Strange Events can lead to Family
I DO NOT OWN ONE PIECE!
Galley- ships kitchen
Starboard- right side of a ship
Port- left side of a ship
The crew of the Merry Go was lounging around, bored tired with nothing to fill their time. The day was hot and no one could really muster up the energy to do anything. Poor Chopper was in his lab trying to keep cool. Robin was in the galley with Sanji reading while the cook attempted to make something cold to eat. Zoro and Usopp were laying on the deck in what little shade they could find. The swordsman had tried to practice but the heat had gotten to him before long. Usopp hadn't moved much from where he had landed after breakfast. Nami was currently in her room looking over her maps. Luffy was leaning against the walls of the navigator's room, trying to stay cool.
The navigator looked at her captain out of the corner of her eye. The heat had really been getting to Luffy, seeing as not even the meat Sanji had fixed the night before had brought out the normal happy-go-lucky personality of the Merry Go's captain.
"Hey Luffy, you awake?"
The rubber boy looked up at his navigator, "Yea," he yawned.
Nami hid her smile, "Want to go see what Sanji has cooked up?"
"Sure." Luffy sent her one of his full teeth smile, dampened only by the heat.
The two walked up to the main deck. They found Chopper laying next to Usopp and Zoro in the shade. Sanji and Robin came out of the galley.
"Hey, what are you doin' lyin' around?" The chief drawled, lighting a fresh cigarette.
"Shut up, it's to hot to do anything else." Zoro mumbled back, glaring at the chief through a half-open eye.
Before Sanji could retort or anything else could happen, a soft knocking sound could be heard off the starboard side of the ship. It sounded as if the ship had run into something.
"What was that?" asked Usopp, sitting up and stretching.
Nami rolled her eyes, "Why don't you go look?"
Usopp looked slightly scared at this, "No way, what if it's something dangerous?"
Luffy wondered away and looked over the side of the ship. He blinked at what he saw. It was a small box, rectangular in shape and dark from being in the salty water. Luffy reached down and lifted it up onto the ship deck.
"HEY GUYS! LOOK WHAT I FOUND!" He called up to his crew.
The Crew of the Merry Go turned to look at their captain. They hadn't even noticed that he had left the group. They came towards him.
"What do you think is inside it?" wondered Zoro aloud, looking the box over. The lid was nailed shut but had little holes in it, as if what ever lay inside needed to breath. Or maybe sink and drown.
"Let's open it and find out," Sanji suggested.
Usopp backed away, just in case what ever was inside the box was dangerous. The others watched as Luffy tried to pry the lid off the box. It wasn't budging. The wood seemed to have swelled with water and the heat wasn't helping it any. Robin studied the box.
"Why don't you get a crowbar and use that to get the lid off?"
"Na, I can get it off." Luffy struggled with the box and the lid popped off and landed back into the water with a splash.
The entire crew blinked at what lay inside the box. Inside was a small, black haired baby. It took all of three seconds for Chopper to get into action. He gently began checking for a pulse, not expecting to find one. The baby's skin was cold to the touch and pale, so when Chopper found a pulse, and a strong one at that, he was surprised.
"Cool! But what do we do with it?" Luffy peered into the box.
Sanji, his cigarette bobbing as he talked, and blowing smoke into the baby's face, looked into the box as well. The child, not liking the smell of the smoke being blown into its face, began to whimper and move. It was trying to get away from the smoke. It wasn't having much luck. Usopp jumped and let out an 'ah' of surprise.
"It doesn't have any ears!" He screeched, backing away from the box.
Nami glared at him. "Move out of the way," she shoved past Sanji and Usopp. Nami blinked, Usopp was right, the baby didn't have any ears. The navigator picked the child up to get a closer look at it. Robin stood next to her to do the same. She was holding the book she had been reading in her hands.
The two women crew members studied the baby in the way only women could. Nami was the first to spot the two triangular points on the baby's head. Robin blinked and opened her book to look at something. Chopper tried to see what the two women had found, but couldn't so he waited. Luffy on the other hand looked over Nami's shoulder. He touched the baby's ears, since that is what they were. The baby whimpered again and buried itself into Nami's chest.
"What is it?" asked Sanji, trying to get a look as well.
