Chapter 13: New Crew Member and New Changes!

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Summary: A new crew member boards the Moby Dick, and change is on the rise. But is it for better or worse? Note: Luffy is eleven years old in this, Ace is 17 and Sabo is 18.

The Moby Dick-

Luffy stood off to the side as the welcoming party for their newest crewmember came into full swing. His name was Marshall D. Teach, and though Luffy did not know why, she felt there was no reason to be celebrating his arrival. It seemed like all that would come about from his presence aboard the ship was trouble, and he hadn't even really done anything yet. Luffy wasn't one to judge a person before she really got to know them, but if she had her own choice concerning the matter, she would prefer to have pushed him into the sea, let alone get to know the strange man. Every alert system that the human body and mind might have was going off with just one look at the seemingly kind man.

And truly, the man was, as stated before, strange. He had just popped up out of the blue, with no particular sign as to where he had originally come from. Luffy wasn't entirely sure what to think about the man. On one hand, he sent her on high alert and made her uneasy, but on the other, he seemed like a genuinely nice man, joking and fooling around with all of her other 1000+ brothers and sisters.

She honestly didn't know what to think about him. Of course, Luffy had no plans of being certain about how she should feel about the man. Not even Marco could convince her to associate with the man. She grimaced at the very thought. To ascertain her thoughts concerning newbie would require her to get close to the man, to actually talk with him, and Luffy's brain couldn't come up with the image without the immediate feeling of danger putting a dent in things. She wouldn't be able to act natural around the man, even with so many of her family around her.

Luffy's instincts were usually never wrong, rarely did they betray her. They had been what kept her alive when playing in the man-eating animal filled forests of Goa Kingdom back when she was little and without Sabo and Ace to help her. They had also kept her alive during times when she got lost and separated from the ship and its crew, winding up very far from home and safety.

Of course, right now, home didn't feel as safe to be in as it had before. And when Luffy saw the man drape his arm around Ace's neck, she became worried and scared for her brother's life and safety, and Teach had no weapon on him. It only became worse when Thatch started talking to the man. A terrible feeling of foreboding overcame her suddenly, and she had to leave the open air for the dark privacy of her own separate room, which had been given to her after her two older brothers finally grew too old to stay in the same room as her.

Sometime later Marco came into the darkened room, turning on a light to see better. He eyed it for a minute before spotting the familiar straw hat of a certain ten year old he knew, currently curled up on the floor and hidden behind the foot of her bed. Sabo, Ace, and Thatch were not far behind him as he approached the silent form.

"Hey Lu. What's the matter? You disappeared from the party and we got worried you might have fallen overboard again. Thank god you didn't but still. You've been acting strange ever since Teach joined."

"Yeah, are you okay?" Thatch joined in agreement. Luffy was silent for a minute before answering,

"I'm...fine..." Luffy said slowly, as if trying really hard to be careful with whatever she was saying.

"Luffy, no you're not."

"Yes, I am." This time there was no hesitation in her reply.

"Luffy, none of us are fools. We've known you since you were four. Now tell us what's wrong." No reply this time. Ace and Sabo both noticed that Luffy's form was tensed and high-strung. An unusual combination for sure.

"Luffy are you sick?" Ace asked as he bent down to Luffy's level, he reached his hand out to check for a fever as he spoke, "You seem really tense and-" Suddenly Luffy snapped at him.

"I said I'm FINE!" Luffy slapped his hand away without much thought on her own part, eyes widening as she realized what she had done, before she turned back to staring at the wooden floorboards and curling even tighter into a ball then she had before. Ace and the others stayed in shocked silence for a couple of minutes before Marco approached. He was about to say something when Luffy spoke up again, "Just go back to the party."

"Luffy-"

"GO!" she ordered, igniting the air around her and causing everyone's hair to stand on end as the sound of crackling electricity filled the room. Marco sighed, grimacing at Luffy's behavior. They tried several times to get her to talk to them, but she adamantly refused to say even a word, going so far as to hide using the wings of her Zoan transformation. Finally Marco and the others reluctantly gave up and left the room. Marco the last to leave, looked back with somber gaze at the now completely hidden form of Luffy.

It appeared that Teach's arrival brought change along with it, and Marco was now very worried, because he didn't know whether it was good or bad. Though if Luffy's behavior was anything to go by, it was anything but good.

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