Marco, Thatch and Captain Whitebeard
Marco couldn't believe his luck as he looked down at the three brats staring up at him.
Pops had made a deal with Garp "The Fist" and now here he was stuck babysitting the marine's three brats.
For six months.
Immediately after agreeing to help Garp the old man had called him and the rest of the commanders to his room and told them about their guests; then stated that the three brats were going to be Marco's responsibility.
As if he didn't already have enough responsibility.
And now to top it all off one of the brats is saying that he looked like a pineapple. Thatch would have a field day.
"My name is Marco."
"Your name is Marco?" the blonde brat interrupted looking entirely too happy in the pirate's opinion.
"Like Marco Polo? The older brunette snickered.
"Marco?" the younger brunette asked.
"Polo!" the other two answered and all three burst out laughing.
Marco could already feel the headaches these three were going to cause him.
"Yes, I have a funny name and a head shaped like a pineapple. Can we move on?"
"Where are we moving on to, Pineapple Head?" the youngest brat questioned.
Marco could feel his eye start to twitch. He took a deep breath to calm himself. 'You cannot hurt the brats,' he told himself.
"What are your names?" he ground out attempting to be polite.
"I'm Luffy!" the last one cheered, throwing his arms up happily.
Marco nodded his head. "Like I said earlier my name is Marco. Not pineapple head." He paused as the three snickered again. "I am the first division commander of the Whitebeard Pirates and ultimately I am the one who is in charge of you."
"Why are they Whitebeard Pirates?" the one who identified himself as Ace asked.
"Yeah, you don't have a white beard," Luffy stated.
"He's not the captain Lu," the blond said. "He's just the first division commander. According to the geezer anyway."
"Oh," the little boy said it as if all the questions in the world were answered. "So who's the captain, Pineapple Head?"
Marco really wanted to hit his head against something but knew that if he did it would just make the brats laugh. He hit his head against the side of the small boat anyways.
And he was right. They did laugh.
"I like you, Pineapple Head."
"I've already told you. My name is Marco. Mar. Co." He hit his head again.
He didn't even bother reacting to the laughter.
"You know he's going to keep calling you that," Ace stated smugly.
"Unless you know how to get him to stop," Sabo said.
"Yup. You'll probably be known as Pineapple Head for the rest of your life," the brunette informed seriously.
"Unless..." the blond spoke again.
"Unless…?" Marco lead.
"Pineapple, Pineapple, Pineapple." Marco sent a glare to the little one that singing while rocking back and forth and picking his nose. He stopped abruptly. "I'm hungry. GIVE ME MEAT!"
"This is your chance," Ace stated.
"If you have any meat, give it to him." Sabo advised.
Marco rolled his eyes deciding to go along with them for the time being. It wouldn't hurt anything. He reached into the bag that was next to him and pulled out some dried meat and held it out.
"Wait!" the two older boys. He raised an eyebrow.
"You have to tell him not to call you Pineapple Head anymore," Sabo informed.
"Fine. Hey Luffy." The small brunette looked at him with big eyes. "I'll give you this meat if you stop calling me Pineapple Head and call me Marco."
"Why would I call you Marco?"
Okay there was something seriously wrong with this kid.
"Because that's my name," he said slowly.
"Oh. So I get the meat if I call you Marco?"
"Alright." The dried meat was snatched out of his hand.
"Thanks Marco," the boy said with a smile that was brighter than the sun.
"If you want Luffy to do anything you bribe him with food," Sabo said as he pulled on his top hat.
"Preferably meat if you have it," Ace added as he adjusted his own hat.
"Thanks for the tip," Marco said warily eyeing the two.
He pretty much had the little one figured out. Stupid and liked to eat. Just what he'd expect from Garp's grandson.
The other two were going to be a bit tougher. But being related to Garp it wouldn't be that hard.
Thatch was leaning against the railing of the Moby Dick watching the small boat that contained the first division commander and three boys as it arrived. He found it hilarious that one of the fiercest pirates in the Grand Line had been ordered to babysit three kids and he was not going to let any opportunity to mess with his friend pass him by, grateful that it hadn't been him that Pops had chosen to watch the brats.
