The ship rocked dangerously, the crew scrambling to do their jobs in the shortest time possible. The supernova's were with them, aiding them in any way possible as they picked up the anchor and began to steer away from the island.
Chopper wiped the blood from his eye, glancing back once to see three of his crew mates battling as hard as they could. Robin stood on the back deck, watching and occasionally using her powers to protect them from attacks they could not stop. It was clear they were struggling, Zoro more than the others.
"Franky!" Nami shouted, running up to the cyborg. "Do you have any cola?"
"No! We used the last up to get away, and I don't think we could use the coup de burst in this storm any way. It wouldn't be safe."
"The storms clearing up!"
"We don't have enough!"
There was a shout, and suddenly the green haired swordsman appeared, thrown straight at the group. Robin cushioned his landing, before handing the growling man to Chopper. Sanji followed not long after.
Zoro pushed himself towards the chef, gripping him by the collar. "How does he know?"
The two stared back at the beach, unable to see past the swirl of sand that had been kicked up. The cook shook his head. "He shouldn't. I don't know how he could have found out."
Robin moved beside them. "He is smarter than we give him credit for. There is a possibility-"
"The point was that he wasn't to know." The swordsman growled. "He fights for us every time we land ashore. He always put his life, his dream on the line. For us. For everyone. He never purposely harms a person, and he never kills. But he would die for us, if it meant we could live on. And the idiot refuses to allow us to do the same."
"You don't think we don't know that? You may have been with him the longest, but that doesn't mean the rest of us are unaware of what he has done. He is our captain, and we would do exactly the same for him, no matter what he says."
"You know what trouble this is going to cause. He'll go ballistic on us, hell, he'll be more than that. He refuses to allow us to put our lives on the line for him. How the hell can he be like that?"
Sanji pushed his hands away from his shoulders. "How the heck would I know? He's Luffy, and you're in trouble."
The group shared a small grin, before turning back to the swirling sand that reminded Robin of her time with Crocodile. She stepped forward, eyes narrowed.
"We need to get him off there. He can't defeat him as he is."
Slowly, the cook lit a cigarette without diverting his eyes from the fight. "We know. Question is, how?"
Nami jogged over, shortly followed by Chopper. "We need to move; now. The storms circling, and we need to move out with it, or we'll get caught in the rebound from the colder winds. We'd be sitting ducks."
"The question is how?"
Suddenly. there was a huge gust of wind, almost pushing the Sunny back into the island. The sand was blown away, and in the centre, they could finally see Luffy, his neck in Kuma's grip as he was forced to the floor. The world froze for a minute, as the scene was lit up by a flash of lightning, leaving no doubt in the crews mind as to the horror on their captains face.
Then, as each of the crew members rushed forward as though to dive into the sea, a hand clamped itself onto the white railing. There was almost a collective sigh of relief, before the body of their captain followed, flying on the ship and into the mast with a crack.
Chopper ran to the man as the rest of the crew turned to stare at the figure of Kuma on the beach, before he turned and disappeared back into the foliage.
Nami turned to the men and women around her. "Lets get this ship underway! Franky, to the helm, see if we can make a way with the wind to our backs." The crew nodded and dashed to their posts, leaving Chopper behind with the unsure supernovas.
"Shouldn't you ask your captain for orders?" Urouge challenged as the reindeer ran his fingers along the back of the unconscious Luffy's head.
He shook his head. "We've travelled together for long enough to be able to trust each other. Luffy trusts us in these situations; trusts Nami to direct us, Franky to steer us, Robin to inform and educate us, Sanji to cook for us, Brook to keep our spirits up, Zoro to protect us. He trusts us enough to let us see him in these moments where he cannot move, or do anything for us himself. That is enough of a reason."
Kidd crossed his arms. "But he does not trust you enough to let you die for him."
"Because I want them to live for me instead." The group turned to see the sparkling eyes of the captain staring intently at Chopper, as though wanting to engrave it into their souls. "You came with me, because you had a dream. I won't stand in the way of that."
"What about your dream? What about becoming the Pirate King?"
