Hello everyone, it has been awhile since my last One Piece story. About six months if you do not count the revision to Mind's Eye.
I honestly had no real plans to make another One Piece fanfic with my other story being such a huge project that I have been procrastination on lately, but recent events had compelled me to write this story. I have always love stories in which the Strawhats goes into Luffy's memories and see events that they had missed in their captain's life, especially with what happened in Impel Down and Marineford. I was kind of going in that direction with Perchance to Dream, but that story was not a fully realized version of that premise. Because the theme was so close to Perchance to Dream, however, I thought it would be redundant for me to do a memory fanfic. It very well maybe redundant, but I decided to write this story anyway since it has been on my mind for weeks.
This story is a sequel to Perchance to Dream, but you do not need to read that story to know what is going on. This fanfic also takes some inspirations from LuffySmileyFace's story 'The Memories of a Straw Hat' and Didannl's 'The Journey into Luffy's Memory'. Even through these two do not know me, I want to thank them for firing up my interest in this story idea again.
Spoilers: Pretty much one big one for the entire series up to Return to Sabaody with some bits of information from the latest arcs. There are also spoiler from Perchance to Dream. You have been warned.
Chapter 1: Island with no Name
"Wow Sanji, I didn't know you were with Iva-chan for two years!" Luffy exclaimed in surprise as he sipped his hot cocoa.
Sanji blushed deeply as he bit down on his cigarette.
While Luffy was amazed by his stories in 'Hell', all his other crewmates were practically in tears from laughter. Even the normally calm Robin was chuckling uncontrollably.
"Let me get this straight, eyebrow," Zoro said as he barely controlled his laughter. "You spent two years stuck on an island full of cross-dressing homosexuals?"
"Okama," Sanji corrected in a soft voice, making the swordsman laugh harder.
"I wish I was there!" Zoro roared with laughter. "Just seeing you running from endless waves transvestites would have been worth not training with Mihawk."
"Who would have imagined that Kuma had such a sense of humor," Usopp snickered.
Sanji growled. "Glad you all are having such fun at my expense. You have no idea how much I suffered these last two years."
Franky firmly patted the cook's back. "It's okay Sanji, it's all in good fun."
"I guess," Sanji muttered before he gave the cyborg a devilish smirk. "At least I didn't blow up a national treasure. Really, Franky, you thought pressing a button with a skull and crossbones sign was a good idea?"
Franky rubbed his head in embarrassment. "I thought it was a pirate mark?"
"Really, how stupid can you be to make such a mistake," Usopp said in good nature.
Unknown to him, however, Chopper flinched when he heard Usopp's words. Nami gently patted Chopper's hooves and gave him a kind smile. Out of all the Strawhats, she was the only one who knew about Chopper's past. Although Franky's mistake was hilarious, Chopper's mistake was far more fatal. Chopper, however, was young and naive. Franky really had no excuse.
"But Sanji, that explains how you've gotten so strong," Luffy said with a huge smile. "Iva-chan is really strong. I bet you learned a lot from him."
"Like I would want to learn anything from a queer!" Sanji exclaimed in annoyance, earning another round of laughter from the crew.
Zoro gave an uncharacteristically soft smile towards his captain. It was nice to see Luffy in such good spirits again. Luffy's mood has been somewhat down since they had left that cloaked island nearly two weeks ago.
He couldn't blame his captain for his mood swings lately, especially since he still had lingering dreams about his brothers. Most were pleasant and happy dreams, given the way Luffy would giggle and smile in his sleep. Others, however, were terrible nightmares that had him jolting awake and unable to sleep the next night.
Chopper suspected it was a lingering effect of Toby's Dream Dream Fruit, but he found nothing physically wrong with Luffy to support his theory.
It was decided by the crew that the best way to lift Luffy's mood was to amuse him with stories from their own adventures during their two years separation. They have been doing two stories a night and it was currently Franky and Sanji's turn. The plan seemed to be working well since Luffy's nights have been dreamless for the last few nights.
