Kitsune here with a new story! This one-shot has been bouncing around in my head for a while, and after seeing a few good time-bending One Piece stories (and writing one myself) I thought why not? So, here we go. Reviews are always appreciated, and if you want to run with the idea, just let me know, alright?
Question of the chapter: "Do you wake up all at once, or is it a slow process?" When I'm up I'm up...though I can always go right back to sleep. So, if someone calls me in the middle of the night, I'm awake, but so long as it isn't an emergency I'm able to roll over after the call and go right back to sleep. Getting me up though...that's another story. I wake up for the phone ringing...and that's about it. Three alarm clocks, people. Three.
"Oy! Zoro! Sanji! Usopp! Oy!" a voice echoed through the clinging fog. Roger turned towards the sound, "Hmmm, they must be lost. Oy!"
The Pirate King peered through the white blanket covering the island, attempting to locate the source of the voice that bounced all around him. As he walked forward, the ground sloped upwards. Hoping it might get him out of the valley of fog, he quickly made his way to the top of the knoll. It was like he was on a small sky island, surrounded as he was by the low riding clouds.
"Franky! Brook! Chopper?! Where did everyone go?" The fog swirled to his left and he turned, sensing the approach of another person. A boy, possibly a young man, emerged from the screen of white, his face mostly shaded by a straw hat.
Before the figure could disappear once more he called out, "Are you lost, boy?"
The other stopped and looked up at him apparently noticing him for the first time. The straw hat was knocked back to hang from a string as the boy raced up the hill. His sandaled feet barely made a sound on the grass. As the youth drew nearer, Roger saw a horrific scar on his chest and couldn't help but wonder where such a thing had come from. The fellow was much shorter than he, messy mop of black hair coming to his chest. The other slowed, a wide grin on his face, one that was vaguely similar to his own.
"Hey, old man...have you seen my Nakama ?"
"You're the first person I've met on this island. I had believed it was uninhabited."
"Oh. That's what Robin said, too. Huh. I wonder where they all went." The teen cocked his head to the side, eyeing Roger. "Who are you? Do you live around here?"
He looked down at the boy, amused, "I could as you much the same thing. I'm just passing by, waiting till our Log Pose sets," he grinned, "You see, I'm a pirate."
Dark brown eyes lit up in excitement, "Really? Where's your ship? We didn't see one when we dropped anchor."
"Back that ways, by a beach. I take it then you are a traveler as well?" The boy didn't look like a marine, but you could never be too sure. Most likely he was a cabin boy on a merchant vessel or some such.
"Pirate," the boy grinned. It took a moment for the King to realize the lad was not referring to himself, but rather stating his own profession.
"I see. Then we have much in common. I am Roger, and you are?" He smirked, waiting for the inevitable reaction to the Pirate King.
The grin stretched wider as the young pirate returned his hat to his head, "Luffy. Wow! Look at this! It's like Skypiea! "
While the reaction was disappointing, the excitement in which the boy pranced about their little 'island' wasn't. Roger found himself charmed by Luffy's apparent simple nature. He found himself wondering where the boy's crew was, as he was obviously lost. Given how relaxed he was meeting a strange pirate, let alone the King, he assumed it was a reasonably powerful crew. The youth grinned up at him from where he was crouched, poking at the clouds with a stick.
"Skypiea, huh?" He found himself asking as he crouched down next to the boy, "That's not a journey many would make."
"It was fun! Our Pose pointed up, and shoom! Right into the sky! Sky Knight gave us a whistle and everything. I wonder if Nami would like this?"
"Mmm?" Roger coked his head to the side as his thoughts revolved around Gan Fall, his friend on Skypiea.
"Yeah. She trained on a sky island for a couple years." The boy nodded as he sat. The king sat with him, eyes once again falling to the rather impressive scar on the boy's chest. He thought briefly of asking, but instead let the silence stretch as he pondered that and what crew the other could belong to. After a moment Luffy sighed, "Maybe they're back at the ship?"
"How did you get separated?"
"Exploring." Luffy shrugged, "Zoro always gets lost, so that's fine. He'll show up eventually. The mist is so thick, I can't see anything fun. It was supposed to be an adventure, but it's boring to walk around here alone. There's nothing to do!"
