Paddy stared at his Captain in unadulterated horror and frantic denial "I'm sorry Captain, but could you possibly repeat that please?"
The freckled teen stared at his audience of beloved crew members and newly freed slaves and repeated the words that would invoke horror from almost any pirate on the seas "Gramps, and by Gramps I mean Vice Admiral Garp, is on route for a visit."
The second youngest member of the crew stared at his Captain in resignation "Of fucking course he is. Do we have any chance of outrunning him Captain?"
The logia shook his head "Absolutely none Paddy, literally a zero percent chance." The older teenager let out a sob of resignation "Why is your family so batshit crazy Captain??!?? Why couldn't you be related to a nice non-threatening florist or something?"
Ignoring the slight snickers of his crew Ace gave his only (supposedly) sane crew member a conciliatory pat on the back.
"Because then life would be boring Paddy. But anyway moving on from that, as it stands Dusty reckons that we've got four days max before Gramps catches up to us, five if he makes a detour for rice crackers. Which means we've got four days total to enact phase two of our revenge scheme as well as dropping you lovely folks,"
The Captain paused to nod towards the ex-slaves "off at one of Whitebeard's protected islands. So, anyone have any good ideas on how we can pull this off with our new timeline?"
Marco and Dusty stepped forward as one, identical bone chilling smiles plastered on their faces (several people shuddered in horror as the two spoke in perfect unison) "We've got the perfect plan."
Ace gestured for them to share their ideas, desperately trying to ignore his own feeling of mind numbing terror at the sight of the two first mates united.
The fact that Dusty started cackling whilst Marco mumbled something about unused favours and revenge for paperwork did not help Ace's nerves.
Whatever this plan was, he already hated it.
Sengoku watched the Lieutenant back out of his office and debated with himself whether or not he really wanted to read the report in front of him.
On one hand, reading the report would catch him up on the most recent of the Spade pirates shenanigans, which meant he could at least try and effectively mitigate the damage.
(It might also have a bonus side effect of distracting him from the rainbow wearing monstrosities he had allowed his Marines to become.)
On the other hand ignorance had truly proven to be bliss when it came to anything even remotely related to the Spade pirates, and Sengoku was already dealing with a headache. Maybe he could put it off for another hour?
Before he could make a decision Tsuru burst into the room, a grim expression prominent on her face "Sengoku we've got a problem." The Fleet commander was coming to despise those words with a burning passion, but motioned for his old friend to continue on regardless.
"What's wrong?" Tsuru wordlessly placed a stack of photos in front of the marine and watched as his expression went blank. "How long ago were these taken?" The vice admiral sighed "The photos were taken early this morning but we think they were attacked some time last night. Unfortunately no one involved remembers anything."
Sengoku continued to stare at the photos "I don't suppose it's too much to hope the media didn't get a hold of the photos?"
Tsuru shook her head "They'll be published in every paper on the grand line by this time tomorrow." The Fleet commander stared down at the report in his hands conflict clear in his gaze.
Sengoku was aware that as an organisation the Marines had some serious faults. But that didn't change the fact that despite their failings there were a lot of decent Marines out there. And with a majority of the sea's filled with thieving murderous pirates, 90% of the time the Marines as an organisation were by far the lesser evil.
Unfortunately it was the remaining 10% of the time that was the problem. A percentage made up of corrupt officers and orders from the celestial dragons, even more specifically their laws pertaining to slavery.
(There was a reason Garp refused to be promoted past Vice Admiral, so as to keep himself more removed from the Celestial dragons attentions and everyone knew it)
Whilst slavery was not technically legal, everyone knew about what really went on at Sabaody. And whilst none of the Marines could openly do anything to stop it Sengoku was aware that some of the more idealistic Marines occasionally made moves to inform the revolutionaries of the location of celestial dragon run slave rings.
(The Fleet Commander had made a point of ignoring these actions whenever he could)
Staring down at the photo's of rainbow coloured Marines asleep and super glued to the side of different Marine bases in the pattern of the standard Celestial Dragon slave mark, Sengoku suddenly felt very tired and very old.
