I walked into the old bar, not entirely sure of what to expect. It was a little run down and seemed like more of a sailors' joint than anything else considering all the sea décor. However it was homey and had a familial atmosphere to it. The few tables that were scattered around were well worn and had more than a few gouges in them. Despite the overall rundown feel to the place it was clean and I was glad I had come. It was just after 7 and the bar was starting to fill up with regular Friday night customers. I found a seat on the wall with the front entrance and started settling in as if I were waiting for someone. It didn't take long for one of the servers to walk by and ask if I needed anything. I ordered some wings and smiled, hoping to blend in. It had been a while since I had been in Whitebeard's Tap and a feeling of nostalgia washed over me. When the server came back with my wings I ordered a beer and leaned back in my chair, taking in my surroundings. A few more tables had been added and there was a new tv but other than a few small details not much had changed. For some reason I felt relieved at the thought and not for the first time that night I reconsidered my decision. My beer was brought over and the server plopped down next to me. "Do you mind if I join you for a few minutes? My feet are killing me." I shook my head and smiled.

"My name is Eve, most people call me Eva." I said sticking out my hand in a friendly gesture. The guy smiled and shook my hand. He was new, at least he was since I'd been here last but that wasn't saying much.

"I'm Ace. Nice to meet you." I saw the mischievous glint he had in his eyes along with the warm smile he gave me; he fit in well, much better than I ever had…

"Busy night?" I questioned, looking over the full bar.

Ace shook his head, "Not too bad so far. More like a shitty week." A look of pain and anger crossed over his features and I looked over to the bar.

"Well then do you think you have enough time to join me for a drink or two?" Ace raised an eyebrow and chuckled.

"You're a little bit forward, aren't ya?" I shrugged, knowing how I had come off but not caring.

"It's been a long week for me too." I said, remembering what had brought me here and frowned. "I'd rather not drink alone, considering."

Ace saw my look and smiled. "Why not, I've got a 15 minute break I can take anyway."

I smiled as Ace got up and walked over to the bar. He casually maneuvered behind it and started talking to the tall blonde bartender. I had recognized him as Marco the minute I'd walked in and desperately hoped he wouldn't see me and walk over. I almost snorted as I thought of the rumors that surrounded him. Some people thought Marco was invincible considering how many times he had escaped death. I just knew that he was the luckiest guy I had ever met. After watching him escape an explosion with nothing but a nasty case of tinnitus there was no other conclusion I could bring myself to accept. I snuck another glance as Ace continued talking to him and my breath stuck in my throat. It had been so long since I'd last seen him... it had been so long since I had seen any of the family.

I munched on my wings and reminisced as I waited on Ace. I hadn't been a part of the Whitebeard gang long but while I was it was the safest I had ever been. They had treated me like family while I'd had none and I would always be grateful to them. When Ace gestured in my direction I acted like I was looking in my bag for my phone so my dark hair would slide down to hide my face. Before long Ace came back over with a mug in his hand. "So, I've got 15 minutes." He said, his grin returning to his face. "What brings you here Ms. Eva?"

I paused, taking a drink from my beer as I thought about what I should say. "A… friend of mine recently passed away and I came back for the funeral. I got into town just in time but I have to leave tonight."

Ace looked down as sadness washed over his features once more. "I know how you feel, I just lost a brother of mine."

"I'm sorry." I said sincerely; hoping somehow he would see the shared pain I held.

Ace nodded, "Me too." Anger flashed in his eyes, "But I'm not going to let the bastard who killed him get away with it."

I drank some more, needing the alcohol to wash away the bitterness in my throat. "That's a rough path to take. Sometimes people don't come back from those kinds of things."

Ace's stare hardened, "That doesn't matter. That guy can't just get away with what he did."

I nodded and looked Ace in the eye, "Well if that's what you've decided then that's that. Just keep in mind that you still have people who would do anything to get you back. So when you do what you're about to do, you're unintentionally dragging them with you."

Ace grit his teeth, his fist tightening around his mug. "I can't just do nothing. I can't let him get away."

I nodded again, knowing exactly how the younger man was feeling, "Well I can't say that I've never looked for revenge so I'll wish you luck."

Ace looked up surprised as I finished my beer. Sighing I stood up and stretched, my wings half eaten on the table. "Do mind finishing those off for me?" I ignored his look as I threw a $50 down on the table. "Don't bother with the change" I said as I gathered my things and threw on my coat.

Ace looked up, slightly confused, "Leaving so soon?" He asked while I could see he was struggling with the feeling that he recognized me somehow.

"Yeah," I replied, "I've got to get going." I knew I couldn't stay any longer. I could feel Marco looking over more often and it wouldn't be long before he or Jozu, one of the other servers and a head of the family, finally recognized me and cornered me.

"I feel like I know you from somewhere." Ace confessed, "Have me met before?"

"Nope." I said, refusing to meet his gaze. "Say hi to Marco for me though, will ya?" I grabbed my bag and walked out into the cold night, not waiting for Ace's response. I took a deep breath when I got outside, grateful for the fresh air. Pausing outside the door I ran a hand through my hair. It had been a long day and an even longer week. I had come back for Thatch's funeral, hoping to make amends with the family I had loved so much but in the end I was still too much of a coward. I lit up a cigarette and watched as smoke curled up from my mouth into the sky. "Well, damn." I said and walked away without looking back at the half lit sign at the front of the bar. I should have known better. I should have realized that despite how much I wanted it, there was no going back. I had already made too many mistakes to ever go back…

I started down the street again when I heard the door to the bar open and I could feel someone staring at my back. I tried to keep going but I couldn't help myself and stopped to look back. My jaw tightened when I saw Marco leaning against the door of the bar. His eyes were bored and half closed but I knew him well enough from before to see the tension in his jaw. I was about to turn and leave without saying a word when he spoke up. "We thought you were dead." He said, unable to keep the anger and betrayal from seeping into his tone.

"I am." I replied, glancing back one more time. "But it was good to see you guys again, even under the circumstances."

Marco kept his gaze bored as he continued to stare. "Say hi to Thatch for me then... and that we miss him already." Marco turned and walked back into the bar before I could say anything else.

I chuckled and before long I couldn't stop the fit of giggles that hit me like a truck. When I was finally able to calm myself down I looked somberly at the sky once more. "I'll tell him." I whispered quietly and disappeared into the wind.

Marco walked back into the bar and had to stop himself from taking a few shots of whiskey. He sighed and walked slowly back around the counter. Jozu raised an eyebrow at his somber look and spoke up. "Marco?"

Marco knew what the bigger man was asking even without saying it. "It's nothing." He replied, focusing on serving a few drinks. "Just an old ghost..."