There was movement in the fog, and both of the pirates looked up towards it. Roger noted how calm the boy was, even when it became obvious something was coming towards them. Before long something started to cut through the low riding clouds. As it drew near, the Pirate King tried to figure out what it was. It seemed as if a tree with bare branches was approaching, the tips barely visible. It suddenly clicked as the branches bobbed and swayed that they were most likely attached to something. A second before the creature appeared, he realized it was some kind of deer. A blue nosed deer, he saw. One dressed in clothes and carrying a young man on it's back with apparent ease. He was unsure how the man was guiding the beast, as there didn't appear to be any reins or even a saddle.
The stranger spotted them, "Ah! There you are Luffy!"
"Usopp! Chopper! I was looking for you guys!" His companion stood, waving enthusiastically.
"Who's this guy?" The newcomer was obviously as rude as Luffy, but he didn't seem as trusting as he held tightly to what appeared to be a strange looking weapon as he slid down from his mount. He was topless, with a mane of unruly hair pulled back from his face and a bucket hat on.
"Hmm? Oh, this is Roger. He's a pirate, too. Hey guys, come here for a second. Look! It's like a sky island!"
What happened next threw Roger for a loop. The deer did an excited looking little jump before exclaiming "It is! That's amazing!"
"Wow, just look at how thick this fog is, Chopper! Without your nose, we would never have found Luffy!" the young man exclaimed while Luffy just grinned.
"Shut up, you asshole! Your praise doesn't make me happy or anything~!"
Roger eyed the strange talking animal, "What do we have here?"
The deer, which had gotten very close to him, was taken by surprise. It skittered back and ducked behind Luffy. Something that would have been more effective if the animal's whole body had even come close to fitting, or even if his head wasn't higher than the teen's. It peaked at him, ears flicking back and forth for a moment. Luffy was the one who answered, however.
"This is Chopper! He's a reindeer, plus he's got a blue nose. You can't eat him, though, cause he's my Nakama ."
"He wants to eat me?!" The deer yelped, ducking it's head behind Luffy, it's antlers bracketing the boy, "Luffy! Your friend is scary!"
"I don't want to eat you!" Roger snapped back, "I just wanted to know if you were a zohan type!"
"Oh." Chopper calmed down, "Yeah. I ate the Hito Hito no Mi." The deer transformed into a short human like form that Roger had to admit was sort of cute.
"Chopper's our doctor! He's the best!"
"Jerk! Stop complementing me!" The reindeer-child wiggled while Luffy laughed. Roger grinned in response at the two. He'd always wondered if there was a human fruit out there somewhere in the world.
"Ah, Luffy! We should get back to the ship. Sanji was going to make a barbecue, remember?" The other young pirate said. Roger assumed now that he was Usopp.
"Meat!" The straw hat wearing one cheered before turning to look at him, "Hey mister, you coming?"
"Yeah, why not? Sanji'll feed you. You can meet my Nakama and tell me about yours!"
It wasn't even worth thinking about. Roger was getting hungry after spending a long morning exploring the island, and here another crew was willing to feed his quite substantial appetite. While not unexpected, he was the King after all, it was definitely welcome. He just hoped the cook knew what he was in for, feeding a D. Wordlessly he grinned at his new little friend who immediately started leading the way.
"Won't you get lost in the fog, Luffy?" Chopper asked, a fluffy blue hat barely visible.
"Can't you smell it? Meat! Sanji's cooking smells so good!" The leader of the group laughed, "Hey Usopp, did you find anything cooool?"
Usopp spoke up from his spot behind Roger, "No, not really. Nami said we're here for another day at least, too. I hope the fog clears up, though. Brook won't leave the ship at all at this rate."
"Well that's no fun. Hey, you know what'll get his mind off of it?"
All three young pirates cheered, "Campfire!"
"Mister, where's your ship? Maybe you could join us?" Chopper asked. Roger assumed he was walking backwards.
"My crew is docked on the other side of the island. We found a beach, and most of my men are relaxing. A campfire does sound nice."
