Naruto deadpanned at the crew members begging for his miracle hangover cure. How did they even get a hangover in the first place?! Not one drop of alcohol had been consumed, yet!... Okay, he got it now. See, Whitebeard pirates have awesome mustaches, though most of them shave it off or wax them. So, being part of the Red Hair Pirates known for partying grants you the ability- to get hungover without alcohol. It sounds stupid, but either way, it is what it is.
Now if only it could be turned on and off at will, everything would be perfect.
Instead, he sighed and prepared the brew for them. There was no such thing as logic in their world after all.
"Brat, thought you might find this interesting."
Without looking, Naruto caught the rolled up newspaper in his hand and after giving a few hard whacks on the head of the crew for being idiots with it, proceeded to drink his daily cup of morning coffee. With was promptly spit out as soon as he read the headlines. On Shanks.
"Wah! Benn, Naru-chan is so mean to me!"
Naruto stared blankly at the newspaper, unable to comprehend the details, unintentionally ignoring Shanks, who proceeded to wail on Benn.
He didn't realize playing a prank on the marines would lead to this. If he did... He still wouldn't change a thing, though, so the point is moot.
There, written in big bold letters, the words 'Mysterious Crew Member Tames Red-Hair Shanks' on the headlines of the newspaper was shown clearly.
Quickly scanning through the pages, he determined that he was apparently now a 'God Of Love', 'Seducer Of Men' and a 'Angel In Disguise'. And had a bounty that was worth a thousand more than Shanks. That was, if they could catch him alive. The marines probably wanted to use him to command the pirates. Of course, on the upside, if he was dead, the bounty hunters would get close to nothing... If they could even win.
Apparently pretending that you were superior to someone meant that you had a higher bounty than them, and were better than them. Who knew?
"Naru-chan, you have a higher bounty than me! Benn, this calls for a celebration! Bring out the booze!"
This was a disaster! He spent so many years trying to keep his face out of newspapers only to be thwarted by his captain! Staunchly ignoring the fact that Whitebeard was the one that had gotten him to unveil himself, he proceeded to hit Shanks on the head with the rolled up newspaper. Who promptly ran away from his wrath.
That was, until the den den mushi rang. A complete turn about from his previous actions, he cheerfully answered the den den mushi, throwing the rolled newspaper at Shanks in a last ditch effort to injure him.
"Gurarara, gaki, have you read the newspapers?"
"I have, Captain Edward. Why have you called us?" Translation: there better be a better reason for calling us at 6am than asking whether or not I have read the newspapers, even if we were already awake then.
"Gaki, we have been informed that Ace has been captured by the marines. Tell that red haired gaki. Click."
"Ah, Shanks, remember Ace?" Naruto asked politely, having beaten up Shanks throughout the course of the conversation. Other crew members discretely looked away, rationalizing that their captain would be alright. Probably.
"Luffy's brother? Dahahaha. Did he finally give up on Blackbeard?"
"Shanks, he's been captured. By the marines. The Whitebeard pirates are waiting for more news."
"Damn it! I told him! Why didn't he recall that brat?! Damn it!"
Naruto closed his eyes, sending a small prayer that Ace would be alright. Despite passing out at the sight of him, that kid wasn't too bad. Not to mention, it would devastate Luffy if anything would happen to his older brother. Which would, in turn, ruin Shanks.
"Shanks, there's nothing else we can do, except to keep an eye and ear out for more news and back up Whitebeard when they and the marines inadvertently clash."
"... Yeah, you're right. Scouts, pair up and sneak around for any news. Most likely the Marines would be releasing a statement on Ace soon but just ferret out more information if possible. The rest of the crew, start preparing for war. Ready your weapons and armor. If my gut feeling is right, one of the Yonko is about to make his move in this hectic situation."
"Aye, captain!" Saluting the captain, the ship burst into a bustle of activity, everyone making sure to sharpen their swords, load their guns, and clean the cannons thoroughly. Passing cannon balls from the storeroom to right beside the cannons, should they be needed, the men had grim faces on, knowing that they needed to prepare as readily as possible to have the best chance of survival. Or as high as the chances could be in an all out war.
"It is highly unlikely that the marines would be having a clash this soon. Some of the other, rather important marines are still not in the grand line. Even if it would be better to fight against the Whitebeard pirates while they have not contacted their allies, they are missing two out of three of their admirals. Not to mention, they need all the manpower they can get if they are declaring war on Whitebeard and his allies. The bases located in the red line will send their troops, which might take up to a month in that place due to the weather conditions. At the earliest, they will wage a war one month from now. What do you think about destroying some of the bases in the red line? Some workout will be good for the boys. You've got them all tensed up, eh, Captain?" Benn reasoned out, showcasing his genius intellect and keen instincts.
"Dahahaha, indeed! Well, I'll leave the planning to you two then, Benn, Naru-chan." Shanks commanded, walking to the deck.
"Crew, what do you think about going to the red line and beating some marine bases?" Shanks shouted, leading the crew in a cheer that shook the ship.
That was, until Naruto came up to the deck and proceeded to try beating Shanks to death for disturbing the tactics and planning taking place with the "unruly, clamorous noise" while Shanks avoided each blow with a cheerful grin and his trademark laughter.
Benn simply sighed and proceeded to call the shipwright from beneath the deck to fix the future wreckage, carefully explaining to the new crewman that "yes, everything is always this crazy" amid screeching and laughter and bets being called out.
"You could stop them, couldn't you, Benn-san?" Guileless eyes stared up at him," You're the First Mate, right, Benn-san?"
"It's best to let them cool themselves off for now. Besides, they're just flirting right now. Their relationship is just too complex to try and even understand or break down."
"Ah, thank you for clarifying this for me, Benn-san. You must be really amazing to know that!"
"Maa, it's nothing big, right, Yasopp?"
"It's true. Everyone in the crew knows about their ways by now. You only don't cause you're new and all. But don't worry, before long you'll be rolling your eyes at them too." Yasopp grinned, giving the new recruit a hair ruffle.
"Ya know, you remind me of my kid, Usopp. Have I ever told you about him? He looks like an exact replica of me, and he's so cute and sweet! He didn't talk when I last saw him, but then again he was still a baby! Oh, and his mother, my wife is just so amazing! She cooks awesome dishes and she cleans so neatly! And, and-"
"Yeah, if you count pranking everyone in the village 'cleaning' and boiling water 'cooking', then yeah, she's good at that." Lucky Roo commented dryly, stealing another chicken leg to chew on.
"Oh come on, she's so talented at everything, and she is still the most beautiful woman I've ever seen in my entire life!"
"Yeah, yeah, but she's not here, is she? Hey, what do you say about a game of cards? To the victor goes a bento made by Naru-chan. And no, Benn, you can't play. It wouldn't be fair then. Let us poor chaps win for once, okay?"
"Well then, let's get started." The crew members grinned at each other challengingly, ignoring Yasopp who was sobbing in the corner about his beautiful, but ultimately dead wife.