Beginnings, Usopp thought, were always the most fun to weave. He was telling a story to Chopper, who stared with rapt attention, smile wide as he waited for him to begin.
"This is a story about a captain!"
"Captain Usopp?" Chopper squealed, but Usopp shook his head.
"No," he said gravely. "It's about a captain who lived long ago, who dreamed of the sea, all the while seeking his love! But first…"
Chopper ooh-ed and ahh-ed in all of the right places, even screaming once (much to his embarrassment). Chopper was the best person to tell stories to; he understood that to get over your fear of monsters, sometimes you had to believe in heroes. This was about the tree island, where a witch held intelligent birds hostage and the hero saved the day.
Before getting on this crew, Usopp mused, he used to love crafting endings, where the hero won, where they lived happily ever after. Hell, even when he did get onto the crew, he dreamed of a happy ending with him, the brave warrior and Kaya, smiling at his tales.
Now? He didn't want it to end, even if it meant prolonging his dream, everybody's dream; he knew they'd get there.
"So?" Chopper prompted, as Usopp paused in mid-story. "What happened? Did he go back to his love?"
Usopp tapped his nose. "Sorta."
"What do you mean?" The reindeer demanded, becoming impatient.
"His love was—" Sorry, Kaya "—adventure! So there isn't an end, and he went on having them. This is just the beginning."
From the galley, Sanji's voice rang out, "That's a cop-out ending."
Luffy sprang himself between Usopp and Chopper, grabbing both of their heads affectionately.
"I like it," he declared stoutly, and that was captain's orders, so that was that.