The party lasted most of the night, and everyone slept in late the next morning. Even Marco, who was typically an early riser, was in bed until noon. Milo had left the celebration early, and the result was he was the only one awake that morning. He turned on his phone, texting Malcolm to say he was alright. He didn't expect a reply.
"What happened?" Webster asked, looking up as Milo leaned over the railing. "There was a lot of noise last night."
"They had a party," Milo said.
"That was a party?"
Milo laughed, nodding. "I'm coming down, is that alright?" Webster nodded, and Milo climbed down the ladder. He wobbled slightly as his feet hit the solid dock. "It's been a while since I've been on shore," Milo explained, as Webster steadied him.
"Your friends are quite rambunctious." Webster commented. "You've been with them for two months, correct?"
"Something like that," Milo said. "Marco's a friend of Dad's, and they were happy when they figured out he was alive."
"I saw the list. Your father's name is Luffy, right? And Nami's your mother." Webster glanced at the younger curiously. "You said several times your–"
"My parents were born there. Not here. Yeah. Dad's the Pirate King. In the other world. I really can't explain anything else. I don't know much." Milo waved his hand, sounding annoyed.
Webster sighed, "Sorry. It's just… we never expected to have one of the high school victims come back."
"I didn't expect to come back either. I want to go back with them, though."
Webster nodded, but didn't say anything. The kid was strange, but Webster wasn't going to point that out. This kid had many extremely strong people to back him up.
What happened next was sudden, and it startled Webster. A rock came flying from the direction of shore, aimed for the back of Milo's head. The teenager seemed to know it was there, yanking a small pole from his coat and swinging it. He hit the rock, sending it back towards the thrower. A couple young men, probably college students, cursed and started scrambling away.
"Get them!" Webster shouted to several officers lingering around, pointing at the fleeing people. The officers darted after them. He turned to Milo, to ask him what the hell he just did. But Milo looked as confused as Webster felt. He stared at the silver pole in his hands as if it were a bomb. "Are you alright?"
"Did you see that?!" Milo exclaimed, staring at the pole. "I hit that rock, like a baseball. It was really easy. It shouldn't have been that easy…"
"Sit down," Webster ordered. "Take a deep breath."
Milo complied, taking a seat. He kept staring at the pole. Webster examined it as well. It was small, the length of Milo's forearm, and looked like it was made of pure silver. There was a small impression in the middle, but Webster couldn't imagine its purpose.
"Hey, Webster?" Webster looked up, two officers standing, holding two young men in handcuffs. "We got 'em."
Webster stood up, "Good. You two, do you know the situation right now?" Both boys looked away. Webster continued. "We have very strong people from another world on that ship."
"So," One of them grumbled. "It's not like we attacked them."
Webster pointed at Milo. "You threw a rock at him. I don't know if you realize this, but that boy's part of that crew."
"Travelling with that crew," Milo corrected, standing. He still held his pole in his hand. "I'm not an actual member yet."
"You don't look like a pirate," The second one said. "Thought you were the kid of one of them," He jerked his head as the lingering people.
"I'm still getting used to the lifestyle," Milo said. "It's okay, Webster. I really don't mind. Just don't mention this to Marco, and everything will be fine."
"Mention what to Marco?" Namur's voice called down. Everyone glanced up, the two college student's staring bug eyed and open mouthed at the fish man. "The fact you were attacked?"
"Please don't tell him," Milo said, grimacing. "He's scary when he lights himself on fire."
Namur laughed, "I saw the whole thing. You, my boy, might have Haki. Your father is quite skilled with it, so I would imagine you have a strong sense of it as well."
Namur shook his head, "I'll explain later." He turned his gaze towards the two boys. "You have a lot of nerve attacking Milo."
"Namur, you guys just found out. I doubt the people of this other world will know."
"I suppose you're right," Namur sighed.
Webster sighed, "I'm sorry about this, Milo. Really."
Milo turned back to Webster, "I said it's fine, Webster. I'm serious. I don't care."
Webster nodded at the officers, who unlocked the handcuffs. Both boys looked unsure of what to do, and kept glancing up at Namur. "What the hell is that?" One of them whispered.
"That's Namur," Milo, who had heard, answered. "He's a fish man."
"Your world is weird." The second one said.
Milo shrugged, "You get used to it."
"Come on," Webster placed a firm hand on each of their shoulders. "You aren't allowed to be here. I'm going to escort you off the docks."