It was one hell of a statement that was for sure, and given the recently freed slaves and assaulted celestial dragon this was probably a last piece of revenge before the ex slaves made a move to go into hiding. Letting out a heavy sigh the Fleet Commander seemed to age thirty years and turned to look at his best friend.
"We need to do damage control. Do we have anyone due an execution in lock down?" Tsuru nodded "We do. There's a serial killer we picked up an island away, he was captured earlier today and he'd gone after a lot of good people before we caught him."
Sengoku nodded "Release a statement naming him as the main culprit in addition to the revolutionaries and then have him executed. We can't be seen to be weak about this Tsuru." The Vice Admiral nodded in agreement once again unable to keep the sorrow out of her face.
As much as they might deny it, they were growing older and soon it would be time to let the younger generation take over. Unfortunately until a suitable successor could be found (one who wouldn't drag them into war *cough* Akainu *cough*) they were stuck in their positions doing the best they could to limit the damage.
Turning to leave Tsuru paused and turned to face her friend "On an unrelated note I'd recommend checking out the latest reports on the Spades. I guarantee it'll make you feel better." Letting out a small resigned chuckle Sengoku decided to do as his friend suggested, knowing any distracted right now would be welcome.
Turning over the report on his desk, Sengoku froze as he stared at the photo on top in complete incomprehension. It took several seconds for the photo to sink in and the Fleet Commander burst into hysterical laughter.
He took back almost every complaint he had ever made about the Warlord program. This made up for all of it.
Garp couldn't stop the tears streaming down his face.
The old Marine couldn't remember ever having laughed harder in his life, not even about the ridiculous rumors regarding Akainu's fake relationship with Lady Spade.
The extra two day detour he'd taken to pick up some premium grade rice crackers on the way to visiting his stupid grandson was suddenly the greatest decision of his life. Because it allowed the time for this beautiful article to come into existence.
Staring down at his paper in glee, the Marine started to read over the five glorious pages explaining in explicit detail about Ace's supposed star crossed love affair with Boa Sandersonia.
But more importantly than their supposed affair and engagement, was the resulting honour duel that Boa Hancock had issued Ace following this revelation. Of course the so called 'Lady Spade' had then responded that if Hancock was fighting for her sister's honour than clearly she must return the favour and fight for her brother's honour!!!!
The article was accompanied with a picture of Hancock giving a disguised Ace the most glorious bitch slap Garp had seen in his life.
Several other photos also appeared in the article including an image of Sandersonia staring off into the distance delicate tears in her eyes as she watched the "love of her life" be forced to sail away, their engagement supposedly broken.
(the old Marine privately thought that it looked more like she was trying not to burst into laughter than any regretful tears)
According to the paper the two Captains had duelled to a standstill before the Spades retreated to a nearby island. Looking at the name of the island Garp grinned, he was less than a few hours away and he was looking forward to spending some... quality time...with his oldest grandchild.
Laughing maniacally Garp didn't notice a nearby Sea King shrink back in fear of the deranged man. Some people were just a little bit too crazy to be eaten thought the creature as it sunk beneath the waves.
Shanks continued to laugh over the Den Den Mushi and Ace felt the urge to go find the Emperor and murder him. Sure the man was far stronger than Ace was, but if the red haired menace was too busy laughing to defend himself then that was his own fault.
"Shanks. Stop. Laughing." for a blissful moment the Den Den Mushi fell silent, only for the laughter to return, doubled in volume.
It was at this moment Ace decided that maybe it had been too long since he had embarked on a futile quest to murder an Emperor. Honestly no one would disagree that Shanks deserved it. Maybe he could even get Gramps to help?
Before the teen could get any further in plotting the older man's demise Benn decided to take over "Ignoring the Captain, how's the cheek feeling Kiddo. That was an impressive slap."
The freckled teen let out a loud groan "It hurt so much, Hancock is incredibly strong. But I mean at least I have an air tight alibi for the vandalisms and the fight was enough of a distraction to the Marines that Marco and Deuce were able to safely drop off all the freed slaves at one of Pop's islands."
Apparently recovered from his laughing fit Shanks managed to speak up "I'm actually surprised you managed to get Hancock to play along with it honestly."
