He can’t believe Dragon, the bastard the utter bastard!!
He’d been planning on lying, saying their no. HIS! child had died then send him off to god knows where!
Its pure luck he found out, overhearing him talking with one of the doctors of the revolutionary army.
Like hell he’s staying around after that.
Dragon had even tried to convince him this was the best course of action.
He’d left, even though it meant leaving behind the one chance to finally get the right body…he didn’t have any way to contact Iva..damn it, but this was his child.
And he was not abandoning them or giving them up.
He’s better than that man, better than Dragon to apparently.
Fuck him and his whole army and his goddamn revolution!
“looks like it’s just me and you brat” he said hand resting on his stomach, feeling a firm kick that makes him smile as he sits on the top of the railing of the ship he’d ‘appropriated’.
Of course he got captured.
It is quite literally just his luck.
He stared up at the two Navy commanders who’d captured this ‘revolutionary’ ship Vice Admiral Tsuru and Vice Admiral Garp.
Just his fucking luck!
And of course they recognised him…just brilliant.
He shifts and keeps his coat draped over him, in an effort to hide the very noticeable bump.
“…I wasn’t aware you were part of the revolutionary army?” Garp questions with a raised eyebrow.
He bites out a laugh “not even a little, I’d be more than happy to watch that shit show burn to the ground”
The vice admirals exchanged a look “then care to explain how you came to be here on a revolutionary ship?” Tsuru asks and her eyes were scanning his form eyebrows furrowed, he can see her putting the pieces together.
“Getting the hell away from my EX I suppose” he says calmly and shifts his coat just enough, he sees the exact moments they notice his current state, their eyes widen comically “apparently your son's views on child care are worst than yours” he states meeting Garp’s eyes.
The vice admiral takes a moment to register the statement, before making a sound akin to a dying cat and fainting face down on the ground.
Tsuru calms herself and approaches him looking up and down, clearly less on guard “how bad?”
“he wanted to send the child to god knows where in some random blue and tell me they were dead” he states and watches Tsuru close her eyes and curse “ I don’t plan on being a hopeless father… like mine” he places a hand his stomach and glares “ and if you even think about”.
Tsuru holds up a hand giving him a look “honestly boy shut up and stop that” she shook her head “I am not going to harm you or your child I’m not some like certain more…hot headed marines” she glares and her eyes get a far away glint to them as she seems to get lost in her memories for a short moment but pulls herself back and gives a thin smirk “besides it’s not like you have any wanted posters or bounties so why would we need to”
Crocodile blinks at that, it had always been an insult Whitebeard had made sure that his bounty posters weren’t for him but for her, even when he had his own crew apparently the marines hadn’t got the message…he’d destroyed so many wanted posters… but they'd just kept using that name he'd hated it, hated it so so much!
Tsuru put a hand on his arm “when was the last time that you got a check up?”
Crocodile let himself relax, though only slightly “from a doctor I trust…apparently not at all”
The woman curses and leads him out and onto the navy ship “Well you are now"
“You in the business of helping pirates now?” Crocodile askes quietly watching her and still wary.
“Young man I was there, I’ve seen the father Whitebeard was to you, I heard about your fight” she explained and Crocodile fought the flinch at the memories rubbing his hand over his hook “I also happened to know that men of that family are idiots” she added softly before smirking again a cunning light in her eye “and lastly I believe our interests align and that we may have some agreement in the future”
Crocodile smirks back, oh…he really like her.
He’s sitting in her office later when Garp finally wakes up and bursts in eyes wide “I’M GOING TO BE A GRAMPA?”
Giving birth sucks!!!
The pain was overwhelming, his body wanted to become sand but, it was too much of a risk, sea stone also wasn’t an option, because that would make him too weak.
He’d had to explain his water weakness and use that in order to ensure he didn’t become a freaking sandstorm.
That and giving birth on a navy ship, on your way towards Foosha village, as Garp put it ‘somewhere safe for the time being’ and ‘somewhere no Yonko will turn up unannounced’ is not ideal.
He’d thought he still had a few weeks.
Apparently the brat disagrees.
Tsuru is a reassuring presence, when she’s not ducking her head out the door to scream at Garp to stop pacing and YES this is normal.
It takes almost 10 hours for it to over.
He will lose his second hand first.
Lying there exhausted and on the edge of passing out, he half expects for his child to be taken away for them to put him in seastone and them to say their course is set for impel down but.
That doesn't happen.
“Do you want to see your son?” he blearily looks up at the wrapped screaming bundle that Tsuru hands to him.
He stares down at the child in a mixture of disbelief and slight awe, huh he's a dad...holy shit! “hey brat” the words are hoarse, which is fair after 10 hours of screaming he smirks down “hope you know you’re already causing so much trouble”
Tsuru laughs lightly “with his bloodline there’s going to be a lot more of it” she pats his shoulder before glancing at the door “speaking of bloodline…do you want the old fool in here ?”
He snorts as he hears the affronted noise through the door…he remembers Dragon always talking about Garp, being forced into the role of a Marine, he clutches his child tighter but… the vice admiral seems different from before, or at least from his memories of the man…and with all he’s doing for him.
He’ll give him a second chance.
With extreme supervision.
Also it will piss Whitebeard the FUCK off if he ever finds out.
But mainly it's the second chance.
He nods to Tsuru who opens the door, the large man looks so small and his eyes wide disbelieving and hopeful, “are…are you sure?”
Giving a long suffering sigh he stares up at the man with a cocked eyebrow “This child has one grandfather…it most certainly isn’t my father” he says and tries to ignore when the vice admiral begins openly sobbing.
When he finally stops Garp moves closer and stares down at the infant in his arms “Luffy” he says fondly.
“You can’t name the child Garp! you old fool” Tsuru scolds him firmly.
Crocodile yawns and leans back down “no…no that fits…honestly I hadn’t thought of a name I’d just called him brat”
“You’ll probably still be calling him that honestly” Garp laughs and smiles proudly down.
“Monkey D Luffy” The vice admiral says after a minute as with a satisfied nod.
Tsuru puts her face in her hands and signs in resignation “foolish old man”
Crocodile laughs “well he’s not taking my last name”
Monkey D Luffy huh?
Well it seems to fit.
Chapter 2: Accidental Adoption
Accidentally acquiring children.
Meeting Ace and Sabo.
Also Makino is amazing.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Foosha was quiet…after growing up living mostly on ships, surrounded by people all the time it was strange.
The house was large and the all intents and purposes abandoned; apparently Garp hadn’t actually used his house at allsince Dragon well…took teenage rebellion to the next level and started a revolution.
Garp and Tsuru left not too long ago, after coming up with a plan.
If Crocodile could get that rank, he wouldn’t need to worry about his previous bounty, also it would be easy to work against Whitebeard and the revolutionary army if needs be.
They’d said that one of the current Warlord’s was…not working out and that they’d most likely be removed of their rank, one way or another, in the next few years.
All he had to do was get to a position that made him a viable candidate in a few years.
Not the most insane things he’s ever done. Not by a long shot.
Besides he already has a few plans.
It’ll be easy all he needs is some contacts to start laying the groundwork, he can do that even here in Foosha village. Which is good because there is no way in hell he is travelling around the east blue or the grand line with a baby.
That would not end well.
Also, a small village in the middle of the East Blue, is a very inconspicuous base.
Not to mention Makino is a godsend.
“He’s yours and Dragon’s son?” she asked looking down at Luffy titling her head.
Crocodile felt his shoulders tense and jaw clench “yes” he bite out, he was just waiting for the questions, the insults, the whole host of other reactions he’d dealt with through out his entire life.
“I hope he doesn’t get Dragon’s smile that was creepy” is all she says as she smiles at him, Crocodile blinks…ok ,not expecting that, Makino just keeping talking “he was a good few years older than me but I remember him as a kid…his smile was always a bit" she makes a face and she trails off
“well you're not wrong” he muttered allowing himself to relax.
“…he was also super awkward” Makino began and looked at him “how the hell did he manage to…” she paused and make an odd face and hand gesture.
He couldn’t stifle his laugh at that “I have terrible taste in men” he answered with a smirk.
“you’re not wrong” she agreed grinning back at him, before offering to babysit whenever.
If he does take over a country he’s giving her a fucking city.
Being the most powerful person and only devil fruit user on an island apparently means having the mayor awkwardly asking for help from time to time.
Or at least when Makino drags him over because ‘put your pride aside people could get hurt he can handle it easily’, in the 5 months he’s been here Makino has become hands down one of his favourite people.
“Apparently some pirates, have docked on the other side of the island and well… could you deal with them?” the mayor had hesitantly asked.
Crocodile glanced down at the defeated pirates on the ground, and calling them pirates…is a stretch.
It had taken less than 3 minutes to defeat them, which was just sad really, he just rolled his eyes and began walking back through the forest without sparing a backwards glance.
The sound of branches snapping caught his attention but he didn’t turn, it wasn’t any of the pirates he knows that he got all of them.
“Oh by the way we have some mountain bandits” Makino said offhandedly as he handed Luffy over to her as he was getting ready to head off
“you want be to take care of them to?”
Makino let out a laugh shaking her head “oh no Dadan’s fine” seemingly waving it off, which was not a normal reaction to bandits “Just a heads up”
Huh, that was probably it, he just kept walking rolling his eyes a little as he heard more branches break no wonder Makino wasn’t worried these were not good bandits.
After about 10 minutes, he hears the footsteps speed up, is this bandit really going to try and attack him?
He doesn’t even miss a step, just keeps listening to the footsteps and counting 220.127.116.11… he spins and catches the back of a shirt and…
That is not a bandit.
“LET ME GO!” the very young child yells angrily.
He raised an eyebrow at the kid, “why should I you’re the one who attacked me?” he asks calmly, because this kid clearly needs to learn not to underestimate opponents, or pick fights like this. He can just imagine what would happen if this tiny brat had tried this with those ‘pirates’.
“SO” the kid snaps back still swinging wildly, in a not so valiant attempt to hit him.
Crocodile snorts and pops the kid back on the ground “so that’s how you could end up dead brat” and starts walking again.
The tiny kid doesn’t even hesitate before running back up to him, he’ll give the kid points for guts but nothing for common sense.
He lets his body shift to sand ignoring the confused shriek from the kid as he reappears behind him “like I was saying” he says and the kid is now at least looking freaked out, though he's trying and failing to mask it with anger.
“…you’re a pirate?” the kid askes frowning thoughtfully, seemingly reassessing the situation.
Crocodile just hummed an affirmative and continued walking, the kid still following behind “don’t you have somewhere to be?” he askes, and damn it the scruffy black hair was reminding him to much of his brat, and now he was starting to get concerned.
“NO” the kid replied bitingly becoming quiet for a beat “Dadan probably doesn’t notice I’m gone” he mumbled petulantly pouting.
That…that was the bandits name…fuck no that was concern.
Damn it Luffy.
Damn parental instincts.
“Parents are bandits then” he said, half asking but not really, just fishing around, he just needed to confirm the kid was ok, then he could get rid of the nagging concern and forget all about this.
“They’re not my parents!” he grumbled pout intensifying and glaring darkly at the ground “I wish they were” the last part was a low mumble.
Ok so that was disconcerting “oh really?” he asked cocked eyebrow
The kid missed a step shocked clearly not expecting him to have heard that “none of your business!” he shot back, the glare he was giving him was still a good few years from even beginning to become intimidating.
“fair enough” he just nodded, because the kid was right it wasn’t his business, he shouldn’t be prying.
It was quiet for a few moments “gramps said not to tell anyone” the kid mumbled “he’s always really serious about it, and he’s never serious, he’s big and dumb and a goofball and he falls asleep more than me” the kid started to ramble and Crocodile was beginning to get the impression the kid didn’t really get to talk to people much, left alone in the woods.
Evidently raising a child is not something many people know how to do well.
More importantly…that description, he stopped and felt the kid bump into his leg his rambling stopping as he did, and he looks down at the kid and he has to ask “do you mean Garp?”
The kid gaped up at him looking alarmed before his expression morphs into defensive “so what if I do?”
Crocodile kneels down and stares at the kid, he was not Dragon’s kid. The hair could maybe pass for it but the shape of the face the freckles the scowl, definitely not Dragon’s.Also he happened to know for a fact he was the first relationship the idiot had been in. Which was not surprising as that man was an awkward mess in anything to do with relationships. Or anything other than his revolution honestly.
The fact he was the most wanted man in the world still baffled Crocodile slightly.
“He’s not your biological grandfather is he?” He asked, head reeling because this, a kid on the island raised by bandits who calls Garp gramps, this seems like something that should have at least been mentioned when Garp had been here.
The kids entire body tensed and he looked like a pirate who just turned around to see a ship full of marines, he tried to cover it with anger “so?” he stuttered out.
“Just curious” he answered honestly “I know his son” understatement but not really the time to get into that “and I know for a fact you're not his kid”
The kid looked bewildered when he mentioned Garp had a kid but recovered and let his face shift back to anger, which seemed to be this kids default expression “well don’t be” the kid grumbled “gramps is my gramps and my dad is the worst person ever so that’s that” there was a beat of silence before the kid seemed to have realised what he said the kid covered his mouth and turned to run away
He stopped when Crocodile laughed.
Not that he could really help it, he was used to playing the my dad’s worse than your dad game.
“I doubt that” he said meeting the kids wide eyes “I’m pretty sure mine's way worse”
The kid stared back at him in utter bewilderment before shaking his head defiantly “no way!”
He just raised a challenging eyebrow and smirked down at him.
“My dad’s a demon” the kid said glaring darkly “ I shouldn’t have been born”
...What the fuck?
Who was raising this kid and who in the hell said that to him?!
The kid looked at him eyes looking both angry and slightly hollow “told you” he said quietly and seemed to curl into himself.
Ok yeah NO!
None of this.
“My father hated who I was, never accepted it, when I left he thought I had ‘betrayed’ him and in the end he did this to me” he said raising his hook and gesturing to his face watching the kids eyes suddenly flash back to life although filled with horror “to as he put it ‘teach me a lesson’”
The child gaped at him eyes shifting between his hook and face, brain clearly processing what he'd been told “my dad’s Gol D Rodger” he blurted out and then looked horrified as if he didn’t believe he’d actually said it.
Huh…that explained some things at least.
Though also raised many questions.
He was going to call Garp and have a LONG talk.
“mine's Whitebeard” he countered without missing a beat, and keeping eye contact with the kid who looked as his his brain had just stoped working.
“I win” he declared with a satisfied smirk.
The kid blinked slowly, brain starting to work again "wha?"
Crocodile calmly kept looking at the kid “1) you don’t have a demons blood just the blood of some pirate who did very well for himself” he knew he was massively playing it down but he felt like the kid needed to hear this, he knew what internalising stuff said to you as a kid did to you…it never ended well “ and 2) your dad is a jerk but he’s dead and gone mine is a jerk and still alive” he rested his hand on the kids head ruffling his hair slightly "so I think I win"
The kid stared at him with what looked like tears in his eyes blinking rapidly but not able to quell the tears.
Was this the first time someone had corrected him on this?
Crocodile stood up turning to leave “you coming or what?” he called over his shoulder, the kid stood there looking at him in shock for a moment before quickly running back up to him still sobbing and one hand twisting into his jacket.
It’s later after he’s had a very VERY long ‘talk’ with Garp over a Den Den Mushi and the kid, Ace, is playing with Luffy that he realises he just got another kid.
It’s 5 years later, after he arrives back from a trip to Alabasta, a common occurrence now he’s a Shichibukai, he arrives home, entering the house instantly getting hugged by Luffy and Ace…only to then see the blonde haired child attempting to climb out the window with a pipe.
“Dad! dad! this is Sabo he met Ace and me in the woods he’s going to be a pirate with us when were big we went on adventures in the woods and drank sake together so he’s our brother now and were going to go beat up gators later today and” Luffy rambles excitedly barley pausing for a breath as Ace looks between Sabo and him with wide eyes, the same expression when he asked if they could keep the bananawani here.
He blinks slowly and turns to look at the kid awkwardly waving at him still halfway out the window.
So …3 kids now.
Somewhere in the back of his mind he wonders if adopting loads of kids is just genetic.
Next time he thinks to himself he should take the kids with him, just to make sure he doesn't come home to another child.
