A Whitebeard Family Guide to Avoid Being Murdered by A Younger Brother - Chapter 6 - Yunna_325 (2024)

Chapter Text

Izou wasn't a reckless person.

Well... he liked to think he wasn't. He was one of the more level-headed people in the crew,(as level-headed one could be in a crew like theirs). There were often times, he would admit, that he would act out impulsively just like Ace or Haruta would on a normal Tuesday afternoon, but that wasn't him.

Overprotective sometimes? Yes. But reckless? No.

So when he fired that bullet, the most caught off guard was undoubtably him.

His mind didn't even register what was happening until the echo of the bullet rung in his ears, until the recoil rung through his body. And it made even less sense when Izou was the one who was mostly all for getting rid of Marco.

They had. The little bastard was back with his Captain and they had gotten their brother back. They wouldn't have to see him ever again.

It didn't make much sense at first.Just why had he done that?But when Izou finally realised what he had done, it did.

Because he saw it, even for a split second, the fear in Marco's eyes. Perhaps he had imagined it, or maybe there was something in the wind or Marco faking it like he faked a lot of things. But no matter what it was, something in Izou's gut told him he was right.

He'd probably regret it— and maybe something in his mind had already started to— but he was already pointing his gun towards the marine Captain before be could decipher it.

It was anger— from where, he did not know— but it undoubtably anger.

He was just a kid,Thatch said. And Izou refused to believe him —tried to not believe him— but he had always seen it. Had always known that he was nothing but a kid.

A dangerous child, but a child nonetheless.

Sometimes, when the light hit just right and the shadows played tricks on his mind, Izou would catch a glimpse of his sister in Marco. It was an utterly wild and crazy notion, he knew, but it was a truth he couldn't deny.

The resemblance wasn’t in their features, not by miles, but in the way they interacted with the world around them. Both carried a certain defiance, a glare that could pierce through steel, challenging anyone and everyone who dared to stand in their way.

It was the familiar tilt in Marco's head, a subtle yet unmistakable echo of Kiko's mannerisms. The way they both could crack a smile, a teasing curl of the lips that seemed to hold secrets and stories untold.

Though, Kiko's jokes had always been light-hearted, a soothing balm, filled with genuine laughter that could light up the darkest of rooms. Marco's smiles, on the other hand, often leaving Izou second-guessing whether there was humour or something more sardonic lurking beneath.

So he came up with an excuse.A debt,he said. He didn't think it would work, most of it probably had to do with the fact that he threatened Marco's Captain's life, but it worked regardless.

Marco wasn't happy about it. Not one single bit. If the way he was shooting daggers at everyone had anything to say about it.

Everyone was speaking in hushed tones amongst themselves, not even trying to be subtle, while Izou stood beside the kid in case he tried to make a run for it. He knew he wouldn't, Izou realised how much he valued his life.

Selma bit her lips nervously, her anxiety palpable in the tense air. Izou could see the uncertainty etched on her face, the way her eyes darted around as if searching for some unseen threat. She was out of her depth, unable to gauge Marco's emotional state, her super hearing proving useless in this critical moment.

"You're bleeding," she finally managed to say, her voice trembling despite her efforts to steady it. She tried to mask the stutter, to project an air of calm she didn't feel. "L-let's get you—"

"Touch me and I'll break your hands." The response was immediate, cold, and devoid of any semblance of warmth. There was no humour in Marco's voice, no fake smile to soften the blow. His eyes, usually so expressive, were now hollow and dark, radiating a murderous intent that sent a chill down his spine.

Selma recoiled, retreating faster than she thought possible. The tension in the room was palpable, her siblings already moving to position themselves, prepared to defend if necessary.

This wasn't looking good,and Izou was expecting as much, but with how railed up Marco was right now he was sure they wouldn't even make it to morning before half the crew was injured.

He needed to separate them.

"We should reach Pops in the morning. You'll stay in a room before then." Izou announced, making his siblings turn to him in confusion. Even Marco raised a brow like the samurai was being stupid.

