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“Who's blood is that?” Penguin is sat in his chair the wrong way around. Arms on the seat-back, under his chin. A piece of black liqorish between his teeth.

 

“Usopp's?” Shachi leans back in his chair. Two of four legs off the floor. Staring at the metal roof of their submarine.

 

“Could be,” Law can't say he really knows. Perceivable that there are any one of many peoples' red-black drops of blood dried into this ratty, torn bit of paper. A small word written on it in blue ink. 'Luffy'. Untidy, and barely legible. “-probably Zoro-ya's.” The guy had grabbed onto his naked blade with his bare hands, back then. Hadn't he. Blood everywhere. One instant in a flow of spiraling time, where the Heart Captain saw a real Demon glare back at him through that Swordsman's narrowed eye. That's when Luffy stepped between them. A frown all the way up through his eyes. Shoved this Vivere card at Trafalgar, and ordered the other man off his boat.

 

“What did you do, anyway?” Asking his Captain for maybe the hundredth time, Shachi tipping his chin to the side to watch Bepo come back into the room. Carrying a tray of mugs and a fresh pot of coffee with him. Electric humming from all their submarine's various instruments muting most of the sound his nakama makes placing it all down on the Navigation's Table beside a stack of maps, and an Eternal Post for Vinamahilā.

 

“Nothing.” All Law says.

 

All he said back then, too. Some time ago, and it was the last time they'd spoken to anyone on the Strawhat Crew until Chopper rang-in out'a the Blue. “Aye, Captain.” Knowing the guy's hiding something, but also that he's not going to make Law talk. Not when he doesn't want to. Resigned to waiting, Shachi groans in his chest. A lean forward to put all the legs of his chair back down on the metal floor.

 

“Were you able to reach Chopper-ya?” Law asks Bepo, the polar-bear Mink handing him a mug of hot black coffee.

 

Ears fallen sadly. “No,” adding sugar to his own cup, and stirring. The Heart Pirate's Navigator had tried all day to reach Tony-Tony Chopper. Attempting every half-hour. Now, they're settling in to travel through the night. Not knowing where either are in the New World, it could take anywhere from hours or even months before they might see sign of the Sauzando Sanī-gō.

 

“We could try calling the Main Snail on their ship?” Penguin's hand shot up above his balaclava, still chewing his piece of liquorish.

 

Shachi sees his Captain stiffen at the very thought. Nothing, Ne-?

 

“We could do that.” Bepo nods his furry head in very serious consideration. Law not in his field of vision, and so the Mink's not seen he turns a flat shade of grey. “-Nami would be able to advise me which vector of Sea their ship is...” He could use the surrounding coral ridges so common in these Oceans to tell where they are by comparison, and how long it might take to get from there to there.

 

“Aye! On it-!”

 

“Wh-? Shachi-ya-!!

 

“ 's already ringing, Captain-” Holding the receiver out for Trafalgar, but he doesn't take it. His Mate knew that he wouldn't. Scowling instead, and those baggy eyes of his look away to one side. Sat back down in his chair, quiet. Crossing thin arms over a thin chest.

 

-Gatcha! Ya-Aye-Hi! This is the greatest Captain Usopp-!! o' the Sauzando Sanī-gō-! Who's -hic!- calling?

 

Oh- whoa-and-anchor? Sounds like the Strawhat's Gunner is wasted- “Usopp! It's Shachi-! Mate o' the Pōrā Tangu-gō-!” Pausing here. So see if the man will say... anything.

 

“...” Bepo, Penguin, Shachi, and Law. They all look at one another. “...”

 

“Haha- Well, I can understand why ya'd be speechless. I only called because my Captain says he can't get a'hold o' your Doctor. Can you put Chopper on.” A hand up to scratch beside a red eyebrow, Shachi eyes settling on the metal wall beside him. Rivets, and sheets of steel plating. Licking dry lips.

 

He's resting.” Sounds more sober now, than he did ten seconds ago. Usopp. “What does Law want?

 

Shachi attention shifting onto his Captain, then. Only Law doesn't. Trafalgar's grey, cloudy expression put down. Admitting a single obvious shake of his head. “To talk to Chopper-”

 

Shachi-!! What does Law want with Chopper?

 

Penguin gets a good look at his redheaded nakama smiling like a smarmy shit at their Captain. o'Course Law should'a just owned-up, and told them all already. Just what it was? This unspeakably-unforgivable thing he did or said to Roronoa. Bepo resolutely not involving himself, then or now. Could care less. Too busy comparing charts, making sure they don't run head-long into things in the water.

 

“...” But the Captain of the Heart Pirates. Trafalgar D Water Law doesn't say anything. In no hurry, taking his fluffy hat down off his head to place on the Navigation's table. He lifts his coffee cup instead. To drink. A shoulder up in effort to distance himself from his three nakama inhabiting literally the same room as him.