Milo waved as Webster led them away and then boarded the ship again, joining Namur. He watched the two young men leave the docks, running off as soon as Webster released them. They were alone for another hour, and then Marco stumbled out of his room, squinting against the sunlight.
"Are you hung-over?" Milo laughed.
"Shut up," Marco shot back, rubbing his bloodshot eyes. Namur hid a smile as well, and over the course of the afternoon the rest of the crew had stumbled out.
The thought didn't occur to Milo until the next day. He quickly spoke with Marco to get his approval and then climbing down to find Webster. Webster was the Police Chief, so he might be able to pull some strings. "Hey, Police dude!"
Webster looked up at Milo, dismissing the officers he had been talking to. "You're lucky I'm required to be here, Milo. I don't think many others would respond to that name."
"Sorry, I have a question."
"Would it be possible to bring me to my house?" Milo asked, "I mean, there's stuff I could use, and Mom would never forgive me if I don't bring back something if I was here. Please?"
"That's an unusual request," Webster said. "But I suppose I could."
"YES! Thanks," Milo cheered, waving up at the ship. Webster saw Marco, who was standing at the railing, give a nod.
Webster had to sneak Milo around the usual crowd of reporters and bystanders. It wasn't a very difficult task once Webster sent one of the scientists to speak with them about their latest findings. Everyone crowded around the poor scientist, and the two of them were able to slip past without any troubles.
The police chief used his own car, not wanting to draw any more unwanted attention. He had to remind Milo to put on his seatbelt before starting the car, following the directions Milo was giving him. He maneuvered through the downtown traffic, and then onto the less busy streets of a residential area.
"Turn left here," Milo directed, pointing. "It's number 4."
Webster pulled into the driveway and examined the house. It looked ordinary, with grey brickwork, a white door, and a garden. Milo fumbled with his seatbelt, jumping out of the car and headed towards the garden.
Webster stepped out as well, watching Milo as he lifted a rock and produced a key. "What do you plan to get?" He asked.
"I don't know." Milo unlocked the front door, "Sentimental stuff, I guess. It's nice to be home."
Webster followed the boy into the house and flicked a light switch. Nothing happened. "The electrical company probably cut your power when you stopped paying."
"Damn… Don't open the fridge then."
Webster nodded, opening a curtain to let in more light. Milo had vanished up the stairs, so Webster took a seat on one of the kitchen chairs and waited for the boy to return.
Milo reappeared a while later with an armful of stuff and dumped it on the table before dashing off again, this time into an adjacent room. Curiously, Webster eyed the pile the boy had left. He picked up a book. A photo album?
"That's Mom and Dad's wedding," Milo said, reappearing in the doorway. "And a lot of my and Bellemere's baby pictures. Mom went on a rampage when she realized she didn't have them."
"You have good parents, if they care about that." Webster commented.
Milo smiled, "If you get past the fact they were keeping a lot of secrets, they're great. But I'm slowly figuring out those secrets."
"You're one brave kid, travelling with pirates." Webster shook his head.
"They're not like the pirates in the movies," Milo said. "And I swear, I've seen every one of them." He gestured toward the living room, "Dad has a collection. I'd bring them, but there aren't any T.V's." He grabbed a backpack that was sitting on the floor. He turned the bag upside down, emptying the contents onto the kitchen counter and brought the now empty bag over to the table and started loading the contents of the pile into it. Lots of books, Webster noted, as Milo fit everything in.
Once the bag was full, Milo slung it over his shoulder, wincing at the weight. "I'm good."
"Are you sure you don't want to stay a bit longer?" Webster asked.
Milo started to shrug, but was interrupted when Webster's radio buzzed. "Webster here, over," He spoke into the radio.
"We've got a… situation over here at the docks, over," A nervous voice came through the radio.
Milo froze. Webster frowned. "Report, over."
"The light came back. The scientists say they're detecting a massive change in the unknown energy." The officer o on the other end said. "Over."
"Anything else? Over." Webster asked, hoping for more information. Milo was staring at him.
"Something's coming through!" The shout was full of static, but both listeners understood.
"I'll be back in five minutes," Webster said, abandoning formalities. He gestured for Milo to get moving. The boy was out of the house as Webster stood. He didn't other locking the door as he climbed into the car, Webster only seconds behind him.
It took them ten minutes to reach the harbor, Milo fidgeting in the passenger's seat.