"Alright climb up," he heard Marco command.
Thirty seconds later a straw hat covered head popped up over the side. "Wow," the little boy said looking up.
"Hurry up Luffy," A voice called from below.
"Sorry," Luffy said climbing over the rail and falling onto the deck face first. Thatch was about to ask the kid if he was alright but he just sprang up and moved before another boy with an orange cowboy style hat jumped onto deck right where the other had been seconds ago. "Ace look at it!" the boy exclaimed to the other. "It's so big!"
The other boy was looking around in amazement as well mouth open in awe.
"This is the biggest ship I've ever seen," a third boy, this one with a top hat, said. The other two nodded in agreement.
"Stop dawdling." And there was the first commander. Thatch smiled at his friend who looked highly annoyed with the three boys already.
"Oh come on Marco they just got here. Give them a chance to check things out," Thatch said ignoring the glare he got in return.
"I have too much to do today. I don't have time for them to stand around!"
"Well someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed today."
"Shut up." Thatch held up his hands in a sign of surrender. "And since you're here you get to help them get settled."
He really should have seen that coming.
"Actually I really have too much to do. I have to-"
"Don't even start."
Thatch slumped slightly. He didn't really want to have to hang out with three Marine brats that, for some reason, were getting special treatment. And he really wasn't looking forward to the complaining they would no doubt do. A pirate ship was much different from a Marine one. The brats weren't going to get everything that they were used to and he really didn't want to deal with their whining.
"You're really tall." The fourth division commander looked down at the straw hatted boy.
"You're really short," he retorted causing the boy to laugh.
"I'm Luffy. Who are you?" he cocked his head to the side cutely.
"Luffy, don't bother him," the top hatted boy said grabbing the smaller boy by the back of the shirt and dragged him away and towards where Marco was walking.
"He's fine," Thatch stated. He didn't really mind talking to the kid. At least not yet.
He hadn't started whining yet.
He followed the group listening to Marco as they went. "Welcome to the Moby Dick. You are here because Pops, for some reason beyond my comprehension, decided to do a favor for you grandfather. While you are here, don't expect any special treatment. Everyone is busy and none of us have time to entertain you. You will be given a list of chores you are expected to perform every day. Anything extra you might need you will provide it for yourself."
As they walked crew members would stop and stare as the group passed. The man couldn't really blame them; it wasn't every day that they saw three kids on board of the Moby Dick let alone with two commanders. Thatch just smiled and waved as he walked passed. They made their way across the deck towards the crew quarters. It had been decided that it would be best to give the three their own room considering they were much younger than the rest of the crew.
The three brats were running around looking at anything and everything, talking excitedly to each other, completely ignoring the commanders, until Marco stopped in front of a door and swung it open revealing a tiny room with a small rickety desk and matching chair, closet and a bed. Thatch winced at the sparse furnishings. They had tried to find two more beds but there really was only the one and no one was going to go through the trouble of getting any new furniture for them considering they'd be gone in six months anyway. The blankets and pillows they had found would be enough for them to get by. But seeing as they grew up with a famous marine for a caretaker spoiling them rotten the brats probably weren't going to be happy with what they were given.
"This is your room," Marco informed looking bored. "This is all you're going to get so don't bother complaining. Everything in this room you are expected to share so get used to it."
The smallest one wasted no time before running into the room, dropping his bag on the way, and jumping onto the bed. He was closely followed by the one with the orange hat who tackled the other boy onto the mattress.
"That's fine." The last boy said. "We're used to sharing."
"Wow look Sabo we have a bed," the little one cried happily jumping again. "I haven't slept in one since I lived in Fuchsia!"
"We're not going to have one for long if you keep jumping on it," the top hat wearer rebuked.
The boy crossed his legs mid jump and landed sitting next to the older one who was running his hand across the bedding looking amazed. "Wow an actual bed. I've never slept on an actual bed before."
Thatch was stumped.
This was definitely not the reaction he was expecting.
What did he mean he never slept on a bed before?
"Then Ace gets the bed first," the little one decided.
