Title: Lies and Bonds
Rating: PG
Word Count:
Pairing: Luffy/ Ace (Hinted slightly.)
Topic: None
Type: AU, Set in a fantasy realm of lost technology and knowledge.
Genre: General
Disclaimer: I don't own anything from One Piece. One Piece belongs to Eiichiro Oda.
VTM: This tiny bit was inspired by an RP idea I wanted to work with. But It never got off the ground. Yes, I get weird ideas.

The two stared at each other, the air was thick with tension. On one side was a devout pursuer of the lost arcane arts, dressed a dark, long robe like coat lined with a flame design. On the other was a child of mother earth dressed in somewhat tribal attire, a headdress with rams horns and designs painted onto his cheeks hiding a childhood scar.

The more civilized of the two was a little older, with freckles decorating his face, giving his a deceptively childish look. The usual playful smirk that was ever present was absent, replaced with a look of determination. He was just several feet away from his people's objective. Now the only thing standing in his way was the one he was forced to befriend.

For a moment Ace's thoughts drifted. It was part of a temporary treaty between their people, Ace was offered as a peace offering. Considered a sort of prodigy to his people, it was meant to be a symbol of trust. Though his real mission was the complete opposite, he was to gain the trust of the shaman boy in front of him and use him to get to their objective.

To find this place, the entrance of an archive left behind by the ancients. His people had been looking for it for years. The secret of its location was said to have been guarded by the Shaman tribe that Luffy was from. Both factions however had different opinions concerning the ways of the ancients. The children of the arcane believed it was controllable, while the Shaman tribe felt that the knowledge was best left alone. Neither could see eye to eye and this created suspicion and tension between the two.

Ace's mission was simple, gain the trust of the savage shaman, and look for clues on the whereabouts of the archives. Gaining the trust of Luffy wasn't too much of a challenge, but in the end Ace had still failed. He had let his feelings get in the way. Just days before they were friends...no, maybe something even more than that. But that didn't matter now, it couldn't matter now, he had to fulfill his duty. Even if it meant killing someone he had grown so fond of. It was then that Ace realized that he had been letting his mind wander. He shook his head, and took a deep breath.

"You're such a damned fool...You just don't get it do you?" Ace sneered at the young man before him. "It was all just a trick! I never cared about you in the least! You stupid savage and your precious 'nature magic'. Rot in Hell for all I care!" The words he spat out were laced with venomous hate, yet the younger raven haired boy simply stood and watched him unflinchingly. This was enough to unnerve the freckled arcane user. "Just what the hell is wrong with you! Say something!"

Luffy stood in silence for a moment longer. He then closed his eyes, gave a sigh, and let a slight smile spread across his lips. "You've gotten almost as bad at lying as I am."

"What...?" Ace felt his heart nearly skip a beat.

Luffy smiled. "You're trembling, you're trying to hide it, but it's there."

"Trembling...?" It was then that Ace noticed that he really was trembling, he could feel his resolve weakening. He didn't want to do this, they survived this journey together, they had found this place together. Maybe, if he just talked some sense into the kid, maybe he could see his side of things, why he and his people needed this. But no, Ace knew better than that, he knew just how stubborn Luffy was. This was how it had to be. "Ha! You...You ignorant sava-"

"There it was again..." Luffy pointed out, he then gave a reassuring smile. "We don't have to fight Ace." He then held out his hand to Ace. "Come on, come back with me. We were both happy then, right?"

Ace looked at the offered hand, he wanted to take it. He wanted to take it and go with Luffy, he wanted to forget about the lies, the nonsense of this obsession. But he couldn't do that, could he?

-The End-