A/N: I wrote this while listening to the song Memories by Maki Otsuki (1st One Piece Ending) so you guys should try listening to it too. Maybe it will make it better :D
This takes place 10 years after Ace's death, so Luffy is 27 and Ace would have been 30.
Disclaimer: I in no way own One Piece. If I did, Ace never would have died and I never would have felt compelled to write this ;_;
The sky was the clearest of blues that day. There was a calm wind that brought with it the simple sounds of nearby birds. Located in the New World, this island was out of place with its perfect serenity. It was due to that, one would think, that the memorials had remained unharmed. Two large, carved stones rested above the largest hill, engulfed in a field of flowers and swords. Atop one a Captain's jacket blew in the light breeze, tattered and worn over the seasons; atop the other, broken beads and an all too familiar orange hat.
A figure clad in red approached the graves, its jacket swaying with the wind, held down only by his broad shoulders. Two bottles of liquor in hand, he stopped in front of the rather large monuments. A calm smile passed his lips.
"Been a while," stated the man as he plopped to the ground, sitting cross-legged. He fingered the cork of the first bottle, taking a rather large swig before lowering it to his lap, crouching all the more. "A long while. It's been tough. I'm sure it was for you two, as well." He chuckled to himself, his voice growing louder as he raised his hand to push back his ebony, matted hair.
Taking a moment to adjust himself, he took note of the graves' condition: no wilted flowers, cracks or rusted swords. After all this time, it still hadn't been forgotten. This filled the man's body with warm waves of satisfaction. He took another, much smaller, swig of alcohol. His smile widened, only slightly. "Sorry," his voice rang, rather high-pitched for someone his age, "I should have come sooner. Guess I'm still pretty hopeless. Shishishi!" His laugh was much quieter this time, but not forced.
He quickly rose to his feet, both bottles in hand, and lightheartedly bounced nearer to the graves. The man fingered the engraving of the smaller one. His hand stopped at "Ace" and at this an even brighter smile emerged from his face, nostalgia at the name kicking in. His gaze turned to the hat that rested above it. The orange had faded to a near-brown. The edges were rough and worn by time. Scattered holes burdened its surface. Truly, it showed just how slow he had been and how long he had taken to finally get to where he was.
"You're an old man now, Ace," snickered the raven haired man. "Shows just how short life is."
He chugged the rest of the bottle and opened the second. A large toothy grin crossed his face. It reached from ear to ear as he poured the liquor over both Ace and Newgate's graves, another "shishishi" escaping through the tiny gaps in his teeth. The liquid poured gently over the polished stone, glistening in the sunlight, almost as if the graves were smiling.
"I heard from Marco that the two of you liked this brand of sake. Hope he was right."
He went silent and looked behind the memorial, a sword placed for each of the lives lost during the Great War. Even those had been preserved despite the large volume scattered across the field. It made him so proud to know how much they meant to the ones they had left behind.
The liquid finished pouring. Now the stones had dark, wet streaks running down them.
"So much has happened since then. A lot has changed. We're still not finished, though." He put his hand on his opposing bicep in a pose of confidence. A proud grin made its way onto his face. "But I still have some fight left in me! No time to give up, isn't that right, my brother?"
A strong wind blew past him. His jacket just barely held to his shoulders.
"It's been a long journey, hasn't it? Do you remember Alabasta? That was our first reunion. One of the only times we met after our journeys began. Look where we are now." He paused a moment and swallowed back the trembling in his voice. "We've made it, Ace. We're here."
"Luffy," bellowed a much deeper voice from behind. He spun calmly to see the green-haired swordsman approach the horizon. He halted at the base of the hill and waited with his arms crossed, smiling proudly over at his Captain.
"Yo!" Luffy waved towards his first mate and started trotting away in his direction. He paused, thought for a second, and turned back around. "Just one more thing!"
He faced the graves once more, noting their firm, strong stature. It was a perfect fit for Whitebeard and Ace. The Captain removed the straw hat that was resting around his neck. He placed it firmly alongside his brother's and backed away to get a good look at it, giving it a smile of approval. It felt strange not to have it still hanging from his neck. "I kept my promise. Keep it safe for me, ok?"
"Coming!" called the black-haired man, running eagerly to his crewmate. He caught up rather quickly and stretched while walking alongside the swordsman. "Need me to find your way back to the ship?" the Captain teased.
"Oi! What's that supposed to mean?"
Luffy laughed at this and continued to bounce away from the clearing. A heavy wind caught his attention. He turned around one last time to see the hats and jacket dancing in the open air. He smiled rather solemnly as he watched before he continued walking away.
A/N (Again): ;_; The feels. I kept remembering the scene where Ace died while writing this and now I'm all depressed...damn it Oda!
So, to clear a few things up just in case you had some questions:
Luffy has been the Pirate King for a quite few years, so that's not recent. However, the reason he acts like he just fulfilled his promise is because this was the first time he got to visit Ace's grave, since he spent 2 years training, fought his way through the New World to become the Pirate King, and (what I think he'd do anyways) keeping peace with his crew and keeping the Grand Line in order.
He may seem a little OOC, but that's because I'm trying to portray him as an adult which is kind of hard. I think at that age he would have calmed down and smartened up a bit (I think he'd have to in order to become Pirate King, seeing as he has so much to go through to get there. It would make him a little more mature, don't you think?) but retained his goofy and child-like manner at the same time. Luffy's a pretty hard character to write in normally, but trying to figure out what he'd be like in 10 years is...well, pretty damn hard XD
Please review and tell me what you think of the story thus far and what you think should happen in it. Any ideas you throw my way will definitely be appreciated, since I'm not exactly sure how it's going to go. But I will assure you, this is still an Ace and Luffy fanfic, even if he's dead. Well, you'll find out soon ;)