Disclaimer: all Characters belong to Eiichiro Oda.
No pairings. One shot.
"Luffy, No!" He splashed the water all over. "Where are you!" He dunked under just as the sea monster arose. "Luffy!" He tried to yell under water. No sign of the child. He stayed under as long as possible searching everywhere. Still no sign.
After breaking through the surface of the sea he saw the monster was gone. All that was left was pieces of the dinghy the bandit had been in. Shanks didn't give up he kept searching and yelling. "Dammit Luffy! Where are you!" He went under again only coming up with his hair pouring sea water all over his face and blurring his eye sight. "Luffy, No! Where are you hiding?! Come out! Please.....You can't be dead..." Those were the first words he said quietly. They were the words that just couldn't be true. He swore and lashed at the water still. Shanks breathed fast, he was getting tired but he wasn't going to give up. His heart raced. "Luffy!" He yelled again as loud as he could.
"Captain Shanks, I'm...I'm sorry..." Makino approached him Shanks who was sitting before her. "I wi-"
"Just leave it alone Makino! I don't need sympathy!" She backed off a bit but knew what a hard time he was having. "If...if I could...have just...just got there faster..." He stared at his hands. "Why don't you," Shanks paused and looked up at her, " just leave me alone!" He yelled, emphasizing each word.
Makino listened, and left his cabin with Shanks sinking in his own depression. "Luffy...this isn't...it is not happening..." He shut his eyes, shaking his head, and hoping that he would wake.
"Cap'n." Ben opened the door slowly. "Are you okay?" Shanks stood up putting his hat on. Then straightening up, he walked towards his first mate. "Where are you going?" Shanks shoved him out of the way.
"That's none of your business! So just...get out of my way!" Ben stepped away.
No one followed Shanks. He walked slowly the familiar path to Party's Bar. A young boy's laughing haunted his mind with every step.
"Shanks! Can I hang out with you?"
"I don't know kid. Your kind a little."
"I'm not little!"
"Oh, then what is this lack of height?"
"It's- wait- shut up!"
The path was more than he could handle, so he took a strange detour. Eventually he got there but once in the bar he wasn't any happier than he had been on the way over.
"Captain Shanks!" Makino wiped her eyes. "I didn't think you were coming."
"I'm not here to talk! Just give me something to drink." She carefully set a bottle on the table. He emptied bottle after bottle. Nothing was helping. His depression was strong and overwhelmed him. There wasn't a bottle in the world that would even make a dent in his sorrow. He looked around the bar. Everything he saw reminded him of that little kid.
"Hey Shanks take me with you!"
"You! You can't even swim." He laughed.
"You don't have to rub it in!"
"Anchor! There you go. New name for you is Anchor. Okay?"
"But you need an anchor on a ship."
"Yeah to throw overboard." The bar filled laughter.
"I didn't want to be so mean." Shanks mumbled.
Makino strained to hear what he said, but when she moved closer his gaze lifted with a deadly glare. It was really quiet. The only sound was the occasional sound of Makino wiping her eyes. Shanks' vison was blurring. He was holding back the tears he so desperately wanted to cry. He hadn't shed a tear yet, but why? He only got angrier and angrier, why couldn't his feelings be expelled through harmless tears. "I'm done." Shanks grabbed a bottle before he left, without paying for one. As he stumbled back to ship he tried to keep Luffy out of his mind but it was impossible.
"Don't leave yet!"
"Because I like you guys."
"Quiet. I'm a pirate. People are gonna make fun of me soon."
"They will not. Don't you think of me as your friend."
"Well-not really–kind of-I don't know-your just a kid-"
"Fine, I don't like you Shanks!"
It destroyed him to remember saying such a heartless thing even if a few minutes later Luffy was begging them to stay.
"I didn't mean to say that... Luffy you were my friend." But the silence around him was the only thing listening. As he saw the ship in sight he slowed his walk. "Luffy..." he mumbled again and again. When he finally reached the wooden ramp he froze, and turned to stare out at the sea. "Why couldn't I have just swam faster?"
A few men from the his crew approached but didn't want to be near their captain. They knew how close Shanks had been to Luffy, he had always talked about what the kid's future would be like, filling it with lots of adventure and bravery. He had always been so proud and defensive of Luffy, even if he never said it.
There was a time that Luffy hadn't known about. There were some men making fun of the kid for his shortness behind his back, he had, 'taught those men a lesson.' Shanks was aloud to say anything he wanted but, just as family is, no one else but him could say a cross word.
The sky was getting dark. Shanks just stood watching the sun set. A bright water color painting of pink, orange, and gold. "Damn you sky! There's not a thing to be happy and colorful about!" He yelled.
Shanks wasn't sure how long he stood there. The next thing he comprehended the night began to flood the air around him. As he looked up he watched the stars twinkle.
