So this is my first attempt at One Piece. I haven't finished all the episodes but I did skip ahead for everything Law. Just because. This came out of the recent manga chapters that focused on his past. There's no real spoilers. If you notice anything amiss or wrong, please let me know. I do not claim to know everything about One Piece.
Disclaimer: One Piece belongs to Eiichiro Oda-sensei.
In Which There is a Polar Bear
On the island of Goa in a remote corner of the East Blue sea, was a small town called Fuusha. It was a tiny little town with a couple stores and only one pub, but it was cozy and comfortable. When asked, most people mistook the name for Fucha City in South Blue. It was off most maps and comfortably under the radar. Which was why it was the perfect place to hide the children of some of the world's most wanted criminals.
Over a decade earlier, Vice Admiral Monkey D. Garp left the son of the Pirate King with a group of bandits just outside of Fuusha. Portgas D. Ace would have his eleventh birthday in two months. Although he hated even thinking of his birthday he would reluctantly celebrate with his little brother Luffy and his slightly older brother Sabo.
What he didn't know was that his adopted grandfather would bring him the worst early birthday present ever.
They fought a giant python this time. It was so long that it could wrap around a house twice and had fangs as tall as a teenaged boy. Unfortunately for the poor python, it was facing three violent almost pre-teen boys in a fight to the death, and it lost terribly.
"Ha-Ha! We did it!" The smallest of the boys cheered loudly, leaping into the air with a fist pump. His straw hat was too big for his head but he wore it anyways, letting it slip down his forehead and muss up his black hair. A huge smile stretched across his face at their accomplishment.
"Why are you so happy, Luffy? You left all the work to Sabo and me," the other dark haired boy growled. Although he had a similar complexion and hair colour to the younger Luffy, they didn't look all that alike. Where Luffy's hair was thin and straight, Ace's was thick and wavy. Luffy had a small scar below his left eye but Ace had freckles across his nose and cheeks. Luffy's eyes were wide and a warm dark brown, Ace's eyes were narrow and a cool grey colour.
"But I really tried hard this time!" Luffy whined.
"You almost got it in the head with your punch," the last boy, Sabo, tried to make peace. "I think you're improving a lot." Sabo looked nothing like the other two boys. His skin was a warmer tone, his eyes a dark blue and his blonde hair was cut short and close to his head.
Regardless of their different looks, all three boys were brothers. They were not born to the same parents but they considered themselves brothers in all but blood. As the oldest, Ace and Sabo often found themselves looking after their dopey little brother and making sure he didn't get in too much trouble. But most of the time, that was impossible. Trouble followed Luffy like a parasite.
"You're always too nice to him, Sabo," Ace grumbled. Slightly annoyed at how Luffy jumped excitedly around the blonde brother.
Luffy stopped to stick his tongue out at Ace. "Sabo's the best big brother. Ace sucks!"
"What?! I shared some of my food with you last night!"
"You did? I didn't notice."
"Why you …!" Sabo laughed when Ace smacked Luffy in the head. Sometimes his brothers could be so funny.
The late afternoon sounds of the forest were shattered by an earth-splitting scream. It was a scream of pure emotional pain that echoed throughout the forest, disturbing a flock of birds from their perch in the trees.
"What was that?" Ace yelled. Worried because the scream sounded so familiar.
"I think it was coming from the bandit camp," Sabo replied, and they all exchanged anxious looks.
They left the dead python behind and jumped back into the woods. Branches whipped at their faces and tore at their dirty clothes but all three boys ignored the stinging pain. As they ran closer to the camp, raised voices could be heard. One of them was extremely recognizable to two of the brothers.
"Is that Gramps?" Luffy asked Ace, slightly out of breath. Their training in the woods was improving his stamina bit by bit and he could finally keep up with the older boys.
"Sounds like it, but why is he here?"
"Ace, isn't your birthday coming up soon?" Sabo called back. "Maybe he came for that?"
"The old man doesn't care about that," Ace scowled fiercely. He hated being reminded of his birthday. "But why is Dadan yelling?"
