I can't believe I'm doing this... but here is the third installment of my "not-remotely-over-ace's-death" series. (see burning all the bridges, and young and built to fall for the other two.)
This challenge is #72 from the list made by The BlackSeaReaper
A BILLION thanks to my beta Breather.
Chaper 1: A Pleasure to Meet you Again
Thick clouds of steam billows through the station, weaving around pillars and settling around the shoulders of parents and their children, preparing to board the Hogwarts Express. As the casual upperclassman begin boarding the trains, many bright-eyed first years watch on with envy, waiting to board the train themselves. Ronald Weasley is one such person. It isn't his fault— his mother just won't let go of him, still going on and on about remembering to brush his teeth, and don't forget to turn in homework, and dear lord, please don't follow after Fred and George's example.
"Yeah, yeah, Mum, I got it." He tries to step away from her checking fingers. She keeps a hold on his sweater with tight, clutching hands
"You'll remember to write, of course?"
Ron rolls his eyes. "Yes. I'll write once a week, but I need to board now or else I won't be able to even go to Hogwarts! So let go already, I'm gonna miss the train!"
"Alright then." She exhales and removes her hands from his sweater. The next thing Ron knows, he's being pulled into worn brown wool, and a hand is threading through his red hair. He awkwardly pats her back, failing to hide his desire to get on with things already.
She pulls away finally, hands fluttering to her teary eyes. Water, he's learned, is a guarantee for any Weasley send off— especially the first year one of the kids leaves. He knows because he remembers Percy's send off, Fred and George's send off, and now his own is added to that list. Ginny must be getting sick of it having seen three now, but as he looks at his little sister, all he sees is longing in her eyes. He understands that too, despite the cage of butterflies rattling in his chest. The fluttering sensation only reminds him of what he's here for.
Stepping away from his mother and sister, he climbs up the steep gap between the cement and the train. Ron lingers there for a moment— there's no one else getting on through this door, so he turns instead and waves towards the predictable sight of his sobbing mother— a scarlet island— amid the sea of other crying, worried, and proud parents.
"Goodbye, Ronald! Don't forget to write! Brush your teeth every day!" Her shout barely rises above the din and Ron is so grateful for that. She's just so embarrassing sometimes.
"Bye, Ron!" Ginny's shrill ten-year old voice pierces through all the rabble of yells.
His mother shouts again, "Don't worry about making friends, just be yourself!"
He barely caught that, so he doesn't bother responding. Instead, Ron turns towards the corridor of the train's interior and steps in. The train conductor is making his final call and a moment later when Ron's just in the hallway, the train lurches forward with a shriek of metal-on-metal. He stumbles, but quickly rights himself.
Alone, away from his mother's incessant buzzing, Ron allows himself to admit to feeling incredibly nervous. He doesn't know anyone, so where exactly is he supposed to sit? Fred and George certainly won't let him sit with them in their car, which he gets, really he does, but it would be nice if he could...
Ron tentatively approaches the first room in the car and peeks into the glass. A group of what must be third or fourth year girls are crowded around talking intently about something. One looks up and sees his staring. She says something he can't hear and the other girls all turn to look at him before breaking into giggles. He doesn't need a mirror to know his ears are bright red. That room is obviously a bust. He's quick to move down the line.
He rapidly becomes skilled at walking past and staring through the glass in a way that looks casual and nowhere near as borderline desperate and anxious as he feels. He carries on like this through two train cars until he sees a compartment with only one person in it.
A black-haired boy is sitting on one of the cushions. Seems like sort of a scrawny kid, but that's all Ron can really tell since the other boy's face is turned away from him, looking out at the scenery. He looks even younger than Ron, so he has to be a first year too. What's most important is that he's sitting alone. Ron takes a chance and slides the glass door open, hoping the other boy is as awkward as he is.
"Can I sit here? Everywhere else is full." A lie, but not that the other kid will know that.
Green eyes turn to stare at Ron intently. He sees the same eagerness and worry he himself feels. As the kid quickly agrees, Ron feels the stress leave his body. He can help neither the exhalation of relief nor the smile that spreads across his face as he plops himself down on the seat across from the boy.
"My name's Ron, Ron Weasley," he says.
"I'm Harry, Harry Potter."
Ron wasn't expecting that. Not at all. His eyes widen in surprise and he leans forward, immediately scanning the other boy's forehead, which is covered with thick black hair.