Notes, Ace and Luffy are already brothers and meet Sabo at the same time, this is before Luffy eats the devil fruit, or meets Shanks.
So this is all much earlier than in canon.
Next up, Shanks, Sabo's near accident and Vivi
Chapter 3: Yonko,Devil fruits, Explosions and Princesses
Random drabbles including the results of 2 of Shanks visits to Foosha, Sabo's near miss and how all Crocodile's plans are derailed in 1 trip.
Crocodile has his hand full with the 3 trouble makers.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
He’s just returned back from Alabasta sending, sending Daz and Paula off for them to have their own time to rest and to get things restocked, they had about a month or so before they needed to head back.
He’d barely got off the ship before having a small 5 year old launch himself at him excitedly; he caught the back of his top on his hook “DAD YOU’RE BACK!” Luffy grinned widely.
“I noticed” he smirked in amusement ruffling his youngest son’s hair, glancing over to see Ace running towards him Makino following behind smiling.
“Good to see you back” she smiled as Crocodile caught Ace and manoeuvred the two wriggling kids onto his shoulders.
“I’ll need to get back but not for a month or 2 at least” he said smirking up at the two practically beaming children.
“DADDADDADDADDAAAAAD!” he glanced at Luffy who grinned even wider “I MET THE COOLEST PIRATE EVER!”
He raised an eyebrow at that and he heard Makino stifle a laugh while Ace made a dismissive noise.
“Really now?” he asked.
“YEAH HE’S COOLER THAN ANY OTHER PIRATE EVER HE HAD AN AMAZING CREW AND WAS REALLY STRONG AND HE CALLED ME ANCOR AND” Luffy was almost turning blue from lack of breath.
“You know, I might start getting offended” He teased , also very curious most pirates around this area seemed to have learned not to mess with Foosha, he was nearly a Shichibukai and although he hadn’t officially claimed this as his territory he would be as soon as he had the status.
He liked this island and didn’t plan on letting random pirates mess it up.
Though glancing at Makino, she seemed clam regarding this so the pirates probably weren’t a threat.
Still he'll need to look into this.
“Please” Ace groaned pouting dramatically “Dad’s way cooler than that red head”
“SHANKS IS THE COOLEST PIRATE EVER ACE!!” Luffy defended with his own pout “HE’S THE BEST”
The brothers don’t seem to notice that he’d gone still eyes widening.
“Boys” he breathed out using his sand to put them both on the ground “I need to talk to Makino” he ignored the noises of protest “it’ll only take a little while ok”
Ace pouted overly dramatically arms folded, while Luffy just looked up sadly.
“5 minutes” he reassured and caught Makino’s eye nodding to the bar.
She seemed to understand the urgency in his look because she followed closely behind.
The bar was luckily almost empty and they slipped into the back unnoticed.
As soon as the door closed Crocodile spun around eyes wide, calm façade instantly fading “Red Haired Shanks?”
Makino looked confused and oh right, only lived the east blue and not a pirate “yes” her face paled “he seemed really nice and non violent oh no is he dangerous?” she questioned looking worried.
“Well he’s just one of the YONKO!” he said trying to keep his cool, and failing, because what in the 4 blues was a Yonko doing in the East Blue!?
Makino paled even more, he is so glad he explained the Yonko and Shichibukai system to her years ago “oh…” she frowned “are…are you sure it’s him? He seemed…like a dork”
Crocodile leaned against the wall and hit his head against the wall “yes but as we both know Dragon’s the leader of the revolutionary army”
“Oh shit” he heard her mutter as realisation hit her.
Yeah dorks can be EXTERMELY dangerous!
“Well Luffy and Ace only mentioned their dad was a pirate they didn’t say your name or anything…they wanted to but I cut them off just in case” she explained sitting down still looking shocked.
She is absolutely his favourite person.
After Alabasta he’s going to have to take over another country just for her.
“Well” he slumped down “hopefully he won’t be back here”
It’s a little less than 2 years later, he now has three kids and is a Shichibukai.
Red hair has stopped by the last few years numerous times.
Never when he’s been there…which is a very good thing.
He knows something’s up as soon as he see's Makino standing at the docks looking, awkward…that’s…new?
It gets more worrying when he see’s Sabo and Ace both looking sheepish.
He feels a spike of worry and damn near teleports to them as soon as he's close enough to use sables “what happened?”
“I l don’t know how any of this happened” Makino began hands raised and oh no what happened? “just try not to freak out ok”
She glanced back at the boys, Crocodile followed her gaze and saw the small head of black behind Sabo and Ace.
“We had nothing to do with any of this” Sabo assured hands raised in surrender as Ace nodded.
“HI DAD!”Luffy called out from behind his brothers as tried to push past them and..
“WHAT IN THE FOUR BLUES?!” he cried out as he saw the very obvious scar under his son’s eye.
“I don’t even know where he got the knife” Ace quickly says pointing at his smiling younger brother.
HE DID WHAT?
Ok they are having a talk later.
He should have known that his fucking DNA would end up causing something like this.
THIS IS WHY HIS AND DRAGON’S DNA SHOULD NOT HAVE MIXED.
BAD DECISIONS INCARNATE.
He takes a deep breath a leans down reaching to touch the scare and…
Why is his son’s skin stretching?
WHAT IS HAPPENING?!
“I also have no idea how he got the fruit” Ace adds.
A devil fruit…
HOW DID HIS SON EAT A DEVIL FRUIT!?
“Shanks didn’t say it was important and I was hungry” Luffy says in a way of an explanation.
So now that’s two Yonko he’s going to DESTROY!
“Crocodile no, don’t be mad he really didn’t know and he protected Luffy from some other pirates” Makino rushes to say sensing the obvious murderous intent radiating off of him.
“The red haired guys not to bad dad” Ace defends, which is a complete 180 from his previous option of the pirate.
“Yeah he lost an arm saving Luffy” Sabo adds frantically
He takes a deep breath and looks at his youngest son and now devil fruit user as he pulls an overly large straw hat onto his head still grinning widely “full story now”
So…he only has on Yonko on his shit list after the full story.
But if he ever gets the chance.
He and red hair are having a TALK!
After coming home to one of his children having a devil fruit you think he’d stop being surprised at coming home to chaos.
He’s proven wrong the next year.
When he comes back to a genuinely worried Makino and the mayor.
“Sabo’s…parents got people to take him back” the mayor says and seems to spit out the word parents.
Looks like there’s going to be some violence then.
“the boys are planning on going and getting him back themselves I tried to tell them to wait for you but I don’t know” Makino rushes out looking close to tears “I’m sorry we couldn’t”
He puts a hand on her shoulder “it’s fine” as he’s already turns back to the ship.
Sabo had told him about his ‘parents’ there is no way he’s letting his kid stay in that hell hole.
He reaches the island and slips in easily, luckily he Daz and Paula are used to espionage… he’s lucky the two of them are as on board as he is with the plan sneak in and steal back my kid from his awful birth family.
He feels his heart stop as he sees the celestial dragon’s ship,
He's lucky the crowd of civilians is so large as the three of them can hang back and are totally ignored.
Still Celestial dragons? Here and now.
Damn it, of all the times.
They've got to even more careful, his position won’t protect him against them.
The three of them scan the crowd quickly for any sign of
He see’s the small so small ship with the familiar flag.
From the gasp behind him he can tell when the others do as well.
He sees the canon’s getting ready before they fire.
The shock of the crowd works to his advantage everyone’s staring in shock they never notice the sand slipping by them or flying off towards the ship.
He's never used Sables like this before but he doesn't have time to think more.
He has to use the wind current to propel him more but.
He's able to grab Sabo.
He doesn’t get him out of the way of the explosion.
He hears him scream, but he's got him at least.
The momentum of the blast helps throw them back to land, thankfully on the other side of the ship away from the gawking crowd.
No one even notices them.
They’re all staring at the flaming wreckage as more cannon balls are fired at it.
He glares at the ship in pure hatred.
The revolutionary army are not on his list anymore.
He’ll happily watch Dragon burn these bastards to the ground.
He’s still punching Dragon in the face though.
But his revolution.
He'll gladly stand by and watch it burn these people to nothing but ash!
He pushes the thoughts of vengeance out of his mind and instead looks down at his son, badly burnt and currently unconscious, but alive. Paula and Daz reach him soon enough while the crowd is wrapped up in the muted horror of what just happened, or at least what people think just happened is enough cover to slip back out.
At least Sabo's parents won’t send anyone else to get him now is all he can think as he wraps his burns while they sail back to Foosha, taking a route where there is no chance of running into the bastards who did this.
The boys break down when he brings him home, and neither let Sabo out of there sight for a long long time.
He doesn’t want to even think about what could have happened if he hadn’t been there.
Next time he’s taking the kids with him, he decides that will definitely be less trouble.
He was evidently VERY VERY wrong.
Is all he can think after searching for his sons for the past few hours in the deserts of Alabasta only to find them playing and laughing with the PRINCESS OF ALABASTA.
“Dad this is Vivi” Sabo introduces him to the Princess of Alabasta.
He'd only looked away for 2 minutes
How the fuck?
“She's super cool” Ace adds smiling brightly.
“Yeah she’s going to a pirate with us” Luffy says and the PRINCESS OF ALABASTA and apparently FUTURE PIRATE nods enthusiastically.
Luffy for the love of one piece and all the blues DON’T SAY IT
…time for a new plan.
Thank you for reading.
Next up more Vivi!
Chapter 4: Vivi
Accidentally adopting a princess (and future pirate)
Moments with Vivi
(Sorry this took so long next chapter should be out faster)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“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.
Again sorry for wait next one should be out next week
Next time- Shichibukai and Doflamingo
Chapter 5: Shichibukai, reunions and revelations
Becoming a Shichibukai: aka memories, meetings and revelations involving a certain flamingo.
Crocodile had terrible taste in men.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
He’s woken up to the sound of his two sons giggling in a way that promises mayhem.
He keeps his eyes closed, he’d been up nearly all night reading reports from his informants and is planning on taking every second of sleep he physically can.
“Just so you know” he says as he feels Luffy poke his cheek still giggling “that I brought you into this world and I am fully capable of taking you out of it”
The laughter just increases and he may feel slightly offended if he wasn’t so tired instead he opens one eye to see the two faces looking at him with grins fully of mischief looking far too proud of themselves.
He’s half tempted to ask what they've done when he hears the far away but still loud and angry cry of “AAACCEE!!! LUUUFFFYYY!!!”
The familiar voice gives him pause and he watches his sons smiles get wider.
It ends up being worth getting out of bed at a ridiculously early hour to watch Garp caught in one of the boys many traps around the house, suspended upside down by his foot from a tree, rocking back and forth while he curses the boys.
The hero of the marines brought down by his two grandsons.
This was absolutely worth it.
He doesn’t even try to hide his amusement, he just folds his arms leans back and watches the show.
“Aren’t you going to do anything??” Garp hisses, face actually turning red, from embarrassment or gravity he's not sure.
Crocodile just smirks and ruffles both his son’s hair “good job” he praises them causing both boys to laugh as Garp splutters “NOT THAT!!!”
“What’s this?” Ace asks as he and Luffy begin picking up the random items that are starting to fall out of Garps upturned pockets, mostly snacks, a den den mushi and…
He stares down at the letter Ace is holding out to him “it’s addressed to you dad” Ace says as he stares suspiciously at the letter like he suspects that its going to try and bite them.
Crocodile just keeps staring down at the letter and the seal.
He feels his breath catch as he takes the letter from Ace the boys can sense the change and mood and are now watching him.
“That’s why I’m here” Garp says still flailing around madly and cursing in a way more fitting of a pirate than a marine.
“Boys let him down” He manages to breathe out as he carefully opens the letter.
Ace and Luffy look slightly sullen but neither argue as they undo the rope and Garp crashes face first into the ground, standing up and turning to the boys looking close to murderous.
His sons smartly retreated behind him before Garp could even stand up.
Crocodile doesn’t say anything though instead rereading the letter again and again just to make 100% sure.
Garp looks away from the boys and his expression softens as he see’s Crocodiles face “congratulations brat”
Crocodile can’t stop the pleased smirk that stenches across his face.
“You’re officially a shichibukai”
"soooo you work with gramps now?” Luffy asks frowning in confusion.
“Not exactly I’m still a pirate don’t worry” He reassures Luffy but the boy continues frowning.
He’d been planning on staying on Foosha for the rest of the month but now he has to head to marine headquarters for a meeting and to get everything sorted out.
Neither of the boys are happy about it.
He isn’t either, but he’ll deal with the paperwork and all that ridiculousness if he can get and keep this rank.
“What’s so great about being a shichibukai anyway” Ace grumbles kicking the ground and trying very hard not to pout.
He sighs fondly and kneels down in front of his sons “it’s useful for a lot of reasons” neither of the boys look to convinced “but mainly it means I don’t have to worry about foolish marines” he ignores the offended noise Garp makes behind him “trying to catch me which means” he reaches out touching each boys head in turn “it’ll be much easier to travel between islands and I probably won’t have to as much” he watches the boys frowns and confusion fade away.
“Wait so you’ll be home more!!” Luffy asks already bouncing up and down.
He just smiles in response and braces himself just in time as the two crash into him hugging him tightly and beginning the barrage of questions clearly only held back by their sullen mood.
“Can we go with you next time you go somewhere?”
“Why are you called a warlord?”
“What other pirates are you going to meet?”
He just smiles and indulges the pair of them pointedly ignoring Garp waiting behind him, they can be late heading off, he aimed for this title for the sake of his sons after all he’s not going to neglect or ignore them for the sake of that title.
It’s pretty bizarre to arrive at Marine headquarters, to be surrounded by marines who made no move against him, he’s definitely not used to it and he has to make a conscious effort not to have his sand moving around him and be prepared to attack at a moment’s notice, but he has to being on edge like that would not be a good idea.
He sits through the meeting with Sengoku, Tsuru and Garp, Sengoku glances between the three of them with a suspicious look but Garp pointedly avoids his gaze and Tsuru has a poker face that honestly makes Crocodile want to give her a round of applause.
Everything gets sorted out rather quickly all things considered, again Crocodile is entirely sure that that’s also down to Tsuru, the woman smiles to him on her way out and quietly mutters that they’ll talk later.
Which is how Crocodile he’s in his current state, in marine headquarters with free reign, no guard or escort or anything, for the next 4 hours or so until the official Shichibukai meeting.
He ends up wandering the halls aimlessly for a bit until he finds a balcony. They did pick an amazing place he thinks as he stares at the glittering ocean that seems to go on forever, it really is beautiful.
“Well well well” a voice calls out behind him, he’s about to spin around sand at the ready until the voice registers it’s similar but not exactly the same as it was years ago but he knows it.
“I’m going to marry you” the kid says in a voice that tries to be a mixture of arrogant and confident but falls a bit short on both fronts.
Crocodile blinks back at him “what?” he asks and folds his arms tightly around himself, heart dropping at where he can see this conversation going, he’d actually liked this kid thought he’d actually…he forced the thoughts down and cursed himself.
“I’m going to marry you” the small blonde brat continues trying to hold his head high “When I’m older and an even more super powerful pirate” he continues and Crocodile can’t help the eyeroll “then I’m going to marry you” the boys puffs out his chest and pushes is tacky sunglasses up his nose “you're going to be my husband” he says in like how most people say the sky is blue.
Crocodile blinks and feels a weight of anxiety life, he uncrosses his arms and instead lets a small smile cross his lips, the blonde brats face turns a few shades darker red but the brat keeps his cocky smile in place.
He kind of wants to say more, to have more time the past few months have actually been pretty great hanging around these islands but…of course whitebeard had decided they needed to move and he wouldn’t let him stay here alone.
He hated him so much, why couldn’t he just listen.
“Join my crew” the brat says suddenly clearly seeing the look of distaste on his face, the brat looks so hopeful and…he wants to say yes, the brats crew is odd but he actually likes him, he’s fun, and incredibly smart and when he gets older he’s definitely going to be a strong pirate.
But…he knows what will happen.
He’d tried leaving before, a few times, whenever being called a name that belonged to someone who’d never lived got too much, when he was constantly told he wasn’t himself got too much to handle…it always ended the same dragged back and lectured, treated like a child talked down to.
‘You can’t run away in an act of dramatics it’s dangerous out there’
‘we’re your family you can’t leave’
'Your my only daughter I have to keep you safe!'
