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OP fic: "Because"

books, op chopper studious
[Would post this on ff.net, but figured I'd wait until Monday, since they're apparently doing some massive overhaul and I want to see how that goes down first.]

Yes, I still prefer gen OP fic, dammit. But I've had the germ of this for a while now; last night it finally reared its head and bit me, and since I've been a bit blocked in my writing of late, I let it run its course in hopes of jumpstarting my system.

One Piece; Zoro/Nami, but possibly not romance, possibly not what you think. Less a story than simple stream of thought, really.
Rated borderline R[M] for non-explicit sex.

Read "Because" on AO3

Comments

( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
incandescens
Jun. 4th, 2005 05:44 pm (UTC)
That is very well realised. Thank you!
xparrot
Jun. 4th, 2005 06:34 pm (UTC)
thank *you*! *scampers off to read your Tashigi fic since I have the chance*
beckerbell
Jun. 5th, 2005 02:13 am (UTC)
This was really well-written, the space between the sex meaning something and not meaning something, that it's about friendship and people who understand each other, but without being too cold or just using each other or secretly angsting over it. It has such a distinct One Piece feel, the way Nami thinks and feels, the way it's so similar to what she can see of Zoro's thoughts/feelings and it's just so... three-dimensional in that way OP has. I really, really liked this. ♥
xparrot
Jun. 6th, 2005 04:38 pm (UTC)
So glad you enjoyed! ^__^ yeah, I've been meaning to do this for a while, because really, while I don't think there is actually any sex on the Merry (they've got better things to do! ^^) if it were going to happen, I'd think it'd be like this. I can't see 'romance', but I can't see angst either, or anything that would hurt any of the others...one of the major points of OP for me is how it's about all these crazy people who fundamentally are happy to be on this journey together, and I don't think getting a little nookie would change that.
xparrot
Jun. 6th, 2005 04:41 pm (UTC)
--also, the thing is, this is pretty much just how I see Zoro/Sanji working as well, only with rougher and noisier sex. Actually I wouldn't be surprised if it were going on at the exact timeframe as this story, just on different nights, and Zoro simply hasn't bothered mentioning it to either of the others... (Zoro, you slut!)
beckerbell
Jun. 6th, 2005 05:13 pm (UTC)
In all honest, in complete as-objective-as-I-can-be, I don't think there's really any sex (or even romantic feelings) going on with the Straw Hat crew, half because it's just not that sort of series and half because I can't imagine that they would do anything that would hurt the others or cause friction in those relationships. I mean, on one hand, I sort of feel like dismissing the whole question of sex takes away from 'realism' in a series, because three-dimensional, fully-realized people do have sex drives and sex does happen. On the other hand, it's One Piece, romance is so far from the point of the series that you'd need a Log Pose just to find--*is shot*

So, if it's going to fit into the series... as much as I love to OTP some of the pairings in the crew, if I'm going to actually believe it's possible, it has to be like this fic, which is why I was so impressed with it. Like, I love the Zoro/Sanji pairing, but I can't imagine that their love of Luffy would ever be diminished (which I loved being mentioned in this story, because Luffy is the heart of their crew) or that they would care any less for the others, that it would somehow be seperate from the whole nakama vibe on the ship. Not necessarily that they might be open about it, but that it would still fit into the grander nakama relationships they have.

Which is why I can see Zoro and Nami both in several pairings, because they have the right mindset. I think Robin falls into the catagory as well. (Hence, I could see it how Robin/Nami or Zoro/Robin could work in a similar vein, possibly.)
xparrot
Jun. 7th, 2005 10:11 am (UTC)
I know what you mean about the unrealism of dismissing sex, that they are such fully realized characters that leaving such a central aspect of human relationships out entirely can ring false. But there's so many stories out there with romance arbitrarily inserted just for the sake of having it (sometimes to attract the female demographic, as if that's the only reason we'd ever like a story), female characters cheapened because they're introduced just to be the required love interests, 'love/lust at first sight' used to gloss over relationships rather than actually taking the time to explain and explore them - there's so many stories that abuse romance, that OP is incredibly refreshing to me. Oda-sensei essentially is coming along and saying, look, I can tell an incredible story that includes relationships, and families, and yes, love, and I don't need pairings to do it. That there are enough other interesting elements of human interaction that you can skip the sexual and still have so much to tell.

