Short summary: "I'm gonna be King of the Pirates!" - "Don't you mean Queen of the Pirates?" - "Is there a difference?"
A/N: They are reversed, but are they different?
I can't tell you how many times I had to replace 'he' or 'she' with the opposite in here because I automatically wrote it wrong (or right, depending on were you stand). What a pain, seriously. I might have missed some, many apologies. And yes, I do have a thing for parallelism.
Disc.: Yada, yada, not owning anything you recognize. All hail the great Oda!
That girl is the most irritating person she has ever met, and that's saying something with all the men in this world.
"Look, I'm not going to become a pirate," the pirate hunter tells her and smirks. "I only need to keep up for a few days more and then I'm out of here. I have more spirit than you could ever have - I will make it through this challenge."
She doesn't mention that Helmeppo tried to backtrack once she was revealed to be a girl under the hood (men like him are cowards) and how he stuffed those rice balls in her mouth under pretense (make her suffer from them just as he did).
The girl crosses her arms and grins. "But I've already decided that you're going to be on my crew."
"You can't decide that on your own!" She's gaping at her.
She'll do that a lot, later on (she'll never get used to it). It seems the material inside the girl's head is the same as the hat atop of it. The pirate hunter is left watching open mouthed when the girl's arms stretch (made of rubber), when she takes back her swords as if it wasn't even a field trip, and then she says the craziest thing (not the first, not the last time), right in front of the marines.
"I'm going to be King of the Pirates!"
She scoffs. "Yeah, right. Don't you mean Queen of the Pirates?"
The girl turns her wide, curious eyes to her. "Is there a difference?"
She thinks of Kuina. She remembers her saying they would never be strong enough, because they were women and would eventually (definitely) be beaten by the boys. She remembers being angry at her for the statement (she refused) because Kuina was her rival (her goal) and her words made beating her irrelevant. She thinks of the promise, the promise that one of them (the only one left) would become the best swordsman in the world.
She smiles. "No. There isn't." She will prove a swordswoman can do as much as a swordsman.
The answering grin is as bright as the sun, and it is lightening her way (the girl has more spirit than she could ever have).
And just like that, her bonds are cut and Pirate Hunter Roronoa Zoro becomes a pirate.
Her shots never miss.
All her life, she's been practicing (training) to be this good, and it's still not enough (never enough), because she can't even protect what she loves most. She hasn't even been out to sea yet (coward), but the sea is reliable and brings the trouble to her (prove yourself). It's too big, too dangerous, and everyone will end up dead (alone again), and she's just so afraid. She likes to live, okay? Life is exciting (it's not).
"Kaya, have I ever told you about the time ...?"
"Thank you, Usopp, for coming every day."
She flashes a grin to her best friend (you're not alone). "I have to tell somebody of my greatness as Captain Usopp!"
"So girls can become Captain, too?"
Usopp spreads her arms out. "You have the living proof right in front of you!"
She's not stupid (really), but in all honesty, she never believed her own words (lies). She never thought that a girl (weak) could be Captain, every Captain she knew of was (strong) male. She invents stories, day after day, and many days, she tells of other Captains (men), but that one day, everything seems to pale. That day, the girl with the straw hat comes (and with her comes the trouble).
"Pirates are coming!"
They chase her out of town. "Get lost, Usopp! Stop lying!"
"But they're coming! You have to leave or you will all be killed! Your Butler, he -"
She is shoved outside the mansion (too weak). "I'm disappointed in you, Usopp. I never thought you could be that cruel!"
They don't believe her (they never do), and she can't blame them (she does), she's just a girl and a liar on top. It doesn't change that (her friends) they'll all be dead, no matter what she does.
The girl with the straw hat (still alive) frowns.
"Man up, will ya?"
Her eyes are puffy when she looks up, indignantly (hopeless). "I'm a girl!"
"So?" The swordswoman shifts slightly, the redhead snorts and the eyes of the girl are expectant.
She thinks of her father, who's out there, being a (brave) great warrior of the sea. He wouldn't be proud of her (a coward) like this.
Her knees are shaking, but she's standing up.
"I'll defend them!" She will be like her dad.
The girl grins and then she and her little rag-tag crew fight for her island. Nobody dies (they almost do) and it's incredible and terrifying and she's so dead afraid she's almost fainting, still, her shots never miss (her hands aren't trembling).
She always wished she were a boy (she would be braver, stronger), but now she looks at this girl and sees (the bravest, strongest).
"You're our friend, right? So, come on!"
Usopp knows it's now or never, so she packs her bags and becomes a pirate.
He's handsome and he knows it.
It makes things easier around women (whispering sweet nonsense), but harder around men (rival, rivals), but he has learned to adapt (no one takes a pretty boy seriously). He needs the money, he almost has collected enough.
