Here is a rather silly idea I came up with and decided to post, just for the heck of it. I am very fond of the Red Hair pirates and their relationship with Luffy, and although this oneshot is written in another person's point of view, I hope it will give you a good idea of the way I imagine said relationship to be. I've been thinking for quite some time about how it must have been like with Luffy in school, and here is one of stories I came up with.
(I'm also a non-native English speaker, so please forgive me for the various mistakes that can no doubt be found throughout the text)
Hope you enjoy and thanks in advance for reading~
Iwaki-sensei opened the sliding door of the classroom and looked out in the hallway, where her young students and their parents alike were waiting for their appointment with her. At the sight of her neat, impeccably ironed clothes and perfect bun on the top of her head, more than one slouching back straightened, as for the few who didn't correct their posture, a glare from behind the severe rectangular glasses was enough to set them straight.
Satisfied with the apparent order and silence of the assistance, Iwaki-sensei nodded shortly in approval and quickly consulted her list of names. She'd just finished her talk with the Mikan family so now was the turn of…
Her eyes narrowed down at the list as she read the name. Well, this ought to be interesting…
"Monkey D. Luffy," she called sternly.
To her greatest surprise, silence was her only response and she looked around in bewilderment. This was… unexpected, to say the least, coming from the usually hyperactive boy—much too unusual. Her eyes narrowed suspiciously and she looked more attentively at the people waiting patiently on the benches, swiftly going through the faces as she looked for a certain black-haired, loud-mouthed bra- err, boy.
Her eyebrows furrowed in annoyance as she realized that Luffy had most certainly not come. After all, when she had talked about this in class to her gathered students, it's not like he'd shown great enthusiasm—all the more when she'd specified it would be to talk about their future. Yes, Luffy's deadpanned expression when he'd heard the word would remain engraved in her memory as one of the funniest things she'd ever seen (not that she would ever admit it of course). But back to the matter at hand!
"Monkey D. Luffy!" she called once again for good measure, louder this time.
"Iwaki-sensei," a small, timid voice (definitely not Luffy's) called. "He's here."
The woman's eyes widened as she looked over to the student who had called her and realized that indeed, the young boy was sitting right next to her on the bench… Sleeping soundly.
Oh, well, this explains that.
With a sigh, she walked towards the two children and stood right in front of them, fists on her hips and severe frown in place. The sharp clicks of her heels on the tiled ground didn't even wake him up and he continued with his peaceful slumber, completely unaware of the tension slowly building around him.
Iwaki-sensei was trying really hard to remain stern, as any school teacher such as her should be, but she quickly found it hard to keep the expression in place: the sleeping boy's head was resting on his neighbor's shoulder, and Mii-chan, who was widely known to have a rather large crush on the boy, was beet-red from embarrassment. Iwaki-sensei swallowed back a fond chuckle and deepened her frown to hide the beginning of a smile.
"Monkey D. Luffy," she called again, not really expecting him to wake up anyway.
The woman's brows furrowed dangerously and she felt a vein pop in annoyance on her forehead when the only response she got was a light snore.
"Luffy-kun," she called again, louder.
Still no answer—not even a twitch.
Iwaki-sensei crossed her arms over her chest and began tapping her foot—her patience was wearing thin, very thin indeed. The parents and students around instantly scooted further away to make sure they would be kept out of the crossfire and the woman next to Mii-chan (her mother, judging by the resemblance) grabbed the small girl's arm to pull her away from her sleeping classmate. The boy promptly fell on the bench and remained lying there, mumbling in his sleep and shuffling until he found a comfortable position and remained immobile.
"Luffy-kun," Iwaki-sensei's tone had turned downright frightening and from the corner of her eyes, she saw a few fathers gulp down uneasily.
The schoolteacher was beginning to feel thoroughly humiliated, no matter how oddly cute the whole ordeal was. She couldn't let it go—not in front of half her students' parents. She had to show them that she had a decent authority, even when it came to the more… 'difficult' students of the class. Oh, well, she could say theoneandonly difficult student of the class.
