As soon as the final bell rang, rather than heading home with the others, Luffy took a detour to the bar. He needed to know what was going on with Sabo and why Ace hasn't been saying much. Whenever he would mention Sabo's feelings towards his and Nami's relationship, he'd notice the corners of Ace's lips quiver. In other words, he was trying hard not to laugh, but it was pretty obvious he wanted to. It also means Ace is a terrible actor.. and there was no way he would ever want to be like him.
Once he finally got to the bar, he stepped into a packed place. It was the usual guys from around the neighborhood with a couple new buddies. Luffy would've been worried about Makino being in a room filled with these guys if it weren't for Sabo working here now. When he finally spotted his blonde brother working behind the counter, Luffy approached him.
"Sabo, can we talk?"
"Sure," replied Sabo while wiping off a glass. "What about?"
Luffy nodded towards the entrance. While he made his way back to the entrance, Makino spotted him. "Oh, Luffy. Did you need something?"
Luffy stopped at the front door and smiled back politely at his mother. "I just needed to talk to Sabo."
"Well, would you like to stay for dinner?" Makino laughed. "It still feels weird saying that to you. Bring Nami too. I heard what happened between you two."
"Tou-chan wants me at the dojo tonight, so maybe tomorrow-"
"I'm sure your father will understand."
"But Rayleigh.." Luffy stopped himself. If he were to disappoint one of his parents, he could never disappoint his mother. Makino is such a fragile and kind women, he couldn't do anything to ruin that. Also, he knew he could take on his father now. He might not be on equal par as him, but he could handle him even if he was going to end up beaten in the end. "Okay, but you're telling Tou-chan though."
"He'll understand." Makino winked.
Sabo purposely bumped into his youngest brother, urging him to move. Luffy stepped out. They walked a few feet from the bar where no one inside could possibly here them.
"So, what's up?" asked Luffy.
Sabo cocked an eyebrow. "Shouldn't I be asking you that? You came here after all."
"Why are you so calm? Aren't you mad after yesterday?"
Sabo furrowed his brows, until he realized what he was talking about. Luffy could see his reaction clearly. Like Ace, the corners of his lips quivered and twitched. Because of that, Luffy's eyelids dropped halfway.
"Calm? I am furious! How could you guys ditch me at Dreamland? I bet you guys got all touchy when no one was looking. You know what? I'm beyond furious! Nami was my first love!"
Luffy sighed. He could sense the sarcasm in his tone. Now, he finally understood the situation between them. Sabo knew all along.
"Sabo stop. You don't have to keep pretending anymore. I know."
The oldest brother smirked. "Ace has been filling me in on everything that's been going on here since I left a looong time ago. What kind of older brother would I be if I didn't know these things?"
As a result, Luffy hit him upside the head.
"Then again, since you didn't figure it out until now, that must mean I'm a brilliant actor. You should really look up to me more."
"You and Ace are one and the same."
"That wasn't meant to be a compliment."
Sabo chuckled. "So, how's it going with you two? Did anything happen?"
Luffy glared at him. "And what do you mean by that?"
Sabo nudged him and raised an eyebrow. "C'mon, you know what I mean."
"I can't believe you, going into that kind of topic just like that. I'm telling our mother on you." Luffy scoffed and walked into the bar with his nose held high. "Mother dearest!"
Sabo shook his head. From the front, Ace walked over. His bag hung over one shoulder while the sleeves of his white button up shirt was rolled up. Sabo just eyed him as he got closer. There was no way -even his appearance showed it- that Ace could be a teacher.
"So, how was work?" asked Sabo.
"They make me feel old."
"If you say it like that, you're making me sound older," said Shanks who had approached them.
"You are old," said Sabo.
"Let me hear that again and we'll see what you're having for dinner tonight."
"Ha! I could just go out and eat tonight. Better yet, I'd just go over to the mansion tonight."
"I wouldn't do that," said Ace. "Sanji wouldn't like that."
"Its not like he'll do anything to me."
"Then you obviously haven't been to the Baratie."
"And you're not touching my food!" Luffy yelled through the open door.
"All that food's not yours!"
"My house, my food!"
Makino facepalmed. Whether they were out in public or not, her sons could care less whether they embarrassed her or not. Right now, her customers were entertained by their bickering and use of profanity. They maybe her sons, but she would kick them out right now without hesitation if her guests weren't enjoying the little show they brought to the stage.
Shanks, who sat on one of the counter's chairs, was observing everything with a thoughtful look on his face. While wiping off the counter from behind, she noticed her husband's smile.
"Hun, what are you thinking about?" asked Makino.
"Those boys, they remind me of myself when I was their age."
"When you were still in Roger's crew?"
"With another member. I wonder where he is now."
"Are you talking about the man with a big red fake nose?"
Shanks chuckled. "Its real."
A couple more hours passed and it was finally time for dinner. Like before, the dinner table was loud and chaotic, but nothing compared to their mansion. The three boys would fight for the same piece of chicken. Shanks was keeping a whole set of food to himself, and Makino was either trying to eat in piece, or splitting up the three. Overall, Nami loved it. This was a place Luffy grew up in, and because of that, she loved it when she got to live his lifestyle for a bit.
Back at the mansion, the Straw Hats were having their own dinner. Aside from Luffy and Nami, Sanji, Usopp, and Chopper, Brook, and Franky were absent to the table as well due to work, but Sanji prepared a meal for the remaining Straw Hats before he left. While Sanji and Franky still worked at the same jobs they had last year, the other three found new jobs in hopes of making more money for the crew.
