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That night the Roger Pirates drank heavily around a roaring campfire on the beach, making merry and trading stories with their new friend. By morning they had all passed out drunk. That afternoon, Buggy and Shanks were the first to wake from their liquor sodden slumber. Buggy was the one that noted the unnatural pale stillness over Oliver as he and Shanks set about clambering over their crewmates and collecting the mugs, "Hey Shanks, check on him would ya? I don't think he's breathing." Shanks frowned and climbed over to Oliver and leaned down very close listening for a breath. After a moment he began to worry, after two he laid a hand to Oliver's chest, feeling for a pulse, "OH CRAAAP!!!"
1 Year Later, LoguetownEdit
Oliver, now best known as Orchard, bowed his head in sadness and pulled his wide-brimmed gray hat over his eyes as the executioners' blades cut short the breath of the great Gol D. Roger, "Farewell, Captain," he whispered as tears threatened to escape his eyes. He tried to hold back a sob, but it escaped in a short bark of breath as his face twisted with sorrow and his eyes screwed shut to try holding back the tears that were determined to fall. After a moment he gathered himself and looked around, he had seen Buggy and Shanks around somewhere. Many of the crew hadn't made it, or had been captured, or in Rayleigh's case had refused to be present for his best friend's execution, but he hadn't been able to stay away.
As he wove through the crowd, which was in a fair uproar in wake of Roger's last words, he thought about his first days aboard the Oro Jackson, and the looks on Buggy and Shanks' faces when they had discovered him alive and well in the crow's nest the day after the Roger Pirates had buried his body on Raftel, thinking he had drunk himself to death. They had very nearly both fallen to their deaths in shock, and doubtless would have if Oliver hadn't caught them. Now he sighed sadly as he realized he couldn't spot his two best friends and sighed, "Tik-Tok Full Stop," He whispered as he clenched a fist.
As the power of Oliver's Devil Fruit brought time to a stand-still, he leapt into the air, heedless of gravity and clung to the side of a building, searching for a familiar face. Unable to spot his friends, he clambered up to the roof and sat down with his legs dangling over the edge, and released his grip on time. He pulled a flask from one of his Devil Fruit enabled extra-dimensional pockets and raised it to the sky sadly, "To Captain Roger! Long live the Pirate King!" He drank deeply and cursed his immunity to the effects of alcohol before pulling himself to his feet and heading for the wharf trying his hardest to stem the flow of tears.
Nine years later, the base of the Red LineEdit
"You ready for this?" Orchard asked the immense red skinned fish man. Fisher Tiger nodded, "Let's do this." Orchard nodded and laid a hand on his massive friends elbow, he couldn't reach his shoulder, "Tik-Tok Full Stop!" The waves stopped and Fisher Tiger grinned, "Let's go!" He leapt onto the sheer rock face and began to climb with incredible speed, Orchard simply leapt to the rock face and began to walk up the side of it. He passed his huge rapidly ascending friend after a moment, "You know gravity doesn't work in time-stops right?" Fisher Tiger blinked as he found that he too could simply walk up the sheer cliff face, "You could have told me that sooner!"
Two days later, The Sabaody ArchipelagoEdit
Rayleigh heard a knock at the door of Shakky's Rip-off Bar. He stood up and went to answer it. He found on the other side of the door a face he hadn't seen in a very long time. Orchard smiled with the disproportionately huge grin of what he called his Cackle Form, "Hi Mr. Rayleigh, can I come in? I've picked up some friends who need a place to rest." Rayleigh looked at the two young girls in Orchard's immense blue arms and the third hanging onto his back, "Yes I'd say you certainly have. Come in."
Orchard ducked so that his wide brimmed gray hat would clear the door as Rayleigh pulled out some chairs. Orchard gently set the two girls in his arms off into the chairs before lightly touching the small pale arm draped over his shoulder, "Hancock, we're here." A head full of long dark hair stirred and two deep blue eyes looked over Orchard's shoulder at the small room, "So soon?"
Orchard smiled over his shoulder at her, "We're not to Amazon Lily yet, I can't take you all the way there personally because I'm a man, but there is someone here who can. She is still here, right Rayleigh?" Rayleigh blinked, "Gloriosa? Yes, she's still here. These girls are from the Kuja tribe?" Orchard nodded, "I plucked them from the Red Line with my friend Fisher Tiger. No doubt the newspapers have been raving about it." Rayleigh's eyes bugged out as he realized what his old friend was talking about, "You're kidding."
