A/N: Tajiyo-kun is actually a trainee chef from manga filler
All previous chapters have been edited and some rewritten although no significant plot changes have been made but you may want to check back over them.
Tenzou faced Sanji and smiled politely. The ambient temperature in the room dropped a substantial few degrees and the windows on the wall began to frost slightly.
"I realise this is an insult to your wonderful skills," he began, smile widening slightly "But I'm afraid that I cannot allow you to feed our prisoners such food."
"Why?" Sanji snarled "Is there something wrong with it?"
"On the contrary. In fact it is far too good for those god forsaken parasite infested wastrels who tried to the best of their exceptionally minor abilities to rob and murder Kaya-oujosama." His smile widened slightly while remaining perfectly polite.
Sanji blinked and puffed frantically on his cigarette while his two most important life choices warred within him. The Captain smiled politely waves of manners and sadistic amusement emanating from his person. Zoro sauntered in through the door and promptly wheeled on his heel and departed because he was decidedly not getting involved.
Finally Sanji seemed to sort out his warring 'feed people vs. women' system error and grunted. "Fine, what do you suggest then?"
"Leave it to Tajiyo-kun. They won't starve but I'm afraid your skills are a bit more than they deserve."
Sanji grunted in acquiescence and nodded to the glasses wearing youth who quickly began preparing rations.
"Could you bring some tea with you when you come to sign off on your reports in twenty minutes?" Tenzou said with a slightly less frosty smile.
Sanji nodded and lit up a new cigarette before twirling off to cook some more and elaborate to Tajiyo on the many joys of woman and 'wasn't Kaya-Swaaaaaan an exceptional specimen?'
For a relatively small operation, one with less than fifty people on board regularly, the office was awash in paperwork. It was frightening really, Sanji mused, that there was more paper piled onto desks than in an average bookshop.
He peered round the room looking for any sign of the other man. The marimo was working out in the gym (his marimo senses told him this and although they were less refined than his woman senses he still felt the surge of irritation that let him know where that annoying sake soaked meat head was snoring so he could easily avoid or find to kick the snot out of depending on his mood.) Luffy was lurking somewhere probably near the kitchen and could soon be trying out the new traps.
He snorted "Why the fuck do you need so much shitty paperwork anyway Tenzou-ocha?"
A hand reached up from behind a stack of folders that was at least as tall as the desk itself and placed a paper crane on top.
"Many reasons." came the voice from behind the stacks "Each more irritating than the last."
Sanji dropped the tray of tea and snacks on the one clean spot of desk in the room and kicked out a chair for himself.
"I could do with a laugh…"
The marine captain levered himself out of the stacks without so much as one paper askew (or a wobble of the growing menagerie of paper animals on the top.) before throwing himself down on a neighbouring chair and gratefully reaching for a fresh cup of tea.
"Well, for one thing I have to do all of the reports. Luffy, for all of his bitching, only actually has to sign them. Also, we're sent information on criminals, pirates and revolutionaries known to be in our locale as well as notifications of executions, imprisonment or the release of people we've captured. Then there are requisitions for equipment, organisation of pay, pensions, healthcare and life assurance with certain stipulations. Which means that if you get killed by me or a Shichibukai then Zeff gets a massive payout" he finished with an amazingly polite yet sinister smile.
Sanji flipped him the bird.
"And of course, I'm part of a conspiracy and a lot of these reports are due to my part in preparation for the day it takes place."
The chef took a long calm drag of his cigarette relishing the nicotine as he stared at the man across from him. "Mmmh, I thought so."
Tenzou saluted him with his tea cup and calmly poured another "I'm serious you know."
"I know you are. I'm not stupid and the marimo was able to notice."
Tenzou let his polite expression slip to a calm regard. "What clued you in?"
"Well for one thing Luffy is the shittiest marine I have ever seen in my life and while he's stronger than you it is pretty obvious that you could have a better position anywhere you wanted but you stay here with him." Sanji poured himself a cup of tea "but the most obvious hint that you're up to something is the reports."
Tenzou nodded indicating for him to go on.