"I thought so," Robin set the book so everyone could see it. "The baby looks to have somehow eaten a cat-cat fruit, it's much like the human-human fruit but changes the eater into the animal it's named after." Robin closed the book, "so what are we going to do with it?"
"Keep it of course," said Luffy, gently taking the baby from Nami, "It can be the ship's mascot!"
The other men on the crew groaned. Nami however, looking at her captain, nodded. "Actually, that doesn't sound like such a bad idea. But does anyone here know what to do with a baby?"
Chopper looked up, "I think I might have something on baby care somewhere in my lab. I can go look." The little reindeer muttered, walking to his lab.
Zoro, Sanji, and Usopp watched as their captain entertained their new 'mascot'. Nami and Robin watched as well, only Robin kept looking from the baby to her book, making sure her diagnoses was correct. Nami smiled a bit as Luffy attempted to make the baby laugh. The baby had opened it eyes earlier and kept going from Nami to Luffy. Its eyes were most definitely cat-like and green in color.
Robin looked at the child again, it hadn't moved much from Luffy's lap but by the way it kept looking at Nami and back to Luffy it was most likely identifying them as its parents. Chopper came back holding the book he had told them about. Sitting next to Robin, the two began looking in them. Suddenly a smell wafted up from the little one, who grimaced and looked as if it was getting ready to cry. The three not currently doing anything were suddenly on the opposite side of the ship.
"What the hell is that?" Usopp demanded, holding his nose against the smell.
Luffy held the baby up to examine it. Nami snatched it away. "It went in its diaper. Do we have any spare cloth?" Nami walk inside holding the baby.
Sanji went to follow her in, hearts in his eyes. "I think we have some spare cloth in the kitchen sweetheart!" The blond chief went to get the cloth.
"Don't bother, I already found some." Nami came back out holding the baby who now had on a clean diaper and a clean shirt. A tail peeked out from under it.
"It has a tail!" Usopp backed away again. The baby looked at him over Nami's shoulder, blinking slowly.
"It does?" Luffy went over to look, extremely curious about his newest crew member. He tapped the tip of the tail, causing the baby to let out a little giggle and for its tail to dodge Luffy's next attempt. Nami side stepped Luffy before the two could continue their game.
"We can't keep calling her 'It' guys. We're going to have to give her a name, at least temporally until we can find where she belongs." The navigator looked sideways at Luffy, waiting for his response. Zoro was the first to reply however.
"Why can't we? It's not a pet you know, it's better to not get attached." The swordsman did not look at the child on Nami's shoulder as he said this.
"Because it's not fair to anyone, would you like to be called 'It'?" Nami glared at him.
Sanji, seeing a chance to try and win Nami over, readily agreed, "Nami's right, you can't call a baby it, it just isn't done." He walked over to pet the baby like Luffy had earlier only to fail as the baby ducked into Nami's shoulder away from his hand and the smoke of his cigarette.
"Eh?" The confused chef said. Nami rolled her eyes and walked away towards Luffy. Was he really that dense as to smoke around a baby?
"Hey, we've found something." Chopper's voice brought all of their attention to him.
"Well?" Zoro asked, looking at him expectantly.
Chopper got into his 'I need to explain something' mode. "Robin and I have determined that she," he motioned to the girl in Nami's arms, "is at least a month and a half old and, judging by the box, has been in the ocean for at least a week of that and not by accident. I don't know how she survived, but she did. Nami, what is the closest island to us right now?"
Nami thought back to the map she had been looking at before, "Berberchi Island, why?"
Robin spoke, "Because Berberchi is known for being the best place to find cat-cat fruit, along with several other cursed fruit. It's rumored that every year on the island they test the fruit that grows that year on someone to see what it does, after that they toss the person out into the ocean. I think that is what happened to the little one you hold right now Nami."
Nami's face went cold at this, as did everyone else's. Luffy's especially went dark.
"How long will it take us to get there?" asked the rubber-man, a serious look on his face.
"Another day or so," Nami replied, watching Luffy.
"Okay, then that is where we stop next. Maybe someone there knows who she is." Luffy told his crew.
Zoro nodded, joined by Sanji and Usopp. Robin frowned a little bit.
"Yes, but I suggest that Chopper, the baby, Luffy, and I stay on board. From what I've read about Berberchi Island it is not the friendliest place for people who have eaten a cursed fruit." The female pirate looked pointedly at Nami as she said this, knowing that their hard-headed captain would listen to her the most out of any of them.