He realised he had his hands clenched so tightly they were bleeding and it took effort to make them relax and unclench, he looked back at the kid still so hopeful and…he couldn’t.
He wasn’t strong enough yet.
But he would be soon, and then he was leaving and never looking back.
Also… he couldn’t join another crew because.
“Sorry but no” he says and feels a little guilty as he watches the kid practically deflate face falling “when I leave I’m going to get my own crew” my own family “ after all” he smirks “I’ve got to be captain myself if I want to get the crown”
He is going to be king of pirates.
“not if I get it first” the kid challenges back before glancing down at the ground “…I am going to marry you know” he grumbles.
Crocodile just hums in a non-committal way.
He doesn’t know if he’s meant to hear the next part but he does “I’m way better than that marine brat”
He feels that he should correct that Dragon is older than the brat is but instead he just sighs a bit, ever since he saw Dragon and him talking the kid has been like this whenever he’s brought up.
It shouldn’t be adorable but it kind of is.
Honestly he maybe has a tiny crush on Dragon, and he acknowledges it’s just a crush, a stupid teen crush on a dork.
Just like the brat just has a puppy crush on him.
But… when he looks back at the other he looks almost heartbroken.
Crocodile glances over in the direction he knows he needs to head, and he knows he shouldn’t do this, it could be cruel but.
He leans down and gives a small kiss to the others cheek.
The reaction is actually well worth it the other turns about 70 shades redder than he’s ever seen anyone else turn and promptly falls backwards hand to his cheek and mouth agape.
He barley muffles a snort and smirks down “guess you’ll have to just grow up and prove it then” he challenges and then turns away he does stop mid step and glances back “Bye Doflamingo” he says and it’s the first time he says the others name it feels right after all…he may never see the kid again.
He turns around and sees the no longer brat standing in front of him. It’s undoubtedly him, same tacky glasses and overly large smile that's gained that weird edge it always gained whenever he saw him.
And…he has to look up to see it…the brat is now taller than him and honestly Crocodile feels more than a little offended at that.
“Crocoman” Doflamingo says and Crocodile can’t stop the snort and eye roll at the old nickname he had actually forgotten about.
He returns in kind though “brat” and the other just smiles wider walking up to stand alongside him.
“don’t think you can call be that anymore” he says turning to look at him “I grew up” he says teasingly but also, he can hear the echo of the last words he spoke to him and….oh.
He blinks up at the other, and smirks up kind “hmm I suppose that’s right” he drawls out and watches the others reaction he’s staring intently “guess I’ll just have to call you birdbrain instead”
He watches the other falter a bit before laughing.
Crocodile doesn’t even try to hold in his own laughter.
“I’m glad to see you again Croco” the other says still grinning “ I was hoping you and I could team up”
He knows logically he should walk away, he has his own plan and involving others would be dangerous especially since Pluton’s involved but
“really now?” instead he keeps talking.
Because he doesn’t have enough poor life choices apparently.
They end up talking for the rest of the time until the meeting not all of it is about work, instead it’s teasing and reminiscing and it’s so easy and natural and Crocodile knows what’s happening, he felt something like this before and…he finds he doesn’t want to stop.
They end up arriving to the meeting together, and although he tries to keep a poker face in the meeting Dofalmingo keeps catching his eye and smiling widely making his own lips twitch and he has to fight off smiles thought the entire meeting.
It’s only towards the end he catches Tsuru and Garp’s eyes, the two look worried.
He should have known.
He walks into Tsuru’s office after the woman looks up at him sadly “I…before you make any…decisions you need to know some things” she almost reluctantly slides the folder over.
He stares it at for a long moment that seems to drag on forever before picking it up.
He doesn’t want to.
But he knows he has to.
He really should have known.
“I’m sorry” Tsuru says quietly as she sits next to him as he rereads the folder again.
He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath.
Dressrosa, he could forgive actually the details are far more bloody than he’d have liked but…
It’s the other things he can’t
The children he’s dragged into his crew, given devil fruits and appears to be being trained as child soldiers.
His mind flashes to Luffy and Ace and he swallows the bile rising in his throats.
He’d want to ask him because maybe the marines are wrong, it wouldn’t be the first time they may be his kids, he may care for them he may...
But no…he can’t ask, he can’t not after.
Not after the last thing on the file.
The last thing in the file is what completely sealed his decision and hardened his resolve.
The human auction house.
Crocodile puts his face in his hand and fights back the raising bile.
That sick place he’s heard of where random people are dragged in and sold
Where children are...
He thinks about Ace and Luffy again and he almost chocks on the bile his sand flying around him as his emotions war inside him.
He’s heard of children being snatched from random islands, small islands kidnapped and sold and...
He can't even think about it.
And Doflamingo is the one behind the largest and most affluent of these houses, his suspected to be involved in multiple more.
He doesn’t seem hide it not really.
He’s almost proud of it.
He is such an idiot.
“Are you alright?” Tsuru asks tentatively all Crocodile can do it let out a bitter broken laugh because he’d thought…he’d really thought for one moment that…
He’d actually been thinking about a partnership, introducing him to the kids, he’d thought about how and the boys would get along about joined plans and...he is such an idiot.
He just doesn’t learn does he.
“I really have terrible taste in men don’t I” he says after a long moment staring sadly at the ground.
When he goes to leave he sees Doflamingo waiting by the boats he watches the other light up as he walks closer.
He brushes past him without a word.
He can’t think of what to say, doesn’t want to hear his excuses or his defences.
Because he is stupid and would probably believe them.
He can’t quite stop himself from glancing back just slightly and he moves onto his ship.
The other is standing tin the same spot hand still frozen in it’s mid-wave expression confused and heartbroken again.
He looks away quickly and tries to stop the ache he feels in his chest
He really just won’t lean his lesson will he?
He moves the ship home as fast as can, faster than it's sensible to move it they almost hit a field of sea kings but he has to get him.
When he reaches island he doesn't wait for the boys to run up to him as he normally does he moves in a rush of sand and wraps them up into a hug tightly.
He finally allows himself to relax.
And smiles down at the two of them as they excitedly ask him questions and recount what they’ve been doing.
For the first time since reading the folder he feels himself really smile.
If he feels a stab in his heart every time he brushes past the other at meetings or catches his lingering gaze and if he thinks of possibilities late at night while staring blankly at reports, no one ever has to know but him.
But…he turns and looks st his kids smiling laughing.
And lets himself smile.
He has them.
Sorry for the angst, back to more humor next chapter- ivolving the kids seeting out on their adventure.
Also sorry sorry the delay next update should be out quicker!
Extra also: the Dofladile will happend eventually.
Chapter 6: The journey starts
An old conversation and the boys finally set out.
These are set pre-series and then start of the series.
We are starting to tackle canon.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
He’s finally bringing the boys with him to Alabasta, once Sabo’s burns had mostly healed and he’s spent the first day on the ship not taking his eyes off the 3 of them. All three seem to have reached a new level of excitement leaving Foosha and travelling on a really pirate ship, he had only been able to start getting work done once the three had passed out.
It had taken a while to catch up on reports after that and it’s the early hours of the morning when he moves to head to bed, quickly looking on the boys room just to check.
He feels himself freeze when he only see’s Ace and Sabo.
The next few minutes are filled with silent panic and running around the ship looking for any trace of his youngest.
He catches sight of the tell tale straw hat when he reaches the top deck…as his son is currently sitting on the figurehead of his ship.
His devil fruit wielding son.
He quickly moves his sand under the figurehead just in case, as he walks up to him.
“you know your meant to be in bed right?” he says calmly when he’s right behind him.
Luffy makes a noise of shock and he has he use his hook to grab the back of his shirt to stop his falling into the sea.
It only takes his son a moment to recover and is suddenly beaming up at him “oh hi dad”
Crocodile shakes his head and sits down behind him, he’s about to ask his question again when his son states.
“When I’m a captain this is going to be where I sit on my own ship”
Amusement takes over Crocodile features “really”
Nodding Luffy just looks up “yeah it’s the best spot you can see everything from here”
He glances over his sons head at the sprawling sea reflecting the last few glittering stars holding on as the first light of dawn raises from over the horizon.
“You’re right” he admits.
The duo sit in silence for few minutes before Luffy suddenly speaks up again “I’m going to be the pirate king”
It’s far from the first time his son has made this declaration, always said with the confidence of someone who knows that it is going to happen but something about this tone is different.
He looks down into his sons eyes and see’s that spark of pure determination but also oh...
He smiles softly understanding, the crown it had been his own dream for so long but now.
He presses his forehead against Luffy’s for a moment before moving back and pulling the large straw hat over his sons head earning a small shriek of childish outrage that morphs into a giggle.
“I know you are” he answers back smiling as he looks back at the raising sun.
It was his dream but now.
He wants to see his son with that crown.
"You know I’m more than happy to get you an actual ship” he says calmly and watches as his sons all simultaneously leap into the air with shocked shrieks, he’s very happy that he can still sneak up on them even after all this time.
He is totally succeeding as a dad.
“Dad” Ace says smiling widely “hi”
“Hi” he replies smirking in amusement as he approaches them glancing back down at the small ‘ship’ the 3 have filled with supplies looking up with a crocked eyebrow Sabo and Ace cringe but Luffy seems unaffected “when I said it was ok for you to head out I didn’t mean it was now or never”
“We know” Sabo says sheepishly “ we’ve been planning for this for months dad don’t worry we’ve got everything we need”
He slowly and purposefully looks back down at the small boat.
“…we’re going to get a bigger ship later” Sabo adds quickly.
“I could get you one now” he offers again but is not surprised when.
“Nope” Luffy interrupts “that wouldn’t be as fun getting a ship ourselves is all part of being a pirate” he says grinning madly.
He rolls his eyes just a little “yes but having a ship your crew can all fit in is also part of being a pirate”
The boys all look back down at the ship.
“…we can all fit” Luffy says after a moment that was far to quick.
“Yeah and if not I mean Sabo can swim” Ace suggests with a shrug and quickly sidesteps his brothers elbow.
“Also” Sabo says while still glaring at Ace “A big ship would get more attention it’ll be easier to slip through like this”
“Don’t worry dad” Luffy assures smiling up at him “we know what we’re doing”
He locks eyes with his son and already knows there’s no way he’s going to get him to change his mind, it’s been 15 years and he learnt very early on that getting his son to change his mind once he’s decided on something is completely impossible.
“Fine” he sighs but not before giving the tiny thing a glare just in the hopes he might be able to set in fire from will power alone “But on two conditions”
The boys look at each other in confusion.
Crocodile just reached into his coat pulling out the first of two items he’d had prepared for a long time, he handed the den den mushi to Sabo before looking at all of his sons “that you keep in contact and if anything happens you can’t handle you call me” he said firmly “I trust you and your skills but that doesn’t mean you may not run into to something unexpected, it doesn’t have to be help even just advice don’t worry I’m not going to barge into your fights unless you ask me to” he assured before smiling “also you better let me know that your all doing ok”
The boys were silent for a long minute before hugging him tightly.
He hugged back smiling, they’d be ok, he knew they would.
He wasn’t going to control what they did.
But he was going to be there to help if they ever needed it.
The boys moved away after a moment you blinking rapidly.
“so” Ace began clearing his throat “what’s the second condition?”
Reaching in to his coat again he pulled out the second item handing each one of the boys a small envelope.
They open them pulling out the small plain white cards inside each of them in confusion.
“Vivre cards” he answers the question he knows they’re going to ask “I had some made for each of you, so now you’ll all know if ones in trouble” he paused before leaning back “oh and I have a copy to so I’ll know if you’ve done anything to stupid” he noticed the glances Ace and Sabo shot Luffy but didn’t say anything instead he just handed the forth envelope to Ace who stares down at it in bafflement.
“that’s for Vivi” he said and watched in great amusement as his sons expressions slipped into shock “I’m guessing you’ve already set up a meeting spot in the east blue right?”
He gets back a chorus of utterly unconvincing denials.
“say hello to her for me” he just says and doesn’t hesitate before pulling the three back into a hug “you’re going to do amazing” he whispers quietly.
He watches their small ship sail off until he can’t see it anymore.
In that time Luffy was waving so much he almost feel off the ship, Ace tried to pull him back but instead got pulled off to, Sabo had to fish them out and they almost hit a sea king who Luffy punched so hard once he was back on the ship that it hit the side of the island, the force of punch made him stager back a step and knock Sabo into the water.
He shakes his head smiling and walks back to town and into the bar.
“you ok?” Paula asks from where her and Makino are sitting, Daz also looks up concerned.
He just smiles “yeah” he says and is happy none of them comment on his eyes which are most definitely not red rimmed at all.
He’s fine and so are his sons.
They’re going to be amazing.
“so” Paula says after a long moment “what are the bets on how long until they mutiny ?”
“Paula!” Makino says in offence, though she can’t quite keep the humor out of her voice.
“ok fine” the blue haired woman sighs “…how long until they lose the ship?”
Crocodile just shakes his head.
They shouldn’t do anything to stupid.
Thanks for reading =)
Next up- Calls from the East Blue
Chapter 7: Calls From the East Blue
A series of calls from the kids to Crocodile while traveling around the East Blue.
Involving - Pining, embarrassing aunts and uncles and Crocodile getting anxiety over his kids.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
It takes about a week before the first call; he’s on his way back to Alabasta sitting behind his desk talking to Daz when the call comes.
He answers it maybe a touch too quickly, Daz just gives a knowing look and moves to leave but stops when they hear the sound of hissed and muffled words on the other end.
“No way it’s your fault you”
“Like hell you do it”
Crocodile caught Daz’s own confused look before answering “boys?”
A sudden silence falls over the other end before Sabo replies “Hey dad” he says with far to much forced cheer and drawling out the last word, a tone Crocodile is sadly very familiar with.
“What did you do?” he says firmly and watches the Den Den Mushi’s smile falter and it sweat nervously.
“I well…” there’s a far too long a pause before Sabo continues “ ok so hypothetically”
He closes his eyes forces a deep breath and braces himself.
It cannot be that bad.
“What would happen if we…kind of sort of accidently…lostluffy”
Never mind it is.
“Hypothetically” Sabo adds sheepishly.
Crocodile stares dumbly at the Den Den Mushi for a beat before reaching in to his pocket pulling out the Vivre cards, he lets himself relax just slightly at the assurance that Luffy’s is still whole.
In absence of his response he hears Vivi in the background.
“For the record I had absolutely nothing to do with this they'd lost him before they even got to me” her voice called out ignoring Sabo’s frantic screech of hypothetically.
He takes another calming breath before speaking firmly cutting thought the panicked voices on the other end “explain”
The Den Den Mushi explains as Ace takes it off of Sabo “ ok so..you know how we had all those barrels?”
Seeing where this going Crocodile puts his head in his hand.
“Well…we kind of hit some rough waters and then…suddenly we were down one barrel…and one brother” the snail cringes.
He takes another glance at the Vivire card in his hand, still whole and moving in the direction of the East Blue.
“so yeah…we don’t really know what to do or how to find him or well” Ace trails off awkwardly.
“Other than that we're doing great though” Sabo adds.
“Use the card” he says as calmly as he can, which is incredibly calm given the situation thank you very much.
“Card?” he hears the boys ask in tandem before he hears the excited sounds of realisation and then rummaging through pockets before “YES HE’S STILL ALIVE!”
“THANKS DAD DON’T WORRY WE’LL FIND HIM CALL YOU SOON TO LET YOU KNOW WE’RE NOT DEAD LOVE YOU BYE”
The call ends, and Crocodile doesn’t think anyone can blame him when he hits his head on the desk.
He hears Daz move back to the desk.
“Do you think that counts as an accidental munity?” his second in command asks “because if so I owe Gem beli”
The second call comes about 5 days later.
5 days of repeatedly looking at the kids Vivrie cards, a lot of pacing and way too much internal panic.
He answers the call on the first ring and almost falls back into his chair in pure relief when on the other end is Luffy’s overly happy voice “HEY DAD”
“ see not dead” Ace pipes up sounding very proud.
“…sorry about before dad” Sabo says embarrassment clear.
“Hey boys” he answers finally relaxing for the first time since the last call “it’s fine don’t worry, your all ok?”
“We beat up a Marine Captain” Luffy declares happily.