"Yes, room." He clarified, shooting everyone a look. Some glanced at the boy before looking away, while the others looked like this was a plan waiting to go wrong. It didn't matter though, not when he needed to negate the hostility before something terrible happened.

He started to walk off towards the quarters, his footsteps echoing softly on deck. It wasn't until he had taken a few steps that he realized Marco hadn't moved from his spot, rooted to the ground like a statue carved from stone. He paused, turning slightly, his brow furrowing in mild confusion.

"You coming?" he asked, bracing himself for the usual repulsed retort that Marco was known for.

But instead of a sharp remark, he was met with a simple eye roll, a silent expression of exasperation that spoke volumes. Marco pushed off from his stance, his movements fluid yet deliberate, and began to walk towards him.

Thatch cast a brief glance at Marco, his curiosity piqued by the uncharacteristic lack of hostility. But his attention was quickly drawn elsewhere, his eyes drifting towards the horizon where their resident fire user was located.

Izou sighed.He forgot about that."Want me to talk to him?"

Thatch shook his head, offering a small smile. "It's fine. I'll do it. Make sure this one doesn't go breaking things." He nodded to the younger, making Marco look at the chef in disgust.

Izou could only force out a chuckle before making his way inside.

He led the way to one of their empty quarters in awkward silence, and any attempts of conversation was shot down with an unimpressed glare or with complete and utter silence.

"You'll stay here for now." He said, opening the door and showing him inside.

The room was somewhat small— a single bed, neatly made, stood against the far right corner, accompanied by a simple wooden desk that bore the marks of age and use.It had it's own bathroom though, since it was built in case guests were to stay.Though, Marco could hardly be considered a guest.

Marco stepped inside, his presence filling the room with an undercurrent of tension. He blinked, taking in his surroundings with a detached air, his eyes scanning the bed, the desk, the unadorned walls. He lingered in his inspection, but there were no complaints, no snide remarks.

Izou hovered at the threshold, the words forming on his lips, an offer of help that felt almost obligatory. "If you need—"

"I'll be fine," Marco cut him off, his tone curt and final, shutting the door in Izou's face.

Yeah, he supposes he deserves that.

When Marco opened his eyes, he was greeted with darkness. It wasn't a bleak or oppressive darkness, but rather a gentle shade of black that required a moment for one's eyes to adjust. As his vision cleared, he noticed a stream of light beside him, a golden ray that pierced through the gloom, painting the floor with a warm, inviting hue.

Marco found himself mesmerized by the beam, its warmth a stark reminder of the world outside his cocoon of shadows. He stretched out his arm toward it, fingers splayed as if to catch the elusive ray. But it remained just out of reach, the light dancing tantalisingly inches away from his grasp.

He sighed, a soft exhalation that seemed to echo in the quiet room. With a reluctant resignation, he retracted his arm. Rolling out from under the bed, he emerged into the dimly lit room, the golden ray now illuminating his path.

At first, Marco didn't think it would become a habit — sleeping under the bed was only supposed to be a temporary form of protection. It was a way for him to hide from the world that Hwa inhabited, a world he fervently wished he wasn't part of. He had anticipated feeling confined at first, expecting the space to be stuffy and cage-like, but it turned out to be far from that.

Out in the world that belonged to others, Marco found his solace in the highest branches and masts, soaring over the seas and disappearing into the clouds. He had made it a habit to sleep anywhere he wouldn't be found, carving out little sanctuaries wherever he went. Whether it was the ship's figurehead during lunch when the deck was deserted, or the dusty corners of the library where no one ventured.

In his own world, though, staying in his dark corners and hiding away was Marco's safety net.

Kuzan and Sengoku had more than once found him sleeping in the oddest of places during their travels. It had become almost a routine for them to stumble upon Marco curled up in a secluded corner or perched atop an unlikely spot. Each time, they exchanged bemused glances, their eyes filled with unspoken questions.

