"Luffy," Ace had called out quietly one night as he sat on a tree branch right beside their tree house. He knew the boy was awake and restless and Ace really had to ask him something important; something that he wasn't sure that even he could do. Luffy would be best suited for this though, since the young boy always held his treasures close to his heart.
A small, black head popped up from under the window and two large doe-eyes stared at him with confusion. The boy then grabbed the edge of the window and pulled himself up and jumping onto the branch that Ace was currently sitting on. Luffy hummed and plopped down next to his big brother, leaning his head on Ace's shoulder. "Hmm?"
"I need to ask you something." Ace said, trying to figure out how to word his next sentences. He closed his eyes, slipping a hand into his pocket and fiddling with the golden stopwatch inside.
"What?" Luffy pulled his head away from Ace's shoulder, making sure to give the older boy his fullattention.
Ace quietly took the stopwatch out from his pocket and handed it to the boy. Luffy grasped the object, bringing it close to his face so he could stare at it with confusion. Knowing that his little brother wanted answered, Ace quietly commented, "I got it in a dream right before you doppelganger showed up." He fiddled with his fingers. "I'm not sure but . . . I think that's how older-you's going to be able to get home. I want you to protect it because I know that you'll be able to better than I ever will."
Luffy was quiet for a second before he hummed in though, slipping the watch into his pocket and leaning one Ace's shoulder's once again. Ace was pretty proud of himself for getting the boy to understand, seeing as Luffy was not one to understand complicated situations.
"Ace?" The small voice said after a while.
"What's a doppelganger?"
Ace stared at the boy for a second before the words registered into his mind and he groaned, whacking Luffy lightly on the head to show his frustration. "You're an idiot, you know that?"
Luffy just giggled and snuggled closer to Ace letting the ten-year-old boy know that Luffy knew exactly what he was.
"WHAT MAKES YOU GOD?!"
"Weakling cannot choose their way of death."
"Listen! You can't bring back what you've lost! Think about what you have now!"
"A mans dream . . . WILL NEVER DIE!"
"I—I don't want to live a thousand years. If I just make it through today, that'll be enough."
"THANK YOU . . . FOR LOVING ME!"
Ace's eyes snapped open with yelp as he quickly realized that he was falling and by the looks of it, it was a pretty big drop. He twisted his body so that his feet were first (Because anything was better than landing on his head) and closed his eyes, bracing himself for the impact that would never come.
Instead, he felt a rubber appendage wrap around his waist, pulling him to an abrupt stop. Light laughter could be heard from above and Ace could only assume that he'd fallen out of the tree during his little . . . Episode.
Ace opened his eyes only to be dropped to the ground only three feet below. A larger figure followed him, landing gracefully on his feet. Older-Luffy took one look at his confused expression and decided that he'd laugh rather than explain what the hell happened. Eventually, though, the older male calmed down enough to give him a mocking look and explain. "You fell out of the tree." He jerked his head upwards so Ace could clearly see Sabo and Luffy peering down, light grins on their faces. "Little-me just about went with you, but he grabbed onto the tree first, so I think he's okay."
The man offered a hand, but Ace snorted, trying to regain his dignified composure and helped himself up all on his own. He dusted himself off, shaking his head as he thought about his recent dreams. They've been getting more annoying and more frequent, though they were never quite as vivid. Sometimes they were light and happy, while other times, they were somber and at places that Ace definitely didn't want to be at.
"Dreams?" Older-Luffy's question took him by surprised and he jolted up, staring at the man in confusion before the meaning clicked and he shook his head with a sigh.
"Yeah, I guess." He answered, shoving his hands in his pockets and trying to act nonchalant. "Though they're more of just words now. I just see a few things and then I wake up."
"You saw yourself dying again." It wasn't a question.
"I—yeah." He answered, surprised that the older version of his brother caught on so quickly.
Older-Luffy cast him a quick glance and shook his head. "Don't think too much about it." It almost sounded like he was talking from experience. "Just because you died once doesn't mean you're going to die again. I came to stop that, remember?"
"Yeah." Ace closed his eyes again, blocking out the images that he never wanted to see again. "Thanks."
Older-Luffy just laughed but soon transformed into a small whine when his stomach let out an angry growl. Ace's stomach decided that it had a similar protest and let out its cry of agony. Older-Luffy looked at him and grinned. "Let's go get some breakfast, ne?"
Luffy quickly stumbled through the forest, his breath coming out in ragged gasps as he tripped on yet another root, sending him stumbling a few steps. Yells reached his ears and he tried to desperately hold in the scared squeak that was bubbling inside of his throat.