This was also their way of apologizing to Luffy. All the Strawhats to some extent felt bad for looking into Luffy's dream and seeing his private thoughts. It was all to save their captain from an eternal sleep, but by going into their captain's Dream World they had allowed themselves to see parts of Luffy that he had never revealed to them. For a lack of better words, they had spied on their captain when he was at his most vulnerable. The least they could do was share a piece of themselves with Luffy.
Nami gave a stiff yawn. "It's getting late. We should call it a night."
"Yeah, you're right, sis," Franky said as he looked at his clock that was built into his metal arms. "It will be sunrise in about six hours and we have a long day ahead of us."
Nami looked at her Log Pose. "I think we should be reaching an island soon."
Zoro raised an eyebrow. "You think?" It wasn't normal for Nami to sound unsure.
"I'm still not completely used to the new Log Pose," Nami admitted. "However, going by how the middle needle is acting, we should be close to land."
Luffy smiled happily. "Cool, we get to see a new island!"
"Hopefully, things will go better than our last stop," Robin said.
"With our luck," Nami muttered dryly.
With that, the Strawhats went to to their cabins, save for Brook who had watch. Luffy took his place in the bunk above Zoro's bed. It didn't take too long for the men to settle down and most were asleep with an hour.
Zoro, however, was still wide-awake, which was unusual for him. What kept him from sleeping was the uneven breathing of his captain, showing that he was still awake.
"Hey, Luffy, you okay?" Zoro asked softly so he wouldn't wake his other crewmates.
Luffy shifted in his bunk. "I'm fine, Zoro."
Zoro, however, didn't believe him. "Are you still afraid to sleep?"
Luffy said nothing for a moment. "I don't want to see them again. I mean...I love seeing my brothers, but remembering them makes me miss them."
"It's nothing to be ashamed of," Zoro said.
Luffy sighed, but didn't say anything.
Zoro decided to ask a question that had been on his mind since they had left Luffy's Dream World. "Luffy, did you ever meet my dream counterpart?"
Luffy blinked several times. He wasn't expecting that question. "No."
Zoro smirked. "We did. We met him in a restaurant owned by that shitty cook."
Luffy furrowed his eyebrows. "I...I think I remember you guys telling me that. But I can't quite remember." He paused for a moment. "What was he like?"
"You should know, since it was your reflection of me," Zoro said with a note of humor. "Nonetheless, you captured all of our personalities well in your Dream World."
Luffy giggled. "I know my crew."
"I know you do," Zoro said as his voice became serious. "But your version of Zoro said something that has been bothering me."
Luffy frowned when he heard this. "What did he say?"
Zoro sighed. "He said he didn't join your crew in Shell Town because he thought you were a burden to him. He also specially called you a brat."
"So, people call me a brat all the time," Luffy said dismissively.
"But I've never once call you a brat. I also never thought of you as a burden," Zoro said. "So, why did my dream counterpart say those words?"
Luffy shrugged. "I don't know. It was all just a dream anyway."
"That dream was a reflection of your soul, Luffy," Zoro said with a bit of heat. "Even though my counterpart spoke those words, it originated from your mind."
Luffy said nothing.
"Luffy," Zoro said harshly.
"I guess...I guess I always believed that you never needed me to achieve your dreams. None of you do, actually," Luffy whispered.
"You know that isn't true," Zoro said.
"Zoro, even if you had never joined my crew, you would have still achieved your dream. You would have continued to grow stronger and beat Hawk-Eye one day. You didn't need me to push you along," Luffy said.
"In case you have forgotten, you saved me back in Shell Town," Zoro said. "If you weren't there, I would have been killed. For that alone you can never be a burden to my dream."
Luffy sighed. "Sometimes I feel you guys can go further without me. I forced all of you to put your dreams on hold for my sake."
Zoro narrowed his eyes. "Luffy, do you know why all of us trained for two years?"
Luffy looked down curiously at his swordsman.