Webster blinked at the huge ship sitting in the middle of the bay. The word Marine was printed across the sails. Milo started pushing through the crowd, ignoring the protests and the guards at the beginning of the docks. He jumped past, sprinting towards the ship. A couple guards pursued him until he reached the ship, shouting up to Jozu and tossing his bag up. He scrambled up the ladder and was met with confusion.
Marco was standing in the crow's nest, glaring at the ship sitting calmly in the water. "Damn it!" He heard Marco's shout, and took his bag back from Jozu, heading down to his room and dropping his bag in his hammock.
He noticed Izo staring out one of the portholes. "They're not going to let us fight," Milo said, crossing his arms and leaning against the wall. "It would cause too much panic."
"That's not going to stop the Marines from attacking us, though." Izo said. "And like Marco said. We will defend ourselves."
Milo took a breath, "Should I warn them to clear the docks?"
"That might be best," Izo nodded, narrowing his eyes as a shout echoed from above.
Milo left, emerging back on deck and confirming it was Marco who was yelling. Taylor and Webster were standing before him, both of their faces red. "I don't give a damn! I want to know how the hell we get back. I'm really not in the mood to fight Marines right now." Marco was glaring daggers at the two men in front of him.
"I can't allow casualties," Webster said. "It's my job to keep the city safe."
"Then get us a way back!" Marco almost growled. "I don't care how! We'll fight them over there."
"This doorway is only one way!" Taylor shouted. "It can only be accessed by that point! Damn it, listen to me!"
Marco grabbed Taylor's collar, dragging the man forward until they were face to face. "Find us a damned doorway. Because there will be a fight."
Blue flames licked across Marco's knuckles, and Taylor whimpered. Marco thrust him back as Marco turned away and burst into flames, a bird emerging from the sudden inferno. The bird flew up and perched on the top of the mast.
"You guys are lucky," Milo said, coming over.
"Did… I'm going crazy." Taylor sat down hard, staring up, slack jawed.
"Nope. That's just Marco when he's pissed. Didn't I mention he could turn into a phoenix?"
"No… I don't believe you did…" Taylor managed.
"Well, I did give you a warning, remember? Don't freak out when you see something unusual." Milo recalled. "Namur wasn't the only person I was talking about. Marco can turn into a phoenix and can light himself on fire. Jozu's arm is made of diamonds. Haruta doesn't have a Devil Fruit power, but she could be added to the list of strange things aboard this ship."
Webster made a strangled sound in the back of his throat.
"So don't piss them off. They won't stand for anyone threatening a member of their crew." Milo continued. "I was also asked to warn you. Clear the docks of you don't want anyone getting hurt."
"Do you count as a member of their crew?" Taylor asked.
"Yes. I was also asked to warn you. Clear the docks of you don't want anyone getting hurt." Milo narrowed his eyes at them, daring them to protest. They didn't.
Chopper dropped the binoculars when he saw the flag. They hit the snow without a sound, and Chopper made no move to pick them up. Dalton noticed the reindeer's distress. "Chopper? Are you alright?"
"That's the Sunny," Chopper said, pointing at the ship.
The ship was too far out for the details to be seen clearly, so Dalton picked up the binoculars Chopper had dropped and peered through them. "Well, the paper did say Strawhat was back."
"But Luffy's dead!" Chopper exclaimed.
"Maybe it's one of your crewmembers." Dalton commented. "You went to visit the blue haired man and his wife a couple times, right?"
"Franky and Robin," Chopper said. "Maybe…"
"They're probably coming to ask you if you want to join them." Dalton told the reindeer. "See, they're turning this way."
Chopper nodded, "I'll greet them at the cove, then."
Dalton nodded, handing back the binoculars. Chopper hopped off the rock he was standing on and made his way over to the cove. The same one Marco and the Whitebeard Pirates had landed less than a week ago.
Chopper waited as the ship got closer, eventually sailing into the cove. Chopper saw Franky's blue hair and smiled, waving. "HEY! FRANKY!"
Franky ran to the railing, "SUPER REINDEER DOCTOR BRO!" He shouted back, jumping off and landing hard in the snow. He grabbed Chopper, squeezing him until Chopper shouted for him to let go. Franky placed him on his feet. "You're not going to believe who's back!"
"Did Zoro decide to start up?" Chopper asked excitedly. "Cause if you did, I'm going with you!"
"Well, Zoro was there when me and Robin joined up again." Franky said.
"Speaking of you two," Chopper said, suddenly serious. "How are your kids? I haven't seen your youngest since he was born, and Tom was only one when I saw him last."
