Edit 5-6-10: Now with the line breaks eaten by this annoying website that won't even let me enter its name into the story without removing it.
Notes: This story will be a Naruto and One Piece fusion. However, it will take place in the One Piece world with the One Piece rules. This means that instead of chakra and jutsu, we'll see devil fruit, haki, and more.
Luffy and his crew will feature heavily in the story, but the primary focus will be on Naruto and his adventures with the marines. I am making the Naruto characters older to bring them more in line with Luffy's crew. Naruto is 17 at the start of the story, which begins about one year prior to the start of One Piece.
Disclaimer: I own neither Naruto nor One Piece.
Naruto the Marine
"Sakura!" Naruto yelled from the ground below the window to her second story room.
"Sakura!" he yelled again when he didn't receive a prompt enough reply.
A few moments later, the window opened and a pink haired girl stuck her head out the window.
"What are you yelling about this time?" she asked him, but thankfully he didn't notice any real irritation in her voice.
Naruto had learned long ago that calling for Sakura in this manner too early in the morning wasn't good for his health. And although he'd held off until 9:30, that was still a somewhat risky time. But given how important today's news was he couldn't bring himself to wait any longer.
"I came to say goodbye," he informed her. "I'm leaving the island today to join the marines."
"What's all that racket, Sakura?" A voice called out from somewhere behind Sakura.
"It's Naruto, mom" she replied. "He came to say he's leaving to join the marines."
"Again?" her mother inquired. "Well, tell him I'm serving unagi tonight and he's welcome to eat with us when he gets back."
"She makes it sound like she doesn't believe I'll go through with it," Naruto complained to Sakura. "I'll have you know I'm completely serious."
"We know you're serious," Sakura told him. "But you've tried this about a dozen times in the last ten years and Mayor Sarutobi has caught you every time. With a boat docked here, you know he'll have it watched."
"It's different this time," Naruto insisted. "I have a plan that's sure to work. So if you have anything to say to me, say it now. It might be a long time before we see each other again."
"Okay, goodbye Naruto. See you for dinner," she told him cheerfully.
Annoyed, Naruto turned around and stalked off, Sakura laughing at his antics as he departed. They may doubt him, but he'd been planning this attempt for a while and he wasn't about to fail again. He was getting off of Leaf Island.
Not that he had anything against the island, but its single small town with a population of 31 felt positively confining to Naruto. He had much bigger dreams than possibly replacing the old man as mayor some day. And sure he'd miss Sakura. Having been the only other kid his age growing up, they'd become friends almost by default. But there was a whole world of exciting people to meet and things to do.
And today it would all start he promised himself. He'd worn his favorite outfit to commemorate the occasion, a white shirt and white pants. The shirt had blue seagull designs on its sleeves. It wasn't an official Marine uniform, but it was his own personal tribute to his career choice.
As he walked along he passed a number of houses. Given the size of their village, they didn't have a professional carpenter or a town planner. So the houses were built somewhat haphazardly rather than in a neat line. They weren't always of the best construction either. At some point before Naruto was born, someone had decided to put in a cobblestone road that sort of zigzagged between the buildings. Even that wasn't as well maintained as it could be.
It didn't take him long to come upon a small warehouse on the edge of the village. It was even cruder than most of the houses, actually having a thatched roof of all things. Sneaking inside as quietly as he could, he closed the door behind him. Then grabbing an empty crate from the back, he moved it next to a large pile of similar crates near the entrance. Opening the top he climbed inside and closed it behind him.
Previously he'd always tried to sneak directly onto the ship. But as Sakura had said, the old man was sure to have it watched. But if he hid among the cargo the village was selling to that merchant ship, they'd carry him on board themselves and he'd appear to be nothing more than another box of goods.
He didn't have to wait long before he heard the door open and soon after felt his crate being lifted. He remained as motionless as he could, barely daring to breath. But after what seemed like an eternity to Naruto's frayed nerves, the box was set down. He then waited what must have been twenty minutes listening for any other movement.
Finally, he decided to risk lifting the lid to peak out, only to find himself staring at the face of Mayor Sarutobi, who was nonchalantly smoking a pipe.
