“I’m sorry WHAT?” King Cobra choked out face seemingly stuck between confusion, horror and fury.
“I said I was planning on overthrowing you and seizing control of your kingdom and then using Pluton” Crocodile says almost nonchalantly “that’s the long and short of it at least I could repeat the entire plan again if you want”
The king just stuttered wordlessly anger radiating off of him.
Understandable of course, Crocodile had known this would happen, it would be more shocking if he wasn’t, but it didn’t really matter Crocodile had a plan after all.
“Give me one reason why I shouldn’t turn you in right now” Cobra hissed like his namesake eyes narrowed, rage clearly winning out.
“For one you’d be admitting to having Pluton” he states calmly “but that’s not the main reason I’m no longer a threat to you and this can be mutually beneficial for both of us”
“I’m meant to believe that?” Cobra scoffed.
“Why would I be telling you otherwise” he raised an eyebrow and watched Cobra’s anger retreat slightly.
“The Government already suspect you have the Poneglyph for Pluton, if not an even more important one, your already on their watch list” he explained watching horror creep into the kings expression “the government would be less worried however, if they thought one of their Shichibukai was ‘in control’ and the Celestial Dragons would see it as you having an extra playing card something that would make an retaliation not worth it” he answered maintaining eye contact with the king making sure his words sink in.
Cobra frowned though it was more thoughtful than angry “what do you get out of this?”
“Simple, the Government would believe that I'm in a more influential position and I’d keep my rank as Shichibukai” he answered honestly “it’s win-win and neither us need to say or do anything they’ll make their own assumptions and see what they want to see”
The room was silent for a long moment the Kings face contorted in deep thought “you're plan would have worked” he finally admits and it sounds like it pains him to do so “why would you tell me ? why throw that away? What do you get out of this really? You could have ruled Alabasta why would you”
He’s cut off as the door to the room is thrown open as a big bird ran in followed by his sons and the Princess of Alabasta all laughing loudly.
“Dad” Vivi called out running to the king at the same time his sons threw themselves at him echoing the call of “Dad”
As they launched into a retelling of what they’d been doing in the palace.
Crocodile was only half listening as he met the Kings eyes over their kids heads, he saw the sudden realisation as he looked between the children and saw him slump back with a defeated groan.
Crocodile bites back a satisfied smirk, he’s pretty sure that’s not a good way to start off this new partnership.
The princess somehow becomes almost a constant, the boys accompany him nearly every time he visits Alabasta now and the four of them are inseparable. He thinks he may have a daughter now.
The Princess of the kingdom he was planning to conquer and throw into chaos is now practically his 4th child.
Sometimes he wonders
What even is his life?
“Uncle Crocodile” He hears the Princess say, and that title, the first time she’d called him that Cobra almost chocked himself on the wine he’d been drinking, it had been amazing.
Crocodile looks up from the reports he’d been reading, because even if he’s not taking over a country having an informant network is incredible useful, even if it does create paperwork.
The four of them, and Carue are standing in front of his desk, Sabo is holding a notepad and all of them all look very proud of themselves.
He just puts the paper down and raises an eyebrow prompting them to continue.
“We’ve figured out are roles on the crew” Sabo says head high and smiling widely.
Crocodile makes no effort to hide his smile, Cobra was not happy about how his daughter’s ambitions had been…rearranged, personally he thinks it’s perfect the girl is incredible smart, skilled and a very sneaky little brat she’s going to be a brilliant pirate, because these four are so stubborn it’s not even a question of if they’ll do it but rather when they will.
They’re not allowed to until Luffy, the youngest of the 4, is 16 at the very least.
“I’m the captain” Luffy loudly proclaims with a large smile hand adjusting the Strawhat that was still far too big for him.
Ace rolled his eyes dramatically “only because it would be dumb for the first mate or something to become Pirate King” he explained.
“Understandable” he agrees with his son still smirking.
“Yes so Luffy’s the captain” Sabo repeated holding up his notebook “ and Ace is the one who punches people”
He barely swallows a snort and instead just nods.
“Hey wait I punch people to” Luffy says pouting.
Ace turns around looking offended “Hey we already agreed I’m the one who punches people”
“But all my attacks are punches” Luffy argues back.
Vivi turns to him with a calm practiced politician’s smile “One moment” she says in a sickeningly sweet tone before she and Sabo step between the other two and huddle together talking in hushed tones.
He works very hard to swallow down his laughter and waits until them to pull apart.
They do after a moment of heated debate.
“Ok so Luffy is the captain and the guy who punches people” Sabo clarifies “and Ace is the guy who punches things while on fire”
“And sets things on fire” Ace adds proudly.
…occasionally Crocodile worries about his son having a logia, mostly he’s just amused.
“I’m going to be the ships Archivist” Sabo says eyes shining in excitement “I’m going to log our travels down and find out all about the other islands and countries and” he cuts himself off with an embarrassed cough and just grins up.
Vivi steps forward proudly “and I’m going to be the ships negotiator”
He cocks an eyebrow at that and Vivi continues “Basically I’ll be the one to talk to people and well” she glances over at Ace and Luffy “…get us out of any situations we get into”
Oh yes that’s going to be something this crew needs.
“Very smart” he agrees “sounds like a solid crew so far” the four of them are all beaming.
He really can’t help himself when he asks “so what's the crews name going to be?”
He is unsurprised when the four of them all call out different names, and just leans back watching as all of them begin a debate he’s pretty sure has no end in sight.
“Uncle Crocodile” the tone is sing song and overly sweet
He doesn’t even turnaround from his chair as he asks “what do you want Vivi?”
The teenager luckily doesn’t hide behind any pretence as she moves over to desk grinning widely “you use poison on your hook right” it’s a statement not a question and he looks noticing she’s holding her peacock slashes and meets her eyes.
He can see exactly what she’s thinking and can’t help the smirk that pulls at his lips.
“You may be my favourite child”
“I wish you’d just taken over the country” Cobra groans out as he presses his face into his hands “why couldn’t you have just taken over the country?”
Crocodile doesn’t try to stop his break down, instead he just looks down at the pile of wanted posters before him, and they’re pretty good starting bounties for all of them but doesn't comment on it.
Instead he just takes a sip of wine as Cobra slams his face down on the desk with a pained groan and hides his smile behind the glass.
He is so damn proud of his kids.