She took a deep breath. "LUFFY-KUN!"
The effect was instantaneous: the small boy jumped in fright and with a startled yelp fell from the bench, flat on his face.
"Wha-" he mumbled sleepily and blinked his heavy-lidded eyes as he looked around, confusion written all over his face. His small black eyes then fell on the polished shoes in front of him and he slowly trailed his eyes up until he found his teacher's face. "Iwaki-sensei!" he exclaimed with a large, goofy smile.
The teacher sighed softly. At least he remembered to address her properly. It had been a hard, strenuous three-month battle, to finally make him understand that he had to address her with due respect and not call her 'oba-chan' or just plain 'hey, you!', even if he didn't really mean any disrespect by it. The first time he'd called her sensei was two weeks ago and since then he'd been calling her as such with an increasing frequency (although he switched to other less honorific names often enough still).
"Luffy-kun," Iwaki-sensei said calmly. "Where are your p-" she interrupted herself just in time before the slip-up and rectified herself. "You guardians?"
Luffy's eyes widened in confusion and he looked at her quizzically. "My what?" he asked simply.
Iwaki-sensei sighed. That was a troubling question—did he even have official guardians? The Vice Admiral Garp, his grandfather, did come to check on him regularly but being such a strong marine he was rarely even on the island… At present she knew for a fact that the marine officer wasn't.
"Like Makino-san," she finally said. He spent a lot of time at her bar after all and everybody knew she took great care of him.
Luffy's eyebrows scrunched up in confusion. "But you said only parents had to come," he groaned, annoyed at his teacher for she apparently constantly contradicted herself. "I don't understand."
Iwaki-sensei sighed and shook her head. "Well, I guess I can try and talk with your grandfather next time he comes on the island," she said. "For now you'll do. Come on."
The school teacher went back to the classroom, followed by the small boy trotting behind her. As soon as he was in, he went directly to sit at his usual desk at the front row (Iwaki-sensei had assigned him a seat there to keep an eye on him during class) and sat down, his face still crunched up in deep thought as he tried to figure out this whole guardian business. Without a word, the school teacher grabbed a chair and sat in front of him.
"So, Luffy-kun, do you remember what I explained in class last week?" she asked calmly.
"Last week?" Luffy repeated and frowned deeper in thought. "That's too old."
Iwaki-sensei's brow twitched but she did her best to keep her face blank. She shouldn't let it get to her: it wasn't that he didn't listen to her, simply that he… didn't listen to her, right, no need to try and deny a well-known fact. It wasn't his fault though, she knew for a fact that he could be quite sharp on certain subjects when he wanted to be. He simply had… a different sense of priorities than most people—yes, that was the most diplomatic way to put it that she could find.
"When I explained what we were going to be talking about today," she said, looking at him attentively. The blank look he gave her was answer enough and she had no choice but to develop. "We are here to talk about you, Luffy, and what you want to do for your future."
The boy's eyes suddenly lit up in recognition. "Ooooooooh, that!" he exclaimed. "That's easy: gramps says I have to become a marine! He's training me!"
The words died in the schoolteacher's throat and she needed a few minutes to gather her wits enough to let out a coherent sentence.
"Your grandfather is training you?" she said slowly. Who in their right mind would train a seven-year-old boy to fight?
Not noticing her obvious shock, the small boy beamed at her winningly. "Yeah, my punch is as strong as a pistol!" he declared proudly, thrusting his fist in front of him to demonstrate.
As abruptly as it'd come, his good mood seemed to drop and he frowned and pouted all at the same time. "But I don't want to be a marine…" he grumbled, crossing his arms.
Iwaki-sensei sighed discreetly and, taking advantage of the opening, tried to broach the subject that interested her primarily (she didn't really want to know too much about the Vice-Admiral's training regime—the man was admittedly crazy). "And what do you want to be then?" she asked, voice not completely void of warmth and kindness.
As a schoolteacher who had been working for more than thirty years now, it wasn't the first time she saw a child whose parents tried to mold to their convenience and own advantage or liking. It was a habit she had always strongly disapproved and fought, teeth and nails and all. And even though Luffy's family was a bit more… different than average, it wouldn't prevent her from defending her student if need be.