When they burst from the woods, the three boys came across a curious sight. Curly Dadan, the bandit leader and foster mother to the three boys was in tears on the ground. Her screams had dissolved into wails that the boys heard every now and then when they made too much of a mess. The other bandits were in shock around her, staring at the man in front of them.
Vice Admiral Garp stood high above them with his thick arms crossed over his chest in the no-nonsense stance that Luffy knew so well. A large and very old crescent shaped scar circled his left eye. He seemed to have grayed a little more from the last time he visited.
"Oi! Gramps!" Luffy waved from the edge of the clearing. Ace smacked him in the back of the head but the damage had been done.
"What did you say?" Garp yelled, his deep voice rumbled over the clearing. "Such a disrespectful grandson I have! Looks like you need more lessons to turn you into a respectable marine."
"But I don't – " The rest of Luffy's words were smothered by Sabo and Ace's hands clamping tightly over his mouth.
"Hmm?" Garp raised an eyebrow. He knew exactly what Luffy was going to say but he would ignore it. Only this one time since he had much more important things to deal with. Regardless, no grandson of his would ever become a pirate. "Come over here boys."
They hesitantly joined the group in front of the bandit log house and ignored the sniffling Dadan. For such a large and tough looking woman, she could sure be sensitive.
"Boys, I want to introduce you to someone," he looked down to his side and the boys followed his gaze, finally noticing two small figures that they hadn't seen before standing in Garp's shadow.
One was a small boy with a large, furry white and grey-spotted hat. Although he had a large black coat on, anyone could see how small and skinny he was. Dark bruises under his eyes made his eyes look much brighter and strange white patches were spread across his visible skin, giving him a sickly look. His gaze was cold, his eyes looked dead as if he had lost all interest in the present.
Beside him was a small white polar bear cub. The boys stared.
"This is Trafalgar Law. He will be living here with you from now on." Garp went to pat the sickly-looking boy's head but he ducked out of the way without looking up and Garp's hand swung through thin air.
"And the bear. What about the bear?" Luffy asked. His eyes fixated on the polar bear which blinked back at him before slowly lowering its head. The light was playing tricks on them because the bear almost looked like it was blushing. But bears don't blush or get embarrassed.
"It's Law's bear. Don't try and eat it, you brat." Garp grabbed Luffy and picked him up so they could look in the eye. "I don't want you three to speak a word of Law's presence here, understand? He has some very dangerous enemies."
Ace scowled and glared at the new boy. This boy was apparently going to be even more trouble than Luffy. Law ignored him and continued to stare blankly ahead, unaffected by the idea of his dangerous enemies.
Garp dropped Luffy to the ground, ignoring his protest. "I'll be off then. I have to get back to my ship. And Dadan?" The woman's big fat crocodile tears long enough to hear Garp's next words. "Don't let Law have any knives or sharp objects. I had to put my crew back together twice after he got into the kitchen."
Dadan started crying for real again. Ace and Sabo exchanged dark looks and eyed the new boy wearily. Something wasn't right about him. In fact, something about him was downright creepy. Perhaps it was his complete silence in response to all the commotion going on around them or the way he stared right through them. There was something off about that boy and Ace wanted nothing to do with him. Judging by Sabo's expression, the blonde felt as uneasy as he did.
Apparently Luffy didn't agree.
"Hi!" Luffy chirped, his invasion of the boy's personal space made everyone but Garp uneasy. "I'm Luffy! Your name is Tra- … Trao- … Law, right?" The boy's eyes narrowed at the casual use of his personal name by a complete stranger but he didn't respond. "Are you my new brother?"
"WHAT?!" Ace and Sabo were perfectly in unison expressing their disbelief at the stupidity of Luffy's question. In no way did they want to have any contact with the creepy new kid.
The boy blinked and gave the younger boy a look that clearly stated what he thought of Luffy's intelligence, or lack thereof. "No," he deadpanned.
