Time: Night 012, After Fletcher and Nash die
Summary: Ace takes a few moments to let it all go, and finds something that could be useful.
Warnings: Ace is upset...Spoilers for recent Manga if you read it.
Ace had failed before.
He knew, rationally, that he couldn't save everyone. But it hurt...it hurt so bad, first Thatch, then Luffy, and now Fletcher...all people who had trusted him, all people he had cared about.
He'd left Sanji behind in his haste to get out, get away. He had no control of his fire, and knew the safest place to be was the room full of fire, a room where he could let go of his tightly wound control and just be in the flame and heat. To Vanish in the unthinking hunger that was the flame, just for a few moments more. Just to give him a moment to let out his rage and his grief, things he'd been carefully holding back because other people needed him. Because Sanji needed him, and then Fletcher needed him.
Were anyone to attempt to entire the room, they probably would have heard the fire screaming and howling it rage.
He'd PROMISED Dammit! Who cared if the house brought them back, he'd still failed. Failed one of the few tasks he'd set to himself after arriving at the House. He'd failed.
It seemed like hours passed in the flame, Ace had never felt so much power, fire that burned without an ounce of fuel, fire that accepted him and embraced him and let him just be for a few moments...for a little while forget who he was...forget his failure. No Portgas D. Ace, Son of Gol D. Roger and Portgas D. Rouge....Not Monkey D. Ace....foster son of Garp and brother to Luffy, not even Fire Fist, Whitebeard's own. Just fire...nothing but hunger and flame and breathing. No responsibility meant no failures.
When he finally started to come back into himself, he spotted it against the window...a bright spot of color amid the flame.
One of the Lamp Girl's messages maybe....? He should take it to the others...it wouldn't change anything...it wouldn't take away his failures....but maybe it might help. Maybe it could help stop anyone else from dying...if this was one of them. He picked it up carefully, aware of the flames surrounding him and worried about the fragile paper...but nothing happened. He leaned into the fire, person shaped again...but still flame...He should return to the others.
Maybe in a few moments. He wanted to be free a few seconds longer.