Adventure on the High Seas


Disclaimer: I do not own One Piece.


Chapter One

Dear Life,

When you give me lemons, will they be real lemons? Or some metaphorical symbolic thing that I need to take advantage of? Does this situation I've gotten myself into count as lemons? Should I make lemonade? I kind of want to if only because this is probably the best chance I'll have to make my life what I want it to become.

Hoping this is real and a little scared that it is,

Amy Blue (or Blue Amy)


I woke up in a small bedroom my first day smelling of salt and fish. My clothes felt rough and grimy against my skin; I stumbled out of the bed and found a bathroom built off the room. I turned the shower on until the water steamed and stepped under the spray in my clothes, scrubbing at them furiously.

When I finally stepped out I was soaking wet. My clothes dripped on the floor as I wrapped myself in a thick white towel. The bedroom door opened just as I stepped out of the bathroom. The sound of many conversations briefly filled the room before the blond man stepped inside and shut the door behind him. He looked startled to see me awake. His eyes, blue, traveled down to the puddle of water building at my feet.

"All you had to do was ask for new clothes," he sighed, holding out a pile of clothes. "Are you hungry?"

"A little," I admitted, taking the pile of clothing from him. I slipped back into the bathroom and shut the door, quickly stripping out of my wet clothes and sliding into the new ones. They were a little big, especially the shirt which was modest but obviously meant for someone with larger assets than the ones I had.

I returned to the bedroom after draping my wet clothes over the shower rod so they could dry. The blond looked up as I entered and I was stricken with a sort of familiarity. His eyebrows were curly.

"Come on," he said, opening the door for me. "We'll get some food from the kitchens."

I swallowed back a surge of unease that built up in my throat. He looked like what I'd expect Sanji to look like in real life. Blond hair, blue eyes, wearing a smoothly tailored suit. His shoes, black, gleamed in the light and tap-tap-tapped against the wood floors as we walked.

The kitchens as it turned out, only hardened the growing suspicion. They were full to the brim of rough-looking cooks and the smells of gourmet food. The Sanji-look-alike grabbed two plates of food and walked out without a word, leading me to a deck in the back. It was almost exactly like the scene with Gin.

"Eat up," he said, handing me the plate and a bundle of silverware. I unrolled the napkin they were wrapped in and picked up the fork and knife. He'd picked a steak dinner and the smell made my mouth water. I sliced it into manageable pieces and devoured it, heedless of manners or propriety.

"That," I declared when I'd finished, "was the most amazing steak I have ever eaten."

"Good," the Sanji-look-alike grinned. "I cooked it myself. I'm Sanji, the second chef here at the Baratie."

I bit my lip hard to contain a startled shout or tears. Instead I offered my hand and said, "I'm Amy."

He took it delicately and shook it, smiling. "Welcome to the Baratie, Amy."

If I'd expected Sanji to be a ladies man I wasn't disappointed. Zeff put me to work as a waitress since they'd lost all their waiters and Sanji helped out when I got overwhelmed. I got to see him swoon for many a pretty lady but they all usually looked older and had larger assets. It was a relief that he didn't treat me like the other ladies. I had little to no experience with boys and would have probably tripped over myself and ran if he had.

I was only fifteen and my social life had mostly consisted of my family and the doctors who'd been trying to cure me. This venture into One Piece, be it dream or hallucination or real, was the most adventurous exciting thing that had ever happened to me. It was also terrifying. The first three days I was jumpy as a skittish cat, twitching at every loud noise and shrieking every time someone came up behind me.

After those first few days I relaxed. It was nice to be in a place where people didn't know about my sickness. I could pass off and hide the symptoms well enough without medication that no one noticed a thing except for the Baratie's doctor. He didn't say anything about it though, only giving me what medicine I asked for when I needed it.

It was during my third week on the Baratie when a canon ball crashed through the upper levels, shaking the entire restaurant. I steadied myself against a chair but was otherwise unfazed. I'd gotten used to the commotions of the Baratie where pirates were regular customers and the chefs often got into fist fights with each other.

"Someone's going to be in trouble with the owner," I commented, pouring a glass of wine for the man I was serving. "Would you like anything else, sir?"

"No thank you," he murmured, swirling the wind around and then downing it all in a single gulp. He stood and slapped down a pile of beli, much more than the meal had cost. I gave the money to Sanji as I passed him. I hadn't quite gotten a good understanding of the money system and felt it better to let someone else figure it out rather than screw up and get yelled at by Zeff.

"Any idea what happened?" I asked him.

"Some shithead shot a canon at the ship," he growled. "Old man's talking with him now."

I nodded and continued on to the kitchen to fetch the next table's orders and drop the bottle of wine off with one of the cooks. The scent of food made my stomach growl as I entered.

"Amy!" someone called. "Next order's ready!"

