Nami was extremely intuitive. With quickened steps, she pushed open the gym door and could feel Bellamy, the cheer-leading captain looking at her with more-than-amused eyes. Had always looked for opportunities to speak to her separate from the group and with her being 10 minutes late to practice presented itself almost too perfectly.
Avoiding eye contact, she greeted her friends, Vivi and Caimie and shifted her orange duffel bag on her shoulder heading to the locker room to change.
As expected, Bellamy was on her tail.
"Look what the cat dragged in," he teased.
Of course he was ignored but Bellamy was a persistent son of a b-
"Can't. I have to go get dressed."
"That's what I want to talk to you about."
Nami rolled her eyes and with a frustrated draw of breath, she turned to face him.
Bellamy's face drew a smile, eyeing her folded arms and uninterested arched brows. He loved it when girls played hard to get.
"That's the second time this week. You really should-"
"I had to ask a teacher a question in the staff room. Exams are coming up. Besides, it's warm up time so I'm technically not late. Now, will you excuse me, I have to change. I'm sure the captain wouldn't like it if I waste anymore time talking about petty matters, would he?"
Nami continued her walk away and Bellamy's insides burned with achievement. Was convinced that she was without a doubt flirting with him. It was about damn time. For months she had finally taken notice of his manly charms.
Much to her annoyance, Bellamy called out to her again when she was about to close the door.
"What?" she asked trying hard to keep the bite out her tone.
"I was wondering," Bellamy said running a hand through his burnt blond hair (A move he learned the ladies loved from a late night internet search.). "If we can go out for a bite to eat sometime."
Nami cringed internally at the act more than the overused question. She had lost count of the many times he tried to score a date with her. Mustering up a little smile to get his hopes up she dropped it quickly after with deadpanned eyes.
"Not happening," she said, slamming the door shut.
Bellamy didn't mind. A few more tries would surely soften her up. When it came to guys like him, she didn't know what she was missing.
Detention hour came to a close and Luffy blinked awake. His lips curved at the familiar sound of the bell. It felt like ages sitting down writing lines and he was a starving mess. If detention was longer, he was 100% sure that he would have died.
"Everyone stand," said Mr. Jimbei, the overweight Biology teacher, "I hope that you all have learned your lesson today. This school has rules and it is your job to respect them."
"'Good. Now each of you bring your lines as I call your names. You may be seated." Mr. Jimbei took a sip of his water and cleared his throat to begin.
The class grumbled and everyone took their seats as the first name was called.
Luffy bopped his feet under the table. Knowing that his name would not be called anytime soon, he decided to look over his paper.
(1) I will not eat during class.
(2) I will not eat during class.
(3) I will not eat during class.
(4) I will not eat during class.
(5) I will not eat during class.
(6) I will not eat during class.
(7) I will
(8) I will
Right below the eighth line was a spot of drool and Luffy's stomach dropped. Out of the 400 lines he was supposed to write, he barely wrote 10.
Another spot soaked into the paper from the sweat that formed on his forehead. What was he going to do?
His head snapped up at the call of his name.
"Monkey D. Luffy?"
Luffy's legs pushed the chair backwards. It screeched loud against the tiled floor sounding like a soundtrack from a horror movie.
Jimbei grimaced. Now that these kids were in high school, they still haven't learned the basic rule of lifting a chair instead of dragging it against the floor.
Once the poorly done assignment was received, Jimbei regarded the student behind his thick glasses, beckoning outside to join him in the hall.
"You cannot expect me to collect this assignment."
Luffy fell silent and clutched the handles of his school bag.
"Sorry. I fell asleep. I promise to do it next time. My friends are waiting on me so please."
Jimbei relaxed his shoulders dropping the teacher act.
"How's your dad, kid? Still busy?"
"Look Luffy, I don't want you back in detention."
"I don't either. It's the teachers that put me there."
"They're just doing their jobs. All the teachers here at Fushia High care deeply about their students. They want the best for you."
"Yeah. I know but I get hungry sometimes and Ms. Tashigi caught me this time. I'm usually good at sneaking food but-"
"Do you remember your lines?"
"I will not eat during class."
"Good. Remember that. I'll make something up so that you won't get in trouble. That's the third time this month. Do me a favour and stay out of detention. You're a good kid, Luffy. Good kids don't look for trouble. Besides, it won't look good on your record. Think about your future."
