Title: Adventures of a Jolly Roger; Chapter Blue
Characters: Roger, Buggy, various Buggy Pirates
Pairing(s): Hints of Shanks/Buggy
Warnings: Buggy is warning enough I believe.
Setting: The Big Top
Disclaimer: I don't own One Piece


Roger trudged through the snow, regretting that he hadn't thought to eat or borrow a coat while with the Red-Haired Pirates. Fortunately Shanks had had enough foresight to send one of his men out with a fur lined cape and boots, plus a knapsack full of food and the promise of a longboat from Shanks' ship. There was still the question of navigation, but Roger had no idea where his little Ace was anyway.

"Excuse me!" A young man in an orange hat, bundled in several coats that didn't match, called to him. "I'm looking for Akagami Shanks. Can you tell me if he's on this island please?" The man, who was barely more than a boy asked politely.

"Keep going that way." Roger jerked his thumb backwards, towards his footprints. "There's a cave straight ahead. You can't miss it."

"Thank you sir!" The boy bowed to him, even though they were still at a bit of a distance.

Roger snorted. Apparently pirates in this day lacked spines. Shanks would have fun with this one.

Still, his freckles seemed familiar…

It wasn't long before Roger reached the Red Force, Shanks' ship. If Tom hadn't built this beauty, one of his apprentices surely did. The red dragon on the front was a nice touch in Roger's not-so-humble opinion.

But there wasn't time for admiring beautiful ships. Roger took one of the long boats and was on his way. It didn't take him long to reach a warmer climate and another ship.

"Hey you!" A man called from the brightly colored galleon. "Got any treasure?"

Roger grinned. "Lots of treasure."

"Bring him aboard." Another man ordered. "The Captain will see you."

"Correction," Roger told them as they pulled the rope and Roger on deck, "I will see your Captain."

"You have some nerve, saying flashy things like that." A figure hidden under the shadow of a canopy, seating on a throne growled.

"Trying to intimidate me, Buggy?" Roger's grin widened as he recognized his other former apprentice.

"Who dares address me so—Captain?" Buggy squeaked, his voice rising and his head popping off of his neck in shock.

Roger laughed. "I'll never get tired of watching you fall to pieces."

Buggy put himself back together with obviously thought, a frown on his face. One hand separated, though, and absently waved his crew away from his platform.

"Captain, how are you here? That damn flashy redhead and I watched your execution."

"I'll make sure to look for you when the time comes. I'm sure I'll be able to spot you by your nose."

"What'd you say about my nose?"

"Ha!" Roger laughed, stepped on the platform under the tent where Buggy was seated, pulled the boy up, sat on his throne-like seat and sat Buggy in his lap.

"I have to say, your Captain's chair is the most comfortable chair I've ever put my ass on." Roger grinned cheekily.

"…" Buggy stared at him.

"Stop looking at me like you've seen a ghost, boy!"

At the mention of the word ghost Buggy shot off of Roger's lap.

"Are you a ghost?" He shrieked, hands floating in the air, point at his former captain.

"How rude. Shanks was much more welcoming to his Captain." Roger pouted.

Buggy's age-weathered and already angry clown face contorted into an ugly grimace.

"You went to see him before me." Buggy stated, deceptively calm, but then his voice raised, becoming shrill with anger. "Typical. Shanks this, Shanks that! Shanks did some other damn thing! Shanks was always the perfect one! Why did you even bother coming to see me? I'm sure you'd rather be with your perfect, flashy Shanks!"

Roger was taken aback. "Hey now, Shanks was never more important than you. I didn't intentionally visit Shanks either."

As soon as the words were out of his mouth Roger knew they were a mistake. That was the wrong thing to say.

"…am I not important enough to visit?" The heartbreak in Buggy's voice could have been heard by a deaf man.

"Just because I didn't mean to run into you doesn't mean I didn't want to. My time here is limited."

"Are you a ghost?"

"No."

"But you died."

"I will die."

"You built the time travel device the polygraphs told you about." Buggy concluded, calming considerably, though he still looked thoughtful and Roger knew it wouldn't take much to set him off again.

"I did." He grinned at his apprentice.

"Why? You said there was a heavy price for it."

"To meet my son." Roger's carefree grin was gone, replaced by a more serious gaze.

"You've already met up with Shanks." Buggy grumbled.

"And you. You and Shanks are both sons to me. Our time together was brilliant, but now I need to meet the son I'll never be able to see. I have to die before he can be born." Roger explained gently. "Have you heard of a pirate called Ace?"

"Portgas D. Ace?" Buggy shrieked in surprise.

"You know him?"

"Only of him. He's a super famous rookie."

"It seems that all of my boys have done well for themselves." Roger felt his chest swell with pride. "I'm proud of you Buggy."

"Shut up." The clown grumbled, pink staining his cheeks. "You don't have to say nice things to make me feel better."

"I mean it. Shanks was always the idealist, but you, Buggy, you have your head screwed on straight. Shanks wouldn't be who he is now if it hadn't been for you. You kept his feet on the ground while his head was in the clouds. Shame you two are split up. Shakki always thought you two were a cute couple."

Buggy's face went the color of his nose, or Shanks' hair.

"We're better off apart…" He mumbled. "And he has that Beckman to keep him company."

"You mean the Rayleigh knock off he found?"

Buggy smirked. "Rayleigh didn't have that big a stick shoved so far up his ass."

"Go steal him back, you big nose." Roger laughed, recognizing Buggy's jealousy for what it was.

"What?" Buggy screamed making Roger laugh harder.

"Buggy, Buggy, Buggy…" He started, stroking his mustache. "You and Shanks are two parts of the same whole. You two should never be working against each other. You're better when you work together as a team. So go out, do something completely crazy, and get his attention."

Buggy gave him a long look, as if he were questioning his once Captain's sanity, but he was obviously considering his idea.

"Now," Roger stated, looking his most Captainly, " Take me to East Blue."

"Eh?"

"Captain's orders." Roger grinned, winking at the clown.

"Fine, fine. To East Blue..."