"Thanks!" I hollered back, scooping up the tray or plates and balancing them carefully as I walked. The first week had seen many a spilled plate as my inexperience with waitressing showed. Zeff had been furious.

"Waiter!"

Oh, dear. I looked at the marine lieutenant as Sanji responded. I remembered something about a fight of some sort between him and Sanji before everything with Don Krieg happened.

"Hey! Why is there an insect in my soup?"

I delivered the plates to the table next to the lieutenant's and sighed, watching closely. I'd seen evidence of Sanji's non-tolerance towards wasting food and starvation several times during my time at the Baratie.

"What is this insect?"

"I'm sorry sir," Sanji said easily, "but I don't understand because I'm not an insect expert."

The lieutenant flushed as the customers around them laughed. I pressed a hand to my forehead, groaning quietly. I could already see how Sanji insulting a marine would end and it wouldn't be in the lieutenant's favor. His expression darkened. In the next instant he was standing, the table smashed beneath his iron fist. Sanji's expression was the one to darken then.

"Do you realize who I am?" Fullbody asked darkly.

Sanji visibly restrained himself and instead of pounding the marine into a bloody pulp like I suspect he wanted, he said, "I'll just take this insect off for you. You're already done eating anyway."

Fullbody was incensed. "I am the guest and I am paying here!" he shouted. "You're just a chef! How dare you make fun of me!"

I hurried back to the kitchen, brushing past the watching chefs to grab a mop, a broom, a bucket and a dustpan along with a handful of rags. I ignored their grumbles as I forcibly shoved passed them; Sanji had already beaten the tar out of the lieutenant. His face was a bloody mess.

"You're making a bigger mess, Sanji," I complained as I walked passed them and began picking up the mess of broken glass. "It'll be hard enough cleaning the tablecloth without getting blood on it."

"Sorry, Amy," Sanji said absently, most of his attention focused on the marine he held up by the jaw. "See what you did, shithead?"

"What is this?! A customer!?" Pati looked from Sanji to Fullbody and back, his eyes bulging. "It's you again Sanji! What did you do to our customer?! Isn't that the marine Lieutenant?"

"Oh, it's you, sucker," Sanji said dismissively. "Don't call my name like that."

"You suck too so you have no right to be calling me that! A restaurant has to welcome customers instead of hurting them! What is the meaning of this?"

I grabbed a handful of rags and scrubbed at the wine and soup decorating the floor, careful to avoid the places that glittered with glass. I dumped the rags in the bucket and grabbed the mop as Sanji and Pati began arguing. This was almost a daily occurrence at the Baratie. I looked up when the other chefs started across the room and jumped between Sanji and the marine who was on the floor.

I opened my mouth to snap at the marine for getting more blood on the floor when the ceiling crashed in making more of a mess. My eyes traveled to the boy with the straw hat on his head as he stood and brushed off dust and debris. For one single moment everything seemed frozen. I took in the black hair, the red vest, and the innocent eyes.

Straw-hat Luffy.

"Head chef! Can you stop Sanji?"

"Hey Sanji! It's you again?"

"Shut up Old Man!"

"Do you want to destroy my restaurant!?"

I winced as Zeff kicked Sanji with his wooden leg. Luffy noticed the lieutenant in surprise and said, "Isn't that the guy who shot the cannon at us?"

I dropped the last rag in the bucket, picking up the mop and broom, walking past the commotion and making sure to knock the lieutenant's head with the bucket as I passed. I dropped the cleaning materials in a closet and returned to serving tables.

"Lieutenant! Lieutenant Fullbody!" A marine burst into the restaurant as I set down another tables order. "I'm very sorry, sir, but the prisoner has escaped! Even seven of us can't catch him!"

"That's crazy! How can he have any strength left? We caught him three days ago when he nearly died and we haven't fed him anything since!"

A chill ran down my spine as a shadow appeared behind the marine. I moved until I was standing beside Sanji. The loud crack of a gunshot sounded in the air, startling screams from customers. Blood spurted from the marines chest as he fell forward, dead. Bile rose in my throat. Sanji laid a hand on my shoulder.

"Easy," he murmured around his cigarette.

"I'm fine," I muttered back, hiding my shaking hands behind my apron. "But I'll be the one who has to clean that up. Just you wait and see."

Gin walked past in dead silence. Every customer had gone quiet, watching him, and the tap-tap-tap of his footsteps sounded ominous in the silence. He pulled put a chair and sat down, putting his feet up on the table and balancing on the back legs.

"Just get me some food," he said, looking around. "This is a restaurant, right?"

Pati stepped forward, grinning and batting his ridiculous looking eyelashes. "Welcome to our restaurant, sir!"

"I'll say it again, so you'd better listen. I am the customer so bring me some food now!"

"I'm most sorry moron but do you have any money?"