"What are you doing on the ship, old man?" Naruto demanded of him.
"We're not on the ship, we're in my office," he replied. "I was having you followed. So when you tried your little stunt, I just had you carried here."
Looking around Naruto confirmed this to be the case. They were in the somewhat cramped room in Sarutobi's house that doubled as his mayor's office. It wasn't any cleaner than usual either, books lying about haphazardly all over the place. And his large desk was completely covered in paperwork dealing with village affairs.
He was dressed in his working clothes. Dark blue pants and shirt that were probably cotton, like every piece of clothing someone didn't trade for from outside the island. With its small population Leaf Island didn't even warrant a full time position for a mayor.
Although at Sarutobi's age, none of the villagers would have complained if he retired from his regular work. But the man insisted on continuing his regular job as a fisherman. And from what he'd heard, he still managed to bring in more fish than the village's other three fisherman put together.
Naruto climbed out of the crate, realizing there was no longer any point to remaining inside.
"Why do you have to keep stopping me?" Naruto asked accusingly.
"Because with your parents both gone, I'm your guardian. And I'm not about to let you run off without understanding the full implications of your actions."
"I may have bought that story in the past, but I'm seventeen now," Naruto retorted. "I do understand the risks involved. Yes being a marine can get me killed, and this island is on the grand line, so it's even more dangerous. I know all that."
"And what about the risks to the other villagers your leaving would entail?" Sarutobi questioned him. "Many of them have expressed concerns to me about your desires to leave. Considering what happened after your father left, I can't say I blame them."
"That had nothing to do with him!" Naruto insisted angrily. "If it was really some curse because a villager left the island, why did it happen more than five years after he left? I'm not going to stay here because of a bunch of superstitious villagers who should be grateful my father came back to save them after how they treated him!"
"I still don't feel you're ready to make that decision yourself," the mayor told him. "But if you'll calm down a little, I have something for you I do think you're old enough for now."
"What's that?" Naruto asked, curiosity tempering his anger at least for the moment.
Motioning Naruto to follow, he led him to a mid-sized wooden chest in a corner of the room.
"This was found on your father's ship after he died," Sarutobi told him.
"Really?" Naruto asked excitedly, then narrowed his eyes and looked accusingly at the old man. "Why didn't you give this to me before now?"
"You were too young," he responded. "I didn't feel right opening it myself, but for all I know it could be full of guns and swords. I would be irresponsible giving that to a young child. And more recently I was just afraid that whatever was in there would only reinforce that foolish notion of yours of joining the marines. But you're old enough now that you deserve to have it."
"I'm going to go open this. Thanks old man," Naruto told him then quickly grabbed the chest and rushed out of the room.
If it had been any larger, it would have been awkward to carry. But as it was, Naruto was able to make a decent pace while still trying not to jostle the contents too much. He was nearly to his house when he saw Sakura walking down the street toward him.
"Back already?" she asked him. "I take it things didn't go as planned?"
"Not exactly, but there'll be other ships," Naruto replied optimistically.
"You're taking it surprisingly well this time," Sakura noted, then focused her attention on his newest prize.
"Isn't that chest from the mayor's office?" she asked him, frowning a bit at whatever picture her mind was putting together of the events that led to him taking possession of it.
"You didn't steal it to get back at him for stopping you, did you?" she queried, the note of disapproval now clear in her voice.
"No, he gave it to me," Naruto corrected her cheerfully. "He says it belonged to my father. I'm bringing it home to see what's inside."
"Well, it makes sense he would choose today to give it to you," Sakura replied.
"What do mean by that?" Naruto asked, wracking his brain for any reason why today would be special but not coming up with anything.
"You must not have heard," she told him. "The merchants decided to relax in the bar for a bit after finishing their business. In addition to that, a marine ship just entered the bay. They're just staying long enough to stock up on provisions and then they're leaving."
"Really?" Naruto asked enthusiastically. "A marine ship?"
"Yeah, we almost never have two ships here at the same time. He probably wanted to distract you for a few hours until they've left since it'd be harder to guard both of them."