Marco would merely shrug in response, offering a nonchalant explanation."It's more comfortable,"he'd say, his tone light, almost dismissive. The lie rolled off his tongue easily, a practiced response to mask the painful truth.

How could he explain to them that Hwa didn't allow him to sleep on a bed? That the very concept of comfort had been twisted and denied to him by someone who thrived on control and cruelty?The only bed that felt comfortable and safe was the one back at Marineford, and that going back there had no become a rarity.

A self-deprecating chuckle left his lips, fingers curling in on themselves around his wrist. He dug his fingers into the flesh, trying to stop the pressurising feeling around his limbs from taking over.

Hwa wasn't here, he didn't have to think about him.

He watched the hanging light sway side to side with the smooth rocking of the boat, counting the movement as it synched in with his heartbeat.

And when he got up to the number twenty he wondered - wondered what would happen if he ripped the light out of the bedroom ceiling.Would the room collapse on him? Or would the poor soul standing above the room just fall right through and break his neck?

He started counting again.1... 2... 3...

Maybe if he destroyed the room they'd let him go back to his Captain. They'd realise that he's not worth to keep around over some stupid debt that he owes them. At least that way, he wouldn't be inconveniencing the CP agents in trying to find him. He would stop being an even bigger burden on Sengoku. And give Hwa the saving grace of finding a worse punishment than he initially would have.

8... 9... 10...

There was a knock at the door, but a part of him hoped he was hearing things.

11... 12... 13...

There was another few knocks as the golden light scratched at the surface of his skin. It turned a muted yellow, and he wondered if it was due to his skin tone or the light.

14... 15... 16

"Marco?"

He stared at the door, a part of thinking if he stared long enough it fly off its hinges. But when it didn't happen, he reluctantly got up, stretching his arms before walking over to the door.

He unlocked it, and for a split second really wanted to lock it back again.

(He didn't want to back to the outside world just yet.)

No words were spoken from his end when he finally did open the door, blankly staring at Izou as the older looked down on him. There were a fresh pair of clothes in his hands, a small smile etched onto his lips.

"Come up stairs when your done." He said while holding out the clothes. "Pops is here."

Those words rang in his ears like cymbals, shaking his innards uncomfortably. He gritted his teeth, keeping the mask in place, before grabbing the clothes off the samurai.

He didn't wait for the man to say another word before slamming the door in his face.

Marco hated him.

He seethed with a mixture of emotions he struggled to untangle. Hatred burned deep within him, a simmering resentment that threatened to boil over at any moment. He paced the narrow confines of his cabin, his steps echoing with restless energy. Each footfall seemed to reverberate with the weight of anger and frustration.

It was Izou who had held a gun at him, promising swift death with a cold, calculating gaze. And now, in a cruel twist of fate, it was Izou who had threatened his return to the ship.

And now he was being forced to meet their Pops.

Marco leaned against the wall, his clothes clutched tightly in his hands, his earlier rage seemingly unforgotten. The anticipation coiled in his stomach, a tight knot of nerves and apprehension. If he had known that meeting Edward Newgate would happen this early, he would have stayed awake the whole night, eyes wide open, desperately clinging to the illusion that time was moving slower.

His thoughts were a whirlwind, each one a fleeting wisp that vanished before he could fully grasp it. The anxiety gnawed at him, making his grip on his clothes even tighter, knuckles white from the pressure. He shifted his gaze to the light overhead, its gentle sway like a hypnotic pendulum, casting rhythmic shadows that danced across the walls.

Marco found himself entranced by the movement, the slow arc of the light syncing with the rapid beat of his heart. He focused on the gentle sway, willing his heartbeat to match its rhythm, trying to calm the storm within him.

He always found it frustrating when he was under CP agent supervision, but it was moments like these that he was glad for those torturous hours of silence and uncanny conversations.

Those snakes were always careful in everything that they did, but Marco was an observer by birth. Picking up one of two things was never a difficult task for him.

Like how to force your own heart to move to a different rhythm.

