Disclaimer: I do not own One Piece, Wicked, or The Wizard of Oz. If I did I would not be writing fan fiction, because I'd be freakin' rich.
Summary: Zoro has found himself in a world full of brainless scarecrows, heartless tin men, cowardly lions, flying monkeys, and a yellow brick road. Chopper, I don't think we're in the Grand Line anymore. ZoLu OPxOZ
Warnings: adult themes, ZoLu, prejudice, a twisted around Oz, and language (thanks to Sanji)
Author's Note: It has been about two years since I last submitted something to fan fiction. I'm actually nervous about it. After being away for so long, it's going to be weird coming home from school hoping that I got a review. Still, it's good to be back and writing again. I missed it.
Anyway, on to the important stuff! Have you seen Wizard of Oz, the movie? You have? Good. That's all you basically need to know about this story. The rest is up to me, and my improving writing skills. There are a couple of things I would like to warn you about, though. This is not a kid's story or a parody. This is an adult fan fiction (that may not be so adult) that is set in the Land of Oz. Also, a lot of the political issues in this story are based off of Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. Haven't read it? You should. It's actually a good read.
Thankfully, it's not important to the story. So, if you haven't read it or have tried and couldn't understand what was going on, it's fine. You'll learn about things as Zoro learns them. If you are interested in the book read at your own risk. For the immature it's a hard read. You won't get some of the jokes, and you'll get lost easily. For the mature, you'll probably enjoy it a lot more. If you do decide to read it, and have a hard time following, please refrain from running to your parents and asking what a certain paragraph means. And if you do, don't say that I told you about it. The last thing I need is angry mothers tracking me down and suing me for recommending books with adult themes to minors.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy my story and I world greatly appreciate it if you reviewed. See you at the end of the chapter!
Chapter One: Welcome to Oz!
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."
—Dorothy, Wizard of Oz (movie)
"Welcome to...Oz?" Zoro read out loud the gold colored sign on the arch. He glanced around, not quite sure where Oz was exactly. He didn't remember Nami yelling about an island up ahead, or Usopp telling tall tales to Chopper about his "adventures" there. He didn't remember Sanji prancing around with the usual "we're about to land at a new island let's have a drink" drink, or Robin consoling Chopper that there were no medieval knights that go on a nightly rampage searching for his lost head. And he definitely would remember Luffy's enthusiastic laughter as he raced to the head of Merry to have the first glance at the "mysterious" island.
In fact, he wasn't even sure how he got here. The last thing he remembered was watching Luffy listen to their new historian, Robin, talk about a book. It was about some girl from Candas and her little black dog, Nono...or was it Dodo?
After she got trapped in the giant tornado, Zoro just stopped caring. Instead he closed his eyes and listened for Luffy's voice among the gawking listeners.
After awhile he must have dozed off, but that did not explain how he got here, or where he was. Was it possible that this was a dream? Appearing in front of a sign without any explanation was indeed dream-like, but this world felt too real and logical to be a figment of his imagination.
"Outta of the way." A gruff goat pushed passed him, giving him a rather hard look as he passed by. Zoro blinked. Maybe this was a dream.
"He thinks it's a dream at first," Kuina's voice whispered in his head, "but after awhile, he slowly grasps that this is his new reality."
A shiver ran through his spine.
It has been a long time since he thought of Kuina and that book. She would go on and on for hours about how wonderful it was, and he'd have to endure every minute of it through gritted teeth. She would always ask him what he would do if this were to happen or if that were to appear. He honestly didn't care about the "what ifs." He lived in the Now, and that's all that mattered.
He looked back at the golden words. It would be stupid to stand in front of an opening and not go in. So, without a hesitant step, Roronoa Zoro walked into the Wonderful Land of Oz.
Oz was definitely something else. Not long after going under the arch he found himself in a flourishing forest. He wasn't quite sure when it happened. The change was so subtle that he was a ways in before it even occurred to him that the dirt road had turned into a thriving forest.
