Right then guys, as with my other fanfictions, I've decided I will write what I want to, when I want to, and something I've wanted to do for a long, long time, is to rewrite Toddler Troubles to my current standard of writing. To those of you waiting for my other fanfics, Quest and dark truth and whatever else, please wait a little longer. Life isn't being very kind to me right now, and I need to do what I want, rather than what people want from me to get me through some things. Writing isn't fun when it becomes a chore, ne?
As with my other fanfiction under revision, "Pets", chapters in here may be chopped and changed to my heart's content. I'll stop when I don't feel like writing anymore and chapters will be short, but hopefully speedy. Most of you have probably already read this anyway!
Without further ado, Toddler troubles returns, bigger and better than before, with all new chapters (hopefully!) and all new scenes! Guess what? You better welcome Franky and Brooke into this little adventure, too!
Thank you all for your support through PMs and Reviews, every single one is appreciated.
Chapter 1: The Treasure
The sun glimmered high in the sky against a brilliant blue background, not a cloud marred the perfect horizon. The wind was light, a pleasant relief from the day's gentle heat and no enemy ships in sight; all in all a perfect day for sailing. It was just after noon and lunch had recently been finished. With full bellies and little worries, the crew languidly filled their time in the wait to arrive at the next island.
Twin snores echoes across the quiet deck, soft ones from the ship's captain, flopped gracelessly over the lion's head of the Thousand Sunny, and roaring snores from his first mate slumped against the mast in a patch of shade. The soft clanking of plates and running water sounded from the galley as Sanji washed up the mountain of dishes from lunch and the quiet voices of the ship's doctor and sharpshooter mumbled from the cabin, as another web of lies was concocted into an unbelievable story; the little reindeer would believe it, of course. Nami had settled herself on deck with a map spread out in front of her and the day's newspaper folded by her side. Laid out on her belly as one hand twirled a strand of hair between her fingers and the other ghosted across the old parchment, she looked almost like a teenager flicking through a girly magazine. The muffled clang of metal on metal and exclamation of "supah!" travelled from within the ships belly, barely audible over the gentle melody gliding from Brooke's violin as he played and sang quietly to himself, not wanting to disturb his crewmates. Robin meanwhile stood high above in the crows nest, idly thumbing through one of her numerous books, soaking up information like a black haired, blue eyed sponge. She glanced up from time to time to keep a watchful eye on the ocean and her crew, but each time the waves remained empty and calm.
A strangled gasp from Nami caught the archaeologist's attention and she closed her eyes to bloom an extra orb on her crewmates shoulder. Nami, oblivious to her crewmates spying, scrutinised the map in front of her intently and mumbled quietly to herself. A finger trailed eagerly over a small patch of writing at the corner of the frayed parchment and a smile played across Robin's face as she glanced over the text. Nami's face adopted a sceptical look, and Robin's smile grew mischievously. She released her spying eye on Nami and instead turned her attention to her dozing Captain.
Luffy groaned sleepily as he was suddenly lifted by a dozen hands into a sitting position, a small but strong fist knocking on his head like one would on a door. He looked down and blinked groggily at the flurry of limbs holding him up in a sitting position.
"Na, Robin, what is it?" he asked with a yawn.
The disembodied limbs shifted and forced Luffy's attention onto the ship's navigator. The rubber boy blinked in confusion, before his eyes suddenly lit up, a wide smile stretching across his face.
"Thanks, Robin!" he grinned, and yelped as the limbs vanishing in a blossom of flower petals. The young captain laughed and steadied himself before he jumped to the deck and made his way over to Nami. He knew that look on her face; that was Nami's "treasure" look. Maybe this day wouldn't be so boring after all?
Nami frowned as a captain-shaped shadow suddenly blocked the sunlight and quirked an eyebrow as the owner of said shadow crouched beside her, smiling excitedly as he looked over the map in clueless curiosity. Dark eyes then lifted and settled on hers.
"What is it?" he asked excitedly.
Nami smirked and rolled her eyes. She spared a glace up at the crow's nest where Robin smiled innocently back at her and offered a little wave. The navigator sighed in defeat and pushed herself into a sitting position, lifting the map for Luffy to see. There was no point hiding it now – once Luffy had his sights set on something, nothing could stop him.
"Listen to this," Nami spoke, as she started to read aloud from the parchment in front of her.
"For those seeking the greatest treasure
Pirates and people alike
Seek the Crossbones islands
And bathe in its riches."
Luffy hummed thoughtfully, his face scrunching up and lip jutting out in thought. With a smile, he popped the side of his curled fist into his palm.
"A mystery clue!" he exclaimed and Nami shook her head in exasperation.
"Dumbass," she chided gently, as Luffy sniggered. "I picked this map up on the last island from that old lady at the docks. It was cheap, so I thought I'd cross reference it against my own maps that I've done of the area so far."
"Are they good?" Luffy asked, excitedly. He was always happy to hear about the progress of the dreams of his nakama.