"Do you really have it?"
Harry furrows his brow a little. "Have what?"
Ron leans forward, voice dropping subconsciously. "The scar?"
"Oh." Harry smiles, before saying, "Yeah." Without Ron even having to ask, The-Boy-Who-Lived lifts up his bangs, revealing a faint, lightning bolt scar.
"Wicked." Ron can't help it. This has to be the most surreal moment in his entire life. He can't wait to rub it in the twins' faces that he actually met Harry Potter.
Realizing that he's still staring, Ron shakes himself a little.
"Well, nice to meet you, Harry." The red head extends his hand in a habit his mother has painstakingly ingrained in him. Harry looked a little relieved at the gesture for some reason, and meets his grip.
Harry reaches forward and their fingertips brush. "You t—"
And the world stops. Everything stops. Because Ron isn't on the train, in England, on the way to school anymore. No, he's on an island covered in jungle thicket, that has the most perfect view of the cerulean water he's ever seen, even after his extensive travels that haven't happened yet. But he's suddenly a boy again, ten-years-old, and his name is—
"Ace, you need to respect Dadan and the bandits. Even if they're a bunch of good-for-nothing scum, I told them to watch over you, do you understand?"
The stupid old man, with his stupid Fist of Love that never did anything more than leave aching lumps on his and Sabo's heads—
And he remembers Sabo.
"We'll leave all of this behind once we get enough treasure!"
"And we'll never come back to this shitty island ever again."
That gap-tooth smile that never faded, and then the promise that did— caught in the fiery flames of the world and the Tenryuubito, leaving him to watch over—
And he remembers, oh God, he remembers Luffy.
"So it's good that I'm alive."
Not a blink, no hesitation, complete certainty. Ace didn't fully believe it at the time, but he did eventually. Everything else falls into place faster now, leaving the islands and creating the Spade Pirates. Trying to move a mountain that turned around and offered him family. Joining that family and making countless nakama. Being betrayed by a part of that family. Hunting down the shithead— getting captured. Sent to Impel Down. Baptism. Torture, hopelessness, acceptance, and then horror, because Luffy, stupid, wonderful Luffy, was there, trying to save him. And no, Ace couldn't accept that. It wasn't supposed to be like that! Luffy just didn't get it.
. . . Ace never did find a way to say that he just wasn't worth saving. The look in his little brother's eyes always said that he was, even as Ace shouted at him, no, no, go away! Leave! I don't want you here!
On the platform, staring down on the smoke and explosions, then the cuffs unlock and— Free, free at last. Happy, relieved, and then sorrow, because the steadfast mountain –Pops— was crumbling. Anger at the disrespect, followed by magma, deep, searing magma that cooked the inside of his body, flaying his skin and melting his lungs. And the dread that followed, because it wasn't enough, because Luffy was still too close, and Ace's blood was running down Akainu's fist into a matching hole in his brother's chest. They both collapsed, and there was a rush of panic, and yells and shouts, but Ace barely heard them. Then there was just Luffy and him, bleeding out and clutching each other with what strength remained. There are thousands of words Ace never was able to say to Luffy, and yet the only ones that find his mouth are thankfully the truest.
"Thank you for loving me."
He remembers having to watch the light fade from his brother's eyes as Luffy shuddered before becoming all too still in his arms. He remembers wondering if Sabo could ever forgive him for killing their baby brother—
And then... then... then there was no more. Everything after is a mix of memories about growing up in a family chock full of kids, being teased constantly, falling off his broom and scraping his knee, receiving the casual, daily gift of his mother's kisses and his father's hugs, struggling financially, not really having any friends, worrying and dreaming of Hogwarts, and hearing stories about the Dark Lord and the Boy-Who-Lived and—
Ace inhales, suddenly coming back to himself, in the train, on England, on the way to Hogwarts. He feels lightheaded, almost like he's about to pass out. He can't though, because as he looks into the green eyes across from him he sees the same mix of emotions —grief and shock and incredulity and hope, so much hope— and it doesn't seem probable, or even possible, but it feels like he's looking at—
"Luffy?" He barely even spares a thought to what he was saying.
