Clarobell: And so here we are, with our first joint fic! We can't promise fast updates and
Clarobell: And so here we are, with our first joint fic! We can't promise fast updates andsomeone -points at VTM- wanted us to post the first chapter (even though chapter 2 isn't even halfway done 8D;;;), and so here we are! This fic is an AU, kind of! More of a 'what if' scenario. Hope you enjoy! –slaps VTM with fish-
VTM: Ha! -blocks with a frozen tuna- Meh…We got to start sometime, no? Enough squabble! It's show time!
Miss All-Sunday Comes to Town
By VTM & Clarobell
The soft sea breeze swept along the deck of a large boat, sailing the calm waters of East Blue. A slim, tanned woman reclined in a chair by the railing of the boat, dark eyes gazing out to the sea thoughtfully. Slim fingers raised to the hat perched on her head to stop it from blowing away as she sighed silently, gripping the den-den mushi a little tighter in other. As usual, she made sure to keep any annoyance she was feeling from her voice.
"I still don't see why you sent me to look here, Mr. 0." She spoke. Her voice was smooth and calm, but her eyes narrowed eve r so slightly. Tucking a strand of raven hair behind her ear, she moved the free hand back down to the small table in front of her, tapping lengthy nails against the pale wood. She was dressed in a purple tank top with a matching skirt, white cowboy hat, and an overcoat. She's been sailing these waters for almost a month now and hadn't find anybody worth so much as looking at that may complete her recruitment mission. "The east blue is the weakest of all the blues, why search for recruits here?"
"Some times you have to start off small and work your way to the top, Miss All-Sunday." said the menacing voice on the other end. "Baroque Works is still in its infant stages, if we rush things, we will be stamped out before we've even started, and I expect you of all people would understand my concerns."
"It would seem suspicious for numerous people with high bounties on their heads to vanish at the same time." The voice continued, tone drawling, sounding almost lazy, but never losing the dangerous undertone. "Carry on with your mission. Recruit more billions, if you have to. Pawns can sometimes win a game of chess, after all, understood?"
"Understood, Mr. 0." Nico Robin, or 'Miss All-Sunday', sighed as she put the den-den mushi away. 'Hmph, no need to act all high and mighty.'
Sighing silently once more, she dragged her eyes from the now snoozing snail phone and gazed out at sea. She doubted she would find anybody of importance here, and it felt like a waste of time, but bit by bit, she was dragging herself closer to her dream. No matter what, she would do anything to get what she needed, and if that meant lingering in an ocean and wasting time, then that's what she would do. She had, after all, been in far worse circumstances.
"Miss All-Sunday!" called a billions agent, as they walked towards her. "We're coming to a small island, Fuchsia. Supplies are a little low. Asking permission to dock, miss!"
"Well, it'd be rather foolish to continue on without the proper amount of supplies." Robin said thoughtfully, a small smile creeping to her lips. "Let's make a quick stop."
The village of Fuchsia was small and quiet, a place with minimal violence and quiet lives. There was, however, the passage of travelers and pirates alike docking for supplies and a break from the seas. Most of the time they passed through without incident, the town would be a little better off with their sales and both the pirates and town would benefit from their visit. Then there were the times where things didn't run quite as smoothly. Sadly, this was one for those times. In the Party's Bar; the local tavern for all the sea farers docking at the village, trouble was brewing for the local devil fruit user.
"Oi, Freak!" a heavy and raspy voice called across the bar. "Bring us more grog!"
A short, scrawny boy with black messy hair and a scar under his left eye grumbled under his breath as he walked towards the group of rowdy, drunken sailors. He carried trays with mugs of grog; each sailor greedily snatched the mugs and sent sneers at the boy.
"Luffy!" called the owner of the bar, Makino. "Give me a hand with this, please?"
"Coming, Makino!" the boy called back, glad to leave the rowdy sailors behind before he ended up doing something he'd regret later. He turned and headed towards her, his tray now empty.
"Gyah, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!" laughed one sailor boisterously, beating the table with his fist. "The boy's tied to that woman's apron strings!"
