Luffy Comes to Visit
It had been a few weeks since landing himself on Whitebeard's ship. Ace was still trying to kill the old man every so often but he would be shot back with a bloody nose every time. He was starting to miss his crew and the life he was living before, not this crazy life where the man he wanted to kill was calling him 'son'. No matter what Ace would not consider them his family, he only trusted one person like that.
The ship's first and fourth division commander had been trying to get close to Ace relentlessly so by now he just went along with it. Their conversations consisted mostly of Thatch and Marco talking with occasionally including Ace.
The Moby Dick was sailing along the Grand Line and they were nearing an island. He couldn't wait to get off and walk around. It had been a while since they got to their last island and even then, Ace had just gotten his ass beat and couldn't get off the ship.
After docking the ship a few crewmembers including him got off the ship to walk around town. Thatch went with him as he made his way into town. It was a quiet town for being on the Grand line . A few people walked on streets and men were coming out of the bars drunk even though it was only noon. His mood was sour and the man walking with him picked up on it.
"So Ace, what are you going to do now?"
"What do you mean?" Ace's scowl never once left his face.
"I mean are you going to try to get along with the ship or start a new life?" The question struck Ace hard and he stopped mid step to think it over.
"Well for now I'm gonna start collecting bounties, maybe get myself enough money to get my ship and crew back. Is there a list of bounties here?"
Thatch was a bit disappointed with the decision Ace had made but led him towards the nearest bar anyway. Inside there was a bunch of rugged looking men getting drunk in the afternoon. A few shot glances at the walking bounty but their friends were quick to whisper something in their ear to stop them.
On the far end of the room was a wooden bulletin board with wanted posters nailed over every inch. Ace made his way to them and started shuffling through them. Thatch came up beside him and started to help.
"So whatcha lookin for?" he tried picking out a few high bounties. Ace on the other hand was throwing away ones that were crossed out.
"Give me anything that's high. I've barely looked at a newspaper for 2 years so you have a better chance at telling me what's the best one." Every so often Thatch found and stuffed a few bounties in his pockets but then he noticed the poster of one pirate in particular. It took it off its nail and looked to the bounty. Unfortunately, the bottom was missing so he couldn't read the price but he was sure that he had heard this name before, and not in a good way. In fact he had heard Whitebeard talk about him once.
"Hey Ace, take a look at this. His price is missing but I've been hearing around that he's pretty high up there and the wanted list." Ace looked towards him and down to the paper before taking it quickly. Thatch noticed how Ace looked a bit…shocked? His face lightened after a bit and he saw a joyous smile coming up, which was rare.
Ace noticed Thatch looking at him and returned back to normal. He lifted the paper to his companion and with a serious face asked him a few questions.
"What do you know about him? Tell me everything." Thatch was a bit taken aback with Ace's sudden order but complied.
"Don't know much of the facts but I heard he's some big time rookie who's been throwing the world government through some loops recently. That's probably gotten him a big bounty by now." Ace stood there holding the poster waiting for more answers.
"What else." What was this poster and Ace? Thatch didn't have a clue but indulged in whatever Ace was planning.
"The rest of what I know are just rumors if you still wanna know." Ace nodded. "Well people say he's some nutjob captain, but incredibly strong, strong enough to take out TWO warlords and go right after the government. However, I also heard he's kind of cute kid with a nice body." Thatch said that last part with a bit of a perverted grin but Ace had the completely opposite reaction.
Grabbing him by the collar, Ace hissed at Thatch. "Watch what you say if you don't wanna die." The look in his eyes said that he was telling the truth. He had hit a nerve, a big one. Did Ace know him or something?
"Whoa there, calm down. Didn't mean anything by it. Let's just get your posters and get out here before we get some unwanted attention." Ace finally looked around at the surrounding eyes watching them closely. He put down Thatch and made his way out of the bar. He still had the wanted poster in his vice grip. Thatch followed after him and led the way back to the ship.
Their walk back to ship was silent and Thatch could still sense a bit of an aura around Ace. Just then he remembered something about the poster. Thatch knew he should drop the subject but couldn't help be curious to see how the teenager would react to the news.
"Y'know that kid on that wanted poster? Whitebeard seemed pretty interested in him a few days ago. We might actually end up running into him sooner or later. The old man might even try and take him in like you."
Ace snickered quietly but loud enough for Thatch to hear him. Ace apparently found that statement amusing. He kept walking but now with a frightening grin. "Good luck with that, but you'd probably end up failing miserably." Thatch pretended not to hear that last part as they made their way up the ship.
He was sure of it by now, Ace knew this rookie. How? He didn't have a clue.