I reached out and grasped the edge of Sanji's sleeve. Every eye was riveted to Pati and Gin, watching like this was a movie playing at the theatre. Gin pressed his gun to Pati's head. "Do you want me to pay with a bullet? Because I don't have any money."

Not surprising since he had been a prisoner for the past three days. The Marine's probably robbed him of whatever money he had along with whatever dignity he had. He was pale and gaunt, a thin sheen of sweat shining on his face. He was probably lucky they'd been giving him water, otherwise he'd be dead. Three minutes without air, three days without water, three weeks without food. Those were three keys to survival.

Pati took his fist and slammed it down on Gin, smashing the table and chair into bits. My heart jumped in my chest at the loud sound. I would be the one cleaning that mess up too.

"If you don't have any money then you're not a customer," Pati said, crossing his arms.

The customers and watching chefs cheered. I glanced at Sanji's expression to find it scarily blank. Normally his expression would be annoyed or angry or calm. Not blank.

Gin's stomach gurgled loudly. Pati stood above him and mocked, "Your stomach is crying loudly!"

Gin looked up with a strained grin, one hand clutching his stomach. "I just farted, idiot. Now get me some food."

"Get out! You are not a customer! This restaurant only welcomes customers! A poor pirate like you," Pati shouted, kicking Gin in the side harshly, "I won't give even a crumb!"

He looked up and gripped the corners of his apron, curtsying. "Everyone please continue eating!"

I let go of Sanji's sleeve and approached Gin. "I'll escort him out," I said to Pati, reaching down and gripping Gin's upper arm and tugging him up. He groaned, his stomach gurgling loudly, but didn't resist as I brought him to his feet and tugged his arm around my shoulders, leading him outside. I settled him on one of the decks against the railing and knelt down beside him.

"Sanji will be out soon with food," I told him.

As I spoke the sound of soft footsteps could be heard. Sanji sat a plate of food and a drink down beside Gin before sitting on his other side. "Here; have this."

A smile of pure joy and relief broke out across Gin's face, transforming his expression from that of a starving dangerous pirate to a happy boy. He snatched up the plate and proceeded to stuff his face, his eyes filling with tears that spilled down his cheeks in rivers.

"I don't want to be ashamed," he said. "This is the best food I've ever eaten and I don't want to he ashamed but – " He sobbed. "I thought that I would not survive!"

I smiled and leaned back against the railing. My gaze trailed up to the upper deck and locked with a pair of curious dark eyes and a sunny bright grin. Luffy looked like Christmas had come early.

"Hey, you're really cool!" he said, grinning at Sanji. He looked at Gin and started laughing, "You were almost dead! Hey chef, would you like to join me? Please become my pirate chef!"

Sanji and Gin both looked at him blankly. My smile morphed into an amused grin. "Why don't you come down and explain to them better?" I called up to him.

Luffy did just that, perching on the railing beside Sanji. I moved around Gin so I was on Sanji's other side, feeling a hollow ache in my chest. A few days at most was probably all the time I'd have left with the eccentric cook before he'd be whisked off to a life of adventure.

"So you're a pirate? Why did you fire a cannon at us?"

"It was an accident caused by self-defense."

Luffy's straightforward answer that did nothing but confuse Sanji and Gin. I smothered a grin as I listened to the conversation. It was kind of nice to know what was going to happen. Creepy, but nice. Knowing what was going to happen meant no unexpected surprises.

"I want to warn you not to do anything stupid. Honor used to be a vey famous pirate."

"That old man was a pirate?"

Sanji nodded. "For Honor this restaurant is his treasure. Besides, every chef here used to be a cold-blooded pirate. But the pirates are our major customers."

"No wonder this restaurant is in chaos."

"It can be a lot worse," I said. "I've been here about a month and this was what would be considered a quiet day."

"Eh? Really?"

"It's pretty usual," Sanji agreed. "Some of our guests come here to see the chefs fight pirates." He took a long drag from his cigarette. "That's why all the part-time chefs ran away, because they were scared."

"That's why I have to work here for a year! Anyway, would you like to join me?"

"Sorry," Sanji said, "I have several reasons to stay here."

"No! I refuse!"

"Huh? What do you mean?"

"I refuse your objection," Luffy said as he crossed his arms. "You are a very good chef so I want you to become a pirate with me!"

"Hey, hey! Would you listen?"

"What is your reason? Tell me."

"I don't have to tell you."

"But you just told me to listen to you!"

"I meant that you should listen to others you little brat! Don't you understand?"

"Don't call me a brat or I'll beat you up!"

I was just about to intervene when Gin cleared his throat and said, "Excuse me for interrupting."

"WHAT?!"

"My name is Gin and I work for the Krieg pirates. You're a pirate, right? What's your goal?"

He sounded like a therapist or a student counselor sitting you down for a discussion on your life goals after high-school.

