Title: Sunflowers and Embers
Rating: PG
Word Count: 2016
Pairing: (slight) Robin x Sol(OC), Luffy x Ace (if you squint)
Topic: none
Type: OPAU (setting, some point in the timeline of A Little Pirate At Heart upcoming story 'Redlovely')
Genre: Humor, slight romance
Disclaimer: I don't own anything from One Piece.
VTM: Hello, this is a fic dedicated to one of my friends, A Little Pirate At Heart. Be warned, I am severely out of practice, so this is not my best work. This fic also has a couple firsts for me, so I can only hope that it's decent. This fic contains my friend's OC, Sol, I'm not used to writing for her, so I just hope I did a decent job. I hope that you enjoy it, A Little Pirate At Heart (please don't kill me). It's show time!

"NOT SMALL!"

"Midget! Pygmy! Gnome~!" Ace sang in a childish tone as he moved and dodged oncoming attacks.

Robin smiled a little as she watched this scene play out before her. She was seated on the deck of the Sunny trying to enjoy a book and a nice cup of tea. However, focusing on books had been a little difficult as of late. What was the cause? It was the vertically challenged young woman that was chasing after Portgas D. Ace. ' Mia Querida Sol', a lively, free-spirited girl and aspiring treasure salvager from the archipelago Tzolk'in. Robin gave a small chuckle, things had definitely become even more lively with her on board, especially when her and Ace got into these silly arguments. It was amusing to say the least to watch the squabbles of the salvager and her captain's 'big brother'.

"I'm not small! You're just overly large!" Sol shouted.

Ace laughed. "Well, I don't like to brag, but I guess you would know that wouldn't you?" His voice was laced with a mischievous tone. Soon a triumphant grin spread across his face.

Sol gave a confused blink, she canted her head to the side as she though over what he meant by that. It wasn't too long before her eyes widened in realization. Her shocked look quickly turned into a pouty frown. "Pendejo!"

THWACK!

"Son of a-!" Ace shouted as he fell over, nursing his aching shin.

Sol stomped off in a huff, she sat by Robin, looking almost like an angry kitten. "Bonerbrain..."

Robin gave a small laugh. "My, my...You really gave him a good one that time. And I believe the term is 'bone head'..."

Sol blushed deeply, realizing her mistake.

Sol and her kicks had become rather notorious on the Sunny, if you made that girl mad enough she would send a ruthless kick to your shin(or sometimes somewhere else worse if you were a man). One could say that it was a crude, but rather effective way of bringing people down to her level.

Sol frowned as she watched Ace writhe on the deck of the Sunny, biting back curse words. "He keeps calling me 'small'. He knows I hate that..." The two had been an item for a little while now, however, as one could probably tell, sometimes it just wasn't easy putting up with a 'D.'.

Robin gave a warm smile and a small laugh. "It's not that bad being small, is it? I find it rather adorable."

Sol gave a confused blink. She wasn't sure just what to think of that, but at the same time she felt a little flattered. "You think being small is cute?" She pursed her lips in a small pout. "That's easy for you to say. You're tall and really pretty."

Robin still smiled. "That's nice of you to say, but you shouldn't be so hard on yourself, Sol. Are you small? Yes."

Sol's pout became more stubborn, she shifted her eyes away from the older woman.

"But you also make being small look good." Robin continued.

Sol blushed slightly, her eyes were cast upon the deck as a small smile started to form on her lips. She tried to hide it a little, though she wasn't sure why. She always liked hanging out with Robin, there was something about her that Sol admired about the woman. She was pretty, quiet, but also strong as well. If Sol ever had a sister, she'd want it to be Robin.

"Is there a little more than simply being short that's bothering you?" Robin asked.

Sol looked thoughtful, she soon gave a shrug. "I don't know what you could mean..."

"Well, perhaps you feel a little insecure? Being the shortest here, you might subconsciously feel that you have to prove yourself to everyone else."

"Hmm...When you say it like that...I guess that does bother me too." Sol looked thoughtful as she spoke. "I don't like being underestimated..."

"You don't have to be tall not be underestimated." Robin reached out and lightly poked Sol on the forehead. "As long as you use this..." She then lightly traced her finger from Sol's fore head to along her cheek, down her neck, and rested it gently the girl's chest, just above her heart. "And this...You can turn that weakness against people, and make them sorry they ever thought such things of you.

Sol could feel goose bumps rise from her skin from Robin's touches, she was noticeably blushing now. She then quickly tried to break the silence. "How do you know that kind of thing really works?"

Robin smiled and looked at her captain, who was poking his fallen brother. "I have seen it firsthand plenty of times."

"Na, Ace...Wake up..." Luffy said as he continued to poke him, progressively poking him harder. "Oi, oi, oi, oi, o-"

Ace suddenly sat up and snapped at Luffy. "Would you knock that off!" He gave an irritated sigh as he rubbed his sore shin. "It's not my fault she keeps setting herself up for that joke."

"You're no better either though, you keep getting kicked!" Luffy couldn't help but laugh. "Ne, well at least she didn't kick you in your 'no no square' this time."

"That's for GIRLS Luffy!" Ace said as he face went a deep shade of red. Just how the hell could the kid mix something like THAT up? As a matter of fact just where the hell did he even learn that anyway?

Luffy burst out laughing even harder at the older 'D.'. "Oops, sorry, Ace. But you have to admit, it's surprising everything is intact after that last time she kicked you there."

"You god damned moron! You can't lose your...'vital parts' from something like that!" Ace said as he poked Luffy in the forehead, trying to emphasize to the younger boy to use his head. " Just where the hell would you get that kind of idea?"

