Rating/Warnings: PG-13 for what Ryo did to his old crew.
Summary: Captain Yamapi is sailing the ocean in search of music, friendship, and member-ai. One Piece AU.
AN: I failed totally to write Peapod Pirate NEWS again when we did the pirate JE100 challenge, and so this is for Pero's birthday, and hopefully she won't be disappointed in me anymore. If you want to read the original One Piece/NEWS AU, it's here.
Peas Again Today
Captain Yamashita Pink Tomohisa strolls off the dock and surveys the island with an air of determination. This is the place, he can feel it, where he'll find his crew and his ship and he can finally get started on his adventure for real, searching for music, friendship, and member-ai.
First you need some members though, Captain Yamapi has found out over the last few days. He looks at the palm trees and scrunches sand under his toes and sniffs the air, thinking that this island definitely smells like he can find member-ai here.
Also it smells like ramen, and Captain Yamapi is okay with the fact that even determined pirates on grand adventures have to break for lunch.
The ramenya is tiny and dim after the bright sunshine, but it's clean and the man at the counter takes one look at Captain Yamapi and informs him that he's in desperate need of an extra large house special.
"Make it two," Captain Yamapi orders when his stomach growls in response, his mouth watering at the delicious smell of broth and pork, "for starters. The captain of the Peapod Pirates definitely needs at least two of those."
"I'll get you some gyoza meanwhile," the man promises, giving Captain Yamapi a wink, and Captain Yamapi can feel his heart filling with member-ai already. He beams to nobody in particular; he knew this place would be perfect.
"So who are the Peapod Pirates?" the counter man wants to know as Yamapi is burning his tongue on the best gyoza in the universe.
"Paiwats!" he answers through a full mouth, then swallows. "I mean pirates. We're sailing to the Grand Line in search of music, friendship, and member-ai!"
"Ah, sounds ni~ce," the man sighs, propping his elbows on the counter and his chin in his hands. Captain Yamapi takes a better look and sees that the man is still a teenager really, only a bit older than him, with lanky limbs and a wistful look in his eye. He shakes his head after a second, though, and the wistful look disappears. "But where's the rest of your crew?"
"Haven't found 'em yet." Going back to the gyoza, Captain Yamapi explains in between bites, "I definitely need nakama though, and this island looked like exactly the place to start. There's sand and palm trees and everything! We'll need a first mate and a cook and a navigator and lots of other stuff! I'm Captain, though, so that job's filled."
Captain Yamapi goes on chatting with the man the entire time he's stuffing his face, except for the parts where he's moaning in ecstasy at the taste of the ramen. He talks about the boat and the adventures he's going to have, and the man tells him about his quiet life on the island and his work in the restaurant. By the time Captain Yamapi sets aside his dozenth empty bowl, he's professed his love to the man about twice as many times.
"It's nothing, it's nothing," the man insists, blushing, but he doesn't hide his pleasure well. "My mother taught me to cook is all; my family's always run this ramenya. Anyway," the wistful look is back as the man clears away Captain Yamapi's bowls, "if you're looking for people to join your crew, you should try the gym, there's lots of tough guys…"
"Why would I do that?" Captain Yamapi tilts his head, grinning.
The man frowns. "You need a crew, right?"
"I need nakama," Captain Yamapi corrects. "So come on already."
"Come on…" the man blinks. "Where? What?" His eyes go wide. "But…but you need pirates! I'll be useless! I can't fight, or navigate, or really cook anything besides ramen which is fine once in a while but out at sea for months and months you won't get enough nutrition just from that and…"
"You don't have to navigate or any of that stuff," Captain Yamapi cuts short the man's fretting. "A first mate doesn't need to do all that."
"First…mate?" the man's eyes are very wide and dark brown, and Captain Yamapi knows this is definitely right because of all the member-ai squashing around in his stomach along with the ramen.
"You can still cook ramen sometimes if you want," Captain Yamapi offers. "When we find a cook, I'll make sure he lets you."
"I'm Koyama," the man introduces himself, dazed, and when Captain Yamapi takes his hand to shake, it feels like he's already found music and friendship and member-ai all at once.
"This is gonna be way easier than I thought," Captain Yamapi reports to his new first mate. "Now all we need is a cook!" and when Koyama hesitantly inquires whether they might need a boat first, Captain Yamapi calls him the best first mate the Peapod Pirates have ever had.
The boat and the cook happen at the same time, actually, which Captain Yamapi loudly proclaims is the product of their amazing friendship, even if the cook is a tiny, grumpy man from West Blue who yells at them a lot.
