Luffy sat quietly in the men's quarters. Dark circles lurked under his eyes as he fought to stay conscious. He was tired. Realistic nightmares and grief continuously kept him wide awake and staring at the ceiling. Even if he could sleep, he wouldn't want to. He can't face that dream again. Not again.
Luffy stiffened at the thought as he rubbed his eyes lightly. His stomach growled and he oddly didn't care at the moment. It was about dinner time. But right now he just wanted to be alone. He doesn't want to have to place on that fake smile he's been giving his crew for the past two weeks. It sickens him. How after two years he's learned to live without his brother and now, when he's been reunited with his Nakama, his mind decided to do a dirty trick and play back an old memory.
His chest ached.
Luffy took a deep shuddering breath. Ignore it. Ignore that nagging pain that always reminded him. Reminded him of what was lost and will never be found again.
But not only was Ace'a death keeping him up at night, it was other things too. Sabo, Shanks, his crew. Whether it was a memory or even a made up dream, Luffy felt it. Felt the sadness consuming him whole. This wasn't good. He wouldn't be at his best of he continued to have no sleep. He wouldn't be able to protect his crew. Protect the ones he loved. He can't loose another person again. No, not again.
Luffy held a hand to his scarred and tormenting chest. The once burnt flesh still pained him with the slightest touch. He wouldn't cry. Someone might hear him and ask questions. Luffy doesn't want to be a burden. 'I must stay strong. For the ones I love. I can't bring them down with me with my personal problems.'
He could faintly hear a door creaking open and put on a wide smile. One big enough to instantly make his cheeks sore. Closing his eyes he turned around to face the one that had just came in. Tilting his head he gave the expression that he wasn't just thinking about anything out of the norm. Luffy waited silently to know who had just walked in. He bet it was either Sanji or Zoro. Just a hunch.
"Oi, Luffy," the familiar sound of Zoro's voice made Luffy a tiny bit happy. His nakama was here and safe. That's all that mattered right now. The swordsman walked inside the room and stopped by the hammock that Luffy currently resided. "Dinners ready and the shitty cook said he won' let anyone eat till you come," the green haired man frowned while Luffy stood up and stretched. This was weird. Usually Luffy was the first one there when it came to meat or any other edible things. So why had Luffy not come? Normally Nami was the last, and believe that she was shocked that she wasn't.
"Luffy," Zoro started. Luffy turned around and looked at Zoro. 'Why aren't you in the kitchen already?' He was going to ask but decided against it. Who knows? Maybe even Luffy wasn't hungry at times. He would have laughed at that comment if it were spoken aloud. "Sorry for making you guys wait." Luffy apologized with a small smirk as the duo walked over to the door. Outside was a beautiful sight to see.
The dark black sky was littered with bright and shining stars. Few see-through clouds floated about harmlessly and added to the calm scenery.
"Sorry, sorry," Luffy spoke while taking his seat at the end of the table. The crew eyed him skeptically. All wondering if the captain was hiding a trick up his sleeve in order to steal some of their food. "Okay jackasses, excluding Nami-swan and Rodin-chwan, go stuff your faces." The female members of the crew giggled while picking up their forks to eat. Usopp took a massive bite out of his meat and watched Luffy like a hawk. The teen had a stretched smile on his face while he dug in.
Somethings not right, he thought. Why wasn't Luffy extending his arms in order to obtain Usopp's food? Or Nami's? Or Robins? Chopper's? Franky? Brook's? Zoro's? Sanji! This wasn't right. Something was up and the archer was about to find out sooner than later.
Nami also felt an odd aura coming from the idiot. He looked as happy as can be. Bright smile across his face and everything. Even his eyes looked to be filled with fun. Nami was no Empath, but she could feel the negative energy coming off of him like a worm feeling the radiation from the sun while lying on cement. That's when the navigator noticed the teens dark circles. Has he been sleeping lately? Now that she thinks of it, Luffy's been acting strange all of the sudden for the past week. She wondered what seemed to be bugging him.
"Um, Nami," the oranged haired teen snapped back to reality as she realized that she had been staring off at Luffy for what seemed to be the longest time. "Your kinda freaking me out." Nami's eye twitched as she banged Luffy on the head. "Luffy, me kinda freaking you out should never escape your lips again. Unless you want to be a-"
A loud banging could be heard coming from outside the Sunny. Franky was the first one to rise and go outside, being the ships 'parent' and having the seat closest to the door. "I due hope it isn't the marines trying to get a sneak attack on us and kill us." Robin suggested while Usopp, Chopper and Brook can already feel tears coming on from fear of either Robins humor, or the humor itself.
Franky already grit his teeth and clenched his large red hands into metallic fists. "Oi, whoever hurts this ship is in for a SUPER ass kicking!" He shouted at nothing in particular. By then the rest of the crew ran outside, Luffy coming last. Why was his head spinning? Why did his throat hurt?
The others were feeling this way as well. That horrid burning sensation in both chest and stomach. That heart pounding pound of the organ.
Franky wondered how he felt sad for some reason but ignored it. Turning around quickly he searched the ship. The intruder will pay for trespassing on his-I mean-their-property. All of them could hear a familiar laugh. The one that haunted each of their dreams at night. Franky looked up and soon regretted it. His stomach clenched as his eyes widened.
It couldn't be. He was dead. He's been for the past six years now. Franky knows. He watched him die. This had to be a dream. But this felt so real.
Nami held a hand to her face and weeped. Falling to her knees she shook. What was happening? She doesn't know whether to cry her eyes out or be filled with joy. Her mom. She was right there. Standing right by the mass of the ship.
Chopper and Usopp broke down into tears as well. Their cries echoed into nobody's ears. For at this moment, they didn't seem to hear anything.