Luffy grinned and coaxed Ace to lean in closer. When Ace did he then proceeded to whisper to him the story of just how Robin 'persuaded' Franky to join their crew.

Ace's face went noticeably pale as he quickly stole a glance of the woman who was talking to Sol. Deep down he prayed that Robin was not giving her any ideas. "Geeze Luffy, what kind of messed up crew mates do you have?" Ace said as he pulled away when Luffy finished his story.

"Only the best." Luffy said bluntly.

Ace sighed and shook his head. "In your dreams, kid...Whitebeard's crew is the best."

"Nuh uh.."

"Uh-huh!"

"Nope! Mine's the best."

"No! Whitebeard's is!"

"No."

"Yes!"

"Nope~!"

"Yes!"

"Join my crew?"

"YES!" Ace suddenly froze after it finally clicked in his head as to what just happened. "Okay, that does NOT count in any way shape or form! What the hell was that, Luffy?"

Luffy pointed at himself. "Pirate~!" He then stuck his tongue out his big brother.

Ace's eyebrow twitched, it was hard to admit, but that was pretty clever. He had to admit the kid was really growing up fast. He wasn't the same crybaby little kid he first met all those years ago. Yet there was still that certain 'Luffy-ness' that he loved that was still ever present, it was comforting. It was nice to see that some things hadn't changed in these now rapidly changing times. "Yes, you are a pirate..." Ace said with a smile.

"Ne, you know what we should do when we get to the next island? We should go camping...Or maybe fishing...Just like old times, huh?" Luffy said excitedly. It was a nice thought of getting to spend some time with Ace, especially with all the chaos that has been going on.

"Well, maybe..." Ace unsurely.

"Oh...I guess you already had plans?" Luffy said with a pout, he cast his eyes elsewhere.

"Well, I was thinking of trying to making up with Sol." Ace said as he scratched the back of his head. "I think I really pissed her off this time."

"You were just playing around...You'd do that stuff to me all the time." Luffy said as he gave a shrug.

"Yeah, well you're a little different." Ace tried to explain. Sometimes he really wondered about this kid, he never really had any expectations that Luffy would ever understand women. Hell, Ace himself didn't really understand them either.

"So? You are too." The younger D. then stuck out his tongue at the older boy. "Nyaaaah~!"

Ace shook his head and tried to fight the urge to smile, but he soon lost that battle. "You little goof..."

Luffy gave a mischievous grin. "Then I guess that makes you a big goof. Or 'overly large'." he continued with a laugh.

"Oh hush..." Ace reached up and flipped Luffy's hat right off his head, he smiled as he watched the younger boy scramble to get it back. He looked back at Robin and Sol talking, his own mind starting to drift as he was thinking about their time together. Sure, it's been fun, but was it really something that was going to last? Is it love? Or just infatuation? Even to people his age the concepts of 'love', 'lust', and 'infatuation' were incredibly blurred by hormones and the naivety of youth. Hell, there are people that go through out their entire lives without finding out just what things like 'love' really are. So what was it that he and Sol had? All this thinking made Ace's stomach churn .

"Rawr!" Luffy suddenly pounced on the older D. in revenge for disrespecting his precious hat.

Ace found himself giving Luffy an unwilling piggy back ride as he tried to get the kid off his back. No such luck though, Luffy had his legs coiled around Ace's waist and wasn't planning on going anywhere.

"Whoo! Ride him, Luffy!" called out one of the little monkey's crew mates.

Ace finally let himself tumble to the ground and wrestled with Luffy.

Sol watched this with Robin, she gave a small frown. "He better not hurt him..."

"You mean Ace? I haven't known him as long as most of the crew, but don't think he really would." Robin said with a small smile. "They may play rough, but I get the feeling that they care for each other very much."

"Enough to tie his rubbery brother's arms into a bow?" Sol said as she started to laugh.

Robin gave a nod. "Why yes, I believe so."

Luffy struggled to try to loosen his arms from the bow Ace made out of them.

Ace sat next to him admiring his handy work. Deep down he was thankful for that distraction, thinking too much usually gave him headaches. Though, maybe there was more to it than that, eventually, Ace was going to have to face those questions again, but for now he just wanted to have his fun.

Luffy fell back and gave a sigh. "Ace...I'm stuck...Like REALLY stuck..."

Ace looked at the younger boy and smirked. "Heh, fine..." He then reached over and started to try to untangle the rubbery mess that was his brother. His cocky smirk soon died after struggling with the knot for a couple minutes. "Um...Lu...I don't think I can fix this."

"WHAT! ARE YOU SERIOUS!"

Sol gave a sigh as she watched the two panic.

Robin smiled and started to get up. "I'm going to head to the galley and see if Sanji can make some more tea, what to join me? I'd like to hear about some of your adventures."

Sol smiled and gave a nod. She got up and walked with Robin, she took a moment, paused, and looked at Ace. "Hey..."

Ace looked back at her curiously, did she forgive him that quickly?

"Okay, I might be a little small, but I am one cute little Latina..." Sol began.

"Well yeah bu-"

"That you won't be getting wicked with for a good while, Mr. 'Overly Large'." With that she gave an impish smile and happily followed after Robin. Ah yes, triumph was sweet.

Ace stood there dumbfounded for a moment. "H-huh!"

"Oi...does this mean we can have fun then?" Luffy said with a blink.

-The End-

VTM: I think I could hear the rust on my fingers as I typed this out...For those who don't know, A Little Pirate At Heart is the writer of the fic 'The Minutes to Midnight'. I highly recommend her work. With that out of the way I hope that you have enjoyed the show. *bows as the curtain closes*