I'm a bad, bad person. I promised myself I'd finish the next chapter of JC before I started something new, but then the fake spoiler sent plot bunnies running through my head and before I knew it, this thing wrote itself.

At any rate, everything belongs to Oda, Toei Animation, and FUNimation. The fake spoiler that started all of this belongs to Arlong Park, those amazing, funny people!


The Grace of a Pirate

Prologue

Ace stood before Luffy who was just about ready to leave via the small boat which was headed to Shabaody Archipelago where Thousand Sunny and hopefully the rest of the Straw Hats waited. The Second Commander of Whitebeard's armada, his body heavily bandaged, put a warm hand on Luffy's shoulder.

"You'll be okay, right?" The young pirate asked gently.

The pirate captain just grinned widely in reply.

"Don't worry about me, Ace. I'm not gonna get lost with this guy navigating."

Bon Clay twirled by, beaming brightly at his young friend.

"That's not what I meant." Ace's freckled face was drawn with worry.

"I know. Don't worry, Ace. It's no problem. This doesn't change anything. I'm still gonna be King of the Pirates!"

Ace sighed with both annoyance and fondness of his brain-dead, big-hearted young sibling. He wrapped the pirate in an affectionate hug and whispered,

"You little idiot. Just be okay."

"I know."

As the small boat was dropped into the sea and began its journey to the Red Line, Ace couldn't help but watch until the boat along with its precious, troublesome cargo disappeared from view.

Ace leaned over the side of the Moby Dick, fists clenched as he muttered,

"Damn you Iva. It was hard enough worrying about him as a boy!"