if the boy is really so naïve. But Luffy is staring back with unblinking wide-eyed curiosity, irrefutable proof that he honestly has no idea.
"It's not funny, Luffy," he says at length after turning his eyes back to the sky that has now turned a deep purple. "They were just pretending to trick you."
"Oh! Okay!" is the only cheerful response before silence again engulfs the scene.
The sun has completely disappeared and the moon begun to rise behind them when Luffy begins to speak again. "I shouldn't have a favourite," he says, "but I like you best, Zoro.
"You're so strong and brave and you fight with three swords and it's so cool. And you always look out for me and sacrifice yourself for people and you sleep a lot but you play with me when I just woke you up even though you threaten to kill anyone else. You always seem to know what I'm thinking and where I am and you never lose fights except one and that was to Mihawk so it doesn't matter because he's the greatest swordsman in the world and you'll beat him one day."
Luffy stopped and let himself fall back onto the bonnet again, "Even though I'm kinda jealous of the me that gets to be a pirate, I do have something he doesn't."
"Oh, yeah? What's that?"
Luffy looks up at his older friend and grins, "He only got to meet you a while ago but I've known you forever!"
Zoro stares at Luffy for a moment, unsure how to repay such a compliment. Finally, he just pulls off his trench coat and swings it around the boy's shoulders. "You look cold," he says gruffly.
"Oh! Thank you, Zoro!"
"No problem … Captain."