"You write them, you approve them, and you submit them. You completely control what information gets on and off this boat. All anyone else does is sign them. You also leave little details out. You never reported Gin or what happened to him. There was no mention of Luffy knowing about that kid, having met his infamous father and you even located the 'red-haired' pirates for Kaya-chan." Sanji took a sip from his own cup "You're up to something and while I trust you I'm not an idiot like that marimo."
"You're right." Tenzou shrugged "I am and I'm far from the only one in on it. We're not planning to overthrow the government, destroy the world nobles (although, god knows, they deserve it) or get rid of the marines. But there is no denying that I am involved in a conspiracy and several illegal activities."
Now Sanji was raised by a formerly infamous pirate. Zeff had power to stand on the top of the world. He frequently beat up patrons at his restaurant and if the situation called for it, he was willing to kill. (If it was necessary doesn't mean he made light of it though.) He had known Tenzou a while by now and knew that the older man more than made up for Luffy and his utter obtuseness. He was insanely cunning and manipulative but he wasn't a malicious person.
"Soooo, are you going to tell me?"
"While I don't have a problem doing that it does mean that I'll have to tell you some things that aren't really my secrets to tell and if they get out because I told you." Tenzou gave him a flat look "Then I'll have to kill us both."
Sanji knew idle threats and he knew violence. He also knew that while he might be the more powerful of the two Tenzou had a lot more motivation and while he was willing to die for his convictions he wanted to live with a desperate intensity and that made him a dangerous enemy. He lit up a new cigarette,
"If I betray you, I'll arrange it myself and you can dump my carcass overboard."
When Sanji came back to the kitchen he nodded absently to Tajiyo and the two marines that had brought back the utensils from feeding the prisoners. He got to work preparing for the evening meal.
He paused for a moment, halting the rhythmic clacking of his knife and stared out the port window lost in thought before shaking his head and returning to his work, a thoughtful expression on his face.
'Luffy, you're just full of surprises aren't you?'
Luffy was definitely what you could call simple-minded. In fact, it would probably be more direct to simply call him a complete and utter unfettered moron before devoting your energies to halting whatever disaster his idiocy has wrecked now. However, Zoro decided as his back hit the wall; he was definitely a tough bastard to fight and not someone you want to be on the wrong side of.
It was galling truly, that he couldn't get a hit in on the younger boy. Luffy ducked and weaved, sliding in between his stances as if they were the efforts of a novice. But he was getting better. Zoro was better able to follow him even when using Soru. His progress had sped up when Tenzou had explained the theory to him. (Luffy was many things but he would never be a good teacher.) While he could have figured out how to combat it by doing what they were doing now, namely Luffy jumping around the place and doing a rather gleeful job of bouncing Zoro off the walls, it was much easier with a clear and concise explanation of what they were trying to do.
Zoro had no particular interest in incorporating the style into his swordsmanship but he was fully intent on learning how to combat it and thus increase his own personal capacity. The way he saw it, it was really no different than taking on a powerful opponent. The pirates who'd been stupid enough to attack them yesterday had proved no challenge and quickly joined the quickly filling cells with the Black cat pirates who had bitched for all of five seconds until Zoro and Tenzou had looked at them.
They were remarkably well behaved after that.
"Oi, Luffy." Zoro began "What are going to do about the guys in the brig? We're running out of space as it is."
Luffy flopped on the mat and sucked in his bottom lip and glanced from side to side for a moment and Zoro sighed.
"You don't know do you?"
"I know we're gonna' do something with them…..I'm just not sure what. Ooo, Maybe Tenzou'll put them to work in an office with him." Luffy shuddered "That'd be really scary."
"Somehow I doubt that."
Zoro stood up and mopped some of his sweat away with a towel before striding towards the door. "We could actually ask Tenzou, he'd know." He paused and looked back at Luffy speculatively "Although, aren't you supposed to be the commanding officer?"
"This is Tenzou's job. He's the best at this kind of stuff so he's taking care of it for us all. Don't worry Zoro, he's definitely nakama."
Zoro grunted and tugged the door open before heading towards the mess hall. Tajiyo came out and rang the bell for dinner and everyone ran hell for leather being well accustomed to Luffy's dining habits.
Tenzou did actually explain what was going to happen to their grossly overfull holding cells at dinner.
He smacked a rubbery arm away from his dessert. "We're going to rendezvous with another ship sometime tomorrow and they're going to take all of our prisoners off our hands."