Luffy looked back and shot a glare at the man, but couldn't help the heat rising in his cheeks. Really, he appreciated Makino's generosity. Now that Ace was gone, he had to earn his own food, and so Makino had him help out at the bar. Really though, she could be pretty embarrassing, with the way she mothered him.
"What? Don't like what we say?" the sailor sneered, seeing the glare directed his way. He was neither marine nor pirate, not that Luffy could tell, anyway. He hadn't seen any markings on the ship to indicate a pirate ship and the men weren't wearing any uniforms. "What's a monstrosity like you going to do about it!?"
"Luffy," Makino said in a warning tone. She knew the teen's temper could get the better of him "I could use your help over here."
Luffy bit his lip, and reluctantly turned and walked away. He didn't like it one bit, and he knew that he could kick these guys asses no problem, but, Makino didn't like trouble in her bar, and if he caused any damage, she would have to pay to have it fixed. He tried to imagine he was like Shanks, laughing at people stupid enough to pick on others for no reason at all, like those desert bandits had. His fists still clenched angrily though, and his teeth ground together in annoyance.
"Yeah!" the sailor snorted, grinning nastily at Luffy's retreat. "That's what I thought!"
When Luffy reached Makino he gave her a pleading look. He wanted to beat them up so much. This kind of thing happened every now and again, when the visiting sailors would hear about his devil fruit abilities elsewhere in the village. They'd mock him, touch him, or pull his limbs and cheeks just to see what happens. It didn't happen often, and when it did, Ace would usually handle it. His big brother had a knack for becoming awfully clumsy around those times, 'accidentally' knocking hot coffee over the men and stamping on their toes. The two would usually laugh about it later, but now Ace was gone, out at sea and probably having a blast and Luffy was left behind to wait for his turn.
"Luffy, just deal with it, they won't be here too long probably." Makino said in a weary whisper. "Whatever you do, do not try to beat them up."
Luffy pouted. From the sound of it, Makino didn't think he could handle these guys. Then again, maybe she was just worried about his causing more damage.
"Fine." he said in a slight whine. How frustrating, hopefully the jerks would leave soon, but until then, for Makino, he'd grin and bare it.
Robin stepped smoothly onto the creaking wood of the docks. She looked over to one of the billions agents stepping from the boat behind her. "Take care of the supplies; I'll be going into town for a bit."
"Understood!" The billion then went to work.
Robin sighed to herself and looked around. 'It's obvious that there's nothing of interest here.' She thought, lips curving into a soft smile as her eyes trailed over the sleepy town before her. 'However, some decent food would be nice.'
Slowly, she walked forward, each step long and graceful as she made her way along the dusty roads. People outside their houses and at worked glanced her way but made no move to greet her. Luffy usually determined the nature of a person, and if that boy trusted a stranger, then they would too. The boy may not have been too bright, but his judgment of character couldn't be beaten.
That was usually the way of the town. With sailors passing in and out, their fist stop after a long voyage would usually be the local tavern. After all, both food and drink were served there. Sailors were also a fairly common sight by now too, so the townsfolk didn't pay the strangers much notice.
Robin smiled as her deep blue eyes took in the sleepy town attitude to her appearance, This really would be a good place to take a short break. Mr. 0 wouldn't be expecting her back for a good few weeks as of yet, not until she had recruited a few more agents for Baroque at least. The people here weren't suspicious in the least,
As she continued on her way, Robin listened carefully to the open conversations around her. Housewives gossiped amongst each other about the latest goings on and children argued over toys and games. The men were out, hard at work in shops and farms, while others lingered in the bar for an afternoon drink. One conversation in particular caught her interest and she slowed her pace, not wanting to seem suspicious, but definitely curious about the subject of talk.
Three old men were sat together outside one of the shops, puffing cigars eating their sandwiches packed by their wives. She's heard a glimpse of gossip about these three, and if her suspicions were right, they were the town's gossip mongers.
"Did you hear?" said one old man, stroking a stubbly old beard as his lips stretched into a deep frown. "Some sailors that came into town have been picking on Luffy."
"Again? Poor kid." said another, in a sympathetic tone. "It's been tough for him since his brother left."
"You kidding?" the third spoke up suddenly. "It was already tough on the both of them with that nutty old Garp around!"