Although, there were times when the stupid organ refused to listen.

Finally, when it felt like he could breath a bit easier, Marco swallowed back the lump his in throat.He could do this. It wasn't like the old man was going to kill him. It would be fine.

Yeah, just fine.

(Sometimes Marco hated his inability to believe his own words.)

After one freezing shower, a whole bottle of body wash and half bottle of shampoo, Marco felt ready.

Well, as ready as one being held prisoner while wearing over sized clothes felt.

His flames had started flickering in and out like he was a glorified giant light bulb, brightening the dull room. This only ever happened when he panicked or got scared.

But Marco wasn't panicking. Not even close. He was just... worried. Right. That's all there was.

(And it was because he was worried that his body decided to react by jumping in the air when there was a knock on the door.)

He glared at the wooden frame, wishing it would turn to steel and permanently fixture itself in place.

He made sure no feathers were in sight, holding onto his necklace for much needed grounding before opening the door.It would be okay.Itwillbe okay.

It was Butterscotch who stood at the door this time, his lean figure silhouetted against the dim glow of the lanterns. Marco offered him only a slight nod, acknowledging his presence.

As they stepped away from the cramped, shadowy confines of the lower decks, a thick silence hung between them. Marco was grateful for this silence, as it spared him the effort of warding off unwanted chatter that always seemed to fray his nerves.

Every footfall on the creaking planks resonated through Marco's bones, his senses heightened to an almost painful degree. His mind was a whirlwind of hyper-awareness, tracking each movement with a precision that bordered on paranoia. The ship's timbers groaned and shifted under the weight of their feet, each sound amplified in the odd stillness of the day.

Above them, the laughter of the crew filtered down like distant thunder, mingling with the low hum of the ship's engines and the faint lapping of the waves against the hull. The vibrations caused by the giant man upstairs reverberated through the vessel, a constant reminder of the presence that awaited him.

Marco could almost see the ripples of sound, feel the tremors underfoot as the man moved, a looming, unseen force that made the hair on the back of his neck stand on end.

He controlled his breathing as much as possible, walking as slowly as possible.

But no matter how slowly he walked, it was inevitable that he would still make it to the upper deck.

The silence was deafening— an it made it him feel like he was six and standing before Sengoku again, the world around him burning to dust.

Every step felt like a chore, bricks weighing him down from the inside. His head felt heavy, and the weight of it palpable as he looked at the mountain before him.

Every curve and edge of Edward Newgate's weathered face bore the imprint of a lifetime at sea, each line a testament to tales untold and battles won and lost. Wrinkles etched with the wisdom of years, like ancient cliffs eroded by relentless waves, marking the passage of time and the resilience of a man who had seen more than most could fathom.

In those aged grey eyes, Marco saw depths that mirrored the endless expanse of the ocean itself. There was a lingering sparkle, a glimmer of life that defied the years— a sparkle that haunted Marco's dreams.

It was a spark that spoke of a spirit unyielding, a spirit that had faced the abyss and emerged stronger for it — a spirit Marco had once known in himself, but now felt distant and dim compared to the blazing fire in Newgate's gaze.

Edward Newgate, the Captain of the Moby Dick, The Strongest Man On The Seas, stood before Marco like a towering monument, his presence commanding respect and awe, casting a shadow that stretched far beyond the physical confines of the ship. Marco couldn't help but feel dwarfed in his presence, a mere speck in the vastness of Newgate's legend, andhe wished the Sea Kings would be here to grant him some grace.

He leaned forward, making Marco feel more self-conscious. It was only then that he realised the new faces on board among the old, and as much as Marco would love to scrutinise them, now wasn't the time.

"So." The word hung in the air, deceptively simple yet laden with unspoken weight. Marco drew in a sharp breath, his focus unwavering on the formidable figure before him. "You're Sengoku's boy."

It wasn't a question; it was a declaration, delivered with a subtle curve of amusem*nt that danced at the edges of Edward Newgate's weathered lips.

