hey guys so this is basically just an AU world i came up with where Teach was a rather clever bastard and made Ace his friend. Then used it all against him. Basically i wanted to see the repercussion of Ace joining Blackbeard. This first chapter's basically just a retelling of episode 325 from Ace's POV but it kind of gives a little background into the altered relationship and set the stage for the rest of the story.
I don't know how often this will be updated, if at all. this is really just a world building thing for me so if i get a plot bunny for scene I'll work on it but other wise nothing's supper defined. if you do like it please review and let me know as well as anything you think could be improved or any ideas you have for this world.
The town was a mess. Benaro island had been completely ransacked and looted. It made Ace sick. Another crime to add to Teach's ever growing list. This wasn't what being a pirate was about. It was about Freedom, Adventure, Nakama. Everything Blackbeard had thrown away. Ace had finally found him; below him in the street was Marshal D. Teach. Liar, Backstabber, Traitor, Murderer. Ace clenched his fist involuntarily at the thought, the sight of Thatch's bloody body flashing before his eyes.
Shaking his head Ace focused his attention down on the man he had been chasing for so long. The man he once considered one of his closest friends. It was obvious Teach had become his own captain, but really? Was that his crew? Maybe the motley bunch were all someone like "Blackbeard" could get to sail under him but for goodness sake one of looked like he was already 3/4ths dead. This was who Teach had betrayed them for? They were pathetic, heck he could find better men in almost any bar and and and…
And why the hell did he care? He shouldn't care! He didn't! Teach was a traitor and a liar and dam it Ace he was never really your friend, get you head on straight. Suddenly a name drifted up from below that cut through Ace like a knife. Straw-hat. That was Luffy. Why were Tea…Blackbeard's men talking about his baby brother?
As Ace listened he felt his heart freeze up. They were hunting down Luffy. Hadn't Teach done enough? Now he was going after his brother, his light, it was like Teach was trying to cause as much pain as humanly possible. He knew. He knew exactly who Luffy was. What he meant to Ace. Which is why he was doing it that BASTARD! Change of plans. He was originally going to wait until he had gotten more info on Blackbeard to confront him but there was no way he could risk Teach getting away from him and getting to Luffy.
"Hey, hold on a second there Teach." Ace called down, "We need to talk." Teach froze for a moment, confused, then turned. A huge familiar grin split his face and Ace felt sick.
"Well, Whada ya know, it's Commander Ace." Teach called up jovially. A familiar greeting, one used countless times before on the ship and on the battle field. Ace felt rage boil up inside of him. How dare he act like they were still friends, like they had ever truly been friends, like this wasn't just some sick game Teach had been paying. Somehow he managed to keep his tone level but he couldn't help the words that slipped out.
"You have no right to call me that anymore. Use that title with respect or not at all. I won't have you mock me." Ace nails were biting into his palms at this point to try and keep himself in check. It hurt. It shouldn't hurt like this. Not when this man meant nothing and his words were nothing. At his words the toothpick with a cane stepped forward and inquired after his identity. Seems like Teach had been expecting him. Or had at least considered it enough of a possibility to warn his crew. After confirming the man's suspicions and assessing that he was no threat Ace turned back to Teach. "So this is your crew. It looks like you've become a captain now huh." He deadpanned, "Captain Marshal D. Teach, of the Blackbeard Pirates." Not that Ace didn't already know all this, but he needed to hear it confirmed. Needed to heat it from Teach's mouth. Maybe then he could stop these pathetic emotions and do his job properly.
The laughter that spilled from Teach's mouth made his heart sink and his blood sing in his ears. Teach's words were worse. " Come on Ace, lighten up. Good to see you again" Teach grinned and through his arms wide. "What brings you hear? You weren't looking for me were ya?" Ace's composer almost snapped. Only a lifetime of experiencing the consequences of not controlling his temper kept him from jumping down and putting a fist through Teach's face. How DARE he! How dare he keep up this charade. Acting like nothing was wrong, like he had done nothing wrong, like Thatch wasn't DEAD because of him.