Crocodile raises an eyebrow at that, not that it's unexpected but he thought it may take at least another week or so.
“Well Luffy did we only showed up at the end” Ace says and Crocodile can hear the smirk “he totally had it handled”
“the marines are actually being quite calm about it haven’t arrested us yet” Sabo adds "it's kind of bizarre"
“How big of an asshole do you have to be for the marines not to even care?” Ace asks curiously.
“It’s really not all that uncommon” Crocodile answers smiling lightly he’s missed this.
“Oh Dad we got out first crew member” Luffy adds and the den den mushi is practically bouncing “He used to be a bounty hunter and he uses 3 swords” Crocodile tilts is head, he’s not too sure how you’d use 3 swords at once but it’s far from anywhere near the strangest thing he’s heard of.
“Yeah he seems alright” Ace concedes reluctantly.
Luffy continues “I also met this other kid Coby but he wants to be a marine so I don’t think he’s coming with us”
He hears a happy gasp in the background and approaching footsteps “Is that uncle?” he hears Vivi’s voice getting louder "you guys said you were going to wait to call, Hi uncle!"
Crocodile leans back and enjoys talking with his kids, especially now he’s not worried one of them is going to end up at the bottom of the ocean.
Ok so maybe only a little less worried.
“We finally got a ship” The next proper call starts and the Den Den Mushi is nearly vibrating smile so large it looks like it’s going to split its face in half.
“One we can actually all fit in” Ace adds helpfully “Also we beat up some pirates and their captain…Kuro or something”
Crocodile raises an eyebrow “huh I thought he was dead”
“Well…he may be now Luffy punched him really hard” Sabo chimes in “we also got a sniper from the island to”
“And a navigator” Vivi added the Den den Mushi getting a love struck expression to match her tone “she’s amazing she’s so smart and her hair is beautiful and she’s so smart she tricked an entire pirate crew and then almost blew up their own ship with their canon and robbed them blind” the den den mushi let out a love struck sigh, before changing into a look of utter distain as Ace snatched it back.
“This has been the last week of our lives dad make her stop please!” his son cries out “she won’t stop pining and giving her heart eyes it’s ridiculous”
“She’s perfect hot head and you know it”
“You have really weird taste”
“I HAVE WERID TASTE?”
Crocodile muffled his own laughter, though just barely, this seems like an argument that isn't going to end anytime soon.
“Yeah she’s shifty”
“Fuck you Portgas she’s perfect”
“She stole our ship” Ace starts the next call with no preamble.
“We only had it for a few days” Sabo bemoans.
“…we got a chef though” Luffy adds, ever the optimist “he’s really good”
“She stole out fucking ship” Ace repeats “I would like to just say that I called it”
“Fuck you” Vivi’s voice rings out from down the den den mushi “She must have had a reason”
“Yeah she stole our ship because SHE WANTED TO STEAL THE GOD DAMN SHIP” Ace yells back, and he can almost hear and feel his sons flames through the den den mushi.
“She must have had a reason” Vivi insists voice sharpen with that steel edge that indicates she is not backing down.
“Dad” Ace hisses out “can you please tell Vivi to stop thinking with her god damn”
“Ace” Crocodile says in warning, cutting off an insult he knows is going to send the pair into a fight with will have no end in sight, and honestly he doesn’t put it past Vivi to push Ace into the ocean.
He waits for them all to fall silent before he continues “so she stole your ship” he hears the affirmative noises and cuts off the protest he can hear building in Vivi’s throat “and you’re going to go get it back right?”
“It is our ship….and a gift from Kaya” Sabo speaks up “we need to get it back”
“So” he continues nodding “what is your plan when you see her again”
Ace and Vivi both start to speak but Luffy cuts them off.
“she’s our Nakama” he says “we’re getting her back”
The reactions this declaration draws from Vivi and Ace is instantaneous.
Crocodile just closes his eyes and shakes his head smiling.
He doesn’t know what he was expecting.
The next call comes in the middle of the meeting, he moves to answer the den den mushi giving a hand motion to dismiss everyone but as soon as he answers the call.
“SHE WAS NOT FUCKING EVIL I KNEW IT!!!” Vivi’s very excited loud voice rings out and Crocodile almost drops the receiver.
The members of the Baroque Works all almost trip over themselves startled by the loud cry.
“Hello Vivi” He responds calmly but can’t get anything more out before Vivi continues.
“She was forced to by this dick Arlong, he was blackmailing her with her village she was trying to get enough money to buy it off of him so she could safe everyone, she’s so selfless” Vivi says with a love struck sigh.
“She also really likes beli” Ace’s voice calls out “also dad please help, she’s gotten even worse please do something ANYTHING!!” there’s a note of utter desperation in his voice.
“She was so brave and amazing and I don’t know how anyone can be that strong god I think I love her she’s just so wonderful and beautiful and just so so I don’t know” Vivi rambles on uncaringly.
“I beat up the fish guy” Luffy calls out clearly trying and failing to grab the phone “he was a giant jerk so I punch him really hard also we got the going merry back”
“Dad is the silence silence fruit a thing?” Sabo’s desperate please come from the den den mushi “because if you find out it’s a thing I would really like it so I do not throw one of these two overboard”
Crocodile just sighs smiling and shaking his head in fond exasperation.
“WAIT” multiple voices yell and when Crocodile looks up, Bentham and Mikita are either side of him leaning towards the den den mushi grinning.
“Is our little princess in love?” Mikita asks teasingly smiling far to wide.
The other side of the line is suddenly silent, other than Ace and Sabo’s muffled laughter.
“oh no” Vivi whispers horrified and Crocodile can almost feel the embarrassment radiating off of the den den mushi “Uncle are you in a…why didn’t you say anything?”
“I didn’t exactly get a chance” he answers noncommittally and lets the pair snatch the receiver out of his hand.
“Details” Bentham asks grinning widely twirling around “now come on Vivi tell us all about her what’s she like?”
“Right right come on tell us everything” Mikita insists “how far have you gotten?” resulting in a sound of mortification from the other end and the full blown laughter of the boys “remember safe sane and consensual”
“And I’m out” Galdino says standing up and walking very quickly out of the meeting room.
“Wait they lost the ship?” Marianne asks “when? who won the betting pool?”
“Does she know you’re a princess yet? Have you kissed? How did you meet?” Bon Clay asked.
“Come on Vivi we want to know how she’s just so so” Mikiate continued mimicking Vivi.
“Kill me now” Vivi groaned and even the den den mushi was blushing at this point.
“Oh my god I think this actually makes everything worth it” Ace laughed almost hysterically.
“Just wait Ace” Bentham said teasingly “You may have all this yet to come”
Crocodile sighed shaking his head at the utter chaos around him, sometimes it was impossible to remember that this was meant to be a professional criminal organisation…he’s not too sure what happened.
But it’s probably the kids doing.
When it get to the end of the fourth week with no contact Crocodile is only a little on edge.
He’s not yet sent Miss Friday and Mr.13 to find them, because they’re adults, they’re pirates they can handle themselves.
He trusts them.
But that doesn’t mean he’s not starting to get worried.
The last message he got was from Luffy that they were approaching a snow covered island…that was 4 weeks ago and nothing.
It’s the longest he’s gone without at least a check in from his kids, even when he was setting up Baroque Works he still talked to the kids at least once a week.
He knows the kids are fine.
He’s seen the Vivire cards; they’re all still fully intact.
And they can’t have been captured by the Marines, Garp and Tsuru would have told him.
So he doesn’t know what happened.
Unless… they’ve finally managed to break the den den mushi, which is becoming more and more of a possibility with each day with no contact.
But the den den mushi managed to survive Ace, Luffy and Sabo as kids, it survived being dropped from trees, in the ocean, thrown at Garp’s head and repeatedly set on fire…so he’s doesn’t know what they could have done to have finally broken it.
He signs leaning back in his chair eyes flickering to the Bananawani’s all staring at him with looks of concern.
He shook his head looked away back at reports from strange activity around some areas of Alabasta that some of the agents found, he tries to focus on them.
Sudden splashing noises catch his attention and he looks up to see the Bannanawani’s wagging their tails happily looking behind him, he turns around and feels his mouth drop open.
Running though the halls of the casino above are a number of figures, a girl with short hair, a tall blonde man, a man with 3 swords, a man with a long nose, a…reindeer? All being chased by a marine he recognises Smoker.
But what catches his attention most is the figure running in front, straw hat around his neck.
He releases a breath, worry and anxiety fading away leaving only confusion.
Because he was not excepting his kids to turn up in Alabasta, because if Luffy’s here there is no way Ace, Sabo and Vivi aren’t.
He watches him through the monitors as he rounds one corner and….activates the pitfall.
This is far from the first time Luffy has actually done this he managed to always forget about the traps, even after being shown repeatedly and when he was little Crocodile nearly always followed behind to use hook or sand to prevent him from falling.
This time he isn’t able to, instead he stands moving off to the side to watch as his son, what he assumes is his crew, they do all matches the descriptions the kids have given him…expect the reindeer…that’s new and he doubts the angry marine is a member of the crew…though he doesn’t actually put it past Luffy honestly.
He watches as they all fall in a crumpled heap.
“I told you they’d be traps” the girl chides his son angrily.
“Oh yeah always forgot about that one” Luffy says gaining confused looks from the others and oh!
Wait…do they not.
A smirk creeps across his face as he moves into the shadows, because this could be very entertaining.
Smoker curses, the sea prism stone affecting him, though he still looks ready to lunge at his son…if he tries it Crocodile will make sure he’s going to be a dried up corpse before he can even reach him.
“I can’t believe you just ran in here” the girl continues throwing her arms up in exasperation.
“We’re trapped” the loan nosed boy whispers looking terrified “we’re going to dieeeeee”
The little reindeer lets out a terrified cry.
“Usopp shut up” the man with 3 swords hissed out standing between smoker and his son glaring at the marine.
“But we’re going to due by a crazy evil warlord” he cries out overly dramatically.
Crocodile raises an eyebrow, that's definitely something he's going to want an explanation for.
“No we’re not” Luffy says as a matter of fact as he pulls himself up to a sitting position.
“Luffy we’ve been captured” The blonde man hisses out “ we need a way out of this before this warlord shows up”
“but we’re not going to get hurt” Luffy says titling his head looking at the others blankly.
The rest of his crew look ready to throttle him and Crocodile can’t stop the chuckle that escapes him.
Everyone in the cage freezes paling…well all except one Luffy spins around beaming widely as Crocodile walks out of the shadows.
He doesn’t even look at the others fearful gazes and angry glares instead he looks directly at his youngest son who is grinning widely.
“Hey dad!” he says happily and doesn’t even seem to notice when the others all drop their weapons as their jaws collectively hit the floor and their eyes widen to comical levels.
Crocodile just smiles back “hello son”
Thanks for reading
Next up- a Baroque Works interlude, some times each member of Baroque works interacted with the kids and the times an almost member did.
Chapter 8: Baroque Works Interlude
Moments the agents had with the family and +1 a moment that an almost member had
Just moments with the Baroque works members.
Aka- some minor set up before Alabasta
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
She’s used to the brats by now, the bosses three sons are trouble makers but fairly entertaining really, especially when they annoy some of the other members.
The Princess though, well Mikita was used to the girl just being a tag along to the boys or the boss but…she’s been hanging around their casino base for the past week only the boys and the boss aren’t here instead she’s following her around.
It’s getting kind of annoying she manages to manoeuvre round and corner and cut the brat off about to ask her what she's doing when the kid ends up exclaiming “IWAS HOPINGYOUCOULDSHOWMWHOWTOLOOKCOOLLIKEYOU” the Princesses face turning bright red.
….what? Mikaita isn’t sure if she just thought that or said it out loud but the Princess continues.
“…I…I dad’s been getting be to wear more princessy stuff and it’s pretty but I can’t be a pirate wearing that at least I can’t fight in it…not well at least and…” she blushes more looking down at the ground “I want to be able to look really pretty and fight well like you”
Mikiata stress blankly for a second before hugging the Princess excitedly.
When Crocodile arrives back he’s walking past the agents rooms and hears “And see with heels like these you should be able to run well and gouge people’s eyes out if push comes to shove”
“Right now I think the best colour for you would be”
He just keeps walking.
He keeps mostly to himself at first when he’s not dealing with his partner, that is until.
“CAN YOU REALLY MAKE THINGS INTO BOMBS!”
Gem turns and looks down to see one of the Bosses kids, the black haired one with freckles.
The kid keeps staring at him expectantly so he just nods in acknowledgement and tries to keep walking.
“That is so cool!” the boy says “how big of explosions do you make”
He doesn’t say much the brat will most likely get bored soon enough.
“HEY” he turns to look at the brat when he hears him, the boss was meant to be arriving later today so he wasn’t expecting to see any of the brats when he sees the kid he notices that he looks exhausted like he ran all the way here.
The kid grins up at him more shoving his hands forward “Look Gem Look!” the kid says as his hands turn to fire.
“…you got a devil fruit” he says staring at the flames a logia type…and that means both Ace and Luffy have devil fruits that’s 2 out of 4…
He doesn’t even want to think about the property damage.
Ace just smiles “Yeah I got it a little while ago I really wanted to show you see its super cool like yours I know I can’t make things explode well not yet but”
Gem cuts him off in shock “…wait kid did you…run all this way just to show me?”
The brat rolls his eyes “well duh of course I wanted to show my coolest uncle the coolest devil fruit power”
…Gem didn’t cry at that no one was there no one can prove anything.
Miss Merry Christmas/ Drophy and Mr.4/ Babe
Ok look they knew it was bad idea.
The littlest of Crocodile’s kids was so stubborn.
They were going to break eventually.
And in their defence it had all been the kids idea.
“I’m rubber I’ll be fine”
Hitting the kid with the brat was a bad idea.
Hitting the kid with the bat at full force was even worse.
But hey come on at least Drophy managed to find the kid in the desert in only….
He was fine.
He'd even wanted to do it again.
They really hope the boss never finds out.
They are also very very glad that they got the one kid who does NOT understand blackmail.
Miss Goldenweek/ Marianne
She’s a little awkward around the kids at first, after all their around the same age…still they all seem ok.
She doesn’t really mind any of them they’re nice but they haven’t interacted to much.
That is until one of the bosses sons, the blonde one, the one who dresses smartly like the boss and has burns all up his right side.
He walks up to her awkwardly glancing up between the book in hands.
“Ummm I’m sorry to bother you” he says sitting down “I was just hoping you could” he shifted from foot to foot “teach me to draw” he continues quickly “I mean I want to archive and write about our journeys when we go off when we’re older but…I think I won’t be able to describe something but I want to share them so I was hoping you could maybe help me with that please”
Marianne sits up a bit at that eyes shining, she’s never had someone want to learn art before.
Some have wanted to learn about her skills but not the art.
She smiles slightly and moves over to let him sit next to her.
He bursts into the bosses office with the familiar cry of “YOU’RE CHILDREN ARE MONSTERS!”
Crocodile just hums in response and doesn’t bother to look up from his papers.
“This is the last straw” he continues “do you know what they tried to do to me!?” he doesn’t even wait for his boss to respond “THEY TRIED TO TURN ME INTO A HUMAN CANDLE!”
Crocodile does look up at that eyebrow raised.
“…well you are made of wax”
“THAT’S WHAT THEY SAID!!” he yells back glaring and grabs his hair pointing at the singe mark on the edge of the three “THEY SAID THIS WAS THE WICK!!”
Crocodile is only able to not laugh with great restraint…also he can’t actually fault his kids logic.
“THEY ARE MONSTERS AND I’M DONE” he yells loudly as he storms towards the door.
Crocodile just glances back down at the papers “are you quitting?” he asks calmly.
There a moment of silence “NO!” he yells before leaving the room.
Crocodile shakes his head, well at least this only the 3rd time this week…tough it is only Tuesday.
He’s only recently joined and hasn’t really seen his boss much when his boss asks him.
“…do” the man pauses for a moment before continuing “do you know where Iva..Ivankov is?”
Bentham stares shocked for a moment.
He looks; he notices the bindings under the shirt.
He cringes and looks sadly up “Sorry…no” he says and watches the other sag slightly in his chair “I think they were captured but…but I don’t know for certain” he wishes he could say something more but he can’t.