Brook got a new job at a cafe where he got to perform every hour. Nonetheless, Brook was having the time of his life. He has the chance to do what he loves and get paid doing it. The manager pays him big money. The reason for that is because the "Soul King" managed to make his business a success. Now, there are more and more people coming into his cafe to eat and to see Brook perform. By this, Brook's reputation as part of the Straw Hats was growing.
Chopper took an apprentice job at a nearby hospital. In hopes of becoming a great doctor, he needed to know everything on his own and through observation. All his life, his father figure and his grandma taught him everything he knows this far, but he wanted to further his studies on the field. By doing so, he's becoming a great doctor everyday.
Along with his father, Usopp works in their family store. The store has already had great success due to Yasopp's popularity from when he was in Shanks' crew, but with the addition of Usopp, the gadgets store has gained more attention. It used to be located near their home which was just done the street, but since it always overflowed with people, they moved the store downtown in Shibuya where they got a bigger store and even more customers. Usopp loved his job, and there was no sign of him ever leaving that place.
Before, Sanji used to work as a waiter and chef at the Baratie, but after showing signs of great improvement after the two years he was away, Sanji was promoted to a rank just below Zeffs. It was good for the owner because now, Sanji doesn't have to attack every single guest that insults their food. Their menu had a few installations and to the guests, there was something new about the food that they just couldn't explain. Because of Sanji's reputation, the restaurant has gained attention from the celebrities and the girls. Zeff and the other chefs and waiters needed to take an extra close eye on him this time.
Although Iceburg was the CEO of their "Rocketman" business, Franky had the ability to do whatever he wanted under his older brother's permission. His speed for building a motor or just creating something new from scratch has improved. Overall, their company's popularity has grown, as if it wasn't popular already.
While each one of those boys are working hard, the remaining three Straw Hats stayed at home, having their dinner. Since it was just the three of them, they decided to have their dinner in the loft upstairs and have a movie night. While eating her dinner, Vivi couldn't help but worry about her father. Its been a whole day since she last saw him and she hasn't had any contact with him since. She still has no idea what's going on with the casino.
"Robin, I'm still worried," said Vivi. "Papa's completely shutting us out."
"Have you tried calling him?" asked Zoro.
"A million times. He's not answering his phone. Igaram's not answering his phone either, and when he does, he won't stop apologizing."
"Hmm," Robin gulped down her drink then stood from her seat. "Since its just the three of us tonight, why don't we all go down there. There shouldn't be any harm, and if anybody gets in our way, Zoro can just hit them."
"Oi oi, you're clearly sending me off to jail with that last part."
"But you're a "Straw Hat," they wouldn't throw you in jail if it meant ruining your reputation. You're on a label of a gum company without you even realizing it."
"I'm a gum?"
"So, Vivi, shall we go?"
Vivi sighed. She followed Robin to the front door. Zoro, on the other hand, was still baffled by his new popularity.
"Wait! Am I really a gum?!"
Taking Zoro's bike wouldn't fit all three of them, and their car would probably be a hassle since its always crazy downtown at this time of the night. Taking the bus was their last option. On the ride there, Zoro was still questioning the girls about this new discovery, Vivi replied that it was all just a joke. Robin received a scolding for lying to him.
Once they got to the stop, they headed towards the casino. When they got closer, their theory was right, there were a whole bunch of people present. Not just ordinary tourists, but there were black cars parked at the front and a couple men dressed in black suits.
"Friends of your father?" asked Zoro.
Vivi, followed by the others, ran towards the main entrance where the men in black were practically surrounding the entire building. Vivi could tell that the tourists coming and going were feeling concerned about all of this. No reports of this has gone out yet, so she had no idea what was happening. The three of them snaked through the entrance and darted for his office. Just like any other day, the casino was packed full of tourists and locals coming to gamble.
When they finally reached the hallway leading to his office, Pell was keeping guard. The head of security was surprised upon their arrival. "What are you three doing here?!"
"Where's my father?" asked a frantic Vivi.
"H-He's.. I can't say."
"Pell, I don't think now's the best time to keep us out. We have the right to know what's going on," said Robin.
"And its the opposite reason why I'm keeping you out here! Your father doesn't want you getting involved! I thought he made that clear to you yesterday!"
"Now or later, we're bound to find out whats going on anyway," said Zoro. "You know how Luffy reacts towards those around him."
At the mention of Luffy's name, Pell grew hesitant. Taking the opportunity, Zoro pushed Pell aside. Vivi and Robin sprinted for the door. Zoro and Pell wrestled on the ground for Pell's freedom. When the girls were halfway there, Zoro shoved Pell off of him and ran after them.
When they bursted through his office door, Zoro closed the door tight and locked it. He sighed heavily knowing that he won't have to deal with him for now. Pell was strong, which was why he was chosen as head of security. Getting passed him would be impossible.
Now that Zoro thought about it, Pell wasn't even giving his all when it came to getting out of his grasp. In fact, Pell was also a fast runner, but he didn't catch up to him. It was then, he noticed the silence in the room.
Zoro turned around. The girls were still standing in front of him. They have yet to approach Cobra. There was a large table in the middle of the room that sat only two people present. One of them was Cobra. The other, Zoro didn't recognize. His deep black-purple hair was slicked back. He was dressed in a suit as well and over it was an oversized coat.
There were two things that surprised Zoro about him. First, he looked to be no older than them, and that made him grow even more curious as to why he was even here. Second, he hand a long horizontal scar that ran straight across his face. Just looking at his face was intimidating Zoro, but it was irritating him as well. This one man was causing all this ruckus.
"Who the hell are you?"
New arc! Finally! lol I've been planning this part of the story since before GLA even ended xP