AU ZoLu (ZoroxLuffy LuffyxZoro same diff) SanNam (SanjixNami NamixSanji)

Rating: M for violence
Warning: This fic could become fairly emotional.

Plushie: A note to remember. The characters you are about to read may seem OOC from what you are used to. The reason for this will spoil the fic, so please be patient to find out why the characters act the way they do. This is how the fic is designed, this is how the characters are. They are not intended to be the same as Eiichiro Oda's characters. They are Clarobell's, and mine. Okieday?

Clarobell: It may seem like we've made Luffy 'too dumb' or another character not quite right, but believe me, there is a reason for it. You'll find out why in later chapters. Okay guys. We've done our best to eliminate all mistakes, both grammatical and spelling blah blah. Please be patient with any OOCness and let us know what you think!


--Part 1:Discoveries--

--Written by Plushie and Clarobell--

Chapter 1: Chance Encounter

The outskirts of Treble Cleff town were quiet. This town had once been very famous, having been known and named for and after a rock band called the 'Treble Cleffs'. They'd lived in the town for a long time, only leaving to tour around every few months before coming home. Now, the town informally know as Cleff, was a pit. Teenagers had swarmed to Treble Cleff town during the rock band's fame, but had not only gone there for the music and the fun. It had been also for more dirty, and horrible activities of drug dealing, alcoholism, prostitution and gambling.

The place had become a pit. A hole as some called it. Or, when being polite, a hell hole. It had become unsafe to walk around at night, and the druggie teenagers had become messed up adults, who couldn't keep a solid job and couldn't keep themselves from their own unhealthy addictions. The rock band had eventually been forgotten, but the change they brought was not. Cleff town, was not a safe place anymore. Few places remained clean from the bad influences that had swept across the area but those that did, thrived. Posh restaurants lined the streets, people with fancy cars living in large houses. The town was like the moon, with a dark and light side.

Very few people were around at this time of day, and the few that were, were only out because it was a weekend and they had nothing better to do. Sunday was the day for relaxing at home and not working; recovering from Saturday night partying. As such, the few people that were on the streets, barely even noticed the slim figure walking slowly down the sidewalk, arms swinging on either side of him as he hummed to himself. If anyone had cared to take notice, they would have seen that the boy was actually a little too skinny, but was wearing at least ten layers of clothing. But no one cared about a boy walking up the street by himself.

His name was Luffy, an average looking boy with messy dark hair and fairly pale skin. Luffy was looking back and forth, his eyes wide with awe as he saw a group of giggling girls across the street from him, before he paused to look up at a Billboard that was advertising a new brand of meat that was 'extra tasty and more meaty than ever'. This caused his attention to become focused on it, until the billboard rolled around to begin advertising 'spring fresh and sparkling clean' bathroom floor cleaner. He wasn't entirely sure what they were saying, as he didn't really have any reading skills, but, the pictures looked good! And that meat had looked tasty! Now it was replaced with a bathroom though... who'd wanna eat one of those?

Pouting at this, he moved on and around a corner into a small corner store that was basically empty except for an old man in rags and his dog under an arm. Luffy held a thin piece of paper in his hand, but it was of no use to him as he couldn't read. So he had to rely on what he remembered his grandfather saying. That wasn't too hard, his memory was fairly good.

In another aisle nearby, a young man was pausing to look at certain things on the shelves. Tired eyes were trying to focus on a box of what looked like corn flakes, but he wasn't sure. He growled quietly in agitation, glaring at the offending cereal and wondering why his friend had sent him here. She knew very well he hated doing this sort of thing. He hated going places that were new, and hated going anywhere where there was people; yet she had insisted that he was to go and get the groceries today. So, he had done it. Brushing a hand through his green hair and yawning widely before moving on, he promptly forgot that he was supposed to actually pick up the box.

Luffy walked into the shop and glanced around with wide eyes scanning the shelves, a wide smile crossing his face. This place was so cool with all the food! Running over to the first aisle, his brow knit in confusion as he tried to make out the strange letters on the wrapping of the products lined along the shelves, failing miserably. It was times like now he wished he could do that thing where people understood the squiggly lines on paper like words. Looking down at the scrunched up paper in his hand, he squinted at the words written there his grandfather had written, sighing as he couldn't understand them.

