I suddenly had this idea over the weekend and it wouldn't go away! -don't worry I didn't abandon Opening Pandora's box or my other fics ideas-

It's a Modern AU setting with our favorite characters. OCC will be at its minimum possible I swear, making changes only to adapt to a modern life setting.

It's a LuNa with every straw hat participating in the story line in a way or another. I hope you give this fic a chance. It will have dark subjects as slavery, human trafficking and other heavy subjects, so it's rated T. For the sake of the story everyone is a little older, mid twenties or so.

As usual, I must warn I'm not a native English speaker so grammar mistakes must be expected, I try to re-read edit and spell check as much as I can, but I know I have errors, and I'm sorry for that.

Reviews and comments are always welcomed and apreciated!

Hope in the ugly Reality
Chapter I: You are brave; I like that
bye Kaoru like One Piece

New Logetown was a modern metropolis, polluted, overpopulated, twenty million souls struggling to get by day by day with their routine filled mundane lives. Many businessmen and women roamed the downtown proud of their office jobs, struggling to climb the corporate ladder, dreaming that some day they would get 'that position' or another, without realizing their lives were wasted in companies that didn't care less whether they came or go as long as they could make an extra buck out of their time and talent.

Then there were the opportunity seekers, people coming from smaller towns, or from remote cities, trying to get by in this harsh metropolis's reality, often ending up as taxi drivers or fast food parlor employees, if they were lucky. And if they weren't, the dark face of the city often sucked them in.
And of course, in such a city all type of crime could be expected, from normal robbery, to murder, drug trafficking, human trafficking. The overwhelmed, underpaid, corrupt police force could do little about most of it, and often could care less.

With a breed of corrupt politicians moving behind the scenes, it was unlikely the situation would get better any time soon.

So it was this day that Akagami D. Luffy was sitting on a bench in the park, a big brown bag of fried chicken legs in a hand while he munched a piece with greasy lips. He was a dark haired young man, about 25 years old, he wore red dress shirt with black slacks that were unusually folded –or cut down- down to his knees and a pair of sandals that didn't match with the rest of the attire at all. He had a small scar under his left eye and he would be kind of handsome if not ruining the image by the disgusting way he was eating his food.

As much as he seemed distracted, if you looked closely you could notice he was watching intently towards a man in the middle of a grass field. Said man was a clown, red nose, white paint covering his face, he had a funny hat that resembled a pirate hat you may wear on a hallowing night and he wore a striped red and white shirt with white pants and black boots. He had a bunch of colorful balloons and was currently giving them away and amusing children with his antics.

But there was something off about this clown, most parents could tell, because as soon as the children got their balloon, their parents ushered them away quickly from the man.

A few yards away from Luffy, in another bench, there was this gorgeous red headed woman, she had red hair, almost orange that shone brightly in the sun and reached just above her shoulders, she was eating a sandwich with a coke, and seemed to be thinking deeply of something. The woman was dressed in tight jean pants and a black shirt with star, a popular Crimnin t-shirt, very expensive too.

Normally, Luffy wouldn't pay any mind to a random woman in the street, even one as gorgeous as she was. But she caught his attention because she was looking at the same thing he was. The clown.

Said clown made his move when suddenly a red plastic ball rolled besides him and an eight year old ran to it, the clown knelled besides the boy and spoke to him. You could tell over the distance there was a brief conversation, a fake reassuring smile, and then the clown had his hand on the child's shoulder, leading him away towards a set of bushes. Away from the main path of the park, away from prying eyes.

Luffy groaned, he wasn't a cop, he didn't want to mess with this kind of things, but he couldn't let it go either… He knew what it was to be a street boy, to be helpless in the hands of nasty adults. He was about to get up and follow the clown when he noticed the red head beat him to it.

So she had noticed too.

With grace, she walked quickly towards the direction the clown had taken and disappeared behind the bushes, Luffy followed swiftly.

The park was dense, and there were some areas with storage buildings meant for the maintenance people, they were usually closed, but since such constructions were secluded, they provided a nice cover for someone wanting to pass thought the park unnoticed.