Which isn't to say I don't understand where fans are coming from, pairing up everyone; they are all such fascinating characters that it's neat to see what happens when you add that element in. And there is so much love among all the crew, often expressed in such, mmm, unusual ways, that one can want to see it expressed differently, or more overtly, in the case of ZoSan, or ZoNa, for that matter. And of course even if none of them are actually having sex canonically, this doesn't mean that they aren't damn sexy chars, and what a shame to waste that...! ^^

But I have to admit that this story, and several of the other pairing stories I've written, are a direct reaction to fanfic and doujinshi that have characterizations that I don't agree with, that didn't work for me but made me start to think, so how could this work? One of the things that gets me the most is when a pairing interferes with the nakamaship, when two chars become each other's 'most important person' at the expense of the others. If any of them has a most important nakama, it's Luffy for all of them - and Luffy himself doesn't play favorites among his crew, I don't think he can. (and I firmly believe that if Luffy were doing it with any of them, he'd be doing it with all of them.)

This is probably why I can see ZoSan pretty easily, because Sanji does play favorites already (even if that's more in theory than practice) so if he's at all in character, Zoro's not going to be his be-all end-all. And Zoro and Nami, I agree with you, have the right mindset, with the balance and control not to let the physical overwhelm them. Robin, too. I really want to write RoNa sometime! not usually into yuri but it's rare I find female chars I like as much as those two. (Also? HOT.) And ever since you mentioned on your lj the idea of Robin/Sanji, it's been playing in the back of my mind...that could be a very interesting dynamic, because Robin is mature enough not to take advantage of him, and she could use a little absolute unconditional adoration. and Sanji desperately needs to get laid...!
_fye_
Jun. 5th, 2005 08:07 am (UTC)
Oh god. I'll never get to sleep at this rate. I left a comment on your Xmagicalx.net page, then thought searchingly whether or not you even check the thing any more because you haven't updated it in so long, and then came here because this seemed the best way to wave the flag in front of your face. I just wanted to let you know that you've cost me the better part of my night reading EVERYTHING One Piece that you had on ff.net and browsing your lj just now for the scraps and I wanted to thank you for it. I'm moaning about the whole sleep thing because I meant to just leave you a 'heads up' tag but then I went and read the Zoro/Nami bit here and now have to say something for that as well. My eyes are bleeding. Honestly. Anyway, this is something I had considered a possibility on the ship but usually steered around because I'm a hopeless Zoro/Sanji fan, but you could almost make me a believer. It was a painless read and what's better is that it chimed with my idea of how the characters think and what is within bounds for them. You make it acceptable for my long-time Z/S mind to appreciate the possibility and even enjoy it. It takes skill to evoke that kind of easy acceptance. Nice work. (but I'll still hold out for more Sanji torture fics) ^_^ Now, go check your other page and write more.
xparrot
Jun. 6th, 2005 04:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you! ^_^ I did get the message you left in my guestbook as well (I actually do recall the page exists, I've been overhauling it for the past couple months and haven't gotten around to reuploading it all yet ^^;;) So happy to hear you liked this story, as well as all the others (even if I did interfere with your sleep cycle ^^;;)! I didn't especially write this story to convince people of ZoNa - in all honesty I'm not really in favor of any particular pairings in OP, I love them best as one big happy nakama family. But playing with possibilities is fun, now and again.

If you haven't seen them, I have a bunch of drabbles in my livejournal memories (under 'dribbles'), written for the OP yaoi drabble comm - I mention it because there are a few ZoSan there (along with just about everything else). Those boys are nothing if not entertaining! And Tiger Hunt will be continuing, soon - and there's a bit more Sanji pain to come in that. ^_~

(and because you did mention it - fan art is always loved and adored and drooled over appreciated. thrills me to inspire someone else!)
huabot
Jun. 5th, 2005 09:00 am (UTC)
Oh, I liked it. I was a bit on edge for the answer (despite all the musing, what would she actually say...?) and then that bit was perfect.
xparrot
Jun. 6th, 2005 04:55 pm (UTC)
glad you liked! really, like Zoro would actually think to ask a question like that, much less care... ^^
sakurazuka_jae
Jun. 6th, 2005 06:30 am (UTC)
Ah Zoro... the person who can always be counted on to take a serious, deeply sensitive emotional moment... and sleep through it.