He was hoping he'd be able to match the names with things on the shelves, but even that seemed impossible as his gramps' handwriting was scribbled and didn't seem to look like any of the things around him. Looking up, he sighed as he found everything else just as confusing, this was his first time doing this sort of thing, and he really had no clue as to what he was supposed to do. He'd been here a couple of times with gramps, and been made to wait outside, but this was his fist time alone. Blinking in concern, he turned just in time to see the green haired teen that had been examining the cereal wander by, eyes focused on the ground. He reached forward and latched onto the man's shirt, tugging lightly to try and get his attention.

"Hey mister, can you help me? I don't know what-" but he was cut off as the man turned around abruptly and knocked him away forcefully. Luffy was sent sprawling on the floor and he gulped and cringed as the man glared down at him. Gramps acted like that… and he had been hoping that no one else would, but apparently he was wrong. Muttering a quick apology, he got to his feet and hurried away. He didn't want to be beaten this early in the morning. Not today.

The man looked after the boy as he hurried away, and sighed.

"Damn… why do I have to be so friggin…" he muttered as he slapped a palm into his forehead. He looked after the boy, "Oi!" and he hurried after him. The boy, startled, turned and began to back away, his eyes wide.

"I said I was sorry - I didn't mean to!" Luffy babbled out, cringing in front of the man, who looked down at him with pity.

"Huh? Listen kid, I was just… startled is all." and he stuck his hand in his pocket, the other holding a small shopping basket "What did you want?" and he looked around the shop idly as he waited for the kid to reply. But the boy ducked his head, feeling entirely embarrassed now.

"Um… I don't know how to…" he whispered, sheepishly showing the man the list. The green haired man blinked down at the offered item, hesitant to take it, but then letting out a heavy sigh, he plucked it from the sheepish boy's fingers. Sighing, he mumbled to himself as he read through the list, his eyes occasionally glancing around him out of reflex more than anything. He didn't like being in this place, and it would be better if he just got this done, and then went straight home; home was good.

"Come on…" and he walked casually away, eyes flicking once again to either side of him and shoulders hunched.

Luffy smiled brightly, following after his new friend and feeling a lot better now. This guy was being nice to him! Was helping him! Gramps had never done that. The man dropped his basket and grabbed a trolley, quickly walking down the small row of aisles and grabbing the item listed on the scrap of paper, piling them into it for the boy, moving as quickly as he could but trying to still look casual. Luffy watched in awe as the man dumped things that looked vaguely familiar into the trolley.

"So… what's your name?" Luffy asked, looking him up and down. The green haired teen turned and frowned down at Luffy, one eyebrow raised.

"Do you want my help or not?" he growled. Luffy's smile fell instantly and he bowed his head, muttering another apology. Luffy's new 'friend' let out a miserable sigh. This is why he didn't like people. Well… that and other things.

"Zoro. Ok? Roronoa Zoro." and he continued down the aisle. Luffy smiled a little, but didn't raise his head. The tone that Zoro had just used was the same one that Gramps used when he got annoyed.

"Hi Zoro." Luffy muttered. Zoro found himself wondering what this kid's name was, and soon he couldn't deny the question.

"What's yours?" he half mumbled as he pulled down another box and placed it in the trolley, not meeting the boy's eyes.

"Luffy." he said, looking up and grinning, "Monkey D Luffy." and then he blinked, "Your hair is cool." Zoro started and winced a little. His hair was a bit of a sensitive subject.

"Ah… thanks mist- I mean Luffy." Zoro muttered and then shook his head. He had almost been about to call Luffy, Mister, and the kid surely wasn't older than him. After all, he was nineteen. Damn it, he thought he was out of that habit.

"So do you live around here?" Luffy asked, trotting up beside Zoro. His confidence with Zoro was slowly growing, "I live with my gramps a few blocks away!" and he grinned. Zoro scratched at the back of his neck and took a short step away from Luffy, not comfortable with closeness of someone he didn't know.

