A/N: Request from 1337kitsune that I've been sitting on for about a year. (Bad Rhov!) I planned for this to be a multi-chapter story, but...it just didn't come out that way. Short, sweet...a good ending fantasy.
One Piece of the Past
a One Piece fanfic
Luffy looked down at the jewel in his hand. "This...is it?"
One Piece! They had reached Raftel and found it, Gol D. Roger's greatest treasure. Robin had just translated an ancient poneglyph that described what it was.
"One piece of the past," the older woman nodded. "You are allowed to slip into the past to bring one thing with you into the future."
Luffy thought about it. There were many things he had sacrificed to make it this far. He thought of people he knew. He thought of things lost on the journey. He thought of his hat, which he gave back to Shanks some time ago. He almost wanted to go back in time and grab his hat, just so he could wear it again. That was stupid, though. Shanks said he would hand the hat back over if Luffy managed to find One Piece and brought proof of it.
There was one piece of his past he missed, one bit of "proof" that would stun not only Shanks, but the whole world. He usually tried not to think about the day Ace died. It was a scar that would never go away, and unlike the slashes on his chest, it was a scar no one in the world could see. Instead, he loved to think about the fun they had together as kids, playing with Sabo, young and carefree and craving adventure.
But what if he had to pick? If he could only bring back one thing, would he bring back Sabo, who never had a chance to fulfill his dreams, or would he bring back Ace, since Luffy owed him his life?
"I'll have to think about this," he realized solemnly. Luffy took the jewel with him as he drifted down the pristine beach.
Zoro watched his captain with silent worry. Such a solemn look was not something they often saw, although Luffy was known for moments of deep contemplation. It always seemed out of character, except Zoro knew his nakama well. This was not some wish to be squandered. They had fought and struggled to make it this far. Zoro thought about this; if he could bring "one piece of the past" into the present, he knew right away what it would be. Kuina! If only to show her that he had fulfilled his dream and was now the strongest swordsman in the world.
Nami pouted to see her friend looking sad. Likely, Luffy was thinking through all the grief in his life. Sure, he laughed the loudest and ate the messiest, but she knew he had many painful times in his life. She thought about if she was given such a wish. There were many treasures she would love to have again, but this sort of wish was something special. If she could have just one thing back in her life...of course, she would want Bellemere back! What would she think, seeing Nami as the navigator to the Pirate King? She'd probably be proud, then smack her over the head for becoming a pirate.
Chopper also thought about it. He knew right away who he missed most. Doctor Hiluluk. If he could bring back something, that was the only thing he desperately wanted.
Brook began to hum musically. One piece of the past to bring into the future? "I wonder if I could bring back an entire ship and crew," he mused. If he brought back his old crew, would he want to be with them, or stay with Luffy? That was truly a tough choice. "I should write a song about this."
Usopp had an immediate answer to such a problem. He would bring the Going Merry into the present. Then he could be captain of his own ship. He would get a crew who could take him to new heights, and he would return home a hero. Then he thought...there were other moments in his life, other things, other people. What if he could bring his mother back to life? The idea almost made him want to cry. It really was a solemn choice.
Sanji wondered about that. Would he bring back a person? He could not think of anyone. But what about a thing? He had no possessions that were so gravely important. However...there was a thing that belonged to someone else, to a very important person. If he could bring back one thing to help the man who was like a father to him...if he could give Zeff his leg back...yes, if that was possible, he would want to do it. He owed Zeff his life, and this was the best way to thank the old geezer.
Franky had trouble thinking this over. He could bring back a person, a thing, or maybe revert to his original body. Nah, his cyborg body was way cooler! But...if he could bring back one piece of his past...if he could bring back Tom and show him that he made the ship of the new Pirate King...Tom would laugh heartily and shout, "You did it with a don!" A tear came to his eye just thinking about it.
Robin also pondered. Was there anyone in particular she would bring back? Could you bring back an entire clan? Could you restore a whole island? Bringing back just her mother would be greedy. She often yearned for the people of Ohara to go back to how they used to be before the Buster Call wiped them out. If she could have one wish...
Each member of the crew had some loved one in the past who died too early. They knew Luffy lost a lot too on this journey. The choice was probably the hardest one in his life. So they were shocked, maybe even a little dismayed, when Luffy returned only ten minutes later.
