Hello, everyone. Let me just begin by saying that I apologize for my long absence! I've been so busy with this that and the other that I've had almost no time for writing. With that said, after reading and rereading what I've writen I've come to the conclusion that I'm not happy with it. So, I've decided to take it down and hopefully rewrite and improve what I've done. I first and foremost what to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their kind words, and hope that you'll enjoy the revised version of 'Red' Run. As always, let me know what you think, and I kindly thank everyone for taking the time to read this.

- - Rice Village, The West Blue - -

"Hehehe~!" laughs a young red haired boy, sprinting down a muddy street. He dodges around people, darts down alleys and even businesses, sprinting through the front and out the back all while grinning from ear to ear, his red hair plastered to his forehead and neck by the rain falling the sheets around him. The boy eventually ducks into a small alley, coming to an abrupt halt and taking a peek around the corner in the direction he's come from. Apart from a few bewildered stares from a few of the people he dodged past, it doesn't seem that anyone is following him...which means the coast is clear...which means no training and no studying today!

After a few tense moments he breaths a soft sigh of relief and turns away from the mouth of the alley only to come to a stop when confronted by the sight of a young woman sitting several feet away from him. Her legs are raised to her chest, her arms encircling them and her head resting on her knees...and she shows no sign of moving, even with the rain beginning to fall all the heavier. Without even a second thought, he approaches and comes to a stop beside her.

"You'll catch a cold if ya sit out in the rain, ya know," he tells her. Immediately, she lifts her head to look in his direction, blue eyes filled with...suspicion? Distrust? It's difficult to tells but regardless he flashes her a grin as he stares down at this young woman. "At least, that's what my dad says." She lowers her head once again, resting it on her knees once again.

"I'll be fine," she tells him. A rumble of thunder sounds over-head, and the boy glances up before stepping closer and sitting down beside the young woman. Once again she lifts her head to stare at the boy who is raises his knees and rests his elbows on them. "What are you doing?"


"Why here?"

"Well, it seems like a good place to wait out the rain." He reaches up to swipe a hand from his crimson hair, still flashing a bright grin in her direction. "So, why are you sitting out here? Wouldn't you rather be inside?" With silence being his response he reaches up to scratch the back of his neck. "My name is Run. What's yours?"

"...Nico Robin."

"Nice to meet you, Nico Robin!" She stares at him for a moment, the corners of her lips lifting slightly. "So, why are you sitting out here in the rain?"

"Why are you?"

"A-Ah-hah. Well, ya see, I'm sort of-"

"Skipping his practice," finishes another male voice, quickly attracting both of their attention to a man standing several feet away at the mouth of the alley. His footsteps seem to have been masked by the rain...but it can't ALL be simply chalked up to the sound of the rain. The man adjusts the straw-hat he's wearing, approaching with a grin on his face. "And now that I've found you-"

"I don't wanna practice, dad," Run tells him in a huff.

"I know, kiddo. Practice and studying are boring." The man squats down in front of Run as he stands and removes the straw-hat he's wearing to place it on the the boys head. "But it's important...this world is dangerous." The man finally seems to notice Robin. "Oh? Who's this?"

"Robin," she answers, after a tense pause.

"Dahahaha~! I see, now! So this is why you wanted to skip practice! You wanted to spend some more time with GIRLFRIEND, kiddo!" Run's face immediately flushes a red fit to match his crimson hair, and the boy raises his hands quickly.

"N-No! It's not like that!" Run quickly explains, his denial quickly falling on deaf ears.

"It's alright! My son is in love! Oh! She should meet the crew!"

"Old man, I'm tellin' you-"

"There's no point in standing out in this rain, why don't you join us for a celebration, Robin?" She looks between the two red heads as if considering something before finally nodding, and slowly standing now as well. "Alright, then! Let's go!" Run finds himself scooped up and quickly deposited onto his fathers shoulders as they leave the alley. Down the streets they travel quickly, arriving in short order outside of a very rowdy bar if the music and voices are any indication. The trio barge right through the doors to a crowded bar room with all heads immediately turning in their direction.

"Captain!" cheer the crowded bar, glasses raising and faces smiling. Robin scans the packed room in shock. Everyone in the bar has a drink in hand, or a meal in front of them. Her attention turns to Run's dad as they cross the room, settling in at the bar. Once again she scans the room slowly. There's not a single Marine uniform among them, and merchant's generally don't keep such a large, or well armed crew around...that can only mean that these men are...

"You're a pirate," Robin assumes, earning a grin from the man in response.

"That's right," he tells her. "All my life. But enough about that! It's time for some introductions!" The man quickly goes around the bar pointing out and naming member after member of his crew. While she doesn't get the opportunity to commit most of the names to memory, a few members do stand out from the rest. There's a heavy set man wearing goggles named Lucky Roux, a tall dark haired man smoking a cigarette named Benn Beckman, and finally a blond haired man carrying a pair of pistols named Yasopp.

