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Corporate Cues

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BUSINESS START!

“How on Earth are we ever going to move all this stuff to the new building?” A brown haired man in a white blazer looked up at a large room filled to the brim with paperwork.

“Well that’s probably why Marco put out that Help Wanted ad and started reviewing applications, huh, Thatch?”

“Don’t patronize me, Haruta! I know that we are hiring some extra help for the summer but even with that, this is still a lot!” Thatch threw his arms into the air exasperatedly; looking at all the paper like it was going to eat him.

“Hahaha. Come on, Thatch! You know Marco has a good instinct when it comes to finding new hires!” Haruta laughed, their hair fluttering as they did so.

“Yeah but…Pops wants to hire some kids like us, right?” Thatch spoke quietly, moving a box from the two carts they brought with them to the towering piles of deadly paperwork.

“So? What’s that got to do with anything?” Haruta’s brows furrowed as they started carrying boxes from their own cart.

“We were delinquents Haruta! How much help could two delinquents be?!” Again Thatch threw his hands into the air, wincing as one of the stacks swayed dangerously.

“Very helpful if you’re looking at delinquents who are in college, yoi.” Speak of the devil and he shall appear it seems.

The blond in the doorway wearing a nice three piece suit with gelled back hair looked at his two siblings with exasperation.

“Why would delinquents go to college?” Haruta questioned, their steps slowing as they looked to the ceiling for the answers.

“Exactly. If they’re in college then they obviously want to do something more with their lives, yoi. Or are determined to at least try.” Marco sighed, pulling off his suit jacket and hanging it over the single chair in the paperwork room.

Rolling up the sleeves of his white button up, Marco walked over to Haruta’s cart and lifted one of the heavier paperwork boxes.

Thatch smiled widely while he watched his brother help them out. Marco always had to look professional as one of the faces of the Whitebeard Corporation so it was nice to see him doing some manual labor. Not that Marco particularly tried to get out of the heavy lifting but because many of the partners didn’t like seeing someone who is supposed to be their equal doing something they think is beneath them.

“So what did you find out about our candidates?” Thatch lifted a box from his own cart as he questioned his brother.

Marco sighed heavily at the question, setting the box in his arms down and rubbing his temple.

“It was a bit difficult to find cause both of them have sealed juvenile records, but I did dig up something interesting, yoi.”

“Oh?” Haruta questioned, their eyes sparkling in glee at the chance to add more info to their endless collection of blackmail material.

“Yeah. One of them, Sabo Triste, doesn’t have any arrests but has almost sixteen citations just for assault, yoi.”

“Holy shit.” Thatch and Haruta intoned together as they looked at Marco with wide eyes. The blond simply shrugged and kept moving boxes.

“Yeah, he also has a few for shoplifting, dine and dashing, and one for vandalism.”

“How many is a few?” Thatch spoke loudly, his voice echoing in the large room causing him to wince at the wobbling stacks.

“Well in the record it said there was a total of twenty-seven citations, yoi. But-”

“But nothing, Marco! I know we wanted delinquents like we were but twenty-seven citations?!” Haruta was shocked at their brother. Twenty-seven is a big number and sixteen of them for assault? If any of their rivals found the file after WB Corp hired the kid then the backlash would be huge.

“You didn’t let me finish, yoi.” Marco glared at his sibling and Haruta had the decency to look apologetic of the fact.

“He has twenty-seven citations but he graduated high school as valedictorian, yoi.”

Thatch dropped the box he was holding and shortly after screamed as it landed on his foot.

“How the hell?? Even you weren’t valedictorian, Marco! Hell you were barely in the top ten percent!” Haruta was just as shocked as their brother.

“Exactly, yoi. So he’s worth the risk of his record. It’s the other one I’m worried about, yoi.” Marco hesitated in picking up the next box, one of the last four between the two carts.

“If you’re worried then don’t hire him, feather butt. The valedictorian will be plenty of help.” Thatch laughed as he grabbed another box, limping away and running into the door frame on accident due to the height of his load and his sore foot.

“I can’t, yoi.”

“Sure you can, Marco. Pops’ll understand.” Haruta pushed their now empty cart off to the side before grabbing the second to last box on Thatch’s cart.

“It’s not about Pops, yoi. Sabo Triste stated in his application that he’ll refuse the job if the other candidate isn’t offered a job as well.” Marco sighed out, hefting the last box.

Once again both of the siblings looked at their brother with wide eyes. Haruta and Thatch shared a glance before Thatch opened his mouth to ask the obvious question.

“So why are you worried about the other applicant? What did he, or she, do?”

Haruta sat down on the empty cart as they watched Marco set down the last box, their eyes glinting with excitement once more.

“Ace D. Portgas actually has arrests in his record…nine of them, yoi.”

Marco walked over to collect his jacket as his siblings processed what the blond said. It seemed like Haruta digested the info easier so they opened their mouth and spoke hesitantly.

“Yeah but they’re juvenile arrests. You know that cops tend to overreact to juveniles doing illegal things. Maybe Sabo Triste has a father that paid for the arrests to be written down as citations?”

“I thought of that too, yoi. But Ace D. Portgas has thirty-three citations on top of those arrests.” Marco sighed out, leaning against the door frame and closing his eyes as he leaned his head back.

“What the hell? How do you even get that many?” Thatch’s eyes bugged as he added that up in his head.

“Forty-two run-ins with the police as a juvenile? No one is that bad at getting away.”

“What are they even for?” Haruta questioned while hopping off of the cart.

“The arrests are for arson actually, yoi.”

At that Thatch stopped paying attention to what he was doing and tripped over thin air and slammed into the firm carpeted floor.

Despite the seriousness of the situation, Haruta could not stop themselves from laughing their ass off at the fallen brother.

Marco just sighed and pushed Haruta out of the way so he could help Thatch up off of the floor.

“You’re lucky the partners aren’t here, yoi.”

“Arson, Marco?! Arson?!! Why on Earth would you even consider this kid?” Thatch yelled as he took the offered hand and stood.

“Cause we don’t know the details, Thatch. Just that he was arrested for it, yoi. Besides. Sabo Triste and Ace D. Portgas are the only ones that are college students with delinquency in their history. They fit Pops’ requirements almost to a T, yoi. Besides, Sabo Triste is smart. He could end up working for us permanently. And if the only way we get him is by hiring Ace D. Portgas then we will, yoi.”

Thatch blinked at his brother while being simultaneously aware of Haruta riding down the hallway on the now empty cart.

“Soooo we are hiring a kid, with forty-two run-ins with the law, so that we can employ a kid who has twenty-seven run-ins with the law. Sometimes I understand nothing about anything.” Thatch’s arms were in the air again as he stomped over to the second cart, mumbling to himself as he followed his hyper sibling down the hallway.

“Don’t worry Thatch! They’re gonna be my responsibility anyway, yoi!”

The pompadour-sporting man just waved in response as he lazily walked around the corner and back to the only office that still had paperwork to be moved in it.

Marco sighed before he threw his jacket over his shoulder, he was already exhausted with the summer and it had barely even started. He really hoped Sabo Triste was worth the risk to the company…that he was worth hiring someone with Ace D. Portgas’ record.

The blond sighed again as he headed towards the elevators, his goal being the CEO’s office. Time to let Pops know that they found their summer workers and Marco knew the conversation was going to be a long one.

“This summer is gonna be too long, yoi.”

“You put what on your application?”

Across town in the point furthest from the business district, a strikingly good-looking black haired youth growled at a ridiculously pretty blond sitting across from him sipping tea.

“I wrote in the Additional Comments section that I would only consider the job if they offered you one too. Is your hearing going as well as your eyesight, Ace?” the blond chuckled as he enjoyed the smoothness of the Earl Grey going down his throat.

“My eyesight is not bad dammit!!” Ace yelled slamming his hand down on their rickety table and wincing as the leg gave out again.

The blond just chuckled again, pushing some hair out of his eyes as he saved his saucer from doom as it started sliding down the broken table.

Ace slumped back into his chair and sighed loudly, his arms crossing over his chest as he started to think of all the things wrong with his blond boyfriend.

“You just sabotaged yourself, Sabo.”

“I did no such thing, Ace.” Sabo growled back as he stood, heading for the rusty kitchen sink to put his nice porcelain cup in it for washing later.

“You did! What company would be stupid enough to hire me!” Ace yelled again, standing to walk over to Sabo, trying to convey just what was wrong with the situation.

“It’s not stupid to hire you, Ace! You have a brilliant mind!! You just don’t do well with restrictions and regulations!” Sabo yelled back, whirling to glare at Ace with fire in his baby blue eyes.

“What do you think a company is, Sab? It’s a building full of rules and restrictions!” Ace threw his hands up in the air and tried so hard to put enough logic in his argument that his boyfriend would let it go.

“No! I refuse to be the only one working a good job this summer!! You shouldn’t have to do all those odd jobs just to keep us in the house while we’re going to school!”

“Sabo…it’s fine, dammit. I knew I was never going to get a good job after high school anyway, even if I do somehow manage to get my bachelor’s degree.” Ace lowered his voice and looked down as he spoke, closing his eyes tightly.

“Ace…”

“No, Sabo. It’s fine. You already gave up a full ride to Goa University for me; I don’t want you to mess up your chances for working at a successful corporation, too.”

Sabo clenched his teeth as he walked over to Ace, his hands lightly holding on to both sides of his gorgeous boyfriend’s face. With a little force the blond was able to look into beautiful dark brown eyes and a bright smile flitted across his face.

“There is no giving up anything for you, Ace.” Ace had opened his mouth to respond but Sabo cut him off.

“Wait, let me finish.” The tan man shut his mouth and pouted at his slightly taller lover, waiting for the blond to try and make a point that Ace couldn’t shoot down.

“You are all that matters, Ace.” And that had Ace’s face going from its normal lovely tan to a bright red tomato.

“I would turn down a thousand full rides, every job opportunity, anything that other people consider a gift, just to be with you. I don’t want anything else but to be by your side. And if that means refusing a good job unless you get one too, then so be it. Understand?”

Ace’s red face nodded while still between Sabo’s soft hands and the blond smiled brightly. Then he brought the other’s face closer so he could lay a nice chaste kiss on those lovely red lips.

The two spent a moment just looking into each other’s eyes before Ace sighed again, hugging Sabo close and laying his now heavy head on the blonde’s slim shoulder. A kiss to the neck and a slight nuzzle was all the black-haired man could do before his narcolepsy took over and he was out like a light.

Sabo was hardly surprised as his lover was suddenly leaning on him, his full weight now on the blond, but he was used to it. He was a bit surprised though, it had been a long while since one of his attacks. Maybe he should talk to Law again about changing Ace’s prescription.

A sigh escaped his lips before he could stop it and Sabo blinked tiredly. Everything he told Ace was true, but then his boyfriend wasn’t wrong. Putting that stipulation on his application was a bit impulsive and probably ruined their chances at a job, but Sabo was so tired of seeing Ace running himself ragged every summer just for a bit of money.

This job wasn’t the best in the world, it was hardly more than minimum wage and wasn’t anything particularly stimulating. But it was with the Whitebeard Corporation, one of the biggest business companies in the city, and revered by businesses all over the nation. Having a job, even a manual labor summer job, there was a good step into that world.

Hell, future employers might overlook Ace’s juvie record if he could put the WB Corp on his resume. It wasn’t perfect but it was a start.

Still, Sabo should probably start looking for another job, for him and Ace. It was unlikely the biggest corporation in the city would hire two ex-juvenile delinquents for any kind of job, regardless of Sabo’s amazing high school qualifications.

A loud snore startled Sabo from his contemplations and he couldn’t help but laugh as he looked down at Ace’s sleeping face on his shoulder. Smiling gently, Sabo easily hefted Ace into his arms and headed to their bedroom towards the back of the house.

Despite all of his negative thoughts, Sabo still refused to be completely put out by Ace’s self-confidence issues. His boyfriend was smart, and while he barely made it into the top fifty percent of their high school class he could easily be on par with Sabo any day of the week.

Sabo was book smart, but Ace was everything else smart. Not to mention his ability to make a fire with literally anything was pretty damn impressive. He didn’t look like it but Ace had a wonderful grasp of chemistry and mechanics.

Maybe Sabo should convince Ace to switch from a Business major to a Chemistry major?

Head tilted as he thought about it, Sabo eventually decided it would be a bad idea. Chemists weren’t supposed to blow things up and that’s all Ace seemed to be able to do with chemicals so no chemistry in his future.

Walking through the doorless door frame to their room Sabo reminded himself that they still needed to buy a door for the space. Not that it really mattered. Luffy had moved out a few months ago and they never had guests so privacy wasn’t a big deal.

Looking down at his precious package Sabo reaffirmed his desire to get Ace into a good job for the summer. Nine arrests as a juvenile shouldn’t be a reason to not hire someone anyway.

But Sabo wouldn’t trade Ace for anything. The beautiful man was all he had and all he wanted. He chose Ace over his inheritance from his parents and his heirship to their company for a damn good reason.

A yawn broke Sabo’s odd train of thoughts and the blond decided that a nap sounded great right about now. He placed Ace down gently in the slightly creaky full sized bed, and pulled back the covers to snuggle in next to his personal furnace when he heard the annoying sound from the kitchen.

Damn did Sabo really hate the default ringtone on his cell. He should change it….

For a quick second Sabo debated ignoring the damn thing and going ahead with his plan to snuggle the crap out of Ace and enjoy a nap. But…it could be one of the places he and Ace applied for…damn responsibilities.

By the third ring Sabo was in the kitchen, glaring at the evil cellphone as he reached to pick the damn thing up.

Flipping it open without checking the number, Sabo spoke gruffly.

“Good afternoon, this is Sabo Triste; may I ask who is calling?”

It might have sounded overly polite to Ace and Luffy but Sabo was too ingrained to answer the phone that way that he never kicked it, even after he was disowned by his father.

“Uh…good afternoon? This is Izou Newgate from the Human Resources Department for the Whitebeard Corporation. Do you have a moment to talk about your application for the summer position?” the voice was smooth and light and Sabo blinked stupidly as he took in all of that information. WB Corp…called him?

“Hello?” the smooth voice spoke again and Sabo quickly went from Sabo, the uncouth kid with too many citations, to Sabo Triste, the once heir to a million dollar company.

“Oh sorry about that. I certainly do have time to discuss my application.  Do you have any questions about it?”

“I did, actually.”

Sabo took a deep breath and prepared for the question he knew was coming.

“How serious were you with what you wrote in the Additional Comments section?”

Of course. They were a huge company and, despite his run-ins with the law, Sabo was the valedictorian of one of the hardest high schools, academically, in the whole city. WB Corp probably wanted to see if they could get him to change the conditions of his hiring.

“Completely serious, sir. I refuse to accept a position at the Whitebeard Corporation unless you plan to offer a job to Ace D. Portgas as well.”

“That’s what he said you would say, but I had to double check.”

Sabo made a confused face as he listened to the soft speaking man. Who said what about him? He didn’t know anyone at WB Corp…

“Is there a reason that Ace D. Portgas’ home address is the same as yours?”

Oops…Sabo had actually forgot about that…he wasn’t planning on telling them that Ace and he were dating but then…he really didn’t think through the whole plan. Now they were going to think that he was just trying to get his boyfriend a job cause he can’t get one on his own…

Sabo just sighed and bit the bullet.

“Considering we have been dating for almost four years now…yes there is a reason as to why our home addresses are the same.”

The blond couldn’t help but hold his breath as he waited for the man on the phone to laugh and tell him there was no way either delinquent was getting a job at their office.

“Oh well that explains somethings I guess. I may be a bit hesitant about hiring two people with the records that you and your boyfriend have but I’m not the one hiring you.”

Sabo blinked a little stupidly, pulling the phone away from his ear as he looked at his old piece of crap flip phone with squinted eyes. What the hell was going on?

“I refuse to waste anymore of my time, so if you and your boyfriend could come in on Monday, that would be great.”

“I-what?” Sabo spoke dumbly, forgetting all of his manners as he tried to process what Izou Newgate was saying.

“You and your boyfriend are hired. Show up at the office on Monday. Wear something nice but easy to move in, there is going to be quite a bit of physical labor in store for you two. Your boss’s name is Marco. Have a nice day.”

Sabo opened his mouth, preparing to question this Izou Newgate extensively, but the man hung up immediately after his curt goodbyes.

“Well that was rude.” Sabo muttered to himself as he gave his phone another odd look. But no matter how he looked at the phone, nothing was really making sense.