"Good idea, Luffy," the blonde one agreed.
"Don't be ridiculous. There's enough room for all of us."
Thatch looked over towards his friend to see that the man was just as baffled as he was. Weren't they the grandsons of the hero Garp "The Fist"? Shouldn't they have been doted on and given everything they ever wanted?
"Hey, look, Sabo! They have a desk so you can write!" Luffy exclaimed.
The blonde smiled and ran over to inspect the rickety old table smiling.
"So," Thatch cleared his throat. "Do you like you're room?"
"It's amazing," Luffy said from where he was standing inside the closet. "It's a million times better than Dadan's country!"
Where was Dadans country?
Ace was still sitting on the bed somehow looking as if it was Christmas and his birthday all wrapped into one without smiling.
Thatch couldn't help the small smile that worked its way onto his face. The brats were not at all what he was expecting. The joy they showed just from a simple room that was filled with, admittedly, some of the worse furniture on the ship had them jumping up and down with excitement. "What, you're grandpa didn't give you a bed?"
"Grandpa was never home," Luffy said looking a little sad.
"I didn't live with the old man," Ace stated plainly.
"That crazy geezer is not my grandpa," Sabo stated looking slightly scared.
"Aren't you brothers?" questioned Marco.
"Yup," all three responded at once.
"Then how is he not your-"
"That's none of your business," Ace snapped. Thatch had to consciously stop himself from shivering. He had never seen such a dark look come from such a small kid. "We're brothers and that's all you need to know about us."
"Ace," the blonde one scolded lightly.
"Alright then. You're brothers. No one was saying that you weren't," Thatch said cautiously.
"As interesting as this is," Marco interrupted. "I have work to do. I'll leave you to unpack and get settled. I'll be back to check on you later." With that the blonde man left the room.
"See ya Pineapple Head," Luffy said with a happy wave.
"Bwa ha ha ha ha!" Thatch couldn't help the laughter that burst out.
"MY NAME IS MARCO!"
"Oh yeah. Sorry, I forgot!" the boy yelled.
By this point Thatch was doubled over holding his stomach not even bothering with trying to stop his laughter. The kid had spent less than a day with the first division commander and already could get under his skin. He had a feeling he was going to get along with these three. They weren't the spoiled brats everyone had been expecting and he could tell that the little one was going to be fun to have around.
"Hey Mr. Tall-Guy?"
Thatch finally was able to get control of his breathing and was now looking down at the youngest boy who looked back curiously head cocked to the side.
"What's your name?"
"Oh. Nice to meet you." The boy closed his eyes and smiled a smile that was too big for his face. "My name's Luffy."
"Nice to meet you too Luffy." The little boy giggled a little and looked proud of himself.
"Oh yes. How rude of us. We haven't introduced ourselves," the blonde said. "My name is Sabo. It is a pleasure to meet you."
"I'm Ace," the last boy said still looking slightly upset.
"It's a pleasure to meet all of you," he said with a smile. "So I hear you're going to be staying with us for a while."
"You don't have to be nice to us." The man turned his attention towards Ace. "We know nobody really want us here. Hell we don't want to be here but the old man made us come."
"Ace," the blonde caught his brother's attention and said in a sing-song voice, "Remember your lessons."
The boy scowled over at the other.
"What I mean is, thank you. It's nice to be here." The boy sounded anything but happy at the moment causing one brother to shake his head and the other to laugh.
They spent a few minutes blinking at each other not really knowing what else to say. "Well, it looks like you've got everything under control. I'll see you around," Thatch said awkwardly before moving towards the door and leaving the three boys alone.
"I still don't see what the big deal is," Ace grumbled as they followed after a frustrated looking Marco. They had been left alone for several hours to unpack their few belongings and after about thirty minutes Luffy had declared loudly that he was hungry. Ace and Sabo had instantly agreed and made some makeshift fishing poles out of their lead pipes and some rope and caught themselves a late lunch. They had lit a fire and the fish had just started to cook when Marco had stormed up and demanded to know what they were thinking.
He didn't like Luffy's simple explanation of "making lunch".