Run's father, whom she has discovered is named 'Shanks', quickly places a plate piled high with food in front of both her and Run, and encourages the two of them to eat to their hearts content. The idea of accepting a meal from someone she's never met before certainly doesn't seem wise...but he doesn't seem to be a bad person. In fact, the man seems to be...kind of harmless, really.

"I want some, too!" Run suddenly says, attracting her attention. Run is reaching for a bottle in Shanks' hand who quickly pulls it back with a smile.

"You want some sake?" Shanks asks him, a lop-sided smile appearing on his face. "Now, why would you want some sake?"

"Because I'm a pirate! Pirates drink alcohol of course!"

"No, no! It's no good for you! A kid shouldn't drink sake! Here." The bartender, a dark haired young woman, approaches and places a glass filled with a purple liquid on the bar top in front of Run. "Drink this instead."

"Ohhh! Juice!" Without a second thought Run lifts the glass and begins to drink, much to Shanks' amusement.

"See? See?" laughs Shanks. "What kind of pirate drinks juice?" Run's face flushes a red fit to match his head as laughter echos through the bar. Even Robin can't surprise a soft giggle while Run begins to rage as his father all while the party seems to return to full swing. Everything rapidly becomes a blur of food, and drink, and laughter, and music that leaves her head spinning. It feels as if she's known everyone here years not minutes. It's the first time she's felt like she'd been a part of something since Ohara, and this crew does truly make her FEEL like she's a part of them.

It feels like the blink of an eye but before she knows it, the sun has begun to set with storm clouds having given way to a crimson hued sky. Members of the crew slowly begin to trickle out of the bar one after another. Robin at first believed that they would dine and dash but is surprised to find that each one leaves behind a stack of Beli at his or her seat.

"Haaah," sighs Shanks, turning his back to lean against the bar. "Well, it was fun while it lasted."

"Won't we be back tomorrow, dad," Run says, arms folded on top of the bar with chin resting on them. Shanks chuckles, and reaches over to pat him on top of his head.

"Alright, kiddo. I guess it's time we headed back, too."

"I should be leaving, too," Robin tells them, searching her pockets. Shanks watches as she produces a meager hand full of Beli, and waves a dismissive hand in her direction.

"Don't worry about it, Robin. It's my treat."

"A-Are you sure? I-"

"Don't worry about it." Shanks stands and places a stack of Beli on the bar-top before stretching his arms skywards with a soft grunt. "Alright! I'm gonna head back first, kiddo. I'll give you and your GIRLFRIEND some time alone." Run quickly perks up, spinning on the bar-stool to face his father's back as he disappears out the door.

"I keep tell you that you're wrong!" shouts Run. "That damned old man, saying whatever he wants!" A giggle escapes Robin in spite of the slight flush of her cheeks. "I'm sorry about that. The old man-"

"It's alright," Robin assures him. "He's kind of a funny guy, isn't he? I've never met a pirate like him before...not that I've had the opportunity to meet many pirates before. I never imagined a pirate captain could be like him. In fact, I find it hard to imagine that there's ANYONE else like him."

"Hehe! Yeah, dad is pretty cool, huh?" Run gushes, grinning from ear to ear as he stares at the door for a moment before quickly realizing his mistake and turning to face her. "Please, don't tell him I said that. He'll never let it go if he finds out." Once again, Robin giggles and nods in understanding.

"So, if you're pirates, then what are you doing here? Do you only sail in the West Blue?"

"Aah, well, Rice Village is my and dad's home town. We're actually coming here from the Grand Line." Her eyes immediately widen in response. A Grand Line pirate crew? Admittedly she only has a little bit of knowledge about it but she's heard the stories the same as everyone else. It's THE most dangerous sea in the entire world. It's a pirate graveyard! A place were crews disappear entirely never to be heard from again! Only the strongest survive in the chaos of the Grand Line. "We actually came back because dad wanted some of Rice Village's sake. He says that the best sake in the world can ONLY be found in Rice Village, so we come back here to stock up occasionally." All the way from the Grand Line back to the West Blue for a drink of alcohol? What not just order it instead? Run must notice the look of disbelief on her face because he laughs a bit in response. "I know, it's a little strange to think about it but thats just the way Dad is, hehe."

"So you've been sailing the Grand Line?"

"That's right!"

"Shanks must have gathered a powerful crew."

"He sure has! But!" A grin spreads across Run's face as he stares at her. "But I'm gonna be WAY stronger! Stronger than the whole crew! Stronger than my dad! I'm gonna make sure that the whole Grand Line knows my name!" The ease and confidence with which he proclaims it...it makes her want to believe in him! It makes her want to root for him.

"Well, I'll certainly be cheering for you. But first things first...you might want to quit skipping practice."

"A-Aah. Well...ya know, normally I train really hard with dad! And Benn teaches me a lot of things-"

"Just not today."

