And, hello everybody! Im back with a new story that I've spent a lot of time thinking up and can't wait to get into! To start, I just want everyone to know that there are warnings for this story, so please read them. I don't want to offend or trigger anybody. I have much more to say, but I'll save it for after the chapter, for now, read the warnings and enjoy!
Warnings: Dark themes, lots of mentions of death, strong language, human experimentation, experimenting on children, child abduction, graphic descriptions of experimenting, lots of needles, lots of violence, poor descriptions of panic attacks, descriptions of blood, rated M for safety.
*If I need to add anymore warnings please tell me in the reviews or a PM and I'll be sure to add it!*
Chapter 1: And so the Adventure Begins
"You would think that you'd be able to hit the target and not yourself by now." Ace called to Luffy from where he sat. He sat on a branch beside Sabo, both watching as their youngest brother practiced his aim on a tree, a large one at that, and still managed to miss.
"Its not my fault! Its hard! If you had rubber arms you wouldn't be able to hit the target either!" Luffy whined, pouting as he rubbed his face.
"If it were me I wouldn't have eaten such a boring fruit in the first place! I would eat something much cooler." Ace replies with a grin, his arms crossed as he teased the youngest.
"My fruit is cool!" Luffy shouts indignantly, his hands closing into fists at his sides.
"Alright you two, calm down." Sabo says with a sigh, hoping to diffuse the situation before the two got into a full blown fight. It wouldn't be the first time.
"He started it..." Luffy mumbles, crossing his arms. Sabo shakes his head as he and Ace jump down from their tree branch.
"And you fell for it. I swear, can't you two just get along?" Sabo asks in slight desperation. Ace scoffs.
"When he stops being a crybaby." The freckled boy says, riling Luffy up once more.
I'm not a crybaby!" He shouts, Sabo groaning as he walked in between the two who were nearly butting heads. He pushed them apart, all three of them sending glares at someone, Ace to Luffy, Luffy to Ace, and Sabo to Ace and Luffy.
"Now now, why don't we spar for a bit?" Sabo asked, immediately refocusing the bickering children's attention onto him. Smiles lit up their faces at the thought, though Aces was more of a smirk.
"Yeah!" Luffy cheered, the three heading to their usual spot for sparring.
As the boys walked they were unaware of the three people following them, having docked at the shore early that morning, on a mission to find three infamously strong brats in the woods. The men following the children grinned sadistically as they followed their targets, watching the smallest settle down by a chalkboard and the older two getting into battle stances.
"Why don't we nab 'em now?" One man asked, his black hair littered with grey, showing that the man wasn't as youthful as he once had been.
"Because, you idiot, they're about to tire themselves out and make it easier for us to get'em!" The one with fiery red hair exclaimed in exasperation.
"And then we can get off this god forsaken island and get paid." The last one, the one with bleach blond hair, said with a grimace, remembering the unnaturally large animals in this forest.
"Exactly! All we have to do now is be patient." The second man, red head, said, grinning once more.
It wasn't much longer until the three boys filled their sparring quota for the day, the three laying on the grass and looking through the trees' canopies to see the sky. It was peaceful, calm, and serene, but was swiftly interrupted by the sounds of something, someone, jumping out of the trees and advancing on the boys.
"Whoa!" Luffy exclaimed in surprise as Ace and Sabo sprung up into action, pipes in hand. Luffy followed suit after getting over his amazement at seeing three men appear out of nowhere from the tree surrounding them.
"Who the hell are you bastards?!" Ace asked, not recognizing the three from the Grey Terminal.
"That, boy, is none of your business. Now, we can do this the easy way, or the hard way. Its your choice." The supposed leader, red head, said calmly. The three men slowly began advancing towards the kids and Aces glare hardened as he and Sabo tensed, ready to fight.
"Doing things the hard way is... hard." Luffy said, his brows furrowed in confusion. Why would he want to something the hard way? That would be annoying.
"See, we're all in agreement, now come with us and no one gets hurt." The leader said.
"Who would be stupid enough to do that?!" Ace shouted, running up to the man and swinging his pipe, hitting the mans legs with enough force to knock him to the ground with an 'oof' sound leaving him. Ace grinned triumphantly, spinning his pipe in his hand and stopping it on the ground.