"Ace?" Tears appear in those eyes now. Harry —no Luffy— jumps at him, awkwardly scrambling up into his lap as he grabs him and crushes him in a hug. Ace can only respond instinctively, hoping he can trust his senses because his rational mind is beyond comprehending the sudden rush of information. The impossibility of everything is staggering, but Luffy is in his arms now, absolutely sobbing.
"Are you? Are you really?"
"Yes, yes, yes, yes!"
And the boy before him doesn't really look like Luffy; head a different shape, body skinnier, limbs ganglier, but there is the limitless joy in those teary green eyes that once belonged to a pair of black eyes. There's no one else in any universe that can display such pure genuine emotion like his brother can, and Ace finds himself believing.
"Thank God, thank God I found you. Thank God you lived." Ace lays his hands on his brother's hair, black and messy, just like before.
"Ace is alive," Luffy manages amid the tears. A hand is pressed against Ace's chest, right over his heart. "I'm really, really happy that Ace is alive."
Ace's homemade sweater gradually collects the veritable waterfall of fat tears that have yet to leave Luffy's eyes. Holding him and murmuring words of comfort and assurance is all Ace can do. He can barely believe it himself, but his brother, his little brother who died in front of his eyes is alive, and in his arms— Ace worries that if he lets go everything will dissolve into nothing more than a passing delusion.
They sit there for a long time, longer than is comfortable for either of them in their awkward positions. In the end it's Ace that pulls away, gently nudging his brother back a little so he can look at him.
It looks like Harry, the boy he just met, but as the boy smiles vibrantly, all he sees is Luffy.
"How did this happen?"
Ace doesn't expect an answer, but Luffy gives one anyways. "I dunno. It's kind of neat though."
Neat isn't the word Ace would use right now. 'Miraculous is more like it,' he thinks. Aloud he says, "It's just bizarre. I have all these memories of being Ron, and I think I'm still Ron, but I mean, I'm Ace now too."
"Me too." Luffy tilts his head. "I'm just Harry, but not just Harry anymore. It's a mystery."
Ace laughs. "Yeah, I agree with you on that one. There's no other way of putting it."
Luffy pokes Ace's cheeks, giggling.
"Ace has freckles."
The red head bats his little brother's hand away playfully.
"You have glasses. What's up with that, huh?" Ace plucks them off of Luffy's nose and examines them.
"Huh? Give those back!"
Ace holds them by the side of their wireframe, marveling at the thickness of the lens. "Whoever did this doesn't know you very well. You're gonna break these, no question about it."
Luffy pouts as Ace finally returns the glasses to the younger's face. "Will not."
"Will too. Maybe we should look and see if there's a spell that'll fix your vision."
"Ooh, magic! Mystery stuff!"
"It's cool, right? At least we aren't in some boring universe with—"
"Ahem." Both Luffy and Ace turn to see a plump, grey-haired woman pushing a trolley. They also notice they're still sitting on each other. Neither moves.
"Anything off the trolley?" she asks, still eyeing them with distaste.
"Food!" Luffy shouts, jumping off Ace's lap.
"Ahhh," Ace is on the same page, but he suddenly remembers that his financial situation really is dismal at best. He's about to turn her down when Luffy shoves a handful of golden coins at her.
"Two of everything!"
She's startled by his enthusiasm, and takes a step back. "You're going to give yourself a stomachache, young man," she warns.
Luffy just pushes his money towards her even more, eliciting a sigh. She takes one of the golden coins at the top and gives him an armful of snacks, and a few brown coins.
"Thanks!" Luffy chirps. She gives them one last wary look before shaking her head and moving along. Ace blinks. Apparently his brother has a much better financial situation than he does.
"Aaaace! We have food!" Luffy sits across from Ace and dumps all the candy and cakes on the seat next to him.
"I'll do you better yet," Ace says and holds up a finger. He rummages around in his front pockets for four, smushed sandwiches. Luffy hardly pays their state any mind. Instead, his attention is solely centered on the layers of pink mush running between the bread. The older of the two can't fathom now how he could have been so unenthusiastic about corned beef before remembering.
Ace grins and tosses two of the sandwiches to his brother who catches them easily. Luffy then proceeds to rip off the wrapping and shoves both of them into his mouth simultaneously. His cheeks are stretched to abnormal lengths and Ace pauses in his own bite of his sandwich.
"Luffy, do you still have your Devil Fruit power?"
"Hm?" Luffy swallows and then pulls at his cheek. Sure enough, the skin follows along his fingers at the familiar action. He blinks in surprise, and Ace knows he hadn't thought about it either.