"Stars are so cool Shanks!"
"Yeah, they are Luffy. You'd love them out at sea! There's even more than this."
"Wow! Can I please come!"
"No. Sorry. You'd never live to come back, unless you can fight."
"Oh yeah, watch this!"
Shanks laughed lightly but it wasn't genuine. All the laugh was was an attempt to bring some of that memory to life (Luffy had done such a ridiculous rendition of fighting he had laughed for days.) "I would have taken you with. If it just could have..." Shanks stood alone on the ramp. He clenched his hands in fists, as they shook. "Luffy, Luffy...?"
No little voice he knew all to well responded. He shut his eyes tight again. Expecting that when he opened them there Luffy would be hugging his legs and begging for him not to leave. Begging to come.
...But there was no begging...
no little worshiper...
"Cap'n." Yasopp said walking over to Shanks, but as he got closer he was shoved back.
"Get away from me!" He stomped off to his cabin. He collapsed on the floor of the room. At first at a sitting, then laying down and all the while, thinking. "Come back, kid...I'll do anything... Luffy..."
Saying the child's name made him feel connected to that little boy. Shanks still held the bottle tightly. After a hour or so the door opened.
"Captain Shanks." Ben entered the room. It was dimly lit, as if this cabin was the room of depression himself.
"What do you want! Get out!" Ben didn't listen. He wasn't afraid of Shanks. "I said get the hell out!" He sat up adjusting his hat.
"No." Ben wasn't going to leave that easily.
"Then wh- what do you want!" Shanks stood up.
"I talked to the mayor. He said there is gonna be a service for the kid." He moved a little closer to the slightly drunken Shanks.
"You know he's got a name... it's Luffy..." He meandered over to his bed and reached under the pillow. "See this picture! He gave this to me! That kid has a name..." Ben gave a confused look, followed by a nod. Shanks' hands shook. The paper in his hands slowly crinkled as he pulled it close to his chest. Then, remembering Ben was there, yelled at him again. "Get out now!" Ben didn't move.
"I know how much you cared about Luffy but-" a bottle smashed next to his head.
"I said get out!" Shanks had thrown it at him and now was right in his face. Ben moved quickly to the door.
"the service forLuffy is tomorrow. So stop drinking and be there!" Shanks stared at the door. He turned around, kicked the table over, and knocked everything all over. He swore and yelled. "Dammit Luffy... how..." That was all he said. He stared at all the stuff laying around. He reached down picking up a small treasure chest, and out fell a purple fruit with bites out of it*.
"Luffy that was a devil fruit!"
"Your just like rubber now!"
Shanks looked at the fruit for a long time. Every moment he grew more angry. The fruit was being squished between his fingers. He reached for a knife as he threw the thing on the floor. He stabbed the knife into the surface of the devil fruit. "Damn you! You blasted devil thing!" He ripped the fruit into many pieces with the knife. "I could have taught him to swim! He would have stood a chance!" He missed the fruit by accident several times and stabbed his skin, creating small pools of the broken and tormented blood of a guilt driven man.
The next morning Shanks was a bit hung over but that wasn't nearly as bad as the pain he felt inside. Shanks was dressed in his usual clothes. As he walked from his cabin his crew followed, at a distance though. The sky was cloudy and dark. It was drizzling slightly, and the service was being held in the grave yard. A tent was over where all people were seated.
"Is this it?" Shanks muttered very matter-a-factly. There were only a few people. Makino, the mayor, some town folk besides for the red hair crew, or at least the small portion of them that cared enough to come. At the beginning a man talked and talked about Luffy. As they stood quietly around the grave Makino cried, the mayor comforted her, some of the towns people cried too, but Shanks just stood silent staring at the name written on the grave outside the tent's protection. "Luffy..."
People started to leave as the rain began to beat down harder. Soon everyone was gone, but Shanks remained there. He walked out from, no longer safe from the rain. Quickly he became soaked. "This... is all... my fault... isn't it" He was freezing in the cold rain. "If... I would have stood up to that bandit myself..." He looked at his hands again as they shook. Shanks felt warm tears slide down his cheeks. "Luffy... my little... Luffy... it's my fault!" He fell to his knees. His shoulders shook. Tears kept streaming down his cheeks. "If I never-wou–would have come to your village... you wouldn't have eaten that fruit... no fight with bandits... no swimming... no pirates..." He lightly touched the name written on the grave.
"Shanks, why did you become a pirate?"
"I guess I always like seeing new stuff."
"Yeah, but one problem."
"Do you have to like killing people to be a pirate?"
"No...I don't like to kill people."
"Does it bother you? I mean when someone dies."
"..no! I'm not some kind of weak idiot!"
The words haunted him, and that obvious lie. He whispered his answer, the true answer. "Yes... Luffy... It does..." Rain poured off hat.