He and Ace were…hired?

That…that really wasn’t anything he was expecting. He put the condition in the comments mostly cause Sabo didn’t want to have to see Ace’s face when an opportunity appears that the blond turns down, again, for his boyfriend.

But they were hired. At the Whitebeard Corporation. Ace wasn’t going to have to work shitty jobs this summer.

The smile that spread across Sabo’s face was large and reminiscent of Luffy’s.

Hardly allowing his excitement to fade, Sabo tossed his shitty phone onto the grimy counter and ran to the bedroom.

The sight of Ace sprawled out on the bed just served to make Sabo happier and he couldn’t hold back his happy laugh.

Ace groaned at the noise and rolled onto his side while muttering a quiet “Shhh Sabo”.

But Sabo wasn’t deterred; he just jumped onto Ace’s side and started tickling those lovely firm abs. It had the desired response as Ace shrieked before dissolving into loud laughs and giggles as Sabo continued to run his fingers down the firm sides.

“Stop stop stop! Sabo!” Ace yelled his face red with exertion and the blond stopped immediately. Despite his glee, there was nothing fun about tickling someone after they’ve said stop.

“What is up with you?” Ace asked, his chest rising and falling quickly as he tried to catch his breath.

“I’m happy, silly. And you were sleeping so I needed you to wake up so I could share the news.” Sabo smiled widely before leaning down and capturing Ace’s lips.

The brown eyed man’s face was lax and he shut his eyes lightly and leaned into the kiss.

Sabo’s hands shifted to Ace’s hips as the other wrapped muscled arms tightly around the blonde’s neck. Who responded by licking Ace’s bottom lip, insisting the man open his red mouth. Which he did.

Breathing lightly out of his nose, Sabo shifted down to where his body was completely covering Ace’s and shoved his tongue into his lover’s mouth.

Ace’s back arched and he tried to moan but Sabo’s mouth was firmly attached to Ace’s. He wanted to stay locked together with Ace as long as he possibly could.

“Mmmm.” Ace hummed through his nose as he relaxed completely into the bed, happy with Sabo’s affection despite not know why his boyfriend is doing so.

The dark-haired man let his lighter-haired lover continue to kiss him, curious about the reasonings but not enough to stop Sabo’s ministrations.

Finally Sabo slowed the kisses and just lay down on Ace, chuckling at the huff of air the man under him let out.

This time it was Sabo who tucked his head into his lover’s neck and Ace moved his hands to rub the blonde’s nice back.

“You gonna tell me what that was about?” Ace questioned as he subtly smelled the blonde’s longish hair, delighting in the smell of lavender.

“Are you complaining about a make-out session, Ace?”

The freckled man blushed brightly at the question, knowing it was often him who initiated such intimate moments. It wasn’t Ace’s fault though! Sabo was too attractive not to kiss dammit!

Sabo chuckled again, lifting his head out of Ace’s neck to place light kisses on the tan man’s cheeks and nose. The blond loves Ace’s freckles and his blush and can never resist kissing the man when the two combine.

Ace growled a little and lightly bit at Sabo’s ear when it came within attacking distance. Unfortunately this caused the blond to moan into Ace’s ear, who also moaned and arched his hips, groaning when crotch rubbed against crotch.

Immediately Ace released Sabo’s ear and turned from the other. He puffed his cheeks a bit as he tried to glare a hole into the wall. Sabo just laughed.

“Don’t laugh at me, dammit!” Ace utilized his slightly larger muscles to switch places with his lovely blond and smirked down at Sabo with a taunting smirk.

Sabo just smiles happily and firmly grasps Ace’s hips.

Forgoing his game, Ace just lays down on Sabo’s chest, putting his ear over Sabo’s heart to enjoy the soothing beat.

The blond smiled gently as he looked down at ebony locks, running a hand through the silky mess as he did.

Ace hums happily and closes his eyes as he enjoys the nice hands playing with his hair and the calming tha-thump tha-thump of Sabo’s heart.

However, despite the calm atmosphere that settled over the lovers, Ace was still endlessly curious about what caused Sabo’s exalted mood; especially when, before Ace’s nap, the blond was rather sullen.

“Sooo” Ace sang, laughing as Sabo jolts a bit under him at the sound.

“Sooo” Sabo repeated, locking blue eyes with brown.

“What has you in such a good mood? I mean, I’m not complaining, but it’s a complete one eighty from earlier.” 

“Oh Ace. I got the best news while you were sleeping.” The blonde’s wide smile meant it was some damn good news.

“The whole Outlook family died in a strange fire?”

“What? No!”

“Law proposed to Luffy?”

“How is that the best news? That wouldn’t even be news dammit!”

“Luffy proposed to Law?” Ace furrowed his brows a bit, almost running out of ideas.

“Really Ace?”

“Okay fine. Last guess…Nami renounced everyone’s debt?”

“That’s not news either, Ace…that’s impossible.”

“A man can dream.” Ace shrugged and nuzzled into Sabo’s chest as he waited for the blond to drop his bomb.

“The Whitebeard Corporation called me.”

That had Ace’s head snapping up from his comfortable resting place to look at Sabo with wide unblinking surprised eyes.

“What?”

“Yeap.” Sabo popped the ‘p’ as he spoke, his smile once again almost breaking his face.

“Someone from the Human Resources Department called Izou Newgate. Nice voice, but what a rude man.”

Ace smiled in return, though not as brightly as Sabo was, before he got off of the blonde’s chest and headed to their tiny old bathroom.

“Congradulations, Sabo. It’s great you got the job. I knew you would.”

At Ace’s dejectedly happy voice Sabo frowned, sitting up and leaning on his elbows as he looked at the bathroom door.

“What-” Sabo started but Ace cut him off with a statement that put everything into place for the blond.

“Guess I’ll have to start asking around the neighborhood to see if anyone can spare some cash for labor.”

“Ace…”

“No, it’s okay, Sabo. I’m glad you got the job.” As Ace left the bathroom a sad smile spread across his face.

“This’ll be really good for your future. And-”

“Ace, stop.”

The freckled man bit his lip at Sabo’s done and looked down at the ratty floor. Some footsteps could be heard but Ace still flinched when the blond wrapped his arms around Ace again.

“I don’t think you get it, Ace.” A hand trailed down Ace’s spine and landed on that plump ass as his tan boyfriend mumbled into the clothed chest and shook his head.

“I had conditions for hiring, remember?”

“Yeah, well, they obviously talked you out of it.” Ace whispered as he clutched Sabo’s nice-ish shirt in sweaty hands.

“No, they conceded to my condition. We start work on Monday.”

Ace blinked rapidly against Sabo’s chest trying to understand what the blond had said.

“What?”

“Yeah. Apparently our boss’s name is Marco.” Sabo kept his voice quiet while combing his hands through Ace’s hair again, knowing that it would take him a while to digest the news.

“But…”

“Don’t worry about it, Ace. We’ll see how the work is on Monday. If we don’t like it, or they treat you or me badly then we’ll quit, okay?” the blonde’s voice was still soft and soothing, hands lightly pulling out tangles as Ace was clearly contemplating Sabo’s words.

“It’s…been a long time since I’ve had an office job…” the freckled man spoke hesitantly, looking up slightly at Sabo through his eyelashes.

The younger of the two couldn’t help but smile widely, imagining Ace in a suit was always a fun pastime, but now Sabo got to actually see it. This job was good in ways that the blond didn’t even think of at first.

“The rude man on the phone said something nice but easy to move it. Seems we are doing some physical labor as well as the office work the description said it would be.” Sabo tilted Ace’s head to the side and placed a light kiss on the corner of his lover’s jaw.

Ace smiled and leaned slightly to give his blond a little more room to work. He closed his eyes and a thoughtful look appeared on his face and his brows furrowed a bit.

“So….khakis and a polo shirt?”

Sabo chuckled into Ace’s neck as he licked from the striking jaw down to his boyfriend’s clavicle, sucking lightly as he kneaded the lovely butt.

“More like slacks and a nice button down. Maybe a vest and tie. Mmmm. You’re going to look fantastic, love.”

The black-haired man chuckled softly and just enjoyed the sensations for a little while, not really worried about the hickies his lover was leaving, cause Sabo never left them anywhere too visible. But a sudden thought had him lightly tugging at the blond hair to get Sabo’s attention.

The disgruntled look on that lovely, if slightly scarred, face made Ace smile, but didn’t deter him from his statement.

“Sabo, I don’t own slacks…or a tie…or a vest…and I only have that one button-up from Robin and Franky’s wedding…”

Blue eyes blinked rapidly at Ace, the blank look causing the tan man to fidget slightly.

“Then we’ll get you some…even better…suit shopping…”

“Hahano.” Ace glared at his boyfriend, not amused at all.

“We have to, Ace.”

We don’t have the money for that.”

“Vivi owes us anyway.”

“Really, Sabo?”

“Shut up and let me love you, dammit.”

“Hahahaha, okay, okay. We’ll figure out logistics after your libido isn’t in charge anymore.” Ace laughed as he used his grip on Sabo’s hair to pull his man into a kiss.

“Good idea, let’s do that. We’ll call Vivi later.”

Needless to say, the two did not leave their room for a looong time.

TBC

Chapter Text

BUSINESS START!

“Why did we have to go shopping with Vivi! She always brings Nami…it’s hell…hell shopping…” Ace mumbled to himself as he trailed behind the two ladies and his better half.

“Oh be quiet, Ace!” Nami shouted back, her voice eerily positive. “You’re asking for Vivi’s money, the least you could let us do is pick out what you use it on.”

A grunt escaped from Ace’s mouth as the orange-haired lady tossed another garment onto his ever growing pile of suits and suit parts. It would be easier to carry if Ace wasn’t holding two shoe boxes underneath all the clothes.

“Well you are getting a bit out of hand, dear.” Vivi’s voice was as soft as it always is when she speaks to Nami, her soft spot being very well known.

“Oh I suppose you both can go try this set on…” Nami sighed unhappily, a glint in her eyes as she spied a lovely crimson red vest with a black tie.

“Do we have to try all of these on? I think that red vest you have your eyes on would be perfect for Ace…I’ll try on some of the blue ones though?”

Sabo wasn’t doing a very good job at distracting Nami but he was doing his best. And he knew how much Ace loathed playing dress-up with the money-obsessed woman.

Nami gave a side glare to her blond friend before she sighed while looking at the perfect red vest…she was just trying to show the two that she was proud of them by helping them out with their deplorable task…well Sabo had a decent set of fashion skill but not Ace.

“Fine. BUT!” Nami had to stick her two cents in before Sabo got too excited about getting her to agree.

“You have to try on at LEAST three different blues and two not blues!”

Sabo scowled at Nami and Vivi when the blue-haired woman giggled at his predicament. But with a heavy sigh and a nod of his head, the blond saved his boyfriend from the same fate.

The look of pure relief on Ace’s face was enough of a reward for Sabo. And the fact that he wasn’t going to let Ace leave this store without trying on Nami’s fashion pick.

Arriving at the changing rooms, Sabo shot a smirk at his freckled love before opening his mouth, collecting his five vests as he did so.

“You still have to try the suit on, Ace.”

The ebony-haired man scowled fiercely, when he was once smiling happily, at Sabo and stomped his way over to Nami, who was holding out the outfit.

“Don’t forget the shoes, you two!” Vivi yelled before she settled next to Nami on the waiting bench, leaning onto her girlfriend shortly after she did.

After Sabo and Ace are out of sight of the two women, the blond gives his tanned counterpart a significant look and opens his mouth to suggest they change in the same stall but is cut off by Nami’s voice.

“And I better not find out you both changed in the same stalls!”

Sabo scowled at being found out but smiled again after hearing Ace’s laugh at the look on his face. Well that’s what a private house was for, falling apart or not.

Ace ducked into one of the stalls on the right and gladly shucked his shirt and his pants as soon as the door was closed and locked. He looked at the pressed black slacks and button up shirt with disdain, already not looking forward to wearing it for days on end.

But the color of the vest made him happy. Maybe maybe he’d agree with Nami and get a dark blue vest as well, if just to have Sabo’s color as well.

Sighing a bit, Ace swallowed his trepidation and slipped into the smooth slacks. They were a bit pricey, but that was mostly Nami’s choice and Vivi agreeing to pay for the new apparel.

Ace should probably thank Vivi with something now that he thought about it, the woman didn’t have to buy clothes for him or Sabo regardless of what she owed them, but she was. Good thing too though because Sabo and Ace couldn’t have afforded anything with the little money they had left.

A quick shake of the head had Ace dispelling all of his thoughts and focusing on the fancy clothes.

He was actually pretty glad that he wore his boots out today, otherwise he wouldn’t have had socks to wear the dress shoes with. Didn’t change his hate for the clothes he was wearing and beggars can’t be choosers, especially when the beggar just got a job at WB Corp.

Sabo, on the other hand, was not having any issue with the clothes, color or otherwise cause he was used to it. He’d been wearing suits since he could crawl, and only started picking the color of them after he was disowned.

The blond smiled down at the soft medium blue vest he chose to try on first. Unlike Ace’s black pair, Sabo’s slacks were dark navy so he had to pick his blue vest carefully so they didn’t blend in with the pants; which also meant that a red vest was a no go, even though the blond wanted one in Ace’s color.

Normally Sabo would have said screw it and buy a black pair too but it wasn’t his money. He may consent to his blue-haired friend buying them more than one vest, to make it seem like they owned more than one pair of slacks, but he wasn’t going to ask her to spend money on something unneeded.

Meaning Sabo and Ace got one pair of slacks, one tie matching the slacks, and a few colored vests, each.

Sabo couldn’t stop the sign that escaped. The Whitebeard Corporation job may be a good gateway into the business world but he wished it paid more than just barely over minimum wage. Sure it was better than Ace’s odd jobs but money would still be tight.

The suit looked good on the blond and he couldn’t help but smile before unlocking the door to his stall and stepping out into the tight hallway.

Nami had a good eye for sizes; Sabo’s pants, dress shirt, vest, and shoes all fit perfectly. And he wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or not…

All thoughts of Nami and her weird powers fled the blonde’s mind as he set his sights on Ace’s suit clad form across the hallway from him.

Ace looked positively stunning in a black suit with a red vest…there might not be a jacket or a blazer to match the slacks…but damn was he attractive.

Sabo was so lucky.

Of course Ace had to answer Sabo’s appreciating gaze with a cherry flush adorning his face.

Sabo laughed.

His stunning boyfriend may never accept his attractiveness but that didn’t mean that Sabo had to ignore it too. The positives to having a beautiful boyfriend were that you got to look and appreciate it as long and as much as you wanted.

Without thinking, Sabo had pulled his hair tie out and was using it to tie Ace’s long hair to the base of the tan neck before the other had time to protest such an action.

If Sabo thought that Ace looked breath-taking before, it was nothing compared to how he looked with ebony locks tied back as well. It was just a plus that the hair style also showed off all of those lovely freckles as well.

Sabo couldn’t have stopped himself from licking his lips if he tried.

“Stop it, Sabo…”

A light peck to the lips was the only answer Ace gave before he darted out of the hallway to show the lovely ladies his outfit.

Sabo could hear the squeal loud and clear in the hall and laughed as he followed his boyfriend’s path out to their friends.

“Damn you, Ace! You and you’re perfect Portuguese genetics! How can black look so damn good on you?!!”

“Hahaha. Nami, black looks good on everyone.” Ace laughed as he obviously tried to down play the lady’s praise.

“Yeah but not as good as you and you’re damn perfect heritage…you’d probably look AMAZING in white too…with your dark hair and naturally tanned skin…” Nami trailed off while looking at Ace and continuing to mutter under her breath.

“Yes yes. White slacks, white vest, white shoes, white tie, and a crimson red dress shirt…oh you’d look amazing…”

Vivi smiled at the image her girlfriend was painting and opened her mouth to agree and suggest they go find one such outfit but Sabo cut her off before she could.

“We only need one good set of slacks and shoes with a vest or two, Vivi. I refuse to let you pay more than you have to for us.” The blond spoke carefully as he came up from behind Ace, wrapping his arms around his boyfriend as he did.

This time Vivi frowned as she looked at her two friends. She knew they were incredibly independent and self-sufficient but she liked using her lifeless money for her friends’ happiness and well-being. What good was being an heiress to a grand fortune and a well off company if she couldn’t use it to help her friends?

“It’s fine, darling. You can make it a wedding gift instead.” Ace’s face when bright red at that and even Sabo wasn’t saved from the embarrassed flush that danced across his face.

