TITLE: Nakama Day
SUMMARY: Luffy decides to give meaningful presents to his crew. Short, sweet, and maybe a *tad* cracky.
DISCLAIMER: Not mine, no profit, yadda, yadda, yadda.
NOTES: #1 Originally from an op fanforall prompt on livejournal, so props to Anon for the idea. #2 I got *incredibly* anal about this one and you would not believe how long the incomplete notes sat in my WIP pile until I had a clear idea of what he ought to give every crew member.
It started with Zoro's, a chance find in a box under a table at the back of a dusty junk shop, before Sanji accidentally goosed the mayor's wife and Nami stole something she shouldn't have and Luffy ate something he shouldn't have and they got chased out of town by the marines. Luffy hid it under Hat during their speedy exit, with his hand clutched on top to keep Hat on his head.
It had never quite worked properly after that. One of the figures moved a bit drunkenly on its wooden grooves when you wound it up and released the key. But it was still hypnotic to watch; the two little wood-carved swordsmen, twisting on gears and sliding through intersecting grooves, circling each other, weapons sweeping, rising and falling with the mechanical movement of their arms, dancing to the tune of the background clockwork whirr.
Of course, it wouldn't be fair to just get Zoro something, and none for everyone else. That's when he decides.
Robin's is a steal from a treasure hoard, risking Nami's wrath. It's got Robin written all over it, and it's pretty, and Robin should have more pretty things. His thought processes kind of stop there, because all else he'd know to get her is a book, and... Robin should have more pretty things. Yes.
He knows what he's getting for Brook, of course. He'd have to be real dumb not to notice how much Brook wants them. Sometimes it's the only thing the skeleton offers to any conversation.
Luffy feels rather strange buying them, and he's not sure of the best kind, or how to pick, though he's pretty sure that pink is a safe way to go.
They have little red ribbons on the top, and a really skinny little string for a back, and Usopp asks him if he's feeling any different sorts of urges lately when they emerge from the store. He puzzles over it, then responds that he guesses he must and leans over to whisper in his friend's ear, "Don't tell!"
Chopper's is easy, too, because he knows exactly what the little reindeer's always wanted.
He knows exactly what Sanji wants, too, but he runs into problems when he tries talking to what the guy at the inn said is the Right Sort Of Woman to ask. He's not ready yet and she won't come aboard and hide in a box until he's managed to find everyone else's gifts. When he tries to explain it again, she suggests the two of them just do business then and there instead. He's blinking down wondering why she's unbuttoning his shorts when Nami walks around the corner.
He gets hit and yelled at a lot.
He daren't go looking for the Right Sort Of Woman to buy Sanji anymore after that. So he buys his cook something else instead.
It also makes him pout because he only just found Nami's earlier that day, in a really funny and interesting shop down a backstreet of the town, and it had been expensive, too: though obviously he knows that Nami's gift needs to be that, else he'll probably get hit and yelled at some more.
He makes note to wrap it in belli, just to be on the safe side.
He watches the woodcarver shape and hollow Franky's, then fit the pieces together, and it's like watching Franky work on the Thousand Sunny, only tiny, so he knows it'll be just right.
Usopp he deliberates very carefully and long, but once he knows what he's going to get, it's the easiest of all to find.
Considering how important a thing it is, you'd think it wouldn't be sold so many places, and so cheaply.
Luffy is Luffy and gifts are gifts, and on the day he declares it Nakama Day and bounds around the Sunny thrusting badly-wrapped presents into surprised hands, it's inevitable some are perfect, some are... not, and others leave the recipient standing there holding it thinking "What?"
Others express their feelings more pointedly. "You think this is funny, shitty rubber?" Sanji's foot compresses the captain's face into the deck.
"Waaah! But I thought you liked pink! And you like girl things! And you cook loads!"
"I'm a man!" Sanji waves the pink, frilled apron furiously. "You think I'm gonna wear this?"
"I don't know there, it looks pretty fetching--" Zoro's comment ends that particular discussion as for the time being Sanji is far too busy fighting to continue it.
"Never mind, Luffy." Nami squeezes his shoulder. "I like this... whatever it is."
"It's orange," Luffy says, cautious and with his eyes narrowed as he keeps a wary distance from her. "You like orange."
"Yes, Luffy. I do. I do like orange." She holds it up again and examines it with great intensity and with a hint of desperation, from every angle. "What is it?"
"...Thank you, Luffy." She gives in and folds him in a little hug, and discreetly tucks the Orange Thing Which May Or May Not Be A Sex Toy away.
"I like mine! I like mine!" Chopper dances about wearing the joke-shop nose over his own blue one.
"A little smaller than the ones I'm used to," says Franky, grinning, "But she looks a good, sound vessel, cap'n." The shipwright claps him on the back.
"It's beautiful... Luffy." Robin has pinned the flower brooch to her shirt above her left breast, and the light glitters off the winding, intertwined curls of its leaves, petals and stalk.
It looks... pretty.
"Oi -- thanks, Luffy," grunts Zoro, an aside between flailing at the cook.
"Yo ho ho~~~!" Brook spins and spins while Nami eyerolls, pink panties held up between skeletal hands.
Usopp stares down at his gift, struck speechless for once, no words at all.
It's a child's toy, a trinket, and he has no time for such things, but he'll treasure it nonetheless, long after the mechanism completely gives out and the paint has worn off.
Although both Nami and Robin refuse to wear the panties even once to complete their magic, Brook keeps the scrap of perfumed cloth among his fondest treasures -- within his very skull, yohoho! -- the Silken Pink Panties of Belonging.
Nami refuses to confirm whether or not she in fact found a use for the Orange Thing.
They set the MiniFranky loose on its own grand adventure of the ocean that afternoon, Luffy, Usopp and Chopper helping to cheer her on her way as the tiny bobbing shape is lost from sight to waves and distance.
She loses the brooch within months, overlooked and fallen in the midst of battle and terror and flight as so many symbols of value across her years, but not the memory of it, or the intent.
Sanji will wear the apron, one day, in a fit of madness, and Zoro will never let him forget it. For which he'll burn it, swearing all the way, and afterwards feel a twinge of regret.
While Chopper's new nose won't make the locals stare at him any less, he's too proud of it to notice.
Usopp isn't sure how he feels about his straw hat, this one new and pristine. It hails, he can only imagine, from some deep-seated belief that it's what captains have, and that Captain Usopp should have one too, since he does after all have 8,000 followers.
He never quite dares to wear it and so it stays in the cabin, safe with his things. Periodically it will be cannibalised at Nami's request to help fix the battle scars of Luffy's, until by the time they eventually reach their destination, there will be more of the 'spare' hat on his own captain's head than remains of Shanks' original.