"I agree with Robin, the rest of us will go on shore and do our searching. We can also get any supplies we need." Nami nodded, the baby whimpered and shivered a bit. It was then that the crew noticed that the temperature had dropped. Sanji looked out over the ocean and noticed the gathering storm clouds.
"I think we better get inside before that storm hits." Sanji nodded towards said storm.
Luffy nodded and started giving orders to seal the Merry Go against the storm. Nami went inside with Chopper and the baby to tie down anything in Chopper's lap that might move or break when the ship rocked during the storm. Surprisingly the baby stayed where Nami had set her, watching what the adults were doing.
The others came inside just before the rain started. Once inside however the trouble began. Usopp and Sanji began arguing over who got to steer, Zoro tried to break them up, and Robin tried to hold them apart. Chopper transformed in order to try and help her. In the end it ended up with Nami once again holding the baby who had started crying at the noise and at the fact that she was hungry, Luffy steering the ship, Usopp and Sanji in separate corners, Zoro and Chopper nursing sore heads, and a smug Robin reading her book again.
Nami glared at the boys who had upset the baby who had almost been asleep. Really, they were supposed to be the adults here. The navigator tried to soothe the crying infant. Chopper came over to help. Luffy watched his navigator out of the corner of his eye. The thought that the ex-thief would make a good mother went through his head. The prince of pirates turned to hide his blushing face.
"Sanji, do you have in milk in the galley?" asked the reindeer, looking at the chef.
"Quite possibly, I'd have to go an' look." He replied, standing up to go do so. The ship rocked violently, causing everyone to try and stay standing or sitting in their current spots.
"Do so quickly then get back here," ordered Luffy, "I want everyone in one place until the storm is over."
Sanji nodded, heading towards his domain. He came back rather quickly, bringing with him a rubber glove, glass container and lid, and a cup of milk with some honey added into it. The mixture was thick but still drinkable.
"Will this do?" He handed the things to Chopper.
The little doctor nodded, quickly making a sort of bottle out of the things. He handed it to Nami who tried to get the baby to drink it. She struggled at first, the rocking of the ship not helping any. The woman finally managed to feed the baby, even through it wouldn't do for long.
"We still need to name her." Nami stated, looking at her crewmates.
"How about Koneko?" Luffy suggested, looking over his shoulder at his friends.
"It fits at least," said Zoro, who studied the girl that Nami was holding. Maybe it would be so bad after all, "but I still don't think that it's a good idea have a baby on a pirate ship."
"Then what would you suggest we do with Koneko?" asked Sanji, looking at the swordsman.
"I don't know; maybe find someone to take care of it?" Zoro's eye twitched in annoyance.
"That's not going to work," Robin spoke up, "you two know nothing about cats. Koneko has already identified Nami as her mother, seeing as Nami was the first person she saw. Just like kittens do about seven days or so after they're born. Good luck on trying to get her away from Nami." The dark haired pirate decided against telling them that Koneko saw Luffy as her father, for now at least.
Everyone turned to look at the historian in shock and surprise. She wasn't kidding. Robin raised an eyebrow at them. Nami fainted from shock. Being a mother was not on her list of things to become! Luffy let go of the wheel to catch the navigator and Koneko. He succeeded and Zoro took the wheel. It was during this time that the storm stopped, so Luffy took both girls to Nami's room.
The group watched was their captain carried the sleeping baby and unconscious navigator to Nami's room. Sanji scowled, leave it to Luffy to succeed and get Nami's heart. Zoro smirked; this was something to jab at the chef. Robin narrowed her eyes, just waiting for the boys to start something. Chopper left and went to his lab; he needed to set up some space so he could give Koneko a proper check up after her nap. He also wanted to try and find out how she had survived for at least a week at sea at such a young age, it was impossible in his thoughts, not many people twice as old as Koneko could survive that long. Usopp took over steering the ship. The wind from the storm had speeded their journey, it would only take them a few more hours sailing and they would be in sight of the island.
"Quite, you don't wanna wake Nami now," Nami blinked at the voice, which had been followed by some kind of gurgle noise.
The teen sat up, realizing that she was in her room on her bed. How had that happened? Nami looked around and spotted Luffy holding Koneko. Of course, leave it to her captain to carry them both here. Luffy took that moment to look up. He grinned at her, this one full of his usual happy-go-luckiness.