“Wait! Why am I the bride?!” Ace tried to look intimidating but the burning blush still on his face ruined all chances of that.

Nami just scoffed at the question and motioned Sabo to detach from the flustered man so she could see how he looked properly.

“Cause Sabo would look absolutely horrid in that much white.” Nami looked said blond up and down with a critical eye as she spoke, motioning for him to turn slowly after she did so.

“He is paler than you and not to mention blond. He could probably pull off white slacks, but not much else.” Nami nodded to herself at the image Sabo was presenting before she turned and threw another comment over her shoulder.

“Besides, who said the bride had to wear white?”

Sabo laughed out loud at Ace’s put out face before cupping those still hot cheeks and kissing the plump lips noisily. Nami let out a fake sounding blah sound and Sabo smiled in victory and proceeding to kiss Ace properly.

“Alright alright you two. We get it; you’re sickeningly in love, now stop kissing each other and get back into that changing room. We still have a few more outfits to go!” Nami had a wide shit-eating grin on her face and the two men groaned before listening to the she-devil.

Might as well get this over with.

-there should be a line here-

“Stop running with the damn chicken, Haruta!! That’s dinner dammit!!” Thatch was yelling from the kitchen and Marco groaned at the loud voice that reverberated through his head, making his current headache worse.

“What were you saying again, flame brain?” Thatch wasn’t really paying attention to anything, too busy cooking up dinner for their father as well as ten of the normal fourteen siblings.

It was more work than anyone thought, and sometimes Thatch wished someone else could listen to Marco’s reservations so he could focus on cooking.

But! Thatch was proud of being the go to brother for venting. So he’ll continue listing to Marco for however long the bird brain needed to be less stressed.

“I was just bemoaning everything we have to do this summer…and, you know, the juvenile criminials we are hiring, yoi.” The blond rubbed his temples and sighed into the table as he talked.

“Eh. You said it yourself, Marco…we have no idea why the two have the two have such extensive records so we can’t judge. Besides, we all have rather long juvenile records.” Thatch was chopping up almost ten heads of broccoli and throwing them into a big boiling pot of water as he spoke.

Marco sighed in response, rising and heading to the large medicine cabinet to retrieve some migraine pills to ease his pounding headache.

Thatch was right and Marco knew it, he’d logically gone through all the facts several times and that was the same conclusion that he reached every single time.

“I know, yoi. But I can’t shake the feeling that these two are going to change something. And not in a good way, yoi.”

Throwing back two of the pills and swallowing them dry, Marco tried to think of something else but his mind always ended up coming full circle back to the two new summer workers.

“Hahaha! Yeah, you might get into a relationship with one of them! God knows you could use it/” Thatch laughed happily but squeaked as the migraine pill bottle came flying through the air, aiming for the red-head’s, well, head.

“Thatch…I can count on one hand how many people I’ve slept with, yoi. And half of them were one night stands, and the others I was only dating for three months before they broke it off. I’m done with relations of any kind, yoi.”

Marco hated every time Thatch brought up his non-existent love live. Sure he would love a significant other, but his history spoke of his unsuccessfulness of that. He just wasn’t meant for love. Too busy with work, too emotionless, too old.

Slumping back at the small breakfast table, Marco sighed into his arms as he laid them on the table with his head following shortly after. He would have been happy to continue wallowing for as long as he could but Thatch smacked Marco upside the head and stopped the destructive thoughts.

“I know what you’re thinking, bird butt, and you need to stop. You aren’t old, you’re only twenty-eight, and you aren’t emotionless! No matter what your ex-girlfriend claimed. Stop sulking and start actively looking! Love isn’t going to fall into your lap! You have to hunt it down with pitchtorks and forches!”

Thatch’s speech was certainly uplifting, but it was the end that truly had Marco releasing his emotions and laughing out loud.

“Pitchtorks and forches, Thatch? That’s a new one, yoi.” Marco laughed harder at his brother’s affronted face and Thatch smiled before throwing his hands up in exasperation.

“You know my brain goes faster than my mouth when I get heated, dammit! Don’t laugh at me, feather face! It’s not funny!”

Marco just laughed harder, his face turning red with the lack of air getting into his lungs. Thatch was still put out but couldn’t high-fiving himself for cheering up the moody peacock.

“What on earth is going on in here?”

Thatch’s face lit up in a bright smile and turned from the stove to look at the new person in the door frame.

The person was lovely and impeccably dressed, with a white and purple butterfly kimono flowing gently down the slim body. Dark black hair up in a complicated but elegant style, carefully applied in geisha make-up, and bare feet made the person ambiguously gendered but beautiful none the less.

“Izou!” Thatch yelled happily, running over to said person, wrapping large arms around the slim waist and lifting them up into the air while placing an exaggerated peck onto painted lips.

The person giggled helplessly as Thatch was so obviously happy at their arrival.

“Good evening, Izou.” Marco greeted, still out of breath from his laughing fit, smiling at the pair as he did so.

“Good evening, Marco, dear. How are you today?” Izou spoke politely, despite Marco being their brother, and disregarding the fact that they were still being held into the air by Thatch.

“Stressed and tired, as always, yoi. Your kimono is beautiful today as well.” The blond smiled again, eyes returning to their normal half-lidded state as he remembered how exhausted he was.

“Thank you, dear. I am in a particularly masculine mood today.” Izou smiled as Thatch lightly let him down from the air.

“Oh so male pronouns are okay, love?” the red-head asked politely before pressing a lighter kiss to Izou’s pale cheek.

“Yes, please, darling. Or neutral, I’m not particular about it today…well, tonight.”

Thatch walked the kimono-clad person to the chair across from Marco at the breakfast table. Izou smiled lightly at his blond brother who was finally coming down from his laughing high.

“Repeating my earlier question, dear, what on earth is going on in here? Isn’t Thatch supposed to be making dinner for everyone?”

Marco smiled wider at the reminder of what happened and Thatch just grumbled as he turned back to his stove to make sure the broccoli didn’t turn to mush with his inattention.

“Just another Thatch-ism, yoi. Apparently pitchforks and torches were too much to trouble to say so he changed it to pitchtorks and forches.” Izou couldn’t stop the laugh that bubbled out and threw an apologetic look at his boyfriend when the cook looked at him indignantly.

“Why on earth would Thatch need to say pitchforks and torches anyway?” of all the things Izou was expecting to occur because of his question, Marco scowling heavily and Thatch’s scoff were not one of them.

“So this either has to do with Marco’s relationship troubles or his self-image issue.” Izou raised his eyebrow and looked between his boyfriend and his brother. He was NOT letting them leave the kitchen until he was answered.

“Haruta! Is the chicken done roasting?!!” Thatch yelled out the door instead.

Izou glared at his man.

Marco sighed at his siblings and their ridiculousness. He better say something or Izou’d make Thatch sleep on the couch tonight. And that thing was very lumpy…

If there were ever a reason to rank Thatch’s good traits, then in the number one spot would be his ability to keep truly private things, private. Sure he could blurt out secrets that did no harm if shared, but he was generally good at holding his tongue. Surprisingly.

“Sort of both, yoi.” Now Izou’s sole attention was on Marco as the blond spoke, leaving Thatch to cook without the death glare of his lover on him.

“Explain.”

“I was just complaining about this summer and the two temps I asked you to call for me, yoi. Told Thatch I had bad feelings about them and he brought up my apparent need to either get laid or into a relationship of some sort. You know the usual, yoi.”

“And you started to degrade yourself in your mind and Thatch stopped you.” Izou sighed and Marco looked over to the red-head retrieving biscuits from the oven.

“One day someone will be able to help you with your issues, Marco, dear. But until that day, Thatch and I and the rest of the family will do what we can.”

The blond locked his blue eyes to Izou’s light brown ones and saw how serious his sibling was. He resigned himself to his fate at this point.

“Of course you will, Iz. But sometimes I just need to sulk or wallow or whatever y’all label it, okay, yoi?”

Izou nodded gracefully before rising from the chair just as gracefully, smiling brightly as he did so. A quick clap of the hands and the closing of eyes had Marco on his feet, knowing the other wanted something.

“You should go collect everyone and make sure the table is set and that Haruta hasn’t burned the chicken. I’ll help Thatch out here and dinner will be in ten, got it?”

A light smile and a lazy nod was all that answered Izou’s request and Marco was making his way out of the large kitchen to hunt down all eight present family members for the family meal.

The geisha dressed person immediately turned to his boyfriend as soon as Marco had completely left the kitchen and the hall just outside the kitchen.

“That bitch really fucked Marco up and I’m endlessly glad she died in that wreck.” Izou spit out, his normally light and pleasant voice changing to a harsh and heavy tone.

A sigh from the cook echoed around the room and Thatch handed Izou the basket of biscuits he just put together, all of which were still warm and toasty.

“You know you don’t mean that, Iz.” Thatch sighed again at the fierce look his lover gave him.

“Other people died in that wreck, love, not just that lying tart.”

Thatch’s words seemed to do the trick and the incensed Izou deflated from his righteous angry puffing.

“I know, but I’m glad that she died.”

“Aren’t we all, doll face, aren’t we all.” Thatch spoke while plating the broccoli and covering it with some delicious parmesan cheese.

“Well…when it comes to the new hires…” the red-head’s ears perked, knowing that Izou was the one to call them and therefore had the most gossip.

“Sabo Triste has an incredibly nice voice. Very alluring.” Izou smiled slyly at his boyfriend.

“Oh ho?”

“Yeah. I mean we haven’t met him or Ace D. Portgas but I think both of them will be good for Marco.” Izou smiled as he started heading to the back porch with thatch following behind with broccoli and a huge bowl of salad.

“Both? What do you mean both?” Thatch was very confused…unless Izou wasn’t planning on setting Marco up at all and meant in a friendly way. In which case why would his lovely counterpart mention Sabo Triste’s voice being alluring?

Izou, however, was silent as they made it to the porch and set down the biscuits and taking the salad from Thatch to place the bowl on the large outdoor table. Sending an evaluating look to Haruta by the large fire pit they often used in the summer, the youngest looked to be completely content to ignore the lovers in favor of watching the large chickens cook.

Good.

“Yes, both of them, love. Marco needs A LOT to get those stupid ideas out of his head. That bitch’s claws have been in Marco’s head for years, and we’re going to need a lot of firepower to remove them.”

Thatch had a frown on his masculine face when Izou spared a glance at his boyfriend…for once he was unsure if it was a disapproving frown or a contemplating frown…

A shrug from the red-head had Izou relaxing as he went back to the kitchen to retrieve the green beans, mashed potatoes, and the fruit salad Marco loved so much.

“You’re probably right, love. But even though Sabo Triste practically threatened us to hire Ace D. Portgas, how do you know they’ll be okay with a poly relationship?” Thatch still had the frown as he carried the heavier plates back to the outdoor table.

“I have my ways, darling, I have my ways.” Izou smiled widely as he opened the porch doors for Thatch, smile widening further as his eyes caught sight of Namur and their old man.

“This summer is going to be both interesting and scary…and it’s your fault, love.” Thatch half mumbled as he finished placing dishes on the table, smiling at Pops as he did.

“Evening, Pops!”

“Gurarara! Evening, son…child…” Pops smiled wider than both his children as he greeted them, eyeing the mashed potatoes with a hungry eye.

“Son today, Pops.” Izou spoke absently as he smoothed out the table cloth, watching the sliding doors as Vista, Blamenco, and Fossa entered the porch. Each calling out greetings as they did so.

“Is that right? I’ll remember that, gurarara!” Pops laughed loudly and all the kids present smiled at their old man, happy to see him so jovial even with the business of the Corporation weighing on him, with the move and all.

“Yeah. Today’s kimono kinda looks like that, I guess…If clothing had a preference! Hahaha!” Fossa laughed as he sat down at the table, slamming down a large bottle of vodka and giving Pops a raised brow.

“Gurarara! You brat. Don’t you have work tomorrow? Some big client with a six-hour slot for a back piece?” Pops questioned but sat in his seat anyway, holding out his cup for Fossa to pour him a glass.

“Sure, but he ain’t comin’ in ‘till almost noon. I got time to sleep off the hangover. HAHAHA!” Both men gave each other a steady stare as they simultaneously threw back their shot.

“Pops, really, yoi? Alcohol before dinner?” Marco walked out onto the porch, the rest of the siblings following him like little ducks.

“Gurarara! What are you talking about, son? Dinner is right here! Gurarara!” The elder man laughed loudly as he gestured to the food spread out on the table. Marco just sighed and shook his head with a smile.

“Of course, yoi.”

Everyone shuffled to their seats, Marco anticipating Pops’ question as the elder man frowned.

“Jozu has a client emergency, Rakuyo is still at Goa Uni for the recruiting trip, Curiel is at a concert for a meeting with an upcoming artist, Jiru has a race and is at the location overnight, and Kingdew has a date.”

Everyone looks at Marco with surprise after he rattles off the location of the rest of their siblings with no prompting and no hesitation. Said blond looked up from the table as he fully processed the silence.

Marco glares when he sees the eyes of his father and on his siblings on him.

“What?” he growls slightly defensive, having no idea what would cause his siblings to look at him like they are.

“Gurarara! Your siblings are just shocked at your ability to keep track of them, my son!” Pops’ loud laugh caused Marco to flush lightly which caused everyone to laugh as well.

“Shut up, yoi! Someone’s got to keep track of everyone or we’d all be constantly asking after each other and never get anything done. This is simpler, yoi.”

“Or you’re just a control freak, bird brain.” Thatch laughed as he piled some mashed potatoes on his plate and then passing the serving bowl around the table.

“Don’t make fun of your brother, Thatch. Marco is the reason why the Corp is so damn successful.” Pops rumbled as he reached his hands eagerly for the bowl full of carb goodness.

“Thanks Pops…” Marco smiles before he watches as the older man passes on several of the vegetables and, that he only has meat and potatoes on his plate.

Frowning, Marco continued talking.

“Pops, yoi. You better put some veggies on your plate. Bay isn’t going to appreciate having to see you again because of your poor diet, yoi.”

Now Pops was frowning and several of the siblings were snickering as they watched the mature Marco take on their old man. It was always an entertaining exchange to watch.

“Never mind, Thatch. Your brother is a worry-wart and needs to relax more.”

Everyone busted out laughing at Pops’ statement and Marco puffed up a bit, reminding them all of the birds he’s so constantly compared to.

“Hahaha! It’s okay, mother hen. We know it’s cause you care.” Thatch laughed loudly, being careful not to knock anything off of the table as he did so.

Marco just crossed his arms and glared at the pool off to the side while his family worked on calming themselves down. Luckily it didn’t take too long and Thatch was the one who broke the silence after they did.

“But he is right, Pops. I made the broccoli with cheese and the green beans with bacon just so you’d eat them. Please don’t let all my hard work go to waste.”

For a brief moment Pops looked like he was going to decline, even with Thatch asking nicely, but a quick look around the table at all his children, pleading with their eyes, had the elder grumbling but he still put two scoops of each vegetable on his plate.

“Thanks, Pops (yoi).” They all said together and the man laughed at Marco’s added tic.

“Gurarara! Yeah, yeah. Just don’t think those looks will keep working, ya damn brats.” Pops punctuated his statement with an exaggerated bite of the broccoli, his eyes lighting up at the taste, making Thatch puff up like pride.

“Yes, hun, we know. You’re an amazing cook. Now stop preening and eat the food.” Izou elbowed his boyfriend in the ribs as everyone cheered in response, digging into the food shortly after.

There was silence at the big table for a long time while everyone was engrossed in eating. Thatch’s food was fantastic and everything but the salad was hot, so it should be eaten hot.

While everyone had chicken, potatoes, and biscuits, the veggies were varied, with the most being on Marco’s plate followed by Namur, which surprised no one. Seeing as the both of them were vegetarians at one point.

Also Marco hoarded the fruit salad. He only shared with Izou when he asked politely instead of trying to steal the bowl like everyone else.

“Hey, Pops…don’t you think we should add a second treadmill to the gym?” Thatch suddenly asked, looking at Pops with wide eyes as he asked. Marco groaned and slammed his head on the table near his plate, moving his fruit salad bowl to his lap.

The older man frowned at his blond son’s reaction but addressed Thatch and the chef’s question anyway.

“Well we are moving offices and the new gym is bigger, so I don’t see why we can’t add one to the room.”

Thatch smiled brightly but Marco cut him off before the red-head could say any more on the subject.

“Pops…he wants to add it to the gym in our current office, yoi.”