"Tch, of course they are." Nami scoffed, and lifted a hand to flick her captain's rubbery head. "But that doesn't matter right now. See here?" the navigator pointed out a splatter of small shapes on the large map. "This is Crossbones islands."
"Ou!" Luffy noised, as he leaned in closer, his face inches from the parchment. Nami sighed and grabbed his hair, yanking him back.
"Not so close, idiot." She scolded. "This map is old. The last thing we need is you ruining it with your breath!"
"I brushed my teeth today!" Luffy responded, his tone sounding accused and defensive. Nami clouted him round the head in annoyance.
"Listen, Luffy." she started, "I don't know if there's still going to be treasure here – like I said, this thing is really old."
"How far away is it?" Luffy asked, still pouting as he rubbed at his head.
"This is the last island, and this is where we are." The navigator explained, as she jabbed her finger at a small shape on the map before she gently trailed it over the worn material to a blank spot. Luffy nodded as he followed her instructions. She brought her free hand forward and pointed to the Crossbones islands. "This is Crossbones; maybe a day, two if the winds are bad."
"So cool!" Luffy laughed, and grinned. "These islands look just like the jolly roger!"
Nami sighed and she rubbed her head in frustration. Yes, he captain certainly was a perceptive one. She could feel a headache coming on already. The islands had obviously been named for their unusual formation, the main island a fair size bigger than the surrounding ones. Between each smaller island and the main central island were rock structures that jutted out from the sea, several miles apart. When mapped, the landmarks looked strikingly similar to a jolly roger.
"I've decided!" Luffy said suddenly, and stood up. "We're going to the Jolly Roger Island!"
"It's called 'Crossbones', idiot!" Nami scolded, though from the small, excited smile on her face, Luffy knew she was happy with his decision. There was still a chance that there could be treasure, after all. She set about changing their course as Luffy raced around the ship to inform the crew of their new, upcoming adventure.
That night, with the ship anchored and the crew tucked up in their beds, Sanji sat silently in the watch tower. Blue eyes focused on the black waves surrounding their ship, but his mind wandered elsewhere as he closed his lips around the cigarette pinched between his thumb and finger and took a drag. His lips quirked upwards as the telltale creak of wood signalled the approach of one of the crew members climbing the ladder to join him. It wasn't like he hadn't expected it, and he reached over and rested the back of his fingers against the mug of cocoa that had been sitting on the table for about fifteen minutes. It was still warm – good.
Seconds later, Luffy head popped up from the hatch that led into the watch room. Wide eyes scanned the room until they rested on Sanji and an even wider grin split the boys face as he hopped into the room and trotted over to join his cook. Sanji handed over the cocoa without explanation and sat back, taking another long drag of his cigarette, lazily exhaling the smoke away from Luffy.
"Captain." He greeted, smooth and relaxed as always.
Luffy took a hefty gulp of his chocolate drink and sat back with a contented sigh. It was always the same before a new adventure. The excitement had him coiled like a spring and he would toss and turn for hours without sleep. His tousled hair and ruffled night clothes were evidence of his sleep struggle. All he really needed was a distraction to help him fall asleep and get his mind off of the exciting events of the next day.
"Tomorrows menu," Sanji started, an amused smile playing on his lips. It was a Luffy-style bed time story. Telling him an adventure story would just excite him more, and something sappy or boring wouldn't hold his interest long enough to distract him. Food however, was a perfect distraction.
Luffy listened eagerly as Sanji listed off the delicious sounding breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks of the next day. In a deliberate slow, drawling voice, he explained the preparation of each ingredient and each step in creating the meals. Luffy closed his eyes and licked his lips as he mentally pictured each scrumptious sounding ingredient and sat cross-legged, with his arms folded behind him as a makeshift pillow for his head. Sanji's eyes stayed focused on the black waves, vigilantly watching for any danger in the dark water around them as he slowly explained his cooking plan for the next day.
Halfway through lunch, Sanji caught a soft snore from behind him and tore his gaze away from the ocean for a second to glance back at his dozing captain in satisfaction. The cocoa was gone and the brat was asleep. Mission accomplished. The chef didn't bother trying move Luffy to encourage him to go to bed. If he woke him, they'd just wind up back at stage one. He grabbed a heavy blanket he brought up with him earlier and flicked it into the air, letting it float down onto the younger boy's wiry body. It wasn't uncommon for Luffy to wake him the night before an 'adventure' for a cocoa or a midnight snack to help him sleep. They'd figured out this routine months back, and it always worked.
Sanji leaned back into the cushioned chairs or the watch room and turned back towards the ocean. Bring on the new adventure – bring on whatever lovely ladies would come with it~!
Right guys, like I said, rewritten, shorter, but I don't care! If you don't like it, I'm truly sorry, but as my mum says – hard cheese. I'm writing for own satisfaction for a while, and I'm loving this new style of shorter chapters. No stress, no pressure and all fun! I hope you enjoyed it anyway.
If there's anything you wanted to see after reading Toddler Troubles the original, please let me know! Thanks to everybody who has supported this fic and my others! Give me time people, I'll get around to them all in the end.