"Nami, you're awake!"
"Obviously, is the storm over?" Nami really didn't want to talk about what Robin had said. That was for a far later date then now.
"Yep, we're near the island now." Luffy wasn't really looking at Nami, he was tickling Koneko's tail and watching as the baby laughed.
Nami felt a small flare of jealousy before she squashed it down. Why should she be jealous of Koneko just because she had Luffy's complete attention? It wasn't as if she LIKED Luffy or anything, right? Oh who the hell was she kidding? She knew she liked the person in front of her.
"Nami? Are you okay?" Luffy sounded worried, and he was. Nami wasn't saying anything, just staring into space.
"Hm? Oh, I'm fine Luffy, just still a bit shocked about what Robin said."
Luffy nodded, about to say something when they heard Usopp shout something about land. The two people got up and in utmost silence, neither really sure on what to say, left the room, Nami returning a minute later to retrieve Koneko, Luffy right behind her.
Once the three reached the deck they found Zoro, Sanji, and Usopp getting ready to dock the ship and depart. Robin and Chopper were keeping lookout for anyone on the docks. Five minutes later they were docked and those leaving the ship departed. Koneko looked almost to tears at the sight of Nami leaving the ship. She snuggled into Luffy, whimpering. Luffy patted her back absently. They had a while to wait.
Nami wondered around the town of Berberchi. It was big; she had to give it that. The navigator wondered over to the shopping district that dealt with clothing apparel and such. Usopp was with Sanji, helping the cook get not only food for the crew but some herbs and such that Chopper needed. Zoro was sent towards the bookstore and other such places. Nami went past a small baby clothing store; she briefly stopped to look in. The woman in charge saw her and approached.
"Can I help you ma'am?" She looked Nami over, wondering why such a young girl would enter her shop. The woman knew that she wasn't from around here, she knew everyone from around here who had babies.
"Maybe, I was wondering about the cursed fruit festival I heard happened here. I was also hoping to find something for my sister's new baby." Nami smiled at the woman, glad that her lying ability was still working perfectly. The woman ate it right up.
"Well then! I believe I can help you!" The woman went around the store, Nami following her. "I'm afraid you missed the festival. It was a little over a week ago. If you go towards the center of town you might see some remains of the bonfire. The men have just finished burning the last of the cursed fruit this morning. What size is your new niece?"
Nami looked up from her thoughts. "Oh, well I'm not sure of her size, but she's about a month and half old or so." The woman stopped short for a few seconds, but then started taking clothes out again.
"You don't say? Well then, these should fit her fine." The woman showed Nami several sets of clothing, all bright pink and other girly colors. It almost made Nami sick to her stomach.
"Do you have anything less pink? My sister despises the color." At lest that was true enough.
"Well, there is the boy clothing, maybe your sister would like something from that?"
Nami nodded, anything had to be better then all of that pink. The woman placed several pieces of different shades of blue and red clothing on the counter top. Nami hid her grin. These were perfect. Nami picked out several items from the selection and bought them. The woman nodded, pleased with her sales.
"Oh, one question. Why did you freeze when I told you how old my sister's baby was?"
The woman blanched then sighed. "The person the council tested the fruit on this year was a baby about that age. Not many people agreed with it, but they let it happen. It was not as if anyone actually wanted the child."
Nami nearly let her emotions explode. She kept them in check though. "Why didn't anyone want it? It seems like somebody would want to at least care for the child until it was old enough to fend for itself." Nami hated her self for talking about Koneko like that. It wasn't fair.
The woman snorted, "The child's mother died birthing her, and the father was killed in a bar brawl two months before the child was born. No one liked the family and there was no one left from either side of the family to take the child. Not even the orphanage wanted the girl. Her fate was the best thing that could be done with her. Better to die young then grow up hated. She would have been a useless child anyway, just another mouth to feed."
Nami stiffly thanked the woman for her information and the clothes. She then walked out and went back to the ship. She was fuming and couldn't wait to leave the island.
Sanji, Usopp, and Zoro met up with her halfway there. They had much of the same information. None of them were pleased and Zoro looked almost sorry for what he had said. After hearing the baby called 'it' like she was some animal (no offense meant to Chopper). He was not however going to admit he was wrong.