Everyone was looking at Thatch with disbelief now, even his lover. They were moving buildings…why add on to the load?

“Son…”

“No, wait! Hear me out, Pops!” Thatch yelled, waving his arms and covering Marco’s mouth so the stupid pineapple couldn’t interrupt him again.

“Alright…” Thatch fist pumped at Pops’ answer and immediately started talking.

“We aren’t moving the gym until the end of the summer quarter, right? And that’s like three months away! A fourth of the year! A fourth! And what if two people want to run together and talk? They can’t! Cause there’s only one treadmill!”

Thatch looked so proud of his argument that no one wanted to burst his bubble with everything wrong with his explanation.

“Darling…you’re the only one who actually uses the gym. Everyone in the family uses the house gym and the other employees aren’t interested.” Of course Izou was a pro at calming his boyfriend and explaining why somethings just couldn’t work.

The red-head frowned at his lover’s response and tilted his head slightly, obviously trying to find his way around Izou’s logic. Everyone knew when he found it because his face brightened.

“But we don’t know about our new temp workers! One of them threatened us to give the other a jobs so they must be close. What if they use the gym and want to run together?”

Marco groaned again and started to scoop spoonfuls of fruit salad into his mouth as he say Pops nodding along to Thatch’s ideas.

“Wait! One of them threatened us to get the other a job? How did that happen?!” Blamenco exclaimed, looking between Marco, Pops, and Izou.

“Yeah! Did he call the office or something?!” Namur asked, his eyes sparkling at the idea of such a thing. That would be something unique.

“Nooooo. The little brat used the additional comments section.” Thatch smiled widely, excited at getting his second treadmill, and at the prospect of work-out buddies.

“We are NOT talking about this, yoi. I swear. It’s all anyone has been talking about all day. I’m tired of it, yoi.” Marco groaned out from his place with his head on the table, fruit salad spoon hanging out of his mouth.

Everyone sort of blinked at the blond and shared a look before Pops broke the awkward silence with his loud booming laugh.

“Gurarara! So you’ve called them to offer them a job, right, son?”

Pops was still happily eating his buttery and garlicky mashed potatoes as Marco looked awkwardly to the side as he scooped a spoon of fruity deliciousness.

That caused the eldest man at the table some pause. Pops stopped eating as Marco continued to stay silent.

“you did call them, didn’t you, Marco? They need to be at work tomorrow.” Pops’ voice was serious as he leveled Marco with the patented Pops Stare.

“I called them, Pops. Marco had an urgent matter pop up and had to handle it.” Izou spoke smoothly, directing everyone’s staring to himself.

‘There was a reason Marco needed to do it, my son…he will be in charge of them after all.” Pops’ voice was light again as he scooped more potatoes into his mouth.

“Yeah but it was an important interruption. I made sure they knew they were hired, and to wear nice but moveable clothes, and that Marco was to be their boss.” Izou smirked as he wiped his mouth lightly, his plate completely clear.

“Great! Did you tell them where to go when they get to the office?” Pops smiled as Izou’s face lost its smugness and the beautiful person groaned lightly as he placed his head in his hand.

“No…no I did not…I knew I was forgetting something when I hung up.” Izou sighed.

“I’m sure it will be fine, son. There are plenty of people still working and I’m sure Marco can meet them in the lobby.” Pops smiled at Izou widely while said person smiled slightly in return.

“Yeah! And if the turkey gets too busy then I can get them, maybe show ‘em around a bit if it’s important!” Thatch’s voice was very positive as he hugged his lover to his side.

“Enough work stuff!” Haruta yelled suddenly, raising their cup to into the air as they did.

“It’s family dinner!” they continued and everyone cheered and clanked their glasses together as they did.

Marco smiled slightly as he enjoyed time with his family. He wouldn’t trade Sunday dinners for anything, but he knew how late their night would be; which means he’ll probably be tired and cranky when meeting the new hires tomorrow.

He couldn’t wait.

TBC

Chapter Text

Business Start!

“Sabo…remember when we were young and we promised Luffy that we’d always tell each other when we were uncomfortable?” Ace’s voice was smooth as always but wavered slightly the longer he spoke.

“Uh huh…” Sabo confirmed distractedly as he looked up at the towering sky scraper that they were going to be working in for the next few months or so…it was tall.

“Well…I’m uncomfortable…” Sabo was able to pull his eyes away from the top of the building to look over at is boyfriend. His boyfriend, who always had a good hold on everything and prided himself on his ability to not get nervous, was nervous.

“It’s okay, Ace…I’m a little uncomfortable too…all first days are like that…Just…deep breath and remember there are only eight hours in a work day.” Sabo smiled reassuringly at Ace and the freckled man responded by nodding still not taking his eyes off the building.

Sabo sighed before grabbing Ace’s hand and squeezing it firmly, smiling when Ace finally looks over at him. Ace squeezed back and a half-smile appeared on his face as they both appreciated the physical contact.

Ace is an affectionate person with those he loves, and is quite the fan of PDA despite being a bit embarrassed by it; which will be problematic because they were going to be in a professional environment. No matter what Sabo told the person on the phone, they still had to remain business-like.

The blond spent most of the weekend reminding Ace that even if the older gives in and touches Sabo affectionately, he’d probably not respond. Not because he didn’t want to, but because Sabo had two mindsets: work Sabo and not-work Sabo. Work Sabo remained his professionality no matter what.

It was going to be a long long work day for Ace.

“Come on, hun. Let us go meet our new boss.” Sabo spoke informally at first then more formal.

Ace nodded shyly before releasing his hold on the blonde’s hand and straightening out his vest and slacks. Sabo smiled at his boyfriend one last time, checks his own clothes, and then marches right into the building with as much confidence as he could possibly muster.

The lobby of the fancy building was almost opulent, shiny and full of screaming wealth. If it weren’t for his past with his old family Sabo might have been intimidated by such a show of money, but he had practice in being apathetic to such facades.

For a moment the blond was worried about Ace and how he’d act but a quick glance back brought to mind one of the many things Sabo loved about his lover.

Ace could not possibly care any less about such shows of wealth.

Food in the bell, roof over the head, and good company was all Ace needed money for. So Ace was barely looking at the surroundings with anything more than keen disinterest. 

A soft laugh to himself and Sabo continued towards the elevator, remembering from his research that the Whitebeard Corporation was located on the fifty-first floor and continued to the sixty-sixth. He may not know what was on all of those floors, but they belonged to the Whitebeard Corporation for now.

The ride up was silent and Ace spent the whole time signing songs in his head to calm down. He hasn’t’ been in an office in years. Not since that one school trip back in sophomore year of high school.

And unlike Sabo, Ace had never worked in an office, ever…not even as a lowly grunt. So yes, he was quite worried…

A ding shook Ace out of his musings in his head and he couldn’t stop the trepidation that rushed over him as the doors opened to the beginning of his summer.

Of everything that he was expecting, a man with a red pompadour in an off-white, almost cream, colored two piece suit was not one of them. The bright blue dress shirt and dark green tie that clashed horribly with his hair was all that Ace could think about. Followed shortly by the fact that his smile looks too wide to be real.

But Sabo, ever the business minded one, barely blinked and smiled as well, reaching out to shake the strange man’s hand as he exited the elevator. Ace followed shortly after, but he just looked at the man’s offered hand, not wanting to shake it.

A pointed look from Sabo changed that pretty fast and Ace griped the man’s hand right away, a bit harder than he’d planned.

The elevator doors closed while Ace and the man were still ‘shaking hands’. The man had a strong grip as well and the challenge spark lit through Ace, not wanting to back down, and the other man seemed to have the same idea.

Sabo sighed almost inaudibly but Ace heard it well enough, and he smiled sheepishly at the red-head as they both released their grips at the same time.

“Hahaha! Confident and strong handshakes! Wonderful! I’m hoping you two are Ace D. Portgas and Sabo Triste, otherwise this will become real awkward, real fast!” the man’s voice was jovial and idly Ace couldn’t help but think that the wide smile might not be completely fake.

“We are indeed, sir. And are you Mr. Marco?” Sabo spoke well enough, which only reminded Ace of how perfectly comfortable the blond was in social business situations.

Ace was preparing himself to listen to maybe ten minutes of business back and forth, Sabo and the man both trying to somehow one up each other, like all businessmen tend to do.

Of course, the Whitebeard Corporation employee had to dash Ace’s expectations by making a disgusted face while chuckling lowly.

The face obviously threw Sabo off of his game, because the blond didn’t pick up any conversational slack or anything. He was just staring at the red-haired man in utter shock. It seemed like Sabo had no idea what to do about the reaction either.

Red-head seemed to notice both of their shocked expressions, even though Sabo schooled his face rather swiftly after he noticed that the other man had noticed the shock.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” The man spoke quickly while waving his hands as he slowed his chuckles and changed his expression to that of a more jovial one than the disgusted mask it once was.

“First things first boys…no ‘mister’ anything in this building. We’re terribly informal and most of us don’t mind dropping polite rules.” The wide smile turned to rolled up eyes and a slight frown as he continued talking.

“When visiting business men are here, though, then we tend to pick those pesky rules back up.

Both Ace and Sabo nod at that, understanding that the disgusted look was from the ‘mister’ and not any code of conduct being broken.

“Secondly, I am not that feather head, got it? My name is Thatch Newgate, I don’t have a specific title her but I basically do whatever happens to need doing.” The man was speaking nonchanantly and Ace was nodding along to his words, but Sabo was practically dumb struck.

“Do you mean Newgate as in Edward Newgate? The owner of Whitebeard Corporation?” Sabo was incredibly curious, he thought he’d done all the research about WB Corp, but apparently not because he knew nothing about Edward Newgate having a child.

“Ah, yeah. I’m one of the few kids that took Pops’ last name. Pops adopted a lot of kids an about half of us work here, though only four of us have his name. Weirdly enough all of us with his name work here…never really thought about that before…huh…”

For once Sabo was the one staring and not knowing what to say, so Ace took up his boyfriend’s usual role.

“So you’re probably here to show us to…um…Marco?” Ace only hesitated when saying the man’s name, his NEW BOSS’S NAME, because, despite not being in the business world as long as Sabo, he did know his manners.

The red-head, Thatch, laughed again while getting between the two, wrapping his arms around their shoulders in an overly friendly manner.

“Ahhh…I’m going to like you two…nah, bird brain had something super important and completely urgent pop up. I’ll be showing y’all around while he finishes whatever it is.”

Ace wasn’t sure how he was going to deal with Thatch…He wasn’t used to people he has just met pushing his boundaries like the red-head has been doing.

The black-haired man couldn’t stop himself from running his fingers down Sabo’s arm, only just to ground himself in reality. The blond flinched away at the touch but Ace knew it was because his blond wanted to maintain his work Sabo persona and not slip into Ace’s Sabo.

“First things first, this is our totally not fancy lobby. Nothing like the monstrosity downstairs. But don’t get used to it, it’ll change in the next few weeks…”

Ace honestly couldn’t repeat anything Thatch told them for most of the tour, and would probably get lost many times because he was seriously uninterested in the not-fancy-but-still-fancy floors.

That is until Thatch headed into one of the closed off hallways and lead them right to a WALL of glass that proudly displayed gym equipment. FANCY gym equipment.

Ace was practically falling in love all over again, though instead of to a beautiful blond, it was to a room of GYM EQUIPMENT.

“And this is my pride and joy of all the floors that WB Corp owns in this horribly fancy building, the gym!” Thatch’s voice was loud and joyous, and Ace had to fight to not match his obvious enthusiasm.

“Oh there is a gym in the office?” Sabo was politely interested, mostly because he wasn’t as exercise crazy as Ace was, but he was still fairly involved with keeping himself in athletic shape.

And Ace was really attractive and never wears a shirt when he runs.

“Yes! I painstakingly added exercise machines that mix cardio, muscle, and flexibility! It’s the dream gym of ANY athletic person!” Thatch’s eyes were sparking like a school boy on Christmas, looking at Sabo and Ace expectantly, like they were supposed to have a specific reaction to his excitement.

“Is there a fee or something needed to use the gym?” Ace questioned this time, holding back his desire to press his hands to the glass and drool over how positively nice the machines are.

Depending on how expensive the fee, Ace would gladly pay just to use the machines he could never even hope to own.

One look at Thatch’s face though made Ace automatically think he did something wrong. Why else would the red-head have such a shocked look on his face?

“Are you kidding? No! All employees can use the gym for FREE! Exercise is important for a healthy lifestyle!”

Ace’s eyes widened exponentially at Thatch’s words and he couldn’t help but spit out, “Are you fucking serious?”

Sabo shot Ace a sour look for cursing at work and the elder turned bright red when he realize that he actually said that out loud. He was so fucking fired.

But, to his surprise for like the thirtieth time today, Thatch just laughed jovially.

“Hell yeah, dude! Hell, I was here this morning, getting my leg day on! We’ve got two fully stocked showers in there too! And suit sized lockers for the change of clothes and what not!”

“So if we come in early we can use all the machines, until work starts, for free?” Ace asked, his face only slightly pink, but he was still plenty embarrassed about letting his manners slip. Makino would be so ashamed.

“Totally! Hell, I’m here every morning at 7! Feel free to join me! I’m pretty much the only one who uses this gym anyway.” Thatch’s smile faltered a bit at that but now Ace’s smiled was almost fully blown across his face.

Sabo just sighed lightly and shook his head lightly, but he was also smiling. They had to drop their gym membership last month because they couldn’t afford it, so this was a great plus to their job.

“Well, anyway, I hope to see you two up here some time. I’d appreciate a workout buddy! But! As awesome as I am, bird brain just texted me and his super important thing that he had to do is over now, so let’s go meet your boss, aye?”

All of Ace’s excitement just left his body in one smooth swish. He had a bad track record with bosses…and…he didn’t think a fancy office boss would be much different from all the other bosses that didn’t like him…

-I AM A LINE-

Marco didn’t really have something important to do. He just really wasn’t ready to meet the two ex-delinquents quite yet. But he was being a bit creepy by watching Thatch give the two a tour around the offices.

The first thought in his head was that they were both unfairly attractive for twenty year olds.

The complementary suits they wore did nothing but flatter hard lines and smooth planes. The darker haired one looked like he didn’t have an ounce of body fat on his body. The blond was just a bit softer, but only by a small margin.

Instead of trepidation, Marco was actually looking forward to being the boss of two very attractive twenty year old delinquents. If nothing else, at least he’d have something fantastic to look at for the next few months.

Not to mention Thatch seemed to grow attached right away, if the arms around their shoulders said anything. Marco smiled lightly at that and was musing whether or not it would take long for the two kids to be invited back to the Moby.

But, just like with every other bad feeling Marco has ever had, his apprehensiveness from last night was proven to be just as the dark haired one trailed his fingers down the blonde’s arm…and the blond flinched.

Marco was no longer smiling and was instead glaring at the black-haired kid. He kept on glaring until Thatch lead them from the lobby to the hallways that he couldn’t see from his office.

Once they were out of view, Marco stomped over to his desk and slammed his body down into his comfy desk chair.

Fucking dammit.

He couldn’t have one, one, good thing. One of the attractive temps just had to be a complete fucking asshole.

The blond tried to stop the oncoming flashback, but every time he was reminded about that red-haired asshole, the stupid memory came back full fucking force.

Clubbing was not Marco’s favorite activity, in fact he tries to actively avoid clubs, ever since his ex, but Marco would do anything for Izou. And right now Izou wanted to know if Thatch was the perfect boyfriend for them.

So Marco accompanied his beautiful sibling while Thatch was at nighttime culinary courses, so Izou could dance and flirt with a few people, make sure that their emotions for Thatch were real.

Marco didn’t completely approve of the idea per se, but no one could say no to Izou, regardless of the scruples they had with their ideas.

But at age twenty-three, and single for the past six or so months, Marco didn’t mind the chance to appreciate dancing bodies. Maybe he could find someone that didn’t mind his age or his seriousness…always an issue it seems.

No one really managed to catch his attention though, except for a fit red-head that was on the other side of the dance floor. The stranger was definitely attractive and he had quite the nice smile, but he was also being very handsy with an equally attractive dark haired man. They looked quite happy and beautiful as they danced and Marco smiled happily at such a display of affection in such a sexual place as the dance floor.

The blond watched them long enough to see the red head pull the other down for an intense kiss but he looked away at that point, trying to find Izou in the crowd.

“Hey, you up for another drink, my dude?”

The bartender shocked Marco out of his perusal and he looked back with a small smile, nodding as he spoke.

