Title: Lifeline
Rating: R
Word Count: 4147
Pairing: Ace x Luffy
Topic: Forbidden
Type: Challenge, AU, 1950's setting
Genre: Romance, Angst
Disclaimer: I don't own anything from One Piece.
VTM: A revamped older fic of mine.


"Alright all you guys and gals let's see you all dance and jive!"

A small group of boys were performing under a tree across the street from a local diner.

With some quick some and slick movement from his fingers Portgas D. Ace made his guitar sing. He was a handsome young man, with childish freckles dotting his face, mischievous grey eyes, and shoulder length raven hair that was tied back. He was clad in a leather jacket and jeans, usual of a rebellious youth, it was different of the clean cut look of the poodle skirt sporting girls and the jock boys.

The crowd in the parking lot began to cheer and dance as the group sang and played that rock n' roll that would frighten their parents. With a sway of hips that would make Elvis proud they earned a few squeals from the girls in the crowd that was starting to gather. Now and then some of 'Newgate's boys' would get together and give sudden unexpected little performances, each time it was a hit, and each time they'd get chased off by some angry parent or some goody-goody high school golden boy. Speaking of which...

"How dare you play that garbage here! And the gall of you moving about like that like some...some gigolo! Have you no shame! Get out of here, you cheeky little tramp!"

Right on cue, Ace then dodged the swinging purse of some angry mother, figuring they caused enough trouble for one day, Ace and the others started to head off, much to the disappointment of the crowd. Ace laughed to himself as he left, it was fun to stir things up now and then in this dead beat town.

Ace made his way to a local car repair shop that was owned by a respected man named Edward Newgate. The old man was good enough to give Ace a job there, Newgate and his boys were like a father and big brothers to him. Upon walking into the repair shop's back door he had an oil rag tossed at his face.

"You're fifteen minutes late, we need your help with a tacky, chrome-plated jalopy." said a tall, tan skinned blonde haired man, not too much older than Ace. "You guys need to stop causing so much trouble, we've been getting complaints."

"Don't be such a square, Marco." Ace said as he tossed the rag aside. He gave a smirk when he saw Marco frown at him. "Sorry, I'll get right on it." He then headed off into the locker room to get dressed into his work outfit and to have a quick smoke before he started work. He took out a pack of cigarettes, took one out and placed it in his mouth, as he took out his lighter and lit it he thought he could feel a pair of eyes on him. Ace took a quick glance around, he wasn't really supposed to be smoking in the building. He didn't see anyone, so he then took a drag and started to unlock his locker. Just as Ace was opening the door a fist pounded against it and shut it again. Ace looked to his side and gave an irritated look to the offending coworker.

"Ha! Caught you red handed, you little sneak!" Thatch said with a smirk. "Marco would have a cow if he caught you smoking in here again." He was your typical greaser, sporting bleached hair that was styled in a very fashionable way. Or so he thought, at least. Some of his coworkers wondered if that rule want so that his hair wouldn't randomly combust from all the grease he use to keep it that way.

Ace gave a slight pout. "Ah, what Marco doesn't know won't hurt him..."

"Heh, what if I say something?" Thatch said with a cheeky tone.

Ace grabbed Thatch by the shirt."Get bent, you greasy haired freak." It was more playful if anything, he was used to Thatch's antics, though there were times the guy would get on his nerves.

Thatch threw up his hands in mock surrender. "Hey, hey, I was just kidding!" He then gave a cheesy grin to the freckle faced teen as Ace let him go. "So are you going to catch a flick at the passion pit with a cutie, or what? The boys and me were going to head there tonight, come on, it'll be fun."

Ace puffed on his cigarette, he looked a little annoyed at the question. "Can't got something I'm doing tonight."

"Oh?" Thatch grinned again. Rumors had been going around that Ace was into some cutie. No one saw Ace with a girl in public, but his attitude when ever asked about it was proof enough that something was going on. "Going out with your 'mystery sweetheart', eh? You're even going to blow off me and the boys? She must have you wrapped around her little finger."

Ace sighed, this was the last thing he needed. "Would you just butt out?"

"Fat chance!" Thatch said with a laugh."Come on, spill the beans, who is it? You can't blame me for wanting to know. I've rarely seen you give any of the girls at school a second look. Yet you have a bit of a following going for you. All you have to do is give them a look or play that stupid guitar of yours."

Ace then blew smoke in his friend's face, he didn't look too amused. "It's not stupid, it's what I do, you cube. And maybe I'm just not interested in them."