Jimbei saw Luffy staring at his shoes.
"Do you understand?"
"Yes sir... And thank you."
Sanji checked the time on his leather watch and once the red light returned, he crossed the busy street along with the others. It was 4pm and he was to be at his internship in the next 45 minutes.
Luffy, Chopper and Usopp walked in front snickering about some dumb joke while the marimo trailed mere meters behind him.
"Oi Luffy," Sanji called.
When said boy heard his name he stopped in his tracks with a curious smile, curious as to what his friend wanted to ask.
"What was the reason for being in detention today?"
"I was caught eating in class."
"Don't you eat enough during lunch?"
Sanji exhaled. He needed to calm his nerves but as he reached for his pack of cigarettes, he cursed silently for he had recalled forgetting his lighter home right next to the TV.
"You cant help it, huh?"
"Every time you get in trouble, we can't afford to stay back just to wait on you."
"No one's forcing you, Swirly Brows."
A vein popped at the side of the cook's head and he spun on his heel to size up the walking, talking moss.
"I dare you to call me that again. I'll kick your ass!"
Zoro smirked, "Like you can, Sw-"
"Guys, guys. Stop," Luffy pleaded.
"Yeah. Seriously. You two always find some dumb reason to fight. You're both second years; don't you think you should be more of an example?" said Usopp. Chopper nodded.
"Shut up, Usopp."
"Yeah. Stay out of this."
Luffy looked at each of his bickering friends. It bothered him to a point of guilt.
"It's okay," he said, appreciating the silence that followed, "You guys don't have to wait back for me anymore... It's okay."
"What are you talking about, Luffy? We're your friends," said Chopper.
Sanji gritted his teeth and approached the raven-haired brat, jamming a finger in his chest.
"Listen you little shit, our job as friends is to look out for each other so don't you dare say shit like leaving you behind. I just want one week. One!" He rose his finger for emphasis,"Where I don't hear your name being called out for detention for the same damn thing. Okay?"
Luffy nodded. Eyes wide. Sanji really cared about him.
"Tell you what. If it helps, I'll prepare you something extra that should keep you full."
"You'll do that for me, Sanji?"
Sanji had to brace himself when Luffy attacked him in a tight hug. His attempts to pry the bastard off were inevitable and Chopper and Usopp and even Zoro laughed at his discomfort.
"Thanks Sanji. You're the best!"
It was only when Luffy passed the new cafe in town - "All Blue Cafe"- that his stomach decided to make itself known again. From the building came a delicious aroma and Luffy didn't care to decipher what food it was. Food was food.
While the others walked ahead, Luffy's slowed steps came to a halt when he spotted someone dining alone on the inside. A girl around his age. Her wavy orange hair was fashioned in a ponytail and Luffy couldn't put a finger on it but she looked familiar. However, Luffy was more focused on what was in front of her: a sizeable, juicy meat sandwich. She wasn't even eating it and was more occupied reading a book. Luffy frowned. She was disrespecting the food. If he were her, he'll finish it in a heartbeat.
Zoro registered that Luffy had fallen behind. One look over his shoulder and an eyeful of the scowl on Luffy's face made him call out to the others. Together, they crowded around the glass shield.
"Everything okay, Luffy?"
"Yeah. What's up?"
Luffy pointed at the accused criminal but unfortunately, they didn't see what he was.
"Who's that?" Chopper asked.
Upon closer inspection, Sanji's eyes morphed into hearts and he pushed the starving teen out the way to get the girl's attention, waving his arms with impossible enthusiasm.
"You idiot! She'll see us!" said Zoro.
"That's the point, shit-for-brains. Nami-swaaan!"
Zoro freaked out and pushed the group out of sight when the witch was about to lift her head.
"Nami?" Luffy said, titling his head, "You guys know her?"
"Idiot. She was wearing our school's uniform. Haven't you seen her around the building?"
"Can't say I have but did you guy see how she wasn't eating that sandwich?" His concerns were ignored as the guys went on and on about this 'Nami' character.
"She's pretty," Chopper said out the blue and Sanji had to agree that the young aspiring doctor had good taste. He expressed this agreement by nodding firmly, face decorated with a whimsical smile. Girls were his favourite thing to talk about under the sun.