"A beach, huh? Lucky!" Usopp piped up from behind him, "We docked along some cliffs because someone couldn't wait to go exploring."
"Shihihihi, it's a mystery island!" Luffy laughed, "Besides, we can always move the Sunny now that we know there's a beach."
The fog was thinner now, and it was easier to see the thick foliage they were walking though. A dull ringing sound could be heard coming from up ahead, and the Gol assumed it was from some other members of the crew. A crew he was beginning to suspect belonged to Whitebeard. The man had so many sons and daughters, it was a bit hard for the other to keep track of them all. Newgate did teach his children some respect, however, so it was likely this was one of his enumerable crews, given his invite to a meal.
He was shocked when Luffy broke cover only to ducked slightly as his other crew member stepped back. Right where the straw hat had just been a leg slammed into a pair of katanas with bone jarring force. Luffy kept walking, oblivious to his casual display of Kenbunshoku Haki as the two fighters ceased. The owner of the leg, a blond man in a suit, lit up a cigarette as he turned to the short interloper.
"Luffy! You're late. I was just about to send the mosshead after you."
"Shut it, shit-cook," The katana wielding man growled back. Roger noticed the vibrant green hair before his eyes traveled down to the three sheaths at his waist. The man turned and looked right at him, revealing that one eye was held closed by a scar, "Who's this?"
"Roger. He's a friend!" Luffy laughed, "Sanji, I'm hungry! Meat!"
"Yeah yeah. Hold your horses." The bond rolled his eyes, "Food's just about ready. I take it you're joining us?"
Roger grinned at the blond, wondering if he was the captain before dismissing it. The green haired fellow was more likely, but still not his guess. "If you'll have me."
"Works for me. You can't possibly eat more than Luffy. I'm Sanji, the cook. And the moron with the swords is Zoro."
"Asshole!" The green haired man snapped, his wary gaze finally leaving Roger.
"Hey, guys? Where's everyone else?"
Sanji started to answer Usopps question, "Brook's still on board. Franky's keeping him company. Jinbi went for a swim..."
"The weather witch is around here somewhere." Zoro cut in.
"Don't call Nami-swan a witch!"
"And I just got back from exploring." A feminine voice said with a bit of a laugh, "Sadly, there are no ruins on this island for me to study."
Roger regarded the woman with a half smile as she returned the favor. She had cool blue eyes and long black hair. Age wise, she was older by quite a few years then the rest of her crewmates, but again he didn't peg her as the captain. The look she gave him was calculating and a bit smug, like she knew something he didn't.
"Who are you, lovely lady?"
"My, what a flatterer. I'm Robin." The woman smiled, "You must be Roger, correct?"
"Robin-chwan, you're amazing!" The cook's gaze became enamored as he looked at her, "Touch her and die, bastard." he growled at Roger.
"I doubt I have to worry, cook-san." The woman laughed. "Nami should already be on board. I believe she wanted to ask the captain if we could move the ship."
"Is that why she chased Jinbe off? Typical." Zoro snorted.
"Nami is scary!" The little reindeer shuddered.
"Oh well. We'll worry about that later! Lunch first!" The straw hat wearing member of the strange crew shouted as he rushed the sounds of waves.
Roger looked on with some bemusement to see the ship, it's flag slack in the non-existent wind and it's sails drawn tight. It was a bright and gay thing with yellows and reds. The figurehead seemed to be some sort of lion possibly...and he was sure he saw actual grass on the deck. It truly looked more like a party boat then a pirate ship. The odd looking little vessel didn't answer how the crew got from the deck at least a hundred feet below to up on the cliffs and back. He didn't see any ropes or gangplank, though he guessed that they could have climbed the mast and somehow leapt. It seemed a foolish way to do things, though. Idly, he watched, wondering what they'd do.
Usopp paled, "Oh no! No nononono! Not today, Luffy! Your aim is horrible when you're hungry! Sanji! Take me with you!"
"I don't carry men!"
"Man up, Usopp."
"Say's the guy who's going to jump. You're shut an idiot."
"What was that Dartboard-brow?!"
