So, I know I said it'd be a while before the next chapter, but well. Yeah, if you've read my other stories you know I'm not very good at keeping those kinds of promises ^^'. Anyway, I used finishing this one as a bribe to get Reverse Tide 7 done, so I guess it's alright. I've had a few people request pictures of Garp in that...fabulous...top from chapter one. Honestly, I'd LOVE to see that, too! I've considered turning my hand to drawing it, but frankly I don't have time. At all. So, if someone wants to try drawing that, they're more then welcome to it. I'm never apposed to fanart...I can't really promise much if anything in return, though. Let me know though and I'll either make it the cover art, or link to it. That at least I can do. Oh, also, some people seem to want to know what Garp would send the boys...if there's enough interest, I'll include chapters about that, too. Let me know though!
Question of the chapter: "What's your favorite genre of books?" I like Fantasy, preferably Urban fantasy right now, and Sci-Fi the best. Though I'm a fan of books full of random info as well...used to be big into mysteries for a while, too.
Thatch looked at the paper again, shaking his head. "Really, the things Marines come up with..." A body went streaking past, hitting the rail and going overboard, "Then again, we've got our own idiot on board."
"You can say that again, yoi." Marco didn't even bother to look up from the rail where he was leaning, watching their newest soon-to-be-brother drown. "Every day for the past month. Kid's persistent."
"That's why Oyaji likes him. Hell, it's why we all like him. Um, not to point out the obvious, but, you remember he can't swim, right?" Not that he was actually worried. He knew that Marco wouldn't actually let him drown even if the bird brain couldn't swim him..."Wait, you don't expect me to go in after him, do you? In these cloths? My hair, Marco! My hair! Do you have any idea how long it takes to get it just the way I like it?"
Marco just gave him the dirtiest look. Alright, I kind of deserve that. The blond returned to watching the water, "Relax, Namur's on it. Think he's planning on letting the guy drown a little bit before pulling him out though. Ah, there they are. Toss them that rope, yoi."
He knew better than to argue over who was actually closer to the rope. Instead, he made a big show of folding his paper, putting it down, and then tossing in the rope. Namur would understand, he liked the water anyway. It wasn't much longer before the shark fishman was on deck, dropping a soggy mess that was formerly known as a pirate at his feet. The kid was still out cold, but he was breathing, so Thatch wasn't too worried. Stupid idiot was lucky to be breathing after attacking Oyaji again, he snorted fondly as he snapped open his paper again.
Namur pointed at the page, "Wait, is that who I think it is?"
"You bet. Speaking of, I'm taking bets on if the rumors are true or not." Thatch smiled sweetly, holding the page up so the others could see it better. He had to admit, though the subject matter was less than pleasing, it was a very good shot of the Marine.
Marco just shook his head,"I worry about the future if that guy is one of the top Marines, yoi."
The brat at their feet shuddered back into the realm of consciousness with a moan, "What hit me?"
"Oyaji's fist. Then the rail. Then the water." Namur answered before turning to his brothers, "Someone needs to tell Oyaji to aim better. He's going to wreck the ship at this rate."
"Don't think he cares." Thatch turned the page of the paper, a little put out that his betting pool had been ruined. He doubted the kid would have anything intelligent or even amusing to add to the conversation anyway. Not that he's a bad kid...just prickly. Very. "Oh, wait, hey, kid, they asked you to be a Shichibukai, right?"
Dark eyes glared up at him, "What's it to you? I told them NO."
"I was just asking, no need to get so worked up about it."
The boy continued as if he hadn't heard them, now pacing back and forth. "I mean, what part of 'Go To Hell You Shitty Marines' is SO hard to understand? Like I want to be caged like that. Bullshit. Dumbest idea I've ever heard. Luffy would win in a fight against me first!"
Alright, bit more than I wanted to know. Touchy subject. I'll remember that. And who the hell is Luffy? He shared a look with the others as they watched the young man mutter darkly to himself a bit longer. "Feel better, yoi?" Marco smirked at him when he'd finally calmed down.
"Screw you. Why did you want to know anyway?" He snapped back.
"I was just wondering if maybe you had some insight on this," Thatch held up the paper, showing him the headline, "but if it's going to bring up bad memories, forget it."
Garp joined Okama? Sengoku Refuses to Comment.