"Well," the man finally grumbles after Koyama offers to share his cigarettes, "I guess it wasn't any fun just cooking for myself anyway. You just end up with a shit ton of leftovers."
Captain Yamapi has that problem taken care of almost immediately.
They never do find out what happened to Ryo-chan's other crew, not that Captain Yamapi asks any questions about it other than "Do you think we can use all these hats and feathers they left here?" But when they're out to sea in the middle of the night, the water lapping at the sides of the boat peacefully, Koyama knocks quietly on the door to the captain's quarters.
"You don't think he killed them, do you?" Koyama asks when Captain Yamapi tells him to come in. He's tugging nervously on his new pirate shirt. "Because he said he'd kill me if I snored."
"Ryo-chan's hilarious, ne?" Captain Yamapi flops down on his bed with a grin, then has a brilliant idea. "You can sleep with me! I'll tell you if you snore."
"Eh?!" Koyama tries to protest, but before he understands really what's happening, he's snuggled in Yamapi's captain's bed, and a lot of his captain's limbs are tangled with his. "Captain Yamapi?" he tries, but the captain is already out cold, the grin still on his face and probably dreaming of their next adventure.
It turns out that Captain Yamapi snores actually, but First Mate Koyama doesn't mind so much.
"Are you guys lost?" the man with the parrot wants to know, arms crossed and eyebrow raised. The parrot has a crest of feathers in the middle of its head that looks exactly like the man's hair.
"Um," says First Mate Koyama helplessly, turning the map around. After a second, he flips the whole thing over to the back and mumbles some more. Behind him, Captain Yamapi and Ryo are having a muscle contest, which consists of Yamapi flexing a part of his body and Ryo declaring, "You lose."
Rolling his eyes, the man reaches over and snatched the paper out of Koyama's hands. "You morons, this isn't even a map! It's an advertisement for a pirate-themed restaurant!"
Captain Yamapi immediately clasps his hands and makes heart-shaped eyes at the new guy. "Our navigator!"
Koyama isn't sure exactly what happens after that, but he does sort of remember getting terribly drunk at a pirate-themed restaurant, and the new guy crying on him, and in the morning, all four of them wake up tangled together in an achy pile on the deck of the boat. The new guy's parrot is laughing at them.
The new guy, Shige, goes to throw up over the rail, and Ryo slinks off to make them all a greasy breakfast, but Koyama just lies where he is and whimpers. Eventually he realizes that his head is pillowed on something warm, and turns his head (very slowly) to see that his head is resting on Captain Yamapi's stomach.
"Morning," Captain Yamapi says, patting Koyama's head with a clumsy hand. It makes Koyama's head pound, but he smiles weakly for his captain, and lets his eyes flutter shut against the sun when Captain Yamapi strokes his hair.
It happens like that, over and over, until there's eight of them on the crew. Once Captain Yamapi decides he wants somebody as his nakama, nobody is immune to him, not the swordsman who can eat as much as the captain, or the super-strong half-cyborg, or even the princess they're supposed to be taking back to his home island. They even have a musician for a little while, although that guy doesn't work out so well.
The only one who seems like he stands even half a chance is the tiny devil's fruit user who only has to tilt his head to make the universe line up like he wants ("Kira-kira fruit," Shige grunts, the most well-read out of any of them, "the most powerful logia type."), but honestly Koyama is really glad that Captain Yamapi's desire lined up perfectly with Tegoshi's just then.
"How did we get away from the Marine battleship?" Koyama remembers to ask a few days later.
Captain Yamapi thinks about it for a second, then just laughs. Behind them, Tegoshi is sipping a purple fruit drink from Ryo through a twirly straw and asking with delight to squeeze Masuda's muscles again. From inside the galley, he hears Shige yelling at Kusano for getting cola all over his maps, and Ryo yelling at Uchi for being a disgrace to West Blue.
It's all perfect, Captain Yamapi thinks to himself, the boat and the sun and ocean and the sea kings and the nakama, and he leans over to kiss his first mate on the cheek, full to bursting with music and friendship and member-ai.
"Eh?!" Koyama asks, reaching up to cover his suddenly scarlet cheeks, but the wistful look in his dark brown eyes is long, long gone. "Captain?"
"I was thinking we should have ramen for dinner tonight," Captain Yamapi suggests. "And then afterwards you can tell me if I snore."
Koyama takes a second, but then beams so hard his eyes scrunch up. "Aye-aye, Captain!"