"I live… nearby." Zoro replied. He really didn't know how far away he lived, as he had forgotten the route home. That… wasn't good, "…I think" Luffy grinned widely and Zoro jumped at the next outburst.

"Cooool!! Do you live with people!?" Luffy asked, leaning closer to Zoro and getting louder and louder as he grew more excited. Zoro leaned away, the back of his head brushing the shelves behind him.

"Gramps doesn't let me go out with people!" Luffy said, but instead of sounding dismayed or disappointed, he sounded excited, or happy. And he was grinning from ear to ear. Zoro was growing more and more nervous by the noise. He didn't like loud noises... and he liked loud people even less.

"I live with two others…" he replied quickly, gulping slightly and letting his eyes dart all around for any course of a quick exit.

"That's so cool!! Are they your friends?" and he stopped suddenly and started to pant, "Hoooot…" he whined, tugging at the collar of the large jacket he was wearing. He wasn't used to wearing this many layers of clothing indoors.

"Umm… yeah…maybe you should take off those jumpers or something?" he asked. Zoro himself was wearing a sleeveless light blue shirt with the top two buttons undone, and a pair of dark, almost black pants. Luffy grinned almost tiredly, letting his hand fall from his collar to rest against his side. His eyes searched the ground as his bangs fell into them and then he shrugged.

"I'm not allowed. Gramps said I'd be sorry if I did, and he said, even if he's not there, he'd know so…" and he shrugged again, eyes still focused on the black and white tile pattern on the floor, "I'll keep em on." Luffy looked up and then his eyes bugged out as he saw the deli that was across from them.

"Woooooow." and he headed straight for it. Zoro blinked after him, and then narrowed his eyes a little.

What the hell did that mean? He thought, as what Luffy had said about his grandfather replayed through his mind. Interest made him follow the boy, and ignore the little warning in his mind that was telling him to go home, and face his housemate, Nami's wrath. Hopefully she wouldn't yell at him, and Sanji, her boyfriend, wouldn't get too annoyed with him.

Zoro ignored the warning in his head and continued after Luffy. Something just… compelled him to stay close, a feeling that this kid actually needed him. Meanwhile, Luffy was drooling at the meat, gazing at all the different types, with his hands pressed against the glass. He turned as Zoro arrived beside him and grinned up at the taller man.

"Is there any meat on the list thingy?" he asked excitedly. Zoro looked down the list and then shook his head.

"No." he replied. Luffy's smile fell, but a small quirk in his lips was left behind as he shrugged.

"Okay then. Is that all the stuff?" and he peered at the back of the paper. Zoro looked down at it again.

"Uh… yeah… but I don't think this is going to cost that much. If you have enough, why don't you buy some ham or something and eat it on the way home?" he suggested, with a shrug.

"Really!?" Luffy cried, once again startling Zoro.

Digging deep into his pockets, Luffy pulled out handfuls of money and put it into Zoro's hands, "Is this enough?" and he blinked hopefully up at Zoro. Who was, to say the least, a little stunned. He sighed, wondering how he had gotten dragged into this. He shouldn't even still be here. Homesickness was starting to take hold, and it was making him more and more wary of his surroundings. Paranoia was a pain in the ass.

"Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's enough." he replied.

Zoro bought a small package of ham, dumping it in the trolley before moving to the cash register. Luffy trotted along behind him, grinning from ear to ear at the fact he'd gotten his ham. Once they reached the cash register, he grabbed Zoro and hugged him tightly. Luffy was apparently a very expressive and joyful boy.

"Thanks Zoro!" he cried.

Zoro jumped and knocked Luffy away, a wild look coming to his eyes. His breathing skyrocketed to the point where he was almost unable to breathe, and then he realized what had happened and he began to relax again. Calming down and letting his breathing return to normal. Luffy looked back up at Zoro, his face one of fear that reflected Zoro's almost exactly. He was so stupid sometimes – gramps always reacted that way and then hit him. He should have known not to do that. Smiling to cover up the awkwardness of the situation, he apologised again and got to his feet, moving over to the food to begin packing it into the bags.

