This is the start of a story I've been working on for a while now. Tell me what you think, and I'll post more later.
See, usually, I don't read fanfiction, much less write it, but I started this one night in a moment of madness and things just sort of went on from there…
Anyway, the timeline here ignores everything that happened in the manga after Enies Lobby, and the story actually begins a number of years later.
It's kind of long, and becomes very depressing later on. May be best suited to people who don't like the main cast very much. Anyway, here goes:
At the end of the greatest, most dangerous sea in the world, there is an island. It is not beautiful, nor is it especially impressive; a single fractured spire of black rock, perhaps two hundred yards wide at its base. The surface is rough, eaten away by waves and endless rains. Nothing grows there. Nothing can survive but the countless barnacles and mussels, clinging to the shoreline below, and the island’s only other inhabitant.
He sits on his high seat in the heart of that great rock, and waits, his long limbs folded and his eyes half-closed. Every so often he sits up, stretches slowly, and looks around his cave disinterestedly before lapsing back into his doze. Other times he will rise, walking slowly about the tiny space around him for an hour or so, examining the walls, running his hand over the forests of stalagmites that grow year by year.
Once in a great while, usually when hunger finally flags his attention, he leaves the cave and goes down to the shore, to pick over what the tide has brought him.
His life does not bore him, for he is not easily bored. His mind is long since adapted to the routine.
He was a young man, or so one might say at the first glance. A more attentive observer might look a little longer, to see the translucency of his flesh, showing the veins underneath; the delicate lines that etch his long, solemn face; the ghostly, faded colour of his straggly hair. They would see that he had been a young man for a long, long time.
He is the Curator, and he will wait forever if he has to.
Outside it was near sunset, and the yellow-grey light that filtered though the heavy, dark clouds promised thunder to come. Down on the shoreline, there was a rare sight: a tiny boat, barely more than a raft, had washed up on the pebbled strand that was the island’s only safe landing point. Rarer still, it was occupied.
Lying in the waterlogged bottom of the makeshift boat like a dead spider, Monkey. D Luffy opened his eyes. For a moment, the howling wind dropped, and there was silence.
“Still alive…” he croaked, blinking water out of his salt-stung eyes. His face split open in a weary smile. “I made it!” With sudden furious energy, he leapt from the boat and scrambled up the shoreline on all fours. As his hands touched solid ground the wind began again, pulling his scrawny body this way and that before he collapsed against a boulder, clutching his hat to his head. He shivered, soaked and freezing, and cast his eyes upward, looking for shelter.
Arms wrapped tightly around his chest, back bowed down, Luffy set off up the bare rock of the hillside. His eyes were fixed on the splintered rock of the island’s peak. If this was the place, he told himself, he would find it up there. Just a little further.
It was not an easy climb. The smooth, slimy surface was treacherous, and Luffy’s hands and knees were soon scraped raw and covered with slick black dirt.
Halfway up, his foot splashed into a deep puddle. His knees buckled, and his forehead cracked on the hard ground. The strength fled from his limbs, and he sank facedown onto the wet rock.
Is this the Monkey D. Luffy who conquered the East blue? Where’s that unstoppable resolve that toppled empires and ground warlords into the dust? He smiled at the memories, and turned over onto one side, the wind whipping his hair into his eyes. But I’m so tired…Why can’t I ever rest? I can’t keep going forever.
Luffy scowled. He thought he’d silenced that part of his mind long ago.
With a cry of inarticulate fury, he scrambled to his feet and threw himself up the hill, arms flailing and stretching as he ran. There was a single glimmer of light on the black hillside; a thin line of red peeking around a great boulder that stood fifty feet ahead, standing up unnaturally one the rockface.
Heh. Nami probably would’ve noticed that before now, if she were–
Wait, light! A fire! There are people here!
With a deep-throated roar, he launched one arm toward the boulder, his groping fingers extending. They touched rock and grasped hard, sending his body rocketing forward. With a suggestion of the strength he had once delighted in displaying, he wrenched the boulder out of his way, sending it tumbling down the slope to the sea.
The Curator looked up at the intruder with disinterested eyes, and clucked his tongue irritably. It had taken a very long time to find a rock that fit the door properly. Oh, and another pirate. So be it.
The boy, for he was just a boy, stood dripping at the cave’s mouth, leaning on one barnacle-encrusted rock to steady himself.
“I hope you’re going to get that back for me”, muttered the Curator. “There’s a draught getting in.”