Zoro and Sanji both looked at the figure in pure shock. Zoro tightened his grip from his crossed arms by flexing. This wasn't right. Theres no possible way she could be alive. Her death is the reason for his goal.
Robin stiffened as well. She knows for a fact that something must be going on. This wasnt right. That old friend of hers was long dead. He couldn't be alive. He couldn't! He couldn't!
And then four of the shattered crew members spoke the name of the person they saw at the same time.
The figure chuckled loudly, sending an eerie feeling towards them all. "I'm afraid I'm none of what you see. Eh, Cap'in?" Luffy didn't hear a word. Instead he just stared at the raven haired man that seemed to be mocking him at this very moment. The structure. The hair. The eyes. The freckles. The everything! It was him. It had to be him. "Ace…" Luffy whispered, for fear that if he spoke louder he would choke.
"Hiya Luffy," Luffy watched as the person who seemed to be Ace walked towards him. "I am your brother Luffy." The voice. It even sounded like him. Sounded exactly like Ace. How Luffy longed to hear Ace say his name again. Longed to hear Ace say anything.
Luffy's heart was beating at a dangerously high speed. His eyes were wide and he trembled. Ace died. Ace had died in his arms. Aces blood had gotten all over his hands. Ace had thanked Luffy. Ace had left Luffy. "Ace." He repeated, a little louder than before.
Robin scowled. She knew exactly who this was now and what was going on. Once she'd realized that all the other members had seen their own thing she knew. This was Grief. Or so that's what she's called. She's a pirate hidden from most people's knowledge. But to those that do know her know that she always gets what she wants. By giving off the look of a loved one she manipulates the victim into making a deal with her. Eventually having the power to do to you as she pleased. Robin still doesn't know the extent of her power, or even the name of the fruit she had ate, but Robin did know one thing.
Luffy was her next target.
"Luffy!" She shouted while having arms come up from the ground and up to Luffy's arms. Luffy didn't feel himself falling back and hitting the floor. He just stared up at Grief, still seeing his brother. "Robin what's going on?!" Nami stood up while wiping away some tears. Bell-Mére didn't act that way. The eyes were all wrong. This person that looked like her, imitating her, was going to get a lightning bolt up the ass. "This is a very powerful person! Get Captin-san away from her!"
"Luffy," Grief called. Luffy's eyes started to blur. Was this a dream? Another one of his horrible realistic yet wonderful dreams? Grief kneeled down next to Luffy and stared into the others eyes. Quickly, Luffy's shocked look was replaced with one of anger. "Huh, saw through me didn't cha?" She asked while standing up. Luffy fisted his hands into the grass. He wanted nothing more than to kill this bastard. For getting his hopes up. For making him feel happy and lifting him high up in the sky only to laugh evilly as he was dropped back down to earth.
Twirling around, the figure of Tom, Doctor, Bell-Mére and Usopp's mom disappeared. Brook was still while trying to process on what had just accrued. In its wake was a tall woman with long black flowing hair. It curled into tangles and almost looked blue. Her eyes were a dark brown while her skin was pale. She had multiple tattoos with skulls and designs on them. They almost looked like—
"Pirate flags." Zoro muttered. Grief looked over at him and smiled. "Bout time somebody noticed." She smiled evilly. Her long black nails glistened in the moonlight. Grief looked back at Luffy. "I've come here for your captain." She said with a grin.
Sanji frowned while Zoro snatched his swords from his hilt. Usopp already had his slingshot out and Chopper was in Heavy Point. Franky had his guns pointed directly at Grief and Brook's sword was already in position.
It was what Robin had feared. They had no choice now but to go along with her demands. She is the most powerful person Robins come to know. Then again, Luffy always finds away to prove people who say that wrong.
"I'm not going anywhere." Luffy spat while surpassing a yawn, still sleepy. Grief hummed in amusement. "No, no, no! I'm not going to actual take him. I've come here to give him a decision," 'This is where it starts,' Robin thought. She hoped the questions wouldn't be to difficult to decide. Before Grief could ask she turned aroun and greeted the Straw Hats. "I am Grief! The woman who-no matter what-always gets her way. Whether I like it or not." Zoro snickered. Who was she kidding? This chick looked weaker than a ant.
Grief was only amused by this. "I simply give you two decisions. One benefits me wholeheartedly while the other is a way to get out. However, both are hard decisions to make. For example; I could walk up to a man that had lost his mothers life to a fire and ask him, 'Would you rather have your mother come back to life and hate you to the point of murder," they all stiffened. Chopper growled while subsiding the urge to kill this woman. Usopp put a hand on Chopper's shoulder and squeezed tightly.
"Or would you rather switch places with her?' See, you would have to choose between those two and that's that. Usually I get my way. Actually, I always get my way!" She started to go into hysterics. As if this was the most amusing thing she's ever seen.
"What makes you think we'll allow you to talk, Grief?" Robin had a hand cover Griefs mouth. Grief only laughed into the hand. "Robin," Robin felt a cold chill run down her spine. "That voice," she whispered. "Don't you ever use that voice!" She screamed. More arms appeared and held open Griefs body. Her arms were crossed. "CLUT-" she froze. All she could see was Saul.
She stopped and the arms released Grief. The long and black haired woman smiled devishly. She knew all about the crews past. Whether from research or more. "I've noticed you've been having bad dreams lately Luffy," the crew looked over at their captain, still laying down on the floor trembling. Still shocked and pissed about a minute ago's act. "Tell me, would you rather me take away those awful memories you bare," Luffy's eyes widened. "Or have your crew bare them for you?"
AN: Ive actually been thinking about posting this one for a while now. Huh, kinda short ne? Sorry. Please review and tell me if I should continue or not! But I really think this story's going to beget good