It's not like they hadn't taken precautions. They had made sure the fire wouldn't spread by making sure the deck was wet and unable to catch fire.
"He told us we're supposed to provide for ourselves," Sabo mumbled back.
"I'm hungry," Luffy whined.
Marco hadn't let them finish making their lunch and had commanded that they follow him saying that the captain wanted to see them. As he led them across deck he kept mumbling about stupid brats starting fires on deck.
As they approached the front of the ship they saw a large man sitting in a chair drinking something.
"Whoa he's huge!" Luffy exclaimed eyes wide.
"No kidding," Sabo said with the same expression.
All Ace could do was nod in agreement.
"That would be our captain," Marco informed smiling slightly. It was the first time that Ace had seen anything other than frustration or the bored sleepy expression on his face. "He is the greatest pirate to ever sail the Grand Line."
"I thought that the Gold Roger was," Luffy commented. Ace gritted his teeth and hit Luffy on the head. "Ouch."
"Shut up," the older groused. He really didn't want to hear about that man, ever.
"That hurt Ace!"
"No it didn't. Stop being such a crybaby."
"I'm not a crybaby that just hurt!"
"Shut up both of you," Sabo hissed sending Ace a warning look to keep his mouth shut. "We're about to go meet a pirate captain and you two can't shut it!"
They both turned toward their brother and nodded, instantly shutting their mouths. Ace was slightly apprehensive. After everything that happened with Bluejam could they really trust Whitebeard?
Well, the answer to that question was no. The only people that Ace knew without a doubt he could trust were standing next to him. The brunette took a not so subtle step closer to Luffy and looked over at Sabo as the blonde made sure that he was standing on the other side of the straw hatted boy.
Marco led them so that they were standing in front of the giant man that was drinking deeply out of a Sake bottle. He didn't even pause when Marco spoke. "Hey Pops! These are the brats you wanted to see. This is Ace, Luffy and Sabo. Brats this is Captain Whitebeard."
Luffy took a step forward and inspected the large man "I like your mustache," he said before asking, "But why do they call you Whitebeard if you don't have beard?"
The giant man slowly lowered his bottle and fixed his stare on the smallest of the boys.
Ace panicked. Really they should have been expecting something like this. It was Luffy after all, but did he really have to draw attention to himself from the strongest man in the world? Two hands shot out and pulled Luffy so that he was now standing behind his brothers. The man's attention was drawn to them.
"Gu ra ra ra." Ace and Sabo traded looks. He was laughing? They relaxed slightly as the man continued to laugh. "What a cheeky brat. So, you are Garp's grandsons. Welcome to my ship."
Sabo stepped forward and bowed. Ace, remembering his lessons with Makino, also bowed and the two spoke at the same time. "Thank you for having us."
Ace wasn't surprised to see Luffy follow their lead and also bow. He was always copying them and for once Ace didn't have a problem with Luffy doing exactly what he was doing.
"You will be with us for the next six months. During that time you are to listen to Marco."
"That means no starting fires on deck," the other man stated.
"You told us that we were supposed to take care of ourselves. We were just making lunch," Ace argued.
The old man seemed to find this amusing and laughed deeply.
"Well you can eat in the dining hall like civilized people," Marco stated.
Ace was confused. So they were supposed to provide for themselves but they could eat in the dining hall? How did that make sense?
"What's with the lost looks? If you want something you have to get it yourself but we're not going to not feed you," the blond man stated looking frustrated. The old man just continued to laugh.
Ace looked at Sabo who was just smiling apologetically. He turned to Luffy who looked just as confused as he was.
"You'll have to excuse my brothers. They have been expected to provide their own meals for quite some time, and do not know that in most situations it is customary for adults to feed the children in their care," Sabo stated.
"I'm not a child. I can feed myself," Ace said crossing his arms over his chest looking angry that anyone had said otherwise.
"Then do so," the giant man said. Marco went to protest but was cut off. "A small fire isn't going to hurt anything. They look like they are capable of containing a fire. Just remember that the galley is open to you if you should need it."
"Thank you very much," Sabo said with a smile. "We appreciate your hospitality."
Whitebeard just smiled and went back to drinking.