Lacing his fingers together to give himself something else to focus on Ace decided he needed to cut to the chase. "Let's stop beating around the bush now shall we?" He asked, "Even if you play dumb, I know you're a crafty bastard." Crafty enough to stay hidden and trusted on Whitebeard's ship for years. Crafty enough to know who'd have take the responsibility of dealing with him when he made him move. Crafty enough make sure to gather information about them. Crafty enough to make Ace think they were Nakama.
"There's only one reason for me to be here and you know what it is. So spare me the chit chat." Ace could feel his responsibility, could feel the weight of it pressing down into his back trough his mark. He couldn't put this off any longer.
"Fine have it your way." Teach replied, and Ace almost sighed in relief. No more games. Teach was finally going to ditch this psychological battle. "But there's one question I'd like to ask first." What? "Instead of fighting why don't you become a member of my crew?" the hell. He wasn't serious was he? No this was just more of Teach's sick game and, and Teach was still talking "I have the perfect plan to rise to the top. You stick with me I swear we could rule the world." It was like a bad sales pitch Teach knew he had no interest in the world, sure he thought the people who did rule it were scum but..
"Whitebeards days are numbered and you know it." Ace almost flinched at that. He did know it. He'd confided in Teach his fear for the man who had taken him in; Oyja's age and sickness weren't getting any better.
And still Teach was talking."I'm gona be king of the pirates" Ace had to bit his lip to keep from laughing at Teaches ridiculous statement. He had no conviction, besides Luffy was going to be King. That had been a fact for almost a decade.
And yet the man was still elaboration his plan to Ace as if somehow this spiel would actually convince him. Was he scared? Stalling? "First I'm headed to Water7 to kill Straw-hat Luffy as a special gift to the world government. Wouldn't hurt to have you along for the fun."
Honestly, Ace was shocked. He didn't think Teach would admit he was after his brother, let alone invite Ace. Now he was getting concerned, Teach wasn't and idiot that had been proven. So then why was he doing this?
"Luffy Huh" Ace said quietly, then more forcefully, "You're out of your mind."
"Oh, You Know him?" Teach inquired with a grin. That bastard, what the hell was he playing at? Teach was the first one on the Moby Dick to ask about Ace's family, to invite Ace to tell him stories about them growing up. Ace'd even trusted the man with Sabo, so what the hell was he playing at.
"Of Course I know him you piece of Crap!" Ace snapped, "I'm not gona let you kill my little brother." Teach looked slightly taken aback at Ace's outburst. Good, that means he'd messed up the man's script. "And I'm not joining your crew." He said slightly calmer, but his voice was still dripping with furry. "You can take your little offer and shove it up your.."
A shot passed through him. It seems Teach's new friend with the bazooka didn't like his captain being insulted. "Well you get it." Ace finished. Teach whipped around to his crew mate. Obviously that hadn't been part of his plan. Which meant Teach didn't control his crew very well. Let's use that. "huh, looks like you need to teach your crew some manners, captain." Ace mocked. He stood and blasted at the gunman. The coward ran and hid while the idiot in the mask tried to get him from behind with… was that a house? No matter. Ace abolished it in an instant. Flaming wreckage fell and Teach scrambled out of the way. Seems he was calling them off, was Teach actually concerned for their safety? No of course he wasn't, but even the possibility made Ace blood boil over again.
"FIRE FIST" Ace threw all of his rage and built up emotions into his flames and blasted Teach and his entire crew through the buildings behind them. Teach was writhing around pathetically and his precious 'crew' bolted over to put him out. Seriously? This was the monster that had taken Thatch from them? That wanted to take his brother from him? Ace jumped down and walked through the wreckage, drawing the flames back into himself as he went. Seems Teach had had enough of his crew and pushed them aside. He obviously wasn't 'fine' if he was collapsing but whatever, that this made this easier. Ace watched the man through his wall of flames, making eye contact before finally dismissing them.
Teach laughed as he struggled to get up and Ace honestly couldn't decide if it was satisfying or depressing. Pulling himself to his knees Teach Spoke, "All right, I get it. You wanta finish me don't'ch, murder of a fellow crew mate is a serious crime after all."