Where were Ace and Sabo? Last thing Luffy remembered was the three of them hunting together and they got separated and then Luffy ran into the guys from before (the really creepy ones) while his older self went of and did other things that the boys never really knew about. He'd heard the man mutter something about 'Sabo's dad' and 'celestial dragon' but didn't really know what he meant. All the small boy knew was that the Celestial Dragon had just anchored on their little island about two days ago, sending High Town into an uproar.
But he couldn't really focus on that now since the men were hot on his tail and were out for blood. Luffy tripped again, cursing how clumsy he was as he let out the squeak that he was holding in, alerting the others of his presence. He fell flat on his face, groaning as he pushed himself to his feet once again.
"Over here! The brat's over here!" One of the men hollered. His statement was met with cheering and other such calls that made the small boy want to gag.
Luffy stared running again, but he knew that it was a futile hope. The men were close now, close enough to be able to see him through all the thick brush and no matter what Luffy did, they always seemed to find him again.
Without the boy noticing, a hand has snaked around his waist, pulling him up. Luffy let out a shriek and closed his eyes while flailing madly; trying to hit whatever was holding him. The grip only tightened to a painful level and Luffy reluctantly stopped his movements. He forced his eyes open, met with the sight of the leader from the other day that had attacked them while they were trying to steal from the ramen restaurant.
"Well, well, well." The man said, looking way too happy in Luffy's opinion. The other men had caught up by now, grinning down at him with these creepy expressions. Luffy met their gaze, trying not to let his fear show. "What do we have here? It looks like a runaway road rat to me." The man jostled Luffy in his arms, trying to provoke a reaction that Luffy would not give. He hummed in thought. "Our boss will be happy to see you, though. Won't he, boys?"
The men behind him cheered, throwing their hands (and weapons) in the air. A few of them called out things like, "Yeah You're going to sell for a good price!" or "By the time we're through with you, you'll be wishing that you never messed with us and just came quietly!"
"I think I'm going to have fun with you." The leader said, gaining Luffy's attention. The man grinned when he saw the child looking and tightened his grip. Luffy gasped out, trying to control the pain in his waist and promptly spat in the man's face.
He recoiled with a sneer, whipping off the spin and threw Luffy into a tree. Normally this wouldn't hurt, but the tree seemed to scrap his back up and he felt a branch slice his side. He fell to the ground with a thud, trying not to whimper pitifully.
"You shouldn't have done that." The man was now looming above him, glaring down at the boy with a look that promised malice. A foot shot out and connected with his already injured side, making Luffy cry out in pain as blood splattered around him.
His vision was blurry but Luffy kept trying to shake it off and stand up. He soon found out that he couldn't really move and just slouched on the ground, praying that the man wouldn't find Ace or Sabo. His older self could handle himself just fine, but Luffy was worried about his brothers. They had so many men with them! Ace and Sabo might've been strong, but these guys were another level!
The foot lashed out again and again and again until the men around the leader stopped laughing. One even spoke up. "Hey, we want him alive, right? The boss wants to sell 'em to the Celestial Dragon. We can't do that is he's dead."
"Fine." The man suddenly stopped kicking the poor boy, instead choosing to spit at his body. Luffy whimpered and curled in on himself, just wishing for this to be over. "But I'm not carrying the little shit. Someone else can."
"I will." Luffy felt another pair of arms wrap around him, jerking him off the floor. He cried out at the rough treatment and tried to struggle, but found he couldn't move. The edges of his vision were getting darker and Luffy knew that he didn't have much time left before he faded into unconsciousness—or worse.
"Ace, Sabo." He cried out, his voice cracking. He knew his words wouldn't reach his brothers, but he still wanted to try. The man that was carrying him quickly shushed him, jostling his around causing around cry of pain to come out of his mouth.
"Damn it, kid. Just shut up." And with that, darkness overtook his vision and he went completely limp.
And my plot finally starts. Extremely sorry for the late and rather short update, I've been procrastinating and screwing around with Unexpected Emergencies' plot line. That's a really fun story to write, for me at least. UE is my favorite story and the one that I update most often. Sadly, I'm not very motivated with this story, but I hope things will get better and fast the deeper I get into it.
So yeah- Some of you guys though this is Bluejam's crew and I honestly don't know yet. I mean, I could make them Bluejam's crew, but then again, Bluejam is more of a man that just kills everyone. He doesn't seem like he'd be involved with this damn human trafficking business that Luffy has now gotten himself wrapped into.
Uhh. I don't really have much else to say?