I DO NOT OWN ONE PIECE
Two years after the Summit War of Marineford, the Strawhat Pirates were finally able to meet up with each other after their intensive training.
Luffy had grown quite a deal ever since then. The more physical traits could be seen on his body whereby he had developed a lot more muscles than before and a broader shoulder. He was still skinny now but it was on a much normal level compared to before he had started off with his insensitive training. Of course, his fighting skills had leveled up a whole lot ever since whereby it could be seen that he wasn't just fighting on an impromptu.
Other than the physical traits, his eyes had lost most of the childishness and naivety that he had once held. Due to the loss of Ace, he had definitely grown a lot more stronger and less oblivious towards the darker side of things. However, his carefreeness and friendliness still remained as a part of his personality. Only that whenever he cracked jokes and whatnots, it would seemed as though he was doing it consciously.
But not many would be able to tell.
After barely managing to escape from the marines stationed at Sabaody Archipelago with the help of some of their old friends, they finally managed to set out to sea but only being stopped by the navy ships that were coming in their way to stop them. But before one could even approach near the Thousand Sunny, Boa Hancock intervened with her own ship in order to allow the gang to escape.
But they could only manage to get so far.
"There are marines coming from the other side as well!" Usopp announced.
"Drats. Is there any way to avoid those shitty bastards?" Sanji cursed and tossed his cigarette onto the ground to step on it in aggravation. "How persistent. Looks like we have to deal with them personally before we can proceed."
Before any of them could formulate their impromptu plans, another ship intervened the Navy's as well. Luffy could definitely recognize which pirate gang did the ship belonged to. Heck, he was sure that he would never forget the flag blowing along with the wind in pride as it approached it's enemies' demise.
"Don't let the Navy come any closer to the Strawhat Pirates! Attack!"
"Macho!" Luffy shouted out happily.
"It's Marco, yoi!" Was the irritated response Luffy received for getting his name wrong.
Everyone looked on as Whitebeard's ship sunk the Navy's ships one by one in fascination. They knew that they had talented crews onboard but they were not actually afraid of sinking the Marine ships. In fact, they were serious about sinking them!
Suddenly, one of the Marine's ship had burst into flames and a silhouette could be seen in the distance.
Luffy's eyes grew wider in disbelief when the image had became clearer to him. No-it couldn't be. It couldn't possibly be him. Luffy had been sure that he wouldn't be able to see him again but there he was in front of him unless Luffy must be seeing things. Even the rest of his crew members, except for Franky, Robin and Brooks, had their mouth hung open when they had realized who was the one who had landed on Whitebeard's ship after the flaming damage had been done.
Soon, many more ships belonging to their current Captain, Marco, had arrived to aid the attack while the main ship sailed itself towards the Thousand Sunny. It seemed as though time had stopped for the most of them as the cogs was turning in their heads and trying to assure themselves that what they were seeing was nothing like a ghost. After reading the news on the battle in Marineford, it was kind of difficult to see someone who was reported dead smiling at them with a smile they all knew very well.
"Yo," Ace greeted and hopped onto the deck of Thousand Sunny when Marco's ship came near enough. "In case you're wondering, some friend of yours named Law patched me up after you had left. I was planning to look for you but he told me that it would be impossible to find out where you were."
Of course he wouldn't, Sanji grumbled in his mind.
"A-Ace… I-Is it really…" Luffy found himself stuttering as he looked at his grinning brother with wide, teary-almost teary eyes.
"Ah," Ace responded with a grin. "Looks like I am able to watch my little brother to become the Pirate King after all. Since pops is… not around anymore. I have decided to help you out instead and of course, my crew supported me and brought me here. I would like to take on your offer back from in Alabasta if you don't mind."
"Ace!" Luffy finally couldn't hold it back anymore and proceeded to glomp him. "I-I thought that you were gone for good!"
Ace chuckled but returned the hug nonetheless while the crews from both side watched. "Idiot little brother. Don't pronounce me dead so easily. And what did I say about crybabies? I'm going to leave you behind one day if you keep on doing that," he teased.
"I-I know," Luffy grumbled softly and lifted his head up from his chest. "Stupid Ace. You could be a bit more nicer about it."
"Oi, don't even start complaining," Ace retorted.
Marco coughed into his hand to get their attention after deciding that their brotherly moment was over for now. In fact, they would have a lot more time engaging in such in the future. "Uh, I think you guys better go on quick before the Marines decided to get backups, yoi."
"Yeah! Thanks a lot, Macaroons!"
Ace and the rest of Marco's crew laughed at his annoyed, flustered face before the former bided his crew farewell. The Thousand Sunny finally dove into the seas and the coating on their ship formed into a protective bubble for them as they sailed down inside of the ocean. Nami had taken on the job of guiding their ship since she was sure that the rest of their crew (other than Franky or Robin) probably wouldn't have the attention span to do so.
Some of them were already planning on wrecking havoc on their own ship!
"It looks like you have new friends ever since Alabasta," Ace remarked… although two of said friends were weird on a much different level.
"Robin Nico. I am an archaeologist," Robin introduced with a smile.
