Benn stared down at Buggy, a hundred different thoughts flashing through his head. He had to hand it to Ace, (because this was definitely Ace's fault) this was not the outcome he had been expecting.
The strategist of the Red-haired pirates took a split second to evaluate his options, on one hand, he could refuse the captain's proposal and go on his merry way. This would most definitely result in being called a heartbreaker for the rest of his life, and possibly force him into an imaginary love triangle like so many others caught in the Spades web.
On the other hand, he could accept...
One look at the smug amusement on Shank's face made up the first mate's mind, his captain should have known better than to play with fire. "Before I make a decision there's a few details we need to discuss."
Shanks's laughter came to an abrupt stop, this was not the point-blank refusal he'd been anticipating and he didn't like where this could be leading in the slightest. Buggy nodded an eager grin on his face "What're the terms?"
A smile crept onto Benn's face (it was the sort of smile that made marines cry and all the pirates in the surrounding area recoil in horror) "Well firstly I'm asexual but not aromantic so married or not sex is off the table." The clown let out a relieved laughter "Same here. Next term?"
The grey haired man grinned at the easy acceptance "Ok, I don't care if this is mostly to piss off Shanks, if you don't want to be monogamous then this isn't happening. If you find someone else later on and want a divorce that's cool but if you try to cheat on me..."
Benn's hand drifted down to his sword as a truly terrifying expression appeared on his face "Well I'll leave that up to your imagination." Distantly Shanks couldn't help but notice in horror that he'd never seen Buggy look so enamoured whilst also being so utterly terrified.
Seeing the clowns nod of confirmation Benn released his sword and gave a truly cheerful grin "Excellent. Now that that's all out the way, I accept your proposal. Ace will you marry us please?"
Shanks let out a splutter of betrayal "Wait what?! Why is Ace marrying you, I'm your Captain surely I should be the one to marry you?" Benn grinned "I'd have thought that was obvious Captain, someone needs to be my best man."
The Emperor's protests died a swift death as the world-renowned pirate started to tear up "I can do that." Ace grinned, this definitely wasn't the outcome he'd expected but everything seems to have turned out for the best.
After all a wedding would probably keep Benn more distracted than the original plan of having Buggy initiate an elaborate courtship.
"I'd be delighted too, but if you two are gonna get married can I make a small suggestion for an announcement idea? It ties in rather nicely with a small project me and Sandersonia have been working on?" Benn's grin would have scared off a sea king "I'm interested, what's the plan?"
Sengoku hated his life.
Sure he was head of the Marines, feared and respected across the entirety of the grand line, but you what sounded really good right now? Opening a bar. One far away from idiotic pirates and their incredibly stupid drama, with all the alcohol he could drink.
The reason behind this sudden change in career plan started with a video.
No not a video, The Video.
The two hour long feature film that had documented the entirety of the supposed relationship between Ace and Sandersonia.
The one that had left half of the Grand line sobbing emotionally whilst the other half wrote strongly worded letters to Boa Hancock begging her to reconsider her stance on the pair's relationship.
Not even to mention the absolutely touching wedding scene between Benn Beckman and Buggy the clown. The tensions of the film at an all time high as it was revealed that Buggy's supposed interest in Lady Spade had simply been a cover for him to meet up with his long time friend so she could help coach him on how to win Benn's heart.
Sengoku despised the video with every fibre of his soul.
This was mainly due to the fact that despite being 99.9% sure that both relationships were a scam contrived entirely for the sake of messing with the general population of the Grand Line, Sengoku couldn't help but find the video touching.
Somewhere in between the heart-warming music, beautiful cinematography (Marco had gone all out on the camera angles) and intriguing plot Sengoku had felt himself getting invested.
The Spades would pay for making him feel such emotions.
The fleet commander would make certain of it.
Dadan furiously wiped away her not tears (shut up everyone she's not crying) as she stared at the movie playing in front of her. Despite his lack of manners, it seems like her oldest brat had done well for himself.
Ace stared at Sandersonia, his eyes glistening with barely held back emotions as as his thumb gently caressed her cheek, "You know things can't continue like this." The Kuja pirate leant into the touch "I know. But for today we're allowed to have this. I won't accept any alternative."
The freckled teen let out a barely choked back laughter "Of course you won't. You wouldn't be you if you did." The Zoan user grinned "My sister has my first loyalty as I know your sister Lady Spade has yours, but if this is to be our last day together then I think we should enjoy it."
Ace smiled, sorrow evident in every part of his soul "As you say my lady." The freckled teen brought her hand to his lips pressing a chaste kiss their intertwined hands. "My heart belongs to you, may we one day be free to do as we wish."
Garp tried to blink back tears at the beautiful rendition of his grandson's love life. The old Marine could admit to having some doubts after hearing about the identity of his grandsons fiance, but after seeing such a moving tribute to the two of them, how could he possibly disagree.
After all the only romance he'd seen quite as dramatic as this one had been Rogue and Roger's. And while Garp may have disapproved of his old friends career path he couldn't help but think that Rogue and Roger were as close to soulmates as one could get.
The old Marine held back another sniffle as a concerned cadet offered him a tissue. Blowing his nose Garp made a solemn vow to go to the wedding even if it meant ignoring more than a dozen arrest warrants for day.
Ace grinned as Shanks gave him the reluctant updates on Benn and Buggy's honeymoon "Well that's Benn out the way for now Kiddo. I bribed Yassop to secretly dispose of all the Den Den Mushi's on Buggy's ship before they left for the honeymoon, and given the exposure from the movie it should be easy for us to keep track of where they are."
