This is my first fan-fic story so don't hate me if it isn't that great. Would love some reviews – tell me you hate it, love it, think it could be better – I wanna know your opinion.
Hope you enjoy!
*And obviously, I do not own One Piece, or the characters – I am just in love with them*
* ~ * ~ Chapter 1 ~ * ~ *
It had been two whole years since she'd seen her nakama. Her family. Two years since she saw Luffy's bandaged body on the front page of the paper, with the coded message meant for just the eight of them. What should have been a three day break from each other had turned into a two year gap. Her fingers clenched the sides of the small sky ship she was in.
Haredas-san looked to her from the small helm, "Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, young lady – you should be happy. Are those tears I see?"
Nami sent him a deadly scowl, letting the few tears that had attempted to form in her eyes, evaporate almost instantaneously. "Make this thing go faster Ossan."
His eyes glanced to her clenching fists and tensed. He swallowed nervously and went back to focusing on the controls.
Nami turned back to the sights of the Sabaody archipelago growing larger and larger as they made their descent from Weatheria. Her heart fluttered thinking about everyone: Robin, Franky, Chopper, Brook, Sanji, Zoro, Usopp, and most importantly, Luffy. She smiled and tried to envision what they looked like, and how strong they had all gotten.
Her two year stint in Weatheria, surrounded by a bunch of boring old men was much more interesting than she had imagined at the beginning. Nami learned all she could about the weather, and even pocketed a few of their secret notebooks for further instruction. She was going to be the best damned navigator that she could be – the navigator for the future Pirate King – while also fulfilling her ultimate goal to map the entire Grand Line.
The two years had been good to her. Nami's bright orange hair was now long and wispy, falling down to the small of her back, her skin was evenly bronzed due to a lot of sunny days close to the sun, and her body was in peak physical condition from working out every morning and every night.
If she was going to keep up with the heavy-hitters, Luffy and Zoro, she needed to be as strong as she could possibly get – though, not so sickly buff as to lose her perfect figure of course.
Nami could hear the pop of bubbles as we came to the treetops, the peculiar soap bubbles not able to leave the special atmosphere of the Sabaody Mangroves. Haredas-san brought them down between the green and bubble coated treetops, to a small grassy hill, which had formed over a large root of Grove 18.
As soon as they touched ground, Nami broke out into a smile, and gave into the building excitement in the pit of her stomach. She turned to Haredas-san and gave him a quick hug. "Thanks for everything, Haredas-san," Nami said gratefully.
His wrinkled and weathered cheeks reddened, as he stammered, "Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey – no need for that, young lady." He pulled out of her light embrace and pulled the wind-knotted rope from somewhere deep within his blue robe.
He held it out to her, "Take it – you probably would have stolen it anyways." He gave Nami a fatherly-reproachful smile and placed it in her delicate hands.
"Thank you," she said with a polite bow.
He gave his dulled laugh that she had grown accustomed to, "Now, shoo! Go find your nakama!"
Nami's smile grew at his words and she hopped out of the sky-boat. She sent him a wave and hung her duffle bag from her shoulder. She took off at a brisk jog towards the sounds of civilization, and looked down at the Vivre Card that would lead her to Rayleigh.
The small paper shifted in her hands, directing her to the right. She walked briskly through the crowd, trying her best to dodge the rough-looking foot traffic. Compared to two years ago, Sabaody Archipelago seemed dimmer and dirtier. An abundance of scowling, toughened faces littered the crowds, while knives and guns gleamed boldly from beneath robes and tucked into waistbands. Nami avoided eye-contact when possible and followed the forward direction of the paper. She smiled as she recalled Luffy calling it a "Mystery Paper".
She came to Grove 13, and was sent into a flashback of the last time she had been here: Kuma the Tyrant's large padded hand coming closer and closer to her face as she screamed out for Luffy to save her.
She shuttered and kept walking up the hill.
Shakky's Rip-Off Bar seemed to be in its same sorry state. Moss (or maybe it was mold) grew around its base, wooden panels on the walls were hanging off in disrepair, shingles were missing from its circular rooftop, and it gave off an overall, shabby air that for some reason made Nami feel relaxed and comfortable. She stepped inside, the dim lights giving her sun-shine accustomed eyes a shock. She blinked rapidly, waiting for her sight to adjust, as she walked deeper into the bar.