"Oh, you've done it now brat!" The leader shouted, jumping back to his feet. The effect was immediate as the other two men jumped in as well, the one with black hair attacking Sabo and the blonde fighting Luffy. When it was obvious that the kids were outmatched Sabo sent a worried glance towards Ace.
"Ace, we should run!" Sabo shouted, to which Ace glared back.
"Never! I don't run away from a fight!" Ace shouted. Sabo glared back.
"Yeah, and it'll get you killed one day!" Sabo shouted back. The two's attention was pulled to Luffy when the boy made a noise of pain. Upon inspection it was obvious what happened, the blonde had pulled out a knife and had grazed Luffy's arm, making it harder for him to use his pipe.
"Ace!" Sabo shouted, turning his attention back to Ace. Ace's glare hardened and he went silent, focusing back on the red head who was grinning in preemptive triumph.
"Ace, we have to run!" Sabo shouted, emphasizing every word, only to growl in frustration when he was promptly ignored. With a huff of annoyance Sabo pulled his attention to his opponent, hitting him in the head with enough force to stun him momentarily. Using this as his opportunity he rushed over to Luffy who was quickly losing his battle and sprung up behind the blonde fighting him, swinging his pole down and stunning him as well.
"Luffy, run to Dadans, get help!" Sabo shouted, Luffy watching with confusion, apprehension on his face. He couldn't just leave his brothers here alone! He had to help!
"GO!" Sabo shouted, louder than he'd ever heard him shout before. This shocked Luffy enough that his eyes widened and he almost robotically nodded, spinning and rushing off into the forest surrounding them, headed towards Dadan. The leader of the men, having seen this, growled, anger blossoming onto his face.
"Go after him!" He shouted to the one with black hair who was just recovering from Sabo's hit. He nodded, running after Luffy while Sabo turned to the blonde, hitting him a few extra times on the head to make sure he stayed down before he turned to the leader, taking a stance beside Ace. The eldest brother looked at Sabo from the corner of his eye and smirked, Sabo shaking his head, eyes narrowed.
"You're such an idiot!" Sabo exclaimed as he jumped towards red head. Ace glared, scowling.
"Am not!" He shouted, jumping after Sabo, both of their pipes raised and ready to continue fighting.
"Both of you brats are idiots who are going to regret choosing the hard way!" Red head exclaimed in fury, getting ready to defend against the attacks.
Meanwhile Luffy was running as fast as his little legs allowed him to. He had the advantage of knowing the forest like the back of his hand, allowing him to take shortcuts and run around trees and jumps over roots with practiced ease while his pursuer was having trouble keeping up, tripping on said roots and running into those trees Luffy passed with ease.
"Almost there, almost there!" Luffy repeated to himself, like a mantra, as he ran through. He could practically hear the bandits from there, practically see their hut behind the trees. A smile spread on his face as he took a deep breath, preparing his lungs.
"DADAN~!" Luffy's shout was so loud that the birds in the surrounding trees flew away and the black haired man had to pause to hold his ears, only to recover and rush forward in fury, grabbing Luffy by his scruff and lifting him into the air.
"You damn brat!" He shouted, turning and carrying Luffy over his shoulder as he ran back to the others. Luffy felt the terror begin to fill him after he realized that he had just been captured. What was going to happen? Ace and Sabo would save him, right? They always did! Or maybe even Dadan, she had to have heard his shout! He made sure he had been extra loud so that, even if she was sleeping, she would have heard him!
The straw hat wearing boy was carried through the forest swiftly, the man carrying him worried over the fact that people might be coming now thanks to the loud mouthed child. Soon enough he was back at the others. The blonde one was up again and Ace and Sabo were being tied up by the leader.
"We gotta go, this one called for someone and I'm pretty sure they're on their way!" Black hair said, throwing Luffy to the ground, Ace and Sabo shouting in protest, though not able to do much seeing as their hands and feet were bound.
"Well in that case we don't have any time to waste. Everyone grab a kid, lets go!" The leader ordered, grabbing Ace. Sabo and Luffy were unceremoniously picked up again and the men ran through the forest quickly, making their way down the mountain and to the shore where there was a small boat waiting. The brothers were carried onboard quickly and dropped in the middle of the deck as the three men split up. The leader disappeared into a room while the other two were busy unfurling the sails and raising the anchor, preparing the boat to leave.
