-I need a life- Thank you for the review, however, either you simply posted that review under the wrong story, or you are under the impression that this is a time-travel fic. Sorry to disappoint, but this isn't time-travel. This is simply something different happening than what is in canon.
When he was gone, Whitebeard turned to Marco. "What was the message?"
Marco smiled. "Thank you for saving my brother."
Ace stood at the figurehead of the Moby Dick, facing the Red Line and watching the water in front of him. He glanced towards his right to the Revolutionary ship anchored nearby, at the figure standing on its figurehead. He remembered back to the day when the Revolutionary ship suddenly appeared almost two years ago.
Ace was finally calm and was now planning with the other commanders and creating a search grid of sorts. They were in the conference room when they were startled by cries from the watchmen of an approaching ship. They started to slowly put the maps up so they weren't damaged, they trusted their brothers to be able to fight and hold their own until they got out there, they hurried up when they heard the cry that it was a Revolutionary ship.
Only Ace knew the true significance of a Revolutionary ship showing up now of all times, as far as he knew only four people in the world knew that the Revolutionary Dragon and Luffy were father and son. Dragon himself, Ace, Garp, and Dadan. He had never even told Sabo after they became brothers. Knowing the Revolutionaries information network, it wasn't a stretch to imagine that Dragon knew he and Luffy were close, that he and Luffy were brothers.
As soon as he heard the cry, he was the first out of the room, eager to see if Dragon sent somebody to help them find his son, or if they had information they weren't comfortable saying over a Transponder where the signal could be intercepted and overheard.
When he got out on deck, it was to see some of his siblings out there getting weapons ready, ready for a fight. They didn't know what the Revolutionaries could possibly want, but they didn't see how it could be good. "Wait, I don't think they're here to fight." Ace called, going to the look over the railing, hoping that they were here to help with Luffy, that Dragon had decided to stop hiding and be a father for once in his sons life.
His words to the crew were supported when the other ship came alongside a few minutes later and a cry of "Permission to come aboard?" was heard from the cloaked figure standing at the railing. Ace frowned, wondering why that voice sounded vaguely familiar. He studied the person closer, not that he could make much out underneath that cloak.
At Whitebeard's shout of "Granted!", Ace moved to take his spot beside the rest of the Commanders surrounding Pops, keeping his eyes on the Revolutionary who just jumped up onto their ship with no effort at all, he hadn't seen anyone move that effortlessly since... 'No, don't go there, not now.' He scolded himself.
When the figure finally came to a stop before the chair, he seemed to study them all for a moment before his gaze seemed to rest on Ace, after another moment, he reached up and pulled his hood back, introducing himself as he did so.
"I'm Sabo, the Revolutionary Armies chief of staff, and second in command." He said carefully, watching Ace as he did so.
"Sabo? Hey, Ace, didn't you say your brothers name was Sa- Ace?" Marco said, looking over at the now 'I've seen a ghost' white commander. Ace was staring at Sabo, his right hand rising to clutch at his tattoo, more specifically the crossed out S. Sabo continued to watch him nervously, taking an automatic step backwards when Ace began to stalk forwards. Snarling out, "How dare..."
"I had amnesia! I could barely remember my own name let alone yours and Luffy's. I didn't want to leave, I just didn't see any other way, I'm sorry that I left you to raise Luffy on your own, but I couldn't stay on that island anymore." Sabo rushed out when it was clear Ace was going to attack.
Ace stopped, his face was empty, an expression Sabo had hoped to never see again. Especially not directed at him.
"If I had remembered, I would have fought to get back to you and Luffy, done everything to get back to our tree-house, to make sure you survived the fire." By now, everyone on deck is staring between the two men like a tennis match, wondering what on earth is going on. Trying to figure out what on earth this person was talking about, and since when did Ace know somebody within the Revolutionaries? They started freaking out when they saw tears forming in Ace's eyes.
"Sabo?" He whispered, "It's really you?" Sabo just smiled and nodded, which was the cue for Ace to leap forward and bring him into a bone-crushing (for anyone who wasn't a monster like them) hug, the whole time chanting, 'I thought you were dead' over and over again. Sabo hugged him back just as hard, he couldn't believe he had forgotten his brothers, what made him feel even worse what the fact that Ace at least was still in so much pain over losing him, and if Ace was in this much pain still, who knew how Luffy felt?
That kid just seemed to feel everything on a deeper level than other people, including him and Ace.
