And here we are at the last chapter. Procrastination really got the better of me. e.e
Bluebird42: Hahahaha! I never failed to amuse me too. :P
Anjelle: Yep. This will be the last one as stated. I'm pretty sad to let this end to since I enjoyed writing about the four of them. 8'D
Naru-sama: I'm glad that you guys have been following me through this fic till so far-considering how less frequent I've been updating this fic. This fic has really come a long way. /sheds manly tears
zdenkac09: xD I'm glad that it entertained you!
Tsunayuki Kozato: Oh? Which manga? :D
Diclonious57: Yep, he is. xD
trisha23flow: I hope I didn't make the whole ending thing too sudden. xD
azab: Yep but only Ace knows that. :3
MeikoKuran999: Here is the last chapter then. ;D Glad that you loved the last one~
Natsu-dragneel17: It's prolly pretty rare for people to find a real angst fic in my list of stories. ;x
ASLfangirl: We all know that he cracks everyone up. xP
Honeydee: It may be a pretty short story but it's surprisingly, my first multi-chapter One Piece fic I've written. Everything shall be missed. 8'D
Little-Ace entered the warehouse with a determined look. He could tell that the cogs were already spinning in Albert's head at his look of confusion.
One, Little-Ace took much quicker than the time given. Two, his men didn't return to inform him about Little-Ace's arrival. If Ace and Luffy didn't pull this off well, then Little-Luffy was definitely screwed. And if that happens, Little-Ace wasn't going to let them off the hook whether they're their future selves or not.
As Little-Ace walked towards the man, he emptied his pocket onto the ground, showing the amount of valuables he gotten. It was obviously a trap for Albert and the man knew that much. Even so, he decided to feign innocence to play this out as much as he could. At the very least, he still had Little-Luffy with him so he wouldn't dare to do anything, right? And how strong could Little-Ace's 'brothers' get when they were living in a pitiful state in Gray Terminal with nothing but canned food and each other when they could've hunted for pirates' bounties? Well, Ace definitely looked a lot more stronger than all of them combined but as long as he had their hostage, it should be fine.
Sadly for him, he thought everything wrong.
"Looks like you finally managed to gather everything up," Albert commented, pretending to be impressed. "I hope that you didn't run into... any trouble on your way back."
"It was easy," Little-Ace said simply.
They were waiting to see which side would take the first move.
"Good, good. Men, gather them up in a sack," Albert ordered. If they wanted to escape, it was good enough that they have at least this much. "I presume that you're going to continue working for me, right? For your little brother's sake?"
"Didn't we talk this out before already?" Little-Ace retorted impatiently. "Now where is Luffy?"
"He's being treated properly, I assure you."
"Bullshit. I brought you this much and the least you could do is to let me see him."
"I don't think insulting me and making demands is what you should be doing, you brat," Albert warned. "I can't trust you yet and I won't until you gathered up the 33 million beli I asked you to. Until then, the brat will be set free. Do you understand?"
"Oh? So what you're saying is that... Luffy is only worth that much?" A voice called out haughtily from above. "You guys really don't know how to make a deal. Luffy is worth a lifetime amount of belis. Probably every single beli in the whole world but I usually didn't have a problem with money."
Suddenly, a hand shot out from the other side of the room and the fist connected to Albert's face.
"I don't want money! I just want meat!" Luffy exclaimed.
"And your big brother, right?"
"I only want to eat meat!"
"I need a therapist for him. It's not healthy to love meat this much," Ace mumbled. He pursed his two fingers together and aimed at the various men in the room, including Albert who had just fallen on his face from Luffy's last attack. "Higun!"
"Oi! Did you guys find Luffy?" Little-Ace called out.
"Of course we did," Ace said simply.
"How?" Albert demanded.
His face became pale in fright. The person was a devil fruit user. And judging by the attack from the other guy just now, he must be one too. And they seemed really skilled in using their powers. There weren't any devil fruit users in Albert's crew. They were considered rare in the Sea Blue and most of them only gathered in the Grand Line, which was Albert's next objective in order to recruit some into his crew.
Albert couldn't say that he didn't expect this. He did but he thought that he could use their little brother to their advantage. He certainly didn't foresee them finding Little-Luffy so fast considering that they have no lead in the first place. Or did they?
"Your man told us everything after I threatened to burn his balls along with him alive," Ace replied with a smirk. "Apparently, he was as gutless as all of you are. What a joke. This is supposed to be someone we should be afraid of? I've met better pirates on the Grand Line."