"We did it because we want to support you. We did it because your dream of becoming Pirate King has become our dream as well," Zoro said. "Even though the others have never said it, I know they feel the same way as me. If you never achieved your dream, Luffy, then our goals would be meaningless."
Luffy's eyes widened when he heard this. "But I don't want your dreams to be link to mine. I mean, I want you all to succeed even if I fail."
Zoro chuckled. "I'm afraid it's too late for that, captain. We're all linked to each other now. For better and worse, the success of one of us is a success for the entire crew. The same goes for all our failures."
"Zoro..." Luffy muttered.
"Don't even believe again that you're a burden," Zoro said firmly. "You are our captain, and we will stand by you to the end."
Luffy gave a gentle smile. "Thank you, Zoro."
Zoro nodded. "Now, get some sleep. We have a new adventure tomorrow."
Luffy grinned in excitement as he closed his eyes. He once again had a dreamless night.
The next morning was bright and warm. Knowing that the weather could turn at any moment, the Strawhats enjoyed the day. Luffy, Usopp, Chopper, and Brook spent the morning playing games while Nami kept a close eye on the Log Pose. Franky spent most of the morning in his workshop, while Zoro went through his daily training on deck.
It was late afternoon when an island came into sight.
"Land-ho!" Usopp exclaimed as he looked through his telescope.
"Wow, it's really an island!" Luffy yelled in excitement.
"Nami-chan, do you know the name of this island?" Robin asked.
Nami checked several of her charts and frowned. "The island does appear on my sea charts, but it has no name."
"No name?" Robin repeated in confusion.
Nami nodded. "All the charts I have on this island don't give it a name. There is also no information about it."
"That doesn't sound good," Usopp said as his old fear returned. "Maybe we should skip over this island."
"I don't know," Nami said in worry. "The island could have supplies that we need and it could be another couple of weeks before we reach land again."
"It could be dangerous," Robin said as she turned towards her captain. "It is your call, Luffy."
Luffy folded his arms and nodded his head several times. "Okay, we're going on this mysterious island!"
Usopp looked like he was near tears. "I was afraid you were going to say that."
As the Sunny sailed closer to the unknown island, the Strawhats began to notice a strange purple mist surrounded the landmass.
"What is that?" Usopp asked as he used his goggles to get a closer look. "I've never seen fog like that before."
"I can't believe my eyes, even though I have none," Brook laughed.
Chopper frowned when he saw the purple mist. "We have to be careful. That mist could be poisonous."
Luffy crossed his arms. "If it is, it won't bother me."
"Maybe so, but the rest of us are not immune to poison," Nami said in annoyance.
"Maybe we can get a sample of the mist before we get too close to the island," Robin suggested.
Chopper nodded. "That's a good idea. I can use my equipment in the lab to examine the fog for any hazardous chemicals."
"Then, it's settled," Nami said as she turned towards Zoro, who was still training on deck. "Zoro, drop the anchor here."
Zoro gave Nami an annoyed look, but decided not to argue with her.
Once the anchor was dropped, Robin used her powers to bloom hands that created a bridge to the island. She used a tube that Chopper had given her to collect the sample before passing the tube back towards the ship.
Chopper spent most of the afternoon examining the mist sample, much to Luffy's annoyance. He wanted to go exploring, but no one on his crew would allow him to rocket off the ship. Whether the mist was poisonous or not, it was too dangerous to go into any new island alone, especially an island within the New World.
It was lunchtime on the ship by the time Chopper finished running his tests.
"After much study, I have found that the mist is not poisonous or have any harmful substance within it as far as I can tell," Chopper said as he took a bite of his sandwich.
"Great, then we can finally go exploring," Luffy said excitedly as he turned towards Sanji. "Make a pirate lunch for everyone!"
"Yeah, yeah, you rubber idiot," Sanji muttered as he cleaned his plate.
Robin, however, noticed something strange in Chopper's voice. "You still sound worried."
Everyone looked towards their doctor.
