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Don't look back, just keep your eyes on me

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Nami was in a daze. It was her first day. She was alone and lost already. Her and her family had to wait for the previous people to move out before they could travel down. The earliest they could move was two weeks after term had started. That meant that if people at school didn’t know each other, they did now. Friendship groups would have already been made and everyone would be comfortable. She’d be enduring her first day completely alone.

To make matters worse, the school was huge, and the office had given her a tiny map to get around. She’d missed the induction days, which definitely would have helped. There was no winning in this situation. So she would suck it up, square her shoulders and get on with the tiny map, her only companion. Now, if only she could figure out where room L540 was from here.

“You know, if you stand there like that for a few more minutes, you’ll be trampled to death by a stampede of students once the bell rings.”

Nami turned to gape at the morbid, but oddly softly spoken, comment made behind her. The dark-haired girl in front of her giggled and Nami could only presume it was because of the face she was making. Nami then took notice of the guy beside her, with a long nose, making what she presumed was the same face as her. A look of pure horror.

“Robin! Don’t say such morbid things! Especially to someone who is clearly new!”

Nami’s shoulders sagged with defeat, so it was obvious that she was new.

The girl named Robin didn’t look the least bit remorseful and instead wore an innocent smile, as if she had been discussing the weather. “From the look of panic and map, you’re new? Do you need help?”

Okay, this was good. Nami could deal with this. This was her opening to make friends. This Robin girl was a bit dark but seemed nice enough. She was about to reply that she would love some help but was interrupted by a loud voice screaming.

“Usooooooooooooopp,” and before she could even blink, a black blur hurtled passed her and into the long-nosed boy, “you said you’d meet me upstairs at my locker five minutes ago. What’s taking so long? We have classes soon. I wanted to show you something cool. Usoooopp, come ooooon,” the boy whined.

However, the long-nosed boy could hardly reply, as he was currently eating dirt from the floor and trapped underneath the weight of the black-haired boy.

Nami was stunned and trying to comprehend what was going on. Was this normal? Should she help? They clearly knew each other and from the unfazed look that Robin had, this was a regular occurrence.

“Uhhh, are you okay?” Nami tentatively asked, wondering whether she should really be caught up in this. It was only her first day.

It seemed then that the black-haired boy had finally noticed it wasn’t just the two of them. As he looked up at Nami, it was like he was seeing a shiny new toy. “Who are you? I don’t know you, do I? No, I think I would remember you. You have cool hair.” The boy was suddenly up and in Nami’s face. “Oh, and yeah I’m good, why wouldn’t I be? Are you okay? Do you want to see something cool? Usopp is clearly too busy.” He then promptly shoved his finger in his nose, completely unaware that Nami wasn’t asking him but the struggling boy underneath.

Nami started to laugh at the peculiar boy in front of her. He clearly had no respect for the uniform with a ratty straw hat on a string around his neck, tie loose and shirt untucked, trousers rolled up past his ankles and flip flops adorning his feet. He knew it was September, right?

He seemed to brighten as she laughed, not understanding that it was actually directed at him, before he was suddenly beaten to the floor.

“Oi. What the hell Luffy? I wasn’t meant to meet you at your locker for another five minutes. Have some patience! And I’m not suddenly too busy, you were on top of me.” Usopp growled, now on his feet behind the black-haired boy, with his freshly raised fist, after hitting him on the head.

As the boy named Luffy hopped to his feet, he started to squabble with the long-nosed boy.

“I don’t think we’re making the best first impression. My name is Robin, the boy with the straw hat is Luffy and the long-nosed boy is Usopp.” Usopp stopped arguing, seeming to take offense to his description, before being pulled back in by Luffy.

“What room are you in? Perhaps one of us can walk you in that direction?”

Nami could feel relief flood through her body at Robin’s words. Normally she had good directional skills but having a helping hand would be great, as she was slowly running out of time to get to class.

“I’m going to room L540, I have geography. Is there any chance you or these guys are in that class too?”

Robin shook her head in sympathy but before she could reply someone else was shouting down to them.

