Hey guys, we're not dead! So sorry about not updating, real life got in the way (and also procrastination, but sh, don't tell Ete-chan!)

Ete-chan: right here and will deal with you later not updating what were you thinking!

Acka-chan: You're not blameless either! And what do you mean, what was I thinking? I thought we established that I didn't think! But anywho, onto the story.

Haruhi ran back up the stairs, with most of the crew following her. The twins turned to Mori, stating, "You missed your chance, man."

"I see opportunity elsewhere," Mori replied.

"You sound like Nekozawa!" Exclaimed one of the twins.

The other suddenly scrambled around. "Come on, we have to clean the darkness from his mind!" He wailed.

Mori stared, and walked past them as he ascended the stairs to catch that sight of land. He stopped dead as he reached the sunlight, hearing Haruhi shout, "Captain, someone's boarding the ship!"

Mori felt a hint of worry creep up within him, so he hefted his axe and raced over to Haruhi, straining to catch sight of the boarder.

Luffy ran on to the deck, bumping into Haruhi as he tried to find the stranger. He hit her so hard that Haruhi fell in Mori's path, causing him to throw his axe aside to catch the girl.

Tamaki, seeing Luffy hit his precious daughter, strode over angrily, muscles tensed, in an attempt to assault Luffy.
The intruder, having finally recovered from being whacked in the head with a huge double bladed axe (hm, I wonder where that came from, cough, Mori, cough), shot a small ball of fire at the Prince-type hosts head, burning off his cherished hair and stopping him from attacking Luffy.

While Tamaki mourned his precious hair, realization came over Luffy. "ACE! Whatcha doin' down there?"

"Protecting you, getting hit by flying axes, almost drowning, you know, the usual."

Luffy flung himself over the the so-called intruder, wrapping his arms around him in what Haruhi was sure was a bone-breaking hug.

"Captain appears to know him," Haruhi said to Mori. Mori stared at Ace and slowly nodded, before Honey (who hadn't seen what was going on) asked a question.

"Mori, why does the guy have your axe?"

Ace looked at the axe in his hand. "You're the one that threw this at me?"

Mori shrugged. "Not exactly." He didn't elaborate.

Kyoya pushed his glasses up, the glass shining menacingly. "I suggest you return the axe to Mori before I resort to alternative measures."

Ace turned to look at Mori then back to the axe. "And if I don't?"

"I already have the answers that no one should know. Like you birth father, or what you do while you're asleep."
"How did you ...?" Ace trailed off and Haruhi spoke over him, a little pityingly.

"He has blackmail on everyone."

"But I don't even know him!" Ace protested.

"EVERYONE." One twin said.

"AND THEIR CAT." Added the other.

Needless to say, Ace handed the axe back to Mori.

"So Ace, what are you doing here?" Luffy asked, bringing the conversation back on track - for once.

Ace shrugged. "Just thought I'd come help out the future pirate king ... if he still wants me on his crew, of course."

"Of course! Hey, everybody, kanpai! To our new nakama, Ace!"