"I don't w-waaa..." He didn't know deer could cry.
"I'll carry you, doctor-chan."
"Zoro, wanna race?" Luffy grinned, rotating his shoulder for some reason as Usopp whimpered.
The swordsman smirked, "You'll be carrying two."
"I just came down with I'll-die-if-Luffy-carries-me-desease."
"What happened to being a brave man of the sea?" the swordsman snorted.
"I AM! And I want to live to continue to be one!"
"Fine. If you fall, I don't want to hear it."
"Shishishihihi! Ready?" Luffy wrapped an arm around Roger for some strange reason.
"GO!" Came the answering shout as all three lept off the cliff.
The King refused to latch onto the boy in shock, but he was still surprised. Sanji was displaying excellent control in something that looked like Geppo to hop through the air. The woman, Robin, had sprouted innumerable hands from her back in the shape of wings and was gliding down to the deck, obviously a devil fruit user. Zoro just plummeted straight down, a screaming Usopp in his arms. The one carrying Roger was a shock as well, his free arm stretched all the way to the far rail and was rapidly pulling them down towards the deck. He could see why Usopp didn't want to travel this way; it could end very painfully.
They all landed on the deck with a resounding thud that caused the ship to bob a bit in the water giving him an idea of how powerful these individuals really were. Standing on his own, Roger saw two doors burst open. From the one on closest to them two people emerged. Or he assumed they were people. One seemed to be a skeleton with an afro. He blinked. Yes, definitely a skeleton with an afro and a suit on. The other was just as weird, possibly some kind of robot or something. He'd never seen anything like it. From the door above a woman in a bikini top and long bright orange hair emerged. She looked down at the group and rolled her eyes even though she had a wide smile on her face.
"Luffy! Who's your friend?"
"Ah! Nami! Sorry, did we ruin one of your maps?" She shook her head at his question, "This is Roger. He's a pirate, too!"
"Yohohohoho! There are other pirates on this island? I can hardly believe my eyes!" The skeleton laughed, a truly creepy sight, "Ah, but I don't have any eyes. Skull Joke!"
Luffy grinned up at him, "That's Brook. He's our musician. Isn't he funny?"
"Luffy-san, it warms my bones to hear you say that." Brook's head turned towards Roger. The man, when he had been a man, had been taller than Roger. He knew it was the result of another devil fruit, this one seemed a bit tragic, however.
"Luffy-bro. You said this guy's Roger? Like..." The other unnamed crew member questioned. Roger smirked at him from behind his mustache.
Robin was there, resting a hand on the rectangular looking arm, "Franky. Why spoil the fun?" he heard her say with a sly smile. Franky seemed taken back momentarily before he nodded down at her.
"Weird New World Islands..." Franky muttered, "Oh well. That explains why Jinbe is taking so long. I'm Franky. What do you think of Thousand Sunny?"
"Is that the name of your ship?"
"Yep!" Luffy cheered. Roger was interested to note that while he had been distracted a full table had been laid out and the others were already beginning to eat.
"It's...interesting." He mused as he watched Luffy's hand shoot across three spaces to steal food off another plate only to be stabbed by a fork. Wisely he sat down and began to eat.
"Shihihihi, isn't it?"
"Don't talk with your mouth full!" Nami shouted at him.
In the resulting silence, Roger eyed the crew members who were on deck. They were much more intriguing than the ship. He still wasn't sure who the captain was, however. Brook and Franky held themselves like leaders, but they didn't strike him as the captain of this crew. It was possible they'd left their old crews to join this one, which wasn't too uncommon. Particularly not in Whitebeard's fleet. Robin was a possibility, but despite the obvious respect she held, her laid back air suggested that she was one to follow orders on this ship. Nami was similar in that regard. It was a nice mystery to ponder while eating. Truly, he enjoyed the family atmosphere the crew gave off, and how readily they included him. Even though he was the King, when he visited other crews they tended to become tense, with few exceptions.
"You started without me I see." A voice interrupted his musings. Turning he saw a fishman pulling himself on deck. He seemed to be a Whale-type of some sort, with a fierce look on his face. Roger always thought it was a bit of a shame that Fishmen expressions were harsher than human ones, leading to some of the difficulties between the species. The fishman fixed him with a look and blinked, "Luffy-kun, who's this?"