"What are you doing, mister?" a high, squeaky voice asked. Zoro turned around to address the stranger, but found no one was there. He opened and closed his mouth, his eyebrows furrowed in thought. He could have sworn he heard someone talk to him. "Over here!" He turned his head to the side, to find himself face to face with a...chipmunk? No. It was a squirrel.
"What are you doing here, mister?" it asked again.
Zoro stared at the talking squirrel for a moment before replying, "I'm going home."
This wasn't the first time an animal had talked to him (excluding the goat), and he doubt it would be the last. Still, the whole situation unnerved him. With Chopper there was a sense of humanity in him. He felt like he was in a presence of a human, granted a furry one, but a human nonetheless. The squirrel, on the other hand, gave no indication of its humanity aside from its ability to speak. Its vocal cords were small and squeaky; his body was tiny and fluffy; and at its best it stood no more than eleven inches. Chopper was defiantly a more human companion, and probably smarter too.
"Home?" the squirrel titled its head, "Where his home?"
The swordsman shrugged, "I'm not sure."
"Then how do you know you're going to the right way?"
He turned back to the route ahead of him, continuing on his way. He heard the rustle of branches as the squirrel jumped from one tree branch to another. '
"Wait, mister," the squirrel squeaked, "you can't go through this forest alone!"
Zoro didn't stop walking, "Why not?"
"There are lions and tigers and bears!" the squirrel jumped for another branch.
The squirrel almost fell out of the tree, "What do you mean 'so?' You can't go up against a lion, mister! That's crazy!" The swordsman just smirked. The squirrel continued his jumping, "Okay, how about thieves? How do you expect to take out a whole army by yourself? Even with four swords you won't stand a chance!"
"I don't even need three to get rid of some rowdy bandits. I've dealt with their kind before, they're usually unskilled lackeys. I'll be fine."
"They aren't weak! I've seen them take out Kings!" the squirrel breath was starting to grow heavy, "Oz has really big, strong men. They train hard and long to kill you and take your gold."
"Good thing I don't have any then."
The squirrel was quiet for several moments. Zoro wasn't sure if it was because it was having a hard time keeping up or if it was just thinking, "Your swords!" it finally said, "They'll take your swords! And sell you to slavery. You sell real good as a workman. Maybe even a lover if a woman sees fit."
Zoro's face scrounged in distaste, "I'd rather parish by swords than suffer such disgrace. Besides, the World Government has long forbidden slavery."
The squirrel gave a startled cry as it fell from the tree, landing with a loud thud on the ground. Zoro turned around, waiting for the squirrel to say something. The poor creature lay there for several moments, gasping for breath. "The... (gasp)...The World Government?"
"Yes," he took a step forward, "the World Government. It clearly states the enslavement of any being will result in immediate execution."
"What... (gasp)...are you talking about?" the squirrel slowly got to its feet, "Not even the Great Wizard of Oz can stop it. It's everywhere."
Zoro didn't say anything.
The squirrel took a few more breaths before running up to Zoro. He stared up at the frowning man for a moment, and then climbed up his pants leg up to his head. "You know," it said, "you have some strange clothes. I bet you could pawn them off for a good amount of gold."
"No thanks."Zoro continued walking.
"Weren't you going the other way?"
Zoro gritted his teeth and turned around, ignoring the giggling rodent on his head.
He was never one for fantasy in his childhood. If it didn't involve swords, he had little use for it. Kuina, however, loved fantasy. And one of her favorite books involved a young man waking up one day in a world with all the same people, but a totally different life. In that world, magic and sorcery was common, but no one had heard of the Devil Fruit. There were no pirates, but plenty of outlaws. It was totally different world with all the same people in the original.
He hated the story as much as Kuina loved it. She would always go on and on asking about what he would do if he were ever stuck in an alternate reality. Zoro would always reply, "Find a way home." which Kuina would respond, "How?"
The man in the book never came home. He confessed his feelings to his deceased love affair from his world and lived happily ever after as their king. Zoro hated the ending. The author made the alternate reality to be almost a utopia. The few flaws it had were there to cause more drama.