That did sound just like the old man too. Naruto was tempted to head to the bay right at that moment just to spite him. But even if it was playing into his hands, Naruto couldn't leave without seeing what was in the chest.
"Thanks, Sakura," he told her sincerely. "I'll just have to finish going through this before they leave. So I can't waste any more time talking."
With that he rushed off down the cobblestone path through the center of the town until he reached his house. It was a small single story building left to him by his father. Setting down the chest, he opened the door, slid the chest inside and let the door close behind him. Wasting no time he opened the lid and began going through the contents.
Looking inside he saw a small telescope sitting atop one of his father's marine uniforms. Moving the uniform he spotted three log poses. Although on closer inspection two of them were eternal poses. One was labeled Marinford, and the other had 'Leaf Island' scrawled on it. That last one must have cost his father quite a bit. Custom made eternal poses weren't cheap, and he highly doubted anyone else would have cared enough to make one for their little backwater island.
The final item in the chest was another, much smaller chest. Naruto quickly pulled it out and opened the lid. But he certainly wasn't expecting to see a piece of fruit in it. Was the mayor playing a joke on him? There was no way a piece of fruit would sit in that chest for more than a decade without rotting.
Actually, there was one way. The fruit was unlike any he'd ever seen before. Sort of shaped like a pear, but red in color with purple spots. Could it be a devil fruit? Almost as soon as the possibility occurred to him, Naruto made up his mind. Grabbing the fruit he took a large bite out of it. The flavor was pretty unpleasant, but he ignored it and finished off the rest of the fruit. He left nothing behind as it seemed to lack a stem or core of any sort.
Thoughts of what amazing new power he might have received were swirling through his mind, but Naruto pushed them aside to focus on trying to confirm he actually had eaten a devil fruit. Those who had eaten one were supposed to be unable to swim. But risking drowning didn't seem like the best way to find out, and he didn't want anyone else to know about this just yet anyway.
He knew some devil fruit users could transform their bodies, so he decided to try that first. He attempted to will his body to transform in some way, but after several minutes of that, nothing had happened. Well, maybe he could shoot something out of his hands or something like that?
Refocusing his will on trying to emit something, he felt some sort of energy stirring in his body. Willing the energy to move, he felt it almost leap out of him. Looking toward where it went, he examined the result of his efforts and smiled. This had a lot of potential.
1 hour later
Naruto sat looking out his window with the telescope he'd found in the chest. He had a good view of the bay from there and could see that both ships were now preparing to leave. Still he waited a little longer; he'd have to time this almost perfectly. The marine shipped finished preparations first, and Naruto saw them getting ready to raise anchor. It was time to put his plan into action.
Slipping out his window, he began to dash towards the marine vessel. It was larger than most ships that came to port, being more than twice the size of the merchant ship docket a couple hundred yards from it. Just seeing the seagull painted on the ship's flag gave Naruto an extra burst of energy as he ran, determined that today would finally be the day he joined.
Out of the corner of his eye, he caught a villager running after him. Naruto grinned to himself realizing his speed had forced the man to abandon his attempts at stealth. But his smile vanished when he noticed that despite his best efforts, the man was slowly gaining on him. He just hoped he could stay ahead of him long enough.
As he approached the ship, he saw a second villager moving to intercept him, but Naruto continued to run for the ship. He was only about a dozen feet from the second man, with the first having closed the distance to about half that, when he took the two spherical objects he'd been holding in his hands and threw one at each man.
The smoke bombs went off, obscuring them from view, and in the confusion, Naruto made a sharp turn to the left and changed course toward the merchant vessel. The two men who had been chasing him did not immediately give pursuit thanks to the smokescreen. He'd traversed most of the 200 yards when still another man attempted to intercept him.
He prepared a third smoke bomb for the man who must have been assigned to watch this ship and threw it at his feet. But this one was prepared for the tactic and continued through the smoke only to seize Naruto by the arm. The other two men quickly caught up and surrounded him. All three of them began talking over each other trying to berate him for his latest escape attempt. But Naruto tuned them out, smiling to himself. Then, in a puff of smoke, he vanished.
