Disclaimer: I don't own anything from One Piece.
WARNING: Pairings are Ace x Luffy, Shanks x Luffy, and a bit of Zoro x Luffy. If you don't care for these pairings then don't read.
VTM: This is my first mystery/supernatural style fic (inspired a little by the current chapters in One Piece, beware there may be some spoilers in future chapters...), so please take it easy on me, no flames…Now let's get this show started!
Shanks sighed as he watched the scenery pass by the window of the carriage.
It was the beginning of autumn, the leaves were beginning to change, and crops were almost ripe enough to harvest.
Just then Shanks gave a confused blink. He noticed that the sky had suddenly become grey, like it was going to rain. Sitting up, he peeked his head out of the window of the carriage, odd, there was sun light at the other end of the road where he had just come from.
'What the Hell…?'
Looking around he could see that his surrounding slowly became more eerie as the carriage continued on it's way.
It wasn't too long before they had stopped at the entrance of a decent sized town.
"Well…this is it…Merry Go Town…"
"Huh…Doesn't look so "merry" to me…" Shanks said tilting his head slightly.
"True…but that wasn't the case a couple months ago…" explained the Carriage driver. "This place was a good town…but…well…I guess that's why you're here isn't it? To find out what happened…right, detective?"
Shanks smirked a little. "Yeah…So where should I go from here?"
"Hmm…" The carriage driver looked thoughtful for a minute. "Well…I suggest You go to the D. Family Manor…"
Shanks' blinked. "D. Family?"
"Yeah, oldest family that's been here…I'm afraid the head of the family isn't in town though, he had to go out to sea, and his usual replacement has gone missing…" the carriage driver explained.
"Hmm…Okay…I see…Thanks…uh where is the D. Manor?" Shanks asked.
"Not too far from here…just keep going straight, it's just past the water fountain…"
"Thanks…" Shanks tipped his straw hat to the carriage driver and walked off.
It didn't take too long to find the manor, it would have been a beautiful house if it wasn't for the gloomy atmosphere. As Shanks walked through the courtyard he couldn't help but look up at the towering building ahead of him. Suddenly he stopped in his tracks, he could've sworn he saw something in one of the windows. He couldn't quite make out what it was, but one thing he knew, it didn't seem all that happy he was there.
Making his way to the front door, Shanks reached out a hand to knock, but the door quickly opened, startling him.
"What do you want?" The man that stood before him had a serious air about him, piercing dark eyes, and odd green hair.
"Uh…Is…Is this the D. Family manor?" Shanks asked.
"Yeah, what do you want?"
"I'm a detective, my name's Shanks, can I speak to the master of the house?"
"………Fine." The green haired man stepped aside, allowing Shanks in. "Follow me…" He then led the way through the house.
As they made their way through the house Shanks couldn't help but notice little paper signs stuck to the wall. "Kitchen" Shanks read one out loud, he then noticed there was an arrow pointing in the kitchen's direction. "Why do you guys have all these signs?" he asked.
Zoro froze for a moment.
"Because his sense of direction is shit." said a voice out of nowhere.
"Oh shut up dartboard brow!" Zoro shot back.
Looking towards the kitchen, Shanks noticed a blonde man leaning against a wall.
"Well it's the truth…"
Zoro's cheeks went a nice shade of red. "Shut it Sanji! We have a guest for crying out loud!"
Sanji looked a little surprised. "Really? Well let's hope they'll stay for dinner, I'm sure it'll make up for the experience of having a Marimo like you lead them on a wild goose chase through out the house…"
"Saaaanjiiiiii…" Zoro growled.
Just then Shanks stepped in between the two. "Um, look, can I please just meet with the master of the house?"
"Oh, right…sorry…" Zoro scratched the back of his head. "Follow me…"
Sanji shook his head and was about to go back into the kitchen, but then he noticed something. "Oi! Shit head! That's the way to the garden! Use the signs dummy! They're there for a reason!"
-Finally, after half an hour…-
"Uh…I'm sure this is it…" Zoro said as he reached a door at the end of a hallway.
'I hope it is…' Shanks sighed.
"Luffy, you have a visitor…" Zoro said as he opened the door.
"This…is the master of the house…?" Shanks said with a confused blink. Before him was a grinning, lanky, bedridden boy, deathly pale, with unruly black, big, curious eyes, and a scar his left eye.
The boy sat up and stretched a little. "Who's this Zoro?" he asked.
"This is Shanks, he's a detective sent out here from one of the big cities to look into the strange happenings here…" Zoro explained.
"O…Oh…" Luffy looked away for a moment.
Shanks blinked what brought this on? The boy's demeanor had changed so suddenly.
"So…" Luffy began, he then looked back at Shanks and smiled. "Is there anything we can do to help?"
Another sudden change. What was going on in this kid's head? "Well…Um…If there's any information you can give me…"
Luffy tilted his head to the side and looked thoughtful. "…………Nope. I've been stuck in bed the whole time…Sorry…"
"Well, that's okay then…" Shanks said with a sigh.
"I feel kinda bad though…" Luffy said with a sigh. "I know! While your on your investigations you can stay here as my guest…it's better than staying at the inn…I know the inn keeper there, and she just loves money, she'd drain you dry in one night!"
"Tell me about it…" Zoro mumbled.
"Huh?" Shanks said with a blink.
Luffy then laughed. "Zoro's just mad because he's still working just to pay off his debt to Nami, the inn keeper…"
"Oh…I see…" Shanks said with a slight laugh.
"I already offered to pay the debt for him, but he won't hear of it…" Luffy explained.
Shanks looked at Zoro confusedly.
"I…I have my own reasons…" Zoro said as he looked away.