"Oh, then you will be soon." Luffy ignored the boy's decidedly deadly look and looked at the polar bear cub sitting behind Law. "What's with the bear?"
"He's mine. Don't talk to him." The words were meant to be threatening, but Law said it in such a deadpanned tone that no one could figure out how serious he was. To clear the air about his intentions Law continued in the same monotone voice: "Try to eat him and I'll gouge out your eyeballs with a spoon."
Everyone but Luffy and Garp felt a shiver go down their spine. Sabo's face turned two shades paler and he shuffled closer to Ace. Leaning over he whispered "I think we might have to be careful around him. I think he might just try and slit our throats while we sleep." Ace could only nod in response.
Luffy either didn't hear Law or didn't understand the threat. "What's his name? Where did you get him? What can he do?"
Law stared at the chatty dark haired boy and wondered if something was wrong with the boy's head. Maybe he could practice his gathered knowledge on brain surgery to see exactly which part of the boy's brain had stopped functioning. "Bepo. North Blue. Many things. Now go away."
"North Blue? Cool! Is it cold there?" Ace wanted to join Dadan in tears at the stupidity of his little brother.
"Ha ha! Looks like you boys will be getting along well," Garp ignored the dirty looks everyone but Luffy and Bepo the polar bear shot him. "I'm going now. See you boys!"
And then the mountain bandits and three boys dreaming of being pirates were left with the creepiest boy from North Blue and his pet polar bear.
The clearing was silent for several minutes after Garp left. The mountain bandits and the boys stared at the new arrivals, not sure what exactly to do with them. Ace and Sabo had no desire to approach the creepy kid and Luffy was far more interested in finding the runaway booger in his nose than helping out with the awkward situation. Law himself was rather fascinated with how far the shortest child had managed to stick his finger up his nose. He was subconsciously re-evaluating the physical limitations of booger picking.
Finally, one of the mountain bandits named Dogra stepped forward. A beige turban had slipped slightly off his head and his hold on the dictionary in his hand was shaky at best. "R-right, Law-kun. You – You'll be staying with the b-boys. Can you boys show him your room?"
Ace and Sabo just glared at him, not moving. They didn't live in the log house anymore so it wasn't their business. Apparently Luffy didn't get the memo.
"Sure!" Luffy chirped and ran towards the log house. "Come on, Law!"
Law picked up the old and worn black backpack at his feet and trailed behind the perky boy. The polar bear shuffled in behind him. One of the other bandits was brave enough to ask the bear to stay outside but that was the extent of his courage. He quickly backed off at Trafalgar Law's dark glare and the bear ambled comfortably into the log house.
"Are we really going to leave Luffy alone with that kid?" Sabo raised an eyebrow at his brother.
"No," Ace grumbled. The two barged inside the building and up to the rafters. Luckily Luffy was still alive and in one piece, chattering away about sleeping arrangements. The bear was sniffing the floor and testing the rotting wood under his weight.
"Sabo sleeps there, Ace sleeps next to him, and I sleep next to Ace. You can sleep next to me, okay? And sometimes we get a bath, but we all have to go at once because there's not much hot water. And we have to hunt for food because the bandits don't have much money. But that's okay because it's good training and Dadan cooks what we bring back. Have you ever hunted before? I want the animals to be my pets but if they become meat then I'm happy!"
Law was staring at Luffy like the boy was a puzzle just waiting to be solved. "Were you dropped on your head as a child?"
"I don't know," Luffy shrugged, still with a giant smile. "But Gramps hits me a lot. He says it will make me a good marine. But I don't want to be a marine."
Luffy paused and seemed to be waiting. Ace shook his head in exasperation, he knew exactly what Luffy wanted Law to do.
Apparently Law got the message, and in a tone of voice appropriate for an exasperated adult humoring a child, asked "What do you want to be?"
"A pirate!" Luffy cheered. "I'm gonna be a great pirate like Shanks!"
Law chuckled, and it wasn't a pleasant tone. The darkness in his laugh made the hairs on Sabo's arms stand up on end.
