A/N: Well, well, well.

You all thought I was dead, didn't you?

Been awhile, I know. Suffice it to say my health knocked me out of the updating game for a little while, to say nothing of the Coronavirus and the disasters that followed. However! I wanted...no, NEEDED to update something that wasn't RWBY related.

Doesn't help that most of my team has all but gone our separate ways. We all have our lives to live.

I still get help from Dylan and Gray every now and again

Trying to get back into One Piece, but its got away from me and but blew my plans out of the water. I had to go back and rewrite all my plans for "Passing the Torch" and "Hard Contact" not to mention "Rogue Heart" and others. Still more stories were taken down for being too visceral, which really put a damper on things as well.

So here we are. As ever, I own no reference quotes, themes or memes. Not a wit or a one.

Oh, and on another note, Luffy is still training at this point.

This is...shorter than I'd like. Sorry! *Braces for hate*

The gears are finally starting to move again...

"Sometimes. Bad guys. Just need to be. Put. Down."

~an-up-and-coming brawl.

Playing With The Big Boys (Prelude II)

He'd finally done it; fishman Island belonged to him.

It was a rich heady sound that had no business being uttered in the royal palace. yere

"This island is under protection again, you damned brat." But the king showed no fear. "If you know what's good for you, you'll leave. At once."

Hody Jones sneered.

Why should he listen to such foolishness? With the royal family fallen and the palace sacked, the All the world was his oyster. Soon hewould move

"Jahahahaha! What of it, Neptune?!" a crazed grin tore across his face. "An Emperor of the Sea? Here? Don't be absurd. Big Mom cares little for us." he chuckled anew at the thought, thumbing his nose at the prone monarch trapped at his feet. "I'll kill you, and then I'll kill your damn daughter, and then! I'll kill all the humans!"

Neptune groaned. No. Not a groan. A chuckle.

...I do not speak of Big Mom, you fool!" his massive bulk strained against the chains that held him. "Stop this madness before its too late. He's here as our guest! You'll anger him!"

Hody blinked. "Guest? I didn't see any-


The unmistakable sound of a heavily bladed bisento crashing into the earth stopped the shark cold.

Now, Hody didn't possess Haki. He lacked the foresight most of his generation warriors held. Clinging to his strength and borrowed power, his arrogance knew no bounds, his pride no limits.

But even he, in all his arrogance, couldn't ignore the towering shadow looming large over him. It swallowed his shadow whole casting his world shadow. Wide eyes rose, rimmed with red veings, unwilling to turn and face the juggernaut he knew now lurked b behind him. Unable to move, yet not wanting to concede his mistake, the fishman swallowed thickly.

...he's right behind me, isn't he...?"

A low growl trickled in his ear.

"Yes. I am."

Firm fingers closed around the back of his skull and rammed him facefirst into the palace floor. Once. Twice. Thrice. Bone broke. Cartilage cracked. Teeth flew through the air.

"Seems you have a bit of a pest problem, Neptune." That same, drawling voice echoed as his insensate form slumped to the floor.

The king chuckled as his chains clattered to the floor. "Many thanks, emperor. We are in your debt."

With a lurch Hody remembered his weapon.

"This isn't over!"

In a desperate whirl the fishman pivoted and struck out with all his might. His trident passed right through Whitebeard's heir, leaving naught but air. A blond brow quirked. Lazy blue eyes drifted down to the might weapon even now protruding through his chest. Tan fingers reached down, seizing the weapon by its haft. A single tug reeled Hody in like a shark on a line.

A whiskered face pressed up against his.

"You're playing with the big boys now, little man. That said, you really do love water, don't ya?" His smile stretched further. "Air is everywhere. Even here, beneath the sea. Even in your lungs. How about I dive right in? You don't mind, do you? After all, you never gave your victims a chance now, did you?"

"No! You can't! Filthy huma-

Strong hands pried his jaws open.

Hody didn't even have time to scream.

A/N: Ha! Didn't see that coming now, did you?

This interlude may seem inconsequential, but it has HUGE ramifications down the line. Its basically Naruto and co. laying the down the law on Fishman island, just to make a point. Whitebeard he is not, but

So...in the immortal words of Atlas...

...Review, would you kindly?


"What kind of mushrooms did you say those were again?"

Sasuke shot past like an arrow loosed from a bow.


"Alright. I'll bite. What did you do, captain?"

Naruto's head popped up from the hold.

"Alriiiiiight, but you can't be mad."

Tenten growled softly at him.

"What. Did. You. Do."

"I was minding my-


R&R! =D