“Yes, please, a Cassis and Orange if you don’ mind, yoi.”

“You got it, fancy pants.”

Marco laughed at the surfer dude bartender and his various names for customers. He had called Izou “Intimidation Factor”. Both Marco and Izou had laughed quite hard at that.

“Should you be having another one, Marco?”

And, like always, Izou popped up out of nowhere, just to freak Marco out and to see the blond jump.

Putting his hand on his chest to calm down his now crazily beating heart, Marco hissed at his sibling with barely contained annoyance.

“Don’t do that, Izou. At my age you’re going to give me a heart attack, yoi.”

Izou glared at Marco right after that statement, but the blond didn’t understand why they were angry, like he ever really did…

“You’re barely twenty-three, Marco. You are nowhere near old enough to have a naturally caused heart attack…”

The sibling pair glared at each other for a bit before Izou gave in and sighed while shaking their head in hardly disguised disappointment.

“Back to my original question, are you sure you should be having another drink?”

Marco furrowed his thin eyebrows and accepted the drink from the bartender, putting a $10 on the bar and signaling the man to keep the change. Taking a sip, he watched Izou pointedly over his glass.

Only after that first taste of the drink did Marco even bother to respond to his lovely as always sibling.

“It’s a Cassis and Orange, yoi. What bad effects am I getting from that, Izou?”

Marco was graced with the rare sight of Izou’s surprised face with wide eyes, high eyebrows, and rounded lips.

The blond smirked and kept drinking, scanning the dance floor one more time before letting out a soft sigh through his nose.

Still no one he wanted to go to the trouble of flirting with just to get a date or even just some sex.

“Well anyway, I got all I needed from this little trip. Too many people misgendering me even after I tell them I’m fluid and currently in a neutral mood. I’ll probably never find someone as lovely and accepting as Thatch.”

Izou’s eyes were closed and they were holding their head high with shoulders back, confidence oozing out of them in waves.

Marco just looked at his sibling with half-lidded eyes. The blond had told Izou this trop was pointless, but the prettiest Newgate sibling was stubborn, that was for sure.

“I see that ‘I told you so’ look, Marco. I’m going to freshen up real quick and then we can walk home and I can greet my man when he gets home from classes.”

The elder just watched his younger sibling walk away, knowing that ‘real quick’ was anywhere from fifteen minutes to half an hour.

Might as well enjoy the drink he had and people watch while Marco waited for the prima donna currently primping in the bathroom.

“Well well! What’s a tall-tall frink of-of liquid! Lik-like yyou doin’ at a plerce lik dis?!”

The obviously drunk voice pulled Marco from his watching and he looked to the side and was surprised to see the attractive red-head from earlier speaking to him.

“Excuse me?”

Marco couldn’t keep the surprise off of his face or the shock out of his voice. Wasn’t the red-head in a relationship? With the sexy man from earlier??

“You! – You’re hottt. I’m, me, I’m alsooo hottt. Sooooo. We, us, we ssshould bangggg.”

The red-head was smiling lazily at Marco, his eyes slightly glazed with too much alcohol and was swaying quite a bit on his feet.

Even if Marco hadn’t seen the red-head dancing and being so obviously in love with the man from earlier, his drunkenness would be a huge NO flag for the blond.

Marco never flirted, dated, or slept with someone who was so evidently under the influence of an unhealthy amount of alcohol.

“I’m not interested, yoi.” The blond spoke harshly, angry that the man could even ask.

With wide surprised eyes and furiously blinking lids, the red-head frowned.

“My-my name is-it isn’t Yoi. Yoi is-isn’t-not me. I-my la-labl-name is-I’m Shankssss.” He was smirking again and now had the air of confidence that he still had a chance with Marco somehow.

Marco had no issues taking those assumptions and slamming them into the ground.

“I don’t really care. I’m still not interested.” The blond really tried not to finish the sentence the way he wanted to but he couldn’t stop himself.

“Yoi.”

Just like every other time.

“Hey-hey. Frow-fro-frowning face hair-ab-above eyes…it doesn’t-don’t-not attractive.”

Marco closed his eyes and sighed heavily, and could feel the headache coming on. He hoped Izou would be back soon. Izou could scare anyone away, drunk or sober, with just a well pointed look.

An unpleasant shiver worked its way up from Marco’s hip to his neck all of a sudden, the originating point being the stranger’s, Shanks’, hand being placed on his hip.

Without Marco’s permission.

“I’m serious, man. You-you’re, fuck, you’re shexy. And I, I am aslo shhexy. Ssssoooo. We should found-find-discover? A b-bath. Bear. Flat surface.” As Shanks talked his intruding hand was moving further and further down until it was firmly gripping Marco’s ass.

The blond was frozen. He’d never had someone try so hard, nor violate so many of his boundaries, just to get laid.

Now Marco was pissed off.

“Listen here-you fucking shit bag piece of utter-”

“Marco?”

The blond was stopped from completely cursing out the utter dickhead by Izou’s nice voice calling his name.

“Izou.” Marco sighed in relief, and he tried to escape Shanks’ hold on him, but the stranger was holding tight even as his attention was drawn to Izou.

The lecherous smirk came back full force to the physically attractive face, even as he pulled Marco closer by his hold on the blonde’s ass.

“Heyyyyy…Babe. You! You shoulddd-shild-shold-watev-join shexy and and me!”

Marco could see the dawning realization on Izou’s face as they took in the come on, the stranger’s hand on Marco’s butt, and the blond blatantly trying to get away.

It took only one second before Izou pulled their fist back and slammed it right into Shanks’ face.

The red-head went down instantly, releasing Marco as he did, which Izou took advantage of by grabbing their blond brother’s hand and leaving the club. They were completely oblivious of all the other club goers watching them as they left.

Once they were a few blocks from the club, Izou abruptly stopped and turned to grab Marco’s face between their hands.

“Marco…are…are you okay?”

Marco just blinked blankly at his sibling before he fully felt the emotions starting to overflow from within him. He could feel the tears start to well up as Marco shook his head quickly.

Izou quickly pulled Marco down into their chest and held him as the blond cried it out.

Marco sighed deeply as he leaned back in his office chair, shaking the memory out of his head with a few quick flicks of his hair.

Besides the blatant disrespect of the word ‘no’, it also turned out a few days later that Shanks was the name partner of RED law firm.

Ever since that horrible night at the club, any time Marco came into contact with Shanks, in a business setting, the red-head flirted and tried to convince the blond into his and his husband’s bed.

No matter how many times Marco expressly told him ‘no chance in hell’.

And now.

Now one of his new temp employees was in the same boat as he once was. Marco may not know what the dark-haired one had over the blond to get the nonconsenting man to do his wishes, but he’d do his best to keep the two as separate as possible.

Maybe that’s why “Sabo” wanted to get “Ace” a job. So that he could keep on harassing him even while they were at work.

Or.

Or maybe “Ace” had something on “Sabo” and demanded “Sabo” get him a job so “Ace” could keep harassing “Sabo” while they were at work.

Well Marco would have to meet them to find out which was which. He’d never met them after all. One of the grunts interviewed all the applicants.

Marco frowned and sent a text to Thatch, letting his brother know that the blond was ready to meet his new employees.

This was going to be one hell of a summer, but at least Marco could content himself with helping someone out of a situation he too was in at one point.

-SURPRISE SURPRISE! ANOTHER LINE-

Sabo could tell Ace was nervous about meeting this “Marco”, their new boss. His boyfriend hasn’t had a good track record with bosses so it was completely understandable.

And Sabo would be lying if he said that he wasn’t nervous, but WB Corp is one of the biggest companies in this city. People wouldn’t work for a company if they were all asshats. No matter how much money employees were paid.

He really wanted to comfort his boyfriend, but Sabo hated crossing work-self with personal-self. That was how people got leverage and blackmailed you.

But because of his previous family, Sabo was particularly good at hiding his emotions, and contented himself with the thought that he’ll just cuddle Ace a ton once they got back to their crappy place.

The two were following Thatch who was actually talking on and on about the important of exercise and why gyms were an important addition to every office. To Sabo’s surprise, Ace was actually following along and nodding his head to every point the red-head made. He wanted to laugh, but Ace took exercise seriously and Sabo knew how much it crushed his boyfriend when they had to cancel their membership.

But all good things had to come to an end and soon Thatch was done talking as they arrived to a bright blue door with a lovely light gold plaque placed in the center. The plaque clearly read:

Marco Phoenix.

Their new boss.

Sabo didn’t even really have time to take a breath or prepare himself to meet his new boss when Thatch just threw open the door without knocking, greeting the man inside loudly.

“GOOD MORNING MY DEAR FEATHER HEAD!! HOW HAS YOUR IMPORTANT BUSINESS BEEN THIS FINE DAY??!”

The blond couldn’t stop himself from flinching away at Thatch’s loud voice, and looked over at Ace to see if his boyfriend was in the same state as he was. Out of all the things he thought he would see, Sabo was not expecting a slack-jawed Ace with a bright blush along his cheeks.

His brows furrowed immediately and Sabo couldn’t stop himself from frowning. He hadn’t seen Ace like that since the last time they were intimate…what on earth could have caused that kind of reaction from his relatively private boyfriend?

Turning to looking into the open office, Sabo answered his own question as his own cheeks lit up in a bright blush.

The man that was sitting behind the desk was gorgeous.

Blond hair all slicked back, bright blue eyes that looked even more vibrant than Sabo’s were, a built body shown off with a perfectly fitting black three piece suit. Even his tie was black; the only color on his outfit was the blue undershirt that matched his eyes.

And the look in his eyes. They were so serious, but at the same time filled with that sort of brotherly fondness that Ace had when it came to Luffy.

Sabo had to take a deep breath and think about his old family for his blush to die down, but every time he looked back at the blond behind the desk, his face heated again.

This was going to be such a difficult life.

Then the man behind the desk sighed, closed his eyes and shook his head in what was quite clearly fond exasperation.

“Really, Thatch, must you do that every morning?”

Oh god his voice was the best part. Not only was he quite enjoyable to look at, but his voice was just heavenly. Sabo had no idea how he was going to survive with this horribly attractive man as his boss for the next few months.

“Yes! Because I know it makes you happy, despite how much you say it doesn’t!” Thatch’s voice sounded like he was smiling, but Sabo was still just taken in by the blond and his expressions.

“Whatever, yoi. Get out; go visit your boyfriend or something. We need to get started on the list of endless things to do, yoi.” The man’s eyes were still closed, but his voice pushed across what he needed it to.

“Sure, sure. Lemme just introduce you to these two, yeah?”

Sabo watched in wonder as the other man’s eyes snapped open and his blue eyes were no longer filled with the slight laziness that they were when the door first slammed open, but a fierce almost angry feeling.

He wasn’t sure how to feel about it.

Unfortunately Sabo didn’t really have a chance to think too deeply into it because suddenly Thatch slammed his arm down onto Sabo’s shoulders and smiled brightly.

“This here is Sabo Triste! And this is…” Thatch let go of Sabo only to grab onto Ace, and Sabo winced in pity for his poor boyfriend. “Ace D. Portgas! Try not to be too boss-like, aye, Marco?”

“No promises, Thatch.” Marco spoke, his eyes glinting slightly as he did what could only be called appraisal of Ace and Sabo, and Sabo fought back the urge to straighten up underneath his stare.

Despite the loudness in which Thatch entered the office, he left with fairly little fanfare, leaving Sabo and Ace to the hands of their new boss. Without actually introducing him to them.

It seemed like it wasn’t going to be much of an issue though, because as soon as Thatch shut the door, Marco was standing and walking around to the front of the desk. And again Sabo had to fight his desire to watch the man walk.

One look into his bright blue eyes, however, had Sabo snapping right back into work-Sabo. This was not a man to cross, not if his eyes could go from fond to cold as fast as his did.

Surprisingly all of the coldness seemed to be directed at Ace, at Sabo’s boyfriend. And honestly Sabo’s first response was to immediately defend his boyfriend, and stop the cold look from doing too much to Ace’s feelings.

But, once again, Sabo underestimated his boyfriend and all of his amazing skills.

Ace was no longer blushing, and was instead looking back at Marco with just as much heat as the other had cold. The dark-haired man never could back down from a challenge, even one that hasn’t been expressly spoken.

“It’s nice to meet the two of you. My name is Marco, yoi. And as I am sure Thatch has told you, we are fairly familiar here, so don’t worry about calling me anything other than Marco. However don’t think that just because we are informal that you can get away with working lazily. We hired temps, you two, because we needed the help, yoi.”

Sabo had heard many similar speeches from other bosses, but the way that Marco was staring so intently at Ace made him think that their boss was singling him with this particular speech.

“Don’t think you can get away with doing anything less than your absolute best, and don’t even think for a minute that I’ll allow you to slack off at all. The only time off you get during the work day is lunch, yoi. Don’t ever ask for anything more.”

Ace was hardly blinking, keeping eye contact with Marco the entire time that the other spoke, and Sabo knew that would impress most bosses, but not the other blond. He just kept looking at Ace like he was someone to be scorned. Sabo wasn’t sure what Ace had done to get that kind of reception, or if maybe Marco was just that much of a hardass.

He wanted to say something, but Marco continued talking before Sabo could even begin to think about what he could say.

“So. Are you two ready to earn your paycheck, yoi?”

TBC

Chapter Text

Business Start!

“Portgas, you’re moving the fifty-sixth floor this week; paperwork in office 5603 and furniture in offices 5600 to 5602.”

“Sabo, if you could continue sorting the paperwork in 5203 that would be great, thank you.”

---

“You ever feel like Marco is nicer to you than me?”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Ace. They only hired two temps and there is a lot of work.”

“If you say so…”

---

“Portgas, you’ll be helping out Haruta on the sixtieth floor.”

“Sabo, if you could help me with the sorting in 5303, please, yoi.”

---

As soon as Ace got home he slammed right into the shitty couch and groaned out loud.

He faintly heard the door clicking behind him as Sabo closed and locked their door. But Ace hardly moved, he was exhausted and not even the thought of a nice meal with his boyfriend could lure him away from his couch.

“Come on, Ace, let’s get your suit off at the very least.”

Sabo’s voice really sounded quite good, but Ace really didn’t want to move. Sabo didn’t have to move boxes of paperwork, or furniture, or anything like that.

Oh no.

Sabo got to sort the paperwork. Important and Unimportant. While sitting down. No physical labor involved in the least.

Normally Ace wouldn’t care, exercise was awesome, the company gym was awesome, moving heavy things all day for two or so weeks was NOT awesome.

“Mrrg. When I can feel my arms again, maybe I’ll move off of the shitty sofa.” And to emphasize his point, Ace slumped further into the cushions and let his arms hang over the side.

“Come on, babe, you’re stronger than a couple of heavy boxes.”

Sabo definitely knew how to get Ace to move but endearments, compliments, and insults weren’t going to move him this time. His blond boyfriend was right though, Ace was stronger than boxes. But exercising every morning followed by hours of physical labor makes his hard body sore.

So no, sexy blond standing in the doorway, Ace shan’t be moving off this couch.

Ace realized he must have said that last part out loud when he heard Sabo’s laugh. And he could have sworn he heard the blond’s eyebrow rise as well.

But that was that. Ace didn’t particularly care, busy trying to bury himself into the soft comfortable cushions of the ratty couch.

Of course Ace should have paid a bit more attention because the next he knew, Sabo was laying down on Ace’s back. The dark-haired man’s breath whooshed right out of him as the weight of his boyfriend fully settled on him.

“Mnnnn. Well this is definitely a comfortable position, you are certainly not wrong about that.”

Ace could feel the smirk in Sabo’s voice, but instead of yelling he turned a little and let the blond settle into Ace’s strong back.

“God I’ve missed you so much, Sab.”

The darker haired man could feel as his blond companion stiffened and idly wondered if he should have kept his mouth shut. But then Sabo shifted and wrapped his arms around Ace’s waist.

He had to fight back the tears that threatened to come out. It had been two weeks since the last time Sabo hugged him.

They commuted to work via buses, trams, and walking because they couldn’t afford a vehicle and the commute from the Southside to downtown was almost an hour. They were waking up at five to exercise before work at 8, then working until 5 or 6, not getting home until close to 7 or 8 because of traffic left them barely enough time to eat before they slept.

And even then they just flopped into bed and slept like logs because of how exhausted they were.

Not to mention Sabo was always professional at work and wary of PDA so there was no time for them to be close.