He never thought taking advantage of two female pirates would haunt him so much. They are strangely immune to his charm (more brawn than brains than even the average man), so pretending to join up with them is the only option left, even if they're pirates.
God, how he hates pirates. So why does he feel guilty?
Maybe because they take down that red-nosed pirate and his crew just because they burned the treasure of a dog and he isn't even needed (that much, they'd still be dead without him being his smart self). Maybe it's because they were being chased out of town as pirates and straw hat just laughed at his bewilderment (leave that way to keep the town safe). Maybe it's because they decided to stay and help the liar, the girl who invents stories (excite her island and her best friend) and whose knees were jittering, but still she faced her nightmare. Maybe because they had taken her in before the long-nosed girl even realized.
Maybe ... maybe because they fought (will fight) for all the right reasons without wasting another thought on it, like it's the most natural thing in the world (it isn't, he knows).
He knows, and it hurts to leave, hurts to betray them (it's for their own good).
For all he had seen them do, how could he have underestimated them, expected them to stay away (stay away, I killed her)? And why didn't he think the fishman would betray him like this (man or woman, he is just a lowly human)?
"Help me!" he pleads to the girl (his captain?), crying on the floor with a bloody shoulder (she stopped him).
Something is pressed on his head and he looks up to her grim face, for once not shadowed by her treasure.
"Of course," she says with deadly and silent determination, before screaming: "He's gonna pay!"
He has never felt so small before a girl, a woman, not even before his older sister. Because what the girl says and does, she means with all her heart (he wasn't ever resented). And now everyone learns that she hates people who make others cry.
"Nami is my navigator," the girl proclaims, "And he'll always be my friend."
They laugh (she's just a girl), but they are paying dearly (she's strong). And he knows he's been her navigator ever since she decided, and for all his cunningness, he'll always be the one following after her (his captain).
"No one interferes with my maps. And I'll be in charge of the treasure," Nami tells the grinning girls, when he steps back on board with a load of wallets, and becomes a pirate.
Her heels are deadly.
Not that they would ever meet the face (or any other part of the body) of a good man. Everyone knows men need to be taken care of, as they are incapable of it themselves (busy being heroes). Of course she admires them (so strong, so manly), but behind every strong man stands a strong woman, and it is their duty to do their best to serve them.
Pity that the shitty green-haired cow could not get this into her thick skull. It gets her blood boiling every time the moss head insults her handsome and throughly polite Nami-kun and if those shitty swords wouldn't be in the way, there would be some nice, several inches deep holes decorating the moss, just like it should be on a meadow.
And for the rubber brain, the girl is just lucky she is immune to bullets and that her heels are not consistent of blades. Honestly, how can someone eat that much without so much of a care for what exactly it is that she's stuffing down her throat? Neglecting the art of cooking like that, food which could be a lovingly prepared dish instead, for the absolutely dashing Gentleman Nami-kun is. He is the only one with manners on this ship. Well, the lying girl isn't so bad, but mostly because she is dead afraid of her pointy shoes (a sentiment she wishes her captain would share).
Though, however much she might complain, she'll never think of questioning her choice to follow the girl.
"It's very simple. I refuse to accept your refusal."
No matter how often the blonde told the girl she couldn't go (a debt, a life debt), she'd always be met with a stone wall of will that wasn't the least bit rubbery.
A grin to Gin, finger pointing at her. "She's only the fifth member!"
"I told you I'm not going!"
But Gin came back and with him the fleet and Don Krieg himself, and that girl fought for them, for Sanji's treasure (the geezer's treasure), showing no fear and no hesitation (a heart too big, it's good she's rubber). The blonde cook has had to fight some men as well, and even worse, aim her kicks at Gin (one treasure for another) and she was crying inside the entire time. Because she believes men turn only turn evil when they haven't been properly cared for, and it's one of the saddest things in the world to her. But she can't do anything about it (what's done is done) and sometimes all they need is a good kick from a proper caretaker to come back to their senses.
The old geezer has long been a lost cause, of course, so she wasn't surprised by his rude way of sending her off to the world (she's not needed), to find herself (find the all blue, every fish there is). In retrospect, though, she had lost the moment the girl decided to make her the cook.
So Sanji would kick and curse, and still keep cooking for her and the crew, like she did the day she lit a new cigarette and became a pirate.
She's a monster.
There had been a lot of (too many) stars she had wished upon for things to be different. For a red nose, or for a human one (for friends). For stronger antlers, like a male, to be able to fight better (protect her heart). Many times, she thought it would be the best if she was dead (murderer), and those times were the worst and only made better when she remembered her father's dream.
