A fanfiction addition by Velkyn Karma
Note: Found this sitting around on my computer from last year, of all things. I thought it'd be fitting to upload it on my birthday :)
Summary: It's Franky's turn to learn a thing or two about a crew-mate. Set shortly after Franky joins the crew, pre-Brook.
Disclaimer: I do not own, or pretend to own, One Piece or any of its subsequent characters, plots or other ideas. That right belongs solely to Eiichiro Oda. The only thing that belongs to me here is the concept for the story.
It was about two weeks since Franky and the Thousand Sunny had joined the Straw Hat Pirates, and by now the cyborg was starting to feel pretty comfortable with the crew. He'd been with them through a lot of un-super moments, so it was nice to spend time with them during the super ones for once.
He was happy to see them getting used to the Sunny too, although they were still in the stage that Franky, as the shipwright, found the most entertaining. He'd hidden plenty of little nooks and crannies around the ship, after all, and it was always fun to watch them exploring the place, figuring it out, learning the ins and outs of their new home. Some did better than others...he was pretty sure Nico Robin knew the whole ship back to front almost as well as he did by now, while sword-bro still got lost just walking across the deck half the time. But they'd get there eventually.
Today he wasn't entertaining himself watching the crew on his ship, though. Today he'd had a super idea for a new weapon—he'd already picked out a name for it, the Super Franky Cannon—which would utilize Longnose's great sniping skills while providing him with enough power to put down a Sea King. He trusted the Straw Hats with that sort of firepower after all—they wouldn't abuse it.
He was so excited about his newest invention that he rushed downstairs to his workshop right away to scribble up the blueprints and get started on the construction itself. He was feeling especially productive this week, and if he worked hard he could have the Super Franky Cannon ready to go in just a few days. Strawhat'd get a kick out of it! He sang to himself as he double-checked his design, collected his supplies, and laid out his tools.
The construction would be big, and require a lot of sensitive fine-tuning, so as a final safety measure he flicked the red light above the doorway leading down to the workshop and factory on. He and Usopp had worked out a system only days after the Sunny cast off: since both of them worked with sensitive and frequently dangerous equipment and materials, sometimes it was safer for others to stay out until they were finished. The red light above the doorway was a warning for nobody to come in until it was turned off, lest they risk being exploded with chemicals, squished with heavy piles of metal materials, or chopped up by the dangerous tools no doubt in use. Usopp would know right away not to bother coming down to work on something until Franky was finished. And if anybody else came looking for him, the single red light was a classic warning sign to stay out.
Enthusiastic, Franky set to work, and for a while he lost himself in his careful measuring, metal shearing, welding, and hammering. He didn't worry about paying attention to his surroundings or the door; nobody was here, and nobody was going to get underfoot or get hurt by his tools, so he could bury himself happily in his work. Things were going along just super, and he'd finally managed to construct the barrel of the Super Franky Cannon and was just about to start configuring it, when the door to the workshop burst open.
The door slammed into the Super Franky Cannon's barrel, revealing Zoro, who blinked in confusion as he found the workshop staring back at him instead of whatever place he'd apparently been attempting to get to. Franky looked up in alarm, and opened his mouth to ask just what the hell sword-bro had been thinking, when the Super Franky Cannon's barrel tilted alarmingly. It was propped up relatively safely enough on a few metal struts, but Zoro's massive strength combined with the heavy force of the door knocked it clean over. Franky yelled a warning as the barrel slammed into the ground, and, jarred by the sudden impact, discharged. Thankfully it wasn't loaded yet, but even so, the sound was enough to send both pirates' ears ringing, and the weapon jumped again as it fired, nearly crushing Zoro's foot under almost half a ton of steel.
Franky leapt forward hastily to snatch up the barrel and fasten it more securely to the metal struts, while Zoro blinked sleepily at him in confusion, and said slowly, "What the hell was that?"
Franky ignored him for the moment and checked the barrel over. It was a little dented, but nothing he couldn't hammer out, and the mechanics hadn't been damaged at all, thank goodness. He'd have to work on the calibrations though, after that. It'd be useless as a weapon if it was sensitive enough to fire from just a little jarring, and that'd definitely get somebody killed.
Inspection over, he looked up and glared at Zoro over his sunglasses, roaring, "What the hell, bro? Didn't you see the warning? You coulda gotten yourself killed! Or lost a foot or something!"
"I didn't," sword-bro answered, gesturing with his fortunately-still-whole boot absently. "And I don't know what the hell you're talking about, either. I didn't see any signs or anything out there. I was just looking for the weight room after my nap."
That explained the sleepy expression, at least, but Franky wasn't finished with him just yet. He ignored the less pressing issue of Zoro being completely opposite the crow's nest for the moment and yelled, "The light, bro! The warning light! The light that means don't come in, dangerous stuff happening, enter at your own risk!"
"I saw a light," Zoro said, sounding entirely unimpressed with Franky's angry shouting, "But a light's a light. When has it ever been anything else? How the hell am I supposed to know it means something?"
Franky groaned and pressed one enormous palm to his face for a moment in frustration. Then he gestured at Zoro in exasperation, and yelled, "It was a red light, bro. A red-freaking-light. You know, the universal symbol for stop, everywhere? For construction, workshops, even streets on some islands? There's no way you could possibly have missed it, it stands right out! I mean, what are you, blind?"