"Roger! I met him on the island. Hey, Jinbe, think we could move the Sunny over to his ship? That way, we could have an awesome campfire tonight!"
"I don't see why not. If they're the ship I ran into, it should only take about an hour to reach there." Jinbe replied, joining them at the table. Roger wondered if this was the elusive captain at last. He was obviously an experienced warrior and had a commanding baring.
Robin was looking at him over the rim of a glass. She smiled at him when he finally noticed and said, "So what do you think of the Straw Hat Pirates, mmm?"
"Straw hat?" He blinked back at her. Most crews were named after their captains, or something that held meaning to the captain. For example, Roger led the Roger Pirates, Newgate led the Whitebeard Pirates and Shiki lead the Golden Lion Pirates. The only straw hat he'd seen in evidence was in Luffy's possession, however.
"Yes, Straw Hat." She'd obviously followed his gaze and laughed slightly.
Nami rolled her eyes, "That's everyone's reaction. Honestly, Luffy!"
Usopp joined in, "Yeah, it's always 'AH! Mugiwara!' Until they get to know him, and then it's a bit of a joke. Even the Yonko think you're weird."
"They're weirder," Luffy laughed.
"No, they're not!" Everyone chorused.
The rest of the meal passed quickly. Gol didn't remember much of it beyond keeping the younger captain's sticky hands off his plate. The boy sure had a voracious appetite, shoving anything and everything edible into his mouth. His crew guarded their meals with knives and forks, but it seemed to him each of them had extra food on their plates specifically for him to steal. It was almost like it was a game to them all.
When the food was gone and the dishes were clear everyone immediately readied the unique vessel to sail. It was a rather large ship for such a small crew, and Roger was impressed to see them man it efficiently and cleanly. He suspected it could be manned with even fewer people, in fact. He himself was told to just sit back and enjoy the ride, Captain's orders, as they set off. He found himself wondering how such a small crew survived on the Grand Line, let alone in the New World. Obviously they did quite well, though. Before long the cheerful little ship was well on it's way, sped along by the winds and Binks Sake as Luffy plopped onto the grass near him.
The two captains looked at eachother before grinning. Luffy flopped onto his back and said, "Thanks for coming on board with us, Roger!"
The King nodded benignly, "No problem."
"Pretty brave of you, though. Most other pirate crews avoid us." Zoro put in with a yawn from where he leaned against the mast.
"Oh?" Roger wondered if this was the type of crew that worked with the marines, or challenged others to Davy Jones battles but quickly dismissed both ideas. Luffy seemed much too fun-loving to actively hunt others.
"Not true! Law and Kidd don't avoid us!" Luffy pouted, "And Smoky sometimes comes over..."
"First off Luffy, Smoker is a marine. He's trying to capture us. He's just not very good at it." Sanji walked by, dropping off delicious fruity drinks.
"Law-kun and Kidd-kun are monsters in their own rights." Jinbe added, "So of course they're not afraid of you."
Chopper shuddered, "Actually, I think Law wants to disect Luffy...I caught him watching you sleeping this one time and it was really creepy!"
"OW! I know Kidd would stab you if he thought he could get away with it."
"...Marco likes us."
"Marco has no taste." Jinbe joked, "Besides, how can you tell? He's so lazy."
"Sorry, Captain-san. We're just too scary for normal people."
"Coby doesn't think we're scary!"
"Again, he's a marine. Secondly, yes, he thinks we're scary! I mean, you're the friggin..."
"Yohohoho! I see the ship!"
The conversation was tabled as everyone rushed to the bow. Sure enough the Oro Jackson was coming into view, sitting placidly by a wide and sandy beach. His crew, which had been loitering around the beach, no doubt goofing off, rushed to the shore while those on board swung the cannons around at the unknown pirate ship.
"Oy oy...Are they going to fire at us?" Usopp muttered, pulling on his goggles.
"Allow me..."Roger stood on the figurehead and waved, shouting, "What are you up to, you bastards?! You want to party?!"