"We will save this country, Chopper!"
They want to take this country (destroy it). It's not theirs, though. It belongs to her and Doctorine and everyone down there and not to someone who didn't and still doesn't care (caring is important). People are free (she's not). Never again would she let anyone die if she could help it (guilt, she's guilty).
"A monster!" They're fleeing from her (she just wants to help).
"You're so cool!" The grin is so wide, she wonders how it could possibly fit into the face of the girl. "Be my friend!"
She runs. "No, leave me alone!"
The girl doesn't (she's glad), she follows and fights and yells and grins and it's brilliant and she wonders if she's intoxicated (there's no cure). Is that how it's like to have ... a friend (she fights for her, her country)?
"A transforming doe, with antlers, so cool!"
Uncertainty of how to react (happiness or outrage). "Idiot, every reindeer doe has antlers!"
"You're so awesome!"
Is she? She never thought she was, but the girl says it with so much conviction (it does not make her happy, dammit!), there must be some truth in it.
"A pirate flag is a symbol of conviction that defies the impossible!"
"Come with us! Let's be pirates together!"
"No, I can't leave! I'm not the same as you, I'm a reindeer! A monster! So I just -"
"Shut up!" The girl is yelling. "Let's go!"
Never has she heard a more beautiful invitation (there weren't any), and if there's someone she would feel safe with, it's the girl. She was never wanted, no herd had protected her, fought for her like they had for any other doe (now there's a herd for her).
Chopper's hooves clatter on the wood of the ship, and remind her that (for the girl) it's okay to be a monster and even better to become a pirate.
No one remembers Ohara but him, though (dead, all dead for so long now), and he was just a little boy when he'd been told to run (live, live on and remember). And running he did, he's good at running (among other things) and he can even twist a few necks in passing without feeling a lot. He's used to killing by now (his hands are stained), and he suspects Crocodile likes that as much as he likes that he can read the ancient language.
Ohara died for the secret that language held (history, precious history), so it's probably just fair that others have to die for it, too, men or women, it doesn't matter (it makes no difference whether they live or die). He still wishes he didn't have to kill, but of what use are wishes? None, he tells himself as his hands restrain the bloody arms of the king, because his dream (Ohara died) is more important, and to chase his dream (running) he needs to follow this road.
The girl he watches keeps fighting to avoid bloodshed (to help her friend) and her name is a D (unexplainable will of history), but he sees that she never aims to kill (she could). And he could kill this country, but he decides not to (where there's a will, there is a way), because deep down, he does care if another country lives or dies (not another Ohara).
Then he's dying himself, he doesn't mind (he failed his dream) and suddenly he isn't anymore, because this girl, she -
"You're coming with me. Do what you want once we're out of here."
Why does she save him? He's just a murderer (so much blood) and a monster (the demon child). So he goes on board -
"You forced me to live - that's your crime. There's no place for me to go, or to return to. So I've decided that I'll join you."
The girl just nods. "I see your problem. Guess there's no other choice: Welcome!"
Just like that, he's part of the crew (he planned it) and things get out of control (they never do). Because he suspected they'd never let him be part of the crew if the girl hadn't -
"There's nothing to worry about. Trust me! He isn't a bad person."
He isn't (he's not so sure), and he starts to believe the girl (trust because he's trusted) and it's enthralling and he knows this is history right in front of him (to the sky and back again) and it's dangerous because ... because he likes it, he likes their company (he never had friends).
And he has to leave before they betray him (he's too dangerous), before he stains the innocent heart of the girl, everyone knows girls are so easily corrupted. And most of the crew is female, and they will think he's too (hunted) much of a burden. Even if they hadn't been pirates, he knows women gain so many friends that one more or less doesn't make a difference.
The girl he leaves with her crew to save himself from the eventual betrayal (save them), she doesn't care (she never did), comes after him and orders to burn the flag -
"Robin! I haven't heard it from you! Say that you want to live!"
He breaks down. Even as a man, he is so much weaker that this girl. He is continuously proven wrong by a little (incredible) girl. So much greatness, and he wants to follow, to watch, to -
"I want to live! Take me out to the sea with you!"
With a grin and furious determination, the girl (that little girl) makes sure they do. And he realizes (knows) that this storm would carry on to rally against the world (start a war just for a friend) and it doesn't matter what form it has. As a man, he is considered a greater threat (fools), more dangerous than her. The ones who underestimate because of appearances (he did) will be the ones paying for it (they did). In their eyes, they are beaten by a girl (shown up, such humiliation), and this fact alone makes him smirk.
Nico Robin remembers Ohara, and he remembers the giant (there's no such thing of being born to be alone), and from here on, he will show the world that it was wrong, that -
"Ohara is not yet forgotten."
