Hi again guys =)

I promised myself a long time ago that I wouldn't make excuses for things so I formally apologize for this taking so long .-.

So this chapter is basically Marco has emotions and apparently a slightly necromantic ability stemming from his devil fruit. And did I mention emotions? Also we might have ended up on the, Marco is a lot older than he looks, train with this one. Also Izo is not a happy camper. That is all. I hope you guys can enjoy. :]

As always if you have any idea for what should go down in this world feel free to share. n.n

Time: About an Hour after Thatch wakes up

Place: Moby Dick

The silence in the room was heavy, oppressive, suffocating. And all of it was directed at the 1st Division Commander. Marco felt the weight of everyone's eyes as they processed the information he had just thrown at their feet. He didn't blame the other commanders for being shocked when he's walked into the meeting room with Thatch. Although said man was probably going to have a fit about the shattered mugs latter. To be honest the whole situation was almost cliché comical and Marco had had to bite back his laughter, knowing that it would NOT help his situation.

Finally, Whitebeard broke the dark atmosphere that permeated the room. "Marco, Son, is there a reason you did not bring this to us earlier?" his inquiry was soft, one would say hesitant if it was anyone but the strongest man in the world, and the hinted undertones of disappointment had Marco wanting to cringe.

Fighting back his instinct to duck his head and make reparations, the Phoenix found his voice enough to answer. "It… was an accident, yoi. So I didn't know if it would… take or not and if it didn't…. I, didn't want to get anyone's hope's up, Yoi."

"Is that also why you never bothered to do it before?" Izo shot out.

"Izo, " Vista chided softly.

"No," Izo snapped, "I want an explanation." He rounded on Marco, "This whole time, this whole time, all the siblings we've lost, you could have helped. You didn't even want to save Thatch, it was a 'mistake." He all but spat the last word. "So I want to know what the hell's more important to him than our family."

"How about their FREEDOM, Yoi." Marco snapped back. He knew he shouldn't. he knew it would only make things worse, but he was Tiered, yoi. And the ones he called siblings refused to understand the situation. The phoenix was trying to sum things up nicely, and cleanly. But if they insisted on the gory details then fine, Yoi.

"Because right now, Izo? I can end Thatch's life again with a thought. Because my flames are preserving him, but they will always prioritize me." White beard looked like he was about to interject but Marco plowed on, ignoring the man he called father. He needed to make them understand dam it.

"It's just Thatch, and he healed almost entirely naturally, so the drain is minimal. But if I get hurt bad enough Thatch will instinctively be abandoned in favor of healing me. And sure, I can just give him a portion of my flames again, and again, and again, and again. But guess what? It doesn't take much for healing to turn into nothing more than reanimation. Nothing more than a fuzzy collection of imperfectly remembered personality. And how the hell is that fair to anyone Izo?

It was clear from their hunched posture that his fellow commanders finally understood at least enough to see how messed up this whole situation was. Marco could leave it at that, should leave it at that. Should walk away before this mess got any worse. But it was like his self control had shut down. Finally free from the constant filters imposed by being the '1st Son' and the 1st division comander, the 'responsible one', now that he had opened up the valve on his emotions to vent, Marco found it impossible to stop until they'd all ripped themselves out.

"Because Thatch has to live with the fact that he could simple collapse at any moment and that's it. With the knowledge that his life is dependant entirely on my whims, yoi. That's Not…. It's….." The Phoenix shook his head. "I panicked and got us into this mess, yoi. But my cowardliness is why we're still in it. I chose to minimize the problem instead of resolving it. For that I'm sorry, yoi"

He turned to leave, but Thatch's hand shot out and snaked around his wrist. The soft touch all but paralyzed Marco, Leaving his shaking with his back to his family. Marco had been deluding himself when he though that the atmosphere was oppressive before, nothing compared to this.

Once again it was their father who broke it." I believe we all need some time. We will discuss this gain tomorrow. Izo, help Thatch get settled back into his room."

"But Pops!" Izo went to object but a pointed look from Whitebeard had his mouth snapping shut. Striding forward the 16th Division Commander yanked Thatch's hand off Marco. "Let's Go."

Thatch looked like he also wanted to object, but a small shake of Marco's head had him allowing Izo to pull him away and out the door with only a lingering look back. One by one the other Commanders filled out past the Phoenix until only he and Whitebeard were left.

After a few moments of silence, where Marco refused to turn around, the physical older man let out a breath. "Marco, Son, none of this is your fault. Everyone is in shock, but no one is truly upset"

"Until Thatch drops dead again, yoi." Marco whispered, head down.