Yes it was, so glade were on the same page finally, Ace mentally seethed.
"and yes I killed fourth division commander Thatch with my own hand," Teach continued
There, he'd admitted it. So now he would have no problem banishing his lingering emotions and finishing this. So get rid of them Ace. What the hell's wrong with you.
"But there wasn't any other choice!"
Ace's blood ran cold. What the HELL was that supposed to mean? More of Teach's twisted games obviously, but did he honestly think he could convince Ace of something like that?
Seemed Teach was going to try to explain it to him.
"Wasn't personal but he had the devil fruit I'd been searching for. You know the rules on Whitebeard's ship, whoever finds one of those gets to eat it. I memorized the shapes and colors of all the devil fruits that they discovered so I knew that was the one I needed. Whether I liked it or not I spent decades biding me time on Whitebeards ship cause it was the best shot I had at finding that one single fruit. But just when I thought there was no hope left, there it was. Right in the hand of my friend." Teach rambles on.
Ace just stared at him, shocked. What on earth was he hearing? He knew the man was deranged but this? How the hell did that make any sense? And what possessed Teach to think it would somehow convince him of anything?
"Then you murdered him in cold blood and stole it. Without a second thought." Ace's words were cold. No emotion slipping through that might give away his thoughts to Teach.
"Bad luck for him." Teach responded in an almost equal deadpan, "There was no other way." He rose to his feet and let a fierceness slip into his voice."This ability has chosen me." Then Teach laughed and Ace could see the madness clearly in his eyes. "And it's power's made me the strongest man in the world." Teach declared throwing his arms wide.
That title belongs to Oyja you bastard, Ace fumed.
"Watch" Teach said, stretching out his hand as if began to blacken, "Even among the Logia Fruits there's nothing quite like it." Suddenly a pillar of shadow shot up behind Teach.
Ac blinked. That might, maybe be a little impressive. If it wasn't coming from Teach.
"Ace," Teach spoke, drawing Ace's attention back to him, "your body is made of fire, right."
Well duh. Ace watched as the black cloud climbed higher, blocking out the sun.
Teach chuckled as he continues, "My body is DARKNESS."
Well someone was feeling dramatic. Still it was something to think about, and information on your opponent should never be ignored. "Darkness?" He mused.
"You'll see soon enough, commander Ace."Teach responded, "I think you'll wanta reconsider my offer."
Offer? Oh right, betray everyone and join up with this backstabbing bastard. Not gona happen. Seriously it was getting a little disturbing how much effort Teach was putting into this conversion thing.
"In the history of all devil fruits this is said to be the most dangerous power of them all." Teach explained, "The Logia type Yami Yami no mi. In other words I've become a darkness man. I'll give you a taste of its power. I wouldn't blink if I were you."
This was getting ridicules, "Stop yapping and do it." Ace snorted. Teach's men took off running. Cowards. Oh, and it looked liked the sick one finally kicked the bucket. Nope looks like he was still alive but it seems like they fully expected their captain to kill them if they stayed. Well that's what they got for following someone like Blackbeard. So why did the knowledge that Teach didn't care about his men satisfy Ace so much?
Suddenly Teach's pillar collapsed back down and started spreading out across the ground, drawing Ace's attention away from the fleeing men."Darkness is Gravity," Teach explained, "it swallows everything around it. Even light itself can't escape, it's power is infinite!"
Ace was confused. What was the point of this if there was no attack? This was Teach attacking right? The masked guy had used the word rampage. "That's nice but it's nowhere near me." He questioned, "You sure you got the hang of this?" if Teach couldn't even put up a proper fight this was going to be very disappointing. Not that Ace cared. He was here for justice, nothing more.
"Calm down, I'm not aiming at you yet. You'll be glad when you see what I do to this town." Teach scolded, turning his back to him.
Now Ace was peeved; Seriously? They'd gone through all this and still Teach was on this spiel? Did he really trust that Ace wouldn't just strike him down?
Yes he did.