Zoro's eye started to twitch halfway through the angry lecture, and his arms crossed in a gesture of stubbornness. By the end he was showing teeth, and as Franky finished Zoro finally snapped back, "Yes, actually! I'm colorblind!"
Franky froze in the act of getting ready to yell back, and his jaw dropped in surprise. Sword-bro? Colorblind? It had to be a joke, right?
But Zoro wasn't laughing, just stood there looking annoyed with his arms still crossed, and although Franky hadn't been around long he had never known Zoro to tell jokes anyway. Which meant it had to be true. Which meant Franky had just yelled at him for being blind.
He felt the tears burning at his eyes all of a sudden, and brought his meaty arm up to his face to block it hastily, starting to sob. "Waaah...I'm so sorry, sword-bro! I didn't realize! I didn't mean to yell at you or make you feel bad or anything! A world without color, that's so not super...b-but I'm totally not crying! N-no way!"
"No, look, it's really fine," Zoro said in exasperation, expression now a grimace as he was forced to deal with Franky's totally-not-crying. "I don't care. No feelings hurt. Besides, it's not like I can't see any color."
Franky managed to get the sand out of his eyes (it was totally just sand, he was not crying), and crossed his arms, blinking down at sword-bro curiously. "So...you don't just see things in all gray?" Franky was glad for that. He'd tried envisioning seeing the world only in shades of gray just now, and nothing about it was super at all. He wouldn't be able to see his favorite bright, loud shirts in all their glory, or know exactly how warm the Sunny's coat of paint looked, or see his own handsome blue hair. If he couldn't appreciate any of that, he'd feel especially unhappy, and for way more than just a week.
"No," Zoro confirmed, looking a little relieved now that Franky had quieted some. "I can see some colors, they're just not as bright. But there are a few that I can't see at all, or they get mixed up. When I was a kid one of the doctors told me I had red-green colorblindness. They both look the same to me...I guess to everybody else what I see would count as 'brown.' And some things that have red or green in'em are hard to make out, too." He shrugged.
"So you can't see red or green," Franky repeated thoughtfully. "Or colors with red or green mixed in. Oh—no wonder you didn't stop at the light then!" He shook his head. "It's really bright and all, but if you can't see the color, then I guess it is just a light."
Zoro merely shrugged. "Sorry. Didn't mean to knock your thing over, whatever it is. Put up a sign or something next time."
"Naw, it's fine, sword-bro!" Franky said, his good cheer returned. He swept into one of his classic poses excitably, and added, "I'll remember that next time!"
Then a thought occurred to him, and dropping out of his pose he gave Zoro a sidelong look and said slowly, "Wait a sec. So...if you can't see red or green, bro..."
Zoro rolled his eyes, and said with a long-suffering sigh and every indication that he'd answered the same question a million times before, "No, I can't see that my hair is green, either. Far as I can see, it's light brown...almost blond."
Franky couldn't help but smirk at this, and was treated to a furious glare from the swordsman. Then he asked, "But if you can't see it, then how the hell do you know it's actually green?"
"Well if I didn't know before I sure as fuck know now," Sword-bro said with a scowl, and glared upwards at the ceiling, probably in what he thought was the direction of the galley. Franky barely kept himself from laughing, both at the terrible sense of direction and at the implications of curly-cook's nicknames driving the point home.
"But I didn't know for a while," Zoro added, a little more calmly, after a moment or two. "I figured everybody giving me stupid nicknames whenever I beat a kid at the dojo or turned in a bounty were just assholes. But after a while I got tired of all the plant nicknames and asked somebody and...well that was a weird conversation, to say the least." He shook his head in exasperation.
"I'll bet," Franky said sympathetically. "It's gotta be tough, not seeing color right..." He valiantly fought back a sniffle.
Zoro shrugged. "Never known anything different, so it doesn't really bother me," he said offhandedly, and he really didn't seem to have a problem with it at all. "Sometimes it's annoying when people point things out by color, or things look like they're blended together when they apparently aren't the same. But sight's not the only sense I rely on, so I don't really care." And he placed a hand affectionately on the hilt of the white sword slung at his hip. Franky didn't doubt him for a second—sword-bro always seemed to know where things or people were in times of crisis, and he was always prepared when danger struck.
"All the same, I'll remember for next time, bro," Franky promised. "Me'n Longnose'll whip up some signs in the future so there'll be more than just the light."
Franky helpfully led the completely lost swordsman up to the decks so he could get back to his weight-training in peace, and then headed back for his own workshop. He scribbled a warning note on a piece of paper and stuck it on the door for now, although he'd be sure to have Longnose make some fancier, more durable ones later.
Then he set back to work, a little more thoughtful. Being on this crew was definitely going to be interesting, if today was any indication. He wondered what other little surprises his new family had in store for him. Whatever they were, he definitely looked forward to learning them.
I've always been intrigued by Zoro's apparent lack of care regarding his hair color (other than obvious spats with people for green-related nicknames anyway). I remember playing with the idea that maybe he just genuinely doesn't know it's green (or just thinks it's not weird). When added to the fact that many of my male acquaintances are color-blind, this seemed to be the inevitable result.
How y'all doin'? Still hanging in there?