Sabo looked over his brothers shoulder at the other commanders and the captain, most of whom were politely trying to look like they weren't watching, even though Sabo could clearly see their eyes focused on him and Ace in their peripheral vision. Whitebeard was grinning, and so was the Phoenix, judging from their expressions, they were the only ones there that even knew Ace had a brother named Sabo, although knowing Ace, everyone had their ears talked off about Luffy.
Finally, Whitebeard cleared his throat, reminding Ace that they had an audience, he was still very reluctant to pull away, although even then he stayed close enough that the two of them were still brushing up against each other, with Ace even going so far as to stand slightly in front of him, in a protective stance he normally only took up with Luffy when they were facing some thugs in Grey Terminal. Sabo raised an eyebrow but said nothing. He would probably be doing the same if their positions were reversed.
"You said you had amnesia? That's very difficult to get over, how did you get your memory back? And when?" Whitebeard asked, he wanted to ask why he was on his ship, but figured that that could wait.
"I got it back when I saw this." He said simply, and pulled out a newspaper article. One the Whitebeards were very familiar with.
It was the one touching on the defeat and disappearance of the Strawhat Pirates at Sabaody Archipelago. And detailing the defeat of Strawhat Luffy at the hands of Admiral Akainu.
Ace remembered that article well, he had exploded when he read it, literally. It took Blemenco a few days to repair the damage he caused the Moby, mostly replacing some planks in the deck, but he also had to somehow pry out and replace all the nails and some metal supports that had melted in the heat he gave off.
Two years ago, almost to this day, Luffy and his crew encountered Kuma in Sabaody and were each sent off to who knows where in the world, although Sabo at some point during those two years brought Robin with him on one of his visits. Turns out, she ended up being blasted to Timber Wolf and helped the Revolutionaries finally take it over. Who knew? And Brooke had started his grand tour, making his way to Sabaody that way about a year ago, so that was two Strawhats accounted for.
About a week after they all disappeared, a news article came out detailing a fight Luffy, Jinbei, and the Sun Pirates got into with Admiral Akainu, complete with a picture of a very injured Luffy. He had looked dead in the picture, although underneath it the paper had clearly announced Strawhat Luffy to have survived and been taken away from the battlefield by Dark Silvers Rayleigh, he had been further assured by Sabo who had already been in touch with Rayleigh that the Surgeon of Death Trafalgar Law had also been around.
Turns out Luffy made quite the impression on the sadistic doctor when he punched a Celestial Dragon who shot a fishman friend of Luffy's. They then fought their way out of the auction house together, through who knows how many Marines along with another Supernova captain, and then Luffy ran into a Pacifista that they managed to defeat, only for another to show up, followed by Admiral Kizaru and Kuma. Then, of course, Rayleigh intervened and held Kizaru off while Kuma, thank goodness he was really a Revolutionary commander, blasted the Strawhats away from Sabaody, away from the Admiral, and away from this entire fight.
So, yes. Luffy made quite the impression on Law.
For that matter, it wasn't long after those news articles came out that they learned that Akainu and Luffy didn't meet up by accident. Their meeting had been 'staged' by Teach before he was captured and killed. That was apparently his contingency plan so that if something happened to him, his hard work of getting to Luffy wouldn't have gone to waste. It turned out Teach and Akainu had been talking a lot, Akainu was the one to promise Teach a spot in the Warlords if he did something big enough.
And now, almost two weeks ago, they got word that the Strawhats had been sighted in Sabaody, and a week later they got a call from Fishman island that the Strawhats got there just in time to stop Hody Jones from creating his uprising and throwing Fishman Island into a civil war. A civil war that the King had just been about to call Whitebeard about to ask for his help once it was clear that nothing he was doing was about to stop it. Before that, the King hadn't alerted Whitebeard about it because he saw it as an 'internal matter that wasn't going to go very far or amount to much'. The King had been very caught off guard when it almost turned into an outright civil war.
And now, the Strawhats were due to arrive in the New World any minute.
Both he and Sabo had come to welcome their baby brother and congratulate him on making it this far. That, and, Luffy had yet to learn that Sabo was alive.
They would have come alone, but well... the Whitebeards felt that they had heard so much about the kid, they had the right to meet him. And the Revolutionaries apparently had an unspoken standing rule that any commanders named Sabo were not allowed to go anywhere alone.
Kind of like the Whitebeards in that regards when it came to Ace actually...