Thatch coughed a little and fanned the smoke away. "Geeze, I really don't get you sometimes. What's there not to like? Me, I'm going with this cute little paper shaker from Impel High, she seems to be into something kinky, if you know what I mean?"

Ace rolled his eyes. "That's fine if you're into that kind of thing. Though, I'm going to warn you, I've getting a bad feeling from that, knowing you."

Thatch, laughed. "Oh come on, what could happen?"

Ace gave him a blank look. Was he serious? Thatch had a bad reputation for strange mishaps when it came to dating. Rumors of the strange and unsavory happening to that poor little horn dog. "Sure, you keep thinking that. Just don't come crying to me when your handcuffed to heater in a cheap motel...Again."

Thatch blushed a little. "Oh come on, that only happened onc-"

Ace cut him off. "Five times. Marc and I had to pick you up, so don't give me any of that hooey."

Right then Thatch felt it appropriate to change the subject. "So when are you going to introduce this dolly to me and the boys?" he asked as he wrapped and arm around Ace's shoulder. "We've been all taking bets on what girl got your attention. Some of the boys are thinking it's a girl from another school, but Marco thinks it's probably an older dame."

"A what?" Ace blushed a little from the embarrassment. Bets? Older women? These guys needed to get a life. "You twit! I said it's none of your business!"

"Huh? Why are you a wet rag all of a sudden?" Thatch said with a sly smirk. It was a little fun to see Ace a little flustered like this. Though, it also served to fuel his curiosity even more, just what kind of girl could it be to get Ace this worked up? "...Is it really an older woman? Is she married? That's some serious stuff there, man..."

Ace threw his cigarette on the ground, stomped on it, and ground it out. "No, it's nothing like that. All I'm saying is, that it's not anyone's business who I'm with! So stop asking and no more god damned bets! I'm not going to meet up with you guys at the drive in either, so don't go looking for me."

"Sheesh, that's no fun. But if you're sure, then fine, it's your loss." Thatch then smirked. "She must really be a hot date if you're willing to blow the boys off to be alone with her." He then proceeded to wrap his arms around himself and make kissy noises. "Oh~! Ace~! Please be gentle~!"

Soon, the entire shop heard Thatch's screams.


That Night, the drive in theater was mostly packed. Everywhere you looked you could see that most of the people there were in couples and not really paying much attention to the movie that was playing. Now and then you could hear the sounds of 'young love' as some would call it.

'Slllllllllllluuuuuuuuuuuuurp!" Luffy sucked on the straw of his extra large soda loudly, his big blue eyes fixed on the movie that was playing. He then snatched a handful of popcorn and shoved the buttery little bits into his mouth. "Mrff mmmth..." he tried to speak, sending bits of popcorn everywhere. He then received a small smack on the back of the head.

"Oi, don't try to talk with your mouth full, you blockhead." Ace said with an irritated sigh. He tried to concentrate on the movie, though 'Attack of the 50ft Reindeer Man' wasn't exactly captivating material. Ace bit his lip, trying to keep his mind from wandering off into unneeded territory. Yet he couldn't keep his eyes from wandering around, stealing envious looks from a few of the other couples sucking face and doing other sinful deeds. Ace then stole a glance at the younger teen next to him. His 'little brother', not by blood, but by promise. He soon found himself watching the little spaz as he ate away, stuffing his own face like a little chipmunk. Though he wouldn't dare say out loud that he thought that the kid oddly looked cute eating like that. This was ridiculous, Portgas D. Ace, local trouble maker and heart breaker, had his own heart captured by this little twerp.

Luffy began to laugh. "Hey, I can see the zipper on that guy's costume!"

"Shh! Lu, don't be so damned loud!" Ace gave a quick look around to make sure no one was staring at them. He then gave a small sigh after seeing that they hadn't caught any attention. He could only imagine the embarrassment and the explaining he'd have to do if someone like Thatch caught them here like this. Imagining that smug look and the teasing that would follow was enough to remind Ace just why he thought this was a bad idea. "Oi, Lu, this movie stinks, what do you say we cut out?"

"Aww, come on, Ace." Luffy pouted slightly, he was actually enjoying himself. "I think it's funny." He didn't want to go home yet, him and Ace didn't get too many chances to hang out like this.

"Yeah, well, I kind of wanted to go somewhere a little more 'private', you know what I'm saying?" There was a hinting tone in Ace's voice.

"Oh, I see, sure!" Luffy gave a cheeky grin. "You want to try to get wicked with me."