"Evidently Newgate had heard him because he let our another sigh, "Marco, please, look at me."

Marco wanted to, he truly did, but an over powering mixture of guilt and shame and self hatred kept him rooted to the spot. Then there was a large warm hand, and Marco allowed himself to be guided over to Whitebeard, head still down. "Pops, I…. I can't…. I don't….. I can't fix this." He choked out.

"There is nothing to fix My Son." Marco could hear the smile in Whitebeards voice, though he still refused to look. "We will simple have to be a little more carful now. I am sure that is a price no one will object to paying Marco."

The Phoenix knew that there was no way it was going to be that simple, but he found it very hard to argue with his surrogate father so Marco decided to shift to the other issue that he's prevented from even getting brought up. "Some, someone needs to tell Ace, yoi. Needs to bring him back. It should be me but I don' think I can trust myself to leave the ship. Not… not when I don't know how stable… I've never done this before, yoi."

Whitebeard was silent for a long time. Long enough for Marco to dare a glance up at him. The lines of his face were tight, but they softened somewhat as he noticed Marco's gaze. There was a pregnant pause, before Newgate finally answered."Even with Thatch's return to us, that does not change or negate Teach's actions."

"What do you mean, yoi?' Marco pressed, not liking what was being implied.

Now it was Whitebeards turn to not make eye contact as he spoke. "Personal feelings aside, Ace was right in his statements. Letting something like this go will only encourage future attacks. That is the last thing we need, especially now."

"Don't." Marco hissed, "Don't make my mistakes a reason to but Ace in danger, yoi."

"My decision stands Marco." The Captain said, "Ace will return when he has completed his mission. And," Whitebeard continued, placing his had to cove Marco's shoulders, "He will have wonderful news to return home to."

Marco found he could do nothing but nod stiffly.

Newgate took his acceptance graciously with a clap on the back, "You need time to rest as well Son. We'll meet tomorrow to go over everything, OK?"

"Yes, pops." Marco submitted and, as he turned to head towards his quarters, fought to push down the lamentation of his instincts.

Review Responses

Bobbi: I'm supper psyched that you want to stay around! And if we take out the romantic aspect, I totally agree with Teach displaying Yandere Traits. And I'm actually kind of scared with the way Ace's depression is developing in this story. Or, i guess scared of writing it. I Know it can be, and is, a serious things and I don't want to disrespect anyone and their personal struggles by portraying it incorrectly. But also I'm excited to see Teach pull off this whole scheme. We honestly don' t have a lot of the WB Pirates in cannon, I've found it's mostly just the personalities that they've developed in the Fandom. There are really only a few actual scenes to alter, which means a lot of free reign but also a lot of unknowns. So if you have any other awesome ideas you want to share... ;p and I'm glad you like Teach. Well, like might be the wrong word but... Anyway I agree with you, this is a guy who managed to stay undercover for decades. And all of his plans that we see are elaborate and laced with subterfuge. Teach is greedy and selfish, yes, but he's also patient and clever. I hope he continues to live up to your expectations.

Unknown 3 : 0.o ... That is a beautiful idea. Also really extremely mean and dripping with angst and heartbreak. I love it. It kind of goes against the premise of Ace agreeing to serve Blackbeard but I seriously want to find away to swing this in there as well. Thank you so much for the idea!

Guest: I'm sorry you feel that way. This is basically a world building experience, so you're right that things will be slow at some points and things won't really be in order. I hope you decide to stick around anyway, but if not no worries. n.n There are different types of stories for everyone.

EmperialGem21 : Oh my gosh, Thank You! I'm glad you're able to have so much fun with this story! I'm glad Teach is doing his job as the villain. Being inside his head is a kind of disturbing experience and truthfully I don't really know what he's gonna do either. But whatever it is Ace will probably end up paying the price. :'{

Pokipo : Maybe, but that doesn't make him any less clever or dangerous. And many of his traits would fall under the category of Yandere, but without any romantic elements. That would be a fun element to explore but I don't see it happening in this particular story. I hope you're still able to enjoy it anyway though.

lostdog200 : You have a beautiful strain of patience. Which, knowing me, will be necessary. I apologize and make no excuses, but I hope you stick with this and enjoy whatever comes. I'm glad you feel this story's unique, I kind of ended up writing it b/c the idea was bouncing around in my head for ages and I couldn't find anything on it. It needs a lot more than I've been able to give it, but hopefully others will also be inspired. And this probably isn't nearly as well thought out as you give me credit for, but I will try to live up to your expectations. (but seriously, that original comment basically mad my week when I finally read it ;] )