The boss just nods “I…thought as much thank you” he says lightly.
Bentham knows he has an opening to leave but “Um Boss” the man looks back up at him “You called them Iva?” he knows this may be a sensitive topic but, well he can’t help his curiosity.
“Yes” the boss nods glancing up at him “we know each other… or we did awhile ago but…I never had the chance something” he trailed off smiling “something else happened and then afterwards I couldn’t locate them”
Bentham wants to ask what but “Dad?” he turns and sees the door to the office open, the bosses youngest son glancing in tiredly.
“Luffy what are you doing up?” the boss asks smiling softly.
“Couldn’t sleep” the boys grumbles “Ace keeps kicking my head” he climbs into the bosses arms as he gets closer “and Sabo’s snoring REALLY loud”
Bentham looks between them.
He looks between the two and suddenly understands exactly what the boss meant.
“Who are you?” the little boy asks looking over at him.
He meets the little kids eyes and smiles giving an exaggerated bow introducing himself before spinning around and changing faces the little boy bursts out in laughter and claps excitedly.
Bentham grins back.
He will always claim that he is the favourite uncle.
If anyone says otherwise they’re a liar.
She is going to murder the brats.
The boss might be upset, well ok probably murderous, but honestly once she explains it to him, he’ll understand.
He’ll still kill her yeah but he’ll understand.
And it will be worth it.
Besides she’s going to die of embarrassment afterwards anyway.
They just had to find out didn’t they.
She’s been moaning to the boss about her crush, because he has such bad taste he literally can’t say anything insulting.
He likes tall, pink and psychotic for crying out loud!!!
But the brats heard her waxing poetic about Makino, because she’s perfect.
Beautiful, smart, sunny, sweet, patient as all get out, case and point she deals with those three terrors on a regular basis and has not committed homicide.
And now they are trying to set them up.
Which is why she is now staring at the giant flag visible to the entire TOWN!!! Reading
Makino please go out with Paula she thinks you’re pretty!
PS SHE REALLY LIEKS YOUR HAIR AND WANTS TO KISS YOU
She is going to shish kabob them!!
“Hi there” she turns to Makino whose smiling at her.
…She wants to die she’s so embarrassed maybe if she makes a run for it she can jump into the se..
“Do you…would you to go get dinner tonight?” Makino asks her with a shy smile.
She takes it all back
She LOVES THOSE BRATS!!
Mr.1/ Daz Bones
He’s the first one to join the organisation.
When he meets the boss, there’s only one kid.
And he’s barely a kid.
More of screaming tiny ball of noise.
It’s strange to see the boss discussing plans of espionage and criminal organisation with a kid nestled in his arms.
The first time the boss asks him to hold the kid he freezes.
He’s not , he doesn’t he doesn’t know you act with kids how you’re meant to not… how do you not mess kids up?
He’s used to cutting and killing, he's blades and sharp edges how does he not do that.
That kid is put in his arms, and big black eyes blink up at him curiously.
He stares back down.
When the boss comes back and he keeps holding the kid the boss doesn’t comment just gives a small smile.
He is the favourite uncle.
(He’s number 1 for a reason after all)
The almost member
She stands in the office staring at the Shichibukai.
This is a risk.
The shichibukai are tied to the world government, allying with them is a huge risk.
But…she knows there’s a poneglyph here.
She can’t let this lead pass through her fingers.
It’s the last one she has.
This is her last chance.
She stands confident, she’s just explained how she can help, and he needs her.
He’s after Pluton, of course he is, but it’s no good to him unless he has someone who can translate it.
He needs her.
The man keeps staring at her intently; it’s different form the normal look, the look of greed, of a mind running through a million possibilities.
Instead he’s examining her, gaze searching.
“Well Nico Robin”
She stands tall and waiting
“I’m afraid I will have to reject your generous offer”
Robin feels her stomach drop and the world fallout from under her.
This makes no sense.
He’s trying to take over Alabasta.
He’s trying to get Pluton.
Why would he not take her help.
She’s going to protest, argue, something.
Because this doesn’t make sense!
“Uncle, sorry to bother you I was just hoping” the door opens and
Robin locks eyes with the princess.
The princess of Alabasta
Standing calmly and completely at ease in the Baroque’s works base.
Calling the Shichibukai uncle.
She locks eyes with the Shichibukai and then runs.
She’s run for years.
This is just one more.
Vivi yelps and moves out of the way eyes wide.
She looks after the running dark haired women and then looks back to Crocodile, he just waves off her apologises.
“did I interrupt something” Vivi asked looking worried.
He shakes his head laying a hand on her head “nothing to worry about” yet at least he thinks.
He should call Cobra let him know about Nico Robin… but
And since Luffy, and the cursed parental instincts there is always a but.
But he’s seen her wanted poster, that of a child.
A child who did nothing wrong.
Who just knew too much.
He curses his sentimentality and pointedly looks away from the door, he looks the other way.
Instead he smiles down and asks “so what did you need?”
Vivi smiles shyly up at him “I just…how how’s the best way to navigate to calm belt” she pulled out a book looking harried “ because if there no wind really and with all the sea kings, I’m trying to come with a good plan…one that’s Luffy proof…and Ace proof to”
Robin frowns down at her lap, her senses now on high alert, she’s waiting for guards or pirate or marines or anyone to charge in.
She took a risk and it backfired.
She can’t understand how, it doesn’t make sense everything she heard…all the clues they pointed towards…but they’re wrong there’s no fight, Sir Crocodile is clearly working with the King.
Robin frowns, there are too many variables to many things that she doesn’t understanding, that don’t make sense.
She closes her eyes tightly as the realisation hits her, this was her last lead and she’s just destroyed her chance of getting it…the chance is gone.
What is she going to do?
She stares blankly and tries to process.
But then she hears
“so what they’d never trace it back to us”
“that’s right they’d blame the pirates”
“you’ve lost it those pirates work for the government”
“so they’d blame the government not us”
“or the king”
“face it we could do it on either”
“I’d be easy”
“Look we’ve got to do something! Those ones are related to those celestials I don’t care how good they seem they’re just as bad as the rest of them!”
Robin glanced at the group of people huddled in the corner, she recognised the flag the revolutionary army or no…more like a poor imitation.
She looks at them.
This is her last chance, her last shot.
She has nothing left to lose.
It’s her final gambit.
She walks towards them.
Thank you for reading, next up Alabasta!!
Chapter 9: Alabasta Part 1
Beginning of the Alabasta Arc.
Fall out of dad reveal.
(Strawhats have 0 idea WTF is going on)
Just set up before main arc
I tried writing Luffy's POV I don't how well I did.
Sorry for the delay I this chapter coming out.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Luffy sometimes doesn’t understand people.
He doesn’t understand why people react the way they do or why they don’t just say the things they mean.
“Because a lot of people just play games” Dad explained when he was younger and asked about it “but I you don’t have to play the games, in fact” his dad had smiled fondly “I think the fact you don’t is an advantage you throw people off their game you break the rules and redefine them it’s good”
Dad’s always been good at explaining things like that.
He really doesn’t understand the weird games people play though even now.
Sometimes he doesn’t even understand his brothers or Vivi.
When they’d run into those weird people mentioning about a coup in Alabasta, he hadn’t understood why everyone but his brothers and Vivi had assumed it was dad, well after Vivi mentioned that her family knew the royal family and it wouldn’t be them…also he still doesn’t get why Vivi didn’t tell them she was a princess?
Vivi mentioned something about, wanting to be liked for her and not money or anything but still it didn’t make sense since they were going to Alabasta they were going to find out why not tell them?
He also doesn’t understand why Ace covered his mouth when he was going to tell them that it wouldn’t be their dad obviously, Ace had just smiled at him and said don’t worry about it and this will be hilarious.
Sometimes his brothers don’t make sense.
Or his Nakama, he still doesn’t get why they thought it was his dad? He’d told them it wasn’t him.
Well more or less
“It’s got to be the shichibukai then”
“No it’s not”
“Luffy you can’t know that!”
“Yes I do”
“Luffy you can’t”
“I do though”
Really Luffy doesn’t understand people sometimes.
“WHAT DO YOU MEAN DAD?!” Luffy just looks at his Nakama all staring at him wide eyed in varying states of disbelief.
“…It means he’s my dad” Luffy answers slowly and doesn’t understand why everyone is just gaping at him.
Dad chuckles fondly and looks amused at them all when the door to the room slams open Ace, Sabo, Vivi and Smokey’s friend all come running in all panting and looking exhausted.
Ace looks around the room and his face falls, he lets out a loud cry of “NOOOOO” out falling to his knees and hits the floor “WE MISSED IT!! DAMN IT!”
“I told you we should have just used the shortcut” Vivi grumbles and ties to smooth back her hair flashing a small smile towards the cage.
“Your both ridiculous” Sabo groans rolling his eyes, though he looks just as exhausted as the others.
“Hello kids” Dad says watching them again in pure amusement on his face, it’s the type of expression he has when the 3 of them went on ‘adventures’ when they younger.
“Hi dad” Sabo and Ace say at the same time Vivi says “Hey Uncle” and the 3 hug him all smiling up.
The cries of shock around him make Luffy’s ears ring and he cringes away.
“I’m guessing this is your doing?” Dad says looking at Ace with a raised eyebrow.
Ace doesn’t look sheepish at all he just grins “well Vivi and Sabo agreed to…and in my defence I thought it would be hilarious” his shoulders fell “and we missed it”
Dad just chucked ruffling his hair “are you forgetting I have den den mushi recording in here all the time?”
Ace stared blankly before hugging him even harder “you are the best dad ever!”
“I’m sorry again DAD?” Nami and Usopp screamed again staring at them all with expressions that looked kind of like Shanks when Luffy had eaten the devil fruit.
Dad looked back to the cage shaking his head slightly and moving towards it, Luffy felt everyone around him tense up; Luffy just gave them a weird look.
Dad just opened the cage and Luffy launched himself at them the second the door was open.
“Hey Luffy” dad said smiling down.
He just grinned widely back laughing before looking back at his Nakama and Smokey “why are guys still in there?”
“Luffy he you what?” Sanji stuttered out looking completely baffled, Zoro behind him nodding as if Sanji was making perfect sense and huh...that be the first time they've ever agreed on anything.
That's good right?
He just looked at them in confusion and then looked up at his dad who just shook his head still nothing but amused, eh there's probably nothing to worry about then.
Dad's always SUPER cautious so if he's not worried they're shouldn't be anything to worry about.
Smokey’s friend walked over to the cage hesitantly glancing at Dad who just raised an eyebrow and walked back to his desk.
She looked about to say something when Ace noticed Smokey and almost teleported over to the cage “Hey there Smokey” Ace said grinning brightly and saying it in a sing song tone, that Ace seems to use a lot when Smokey's concerned.
“Oh for the love of” Luffy glanced back at Sabo who was now leaning against dad’s desk face in his hands “not again”
Dad now looks just as confused as he dose which is good, that means Ace really is just being weird and It's not him missing something.
“Portgas” Smoker hissed out glaring darkly.
Smokey’s friend instantly retreated back towards the door, Luffy guesses that makes sense every time Ace and Smokey start fighting, like a lot.
“Sorry to bother you looks like you’re a little caught up” Ace teased, Vivi and Sabo both groaned in the background while Smokey just growled “hey hey no need to be cagey”
Smoker launched himself out of the cage and moved towards Ace who was grinning widely flames ignited when a wall of sand shot between them.
“Dad” Ace hissed glancing back face red.
Dad was standing near his desk one eyebrow near his hairline.
Ace glanced back at Smokey who seemed to have calmed down and was now watching dad cautiously as the sand retracted.
“Are you guys coming out there or” Vivi asked looking into the cage.
Chopper was the first one to get out he looked all wobbly and sick like Luffy felt.
Oh right sea prism stone.
He really hates that stuff.
The others all finally climb out of the cage but they still looking at Dad worriedly and all out still holding their weapons.
Luffy really doesn’t understand people sometimes.
Crocodile watched as his kids Nakama finally left the cage, he wasn’t sure if they were just overly cautiously or honestly just slow on the uptake.
“So” He glanced over at Sabo who was fiddling with the brim of his hat “your probably wondering and the…no calls thing” he shifted slightly “well you see”
“The big jerk ate it” Luffy says.
Sabo looks back at Luffy “…I mean yeah”
Crocodile shook his head slightly; honestly he doesn’t know what he expected “I’m going to need the full story later” he leaned back “right now I’d like to know exactly why I’m a ‘crazy evil warlord’” he quotes and see’s his kids Nakama flinch at that all looking so uncomfortable, a part of him really wants to mess with them but there are more important issues right now.
And they’ll be time for that later.
“that’s a long story” Vivi supplies.
Crocodile pulls out his Den Den Mushi from his desk and begins dialling “well if that’s the case” he straightens up holding the receiver.
Vivi realises what’s happened a split second to late her eyes doubling in size as she yells “UNCLE NO!” at the same time the very annoyed voice of Cobra rings out over the receiver “What do you want now you bastard”
“Hello Cobra” he says in an overly cordial tone and watches as the 2 marines blanch clearly recognising the name and now looking more confused than ever, it’s very entertaining “someone here wants to speak to you” he holds out the receiver to Vivi who looks at it in pure betrayal.
Crocodile meets her eyes “ I’ve been dealing with him for the last few months” he says firmly and watches her cringe as she understands just what that means.
So many rants and panic attacks and lectures over how he corrupted his sweet child who would have nothing to do with piracy if not for him, which Crocodile thinks is utterly false Vivi is a cunning, clever and ambitious young woman she would have made a wonderful pirate even without his influence.
…though he did encourage some behaviours.
Vivi gives him a reluctant look and hesitantly picks up the receiver “…hi daddy” she says quietly, there is a brat of silence and Crocodile takes a precautionary step back just as the racier explodes with yelling.
“VIVI? WHERE ARE YOU? WHAT IN THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOUR DOING? ARE YOU OK? WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? VIVI NEFERTARI DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH TROUBLE YOU ARE IN YOUNG LADY? WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?”
Vivi holds the receiver away from herself and gives him a desperate look, he just repeats “2 months” and she slumps down in defeat falling into his chair and trying to sink into it as Cobra continues his onslaught of parental worry and anger that’s been building since she left.
“Wait” The female Marine, steps forward glasses nearly sliding off her face pointing at Vivi “Nefertari? She…she’s the princess?” the woman asks voice breaking slightly.
Vivi groans loudly face planting on to his desk and gives a thumbs up.
“WHAT? Vivi is…I wha” The orange haired girl trails off into mumbling and looks as if her brain has shirt circuited, Vivi sinks even deeper down into the chair.
He glances towards the boys Ace holds up his hands in surrender “Ok I had nothing to do with that one that was all her doing”
Vivi’s thumb changes to a finger.
Smoker moves forward glancing between them with narrowed eyes “you…aren’t doing this are you”
Crocodile is about to respond that he literally has no idea what ‘this’ is but Ace cuts him off “Very perceptive of you Smokey when did you figure that out?” he teases.
“Watch it hot head” Smoker growls back and the 2 again look ready to charge at each other.
Crocodile keeps looking between them, this…is he’s not to sure if this is what he thinks it is, but his mind keeps flashing to.
“Really birdbrain is that the best you can do?”
“Oh just you wait Crocoman”
And he does not know how he feels about this.
He really hopes he’s reading too much into this.
He has a feeling he might not be.
Ace has inherited his bad taste in men.
“Ace please stop” he’s knocked out of his thoughts as he hears Sabo groan this “can we not do this again? Please”
Crocodile looks up and see’s the 2 ready to charge at each other he rolls his eyes with a firm “NO” as sand pulls them away from each other “Explanation first fighting later” and he moves between his kids crew and the marines giving them a firm look before smirking “I didn’t know marines were allowed to attack Shichibukai now”
“we’re not” Smoker begins but Crocodile just leans closer smirk growing.
“No but your attacking my kids, who are right now under my protection oh and under the protection of the king since his daughter is on their crew so let’s just say they have diplomatic immunity for the time being shall we so play nice” he watched the pair of them gape in disbelief and splutter in rage, he spun around seeing the looks of pure awe on all of his crews faces and stifled laughter on Ace and Sabo’s Luffy was pouting.
“I don’t want immunity” he complained, tone childish and the same one he used for 'I don't want to go to bed yet' and 'Why can't I start my pirate carer now I'm 11 years old that's old enough right?'.