 

Fingers clamp more tightly around the receiver in Shachi's hand. “He wants Chopper to know we've found the VS he wanted,-” That gets his Captain to spill his coffee, all over himself. “-and we will be heading in your direction to make delivery.” Gotten his eyes to go wide, grey rainstorms drifting about inside of them. “-So expect us! Any day.”

 

You-you're- coming? Here-?!” Usopp sounding a lot like how Law looks.

 

“Look forward to it!” Placing the round shell quietly down on top of its parent Den-den. The snail's expression loosening. It's gone back to sleep. Penguin chortling under his balaclava, while Shachi continues to lock-eyes with Trafalgar. Their Captain having said the man's name in outburst, but nothing more. Still not saying anything. Mouth open in a vaguely silent, white-lipped scream. Shachi grins. A show of all his teeth. “I know I will be.”

 

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“Mmmmm-?” Nami, having met up with Robin on the cobbled streets outside and decided that they had been out all day and needed a drink. “Mmmmmmm-” Just a simple glass of house-wine from the first place they came to, before starting the long walk back to their ship in the dark. “This is -delicious-

 

Robin would agree, if she could at the moment respond. Still savoring the exquisite yoking of these grapes, pinc-Zelená. Sharp, hot sweetness blended with the most savory of red peppers. Bubbles tickling very faintly across the woman's tongue. Almost enough to distract the Pirate Historian from the rather somber, dare-say-she shatterable atmosphere these two are sat right in the middle of. Nami whispering under her breath all her praise for this wine, when any other day in any other bar she'd have shouted at the top of her lungs. Stood up on their table to order whole cases, or demand a contest. But not here. Not today.

 

There's something happening here, or about to happen. In this adorable little Township of Adel'ell.

 

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Shishishishi-!

 

Ahh-! You little Monkey-

 

Having devoured all the food Luffy had brought in about thirty seconds, he and Zoro had been lounging on this hotel-room bed in the dark. Doing nothing- when they'd started to wrestle. At the same time, and without a word. Zoro is wrestling, anyway. His Captain only playing with him. That continuing fact niggling away at what already exists as the thinnest layer of simple tolerance for the Swordsman– crying far from actual acceptance. Something Luffy already knows. Something he understands, but can't figure out how to avoid doing. Holding fast to his Lover's thick wrists. Pushing them up, and pinning them back into soft pillows above his green haired nakama's head. “Ne-?” They kiss. Both biting at each other's lips, and Zoro moans when Luffy's teeth nip a little too hard. Drawing blood out of him.

 

Panging a taste of metal and salt across their tongues, hinted with that meal they'd just eaten together. Zoro lets his back and shoulders relax into fluffy blankets. His Captain's hands going up under the hem of the shirt the man has been wearing all day. Cool nighttime air whispering close over his skin right alongside being touched. A hedonistic arch of his back, when Luffy's put a wet kiss just below his navel. “Haaaah-

 

Shishi-shi-” That giggle full of air, followed by a tender long lick towards the buttons on his Swordsman's pants.

 

Haaah-” Luffy wriggles. His knees in between Zoro's. Encouraging soft pliant sounds to escape his First Mate. Desperate mewls, while he rubs quiet circles into his nakama's muscular thighs. “Luffy- aah-aaha-?” Soft attention, and discrete tenderness is, in many ways, -bewildering? In the face of their chosen lifestyles. Sex and rest were things done in a hurry. Usually the results of injury. Get that kind of thing out of the way, and let's all go on to our next big adventure! What are we waiting for?! “Ahaaah-

 

Luffy's fingers splay over Zoro's chest, skin to skin. Reached underneath the shirt his Swordsman is only half wearing. Light fabric bunched-up so that his belly is left exposed. Half of his huge, thickly gnarled scar visible. Clothed erections pressing, rubbing up against one another.

 

Unhurried, successive motion. Hot – hard heat... “Gahaa- ahh- L-Luffy-” Languid, yet in every way substantial. H-hot-Haaaah-” Zoro stares into half-lidded brown eyes over him. Luffy's cheeks flushed cute, and pink. Lips parted to drag in air, and he's still smiling. Just a bit, underneath a very fixed- honed expression. Rocking his lower-half gradually. Sweetly. “Ga-haaah- I- I need you-” Bucking upward to find more friction, or Zoro's tries to. His Captain presses down on his chest when he does. Hooking rubber ankles over his Swordsman's knees. Adjusting. So that he may make even longer, fuller contact of their trapped and aching dicks. “Haaaah- ple- pleas---?

