Hi People, So i found my note book that had a bunch of scenes and dabbles written up for this. So ... here's another one. =]
Warning: i said this was AU and world building. I'm taking a lot of liberties with the powers and traits of characters. Nothing super ridiculous hopefully, but this isn't a 'everyone's a happy family' world.
Additional Warnings: These are going to be scenes from this world, taking place at different times and in different places. I'll put there where's and when's at the beginning of the chapter's, but there's not going to be a direct linear plot line
Again, world builder idea, so i'm probably going to end up with a plot hole or two, loose an idea thread here and there and and the characters may shift a little. Please call me out on these so i can (Hopefully, Maybe) rectify them and do better next time.
Finally, i will get around to posting everything i have, but I'm gonna tell you up front and apologize that it wont be on any sort of a schedule.
Anyway, i hope you enjoy the idea of this world and if you have ideas or something you want to see/ thing might happen or would be cool let me know! I'm always open for feedback and critiques and ideas to add.
Place: Moby Dick
Time: Roughly The Same Time as Ace's Fight With Teach
Marco's instincts were screaming. Something was wrong. Something was horribly, scaringly, achingly wrong. And he didn't have a bloody clue what it was. As far as Marco could tell, nothing was wrong. Moby was fully stocked, there had been no marine sightings for a week, and with how high strung the phoenix had been, she was spotless. Marco had contacted every one of pop's territories and they were all fine, peachy, doing wonderful thank you for asking. He'd checked with every division, and aside from the usual scuffles everyone was perfect. There was nothing wrong. There was nothing that could be wrong. So why the heck did he feel like this? Marco mentally ran through his checklist again for the umpteenth time. All minor repairs had been completed, the last resupply run had been yesterday, Haruto was bothering Izo but Vista was supervising so he didn't need to get involved.
The 1st division commander froze, as another wave of wrongness swept over him. Then he turned and headed below deck. That wasn't what was wrong, that couldn't be what was wrong. The phoenix had been down there a few hours ago, it had worked, he was fine. He was still asleep but he was stabilized. That wasn't here this was coming from. 'Dam Red Hair,' Marco thought. This hadn't been a problem until he came barging in. He pointedly ignored the reason for Shank's visit as he ranted at the other man. Marco threw open an unmarked door in the bows of the ship and glanced in.
See, the Phoenix told himself, everything is fine. It's sanitary, the machines are reading normally, and he's sitting up in bed. Nodding he closed the door and started back up to the deck. Then he froze. Marco stood frozen for several moments as he processed what had just happened. Tripping over himself, Marco turned and bolted back to the makeshift infirmary slamming the door open and stumbling to a stop in front of the bed. The two men stared at each other as the feared 1st division commander of the Whitebeard pirates gaped like a fish. Finally the oppressive silence was broken.
"Marco," Thatch asked hoarsely, "What's going on?"
Said Marco didn't respond. He didn't know how to respond. He remained all but frozen as confusion, relief and an overwhelming surge of joy washed over him.
"ok, seriously, what's going on?" Thatch asked again. "Marco? Hello? Earth to pineapple head?" when no reply was forthcoming he rolled his eyes and went to dis-attach the various beeping medical equipment he found himself hooked to. That got Marco moving.
"Stop it, yoi" Marco scolded, knocking Thatch's had away, "You were….Hurt. …..Badly."
"And I'm not in the infirmary because….?" Thatch inquired, allowing Marco to push him back into the bed.
"I…" Marco started, "Look…" He fidgeted with the machines, unhooking Thatch while stalling for time. Finally, the older man sat down on the edge of the bed. " How, How much do you remember?" he prodded gently.
Thatch shrugged, "We'd gotten back from the mission. Asked for opinions on what to do with the devil fruit I found. Went to bed… I think."
Marco mentally braced himself. How was he supposed to explain this? "There was.. You were… He…The Devil Fruit," The Phoenix took a shuddering breath, forcibly cobbling something coherent from the tattered strings in his head, "There was a, a traitor, Yoi. You were. Attacked. He, as far as we can tell, he was after your, THE Devil Fruit." He swallowed hard, knuckles bleaching white as he gripped the edge of the bed frame. Thatch needed to know who but.. how would he take it? He;d just woken up, the shock could be dangerous but…. Thatch needed to know. "I… the traitor. The one who attacked you. He," an attempted calming breath, "I mean, it was, "
"Teach." Thatch interrupted, eyes going wide, "He, I… Oh Hell." Thatch sat frozen by the fragmented returning memories for a few moments, desperately trying to process the flood in his head. Then, he turned to Marco. "I should be dead. Shouldn't I." It wasn't a question
Marco was unable to stop the instinctive flinch and turned away.
"No one else knows I'm alive, do they?" there was a touch of uncertainty in Thatch's voice this time. A half question. An almost painful hope that this wasn't what his mind was twisting it into.
Marco bit his lip and didn't answer. He couldn't bring himself to.
Thatch wouldn't have it. He grabbed his friends shoulders and ripped him around, forcing them to lock eyes. "What did you DO." He hisses.
"you were going to die," the Phoenix whispered, "I had to."
"What. Did. You. Do." The younger man's voice had dropped drastically, in temperature and harshness, but…. He hadn't allowed them to break eye contact, and all Marco could see was pain. Finally he was able to bring himself to speak.