"A pirate, huh?" Law's smirk had years of knowledge twisted into it. There was a cruel twist to his lips and his eyes were shadowed by his hat. If they could see his eyes all three boys would be terrified by the unpleasant look he had.
"Yeah! Just like Shanks!" Luffy's non-stop babbling about Shanks the pirate got old very quickly but Ace and Sabo hadn't heard him talk about the man in a while.
"You mean Red-Haired Shanks? You know him?" It finally seemed as if Luffy had something of worth to tell the creepy new boy.
"He gave me this hat," Luffy patted the worn and frayed straw hat on his head. "I promised to give it back to him when I become a great pirate."
"He's one of the strongest rising pirates in the world, they say he could be on par with Whitebeard." Law was amused by the boy's ambitions. "It would take a lot to impress him."
"I know, but I'm not giving up!" Luffy smiled brightly.
Law blinked at the smile that stretched from ear to ear. He seemed almost surprised about something. Ace nudged Sabo and they both nodded at each other in understanding.
"Uh, Law-kun. How about we let you get settled. Come on Luffy, let's go," Sabo tugged on Luffy's rubbery arm.
"But I wanna play with Law and Bepo!" Luffy whined, eying the fluffy white bear he had yet to pet. It stared at him suspiciously. Bepo knew exactly what the boy was thinking.
"They must be tired from travelling with Garp-san. Just let them rest today." Ace joined Sabo and together they pulled their stubborn little brother from the log house.
They darted past the bandits outside, still dragging Luffy behind him. "Good luck!" they called back and disappeared into the forest.
They didn't stop running until they reached the tree house. Luffy whined and protested the entire way, complaining about leaving behind his new friend. Ace and Sabo sat him down in the middle of the house and glared at him with their arms crossed.
"Are you an idiot, Luffy?" Ace started, his temper getting the better of him. "In case you didn't notice, that kid is dangerous! You need to stay away from him!"
"Not true! He's a good person! He has a pet bear!" Luffy yelled back, his hands clenched into fists on his knees. He and Law were going to be friends and he didn't like anyone saying bad things about his future friend.
"I don't see what the bear has to do with this," Sabo murmured in thought. He shrugged, "Ace is right. Something about the boy isn't right."
"Why don't you like him? He didn't do anything to you?"
"He gives us the creeps!" Ace snapped. He always let his temper take over whenever Luffy didn't listen. "It's the way he talks, he's not right in the head."
Luffy's brow furrowed in anger, "You're just jealous of him."
"Jealous?" Ace laughed. "Why would I be jealous?"
"Because he has a polar bear and you don't!"
Ace and Luffy stared at each other in silence. Snapping out of his confusion, Ace asked "Again, I don't see what the bear has to do with this."
"No, Ace," Sabo interrupted the quarrel. "Luffy has a point."
"What is it about the bear that has everyone going crazy?"
"It's not the bear," Sabo shook his head, smiling slightly. "I think you and I might be over reacting. We could be just a little jealous."
"I'm not jealous of the bear!"
"No, I mean of having another kid here," Sabo rested a hand on Ace's shoulder. "Garp did say he has some enemies. I don't think he had an easy life. Maybe we should try to be nicer to him?"
"How about you try and tell me how it goes," Ace snapped and stalked to the other end of the tree house. "I'm not going near him."
Sabo and Luffy both sighed and shook their heads at Ace's stubbornness.
"I don't care what you say, Ace," Luffy poked Ace in the chest and glared back at him. "I just know Law and I will be friends."
"How do you know that?" Sabo asked. He was always amused by how Luffy could so quickly and easily make up his mind about someone he just met.
"I don't know. I just know he's a good person. And he has a bear."
Ace promptly gave up all hope about talking sense into his little brother.
"Just shut up about the damn bear!"
Bepo is love.
Please, if you'd be so kind as to leave a review, I would greatly appreciate it. Tell me what you think and if I can improve on anything.
Thank you for reading!