"Shh!" piped up the first man. "If he hears you called him that who knows what he'll do?"
"he hasn't been back here for a good few years now," the third replied dully. "What makes you think he'll come back now?"
"Well," the second man muttered, rubbing at his balding head thoughtfully. "Ace is bound to get a bounty on his head sooner or later, more than likely sooner, if you ask me."
"Exactly." Said the first, sniffing in a know-it-all fashion. "And when he sees that, he'll probably be back to make sure Luffy doesn't follow after him."
The third old man grunted, before coughing deeply and rubbing at his chest. "well, one thing's for certain," he said, "Things would've been much easier for them is if Luffy hadn't eaten that damned cursed fruit!"
Robin blinked, trying to keep her reaction unnoticeable. She hadn't expected to find a devil fruit user on such a remote and small island, but now maybe this trip hadn't been so wasted after all. From the sound of it, he was connected in some way to Vice-Admiral Garp from the marines, and to be connecting in any way with such a man must have meant the boy showed potential in something. A deeper smile curled its way on Robin's lips and she continued on her way to the tavern. Things suddenly became much more interesting.
"Please, stop it!" Makino begged, hand covering her mouth in a mix of horror and fear as she looked on helplessly. The sailors had Luffy pinned down against the polished wooden floor and were tying his rubber arms together in a bow. Luffy struggled, but it was no use, with them holding his arms he couldn't get them undone. He could really hurt these guys, but he'd promised Makino he wouldn't cause any damage, and as much as it made his blood boil, he kept up the weak struggles and didn't attempt any real retaliation.
One of the sailors looked up at Makino, licking his lips in an almost animalistic manner. He sneered down at Luffy, giving him a kick that sent him sprawling onto his front before he pressed a foot against the young teens back. Smirking cruelly, his lips spread into a dirty grin.
"Why would I wanna do that??!" he said, voice thick with booze. "We came here to have fun and we paid good money, so why don't you walk your sweet little ass over here and give us some… service?"
Luffy couldn't help the growl that escaped his throat, dark, wide eyes narrowed with anger as they stared heatedly at the man above him. Promise or no, if this guy stepped one foot out of line with Makino, he's kick his ass from here to the Grand Line! Makino frowned, stepping back warily.
"I've fed your men and you've drank almost all of the liquor in the bar, sir." She stated, struggling to keep the waver from her voice. "I'm afraid I won't be able to give you any more than that."
"Oh, I think you can!" the sailor snapped, removing his foot from Luffy's back and stalking towards Makino. Luffy grunted, rolling quickly onto his back and slamming his leg upwards. His foot crunched between the abusive sailor's legs and before the other men had a chance to realize what was happening, he slammed his head back into one of his captives noses before twisting and jamming his leg into the others gut. Taking their shock to his advantage, the boy wriggled away from the group of rowdy sailors and struggled to his feet, tugging at his arms and trying to untie them.
The group recovered quickly though, and before Luffy had finished untangling his elastic limbs, three burly men were surrounding he and Makino, with a dozen more behind them. The rubber boy ground his teeth together, sharp eyes darting around in search of an escape.
"Treinta Flur… Clutch!!!"
Sickening cracks sounded throughout the bar as all the sailors suddenly collapsed, grunting and moaning, obviously in a great deal of pain.
"What in the world…?" Makino whispered in shock.
Luffy finally managed to pull his arms free, and they retracted back to their normal size and shape with an elastic snap.
"Makino!" he said, glancing between the men and the woman defensively. "I swear I didn't do it!"
"It's okay Luffy, I believe you." Makino said with a sigh. Looking at the collapsed sailors, she was sure it couldn't have been the boy. Devil Fruit or not, she had never seen him do anything like that before – she hadn't even seen him move just then, and his arms were still tied up.
"Excuse me," called a voice by the entrance of the bar, smooth and practically dripping with innocence. "Are you okay?"
Luffy and Makino looked up to fine none other than Nico Robin standing in the bar entrance.
"Oooooh! A customer!" Luffy cheered gladly, his usual grin overtaking his face. "She has fancy clothes!"
Robin couldn't help but laugh a little. "My, what a spirited young man you are."