Nami saw two outlines in front of her, though neither of them fit the shape of someone from her crew. A hunched figure sat on a barstool, while a thin, womanly shape leaned on her elbows from behind the bar.
"So the navigator-girl came in fourth," the woman behind the bar spoke, a smirk evident in her voice.
Nami smiled as her vision finally adjusted and allowed her to see the details of the people in front of her. The woman, Shakky, smirked at Nami, her short black hair tucked behind her ears. She looked to be in her middle ages, but from what she had hinted before, Nami knew that she was older than that. Despite her age, she seemed in perfect health. She stood up straight and stole the bottle out of the hunched figure's hands. She took a quick swig and set it down on the counter in front of Rayleigh.
Rayleigh laughed, his eyes shining from a little too much to drink. His overgrown and unruly white hair fell around his large shoulders, his thin-rimmed glasses pushed up on to the top of his head. His laugh shook through his whole body, which, despite being a seventy-something old man, was quite fit and ruggedly handsome. Age had favored him, and Nami could see why even now he was still able to seduce women.
"So I'm the fourth here?" Nami asked quickly, leaning against the bar beside Rayleigh, "Who got here before me?"
"The Swordsman, Bones, and Cyborg," Shakky listed, not bothering with names.
Her eyebrows raised at Zoro's name being first on the list. Nami smiled, "Are they all at the ship?"
She shook her head, the hair becoming untucked from one of her ears, "Just the Cyborg. Bones is at the amusement park putting on a show, and the swordsman decided to wander around town."
Nami's smile faded as she thought of Zoro wandering alone, through town. She groaned, "Great – we've lost him before we've even met up."
Rayleigh laughed again, "I'm sure someone will run into him sooner or later. You should relax and have a drink." He held out the bottle of sake and pushed a small glass towards Nami. He poured her some, and she downed it immediately.
She heard steps behind her, and soon heard a familiar voice by her ear, "Would you have a drink with me, Pretty Lady?"
Nami spun in my seat to see a completely transformed Usopp smiling goofily beside her.
Her smile grew to its maximum size as she shouted, "USOPP! You look so different!"
She hung herself from his neck and they both dissolved into fits of laughter. Nami was ashamed to say, that she and Usopp had been in the trio of weaklings, along with Chopper. They were usually the ones who tried to stay out of the way of the real fighting as much as possible, while often resorting to running away.
They pulled apart, "You look so strong now! Look at those muscles," Nami teased as she poked one of his biceps. He really did look completely different. He was thicker and way more muscled, and a few inches taller. His long nose stuck out from his face as prominent as ever, while his hair was a curly mass of black that was spilling out of his floppy-brimmed hat. Still though, he had his lucky blue and white striped wristband, and a large satchel of new gadgets and weapons that she bet he was dying to show off.
He flexed for her, while putting on a funny grimace, "Hah! I'm like a mini-Zoro!"
Usopp tried to imitate Zoro's peculiar scowl that he usually gave out when someone interrupted his workout – which by the way, is completely different from his "I have no idea what you just said" scowl and his "I'm gonna beat the crap out of you" scowl.
"And you don't look bad yourself, Nami," he snickered, "I bet Sanji gets a nose bleed the moment he sees you."
She punched his arm and turned to Rayleigh, "So where is the ship? I'm excited to see the Thousand Sunny after so long."
Rayleigh spun in his seat to face the two Straw Hats, "Grove 18, to the left of here. Look for the water and you'll find her."
Usopp and Nami nodded and hurried out the door. They walked excitedly down the hill, both smiling happily.
"I've been dying to know where everyone else got sent to!" Usopp said, "I hated not seeing anyone for two years."
Nami nodded, "Me too – I missed everyone, especially Luffy after what he had to go through at Marine Ford…"
Usopp nodded, "I felt so horrible that I hadn't been there for him…I mean, I usually didn't do much in fights, but at least I was there if someone needed me. That Kuma was brutal."
Her memory flashed back to Kuma's large padded hand. "I'm just glad I wasn't sent somewhere where I was completely alone. Sure I was stuck with a clan of old men – which was creepy at first – but at least I had people to talk to."
"Yeah – I wasn't completely alone either. I had one person with me at least." Usopp led the way down a narrow path that would take them to the water's edge of Grove 18.
As they came to the drop where the roots of the gargantuan mangrove tree plunged into the ocean, the Thousand Sunny came into view, over the next hill of roots. The smiling lion's head – or sun, depending on how far away you were from the ship – lit a new fire in their hearts.