And by alone, they apparently meant without an entire ship to back him up. Apparently just one or two people weren't enough for them. That, and, they had also heard enough about Luffy since Sabo got his memory back that they too felt they reserved the right to meet the kid.
Especially once a couple of them put two and two together that Monkey D. happened to be the name that Garp, Luffy, and their leader all happened to share. Those couple of people didn't stay very quiet in spreading those rumors among the rest of the Revolutionaries. Which, of course, forced Dragon to run damage control and make sure the information stayed out of the Marines ears, although knowing Garp, who knew how many people he bragged about his 'cute little grandson' to? And how many of those same people also knew that Dragon was his son?
He glanced over at Sabo again, only to see Sabo looking towards him, looking nervous. Ace smiled and was about to yell something back to him when the sea before them started to bubble, the tell-tale sign of a ship surfacing. Behind him, he heard his crazy crew getting excited. He heard excited sounds coming from the Revolutionary ship as well.
Sabo stood at the figurehead of his ship, occasionally switching his gaze between the ocean in front of them and the figure standing on the whale-head of the Moby Dick anchored nearby.
The figure of one Portgus D. Ace.
He still couldn't believe he just up and forgot his brothers like that. Left them to think he was dead, blown up by that stupid Celestial Dragon.
He left Ace to raise Luffy by himself. Sure, Ace happened to be the brother Luffy was most like and Luffy happened to adore Ace a bit more, but... what did Ace know about raising anybody?
He knew what the MOUNTAIN BANDITS did to raise him. Which is not exactly how people normally grow up.
He could still clearly remember what happened the day he remembered. It had been like a massive, Luffy third gear sized punch in the gut. At least, after his migraine went away and he woke up out of the coma said migraine put him in.
Sabo was walking through headquarters heading to the ship so he could head out on his next mission. When he walked through the newsroom, he noticed everyone bent over newspapers or glued to transponder snails.
Getting the damage reports over that fight Admiral Akainu had with that rookie, what was his name?
Oh, yeah. Strawhat Luffy. Now that he thought about it, wasn't that kids full name Monkey D.? Same as Dragon, his boss?
Curious, he decided the ship wasn't going anywhere without him, it could wait a few more minutes, it wasn't like this mission was THAT pressed for time. So, he wandered over to take a look, but when he saw THAT PICTURE, he was hit with a rush of memories. He was later chewed out for scaring everybody like that.
It was like watching his life in reverse, starting with the last time he saw that battered straw-hat on that raven head. That day in the Grey terminal, the day his father came to get him and threatened his brothers.
The rush of memories was so painful, he passed out, according to everyone else, he was out for four days.
He didn't care, he remembered.
His sweet little Luffy.
His troubled, yet protective big brother.
Scratch that, his IDIOT of a protective big brother.
Honestly, how anyone could still question their existence after having a kid like Luffy constantly following him around and constantly telling him that 'Ace is Ace, why would anyone not like Ace?', he would never know. After waking up, the first thing he did was pull every bit of information they had on Fire-fist Ace and Strawhat Luffy.
He didn't even hesitate between waking up and jumping out of bed and straight to the information room, that image of Luffy laying injured and looking dead running through his head. He freaked his comrades out a little bit with his behavior until he finally yelled at them that he remembered, so get out and leave him alone.
Honestly, he was trying to figure out just what he missed of his brothers lives here and they kept trying to strong-arm him back to bed!
He wasn't leaving this room until he knew what trouble his idiot brothers have been in, where he could find them, if Luffy survived his injuries and escaped...
Finally, they all left, only for Dragon to walk in five minutes later and stand in the corner watching his feverish search. Eventually, he asked why Sabo was so desperate to know about Monkey D. Luffy all of a sudden. To which Sabo absently asked why wouldn't he want to know about his newly remembered little brother. Since he was so focused on the files in his hand, he missed the look that crossed the Boss's face.
Dragon didn't say anything though, just looked at the pile of Ace's files Sabo pulled out and was looking at along with Luffy's, grunted, and walked out.
Two hours later, somebody came to tell him that the ship was ready to sail and Dragon wanted him on it. He tried to say that he wasn't going anywhere until the man pulled out a syringe full of sedative and said that he was ordered to use it and drag his unconscious butt to the ship if he had to. Either way, he was going to be on that ship. So, he went with the man, and got on the ship.