“LUFFY!” his entire crew cried out, some looking ready to throttle their captain.
Hmm...maybe the munity bet will actually come to fruition.
“We’re pirates” he said folding his arms looking up and meeting his eyes with that stubborn tilt to his head“and we’re not part of your crew we're our own crew”
Crocodile shakes his head and thinks 'brat' far to fondly.
He just pushes Luffy's hat back and ruffles his hair as he walks past “tough brat right now you need to all play nice so let’s just use the excuse shall we” before giving him a look “also in what universe do you think that the big soft touch king will throw you brats to the marines?”
“YOU KNOW I CAN HEAR YOU RIGHT?” Cobra calls from the den den mushi and honestly Crocodile had forgotten he was there, he’s pretty good about tuning Cobra’s rants out to background noise at this point.
“Am I wrong?” he calls over and the den den mushi is silent and Crocodile smirks in victory but doesn't say anything.
“I hate you so much” the monotone and resigned tone echoes from the den den mushi which sends him a dark glare he is all to familiar with.
“I know” he grins, because this will never get old Cobra really does make this far to easy “now if you can take a break from ranting you may want to hear this”
Vivi raises her head from the desk looking at him pure relief and mouthing THANK YOU before thrusting the receiver at him and moving away as if it’s a bomb that’s about to explode.
Cobra is beginning to splutter something but he quickly barrels through that “because apparently I’m a ‘crazy evil warlord’”
“…all of which is true and not news what so ever” Cobra sniped back.
“Yes but not enough to get the marines involved” there’s a beat of silence.
“…what do they think you did?” he asks, because he knows Crocodile well enough to know he isn’t planning on messing with Alabasta, not anymore anyway.
He happens to like it here.
He likes Vivi, she’s one of kids now.
And he likes Cobra.
…ok so mostly he likes messing with Cobra but it's the same principle.
“I was just about to find out” he says and looks towards the group “so” he nods to them.
There’s an awkward moment as the group look at each other.
Sabo clears his throat “Do you want to long version or the short version?”
Thank you for reading =)
Next up a Doflamingo interlude (Curse you Skyitegaming and your comment on chapter 7- I couldn't resist)
So next week- A pining flamingo and the ripple effect on certain events (Also flashbacks of tiny Mingo and Croco)
Chapter 10: A Flamingo's Point of View
The long promised Doffy POV chapter.
MASSIVE APLOLOGISES FOR THE DELAY. I am so sorry to everyone whose been waiting for this, a lot of things happened that just drop kicked my ability and time to write, that's all been sorted now though and updates will be on a most likely Bi-weekly basis from now on maybe more regularly some weeks.
Again really sorry about the delay I hope this angst filled Flamingo makes up for it.
Chapter filled with flashbacks, a pining Flamingo and a ripple effect that changes a lot.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
He stands there on the docks staring at where Croco had been a moment before. He doesn’t understand?
Everything had been fine a little while ago.
It had been better than fine.
He'd thought that...
That maybe now.
Just a little while ago they’d been smiling and laughing and planning, they'd been making so many plans together.
He doesn’t know when he’d been so happy.
He...he didn't even look at him, why wouldn't he look at him?
What did he do wrong?
He doesn’t move for a while when he finally does turn, Croco’s ship is sailing away in to the distance and all he can do is stare after it…
He remembers standing on the shoreline watching another ship sail away his hand still touching his cheek trying to burn the kiss into his memory.
Why…does he always seem to just watch him leave…
When he first meets him he got punched in the face.
He’d been cocky and taunting, he was the head of the Donquixote family, he had conquerors Haki he was a celestial dragon the blood of gods he was the most powerful person there was...
He can’t remember what he said.
What he does remember is being on his back glasses askew as he stares up at the glaring gorgeous face.
“Listen up you little brat! I’m not that old man’s kid in fact I’m nothing to that asshole and my name is Crocodile and I'm going to be king of the pirates!”
He just sits there stunned as he watches the other turn on his heel and storm off.
That’s the first time he meets him and the first time he thinks ‘I want to marry him’
The second time they meet he get's again.
Same for the third.
The forth time he says something he doesn't think he's ever said before
He still get's punched.
"come on brat"
He looks up at the outstretched hand and smirking face.
'I definitely want to marry him'
He remembers watching whitebeards crew, hearing them calling Corco another name, the wrong name, a name that makes him flinch and cringe every time they call him it.
When he corrects the man he keeps being told he doesn't know what he's talking about...that he's wrong...that he's not him.
He sees the tears of frustration and anger in the other’s eyes and feels pure hate for the yonko.
“I can kill him” he offers “Me and my crew we’ll kill him if you want”
The other looks at him with red eyes but his offer makes a small smile tugging at his lips “thanks for offer but” his eyes turn dangerous and dark and even more beautiful “If he’s going to die I’ll be killing him myself”
That’s the first time he thinks that the feeling in his chest may be love.
He remembers watching the whitebeard pirates fighting some Marines, he slips away leaving Trebol and the others commenting on how to defeat the pirates what their weaknesses may be.
The only person in that crew he was interested in wasn’t there, and there’s no point figuring out how to kill the old man after all he’s not going to be the one to kill him.
He finds Croco in a small hidden cove on the island.
He sees the low ranking marine near him and…
He watches the two of them laughing and Corco smiling…
Everything seems to go green and red at the same time.
All he remembers is anger and jealously and trying to punch the jackass in the face.
“Dragon’s not the at bad he doesn’t even want to be a marine”
He doesn’t care.
He remembers the way Croco looked at that jackass…
Even now he really wishes that he’d punched him.
He remembers asking time again for him to join his crew.
Every time he get's a smile and ruffled hair but the other never says yes.
“If you want her to join our crew Doffy we can make her” He remembers Trebol saying.
That was first time he probably used his conquers haki on the man.
Trebol didn’t mention it again.
He still hovers when Doffy runs off to see Corco hints that they should leave the Island they've been here long enough they have plans.
He won't though not while Croco's still here.
The sea's large...he may not see Croco for a long time when they finally...he wants as much time as he can get.
They will see each other again, he's sure of it.
He can't imagine never seeing him again after this.
He just can't.
He remembers sitting on the beach Croco sitting next to him smiling and laughing and….oh.
This is love then.
He remembers a kiss on his cheek a small smile and he can barely hear what’s said next from the sound of his heart beating double time in his ears.
“Guess you’ll just have to grow up and prove it then”
He will he promises himself he will
All he can do it watch the person he loves walk away…while promising himself he won’t let it happen again.
Next time they'll be standing side by side.
Guess he was wrong about that….
But he doesn’t know why.
What did he do?
He can’t think about anything else as he leaves, he’s stuck in a circle of questions and memories.
He’s drowning in them and can’t pull himself out.
In another world, Dofalmingo wouldn’t be thinking about this, in another world Crocodile doesn’t become a Shichibukai until years later and he doesn’t have these thoughts.
In another world when he arrives on Minion Island less than a week later he shoots without a second thought.
In this world as he points a gun at his brothers chest a thought slips through the clouds of rage and betrayal and he remembers.
"One of my brothers” Crocodile says when they’re sitting in the forest staring up at the night sky through the canopy of trees “he’s called me my name before not what everyone else calls me…but he keeps stopping whenever…whenever the old mans around” he curls his arms around his legs “I think if it was just him…if it was just them that they…they might let me be me”
Doflamingo frowns at that “but…would you let them?” Croco blinks up at him eyebrow raised “I mean they’ve none of them have stood up for you they’ve sided with that old jerk so would…would you really let them…why would you after that? Don’t you want them to pay like that man?”
Crocodile looks thoughtful before giving a hollow laugh “well they’d have to have a damn good reason and…your right” he sighed leaning back against the tree “I don’t know if I would forgive them…I don’t know if I could…maybe not even if they have a good explanation but” he paused seeming deep in thought before nodding “yeah…I don’t want them to…I mean if I had the chance to really hurt the old man I would but…I wouldn’t do it to them” Crocodile stared back up at the sky seemingly mulling over the revelation he’d just had.
“Even after everything?” Doflamingo asked, he didn’t know why he wouldn’t just kill them, make them pay for what they did.
Crocodile just nodded not looking at him “yeah…they’re my brothers” he paused eyes getting a wet tinge “I just…I wish they saw me as their brother to”
The conversation ended there, only the sound of wind brushing through the trees permeated the silence between them, he leaned against the others lightly shaking shoulders…his hand resting on top the others and fingers curled together.
The hand on the gun moves the aim shifts just slightly…
The bullet hits the throat.
Not the chest.
He leaves him bleeding out in the snow; he’s as good as dead already.
His head is to full thoughts and memories and questions.
He doesn’t need to memory of his brothers dying moments in there to.
He doesn’t see Law climb out of the chest and sob holding Rosinate’s hand.
Doesn’t see his bother pass out due to blood loss.
Doesn’t see Law sob even harder thinking the man his father in all but blood is dead, his second family lost.
No one see’s Law run off before the marines arrive.
He doesn’t see Rosinate being attended by the marines medics who rush him back to the ships.
He’s long gone before all that back on his ship, lost in his thoughts.
In the years that come whenever he see's Crocodile he feels his heart swell every time without fail, it only gets worse when their eyes lock or their hands brush.
And it breaks every time without fail when the other turns away and moves away.
Always walking away.
He still doesn’t know why?
Next chapter should be up between the 5th to the 7th of September and will be more of Alabasta drabbles.
Chapter 11: Alabasta Part 2
Sorry this is a little late, this took a bit longer than planned.
Here finally is part 2 of 3 of the Alabasta Arc drabbles.
Mostly just discussions, set up and reunions.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Crocodile leaned back in his chair hand tapping against his hook as he absorbed all the information he’d just heard.
The more general events after den den mushi being eaten were…well not unexpected, after all where his kids were involved he’s pretty sure nothing is unexpected.
But those 3 facts the kids had told him.
1)People fleeing Alabasta due to lack of resources, caused by a sever lack of rain, and rumours of a civil war, things he had heard nothing about and that is very concerning.
2)Merchants from Alabasta delivering dance powder, to a group in Alabasta, the kids hadn't got a name but found out there had been a lot of deliverers all throughout the last month.
3)People in Alabasta thinking Cobra, of all people, is the one receiving and using the dance powder. Which may be the dumbest thing he's ever heard...but seems actually be working.
With these 3 facts... it doesn’t take a genius to see what’s going on here.
Someone is trying to turn the country against the royal family…and they appear to be succeeding.
Which it really ridiculous and anyone who knows Cobra knows he would never even consider it...but the people that are being targeted are the ones who don't know him, and that's intentional he's sure of it.
He supposes it makes sense that, he being, would be the main suspect after all after the royal family he is most powerful person here.
Honestly this whole thing...it’s a damn good plan, it seems like a more fleshed out version of the plans he’d had in the works before the accidental adoption of Vivi and subsequent destruction of all those plans.
The use of Dance Powder is really inspired.
And that would have given him an advantage being able to control the rain so he’d been able to use his powers without worry of rain.
It is a good plan.
Still that doesn’t matter now.
What matters right now is why this group is doing this?
Also the fact that he doesn’t know who they are is really pissing him off who the hell managed to infiltrate his territory?
Because that is annoying and insulting, and well…there will, most likely be murder.
Especially, since these idiots decided to mess with his kids.
That is 100% happening.
But, first things first.
“So” he says looking up at his kids, their crew and the two marines all who look equally deep in thought. Most notably the marines, which makes sense he highly doubts they’d had all that information before, the pair are clearly reassessing the situation. “Whoever this is, is clearly trying to target the royal family, or at least make them the scapegoat” he glances at Vivi and bites back a smile, she doesn’t look scared or sad no, she looks completely furious.
Murder will be happening today no question, though he may not be the one doing it and he is ok with that.
Sabo leaned back against the desk flicking through the notepad he’d been holding were he’s recorded everything “yeah…but what we couldn’t figure out was why?” his brow furrowed “I mean everyone in Alabasta loves them, we all know that” he gestured to the still seething Vivi and Cobra’s den den mushi “you guys are like you know actual good leadership… targeting you like that it doesn’t make sense”
“Unless the people aren’t from Alabasta” Smoker speaks up still looking thoughtful “an outside group would make more sense”
Sabo nodding a little but his frown stayed in place “Maybe, but…but” he glanced back at Crocodile looking even more confused “but why go after a country with a Shichibukai in it?”
“Right” Nami spoke up eyes wide in understanding “I mean Alabasta’s not the only country dust powder could have worked with there are other countries with the same climate, a lot of them actually…why would they attack a country that have one of the Shichibukai there are only seven right? So finding any other area without a Shichibukai would have been easy…”
The female marine spoke up eyebrows furrowed “then why go the trouble of attacking here when it wouldn’t be hard to find another similar country with far fewer problems”
Ace nodded at that looking confused “Yeah, literally any other country would have been way easier and less risky it’s a super dumb move” he paused eyes lighting up in realisation “unless”
Sabo caught on and finished the thought “there’s a reason why it has to be Alabasta” his frown deepened as he finished that thought “…but what?”
Crocodile felt his breath catch and heard the same response from Cobra over the den den mushi.
That would explain it.
But how would they…
He groaned and put his head in his hand…right if she was involved then…
That makes way to much sense.
The chorus of “Dad?” and “Uncle?” from all four of his kids pulled him out of his thoughts.
They were all looking between him and the den den mushi clearly having heard and noticed their reactions “there is something isn’t there?” Vivi asks her fury now more contained, bit by no means gone and Crocodile would feel sorry for whatever fool she finds first from this organisation but he doesn’t.
Crocodile nods and looks down at the den den mushi “Cobra?” he asks question clear in his tone.
There’s no response for a long moment, Cobra clearly in equal amounts of shock, well more so as he doesn’t know about how they could know…perhaps in hindsight he should have told him…maybe?
Hindsight…is kind of a bitch really.
But telling him could have lead to more problems.
Besides he can’t change anything now, and he has far more important things to think about right now then second guessing past choices.
“you…you should all get here as soon as possible, we have to…I” Cobra trailed off overwhelmed and Crocodile can't blame him.
“I’ll get us all there soon can you call everyone for me and let them know everything if these people are going after” he paused glancing at the marines “that then they’re going to do it with a big distraction and I’m betting it’ll be a violent one”
“Right, I’ll let the guards know as well… just…just keep her safe” he said and ended the call, Crocodile rolled his eyes.
He wonders ideally how long it’s going to take Cobras to realise Vivi doesn’t need anyone to protect her, she hasn’t for a long time.
“Um sorry?” Sanji asked eyebrow raised and suspicion clear “but what did you mean by ‘that’?” the majority of the straw hats, minus his kids, and the marines all looked more on guard after that.
Crocodile just shook his head standing up “It’s…not really my place to say” he’d promised Cobra with their initial agreement not to tell anyone about the Poneglyph, at least that Cobra didn’t agree to. All of his crew knew after all they’d all helped guard it at some point but Cobra had never agreed to the kids knowing because he hadn’t wanted Vivi to know and the kids would have told her…or maybe because he knew Luffy wasn’t great at lying “it’s best if Cobra explains it to you” he finishes as he begins walking to the door.
“Um excuse me Mr Sir Crocodile” he heard a small voice and glanced down to see the little deer looking up at him confused with big eyes and…how old is this kid? Do deer’s age differently? Is this a deer or some weird Zoan fruit user? And no! No! No need to worry the kids would not recruit a child onto their crew…well Vivi and Sabo certainly wouldn’t…he hoped.
Knocking that train thought off the rails for now he instead nodded down at the little deer, he’s very sure it’s a deer, just looked up confused “ um isn’t the palace really far away?”
He couldn’t help the smirk that slide across his face and he heard chuckles from behind him “don’t worry Chopper” Sabo said reassuringly “that’s not an issue”
“YAY SANDSTORM TRAVEL!” Luffy yelled grinning widely and he ran to the door, Crocodile catching him the hem of his jacket before he could run out giving him a long Luffy pouted “…I know no rubber powers while in the sandstorm” he glanced up seeing his dad’s expression he added with a grin “ I promise”
He let Luffy go and sprint outside shaking his head, he’d learnt after the first time travelling with Sables after Luffy got his powers fast manoeuvring sandstorm and rubber powers ended up with your youngest child thrown wildly in some random direction at a very high speed.