“Oi, Luffy, if you don’t move your ass, I’m leaving you behind!” A green haired student shouted down from the second floor. The fist bell rang just after, signifying they had to get a move on and make their way towards lessons.

Luffy seemed to remember himself, stopping his childish argument with Usopp and turned to Nami. “L540, right? Cool, that’s the way me and Zoro are going, you can walk with us.”

Nami beamed, turning to say thanks and that hopefully she’d see Robin later but stopped at the girl’s face. She had an odd look on her face, did Robin want to walk with her instead? Just as Nami was about to ask what was wrong, Luffy had grabbed her wrist and took off charging up the stairs.

“Zoro isn’t joking, he really will leave us.”

“I can walk by myself, don’t drag me around like that!”

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Nami now understood why Robin had that odd expression before. She wasn’t upset about not being able to walk with her but instead knew she would have a massive headache with these two morons.

The school was huge. There were three buildings and two smaller ones, but somehow it still didn’t seem big enough considering all the students moving in every direction possible to make it to their classes on time. The hallways were packed and whilst Nami was side stepping and stopping for people, Luffy and Zoro moved with such fluidity and ease. It was obvious they’d been here for two weeks longer than her.

It was almost like a blur, as they moved from the ground floor, up to the second, through the whole second floor, only to go back down a smaller staircase at the other end of the floor. Nami began getting suspicious when they went through the same hallway again but maybe that was her imagination? They’d been there two weeks, and the school was huge. Everything looked the same. It was probably her mistake.

After looping round the second time, it suddenly clicked into place. They were idiots. Robin’s expression flashed in her mind again and Nami had to remind herself, that it was one of sympathy.

Time to take charge, she thought to herself, sighing.  

Nami and Zoro were locked in a heated argument, with Luffy walking behind them laughing with his hands behind his head, not a care in the world. Luffy hadn’t even blinked when she’d stepped forward to question them, but it seemed to rub a sore spot for Zoro. He adamantly denied and carried onwards, through the second floor for a third time, refusing to use the tiny map. He looked at it as if it were Satan itself.

“I’m new, this is my first day, and yet I have a better understanding of how to get around this school when you’ve been here for two weeks?”

“Oi, new girl, I need to concentrate. You’re yapping and Luffy’s laughing is throwing me off.” Zoro glared behind them. “I said shut up Luffy. You clearly don’t know where you’re going either.”

“Oh, so you admit that you are lost?” Nami smugly looked up at the green haired boy.

The second bell rang, warning them they only had five minutes before lesson started. Any more teasing she had lined up flew out the window, she needed to sort these idiots out and quickly.

As she looked down at her map and up at the numbers on the door, she realised with dread that Zoro had been leading this whole time. Why did she trust these people? Surely the first impressions should have been a big enough hint.

“Zoro… we’re in the completely wrong building.”

He at least had the decency to flush and avert his gaze after that comment. She took the lead following that.

From his viewpoint behind, Luffy was pleased that the new girl was bonding with his best friend. She seemed like a nice person. Yup, she was staying, he’d made his mind up, he thought to himself.

With seconds to spare, Nami was in front of L540 and was giving instructions to Luffy about how to get himself and Zoro to their own classroom. She wasn’t about to be late for them and she definitely had more hope in Luffy, than Zoro, to deliver them to the correct classroom.

“Luffy, look at me and pay attention. Straight and then turn right. The third classroom on the right will be yours. Now hurry up.”

As she turned to go in, she gave them one last look. Why was there only Luffy walking up the hallway? Zoro had told her they both had the same class. Nami could only sigh and, with utter defeat, turned to look in the opposite direction.

“For god sake Zoro! I just gave you the directions. The other way! Follow Luffy, you directionless moron!”

The last sounds she heard before the door closed were Luffy laughing and Zoro stomping past her as she entered.

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As first period ended, Nami sighed in relief. Geography wasn’t too bad, but she was so far behind from missing those two weeks. The teacher had been kind enough to set everyone else up with work and sat with her to get her up to date on what she needed to know and the materials she’d need to catch up. It definitely settled her to know the teacher was on her side.