He smiled, pushing himself to his feet before laying a hand on the doctors head. "What kind of dream would it be if I didn't have a crew to share it with?"
Luffy turned and strode away, leaving the group staring, shocked after him. Chopper blushed for a minute, before roaring and growing in size. "Luffy! Get back here! You're going to the infirmary!"
At the sound of the shout, each of the crew members turned to face the captain who walked confidently up to the side of his nakama, and taking his place. The ropes tightened easier, the helm smoother, the ship cutting through the water with a grace that was not present before.
Franky shouted over the storm with a small smile on his face. "Where to captain?"
"Shabondy! We head to Shabondy!"
No one but Zoro noticed the shadow that graced his face as he called the order, looking out to the east at some unforseen objective.
It was at that minute that the swordsman knew there was something more than his near death on their captains mind.
The supernovas looked up from their slump in the corner of the deck, eyes staring out in all directions, as Sanji brought out a tray of food, the calm of the sea relaxing the Straw Hats enough for them to settle back into their own routine.
The man set it down in the centre of the sprawl. "It should only be a couple of hours before we land at Shabondy. The wind is helping to speed things along, so I hope your crews will be ready to take you."
Drake tipped his head to one side. "Why are you doing this?"
"Why not?" The man lit his cigarette and twisted slightly to look across the boat at the rest of the crew. Luffy was lying half over Zoro, with Chopper and Usopp leaning against each other. Robin and Nami had their heads rested against the table they sat at, whilst Brook stood by Franky, quietly keeping him company as they directed the ship towards the Archipelago. "He's our captain, and he never leaves anyone behind."
Law tapped his fingers together. "You follow your captain diligently, into all kinds of situations without fail. But sometimes, you ignore his wishes."
He thought about it for a minute, staring at his captain. "Luffy is who he is, the same way we all are. He may be obtuse, but he has a heart. He taught all of us to have a heart. We will never leave anyone behind."
"No matter who they are?" Urouge asked.
"No matter who they are."
Kidd snorted, leaning against the railing next to Killer. "That's bull. You'll get yourself killed someday, and it'll be your fault for following the loon."
"That's a bit harsh, considering he saved us from imprisonment." Bonney growled round the food she was stuffing into her mouth. Capone nodded his head in agreement.
The red haired man just shrugged, frowning. "Its the truth."
Sanji smiled. "Then we'd follow him there and back again." He turned, moving back into what was now known as the kitchen, leaving the supernovas to their thoughts.
Hawkins crossed his arms, a cup set in front of him. "A strange future broods for this crew."
Apoo snorted. "Way to state the obvious. Their weird on their own."
"What do you think Roronoa was talking about when he was tossed onto the ship?" Urouge asked, sneaking a hand round Bonney to take some of the food before she wolfed it all.
"How the heck would we know?" She snapped, grabbing the plate as it passed her head and finishing it in one go.
"Could it have something to do with Moria? He seems to pop up frequently in the conversations they've been having?" Apoo muttered, stretching his arms.
"Or Garp. They said they've been chased by him for a while." Urouge added.
Hawkins shook his head. "I have a feeling it is neither of them."
Capone twirled the cigarette in his hand, not looking at any of them. "The only way we'll find out for sure is if we ask them out right. They won't tell us anything unless we-"
"Kuma." Drake said, pushing himself to his feet and stretching.
Law tilted his head. "That sounds about right."
"But where the heck would Straw Hat run into Kuma, and how the heck did he escape with his crew the first time?" Urouge grumbled.
Brook turned back to the two men by the wheel. "They're going to start asking things soon."
Sanji shrugged, the end of his cigarette orange in the half light that encompassed the aftermath of the storm. "Let them. If they start treading on toes, Luffy'll say something completely like him, and leave them confused as hell."
Franky laughed boisterously, catching the attention of the group below them. "It's up to Luffy if they know any way. Doesn't mean its going to be easy to find anything out."
"Amen to that." Brook added, an aura of a grin resounding off him. "Though it's to late to pray now- I'm already dead! Yo ho ho!"
The two men just rolled their eyes and ignored him.
(A/N) Sorry that its taken so long! Hope you like it :D