When they arrived back at the ship the first person they saw was Robin, who as talking to a man from the ships deck. She looked relieved to see them.
"The rest of the crew has arrived, if you still wish to talk to someone other then me the first mate is the one with the three swords." Robin then turned around and went out of sight.
Zoro looked the man over. His first impression he had was of a rat, a slimy rat that had been dead for at least a week in a barrel of brine. The man appraised him as well. Zoro smirked at him, liking the look of fear that entered the man's eyes. Nami rolled her eyes, taking the bag Zoro was carrying from him and went to board the ship. She was stopped by a large bulk. It looked like the rat man had brought some bodyguards.
"What do you want?" Demanded Zoro, his arms crossed.
"I wish to speak with the captain of this ship. That interfering woman refused to let me see him or for my men and I to board!" The man seemed upset and as if he wasn't used to not getting his way.
"The captain is busy, that is why he sent us to get what was needed and restock supplies. If you have anything to say you can say it to me." Zoro sent a glare at the man standing in front of the ramp leading up to the Merry Go. The man moved, allowing the others to board the ship.
"I still wish to speak with him. In fact I must speak to him!"
"And I told you that you can tell me anything you have to tell him." Zoro wasn't bending to what the man wanted. He was beginning to wonder how many shades of red he could go.
"Very well then. We, the people of Berberchi Island, are asking all of the incoming ships if they have come across a casket on the way to our island. It floated away after the festival and we need what was inside it so that we may give it a proper burial." The man stood up straight, like he was the one doing all the work.
"Well we haven't, so you and your men can leave." Zoro turned and walked up the ramp to the ship.
The men on the dock watched as they left. The rat man looked as if he had tried to hold his breath.
"So what did you find out?" Robin, Chopper, and the others were talking in the galley. Luffy, Nami, and Koneko however were not there.
Sanji started telling them what he had found out. Zoro had little to add. Usopp had nothing since he had been with Sanji the whole time. They were all frowning by now.
"Well then, I guess we have another crew member." Chopper stated, knowing that that was what their captain would have said, or at least he was pretty close.
The galley door opened and the three missing people arrived. Koneko had been changed out of Nami's shirt into a small long sleeved red shirt and blue pants. That added to her black hair made her look like Luffy. The girl was freshly washed and changed.
Nami filled them in on what she had found out. Luffy (sensing that his crew needed to lighten up some) snatched Koneko from Nami and started to make a fool of himself by playing with her, trying to get her to laugh. He succeeded. Nami stared at him in amazement for a few seconds and then started to laugh herself. Chopper was next and soon everyone was laughing and nearly back to the crew they were before. Only this time they had a new member.
FIVE YEARS LATER
"Mommy! Daddy! Watch me!" Koneko scampered down the rigging, Usopp telling her to slow down before she fell. The man tried to climb down after her but ended up tangled in the rigging. Koneko laughed at her silly crewmate, tripped, and slid down the rest of the way. Her cat reflexes kicking in and she landed on her feet. Or she would have but Luffy caught her first.
"Careful," he tossed her up into the air and caught her, placing her on his shoulders.
"Daddy, don't do that! It makes me dizzy!" Koneko admonished him. She suddenly found herself plucked form his shoulders and in Nami's arms.
"Mommy!" She now found herself on her mother's shoulders.
"Help! I'm stuck!" Usopp called down, trying to untangle himself.
Koneko giggled, "Usopp's funny!"
"How did he get stuck this time?" Zoro came out of the galley to see what was going on.
"He tried to chase Koneko down the rigging again." Luffy told him from where he was standing. The rubber man had his daughter back on his shoulders and his arm around Nami's waist.
"Didn't you learn that last dozen times?" Sanji called up to the by far unluckiest person on board.
Usopp pouted from where he was caught. Koneko seemed to like scaring him. Robin came out of the galley followed by Chopper. Now the entire crew was under Usopp, waiting for the inevitable end to his entanglement. Koneko watched as the rigging wavered in the wind and loosened Usopp from where he was caught. In the next second he was at their feet.
"OW!" He rubbed his now sore butt, the only thing hurt besides what little remained of his pride.
"It's your own fault," said Nami, eyes not on Usopp but on the sky above him. "Storm's coming, we better get inside."