"I can't find anything harmful about the mist, but there is still something strange about it," Chopper admitted.
"Something strange?" Franky questioned. "What's wrong with the mist?"
"That's the thing, I don't know," Chopper said in frustration. "I've run every test that I could think of and everything appears normal, except there seems to be some unknown molecule within the mist."
"But this mist isn't harmful," Nami said.
"No, the molecule does not match any known poison," Chopper said. "I tested the mist on bugs and even some fishes I took from the aquarium and they appear to be unaffected."
Nami sighed. "So, we need to be on our guard."
"There's no point in worrying about something we can't control," Zoro said in a bored voice. "If something happens, we can handle it."
"You sound so confident," Nami muttered.
"Do not fear, Nami-san," Sanji said with a smile. "I will personally protect you from anything dangerous on that island."
"But who's going to protect you, dart board?" Zoro asked smugly.
"What does that mean, shitty swordsman?" Sanji growled.
Zoro grinned at him. "What do you think it means?"
"I can take care of myself just fine," Sanji growled.
"So well that you allowed your body to be switched by Law," Zoro said.
Sanji growled and Zoro continued to smirk at him.
"Will you two save it?" Nami said in annoyance. "I swear, we need to separate you two into different corners."
When lunch was done, Zoro went outside to raise the anchor. Once that was done, Franky steered the Sunny until they were feet away from the island's shore. Now that the Strawhats were so close to the island, they could see a thick forest hidden within the fog. There was also a strange glow that radiated from the trees. It looked like thousands of light bugs were living in the trees.
"Wow, look at that!" Luffy exclaimed in amazement.
"It's so beautiful," Chopper said as he took in the natural beauty.
"This place must be a wonder a night," Robin said with a smile on her face.
Luffy pumped his fists into the air. "Yeah, let's go exploring!" He jumped excitedly off the ship.
"Luffy, wait up!" Franky yelled as he followed his captain.
"So, who's going to watch the ship?" Nami asked.
"I'll stay," Zoro said as he walked to the mast of the ship and sat down. He promptly fell asleep and started snoring.
"Now I'm concerned," Nami muttered.
"I will stay on-board with Zoro-san," Brook said happily. "You guys can go and enjoy the island."
Nami nodded. "Okay everyone, be back by dinner time."
"Okay," the remaining Strawhats yelled as they disembarked the ship.
The rest of the day on-board the Sunny passed peacefully. Zoro spent the entire afternoon asleep while Brook amused himself by playing several songs from his latest album.
Zoro shifted in his sleep as a dream started to overtake his mind. In his dream, he was standing in a purple fog in what looked like the middle of nowhere. He then heard what sounded like a childish giggle echoing across the void.
Without knowing why, Zoro was drawn to the laughter and walked towards the source. As he got closer to his destination, he felt the air around him becoming colder. He could actually see his breath coming out of his mouth.
Zoro suddenly stopped when he saw what appeared to be a group of kids dancing around something. They were all laughing and smiling like normal children, except their eyes were shadowed and their smiles had an aura of malice. All the kids also looked alike. They all had the same greenish-yellow hair, long-sleeved red shirts, and blue jeans. It was more than a little unnerving.
He moved closer to see the object the kids were playing around. He stopped cold when he saw a familiar body lying prone on the ground.
"Luffy!?" Zoro exclaimed.
His captain looked dead with his pale face lying against one of his arms. Zoro didn't even see his captain's chest move.
The kids stopped their playing as they glared at the swordsman. They chuckled at him. The laughter was cold and eerie.
"What did you do to him!?" Zoro demanded as he took his swords out.
"This boy's soul is ours," one of the kids answered.
"His soul belongs to us," another child said.
"What!?" Zoro growled angrily.
"A soul filled with guilt and sorrow belongs to us," one of the kids said with a sadistic grin.
Zoro narrowed his eyes. He had enough of these 'kids'. He charged in to save his captain, but before he could reach Luffy, however, the fog thickened, blocking Zoro's view.