But she was in for a surprise…
"I'm going to be the Pirate King!" Luffy declared.
Iwaki-sensei didn't know what stupefied her the most: the ludicrousness of the statement itself or the unwavering confidence in his tone and on his face when he'd talked. For a second she hoped that he was joking, but the seriousness both in his voice and on his face soon had her resign herself to yet another long and arduous talk…
"I'll leave the island and gather my own crew!" Luffy explained excitedly, his eyes shining with enthusiasm. "And there will be a musician so that we can sing and drink and have fun! And we will go to the Grand Line and find the One Piece and I'll become the Pirate King, just like Gold Roger!"
The stern woman was almost stunned into silence. She knew she should not have been surprised, coming from Luffy, but still.
"Man, that made me hungry," the small boy grinned, resting his hands on his belly and looking all around in search of something edible.
Without a word, Iwaki-sensei, who was quite used to that particular phenomenon, rose from her seat and went to her desk, grabbing an apple in her bag and giving it to the boy. It was supposed to be her lunch, but she could wait a bit more.
"Thanks, oba-chan!" the boy grinned at her and took a large bite of the fruit.
The schoolteacher felt a rather large sweat-drop form on her forehead. Here was the less respectful name—it'd been too long.
Taking a deep breath to give herself some courage, the woman pushed her glasses up on her nose before looking attentively to the boy in front of her. "Well, that's all really good, Luffy," she began diplomatically. "But don't you have any other idea, just in case your first… plan doesn't work?"
Luffy kept munching on his apple and gave her the deadpanned look. It was incredible how he could make anyone (yes, anyone, even the headmaster—she'd seen it) feel like a complete idiot with just a look.
"It'll work," he finally said. Iwaki-sensei cringed as he gave her a full view of half-masticated apple pieces. "I'm going to be the Pirate King."
This was going to be harder than she'd thought.
"Luffy-kun, this particular dream is not a suitable career," she explained. "The chances of it truly happening are-"
The small boy only raised an eyebrow, taking another large bite from the apple. "Career?" he repeated. "What's that?"
"Your future life, work-wise," the teacher explained.
Luffy promptly burst out laughing at her words. "Work? But being the Pirate King isn't work! It's my dream!" he guffawed, looking quite entertained indeed.
Another eyebrow twitch.
As sharp as the boy could be sometimes, Iwaki-sensei had to wonder: just how dense exactly could Luffy be?
"Indeed, it isn't," she nodded in agreement. "I'm talking about real work Luffy, like that of Makino-san, for example—she works at her bar." Not that she found this kind of work really dignified but she was going to stick with the simple explanations for now and keep the more complicated details for… an ulterior, undetermined date. "Or other kind of jobs, like doctor, farmer, lawyer, carpenter…" When she saw Luffy's disgusted face though she quickly changed course. "Of course, if you're interested in working out at sea, you could become a shipwright or a merchant-"
"No," Luffy said, his tone stern and definite. "I'm going to be the Pirate King."
Iwaki-sensei sighed. If only he could put as much determination in his homework as he did in this completely unrealistic goal…
She was going to try another approach when a sudden commotion right outside the classroom momentarily diverted her attention away from her student. She looked at the door with a severe, disapproving frown, just in time to see it slide open and five tall men came in, talking and laughing loudly.
"Oy, Luffy! Sorry we're late!"
Iwaki-sensei's eyebrows scrunched up in confusion as she watched the five men walk right up to them. She had the hardest time keeping her perfect-schoolteacher-disapproving-glare in place when she realized exactly who the five men were: she recognized the tall, red-haired one right away, both thanks to the peculiar (and completely unacceptable) bright color of his hair, the scar marring the left side of his face and the trademark straw-hat on top of his head.
They were pirates of the infamous Red Hair crew. She'd heard the rumors that they spent a lot of time at Makino-san's bar but had never imagined they knew her young student.