Underneath the blazing headline was a shocking picture. Vice Admiral Garp, The Iron Fist of Justice was dressed in his usual Marine wear. Over that, though, he had a baby-doll pink tutu on. It fit him well, which was, frankly, terrifying. The fact that he had ballet slippers on was brought it to a whole new level of creepy. In the photo, he was leaping over a puddle. Garp. Avoiding getting his shoes wet. The guy was a fucking Marine! The one who caught ROGER for crying out loud. Thatch took a deep breath, I can't believe I'm a little insulted by this. Then he looked at the young man in front of him who had been staring intently at the photo for a few minutes.
"Hey, you alright there?"
The freckled face broke out into the widest smile he'd ever seen, making him seem a hundred times more approachable and possibly a bit insane. "Oh, I'm fine. More than fine. Great. Fantastic. This? This right here? Epic. Seriously. Where'd he get the damn shoes I wonder?" Oh yeah, definitely insane. Thatch eyed the boy warily, "Mind if I take this? No? Thanks, Thatch." The smile never left as the boy walked away whistling binks sake leaving three very confused pirate commanders behind him.
Marco was the first to speak, turning to Namur, "You broke him, yoi."
"Me? I didn't backhand him into the ocean again! Oyaji broke him."
"You left him in too long."
"You thought it was a good idea, too! 'Cool off his hot head, yoi' is what you said." Namur shot back.
"...Oyaji is going to kill us." Marco sighed.
"Maybe it's temporary?" Thatch suggested, "You know, like shock or something. I'm sure he'll be back to trying to murder Oyaji tomorrow."
"Yeah. Kid's too persistent for his own good, after all."
"You're right Thatch, first thing in the morning I bet he'll be back at it."
All three ignored the fact that they were basically hoping for an assassination attempt on their father. This was too important, if they'd broken the kid, Oyaji would seriously kill them. He had rules about those kinds of things. Besides, Oyaji would be fine, and if their soon-to-be-brother was acting weird afterwards...they'd lay the blame at his feet.
The next morning, like clockwork, Ace launched an attack against Whitebeard. Dagger to the back, seemed like an excellent plan at the time. Still seemed like a good plan even when he found himself picking himself out of what was left of a wall. It was disconcerting to see Marco, Thatch and Namur almost hovering around the hole though. He cocked his head to the side and glared at them, "What?"
All three sighed in relief, "Nothing, yoi."
"...Right." He noticed then what Whitebeard had been reading when he'd begun his sneak attack. A grin lit up his face, it was the day's paper. Though he doubted it was the only copy on board, it was still the first one he'd seen. It can't hurt to ask, right? For all that he wanted and tried repeatedly to kill the guy, Whitebeard was actually pretty decent, so it couldn't hurt. "Hey! Shitty old man."
Whitebeard peaked over the edge of the paper, raising an eyebrow. Not that Ace couldn't understand that. He usually didn't talk to the guy. "What do you want, you snot nosed brat?"
Thatch was suddenly there, an arm draped over his shoulders in a way that was too familiar. "Ignore him, Oyaji. I don't think he's feeling well today."
He shoved the other pirate off him with a snarl, "What the hell, man?!"
"Yeah, I think he might have hit his head. He seems a bit out of it." Numar added.
"What do you mean?" Whitebeard closed the paper and looked at Ace. It kind of pissed him off that he was a bit happy to see concern there.
"Face it Oyaji. You broke him, yoi." Why does this all sound rehearsed?
The huge man frowned, leaning forward, "Is this true, Ace?"
"I have no clue what the fuck they're talking about! I just wanted to know if I could have your paper."
"Gurararara! You can have it, brat." He tossed the paper over, "That Garp is something else, eh?"
Ace looked up from the paper, "You know him?"
"Ah. We've fought. He's a strong man. I'm not sure what he's up to with this, though. Any thoughts, brat?"
Ace snorted, looked down at the headline. Once again it was his Jiji dressed in that heinously pink tutu that had cost more than it's fair share of beli. Again he regretted not being able to get a bolder color. Or a baby-doll blue one. Pink...just does not look good on the man. He still would like to know where the hell the slippers had come from. Though, with Garp, it was entirely possible he'd bought them himself to go with the tutu. This time he was running, at least he's not leaping or prancing with his arms out, after a bunch of pirates, an insanely happy grin on his face. That smile looks familiar. Poor bastards. Even in that ridiculous outfit, the man kicked ass. Though it was a bit hard to take him seriously, what with the sequined bodice and tulle netted stiff tutu. He glanced at the headline above the shot.