"I didn't before..." Luffy says, brow furrowed. "I dunno why. Maybe it's magic."
That's the only thing that makes any sense to Ace. Perhaps Luffy's magic transformed his body into what he remembers himself being. Or something. Compared to all the other surprises, this latest one doesn't stand out too terribly. A part of Ace is still struggling to reconcile that he is really Ron, and that his brother is here and very much alive.
"Ne, ne Ace, are you still fire?" Luffy asks, interrupting his thoughts.
Ace hadn't really thought of it, too distracted by his revelation and Luffy to pay it much mind, but as he focuses on his body, he finds his body feels weightless, and fire slowly smolders just below his skin, sending shivers down his spine as it builds into a veritable bonfire. All at once, he can't imagine how he ever lived without the flames running through his body. With barely a thought he summons a bit of fire and holds it in his palm. Luffy grins widely, and Ace echoes it.
Both brothers start and turn towards the door in a panic. A girl around their age stands in the entranceway. Her hair is thick and frizzy and she already has on the black robes of the school uniform. Her wide brown eyes are trained on Ace's flame. The fire disperses from Ace's hand automatically.
"That's a high level spell, isn't it?" she asks excitedly, plopping herself down next to Luffy. "I've read through our course books already, and I know there isn't a fire spell in any of them, especially one that uses wandless magic! Did your family teach it to you? Or have you read even further than I have, getting to the second and third year stuff? My name's Hermione Granger by the way."
Ace blinks at the sudden rush of information. He slowly holds his hand out, but finds his mind is blanking when he reaches for his name.
"That's Donald Westly," Luffy pipes in.
"It's nice to meet you, Donald." She gives him a firm shake of the hand and Ace face-palms.
"It's Ronald Weasley," he corrects, "but just call me Ron, alright?"
Her eyes flick towards Luffy who's still smiling, and Ace can see that she's already jumping to conclusions about him and his level of intelligence.
"And you are?"
"I'm Harry Potter!" He grabs her suddenly limp hand and shakes it.
"H-Harry Potter?" Her mouth falls open. "I can't believe I'm meeting you! I've read about you in so many books! You're one of the most well-known wizards that ever lived! They did a whole chapter dedicated to you and everything that happened with You-Know-Who in Famous Wizards of the Twentieth Century. This is so fantastic!"
"Oh. Thanks." Luffy tilts his head a little, staring intently at her.
His piercing gaze must unnerve her, because Ace watches her fidget for a moment or two before standing in a rush.
"Well, I must be leaving, I've got to help a boy named Neville find his toad. You haven't seen it, have you?"
"Nope." Ace shrugs.
"Alright, well you should probably change into your robes, you know we're going to arrive in an hour or so," she instructs.
She hovers awkwardly at the door, still just staring at Luffy in total fascination. He grins at her and gives a little wave. "We'll see you at the castle!"
A little blush of happiness colors her cheeks and she nods once before disappearing from the doorway. The grin slowly fades from Luffy's face.
"It's weird being famous for something I don't remember," he says, pouting a little.
"I think so too. And geez, you are famous. You have no idea how famous you are, I bet. It's really bizarre."
As Ace tries to wrap his mind around the fact that his little brother is suddenly the savior of the wizarding world, he finds a headache coming on. All of it is too much too soon— his sudden recollection of memories, dying, and Luffy bleeding out— in every way. He isn't ready to deal with his brother's additional status as a celebrity quite yet. Right now, he just wants to get to Hogwarts.
When he woke up in the morning, he knew it was a big day (after all, he was finally going to Hogwarts!), but now he realizes that he didn't know the half of it. Today has changed his entire life in a way he never expected.
"Should we get dressed like Hermit said?" Luffy asks.
"I think her name was Hermione," Ace corrects with a smile.
"Isn't that what I said?"
Ace just shakes his head before standing on the chair and reaching towards the upper compartment for his robes. "Might as well. We can finish eating after I guess."
"Okay!" Luffy chirps, pulling his own truck off the rack and staggering under its weight. He sets it down heavily and lets out a mournful sigh.
"What is it?"
"I'm so weeaaaaaaak," Luffy moans.
Ace grins. "Don't worry, we'll fix that. I bet we can find someplace to spar at Hogwarts. It's a wizarding school, so they have to have somewhere secret."