The freckled teen grinned "Good job Shanks, whilst it's too early to say the threat is fully neutralised that's hopefully enough to buy us some time before they target Pop's." Whitebeard let out a laugh on the other end of the line.
"It's too early for celebration yet brats, a storms coming mark my words!" Ace let out a laugh "Probably true pops but we'll do what we can. Has Marco made it back to you yet? We're only two days away so he wanted to go ahead and join you."
The old Emperor smiled warmly "Marco made it home an hour or so ago, I've managed to keep him away from Thatch and Haruta so far but there's only so long distractions will work. Better get here soon brat." Shanks let out a small snort of laughter "You two worry too much, now we've dealt with Benn, what's the worst that could happen?"
Ace immediately paled as he felt the forces of the universe unite in perfect harmony to prove them wrong "SHANKS YOU MORON WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT!? YOU'VE DOOMED US ALL!" amidst the laughter and accusations no one noticed the small boat approaching the Moby Dick or the bird that went to meet it.
"ACE WAKE UP YOU NEED TO SEE THIS!" The freckled teen was instantly awake and on his feet "Alice? What's happened is everyone ok? Are we under attack?!" The shipwright shook her head and held up the morning paper.
"Well, you Captains are. The rest of us should be fine." The captain stared at the paper in utter disbelief "Please tell me this is a gag gift." Alice's grin contained enough evil glee to tell Ace she still held grudges over the intense training sessions and was enjoying his misery.
"Nope, good luck dealing with that Captain. Also if you're looking for Dusty, he's hidden in a lifeboat but you didn't hear that from me." ok maybe not that large of a grudge then. Giving a wave of thanks to his crew mate Ace still couldn't tear his eyes away from the paper.
After all, for all his calculations and plots, never in his wildest dreams could Ace have imagined the Whitebeard pirates organising a mutiny...
Sengoku stared at the paper in shock before immediately downing the entire bottle of emergency whisky he kept in there. "GARP GET IN HERE!" The vice Admiral ambled into the room, before noting his friend's expression and immediately attempting to back out of the room again.
The fleet commander let out a dark chuckle "I don't think so. Sit down." For all his lack of critical thinking skills, Garp had always prided himself on his instincts, and right now they were screaming at him to obey or perish. The vice admiral quietly sat down.
"Good. Now, would you care to tell me why the Whitebeard pirates have apparently organised a mutiny led by Silvers Rayleigh and Marco the phoenix pretending to be their own twin brothers, Gold Rayleigh and the Pigeon?"
Garp stared at his old friend in disbelief, surely he'd misheard that sentence... but no Sengoku's anger was far too real to be a joke "This has the Spade pirates written all over it and given your supposed woman on the inside I'm sure you know exactly what's going on."
Sengoku's expression let Garp know that the fleet commander had absolutely no expectation of Garp's knowledge but wanted an excuse to relieve stress by attacking his poor innocent subordinate under the guise of training should he fail to answer. (No Garp didn't see the irony in that statement, shut up.)
The vice Admiral desperately tried to think of an excuse or explanation to escape when suddenly Akainu walked past. Another potential victim! Excellent! Garp grinned and quickly dragged him into the room, now if Sengoku tried to murder him he could just chuck Akainu in his direction and run!
"Akainu perfect timing I was just about to fill the Fleet commander in on my newest information and I think it's important for you to hear too." Ignoring the displeased expressions on both of his colleague's faces Garp decided that if he was gonna go down, he would drag everyone else into this insanity kicking and screaming. And so with a happy grin, the Marine prepared to bullshit like never before.
"So with the most recent announcement you may be wondering on the identity of Gold Rayleigh and the Pigeon, in truth these men are not the twins of their infamous counterparts but are in fact clones created in a world government experiment. Both men are employed by me and were working on a long term infiltration mission to assume their counterpart's identities and infiltrate different pirate crews."
While Akainu nodded in reluctant understanding Garp could see Sengoku holding onto his sanity by his fingertips. Deciding he was damned already Garp decided he may as well have some fun with it.
"With the mutiny underway, we need to act now to further destabilise the pirate's hierarchy! I would like to suggest Akainu continues with his strategy of trying to seduce Lady Spade over to the Marines's side. But only provided he believes he can keep his heart intact!" ignoring the increasing rage on both Sengoku and Akainu's faces Garp hastily stood up "I'll leave you two to discuss strategy."
Keeping a happy grin on his face the old marine didn't wait for a response and instead practised his quick walking skills away from the office as fast as humanly possible. Getting out of hearing range Garp lasted approximately two minutes before he burst into laughter. He probably wouldn't survive the fallout of his explanation but man it was worth it just to see Sengoku's expression.
Continuing to put distance between himself and the main office Garp couldn't help but wonder what his stupid grandkid was up to now...
So it's been over a year... oops?
Ok in all seriousness I'm sorry it's taken so long, my coursework this year has been insane and while I've had a chunk of this chapter written for about a year I never quite liked what I was writing so I ended up putting it off for way longer than expected. I'm still not entirely happy with the chapter but hopefully you guys still enjoyed it :D
Huge huge thank you to everyone who kept writing reviews and sending messages, it meant so so much to me I read all the comments and you guys are what keep me going I appreciate them so much!
That said I hope you're all having an amazing summer and hopefully this chapter made some of you smile :)