Ren's head snapped up, meeting eyes with a grinning, black-haired boy. The boy was currently in the process of climbing into the room Ren was currently in, so half of his body was hanging out the window that Ren missed on his intial survey of the room. Despite the comical sight, Ren glanced away, anxiously biting his lip. It was obvious that he was currently somewhere safe, but Ren felt so lost and scared. The only place he was familiar with was a great distance away, and Ren hated being stuck in an foreign environment. It didn't help that everyone, Marduk and the Chief, were now gone and couldn't help him assimilate. And Ren, surrounded by people since birth, has never felt so very, very, very alone.

Ren broke out of his thoughts, hearing a thump and slowly approaching footsteps, and glanced up. The black-haired boy now stood in front of the bed, grinning.

"...Who are you?" Ren questioned, before the boy could open his mouth.

"I'm Luffy! Let's be friends," Luffy replied, with a great smile.

All he ever wanted was a friend, and this boy here in this foreign place, offered so casually that Ren regarded the boy somewhat dubiously, stomach tied in knots, before responding. "...Ren."

The boy, Luffy, blinked, tilting his head in confusion. "Huh?"

"My name is Ren...y-yoroshiku," added Ren, shyly, with a trembling smile. Luffy all but gawked at Ren, before rejoicing.

"Ah, um...Luffy," Ren blushed, "...where am I?"

Luffy ceased cheering and glanced at Ren. "Huh? In Makino's room! I brought you here after..." Ren watched the boy trail off, as he peered at Ren with something akin to the looks he received from those of the Indra tribe. Ren felt unnerved.

Ren was startled when Luffy inched closer to his spot on the bed, his eyes full-on sparkling as he looked at Ren.

"W-what's wrong?"

"You're so cool! You have wings! Can I see them again?!"

"A-ah!...Um, yeah...Luffy, where's here? What island?"

"You don't know? But you flew here!" Luffy exclaimed.

"I was in a rush..." Ren explained, dejected.

Luffy, not wanting to see his new friend sad, rushed to answer. "You're on Dawn Island!"

"Where's that?" Ren inquired, totally clueless. He had never heard of such an island on the Grandline.

"In East Blue!"

Dropping all decorum, Ren's eyes popped out as his jaw dropped, wide open. "East Blue?!"

"Yup! Hey, do you wanna go eat? Makino said you'd be hungry when you woke up! Although, she didn't believe me when I said you flew here..." Luffy trailed off sullenly. "But I saw them! I saw your wings," Luffy insisted.

Ren nodded. "Y-yes, I have wings. But..."


"...people shouldn't know, and...they hurt. When they come out, it hurts..."

Luffy stared at Ren with an unknown emotion, before glancing down at his hands. He was reminded of the horror he experienced when he picked up Ren, his hands drenched in blood. Luffy focused back on Ren, or more specifically, Ren's back wrapped with bandages.

"Ok! You don't have to show me your wings! And I won't tell others! It's a promise!" Luffy yelled, determinedly.

Ren's hand lost its tight grip on the bed, before slowly rising and extending a pinky. Luffy's head tilted once more.

"What's that for?" He gazed at the white-haired child, who gave a hesitant, but sure, smile.

"It seals our promise! We cross our pinkies like this," Ren demonstrated, "Marduk showed me! I've always wanted to do this with a friend..." Ren mumbled, as his cheeks flushed red.

Luffy gasped, and was quick to make the pinky promise.

And with that, the red string of fate was solidified and a friendship that would shake the world was born.

Sorry for the late update! But summer has officially started, so look forward to more chapters! Please review!