Well, let's get this started.

This is more of a thank you than anything else. This is for nekked, for finding the time to tell me what she thought of my story and helping to improve it.

A little CobyxVivi for your reading pleasure.

Above and Beyond

A simple escort mission.

That's what Garp had said.

Coby should have learned by now: nothing that Garp had them do could be considered simple.

The man himself could not be with them, since he'd been called back to Marine Headquarters to give a report on how the Strawhat Pirates had escaped him at Water 7.

So Coby, along with Helmeppo, were given orders to escort the princess of Alabasta, Nefeltari Vivi, to Mariejois for the purpose of viewing one of the Council of Kings.

They would arrive in Alabasta, pick up the princess, and begin the long voyage to Mariejois.

Once there, they would then escort her to the room where all the kings were discussing pertinent issues and the World Government's security would take over from there.

She would be returning with her father, Nefeltari Cobra, the king of Alabasta, and his personal bodyguards, so Coby and Helmeppo were free to do as they pleased.

Sounded simple enough.

Things went smoothly enough. The princess was well loved in her home country and few pirates dared attack a Marine ship, so all was relatively peaceful.

Taking advantage of the long and quiet boat ride, Coby observed the princess.

Light blue hair framed a pretty face, and her pale skin, an oddity considering her native climate, accentuated this feature.

Her clothes were beautiful and expensive, as is befitting a princess, and were tight on her body, showing off her curves.

She didn't demand any special attention, apologized if she did something wrong, and event tried to help out along the boat ride, displaying a surprising amount of knowledge about sailing.

She was especially friendly with both Helmeppo and himself, talking to them as if they were friends, not people ordered to protect her or face death at the hands of Vice Admiral Garp. Literally.

When they finally arrived at Mariejois, nothing seemed out of place, and everything seemed peaceful.

When they reached the entrance though, Coby noticed that the guards were a little uneasy in letting them in, but nonetheless opened the doors and saluted the princess as she passed, who smiled warmly at them in return.

They were rounding a corner, just a few hundred yards from their destination when it happened.

A man, likely a pirate, jumped at them, going instantly for the princess.

Coby saw the flash of silver in his hand, and did the first thing that came to mind.

He leaped in front of the princess, Soru allowing him to make it their in time, but not fast enough to catch the knife before the pirate buried it in his stomach.

Burning pain flooded his body, centered at the point where the knife was stuck in him.

Grabbing the man's arm, he kept him from going anywhere, but that simply prompted him to twist the knife in his wound, causing him to scream out in pain.

Helmeppo apparently chose that moment to intervene, kicking the man in the face and sending him flying through the air to be embedded in a wall.

Coby fell over, clutching at the knife in his gut.

He saw Helmeppo with one of his kukri knives at the man's throat, growling at him to stay put.

He saw the princess, crying, put her hands on his wound, earning a hiss of pain from him.

And right before he passed out, he saw her remove her shawl with her bloodstained hands, pressing it around the wound, and heard her scream for help.

Then all was black, and he knew no more.

Well, that's the first chapter down.

Not as good as I hoped, but we'll see what you guys think.

Rate, Review, Read More, Repeat.