“It’s okay, Ace. We’ll make a date night this weekend alright? Let’s take a quick nap before dinner and spend all night catching up on our shows. Then we can have a nice dinner out tomorrow.

Ace just nodded slowly into the pillow as he closed his eyes. Things would be fine. They just had to wait it all out.

---

“You ever get the feeling Marco separates us on purpose?”

“All the time, love. We’ve just got to push through. Our anniversary is soon after all.”

---

“Damn Ace, how much did you have to work out to only have three percent body fat?!”

“Dude, Thatch, Ace has been a gym rat since he was TEN.”

“Are you kidding me right now?! How does he even HAVE body fat?!”

“Hey! Fuck you Thatch! Food is fucking delicious!”

“Jesus Christ! Three percent because of fucking food?”

“Like you can talk, Mr. Chef!”

“Fuck off, Sabo!”

---

“Portgas, Rakuyo needs your assistance on the fifty-first floor.”

“Is it more physical labor? Cause something not back breaking would be great.”

“Are you complaining, Portgas?”

“*sigh* Nope. I’m off then.”

“Sabo, I need your help looking through some contracts if you don’t mind, yoi.”

“…Not at all…”

---

 “He does hate me.”

“Ace…”

“It’s okay, Sab, it ain’t something I’m not used to after all.”

“Ace…”

“Just gotta remind myself before I go into his office is all. Gotta tell myself that the attractive boss hates my guts. It ain’t a big deal. Just gotta-”

“Ace. I love you.”

“I-I love you too, Sa-Sabo.”

“Shhh. Hun you don’t have to keep doing this. You can find another job.”

“Nonono. I need to-to stop job hopping. B-besides. This-this is still better than any-any other job.”

“I hate how accurate that statement is.”

“I-I know you d-do.”

“God I love you so fucking much. So. Fucking. Much.”

---

“So. Ace. Tell me. How do you feel about poker?”

“Really, Haruta?! A bit busy here!”

“Yeah but this is important.”

“Not as important as my job.”

“Puh-lease. I’ll make Thatch move the stupid tables. Now. How. Do. You. Feel. About. Poker?”

“It’s fun as hell and a great way to earn money!”

“Good. We’re playing tomorrow.”

“What?!”

“Bye Ace!”

“Wait! Haruta! Get your ass back here dammit!”

DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUUN

“I can’t believe your idea to celebrate is to break into the community pool for a night pool party.” Sabo huffed at Luffy as the little brat laughed while climbing the fence.

Behind them was the rest of the “guests”, a combination of family and practically family, all holding various bags and boxes.

Sabo didn’t think it was a bad idea per se, just a really odd and unexpected one to come from Luffy.

“Stop complaining and catch!” Nami yelled from the other side of the fence, tossing a duffle bag over the chain link for Sabo.

The blond listened to the scary teen and caught every bag, one by one. Who knew that a break-in part needed so much stuff?

After all the goods were on the pool’s side, everyone else started climbing the fence as well. Zoro and Sanji were racing like always, Franky was carrying Robin like the good husband he was, Nami and Vivi were doing the equivalent of strolling, Ace climbed halfway down and then jumped, Brook had Chopper on his back, and Usopp was wiggling up like a worm.

Luffy cheered as soon as everyone was on the poolside of the fence, then he pushed Ace into the water.

Sabo busted out laughing at watching their little brother push the eldest into the pool. Luckily Ace was both in his swimsuit and had his phone in his bag and NOT his pockets.

Luffy squealed and started running as soon as Ace started climbing out, cursing his little brother as he did. The crew laughed along with Sabo especially as they watched Ace pick Luffy up and toss him into the deep end for revenge.

“Alright, you hoodlums, enough. Let’s set the party up before everyone gets soaked.” Nami directed, asking Sanji to set up the food and everyone else to do everything else.

In no time at all the public closed community pool was decked out with party supplies. A table of food, one of drinks, random pool floats, beach towels, and other toys pretty much littered every available surface.

Nami, Vivi, and Robin all laid out on the lounge chairs, even though there was no sun to catch, just chatting with each other about certain developments that occurred over the past few weeks since they last saw each other.

The boys, well they went straight into the pool.

Ace had lifted Sabo straight off the ground after the blond removed his shirt, and ran and jumped into the deep end with said boyfriend.

Sabo laughed ridiculously after he resurfaced, Ace’s well-muscled arms wrapped around him tightly. It was nice to be so close to his boyfriend in “public” again.

Work really was hell for both of them. Sabo remaining professional meant he didn’t return any of Ace’s affections no matter how badly he wanted to. Especially since it seemed like Marco was making it his goal to keep the two as far away from each other as possible during work hours.

But everyone here was a friend and they’d known them all for years so Sabo had no problem landing a wet kiss on Ace’s delicious lips. It was their anniversary after all. Five years today.

Their kiss was interrupted by a scream and a flailing Chopper splashing into the water right next to them.

From there, everything seemed to devolve into play time.

Zoro and Sanji raced almost twelve times, Luffy piggy backed on Franky and shot water at people from the man’s impressive homemade water guns. Sabo went from swimming, hanging on to Ace, relaxing in a chair to talk to his ladies, and diving off of the rather dingy diving board.

Usopp started up a game of Sharks and Minnows in which no one wanted Zoro or Ace to be a shark because they were unfairly fast. But Sabo was “it” first so Ace lagged behind on purpose to get “eaten” and the next round the fit man caught Zoro and all hell occurred from there.*

Nami got pissed off halfway through the game and changed it to Categories, which was worse to be completely honest, then again to Marco Polo, which no one could win because Ace and Sabo laughed every time anyone cried out “Marco”.**

After the cake was had, and food was eaten, Ace, Sabo, Chopper, Usopp, and Franky were back in the pool. Luffy was still stuffing his face with food, Nami and Zoro had somehow gotten into a drinking contest, because Robin was a horrible adult influence and brought alcohol to a party where only five out of twelve people were legal.

Said bad influence was sitting on the edge of the shallow end, kicking her feet in the water as her husband swam near her. Brook was sitting next to her, discussing his latest fencing tournament, Sanji was trying to save some food for leftovers, and Vivi was cheering Nami on in her contest.

At some point though, Luffy had found Ace’s new phone and was flicking open the messages app to text himself the video he was about to take. But…right under Luffy’s name in Ace’s contacts was Marco…who’s name the high schooler had clicked on instead…

Oops.

-FEAR ME I AM A LINE!-

Thatch had Marco’s phone. He took it away from his brother to add some game to it so the cook could recruit someone and get some cool reward or some shit.

So he wasn’t expecting the sudden text from Ace of all people. Marco had made it pretty clear that Thatch’s work out buddy was his least favorite person at the company.

The blond had explained his dislike once but Thatch still didn’t know what Shanks had in common with the fit twenty year old.

Either way, Marco getting a text from the temp, after a month of the bird brain’s dislike being blatant, had Thatch’s curiosity spiked…

How was Marco to know if Thatch peeked a little at the message?

Opening the messaging app, he was surprised again when it wasn’t a text but a video. Curiosity still had him opening it and the red-head’s eyes widened and widened as it started and before he know it, Thatch had paused it and was running to the living room where the rest of the family was. They had to see this.

Of course the family was watching a movie but Thatch was positive that this video was ten times more interesting than The Avengers.

So, Thatch turned on the Chromecast*** that was installed on Marco’s phone, and flicked the video to the TV screen. There were several shouts of “no”, “come on”, and “dammit Thatch”, but that quieted when everyone saw the messaging system that was titled with “Ace”.

“Babe, why are you texting Ace?” Izou spoke from the couch, her voice filled with curiosity but no accusations.

“I wasn’t…this is Marco’s phone.”

As one the whole family looked to Marco. The whole family knew about the man’s dislike even if they hadn’t met the target of Marco’s ire.

“Why do you have Ace’s number, Marco? You don’t even like him.” Haruta questioned next, looking at the blond with a stink eye, they liked Ace just fine and couldn’t understand why Marco simply didn’t.

 Marco just sighed and rubbed his forehead in stress before answering.

“I may not like him, but I am his boss and I should be able to contact him when I need to.”

“Good reason, but Thatch…why do you have Marco’s phone?” Fossa asked the mischievous brother, knowing Thatch was obviously planning something devious.

“Never mind that.” Thatch waved off. “Watch this.”

The cook pressed play on the video and turned up the volume. Some of the family tried to ignore the video as it was probably not meant for their eyes but the loudness was hard to not pay attention to.

“Wooooooooooo!”

The image focused on a pool with a lot of half-naked young people in it. Not a single Newgate recognized anyone on the video except for the WB Corp employees. To them the blond in the middle of the frame and the dark-haired man he was holding were very familiar.

“Is that Sabo and Ace?” Rakuyo asked loudly and suddenly everyone was focusing on the video, getting their first look at the WB Corp’s temps.

“The blond and the guy he’s holding?” Jozu asked and all the employees nodded as they focused on the video…and the fact that Sabo was holding Ace.

The dark-haired man had a huge smile stretched across his face as he held on to Sabo’s neck. The blond was moving slightly but whoever was holding the camera kept the two in the center.

“Haha! Luffy! What are you doing with my phone, you brat?” Ace yelled out, his words sounding harsh but his voice relaying anything but.

“I’m adding to the collection! Shishishi!” a young voice shouted from off the screen, the video shaking slightly, which led the family to believe that the person recording was this ‘Luffy’.

“Suuuuppaaaaaah idea, Luffy-bro!” a loud voice rang out from off screen, “Don’t forget Robin and I!”

Briefly the video swung to show a big man with blue hair and a smallish woman with black hair smiling creepily. But it was quickly moved back to Ace and Sabo who were even closer together if that was even possible.

“1! 2! 3!” the young voice from earlier started to count down and suddenly a lot of voices shouted out, “CONGRADULATIONS!”

The Newgate family all blinked in shock as they watched the video, particularly surprised by the sudden loud Congratulations being shouted on the TV.

Marco turned to Thatch with a look, wanting to know why he interrupted movie night for some random party video of Ace and Sabo.

“Thatch-”

“Shhhh…keep watching.” Thatch cut his brother off swiftly, directing everyone’s attention back to the screen.

“Hey, Lu! Where’s your boy toy?” Sabo shouled, a wicked smirk dancing across his lips and Marco had to adjust his sitting arrangements slightly. The blond was still endlessly attractive.

And Ace did have a nice body as well, he’d never say otherwise, but flirting and coming on to someone who didn’t want it? Only the lowest of the low did such an absolutely horrid thing. How hard was it for his family to understand that?

“Traffy is studying! He has a test thing on Monday!” ‘Luffy’ yelled back, snapping Marco out of his musings and focused his attention back to the TV. He still couldn’t believe the position Ace and Sabo were in…he knew they were friends of sorts but that seemed awfully intimate…had Ace forced Sabo to hold him?

“Awww. Poor baby bro~ missing your precious boyfriend~” Ace sing-songed, clutching tighter to Sabo’s neck, causing Marco to clench his fists, now thoroughly convinced that Ace was making Sabo be that close to him.

“Shut up, Accce!! This isn’t about me!” the younger yelled again, his voice high pitched and whiny as he did.

“Yeah bros! This is about you two, us, and the graduates!” the loud voice from earlier yelled again. The camera shook slightly as suddenly it zoomed to Sabo and Ace, cutting out the few people that were in the background until it was just the two opposites.

“Congradulations!” an even younger voice yelled out excitedly.

“For making it to five years!” a slightly rough male voice rang from one side.

“To many more years!” a deep gruff voice spoke from the same side as the previous.

“To driving each other crazy!” a woman.

“To driving us crazy!” another woman.

“To living the best tale!” a light male voice.

“To making your own tune of society’s song!” an older male voice.

“To being together!” the dark female voice from earlier.

“And neverrrrrr apart!” the loud male voice echoed and suddenly everything was almost eerily quiet.

The Newgate’s were all staring at the TV, watching as Sabo and Ace’s faces leaned closer together with each shout, and how both were flushing deep red as they did.

Marco was incredibly confused, mostly because Ace wasn’t the only one that was leaning, Sabo was as well.

He didn’t have any time to even try and collect his thoughts because the loud shouting from the TV once more caught his attention.

“Happy Fifth Anniversary!”

Time seemed to practically slow to a stop as Marco watched Sabo’s hand push Ace’s head closer to his own. He watched as Sabo claimed Ace’s lips in a kiss. Watched as they both closed their eyes and sunk into the kiss. Watched as they slowly separated. And he saw the absolute love and devotion shining in both of their eyes.

He was so wrong.

It wasn’t that Sabo didn’t want Ace, but probably the blond’s professionalism that kept him from responding to the fit man’s affections at work.

The video closed as it came to a sudden end, cutting off the wolf whistles and cheers. And Marco immediately slammed his face into his hands hard enough to hurt.

“I’m such an asshole, yoi.”

All the Newgate siblings and the patriarch looked at Marco with concern. They all knew Marco didn’t like Ace, for whatever reason he had that was his business, but they had no idea why the video would suddenly make Marco call himself an asshole.

“Why would you say that, son?” Pops spoke, trying to convey soothing and not endless curiosity. He didn’t do as well on that as he thought he could.

“I didn’t like Ace, and treated him so badly, because I thought he was pushing his feelings onto Sabo…feelings that I thought were completely unwanted on Sabo’s part, yoi…”

Suddenly the blond’s dislike of the young worker made actual sense. Everyone knew about Marco’s intense hatred of Shanks and the red-head’s constant invitations into his and his husband’s bed…That explained so much actually.

“Yeah…that kinda makes you an asshole.” Haruta spoke quietly, looking at Marco with a mix of affection, disappointment, and mischievousness.

“Well it’s not like he knew they were together…hell I don’t think anyone knew!” Thatch exclaimed with his hands in the air, his arms waving in agitation.

“I knew.” A soft voice broke up the loud conversations going on, and everyone looked at Izou after she spoke.

“What?” Thatch and Marco whispered in shock at their lover/sibling.

“I’ve known the whole time they were dating. I mean I thought it was four years, but I knew either way.” Izou looked incredibly serene as she sipped her tea and bared the weight of all her siblings staring at her.

“How on earth-? Why didn’t you share that little bit of information?!” Haruta yelled, hurt that their sister would keep something like that to herself.

“Well it’s hardly anyone’s business but theirs. Besides, it’s more fun this way.” Izou smirked and gave Marco a look.

“Fuck…I need to apologize, yoi.”

Izou nodded at her blond brother and pulled her boyfriend down to sit next to her on the very large couch. Thatch wrapped his arm around his lover’s shoulders and snuggled into her currently limp hair. It smelled good dammit.

“Ace loves food, and so does Sabo. Just take them out to dinner and apologize properly. Explain yourself. Everything should work out after that.” Izou spoke nonchalantly and gave Marco another look that clearly said, ‘don’t be a dumbass, you dumbass.’ It wasn’t something she could do often so she took advantage of it.

“How in the world do you know these things?” Haruta exclaimed loudly, their face scrunched in confusion as they looked at their sister.

“You don’t even work there!”

Izou leveled every single person in the room with a flat stare that caused many of them to look down in intimidation. Then she took another sip of her tea, closed her eyes, and gave that condescending smile that struck fear in all who witnessed it.

“I know everything, Haruta, dear. And no one should forget that.”

-LINE LINE LINE TIS A LINE-

“Can you believe that someone called the cops?” Ace asked under his breath as he and Sabo arrived at their shitty apartment.

Sabo laughed a little as he wrapped his arms around Ace’s waist, who was trying to open the door. But a frisky boyfriend made that more difficult than it should be.

“Of course they did! We broke in to a closed community pool!”

“Well yeah, but why wait until after a few hours of partying?” Ace finally got the door open and the two stumbled in, their blood alcohol levels pretty high.

Sabo chuckled along with Ace as he ended up pressed up against his mouthwatering boyfriend who was now squished to the wall.

Ace smiled widely in return, dropping the bags he held and reaching up to wrap his arms around Sabo’s neck. The blond pressed his nose to Ace’s now dry neck and inhaled his fresh scent.

“Maybe they heard it was our anniversary?” Sabo mouthed into that strong neck and Ace shuddered in response.

“Mmmm…Happy anniversary, Sabo.” The dark-haired man whispered, tightening his grip on the slightly taller man.

“Happy anniversary, love.” Sabo spoke just as quietly into Ace’s ear, lips lightly caressing the shell.

They stayed like that for just a few moments, soaking in each other’s love, their presence. They simply basked in each other’s arms.