After a long hour or two, Shanks walked back to the ship. He was holding tears back again. His crew was staying out of his way, and he didn't want to talk to them either. Shanks looked out on the ocean. It looked speckled because of the rain drops.
"Luffy! Hold on kid! I'm coming!"
"Cap'n no! You'll never make it on time!"
"Besides cap'n there's a sea monster out there!"
"I don't care! Luffy's gonna drowned if I don't do something!"
"No! That kids a goner!"
"Not if I can help it!"
He remembered running towards that ocean with all the confidence that he would reach the child. He now walked to the water. Slowly he wade into the choppy waves. He stood knee deep just recollecting that movement that was only yesterday.
"I would have given something up..." He stared at the water. "I still will! Bring him back! I'll give up anything..." He moved deeper into the water. Rain still poured. "It was my fault! Not his! Take what you want!" He shut his eyes yelling to the sky.
Just as he was to open them again he lost his balance and fell into the water.
Is that what he smelled. He felt sand under him but he was still where the tide washed in. Someone was shaking him and crying.
"Shanks! Wake up!" He weakly opened his eyes slightly. "Come on! Look we're safe!" All he could see was some small child's feet. "Come on! Stop bleeding!" The kid was weeping. The child was panicking and talked fast. "I'll be right back with help. Hold on..." he ran off through the tide. He kept going and found some of the Red Hair Crew on their way over. As the child ran towards them he hugged onto Ben. "You...you got to help him..." Ben picked him up and they began running down the beach with the rest of the crew.
"What happened? Who needs help?'
"It's Shanks he- his arm was bitten off... he was just trying to protect me, me!" As they got closer they saw the condition Shanks was in. He lay sprawled out on the beach in a pool of blood and sea water. He breathed weakly, he was half dead. Shanks tried to look over to see if the kid was who he thought. "Shanks! Captain Shanks! You gotta live!" He couldn't look because he was laying on his stomach. More people stood around him. Shanks could recognize by their voices that they were his crew. The sand under him was red. The kid was still crying. "Shanks, you said it was okay! You said it was a small price to pay! I'm safe see!" The child's voice was filled with gasping. "Please... wake up Shanks..." There was a pause. "I'm scared"
"...Luffy..." He tried to roll over to see the child. "Your... alive...?" He couldn't move, he felt way to weak.
"Shanks! Shanks! Are you okay?!" Some men carefully rolled Shanks on his back. Luffy kneeled next to him. Luffy's shirt was stained with blood but there wasn't any real damage done. One man from his crew was holding a cloth on the wound. "I'm- I'm so sor- sorry! I never–should have---" some of his crew ran off to get their doctor. While Ben, Yasopp and Luffy remained there.
"Is this real?" Blinding pain occupied his entire left side. "What... happened...I thought... you were dea- I thought I lost you... Luffy..." Luffy couldn't do anything but stare where Shanks' left arm was ripped off, but he tried to speak clearly.
"After yo–you saved m-me you tried t–to swim b-back—but y–you- passed out when we we-were almost back— the tide brought us back- I pulled you on the beach-" he pointed to himself in the most proud way he could.
"Captain, do you remember anything?" Yasopp held Luffy in his lap**. Shanks weakly shook his head.
"Luffy, I'm sorry...it was my fault..." His voice was raspy and quiet. The rest of the crew had returned with their doctor. Shanks lay very still but he wished there was something he could do to help Luffy. The kid just cried and cried guiltless tears.
The Red Hair crew carefully moved their captain to his cabin. Their doctor worked on it more in there. The whole time Luffy wouldn't stop talking.
"Is he gonna be okay? I'm really sorry Shanks." and so on. For the whole time he was in his cabin Luffy had sat at his bedside, mostly crying, and mumbling how sorry he was. Soon the kid fell asleep. His crew wanted to remove Luffy from his room but Shanks refused, so they made up a bed for Luffy. He still wasn't sure that the kid was really okay. He reached down, where Luffy lay next to his bed. He touched the child's hair then he ran a few fingers over those soft, but damp cheeks. Then Shanks looked over at the stump that used to be his arm. "Good," He whispered, "I wouldn't be able to live without this silly kid chasing my very shadow."
* I know Luffy ate the whole thing, but this is a fanfiction and it was way more dramatic to have it there for Shanks to look at with contempt.
**Remember Usopp? if you don't, well anyway I don't have time to explain....I think he misses him so he tries to treat Luffy like his son. Haha! Sounds Stupid. But I just had to say it.
I'm not really sure if this makes sense. I hoped you liked it though, and I hope it wasn't too OOC. I was influenced by a few things I've read before (Fan fics, Fan art, movies, etc.) but please leave your review. Please excuse spelling or grammatical errors sometimes I hit a key to many times or am listening to music and get confused.
Thanks for reading!