 

Zoro has officially begged his Captain during sex twice, in all these years they've been together. That includes today. “Zoro-” Leaning back to lift the man's beefy legs, then drag his boots and trousers from him. Luffy squirms out off his shorts and sandals too. Kicking them to the floor, then licked thick and slobbery into the palm of his own hand. Grasping himself. Another glob of spit he smears over his Lover. Fingers still wet when he's grasped a strong leg behind the knee, holding the powerful limb up and back.

 

Haaah- aah-!” Opening, Zoro shutters. Beads of sweat coming out chilly all over his arms. A week or longer since they have been together in this way. “Ahhh- Wh-what-? What are you waiting for-?” Stinging want goes deep into Zoro much faster than the comfort of Luffy's warm length.

 

“...” His Captain smiling. Hugged onto his Swordsman's leg that rests against his shoulder. Taking as long as he physically can, to allow his Lover's body to take him inside. A hand forward to brush fingertips over the man's tanned stomach. Tracing fine, hard lines that define ridges of thick muscle groups. Like words written down on a page... Or – had been? Feather light, Luffy touches over Zoro's lower abdominal wall. Soft. The lines of his physique not as sharply stated. The backs of the Captain's fingers memorizing. Stroking over warm skin.

 

Naahaaa- L-Luffy-? Ahhh-

 

A glance down, and he sees there's not a lot left before he's fully inside. Baring gradually down, until he is. Slick spit shiney around his Lover's stretched hole.

 

“Oah- Haaahaa-

 

Not picking up any momentum, Luffy directs his himself back. Small movement to one side. Great obligation in seeing that the hood of his penis peeks briefly out, before he's trusting tenderly back in. “Haah-” Breathless sounds of his own exertion.

 

Haaah- Nn-aah-- I- I'm –S-Sencho- this- this`s`too`m`much- haaah-

 

Knees in the blankets, Luffy pets Zoro's legs. Warm palms going up over his thighs, and hips. Acknowledging his Swordsman's chiseled flanks, the man's stomach, and his chest. The scar the runs from his right hip to left shoulder. All of him, carefully penetrating into his Lover's trembling, beautiful body. Bringing him to a place of pleasure hardly distinguishable from delirium.

 

“Sen---ncho-” Green eye held tightly shut, tears weeping from under the closed lid. An arm flung out, and Luffy take's Zoro's reaching hand. Twining their fingers. “Haaah ahh- this`s--- Ahhhh- this- this`s`too`m-much--!!”

 

A cold halt. Luffy's hips ceasing to move, and he's sick inside. “Ne-? Zoro?” His boyfriend's bubbling sobs shrinking him, and he starts to back himself out. At that same instant, however, the other man's knees jerk upward, trapping the Pirate Captain where he is.

 

“N-no.” Breath collapsing his chest. It looks like it takes Zoro's whole body to take in any air. “Don't'you- Don't`you`dare`stop-”

 

There are still tears on Zoro's face. Hard creases all over his forehead. Grimacing, and in every way appearing to be suffering- “He really wants'ta?” -not that suffering is a condition either of these Pirates is unfamiliar with.

 

Haaaaah-” He feels Luffy grow again, inside of him. Beginning to move just as before. “Aye, Sencho-” A skillful roll of rubber hips, and Zoro grasps hard with the hand he has clasped with Luffy's. “I –ahhhh- I- I really want to.”

 

Free hand finding his Lover's hip to keep a tame, guarded rhythm. The future's Pirate King pulling air into his lungs. Luffy closes his eyes, so that he may focus entirely on his tempo. Tipping one side or the other, in no particular order. To hear Zoro croon. To feel him squeeze-in all around his prick until he's-

 

“-haaah`m`g-haaaah- S-Sencho-” Jets of warm cum spill over the sheets, and even onto the floor. “haah- haah-” The Swordsman's heart laboring. Hitting hard, just like the pulses behind his one good eye. Keeping it closed with his head resting back on a pillow when he's felt a nudge on his arm. “Huh?” Luffy's happy-smiley face right at his shoulder, and Zoro pulls the other man close to kiss him. Swallowing giggles, and not paying much attention that his Lover is again repositioning them. So that Zoro is on his knees, half twisted back around with Luffy's tongue tickling the inside of his cheek. “Mmn- S-Sencho-”

 

Shishishi-” Hands on his Swordsman's shoulder turn him to face forward. Luffy swiping a thirsty tongue over the back of Zoro's neck.

 

Haaah- ahh-” Facing the window, open to the night sky with so many stars. Zoro looks up at them. Twinkling lights kept snug in blankets of the deepest blue. All above these peaceful rooftops of a peaceful town. Going off into the distance, only ending at the horizon because he simply can't see that far. But, really, the stars go on forever. Hearing, and feeling his and Luffy's thighs come together with a fleshy *slap. His Captain exhaling a carnal huff out of both his nose and mouth. The sound ghosting over Zoro's shoulder, right underneath his left ear. “Haaaah- Sencho-” An arm reaching back, he hooks one hand around whatever part of rubbery flesh he can find. Pulling. “ahh- Fuck me-?

