The sun was shining gracefully on the Thousand Sunny. It was a good day for the Strawhats as they had departed from the last island a few hours before and were now headed to their destination; Fishman Island. The seas were calm and the crew was having a pretty relaxing day. Luffy and Chopper were sitting on the rail near the lion figurehead listening to one of Usopp’s made up adventures. Nami was sitting on the grassy deck next to Robin at a small picnic table where she was drawing some of her maps and Robin was sipping her coffee and reading one of her many books. Sanji was working on lunch and putting in extra effort for the special meals he had prepared for Nami and Robin. Franky was below deck working on some new upgrades for both himself and the ship. Brook was sitting on the deck playing some nice music for the crew, and Zoro was snoring peacefully while lying on the deck near the stairs.
But something seemed out of place to the green haired swordsman and he abruptly awoke from his slumber. He sat up with a loud yawn and rubbed his eyes with the back of a droopy hand. Making sure his katana were all in place, he stood up resting a hand on his fine blades. He walked around, his keen eyes taking in every detail.
“Something wrong Swordsman-san?” asked Robin as she noticed he was awake.
“Nah, just thought something was up, but it's nothing,” he said looking out into the ocean.
Robin smiled contently and went back to reading her book. Zoro walked up to the railing of the ship and looked into the horizon. Suddenly he heard a thud and a high pitched voice made him wince.
“Zoro! You're up!” said Luffy giggling as he prepared to launch himself at his first mate. Zoro rolled his eyes and ducked as he heard Luffy say, “GomuGomu no Rocket!” Luffy’s attempt to catch Zoro missed and he ended up flying off of the ship laughing.
Usopp was sitting up rubbing his aching head after being pushed over by Luffy, and Chopper ran up to where Zoro was crouching. He stood up and looked over to try and find their foolish captain. Nami stood up with Robin and they walked to the rail followed by Brook.
“What the hell just happened?” asked Nami.
“That idiot just flung himself off of the ship, damn it! Now we’re gonna have to go after him,” Zoro said sighing. But he was surprised when he didn’t hear the splash of Luffy’s body landing on the water. They all looked over the rail to see Luffy grabbing on to a girl’s neck. What shocked them the most was that she was grabbing on to the ship with what seemed to be shadows of some sort.
“Get off of me you jerk! Get your own ride!” she yelled while attempting to shake Luffy off. It only made him laugh harder. He stretched out his arm to grab onto the railing, while holding the girl with his other had, and then dragged himself and the girl onto the ship. As Luffy approached bringing the screaming girl with him he managed to miss his crew but unfortunately Zoro got body slammed by the girl and they both fell to the ground.
They could hear Luffy laughing saying, “That was soooo much fun! We should do it again”
“No way you idiot!” yelled Nami, bonking him on the head.
Zoro wasn’t listening; he just stared at the girl on top of him. He noticed she had long red-brown hair and sprouting from under all of it were two wolf-like ears. He felt something brush across his legs and saw that she also had a furry tail. When she finally pulled her face off his chest to look at him and apologize she noticed him staring at her and she blushed, hastily looking away and getting off of him.
“Sorry about that,” she muttered rubbing the back of her head.
“Yeah,” he answered as he dusted himself off and looked over to Luffy who was getting yelled at by Nami.
Sanji walked out of the kitchen angrily. “What the hell is all that noise? Can't you just be a little patient Luffy?” he yelled at them, when all of a sudden he noticed the new girl on board. His eyes turned into hearts and he quickly ran towards her saying, “Well who might you be my dear? What is such a beautiful woman doing around a lug head like this?” he asked, referring to Zoro.
Zoro just rolled his eyes as the girl giggled. Nami quit scolding Luffy to turn and face the new girl, as did everyone else on deck. She noticed everyone's eyes on her and blushed again but cleared her throat and began introducing herself.
“I'm Reiko and I'm a pirate!” was all she could think to say, and realizing how blunt and pathetic it sounded, she began to blush again, and get nervous.
“Great to meet you Reiko! I'm Luffy and we’re pirates too. I'm the captain of this ship!” Luffy said joyfully.
Reiko stopped worrying about herself to look at him questioningly.
Then Usopp came up behind Luffy to hit him upside the head. “You idiot! What are you doing bringing strangers on to the ship?!”
“What? She was just hanging on to the ship so I thought it would be better to bring her up here.”
Usopp stopped, a little paralyzed with concern and fear and faced the new girl. “How the hell did you get on the ship?!”