"It's the Captain! Captain's back! Who's with him?" were the answering shouts.
Luffy for his part cocked his head to the side, "You're the Captain?"
Roger almost slipped right off the lion head, "Yes, I'm the Captain!"
"Cool!" the other's attention was suddenly drawn to the beach, "Hey! That guy looks like Buggy, doesn't he, Zoro?"
"Eh?" The green haired man looked at the young pirate being pointed out even as Roger gapped at Luffy trying to figure out how he knew his cabin boy. "Yeah. Bit young, though. Same nose."
"Shihihi, yep! I wonder what ha...That guy's got my hat!" The young man suddenly seemed enraged.
"Luffy, he can't have your hat, you're wearing it!" Nami slapped him, "It just looks like your hat, see?"
The King looked at the hat in question. It was riding on top of his favorite apprentice's head. One day, Shanks would go far, he was sure. He'd given the boy his favorite hat as a momento not all that long ago. It did look a lot like the hat Luffy wore, he saw.
"Wow, look at how red his hair is! I wonder if he's related to Sh...HEY! That's Rayleigh! How come he looks so young?!" Luffy tugged on Roger's arm.
"It can't be Rayleigh..." Sanji put in, coming to stand next to his captain, "Are you sure?"
"Mmm! He taught me to control my Haki, Sanji. I would know him anywhere." Roger was really confused. Rayleigh hadn't left the ship for any length of time in forever. It was a bit of an annoyance actually, since Roger's more outrageous plans kept being curtailed.
"If that's Rayleigh, and that's Buggy...then the boy with the hat? Is that SHANKS?" Nami gasped. "Oh my god, he's so young!"
"Yohohoho! Crocus-san! Ah! Where's Laboon?"
"Robin...What's going on?" Luffy turned to look at the now chuckling dark haired woman, "Who is this?"
"Why, Captain-san, it's Roger of course." She smiled at him, "I'm not surprised you don't recognize him, he was before your time."
"It's a Super shock, right?" Franky put in with a grin. Roger realized as he looked at the various expressions on deck that the only ones who had recognized him had been Franky, Robin and Jinbe which only added to his confusion.
"Allow me to introduce you, Luffy-san. This is Gol D. Roger. King of the Pirates."
"He...he can't be!" Luffy turned to him, mouth hanging open in shock.
"Of course I am!" Roger snapped back, annoyed, "How can you not know that? You're a pirate, right?"
"Roger-san," Jinbe cut off his captain by putting a webbed hand in front of the smaller man, "This is Monkey D. Luffy. Also King of the Pirates."
"That's impossible!" Roger stuttered as he and Luffy stared at each other.
"What kind of freaky island is this? Oy, Nami, did we end up in the past, or are they in the future? Seriously, this is freaking me out!" Usopp whined even as the anchor was dropped and Roger's crew approached.
"I...I don't know! This has never happened before...What we do here could affect the past, so don't say anything, Luf-"
"He does look a lot like Ace, doesn't he, Jinbe?" Luffy interrupted her, his hand going to the horrible scar on his chest, "Except for the mustache. Man, Ace would be so pissed right now..."
Jinbe looked a little uneasy before shrugging, "Yes, he does, Luffy-kun."
"Who's Ace?" Roger found himself asking.
Luffy shrugged, "My big brother. Port-"
"Luffy!" Nami slapped a hand over his mouth, shooting him a worried look.
Roger knew, though. Portgas. Rouge's last name. He couldn't help but smile at the young man in front of him before he placed Luffy's last name. "Monkey...Garp's brat?"
"Garp's my jiji." Luffy answered, his attention back on Roger's crew, "It IS Shanks! Shihihihihi! I'm finally taller than Shanks!"
"I don't think that's quite right," Roger chuckled, "So you're Dragon's get, then?"
He didn't get an answer, nor was he really expecting one as the two crews met. Roger found himself wondering how far into the future this crew was from, and just how strong they were for Luffy to be Pirate King so young. He wished it was a mystery why he was no longer the one who held the title, but though he could fool most of his crew, he couldn't fool himself. Instead he allowed himself to be caught up in the moment as the smaller crew was welcomed by his crew. Now the comments on how few other pirates wanted to hang out with them made sense. Roger knew what that was like, after all. It could be lonely on top when others weren't trying to take your spot.
