Disclaimer: I don't own anything from One Piece!

VTM: I'm back with chapter 2! But first, thank you reviewers! XD

yo wuz up: I'm glad you liked this so far! And yes, I did a special preview for this in my '30 Kisses for Ace x Luffy' fic.

Navigator101: Thank you very much! And here is the second chapter! I hope you enjoy!

VTM: Thanks! You all rock! Now, let's get this show started!

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Ace sat in his own little corner of the recreation room, in his own little world, knees tucked up to his chest, and his arms wrapped securely around them. He didn't make eye contact with anyone, he hardly looked at the people at all. Ace had learned quite quickly that there were very easily excitable patients here. Such as Bellamy, a smug bastard that loves to rub in the fact that 'crazy pyro freaks' will never step foot out of this fucked up place. Now usually, Ace would have no trouble handling an asshole like Bellamy, just give the bastard a good bop to the face and he'd scramble off with his tail between his legs. But these days, Ace had been so sluggish and tired, perhaps from all the weight of the guilt he had on his shoulders.

"Hey, 'Firebug'…"

Well speak of the devil. Ace tried to ignore him, he merely stared at a scar on his hand that he got while trying to escape the house fire. Suddenly he felt something slip into his hair a give a good yank, forcing their eyes to meet. "Agh…"

"Look at me when I talk to you, you worthless little cockroach…" Bellamy said with his ever annoying laugh.

Ace's eyes darted about for a bit, he couldn't quite pay attention to what was happening (or maybe he just didn't want to), they landed on Bellamy's ever obnoxiously wide smirk, then onto the scar on his face, and then onto his badly bleached hair. A quick smack to the head brought his attention back to his dilated eyes.

"I said look at me! Or do me and my friends have to teach you another lesson?" Bellamy grinned and looked back at his lackeys. "What do you say boys?" He got a few smirks and chuckles as a response. "It's settled then…" Bellamy then grabbed Ace by the back of the shirt, and began to drag him off.

---

Luffy peeked about, no one in sight, he snuck his way up to the door of the house. He was decorated with cuts and bruises, and had an envelope in his hand. It had been ten years now since his parents died, since then life hasn't been so easy. Sure, it was easier than it would've been because he was with Ace, who had always been like a brother to him, but new schools and being more of a free thinker, always seemed to attract trouble. He almost reached the door of the house, but then, he felt something snag the envelope right from his hand. His breath hitched as his heart jumped up into his throat.

"In trouble again!? You foolish boy!"

Luffy quickly turned around. "I'm sorry! The other guy started it! It wasn't my fault! I…Huh???"

Ace held the envelope triumphantly, with a smug smirk on his face. "Heh, how was my 'Mr. Kuro' impersonation?"

"Ace…you really scared me…" Luffy then reached for the envelope, but Ace held it out of his reach. "Hey! What gives!?"

Ace ripped open the envelope, and held Luffy back as he took out the letter and began to read. "….Huh, you got into some trouble again?"

Luffy looked away. "It wasn't my fault…it was just a stupid thing…" He sighed and scratched the back of his head. "Just…please don't tell Mr. Kuro and Miss Alvida…"

Ace smiled and crinkled the note in his hand. "Fine."

"Really? Thank you!" Luffy said relieved.

"But you know…you can't always ignore the issue…sooner or later…they're bound to find out…" Ace said in a more serious tone.

Luffy twiddled his thumbs and looked down at his feet. "Yeah…I know…I just…I don't trust people here…"

Ace raised an eyebrow at that statement. "Oh? And you don't trust me?"

"Huh? No! I do trust you!" Luffy rocked back and forth on his feet. "I just…don't like them…"

"Well, I can't disagree with you there…I care nothing for them myself…." Ace then ruffled Luffy's hair a bit. "But look at it this way…they can't do anything to you really…even if they get mad…not if they want to keep living comfortably…"

"Yeah…but you're lucky…you're going to be eighteen soon…" Luffy said with a small sigh. "You can go off and leave them if you want. Me on the other hand…I have to wait three more years…"

Ace bit his lip a little, yet again Luffy had brought up a very good point. The kid was given the short end of the stick. But then Ace smiled a little.

Luffy was then taken by surprise and pulled into a strong. "H-hey!"

