Chapter 3: A Fearful Descent Down the Reverse Mountain

Rating: K (nothing objectionable this chapter)

Pairing: slight Alvida x Luffy

Ok, I would firstly like to apologize to those of you who read the previous chapter 3. I don't know what I was thinking, but hopefully this one is more to the public's liking. Especially to those who reviewed the previous chapter (not sure if they want to be acknowledged here, but they probably know who they are) who were willing to give it to me straight about the crap quality of it. Hopefully this one is more in line with the previous two chapters, and also hopefully I can get chapters of this one coming out a bit faster. Again, this one is far better (in my opinion, anyway) than the other, and I hope it leads to a good rest of the story. Please, read and review.

Looking up towards the summit of the large mountain, one could not help but be impressed by the sheer scale of it. The mists of the ocean clouded the top, giving a strong sense of danger and foreboding. The ornately decorated posts that lined the stream heading upward were another warning, as though telling travelers that to climb this mountain would require not only courage, but foolheartiness. Luckily, or unluckily depending on your viewpoint, Monkey D. Luffy had both in spades.

Alvida gulped down a bit as the small ship gradually made its way towards the mountain. The fact that the ocean currents somehow ran up the mountain defied any sense of logical explanation, giving a sense of the mysteries that no doubt waited on the Grand Line. She wondered exactly how their tiny ship was going to make it up the harsh currents. But whatever doubts any of the crew had, they had to follow the captain's orders. And he would not be denied.

"Yosh, let's go!" exclaimed the young pirate captain, eliciting a series of incredulous glares from the assembled crew.

"O-oi, are you sure about this Luffy?" Nami asked, her face more than a little pale, timid at the prospects of their tiny vessel climbing the imposing mountain. Maybe it was just the size of the mountain, or the strength of the currents, but she had a bad feeling. There was no way this could end well.

"She's right Luffy. I have suddenly contracted a case of absolutely-can't-climb-this-huge-mountain disease." Usopp spoke, voice shaking in a tone matching his knees. Luffy looked at the pair, eyebrows quirked upward in a confused stare, lips pouting slightly.

"Eh? But we can't get to the Grand Line without climbing the mountain." He spoke, as though it were the most natural thing in the world. The way he spoke left no real room for further discussion of the topic, and the two sighed in defeat, Usopp still with his knees shaking loudly.

"Fine. Ready the sails." Nami gave the order, sending the crew to their various positions. As Alvida made her way to her position, she couldn't help but smile. A small, knowing smile, one that belied her distinctive fear. She too was unsure as to how things would end, but somehow Luffy gave a feeling it would end alright.

Just as the crew got things ready, ropes being tugged to and fro, getting things in just the right position, there was a sudden jerking motion. The small vessel had gotten stuck in the current, and they were off. Even looking at the water crashing on the base of the mountain, there was no way to tell how strong the current was until they were already stuck in it.

Right off the bat, all the foreboding feelings came into play, as they ship listed to the side, heading directly for one of the intricately carved posts. The crew watched, helplessly, as their ship headed directly towards the post, threatening to smash all their dreams right then and there.

"Gomu gomu no…" came a yell from the young captain, rushing towards the side of the ship, "…Fuusen!" As he screamed, the crew watched as his body swelled up to tremendous size, landing in between the stone column and the small ship. They watched as his air filled body squished, the ship slowly coming to a stop. Then with a great exertion of effort, Luffy managed to turn his body, sending the ship back into the currents and up the mountain.

The sense of relief at their safety was short lived, as the crew realized in horror that Luffy was being left behind. All of them rushed to the back of the ship, watching the small figure shrinking slowly, each reaching out a hand in a futile attempt to grab his arm. Alvida and Zoro were the first to realize that he would be fine, stepping quickly to the side as Luffy threw his hand out towards the ship. Grabbing onto the rail, the others realized it too late, trying to get out of the way as quickly as possible. But as they scrambled, Luffy came hurtling towards the ship, slamming into Sanji, Usopp and Nami.

Watching the scene, the two who had the wherewithal to step out of the way sweat dropped, staring incredulously at the mass of flesh that had piled against the small ship's cabin. Luffy sat, in a highly amused manner, atop the huddle, laughing his normal idiotic laugh. His joviality was cut short, as the huddled group was disturbed, the angry red-head slipping out quickly. Luffy's eyes bugged out of his head, a fist slamming strongly into the back of his head. Usopp hurried back towards the railing, hiding behind Zoro as he shivered in fear.

"WATCH WHAT YOU'RE DOING, YOU IDIOT!!" the young navigator's screams sounded like something not of this earth, holding her fist up in front of her face. An angry red stitch was clearly visible on the appendage, her body shaking from the force of her fury. Zoro, Alvida and Sanji sweat dropped, simultaneously grateful that they were not in Luffy's position. None of them dared to attempt to appease the girl when she was in this mode.

"Ah. God, you are such an idiot, Luffy." Nami huffed, a sigh escaping her lips as she turned to the rest of the crew, causing them to collectively stiffen up. "Alright, back to your positions." Nami barked, leaving no doubt she was serious. Zoro, Sanji and Usopp simply nodded, tones of blue shading their faces as they went, trying desperately to avoid eye contact with the orange haired navigator. As Alvida began to head to her own station, she watched Luffy as he rubbed the back of his head, lips pursed at the events that had just transpired.