Zoro watches the boy a little sadly. Stupid… he went too far again. He always did that. Feeling entirely guilty and embarrassed now, mumbled an apology. Luffy paused, smiled and shrugged.

"That's okay! Gramps tells me not to do that, but I forgot, so I already knew you'd hit me!" and he returned to packing the bags, humming quietly to himself again. Zoro sighed, feeling more guilty than ever, but he couldn't help it. He wished he didn't do things like that, but after the time he spent in that place … all those years with those people. It had become an automatic reaction.

"I… didn't mean to… it just happens." and he shrugged and turned away, blushing slightly. Luffy didn't hear this, as he turned to the clock and saw the time. Gramps had told him to be back before the big hand went past the twelve!

"Oh no!" he whined, frantically stuffing things into bags, "I'm late!"

Zoro paused a moment before reaching over and helping. It was only three fifteen. Surely the boy couldn't be in that much trouble…?

"He'll understand won't he? I mean, you're not that late. You've only been here a little while." and he packed the last of the groceries into the bag. Luffy shook his head, eyes clenched tightly closed before he grabbed the bags and ran out of the store, leaving Zoro with the last of the money.

"Thanks Zoro! Bye!" was heard and Zoro blinked before handing over the money to the rather grouchy looking cashier. Giving the man a good glare back, he ran out after Luffy to see the boy standing on the sidewalk, looking around frantically.

"Where was home!?" Luffy whined in a worried way. He spotted a man standing on the corner of the street, arms folded and leaning against the wall. Racing over to him, Luffy bounced on the balls of his feet.

"Hey mister, do you know where my home is? I can't find it!" Luffy panicked, looking around wildly. He was gonna be in soooo much trouble when he got home. Not to mention he was gonna get such a beating! Zoro ran after him anxiously.

"Oi Luffy!" he yelled, but the boy was talking to some random on the street and was twitching nervously all over the place. The nasty looking man smirked down at Luffy.

"Kid, I really don't give a damn." he replied before taking a long drag on the cigarette in the corner of his mouth. Luffy twitched. Shifting the bags in his arms, he looked around some more.

"Please mister! I've got to get home!" he cried and looked up into the man's face pleadingly. Jogging to Luffy's side, Zoro looked down at him.

"Don't you have any idea where you live?" he asked, ignoring the man standing near him. Ignoring people was easier, and tended to cause less problems. The nasty looking man frowned and threw his cigarette down, stamping on it angrily. Zoro looked up at him and raised an eyebrow. The only person who ever looked intimidating while doing that, was Sanji and he was at home.

"Damnit! I don't care, now, leave me the hell alone!" he snapped. Once again, he was ignored.

"It's in the red building on the fourth floor! Door number … 38 I think!" Luffy replied, whining in the back of his throat. Zoro looked around, still ignoring the man who seemed to be getting quite angry with simply their presence.

"I said, fuck. Off!" he yelled, "Get the hell off my street you two bastards!" and he moved to hit Luffy, but instead found his arm blocked by Zoro, and two nasty green eyes staring straight at him.

"Don't," Zoro growled, finding this attempt at hitting Luffy most offensive, "bloody hit people who didn't do a damn thing to you." and he kicked out, using one of the kicks that Sanji had taught him for self defence. The man was knocked backwards and he gasped for air. Luffy meanwhile, had backed away from the whole confrontation, not meaning to make the man mad. And then he spotted the meat billboard and gasped. It must have been that way! He bolted, running as fast as he could in that direction. Zoro glared down at the man before looking around and spotting his quarry darting around a corner.

"Luffy!" he yelled and followed. Skidding to a stop at the billboard, Luffy looked down the street and spotted the homeless man he had seen while walking here in the first place.

"Home has to be this way!" he cried with an excited yelp and bolted in that direction. Zoro had no idea why he was following Luffy, but he paused by the billboard without anything in sight. Luffy was gone… and Zoro was lost. He paused a moment and looked around him.

"Damn." he cursed, stuffing his hands in his pockets and then feeling a familiar helplessness that he hated, overshadowing him.