"Shanks!" Luffy exclaimed with a large, delighted grin.
"Hey, kid," a man with long, wavy black hair gathered in a ponytail smiled, ruffling his hair.
Iwaki-sensei watched in stunned silence as the five men greeted the small boy like he was of their own and then sat at his sides or stood behind him.
"What are you doing here?" Luffy asked, looking at the red-haired pirate captain sitting casually next to him.
"Makino found the paper in your bag yesterday," the pirate grinned, crossing his legs with an ankle resting on the opposite leg's knee. "She had to work and she couldn't come so she asked us to come instead."
"Surprise!" a tanned, blond pirate exclaimed.
"And you must be Luffy's teacher," the black-haired man said politely, nodding his head to the woman. He shot a look to his crewmates who bowed precipitately and somewhat clumsily (they must not have been used to doing that very often).
"Indeed," Iwaki-sensei said with a short nod to greet them back. "I am Iwaki Miyoko and I assume you are the Red Hair pirates." A simple nod accompanied by several laughs was all the answer she needed. "Thank you for coming gentlemen, but you should know that I do not appreciate tardiness."
At her glare, the pirates shifted uneasily and the captain gave her an awkward smile. "We're very sorry, ma'am," he said. "The guys and I aren't really used to having appointments anymore."
"Of course," the teacher retorted easily. "Now if you'll please put your weapons down—I highly doubt that you'll need them considering as fighting is not allowed nor tolerated in this school. As for you two young men, get rid of that cancer stick and that stack of meat right away, please."
Apparently not wanting to mess with their young friend's teacher, the pirates hurriedly put all swords, sabers and guns down on the ground while the black-haired man crushed his cigarette on the sole of his shoe before he threw it carelessly through the nearby window. The large round pirate with the goggles looked all around, obviously wondering how he could save his piece of roasted meat, before he shoved it in his mouth, swallowed the whole thing neat and hid the naked bone in one of his pockets. When all the weapons and other inappropriate items had been dealt with, the two pirates at Luffy's sides made a point to sit with their back straight while the three men behind them stood as straight as broomsticks in a curiously military-like manner.
Iwaki-sensei looked at them appreciatively: despite being the infamous pirates they were, they respected her authority. She was used to people being impressed by her, her looks and somewhat cold demeanor tended to intimidate people and children alike, and she used that power accordingly (what kind of teacher would she be otherwise?). Although in this precise case she highly doubted they were impressed simply because they weren't on their own turf—she liked to believe that they were being mindful of the children waiting right outside the classroom.
But whatever the reason, Iwaki-sensei was pleased. Satisfied with the order of things, the stern bespectacled woman looked back to Luffy whose smile was the largest she'd ever seen and she relaxed slightly.
She always made a point to keep her behavior appropriate to that of a good schoolteacher when it came to Luffy. Not because he was an awful student academically speaking that tended to drive her bonkers more often than not, but because despite his many flaws he was a very endearing child. She would never admit it out loud, but with all the life and excitement he brought to her classes, he was among her favorites and she quite liked seeing him so happy.
"Good, now tell me, young men, what are your names and…" she hesitated briefly on the appropriate choice of word. "…your qualification?"
Seriousness instantly forgotten, the five pirates relaxed and grinned cheekily and quite proudly at her. As expected, their captain took care of the introductions.
"I'm Shanks, captain of the Red Hair pirate crew. Here is my first mate, Ben Beckman, Lucky Roo our resident carnivore, Yasopp our sharpshooter and Rockstar all-brawl specialist." Shanks bowed deeply, putting a hand on Luffy's head and forcing him to bow too. "Thank you for taking the time to receive us today, ma'am." The four other pirates instantly imitated him.
"Thank you for coming," Iwaki-sensei replied with a small bow of her own. "It is good to see so many adults are here for Luffy today."
The pirates straightened back and Luffy glared at Shanks resentfully for disturbing his meal: he bit enthusiastically in his apple, effectively leaving only a thin trunk with the seeds that disappeared in his lap under his desk (Iwaki-sensei had no doubt he'd stuffed it in the small case underneath the writing table normally designed to hold the notes and books, but she refrained from commenting for now).