The last word makes Luffy perk up almost immediately, and Ace grins.
Luffy starts laughing. "It's so cool we're going to an actual magic school!"
The boy with the freckles nods along firmly in agreement. He can't wait to see the castle for himself!
Luffy is fidgeting beside Ace as they stand in a small crowd of first years, waiting to get called up to the front where they can be sorted.
"Luff, calm down," Ace whispers.
"I want to wear the mystery hat already," Luffy whines.
"They're on the M's. You're coming up, so stay still."
"Fine." He fidgets and remains silent for all of ten seconds.
"D'you think we'll get in the same house?" Luffy finally asks. Ace glances at him, but his brother's eyes are trained forward.
Truthfully Ace had been thinking about that possibility since leaving the train. He didn't want to be split off from his brother so soon after being reunited—
in a place without explosions and smoke
where they don't have cuts and bruises covering their skin
and where Ace doesn't worry if his brother will survive the fight against so many admirals especially with how worn he already looks and it's only a matter of time until the marines see it too—
The freckled boy is shaken from his thoughts by a tug on his sleeve and a worried look. Quickly regaining himself, he puts a firm smile on his face.
"Definitely. And even if we aren't in the same house, we'll make it work anyways."
Luffy smiles a little and nods.
"Potter, Harry," the strict looking woman calls, and Luffy smiles even wider in excitement. The hall fills with hushed chatter at the sound of Luffy's name. He sits down on the stool eagerly and waits with little patience for her to place the hat on his head. When she does, Luffy's mouth falls open in surprise. Ace watches his brother a tad nervously, hoping that nothing is wrong. It takes longer than any of the previous kids, and he can hear a low din of murmurs rising from the tables, and sees that even some of the teachers are exchanging looks.
After a painful stretch of time, the hat finally opens its mouth.
A roar of shouts comes from one of the middle tables, and Luffy happily descends from his place on the stool and trots over to his new house. People are clamoring to talk to him, and Luffy's shaking hands left and right. Ace sees his eyes flick back towards him, and sends Luffy a reassuring smile. The deputy headmistress actually has to clear her throat three times to get everyone to be quiet. Once they are, she levels them with a cross look before turning back to her scroll in order to resume the ceremony. Eventually, there are only a handful of kids left, and she calls out,
Ace finds he's inexplicably nervous as he remembers that his family is expecting him to be in Gryffindor. God, if he gets into Slytherin they have grounds to disown him. His mind suddenly catches on the thought that, wait, he suddenly has a family— one with a kind mother and a father who isn't a good-for-nothing piece of trash. He sighs and walks up the steps, wondering when his life got so complicated.
The hat settles a little above his eyes and he waits for something to happen. When it does, he barely holds back a gasp of surprise.
"Well now, you are an interesting one, aren't you?"
"What— who are you?"
"The Sorting Hat. Now be quiet while I do my job."
Ace also wonders when his life got so weird. He takes a moment to make a note to kill Fred and George for telling him he had to face a troll. Little shits.
"Two brothers of many, I see. The other boy that was up here, he is your brother as well, isn't he? Just not from this life-time."
"I guess," Ace awkwardly thinks. The fact that he's talking to a magical hat in his head isn't something he has fully come to terms with.
"Well, you have many qualities to choose from. Hmmm, I'm torn between Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw to be honest. The reason behind the first doesn't really need to be explained, but I'm considering the second because you have such a steep learning curve— you're also incredibly innovative, and your kinetic intelligence is truly remarkable. You would be a welcome addition to that house. Too few persons of different intelligence have gotten into Ravenclaw recently, so I'm leaning towards that one —"
"No!" Ace shouts in his mind. "You can't separate me from Luffy!" His throat constricts slightly at the hot jolt of anxiety that shoots through his body.
He hears the hat sigh, and feels(?) light amusement. "If you let me speak, I'd let you know that while you would indeed make a great Ravenclaw, you fit Gryffindor just as well. And I'd never be so cruel as to separate the two of you after you so recently reunited."
"Gryffindor!" The hat shouts aloud. Ace is distantly aware of the hoots and hollers from Fred, George and Luffy, but his mind is caught by the hat's awareness.
"Be careful. This world has interesting things in store for The-Boy-Who-Lived."