Hunching his shoulders, Zoro walked forward, hoping he would be able to find Luffy again. At least Luffy would be able to lead him back to the shopping centre… and he could get home from there. Or he could just wander around until he found his way home. That was the way it usually worked for him. He didn't have best direction and whenever he did go out, he tended to get lost, but after while of wandering, managed to somehow find his own way home. Sighing once more, he set off, hands stuffed in his pockets, wondering whether he might find Luffy, or his home first. Looking up at the tall buildings he narrowed his eyes in thought. Maybe he'd be able to see his house from up there.

Luffy by now had found his way home, and he stopped outside the building, panting for breath. Once he had regained it a little, he opened the door and bolted inside, bounding up the stairs. He opened the door to the apartment and looked around.

"Gramps! I'm home!" he called, still panting from his run. He slammed the door shut behind him with a foot and then turned back to find his grandfather Garp, stalking into the room and looking livid.

"What the hell took you so long!?" he growled, glaring down at Luffy, who bowed his head.

"I got lost." he muttered before looking up and smiling, "But this really nice guy helped me out! He took me around the shop and-" Luffy was cut off as Garp hit him around the face.

"I told you not to speak to anyone!" he growled angrily, but a hint of a sadistic smile was at his lips.

"But… I didn't know what to get…" he defended weakly.

"That's because you're a dumb ass! No excuse!" Garp yelled, and slapped him across the other cheek. Luffy didn't make a sound, but rolled with the hit, "Now go and get that stuff into the kitchen, and don't eat anything!" Luffy rubbed at his reddening face, and in a moment of almost pleading, said,

"But Zoro said I could get myself some meat with the change and-" this time, Luffy didn't get slapped. He was slammed against a wall by his throat and then thrown to the ground and stamped on. Garp glared down at him until Luffy finally stood, rubbing at his red face and then hurrying into the kitchen after picking up the spilled bags. Garp watched as Luffy walked past him before following and punched the kid as he walked past. Apart from letting out a short squeak, Luffy didn't do, or say anything more. He should have known better than to talk to someone. Especially someone as nice as Zoro...

Outside, standing on the highest floor of the apartment block opposite to Luffy's, stood Zoro. He winced heavily as he saw Luffy get knocked around. He could see through the fourth floor window easily from this distance, and he had to wonder why Luffy didn't fight back. But then… he hadn't fought back either. Shaking his head, Zoro turned away. There was nothing he could do, nothing he could accomplish there. All he would do was cause trouble, something he excelled at.


It wasn't until a few weeks later that Zoro saw Luffy again, and the spot he saw him at was as unlikely a place as he could think of. Nami and Sanji had wanted to go out for a while, and Zoro, not wanting to stay home alone (but never admitting it) had tagged along. It was about five in the afternoon, and he really wasn't sure that he wanted to go into the pub, but, Nami had assured him that they wouldn't be there long. So there he was. Zoro had his hands stuffed into his pockets, and was keeping a fair distance from the other two, while still trying to stay close enough that he didn't get lost. Sanji glanced over his shoulder at him, but Zoro's eyes were focused on the ground.

"Remember Marimo, you have to go shopping again tomorrow. Try not to forget this time." the tall, blonde haired man snorted to show that he was half serious, but half teasing at the same time. Zoro's head snapped up and he glared at Sanji before mumbling a curse under his breath. He'd learned a lot of colourful curses after staying with Sanji and Nami. Not that Nami swore that often, but Sanji did… a lot. The red headed girl looked between the two of them, before sighing and shaking her head.

"You had better not get drunk in there, I'm not dragging your asses out at the end of the night." she commented. Zoro frowned at her.

"I don't get drunk." he replied, lightly offended. Nami glanced at him and shrugged.

"Of course Nami-swaaan!" Sanji cooed and Nami sent him a half smile, half exasperated look. Zoro didn't see Luffy sitting outside the entrance, the same straw hat he'd been wearing the last time he'd seen him, drawn down over his eyes and soft snores emanating from his slightly open mouth. He was leaning against the wall and looked perfectly happy to just sit there and sleep. Zoro glanced to his right as he Nami and Sanji stepped up the short step into the entrance. Pausing, he looked down at Luffy and blinked.