Finally, they were meeting up. Their small group of nakama was going to be together at last. After two long years, they were finally home.
"FRANKY!" Usopp shouted at the top of his lungs, as the two of them hopped aboard the Thousand Sunny. Their feet sagged into a layer of what appeared to be bubbles, making funny little squeak sounds as they walked.
As Nami observed the ship, she could see a thick layer of the bubble-like substance covering the entire ship, from hull to flag. So this was the special coating that would allow us to sail down to the ocean floor to Fishman Island without all the hassle of sinking the ship or imploding from the pressure, she thought.
Franky's almost neon blue hair – which was now shaved close to his head – brought their attention to the tree on the main deck where he sat tinkering with his arm.
As he turned to the newcomers, Nami could see the modifications he had done on himself – making him seem more machine than ever. His shoulders were now hulking orbs of metal, his forearms were boxy and somewhat clumsy, and his hands resembled large, metallic boxing gloves with fingers – but while his body was completely renovated, he still wore a tacky, colorful shirt (which had its sleeves cut off and the sides slit some so that his gigantic shoulders could fit into it) and a Speedo.
Franky jumped to his feet with his surprisingly fast speed for such a bulky body, "Usopp! Nami!" He jumped to their side and pulled them into his arms, flailing them around as if they were rag dolls.
Nami patted his arm, which gave off a hollow sound, "Nice to see you Franky! But can you put me down before the Speedo gets me?"
He laughed and set her and Usopp back on the ground.
"Two years, and you still haven't put any pants on?" Usopp laughed. He smacked Franky's spherical shoulder.
"Pants cramp my Super," he said with a playful wink in Nami's direction.
She shook her head and rolled her eyes, "So has anyone else come to the ship? Rayleigh said that Zoro and Brook were also here…"
Franky shook his head and pulled out a poster – though from where, Nami didn't want to know. He held it up to the two of them, "Brooks is performing at the moment. He called via Den-Den Mushi to tell us that he won't be here until tomorrow afternoon. And Zoro never came by. I'm assuming that he got lost." Franky laughed and turned to compliment Usopp's masculinity.
Nami looked towards land and pulled her small purse out of my duffle bag. She interrupted the boy's flexing competition in which Franky was doing winning, "I'm going to go shopping. Maybe I'll run into a familiar face or two."
Nami gave them a smile and a wave and hopped off the Thousand Sunny, her feet squeaking with every step. As she touched grassy ground she headed towards the main roads, looking at the Bon Chari vehicles as they passed overhead, carrying families and couples to their destinations. She fought the urge to rent one, knowing that they'd only be there for a few days at the most, and kept walking until she noticed something strange in the distance.
A pillar of dust was rising, as if a fight were going on. Nami's heart raced and her gut told her that it was one of her nakama – but what were the chances? This island was filled with thugs and pirates; just because there was a fight going on, it doesn't mean that it had to be someone she knew…
But was it really possible for her friends to keep out of trouble? Specifically Zoro and Luffy. Trouble seemed to follow them like a loyal puppy. She headed in the direction of the dust pillar, into a small and grungy cropping of buildings in Grove 20.
There was a small crowd watching from adjacent sidewalks and through shop windows. Despite her gut feeling, the two men fighting were unfamiliar thugs hashing it out with their meaty fists. Nami sighed – both relieved and somewhat disappointed that it hadn't been her friends.
Where the heck was everybody?
"You look disappointed – the fight not interesting enough for you?" a smooth and jazzy voice asked from behind her. Nami spun around to see Robin's calm but obviously happy blue eyes.
Nami's mouth opened in another smile, but before she could reply, the high-pitched voice of a child called her.
She looked and saw Chopper galloping through the crowd in his reindeer form, dividing the group of people and receiving lots of strange scowls as he did so. He was more the height of a horse than a reindeer, now; his coat streaked with more blonde than it had been before. Chopper had grown as well, but he still seemed to be his innocent self.
As he neared her, he transformed into his small, teddybear-like self and leapt into Nami's arms with the momentum from his gallop. She caught him and gave him a comforting squeeze, "You look great Chopper! And your fur is so soft now!"
Even through his fur, she could see his cheeks redden. He squirmed in her arms and giggled, "Don't compliment me, jerk – it won't make me happy."