Luffy pouted and reached around to Zoro only to receive an elbow blow to his hand. The swordsman took a generous slug from his bottle of sake. "Anyone you know?"
"Hmm, yes actually. Some very good friends and comrades of ours." He smiled genuinely "I think you'll like them but they're only making a fly by to the prison on their way."
A surprised yelp came from the far corner of the room where a rubber appendage had emerged seeking further consumables only to get smacked with a serving spoon and for Rua to start swearing across the room at his Commodore. The red haired young man ran across the tables and tackled Luffy signalling the start of a brawl.
Tenzou casually sidestepped all of the thrown dishware and made his way to the kitchen. He'd leave Sanji to restore order; he needed a cup of tea.
The next morning Tenzou was in uniform which for him was more of a matter of choosing the white blazer instead of his preferred shirt and waistcoat. Luffy was not but for once his loyal Captain couldn't be bothered with babysitting him on this matter and merely checked the paperwork for the transferral of prisoner.
The crew had gotten use to the bangs of Zoros weights by this stage and made no real reaction when the ship shook as the obsessive swordsman tossed them back to the deck after his workout. The only person who actually acknowledged this was the carpenter who did this by hurling a sizable lump of wood at his head, cursing him out and reminding the green haired young man that while their ship was state of the art it was not made of Adam Wood so stop trying to test it thank you very much. However this too had become so much routine in the last month so Zoro merely growled and continued on while the carpenter went back to building some new chairs for the mess hall to replace the ones broken in the brawl last night.
Zoro sauntered down the deck in good humour considering spots for his mid-morning nap before taking a place at the edge of the ship with the others.
"So, when are we going to meet up with these guys?" he slung his towel back around his neck and nodded in greeting.
Luffy bounced on the rail eagerly "Real soon Zoro! It's been ages since we've seen them. I can't wait!"
Tenzou blinked "It's been two months give or take."
"Yeah, like I said. Ages!"
Zoro snickered as the much put upon Captain sighed and mumbled several curses to himself.
"You shitty bastards never actually told us who we're going to rendezvous with." Sanji greeted them by kicking Luffy into the mast. "And you, you shitty rubber, my mess hall is still a state because of you. Is this going to be a regular occurrence or is the paper lord over there going to deny me the pleasure of grinding my heel in the space where your brain should be?"
"Oh no, don't mind me." Tenzou quickly switched to his frostily polite smile which Zoro had quickly come to recognise as his 'business' expression "misdemeanours should be punished, don't you agree?"
Sanji answered by attacking Luffy with a flurry of kicks and the unlikely Commodore springing backwards in an attempt to escape. Zoro watched their fight with a critical eye.
"Hmm, the love-cook has gotten faster."
"A side effect of Soru training. Sanji does have a bit of an advantage in that area don't you think?"
"Point." Zoro paused and eyed Tenzou "You do know that smile makes you look like a serial killer?"
Tenzou merely widened his smile and Zoro shivered slightly when for a moment he thought he felt the brush of an icy wind.
There was a shout from the crows nest (and the crewman who had miraculously not fallen out earlier) as a grand battle ship came into view. Luffy bounced (literally) along the deck and folded himself over the rail at an angle that questioned the presence of his spine.
"Yeeaaaaahhh! They're here!"
Sanji smoothed down his jacket and lit up a cigarette. "Why are you so excited Luffy? Are you really good friends with these marines?"
"Shishishi It's my older brother."
Zoro and Sanji gaped silently for a moment before Sanji started puffing in horror. "Mother Ocean preserve us. There's two of them!"
Luffy turned around and leaned back, resting his elbows on the rail. "Yeah, Ace is three years older than me but he's stronger too. I've never been able to beat him."
Zoro stared in amazement "So, the monster has a brother. He must be impressive. He's not a swordsman by any chance is he?"
"Nope. But it's been a while since we last sparred and I've gotten lots stronger. I bet I could beat him now."
A shadow was promptly cast over the young Commodore. "Just who, can you beat?" and one Rear Admiral Portgas D. Ace greeted his beloved little brother by way of a boot to head.