Imagine his surprise when he got on and heard the Boss yell to set course for the last known coordinates of the Moby Dick. He just stood there and stared at Dragon for a good five minutes, unable to believe that the Boss basically just dropped everything to take him to see his brother. After a few minutes of staring, Dragon finally looked back at him and smirked, almost daring him to call him out on this or question his decision.
Once the shock was over, he grinned back at the Boss, silently thanking him for this, but then panic set in. He knew Ace could be, he was so dead once he revealed himself... he had to figure out what to say so that Ace didn't kill him for pretending to be Sabo. Ace was temperamental like that. Before the panic set in too much though, Koala came over and challenged him to a spar by hitting him over the head and yelling to get his head out of the clouds before he lost it.
He smiled gratefully and fought back. They sailed for two days, during that time, Sabo told everyone that he remembered, he remembered his life before being pulled out of the water by Dragon all those years ago. He had brothers, he remembered his brothers, he bored them all stiff telling them all about his precious brothers, everything he remembered about them. He refused to tell them the exact circumstances behind why he was rescued from the water though, refused to tell them about the nobles that called themselves his parents.
Oh, sure, everyone knew he came from a noble background, he had met and spoken with Dragon just before he tried to set sail, after all. He had told Dragon and the commanders with him at the time that his birth parents were nobles.
By the time they finally made it to where the Moby Dick, Sabo had somehow managed to convince the Boss and everyone else that he would be perfectly fine going on board the Moby by himself. As long as he talked fast, he could divert Ace's attention before he went on the attack. They didn't seem very comforted when he said that for some reason.
The meeting with Ace went better than he could have imagined. True, he hadn't exactly expected Ace to start crying, but at the same time it scared him to think of how hard Luffy would be crying, if Ace took his 'death' this hard that he started crying when he was revealed to be alive. After introducing him to the Whitebeard crew, they started discussing Luffy, and Sabo told them everything that Dragon had told him on the trip over here.
"Last we heard, Kuma sent the Strawhats off somewhere, its a good thing he's on our side. In fact, he's one of the few in the Revolutionaries who knows Luffy's parentage... something that I just figured out last week. We've already found Nico Robin, she helped our men on Timber Wolf in the East Blue to finally take the bridge. We've also been contacted by Rayleigh. He's apparently already found an island to squirrel Luffy away on to help him train some more. He says he'll be fine, apparently the Surgeon of Death Trafalgar Law showed up, and he's the best surgeon in the world right now, right behind that crazy lady on Drum Island. Well, its called the Sakura Kingdom now, after Luffy went through there..." Both Ace and Sabo glanced at each other only to look away before they could start laughing too hard for Sabo to finish telling everyone about Luffy.
Sabo smirked at Ace all of a sudden, "I also hear from Rayleigh that Boa Hancock is smitten with our little Luffy. Apparently she is trying to plan their wedding."
Ace froze. Then he slowly turned to face his brother, with flames slowly starting to lick around his shoulders. Sabo grinned again and patted his brother on the shoulder, silently telling him not to do anything rash. Ace looked at him for a minute before the flames disappeared, leaving the Whitebeard crew to stare at Sabo like he was a gift from the Heavens.
Apparently not one of them had yet to figure out how to calm Ace's violent temper.
"Anyway, right now Luffy is in a little to the North of Amazon Lily, recovering and beginning his training, and Akainu is being chewed out by Gramps."
"Word just came in, five minutes ago, Akainu was seen being thrown through a wall by Dad." A rough voice came from behind the pirates, causing all of them to jump and whirl with their hands on their weapons until it registered that the figure was standing beside the railing closest to the Revolutionary's ship and he was wearing the same cloak that Sabo was. Then, it registered to everybody that this man just talked about his father sending Admiral Akainu through a wall.
"Really?! Cool!" Ace and Sabo exclaimed, like little kids.
"I knew that old man was good for something." Ace commented to Sabo, making Sabo nod his head and ask if his Fist of Love was still as painful as when they were kids.
Ace got a really dark look on his face, "You just wait until I call the old man and tell him that you are still alive. You will be so dead." For some reason that the Whitebeards could not figure out, both Sabo and the newest stranger paled and yelled, "NO!"
"I'm doing just fine staying away from my old man, thank you very much, we have an... understanding. I stay away from him, and he stays away from me and my army... you telling him about Sabo will just... make him want to find me even more again, and you know the old man, he doesn't wear that stupid dog hat for nothing, he's very good at finding people if he wants to..." The stranger said. Sabo was nodding enthusiastically along with in agreement.