With a smile, Alvida made her way towards the young boy. As she approached him, Luffy looked up at her, watching as she squatted down next to him. Her emerald orbs captured him in their stare and he could only watch her, unable to make a sound. His eyes widened as she leaned forward gently, pressing her ruby lips to his cheek. Only a second, but it conveyed a clear message, that she echoed as she whispered in his ear.

"Thanks, Luffy darling." she spoke, letting her sensual voice slip over his ear, smiling in satisfaction as his body tensed a bit at the action. Throwing him a subtle smile, she then stood and walked over to her position, silky black hair flowing elegantly behind her. As he noticed her hips swaying gently from side to side with her strides, Luffy felt an odd warmth creep into his cheeks. His heart began to beat a little quicker, causing him to furrow his brows in confusion.

'What's that…?' he thought to himself for a moment, before shrugging it off and heading towards the front of the ship. As he turned toe corner, appearing near the ship's helm, Luffy noticed Alvida leaning close to the orange haired navigator. Brow quirked upward in confusion, he watched as Nami's face lit up a bright red color. Luffy noticed Alvida giving him an odd little wink as she walked away from the younger girl, a conniving smirk on her face. Figuring Nami was feeling upset, Luffy figured it would be better to not be the focus of her fury again. He still had the bump on his head from earlier.

As the crew all stood at the ready, prepared to jump into action at the first sign of trouble, Nami leaned forward, tilting her head downward as she gripped the railing. The words of the older woman echoing in her head as she tried to focus on the currents. But no matter how hard she tried, it kept resounding around her mind.

"That's two for me, my dear. You better get it together, or you'll regret it later." The distinctive mocking tone on Alvida's voice made the younger girl upset. But as she felt the sensual tone of voice on her skin, it had made her tense up in embarrassment, all sorts of wild images running through her head. 'Just how far have they gone? How does Luffy truly feel about Alvida?' Nami's mind was racing, but she attempted to clear her thoughts.

"Whooooooooah!" she was brought back to reality as Luffy shouted loudly, watching the scenery before them. The rest of the crew joined him in his admiration of the scenery. They had reached the peak of the mountain, and there was absolutely no turning back now. Smiles etched across everyone's face as they watched the clear sky ahead of them, oblivious to the imminent danger ahead.

Alvida was the first to realize the peril, as she turned her vision slightly down. She blanched at the sight that greeted her, and she spoke in something barely above a whisper, trying to get their attention. But it was no use. She could not speak, due to her shock at what was about to happen. Suddenly the realization hit everyone over the head as the ship stopped moving for a split second.

Blue streaks crossed everyone's face, as they all looked down, seeing that the mountain was just as steep going down. Taking deep gulps, the crew shouted in panic as the ship suddenly went cascading down the mountain. They could do nothing but panic, the wind whipping their faces as the ship went rushing down. All but one. Luffy sat, as usual, with that idiotic grin plastered on his face.

The combination of fear and the rush of blood at the sudden burst of speed was too much, as Alvida felt herself slip into a mild unconsciousness, collapsing slowly to her knees. Luffy noticed, and hopped back, sweeping her up into his arms. He blushed a bit at the contact, noticing how warm and soft her body was. Looking into her face, his blush brightened a bit as he watched the peaceful look on her face. He had a sudden urge to lean down and kiss those full, ruby lips. Shaking that feeling off, he looked around, making sure the rest of the crew was safe before looking dead ahead.

Nami had noticed what Luffy had done, and felt a twinge of sadness in her heart. She wished that he would hold her in that way, cradled in his strong arms. Creasing her brows in determination, Nami made her decision. She wouldn't just let Alvida have her way. Nami had the goods too, she just had to get Luffy to notice. At that, she felt a little less confident, wondering if she could be as bold as the older woman. But that thought was pushed out of her mind, a strong fear filling it as a large black shape began to come into view. The size of it as they approached caused the young red head to blanche a very pale shade of white.

Slowly Alvida opened her eyes, feeling an odd warmth surrounding her. It made her smile as she wrapped an arm languidly around the figure, before opening her emerald orbs wide. She realized that she had fallen into a mild unconsciousness, and was now cradled in the arms of the man she had proclaimed her feelings for. Sitting up quickly, she glued her eyes on his face, taking stock of his features. When she noticed that his attention was focused dead ahead, she looked around. 'What's going on?' she thought, noticing a shocked expression on everyone's face, eyes glued ahead. Turning her head to where they were staring, Alvida's face too showed the same shock they all shared.

Dead ahead, no more than a few feet stood what looked like a huge, black wall. It nearly blocked out the sky from their view as their boat slowly crept towards it. Closing her jaw from its drooping position, she narrowed her eyes as a sound emanated from the wall. Suddenly the realization his her, that that wall was alive.

"What the hell is that!?" Alvida exclaimed, in a near unison with the rest of the crew. How were they going to get away from this huge thing? As long as Luffy didn't do anything to make the situation worse…

This one wasn't terribly long, I just needed a bridge from the previous chapter to how I am planning the rest of it to go. Next time, we get a peek into how Alvida might have acted when they got swallowed by the whale. Also, introduction of Vivi and the events of Whiskey Peak (hopefully). Thanks for any willing to read this after the total crap previous chapter 3. Please let me know if this one is better.