“Hmm? Oh that’s simple, on that last island you guys were on. I saw your ship and knew you were my only way off that stupid island. So I just hitched a ride,” Reiko replied simply.
“What! You’re crazy!”
“Well I'm pretty sure you wouldn't have given me a ride if I’d asked, I mean you guys looked like you were in a hurry.”
“That’s because we’re on our way to the New World!” Luffy yelled joyfully.
“Luffy! SSsshhh!” said Usopp.
“It looked more like the marines were chasing you out, but the New World huh? That’s pretty cool. You guys must be real tough pirates then.”
Luffy laughed joyfully and said, “You bet! And I’m the captain!”
Reiko once again looked at Luffy with disdain, unsure of what he was saying, but Nami gave a quick nod of reassurance and walked to her side. “I know it’s hard to believe but he is our captain. I'm Nami the navigator; this is Sanji our cook; Chopper our doctor; Robin our archeologist; Usopp our marksman; Brook the musician; Zoro our swordsman and first mate; and Franky, our shipwright, is under working on some stuff,” Nami said, introducing each crew member accordingly. They all waved a happy hello and greeting when Nami mentioned them, except Zoro who just glanced at her and nodded slightly at his name.
Reiko looked at the crew and said “Wow, you're definitely the weirdest pirate crew I ever met. Are you sure you’re all that tough to go to the New World?”
“Of course we are! We’re the StrawHats!”
“Uh right…” She walked over to Chopper and started poking at his horns. “So you're like a talking reindeer right? That's pretty cool,” she said continuously poking him.
“Shut-up you jerk! You think that makes me happy! I'm not falling for it you big meanie!” he said dancing and prancing around.
“He looks pretty happy to me…” muttered Reiko.
“He always does that just ignore him,” said Nami brushing Chopper away.
Reiko smiled at Chopper and then turned around. What she saw made her ears perk up and her tail wag vigorously. She ran up to Brook eyeing him evilly.
“Whoa! You're made of bones!” she happily commented. “Can you detach and reattach your bones?” she asked anxiously.
“Why no I don’t believe I can,” he quickly muttered stepping back terrified.
Reiko's ears and tail slumped as she slightly frowned. “Oh ok.”
Zoro seemed to be the only one to notice the new girl’s strangeness. He saw her look at the entire crew as she said “Yep. You guys are a bunch of freaks.”
Zoro, Usopp and Nami all looked at her with astonished and angered eyes and pointed teeth as they yelled in unison, “What the hell are you talking about?!”
Reiko crossed her arms over her chest and shook her head slightly. “Well it's as plain as the sky’s blue. Your captain is a rubber man, your doctor is a reindeer, and your musician is a skeleton.”
“So?” asked Usopp.
“So… You have a freakishly long nose,” she said pointing to Usopp. She pointed to Zoro. “You have green hair and three swords instead of one.” She pointed to Robin. “You’ve had a huge bounty on your head since you were a kid plus you’ve eaten a devil fruit like your captain, doctor and musician.” She pointed at Sanji. “Your eyebrows are funny. And you…” she said pointing to Nami. “Well you seem pretty normal.”
“What!?” yelled Zoro and Usopp in unison.
Nami smiled and said, “Well I am the only normal one on this crew.”
Zoro rolled his eyes and then said, “Either way, you shouldn't be one to judge on strangeness.”
“What are you talking about Zoro?” asked Nami. She and all the other crewmembers gave him a confused look.
“Oh come on! I can't possibly be the only one who's noticed.” His crewmate’s expressions did not change. “Ugh fine! Just look at her! She's got those things on her head,” he said pointing to her ears. Everyone looked and their eyes widened.
When Nami saw them she freaked and jumped back. Pointing with a trembling hand at Reiko's head she asked, “W-what are those?!” Reiko’s ears twitched as she referred to them and Nami squealed.
“What? They're just ears. You guys have them too.”
“Yeah, but not like that!” she said still pointing to the wolf ears.
“They're not that different. See, I've even got an earring in one,” she said as she showed everyone the small gold hoop in her left ear.
“So cool!” Luffy yelled. He then sprung towards Reiko and latched his legs around her waist and started slightly tugging on her ears to make sure they were real. “It's like a pirate earring!”
“That's cuz I am a pirate, stupid,” she muttered while trying to push him away.
“She's got a freakin’ tail too if you haven’t noticed it yet,” said Zoro.
“Really?” asked Luffy.
“Yeah, see,” said Reiko, turning around waging her tail so the Strawhats could see.