Luckily, other than a few strange sounding remarks to a few members of his crew, the Straw Hat pirates were amazingly tight lipped about what they must have known as the party got going. Zoro challenged Shanks of all people to a sword battle, consenting to only using one of the three blades. Brook implied that it was a great honor for some reason, though he doubted the young redhead felt that way at all. He was severely outclassed, though he made a good showing.
Nami challenged Rayleigh to a drinking contest with the berri payout increasing for every third drink. The woman seemed like she'd be a lightweight, but was obviously far from it. Usopp was sitting next to Buggy, letting the boy spin his ridiculous tall tales, nodding along and making suggestions subtly. Roger suspected the man was a bit of a liar himself. Chopper and Brook sat with Crocus. Well, they sat with the man after he woke up from a dead faint after being hugged by a skeleton. The three of them seemed to be animatedly discussing Island Whales for some reason.
Sanji has joined in with his three cooks and an impromptu competition had begun as the four of them tried to outdo each other. All Roger could say for sure was the food was the best campfire meal he'd ever had in his life. Franky had gone aboard his ship and was apparently taking notes. The strange man seemed to have been crying when Roger had given him permission for some reason. Luffy flitted about the party, never stopping. He joined every group, encouraging the revelry to new heights as he easily made friends. The fishman Jinbe's eyes followed his captain, though he didn't move from where he was judging the drinking competition. Robin sat next to him, however. She was a silent companion, and he got the feeling that normally she wouldn't even be sitting this close to the group. The woman struck him as an observer. Roger finally looked over at her, raising an eyebrow.
"It's been at least twenty-five years." She answered his unspoken question. "I'm sure I don't need to tell you what happened. You no doubt have it planned out by now."
He nodded, "Observant of you."
"It's my part on the crew. I'm an archaeologist, you see." She took a bite from her plate, her eyes following her captain as he dragged the reindeer into a dance, "Luffy has held the title for a while now. His bounty is higher than yours ever was, by the way."
"Indeed. The government sees him at the worst kind."
"Why is that? He a slaver or something?"
"Hardly." She laughed at some inside joke, "Captain-san just lives freely. He allows us to do the same. To follow our dreams. Dreams, you see, are very important to him."
"And what is your dream, Miss Robin?" He asked with a grin.
"Mine now is to follow my Captain; my family. My other dream has been achieved." Her smile was elusive, and Roger knew she wouldn't share what the first dream had been. "Longnose-kun dreamed of being a brave man of the sea, like his father. I dare say the Sogeking is known by all as the best sniper in the world and fearless in battle. Miss Navigator wants to draw a map of the world, and Luffy is determined to see it finished."
"That's some dream. Is it even possible?"
Robin coincided with a nod of her head, "People say she is well over halfway done." She pointed to Chopper and said with conviction "Chopper will one day be able to cure any illness. Even Trafalgar-kun holds him in the highest regards."
"Who is Trafalgar?"
"A Yonko. Doctor Death, Captain of the Heart Pirates and a close friend of the Captain's."
"I see. Go on." He wondered if anyone he knew now held the same position in the future and dismissed the idea.
"Franky lives his dream every day. He built the Thousand Sunny and seeing it on it's journey is his dream." Roger had to admit, that was a good brave dream for a shipwright. "Sanji is in search of the All Blue."
"Where fish from all the seas can be found? I thought it was a legend."
"Hardly, King-san. We've crossed over parts of it before. Now it's a matter of mapping it out. Jinbe-san wishes for fishman and humans to have an understanding and equality. Something the captain is more than happy to beat into people if necessary. Ah, but only if he's not seen as a hero." She chuckled again, "The last two have long ago achieved their goals. Mr. Swordsman is the world's best swordsman."
"Only fitting for the crewmember of the Pirate King, eh?"
"That is what he says," she inclined her head, "And our musician wished to see an old Nakama . It was quite difficult to convince Laboon-san to stay behind on our second trip. He is currently at Fishman Island awaiting our return no doubt."