"By the way, this is Dragon, the Boss and Leader of our little army..." Sabo said, suddenly remembering that these pirates had no idea who he was. Well, most of them. The higher up Whitebeards and Whitebeard himself seemed to have realized it but...
Dragon smirked at the looks the pirates were sending him before turning to Sabo, "Speaking of crazy Marines, we need to go before we attract too much attention. Son, if you need anything, just call."
Sabo nodded and hugged Ace good-bye, promising to come visit sometimes, then he followed his boss back to the ship. All the pirates could hear him ask, "Son?"
Dragon smirked at him, "Any brother of my Luffy is a son of mine." With that, they went to their ship and set sail again, minutes before a Marine ship was seen in the distance, which Ace took great pleasure in sailing out to destroy.
Sabo shook off his thoughts after remembering the call he got from Ace later telling him about the looks everyone had once they realized that the Revolutionary Dragon was scared of the old man, whoever that was. He exchanged a look with Ace before focusing as the water in front of him started to bubble, the shape of a ship beneath the surface of the water.
When the ship finally surfaced, Ace had the extreme pleasure of seeing his baby brothers face when he noticed his welcoming committee. He also heard Usopp somewhere in the background screaming something about them just getting there and they were already going to die. He watched some of Luffy's other crew looking behind them at where Usopp was no doubt hiding, all of them with expressions of disbelief, a couple of them even glancing over at Ace before looking back at Usopp.
Finally, Nami got tired of his crying and went to hit him, demanding to know how on earth he missed the fact that that was Ace standing on the figurehead, her shouting reached over the water for miles, and everyone on both ships watched as the Strawhats started laughing at and with their sniper when he realized and apologized to everyone.
The Whitebeards glanced at each other, this crew already seemed like a family, just like the Whitebeards themselves were.
Ace grinned, "Yeah, Usopp. Don't you recognize me? I'm hurt, man." He said, placing a hand over his heart with a mock hurt look on his face. Usopp looked at him and started to give panicked apologies, until the rest of his crew and Ace started laughing at him again, "I'm joking Usopp." He called back over.
He jumped the distance between the two ships easily and embraced his little brother, looking up a couple of minutes later to be looking right at the living, talking skeleton. Now, it was one thing to hear about it and see the world tour posters, it was another thing entirely to SEE the living, talking skeleton.
Ace glanced back towards Sabo, who the Strawhats were now being interested in now that the excitement over seeing Ace again and teasing Usopp was over. Zoro even had a sword out and was staring at the unknown ship, something that all the Revolutionary's and Whitebeards noticed, especially the part where he was standing near Luffy, his captain, and not taking his eyes off the perceived threat.
Luffy looked over at Sabo too, and froze. Apparently he found the blond to be familiar looking.
Ace saw where he was looking and motioned Sabo over to the Sunny, after looking at Zoro and nodding to let him know that it was safe. Zoro simply lowered his sword, but didn't put it away. Ace noticed a few of his crew-mates nodding, impressed. Zoro was acting exactly like they did with their captain, despite the fact that they all knew that their respective captains could take care of themselves.
Sabo jumped over to the Sunny, not taking his eyes off his Luffy, Ace pulled on Luffy's arm and pulled him towards the kitchen, which he only knew where it was because he could smell Sanji's wonderful, wonderful cooking. Sabo followed. This would be a long conversation.
It wasn't five minutes later that all three crews heard loud, uncontrollable sobbing. The two Veteran New World crews could see how tense the Strawhats were, and it was clear that they were barely keeping themselves from barging into that room, trusting Ace to take care of their captain, to take care of his little brother.
Well, it was clear that those Strawhats who met Ace in Alabasta trusted Ace, and they were holding the other two back, they didn't need to hold Robin back or anything because she knew Sabo. It had only been three weeks since she last saw him, after all, and she knew exactly what conversation was going on in.
Marco shook his head and jumped the distance to greet those Strawhats that he knew, greeting Zoro with a hushed rundown of what was going on, to which Zoro nodded, and went to go sit outside the kitchen, sheathing his sword as he went. He sat just far enough that he couldn't hear the full conversation, but could hear enough to know when he was needed. While he went, he nodded to Nami and she gave the orders for everyone to head over the Moby if it was alright with the Moby's captain, looking to Marco as she said it.
