AN: AHHH! Another fic! I have no idea what to say about this one, other than I'm sorry it fails so much so far. But since it was written, I figured I should share rather than let it rot away on my computer. Yeah. I can already tell you that updates for this will not be very often because I've started back to school, and inspiration for this story is hard to come by. It's really just a side project. Nothing is owned by me other than the words that come out of my fingers oxo
Read now please?


Two figures stood on deck, one was tall and broad, obviously a man of great importance; the other, lithe but muscular, someone who was much more than he appeared to be. Neither one refused to meet the other's eyes.

It would be too hard that way.

"Do you agree?" the elder of the pair said. His voice was rough, but caring.

"I...I guess you don't really leave me a choice, old man," replied his companion. The younger man's defeated tone betrayed his emotionless façade.

Thankfully, the former made no comment on the matter. Instead, he turned, and headed for the side of the ship.

"Then let's go. We haven't any time to waste."

"Wait…"

The important man turned around, one eyebrow raised lightly. The other stood firm, trying to regain control of his voice before speaking.

"You promise?"

"Aye, boy, I do."

The smaller nodded as his companion began to leave. Releasing a tired sigh, he decided that it would be best not to say goodbye to anyone; not to take a final look around his, no, the ship.

Not his.

He couldn't believe what he was about to do.

Taking a swift jump over the edge of the ship, the boy landed in a dingy and sailed away from his home on the sea.

Only, it wasn't his anymore.

He had traded it in, and whether the exchange was for the better or worse, there was no way of knowing.

Fate would have to decide that for him.

-x-

Morning came, and the first thing that anyone aboard the Thousand Sunny noticed was that it was quiet.

Very, very quiet.

Waking up to silence was almost unheard of among the Mugiwara no Kaizuko, and when it did occur, most found it rather disturbing.

As each crew member emerged from his or her bunk, the silence became more and more deafening.

Zoro was the first to call attention to the situation, saying that obviously, if there wasn't the sound of things or people crashing, something was wrong.

"Speaking of crashes," Franky had commented, "Where's Luffy-bro?"

"Didn't he have watch last night?"

Usopp frowned, "You're right, Chopper. I came and woke him about three for his turn. Since he's not out here, he's probably asleep in the crow's nest."

Grudgingly, the sniper made his way up the mast to look for the young captain. Once he reached the top, he was surprised to find hide, nor hat of Luffy.

"He isn't there!" The sniper called as he descended the latter.

"Shit-head's probably in the kitchen raiding all the food again."

Everyone made their way to the galley, with Sanji leading the way. The blond threw open the door, ready to kick the other boy into next week, but once again they were me with an empty room.

"This is new," Nami said.

"What about Captain-san's hammock?"

Zoro shook his head at Robin's question, "We would have heard him come in, but I guess it doesn't hurt to check."

So, check they did. But still, there was no sign of Luffy.

The crew began to panic. Where the hell was their captain?

A ship wide search was initiated, and when they still hadn't found the seventeen year old by lunch, it became painfully apparent that he wasn't there at all.

"But…we aren't even near an island! Where the fuck could he have gotten too?"

"M-Maybe he fe-…"

All eyes turned to the small doctor, each daring him to finish that sentence.

They would refuse to accept that he had fallen overboard in the middle of the night.

"But it's still a possibility…" Chopper had tried to reason, but one further look from his friends told him that possibility or not, it wasn't to be discussed.

Just as they were about to further reprimand the little reindeer, Zoro's keen eyes caught something on the figure head.

Cautiously, the swordsman walked over to inspect it.

What he found made the normally stoic man gasp.

It was a small note. And no matter how many times he read it, he couldn't bring himself to believe the words in front of him.

"Oi! You guys should hear this."

The other six pirates stopped their bickering and leaned in.

"What it is Marimo?"

Ignoring the nickname, Zoro began to read.

Hey guys,

Yeah, I'm gone. Sorry. I can't tell you where and I can't tell you why. All you gotta worry about is that I should still be okay by the time you find this. I can handle myself. I don't know if I'll ever see you again, so Zoro's in charge now; try to listen to him.

This means you, Sanji.

-Monkey D. Luffy

P.S. I'm watching you. So don't kill each other.

No one knew whether to ogle in the fact that their captain was literate, or scream over his words.

They chose to scream.

"HE'S ABANDONED US! OOH, WE'RE GOING TO DIE NOW."

"SHUT UP Usopp! Zoro, we got to go find him!"

The green haired man didn't move. Instead, he stared further at the paper in his hands before crumping it up and throwing it in the waters below.

"Luffy wouldn't abandon us. He obviously didn't tell us everything. There's nothing we can do now…."

Nami's shrill voice interrupted him, "So you're just going to leave it at this? What the hell, Zoro? I thought you were his best friend!"

The bushido glared, "I am! If you'd shut the fuck up for five seconds and let me finish, you'd know that I was going to say 'there's nothing we can do now except try to figure out what he's up too!'"

Nami paled, and not even the chef dared to reply to the first mate's outburst. He knew Luffy the best, and their captain was missing. To question that loyalty was almost treason.

"So…bro, where do we start?" Franky asked after a heavy pause.

Zoro looked out over the waves, contemplating the cyborg's question before grinning.

"Simple, we check with the marines."

AN: Chapter one, finished. Any reviews, thoughts, and/or criticisms are much appreciated, my little pirates. (: