Ace shivered violently as the wind and rain picked up outside the cave. It had been an hour since Luffy left. He stopped crying a while ago and was now debating whether or not he should head home yet. "Luffy was pretty mad… Maybe I should wait till morning to go home." Even now, though he was freezing, Ace couldn't help but think of his brother. "What could I have done to hurt him so badly… I wish I knew…" He sighed before giving a dry chuckle. "Heh, I guess I shoulda wore a shirt toady." He hugged his knees as he stared out into the rain as he continued to shiver.

Luffy was hungry. No, scratch that. He was starving. He hadn't eaten anything for the last three days; since the day he left the cave. He had tried to make pancakes the morning after he got home, but things had gone terribly wrong.

Luffy woke up and yawned, stretching his thin arms high into the sky. He threw his blankets off and scratched his stomach. He made his way to his door and down to the kitchen where he yawned again and took a seat at the table. "Ace, I'm hung–" He stopped in mid-sentence. 'Oh yeah, I'm still mad at Ace for what he did yesterday.' Luffy stood up and huffed. "That's okay, I don't need Ace to make me breakfast! I can make it on my own!" And with this, he proceeded to make himself pancakes. Of coarse, being Luffy, this simple task was turned into a war mission. He poured the mix and water into a bowl and mixed until the substance was the right consistency before pouring it into the pan. He left the pancake to cook about three minutes (putting some syrup on it too) before grabbing his metal spatula and trying to flip the piece of food. But as he tried to flip it, it wouldn't come off the pan. He frowned.

"It's stuck." He slid the spatula under the pancake and tugged up hard. Eventually, the pancake did come off the pan… but if flew up and stuck to the ceiling. And the spatula flew through the air and stuck into the wall next to the door. Luffy frowned even more at the pancake on the ceiling. "Well… I guess I'm not having pancakes this morning."

But that was three days ago. Now, there were seven syrup-covered pancakes stuck to multiple places on the ceiling and the silver metal spatula was forever embedded into the wall. Of course, this still didn't help the fact that Luffy was starving. And since he was too stubborn to go see Makino for food, he was left with nothing but a salad, one piece of meat (it was a big piece) and a few cans of spinach. He sat at the table kicking his feet and wondered what Ace was up to. He hadn't seen him since he left him in the cave. 'I wonder where he is…' Luffy wondered. 'He's probably with his girlfriend Lily.' Luffy scowled and stood up. He was gonna go outside and go to Makino's bar. His stomach was begging for food and he couldn't ignore it any longer. He put on his slippers and walked down the dirt path to the bar.

He wasn't even half way to his destination when he saw Lily walking toward him. He glared at her for a second before looking at the ground and shoving his hands into his pocket. Great, just what he needs. He wanted to curse, but he knew Ace wouldn't have liked that. She walked up to him, a concerned look on her face. "Luffy, have you seen Ace?"

"I thought he was with you." Luffy replied bitterly. She flinched.

"No, I haven't seen him for three days. I thought he was with you!" She walked off, looking around for Ace. Luffy stared at her as she walked away, shocked.

"Ace… is missing?" He could feel a tightening in his chest. Ace? Missing? But that's not like him! He wouldn't just disappear, right? 'Leave me alone! I hate you!" Luffy swallowed hard. "I was so mad at him… I hope he's alright. Maybe he's at the cave. Yeah, he's probably there." He quickly took off for the forest where the cave resided. He ran to the mouth of the cave and panted. "Ace! Ace, you here?" But there was no reply. His chest tightened more. "Maybe he's at Makino's." He quickly ran there and asked Makino.

"No, I haven't seen him for the last few days. I haven't seen you either. How've you been, anyway? Everything alright?"

"Everything's fine. I just couldn't find him at his training spot. Thanks Makino!" He then ran to Ace's training spot and once again found no one. Suddenly, he felt hand on his shoulder. He turned around quickly with relief. "A–"

"There you are, Luffy!" Courtney smiled. Luffy's relief quickly faded as he saw Lily's sister standing there instead of Ace. "I was wondering where you ran off to a few days ago! How are you?"

"I- I'm fine." He panted.

"That's good. I'm doing fine. So the other day I was thinking of you and I thought maybe that, hey are you even listening?" Luffy was looking around, ignoring Courtney completely. She huffed and set her hand on his shoulder. "Hey, why aren't you listening? I was saying that I think you're cute and that maybe–" Luffy shoved her hand off his shoulder and walked past her.

"I don't have time to listen to you. I have to go find my brother who's been missing for three days." She huffed once more and stomped her foot.

"Well with attitude like that, I hope you end up old and alone with no friends!" She stomped off and a thought came into Luffy's mind. 'I think I just might end up alone…' At this point, the panic finally settled in. The tightening in his chest became painful and he started to hyperventilate. 'What… what if Ace is gone? For forever… It would be all my fault! I would have caused the death of my brother! My brother… the one I…' Luffy choked back a cry and ran into the deep forest. "Ace… Ace! Ace, where are you! I'm sorry, please! I want you back! I want to see you again! Ace!" He pushed through branches, jumped over roots, cleared through spiderwebs until he was in the heart of the forest, lost and alone. He took in deep breaths and wiped away a tear on his cheek. "Ace… *hic* where are you… I *hic* need you…" He continued to walk in a random direction, calling out for his older brother.

He wasn't paying attention on where he was walking and tripped on a root. He fell forward and tumbled down a steep hill. He tumbled for what seemed like hours till he finally came to the bottom and laid there. And he laid there, thinking if this is what his older brother felt like when he couldn't find Luffy. Panicked, afraid, alone. He sat up and looked around to see where he was; if there was any way back to Makino's bar. It was at this point did he finally find Ace. He was face down on the ground, unmoving. "…Ace?"

Ah-ha! Another cliffhanger! Muahaha! Ah, I better stop with these. I'm terrible and always making them. Ain't I horrible? ;3 Well, hope you guys liked the update! I would have updated this a year ago, but I lost the freaking chapter and was to lazy to rewrite it. Hoped you guys kinda liked it! Thank you~!

The darkness I liveth, the darkness I love
~roo the vampre