Ace let out a small chuckle "Apparently one of their crew owed Marco a favour or something, and once Hancock heard why we doing it she agreed to help fairly quickly. I reckon she must hate the Celestial Dragons as much as the rest of us. Not to mention that Sandersonia thought the whole thing sounded hilarious and volunteered to help out."
The Emperor let out an understanding hum before bursting into laughter once again. Having decided enough was enough Ace arranged his face into the creepiest grin he could manage "I don't know why your laughing Shanks. It'll be your turn soon enough."
The laughter died a sudden death and Ace was proud that the Emperor seemed to look a tad uneasy "What do you mean?"
Ace let out a soft laugh making sure to use the singsong tone of voice he usually only used to announce extra training to his crew. "Simple. I had nothing to do with this plan. Dusty and Marco came up with it. And if they're capable of uniting who's to say they've not already got your first mate involved too? Beware the first mates Shanks, it'll be your turn soon enough."
The Den Den Mushi turned pale and Ace heard Benn's laughter ring out, as the man started to speak in an incredibly pleasant tone of voice that sent shivers down the young Captain's spine "I have no clue what you're talking about Ace."
Ace noticed the Den Den Mushi turned even paler to echo Shanks' terror. "Of course not. My mistake. Anyway... I'm just gonna...go... Remember Benn we love and appreciate you and please don't take over the world with Dusty and Marco!" Hearing a small chuckle Ace said his goodbyes and proceeded to hang up.
Grinning to himself, ace turned to look around at his crew (plus Marco) and let a soft smile cross his face. Now that things had finally wrapped up it was finally time to go join Whitebeard for a while. The freckled teens smile grew larger as he thought of having most of his family together in one place again.
So caught up in feelings of content happiness Ace failed to notice the small boat approaching the Card Deck.
He most definitely did notice the giant Marine jumping towards him with an extremely loud war cry of "FIST OF LOVE!!!!!!" Screaming in mild terror Ace tried to grab Marco as a human shield only to cry in betrayal as the phoenix flew up to the mast to safely laugh at him.
"TRAITOR!!!" The first division commander grinned down at him "Have fun Ace!" Surrendering himself to his inescapable fate the freckled teen turned to face his doom "Hi Gramps?"
The Marines grin had far too many teeth for Ace to feel comfortable "Hello Brat, let's catch up shall we?" Ace gulped in fear.
Several meters away members of the Spade pirates cowered in terror whilst silently handing money over to a slightly smug Alice. "I knew he'd tried to use Marco as a shield!"
MY EXAMS ARE FINALLY OVER!!!!!!! sorry this took a while but hopefully I'll have some more free time to do some more chapters before I start up my placement year! ok so first things first
THANK YOU FOR OVER 1500 FOLLOWERS!!!!
I was actually astounded when I saw this number and I cannot thank you all enough, especially to everyone who left reviews!
And seeing as I have time, thank you to:
DragonJinchuriki20, EmpressAelin ( I read Spades on screen omg it's hilarious and I love it thank you for the recommendation! also love the username I'm a huge throne of glass fan) Seira707, bluelolipop4421, DMCP, Tukang Bakso, Gyhfyuyg, Catifanyan, Setyourlazerstopew, Meian Kurayami, wildspark, wheresmydoseofinsanity (love your username btw), Caraline Fisher, A6r606k, yukino76, the-lurkingAnon-reader (love your username as well, and I understand the feeling of reading stuff at 4am XD I'm glad you enjoyed), SakuraKoi, MrSunshine744, ViolentSage (thanks for wishing me luck on my exams it made me smile), VampireApple (Your username and picture actually made me laugh out loud), Bella-swan11, Shukkets, Briezhdragon, LuffyLover, Myherogal, butterflypuss, portgas d ace forever and KINDSPLINTERCELL (Don't worry the suffering first mate society shall appear again! XD) and anyone else who commented who I may have accidentally missed.
Thank you for commenting on the last chapter it's really motivating and it means a lot to me! Hope you all enjoyed the chapter and feel free to leave a review! :)