That he has the best friends anyone could wish for (he can stop running), and for that, he is glad to have become a pirate.
She's super in every way.
Come on, how many women dream of being able to have such a cool (super) hairstyle just by drinking cola? And still remaining in shape. Okay, so the metal nose is a bit distracting (too super), but she'll think of some way to put it into good use (soon) eventually.
Not only is she super awesome, she also built the most super ship in the world for the craziest bunch of people. She saved that man (the rumors were wrong) with them and got saved while they were at it, and she is not shy to shed a lot of womanly tears for the girls (and two men) and their old ship. It tears at her heart strings to see how much they (the liar) love that ship. She will tell them a secret, eventually - that the soul transferred to Sunny, because it was so cared for (there are a lot more tears waiting to come).
For now, she wonders. She stole from them (she gave it back) and nearly beat their (her) friend to death, and still that girl (her captain) insisted on her becoming the shipwright (after). Longnose-sis isn't flinching the least when she sees her, and the little doe (so cute - she's only just a woman, too) just continues to stare in awe at all her gadgets.
Why aren't they afraid of (hate) her? She did help them (betting on them), but she knows how hard it is to forgive. She can confirm that the wrath of a woman can last lifetimes, and they're mostly girls, so ... how can they just take her in, as if nothing happened?
She's afraid to ask, in case they haven't really forgiven her, so after all, she's the one flinching in the face of a bewildered Usopp, who comes to share her ideas for some super gadgets. But it isn't the girl who explains it to her, it's the man she'd helped save (the man who nearly tore off the things that portrayed her womanness), who tells her to remember.
"The creators must always love the ships they build!"
"It's time to forgive yourself, Franky."
"That's why I'm ... gonna make a bet."
"If you build a ship ... as a man, be full of pride with a Don!"
"I'm not a man."
The archeologist shrugs. "But you're a creator, are you not?"
"It can't be helped!" She grins and pushes her sunglasses up. "I'll give you a hand. This ship's shipwright ... will be the great Franky!
The girl is jumping up and down in excitement. "Alright! A new friend! And she's a woman inside a woman!"
"Idiot, she's just a pervert!"
She grins at the man beside her. "A pervert, that's me!"
"Indeed." There is that smirk again (already familiar). "They forgave you. All of them, even Longnose-san. You're one of us, now."
"How do you know?"
"Because our captain did. She decided," the man answers simply (experience?) and turns to leave.
And for now, she stops wondering. Maybe it's just that simple (it is), trust is such a powerful thing (it comes right back).
Franky will still do everything in her might to prove she deserves it, because if she's honest, even if she is absolutely super on her own - that little girl is the reason she became a pirate.
Technically, she is dead (stripped to the bone, yohoho), but she has never really felt alive until now (except for the dreams, those terrible dreams in loneliness). There had been music (such beauty), the whole time she learned every instrument there was to chase away the silence (the everlasting silence). Maybe that's why she is so vocal, maybe she has grown louder in those decades (she can't remember).
She cannot believe her eyes and ears (though she has none) when they come and the girl wants to take her with them. They are persistent, and she likes it, but she has to stay (stay in the shadows). She doesn't tell them that they bring the sun with them (they do), because they are so loud and joyful, it warms her to the bottom of her heart (though she has none).
"I will take back your shadow!" The girl promises and grins. "And then you'll have to join me!"
She doesn't believe her and smiles politely (though she always smiles). They throw her warnings into the wind and set foot on that island, and in the end, they defeat the shadows. They are incredible, the girl is incredible (so much determination).
"I have a dream," she tells her, while her bony fingers dance across the piano keys.
Going to deliver Binks' Sake!
The girl grins. "Of course you do! You will reunite with Laboon, and I'm gonna be King of the pirates!"
She has no idea what that means (exactly), there hasn't been a Pirate King in her time. But the girl with the straw hat speaks with such conviction (of course it will come true), so she doesn't even think of doubting her.
Let's all sing it with a Don! A song of the waves
One thing, though ...
"Why not Queen of the Pirates?"
The girl shrugs. "Is there a difference?"
She's a skeleton (just bones) and as such has no features that tell whether she is a woman or a man (an afro is just an afro), and sometimes, she grieves for the loss (she liked being a woman).
Instead, she laughs (she always does). "Yohoho! No, I suppose there isn't."
Brook was alive again the moment she followed the young girl and climbed on that cheerful ship, and she'll remain alive for her - since it doesn't matter who you are, someday, you'll all just be bones - especially the ones who become a pirate.
Never-Ending, Ever-wandering, Our funny Traveling tale!
A/N: Now ... what was the whole point of this? I dunno, you tell me.
Reviews, please! :)