Kuina more than anything wanted to go to the perfect world. She would spend hours fantasying about it that she was completely convinced if she were to go there they would make her queen.
Zoro didn't care what they were to make him, he was going home. He had already decided that. Nothing, not even the perfect world, was going to keep him away from his home.
"I think you're lost."
"I am not lost."
"Are you sure?" the squirrel looked down from the tree, "I've seen that tree at least six times."
"Why are you still following me?" Zoro growled, after being in the forest for so long he was starting to get impatient. The talking squirrel didn't help the situation much either.
The squirrel hopped to another branch, "I've never seen a man with green hair. Emerald City is green. Are you from there?"
"Have you gone? I have. It's beautiful. I can take you there. Maybe you'll meet someone you know. Then you won't be so grouchy."
"I am not grouchy."
"Maybe you wouldn't be alone if you were a bit nicer," the squirrel waited to see Zoro's reaction, when he got none he continued jumping from branch to branch, "but then what do I know? I'm just a Squirrel."
He ignored the comment.
"Take the road to the right when you reach the fork, you'll come by a village full of vertically challenge persons. They will tell you the way to get to the City of Emerald. I hear it's nice this time of year. The flowers are probably all in bloom."
The squirrel jumped off the tree branch. His feet barely touched the yellow brick before he scurried further into the forest. The swordsman watched the talking woodland creature with mild interest. Not long after Zoro lost sight of the squirrel did he find a fork in the road.
He went left.
It took several more hours for him to find the end of the forest. Yet, almost immediately after leaving, he found himself in a farming village not much unlike where Usopp grew up. The first thing he noticed about this village was that it had a lot of corn. The land was completely filled with corn stalks that grew over his head. It was making him hungry. There were several times where he was tempted take a couple of stocks of corn, but the watchful eyes of the villagers made the task difficult. So he continued on his way.
This wasn't the first time he had gone a day without eating. Back when he was a bounty hunter the only thing he could eat where the huge fish that jumped out of the water and tried to eat him. That was his basic dining style until Nami joined. He was sure he could go a day or two without eating. And if push comes to shove, he could always go hunting. It wasn't that much of an inconvenience.
"Hey, traveler," Zoro turned his head to find a little, elderly woman on her porch waving her arm enthusiastically in the air. He stopped. The little woman jumped from the porch and scurried over to him. She looked up, smiled, and said, "Traveler, would you like to rest at my house? You look tired, and I see you've been eyeing our corn for awhile. You were right to keep your filthy hands to yourself, these farm folk don't take kindly to thieves. So how about it, young man?"
"No." Zoro continued walking.
"I will not take no for an answer, young man," she grabbed him by the pants leg and tugged it., Even though he was aware that the woman had no strength to forcibly make him follow her, he let the woman drag him to her house, ignoring her mumbles about today's youth having no respect for their elders.
"Here you go, my pet," she handed him another plate, "eat up. You are much too skinny for Granny's taste." She walked back to counter and busied herself with chopping.
Zoro stared at his fifth helping with disgust. It was like corn stew, without the stew. It was just corn broiled in some brown, awful smelling liquid that made him gag. He couldn't believe it; someone could actually cook worse than Luffy.
"I really must get going," he pushed the bowl away and stood up, "thank you for the food."
"No you don't," the little woman waved a knife in front of his face, "It's been months since I last had company, and you are not leaving until Granny has had her fill with you. Now you are going to sit down and enjoy the meal I've cooked long and hard for you, and then we're going to have tea." She smiled at him, tossing the knife from one hand to another. "Doesn't that sound fun?"
Zoro nodded, slowly sitting down. The little woman turned around and continued chopping. The swordsman went back to his food, forcing himself to eat.
The tea, thankfully, was much more tolerable than the dinner. After seven servings, Zoro was thankful that the woman was offering him a place to stay. He didn't think he could continue walking after eating so much.