The man standing on the railing from where his finely tooled leather boot had evicted Luffy cut an impressive figure, no questions there. Tall, broad shouldered, muscular and tanned his uniform of rank fit him like a glove. He would have been the perfect picture of a marine officer if it had not been for the obnoxiously orange Stetson upon his head and the shit eating grin that showed most frequently upon the visage of Monkey D. Luffy.
The crew immediately clicked their heels and saluted like everyone learned how to in boot camp. Sanji wondered vaguely if they were expected to do that do but no one gave them any funny looks and he was more concerned with examining the officer in front of him and sending interesting spirals of cigarette smoke into the air.
"Yo." The man casually saluted "How's things?"
Tenzou threw a cup at him. "Don't think I've forgiven you yet, you irritating bastard!"
"Oi, is that any way to greet a commanding officer?"
"I'm a mutineer then. Fall in and drown sparky."
For once in their short …friendship? No, no, no that was all wrong. Rivalry? Yes, lets' go with that. For once in their all too brief and violent rivalry Zoro and Sanji were in complete agreement.
It was going to be a seriously fucking strange day.
If asked about Tenzou, Zoro and Sanji would conclude that he was a fundamentally decent guy and a reliable friend even if he had a propensity for smiling politely like the sort of person who secretly tortured puppies. Plus he could process paperwork like a fiend.
Above all, he was the consummate professional. A professional who currently had an esteemed and decorated marine hero in a headlock while the aforementioned Rear Admiral flailed and kicked him roughly.
Luffy merely grinned and jumped in thus freeing Ace from his headlock only to receive a rubber knee to the head. Things were just beginning to escalate and Tenzou had retreated to a safe distance at this point when a shot rang out clearly perforating the deck at the brothers' feet.
Ace scowled and turned to pout at across at his own ship. "Halia, I'm just greeting Tenzou and Luffy properly. There's no need for that."
His response was several more bullets causing him to leap back with a curse. The woman just visible standing on the warship vanished in a whoosh of feathers and promptly touched down softly beside him, resting a rifle against her shoulder. She was of average height and dressed practically in a comfortable looking variation of the standard marine outfit, one that you could ostensibly do any sort of work in and still be at your ease. Her black hair was offset by her working tan and a pair of pretty but unremarkable brown eyes. Her hair had been plaited against her skull and pinned in a bun at the nape of her neck obviously to keep it out of her way. Everything about her appearance simply screamed that she was a woman who could roll up her sleeves and get things done. Zoro immediately marked her as one of Tenzou's very best friends. (He was mostly right.)
"I apologise sir but we are on a tight schedule, one that does not permit for your juvenile bonding activities."
Ace scowled but nodded and eyed her firearm with a wariness that spoke of experience. Tenzou turned and gave some orders to the crew who quickly moved to comply.
"Good day Commander. I trust you had no problem finding us?"
"None. Thank you for transmitting the co-ordinates and your intel Captain. It cut several hours off our journey. Are these your new recruits?"
"Yes, East Blue has been good to Luffy."
"I can imagine." She gave an amused smile to the rubber man as he pulled faces at his older brother. "Commodore, aren't you going to introduce me?"
Luffy blinked and let his cheeks snap back from his knees. "Huh? Oh yeah. Guys, this is Halia. She works with Ace and is a bird!"
Sanji kicked him brutally "Luffy how dare you refer to a woman in such a manner!"
He turned and bowed over her hand "My dearest dove, don't let the ill manners of that lout ruin your day for I have been blessed by the mere hint of your song."
"Erm, don't worry about it." Halia cast a bewildered look over at her commanding officer who was leaning over a file with Tenzou merely sending her a cheerful wave and an expression that seemed to say 'look, I'm doing my work. I am responsible."
Sanji clasped her captured hand to his chest, sent hearts flying and ignored the snort of disgust from the limp wrested algae infested philistine with no appreciation for the delicate flower that was womanhood and gushed further.
"Halia-chwaan, it is an honour and a delight to serve you. Merely speak and your servant will comply"
Too immersed in a spiralling vortex of mysteriously flapping hearts and adoration Sanji couldn't figure out when exactly the switch was made but he was suddenly realised that he was holding the hand of a man he did not know. (as if that could make the first part worse.) The stranger smiled cheerfully and clasped his shoulder before shaking his hand vigorously.