Marco raised an eyebrow at how in sync this crew obviously was but said that if they wanted to head over, they were more than welcome, the crew had been wanting to meet the Strawhats since him and Ace came back from the East Blue after Arlong. Sanji, Usopp, and Nami grinned at the reminder of the beat down Luffy gave Arlong while the others looked on confused.
It was another half hour at least before Luffy, Ace, Sabo, and Zoro would join them on the Moby, and in the meantime the Strawhats had regaled the Whitebeards and Revolutionary's with some of their craziest stories, starting with their individual tales of their two years of training. The Revolutionary's in particular were sympathetic towards Sanji's plight in being sent to Ivankoff's island.
All of them considered it to be a punishment to be sent there for whatever reason Dragon wanted them to go there. They had all been surprised when Iva broke out of Impel Down about a year ago, apparently he'd been biding his time hiding within the walls of the prison, gathering followers and recruiting for the Army until he decided that he had enough and wanted to get back to the fight. The Revolutionary's all welcomed Robin back like an old friend, with Koala and Hack demanding to know if she was keeping up with her training. To which Robin laughed and reminded them that it had only been three weeks since they saw her last.
A few of the Whitebeards started demanding a concert from Brook, and the infirmary staff of both the Whitebeards and Revolutionary's demanded that Chopper and them put there heads together later and compare methods and what-not.
After all, Chopper was raised and taught by the witch of Drum Island, the island once known for their medical practices, and by the woman known as the best doctor on that island.
Back in the kitchen with the ASL Trio...
"Ace? Who is this and why does he look like...?" Luffy asked, both confused and angry.
Confused at who this was and why he looked like Sabo, and angry that this guy looked like Sabo.
"Ace?" Luffy asked again, uncertainly. He didn't know this person, even if he did look kind of like familiar, and Ace was acting weird about it.
While the stranger stayed by the door, Ace pulled Luffy to sit at the table, and explained. As quickly and simply as possible, how Sabo got away from his parents, was setting out to sea only for his boat to be shot down, and to survive only to lose his memories. How he got those memories back when he saw the picture of Luffy injured after his fight with Akainu.
The whole time he explained, Luffy sat there and stared at him with a look on his face that told his brothers he was trying very, very hard not to cry.
When Ace was done, Luffy finally looked at the stranger. Only, he wasn't a stranger anymore, this was Sabo. His brother that he thought DIED.
"Sabo?" He asked in an almost broken voice. That voice broke both his brothers hearts.
Sabo just nodded and opened his arms for a hug.
Luffy didn't hesitate in putting the animal he was named for to shame in how he clung to Sabo and bawled. Sabo just smiled sadly and clung back. He knew that Luffy would have taken it hardest, or at the very least he would be much more vocal about his grief. After a minute of watching, Ace moved to join the two in their hug, grinning to himself when he noticed through the window that Zoro had settled himself in an as non-intrusive a position as possible outside the kitchen while the rest of the Strawhats followed Marco to the Moby.
'Zoro is a good First Mate. Loyal, anticipating his captains every possible need,' he thought absently as he joined his brothers and allowed himself to swept into the group hug with his brothers, both himself and Sabo whispering assurances into Luffy's ear in an attempt to calm him down.
It took ten minutes, but eventually Luffy was calm enough to let go of Sabo, although he did continue to cling to his hand. Ace recognized it as behavior Luffy showed when he thought Ace died in the Terminal Fire along with Dadan, so he didn't say anything.
Luffy's crew had once questioned Ace about Luffy's clinginess whenever they were hurt or been in a situation where Luffy couldn't be there, Ace just sighed and told them to humor him. That was one habit he didn't think Luffy would ever break out of.
After getting Luffy to somewhat let go, all three brothers sat and just talked. Oddly enough, it was like the past ten years of separation never happened. It was a while before they felt like they could handle facing their crews, they just wanted it to be just the three of them for just that little bit longer.
When the brothers finally came out of their seclusion and stepped onto the Moby, Zoro dutifully following his captain, all conversations stopped.
All three crews noted that their respective ASL brother seemed more content than they had ever seen him. They moved around each other like a well choreographed dance. Everyone remembered how every time they saw two of the trio together, they always seemed to subconsciously leave a hole, a space meant to be filled by someone.
Now, that hole was filled.
That space was no more.
All three boys had a new life, a new spark to their eyes.
Everyone currently within the triangle of their ships made in the ocean swore then and there that they would do everything they could to keep that spark alive.