Luffy looked over her shoulder and his eyes widened as he laughed and stretched his arm to grab her tail. “It's so soft,” he said happily.
Reiko said something, but it was inaudible since Luffy's chest was smothering her face. Sanji quickly walked up to them and viciously kicked Luffy off of Reiko.
“Ignore those bastards. You look beautiful Reiko-chan,” he said while holding his cigarette in one hand and her hand in the other as he bent down to kiss it gently.
She smiled and said, “Thank you… uh…”
“Sanji,” he said smoothly.
“Well thank you Sanji. At least someone is nice around here.”
“It's my pleasure.”
“So why do you have such freaky ears? Did you eat a devil fruit or something?” asked Usopp; his knees slightly shaking.
“Well I did eat a devil fruit but it's got nothing to do with my ears or my tail. I've had those all my life. See I'm a werewolf from the Silverfang Tribe on Lunar Island.”
“I've heard of that place. It's an island shaped like a crescent moon right?” asked Nami.
“Yes. The island is inhabited by several werewolf tribes, and I believe that the dominant two are at war. One is your tribe isn’t it?” Robin asked Reiko.
“Yeah. The other is the Bloodclaw tribe. They were at war when I left the island after I ate the ShadeShade fruit. It gives me the power to manipulate my shadow in anyway I choose. Like making it into a solid platform I can ride,” she said and then quickly demonstrated.
She sat down cross-legged and her shadow became a perfect circle under her. She shut her eyes and the shadow lifted off of the ground and rose, with her sitting on top of it a few feet off the ground.
“Whoa!” said Chopper, Usopp, Luffy, and Brook in unison. She opened her eyes, smiled, and jumped off as her shadow returned to normal.
“That was so awesome Reiko!” commented Chopper.
“So why did you leave your island?” asked Luffy.
“I left so I could pursue my dream. I have to find the legendary Silver Stone. It's said to have been part of Gol D. Roger’s One Piece. So that's why I'm here on the Grand Line to find the One Piece and get the stone.”
Luffy giggled happily. “Then you would be a perfect member of our crew! I'm gonna find the One Piece and become King of the Pirates.”
Reiko crossed her arms over her chest and looked away. “Hmph, well I don't know. I'm not sure if you guys will make it all the way to the One Piece. I mean you don't look all that strong and there’s only nine of you. Most pirate crews are a lot bigger. I'm not so sure I want to be part of such a strange pirate crew.”
“What! Why not! How can you be a pirate without a crew?”
budge. Nami saw the droopy look on Luffy’s face.
“Well at least just stay with us until we get to the next island or something. It’s not like you have anywhere else to go, since you can’t swim and all,” said Nami.
“Yeah okay I can work with that, since it was my original plan anyway. But just until I we get to the next island,” agreed Reiko.
“YAY!” squealed Luffy jumping up in the air.
“It’s a pleasure to have you here Reiko-chan! I'll go make you something to eat. It's almost lunch anyway,” said Sanji.
“Yay! Meat!” said Luffy. Sanji rolled his eyes and walked into the kitchen.
Reiko watched as everyone went back to what they had been doing before. Suddenly Franky came up to the deck since he had smelled Sanji's cooking.
“Is the food ready yet?” he asked. Then he suddenly noticed Reiko standing in front of him waving innocently. “Hey who’s that?”
“I'm Reiko, a werewolf who ate the ShadeShade fruit. I’m also going to be hanging around here until we reach the next island,” she said confidently holding her ground.
“Oh sweet. Well I'm Franky the shipwright and I'm a Cyborg if you haven’t already noticed.”
Reiko giggled. “Just what I’d expect from this crew.” Franky raised a questioning brow. “Never mind,” Reiko said smiling and Franky nodded and went to talk to Usopp about his recent repairs.
Reiko looked around the deck observing everyone, but couldn’t help but find herself watching Zoro. He was lifting his heavy weights while looking out into the horizon. He didn’t seem like he was having a hard time with them, more like he was just passing the time. She didn’t know why but for some reason she found him extremely intriguing. She knew he didn’t like nor trust her, but that only made her even more interested in him. She had little doubt that the others would tell her almost everything about their past adventures without a question, but Zoro was a man of mystery who wouldn’t even tell her his style of fighting. She smirked at the challenge that faced her. I'll figure you out Roronoa Zoro. Just you wait. Suddenly Luffy and Chopper called her over.
“Oi, Reiko! Show us what a werewolf looks like! I wanna know!” called Luffy. Reiko smiled, nodded, and ran to them.