Pirates Run From Vice Admiral Tutu
"...HAHAHAHA! OH GOD, I think I'm gonna die. HA...he..never going to live this one down, is he?"
"Gurararara, probably not. Causing quite the stir this last week." Whitebeard agreed before turning serious, "We should be wary though. This could be some sort of tactic."
Marco nodded, "You sure, yoi?"
"Not from the Marines, but Garp. He's a sneaky one."
"I don't see how dressing up in a skirt and slippers is some great plan." Thatch put in, looking at the picture. Numar seemed to agree with him. Ace growled at them, getting annoyed.
"It's a tutu, not a skirt. A tulle netted pancake tutu with silk bodice, and sequence. And another thing, those are not slippers. Those are pointe shoes."
All three of the pirates standing near him took a big step back even as Whitebeard leaned in, "How would you know this, brat."
"Research." He looked away.
"Right...Oyaji, seriously, you broke him." Thatch whined.
"Oh for! He did NOT break me!" He shook the paper in their face, "You moron, I sent him the damn tutu! Of course I know what kind it is! Do you have any idea how many types tutus there are out there? NO? GOOD! Cauz it's a lot! And then they only had pink! PINK!"
"I am going to overlook the creepy factor of you possibly being an Okama,"
"I'm NOT!" he snarled at Marco, ready to launch himself at the man.
"and ask what you were doing sending a Marine a tutu, yoi." oh, that's it, it's ON!
Whitebeard pinned him down with a hard stare, freezing him where he stood, "I think the better question would be why the Marine in question would wear it."
All four of them were staring at him now. "Good question." Namur crossed his arms.
Thatch nodded his agreement, "Don't think we'll buy that it's because it's Garp and he's a scary bastard, either."
"Have you ever met the man?" Ace asked. Only Whitebeard nodded, "He is a scary bastard. And a bully. Trust me on this."
"So what, you sent this to him to up his scary factor?"
"No! I sent it to see if he'd actually wear it!" Ace ran a hand though his hair, "Just because he wore the shirt last year didn't mean he'd wear this. I mean, I did kind of sneak off and become a pirate. Then I told Sengoku to take his offer and shove it. So, I wasn't sure if the shitty old geezer would do it. Wonder if Luffy sent him the shoes? Makino probably helped..."
"Wait, you've lost us, yoi." Marco held up a hand, "That...shirt...from last year. That was you?" Ace nodded, "And now you send him a tutu. To see if he'd wear it. Why?"
"Because it's his birthday present!"
Thatch threw up both hands, "Alright, he was broken before we got him. I give up."
"I'm NOT broken! There's nothing wrong with me, dammit!" Ace fumed.
"They are just teasing you, boy." Whitebeard's tone was kindly, "Why are you sending Garp birthday presents, though. I wasn't aware that it was even his birthday."
"Well, actually, it was about a week ago. And I kind of have to send him something, right? I mean, the man is kind of my Grandfather." He admitted, looking at the deck.
"WHAT?!" Three voices shouted.
Whitebeard took it better, "Vice Admiral Garp is your grandfather?"
"Adopted. But, yeah. Guy's a total ass, though. Get this, he wanted my brother and I to be Marines, right? Well, the guy's brilliant idea to stop us from being pirates, which is what we've always wanted to be in the first place anyway, was to send us to live with mountain bandits. Because being raised by criminals would make us strong, upstanding Marines. He got the strong part right at least."
"Are you serious? Garp? Monkey D. Garp?" Thatch just stared at him, "Fist of Justice? That guy?"
Ace rolled his eyes, "No, the other Garp in a tutu. Don't know about the Fist of Justice part, but his Fist of Love hurts like hell." Whitebeard was looking at him oddly. He shrugged, not being really that comfortable with the stare, "Anyway, I sent him the tutu for his birthday this year. I wanted to send a blue one, but all they had was pink."
"Does the color really matter that much?" Numar cocked his head to the side, looking at the photo.
"Hey! I might not like the guy, but I'm not a complete ass! Blue would look better on him."
"Gurararara, I see! He wears it because his grandson sent it. It's sweet!"
"It's messed up. Garp broke him, Oyaji." Thatch cried.