"Luffy, come here!" Sabo whispered urgently. Seeing as the men had been rushed they hadn't tied Luffy up, leaving the boy free. Luffy shuffled over to Sabo quickly, Ace scooting closer as well so he could hear what was happening.
"Luffy, try to untie my hands, if you do I can get my feet untied!" Sabo whispered, Ace nodding his agreement. Luffy nodded quickly, moving behind Sabo to untie him, tongue sticking out in concentration as he tried to pull the knot apart. Was it just him or was this knot getting tighter? Undeterred Luffy tried harder, Ace and Sabo watching to make sure they weren't caught. Luffy continued pulling and unraveling and, probably due to a miracle, the knot unraveled away, freeing Sabo's hands.
"Good job Lu! Now untie Ace!" Sabo said, already getting to work on untying his feet. Luffy nodded, a feeling of pride swelling inside him from the praise and being able to help his brothers. He moved over to Ace and began pulling at the knot again, trying to move as fast as he could. He was almost done, he just knew it, but before he could finish the door opened and the leader walked out along with one other guy, this one with silver hair and eyes.
"And what do we have here?" Silver hair asked just as Luffy untangled Aces knot, Sabo doing the same to his own binds as well, standing in a defensive pose while Ace quickly worked at untying his feet.
"Who are you?" Sabo asked in a calculating tone, eyes narrowing. Ace practically ripped the ropes off and stood beside Sabo, Luffy in between the two.
"Me? No one you brats need to concern yourselves with. Put them away and get us on course to the damn island. The sooner these brats are gone the better." Silver eyes said to the red head who nodded.
"Yes sir." Red head said, indicating that the silver eyed man was the boss of this whole thing.
"Lets go brats." Red head said, shoving the three to a door behind them, much to Ace and Sabo's protests. Luffy merely watched in confusion and slight fear, understanding that, whatever was happening, it wasn't good.
"Hey! Let us go! Are you listening to me?!" Ace shouted furiously, doing his best to kick and punch at the red headed man who had grabbed his arm. Sabo's arm was also in the red headed mans grip as he also tried his best to get out of the hold, but he was having much the same luck as Ace. Luffy was grabbed by the black haired man before he even had the thought of running or helping Ace and Sabo.
"Now stay quiet!" Red head shouted as all three boys were thrown into a dark room the size of a closet.
"I'll show you-!" Ace was cut off by the door slamming in his face before he could run out, leaving him glaring in the darkness. The only light in the room came from the crack under the door and barely illuminated the boys faces. Once night hit, the room would be pitch black. Ace grumbled, crossing his arms and turning to Sabo and Luffy.
"Bastards." He growled out. Sabo ignored his temperamental brother and instead started looking around for anything that could help them get out, running a hand through his short hair. In the middle of their capture his hat had flown off and he hadnt gotten a chance to get it back. Briefly, he noticed Luffy still had his though and was thankful for that small miracle. If Luffy had lost his straw hat he would have been inconsolable, and they already had enough problems on their plate.
"Anyone know why those guys took us in the first place?" Sabo asked. He could see his brothers shaking their heads in the dim light and sighed.
"They don't look familiar? Maybe we stole from them?" Sabo asked, though the last question was more of a thought that he accidentally said out loud, still brainstorming as to why they would have been captured.
"I think I would have remembered stealing from those ugly mugs." Ace said with a glare as he pointed behind him to the door.
"I don't think I stole from them. Ne, Sabo, do you think Dadan heard me? I made sure to yell extra loud!" Luffy asked innocently, hoping that their sorta kinda caregiver would come to rescue them.
"Im sure she did, after all, Ace and I heard you and we were much further away!" Sabo said with a smile. Luffy beamed at this, sitting down and running his fingers through the dust on the ground. With Luffy preoccupied for the moment Sabo got back to inspecting the room, though there wasn't much to inspect. The room was completely bare, dark and empty. The only thing in it was the dust Luffy was playing with and the brothers themselves.
"Well I'm not just gonna sit here and let them take us who knows where!" Ace shouted suddenly, standing and turning to the door, turning the knob with no luck. His next step was to start banging on the door, and then to start throwing his weight against it, again, with no luck. Luffy watched on with interest and at one point even began to cheer on his freckled brother, while Sabo watched with a sigh. He had a feeling it wouldn't be that easy to get out.
