So. This is officially the result of my in-class boredom. I seem to be afflicted with something called 'senioritis'...
Disclaimer: Do I look like Eichiro Oda to you? No, I don't own One Piece or the characters from said manga. I just have an unhealthy obsession with them.
Modeling: A basic principle of social learning in which the subject adopts behaviors exemplified by an outside source. His example was certainly... Well, overt about his 'work.' For the impressionable young child, Doflamingo's example was an easy one to follow. The flamboyant blonde's strings were of another nature. It took Law a long time to figure out how it worked - dissecting the ability, if you will. The conclusion that formed in the small boy's mind was that if one pulled the right strings, one could make anyone do anything.
He experimented with this for quite some time - electric shocks administered to a freshly dead frog's nervous system still made it jump. The creature's legs would kick midair, moving like it was trying to get away, but going ultimately nowhere. Another fine example of the futility of human behavior. Because, of course, Doflamingo was the one behind it all, in Law's mind. The man was abhorrent yet invincible, and nothing escaped his notice or his ever-present strings.
When Law obtained his devil friut, courtesy of Doflamingo, he had already grown disenchanted with the older man's apparent invulnerability. Every man could be reached, if you dug deep enough inside, after all. The Ope Ope Fruit contained the only power that Law would have ever wanted to give up swimming to have. Then again, he never had a choice in the matter. The strings were entirely unnecessary. Law was Doflamingo's subordinate, and that could not be changed by some small measure of defiance.
Even so, in his Room, Law was a god. He improved quickly, honing his abilities as a surgeon and always improving his stamina. Once he had a victim's organs, head, or anything else, they were as good as his. The young man had become a master strategist, always two or ten steps ahead. Yet, he always knew in the back of his mind that just as easily as he manipulated others, he was just a puppet himself. Often, he felt as lifeless.
At the Saobody Archipelago, Law had amassed a crew of his own. He was quite close to Bepo and Penguin and Shachi and the other misfits he had managed to pick up. Indeed, he trusted them with his life, precious little as it was worth. The slaves in his 'brother's' not-so-underground human auction were intriguing to him. They were quite broken, but a few still had that small light in their eyes that resisted the decay of the soul that seemed to be proportionate to the destruction of pride and ego. Jean Bart, as big as he was, was reduced to nothing with a simple exploding collar. However, Law had seen enough of manipulation by that point in time, and the giant seemed stubborn enough to fit in well with the rest. Law was tired of the ever-present strings that seemed to affect mind and spirit moreso than body. Soon, however, they could disappear.
So, when he saw Strawhat Luffy on that winter island two years later, the natural thing to do was to offer him the head of a Yonkou. The kid had notably high aspirations and a nose for danger. He had, quite frankly, impressed Law back on the Archipelago in his unbreakable spirit and willingness to do anything for a friend. He was stubborn, but he was strong in mind... well, in soul and body. He would do. Even in the absence of and the quest against his model, the baseline behavior remained the same. Law knew he was using Luffy, but he did not know how he felt about that. It seemed that Luffy was influencing him in many ways.
Facing down Doflamingo, Law knew that he could not withstand the strings, mentally or physically. It wasn't that he did not care about Luffy and the others - he found them quite entertaining. However, Law could not stand any distractions if he was to succeed at his goal of thirteen years ago. His plan required muscle, so he bought a distraction at the price of a little 'honor' and a few words said to a fellow Supernova. At least Nami had the mental faculties to doubt him; she would serve to save the rest of the crew and to fulfill Law's original back up plan in the case of his death. So without much ado, Law broke the alliance as per his intentions. Old habits do, after all, die hard.
Next will most likely be 'heart.' I am a slow writer, or I may just forget that I even started a story. Please let me know if you like it / hate it / think I should eviscerate Doflamingo for setting a poor example for young children. Thank you for your time =)