"Robin, read that poneglyph again, and make it as precise of a translation as you can," the captain ordered with a serious look on his face.
She repeated exactly what she had read earlier. "The finder of Hitotsunagi no Daihihou is granted a single wish, to bring one piece of their past into the present." She looked back to Luffy. "That's what it says, as precisely as I can translate it."
"One piece, one thing, one person...or one concept?" he asked, and the crew could almost imagine the rusty gears turning in his brain. "Nakama...that's one thing, right? A concept rather than an object. And the finder of Hitotsunagi no Daihihou, it wasn't me. It was all of us. We're a crew," he said to all of them. "None of us work on our own. We fight and work and play together. This wish belongs to all of us. The wish doesn't have to be for a single person. We found One Piece together, so our wish...our wish is all one thing, one piece. One piece of the past. Nakama." He squeezed the gem in his hand. "We wish...that the nakama we lost, the family and friends from the past, were back. One piece of our lives...nakama. Everyone, think about it. Think hard. Picture the thing you want more than anything. Focus on the nakama of our past."
Each of them closed their eyes. They pictured faces, the voices of those they loved. Luffy closed his eyes and smiled as he thought of the two people he wanted back more than anything. Tears came to Chopper's eyes. Zoro's brow tightened in anguish. Franky squeezed his eyes tightly. Robin meditated on her childhood and happier times. Sanji chuckled as he thought how happy Zeff would be to get his leg back. Usopp repeated silently "Going Merry and Mama, Going Merry and Mama." Brook hummed with memories of songs and laughter. Nami hugged herself, wanting to feel Bellemere's arms again. All of them focused as the gem in Luffy's hand shined so brightly, the whole island of Raftel was enveloped in golden-white light.
The rubberman opened his eyes. His chest hitched at the smiling, shirtless man in front of him.
"Ace?" he asked, unsure if he could believe it.
He chuckled softly. "Stupid little brother."
Then another face popped up from behind him wearing a top hat. "You're an idiot, you know that?"
"Sabo!" he shouted. Luffy sobbed loudly, not caring if it was undignified for the new Pirate King, as he threw his arms around his long-lost brothers.
"Sheesh, Luffy," Ace sighed, holding him so tightly it would have crushed anyone but a man with a rubber body. He had missed his little brother, and he joined Luffy in crying. "Idiot. Making your brother cry! You're always an idiot."
"Yeah," Luffy sobbed in agreement, and he snorted up his snot. "Sorry about that, Ace. You too, Sabo. Sorry."
"I...I'm not crying," Sabo insisted between sniffles.
Kuina tapped Zoro on the arm, making him open his eyes. He looked down, and his mouth dropped. She was so tiny! Were they really that young when they made their promise? He knelt to her eye level, stunned to see her.
"Are you a ghost?" he whispered in awe.
"Not anymore, thanks to you," Kuina smiled. "Zoro...you really did it! And...thank you for bringing me back. I wanted to see you succeed so much. I wished every day to come back and visit you, even if just in a dream. Now I'm here for real. I can see it for myself."
She hugged him, and Zoro felt awkward at the young girl holding him like this. Finally, like meeting a sister after many years, Zoro grabbed up Kuina and held her tiny body, feeling just how solid and real she was.
"I'm proud of you, Zoro," she said, and her words made tears come to his eyes. "Although, it seems you're still a crybaby," Kuina teased.
One by one, the crew opened their eyes to see the people of their past in front of them. Hugs, tears, sometimes kisses echoed through the island as beloved friends, mentors, and family were reunited. Usopp made a loud squeal when the Going Merry shimmered and appeared in the harbor with his mother riding aboard. When Brook's entire crew showed up, and Robin's whole island reappeared next to Raftel, the crowd became quite noisy.
Brook began a tune, and there was dancing. Ace flirted with Bellemere, who smacked him away. Tom and Doctor Hiluluk shared a hearty drink, while Kuina scolded Zoro for drinking too much. Sabo and Luffy stuck chopsticks in their mouths to make funny faces. After a few hours, a messenger bird came with a letter from Zeff that left Sanji laughing and crying, glad his mentor was whole again. He would have to go visit the old geezer later. For now, Sanji had quite a feast to prepare.
It was a good ending to their adventures...the best ending.
Maybe too good to be true, but...we can all hope!