"Sanji, is it? Pleasure to meet you. I've heard so much about you that I dearly wish we had time to stay and properly sample your famous culinary skills."
The man was tall and well built, the sort of individual that could play rugby well and be gleefully welcomed by any team on the league. Like many of the individuals he'd met recently he was well tanned and his blue eyes stood out well against it. His hair was a dirty blonde with several patches bleached by the sun. Despite being clad in the uniform of rank he seemed to exude a cheerful and relaxed demeanour. Actually, for a marine officer, he had a remarkable resemblance to a South Blue surfer.
Zoro eyed the sword hanging from his belt and noted the wear on the grip. Not a decoration he noted with approval and wondered if they would be there long enough for a spar. Sanji extricated himself from the grip spluttering and took note of how the newcomer had carefully removed Halia and placed himself subtly in front of her. Not enough to insult anyone but it gave a definite vibe of 'mine, mine, mine.'
He nodded and caught the glimmer in the Captains eye. His smile was open and cheerful but there was a certain…ambiguity between it almost as if no one actually had his full attention. Despite his irritation at their introduction Sanji couldn't help but be intrigued by Captain Maynard.
The two parties quickly and efficiently transferred the prisoners over to the enormous warship. After the first attempted escapee had his arm broken and the second crippled with some well placed shots everything went smoothly.
Most of the prisoners were still afraid of their current jailors and a few were downright terrified of Ace. In fact it went so smoothly that the babysitting collective (Tenzou, Halia and Maynard) agreed that there was time for tea so they all bundled into the office, sealed the door and dug into a delicious spread from Sanji.
Maynard, it seemed, for all his cheerfulness was not actually very chatty. He was not unlike Zoro really except that he smiled more and you always knew for certain if Zoro was giving you his full attention.
Halia was a perfectly pleasant woman, good company and an excellent marine. That's all there really is to say there so let's move on.
Once they had finished their snack and after a quick check of the surroundings Tenzou brought out a small leather bound book. He removed an envelope from the insides and passed it to Maynard who tucked it inside his blazer before handing over a sheet of writing in exchange. He glanced questionably at Zoro and Sanji but Tenzou shook his head.
Ace slurped down the last of his tea and belched. "Right, now that we've got the really important stuff out of the way there's something that we're sort of worried about."
Halia produced a paper binder and passed it across the tables. Sanji cleared off the crockery but not before asking Halia-chwan if she wanted a refill. Tenzou spread out the enclosed documents along the surface and everyone leaned in for a better view.
"Here's the thing. Arlong was a fairly well known fishman pirate but he's disappeared in recent years. He used to serve under Fisher Tiger but like many of that crew he simply dropped off the figurative map once Tiger died. It seems that he's been hiding out in East Blue but that's really not what concerns us." Ace explained indicating towards a bounty poster in the file. For all of his clowning around and getting scolded by his sub-ordinates he had gotten his rank for a very clear reason. (No, it wasn't Nepotism. The Marine hierarchy actually did not want another Garp on their hands the only man in the marines to warrant a warning sign….at least twenty years ago he was the only one.)
Zoro pulled the bounty poster towards him. "hmm, I've never actually met a fishman but if they're as strong as I've heard and he's a former member of the Sunny Pirates then I'd imagine his bounty would be higher than twenty thousand."
"Bounties are generally calculated by threat level not fighting strength. It's low because he hasn't really been active in recent years." Ace paused and frowned "if he'd gone back home to Fishman island it would have been fine. Some pirates do retire y'know and I for one believe it's a waste to chase after men who haven't done anything in twenty years."
Tenzou nodded as he folded a sheet of paper in his hands. "Good point. Think about Silvers Rayleigh, the Pirate Kings right hand man. He hasn't been seen since before Roger died and they're still looking for him. I don't actually think he's dead but it's an incredible waste of resources to keep looking for a man that's very obviously retired."
"Well how do you know?" Sanji frowned and poured himself a cup of tea "How do you know these pirates aren't off being Crime Lords on some island somewhere?"
"Point to you curly brow" Zoro idly blocked the kick with a sword "So basically you're saying that the bounty poster is not a reliable measure of strength and that these guys are probably much more powerful than we think."