"I can, I'm able to," he swallowed searching for words to explain his almost forgotten ability. "I can… share? Share, Yoi? I can share my fire, I used it on you." Then the truth, the weight, the consequence of what he'd done in his moments of panic and pain finally, finally sank in. the phoenix's voice grew horse as he was forced to acknowledged what he'd managed to run from for months. "I… I basically control your life," he half whispered, all but forgetting Thatch's presence in the emotional overload, "I can take that fire back whenever I want, whenever I need it." Thatch's grip had slackened and Marco slipped to the floor, chocking back a sob. "I, I didn't think. You were going to die, you were dying. I'm SO sorry." Burying his face in his hands, he shook.
After a few moments Thatch reached down and just held onto Marco's shoulder. "Just… Just so I'm clear," he started hesitantly. "I…" he swallowed, "Died. And you… brought me back. And, because of that, you… basically own my soul or something. And no one, not even Pop's, knows about any of this."
Marco couldn't speak, which was once again all the answer Thatch needed.
"Aw Hell," he sighed slummping down, "We're in So much trouble."
Marco pulled his legs to his chest as he fought to calm down.
Suddenly Thatch threw himself back against the pillows, flinging his arm across his face as he groaned, "Ace is going to KILL us."
Ice ran through Marco's veins. "A, Ace isn't….. here, Yoi." Came out a few moments latter.
Thatch sat back up and stared incredulously at the older man. "What's that supposed to mean?" he asked, "If he's not here, then where is he?"
Marco tried to come up with a response, but his delay seamed to panic the younger man.
"He's ok right? He didn't do anything stupid did he? Marco what the hell's going on?" he ranted, clearly overwhelmed by the mess of emotions he'd been subjected to in the last few minutes as he scrambled to get out of the bed.
"Calm down, Yoi." Marco forced his words to be calm as he stood. This was familiar territory, he could handle this, he could get through this. Marco used the familiar act of helping and reassuring his brother to ground himself and pull out of his own panic. "Ace is fine, Yoi." He gently pushed the panicked man back down. "Ace is out on a… mission, right now. He's fine, it's ACE. So calm down Yoi, You need your rest."
Thatch wasn't having any of it. "Ace's hunting down Teach. Isn't he." He spat bluntly.
Marco flinched again, and after resisting for a few moments, sighed. "Yes, Yoi. He lift a while ago. Right after, it, happened.
Thatch swore. "And you all thought it was a good idea?" he snapped, "How could you do that to him? What the hell is wrong with you! How could you force Ace to…"
"We didn't force Ace to do anything!" Marco snapped back, cutting Thatch off, "We tried to STOP him!" Marco groaned as he plopped down onto the bed as well. "He said…. And I mean, he was right, Teach was in Ace's division, it's his responsibility. And…." The phoenix had so swallow, his throat dry, "He, he said, that it was his fault. Ace said he knew that Teach had been looking for a specific Devil Fruit, that… if only he hadn't been so stupid, so blind and naive, none of this would have happened."
"So basically," Thatch intoned, steel dripping off his words, "Ace is off to murder someone he was thick as thieves with because he has the self worth of a gnat, and you all thought this was ok."
"We tried to stop him Thatch," Marco defended, "But it's Ace and well…"
"And well none of you even tried to tell him No, that he was wrong, which confirmed his self hatred and look me in the eyes and tell me that Ace is going to come back from this in one piece!" Thatch ranted.
"You seem to have no faith in our brother," Marco retorted, "Ace is strong Yoi."
"Physically?" Thatch countered, "Yes. Mentally? What part of 'self worth the size of a gnat' did you miss?"
Marco bit his lip again because he honestly didn't have a counter for that. It was true. Ace treated his very existence as something to atone for. It wasn't healthy, it wasn't even sane, but…. Well it was really useful at times so no one had actually taken much time to try an address a problem that never got in the way. Hell, Pops had even encouraged it a few times, the most notable of which were when he convinced Ace to join the family and then to become the 2nd division commander.
"Marco," Thatch asserted, pulling the phoenix from his thoughts. "I'm going to the deck. I'm going to tell everyone what happened and then I'm going after Ace to bring him home.'
"we need to tell everyone," Marco agreed, "But there's no way you're going after Ace, Yoi"
"Why the hell not!" the younger man demanded.
"Because, Yoi." The 1st division commander responded, "You've been dead. And in a coma. And you're in no shape to be sailing of on a quest that doesn't need to be accomplished."
"Dammit you useless blue turkey," the cook fired back, "if we don't go get Ace he's never going to make it Home!"
"Ace is FINE, Yoi." Marco screeched back, "but seeing as you were DEAD, you're NOT"
It was Thatches turn to gape in a loss for words.
Good, Marco thought vindictively, maybe then he'd finally stop stressing over pointless things that weren't happening and…
"Marco," Thatch whispered, breaking the older man's thoughts once again and causing him to turn focus on his brother. The same pain was there in his eyes.
Thatch licked his lips a few times, stalling, before he continued. "I… look, I know you're worried about me, and I get it. But Ace…. Teach was Ace's confidant. He knows basically everything there is to know about Ace. And can you honestly tell me that he wouldn't use that? That Teach won't use everything he knows to rip Ace apart?" Thatch stared at Marco, his eyes pleading with his brother to understand. "Teach is going to shatter Ace, and then keep the pieces and do who knows what with them. Marco if we don't go get Ace, he might be better off dead."
Marco eyes were screwed shut as he took several deep breaths, trying to continue to deny his instincts. Finally "I know Yoi" slipped out. And all of the wrongness he'd been warding off solidified. Solidified into panic and terror and regret and sorrow and so, much, Pain. "I know Yoi" Marco repeated heart heavy, "Let's go see Pops."