Ace bowed his upper body down politely in response before lifting his head up again. "Ace. And I was one of the commanders on pops's ship."
"My name is Franky and I am the builder of this ship, the Thousand Sunny. Nice to meet you, Ace," Franky greeted politely.
"Likewise. It's amazing that you managed to build this ship. It looks really grand," he complimented with a grin, making Franky like him instantly.
"Yohohoho! My name is Brook. It is a pleasure to meet you."
That would be the weirdest one in the group-other than the talking reindeer.
"It's a pleasure to meet you too… Uh, what are you exactly?" Ace decided to ask.
"Hmm? I am a skeleton, of course. Yohohoho!"
"I can see that but are you a ghost or something?"
Brook's posture stiffened up at the mention of one of the things he was most terrified of-which was kind of ironic since people usually thought that Brook was one. "Eek! Ghost? Where? I can never stand the sight of them!"
"Huh…" Ace murmured.
"How about I use Gattling Gun to get all those fishes, huh?!" Luffy shouted while preparing his fists.
"Good idea. I will use my swords and we will see which one of us would get more!" Zoro piped in challengingly.
It was followed by two loud sounds of bonks of punishment and followed by a series of groans by the victims on the ground.
"ARE YOU TRYING TO DESTROY US?!" Usopp shouted in dismay.
"IDIOTS! IF YOU TRY THAT, I WILL REALLY KILL YOU!" Chopper screamed.
Nami groaned at the both of them and held her forehead with a hand. "I don't even think that we would be able to survive this if those two continues on with their antics. I guess we're lucky that we have Luffy's big brother to keep him from doing anything stupid."
In which said big brother chuckled in agreement.
Sanji had took this time to look at Nami as she spoke, causing his defiled sight to suddenly became purified-too purified at Nami's beauty compared to the hell of demons he had to face ever single day in two years of his life. His eyes widened considerably as the gush of blood spewed out from his nose in a much pressured force than before, causing him to fly towards the bubble… which promptly so-called kicked him out.
"SANJI!" Chopper cried out in dismay.
Luffy used his outstretched hands to catch Sanji to bring him back to the ship when he felt that his body was starting to weaken. "Th-the sea! I can't pull my arms back!"
"Try harder, Luffy!" Ace encouraged as he and Zoro pulled each of Luffy's arms until the arms finally rebounded back, bringing Sanji back to safety. Was it him or had Sanji's reaction towards women became a lot worse than before. "Had this always happened to him after I left?"
"N-No! This is the first time I've seen him like this as well," Chopper stuttered as he tried to check signs of abnormalities with his crew member. "Second time, I think since his nosebleed was also as bad after we got onto the ship just now."
"The love-cook finally cracked?" Zoro joked.
"It's not funny!" Chopper exclaimed with teary eyes while flailing his little limbs.
Luffy laughed instead, thinking the situation more to be fun than what Chopper would think of as serious. He propped himself back onto the ground in between Ace's parted legs and leaned his back against Ace's chest. Finally, he could feel the weight on his body became lighter when Ace had revealed to be alive. Luffy had to remind himself to thank Law again someday when they got to cross paths.
Ace looked down at his brother with a wry grin. He had heard from Jinbe on how broken Luffy was when he was told that he was dead. Ace couldn't blame him as well for he would have the same-or worse reaction if he found out that Luffy was gone too. He was proud that Luffy had grown more mature-at least, Ace could tell that he had just by looking into his eyes although he was also regretful that it was his 'death' that had made him felt the pain to change.
"You are really here, aren't you?" Luffy murmured in a low tone.
"What? Do I look like an imposter?" Ace teased, settling himself onto the ground while not moving his feet which were planted at each of Luffy's sides. "I don't think anyone else would be able to stand you as much as I do."
"If you are then I probably have to beat you up for impersonating Ace," he joked back.
Ace could really tell from the tone that Luffy had changed a lot more. But whether it was for the better or the worse, he couldn't tell yet. But he trusted that Luffy would always stay true to what he had always believed in. Come to think of it, Ace had never expected that Luffy would grow up mentally or emotionally. It was weird and foreign to hear such a serious tone coming from Luffy during the lesser serious of times.
"You won't be able to defeat me anyway, lil' bro."
Luffy huffed at that and folded his arms while still leaning against the freckled teen. "You wouldn't know. I have grown a lot more stronger after training now."
"Oh? I will remember you said something like this the next time I save you from trouble."
Which Ace was pretty darn sure it will be a lot more than he could count. As strong as Luffy had gotten, the strawhat captain was still a trouble magnet and that would be a fact that Ace doubted that he could ever change. But it was because of that that Ace could protect him… as someone who cared about him more than just a big brother. So much more. And Luffy could sense that feeling within his own as well.
"Looks like our real adventure has begun," Robin commented.
I am still not sure whether I will continue this on (Which if I did, I would just make it into a multi-fic chapter which follows the storyline after the two years timeskip but they probably wouldn't be very connected) or leave it as such. But for now, I will just leave it in 'completed' since I am not very confident on completing this fic or if it is that good enough for me to focus most of my attention on. XD