The straw hat pirates were all ushered out by Vivi and Sabo all of them with confused and still cautious expressions, glancing over his shoulder he saw Smoker and the other marine still standing awkwardly on guard Ace was looking between them all, Crocodile just smirked at his eldest son “well I’m not letting them stay in my casino unguarded” he says with a shrug and walks outside.
He doesn’t hear what Ace says next but he does hear Smokers angry shout, and the Ace follows after him with a large grin followed close behind by the marines, Smoker looking even more annoyed.
Crocodile holds out his palm with a nod to his kids who are all grinning.
“You may want to brace yourselves” Vivi calls out still grinning and quickly grabs Nami hand, making the other girl blush slightly “this can be a bit disorientating the first few times”
“Brace ourselves for what?” Zoro barely manages to call out before Crocodile yells.
There’s a cacophony of cries of alarm as the sandstorm picks out around all of them moving quickly in the direction of the palace.
They arrived with little fanfare, and a lot of very dizzy pirates and marines.
“Please never do that again” Usopp pleaded and he cloappsed on to the floor, followed soon after by his fellow straw hats.
Sanji groaned trying to sit up holding his head “or at least give some warning”
“I said sandstorm travel” Luffy said tilting his head as he kneeled down by the dog pile made up of most of crew.
“Yeah but” Sanji began but stopped himself and just flopped down in defeat still clutching his head.
Crocodile swallows down a laugh at that, instead his attention is drawn to the little deer whose stumbling about legs unsteady…and the baby deer joke doesn’t go unnoticed, he sends a wave of sand to steady him, the little one let’s one a small “thank you” as he leans against the wave of sand.
The doors swung open and Cobra stood there eyes wide and panicked, as soon as his gaze landed on Vivi he was running to her side and pulling her into a tight hug.
“Hi dad” Vivi whispered voice raw and full of emotion as she hugged him back
Cobra made a small sobbing noise that cut off.
Neither moved for what felt like an eternity before.
“…Dad, I’m a pirate you can’t ground me”
“Just watch me”
Crocodile cleared his throat breaking up the reunion his eyes locking with Cobra’s and the other man blinked his tears away face morphing in a worried expression again.
“I think we have some explanations to give” he said nodding in the direction of the others.
Cobra’s shoulders just sagged and he nodded, giving a cautious look at the marines and Crocodile understood the sentiment but…as soon as they mentioned all the details as soon as they reported back the government would easily be able to figure out why…at least this way they might understand why broadcasting about the Polneglyph was a utterly awful idea.
He really hopes this isn’t a mistake.
Locking eyes with Cobra he just gives a small nod and the King takes a deep breath.
“Do any of you know about the Polneglyphs”
He REALLY hopes this isn’t a mistake.
They end up sitting in the meeting room everyone still processing the idea of Pluton.
“At least we know why you wanted to invade Alabasta originally right dad” Ace says jokingly, though the tones clearly a little forced.
“Wait what?" the majority of the straw hats, Smoker and Tashigi all say in response eyes widening and turning to Crocodile, who just gives a small nod to Ace's question and completely ignores the others looks.
Ace just waves them off “Originally dad gave up on that years ago” he said dismissively.
He see's some of them still with mouths open clearly still wanting more answers but Vivi cuts them off.
“Ignoring the fact we basically live on top of a weapon of unimaginable horror” Vivi says in a voice that is much calmer than she is actually is, Crocodile can still see the rage present beneath her composure “how did this group even find out about this?” Vivi pauses glancing at him thoughtfully “Uncle how did you find out?”
Crocodile felt all the eyes turn to him again, he just gives a small shrug “good informant network” he says it as nonchalantly as he can.
He has no desire whatsoever to go into exactly when he got the lead, or anything about his ‘family’ history…also he’s nearly positive another family reveal like that would overload the brains of his kids crew.
Cobra gave him a small glare that Crocodile didn’t even acknowledge, the king eventually looking away and rubbing his temples “yes well…that still leaves the question of how this group knew about it”
He cringes internally this…will not be a fun conversation.
“I…may have an idea” he says at length, and he just feels the look Cobra is sending him.
“Anyone here heard of Nico Robin?”
That’s about the reaction he was expecting.
Sorry for the delay next chapter and conclusion of Alabasta will be out between the 19th and 21st.
With Badass Vivi, Robin, Smokers moral dilemma and leaving Alabasta.
Chapter 12: Alabasta Part 3
Massive apologises that this is late, things got a bit messed up these past few days.
Here is the last bit of the Alabasta Arc.
Smoker has to answer some questions, Vivi is not to messed with and Cobra will remember this.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“NICO ROBIN?” Crocodile had just finished his explanation when Cobra and the marines both cried out the woman’s name.
He could only roll his eyes he didn’t know what he was expecting. Well that’s a lie this he was expecting this.
“NICO DEVIL CHILD ROBIN!” Cobra almost screamed his face seeming a shade of red from anger that Crocodile could rarely ever get it to turn “WHY DIDN’T YOU SAY ANYTHING? DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT WOMAN’S CAPABALE OF? WHY DIDN’T YOU SAY ANYTHING”
Crocodile just sent the king a sharp glare “You just said why I didn’t yourself” that seemed to throw Cobra off kilter and stop his angry rant, for now at least. Shaking his head he continued before the other man could start up again “what’s the name on her wanted posters Cobra”
The king stares at him for a long moment before answering “Nico ‘Devil Child’ Robin I don’t see”
He cuts him off “Exactly Devil CHILD” he draws out the last word and keeps staring at the man “how old is the girl in her initial wanted poster?”
There’s silence in the room the King doesn’t answer but his expression is changing to thoughtful as Crocodile keeps talking “she’s a child, a young child who the government is only after because she can read Poneglyphs, no other reason!” he says firmly and swallows down his anger “This is someone who has been hunted all her life because she knows something that the government doesn’t want her to, she’s been tried to kill for no reason other than she just learnt something” he leans back and tries to calm himself “Do you think she should be killed for that?”
The King is still silent but sits down shaking his head sighing before he continues “…that doesn’t change that right now she’s very well working with this group to attack Alabasta”
Crocodile just nods and the King sighs again looking at the papers in front of him “We need to both stop this group and protect the Poneglyph”
“We’ll beat them up” Luffy happily chimes in completely unaffected by the tense atmosphere of the room.
“Oh we’ll do more than beat them up” Vivi adds smirk crawling across her face.
Cobra makes a choking sound and stares at Vivi whose face falls and then shifts into a glare.
Crocodile closes his eyes knowing exactly what this is going to descended into.
“YOU’RE NOT FIGHTING THEM!”
“YOU’RE RIGHT I’LL KILL THEM”
“YOU’RE NOT MURDERING ANYONE!”
“YES I AM”
“YOU’RE A PRINCESS VIVI”
“I’M A PIRATE”
“PRINCESS DON’T KILL VIVI”
“YOU CLEARLY HAVEN’T MET THAT MANY PRINCESSES”
This will not be ending anytime soon.
The rest of the croups sans the Nefertari family members, they could still hear the pairs arguing as they walked down the hall. It’s very impressive since Crocodile knows that room is soundproof.
He tosses the Kids a den den mushi “go call your Aunts and Uncles” he instructs “they should be able to help you all with the offensive side”
Sabo looks down at the den den mushi nodding in understanding “you’re going to guard the Poneglyph aren’t you?”
“They’re probably going to try and sneak in while the rest of them cause a big distraction” he explains smirking “I’ll just trip them at the finish line as it were”
“AWWWW” Luffy groans crossing his arms “No fair I wanna beat them up”
Ace rolls his eyes “There will be plenty of people to beat up Lu”
“Yeah but the main guys will go for pluthingy right?” Luffy pouts “And I wanna punch the main guys in the face they’re jerks who made people hate Dad”
The rest of the Strawhats pause all turning to stare at Luffy.
“….He may actually have a point about the main guys going for the Poneglyph” Sanji slowly says looking shocked.
“Yeah” Nami agrees “Most of the jerks running things don’t seem to get their hands dirty when they have others to it for them” she says bitterly.
Tashigi speaks up “They also wouldn’t just send Nico Robin unaccompanied, their leader and maybe even other stronger members would accompany her” she speaks up and ducks her head when she realises all attention is on her “I doubt they’d trust her by herself” she adds mumbling.
“And I wanna punch them” Luffy exclaims over the woman’s mumbling.
He just rolls his eyes at his youngest son “If you want you can stay close by” he concedes and Luffy grins widely he makes a shooing motion “now go call the others and tell them to get over here”
The kids and their crew move down the hallway with their crew asking them ‘ok exactly who the hell are your aunts and uncles?’
Crocodile smiles fondly when he notices the presences still behind him glancing back he see’s Smoker and Tashigi still standing there staring at him, he meets their eyes.
“Go with them Tashigi” Smoker says not breaking eye contact.
The woman opens her mouth to protest but cuts herself off glancing between them a few times before walking after the Strawhats.
When they can no longer hear for footsteps Crocodile speaks “Anything you want to ask me?” he asks tone slightly mocking because he can’t quite help himself, also he has a feeling he knows what this is about.
The marine’s eyes narrow “you should have told someone that Nico Robin was here”
Yep that’s what he thought he glared back not trying to hide his annoyance “really should I have?”
The other seems to actually growl “YES! IF YOU HAD THIS WOULDN’T BE HAPPENDING YO”
“Tell me Smoker” He cuts the other off “would you kill a child just because they knew something they shouldn’t” his eyes narrow further because if this guy is another Akainu then there’s no way he’s letting him anywhere near his kids the marine with be a dried up corpse buried deep in the desert before he can even take a step in their direction.
Smoker actually glares back at that “OF COURSE I WOULDN’T I’M NOT A MONSTER!” he yells back offended.
Crocodile tilts his head thoughtful as the other keeps yelling.
“THIS IS BECAUSE OF WHAT SHE’S DOING NOW! WORKING WITH CRIMINALS AND PUTTING A WHOLE COUNTRY IN DANGER”
“And why do you think she’s doing that?” he asks slowly voice more calm now the other stops as he counties “I mean what else is she meant to do? She’s been branded a criminal worthy of execution since childhood face plastered everywhere” he pauses letting that sink in “hard to be an upstanding member of society with that starting hand don’t you think”
Smoker is silent anger seeming to disparate frowning “that…still doesn’t excuse what she’s doing now”
“No it doesn’t” he agrees leaning back “but can you see why she’s doing it?”
The other doesn’t answer.
Crocodile is about to leave let the man stew in his own thoughts but…
“Tell me something Smoker” he begins seriously “Would you kill a child who for because they know something they shouldn’t?”
The others head snapped up “I already said I’m not a monster”
Crocodile keeps their gaze locked “even if you were ordered to?”
The man doesn’t even pause “I’m not a monster” he repeats.
“What about because of who their parents are?” he questions “would you kill someone for who their parents are for their blood?”
The man growls offence and anger radiating off of his as he snaps “OF COURSE I WOULDN’T HOW MANY TIMES I’M NOT A MONSTER!” he yells hands clenched into fists.
Crocodile stares at him for another moment before smiling and nodding approvingly “Maybe his taste is completely terrible” he says thoughtfully before spinning his heel and walking in the direction his kids.
Leaving a very confused Marine standing there staring after him with no real idea what just happened.
Hours later after much planning and the kids, there crew and the marines all heading off to intercept this group, form the tactical attacks that would be happening when the riot started.
Yeah a fucking Riot!
Daz and the others had just found out about it.
He is so pissed off he didn’t know this was happening earlier.
His kids all assured him they’d all be fine, their crew had to…but he’s still made all his agents promise to spread out among the groups and make sure none of them get themselves killed.
Crocodile doesn’t know how reckless his kids crew are…and Luffy recruited them so better to make sure all bases are cover.
Right now he’s leaning near the Poneglyph eyes trained at the interest trying to ignore Cobra who insisted on also watching the Poneglyph.
And who has spent the entire time grumbling about Vivi fighting; it is taking all of his willpower not to point out that Vivi has been fighting for months, and that she’s been training for years.
Though Cobra has no idea about the latter and bringing that up now is not a good idea, he likes his hearing thank you very much.
“She shouldn’t be out there” Cobra grumbles again.
“Vivi is more than capable of taking care of herself” Crocodile repeats and that is a massive understatement.
“She’s a princess” the king repeats his excuse of an 'argument'.
“Yes a Princess who can also kill people very easily” he rolls his eyes and hopes something gets him out of this soon, anything.
“Well well well” a deep voice echo out around them the two of them spin around seeing a man walking in to the tomb wearing a thick black coat, in the middle of the desert really? He has a familiar woman behind him with a schooled expression her eyes locked on the Poneglyph behind them clearly trying to already read it.
Crocodile’s eyes are on her and he sees the moment she can read it and how her shoulders fall and the look of defeat over her face that she quickly covers up but he sees it.
The man in front of them is still talking but Crocodile is only half paying attention, he’s only repeating what they already know until.
“We the new revolutionary army will destroy the blood of the dragons and”
He blinks slowly glancing at Cobra who has the same expression on his face.
“Bullshit” he says automatically knocking the man off guard because…
Ok look Dragon is stupid, impulsive a complete dumbass but…
He’s not this much of a dumbass.
He’s 85% sure…
Ok no 89% because if Dragon was this much of a Dumbass he’d straight up be attacking Mariejois head on.
“I have a feeling your more of a cheap imitation that the actual thing” he says mockingly and can see the man twitch in anger “what were your ideas to revolutionary for the revolutionaries” he can see Cobra sending him a pleading look out the corner of his eyes asking him to just shut up but…. “or we’re you just that pathetic that not even they wanted you”
He can’t help himself.
And he’s clearly hit a nerve the man is shaking and reaches up to rip of his cloak…
Revealing armour covered in small flecks of sea stone.
Cobra jumps behind a pillar cursing to himself.
That sand bastard!
Oh if he thinks Cobra is ever letting this go he is dead wrong!
Hell he may just be dead in a few minutes.
Because the fool decided to irate the dangerous criminal who was wearing sea stone!
He is NEVER LETTING THIS GO!
If the bastard lives he will be using this to win every argument for the rest of his natural life.
And that may not be very long. Since the tomb appears to shaking because the criminal is currently throwing Crocodile against the walls and pillars that are HOLDING UP THE CEILING!
If he dies here he is going to KILL Crocodile.
Jerking out of the way of a falling piece of rock he closes his eyes.
He just hopes Vivi is ok.
His poor daughter she’s probably fighting for her life.
What if she gets hurt?
What if she dies?
He doesn’t mind dying as long as Vivi is ok.
Why did she have to go off with those kids? Why did she throw away her future!
She shouldn’t be fighting.
She’s his precious baby girl.
She’s a princess.
His internal monologue is cut off as a section of the roof caves in…and Luffy comes crashing down along with Vivi.
Luffy instantly running to his father’s side helping him stand as Crocodile calls out a warning about the sea stone.
The man was about to round on the devil fruit users when a fall of metal crossed his vision and suddenly wire was wrapped around his neck.
He turned and stared at Vivi confidently standing there with a dark dangerous smirk on her face as she holds her Peacock Slasher.
He stares in bewilderment as his daughter approaches the man confidently pulling the wire tighter around the others neck creating a cut “so how immune does that fancy armour of your make you to poison?” she asks sweetly.
She can most definitely kill someone.
It doesn’t take much longer for everyone to clean house the ‘new revolutionary army’ may be good at planning but in actual combat…well.
When up against Baroque Works, the Straw hats and some Marines…
They’d pretty much been decimated.
Other then Nico Robin who after Luffy had dragged her out of the collapsing tomb had seemingly vanished.
The real issue afterwards had been the paperwork and damage control from the misinformation that had been fed to the country.
And of course Cobra is making him help with the paperwork.
Because “Well our ancestral tomb and Pluton has all but been destroyed but because you decided to antagonise the person decked out sea stone and be used as a battering ram”
…He has a feeling that’s not going to go away anytime soon.
Seriously what type of fucker uses sea stone armour?
That was a really good idea.
A painfully good idea.
His jaw still hurts.
The kids are staying around for a day or 2 before leaving a Alabasta as Smoker and Tashigi may have not to subtly hinted as they were leaving that other Marines have been dispatched and would be arriving in a day or two at the latest and maybe they shouldn’t be here when that happens.