"Shishishi! Thank you!" Luffy said with a wide grin. "Is there something you want?"
"A drink and some food would be nice." Robin replied with a smile.
Makino didn't like this woman, something wasn't right about her. A customer was a customer though, and so she donned a polite smile, trying to ignore the unconscious bodies littered over her bar.
"Right then, Luffy, could you get her order? I need to get back to the kitchen." The young woman asked. "And could you please take these men back to their ship?"
"Okay Makino!" Luffy cheered enthusiastically. He then picked up his tray and note pad and led Robin to a table. "What would you like, nice lady?"
Robin gave a small laugh. "You can call me Miss All-Sunday." She said, careful not to use her real name. Even if he was just a kid, she still had to be careful.
"What a strange name!" Luffy replied with a bright, genuine smile. "I'm Monkey D. Luffy! It's nice to meet you!"
Robin blinked. "...D?"
"Na? Yeah, D. Luffy…" the boy repeated with a slightly puzzled tone in his voice. "Are you okay? You look a little upset."
Robin then caught herself staring. "Oh, no, I'm fine." She offered a weary smile. "You have a strange name too."
"I like my name; I don't care if it's weird." Luffy said proudly.
"You seem to have a strange power as well." Robin said suddenly. "You've eaten the cursed fruit, haven't you?"
"Yeah, when I was little - it tasted gross!" Luffy said, sticking his tongue out in distaste. "But now I can do this!" He then grabbed his own cheek and stretched it out. "I'm a rubber man!"
"Oh my, how impressive!" Robin said, her smile widening before she chuckled softly.
Luffy then let his cheek go; he looked like he had done something wrong.
"What is it?" Robin asked.
"Um, I forgot. Makino told me not to do that in front of the customers. She said it grosses the customers out." Luffy said as he looked away from her, laughing nervously like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar. "You don't seem grossed out though, you seem really nice!"
"I don't know about nice…" Robin said thoughtfully.
"Luffy! Did you get her order yet?" Makino called from behind the counter. "After this order you're done for the day, okay?"
"Okay, Makino!" Luffy replied happily. He was looking forward to getting some training done and having some fun. "What would you like?"
"Hmm, the house special and whatever is most commonly served here." Robin said casually.
After jotting down the order, Luffy left to give it to Makino. Soon enough he came back with the food and drink. "Here you go!"
Robin smiled a little. "Thank you. Since you're off now, would you mind keeping me a little company? I'd really appreciate it."
Luffy blinked in confusion for a second, running the words over in his head. Had this lady really just asked that?? Nobody ever asked him to sit with them. Well, except for Makino, but Makino didn't count!
"Really? Well, okay! It's not like I have anyone waiting for me anyway." Luffy said, biting back a sad tone. "I'm just gonna take these guys back to the docks and I'll come back, ne?"
Robin nodded slightly, watching Luffy run off. He was young, but she could tell he was strong. He would do nicely.
"My, you have a healthy appetite; some say that's a sign of good health." Robin said with a laugh. She didn't seem fazed in the least by Luffy's voracious appetite.
Not far from the two sat the three old gossip mongers. They watched the pair in fascination, wonder how such a mismatched pair could end up eating together. Robin sat, looking almost dainty, eating slowly and savouring her small meal. A soft smile stretched her lip as she watched Luffy with deep, knowing eyes, twinkling with curiosity. Luffy on the other hand was practically standing, too eager to shovel his food into his mouth to sit relaxed. His messy hair and clothes further contrast the pair.
One of the old men blinked and adjusted his glasses. "Well now, who's that lovely lady?"
One of the others gave a chuckle. "The more important question is, what is she doing eating with Luffy? Lucky little devil!"
"Shush!" the third man noised, frowning at his two companions. "Do you want them to hear us and move??"
The other men grunted, settling down in silence and sipping at their coffee at the table behind the pair, subtly listening in on what gossip the two may care to share.
"I take it you live alone?" Robin asked, "I heard you mention that you work for food. Where's your family?"
"Yeh! I yushta live wi' my bi' bro, bu' he'sh gone now!" Luffy garbled as he chewed his food. One of the old men from the next table grimaced as pieces of food sprayed even as far as where he sat.
