Story Title: Another Lie
Author: The Dark Crimson Blood
Main Characters: Luffy + Straw Hat Crew
Genres: Drama, Hurt/Comfort, Angst, Family
Summary: The hairline crack in their friendship spreads even further the day Luffy apologizes for losing the flag.
Words: 1,292

Monkey D. Luffy had lost the flag.

Preoccupied with defending the ship against devil fruit users, he had never noticed them take the flag right from its place and run off with it. Luffy hadn't expected it, he hadn't been paying enough attention to it. He never really noticed until it was gone, the flag that made them who they were was gone and at this point he did the only thing he could. He hunted the thieves down and stole the precious Jolly Roger back before anyone noticed. He could have lied; he could have covered his mistake up and pretended nothing had happened in the first place, but he doesn't. He slams his head on the ground and drops to his knees, apologizing to the baffled crew standing in front of him. "I'm sorry for losing our flag!"

On a normal day, Luffy was a carefree person. He acted like a young child with a nonexistent attention span; so sometimes his crew forgets how this switches so easily. This was one of these moments; a moment in which Luffy would act serious, and it was scary sometimes. This time was even more horrifying because they could only bite their lips and let the silence blare through their ears, because for once, they were even guiltier than he was. Unlike him, they hadn't been able to tell them about their loss of the flag. They had allowed it to be stolen while they were all there, and then they hid it from him. They did everything in their way to avoid Luffy finding out, and now the consequences were rearing their ugly heads at them.

All because they wanted to keep what foolish pride they had so their idiotic captain wouldn't scold them. They had lied to him; up until now, there hadn't been a moment they stopped to regret this. Hell, they had completely forgotten about it. Up until this point; the thought hadn't even crossed their minds, and now they felt sick. With themselves. They had never expected this to happen, they weren't prepared for it. They stare down at their captain in horror as he opens his mouth again; "Apologizes won't help, but even so I'm sorry. I've let you guys down." He pauses, and time seems to stand still as he finishes. "Why are you so quiet?"

And so Luffy's crew would do what they believed to be best; play it off, and dig their graves even deeper.

"Luffy!" The red haired navigator breaks the silence, she crosses her arms across her chest and the slight twitching of her fingers doesn't go unnoticed. It's was far more obvious than it should have been to know that she felt horrible and disgusted with herself as she yelled and charged him for losing their precious flag. "You owe me 10,000 beri for losing the flag!" She felt sick.

"Geez Captain, you depend on us too much" Zoro could only play along, a lazy forgiving smile that doesn't quite reach his eyes play on his lips. He feels like he's betraying his captain, for a second time.

"Maybe I should think of something S-SUPER to protect the flag!" Franky exclaims, his thoughts differing from the words that leave his mouth. The stutter in his voice and the awkward play of his words are evidence of the guilt he feels, it's not super.

"Yohohoho! Luffy-san, you mustn't worry too much" Brook laughs; lucky to not have been there the day the crew lost the flag and lied to their own captain. The day they had betrayed the trust between them and wordlessly went on with their lives as if nothing had happened in the first place. He was spared the guilt, but he knew that if he had been there he would have Luffy the truth.

"Whatever, you got it back didn't you?" The blonde chef finally finds his voice and lets it flow out the way it normally does; carefree and uncaring, he pretends not to care. In reality he's pissed; not with his captain for losing the flag, but with himself for lying to the man who saved him without asking for anything in return. The man he had lied to, even though Luffy had never been anything but honest in return. For once women weren't on his mind.

"No worries! The great Captain Usopp will be here to save the day next time!" Usopp felt as if he didn't have the right to call himself a captain; even if it was just a joke, it felt wrong. For once, the great liar didn't want to lie. He wanted to tell the truth, to get it off of his chest and be forgiven because that's what Luffy would always do. And yet he continues the lie, but it feels wrong. For once in his life, Usopp feels guilty for lying.

"Be careful next time..." These were the only words that had been able to leave the poor reindeer's mouth. They come out in a soft mumble that's shaky; even though he so desperately wants the truth to be the next words that leave his mouth, he remains silent and the words never come. This time he's actually lying to his captain; last time no one had wanted to tell the captain they lost the flag after they retrieved it, they had kept quiet and told him not to tell Luffy. It wasn't right, and yet here Chopper was doing the same thing. Chopper wants to cry.

"It's okay, Captain-san" Robin whispers comfortingly as she uses her devil fruit abilities to pull her captain up, place a hand on his hand, and then release him gently. A small smile stretches across her face but it leaves her eyes unaffected; they stare at him with an almost completely dull expression, but if anyone looked any closer they'd see the regret that followed. She didn't quite understand that despite her previous lives of lies and betrayal, for the first time ever she felt regret.

"You guys..." The straw hat that lies on top of a mess of black hair falls over the owner's eyes and hides them from his crew, "You guys are the best." He announces so suddenly that it nearly makes them jump. The grin on his face stretches from one side to another and seems to nearly split his face in half. "I'll never lose the flag again, no matter what." He finishes; they believe him, because unlike them he would never lie to them.

"Luffy-san, didn't you think of lying? We wouldn't have noticed since you did get the flag back before we returned." The skeleton questions curiously, but the immense pressure he feels radiate on the ship was something he wasn't quite prepared for. He clamps his jaw shut and can't help but feel surprised when he notices that Luffy didn't feel any of it. He simply smiles the widest smile his face would allow.

"I could never do that; I can't lie to my friends no matter what. What kind of friend would I be if I lied to you?"

The majority of the crew felt sick.

What kind of friends were they?

A/N: Rewritten. Leave a review :)