"Aw, come on, Lu…" Ace said with a smile. "Don't be so down, it doesn't suit you…Besides, you know I wouldn't just leave you for those vultures…"

Luffy looks up at Ace in surprise. "Really…?"

---

It was a bit of a tight squeeze to fit four people into the storage closet. The light flickered on and off occasionally and it was freezing.

Ace tried to keep focused, focused on his memories, it was the only way he could partially get away from what was happening to his body. Ace threw his head back, and gave a small cry, damn it, it hurts!

Two of Bellamy's goons kept Ace's arms pinned down, to keep him from lashing out and scratching Bellamy's eyes out.

Bellamy's breath suddenly hitched, and Ace couldn't stop himself from giving out a groan. Bellamy then gave a wicked cackle and pulled out of him. "Now let's see…if you remember how to show some respect!"

Bellamy's goons then released Ace's wrists. And one gave him a quick kick to the gut.

Ace gave a struggled gasp and curled into a quaking ball.

Bellamy and his two lackies then left the storage room, laughing and bragging.

Ace still laid there, curled up, breathing heavily. His eyes slowly closed as he slipped into unconsciousness.

---

"Ace! Come on Ace, wake up!"

The older boy opened his eyes and found himself staring at Luffy's wide, happy grin.

"Hey short stuff…" Ace said groggily as he sat up.

Luffy's grin then turned into a pout. "Hey!"

Ace reached over a ruffled Luffy's hair. "Aw calm down…You can't help it if you're short…"

Luffy's cheeks gained a pinkish tint to them. "So?"

Ace couldn't help but laugh, Luffy really was something else, so silly and yet there were times he could be very serious as well. Usually, it wasn't easy for Ace to be this relaxed around people, to be so playful without worrying of forgetting his manners. But Luffy, he was so genuine, and didn't care about the rest of the worlds thoughts of him. Ace found that in some ways, he envied him.

Luffy shifted a bit uncomfortably. "Well…you have freckles!"

Ace stuck his tongue out at him. "Nyaaaah! Got a problem with that?" Ace would sometimes get a little sensitive about his freckles, probably from being teased a lot about them when he was younger.

Luffy grinned again, only a little more mischievously, he knew he hit a small nerve. "Nah, I've always liked your freckles! Hee, hee, hee! They're very nice!"

Now it was Ace's turn to pout and blush a little. He felt a little flattered to hear that from the younger boy. There had been plenty of moments like that before, there was a growing attraction that made Ace feel a little uneasy.

Luffy noticed the sudden serious look Ace now had. But before he could ask what was wrong, there was a loud, shrill shriek that sounded through out the house, causing both boys to jump slightly.

"Hmm…Looks like Miss Alvida found that I switched her shampoo with hair dye…" Ace said as he scratched the back of his head.

"Hee, hee, hee! Ace is soooooooo cool!" Luffy said excitedly.

"Well of course!" Ace said proudly.

---

"Oh my god! What happened to him!?" Kaya nearly shrieked as she saw Ace being wheeled off by the medics.

Ace stared off into space with a blank look on his face.

"Nothing out of the ordinary Miss, just the patients were picking on each other…"

"Picking on each other!? No! He was attacked! Look at him! He been beaten and who knows what else! Don't you care!?" Kaya shouted. It was unbelievable! He was another human being! How could he just shrug it off so easily!?

"Spare the preaching…Just because you want to be a doctor doesn't mean you can really change the world…" said one of the medics in a rather cold manner. "These people are all sick in the head and aren't worth a damn, don't get attached to them…it's not worth it…"

Kaya gave an irritated huff and stormed off. She would have to interview him a little later to see if the was okay.

Ace watched as each of the lights on the ceiling, not much was going through his mind, in all truth, not much has gone through his mind for a long time. Deep, deep down, part of him wanted to scream, part of him just wanted to wake up and be back in his own bed, knowing that everything was okay. That the whole thing was just a horrible dream. But most of all, he wanted to see that mischievous grin again.

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VTM: That's it for chapter 2! Sorry if it's a bit rough around the edges…Chapter 3 is currently in the works and should be up pretty soon! If anyone has any suggestions I'd love to hear them! Thank you for reading! R&R! And please, no flames!