Ace nodded and watched a devilish grin creep across the swordsman's face "Huh, that's a familiar expression. Well, anyway we're not a hundred percent sure as to what exactly is going on but Fishmen pirates are not known for their kind and generous natures safe to say. Humans these days tend to bear the brunt of their aggression and while I can understand a certain degree of bitterness we can't allow them to take revenge on some East Blue civilians."
Luffy peered at the bounty poster as he furrowed his brow in thought. (It looked….far more painful that such an act should clinically be.) "Ace, How d'you know something's wrong then?"
Ace grinned proudly at his little brother "Well, we inspected a marine base on our way and we noted a few strange things."
Halia coughed "What he means is he and Maynard kept them all busy while I swooped into some of the offices and had a look around."
Zoro snorted "Do all the marines spend all their time spying on each other and stealing pens?"
Zoro rolled his eyes "Wait a second. Swooped?"
Maynard coughed "Swooping is…" his smile deepened and took on a cunning edge "…bad."
The marines smothered their snickers while Zoro grumbled.
"Well, Zoro-san. You saw my Devil Fruit ability right? I ate the Tori-Tori no mi model: sea eagle. I have the ability to transform into a sea eagle so I would stay on the ship until I get a signal before flying onto the base."
"Ah, what a marvellous image for this poor soul. The beautiful and elegant Halia-chwan flying above the clouds like an angel come to bless us" Sanji wiggled and sighed around the bemused woman for a few moments. "But pardon me for asking O'lady of the skies but don't Zoans tend to be rather….big?"
"You're rather observant Sanji-san." She continued on choosing not to acknowledge that Sanji had collapsed in an ecstatic flurry of hearts "While that does tend to be true and my transformation does not technically increase or decrease my overall mass it does spread it out towards my wingspan instead. So for whatever reason I'm not that much bigger than a real bird of that breed I am a good deal faster."
"Oi, can you control your transformation then?"
Instead on answering him she merely turned a pair of startling yellow hawk eyes upon him and Zoro jumped back in surprise before grinning. "That's a Devil Fruit I could get to like. Hey do you know if…"
"No, he doesn't. I can guess who you mean. They're just his natural eyes."
Ace slapped the table. "C'mon. We're getting way off topic here and we have to go soon. Either way after Halia did her snoopy-swoopy thing we discovered some interesting things about Captain Nezumi."
Tenzou nodded as he looked over pages and pages of accounting. "I see what you mean Ace, how long has this been going on?"
Luffy, Sanji and Zoro blinked and Maynard coughed politely "He's got far more money than he should have. Either he's embezzling or taking bribes."
Pretending that they weren't wearing expressions of dawning comprehension they nodded in unison.
"Which do you think it is then?"
Ace grimaced "Both. Arlong has been dealing with him for some time now. If he was too much for Nezumi to handle he should have signalled for aid. Thankfully no one knows that we have this information yet so you should be able to move about freely until you determine the correct course of action." He paused and leaned back with an unhappy expression "Do your thing but I request that you inform me as to the outcomes so I can tell Shichibukai Jimbei about this."
Luffy scuffed his hands through his hair. "Don't worry Ace. We'll have a good look around. We won't kill him unless we really have to."
Ace cast his brother a relieved look at which Zoro and Sanji glanced at Tenzou who waved them off.
Luffy jumped up "Yosh! Leave it to us."
"Hah, I knew I could count on you Luffy so there's only one thing to do now!"
They slung an arm over each other and pumped their fist. "Let's Eat!"
"YOU JUST FINISHED EATING YOU GREEDY BASTARDS!" Their companions replied in a perfect simultaneous dismissal before pausing in surprise to look at each other.
Maynard wiped a tear away. "Such unison amongst comrades. It's a beautiful thing indeed."
The brothers had separated with a prompt salute and the Rear Admiral led his men back to their own ship before Luffy dragged Zoro and Sanji back to the office.
"We've got another mission guys!"
"hmm, I thought were heading to Loguetown next."
"We are. But we're well positioned to take care of this so it's Commi island first." Tenzou pulled a file from the bottom of the stack somehow managing not to topple the whole thing "Ace and the others have their own missions to take care of. Besides having 'Fire fist' Ace show up is venturing a bit close to 'overkill'. The four of us can handle this fine."
Sanji snorted "Not that Luffy's exactly subtle or anything."