The red headed woman found the clown and the crying child just behind a crate in the back of such a building, she was rabid and her body was shaking in rage.

"You clown, let that child go, NOW!" she demanded.

Said clown snarled and got up from his kneeling position, he dropped the sweet act with the kid and pulled out a knife and he pushed the blade near the child's throat "Don't move from here kiddo or I will kill your mommy and daddy".

The poor kid just nodded while tears dropped furiously from his eyes and he swallowed, mucus running down his nose.

The clown turned towards the woman.

"This is not your business, woman, go away now and you live"

The red head didn't flinch "You are disgusting, taking advantage of little children, makes me sick, let him go NOW!"

And the clown smiled a sick, twisted smile, walking towards her, his big knife shone under a stray ray of sunlight "…or what, are you going to call the police?" he started to laugh maniacally and then lunched towards the woman.

She jumped out of the way in time and dropped a kick towards his midsection. The man doubled over when his air was knocked out and he hissed more in rage than pain.

"You bitch!" he roared launching towards the woman again, he was quick, and strong, almost twice the size of the woman, she jumped back but he managed to grace her shoulder with the tip of his sharp knife.

She hissed in pain and her right hand flew towards her shoulder, but her determined look wouldn't go away, she didn't look scared at all.

"Hey, red nose" a male voice called.

The clown turned around and found a skinny man looking at him, he was shorter than he was and didn't look strong at all.

"Who are you calling RED NOSE you wimp!" the clown shouted in rage, launching towards Luffy, knife first. The red headed woman screamed "Watch out!" but it wasn't necessary, it seemed the dark haired man was skilled enough. With a swift movement he dodged, took the clown's hand, pulled the clown's wrist back and it made a sickening cracking sound as the pedophile howled in pain and the knife dropped to the floor.

"You fucker!" The clown yelled clutching his hand, kneeling with his back towards Luffy. The dark haired boy never got to see his smirk, or the small gun he was hiding on his left boot. Without warning he turned around and shot.

The shot was fired with his left hand, and luckily the aiming was very poor. Luffy wasted no time and kicked the gun away from his hand.

"You bastard" the dark haired boy snarled.
Then he clutched the clown's shirt and made him rise to a standing position, "You make me sick" and with that his knee connected with the clown's abdomen, making him howl in pain and double over, the perverted man ending up in the floor whimpering in pain.

Luffy smirked proudly and turned around, finding the red headed woman comforting the small child, he walked towards them.

"You are brave" He told her.

She barely looked at him "You are pretty strong yourself… you didn't look scared when he shot you"

Luffy smiled, "off course; I wouldn't be defeated by the likes of him!" He said laughing. Then he looked to the gash over her shoulder "You are bleeding, are you okay?" he asked with concern.

She brushed him off "I'm fine, it's nothing really, already stopped bleeding…" she paused from a few seconds "Should we call the police?" she asked, hesitant.

Luffy pulled his hands in his pockets "A waste of time, he will be out in a couple of days… but don't worry, he won't be around here anymore if I can help it… for now, let's take the little guy back with his parents"

They soon took the path leading to the outskirts of the park, right where they were sitting before, and soon enough they found a frantic woman screaming for her lost child.

A happy reunion soon followed, thanks were given and Luffy and the red haired woman were left alone again in the park.

"Hey, let me take you to a doctor to have a look on that" Luffy offered with a smile.

"Not necessary, see? The bastard ruined my new shirt… but the gash is shallow, already stopped bleeding and all".

"Well… I'm hungry… let me buy you some lunch!" the dark haired boy offered. The red haired woman stopped and looked at him funny,

"Why would you…"

"Why? Because I'm hungry! And I think you are pretty cool too, he had a knife and you didn't look scared at all, I like that" his smile was wide and his eyes honest. She didn't know what made her accept, but she smiled back and nodded.

"Alright but you pay… but first tell me your name will you?"

"Akagami D. Luffy" he said simply and started to walk, "I know a place across the street that serves great meat…"

She nodded, "I'm Nami, by the way"

"Just Nami?" he asked looking at her over his shoulder. She simply nodded and he shrugged, if she didn't want to share her last name he wouldn't push it.

