Hello there! I finally decided to create this as a container for all the miscellaneous One Piece drabbles and ficlets I write, which will dribble in from time to time. I've put a blanket T rating on the fic, but each chapter will have individual warnings and ratings.

Title: Promises unfulfilled
Summary: Whenever Luffy looks for Shanks, he's nowhere to be found. Future fic. Inspired by Chapter 580.
Words: 398
Warnings: None
Rating: K
A/N: From the recent One Piece chaos thread. Prompt was "Hidden".
Disclaimer: I do not own One Piece.

Luffy twirls Hat on his finger slowly, contemplatively, watching the hatband spin, snatching the brim to stop it when a shadow darkens the doorway. "Captain." One word tells him all he needs to know. After all these years, he's grown ultra-sensitive to the slightest inflection of his first mate's voice. Some joke it's a wonder they bother to talk at all.

"I got it, Zoro." He hops to his feet, his usual spring in his step, that some take to be a sign of the Pirate King's eternal youth, but is really just one of the many side-benefits of having a body made of rubber. "He got away again, didn't he?"

It's not enough. It's never enough. He's conquered the Grand Line, seen One Piece and put it back, defeated rivals greater even than Whitebeard or Shiki ever were to Roger, freed countless slaves, given the Marines a damn good run for their money, and yet...

"When you've become a great pirate, come see me again and give it back." Words that he once thought of as an encouragement, before he realised just how high Shanks' standards were. Every time he tries to return Hat, his former mentor slips away to one of his many hideouts, silently signalling that he hasn't fulfilled his part of the bargain yet.

Sometimes he despairs of ever being capable enough to satisfy Shanks, wondering what it would take to equal Gol D Roger. So he asks Robin to read him the histories again, listening attentively to her tales of the first Pirate King and his exploits, trying to figure out what Roger had that he lacks. He tried joking once that maybe he should try contracting a terminal disease and surrendering himself to the Marines, given that that's the one part of Roger's career trajectory he hasn't followed yet.

No one laughed.

He did get several slaps up the head, though.

He smiles a little at the memory of the crew's reaction and claps Hat once more on his head. It's both pride and prison, but for now, it's his, and it gives him something more to strive for each day.

He wraps an arm around his first mate and shepherds him out the door.

"Come on, Zoro. Let's go change the world."