And if Marco was downright terrified before, then that statement alone brought back the crumbling confidence. There were only two people on these seas that could make Sengoku wish for a six month vacation to an unknown island.

One was Garp. The other?

Edward Newgate himself.

And something in Marco told him that his old man would get on his nerves as well.

"I'm no one'sboy, you geezer." Marco scoffed, glaring at Newgate. "Especially not Sengoku's. I have enough self-respect for myself."

He heard a few snickers around him, but he paid no mind to them. He couldn't even if he wanted not, not when he had to keep himself balanced when the ship unexpectedly started to rock as the old man laughed.

"Is that so?" He chuckled. "There's been rumours that Sengoku has been bringing his son on every mission."

Sengoku didn't bring him toeverymission. Just... most of them. But that was no one's business. Especially not some pirates.

"I'd rather be related to sea urchins..." Marco muttered, the words escaping him with a touch of bitterness that echoed in the quiet space. He furrowed his brows, crossing his arms defensively. "Is that why you wanted to see me? If so, I'm lea—"

"I hear you've been causing trouble on my ship." The interruption was abrupt, the tone more serious than before, cutting through Marco's attempted departure.

Marco seized the opportunity to assess the atmosphere around him. The crew had shifted subtly, their expressions now tinged with a mix of solemnity and scrutiny. Some glared at him with undisguised hostility, while others appeared indifferent, their demeanour suggesting they were simply waiting for their Pops to resolve the situation.

"Even bored Sirens will crunch on bones twice a day," Marco shot back, his voice steadier now despite the faint tremor in his fingers. He held onto his forearms tightly, as if anchoring himself against the rising tide of tension. "The cell was too dreary for my liking.

Newgate's silence stretched on like an endless horizon, settling between them like a heavy fog.It was uncomfortable, and for someone like Marco who could hardly hold a proper conversation that didn't consist of witty responses and taunts, it was down right awkward.

The sun beat down relentlessly, casting harsh shadows that stretched like grasping limbs overhead. Yet, despite the brightness of the day, Marco felt a sudden chill that prickled his skin and sent shivers down his spine. It was as though a cold wind had swept through the air, cutting through the heat and leaving behind an eerie stillness.

"Tell me, Son, how old are you?" Newgate's voice cut through the lingering silence, his gaze fixed firmly on Marco with a mixture of scrutiny and expectation.

"Thirty-five," Marco replied promptly.

A faint quirk of Newgate's lips betrayed his amusem*nt, his brow arching ever so slightly. "Something tells me you're lying."

Marco met Newgate's gaze head-on, his own expression hardening into a defiant glare. "Does that something also tell you that I don't care?"

The challenge hung in the air between them, palpable and charged. Marco's nerves were taut, every muscle in his body poised for action, though he struggled to maintain his composure under the weight of Newgate's unwavering scrutiny. The oppressive gaze of the crew around them only added to the pressure, their eyes boring into him with a mix of curiosity and judgment.

"Can you get to the point already?" Marco's frustration bubbled to the surface, his nails digging into his skin in a subconscious attempt to ground himself. "For someone that's already running out of time, you sure like wasting it."

The crew around them bristled, ready to defend their captain against what sounded like a direct insult. Eyes narrowed and muscles tensed, prepared to act on the slightest signal from Newgate.

But instead of the expected response, a sudden cackle erupted from Edward Newgate. It was a deep, booming laugh that echoed across the deck, catching everyone off guard. The sound was unexpected, breaking the tension like a sudden gust of wind dispersing storm clouds.

Marco blinked, taken aback by the unexpected reaction. His frustration momentarily forgotten, he watched Newgate with a mixture of confusion and wariness. The old man's laughter subsided into a chuckle, leaving a grin on his face that spoke of amusem*nt and perhaps a hint of admiration.

"You're a quick one, aren't you?" He breathed out, chest still rumbling with laughter. "I won't be dying anytime soon, kid. Don't count your lucky stars yet."

