Luffy had gotten lost on Mount Colbo once, in between the limbo period of existence between Sabo's death and Ace's departure, when he was still trying to understand what living without regrets meant. His brother had been absolutely furious with him, and his rage had gone through the roof when he found Luffy sleeping in the middle of forest somewhere in the wee hours of morning. He woke Luffy up with a punch, and then sighed in frustration when this failed to elicit any sort of painful reaction –Luffy thinks his family should be glad he cannot get head trauma.
More than hurt though, Luffy'd been surprised. He had figured that Ace would've found him in the morning, where he to have gone out to look for Luffy at all. Ace looked tired and dirty, and there was something in his eyes that Luffy hadn't liked at all. He was too young to understand then but, it'd made Luffy feel guilty.
"What do you think you're doing?" Ace screamed, grabbing Luffy by the scruff of the neck and shaking him, hard.
"I was on an adventure and then I didn't know the way home and then I got sleepy and figured I'd just go back tomorrow!" He'd cheerfully replied, thinks about it for a moment and adds. "Well, probably, shishishi!"
"What's so funny about getting lost, huh?" Ace says, shaking him once more for good measure. At that point Ace had been almost fifteen and he'd started to hit that growth spurt that made Luffy look tiny in comparison.
"I was on an adventure; you cannot be lost in an adventure!" He'd laugh, because adventures are about being surprised! In fact, one can probably say that you need to be 'lost' to be on an adventure.
"You're hopeless, hopeless I tell you!" His brother lamented, but he looked calmer then, relieved. "Come on, idiot." He'd probably been on his way to their tree house, but Luffy tackled him to the ground. "Oi, Luffy! Get off me, you idiot!"
"Ace, let's just stay here!" Luffy says, already yawning. The moon's shiny and from the mountain, far away from Goa Kingdom and the village, the sky has never looked so bright. Ace wiggles around a bit more, whether to dislodge the younger teen or to get comfortable no one could tell.
"I'm not sleeping outside on the ground." He says firmly, but in the end they did.
Now, walking around unfamiliar groves filled with dozens of people eyeing them curiously it's this memory occupying Luffy's mind. As a marine official, it's not unusual to draw attention, but in this lawless parts he's white coat is a beacon for trouble… or at least, Robin said something like that. The thing is, Luffy is sure he is lost, he turns to tell Zoro as much.
"Zoro," he stops and looks around curiously crossing a few steps to pop a bubble that sprouted near them, ohhh, he's going to have fun with those. "I think we're lost." The swordman, short coat clashing against his dark green kimono turns around fully to face him. It's a practiced move since Luffy is –as usual– traveling on his blind spot.
"…What makes you say that?"
"Well, I've been following you and you're always lost shishishishi!"
"I'm not lost, I'm sure it's this way!" The swordsman denies but Luffy's sense of direction might not be brilliant, but even he can see the Grove number they're at is nowhere near close to where they were going. Meh, his friends will find him eventually.
"If you say so."
"You'll see." The other man says annoyed.
"They're lost aren't they?" Franky asks no one in particular, once again looking out the dinning room window as if their captain and swordsman would appear this time around.
"No doubt about it, yohohoho!" Brook chimes cheerfully, stirring a hot cup of tea.
"Why does this always happen?" Nami adds, face falling on her palms.
"They are surprisingly adept at slipping out to wander despite precautions." Robin muses, turning a page on her book.
"Do you think they will find trouble?" Chopper says, perhaps a little nervous. Sanji scoffs from the kitchen.
"That sword freak cannot find anything." He says, coming over the table with afternoon snacks. "Trouble finds him."
"Sanji!" The reindeer wails. "That wasn't reassuring at all!" The cook shrugs.
Coby gives out a laugh.
"It's okay, Chopper." The pink-haired boy says. "I'll go out for them." He picks up his knives from where they were hanged on the back of the chair and readies to leave.
"It's true though!" Sanji defends. "Besides, I hardly think there's anything in this place that'll pose a challenge to those two."
"Yes, yes." The younger man says, sighing a little but unsurprised that nothing about the dynamics of Luffy change as much as their geographical location does. "I'll see you guys later."
"I'd be more worried about the Archipelago." Franky throws out just as Coby's leaving.
"I'm sure the captain…" Coby starts, and then seems to think better of it. "Or I'll just find them quickly!" He pauses at the door for a moment, face in remembrance "And don't forget Ussop is supposed to make contact sometime this afternoon!"
"Take care." Robin murmurs, Franky and the other echo the sentiment.
"…It's not a bad place." Chopper says tentatively, and focus grows on the table. For a moment, the only noise is the cracking of ice as Sanji moves to refill Nami's drink.
"Might be nice to have some peace for awhile, after Tottland." Nami adds, giving Sanji a sympathetic look, though she looks uncertain.
"We know HQ's motives are not so altruistic." Robin says.
"They're trying to smear Captain-bro's record."
"Hoh?" Brook leans in intrigued. "What do you mean?" Sanji stares at him for a minute, weighting him in his mind.
"You know, Brook, you fit in so well here it always slips my mind that you're kind of new."
"I'll take that compliment gladly." The skeleton replies amicably.
"Well, how to put this?" Nami starts "Luffy is the grandson of Vice-Admiral Monkey D. Garp, but he is also the son of Monkey D. Dragon."
Brook shows no reaction to either name.
"Garp is a famed marine, legend says he's the one who apprehended the King of Pirates Gol D. Roger. Dragon, also known as Revolutionary Dragon, is the leader of the Revolutionary Army and the most wanted man in the world. Some call him the worst criminal in history." Their resident archeologist further explains.
"Yohohoho! That's quiet a lineage!"
"You're not the only one to think so." Nami says. "Luffy's father's identity is supposed to be a secret, but anyone who's someone in Navy HQ knows about it, and it hasn't made him exactly popular."
"While others who don't like Luffy think he's just riding Vice-Admiral Garp's coattails." Chopper says frowning.
"It's gotten slightly better, specially among the ranks in the New World who've known Luffy for ages, but sometimes Paradise marines are a bit skeptic and some higher-ups still consider that Luffy can be a strong bargaining chip against his father." Nami continues.
"Not that Luffy's general disposition screams competent marine." Sanji scoffs. "Ever since HQ moved, Sabaondy is no one's land. Stationing a squad here, specially a small one, is basically suicide. So, of course, they sent us." He sighs, lighting up his cigarette. "Without mentioning the perchance for Celestial Dragon missions due to geographical convenience, we all know how much Luffy loves those."
"Doesn't the captain often escort prisoners to Impel Down, too?" Brook asks curiously. Nami's nodding swiftly.
"Which is another reason to keeping close to the Red Line."
"Guess we'll just have to bring some order back to this place." Franky summarizes.
"Easier said that done." Sanji answers in tandem.
"I don't think it's even close to the most scandalous thing we've done." Nami shrugs.
It really isn't.