Ace frowned, his face became slightly red from embarrassment. "Do you have to be so damned loud?" He then started the car and started to pull out of their parking spot. He drove for a good fifteen minutes from the drive in theater, their drive took them to a more secluded place just on the outskirts of town, a kind of 'lovers lane' for the local teenagers. Ace parked the car in a nice wooded area, it was near the entrance of a forest preserve, the moon was high in the sky and was in the boys' view.

"Shi, shi, shi...I like this spot." Luffy said with a grin. He then looked at the freckled teen and moved a little closer.

Ace, he gave a small sigh as a familiar uneasiness started to creep up on him. He took out his pack of cigarettes, he could hear a small grumble from Luffy as he put one between his lips and lit it. Ace felt a little relieved that the smoke seemed to repel Luffy a little. He gave a slight laugh at the disgusted look on kid's face. "Is there a problem?"

"Why do you like those things? They smell gross..." Luffy said as he made an exaggerated face to emphasize the point.

"Hmph, I guess you're still too much of a kid then." Ace said with a slightly cocky tone. Right then Luffy then scooted over to Ace, plucked the cigarette out of his lips and tossed it out of the window. "Hey! What was that for!"

Luffy then took Ace's mouth is a kiss, he was such a bold kid, too bold even, but Ace let him do as he pleased. It was a feature that he admired about Luffy, that boldness and ability to do as he felt like without worrying about what others thought. Luffy was always Luffy.

Ace did plenty of things to try and make himself feel alive, smoking, getting piss drunk with his friends, learning to play the guitar, and how to sing. But Luffy, he was always honest with himself and the world, true he would be shunned now and then, and yet that kid still gained supporting friends. There was something about him that was addicting, like sweets, alluring, like a torch in the dark. Ever since they were kids it was always like that.

Ace could remember when they were little, he was forced to move in with a friend of his no good criminal of a father, the very guy that caught him no less. Ace was a troubled kid to say the least, he would pick fights with bigger people, he'd steal, play with fire, and mouth off to just about anyone. He secretly had a death wish, he often felt that he had no right to exist in this world. He blamed himself for the death of his mother and blamed his no good father for the bad reputation that followed the family name 'Gol'. Yet when most gave up on him, Luffy kept pursuing him, pestering him, reaching out to him. Somehow, the kid finally broke him, Ace started to accept the attention that Luffy so willingly gave, reluctantly at first, but little by little he started to love it and need it. That kid managed to chip away at the shell Ace built for himself.

"H-hey..." Ace said as he broke their kiss, he looked up at Luffy unsurely. He was different from his usual smartass persona. Ace was more vulnerable at this point. He opened his mouth to ask something, but no words would come out.

"Shi, shi, shi! I love you and I'm glad you are alive." Luffy then kissed Ace on the forehead.

Ace blushed deeply, it was something he secretly loved to hear. Knowing that he was special to someone, that someone wanted him to live and be happy. Ace looked away from Luffy with a slight stubbornness. To think, a guy like him, feeling bashful in a situation like this, blushing like some damn virgin bride about to have her first time. He was far from a virgin though, but not one of those times felt like it did when him and Luffy were together like this. It was one of the things that made him feel alive.

At times it was even scary, just how this kid would just know you inside and out. He was so deceptively innocent. It was still a little embarrassing for Ace to be seen like this. It was like being stripped naked, letting all the world see the ugly truth about you. This blushing fool was just another part of Ace.

Suddenly his breath hitched in his throat, Ace gave a small groan when he felt Luffy paw at his groin, his hips twitched, wanting to feel even more. "U..ugh..." Ace's face flushed as Luffy continued, getting a little rougher. He then grabbed Luffy by the front of the shirt and pulled him in closer. There was a frown on his face, like he was thinking about beating the brat up, but the frown softened and he moved in to kiss Luffy, but at last minute he pulled away, and looked very embarrassed. Just how the Hell did things get like this? He then looked back at Luffy with an unsure look painted across his face.

"Shi, shi, shi! It's okay, big brother." Luffy said with that stupid grin of his.

Ace frowned and blushed a little. "Don't call me 'big brother' right now, this is already weird enough, you know?" he said as he tried to avoid eye contact with Luffy. When it came to sex, they never really got that far, Ace would usually chicken out at last minute.

Luffy then pressed their lips together, without another thought of the 'oddness' of their situation.

