Puppeteer, Doflamingo

Despicable. Insane. Crackpot. Asshole. And his personal favorite, unhinged. These were all words used to describe Donquixote Doflamingo, normally used behind his back, rarely to his face. Almost always, in turn, punished in some untouchable, roundabout way by those most dedicated to him.

It wasn't like he took offense to these words, at least, nowhere near as much as his few friends did. As a matter of fact, he took them as flattery in its purest form; after all, why get angry over something if it's not true...

But then, all these words may as well have been true, when describing him... hell, he wouldn't be surprised if they had his picture in the dictionary next to any and all of those words...

So why get angry about it at all?

"Idiots," he mused to himself as he sipped his ever-present drink, unknowing of what was to happen later that day.

Life, as a constant, was getting to bore him these days. To think, just ten years ago he'd been trying and failing at making a name for himself on this sea, surviving and... Well, somehow enjoying life in general. Enjoying life much more than he was now, at least.

Now the number of people who could actually challenge him worth a damn had gone up and down sporadically, more so over the majority of the last month. After all, with the short 'vanishing act' of those up-and-coming Straw Hat pirates, that Impel Down farce, and the eventual death of both Whitebeard and the son of Gold Roger in the same battle later... It was something he was definitely unsure about. Almost as if something in the universe had snapped, gone wrong; up until that day, his blood had been boiling at the thought of those idiot marines 'war', and just how he could play a turning point in it…

A killing blow, perhaps, should the Marine forces actually prove so inadequate. A sharp back-stab should he be, in the very unlikely event, somehow swayed to commit a major upset in the turning of the tide against the marines. After all, he was a freakin' Shichibukai- there was no real obligation to stick with one side or the other.

Then again, there was that whole troublesome situation about… well, no. There was no troublesome situation. Which was what made it so troublesome, coincidentally. Which only made the fact that he was bored even worse, somehow.

Seeing as he didn't feel like figuring it out himself at this point, it all comes back to original situation; booooring. Even if he had gotten to play with the old Crocodile for a little while, even that man, a Logia for crying out loud, hadn't been able to touch him. And to think, they'd been 'fierce rivals' once upon a time...

"Out with the old, in with the new," he sighed. He knew his crew -his 'real' crew, not those weaklings that sought power under his name- made him out to be 'brooding' right now, and guessed correctly not to disturb him. It was only slightly depressing.

But then, that was the point of bringing in his new age! Challenges at every turn, hell, the possibility that he could be taken down! All of this waited, hinged upon the fall of the Red Line... the plan leading to such a thing happening needed revision, yes, but it was underway for sure.

"Nobody had better get in my way, though..." He blinked, slid on his sunglasses as the Den-Den Mushi went off, and sighed before answering. His line in particular had been going off more-than-should-be-considered usual over the past year, most being from those cocky rookie subordinates that got their butts kicked, and even more so over the aforementioned 'past week'.

Who knew the reappearance of Monkey D. Luffy, the death of a Yonkou and war at Marinebase would somehow make his number public to everyone?

"Not I," he muttered, receiver hanging from one lazy hand as he tried to outwait the call. Then he quickly tired of waiting and brought it up. "Troublesome people. What? And get to the point; I'm in no mood for idiocy today."

"Doflamingo-sama... were we supposed to be surrounded by a fleet of unmarked battleships today?"

He studied the Den-Den Mushi's 'face', eyebrow raised at the placid expression conveyed by the snail. Did he really need to answer that...?

"No. We weren't. I take it that we are?" A twitch from the 'face'. He debated whether or not to force whichever subordinate it was to kill himself for daring to get annoyed at him (even if that was his goal at one and all Shichibukai meetings with the World Government), and quickly took another sip to stop the confusion.

"Sir... just look out of your window." For another moment, he stared at the receiver before looking around.

"... When the hell did I get a window?"

Disclaimer: If the guy writing this story owned One Piece, why would he have come up with this?