"So, Roronoa," the woman took a sip of her tea. "Why have you traveled so far away? Not many people from Emerald City will be way out here in Munchkin Land."
"I'm not from Emerald City. In fact, I'm not quite sure where I'm from or how I got here."
"Amnesia, huh?" the woman nodded her head, taking another sip of her tea, "It happens to the best of us."
Zoro didn't say anything. It was weird using the cliché amnesia excuse, but he couldn't exactly explain the situation he was in. People would think he was crazy if he said that he just appeared in front of Oz with no explanation. And he doubt that telling her that he was from another world would do much better, especially if he mentioned that he was a pirate with a $60,000,000 bounty on his head. That would end well.
At least, he thought, I'd be able to leave this place.
"You're probably from Emerald City, then." The woman smiled at him, "They are the only people out there who would have such a ridiculous color, such as green, for their hair." She giggled.
The swordsman gritted his teeth.
"I've always wished I could go there. I hear the place is nothing less of a utopia." She looked at her cup, longingly. "I guess you'd expect nothing less than that if the Great and Wonderful Oz was staying there. Nobody would dare commit a crime if he was there. Don't you agree?"
"I don't know who Oz is."
"No…I suppose you don't." She took a sip of tea, and then placed it onto the table. "You are the first traveler we've had in a long time. By any chance, did you happen to meet a Squirrel on your way here?"
Zoro nodded, wondering why she put such an emphasis on the "S." The woman's eyes downcast, "I see. That's a shame. I guess you were lucky enough not to fall for its tricks."
"Yes. You see, this Squirrel is part of this awful group that collect people and Animals alike to sell them to slavery. We have lost many travelers because those dreadful fiends! The Squirrel guides the traveler to the forest and tells him to go right instead of left. You were lucky enough to not fall for his tricks."
Zoro nodded. He could have sworn he had gone right.
"Well, enough of these depressing topics." The woman clapped her hands together, "It's time for photo albums. Let me go get them." She jumped off the couch and skipped to the bookshelves.
He spent the rest of the night in silent agony.
Even after several protests the little woman would not let Zoro leave the house. She insisted that he stay the night. So, after several threats and curses, he agreed. The room wasn't anything extravagant. It had a bed, a dresser, and a small night stand. It would have been a great room to sleep in if the bed wasn't designed for an eight year old.
Sighing, the swordsman sat against the wall and closed his eyes. A wave of homesickness welled in stomach. He couldn't tell you how many naps he had taken aboard Merry. It was a habit he developed when he was a bounty hunter. There was not much to do on the boat, so he often spent most of his time sleeping, though he did it less often when he joined Luffy.
That was a fun time. Luffy was so entertaining and energetic, even on a small boat, that it was hard for him to get any sleep. At first it annoyed him to no end, but as the days passed on, he started to enjoy the younger's company. Luffy was different, and he enjoyed the change. He still does.
"I miss him." Zoro mumbled before drifting to sleep.
Author's Note: I would love a Beta. And not one of those, "You have a good story, keep it up." I actually want someone to tell me straight up in a message if s/he did not understand a part, or if I was lacking on another. I need something more than someone who is better at grammar. I need someone to straight up tell me that I need to rewrite a scene because it didn't make sense or it sucked. If you are willing to do that for me, please PM me. If I get more than one, I'll interview all of you.
Yes, I do know about the section for Betas, but I want someone who has read the first chapter, and likes, it to edit. I don't want to go to a complete stranger, who may or may not like my writing, and ask them to edit. It wouldn't be fair to either of us. Plus, I might get rejected.
Question: What was your first reaction when Zoro went left instead of right? I really want to know. Did you think it was because of his bad sense of direction or some other more personal reason? I know I clarified it in the story (I couldn't resist) but I'm still curious for your first reactions.
Anyway, thank you for reading and putting up with my long author notes. I have one favor to ask though, could you please review? I've worked real hard on this chapter, and I haven't gotten a review in like 2 years. Plus, I really would like to know your answer to my question. Thanks again for reading! Bye!