Orchard shook his head as he knelt and the young woman slid off his back into a chair, where she quickly fell back asleep as Orchard resumed his human form, "hundreds, maybe thousands there, all free now. I went to ensure that everyone made it out. Now I'm helping ensure that everyone makes it home safely. Tiger's begun issuing brands like the sun for the fish-folk we freed to cover up the World Noble's hooves, he's talking 'bout starting up a crew. He doesn't want any humans aboard though, I don't think he likes them that much.
I've been working to hide the humans we freed, but I think Amazon Lily will be safe from anyone seeking to recapture these girls, if you would be so kind as to ensure they got home safely my friend? There are many more who must be gotten home safely. Even with my speed, it's taking quite a while." Rayleigh smiled, "Of course old friend, but when you're done you must stop by and catch up with us. It's been a long time!" Orchard smiled, "I will." He turned to leave but paused to plant a light kiss on Hancock's head, "Stay strong Hancock."
She stirred slightly in her sleep and smiled a smile that made Orchard's heart skip a beat. "If I were ten years younger," he thought with a small smile. Then he winced as an unnatural stiffness ran through him; he brushed it off quickly and then looked at the young girl, who was already showing signs of growing up to be a great beauty. "Maybe you're not as defenseless as you look," he thought with a smile before tipping his hat to Shakky and Rayleigh and heading out the door.
One Year LaterEdit
Oliver stirred as he felt a thud in the tiny boat he was using those days. He picked up his hat and looked, his eyebrow going up as he saw a mirror image of his younger self, dressed all in black with a longer coat than his trademark gray one sitting across from him, undoubtedly one of his Prism selves, a very young but pretty girl next to him looking shocked. Oliver sat up, "What the hell? Why am I messing with the past?"
The Oliver across from him grinned, "Well ya see, I figured out how to change things without messing things up. You know our Prism trick? Turns out we can use it on other people too. A very good friend we make in the future issued a wish for this girl's life. I left her arrogance behind so that a body would be found dead, and the timeline can continue as normal. I was a little bit worried, but let's face it, our mere presence throws things off in this universe. So I thought, why not help a friend? Besides, she's a great asset! In my time she's our first mate! And I remember this meeting, so..." he made a noncommittal gesture with his hands.
Oliver sat up, "Really?" He looked at the girl, "Well I guess if I can't trust myself I can't trust anybody." He extended a hand, "Welcome to the crew." The girl blinked, everything still seemed slightly unreal to her, then she shook the hand, "Thank you." The Oliver in black tipped his hat to his past self, "Then I'll leave you two to it!" So saying, his form blurred and he disappeared. Oliver looked at the girl, "Introductions, I am Oliver, better known as Orchard. Apparently soon to be Captain Orchard. Who are you?" "I'm Kuina." Oliver nodded, feeling that he had heard the name somewhere before, "And have you a dream Kuina?" She blinked and then nodded fiercely, "I'm going to be the greatest swordsman in the world!"
Then it clicked with Oliver where he had heard her name before and he began to laugh, "Damn straight you will! And I'll help you get there!" A thought occurred to him and he pulled a katana from one of his extra dimensional pockets, "See how this suits ya." He handed it to Kuina and she lifted it, noting how incredibly light it was before drawing it an inch or two and then all the way from the sheath, "Whoa," she whispered as she noted the immense quality of the blade.
Oliver grinned, "Like it?" Kuina looked at the play of the moonlight on the blade, "It's incredible." Oliver smiled broadly, "Then it is yours! I'll make another one for myself." Kuina lowered the blade and stared at Oliver, "You made this?" Oliver grinned, "Not my first work, but definitely my finest. I met a sword smith once and learned his trade. He let me borrow his forge for a day, and I made swords again and again until I made one I liked. That one in your hand is my Soyokaze , my Gentle Breeze, because as an acquaintance of mine once said, 'without finesse, a sword is nothing but an iron bar.'"
Kuina smiled as she thought of her old friend, who fought like a man possessed, "You know I've heard that before, but I'm not sure Zoro ever has." Oliver smiled, "Don't worry, one day Hawkeye will tell Zoro that in person." Kuina's head snapped up, "You know Hawkeye Mihawk?!" Oliver nodded, "I've sparred with him." Kuina's expression of shocked awe was simultaneously adorable and hilarious. Oliver chuckled, "So I think between the two of us, and all the resources at my disposal, we can get you up to his level eventually. Don't you?"
Kuina smiled at the sword in her hand, "Yes, yes we can."