Everyone nodded, going about their jobs to seal the ship against the oncoming storm. Usopp joined Koneko in tying down the rigging. Sanji worked in the kitchen, Robin and Chopper were in the lab and library, Zoro was tying up the things that would slide around in the hold, Nami was in her chart room, and Luffy was steering the ship. Within ten minutes of Nami's warning the entire ship was ready and the crew was all in the room with the wheel. Koneko sat on Nami's shoulders, watching Luffy as he steered the ship in the suddenly dead water.
No one was prepared for when the ship lurched to the starboard side. Luffy fought the wheel for control while the rest of the crew braced themselves against the nearest wall. Koneko dug her claws into their groves, made from other storms spent in here, her tail trembling. She loved storms, but she despised the lurching the ship did at times.
The ship lurched again, but this time it wasn't the storm that caused it.
"What the hell was that?" Sanji demanded, trying to get to the window so he could look out.
The ship lurched again and a sound of splintering wood shot through the air, causing the crew to cover their ears against it.
Koneko hung onto Nami, knowing that she needed to keep quiet for the time being.
"Holy shit, there's a ship ramming us. It's not by accident either." Sanji gripped the windowsill against the next lurch.
Zoro quickly latched onto the steering wheel to try and help Luffy stabilize the ship and move it out of the attacking ship's range. The two managed it, Usopp and Robin going out to open the sails. The wind from the dieing storm filled the sails and drove the Merry Go away from the other vessel.
The storm came to a stop, but the wind still blew the ship away. They all came out to stand on the deck to asses the damage. The ram's head was gone and the front of the ship was crumbled mess. Zoro and Robin went below deck to see if there was any leaking. Nami and Luffy began to chart a course and sail towards the nearest island. Koneko followed them. The others of the crew began on any repairs that they could do.
They were lucky. There was an island nearby that had a shipyard. They were also very close to the island. So that's were they headed. They arrived on Chiruken Island just as the sun set.
"Don't go far Koneko, and stay with Chopper!" Luffy called out to his daughter, who was walking away with the reindeer doctor.
"I will daddy! I promise!" Koneko waved back at Luffy, smiling.
Chopper and Koneko were heading towards the market to get some herbs for Chopper's medicines as well as Sanji's cooking. Koneko walked besides Chopper, her straw hat on her head. Nami had gotten it for her on her last birthday. It had a black band where Luffy had his red one and two slits for her ears.
"Chopper, who do you think was in that ship?"
"I don't know, it could have been anybody who has a grudge against us. Luffy's beaten a lot of opponents that would love to get revenge." Chopper replied to the question.
The two continued in silence. Once they reached the markets, Chopper was quick to find the shops that dealt with herbs and such things.
"Oh, Chopper, what's this one called?" Koneko held up some leaves that had an interesting scent, at least to her.
"Koneko put that down. It's called cat-nip and you're allergic to it, remember when you were three and rolled around in a patch of it?"
Koneko dropped the leaves she held as if they were suddenly hot. "Yes, I remember. It made me itch and feel sick."
"Good, now let's go back to the ship. I'm sure Sanji has dinner ready by now."
Koneko nodded, her eyes gleaming at the thought of dinner. She loved the chief's cooking, especially when he made fish.
The two crewmates walked back towards the shipyards. They were stopped by a large figure in front of them.
"Well, well, what do we have here, a reindeer and a stinky puman. Where do you think you're headed?" The figure was a tall, purple skinned fish-man with a saw for a nose.
Chopper stood in front of Koneko, handing her the bags with the herbs in them.
"It's none of your business, let us pass."
"Chopper, he smells like fish. What sort of cursed fruit do you think he ate?" Koneko looked the man over, shivering. The guy scared her for some reason.
The guy laughed. "I didn't eat a cursed fruit puman! I am a mighty fish-man, and you're coming with me!"
The man lunged forward, trying to get at Koneko. Chopper transformed and slammed him back. The man stood up and smirked. With a flick of his wrist, an entire crew wroth of fish-men came out of the shadows. They all attacked Chopper, giving their captain the chance to grab Koneko.
Koneko growled, clawing at the man's arm. The man winched but didn't let her go. He turned and left his men to deal with the little reindeer.
"Hey Luffy, where are Chopper and Koneko? Shouldn't they be back by now?" Nami looked at her husband of three years. They had gotten married shortly after Koneko's second birthday and roughly two years of a pirate's equivalent of dating.