"Hey Zoro…" Luffy said suddenly. "You think you can get a room prepared for Shanks? And help him in anyway, if he needs it?"
Zoro sighed. "…Sure."
Luffy grinned. "Thanks Zoro, you're the best!"
Zoro gave a small smile and left the room.
Now it was only Shanks and Luffy in the room. Shanks took a moment to take a glance around. It was somewhat of a childish room. Painted in red, there were models of pirate ships and books on pirates and the sea. There was even a Jolly Roger flag hung up on the wall.
"So…you like pirates?" he found himself asking.
Luffy laughed. "Yeah…they're great…I want to go out to sea one day…"
"If you get well?"
Luffy shook his head. "When I get well…"
Shanks studied the boy for a moment. In all honesty, he looked as though he'd die at any moment, he was so pale, and looked almost tired, as if he were drained of something. His life perhaps? His energy? God knows not his spirit, Shanks could sense this kid's will and spirit were going strong.
"Is there anything else you need?" Luffy asked.
"……No, not really…but thank you for everything…" Shanks said with a smile. "Oh, but maybe you can tell me one thing…do you know the best place to get information around here?"
Luffy grinned. "Yeah…Try Nami's inn, I'm sure she can tell you something…"
"Hello, are you Nami?" Shanks asked an orange haired woman.
"Who wants to know?"
"I'm Shanks, I'm a detective, I was sent here to investigate the strange happenings in this area…" Shanks explained.
"Oh…I heard about you…you're the guy that came to town earlier this afternoon, right?"
Shanks blinked. "Uh…yeah…How did you-"
"News travels pretty fast in these parts…Yeah, I'm Nami…and being that you just got here today, chances are you don't have a place to stay yet…so I'll cut you a deal…" Nami began.
"But I-" Shanks was cut off.
"Now, being that you're from a different town…or probably a city…because you're a detective…we don't have detectives here…I'll still have to charge you extra…"
"But…I'm already staying at the D. Manor…"
"And…what?" Nami said with a blink. "The D. Manor?"
"Yeah, that kid, Luffy invited me to stay…" Shanks explained.
"Oh…Darn…" Nami said with a slight huff.
"He told me that I should ask you about information…"
"Hee, hee…" Nami's eye gained a glint to them. "Sure…but it will cost you…"
Shanks sighed and gave her some money. "He was right, you really do love money, don't you?"
"Hee, hee, hee, that flatterer…" Nami said with a grin. "So what do you need to know?"
"Uh…well…actually…they didn't really give me much of a briefing…so…what exactly has been happening here?"
Nami's features darkened slightly. "Well…I guess it all started when Luffy's brother, Ace, disappeared…he had gone off to find a doctor to help Luffy when he first got sick…that was almost two months ago now…"
"So…the kid's brother is missing…" Shanks said with a blink. "Luffy never mentioned that to me…"
"He's still confident Ace is going to come back…" Nami explained. "They two are very close…"
"I see…" Shanks said with a nod. It must've been a sore subject for Luffy. "Was there any other strange things that happened?"
"Well…Live stock started mysteriously dying, so have some of the crops…The forest has been really weird too…some of the animals are more fierce…some have even said they've seen strange figures roaming in the forest too…It's been making a lot of people nervous…"
"I see…can't say I blame them…" Shanks said with a nod. As he let this all sink in for some reason his thoughts wandered back to Luffy. "Say, do you know what Luffy's sickness is? I haven't seen anything like it before…"
"From what I heard, that's what the local doctors say too…" Nami said with a sigh. She was then silent for a moment. "……How bad does it look?" she said finally.
"Huh?" Shanks said with a blink.
"………A lot of the people in this town miss him…" Nami began. "He used to go all over the place, causing trouble and playing around…it's…not the same without that kid's goofy grin or that silly little laugh of his…" Nami smiled a little at the memories.
Shanks was silent for a moment. He didn't know what to say, he actually felt bad when he thought back to when he first met him.
"……So…it's that bad, huh?" Nami said quietly.
"I didn't say anything…"
"You didn't have too…that fact that you didn't say anything kinda gave it away…" Nami explained. She gave a deep sigh. "Is there anything else you'd like to know?"
"…Um…No…I'm good for now, thank you for all your help…" And with that Shanks left.
As he left the inn he heard someone shout.
"Monsters! Are coming! Everyone hide!"
Shanks blinked and looked at the boy shouting. He was a scrawny boy, with dark curly hair and a long nose.
"CUT IT OUT USOPP!!!!!" came a shout out of nowhere, the a flying frying pan hit the boy in the head, knocking him over.
Shanks walked over to the boy and helped him up. "You okay?"
"Don't worry about me, I'm fine!" Usopp said as Shanks helped him up. "Say, you're a new face…what brings you here?"
"You know monsters are roaming the woods don't you?" Usopp said suddenly. "People have been disappearing! Animals have been dying! We're all doomed! The town's been cursed!"
Suddenly out of nowhere a wooden cooking spoon flew out and hit Usopp in the back of the head, sending him into a face plant into the ground.
"I think you need to calm down…" Shanks said with a sweat drop. "I think you might be upsetting some of the people here…"
"Aw…I don't see what the big deal is…" Usopp said as Shanks helped him up again.
Shanks glanced around. "Well the people seem a little up tight around here…hearing things about monsters and all that probably doesn't help…"
"But there are monsters! That's the thing!" Usopp explained.
"There's no such thing…" Shanks said with a sigh.
"Sure, you say that now…but you'll see…"
"Right…I'm sure I will…" Shanks said with a little skepticism.
VTM And there's chapter 1. I hope you enjoyed it so far, R&R! And again, please! No flames!