Ace flinched at first, his body tensed a little, but he began to relax as they went on with their kiss. He wrapped his arms around Luffy and pulled him closer. Ace gave a small moan as he felt himself start to get hard. His hands traveled to Luffy's hips and pressed them down against his, he shivered as they grinded together. He broken the kiss to catch his breath and gave a shaky sigh as Luffy continued to move his body against Ace's. "A-Ahh...Lu...!" He could feel his growing erection throb in his pants, he kissed Luffy again, this time a little more desperately.

Right then the sound of footsteps could be heard not too far from the car. Ace froze, looking like a deer caught in headlights, he then pushed Luffy off of him.

"Ow! Ace! what was that for!"

"Shh!" Ace said in a harsh whisper. "Someone's out there..." Right then a flashlight was shined right in Ace's face, blinding him for a moment.

"What the hell are you hooligans doing out here this damned late?" It was a cop, one Ace knew pretty well, the guy's name was 'Smoker'. He was a strict guy, maybe in his later thirties, he always had a stern look plastered on his face and his hair was a premature grey which made him seem much older than he actually was. "Oh, it you brats again...Out here for one of your 'talks'?" He had caught them in the area on more than one occasion. Smoker seemed to have an idea of what was going on, but said nothing or made no move to reprimand them or threaten to tell their Grandfather about it.

"Yes officer..." Ace said, his face was still a little flush.

"Well, go on home, the park is closed, next time you get caught it might not be by me, you got it?"

Ace gave a nod, understanding what Smoker was hinting at. He then started up the car and pulled out to leave.

"Why do you always get so jumpy anyway?" Luffy asked with a slight pout as they left.

"Because this isn't normal, you oddball! Guys don't take their 'little brothers' on dates!" Ace sounded irritated and disappointed. He noticed Luffy started to look uncomfortable. "...I'm sorry. You're not an oddball...I'm just a little scared, that's all."

"You? Scared? Why?" Luffy looked a little surprised, Ace was never afraid of anything, even when they were kids Ace was always tough and never backed down to anyone. Even when they were outnumbered by bullies, Ace would be there ready to take them all on. It was something he admired, he wanted to be brave and strong too. Little was Luffy aware though, that Ace admired him for those exact same qualities.

"Because...Sometimes guys that 'like' other guys get hurt, you know? It's 'not right'..." Ace said it a barely over a whisper, almost like it was some terrible secret. "I just...I just don't want anything to happen to you." He was blushing a little now, he hated sounding so damned helpless. He felt guilty, knowing what happens to guys like them, and yet still he keeps doing this stuff with Luffy. He had considered breaking it off between them, maybe even try to scare the kid off, but he knew Luffy would be able to see through that kind of act.

"Shi, shi, shi, shi...It's okay, Ace, I get it." Luffy said with a smile. "I'm happy though...Even if we have to keep this our little secret." He looked out the window and watched the scenery zoom past them as they drove out of the woods and headed back into town.

When they had got home they had to sneak inside, it was late, and if they had woken up gramps there would've been hell to pay. Luffy flopped onto his bed, what a tiring and disappointing night.

Ace stood in the doorway of his room, he felt a little guilty, he chickened out again. Though the kid put up a good front Ace could tell that Luffy was probably getting a little annoyed at their situation too. He was still a klutz of a kid, but at his age he had needs too. Ace walked into the room, shut the door behind him, went over to Luffy's bed and lied next to him, he reached over and began running his fingers through the younger boy's hair. "I'm sorry."

Luffy looked at him and gave a smile. "It's alright, I know..." He then snuggled a little closer to the freckled teen and gave a sigh.

Ace suddenly looked at Luffy, there was a slight look of guilt on his face. "Lu, why do you put up with me?"

"Na? Hmm, good question." Luffy joked. "You've always been there for me, so I want to be there for you too. You're my friend, my 'brother', and well, even more than that."

Luffy then sat up and moved over so that he was now straddling Ace's waist.

Ace moved his hands and rested them on Luffy's hips, helping his keep balance. He could see a certain glint in Luffy's eye, giving away just what the younger teen was thinking. "We're going to have to be quiet, you know...Gramps will have both our hides if he caught us."

"I know." Luffy then leaned in and kissed Ace on the forehead.

"Somehow, I don't feel so reassured." Ace said while trying not to laugh. "I've been known to...make some toes curl, if you catch my drift."

"Yeah, I know, that's why I'm going to be on top." Luffy said with a grin.

"Wait, what?"

-The End-

VTM: And I'm cutting it off there. Why? Cause I'm a bitch. :3 I took out the smut bit this time because it didn't seem to fit this time around. I do hope that you enjoyed this anyway, thank you for reading.