Ace himself had told him one day that, everything else be dammed, he would never stoop to stabbing someone in the back. Teach had praised him for that. Clapped Ace's back and said he wished he could have that kind of honor. The memory made Ace sick.
Suddenly Teach yelled out and the shadows moved. Started crushing and dragging everything down into them. Buildings shattered and splinters flew and the entire town collapsed in on itself. It was actually rather impressive as everything but the pile of wreckage he stood on vanished into the inky ground.
"Within these shadows lies the limitless power to compress anything and everything. To crush whatever they touch." Teach explained as he drew the darkness back into himself. There was nothing left of the settlement but exposed earth. "But that's just the beginning. Now I'll show you what happened to that town." He continued, "Or whatever's left of it I should say."
Ok. What was that supposed to mean? Then Teach yelled something out again, liberation? Maybe? Then the black pillar reformed and the shattered remnants of the town came bursting out everywhere.
"So do you get it know Ace?" Teach laughed, "This was what I was willing to kill a friend for."
Ace had seen enough. He quickly formed his Hotarubi and aimed them at Teach. The man actually looked taken aback by the green orbs surrounding him. Ace called out and they ignited in a blaze causing Teach to collapse down and role about pathetically again.
"The Darkness part I get but this not so much." Ace pondered. Teach had never been the strongest but he was strong and Ace had seen firsthand his rather impressive pain tolerance. "What's going on here? If you're a Logia type that shouldn't hurt you rather it shouldn't even hit you."
Suddenly shadows sprang up and engulfed the flames. Ace frowned. As tech breathed a sigh of relief as he struggled to stand.
"I already told you," Teach wheezed, "My darkness swallows everything around it, where its punches, blades, bullets, lightning, or fire. Unlike you I can't just turn into an element and dodge an attack; and the pain I absorb when I get hit is much greater than what a normal human feels. But the trade out for that inconvenience is more than worth it."
Ace honestly hoped so, because the idea of Thatch dying over something so pathetic was making him nauseous.
"Cause there happens to be one other thing I can absorb." Teach finished. Then he threw out his hand and finally attacked. "Black Vortex." Black tendrils shot out of Teach's hand and reached for Ace. "First I pull a devil fruit power holder into my grasp." And the man was still explaining.
Out of nowhere intense forces started to drag Ace forward. His precious hat went flying as he struggled against them. "To, Strong." he ground out as he was ripped forward.
"And then when I touch them."Teach continued, completely ignoring Ace as he forced into Teach's grip. A horrible intense emptiness raced through his body and Ace staged in shock and almost fear at Teach's hand on his shoulder. This wasn't, it couldn't be, Teach couldn't have, could he?
"You're smart," Teach chuckled. "Have you figured out the secret yet? Huh?" he asked cruelly.
"It can't be," Ace panicked. There was no way, no one could do something like that. To prove all his fears correct Teach pulled back his fist and, grinning, smashed in into Ace's abdomen. He couldn't shift to fire. His fire wasn't there.
Ace coughed up blood as the blow connected, sending him flying backwards to smash into the ruble behind him. Teach laughed as Ace groaned and tried to get up from the wreckage he was lodged in. That hurt. Ace hadn't actually been hit in a very long time. His pain tolerance was ridiculously pathetic he noted. Thankfully Ace could feel the vestiges of his fire coming back to him and he managed to dislodge himself enough to fall to the ground.
"It's been so long since you've been hit," Teach spoke, seemingly reading Ace's mind, "I bet you forgot how much it hurts, Ace."
His name. there was something seriously off in the way Teach kept saying his name but through the ache in his body Ace couldn't figure out what it was. Gingerly he brought his hand to his lips and came away with blood. It had been an awfully long time since Ace had seen his own blood.
"But you understand now," Teach continued, "You understood the second I grabbed you. Not only can my darkness pull you in it can also absorb, your devil fruit power! In other words as long as they're in contact with me, someone with devil fruit powers is no different than a normal human."
Ace pulled himself to his feet stumbling a but as he did so. Man Teach liked to talk, had he always talked this much? And he was still going.
