Kitsune here with a bit of bad news for you all. Adopted by Default as of right now is going on an indefinite hiatus. At this time I can't continue. There's a lot of family issues going on as my uncle (and father figure) has stage 4 prostate and bone cancer. He's not doing so well and it's really hard to keep up with a long running story like this when dealing with THAT and work. I hope to continue one day, but as of now, I can't. Every time I try I end up staring at a blank page, and I haven't been able to write anything in weeks. So, until I can find it in me to continue this story, I'm sorry everyone. I DO have it all planned out; it's just hard to write anything remotely upbeat when everyone in your life is majorly depressed and stressed out.
There have been other issues going on as well which contributed to my deciding that now was a good time to just stop.
He'd been watching the kid for the past twenty minutes. Luffy was just hanging off the rail, watching the waves and not tailing his brother or bugging Marco like he usually was, so Thatch knew something was up. Since it wasn't like he had anything in particular that needed to be done for a few hours, Thatch took it upon himself to see just what was up. It wasn't like he was avoiding helping patching the sails. Not really, since the kid was sort of unofficially part of the family and as a commander, no, as a big brother it was his job to make sure the kiddo was alright. Or at the very least not plotting to launch himself at a seaking in the distance again. Numar had not been happy about fishing Luffy out of the ocean.
So with an easy grin Thatch slid up next to Luffy and leaned against the rail. "Whacha looking at, kiddo?"
"Right. Nothing." He didn't believe that for a second. There had to be a Seaking or a fish or island out there. Turning his attention out to the expanse of sea before him, all he saw was the gentle swell of the waves. Even a quick check with haki showed nothing. "Huh." That was actually completely unexpected. He honestly hadn't thought the kid could sit still for more than maybe a handful of minutes before either falling asleep or getting himself into trouble.
Twisting so he was now looking out over the rest of the deck while leaning on the rail he caught the slightly more-vacant-then-normal look Luffy was giving the waves. Well, Thatch didn't think the younger pirate looked sick, so there was that. The kid had been pretty energetic at breakfast and lunch, too. Ace hadn't mentioned anything about a fight, either. Not that fights between the two brothers were particularly hard to miss. The last one had taken out a wall and had started over something one of the sixteenth division crewmembers had said in passing. So, thinking about it, the Fourth division commander couldn't think of any reason for Luffy to be out here alone sulking.
It was definitely sulking, too. "So, what's up, Luffy?"
Brown eyes blinked up at him vacantly. "Huh?"
"Well, I haven't spent much time with you recently, and I just was wondering if anything was new. Like, learn any new super cool attack moves? Ace say anything embarrassing in his sleep recently? Things like that."
"Oh. Well, Namur wants to show me that mystery attack thing he said I can do." Thatch assumed he meant Haki, "I don't get what he means though. So Mr old-mustache said he'd help. Ace hasn't said anything super weird in his sleep. Ah, but he stole all the blankets last night. Big meanie! He's made out of fire! He can't get cold!"
Somehow that seemed more like Ace messing with his little brother than anything else. After a moment the two of them lapsed into silence. Thatch again was struck with how odd it was for Luffy to be quiet or still for any significant length of time. Watching the teen, he supposed he had seen the young Captain display such traits before. While fishing or listening to Oyaji's stories he'd seen the kid just sit for hours. But even that was a more lively, more of an active inactivity, if one completely ignored the contradiction. The Luffy sitting before him now was completely listless; to the point that Thatch casually double checked that no one had slapped kurosaki on the brat. Thankfully there wasn't any in sight, so he wouldn't have to be doing the Division Commander thing and lecturing his brothers about why you couldn't just drug/and or sudate people that annoyed them.
Kind of left him back at square one trying to figure out what was wrong with Luffy. He could always drag him to the nurses over by Oyaji, but he'd rather not. They already fussed over the brat enough when he was hyper and interfering with their work. Honestly, it was a bit strange how charismatic the little idiot was when he thought about it. Most of the crew found it incredibly hard to actively dislike him once they got to know him. Kinda like Ace, the younger D just grew on you. Thatch wondered if it had been like that when the brat had set sail; if his crewmates had just been drawn to his… Luffy-ness… and joined, or if he kind of wore them down with his persistence.
Watching the brat continue to stare out towards the sea, it seemed like a good way to distract the kid from whatever was bothering him so much. A quick glance around showed Ace and Marco were nowhere in sight as Thatch hopped onto the rail to sit next to Luffy. He figured it would be better to get all the juicy details out of just how exactly a strange crew like the Strawhats had formed without giving those two heart attacks. Or worse, give them more to go tell Oyaji about his youngest 'Son' and give the old man a heart attack. You never knew with one of Luffy's stories, after all.
He turned to the teen with a big grin. "So, your crew. They seem like an interesting bunch."
Luffy looked at him, a wide grin stretching across his face, "They're the best!" Thatch realized then and there the teen was… not exactly lonely, but homesick for his Nakaima.
Meaning his idea would kill two birds with one stone as it were. "Yeah? You met a bunch of them in the East Blue, right? What was that like? I mean, you guys are all pretty strong for a bunch of rookies as it is. But for a bunch from that sea? I'm shocked you all were able to meet up."
Luffy began to laugh, "Shihihihihi, of course I'd find them! They're my Nakama!"
"Yeah… now they are. But how the hell did you all meet? You'd think the Marines would be a little more on top of crazy people like you all. At least in the East Blue…."
"Well, Zoro was locked up when I met him." Luffy acknowledged. "This stupid Marine thought he'd tie him until he died up because he'd killed his wolf. But Zoro's too strong for something stupid like that, so he joined my crew instead! But only after I got his swords back for him. I think I broke the base doing it, but Zoro said he needed them back and I didn't know where they were and Coby was no help." The teen nodded to himself. "Oh, and then the Marines saluted us for some reason. It was funny!"
Maybe Thatch should have brought something to drink before asking about how Luffy met his crew. Like maybe coffee…. With a lot of rum in it. Who was he kidding? Coffee flavored Rum. He fingered the mini-Denden he had stashed in his pocket as a Division Commander and considered ordering someone to bring it… "Wanna start that one from the beginning, buddy?" He'd decided after he got the whole story if it was worth getting yelled at.
Please read the Author's NOTE at the beginning. STORY IS GOING ON HIATUS! PLEASE DO NOT ASK FOR UPDATES.