"Huh, she must have a stomach of steel, watching that and not gagging!" he muttered bitterly, wiping the splattered scraps from his arm with an old handkerchief.
"That's one tough woman." the others agreed with a nod.
"Now, now, didn't your mother teach you better?" Robin asked with a coy smile, as she took out a napkin. "You shouldn't talk with your mouth full like that. You could choke."
Luffy felt his face heat up slightly as Robin wiped some of the food away from his cheeks. He wasn't sure if he was embarrassed because of her treating him childishly, or from the contact itself. Either way he squashed the feeling back, trying to ignore the heat rising in his cheeks. How odd, he'd never been treated like that aside from Makino. She was such a pretty woman and she seemed really nice. Luffy then swallowed his food in one big gulp.
"Now, mind repeating what you said?" Robin said in a pleasant tone. "I couldn't really understand you before."
"I used to live with my big brother, but he left the island a while ago." Luffy explained. "But I'm okay; I've been training to go out to sea one day!"
"Oh? What do you plan to do once you're out at sea?" Robin asked, a hint of playfulness tingeing her voice.
"I'm going out to find One Piece!" Luffy said proudly with a magnificent grin. "I'm going to be the Pirate King!"
Robin's eyes widened slightly, her mouth forming a small 'o'. It wasn't often she heard such a bold proclamation as that; particularly from such a young boy. Children tend to dream the impossible, but as they grow, their goals and dreams change. What could have happened to this boy with the name 'D' that gave him such a big dream? The question Robin was more interested in getting answered, was, what made him think he had what it takes? Was this boy really so strong?
"Well now, you dream pretty big." Robin gave a small chuckle.
The old gossipers were now sitting just outside of the bar, settled on the stools for another coffee in the pleasant spring breeze; they could hear Luffy ramble on about his childish aspirations. One of the old men gave a small scoff.
"Che! Listen to that! Kid's still going on about that stupid dream of his."
"She seems to like dreamers." said one of the others with a small laugh. "Look at her smile!"
"Ah youth…" said the third in a dreaming tone. "It's full of fools! Ha, ha, ha!"
Robin and Luffy continued to chat into the afternoon. The young teen then gave his friend a tour of the island and his own home, repeating some random old facts Ace had once told him about the history of the island. Robin seemed quite interested in the information and so Luffy tried a little harder to remember more.
They stopped in one of the fields of Fuchsia, where Luffy continued to tell his new friend about his promise to his brother to stay on the island. It was nice to have somebody to talk to, but before he knew it, the bright afternoon sun was closer to the horizon and evening was setting in.
"My, it seems to be getting a bit late," Robin said as she noticed the sun would be setting soon.
"Aw, you'll be leaving already?" Luffy whined slightly. He had really enjoyed her company, though he really shouldn't have skipped out on so much training today.
Robin smiled. "Well, my ship won't be leaving just yet; I was hoping to book into a room and spend the night on land."
Luffy then excitedly raised his hand, like a student wanting to give an answer to a question. "Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! I can do that! You can stay in my house, in Ace's old room! He won't mind!"
"Oh?" Robin said with a hint of surprise. "That's very kind of you, are you sure it would be ok?"
"Sure!" Luffy then sprung up, holding his hand out for the woman to take. Together they leisurely headed back to Luffy's small house, chatting quietly.
Dinner had been just as lively as the lunch she'd shared with Luffy, and through it all, Robin kept smiling. This boy was an ideal candidate for Baroque, though after speaking with him for so long, she could tell he wouldn't be willing to join her. He was fiercely loyal, and had made a promise to his brother that she doubted he would break very easily.
She had contemplated drugging his food, and once Luffy had gone to sleep, she contacted the billions agents on her ship, ordering him to organize a sleeping drug. It could have been administered that night, but Robin hadn't slept on land for quite a while, and it would be a nice change. After all, nobody could stop her from taking the boy, as the only true fighting power on the island was Luffy himself. Whether she took him in the dead of night or the light of day, it didn't matter. She was, after all, just another person with a false name.
Robins settled down into the quiet of the night, lulled to sleep by the chirping of the crickets outside her window.