"They're SUPER!" Franky said, "But that's not what I meant. It's Luffy and Nami! They're alive!"
Chopper didn't respond, his mouth gaping. "What?!"
As if on cue, Luffy jumped down and scooped up the startled zoan user in another crushing embrace. "It's been a while, hasn't it?" Chopper didn't struggle. Instead, he stared over his dead captain's shoulder at the two women who were climbing down from the ship. A dark haired woman, Robin, hit the ground first, stepping out of the way so an orange haired woman could stand as well. His eyes locked on the navigator, also supposed to be dead, and he let out a strangled whimper.
"You guys…" Chopper sniffed, pulling an arm free and wiping his eyes. "You… HAVE A LOT OF EXPLAINING TO DO!"
He felt Luffy laugh, and then he was back on his feet, staring up at the captain. "I know. We'll explain everything."
Chopper wiped away the tears and mucus that was running down his face, sniffing again. "Come to the village with me. We can talk there."
Nami smiled, nodding enthusiastically. Franky turned his head upwards, towards the ship. "HEY GUYS! GET YOUR SUPER ASSES DOWN HERE!"
Nami wacked Franky on the head, "Watch your language!"
Chopper tried to keep a stern face, but failed at the sight. It was so painfully familiar that he had to laugh. Nami and Robin started laughing as well, Luffy and Franky exchanging puzzled glances. Kuina was the first to appear, leaning over the railing. Tom was the next to appear.
"Hi Chopper!" Kuina waved.
"Hello, Kuina," Chopper returned. Kuina jumped, Tom following, as two more heads poked over the side of the ship. Blake opted to use the ladder, joining his parents on the ground.
"Dad won't wake up," Kuina told the adults. "I wrote him a note."
"Don't even think about it, Bellemere!" Nami called up, as Bellemere started climbing onto the rail. "Use the ladder."
The twelve year old pouted, but brightened when Luffy stretched his arms and grabbed her around the waist and pulled her towards him. She laughed, huffing when she hit Luffy's chest. "Wait 'till you're a bit older, kay?"
"But they did it!" Bellemere pointed accusingly at Kuina and Tom.
"They're both older than you." Nami pointed out.
Luffy placed Bellemere down, her feet sinking into the snow. She spied Chopper and let out a delighted squeal. "He's cute!"
Chopper yelped and darted behind Franky to hide.
"Leave him alone, Bella," Nami said. "He's our friend. Not a stuffed toy."
The order was unneeded though, as Bellemere was having trouble walking through the snow. "It's cold!" She shouted, as snow entered her boot.
"How 'bout I carry you?" Luffy asked, kneeling down in front of her, allowing her to climb onto his back. "Alright, Chopper. Lead the way."
"Wow…" Chopper breathed, as he listened to Nami and Luffy explain what happened sixteen years ago and where they were. "So you're going to stay here?"
"That's the plan," Nami said, nodding. "We've got to meet up with Marco, though, as soon as possible. Milo, our son, is with him, and we'd like to know how he's doing."
"I've met Milo!" Chopper said. "Marco stopped by a little while ago."
Luffy laughed, "So how was he doing?"
"He was brave," Chopper shuddered. "He hit Haruta with a snowball."
Nami paled at his words, "I hope Marco kept an eye on him. That woman can be a little… insane… at times."
The door opened suddenly, Zoro standing in the doorway. "Where's Kuina?" He asked angrily. Luffy started laughing at the sight of the swordsman.
"She did say she left a note…" Nami commented, holding her hand over her mouth to hide a snigger. Kuina had written where they were on Zoro's forehead, in what looked like permanent marker. "I don't know where she is."
Zoro stormed out of the hut, muttering something about whipped cream, art supplies, and fire. Chopper stared after the man, and took a sip of his tea. "I feel sorry for him. Kuina's quite wild. And what's he got against whipped cream?"
"You should ask Bellemere later," Nami said, gesturing to her daughter, who was sitting in front of the fireplace. Kuina poked her head out from behind the couch.
"Thanks for the save."
"Don't be thanking me yet. Zoro will always get his revenge," Nami warned. "You had better hide the markers."
Kuina laughed, ducking as Zoro passed a window. "I'll keep that in mind."
They all heard Zoro curse loudly, and when they looked out the window, they saw Tom and Blake running from him as fast as they could. The back of Zoro's head was white. "You know, I don't know what will cause the most pain. Hitting Haruta with a snowball or hitting Zoro with a snowball."
"Well, when we find Milo, they can compare notes."