"Isn't she on the cheer-leading team?" Usopp said out loud, his hand on his chin.
"Yeah. And the damn marimo is so lucky. They are in the same homeroom."
Zoro scoffed, "Lucky? She's the class president and all she's done is made my life a living hell. You guys won't like getting on her bad side."
"A second year, huh? Isn't she like really smart? Didn't she get a scholarship from that famous university?"
"Yeah-yeah. She's a book-worm but you guys need to stay the hell out of her way. She's a feminist. Heard that she was the reason our last music teacher, Mr. Brook got fired. Turned out he was secretly asking girls to see their panties and none of them had the guts to report him. Well she did and though they didn't believe her at first, she kept at it and then poof; No more Mr. Brook.
"Served that old pervert right," Sanji argued. Everyone side eyed him knowing well he would spring a nose bleed at the faintest sight of a wind-lifted skirt. "Besides, what's wrong with being a feminist? I'm surprised that an idiot like you know the meaning of that word."
Zoro ignored him, making mental notes to cut the cook at the perfect opportunity. It was too bad he wasn't allowed to bring his katana to school.
"All I'm saying is not to mess with her. And you can forget about asking her out. She has a history of turning down every guy interested so do not waste your time."
"Where's Luffy?" Chopper was the first to realize the missing member.
All together, they saw him standing in the same exact spot.
"What did I just tell him?" Zoro prepared himself to drag Luffy away but Usopp stretched his hand out to stop him.
"Wait Zoro. Just look at him. It's like he can't take his eyes off her."
Zoro's eyes narrowed. "Whats your point?"
"I'm saying that Luffy can try his luck."
"What kind of dumb idea is that? You realize she's older than him, right?"
"Since when is age a problem? You have that crush on the history teacher and no one's starting a war."
Zoro blushed. Didn't think that anyone knew about that. Sanji didn't bother to join in. The moss-head also had taste. Ms. Robin was Hot with a capital H.
"When have you ever seen Luffy this interested in a girl?"
"So what do you say?"
Zoro gave up. "Do whatever you guys want. Just keep me out of this. I'm going ahead."
He bid the others a light farewell and took his leave.
Luffy suddenly had an arm slung over his shoulders. He eyed his grinning long-nosed friend and saw Sanji and Chopper making their way over.
"He went ahead."
"Oh okay." Luffy resumed his post, eyeing the meal that was still untouched. His stomach cramped with hunger.
"Like what you see?"
"Why don't you go ask her out?"
"Why would I wanna do that?"
This time Sanji came to the rescue. He knew to himself that Luffy didn't stand a chance in hell but went along with it for fun.
"Come on, Luffy. Just go ask her. I'll cook you something good later."
"All I have to do is ask her out, right?"
"Yup. Easy as pie."
"I don't want pie. I want meat, Sanji. Please?"
"Sure whatever you want."
Luffy cheered and made a dash to the entrance and navigated himself over to Nami's table. Her book must've been hella interesting since she didn't bat an eye when the empty seat opposite her was now occupied with a boy on a mission.
As fingers reached upwards to turn the page, Nami's attention dwindled after feeling something off.
"Hi," said a voice and she jumped a little in her chair, slamming the book shut and holding it in front of her in a manner of defense.
Luffy knew that he had made a mistake.
"Did I surprise you?"
She didn't respond right away which made Luffy wonder if she could talk in the first place but when she opened her mouth to speak, he found that he was smiling. She had a nice voice.
"...In a way, yes."
"I'm sorry about that."
"That's great... You probably don't know me but my name is:"
"Monkey D. Luffy from class 1B, right? You play on the football team."
Luffy did not expect that but it made things a whole lot easier.
"And you're Nami."
Nami nodded and took a sip of her drink, eyes darting around the room but the main feature was the dash of colour that spread across her cheeks.
Luffy noticed the lack of eye contact but didn't pay mind to it. Sanji made a promise and what he had to do was easy.
She locked eyes with the underclassman and replaced her drink.
"Go out with me."
Quick fun fact about Awsme Grl: She likes feedback.
My first attempt at a High School AU. The updates for this should be made in a timely manner. Thank you for reading. And I'm happy to be back.