*giggles* Love the concept, and the rationality behind Nami's choice. It was a wonderful look at her inner thoughts.
xparrot
Jun. 6th, 2005 05:12 pm (UTC)
thank you!
ah, poor Zoro...gotta love him ^_^
ranier
Jun. 6th, 2005 11:36 pm (UTC)
Hi, got here from tomomichi. I have always liked your OP fics but when I found out that you have written Zoro/Nami, it just made my day. As always, you give the characters certain depth that is just perfect, not too much, not too little.

I hope you don't mind but I've recommended this story at Zoro x Nami community greentangarine. Please, keep on writing. I'm glad the fandom has a writer like you. ♥
xparrot
Jun. 7th, 2005 10:27 am (UTC)
So glad you enjoyed the story - and enough to rec it! thank you! ^__^ I honestly wasn't sure if most ZoNa fans would go for it, because, well, it's not exactly a romance. I absolutely believe that Zoro and Nami love each other, but I don't quite see them in a relationship. So I'm very happy to know it worked for you!
ex_naye320
Jun. 7th, 2005 01:50 am (UTC)
Awwwwww. ♥

Okay, so I'm not at my most verbal right now - have gotten a horrible, stupid headcold - but... wow. Love! Love and more than love. Nakamaship. And it's perfect, and I love it, and it's so very true to the characters. Sweet. Beautiful. Really beautiful, actually. I loved it. You might not be crazy, after all... *hugs*
xparrot
Jun. 7th, 2005 10:29 am (UTC)
a cold? stupid cold! *beats up your cold*
but glad you liked it! <3 (even if I probably am crazy after all...)
ex_naye320
Jun. 7th, 2005 10:38 am (UTC)
Yeah, stupid cold. It's a headcold, and now I've got a temperature too, so all I want to do is sleep... and this is the three days Simon is up here, and we're gaming, and it's probably my last chance to hang with him before I leave... so, I'm not really happy. But I'm stuffing myself with garlic and vitamins and tea (lots and lots of hot tea), and I'm going to sleep soon, and I'll hopefully be better tomorrow.

Yes, I liked it. A lot. ♥
zauberer_sirin
Jun. 7th, 2005 11:17 am (UTC)
The fic was a bit expository at times but I really liked it. I loved the kind of silent agreement; how their relationship is very casual and it doesn´t mean as much as it could have. It´s all about the love between the Straw Hats. Good work.
xparrot
Jun. 7th, 2005 03:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you, glad you liked! And yes, for me, it's always about the nakamaship ^_^
ginnyseta
Jul. 31st, 2005 05:08 pm (UTC)
I FINALLY got around to reading this fan fic. And of course I love it. I am a Zoro x Nami fan through and through, but that doesn't mean I necessarily think their relationship is romantic...in fact, it is extremely difficult to write a full-fledged romance with these two...not unless it is thoroughly developed over a period of time. It's not in their characters.

I like how you made their sexual relationship not completely about lust, but not about "OMGROMANCE" either. Because of this, it felt extremely in character. It was very true to character. Thank you for writing this.
xparrot
Oct. 1st, 2005 04:48 am (UTC)
I thought I replied to this...a couple months ago ^^; Regardless, so very glad you enjoyed it, as one of the principle ZoNa fans out there ^__^
runesphinx
Oct. 1st, 2005 02:13 am (UTC)
Beautiful. I've never read a more fitting story about Zoro and Nami than this one.
xparrot
Oct. 1st, 2005 04:49 am (UTC)
Thank you, it's great to know you liked it!
rayne_kiss
Jul. 23rd, 2006 03:41 pm (UTC)
Love it. Beautifully and expertly written, I wish I could write like this.
xparrot
Jul. 31st, 2006 11:16 am (UTC)
Thanks - so glad you enjoyed the story!
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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