But nice things have to end eventually and the two separated, sharing one last intense lock of eyes and a kiss before Ace grabbed the bags to put everything away and Sabo went to check on Striker.

After putting the bags in the living room, Ace pulled out his phone to text Luffy, to ask if his younger brother made it home safely and to let him know that Ace and Sabo were okay.

However his phone was still open to the messaging app Luffy had used to send the memory video to himself. So before texting his little brother, Ace enjoyed watching the video first.

By the time the video was over, Sabo was exiting the bedroom, mouth open to ask Ace something but stopped when he saw the horrified look on his boyfriend’s face.

“Ace…are you okay?” Sabo asked hesitantly, approaching the dark-haired man as the blond inched closer to his prone form.

“Holy fuck…Sabo we can’t go back to work…” Ace spoke hoarsely, his eyes still locked onto his phone as he did.

“What? What are you talking about?” Sabo questioned quickly, wrapping his arms around his boyfriend.

“Luffy didn’t send that video to himself…” the blond hummed, laying his head on Ace’s shoulder, not too worried about whatever the dark-haired man was panicking about. The phone was new, no matter who he sent it to, nothing bad would happen.

“Oh? Who’d he send it to? Nami?” Sabo giggled at the thought, knowing that the orange-haired lady hates too much clutter on her phone.

“No…Luffy sent it to Marco…”

Sabo slipped right off of Ace as he blanched with that piece of information.

“What?”

“Luffy sent the video of us kissing to our boss!” Ace whirled around and looked at Sabo with wide eyes.

“We are so fired…this is…is sexual harassment or something…especially since Marco doesn’t even like me! Fired…so so fired…” the elder murmured as he paced slightly.

Sabo sighed and messaged his forehead as he stood back up properly. Marco was a good boss…really hard on Ace, but he never made Ace do anything more than a lot of physical labor, nothing illegal or degrading…he wouldn’t fire either of them for a silly mistake.

“We aren’t going to get fired, Ace.”

Ace opened his mouth to contradict Sabo’s statement, but the blond held up a hand to stop his boyfriend and continued speaking.

“When we go in to work on Monday, we’ll find Marco, apologize, and explain that Luffy stole the phone and then sent the video to him on accident. I’m sure he’ll understand.”

“You don’t know that. He could fire me easily, we’re temps…we…I…mean very little in the grand scheme of things…”

“And you don’t know that he’ll fire us. He’s an understanding boss, a little harsh, but understanding.” Sabo sighed, wrapping his arms back around Ace to rub his back and calm him down a bit.

“But-”

“No more buts, love. Unless it’s your butt. Neither of us know what will happen, cause neither of us are in Marco’s head. So let’s not worry about what if’s or could be’s, and just celebrate our anniversary.”

Ace closed his mouth and then his eyes as Sabo started to lick his neck slowly. It was hard to think about his inevitable unemployment when his blond could do such wonderful things with his tongue.

Sabo moved across the expanse of skin slowly, biting down hard enough to leave a mark on the back of  Ace’s neck. A perfect print of Sabo’s teeth.

The blond smiled wickedly, enjoying the view of Ace baring his mark. It did something to the primitive dominant male part of his brain and Sabo couldn’t help but lick his lips.

Of course, Ace took this opportunity to move their positions, leaving Sabo laying on the lumpy couch with a smirking Ace sitting on top of his hips.

 Sabo only got a few moments to enjoy the sight as shortly afterwards Ace bent down and attached his own lips to the base of Sabo’s throat.

The younger couldn’t stop himself from throwing his head back and moaning at the action. It was Sabo’s favorite part about their relationship.

That they were truly equal.

Sometimes Sabo felt like the more dominant, more often than not with how affection starved both parties were, but sometimes Ace took over. They both loved pleasuring their lover.

Sliding his hands up the strongest back Sabo had ever seen, the blond pressed his fingers just right for Ace to moan into the throat skin he was currently sucking on.

A breathless chuckle escaped pink lips and Sabo tangled his fingers in Ace’s longish dark locks to move his boyfriend’s head so he could lay a kiss on the lovely red mouth.

Ace slipped his tongue in first, trying to get everything back in his favor, but Sabo just enjoyed the ministrations.

Kissing was such an intimate motion between the two that often times the two just kissed heavily instead of “going all the way”.

Sex wasn’t necessary for their relationship, even though both enjoyed it very much. But with how busy they both were, sex was a rare event that had to be planned.

Releasing his beloved, Sabo smiled at the red cheeks of the drop-dead sexy Portuguese man.

“Marco is hot.”

That was not what Sabo was expecting to come out of his boyfriend’s mouth. His half-naked, sitting on top of him boyfriend.

“Well yes…” Sabo replied, looking up at Ace as his face shifted from its normal delicious tan to bright crimson red.

“It’s just…he’s hot…and it’s physical, but work is good…and Thatch is fun and and…I don’t want to get fired, Sabo…” Ace whispered, laying down on Sabo’s chest, tucking his face into the blond’s neck and breathing in his scent.

Sabo sighed lightly, reaching up and burying his hand into Ace’s slightly damp ebony locks.

Poor Ace. He wasn’t used to having such a lush job, low pay, but still lush compared to all the other things he’s done.

So it wasn’t a surprise that Ace was worried about being fired.

“I know, Ace, I know…we’ll do our best on Monday to not get fired okay? We’ll speak to Marco first thing.”

Ace nodded into Sabo’s neck and then snuggled his body closer to the blond’s, wrapping his arms around his slim waist and settling into the warm body of his boyfriend.

Sabo smiled, wrapping his one arms around Ace’s waist, burrowing his nose into slightly fruity smelling hair.

Cuddling and sleeping sounded like a great way to spend their anniversary night. To both parties.

-ONE.MORE.LINE!-

Marco was nervous as hell.

He could not recall a single instance of when he was ever as nervous as this, not even when he was being threatened with expulsion for beating up a genderphobic asshole.

But that was that and this was this.

And he was. Horribly. Nervous.

How exactly do you tell a couple that you’ve treated one of them badly because of a misconception? That you’d really like to apologize by taking them both out to dinner.

This was a stupid idea.

Marco has no idea why he lets Izou talk him into these ridiculous plots. He knows that his pretty sibling is trying to set him up, but Sabo and Ace are with each other.

Sure. He played with the idea of dating Sabo but that was before Marco knew that the other blond was taken.

Dammit.

Sitting in his office was doing nothing but making Marco think and overthink about the whole situation. He was going to wait for the two to come to his office around eight but instead he’ll go to them in the gym.

Before he could talk himself out of the action, he stood from his chair and stomped to his door.

A deep breath and then he was walking down the hall to the elevator and down to the floor that the gym was on.

While riding down Marco remembered that Thatch would be in there with both temps.

Dammit.

He couldn’t very well talk to them privately with his nosiest brother there. Sure Thatch could keep a secret but he likes to know them and will go out of his way to gossip just so he can know.

Marco didn’t even try to stop himself from banging his head against the elevator wall.

Ow.

However before he could bury himself too far into his head again, his phone made a squawking sound signifying he got a text.

He really needs to ask Izou how to change the damn alert tone. The squawking bird was only funny the first month, now it was just annoying.

Checking the screen, Marco laughed when he realized Izou had predicted the situation.

‘I told Thatch that I had an emergency. He’s on his way home now. Don’t waste this chance, bird.’

God bless Izou.

Marco needed to buy them a fucking new kimono for this, he had a list of things to thank his sibling for after all.

The elevator dinging worked as a grounding sound and Marco could hardly recognize his nervousness from earlier.

He didn’t even have to prepare himself as he stepped out of the steel box and made his way down an empty hallway to the only still in use room on this floor.

The gym.

Jesus Christ.

Marco was not going to be nervous. He was going to be his normal self, apologize, and invite them out to dinner on Friday.

Simple.

Opening the door with his eyes closed and opened his mouth to start talking as soon as possible, but his body had other ideas when he finally opened his eyes.

Marco’s mouth dried.

Ace was on the treadmill, running with a set of ten pound dumbbells in each hand. He wasn’t wearing a shirt. Which would have been fine, he saw both Ace and Sabo shirtless during the video, but on the video he didn’t have the faint impression of teeth on the back of his neck.

Not only that, but the black-haired man was also only wearing a pair of short running shorts.

Marco always considered himself a leg man. There was something attractive about the curves of calves, the plumpness of thighs, the sheer amount of muscle that existed in the legs.

And Ace’s legs were drool worthy.

Taunt with the jiggle of muscle every time the foot impacted on the tread. The tensing of the calves, the sheer fluid way Ace ran was amazing.

Even Marco himself didn’t look that smooth while running and he’d been on track in high school AND college.

Marco had to force his head away from the glorious sight and instead looked to the left, which only made his mouth dry even more.

The older blond knew both temps were attractive but he’d never contemplate Ace’s attractiveness because he thought he was an asshole. So it was natural to be surprised when Ace’s physical beauty was thrown in his face.

He constantly considered Sabo’s attractiveness over the past month so he shouldn’t be surprised at all by seeing the other blond in a pose that flattered his assets.

But he was.

Sabo was facing away from the door, towards the wall mirror, feet pointed at Marco’s position in a perfect Bhujangasna (cobra pose).

It was one of Marco’s personal favorite yoga poses because it cracked his stressed back in a wonderful way but he’d never thought the position could look this attractive.

Not only did it emphasize Sabo’s flexibility with how far back he was currently pushing himself, but his flat and pointed legs also showed off the leg muscles and his butt.

It was almost always assumed that if Marco was a leg man then he felt relatively similar about asses. And that assumption would be quite correct. Nine times out of ten, beautiful legs meant a beautiful butt and with the Bhujangasana, Sabo’s looked like a perfect bubble.

With perfect legs being shown off on one side and a perfect butt being shown off on the other, Marco really had no choice but to close his eyes and breathe slowly through his nose.

He had no idea how long he stood in the doorway with his eyes closed and focused solely on his breathing. But that was all broken by two voices breathing his name. One collected and one breathy.

“Marco?”

Fuck.

He was so screwed.

TBC

Chapter Text

BUSINESS START! 

Ace didn’t get a lot of sleep last night, despite how comfortable and loved he felt all wrapped up in Sabo’s arms.

He was half anxious about the…confrontation with Marco about the video Luffy had accidently sent him. The other half was the normal feelings that started acting up around his and Sabo’s anniversary.

Sabo thought that all those thoughts of self-hate had long since burned away with the blond’s love. And they had…to a point.

Instead of hating himself for his parentage or his worthlessness, Ace now hated himself for chaining Sabo to him for so long. He knew he wasn’t worth all the effort his blond boyfriend put into their relationship. He knew it. So he always felt horrible knowing that he’s been selfishly stealing Sabo’s better options by continuing to stay with him.

Normally Ace was very good at pushing those thoughts aside, but their anniversary always brought them back.

So he spent the night fitfully trying to sleep and watching Sabo’s already sleeping face.

When their alarm went off, Ace jumped in surprise, he didn’t think it was so late…early??

Either way, when Sabo groaned, Ace jumped out of bed, heading for the closet to grab Sabo’s and his work out bag and their suit carrier thing…he still couldn’t believe Vivi had gotten them that for their anniversary…

“Mmm…Ace? Why are you up already?” Sabo’s voice was rough from sleep and the darker haired partner flushed at the sound.

His blond really was attractive in every aspect…

“Just some…trouble sleeping.” Ace didn’t look at Sabo as he spoke, instead taking their stuff out to their living room.

There were a few noises from the bedroom and Ace knew Sabo was hurrying to throw on his yoga pants and tank so he could talk to Ace…

But he didn’t really want to talk, so he buried himself in making some egg bowls to get them through their work out without passing out.

It was a doubled edged sword, that action, because while it made him too busy to talk with Sabo, it also meant that he couldn’t hear the blond come up behind him.

“You were thinking about the video all night, weren’t you?”

Combined with the still sleep heavy voice, Sabo wrapped his arms around his waist and spoke directly into Ace’s ear, the breath caressing his neck.

Ace opened his lips to reply, but his mouth dried up when Sabo decided to place his lips on Ace’s neck.

Every so often the blond would lick the taunt neck and Ace would shudder, enjoying Sabo’s ministrations. Luckily he stopped when breakfast was done being cooked.

Quickly Sabo walked over to the cabinet, getting out two bowls and some forks from the drawer. Ace was still flushing as he plated up the food.

“It’ll be fine, hun. You’re worrying too much about an accident.”

“And you’re not worrying enough, Sab…” Ace glanced up at his blond boyfriend and sighed shakily, “Don’t you remember last time an employer got personal info on us?”

Sabo froze at Ace’s quiet statement and glared at the door that led into their breaking down house.

He shouldn’t have brought up that moment, it was the reason Sabo started keeping his personal and work lives so extremely separate. Ace felt bad but that was a big reason why he was panicking about this so badly. They really couldn’t afford another situation like that.

“Of course I remember what happened, Ace…I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget…but…”

“But what?! Sabo…you have to see how similar these two situations are! The only difference is that we’re both working at the same company! THIS WAS HOW EVERYTHING STARTED!” Ace slammed his empty bowl on the table and winced when he heard the wood creak and groan.

He let out another shaky sigh and placed his hand over his eyes, leaning back in the chair to breathe slowly. The sleepless night was getting to him, and Ace had to fight back against his leaking eyes.

Fighting with Sabo was something he tried to actively avoid. They could always work out disagreements rather calmly because they were never that serious.

 But this…this was their JOBS. That they needed…to keep living…

Suddenly there were arms around his neck from behind, a chin resting on the top of his head.

“I agree…that…I never want that situation to happen again…but…these people are different…they aren’t…they aren’t like that past employer…they…they care…and I…I don’t think Marco will take advantage of us, okay?”

Sabo’s hands trailed down Ace’s chest, brushing softly in a repetitive pattern, knowing that his anxious mind needed something calming to focus on. The blond moved his chin, rubbing it through Ace’s hair until Sabo was pretty much nuzzling the black locks.

Ace breathed in heavily through his nose, letting the air out in a huge whoosh from his mouth. He nodded his head slightly; reaching to grasp at Sabo’s wandering hands, holding them tightly in his own.

“I really really really hope you are right, Sab…I don’t want to look for another crappy job after having this not so crappy job.”

They stayed just like that for a few moments, soaking in each other’s presence for just a bit more. It was nice to simply enjoy each other’s company with no outsiders around.

But all too soon they had to separate and put the dishes into the sink, grab their stuff and head to the bus stop so they weren’t late.

The bus ride and the tram ride was quiet, Sabo and Ace not holding hands but sitting as close together as they possibly could get.

Whitebeard Corp’s current building was dark but the rising sun was slowly bathing it in warm colors and Ace smiled. The gym always soothed his frazzled anything so he was glad Sabo decided to join him today.

Normally the blond would just come and watch Ace but that was boring. He much preferred it when Sabo joined him, even if the younger wasn’t doing the same exercise.

Besides, Ace was a muscle training kind of person and Sabo was a yoga kind of person. It worked out in a weird way regardless of how others saw it.

The trip up to the gym and to the locker area was less quiet with Ace filling in the space with a song he made up for Luffy about islands and idiots.

After they put up their suits and dropped their gym bag, Sabo gave Ace a light kiss on the cheek before he headed over to the treadmill. For some reason the blond preferred to walk his muscles loose before he started into his yoga routine.

It was strange to Ace simply because the proper procedure for exercising was muscles then cardio. Thatch did the same thing so why didn’t Sabo do it that way?

Speaking of the red-headed cooking enthusiast, Ace wondered where he was as he headed over to the bench press equipment. Normally he’d wait for Thatch to spot him but he needed the strain on his muscles to get the stress out.

He’d be apologizing to Marco in about an hour, after all.

Ace did a few repetitions, enjoying the burning of his muscles as he moved over to do some squats before hopping on the treadmill.

About thirty squats later, Ace was moving to the running equipment as Sabo was hopping off. The blond smiled as they passed, also laying his hand on Ace’s butt for a quick squeeze, which made said gym rat squeak.

Sabo was laughing loudly as he made it to the front of the mirror, looking at Ace through the reflection. The blue eyes were sparkling with joy.

But the elder couldn’t let his boyfriend win, so he used the attention against Sabo by pulling his sweaty black tank top over his head.

The best known fact about Sabo, that every single one of his friends knew, was that he LOVED Ace’s chest; almost as much as the blond loved the darker man’s back.

Ace threw a smirk at his boyfriend, grabbing some light dumbbells, hopping on the treadmill, and starting it in short succession. It was his turn to laugh when he heard Sabo’s huff of breath.