"That's extraordinarily hard to argue with so I'll just agree with you there."
Zoro grinned "So Commodore, what's the plan of action?"
Luffy hummed, tilted his head to the side before slamming his fist into his opposing hand. "We kick their asses!"
Zoro laughed. Whatever it was Luffy was supposed to be he was good fun at any rate. He looked up to see the irritating woman obsessed doormat snickering around a cigarette and Tenzou laughing into his paperwork (or was that crying?) "Sounds good to me. Lead on!"
A/N: I got to the point where I just had to split it into two so hello technically another filler chapter but not really. XD Cocoyashi should hopefully be finished before the end of the summer RL permitting. All of the previous chapters have been re-edited, rewritten (slightly), corrected (but I'd bet good money that I still missed one. D: ) and slightly changed so you may want to reread them at some point.
I've been slugging to get to the next chapter all this time. Finally some Nami and some focus on canon characters!
Word of Thanks to all of sundry and I'm glad so many are enjoying this. I'm not going to do the thing of listing ever name here because I'm lazy and looking them up is annoying besides I reply to all reviews and messages I get. C:
Speaking of which, let's try and clear up a few questions as this stage. From here and elsewhere.
Q: Why is Tenzou able to get Ace in a chokehold and hit him with a cup? That makes no sense!
No, It wouldn't. Tenzou threw a cup at him but it didn't hit him (it was a cup from his morning tea that he drank on deck with the bracing air.) As for the chokehold, well they're friends and still teenage boys so maybe Ace let him grab him like that because he may have unintentionally ruined Tenzou's life with the whole 'sexy secretary' comment. Then again, Tenzou might just have a bit of seastone on him for occasions such as this…
Q: How strong is Tenzou? Does he really have a paper work Devil fruit?
Well firstly he does not have a devil fruit. He's saved Luffy from drowning so many times that's become almost reflex and remember he pulled Zoro out of the ocean.
Strength wise, well he is weaker and has much less combat potential than any of the others but he's around the level of an average marine captain. He knows Soru but so will Coby so it's not terribly unusual. Tenzou is capable with a sword and beat Zoro once but that's only with the use of Soru, not the on the basis of sheer swordsmanship.
What makes Tenzou a dangerous opponent is his cunning mind. He's actually a devious schemer and currently manipulating events for the sake of Luffy which will be revealed as the story progresses. As the story progresses it'll become apparent just how clever he is in comparison to his offensive skills.
In brief: Sanji, Luffy and Zoro are all stronger and getting stronger a lot faster than him.
Q: Is Hancock still hopelessly in love with Luffy?
It is something not really talked about on the ship but Hancock is unnaturally fond of the young Commodore. She has difficulties with this because the marines support the Tenryuubito but Luffy being Luffy somehow managed to inadvertently seduce her. I'm…not really sure how but she may make a cameo at some stage.
Currently, she's waiting for something. The same thing several other people are….
Q: Is Blackbeard still on the loose?
Yes he is…..that jackass. He will show up, that I promise. In fact I know exactly what will happen to him and his crew.
Q: What happened to Johnny and Yosaku?
They somehow were saved by the chefs of the Baratie and worked off their debt for a while. Once they were fully recovered they set off to sea again but were frequent customers of the restaurant.
Q: Can Luffy use haki?
Yes, he used it on Kriegs men but he doesn't use it too much. He hasn't actually mastered it yet. There'll be an omake chapter about it.
Q: You've written loads of oneshots and drabbles! Why haven't you updated this?
Because I didn't. I do this for fun and in my free time. Also inspiration is a fickle (extremely fickle) mistress and sometimes drags me in strange directions. I'll update when I'm ready.
Q: How much time has passed in the story?
In this chapter it's about two months give or take. Lots and lots of training takes place off screen. It's referenced briefly in this chapter. I move on to the important scenes and let most of the training segments and paperwork get done offscreen. XD
Q: What was on the ground in that bit with the italics?
When a paragraph is in italics it's a flashback. It's pretty obvious actually if you think about who is present in the scene. It's important to why Luffy put his dream aside. The whole story will come out eventually but I don't think it's any kind of unusual twist.
Right, now I'm finally off to work on the Arlong scene. Finally!