"Good morning, Miss All Sunday!" Luffy called as Robin walked down the stairs. "Did you sleep well?"
It was unusual for Luffy to be so courteous, but this woman had been kind to him, and Ace would be mad if he found out he'd had a guest and Luffy hadn't been polite.
"Very well, thank you." The dark haired woman replied quietly. It was time to put the plan into effect. The billions agent had delivered the drug during the night. "Would you care to sit down for a drink with me?"
"Sure," Luffy chirped, happily. "But then I have to get some training done. Are you leaving today?"
"I am." Robin nodded, accepting a glass of juice from Luffy's hand and watching the boy as he sat opposite her. "Do you train often?"
Luffy nodded enthusiastically. "Yep!" he said. "Gotta be strong if I want to be Pirate King, ne?"
Robin nodded, using her devil fruit power to bloom an arm from Luffy's back, lightly tracing her nails over his rubber skin. Luffy shuddered softly and turned around to see what had tickled him, but the limb had already dissolved into petals. While his back was turned, Robin stealthily slipped the drug into his drink, smiling knowingly as Luffy turned back to her.
"No," he answered, grinning widely before downing his juice. "Do you need me to take you back to the docks?"
"That would be nice." The raven haired woman said, as she sipped the last of her drink.
Luffy accompanied her out the door, and even though it had only been a few minutes, Robin could see the drug was starting to take effect. The boy's movements were slower, a little more sluggish. He shook his head, willing the feeling away before turning a smile on Robin again.
"It's this way, Miss All Sunday."
Robin nodded and followed after him, barely a moment later, he stumbled, falling to one knee and shaking his head again, the world around him spiraling and twirling in a dizzy parade of colours. Robin didn't bother to act concerned. Her job here was done now and soon the boy would be safely on his way to Alabasta.
Luffy attempted to pull himself up, and managed to stagger to his feet. He stumbled dizzily towards the town, Robin stepping confidently behind him. At the edge of the town, his will finally ran short and the rubber boy crumpled to the ground in an unconscious heap.
Makino, who had been on her way to check on Luffy and escort him to the bar (as she did every morning) gasped as she saw him fall. She ran towards the pair, but was suddenly pulled roughly to the ground by two disembodied arms. The quiet village was now coming to life with the start of the day and curious faces watched the commotion, wondering what was happening.
Robin smiled and crossed her arms. "Cien Fleur… Delphinium!"
Pairs of arms then sprouted from the ground leading from Luffy, down the dirt path, into the town, and finally to the docks. Each pair passed Luffy down the rows of arms swiftly.
"What are you doing?!" Makino cried. Her suspicions about this woman had been true. "Where are you taking Luffy?!"
"It's none of your concern." Robin replied coldly, following after the unconscious boy, stopping only to pick up his discarded straw hat from the ground. "He will be taken good care of."
"He's just a boy!" the bar owner defended, trying to stop Robin. "What could you possibly want with a fourteen year old boy?!"
"I'm afraid you're causing a scene." Robin replied, voice thin and icy as she pushed Makino away.
Luffy by now had reached the docks, the town folk spluttering and watching as the billions agents loaded him into the ship.
"What in the world!?" The mayor said, eyes wide as he moved to try and stop them. What had the brat gone and got himself into this time?! One of the billions punched him hard, and he crashed to the ground. "Luffy..."
People backed away as Robin passed them by, any man daring to try and stop her only ending up with a cracked spine.
"What are you doing with him!?" Makino shouted angrily once more.
Robin shot a harsh glare at the kindly woman, stopping her cold. "He's coming with me, that's all there is to it. Goodbye."
"You can't take him!"
"What are you going to do to stop me?" Robin said suddenly. "I could easily kill all of you here and now. Is this child worth your lives?"
The townspeople stayed silent.
"Hmph… didn't think so."
Robin then continued on her way.
Clarobell: Sooo? Opinions, anyone? A review would be delicious! We feed off of them, you see… you don't want the authors to starve, do you??
VTM: ;w; -underfed- Sponsor an author today! Review! No flames though, those taste like crap. Oh! And before any of you start asking what 'VTM' stands for –has been asked this several times- it's 'Veronica the Mischievous'.