They were soon sitting on a nice café place, big windows, old fashioned booth stalls, and a homey, clean environment with nice young waitresses clad in pink uniforms. A young girl with brown hair pulled in a ponytail approached them.

"Oh Luffy! Glad to see you around here again! The usual?"

"Yes Rika, please!" He smiled. The young girl turned towards Nami "And you?"

Nami glimpsed the menu and asked for a salad and orange juice, and in response Luffy made a face, "Nami, they've got great meat here! I'm paying you don't need to ask for salad" he said almost annoyed.

Nami and Rika laughed "Luffy is such a big fan of meat! He is my favorite customer too! He is putting me thought nursery school with his tips!" the waitress said before turning away to fulfill their order.

"So Luffy…" Nami started making conversation, "Are you usually playing hero on the park like that? Or do you have a job?"

"…hero? Nahh I like heroes but I don't wanna be one… and I sorta have a job, If you can call it that… and you? Do you usually chase perverted clowns all over the park?" he turned the conversation over to her.

She looked thoughtful and glimpsed out the window, random people passing by, busy with their own troubles… she finally sighed "Of course not… I have enough problems as it is but… I couldn't let that poor child in the hands of that pervert…"

Rika appeared on that moment and served the drinks without interrupting their conversation; Luffy said a quick thank you and started sipping his coke. "Y' know" he began.. "In this city most people would have walked away, pretending they didn't see anything…. The brave ones would have called our useless police force… but you Nami… you followed him… I was impressed" he said casually.

Nami almost blushed, her eyes fixed on her orange juice "Well… I don't trust police… so it was the only way… but anyway, if not for you I don't know if I could have rescued the boy at all"

Luffy laughed "Of course you would have, you are that kind of person"

The red headed woman looked puzzled, her pupils trembling as if she was shocked by his words "You don't know what kind of person I'm" she snapped almost angry.

"Of course I do! You are a good person" he said simply. Her words got stuck on her throat and before she could say something the food was served. A salad for her and a big plate of juicy steaks for him.

He started gulping down his food while Nami poked her salad with a fork, thinking deeply about the words he said. If only he knew. This man in front of her was so nice, she was sure she wasn't the kind of girl that such a guy should hang out with; she didn't even understand why she had accepted to have lunch with him.

"Y' know the way you eat is kinda gross" she commented with her hand supporting her chin.

"Sowy I luve mwet" he muttered between bites. Nami could only laugh at his antics. They talked some more, he commented he was a kung fu teacher, and she thought it was kind of cool. That would explain why he dealed with the perverted clown so easily.

She didn't want to talk much about herself, trying to change topics every time he asked a personal question. When the food was gone Nami just thanked him for the lunch and a good conversation and started to leave, getting up.

"Hey, I can give you a ride home if you want" He offered with a big smile.

"No thank you" she answered simply. He was nice and all, but in this city you could never tell. Besides, she didn't want him to know where she lived… how she lived.

"But Nami" he scratched his head. Did she have such a bad time with him?

"Luffy it was nice meeting you and all, and I hope I can see you around some other time, thanks for the food"

And with that, she turned around and walked away. Leaving a puzzled man looking at her retreating back.

After a while the waitress approached his booth
"You should have asked for her cell number Luffy" Rika said with a smile "it's the first time I see you buying lunch for a girl"

"Wahh! I didn't think of that!" He said, eyes wild, he thanked Rika and dropped a big tip over the table, running away as fast as he could.

When he reached the busy street outside the dinner not a red hair could be seen. She was long gone.

He pouted and kicked an empty soda can…

He decided he would find Nami, it didn't matter if he didn't have her number… or address… or her last name.

He decided he liked Nami, and he would find her no matter what.


What do you think?

Is this fic promising? Did you like it?
Let me hear your comments!

(I'm sorry I made Buggy such an ugly SOF but hey, this fic is supposed to have a modern life reality base, and reality is nasty...)