"Ace stop, we have to think about this." Sabo said calmly, trying to reason with his hot headed brother.
"Think?! What's the good in wasting time thinking when we can ram the door down and leave?!" Ace asked, enraged. Sabo did his best not to take his brothers anger to heart, knowing he was frustrated at being caught, not at Sabo himself.
"Say we do ram the door down, then what? Run out and fight the four grown adults with no weapons?" Sabo asked, being sure to keep his tone even.
"Well-... Yeah! We can take 'em! Then we can get off this stupid boat and go back home!" Ace shouted, Luffy watching the two argue like a game of tennis.
"Alright, we magically ram the door down, then miraculously knock out our captors with zero effort at all. What's next on your list of good ideas? We've already cast off, as in, we're now surrounded by water, something that Luffy has no chance of swimming through seeing as he's eaten a devil fruit!" Sabo said, slowly loosing his calm exterior.
"I can carry him!" Ace shouted back defiantly. Sabo groaned, face palming.
"That's not the point Ace! Even if that was possible we would still need to get out of this room, which you're not having much luck in doing." Sabo said, his calm tone coming back. Ace puffed his cheeks in chagrin.
"So what's the plan Sabo?! Why're you so calm?!" Ace asked, still annoyed.
"Because, there's no point in being angry right now when there's nothing we can do. Our best bet is to wait for someone to open the door so we can get out and worry about everything else after. Besides, from the looks of it, the man wants us alive." Sabo said. This confused Ace, causing him to tilt his head, Luffy observing and copying the motion.
"Huh? What makes you say that?" Ace questioned, his anger melting to confusion.
"Yeah!" Luffy mimicked, probably just wanting to add to the conversation. The boy was most likely bored already despite the situation they were in.
"Well, for one we're alive right now. Instead of hurting, or even killing us, he had us locked in here. Also, he was determined to head towards some island and said that the sooner we were gone the better, meaning he's probably taking us to someone who wants us more then he does." Sabo said, recalling everything that's happened.
"Who would want us?" Ace asked. Sabo had wondered the same thing, but didn't like any of the answers he came up with. Maybe someone found out about Luffys parents*, or his, or even Aces. Maybe some nobles wanted him back. Maybe some pirates they stole from wanted revenge. Maybe the marines finally found out about the three kids Garp was practically hiding away in the mountains of a random island. The possibilities were endless.
"Who knows, there's a lot of reasons someone would want us." Sabo said quietly. It was quiet after that, Ace deciding to just sit down despite his previous determination to leave, and Sabo watched Luffy as he continued playing in the dust. The first thing to break the silence was Luffys stomach growling loudly, the boy looking up with a pout.
"Im hungry~." Luffy whined, frowning and holding his stomach.
"I know Lu, but we just have to wait and hope they give us food soon." Sabo said, voice laced with concern for the youngest, knowing how much he needed to eat and how little they were probably going to be fed. Ace scoffed.
"If they feed us at all. Bastards." Ace grumbled. Sabo shot him a glare, one that told him that he was not helping the situation, but sighed in defeat instead, turning back to Luffy.
"Why don't I tell you a story?" He asked, knowing that might drag Luffys attention away from how hungry he was. Luffy immediately brightened at the idea, nodding happily.
"Mm! Sabos stories are always the best!" Luffy cheered, settling in to listen. Sabo smiled and immediately launched into a story that he had read about pirates who were bad turning good to save a princess which enthralled Luffy immensely, especially when he brought up all the adventures the crew went on.
"And legend says that they were the freest pirates in the world." Sabo said after finishing his story. He noticed that even Ace had been listening, leaning forward on his hands as if he could hear better that way. Sabo smiled, turning his attention back to Luffy who was cheering happily.
"I wanna be free like that too! Im gonna get a crew and become pirate king, and then I'll be freer than anyone else in the whole entire world!" Luffy cheered, and Sabos smile widened at the unbridled joy that Luffy had just from the thought.
"Im sure you can do it Lu, right Ace?" Sabo asked, turning back to Ace who quickly pretended that he didn't care.
"A crybaby like him? As if." Ace scoffed, leaving Sabo to shake his head and Luffy to pout.
"Im not a crybaby!" Luffy whined for the millionth time. It seemed this argument always found a way to come back up with these two. Before Ace had a chance to retort though the door opened, their blonde captor walking in with a tray.