Marco's laughter erupted, a symphony of defiance that echoed against the worn railings. He probably should have stayed silent, but the laughter tumbled out like stones down a mountainside, unstoppable and resonant.

He could see it so vividly, etched in the recesses of his mind like a painting wrought in pain and smoke. From the vantage points of the clouds, the high windows, even the worn stand of the execution platform, he had witnessed it all: the precise placement of bullet holes, the sound of bubbling flesh where his face was brunt off.

"A dragon's confidence will never stand against the wrath of a mountain," Marco retorted, his voice carrying a weight of bitterness. He leaned forward, his eyes gleaming with a strange mixture of amusem*nt and solemnity. "My stars will be mine to count when I want to, old man. Perhaps you should focus on protecting yours instead."

Newgate leaned back in his weathered chair, the creak of aged wood echoing in the now quiet deck. His eyes, sharp as flint, bore into Marco with a calculating intensity that seemed to peel back layers of bravado.

The air around them shifted subtly, a palpable tension that prickled Marco's skin like an unseen storm brewing on the horizon. There was a sudden drop in pressure, yet no hint of clouds foretelling rain; only the weight of unspoken consequences hung heavy in the air.

Marco swallowed hard, his throat dry despite the lingering taste of defiance on his tongue. He knew he might have pushed too far —Marco had always been terrible when it came to holding his tongue. Tsuru's warnings whispered in the recesses of his mind, a stern reminder of the dangers of speaking out of turn.

He wasn't allowed to use his powers, but he'd use every bit of it if it meant to stay alive. Rules be damned.

But no weapon was being swung his way, no order was given to get rid off him. Only a quiet hum and contemplative stare.

"You'll stay here and work off the damage you have caused for my children. After it's all done, we'll take you back to Marine Ford."

Now it was Marco's turn to be a sceptic. He raised a brow, letting out a scoffed laugh. "To Marine Ford?" He parroted, disbelief in his voice.

"I'm sure Sengoku wouldn't start a fight when we're bring his son back home."

Marco clenched his jaw, plastering a strained smile on his face, though it felt as brittle as old parchment. "Not his son," he reiterated quietly, knowing the clarification was futile. "But whatever. Do what you want. Don't complain later when your ship's worse than it originally was."

Edward Newgate leaned back in his chair, a faint smirk playing at the corners of his lips. "And you're not going to question my word?" His voice carried a hint of amusem*nt.

Marco rolled his eyes, unable to suppress a loud sigh that escaped like a gust of wind. He was weary, bone-deep tired of these verbal jousts that never seemed to end.Why would he question a man whose reputation preceded him like a shadow in the night? Question a man when he knows what kind of person he was?

"Can I be excused now?" he asked, his voice tinged with exhaustion.

He didn't wait for a response, but no one stopped him when he turned around and left. Thatch was trailing after him, his personal guard for the day, he supposes.

As he stepped out of the deck, a weight seemed to lift from his shoulders, easing the tension that had coiled tight around his chest. With each step down the corridor, his chest became lighter, his movements freer. The air felt fresher, warmer against his skin, and the burden that had settled in his chest began to dissipate, leaving him finally able to draw deep, unencumbered breaths.

Above, the shouts and calls from the upper deck filtered down through the ship's corridors, but Marco paid them little mind.

He had to somehow let Sengoku know that he's okay. That there was no need to send anyone to rescue him.

He had to find away to escape quickly, before the CP agents found him.Before Hwa found him.

(He didn't even want to image what awaited him when he got back.)

He crossed his arms again when he noticed they started shaking, keeping his calm façade until he got back to the room.

He will survive this. He will be fine.

"He really don't fear anything, huh?" Thatch said, referring to what happened outside.

Marco merely chuckled, though to him it oddly sounded like a grimace.

"You'd be surprise, Butterscotch..."

A Whitebeard Family Guide to Avoid Being Murdered by A Younger Brother - Chapter 6 - Yunna_325 (2024)

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