"Luffy's our favorite little monkey-man, after all," the tanned blonde, Yasopp, grinned.
"Yup," Shanks nodded in agreement. "He's one of us."
"One of yours," the schoolteacher repeated thoughtfully. "Well, I understand better now where Luffy-kun got his dream from," she said, expression softening ever so slightly.
The pirates perked up in interest. "Oh?" Red-haired Shanks wiggled his eyebrows and elbowed the small boy playfully in the side. "You've got a dream and you didn't tell us about it?"
"Yeah, what is it?" the largest man of all, who was fat to the point that his body looked perfectly round (Lucky Roo was his name), smiled while his crewmate next to him with spiky purple hair, Rockstar, nodded silently.
"I'm going to become the Pirate King!" Luffy declared, puffing out his chest in self-importance.
There was a long, suspenseful silence as the pirates stared at him.
Iwaki-sensei watched with interest, half-expecting them to congratulate and encourage him (they were pirates after all). She had imagined that they would take him somewhat seriously, if only for the fact that his dream included becoming a pirate just like them… but they didn't. For five seconds, the classroom was so silent that they could almost hear flies passing by, and suddenly, they all burst out laughing so loud that even the schoolteacher jumped slightly in surprise.
"Pirate King?" Shanks gasped in between two fits. "You've got to be kidding me!"
"Shut up!" Luffy exclaimed and jumped to stand on his chair so that he was tall enough to stand up to the guffawing pirates. "I'm serious! I'm really going to be the Pirate King and I will kick your ass!"
"Luffy-kun, watch your language and sit down correctly!" Iwaki-sensei snapped. Seeing the boy being chastised like the child he was, the pirates only laughed harder and Iwaki-sensei saw red. "And you young men should be ashamed of laughing so openly when a child is honestly opening himself to you! Think about your own responsibility in all this before mocking him: what or should I say who do you think gave him that idea?"
The pirates' laughter instantly died down and they all had the decency to look bashful to some degree (said degree varying according to which of the five you looked at).
The captain cleared his throat and looked at the boy, the expression on his face halfway between amusement and incredulity. "Seriously, Luffy? Do you realize what you're saying?"
"Of course I do!" Luffy stuck his tongue out at him. "I'll be the strongest, most famous, richest pirate in the entire world and all you guys will have to take me seriously!"
Shanks shook his head with a small, stunned chuckle. Iwaki-sensei was pleased and impressed by the pirate despite her very best judgment when she noticed that the red haired man had an impressed glint in his eyes. Oh, he took him seriously alright.
Next to him, Ben, the first mate, smiled. "Wait until Makino-san and the mayor hear that," he mused.
Iwaki-sensei barely repressed a smile at the thought of their exuberant mayor and what his reaction would be when he learned of Luffy's dream. She sincerely hoped that she'd be there to witness the small event—because there was no doubt that it would turn into quite the entertaining spectacle.
"Rather than being the Pirate King, shouldn't you be worrying about grammar and calculus?" Yasopp enquired with a smirk.
"No way, that's too boring!" Luffy crossed his arms obstinately and began sulking. With large grins, Shanks, Lucky Roo and Yasopp instantly began fussing over him and teasing him about his childish behavior when he wanted so badly for them to treat him seriously.
"Isn't that why we're here?" Ben asked, half to his distracted crewmates, half to the stern schoolteacher. "To talk about Luffy's work or something?"
"It isn't the primary reason," Iwaki-sensei shook her head sternly, shooting a half-hearted glare to the laughing pirates. "The policy of our school is to help the students realize their dreams and develop their full potential, starting from the youngest age possible."
"Oh, that's all nice and dandy but concretely what do you propose?" Shanks asked, stopping his teasing of the young boy for a moment. "I'm sure you noticed Luffy isn't really your everyday little boy." Ha was quite visibly protective of said boy—that was something the schoolteacher appreciated to its due value.
