Though a Bird Can't Fly, That Doesn't Mean It Never Will is a One Piece Alternate Universe Fic in which Zoro's deceased childhood friend Kuina survived her canonical fate, only to be struck blind instead.
With Zoro's encouragement, Kuina struggles to overcome her impairments and become as good a swordswoman as she ever was. Years later, she finally catches up with Zoro, only to discover he's fallen in with Straw-Hat Luffy and his crew. Kuina, in turn, is driven to join up with the Marines (to be more precise, with Captain Smoker's crew) in order to pursue Zoro and either bring him to his senses... or bring him down. Kuina's pursuit of Zoro ends up taking her on the journey of her life, weaving a tale that crosses paths with the familiar chronicle of the One Piece series in interesting ways.
Though a Bird Can't Fly, That Doesn't Mean It Never Will provides examples of:
- Armor-Piercing Question: Robin gets a very big one during the G8 Arc.Briggs: Did you know of Crocodile's bomb beforehand?
Robin: I was not involved in the preparations for Crocodile's bomb.
Briggs: That was not the question I asked you. My point is: did you, as Crocodile's right-hand woman, know of the existence of that bomb — with which he planned to blow up an entire city full of people — beforehand?
- Blind Weaponmaster: Kuina evolves into one of these quickly.
- Disability Superpower: Apparently being blind makes it easier to have super hearing and develop haki.
- Entertainingly Wrong: Kuina misunderstanding of Luffy's character and how she thinks Zoro, Sanji, and Vivi ended up being in the Straw-Hat crew.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Tashigi with Kuina. Not only did Kuina look just like her, but she is also an incredible swordsman in spite of her disability. It should be noted Tashigi's main problem is insecurity, the source of her envy. If it wasn't for the fact Kuina and Zoro aimed to become the greatest swordsman in the world, Tashigi would at least be able to stand any comparison.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: One of the fights has a marine being beaten up with his own broken-off arm. Ouch.
- Hope Spot: Pell's alive! Nope, it's just his body.
- Imagine Spot: Kuina has some hilariously wrong ideas about what Luffy is like. This soon turns into even more ridiculous ideas about what Luffy's crew is like. Her gullible imagining of "Prince" Sanji especially deserves a mention.
- Inspector Javert: Briggs seems to be set up as one towards Nico Robin in the second season.
- Like Brother and Sister: After hearing Kuina set sail after Zoro because she thought he was endangered, Luffy concludes she's his big sister because only an older sibling would worry that much for someone. When she tries to protest they are not blood-related, he points they don't have to be - Ace and Sabo weren't blood-related to him, after all.
- Living Emotional Crutch: It's obvious that Zoro and Kuina are crutches for each other.
- Major Injury Underreaction: Briggs response to having his arm torn off is to just say it will grow back.
- My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Or My Childhood Rival Is Off Limits — Zoro has this to say in response to Sanji flirting with Kuina.
- O.C. Stand-in: Kuina herself. In canon, she barely appears in a few flashbacks.
- Parody Sue: Kitty Raven the Hunter from Chapter 4, who quickly gets her ass handed to her by Kuina.
- Power Incontinence: Ironically, developing haki that you can't control proved to be an even bigger handicap than blindness.
- Retired Badass: Kuina's sensei, Ichii.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Played straight, complete with a Tragic Keepsake, even.
- Kuina's sword teacher is clearly inspired by (and named for!) the protagonist of Zatoichi.
- During one of Kuina's fantasies about Luffy, she imagines him as posing dramatically with a notebook while boasting about his ability to kill anyone whose true name he knows.
- During the G8 arc, one "Commander Shepherd" calls Briggs a "big stupid jellyfish".
- Skilled, but Naïve: Kuina is extremely skilled with swords, but her ignorance of the world outside her village and interpersonal relationships rivals Zoro's.
- Stern Chase
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You
- Tragic Keepsake: Pier's gloves and then later, Pell's sword.
- Underestimating Badassery:
- Thanks to her appearance and marine rank, Kuina gets underestimated by her opponent very often.
- Ironically inverted in season 2, when Kuina tries to stop a fight by who she assumes is a simple thug. She gets a very nasty surprise when she finds out the hard way the person in question is actually Urouge, one of the Eleven Supernovas.