It was always fun to exchange teasing motions so Ace’s face stayed stretched with a wide smile as he glanced to Sabo doing yoga every now and then.

He just let the mindless running take over and kept running at the same pace for who knows how long. Ace often forgot to pay attention to his surroundings and the time when he ran. It was why Sabo always told him when they needed to shower or they’d end up late.

Ace just kept on running until his breath was coming out in huffs and his body was practically soaked in sweat. His running shorts were starting to feel uncomfortable with how saturated in his sweat they were getting.

That made Ace wonder a bit. Did he start running earlier than normal? His shorts had never gotten to this point at work before; Sabo always stopped him for a shower before they could reach this point.

So Ace flipped his head back, his goal to see what Sabo was doing that would distract him from the time. The blond was punctual like that.

Ace was hoping to see his boyfriend in one of the more straining positions so he could enjoy the view like he was sure Sabo was doing to him.

Maybe Ace should suggest to Thatch that they turn the treadmills so Ace could properly ogle his boyfriend.

That wasn’t what Ace saw though. No. He saw Marco standing in the doorway with his eyes closed.

Oh shit.

Time to face the music, Ace’s mouth was suddenly dry as he stopped the treadmill and stepped off. His jaw was moving up and down as he tried to call Sabo’s attention but he was too nervous to do anything.

Luckily the blond had a sixth sense when it came to Ace and his uncomfortableness, so shortly after he had stepped off the machine Sabo looked over his shoulder.

The widening of the blue eyes keyed Ace into the fact that Sabo wasn’t expecting Marco to be in the doorway either.

 There goes the idea that Sabo set this up so Ace couldn’t back out of their apology…

Sabo quickly pushed himself off the ground, rolling over in a back roll before he made it onto his feet. Ace took a moment to be in awe of his boyfriend’s flexibility and nimbleness, it was always something he enjoyed seeing.

Said blond quickly made his way to Ace’s side, sharing a look that conveyed the same question that Ace had.

With a shrug of his shoulders Ace continued breathing heavily as he looked at Marco.

His boss was attractive. It was unfair how attractive the man always looked, but today he looked extra handsome.

Marco was wearing a dark navy three-piece suit offset by a black button-up and tie. His shoes were the same nice black Oxfords as always and his blond hair was gelled back like it always seemed to be. How did he get his hair to stay like that anyway? It always looked the same at the end of the day as it did in the beginning. Maybe it was magic?

Suddenly Ace couldn’t stand the silence anymore and he shared a look with Sabo before they both spoke. Ace’s voice dotted with heavy breaths and Sabo’s as calm as ever.

“Marco?”

-Wow! A wild line has appeared!-

Marco was not panicking, okay?

He was absolutely not floored with the sight of the two younger men in mid-work out, he was not completely captivated by their alluring muscles, and he DEFINITELY was not thinking about how stupid he was to shun Ace because of something he thought was happening.

Pops always did tell him that he denied what he was really feeling, why should this situation be any different.

His eyes were still closed, Marco’s head was now tilted back and he was so very tempted to pinch the bridge of his nose to cut off the thoughts his brain was supplying him with. This was a serious conversation, and Marco needed to ignore his body’s impulse and focus on apologizing to Ace for being such a shit the past month.

Easier said than done when Marco opened his eyes and was once again greeted with two very sweaty, very attractive young men.

Gods help him.

Slowly Marco took a few subtle deep breaths, focusing on his lungs expanding and contracting slowly while still keeping his eyes open and glued to Sabo and Ace.

That staring just made it quite obvious that Marco was unnerving the two. They both kept shifting from one foot to the other and exchanged glances every few seconds, like they weren’t sure how to continue on with the conversation.

In just a few seconds, that felt like hours, Marco was finally worked up enough that he felt like he could truly start this apology.

But just as he started to open his mouth to begin the speech, that he definitely didn’t practice last night while he was awake in bed staring at the ceiling unable to sleep, Ace beat him to the punch.

“Waitwaitwait! Before you say anything at all, I just-I wanted to, you it was an accident-there was a lot going on-my brother just-he doesn’t think, you know, and he wasn’t paying attention to the contact lists. And really it’s my fault anyway for leaving my phone in his reach. And he just wanted to record the moment, and he always just sends it to Nami because she’s the one who compiles everything, and really it was just bizarre circumstance, and please don’t fire me. I know it was inappropriate anyway, but it was really just an accident, and I really like this job even though there’s a lot of physical labor, and everyone here is really cool and not at all like other coworkers at other jobs I’ve had have been-and I need this job really, I don’t think we’d be able to pay our bills if you fired me and I just wanted to apologize-”

Marco couldn’t stop his rapid blinking as Ace seemed to work himself into a frenzy, words spewing forth from his pretty red lips in no discernable pattern.

It seemed like he wasn’t going to stop himself without any outside interference because Ace just kept going. Words coming out faster and faster until Marco didn’t even know what he was trying to say or if the words were even in English.

So of course the obvious thing to do was to look to Sabo for an explanation.

Though Marco realized that wouldn’t do much good because said blond had his face buried in his hands, his head shaking back and forth like he couldn’t believe what was going on.

Marco looked back to Ace, who was still rambling, his hands now moving together with obvious nervousness. The fidgeting was rather reminiscent of Thatch when he did something he was sure Izou wouldn’t approve of.

But if Sabo wasn’t going to stop Ace from continuing with his word vomit, then Marco probably should, if just so he could find out exactly what the younger was talking about.

“…but really all I’m trying to say is that I am so so sorry that that video was sent to you.”

Now Marco was really confused, why on earth was Ace apologizing for what was clearly an accident?

Marco opened his mouth to ask his question but he paused before giving voice to it completely, a thought coming to him just as quickly as Ace was just speaking.

Ace is tripping all over himself to apologize to me for an accident…why would he think he would have to do that?

Looking at the two much closer, Marco noticed a few things he hadn’t while Ace was spewing a completely unnecessary apology at him.

They were both sweating, obviously because they were just exercising, but on a second glance Marco noticed they were both sweating much more than someone would after cooling down for a little over five minutes.

Ace couldn’t actually look at Marco, and Sabo was shifting from side to side, and Ace was still playing with his hands, and Sabo’s gaze was shifting back and forth from looking at Marco to looking at the man beside him.

These two were clearly nervous, and for the life of him, Marco couldn’t figure out why.

His brain was practically spinning at what could possibly be going one, when a phrase from Ace’s ramble seemed to start flashing behind his eyelids on repeat every time Marco blinked.

“Please don’t fire me.”

Ace thought he was going to get fired. Why would he be thinking that? It was just a simple mistake, one that didn’t even mean anything in the long run, especially since the only thing the video did was make Marco realize how much of an asshole he had been.

“I don’t understand why you think I would fire you, yoi?”

Marco’s brain was too overloaded to work this whole situation out himself, so it was better for him to just ask his questions than make assumptions.

The whole reason this mess exists in the first place is because Marco made assumptions, and he was never one to repeat a mistake twice.

Though it seemed that straight out asking his question made both males more confused than they were before, if their narrowing eyes and furrowing brows said anything.

“Uh…because I um…there was-the video…I mean…” Ace was stuttering now, and Sabo was looking at Marco’s face with the widest eyes he’d ever seen.

“It was just an accident, yoi. The only thing that video really did was make me realize how much I needed to apologize to you.” Marco was impressed with how even his voice came out, but the two’s reaction almost made him want to laugh.

Sabo was really looking the epitome of shocked, his eyes were even wider than before, his eyebrows probably the highest they could go and his mouth just dropped open at Marco’s words.

Ace’s mouth looked practically sealed shut, his lovely brown eyes were just as wide as Sabo’s blue ones, but unlike the blond’s raised eyebrows, Ace’s were furrowed like Marco just asked him the world’s hardest riddle.

“Why…why would you need to be the one to apologize?” Sabo finally spoke, his face still stuck in surprise.

Marco coughed quietly, clearing his throat and trying to remember exactly the speech he had prepared for this situation last night. However, that was hard to do considering how not like his plan this conversation was going.

But Marco was nothing if not adaptable.

“Because I have been unforgivably rude to you, Ace, for the past month over a misconception I never even tried to confirm, yoi. I just assumed I was right and therefore clear to treat you in the most deplorable way, and I truly must apologize for doing so. You did nothing to deserve it and I never bothered to ask the question that would clear the fog over the situation, yoi.”

Marco bowed slightly as he apologized, indicative of his upbringing in Pops’ house, so he didn’t see the quick look Ace and Sabo exchanged, but he could practically hear their heads turning in the completely silent gym.

“Um…if you don’t mind me asking…uh…what misconception could be cleared up by a video like-like that?” Ace asked softly, his voice still stuttering but a bit more solid than it was in the past few moments.

And Marco flinched slightly at the question, because he was really hoping he could keep a little dignity, but it was fine. They have a right to know how much of an asshole Marco was really being.

“Ahh, well that your relationship is clearly mutual. Just from observing you two at work I had assumed, wrongly, that Ace as pushing himself on to you Sabo, yoi.” Marco was fighting the urge to rub the back of his head. His hair was gelled back for work and like hell was he going through the trouble of fixing that.

Now it was the other two’s turn to blink rapidly at Marco’s words, because they were clearly not expecting that to be the reason he was being such a dick.

“What?!”

“Look, it’s just a personal hate of mine, okay? It really looked like the whole relationship was one-sided and that Sabo was clearly not interested in whatever you wanted from him, Ace, yoi. I interpreted the whole situation as something that happened to me in my past and I didn’t want the same thing to be happening to you, Sabo, yoi.”

Sabo and Ace both took an obvious step back and Marco had to breathe deeply and actually gave in to the desired to cover his eyes with his hand.

Now the conversation was bringing up bad memories and really all Marco wanted to do now was to lay out the offer for dinner on Friday and head back to his office for a nice cup of Izou’s homemade rum.

“Wait…someone tried to pressure you into something you didn’t want?”

Marco wasn’t sure who asked that question, but he was really regretting even mentioning it now.

He forgot how inquisitive others could be with subtle statements.

“Yes, yoi. It was in the past and it was the worst feeling ever. I just wanted to make sure that no one in this company had to go through something like that. Especially not when I had the means to do something about it, yoi.”

Silence once again permeated the room and Marco slowly dragged his hand down his face, pausing it’s descent to rub at his light stubble while he tried to be patient for Ace and Sabo’s response to his explanation and his apology.

“Uh, I guess in that case I accept your apology? I mean after that reasoning I don’t really think you have anything to be sorry for, but I’ll accept it anyway.”

Now it was Marco’s turn to be flabbergasted. Nothing to-

“Nothing to be sorry for? I treated you like crap for the past month, for something that I completely made up in my head, yoi!”

“You hardly treated me like crap! It was just some physical labor and some obvious preferential treatment for Sabo! It’s not like you made me do anything illegal, or under the table, or corporate espionage, or something weird and creepy, or even spying on another company! Everything you’ve done is tame to some of the shit I’ve seen.”

Ace through his hands in the air and huffed over to the weight bench, plopping himself down lazily, his brown eyes still locked on to Marco.

He wasn’t serious right?

“You aren’t serious, right, yoi?”

“You’ve seen my resumé! All those jobs? I’ve done some horrible shit in the name of money and experience…”

“…that’s fucked up…”

At this point there were many different ways Marco was expecting the conversation to go. Sabo opening his mouth to laugh his ass off was not one of them.

Marco just looked at the other blond blankly, watching as his laughs got louder and louder with each passing second. A glance over at the weight bench showed that Ace was just as done with his blond boyfriend.

Shit, that’s right, they were boyfriends…

“Oh my gosh…Oh…my…gosh…that was-that was the funniest-the absolute funniest thing ever. Oh god I’m dying…I’m dying…hahahaha!”

“I…have no idea what he finds so funny…” Ace muttered, glancing over to Marco with a question on his face.

Sadly Marco didn’t have the answer either.

“Yeah…me neither, yoi.”

The two just sort of waited until Sabo was done laughing before they tried to talk anymore about anything.

Marco was actually trying to figure out how to invite the two out to dinner while Sabo was busy busting his gut over something that didn’t really have any comedic value.

When the other blond finally brought himself down to weak chuckles, and then to just sporadic intakes of breath, Marco decided to just throw the offer out there and see what happens.

“And to fully apologize, I was hoping I could take the two of you out to dinner on Friday. A restaurant of your choice and all on me, yoi. Because I don’t really think a vocal apology is enough in this situation, regardless of whether or not you think I need to be sorry or not.”

That certainly caught their attention, both younger men were back to staring at him with open mouths and quickly blinking eyes.

“You want to take us out?”

“To dinner?”

“Yes. In fact even if you decline, I’d like you two to take a paid day off on Friday anyway, yoi. We’ve really been working you too hard and I think you need a holiday, yoi.”

“A day-”

“-off?”

“Yes, yoi.” Marco breathed out heavily, not quite believing that these two were questioning literally every word that was coming out of his mouth.

“Wait…let me just clarify…you want to take us both out to dinner on Friday, and you want to give us Friday off for paid vacation, as an apology for something we already told you that you didn’t need to be sorry for?” Sabo’s whole face was pinched and Marco was seriously worried that he had said something wrong again.

“Yes. Because even if neither of you think I need to apologize, I do. And this makes me feel better about the whole thing, yoi.”

“So you are only asking us out to dinner because you feel guilty?” Ace asked harshly, and Marco finally realizes what he did wrong this time.

Luckily it didn’t take him a full month or an accidentally sent video to figure out what was going on.

“Ah…well no…I genuinely want to get to know the two of you, yoi. I always try to spend some time off work with new hires, yoi, get a feel for their personalities and see if they have a possible future in Whitebeard Corp.”

“So you’re asking us out on a date.”

Marco’s face lit up in a bright blush at Ace’s deadpan statement and he seriously wished he could meld into the floor right now. The younger man had dug right into his motives without even pausing for a second.

“You can-you can call it what you want, yoi. The point is, its half an apology, and half a way for me to get to know the two of you out of a work setting…”

His face was still hot and he did stutter, but Marco wasn’t going to give them any more possible ammunition against him and his embarrassment.

Marco would be lying if he said he wasn’t interested in dating these two. They were younger than him, much younger, sure, but besides his own reservations about what he thought was going on between the two, he genuinely liked the two.

And it had been years since his last meaningful relationship…

“So a date.” Marco could hear Ace’s smile in his short statement, and his brain just stopped working when he looked up and saw said smile.

Ace’s smiling face should be illegal…it could stop traffic on the busiest highway in this stupid city.

“You know what, yeah. You can totally take the two of us out on a date this Friday. We’ll meet you here, and you can take us out.”

Sabo’s smile should be just as illegal as Ace’s and honestly Marco would be surprised if his blush died down sometime today at all. One was bad enough for his mind, but both?

Marco would die an happy death to his imagination with the two of them.

Gladly.

“So now that this whole kerfuffle is dealt with-” Sabo started speaking but Marco had to stifle a chuckle at Ace’s bewildered face as he mouthed out ‘kerfuffle’, “Ace and I should finish up our work out, and I believe you have a date to plan…sir.”

The shit-eating grin that spread across Sabo’s lovely face was the only clue Marco needed to know that Sabo had called him sir on purpose. To get a rise out of him.

And damn the attractive blond if it didn’t work.

Marco’s blush was definitely going to last all day at this point, but with a date to look forward to, Marco really didn’t mind in the least.

He turned around and walked with purpose back to the door, determined to not look back and see the two using those glorious leg muscles.

No, Marco just exited the gym, shut the door, and leaned against it for a minute.

Too much had just happened in that little room for Marco to completely process everything, but one thing did keep pushing its way into his thoughts.

Inside the gym were two attractive college students, both smart in their own right, good workers, and they both agreed to go out on a date with him. They were even the ones who called it a date.

There was a situation that Marco was positive he wouldn’t be forgiven for, but the two really just waved it off, and seemed to be more emotional about the fact that Marco asked them out to dinner.

And called it a date.

Marco had planned for this conversation to go so many different ways, he stayed up late last night thinking about all the different scenarios. But the one that actually happened? The one that Marco was still trying to digest? Better than any of the possible outcomes he had thought of.

He couldn’t have stopped the smile from spreading across his face if he tried. His whole face moved with his lips and Marco didn’t remember the last time he was this excited.

Walking towards the elevator, Marco started whistling a common drinking song, ideas flowing in and out of his head for Friday.

After all, he had a date with his two summer temps to look forward to.

BUSINESS COMPLETE