He’s actually annoyed to admit he likes them.
It’s a shame that they’re Marines.
A loud bang as Cobra drops more papers in front of him pulls him out of his thoughts “I’ve got something to do” the king says before quickly leaving.
“OH YEAH LET THE PERSON WITH ONE HAND DO ALL THE PAPER WORK” he calls out after him but he’s no response.
When he glances out the window a few minutes later and sees Cobra and Vivi talking on the balcony and the pair of them grinning.
Cobra doesn’t protest when Vivi heads off with the rest of them to go towards the ship.
Crocodile really hopes this is an end to the rants…or at least the ‘my daughter the princess rants’.
“So revolutionary army” Sabo brings up as the 3 of his sons all sit around his desk still covered in papers.
He sighs and leans back “technically ‘new revolutionary army’ I don’t there connected at all” he folds his arms glancing at them each “do your crew know?”
“Know what?” Luffy asks leaning back head tilted in confusion.
Ace and Sabo groaned “The asshole you’re related to” Ace muttered shaking his head.
Luffy blinked slowly and Crocodile swallowed a laugh “may need to more specific there” he said grinning.
“Dragon” Sabo clarified…or tried to as Luffy just kept staring blankly with a weak sigh he added “your other dad”
“OH that asshole” Luffy said nodding in understanding as his brothers shook their heads “Right he’s part off the whole revolution thingy right”
He didn’t stop the laugh this time and just nodded “he’s the one behind it Luffy yes” glancing at his elder sons “I’m guessing your crew doesn’t know”
“No one but Vivi” Sabo confirmed.
Ace gasped smile pulling across his face “could you imagine their reaction! Sabo we can’t tell them it will be amazing!”
The blonde shot him a pleading look and Crocodile could only give a sympathetic smile in return as Ace kept laughing at the mental imagine and Luffy kept looking confused.
He’d missed this.
The Marines showed up sooner than expected, the kids were all in the Going Merry and ready to go they’d all said their goodbyes, the ships cook and Sabo having to drag the swordsman away from Daz who was determined to have a fight with.
Crocodile felt his eyes narrow as he saw the cage springing from the marine ship blocking the kids exit “Black Cage Hina” he said thoughtfully glancing back at the others “looks like you were right Bentham” the other just grinned holding out his hands as the others all passed Beli over with some annoyed grumbles.
“Told you” he said in a sing song tone as he pocketed the Beli “Luckily the plan for her should work fine” he smiled.
Crocodile smirked and glanced back at Gem nodding at the man who was already holding the 2 bombs.
Smoker stood near the edge of the ship unable to keep the frown of his face, this seemed wrong…the Strawhats were pirates, as well as complete menaces but…but they’d just helped save Alabasta…they’d helped them and now they were going to capture them.
It doesn’t feel right.
Tashigi clearly felt the same she was looking just as conflicted and uncomfortable with the whole situation as him.
He looked away from Hina who was currently using her power to cut off any escape for the straw hats and his eyes caught site of the side of cliff.
It looked like tunnels had been dug through them and they were barely standing…almost as if.
His eyes widened in realisation, and he heard the gasp next to him from Tashigi who had also noticed.
The pair of lock eyes in a silent conversation, before they both turn their head forward avoiding looking at the cliffs.
Neither say anything.
They’d almost caught the Straw hats when two small bangs caught the Marines attention they turned in time to see the cliff face next to behind to collapse on top of them in a giant mud slide that covered the ship burying some marines and stopping Hina’s cage in its tracks.
By the time they’d pulled themselves free the Strawhats we’re back in the open ocean.
Neither Tashigi and Smoker said anything and all the others the we’re too busy cursing and yelling to notice if the pair shared a satisfied smile.
Sorry again for the delay the next chapter should be up by the 5th.
It will be a chapter of calls from the Grand Line (and Sky Island)
Also sorry didn't show the team up fights they will be in the second Baroque works interlude that I will get round to eventually.
Chapter 13: Calls from and around Sky Island
Hey sorry this is a day or so late will try to get more on track by next update.
Here are the calls from the sky island arc of this AU.
Crocodile is slowly adopting more kids and he has to deal with all of their insanity.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“Did you know Nico Robin was on the ship?”
The call comes through a little over an hour after the Going Merry disappeared from view.
Crocodile hums noncommittally, which is an answer enough for his kids.
Sabo sighs and he can hear him leaning back “…how much more of a target are we going to have on our back now?”
“Well” he takes a moment to answer “ no more than Luffy and Ace would have gotten you in a few months anyway”
He almost drops the Den Den Mushi when he next picks it up as Luffy’s excited cry of “SKY ISLAND!!” reverberates through the ship and he can hear yelps of surprise even outside the room.
“I think your dad may be deaf now” he hears Usopp say in the background.
Ace snorts in response “please Dads used to it”
He gives a flat look that he hopes the Den Den Mushi is able to convey “Hello Luffy”
Luffy’s inhale for another cry is cut off and the Den Den Mushi’s expression changes as Vivi snatches it away in attempt to save all of their ear drums “hey Uncle so we found a map to Sky Island”
He raises an eyebrow at that.
“We were wondering what you knew about it?” Vivi askes excitement evident in her tone.
Pausing he racks his brain for any additional information “I only know what I’ve already told you kids before” he can hear confused noises and clarifies “the stories, from when you were younger” he smiles faintly at the wave of nostalgia, he remembers telling them all this story, telling them all countless stories as the boys and later Vivi as well stared up wide eyed in awe at the countless stories from all across the blues and the Grandline.
“Oh” He hears Sabo exclaim and his smile grows before he can try to stop it Sabo had always been the one awake long after his brothers and Vivi fell asleep asking more questions and wanting more details and asking more stories “Norland right?” Sabo says and his voice get’s far away “but if this map is real he was telling the truth and everything…” he trails off before declaring firmly “we’ve got to find it”
“Ok, but again that raises the question of how?” he hears Nami sigh in agitation, very understandable for a navigator being told to find an island in the sky.
“Eh we’ll figure something out” Ace says dismissively “I mean we have a map”
“OF" Nami exclaims frustration growing with each word "we have a map of the island not one of how to get to the island”
“We’ll figure it out” Ace shrugs and he can hear the navigators growl of anger.
Crocodile shakes his head “Someone without a devil fruit please be ready to jump in after Ace when she throws him overboard” he says calmly and smirking at the chorus of ‘not it’ from Sabo and Vivi and affronted squawks from the other non devil fruit users.
He’s been forced to report in to marine headquarters, sure he’d had a small debrief with Sengoku but after that it ends up being more of a catch up with Tsuru and Garp, the former of whom just shakes her head and the latter who groans head in his hands at the knowledge of his grandsons exploits.
Of course, he doesn’t reveal to much at all even though there’s no way either will go after the kids, he’s still keeping his cards to his chest.
The events in Alabasta are going to be covered up entirely for the most part, as the marines don’t want the knowledge of more groups like the revolutionary army being active to surface.
Honestly, he's just glad they haven't tried to pin the chaos on the straw hats because if they had...
Well he'd probably do something very stupid and ill-advised.
Leaning back in his chair as he finishes off the last few reports he’s caught off guard by the Den Den Mushi it’s far later than any of the kids normally call him, he’s already pulling out the Vivre cards while he answers.
There’s silence on the other end and he feels worry rise in his throat even the whole cards don’t let it disparate.
“Why?” the singular word catches him off guard for a moment before the voice registers and he feels himself calm down, he’d been expecting a call from Nico Robin after all.
“You’re going to have to more specific” he says at length and the unimpressed silence is answer enough.
Rolling his eyes because the answer should be obvious “because I don’t think a child should be punished because of what they know or who their parents are” he says simply.
The other end of the line is dead silent.
He wonders if this is the first time she’s heard this, and he remembers a tiny freckled child with wide eyes as he tells him that his blood doesn’t make him a monster and knows what he has to do.
“You deserve to live” he states that simple fact, something she should know, and there’s a sound on the other end he can’t tell if it’s a shuddered breath or a sob.
The click of the Den Den Mushi hanging up also instead a surprise, Nico Robin is an adult and she’s spent her entire life with that mind set. It makes him wonder, what if he hadn’t found Ace, what if he’d…
Shaking his head to dislodge those thoughts he leans back into his chair and stares out the window at the dark sea outside and feels himself smile.
He may not be able to convince Robin but, but if anyone could it would be Luffy.
The next call comes when they’re sailing away from the marine base, staring out the window in his office watching another ship sail off as well.
Apparently the Alabasta situation had been deemed worthy of a Shichibukai meeting, which meant that….
He’d spent the entire meeting, trying to avoid looking at the other Shichibukai…
Which hadn’t worked.
They’d locked eyes at the end and…
When the other had made a move to talk to him, to stop him as he was leaving…
His hand clenched into a fist by the blues he’s wanted to…but…
But he still sees the reports about the children raised as weapons…
He still sees the reports of the ever growing human auction houses…
So he walked away and forced himself not to look back.
It was the right thing to do.
It was the smart thing to do.
But it still fucking hurts.
But he still wanted…
His swirling thoughts are cut off by the ringing of the Den Den Mushi, the sound grounds him enough for him to push those longing thoughts away back into the back of his mind, because they’ll never leave, and instead focuses on answering the Den Den Mushi.
Again it’s none of his kids voices that answer him.
“WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR SON?” Nami’s yell rings trough the Den Den Mushi.
“…you’re going to have be more specific”
“WHAT IS WRONG WITH LUFFY?”
“…again you’re going to have to be more specific”
He leans back as the navigator let’s out an exasperated growl and starts explaining about how Luffy, and other crew members had let themselves be ruffed up by some pirate in the town rather than fighting back.
Ideally he glances down at the Vivre card and see’s no change clearly these pirates were nothing to worry about.
Though listening to the navigator on the phone clearly this had upset her greatly “it’s because they weren’t worth it” he answers simply when the other has finished her rant.
“But” she begins frustration evident in her voice.
“If Luffy and the others beat up every idiot who gave them a hard time they’d be no one left…also a lot of property damage” he added thoughtfully “ he didn’t fight back because he knows it wasn’t worth it if the idiot did go too far he would have trust me”
There’s a long beat of silence as the girl thinks this over before “I wish Ace had been there he would have just set them on fire”
“Oh definitely” he agrees and the girl laughs a bit.
“Um sorry for using their Den Den Mushi I just” she pauses clearly searching for words “needed to ask someone who speaks Luffy”
Crocodile snorts at that shaking his head “he knows what he’s doing more than people give him credit for…not all the time of course” he adds because, Luffy does undeniably have his moments of obliviousness “and don’t worry about using the Den Den Mushi I think the kids all forget that they actually have it sometimes and it's good to know they’re not doing anything to stupid” he sees the Den Den Mushi relax a bit at that. Clearly even after the entire Alabasta incident the rest of the straw hats were still worried about the dangerous Shichibukai.
It's kind of nice to know he can still seem intimating even after they've seen Luffy, Ace, Sabo and Vivi all clinging to him.
“Oh and by the way” he adds smirking darkly “what did this idiot who messed with them look like?” because if Luffy doesn’t put this idiot in his place well…Crocodile is a lot more petty than his sons, and a lot more vicious.
The smirk drops at the full description of the man… or more accurately description of their flag.
Even when he tries to push that damn bird out of his thoughts he finds a way to get back in.
The next call is also from Nami.
Her tone is bright as she happily informs him “Just to let you know you don’t need to kill the guy now Luffy dealt with him” she pauses before “I mean if you still want to kill him go for it he was an asshole”
He hears Sabo’s familiar voice in the background “Nami… are you calling my dad?”
“…why are you calling my dad?”
“Because your brother was being an idiot”
“Going to have to more specific…also if you’re going to call him every time either of them is an idiot then you’re never going to be off the phone”
Crocodile listens to the sniping back and forth and tries to focus on that.
He tries not to think about the fact that the kids will now be on Doflamingo’s radar if they weren’t already.
He tries not to think about it.
Long after the call ends his thoughts are still a maelstrom of possibilities, it’s getting harder and harder to push the thoughts and worries away.
He tries not to think about what happens when he can’t push them away anymore.
The next call is more of exited squeal from Luffy that explains “SKY ISLANDSSS REALLL” before he’s cut off by static and the sound of rushing water and when he tries to call back for context ….but the Den Den Mushi can’t get through.
All he's met with is static and a dial tone.
Blind panic overtakes him and the worry doesn’t subside even when he’s staring at the Vivre cards in his hands.
There’s not another call for a while and his nervous energy seems to be infecting the others as well, even when back in Alabasta his mind is a reeling mess.
Even Daz has given him some space as his worry has started to effect his calm second in command whose been looking over his shoulder at the vivre cards almost as much as he has been.
When the Den Den Mushi finally rings he snaps it up before the first ring has finsished.
“DAD” it’s Ace’s voice and he feels himself relax for first time in days “FINALLY IT'S WORKING OK THINGS ARE CRAZY!! AND THE DEN DEN MUSHI WASN’T WORKING! AND”
“LUFFY’S FIGHTING A GOD” the scared wobbly voice of the little reindeer rings out cutting Ace off.
“I don’t think he’s actually a god” Robin’s speaks in an attempt to be reassuring.
“But he does have a fucking Logia” Ace hissed “things are crazy! … On the plus side though we were totally right about the Island so yeah”
“Nami and Vivi are there to” Chopper's speaks up voice wavering like he's about to start crying and even theDen Den Mushi looks close to tears “he’s really strong he could really hurt them and we’re not I can’t” his words become more jumbled as the sounds of sobs increase.
Crocodile takes a deep breath trying to take in all the information and calm himself down before addressing the others “ok everyone calm down it’ll be ok” it’s mostly directed at Chopper the Den Den Mushi’s eyes are wide and filled with tears as it echoes the little reindeers sobs “just explain who is Luffy fighting”
“His names Enel” Robin explains, clearly the calmest “he claims to be a God and has been oppressing the people here he is very powerful and has a logia”
“What logia?” Crocodile presses as his mind works a mile a minute trying to assess the situation, how Luffy would fare against different types of Logia’s and
“Lightning” Ace answers “which fucking hurts” he adds with the grumble of someone who has been on the receiving end of a logia attack recently.
He lets himself relax and can’t quite stop the laughter that bubbles up as realisation fully hits him.
“DAD?” Ace exclaims voice laced with confusion.
In takes a moment for him to compose himself enough to answer “Luffy will be fine” he reassures them more confidently this time.
“Bu but” Chopper stumbles over words and the tears on the Den Den Mushi increase to a dangerous level so Crocodile quickly continues.
“Luffy is rubber” he says and it takes a moment but he hears Robins voice catch and her to snort of amusement as understanding sinks in.
It takes another moment for Ace.
“Oh…OH FUCK!!” his son dissolves into hysterics and finally manages to choke out “Oh Luffy is going to destroy him”
Crocodile smirks and is honestly very disappointed that this is a fight he doesn’t get to see, he’ll have to ask Vivi and Luffy about it later.
He’s looking forward to hearing all about this when the kids back to the ground…
He wonders ideally exactly how they’re going to get back down from Sky Island?.
When the kids are all back on the ground he thought that things would be calmer.
“AOKIJI IS A DICK!”
“HE’S REALLY SCARY IS HE GOING TO FOLLOW US? WAS HE LYING? DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE ADMIRALS?”
“UM MR CROCODILE DO YOU KNOW HOW HIS ICE WORKS? ROBIN GOT FOZEN AND”
“IS SHE STILL ALIVE???”
“HOW DO YOU DEFROST SOMEONE?”
“UNCLE CAN I KILL AN ADMIRAL?”
“HELL NO I GOT DIBS VIVI I’M FIRE IT’LL BE EASY”
“I DON’T THINK THAT’S HOW IT WORKS ACE”
“CAN YOU ALL ARGUE ABOUT THIS AFTER ROBIN IS NO LONGER FROZEN SOLID”
He takes a deep breath and stress at the Den Den Mushi as the entire straw hat crew attempt to talk over each other.
Calm will clearly never be norm.
He doesn’t know why he was ever expecting anything less than utter chaos.
Next chapter should be up by the 19th (20th at the latest)
Next chapter will be calls from water 7 and the straw hats meet Garp.