It's slow at work today, so I'm gonna to churn out the mid-day oil. This sucker's set in the future in the One Piece world.
Chapter 1: A Young Voice Among Many
The little girl sighed.
Putting her face in her hands, the girl silently wished for all the noise to go away. Everywhere she went, all she could hear were voices, voices, and more voices. Even when she slept, these voices echoed in her dreams, and though it had only been two weeks since she had acquired these strange powers, it was close to driving her insane.
Heaving another sigh, she hopped off the rock upon which she was sitting and ran toward her home: a rather large estate that had been built and added on to since her great-grandmother's time, a place known as Villa Beata. According to her great-grandmother, it meant "Beautiful Home" in another language, and the girl thought that it indeed lived up to its name.
Entering the gate that marked the estate's entrance, she took a moment to admire the garden that her great-grandmother had begun planting since she had been a young woman. Butterflies of many colors rested peacefully among the roses, daffodils, and other various flowers. In the center of the garden was a ornately designed Gazebo, built by the girl's Great-grandfather long ago. Being a bit of a showoff, her great-grandfather had put painstaking work into crafting it, to the point where it also functioned as a carousel, complete with mechanical seahorses for people to ride.
Reaching the estate's door, she pushed open the door and entered the lobby, finding it empty. Her parents and grandparents had gone shopping for the day, and her great-grandfather was out at the docks working on a new ship, so the only one still in the house was her great-grandmother. The little girl decided to pay her a visit and climbed the staircase to her room.
As she ascended, she couldn't help but admire the craftsmanship her great-grandfather had put into the staircase. Every rail was uniquely carved with a design, most of them depicting a ship of some time, and other depicting himself and his crewmates back when he was a pirate long ago. The girl had heard the story from him and her great-grandmother so many times that she could name all the crewmembers by name and their position on the crew.
Reaching the top of the stairs, she approached her great-grandmother's room and stepped inside, the door ajar. In her masterfully designed rocking chair sat the girl's great-grandmother, who smile warmly at the child as she entered. Her blue eyes still shined vibrantly, and even though her once midnight black hair had all turned to silver, she otherwise looked every bit as she did fifty years ago, when she was a pirate herself.
"Rose! How good to see you today," she exclaimed, still smiling warmly at the child. "Have you gotten used to your devil fruit powers yet?"
Nico Rose shook her head and sighed. "No, Great-Grandma Robin, I haven't. I hate them! I hear voices everywhere I go, unless I'm with you or Great-Grandpa Franky."
"Yes, that's right," replied Nico Robin, using her power to pat Rose on the head, "and do you know why you don't hear voices when you're around Franky and I?"
The girl nodded slowly, "It's because the Yume Yume no Mi only works on people who haven't accomplished their dreams yet. Since you and Great-Grandpa have accomplished your dreams, I don't hear them being wished for."
Robin nodded and continued to smile at the child. Using her power, she retrieved a book from the bookcase and brought it back to herself, then opened it and began flipping through it. When she reached a page depicting the Thousand Sunny, she stopped and held the book open for Rose.
"I've told you a thousand times," she said, "but this was the ship that your Uncle Luffy and I sailed on long ago. Great-Grandpa Franky and Uncle Brooke, too. Well, you remember one of the crewmembers, the long nosed one?"
"Yes!" laughed Rose, picturing the man in her head. "Mr. Usopp, right? Isn't he a famous pirate with a fleet of five-thousand men now?"
Robin nodded. "Yes, he's the most feared pirate in East Blue. After our Journey was done, Franky gave him the ship to start his fleet with. To this day, it's still his flag ship."
"Wow! Can I see the Thousand Sunny someday?"
"Yes," Robin replied, smiling warmly at Rose. "As it just so happens, Mr. Usopp is coming into this port today to resupply. Uncle Brooke is with Franky at the dock, waiting for his arrival. If you hurry, you can see the Thousand Sunny pull into port."
Without another word, Rose raced out of the room, down the stairs, and out of the house, heading toward the dock. She was moving so fast and carelessly, she almost tripped several times, but managed to regain her balance just before hitting the ground. Eventually, she made it to the dock's entrance, where Brooke noticed the young girl approaching. With a smile on his face, Brooke approached her and tipped his hat.
"Lovely day, little Rose, isn't it? You're looking and smelling as lovely as your namesake today, even though I have no eyes to view you or nose to smell you with! Yohoho! Skull joke!"
Rose laughed and slapped Brooke playfully. "You're silly, Uncle Brooke."
Though Brooke looked slightly intimidating to most people, being a skeleton and technically dead, the community of New Ohara had come to accept the skeleton-man in time, counting him as one of their own. Rose adored her adopted Great-Uncle greatly, and would often take entire days talking to him, listening to him sing and tell tales of his exploits, both when he was alive and dead.
"Indeed I am," replied the skeleton cheerfully, bowing slightly. "What brings you to the docks today? Here to meet my friend Usopp?"
Rose nodded. "Great-Grandma Robin told me he was coming! I can't wait to meet a real pirate!" Brooke gave her a puzzled look and she added, "Well, one that's still out there being a pirate, that is."
"Hey, is that Rose?" called a familiar voice. "Suppaaaa!! You're just in time for Great-Grandpa Franky's "Song of greeting for long-nosed friends!"
Rose and Brooke both immediately shot Franky a stare as he began to bring out his guitar, so he stopped and frowned, setting the instrument back down. "Well then, since you're the musician, Skeleton, play a tune for Usopp, then."
"Yohoho, I will, Franky! He certainly deserves one, being a brave pirate of the sea and all!"
Sitting on a dockside bench next to her Great Grandfather, Rose listened to her Uncle play a melody on his violin, while the three peacefully waited for Usopp and his fleet to arrive. Little did Nico Rose know, however, that this was the beginning of a great adventure.