"Dammit!" Zoro exclaimed as a cold wind was blasted into his face. "Luffy!"
"Zoro, wake up!" a voice suddenly penetrated his mind.
Before he could contemplate who was speaking to him, Zoro felt a hard kick land on his face.
He was jolted awake as he landed on the wooden deck. He looked around in confusion for a moment as his vision began to clear.
"Zoro-san, are you alright?" Brook asked worriedly.
Zoro looked up to see Brook, Nami, and Sanji staring down at him. They all had varying degrees of concern on their faces.
"Geez moss head, what kind of dream were you having?" Sanji asked. His voice lacked any of its usual venom.
"Dream?" Zoro repeated.
Brook nodded. "You started to yell in your sleep. I tried to wake you, but you wouldn't wake up."
"You were so loud that Sanji and I could hear you coming back to the ship," Nami added in concern.
As long as she had known Zoro, he had never had a nightmare, or at least not nightmares that would scare him to the point of screaming.
Zoro shook his head. "It's nothing." However, he was having a hard time believing his own words. That dream just seemed so real.
Sanji stared at his rival, not believing him at all. "Well, whatever. Dinner will be ready in an hour." He made his way towards the kitchen.
Nami frowned at Zoro before she too finally walked away.
"Zoro-san, are you sure you're okay?" Brook asked. "As someone who has more than their fair share of nightmares, I may be able to help."
"It was just a stupid nightmare," Zoro said as he stood up. "I'm going to train before dinner." Hopefully, that would help clear his head. Although, Luffy's lifeless body surrounded by those children continued to haunt him.
As it grew closer to dinner, Robin, Usopp, and Chopper returned to the ship. The little reindeer was quite happy since he had found plenty of herbs and plants to study. Zoro became unnerved, however, when Luffy and Franky hadn't returned to the ship. Luffy loved exploring, but he would never miss dinner.
It wasn't until everyone was seated in the galley that the absence of their crew members became apparent to the rest of the Strawhats.
"Strange, Franky and Luffy still haven't returned," Sanji said as he looked out the gallery door.
Normally, he would be fuming at his crewmates for delaying dinner. This, however, was different. As long as he had known Luffy, he had never missed a meal unless he was unconscious or captured. Luffy would have rocketed Franky and himself back to the ship knowing that food was going to be served soon.
"Did anyone see Luffy and Franky on the island?" Nami asked.
Usopp shook his head. "We saw no one while exploring."
Nami frowned in worry. "Robin-chan, can you use your power to locate them?"
Robin solemnly shook her head. "The mist on this island is too thick for me to see properly."
Zoro stood up from his chair. "I'll go look for them."
"You going on a fog filled island by yourself?" Sanji questioned as if Zoro's hair had changed colors. "We don't need to lose you out there too." Zoro glared at the cook, but knew he was right.
A loud clunk got everyone attention. Everyone stood up and ran towards the gallery's door. When they reached the deck, the Strawhats saw Franky kneeling on one knee on the lawn. He was alone.
"Franky!" all the Strawhats yelled as they ran towards the cyborg.
"Franky, what happened!?" Chopper yelled as he examined his crewmate.
It took Franky a moment to speak. "Lu...Luffy..."
Zoro's eye widened in fear. "What's wrong with Luffy!? Where is he!?"
Franky shook his head several times. "Some kids got him." As soon as he spoke those words, Franky promptly fainted.
You maybe thinking, where the heck are Luffy's memories? Well, will get to that soon. Just be a little patient. Like all my stories, I will try to update at least once a week, although there maybe a longer break between chapters since this is the holidays. Hopefully, this first chapter has wet your appetite.
On a side note, if you want a visual idea of what the island looks like, put Xenoblade Satorl Marsh at night into any search engine. It is by far one of the most visual striking thing I have seen in any video game. I would also suggest you play the music, specially the night version.
Thank you all for reading and until next time. Also, have a happy and safe holiday.