"Oh worry not, Shanks-san," she replied with the slightest of smile. "I've gotten to know Luffy-kun quite well over the last four months. Average academics such as grammar and calculus hold no interest to him which is why he has such bad grades, but he's proven time and time again that he can be quite quick-witted if necessary. It is too early yet to say with certainty but I'm certain that he will find a subject to hold his interest, whether it is of the literary or the manual kind—although I'm inclined to think it will be the latter as Luffy has nor the patience for, nor the love of books."
"And what if he still wants to be a pirate when he graduates?" Ben asked, looking at the schoolteacher in front of him attentively.
"Then he will need all of his legendary determination as well as all the support you can give him. But that's something only time will tell us."
The two pirates exchanged a short look before they nodded with obviously satisfied smile on their faces.
Iwaki-sensei was amused. When they'd first come in, she was determined to see if these pirates were good influence on her young student but in the end it was them that had done the evaluation, looking out for the small boy to see if his teacher was a good one who understood his peculiar character. Oh, well… She didn't really mind, as they seemed to only have his best interest at heart.
She spared a quick look to the watch on her wrist and realized that already the ten minutes for the small appointment were over. It was time for her to call for her next student. She shot a look to the pirates and the small boy (Yasopp and Lucky Roo were still teasing a sulking Luffy).
"Very well, Luffy-kun, you can go back home now and I'll see you tomorrow in class," she said.
"Really?" Luffy exclaimed, his face instantly brightening. He jumped from his seat, ready to bolt for the door. "Great! Thanks, oba-chan!"
Ben, being obviously the most polite out of the whole bunch, instantly whacked him on the back of the head. "Oy, Luffy, show some respect to your teacher," he said sternly.
Iwaki-sensei was more and more pleased with these pirates as she got to know them. She understood better now where Luffy, despite him being an only child with no stable father figure to speak of, had gotten his good heart from.
"Is that really all, ma'am?" Red-haired Shanks asked curiously, forcing Luffy to sit back down. "I bet this brat gives you enough trouble in class to drive you crazy, right?"
The schoolteacher smiled sincerely this time—it was barely perceptible, but the pirate captain seemed to catch it and smiled back. "Nothing out of the ordinary for any healthy boy the same age," she said. "You may go now."
She rose from her seat while the pirates gathered their weapons and followed them back to the door.
No, she really didn't need to talk to them much more. If she knew Luffy as well as she believed she did, then no matter how much she tried, no matter what she thought, she wouldn't be able to convince him to change his mind. And all things considered, she didn't see anything bad in such a young boy having dreams of his own, no matter how far-fetched they seemed. In time he would come back to reality—or get only more determined to reach his goal…
The door opened and the pirates exited the classroom, purple-spiky-haired Rockstar coming first, his menacing expression more than enough to open a clear path, Lucky Roo right behind him was using his size to widen said path, followed by Luffy who was still being teased by Yasopp. Ben Beckman and the captain turned back to her before they left.
"Thank you for your time, ma'am," Shanks smiled at her politely, his black-haired crewmate next to him bowing his head respectfully.
Iwaki-sensei smiled back and watched them as they left. The red-haired pirate took large strides until he was walking by Luffy's side and he ruffled the boy's hair fondly.
"It's a good teacher you got there," the schoolteacher heard him say.
They turned at the end of the hallway and the stern woman barely heard Luffy's answer before his voice faded away. "Yeah, she's a cool oba-chan: she always gives me an apple when I'm hungry…"
With a small smile, the stern woman righted her glasses on the bridge of her nose and quickly scanned her list before looking back at the parents… Only to realize that the hallway was completely empty.
It didn't take her long to realize what had happened and she groaned exasperatedly: the parents, frightened by the pirates and scared for their children and their own life, had most likely fled the place and gone back home.
Shaking her head tiredly, the schoolteacher went back inside her classroom, leaving the door opened behind her in case some brave couple came back despite the brief appearance of the pirates. She settled at her desk and thought over her overenthusiastic student and his dream.
Monkey D. Luffy, Pirate King… Mmh… It does have a nice ring to it.