Nami had her head down as she left, trying to orientate herself with where she needed to go next. In one hand was her tiny map and the other her timetable with her next class. From what she could make out, her next class was on the other side of campus. Who put together the timetables? Why couldn’t they see she’d basically have to run or know shortcuts to get there on time. Honestly.

She was brought out of her inner monologue when a hand touched her shoulder.

It was Luffy. Had he waited for her?

“I waited for you! Thanks for helping us find our room, without that we would have been late. Zoro’s useless,” his bright voice spoke, grin splitting across his face.

“Luffy, you didn’t know the way either,” She deadpanned. “Where is he, by the way? Did he get lost already?” She expected no less after their previous experience finding this building.

He laughed, completely ignoring her first comment. “Nope! He fell asleep in our class and the teacher wanted to speak to him after,” he said as he haphazardly swung the doors open to the outer building, oblivious that other students were dodging out of the way to avoid being hit, he was just looking at Nami. “Do you need help with finding your next class?”

Nami smiled, her first impression was correct. He was an idiot, but he seemed kind. He didn’t have to help her and yet here he was risking being late to his next lesson or missing out on some of his free period, all for someone he barely knew. “I appreciate the offer, but I get the impression you need more help than I do. What do you have next? Perhaps I can point you the right way?” They continued walking towards the main building

Suddenly Luffy was in her personal space and looking down at her timetable, completely ignoring whatever she had said, “Accountancy? Didn’t you just have geography? They’re not even related; do you not know what you want to do with your life?”

Okay. So, an idiot, kind and blunt. Although the bluntness might be because of the idiot part.

“I know what I want to do with my life!” She huffed at him. “I want to be a cartographer; I want to make maps of the world. Hence the geography a-levels but the college insisted on four options. I had to fill it with something else and I’m pretty good with money. By the way, I don’t think I’ve properly introduced myself, I’m Nami.”

As she finished, she turned to look at Luffy, expecting him to look bored but he was looking all around her face as if she were the most interesting person to exist. Well, that was certainly nice.

However, he didn’t respond to a thing she had said, a second later he realised that she was staring at him, waiting for a response. Panicking, he blurted out, “Usopp is going that way. You can meet him again properly, when he’s not rolling around the floor.”

Nami could only imagine Usopp would not agree with Luffy’s explanation about him rolling around on the floor but she let it go, perhaps it was best to pick her battles with him. At least she could get to know Usopp better, he seemed the sanest out of this odd bunch so far.

“- and when I turned the corner on my way to the I.T building, they were arguing about someone being a cheat, I think it may have been him, and looked like they were about to fight. Naturally I stepped in like a hero and diffused the situation.” Usopp finished with pride, chest puffed.

She had no idea who Usopp was talking about, but he had some great gossip. Although it was clear he was a bit of a liar. At least he made it easy to pick apart what was gossip and what was a lie. Hm, the irony of his long nose wasn’t lost on her when paired with his lying behaviour.

However, compared on what she had come up against today, he was easily the most normal and incredibly friendly. He hadn’t even blinked when Luffy had come bounding up to him with Nami, especially when she had pinched Luffy’s cheek and lectured him for dragging her around again. Instead Usopp had beamed at her and filled her in on some great gossip that had been going on in the two weeks she had missed as they both walked up to the third floor.

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The day had flown by as Luffy hung out with Nami and introduced her to his friends. When he had first seen her, he’d had a gut instinct that she was cool, and it turns out she is. She seemed super smart too and said some really funny things. She had the nicest smile too. He got the impression she liked him and his friends.

He’d walked with her to her fourth lesson and said he’d meet her after so she could sit with them at lunch. Nami could meet everyone else this way too! He was sure she’d fit right into the group.

As Luffy and Nami walked towards the cafeteria on the first floor, he was telling her about this cool move a guy did with his sword during the video he had watched in is history class the other day. He was about to continue but stopped as they arrived into the cafeteria.

It was already packed as Luffy was craning his head trying to see whether his friends had beaten him here and snagged a table. Just then he caught a flash of blue and took Nami’s hand as he ran through the cafeteria towards the rest of his friends. He was completely unaware that he was pushing people or using Nami as a weapon behind him to further push people as she tried to keep up or risk being completely dragged.

