The Strongest of Bonds

BY : Demonized
Category: +M to R > One Piece
Dragon prints: 2481
Disclaimer: I do not own One Piece, nor do I make any money off of this work.

They make it to Laugh Tale without incident, and in the few weeks it takes them to reach the final island of the Grand Line Luffy seems to hold an interest in the mystery treasure in the mystery room. There is a small spark of life back in their captain's eyes, and it makes them happy to see that all is not lost. They will still go through with this one last endeavor for him, to see that spark return to a flame.

Before they disembark from the Sunny, Robin pulls everyone aside in the Aquarium Bar, save for Luffy, so she can explain what the consequences and costs for what they want to do are. For this thing to work, they will have to sacrifice all of their memories of each other.

"I don't care what it costs me. I would give anything to see that Luffy is truly happy again. He's done so much for me, and he has always believed in me, in all of us, even when we didn't believe in ourselves." It is Zoro who speaks up, much to everyone's surprise, but they all agree with him. Luffy has always been their driving force, even through his own suffering. He has seen in them a potential beyond what everyone else saw, and he brought that potential out in each of them.

"I agree with Marimo. Luffy has given us something that can never be taken from us, shitty consequences and prices be damned. Now let's go find this damn room." There is no need for this discussion of consequences and what it will cost them. They all know in their hearts at the start of their research nine years ago that it would cost them all something important. It is a one-shot deal, though.

"Straight to the point, Sanji-kun. Okay, Nami and I have deduced that the chamber lies beneath where One Piece is kept." Robin holds up the map Nami has drawn up for her, based on all of the information she has given the navigator and points out the location of the secret entrance. "To access the entrance we need to hike around to the northeastern side of the mountain. The path is easily missable with no visual markers."

"And the entrance is sealed. The switch to open it is reported to be in One Piece's chamber. Robin can make a clone to activate the switch." Nami hands each of them, save for Zoro, a copy of the map. The swordsman doesn't say anything on it and just moves closer to Sanji to take a look at the cook's map. "Now, let's go make us a happy captain."

It takes several hours of hiking, and Zoro occasionally disappearing (even under Sanji's watchful eyes), to reach the entrance to the hidden chamber. It is open, thanks to the Hana Hana no Mi clone Robin had sent to search for the switch to open the chamber, and so they enter. Everyone looks around in awe, save for Luffy, at the circular room made of floor to ceiling mirrors. Their captain is oddly silent, a calm expression on his face.

"Welcome back, Pirate King."

Luffy watches as his Nakama look around in surprise, though Robin is the first to smile at him knowingly. It is no surprise to her that he has managed to come across this before. He has known about this place all along, knows what it does, and has never breathed a word about it to them. He could have used it for himself if he had wanted, but he didn't, for whatever reason.

"Luffy. You already knew about this?" Nami is probably the most surprised out of his Nakama, being that she had charted Laugh Tale all those years ago and hadn't found this chamber then.

"Hai, Nami." Luffy approaches the mirrors directly across from the chamber's entrance and touches the smooth surface. His reflection wavers and starts to shift, something that hasn't been mentioned anywhere in the research.

"Welcome, Mugiwara Pirates." Luffy's reflection takes on a new form, that of a young boy who looks much like their captain, only smaller. He is smiling serenely as Luffy steps back and joins his crew-mates. "I have been waiting for you to come see me for a very long time."

Okay, now they are so very confused. Their captain has already known about this, and his reflection has grown younger and is talking to them. They have seen many strange things, but this one is starting to take the cake. Each of them has their guard up now, save for Luffy who is looking at them expectantly.

Robin is the first of his Nakama to step forward, with the hope that all of her research hasn't been for naught. She kneels down in front of the child-Luffy reflection and smiles at it like she would her captain. "You have been watching over us, through our captain, have you not?" The apparition in the mirror nods. "Could you explain why?"

The child-Luffy apparition frowns and glances over to the Pirate King. "There have been very few who are worthy of coming here, even fewer who are worthy of being granted a singular wish. He did not want to use it, just like the one before him."

"Gol D. Roger?" Nami questions softly and receives another nod from the apparition. It is understandable why someone wouldn't want to use the wish. Still... They can't stand to see Luffy suffer anymore. "Our memories are very precious to us..."

"We're Nakama though, and Nakama are forever, regardless of what we have to give up." It is Usopp who speaks now, a determined look on his face. "We all have had our share of pain in our lives, but we can't watch you continue on like this! That's why..." The Sniper King trails off as his voice cracks slightly.

"We all want you to be happy again." Franky comes up behind Luffy and nudges the twenty-nine year old with an elbow.

"Guys..." He feels so guilty, worrying his Nakama like this. Luffy doesn't mean for them to worry over him, but they are so very perceptive. He wants them to be happy too, more than anything. Nine years ago, he would have gone through with making his own wish, but the idea didn't sit well with him for the fact that he wouldn't be giving them a choice in the matter. Now they all practically ganged up on him, and a glance at the knowing look on the child-Luffy's face gives him his answer. "Thank you, everyone." He wishes that they too can be happy, even if it means he'll never see them or remember them again.

There is a flash of blinding light in the room, and when it vanishes the room is empty, save for the apparition in the mirror. As his form changes to that of an adult, a familiar grin crosses his face, the brim of his straw hat covering his eyes. "You make the impossible possible, Monkey D. Luffy. You just may change the course of everything there is."

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