"I take it then that Luffy's dream was to be King?" Roger nodded towards the boy, returning his enthusiastic wave as his own crew laughed.
"On the surface, yes. He made a promise to the man who gave him that hat." Roger blinked, realizing now why they'd been so excited to see Shanks.
"And what of my son? Luffy said they were brothers." He grinned, "I'm sure the scamp is causing trouble on the seas."
Robin looked away, and Gol felt his heart fill with dread, "Fire Fist is a sore subject for our crew."
"Did he challenge him for the throne?"
She continued as if she hadn't heard him, "I'm sure you've noticed Luffy's scar. It would be better if you didn't bring it up to our captain. It wasn't a pleasant time."
"What happened?" He imagined the worse; two brothers, if not by blood then by a bond even stronger than that, fighting to the death for his stupid treasure. If that were the case, he was more to blame then the obvious winner, being the one who left such temptation behind. Still, he felt a sudden rage towards Luffy. The younger King looked over at him, sensing it and blinking in surprise. Roger found his eyes drawn to the large scar and Luffy flinched, his hand going up to the center of the mark as he looked away. "I'll kill him." He promised as he went to stand.
"No, you misunderstand me, Gol-san." Robin's hand held him firm and she didn't look away as he glared down at her. He was convinced she spoke just to save her captain but let her say her piece anyway. "Ace-san gave his life to protect his brother."
His legs gave out and he sat back down heavily, "W-How?"
"It was a war. Over your son. Our crew had been separated, and Luffy went alone to rescue his brother. From what I have heard, he had all but succeeded until Ace turned back to keep fighting. When Luffy was put in danger because of this, already weakened from poison and constant fighting, Ace took a blow meant for him. He died in the Captain's arms. Our captain, obviously, was badly injured as well. Trafalgar-san managed to save him. It is not something be discuss lightly."
"Is there nothing I can do?" To his shame, his voice cracked as he looked over at her. He was so distracted he didn't notice that Luffy had joined them.
"Ace was happy." The young man said with a sad kind of smile, "He said so. Ace was loved, and he was really strong. He was awesome, always doing his own thing. He'd probably kill you for worrying." The grin became more real, "He didn't like you at all."
Roger thought about that for a moment. He could see how a man forced to live in his father's shadow might come to resent him. Still, it hit him hard that his son would die young. He looked again at Luffy, at his scar, and decided that his son had made a good choice in a brother. The kid was nowhere near done with his adventure, and he was determined to take the world with him kicking and screaming if necessary. That was the kind of pirate Gol D Roger wanted to inspire. He grinned, looking at the young man who would be his heir.
"I imagine you were the King for him."
"Nope. I was just his kid brother. Marco says he was really annoying about it sometimes, but he wouldn't let anyone else laugh at my dream. So it's ok. I made it to the top for me, and for him." A hand covered the scar again "Because one of us was going to."
"I'm sure he'd be proud. And I'm sure Garp's humiliated. His grandson, the next Pirate King!"
"Shihihihi! Well...it took him some time to get used to it...jiji's retired now, but he still keeps trying to turn me in whenever I go visit. He's no fair!"
"I imagine. Next time you see him, be sure I said 'hi' will you?"
"Sure! So...are we going to party or what?"
The rest of the party passed in a blur, going well into the night. Roger remembered watching Zoro display his prowess with all three of his swords at one point, and Rayleigh had to rescue Shanks from a young King who was determined to kidnap the teen. It was a difficult task as Usopp hung off Rayleigh's legs while Chopper and Brook cried behind him, telling him he was still a meanie for some reason. His first mate was not amused though the rest of the crew was. When dawn finally came and Roger stumbled out from under the canopy of trees the fog had finally burned off and the only ship moored by the beach was his own Oro Jackson. His crew exclaimed in shock at the hasty and silent departure of their new friends, but the King suspected that the others had woken equally confused in their own time. Ruefully he shook his head as he pictured the younger energetic King running around in a panic looking for them until his own crew managed to calm him. Luffy was...an interesting Pirate King.