A/N: For those of you following Children of the Sun, know that I am working on the next chapter! I developed some wrist pain a week ago and so have had to restructure my writing process. It is another long one, but is taking me time.

Have a little introspective in our favorite rubber boys' early childhood, and the Voice Of All Things.

Summary: Two women ponder on their ward Monkey D. Luffy, and the angels he sees.

For the first year of caring for him, the hired wetnurse didn't think twice about her charge smiling and laughing at angels.

It was a well known belief that babies can see angels, that within that first year of life an infant spends much of its time gazing upwards for that very reason. When they turn their head and smile, it's not towards an empty space but to a benevolent spirit. As they enter their second year children grow out of the habit, coming to prefer the company of the humans that physically hold and care for it. That by age three children could barely see any angels, and it was rare to catch glimpse of one past five.

So no, she wasn't too concerned when at age two, Monkey D. Luffy continued to greet and interact with them just as much or more than real, living people. It was a little odd, yes, but nothing of harm. Her own son was right on track with his social development. Luffy was happy, and while he seemed to enjoy playing with angels just as much as with her son, she had faith he would grow up to be mostly normal. Thus she returned to Goa Kingdom with her babe in tow, free of worry.

Luffy's second caretaker, a woman with two working sons, was a little more disturbed by his 'angelic interactions'. A realist, she was quick to redirect him to some activity or another whenever she caught the toddler babbling to the air or playing with nothing. He truly baffled her, and while it was innocent, she didn't want the boy to have issues. Who knew what sort of trouble it could lead to? So when he turned three and was sneaking off whatever chance he got to play on his own, to 'play with his friends', she or one of her sons would follow hoping that for once, Luffy meant one of the townsfolk.

When the boy would squat down by a rock, tree or other benign location and begin chatting, they would catch and scold him. Drag him back into town and surround him with real people, real friends. They would try to keep him busy with toys and games, crafts and chores…

Monkey D. Luffy just would not be deterred. His Grandfather was of little help on his visits, laughing off her concerns and dragging the tyke off into the woods to camp out as soon as he could walk. She supposed that whatever they did there may have been cause for Luffy's oddness, or at least amplified it. The whole family was a little odd, when she thought of it, but she'd been hoping that with enough dedication she'd be able to turn out one normal Monkey D boy.

At least the child was mostly happy.

When Luffy decides at age four to 'move out', it is to her startled relief that Garp thinks it's a novel idea. They set Luffy up in Garp's old house out on the edge of town, and arrange that she or other townsfolk would periodically check up on the boy, bringing food with them. She doesn't think it'll last more than a day, but it was a day she could definitely use for some R&R. One day turns to two, then four, and before she knows it a full week has gone by. Monkey D. Luffy is smiling wider than ever, venturing into town on his own and 'running errands', playing games and talking to others as if he had always done so.

She's baffled and somewhat peeved. He seemed almost normal now. Performing duties no child should, necessary for self-care, but he is acting like a normal human being. In the end she accepts that Luffy seemed better off now than while under her care.

So maybe Luffy never grew out of imaginary friends, the likes of which changed daily. Maybe he would smile or laugh or argue with someone not there. He could have turned out far worse. He'd be okay, and it didn't hurt anyone.

She moves away with her boys later that year, and was gone before Luffy's fifth birthday.