“GUUUUUUUYS!” He shouted as he drew closer.

He came to an immediate stop in front of them all, as Nami bumped into the back of him. When she stepped next to him, she had an almost evil look on her face, and he was keenly aware of her saying that she hated being dragged. Instead of saying anything, he moved on quickly in hopes of distracting her.

“Guys, this is… uuuuh…” Okay, think, think. He was pretty sure she had told him her name earlier, but he’d been distracted. Her hair was so cool, it was almost like fire and then he’d thought about how much Ace would probably like it too. Then she’d been so excited as she explained something, her face lighting up, it was very distracting for him. What had she been saying?

The people at the table could only sigh, the girl next to him looked irked and Luffy continuing to think was only adding to her irritation. She had clearly told him based on her look and he’d not listened.

“Oh, oh! It’s Nazi!” He yelped when he came face to face with Nami as she pulled on his cheeks.

“Who on earth would be called Nazi, huh? You take history, that’s an awful name! I told you earlier and you clearly didn’t listen. Nami. N-A-M-I,” and let go of his cheeks with a huff.

Before anyone could speak, a smooth voice started to speak, “Oh, delicate flower, how cruel life is that it has kept us apart up until now. Fate has now brought you to me and your beautiful presence can bring light upon my dark existence.” The blonde boy before her looked close to tears as he finished, going down on one knee, as one of his hands held hers.

“What a dork.”

The table started to snicker at that comment and Sanji was up on his feet in a flash, in front of Zoro and pulling at his collar as an argument broke out between them both.

Things seemed to somewhat calm down after that comment. Luffy watched as Nami introduced herself, properly this time, to the rest of those she hadn’t met and started comparing timetables with whole group.

Luffy realised he didn’t have any classes with Nami but did have a couple of spare periods that they could spend together. Nami and Usopp squealed over the fact they have business together but that seemed to be it for the group. They were all taking very different topics after all. It’s not like it mattered anyway, Luffy only shared some of his classes with Zoro and Robin and he still saw everyone else in-between.

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Nami was tired. She’d had a good day, much better than what she’d expected, but the classes had been full on and with the knowledge of how much she still had to do, it weighed heavily on her.

What her previous teachers had said was true, A-levels really were a step up.

She didn’t have any more time to think about that, as Luffy barrelled into her locker, all smiles. “Let’s walk home together.”

At lunch, they’d been discussing how far away from the college they were. It turned out they all lived fairly close to each other, Luffy being the closest. He was only around the corner. She was surprised that he’d been listening at first, he’d looked far too busy shovelling food.

“Uh, yeah sure.” She tried to push that bad feeling down after their expedition around the school earlier but then, Zoro wouldn’t be with them, so it shouldn’t be too bad, right?

She screamed as the car barely missed them, car horn blaring and lights flashing in anger at their recklessness.

This was even worse than being lost with Zoro. Luffy was cackling away, having the time of his life.

It had started calmly enough, Nami had been telling Luffy about her day and how much work she had to do to catch up on. They’d crossed the first road safely but then his face had flashed mischievously, and he took off, grabbing her wrist. The rain definitely hadn’t helped, if anything it egged him on and Nami was trying not to faint. When she’d dropped her bag, Luffy was there in a heartbeat, picking it up and slinging it over his shoulder before a car got to it.

“Do you have a death wish?!” She panted, trying to catch her breath now they were stood in front of her house and not dodging cars. “Who taught you to cross the road?”

Luffy wasn’t fazed at all. “It was fun! Even you laughed when we dodged that puddle.”

She rolled her eyes but knew he had a point. In a crazy way, it had been fun and had taken her mind off of her stressful day. “Yeah, yeah, I know. Just try to make it home in one piece.”

“I’ll meet you here tomorrow morning! We can walk together again.” He was now walking backwards, waving his hands above his head and saying goodbye.

“Yeah, 8am sharp! See you- wait, Luffy, you have my bag!”

“You can have it back tomorrow! Bye!”

“No, Luffy I need it tonight.” She started to walk towards him, but it just caused him to walk away quicker.

“Byeeeee!” He cheered loudly.

What had she gotten herself into? There went her night of schoolwork.