"They should, I wonder what's keeping them. Hey Robin, do you see Chopper and Koneko nearby?" Luffy called up to Robin who was in the crows nest.
"No, but there's a fight going on nearby, I can't see it very well though." Robin replied. She was worried; it didn't take Chopper this long to get herbs.
"Do you think we should go check out the fight? It might be what's keeping those two from getting back to the ship." Zoro appeared next to Luffy and Nami.
"Yes, let's go!" Luffy looked ecstatic to go join a fight. Nami shook her head, some things would never change.
"Hey! What's going on here?" Zoro called over the dust cloud that covered the fighters.
Several fighters stopped to look at the trio interrupting them. Nami sucked in her breath at the sight of the fish-men. Luffy squeezed her hand in comfort.
"Luffy! Nami! Their captain took Koneko!" Chopper yelled at them as he tried to fight off the remaining fish-men.
The other's joined the fight, soon leaving only one fish-man coherent enough to answer their questions.
"Who's you're captain?" Nami asked him, almost afraid of the guys answer.
"A-a-Arlong! He ordered us to fight your friend! We don't know anything about why he would want the little cat!"
Luffy tightened his grip. He had thought he had gotten rid of Arlong a long time ago. Nami's face froze into a glare.
"Take us to your ship, and don't take to long."
The man nodded as well as he could with Luffy's hand around his throat.
"LET ME GO! MY DADDY'S GOING TO KICK YOUR ASS!" Koneko was still fighting with all her strength.
Arlong laughed. "Your 'daddy' is going to be the one to be beaten."
"NO HE'S NOT! HE AND MOMMY WILL SHOW YOU!"
Arlong sent her flying against the wall, knocking the child senseless for a few seconds. He also knocked her hat off. Arlong then stepped on it, crushing it to oblivion. Koneko felt tears well up at both her sore head and the loss of her hat.
"You meany! That was my hat! Mommy is going to be so mad at you!"
Arlong just laughed again. He was enjoying this. He picked up the remains of the hat and shredded it. Koneko turned her best glare on him. She had learned this on from Nami when on of the guys had done something stupid to piss her off. Koneko leapt at him, aiming to scratch his eyes out. He slammed his fist into her, sending crashing against the wall again. Koneko whimpered when she hit. Her tail was bent at an odd angle now and throbbing with pain along with her head.
Arlong stood there and laughed at the pitiful site the young girl made. They were right when they said revenge was sweet. Arlong was suddenly sent head over heals off the side of his ship. He briefly saw one of his men get thrown into the water (which he had missed) and an arm returning to its owner. He growled, this wasn't what was supposed to happen!
Nami picked up Koneko, cradling the five-year old to her chest. Luffy stood in front of them, rubbing his arm from tossing Arlong off the ship and the other fish-man into the ocean. Koneko began crying in earnest.
"Mommy, he broke my hat! He also beat up Chopper! And he thinks he can beat Daddy!"
"It's okay," Nami soothed the girl, "Luffy'll show him and Chopper's fine. We'll get you a new hat, okay?" Koneko was as bad as Luffy about her hat.
Koneko nodded, "Daddy's going to win right?"
"Yes, he's going to win. He's not the King of Pirates for nothing." Nami watched as Luffy fought Arlong.
Luffy, for his part, was pissed. Arlong had messed with not only his crew, but his daughter. That was one thing you didn't do, especially not to the King of Pirates. (They had found One Piece a few months before he and Nami were married (in fact, he asked after they found it)) Arlong fought back, but he could tell he was losing. He jumped back, avoiding Luffy's next strike. He aimed to get at Nami and Koneko, but Zoro's swords stopped him. Luffy forced him back into battle with him.
In the end Arlong was left at the local Navy base and Zoro collect the Hundred Million Berry reward. The officers at the base had to wonder how the fish-man was more beat up than cut up. Arlong looked like one big bruise.
Back on the fully repaired Merry Go, the Straw-hat Pirates celebrated the second defeat of Arlong. Koneko had her tail wrapped up in a sort of cast and was sitting on Luffy's shoulders. Nami was sitting beside them, laughing as Usopp told another of his ridicules tall tales.
All in all, it proved that no matter how wired things get, your crew (and family) was always there for you. No matter how strange the events.