"Err… Luffy?" he asked. Luffy didn't respond, and instead let out a loud snore. Nami paused upon noticing that Zoro wasn't following. Sanji stopped behind her and the two of them looked over at Zoro, who was still watching Luffy.

"Hey, are you coming?" she asked. Zoro didn't look back at her, his eyes purely focused on Luffy's inert form.

"I-in a minute." Zoro replied, waving a hand at her. Moving down the steps, Zoro circled around Luffy to his other side, and bent in close to get a good look at the boy's face. Sanji looked at Nami, who shrugged, and then he too moved down the step again to look at the boy Zoro seemed so interested in.

"You know him moss-head?" Sanji asked, watching Zoro carefully. Zoro looked up at him and nodded, letting the insult slide over his head.

"Yeah. I met him the other day." and he leaned even closer to Luffy's face, inspecting it to see if he could see any marks, but all he could see was a faint bruise that was covered by heavy foundation. Nami put a hand on her hip as she waited and watched.

"Whoa…" Zoro murmured upon seeing that there were more bruises than he had originally thought, and they were all buried under deep makeup. Vaguely, he wondered if Luffy had been forced to do this, or if he had done it of his own free will. Either way, it was weird.

"What?" Sanji asked as he glanced at Luffy before a wide smirk came to his face, "Didn't think you'd swing that way…" and he chuckled when Zoro blinked at him and then jerked away from Luffy's face.

"Shut the hell up you asshole… I was checking to see if he was dead… or asleep." Zoro defended, his cheeks faintly red. Really, he didn't want to say anything about what he had seen at Luffy's the other day, because he wasn't entirely sure that Luffy wanted that secret revealed. Secrets were to be kept secret… not to be blabbed about to just anyone.

"Nge?" Luffy noised as he blinked awake at the noise the two men were making. He could normally sleep through that kind of thing, but oddly, he'd fallen into one of his lighter sleeps that day. He looked blearily upwards until he finally saw Zoro, and then a tired smile came to his face, "It's you! Zoro! Hi!" and he grinned widely. Zoro raised an eyebrow at this statement before looking at the pub and then back at Luffy again.

"Hey. What are you doing here?" he asked.

Sanji was silent as he watched Luffy, and he was also listening to how Zoro was talking. It seemed as if… Marimo was perfectly normal. Nothing was wrong. He glanced at the man's face and was a little startled to see the hardness that usually swirled within those features, gone. Nami had finally had enough. It was late in the afternoon, they were tired, and she desperately wanted a drink after a hard day.

"Zoro. Are you coming in?" she asked, a little impatiently. Zoro looked up at her and shook his head and Nami pulled out a few twenty dollar notes from her pocket and handed them to him, "If you're not, then go and do whatever. But be careful, okay?" she cautioned. Zoro nodded, taking the notes from her and stuffing them in his pocket.

"Sanji!" Nami barked and the blonde turned to look at her, "Are you coming? Or are you going to stay there and make out with Zoro?" Sanji and Zoro both blanched and turned faintly green. Scooting over to Nami's side, Sanji blinked up at her like a little puppy dog.

"I would never do that Nami-swan!" he cooed, pouting at the same time. Luffy had watched all this go on, and then he had remembered that Zoro had asked him a question.

"Oh, Gramps is inside." Luffy replied. Zoro blinked down at him before nodding. Nami smiled at Zoro and then turned to Sanji with a wink.

"I know." she replied and walked in, Sanji trailing behind her like a little lost dog.

"He's… your grandfather?" Zoro asked, the very idea making him more than a little sick. How could your own family member do that to you!? That was… well… disgusting! But, Luffy didn't seem too unhappy about it. Either that or he was hiding it. Luffy was nodding enthusiastically.

"He says I have to stay outside because I'm too dumb to go inside." Luffy explained and stretched, groaning a little at the motion and the pain it caused. He looked up at the sky and smiled a little wistfully, "Don't worry though. He usually comes out before midnight." and he chuckled. Zoro blinked and then frowned, sitting down beside Luffy, but keeping a good distance between them. He wasn't going to get any closer to anyone than he had to.