"Logia, Zoan, Paramicia, all those with devil fruit powers who have become dependent on them are in for a surprise." Teach proclaimed, "One little touch will remind them how weak they really are."
Yup, that was Ace, Dam. He seriously wanted a pipe right about now. Although since Teach knew all about that to he wasn't sure how much good it would actually do him. "Then all I have to do is avoid you." Ace planned. It was really the only option he had at this point.
"If you think you can escape gravity that easily I'd like to see you try." Came Teaches retort.
Dam had Ace said that last bit out loud?
Teach threw out his hand and Ace was being ripped towards him once again.
Ace grabbed hold of the flickering flames that had returned to him and forced them to life. He launched two flaming spears that pierced strait through Teach and then desperately twisted himself out of the way. Unfortunately it wasn't enough as Teach's hand chopped down on his neck with crushing force.
The pain was intense but Ace had the satisfaction of hearing the bastard scream out as he was once again sent flying.
Ace clutched the back of his throat as he watched Teach summon is shadows to get rid of the flames. "That bastard almost broke my neck" Ace seethed, "His ability's going to be a bigger pain than I thought." Ace quickly crossed his fingers and launched a flaming bolt at the larger man.
Teach grinned wickedly and suddenly the rock face behind him was toppling over. Had Ace missed? He couldn't have it was a dead blank shot at the middle of the bastard's chest!
Ace didn't have time to figure it out as suddenly the darkness was closing in on him and the horrible emptiness was back. The two of them clashed again and again until they were both breathing heavily.
But Ace, to his self loathing, was reduced to panting down onto his hands and knees, while Teach's dark pillar raged above him. Why was he so weak?
"Everything falls before Darkness." Teach spoke and Ace honestly couldn't tell if the man was mocking him or not. "Even you can only struggle for so long. Still finishing you off here would be a waste of your talent."
Wait… were they back to this conversion thing? Hadn't Ace made it clear that his answer was no? why was Teach so desperate to have Ace on his side? Was it because they were… because Teach had pretended to be his Na… his friend?
"Don't fight it Ace." Teach commanded "Join me."
Ace struggled to at least sit up. He heeded to look the bastard in the eyes to give him his answer. Despite all of the conflicting emotions running rampart in his head Ace managed to force a smirk.
"If I surrender to you," he spoke slowly making sure each word came out clearly despite the blood clogging his throat, "Then I could never call myself a man again."
Teaches expression fell almost imperceptibly, apparently he hadn't thought Ace would still refuse his offer.
"I won't submit," Ace continued his voice gaining power, "and I won't live with regrets no matter what. You got that, stupid?"
"Once you die morals are useless." The venom in Teach's voice was palpable, "I'm sorry you can't understand that, Ace."
And there it was again, that horrid, twisting, possessive tone to his name. why? Why was that bastard still acting like this?
"Darkness Take You" Teach roared as a massive surge of shadows sprang from him.
Ace finally pulled himself to his feet, "Great Flame Commandment" he yelled as he summoned ever ounce of power he had left.
Teach actual paused as he stared at the literal Sun Ace had Conjured.
"Flame Emperor" Ace finished holding his light against his once friend's darkness.
Teach seemed to regain his composure as they squared off. "The sun against darkness," He laughed, "only one can win!"
"I'll make Whitebeard the King." Ace said with a false serenity, "Or die trying." It was strange. He didn't believe that. Not really. Luffy would be the Pirate King. So why had he said it? To anger Teach? Some desperate attempt at hurting the man who had cause him so much heartache?
Teach lunged for him and Ace answered in kind. Fire and Shadow engaged in a collision that would leave Benaro island forever scared. And as the darkness engulfed him, Ace found that his thoughts were not for Thatch who's justice he had failed to deliver. Nor for Whitebeard, the man he called captain, who's honor he had failed to uphold. No, his devotion all went to his little brother.
"I'm so sorry Lu," Ace whispered as he lost consciousness, "I wasn't strong enough. I guess this means I've broken my promise to you. Please Luffy, please stay safe."
And then Ace knew no more.