Nami laughed and set him down, turning to Robin. Her hair had gotten longer as well, waves of black falling around her shoulders, contrasted against her pale creamy skin. As her usual style, she wore a shirt open at the chest revealing a lot of skin. She and Nami both had the same taste in clothes – and they had no problem showing off what they had.
Unfortunately, they heard a distant voice that agreed.
A high-pitched voice that didn't match the man squealed as he fawned over every girl he laid eyes on. "I must have been in Hell, because this is absolute paradise!" His voice rose above the crowd, and of course just as Nami was about to hug Robin, he spotted them.
Nami could almost see his pupils forming hearts and he darted towards the girls screaming "NAMI-SWAN! ROBIN-CHAN!"
They pulled apart from their interrupted hug, and turned to Sanji, as he raced through the crowd – receiving more awkward looks than Chopper did. The girls each gave him a quick hug, breaking away after a few seconds, knowing how touchy he could get.
"Truly dazzling," he squealed as he looked between the two of them.
"I'm here too, Sanji!" Chopper said with a childish laugh. Even though he was at least seventeen now, he would always be the child of the crew. His innocence and toddler-sized body were the two biggest reasons, though there were definitely more.
Sanji broke out of his girl-frenzied daze, and looked down at Chopper. "Hey, Tony! Long time, no see," he said in his normal even-toned voice that actually sounded like it belonged to him. He smiled down at Chopper and pulled a cigarette from his coat pocket.
"Have you gone to the ship yet?" Robin asked. She pulled a pair of orange sunglasses from her small bag and put them on.
Sanji lit his cigarette and inhaled deeply. He blew the smoke to the side to avoid getting it in Nami and Robin's faces, "Not yet. I was just taking in the sights first…"
Nami rolled my eyes, "Well you should go see Usopp and Franky – they're already down at the water's edge in Grove 18."
Sanji nodded with a smile, "That'll be my next stop."
"You haven't seen Zoro yet, have you?" Chopper asked, scanning the crowd for Zoro.
Besides Luffy, Chopper had probably missed Zoro the most. The two of them had a strange bond, which was definitely unusual for Zoro, who usually kept his attitude stoic around others. It might have been because Chopper was always running to Zoro when he was scared, or because Zoro was always on Chopper's operating table – but for whatever reason, they were close.
Sanji took another drag, "Marimo's here?"
Nami nodded, "Somehow he managed to get here before anyone else."
Sanji snorted, "That's a miracle."
Nami shrugged, "It's surprising – maybe he's gotten better with directions over the last two years…" she offered, hoping that it was true. His lack of direction often caused him to get lost and separated from the group – usually during a time when they needed him most.
"Eh, don't get your hopes up – I bet he's barely changed at all." Sanji made smoke rings and watched them float up into the sky.
Robin smirked, "You haven't changed much yourself – except for that small beard." Nami looked him over, and besides, styling his hair to cover the opposite eye, and the dark patch that formed on his chin and on his upper lip, Sanji hadn't changed at all.
Sanji stroked the small patch of dark beard on his chin, "It's sexy, huh?"
Nami laughed curtly, "Not really my first choice of words."
He ignored her reply and let his cigarette drop to the ground. He crushed it with his shoe and pointed back the way he had come. "I'm going to continue sight-seeing. I'll probably pick up some food supplies while I'm here."
Robin and Nami nodded, as Chopper spoke, "We'll see you at the Sunny then!" Chopper laughed and started clopping his way down the path, his small hooves clicking with each step. The girls followed his lead, letting him take them back to the ship.
They talked, but never mentioned where they had been sent, or what they had been doing for the past two years. They decided that it would be better to tell their stories with everyone there, instead of retelling it every time someone else wandered aboard.
"I can't wait to see everyone! I wanna show you guys my new moves," Chopper said excitedly. He skipped after every couple of steps, his good mood too much for him to handle while standing still.
Robin nodded, "And I'm curious to see them. I bet you've gotten much stronger."
Chopper fidgeted ecstatically and insisted that compliments didn't work on him. Robin and Nami exchanged knowing glances and kept on towards the ship.
So how did you like it? I don't wanna sound like i'm begging, but please review xD
Lingo: (Though, if you're reading this, you probably already know that these two are)
Nakama - Close friends, crewmembers
Marimo - Moss-head (Sanji's favorite insult for Zoro)