Meanwhile the real Naruto was already racing toward the marine ship that had begun to pull out to sea. This was cutting it kind of close, it was going to be difficult to reach the ship and he didn't exactly have the option of swimming out to it. He was only a few yards from the shore when his clone's memories integrated into his own. Ignoring them, he ran the last few yards at top speed, and then leaped toward the departing ship with all his might. He felt a moment of fear seeing all that water beneath him, but it passed as soon as his feet landed solidly on the deck.
This startled a number of the marines on the deck who obviously hadn't been expecting his last second arrival and he found more than a few guns suddenly pointed at him.
"Who are you? What are you doing on board?" One of the uniformed marines demanded of him.
"Relax men," another voice called out. "It doesn't look like he means us any harm."
Turning toward the voice he saw a large bearded man wearing an officer's coat over a suit. The other marines followed his orders and lowered their guns.
"Yeah, I'm here to enlist," Naruto told them cautiously, much happier with the guns no longer aimed at him and not wanting to do anything that would lead to them returning to their previous positions. "Are you the Captain?"
"That I am," he replied jovially. "Now would you mind telling me why you felt the need to make such a flashy entrance?"
"Most of the villagers are superstitious," Naruto replied. "They don't like to let anyone leave the island. But it's always been my dream to join the marines like my father did, so I wasn't about to let that stop me."
"I think I've heard of that superstition before," the Captain said thoughtfully. "Wait a minute; I knew Leaf Island sounded familiar. You're Admiral Minato's son aren't you?"
"That's right," Naruto confirmed proudly. "Namikaze Naruto, reporting for duty, sir."
"Well then," the Captain said, "if you turn out to be half the man your father was, it'd be nothing short of dereliction of duty if I stopped you from joining."
"Oops, sorry about that," the Captain added bashfully, realizing what he'd just said. "Bad choice of words. I didn't mean to bring that up."
"Don't worry about it," Naruto told the man.
"I must say that was quite the jump to get on here," he said, obviously wanting to change the subject. "You must have had a lot of training already."
"That was nothing," Naruto boasted. "We're a small island in the middle a major route on the grand line. Everyone is taught to defend themselves. I've been helping fight off pirates for years."
"Good to hear," the Captain told him, back to his cheerful demeanor already. "I'd wager you have a bright future ahead of you. Marinford isn't too far out of our way. I'll have you there in no time. Then you can start your official training."
This was turning out to be a near perfect day for Naruto. He only wished he could see the old man's face when he figured out that the chest he'd given Naruto had been the very thing that made his escape possible.
Sarutobi stood watching the ship depart through a pair of binoculars. Had the fruit's power been teleportation? Or maybe some type of illusion? Whatever it was, it would certainly aid the boy in his endeavors. And the villagers could hardly blame him.
After all, how was he supposed to know Naruto would have access to a devil fruit? It's not like he'd given it to the boy or anything, right? Sarutobi chuckled a bit at that, taking his pipe out of his pocket and lighting it.
"Good luck, Naruto," he said out loud. "Make your father proud."
Well, there's the prologue. Hopefully it gives you some idea of the direction I'm taking this narrative. I do intend to continue this story, and I have tons of ideas for what to do with it. There are just so many options for whom to bring in from Naruto. Whether a character should be a pirate, a marine, or someone else. What devil fruit powers to pass out.
That said it may be a while before I continue this. I have another story I've left unfinished for too long now. But who knows, maybe this story will really grow on me and I won't be able to resist continuing it.
As for those who have me on author alert that may have preferred I continue Clan Loyalty, I know I said I wasn't going to start other stories until my current one was complete and I wasn't going to go months without updates. Now I've broken both of those commitments.
But I've been having trouble getting motivated to continue it, yet was itching to write this and try my hand at a crossover. Hopefully just getting writing again will get motivated to finish it. But between my growing sick of the Naruto manga to the point I've stopped reading it, and just being unhappy with a number of aspects of that story in general I'm not terribly confident of that fact.
Anyway, as always reviews, comments, and criticism, and ideas I can steal and claim were my own are all encouraged. And I have a thick skin so don't worry about offending me on the criticism side.