A/N: My first One Piece fic, which seems totally bizarre considering how long I've been a fan, and how many different ideas I've had before this one. In a nutshell, it's a big squishy heap of Frobin/Nakamaship which is going to end up running about 4 or 5 chapters long, set sometime in the future when the Strawhats are in the middle of the New World. Reviews are loved, and I will do my darnedest to get the next chapter up quickly once I figure out how the hell to properly write Luffy's character.
A Pirate's Guide to Parenthood
Chapter 1: Meet the Robot Demon Pervert Family
It was a perfect technicolor summer morning when Robin had approached him, sun in her eyes, a spark of a blush on her cheeks, and a quiver in her voice that he had never heard before, to tell Franky that he was going to be a father.
Beyond the single, brief moment of quiet that followed, Franky had forgotten almost everything. What he did remember was a lot of heat in the conduits that lined the inside of his cheeks. Then gravity. Then his wife's voice saying something that sounded like his name, the rail of the Sunny on his back, and then ocean everywhere. Lungs full of seawater and a strangled scream of some emotion he couldn't quite place. Spinning. Sinking. Black.
When the metallic pounding in the cyborg's head told him he was conscious, he instantly noticed that he was soaked to the bone and wrapped in the big fluffy quilt Robin and Nami had labored over for Chopper's last birthday (pink, as per the little reindeer's preference—as if fainting and falling overboard hadn't been humiliating enough.) He assumed, based on the fact that his feet were hanging well over the edge of the short bed, that he was in the infirmary.
Then he heard sniffles and little noises that sounded more like they came from a wounded baby chick than a person, realizing with a sudden surge of protective instinct that his youngest comrade was crying at his bedside.
"W-why –hic- didn't he come get a checkup like I – hic- told him to before – sniff – th-th-this happened?" Chopper gurgled between sobs, burying his face in the patchwork cloth covering Franky's reclining torso and beating his little hoof on the bed in frustration. "Why did I – sob – believe him when he s-s-said cyborgs don't get siiiiick….?"
"Calm down, Chopper. He's perfectly healthy, he's just in shock."
A voice. Her voice. She's pregnant. We're going to have a baby. Oh God I'm going to be a dad I can't handle this what am I going to do if I'm an unsuper dad—
"What happened to him, Robin? Did you fight? Are you getting divorced? Is it our fault?"
"No, everything is fine." And her husband knew she was trying to calm Chopper down when he heard the soft smile in her voice—the smile that came out on those cozy nights when the whole crew would pile on the couple's bed, and Robin would read them one of the lighter books on her shelf, and Franky would start bawling over the poor main character's super-touching backstory.
He could almost hear her folding her hands in her lap, poising herself. "I told him the news immediately when I heard from you," she said slowly (at which point Franky felt oddly miffed that he was the third member of the crew to know about the birth of his first child.) "Perhaps it was too big of an announcement to deliver so casually—I was careless. It was natural for him to react that way."
A moment passed, and even with his eyes closed, he could perfectly picture Chopper's slightly hurt, confused expression. "But Franky loves you, Robin. Why wouldn't he be happy that you're having a baby?"
In those few words, Franky felt the guilt grab hold of every part of him that was human, twisting with a grip like a steel crane to make sure he felt it.
He was beyond happy—he was overjoyed to the point of weeping and writing a super-power-ballad-serenade about it. To say that the fantasy of Nico Robin with ten sets of arms full of ten of his children hadn't been in his thoughts since long before their engagement would be a point-blank lie. And Franky—fearless, unabashed, pantless Franky— was nothing if not super honest.
And yet, here and now, all he could picture was Robin's pretty, smart, super-cute little boy or girl, and how terrifyingly easy it would be to hurt something so tiny and fragile when its father's hand was a steel behemoth three times the size of its body.
He would never be able to live with himself if he messed this up.
Robin held her breath for a moment. When she spoke, her voice was low, tentative, as if she were searching for a way to make each word as painless as possible to say.
"Perhaps… he doesn't think we're fit to be parents."
The sadness in her voice pierced through the metal plate in his chest and straight into his heart before he could fully process the meaning of her sentence. But then a single word hit him like Puffing Tom had all those years ago.
He sat bolt upright in the bed, like a giant spring in his back had popped out and flung him forward, up, and into absolute certainty.
The archaeologist froze as her previously unconscious husband rocketed into a sitting position, gritting his teeth and holding his arms over his head with a hundred times the energy of his usual, already raucous posing routine. Chopper's eyes were like dinner plates, seemingly torn between concern for Franky's mental health and awe at the raw display of cool unfolding before him.
The cyborg propelled himself to his feet instantaneously, metal plates weighing heavily on the mattress and causing the wooden bed frame to bow ever so slightly. He flung his arms into a macho pose, staring his flabbergasted wife down in her seat beside the bed.
"WE LOVE EACH OTHER, IDIOT," he bellowed, now attempting to shout through the buckets of tears spilling all over his face, "… SO OUR ROBOT DEMON PERVERT FAMILY… WILL BE SUPER NO MATTER WHAT!"
Franky's chest heaved, and suddenly he felt like all of the cola had been drained from his system, flopping down cross-legged on the bed. His blushing, tearful gaze darted from Robin's eyes to the floor and back again— a little embarrassed, but anxious to see some kind of reaction from the currently blank expression of the woman he loved.
She blinked. She opened her mouth as if to say something.
Then there was that look on her face—the one he'd been getting from her almost every day since he set off homemade fireworks that spelled out "will you marry me?" over the open seas of the New World.
It was the look that said she couldn't believe she was agreeing with something so stupid. Couldn't believe how lucky she was.
For once, she was the one crying, wrapping several pairs of arms around his torso, and thanking him between kisses for being so super. Chopper just blushed and pulled his hat over his eyes.
Thank you for reading! =)