"Using Luffy against me is the worst thing you could've ever thought of," Little-Ace spoke in a low, threatening voice.
He raised his weapon above his head and appeared before Albert in seemingly warp speed-or at least, it was how it looked like to him since Albert was too stunned at his own poor miscalculation to pay attention to what was about to happen to him. The bo staff connected to Albert's chin and he was easily sent flung backwards crashing into the wall behind him. At that moment, Ace and Luffy jumped from their position and stood behind Little-Ace.
"I-I surrender," Albert spoke in a frightened tone.
"Hotarubi." Ace conjured up green round shaped fire around the man.
"What do you want from me?" Albert demanded but not losing his panicked tone.
"Let our little brother go."
"But you said-"
"I lied," Ace said simply, making Little-Ace looked at him in shock. "Come on, he would've used Luffy against us if we didn't beat him up first. At least we can have a more pleasant deal this time. How about it, mister? Once these touches your skin, it'll burst into flames. I'm sure you wouldn't want to try firsthand, do you?"
Albert was at loss of words. His opponent had not only be strong but very cunning too. Was this the pirates that resided in the Grand Line? Most of the pirates that had never visited the place was considered small-fries. As stupid as Ace and Little-Ace thought him to be, he could really tell when he didn't have a chance of turning things around. Maybe if he had been a little more intelligent then he would've saw this coming. But, he wasn't. And Ace was glad for that.
He gritted his teeth in anger at himself for falling into such an easy trick. "Hey! Let the damned brat go!" he hollered.
A few moments later, there was a rustling in the bush and Little-Luffy appeared from it. He ran towards Little-Ace and tackled him onto the ground while crying. "Waaaaaah! That was so scary! I thought that Ace is going to get into trouble because of me!"
"Stop. Crying!" Little-Ace ordered but didn't push Little-Luffy away.
"If only Sabo was here then he would know what to do. Waaaaaaaah! I missed Sabo so much! Why wasn't he here instead?"
"Why you-are you trying to say that I'm useless?!"
Little-Luffy's cry was reduced into sniffles as he buried his face into Little-Ace's chest. "I-I'm sorry for being weak and causing A-Ace so much trouble. I was really s-scared when Ace had to do all those things b-because of me. I-I want to get stronger s-so Ace wouldn't have to worry anymore..."
Little-Ace's face softened after that. "Lu..."
By that time, Ace had already released the fireflies and got Luffy to throw Albert away from here as far as he could. There was no one but them now. Ace chuckled at the both of them while Luffy simply grinned. Everything was alright now and Little-Ace started to trust the both of them more.
"Hey, how about a reward for saving you, little Lu? Give big brother Ace a kiss here," Ace said as he squatted down beside him and pointed at his lips.
"Hell no he isn't going to do that!" Little-Ace snapped and whacked Ace's head with his bo staff instead.
"But it's fine, isn't it? Big brother Ace helped us," Little-Luffy remarked as he released Little-Ace and totted over to the lying figure on the ground. Ignoring Little-Ace's protests, he squatted down and gave Ace a peck on the lips. "Thank you for saving me, big brother Ace~"
"Let him go, you bastard!" Little-Ace snapped when Ace suddenly recovered and pulled Little-Luffy into a hug.
Luffy snickered and carried Little-Ace up despite the latter's protests.
"Don't get so mad," Luffy said casually and kissed Little-Ace's forehead.
"Hey!" Ace protested.
Everyone started to laugh at Little-Ace's reddening face as he started squirming in Luffy's hold and demanded to be put down on the ground. Luffy continued to hold him despite that and soon, Little-Ace stopped bothering and allowed Luffy to do whatever he wanted.
Little-Luffy nuzzled his cheek against Ace's shoulder happily until he found out that something was off. Little-Ace also realized it when Luffy began to become transparent as well. Soon, Ace understood what was happening to them.
"It looks like we'll be heading back to our time now," Ace said.
"Why? But I don't want big brother Ace and big brother Luffy to go," Little-Luffy complained.
"Well, it isn't exactly our choice," Luffy replied with a sheepish grin. "I have lots of things I have to do anyway. I have to find my friends, become a lot more stronger and continue our journey. I'm going to become the Pirate King!"
"I have to return to my own crew too," Ace added in.
Little-Ace frowned at them. Even though it wasn't a lie that he also didn't want them to go, he didn't make this out loud. Sure, they were a handful bunch but the times they stayed together was... fun. It sounded somewhat crazy too since they were saying goodbye to their older selves, to themselves. They were different in many ways but they were still the same person. Little-Ace didn't believe their claims at first but it soon grew obvious after seeing how much Ace cared about Luffy and vice versa.