 

Luffy's teeth grazing his Lover's shoulder, gasping against it. “Haaaah- Zoro-” Hugging, with arms wrapped around both of their upper bodies two or three times. Urging deep, short thrusts. Until both Pirates are grunting, gasping-

 

-cumming. “Haaah- ahh-!!” More semen getting onto the pillows and headboard in front of Zoro. His chest heaving. “Aaaah-” Warm inside. Wet. Slick, and sticky. Luffy's shaft beginning to shrink and slide out, the swordsman feeling all that's in him begin to leak. “Haaaaaah-” Head coming forward onto his own arms, when his Captain's limp phallus makes a lewd, wet *pop coming out of him.

 

“Shishishi-” Using the already stained blankets to wipe themselves off, and pushed most of the mess onto the floor. Before curling up together, making jokes about how the moon should be meat and not cheese...

 

“-but I know it's not really cheese, is it, Zoro?” Cheek resting on the man's broad chest.

 

“Che' Of course it's not. Who the hell told you it was cheese?”

 

“Then- if it's not cheese, what is it?”

 

“Huh? It's... well... It's not cheese!”

 

“Shishishi-shi-”

 

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“Welcome back! jun'i-Blagden Ojou, Sir!”

 

He climbs the stairs. These stairs. Blagden Ojou. A man who worked on the same Crew who built this Base, five years ago. Stationed here, as reward. Given a full commission. He's from a local Township. Which Township? Where is he from? A heavy axe dangles from a thick leather belt that pulls a crease into Ojou's shoulder. A couple of coils of whip with barbed ends also found on his person. Knives that have curved handles... and a string of incendiary devices.

 

He's just come from some place. Where? He's sure he's just come from somewhere. People? There were people. They were on fire. Screaming? Blagden was on the back of a horse. There was a child. Tied to a fence by their wrists, blood dripping from multiple whip lashes. The man's arm raising again, fingers gripping at firm leather--

 

jun'i-Blagden, Sir! shosa-Voivode has requested to see you, Sir!”

 

“I understand.” Grash, and like his mouth and throat are packed with chunks of gravel. He rarely speaks. Only in acknowledgement of a command. That is all there is. Orders. The next Order. The next. To be commanded.

 

More stairs. This Base was designed to have too many damn stairs. He can count them, all in his head. Six-million four-hundred-eighty-eight-thousand two-hundred sixty-one steps. Knee creaking, and he bangs a fist into it to make the thing shut up!

 

shosa-Voivode, my Lord.” Bowing his head as he's entered his superior's office at this late- or perhaps early hour of three-seventeen in the morning. “You wished to see me.” Standing before a fine, sturdy desk with his hands put behind his back. Papers, pens, and other ordinary things scattered across the surface in front of him.

 

“Yes.” Didac not sitting at his desk. He is facing the windows. Looking out. “Yes. I have need of your assistance, Ojou.”

 

Shapes around the Warrant Officer melt, and the words of his superior wash into him. “I am yours to command, my Lord.” Lighter, with each moment he spends in the presence of this man. To do anything he says. His only joy. Anything. Anything? To be commanded by... who? Who is his leader? Ne, Lord? junsho? Ne, shosa?

 

“You will accompany our Shichibukai to Adel'ell tomorrow, Ojou.” Turning to face his subordinate, and walk towards him. “See that he kills Marcelinho Gagne, the man who continues at every turn to conspire against Marine Law, and our World's Government. You will do me proud.

 

“My Lord.” Bones vibrating under his flesh and shin. Adel'ell... is... Adel'ell the Capital City. jun'i-Blagden's heels scrape on the shaped-concrete floor, already raising a hand in salute. “I will not fail you.” and.... and Marcelinho... that name? The name. He knows that name! Who is it?

 

“No, you will not. Will you.” Removing a leather glove from his right hand, and held it out to shake Ojou's.

 

The other man taking the gesture offered. “...”

 

A grin on Didac's wretched face. “What are your Orders?” Palm pressing into the other man's palm.

 

The Warrant Officer's eyes both open, and clearly vacant. “Kill Marcelinho Gagne.” Lips slack. “Do my Lord proud.”

 

“Yes. That's right.” Squeezing into the man's hand. “And to make your Lord proud, you will end the Marcelinho threat.”

 

“End the- Marcelinho-.”

 

“I command you.”

 

“Command. I am at your command. My Lord. You command. End the Marcelinho. Make my Lord proud.”

 

 

Where is he from? The man people call jun'i-Blagden Ojou. Who are these smiling faces he keeps seeing in his increasingly infrequent dreams? I am... at your command. What dumb questions. He only has one concern. Make my Lord... proud. One reason to go on living. His Lord, shosa-Voivode.