"Dinner brats." It was then that the three noticed how dark it was outside and the fact that they had been sitting in darkness for a while now. Before the brothers could do anything the plates were on the ground and the door was closed, leaving the boys in darkness once more.
"Food!" Luffy cried happily, undeterred. Everyone managed to grab a plate and began eating, Luffy and Ace finishing quickly, still hungry.
"That tasted like rotten crocodile." Ace said, pushing his empty plate away. Sabo nodded his agreement as he slowly finished, but Luffy was still grinning.
"I want seconds!" He said cheerfully, Ace rolling his eyes in response.
"There is no more idiot." Ace said causing Luffy to pout.
"But I'm still hungry..." Luffy said sadly.
"Why don't we go to sleep? In the morning we can figure out how we're going to get out of here." Sabo suggested, settling down onto the floor. Ace shrugged, laying down as well beside Sabo, Luffy moving in between them and laying down as well.
"Dadans coming for us, right?" Luffy asked softly, staring at the ceiling, though he could only see darkness. Sabo and Ace hesitated at that, glancing at each other. Finally Ace broke the silence, nudging Luffy.
" 'Course she is! I bet she'll even get the shitty gramps to come looking, and if that happens these bastards are screwed!" Ace said, determination filling his voice. This caused Luffy to smile, pulling his hat over his eyes.
"Mm! Gramps'll beat 'em all up!" Luffy said, the cheeriness back in his voice. The youngest quickly settled down after that, going quiet until his breathing evened out and his mouth opened slightly, indicating that he was sleeping. Sabo sighed.
"What if they don't come?" Sabo asked, wondering if Dadan would risk telling Garp what happened. Of course she would, right? Even if she had a tough exterior she always had a soft spot for the three, but even if she told Garp would he find them? Would he use this as training? What if they got too far too fast and were taken to a remote island that wasn't on any maps?
Sabo was shaken out of these musings by Aces harsh tone.
"They will. Even if he is a shitty gramps he wouldn't leave us. Besides, the whole island probably heard Luffy. Someone'll come for us." Ace said, seeming to say it more for his own reassurance then Sabos. Sabo turned, watching his brother carefully, but he couldn't see much except that he was staring up like Luffy had. The ex-noble opened his mouth to speak but thought against it and merely nodded.
"Yeah, you're right. Night Ace." Sabo said, closing his eyes and drifting off to sleep.
*Even though the brothers in canon didn't know Luffys parents at this time we're going to assume, in this story, that they do. It wouldn't be all that surprising if Garp managed to let it slip earlier then in canon after all.
And that's the first chapter! I hope everyone enjoyed it so far! If you guys read my other story, Future, Meet the Past, then you'll all know that I mentioned I have been planning this for a few months, and now that its finally here Im super excited! This is going to be a long story, and by long I mean easily over 50 chapters. Don't worry though, I've got nearly all of it planned out and I have no intentions of ever abandoning any story I start, so expect this story to be completed! I hope you'll all join me for this long ride and enjoy it as much as I do.
Just some quick notes on this story:
-There are warnings as stated at the beginning, and if anyone thinks I should add more, tell me, I'll add them. I don't want to offend or hurt anyone because I didn't do a good job warning people of what's to come.
-The brothers will be given more powers, but it won't be anything too overpowering like multiple devil fruits or anything, just some things I come up with to spice this story up a bit.
-This story is rated M for safety and because of the mass amount of warnings and dark themes throughout the beginning of this story.
-There will not be any sexual content what-so-ever, whether it be consensual, non-con, rape, etc.
-There wont be any romance or pairings. This is not because I don't like pairings, but because I don't think it'll suit this story. I thank you if you leave a review stating a pairing you'd like to see, but there is absolutely zero chance of it happening.
-Every chapter I will aim for at least 3,000 words, excluding authors notes.
-None of this is beta read, but I do reread and spell check all of my chapters multiple times before uploading them. This being said, I'm only human, so if you notice any mistakes, tell me, I'll be sure to go back and fix them as fast as I can!
-Finally, I will be aiming for bi-weekly updates on Wednesdays so keep an eye out for those.
If you couldn't tell, I'm a bit excited to start this. Its only ten minutes past midnight on a Wednesday, but I couldnt wait 'till morning to upload this so I did it now! I hope to see you all in the next two weeks with the next chapter!