He was worried when Luffy talked about Ace's death at that time in the beach. They obviously didn't go much into detail about it afterwards because they didn't want Little-Luffy to be distraught at what was about to happen. He already experienced twice at the threat of Luffy's life and he didn't want Little-Luffy to experience the same feelings.
"Little me," Ace called out. "Be sure to take some manners lessons from Makino."
"Why would I want to do that?" Little-Ace asked skeptically.
"You will need it. And... don't forget about the name 'Whitebeard Pirates'. They're good people. Very good people," Ace said after a pause of thought. "Look after Luffy too and don't do anything reckless. If you do then you might have to suffer the humiliation of having your butt saved by him."
Little-Ace rolled his eyes. "Luffy? Saving me? I'll put Luffy's name on my right arm if that were to happen."
"I'll hold you on that," Ace said.
"I'll be sure to become the Pirate King," Little-Luffy called out.
"Ah and you'll have your own crew. By the way, getting a musician is very important. The first thing you do when you set out to the sea is to find a musician. You can't have a crew without a musician, got it?" Luffy reminded.
Little-Luffy nodded in complete understanding.
"Why is that the most important?" Little-Ace asked dryly.
"To sing, of course!" Little-Luffy chirped in helpfully. "I'll become much stronger and protect Ace from bad things!"
"I told you that I didn't need you protecting me!"
"This is it then," Ace said.
As they held their memories together in their heart, a bright light filled the place and continued to shine under the dark blue sky.
"And now we shall have our One Piece Talk Corner," Fifth announced, ignoring the protests coming along about how crappy the ending was. "We have a few questions around... two, I think? First one is from Naru-Sama, my favourite reader. Here is her question...
'Ace and Luffy kiss all the time but I would like to know... has little Ace or little Luffy kissed one-another? My little sisters are 1-3 and when they kiss it's so cute! 3 the two little sweet kid's giving a kiss is so adorable and I would love to see little Ace's reaction! So cute!x3'"
Little-Ace started coughing loudly. "We haven't kissed, you pervert!"
"But we did-"
"Never did!" Little-Ace cut Little-Luffy off.
"Here is your answer. They kissed in Chapter seven," Fifth answered before Little-Ace could whack her with his bo staff... but he did whack her with it in the end anyway. With a huge bump on her head, Fifth willed herself to continue. "Next question is from trisha23flow and here it is...
'I want to ask Luffy and Ace. How frequently did you do IT?'"
Ace raised an eyebrow at the question. "Why would you want to know about that?"
"Four times! The first time is before Ace sets off. We did it one time after we met and one more time in the dessert. The last one would be here," Luffy answered.
"Lu!" Ace protested.
"Do what? What does she means by 'do IT'? Did they eat? They ate meat without us? How could they?" Little-Luffy wailed.
Little-Ace slapped his forehead. "Ignore it, Lu."
"But they ate meat without us! That's really mean and unfair!"
"Continuing on," Fifth said, "the same reviewer has something to say to you, Lil Ace...
'For little-Ace, this is not a question though. I just want to say something to him. STOP ACTING LIKE A TSUNDERE!'"
"What the heck is a tsundere?!" Little-Ace exclaimed.
"It's a term whereby they act as though they don't have feelings for their crush even though it's obvious that they do. Instead, they react in a violent manner towards their own feelings... and sometimes their object of affections too," Fifth explained.
"...How do you know all these crap?" Little-Ace asked.
Fifth coughed into her fist. "I'm not a fanfic writer for nothing."
Ace coughed into his fist. "You aren't a good fanfic writer to begin with."
"HEY!" Fifth protested before calming down. "And now we have the highlight of this fanfic! I shall sing a song for all of you! Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me~ Happy birthday to-" she was cut off when Little-Ace threw a rock at her head.
"Come on, Lu. Let's go back," Little-Ace said casually as he took Little-Luffy's hand and exited the crazy place.
And that marks the end of the fic. Thank you all so much for sticking with me all these time! I'm sorry if the ending came out crappy and didn't fulfill your expectations. 8'D I'm pretty bad at these kinds of stuffs, to be honest. OTL
On the other hand, I have an announcement. Due to popular (somewhat) demands, I've decided to continue 'Shin Sekai! Number Ten!'. More work for me, yay~ Just kidding. I love writing. ;P