"My goal is One Piece," Luffy said, "that's why I'm heading to the Grand Line."

Gin was silent a moment. "You said that you're looking for a chef, right? I guess you don't have many crew members."

"I have five now including him," Luffy said.

"You aren't a bad person so I want to warn you about something. Don't ever go to the Grand Line! You're still young so don't waste your life there. The Grand Line is just some part of the ocean. If you want to be a pirate you can go to some other part of the ocean."

"Really? Why do you know a lot about the Grand Line?"

I rolled my eyes. "He doesn't," I said. "That's probably why he looks ready to wet himself at the very thought." I stood up and dusted off my skirt. "The Grand Line is a bit different from other oceans. Wilder, I suppose. Without the proper tools and a damn good navigator a ship would be torn apart and lost to the Grand Line's will. Don Krieg didn't bother to prepare properly and got torn apart. It's as simple as that."

I picked up Gin's empty plate and cup. "I'll take these back to the kitchen. Gin-san, if your captain is half as good as rumors say he should be, he would have survived the Grand Line just fine even if he did run into Dracule Mihawk."

I disappeared inside before they could question my knowledge and returned to waiting tables. It was only about fifteen minutes later when three familiar figures walked in. I made a beeline for them and pasted on my best smile.

"Hi, welcome to Baratie!" I said. "Please have a seat anywhere and I'll be right back to take your order!"

I ducked back into the kitchen and grabbed a tables order, delivering it and then returning to the table with the Straw-hat pirates. "Right, what can I get you?"

They ordered and then Zoro asked, "You wouldn't happen to know what happened to Luffy, our captain, would you?"

"He's in the kitchen breaking the dishes he's meant to be washing," I said. "Honor's making him work for a year to lay off the damage to the ship. D'you want me to tell him you're out here?"

"Nah. We'll see him when he comes out."

I nodded and returned to the kitchen, quickly scribbling down an order with lots of meat for Luffy. I dropped the order with one of the chefs and spotted Luffy at the sink. I could hear the cracking of glass as he washed the dishes absentmindedly and moved through the kitchen to his sode.

"Maybe you should leave the dish washing to someone else," I said. "Pati! Give him something else to do!"

I left Luffy with Pati, grabbed another tray of orders, and pushed my way out of the kitchen to deliver. The Straw-hat's orders were done when I got back and I grabbed them to deliver.

"Here you go," I said. "And the plate with mostly meat is for you captain. He ought to be sent out soon."

"This smells delicious!" Nami exclaimed.

"Well if your captain manages to convince Sanji to go I'm sure you'll get to experience lots of delicious dinners."

It was a bit painful to say that. Sanji was the only good friend I had here and the only one who consistently treated me kindly. The others were former pirates. They could be rough and mean when they wanted to be and sometimes they had little concern for their surroundings when they fought. Without Sanji I'd probably be spending a lot of time in the sick bay treating scrapes and bruises.

"So he found a chef?" Zoro asked. "What's he like?"

"Sanji? Mm, he's a good person. He has a large weakness for beautiful women, but he won't ever let a person starve. He's a strong fighter. He uses his legs and feet to fight, a style he learned from Zeff-dono."

"Sounds interesting."

"Oh, here comes Luffy!" Nami hissed.

"You!"

"What's up servant?"

"I heard that you have to work here for one year," Usopp snickered.

"Can I change our pirate flag?" Zoro asked, grinning.

"You're comfortably sitting and enjoying food while I'm suffering! Don't you think that's unfair?!"

"Unfair? But we have our rights." Zoro looked to be completely oblivious to Luffy picking his nose and dropping snot in his glass. I watched the blob of snot sink into his glass with growing amusement. He picked it up and brought it closer to his mouth; Nami and Usopp were in stitches trying to keep their laughter quiet.

"This restaurant is very good. It seems unfair to you, but...why don't you drink this yourself?!"

He forced the drink down Luffy's throat. Nami and Usopp exploded into laughter.

My own laugh turned into a hacking cough. I covered my mouth with a hand, gripping the back of one of there chairs. The feel of stickywetwarm blood sent me to the sick bay. The Baratie's doctor, a rough-looking man named Toni, ushered me onto a cot as I hacked up a mixture of mucus and blood. He shoved a bucket in front of me to keep it from getting on the floor.

When the coughing subsided Toni pushed a glass into my hand. "Drink," he grunted. "It'll ease your throat."

I gulped the concoction down without protest. My aching throat felt refreshingly cool when I finished off the medicine. Toni snatched the glass back and set it on a counter before turning to scowl at me with crossed arms.

"You are staying here," he said flatly. "A day at least. That was the worst episode you've had while you've been here."

I couldn't protest if I wanted to. My limbs felt like they'd been weighted down with lead. Instead of responding I fell back against the pillows and closed my eyes.

I should have expected a bad episode eventually.