"W-Well, I didn't feel like it today." Robin giggles a bit in response, and his face flushes red. "T-Tomorrow, then!" She arches a single brow in response. "Tomorrow, you can come and watch me! I'll show you that I train hard every day!"

"Mm, alright then. Tomorrow, Run..."

- - Twelve Years Later, Foosha Village - -

"...i...O...un...Oooooiiiiii...!" bellows a voice, piercing the man's ears like nails on a chalk-board. "Ooooooiiiiii! Ruuuuunnnn! It's morning! Wakey wakey!" With a loud groan, a pair of grey eyes slowly open to stare at an off-white ceiling. Early morning sunlight streams through the window of the room, splashes across the bed and warms the red head almost uncomfortably so. "C'mon! It's time! Today's the day!"

"Ugh...my head," groans Run, slowly sitting up. Just a small celebration...that's all it was supposed to be. A final celebration the night before their big send off...that's all it was supposed to be. "Aah...why do I keep doing this to myself...?" With a soft grunt, the red head slides out of the bed, not at all surprised to find himself still dressed from the night before. He heads for the window quickly, throwing it open and leaning out to stare down at a straw-hated young man, his hands held up towards his mouth and a grin on his face. "Alright, alright! I'm awake already!"

"C'mon! We need to head for the port if we're gonna leave on time!" His eyes open wide in response as he quickly leans back in the window, and wheels around to look at the clock.

"Ah, fer- we're gonna be so friggin' late! Luffy, you go on ahead! I'll meet you at the dock!" Run quickly closes the window and dashes into the bathroom across the room. He quickly cleans himself up, and dashes out of the bathroom dressed in a tight fitting, long sleeved v-neck shirt and grey pants complete with a pair of geta. Run snags up his suitcase and pockets his wallet before dashing down the stairs, nearly smashing open the door to an alley beside Party's Bar. As fast as his feet can carry him, he dashes out of the alley and down the streets towards the port. "Aaaah! When am I gonna learn my lesson?!"

Almost the entire town is quiet...which isn't surprising since everyone was planning to come see them set sail. With that in mind, it comes as a bit of a surprise when Run suddenly finds the street crowded with people so far from the port. He slides to a stop quickly, geta scraping loudly across the street as he finds himself confronting a half dozen men. His brow furrows as he gives the men all a quick once over...they're not from the village, and judging by their attire...sailors?

"Well...excuse me. But I'm in a bit of a hurry, so if I could just-"

"Planning to skip town, red hair?" asks the largest of the men asks. "After what you did last night?"

"What I did?" echos Run, confusion appearing on his face. "I don't even know you. Have we met some- ohhhhh." It all comes back to the red head in a rush; he knows these men because he bounced them from Party's Bar the night before when they tried to get handsy with Makino. "Ahem, look...fellas, I think we can all agree that last night got a bit out of hand, huh? So, what do'ya say that we just let bygones be bygones? I mean-"

"You broke my nose!" exclaims one of the men, motioning to his bandaged face.

"And you grabbed Miss Makino's behind, and skipped out on your tab. I'm sorry about your nose, but that's not important, right?" Even as he explains the men spread out a bit further, approaching closer to the red head until they've got him nearly surrounded. "Haaah...gimme a break here. I'm not looking for any trouble."

"I think we're well past that."

"Look, we're really not. Alright, I don't-" One of them suddenly lunges forward...and then staggers past the red head before dropping face first to the ground while foaming at the mouth. "-want to fight you." The remaining men step back quickly, staring at the red head in surprise.

"Wh-What was that?! What did you just do?!"

"Just let it go, fellas. So far the worst thing you've suffered is a broken nose and a bruised ego. Just take your friend and go."

"Oi! Brat!" calls a familiar voice from behind, quickly earning Run's attention. He glances over his shoulder, surprised to find not only Dadan but Magra and Dogra. "What the hell is the hold up? I thought you and that other idiot would have already set sail."

"I was on my way, and just happened to bump into some...acquaintances." Dadan looks at the prone man lying several feet behind the red head, and then the men standing in front of him. "We were just saying out goodbyes, actually." Run turns to look at the remaining men with a smile. "Right, fellas?"

"Is that right? Well, we'd be happy to keep them company for you. Wouldn't we, Magra, Dogra?" The trio of them grin rather evilly at the men who further retreat. "You go on ahead. You don't want to be late, now do you?" Run nods in understanding and smiles back at them.

"Alright, Dadan! Next time we meet, I'll treat you to a round on me."

"Hmph. I'll hold you to that, brat." With that, the red head quickly sprints past the men and down the street towards the port. He covers the ground quickly until at last he can see the port and the people of Foosha Village gathered just ahead of him, as well as Luffy.

"Jeez, what took so long, Run?" complains Luffy, standing in their 'ship'.

"Sorry about that. I...well, it's not important. I'm ready now!"

"Alright!" Luffy calls, thrusting a fist into the air with a grin on his face. "It's been ten years...but it's finally time for us to set sail! C'mon, Run! I can't wait to see the Grand Line...!"