With that cryptic send-off, the hat is removed from his head and he goes down the stairs a little dazed by it all. He walks towards Fred, George, and Luffy, all of whom are grinning brightly at him.
"Knew you'd pull through!" George says.
"You worried for nothing!" Fred says.
"Yeah," Ace says, a little distractedly as he sits next to Luffy who's grinning like a loon.
"We're in the same house!" Luffy simply chirps. It earns him a few interested looks.
"When were you going to tell us that you made such a nice friend, eh Ronniekins?" George asks.
Before Ace can reply, Dumbledore is clearing his throat and Ace belatedly realizes that the ceremony ended while he wasn't paying attention. Luffy grabs his hand beneath the table, and Ace gives it a squeeze. Because he too knows how important getting in the same house was, and that neither could bear it any other way despite what they said.
Ace tightens his grip and tries to push the hat's warning to the back of his mind. It doesn't matter what the world has in store for his brother. He will never let anything bad happen to Luffy ever again.
Dumbledore claps his hands after a few words and food appears on the table. A lot of food. Ace laughs because Luffy looks like he's died and gone to heaven. Both brothers pile on the food eagerly. Under the occasional glances of Fred and George, Ron uses his best self-control to remain somewhat civilized while eating. Luffy also doesn't go wild like he normally would, but Ace thinks it's mostly because he's so enraptured by everything still. His eyes flicker towards the ceiling and the floating candles, to the professors, and then back to the food in a continuous cycle. After an absolutely splendid feast, followed by a decadent array of desserts, Dumbledore stands once more and goes to the podium. With a wave of his hand the food vanishes, much to Ace's and Luffy's utter dismay.
"Now that we're all fed and watered, I'll say a few things before you all head off to bed." He scans the crowd with piercing blue eyes. "I've been asked again by Mr. Filch, the caretaker, to remind you all that no magic should be used between classes in the corridors. Also, first years should note that the forest around the castle grounds is forbidden to all students. A few of our older ones would do well to remember that too. Also..."
Ace stops listening. His and Luffy's gazes meet, and both of them grin eagerly.
"They have a forest," Luffy utters with excitement. The question of where they are going to train has been answered, all they have to do is figure out the logistics.
"We're going exploring as soon as we can," Ace answers back, making sure to keep his voice low, lest Fred and George hear him, or worse, Percy. No doubt that he would get a Howler just for talking about it.
Ace begins paying attention once more as the entire hall breaks out into a horrible mish-mash of musical notes that only share the words in common that apparently is the Hogwarts school song. Luffy's eyes light up and he's quick to join in with a tune that had a decidedly piratey tone to it. Ace grins and wraps his arm around Luffy's shoulder, humming along with whatever his brother is singing. The tune sounds old, and Ace is certain he's never heard before. He idly wonders where his brother picked up such a song. After the song ends (and Fred and George stop dragging it out with their funeral-march interpretation), Dumbledore dismisses them for bed.
Luffy oohs and ahhs at the moving staircases and portraits, and Ace is a little amused to note that he isn't the only one. Luffy's wide-eyed wonder fits in perfectly amid the flock of excitable eleven year olds. When Percy leads them into the Gryffindor dorm room, they find it filled with large chairs and plenty of communal tables, lit with warm flickering light, and painted with deep reds and gold. Ace thinks it's perfect.
"Boys are on the left and girls on the right. Your names will be on a plaque outside the room and your luggage should already be near your bed. If you have any questions please feel free to ask."
The moment Percy closes his mouth, all of them are leaping towards the stairs, eager to see their rooms. Ace and Luffy are at the head of the charge. They find their room near the end of the hall. A gleaming bronze plaque shows their names side-by-side, and Ace and Luffy can't help but laugh. This couldn't have worked out any better. Ace is beginning to think he believes in karma, because Luffy must have saved a lot of it up if things are going so perfectly.
Exchanging grins, Ace and Luffy turn the knob and enter their dorm.
I intended to post this story when it was fully completed, but at the moment, I plan on stopping after year two, which has been fully written out. Then, if the urge strikes me, I'll go further. I feel the need to post this now because I will be in hiatus from August on.
If you are a fan of Young and Built to Fall... I hope this stymies the disappointment of my not posting something new to that story.
Having said that, I hope you like this. This was an opportunity to write a fic that has an ungodly amount of Ace and Luffy brotherly-ness. Do enjoy...
I'll update in a week.