A/N: This is a long story... I was surprised by how long I could draw it out. This first chapter doesn't give much away. It does not get into the action. It is simply pure, unadulterated exposition. Now when was the last time anyone around here did some of that?!!
Anywaaaaay... well, I'll say more in the next chapter.
But wait! Disclaimers: THIS HAS A LOT OF ANGST AT THE END (of the story, not this chapter). IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH NAKAMASHIP ANGST, PLEASE DON'T READ THIS. In addition to the angst, there is some language, thus the T rating. And please understand that no one is hitting on anyone in this fanfic. I pair no one with no one, kay?
Oh, and I don't own One Piece. :)
(For iluvstorms: Brook's "hovering technique" is his ability to walk on water since he is so light. I know he has this ability, but I couldn't find out what it was called. Thus, hovering technique.)
Japanese words are in italics. I tried to use them correctly, spell them correctly, but hey, I don't know a whit of Japanese except what I've learned from this show. Don't hate me if they're wrong. I just can't write Franky saying "bro" or Sanji "moss-head." It's not... right, somehow. Also, not all italics are Japanese words - sometimes they are there for emphasis or intensity. You're smart; you'll figure it out.
I'll stop now. Until next chapter, dear reader.
"Luffy!" shrieked the little reindeer in terror as his playmate rocketed himself over to the new island, one lanky, rubbery arm securely clasping the doctor to his chest. Tony Tony Chopper, a Devil Fruit user, wasn't really scared that he'd fall into the sea… but sometimes Luffy didn't think before he acted…
The shriek quickly turned into giggles as Luffy's "Wahooooo!" echoed over the sparkling water that sped past beneath them. The two friends laughed together loudly, barely able to hear each other above the whooshing sound of the wind in their ears. A moment later, Chopper noticed that the white walls of the town ahead were getting closer and closer, and his panic returned. "Luffy! The wall!" he said.
"What?" Luffy asked carelessly, his grin so expansive that it squeezed his eyes shut.
"The wall! The wall!"
"Wha – " Luffy's grin fell. He opened his eyes and saw the wall. Then the grin returned. "HOLD ON, CHOPPER!" he cried in utter joy, swinging them around so they faced back out to sea. The reindeer's average eyes could barely see the speck that was Sunny-Go, but his superb nose told him exactly where Nami, Usopp, and Zoro were on the deck. "Luffy… what are you…" Chopper said, craning his neck to see how close they were to the wall. "AHHH!!!"
"GOMU GOMU NO… FUUSEN!" cried the rubber man, and his body inflated to outrageous proportions. When the two friends hit the wall a split second later, Chopper simply sank into Luffy's balloon-like torso, and Luffy took all of the impact. They bounced off the wall and fell five meters down to the street below. When Chopper stood up again, he shifted into his Walk Point and looked around for an audience to his captain's crazy entrance, his blue nose twitching. Bits of plaster and stone had broken off the wall when they hit it and now lay scattered in the street. Luffy had stood up and was brushing himself off.
"Are you hurt, Luffy?" called Chopper, satisfied that they had not alerted any of the townspeople to their presence.
He laughed. "No, Chopper. Let's find some meat!"
"Oi, Luffy. I don't eat meat!"
The laughter continued. "Meat, meat, meat…" the rubber man said as they walked down the street.
"Baka Luffy," muttered the orange-haired navigator on the Thousand Sunny, her hand over her eyes. Lifting the megaphone to her mouth, she yelled, "Everyone! All hands on deck!"
A previously snoring Roronoa Zoro growled that he was already on deck, no need for a bitch like her to scream at him about it. Unfortunately, he finished his comment just as Sanji exited the kitchen.
"What did you say to Nami-san, marimo?"
"Nothing, ero-cook. Wanna make something out of it?"
Swords were drawn and the men were snarling at one another before Nami could get over to them and knock their heads together. Once that task was completed, she turned to Robin, Usopp, Franky, and Brook. "We're approaching Yuya Island. It has a small Marine force; nothing we can't handle, except our baka-captain grabbed Chopper and rocketed them both over there, with who knows what consequences."
Usopp and Franky each had a hand over their eyes to block the bright sunlight and were squinting in the direction of the island. "That far, eh?" said Franky to the sniper.
"Hmmm. He's much stronger than he used to be."
"We should build a slingshot that can shoot as far as Luffy can throw himself."
"Aye – "
"Pay attention!" screeched Nami, knocking them both out with her fists. "It's not a good thing!"
"Hm," Nico Robin smiled. "Perhaps one of us should go after them, Navigator-san."
Nami gave her a grateful thank-god-one-of-them-has-some-sense look. "Arigatou, oneechan."
Zoro and Sanji had recovered from Nami's blows. The swordsman said, "I'll go," resignedly.
"Oh, no, you won't," said Nami, frowning. "You couldn't find your way back to the ship on your own, and neither could those other idiots." A thought crossed her mind – Sanji had watch, and she really didn't need Zoro getting himself lost (again). She grinned evilly. "If Zoro leaves the ship, you," she pointed to Sanji, "must go with him."
Both men wore stunned expressions. "But – " they said at the same time.
"No arguments." Her word was final.
Sanji shook himself a little. "Hai, Nami-san! I will make sure the bastard doesn't get lost for youuuu!"
"Evil, money-grabbing, bossy hag."
"What was that, bastard?"
"And they're fighting again," Nami sighed. "Usopp, Franky – Nani??"
The two were busy hammering together a huge slingshot not unlike the one they had built at Thriller Bark. They had even gotten Robin to help them, for as the archeologist lounged in her chair with her book and tea, four hands had sprouted from the device to hold tools.
Nami's temper flared. "Pay attention, you idiots!"
"Nami, I could help," said a calm voice to her left. Brook stood erect before his commanding officer. "I could go over there now, using my hovering technique."
"Brook! Yes, yes, please!"
"First, though, may I see your – "
Nami's fist cracked his skull. "No, you may not!"
A moment later, an unabashed Brook flew from the ship to catch up with his comrades. Zoro and Sanji were still fighting on the deck. Usopp and Franky had gone below to coax more speed out of Sunny-Go because they had realized they were out of supplies to finish their newest project, so they wanted to get to the island as soon as possible. Robin was quietly laughing at Nami's dark expression, for she knew that the fiery woman's temper was just a mask for the deep tenderness she felt for all her crewmates. "I'm sure all will turn out for the best, Navigator-san," she said serenely.
"Oiya, Robin," Nami said, shaking her head. "Why did we all join up with that idiot?"
"We may never know."