"Really? Why does he treat you that way?" Zoro asked quietly. Luffy blinked and put a finger to his chin in thought.

"Because… I do things wrong." he replied thoughtfully. Zoro pushed his own memories to the back of his mind and shook his head a little.

"What do you do wrong?" he asked, and Luffy began counting off on his fingers as he listed what he had done wrong, or at least, what his grandfather had thought he had done wrong.

"I break things, and I'm clumsy. I'm too stupid. I annoy everybody. I'm too loud, I get in the way, I'm good for nothing…" and he thought for a few more seconds before nodding and smiling, "That's it… there's more, but I can't think of it right now." and he shrugged. Zoro frowned at the comments.

This 'grandfather' sounds just plain cruel. Zoro thought a little savagely, "So, why won't he be out before midnight?" and Zoro had the sudden desire to simply punch the guy's lights out. It seemed cruel to be this mean to someone like Luffy, and Luffy seemed like such a nice guy. Admittedly, he was a little annoying, but then, so was Zoro, so… But Luffy seemed to hide behind happiness, and naiveté, while Zoro hid behind grumpiness and anger. It may not have been intentional, but they did. Strange… Luffy grinned and shrugged, looking at Zoro with amusement twinkling in his big eyes.

"I don't know! Depends on how quick gramps gets drunk!" and he laughed. Zoro snorted and then eyed Luffy carefully. If there weren't too many people… maybe he could take Luffy on a little adventure. Just for today. Nami wouldn't mind, surely. She'd be happy he went out on his own. So…

"Well, why don't we go and get something to eat… or… I don't know, something?" he asked a little timidly. Luffy's eyes widened.

"Food?" he noised brightly before his grin faltered, "Um, Gramps said I have to stay here…" and he pouted and laid a hand on his stomach as it gave a loud growl of hunger. Zoro smirked at that.

"Well… as long as we're back by ten tonight, you should be okay, right?" he suggested. Luffy grinned widely and nodded, jumping to his feet and catching Zoro's hand, easily pulling the older boy up with him. Zoro blinked at the sudden enthusiasm and looked down at Luffy's hand clasped around his, refraining from simply jerking his hand away from Luffy again. He tilted his head a little at the thin fingers and almost spider like hand. Kinda like Sanji's… but Sanji's were thick, and his hands were wiry and strong. Luffy's seemed soft, spidery and didn't seem like they would pose much of a threat when clenched into a fist. Actually, Luffy himself didn't look like he would pose much of a threat at all...

"There's lots of food at home and Gramps sometimes let's me watch tv, there's this really cool show and…" and he blabbered on and on about going home, but Zoro had actually meant for them to go into the main part of town. Luffy honestly didn't understand what Zoro had meant, as the farthest he'd ever been was the corner store where they had met. Other than that, Luffy had been basically confined to his home. Garp often brought Luffy to the pub, but Luffy had been told to stay outside, so he had. And while waiting, he always fell asleep, but he had to be awake and ready to leave when Garp got out at whatever time he left. Luffy had learned far too many times what happened when he didn't obey his grandfather.

Zoro felt himself being pulled along as Luffy made his way towards home, but then dug his heels in and stopped them both.

"Umm… I meant, go into town… not go to your home." he explained. Luffy paused and blinked in confusion.

"But… I can't go into town! I'm too dumb!" Luffy reasoned, waving his arms a little wildly and letting go of Zoro's wrist. Zoro raised an eyebrow and stuck his hands in his pockets, as was his habit whenever he became slightly nervous.

"What's being dumb got to do with going somewhere and eating?" Zoro asked and shrugged, "Come on." and he began to walk away. Luffy blinked after Zoro, glancing back at the pub a little uncertainly before he grinned and followed. The worst Garp could do to him was beat him… and Luffy could take that.

Clarobell: Well, there's chapter one over and done with. So what did you think? Are you confused? Curious? Let us know!

Plushie: And we'll try to explain any problems you had to the best of our abilities! Thanks for taking the time to read, and we look forward to hearing from you all! -bows-