Trial by Error

BY : Demonized
Category: +M to R > One Piece
Dragon prints: 1849
Disclaimer: I do not own One Piece, nor do I make any money off of this work.

Despite the fact that Gol D. Roger is Ace's biological father Ace will always be a member of the Monkey family. Garp has never felt anything less for Ace and has always shown him the same love that he shows Luffy, including his well-known "Fist of Love". Even before Luffy had been born Ace had always held a place in Garp's heart.

That Sengoku is even allowing for Ace to be used to spark a war against Whitebeard, of all the pirates in the world, is making Garp seriously reconsider quite a few things. Resigning from the marines, for one, is looking more favorable by the second, especially if Garp's foolish grandchildren make it out of this damnable war alive. Ever since Ace had been entrusted to his care Garp had often thought of resigning and with Luffy now thrown into the fray it is an idea that Garp is definitely going to go through with.

Garp will no longer be at odds with them, forever chasing them down and cursing the fact that they have chosen to live as pirates; and if those two stick together, which Garp is quite sure that Luffy isn't going to be letting Ace out of his sight ever again, then Garp knows he won't have to worry about them as much.

Boy, does Garp worry about them. They are definitely Ds down to their cores.

They will be there to look out for each other and hopefully nothing like this will ever happen again. Garp can't bear the thought of losing one of them, let alone both of them, to the corruption that is the Navy and the World Government.

Garp stands up from the rubble and watches as his precious grandchildren flee the still crumbling Marineford, courtesy of the wily Edward Newgate. Garp starts to grin with pride as they make it halfway across the plaza, the former Shichibukai known as Jinbei closely following them, but a sense of foreboding overcomes him and Garp starts after them himself. Garp's instincts are right on the money because Sakazuki starts to insult Whitebeard, which is sure to antagonize Ace into attacking Sakazuki.

Garp's grin is replaced with a scowl as Ace stops in his escape to instead turn and face Sakazuki. 'That foolish brat!' This is exactly what the Admiral wanted Ace to do and there is no way that Ace stands a chance against Sakazuki who has the powers of the Magu Magu no Mi. It's proof enough from the burn that Ace's hand sustains from Sakazuki's Magma Fist and it has Garp moving even faster towards the fight.

Garp sees Sakazuki's intent before Ace does and right as Ace moves to intercept the blow meant for Luffy Garp makes his own move, not even thinking to use Busou-shoku Haki in the split second. The looks of shock on their faces is more than Garp cares for but his boys…his boys are now safe. It's all that matters to Garp and he is glad that he can keep he had made all of those years ago.

"Ace…Luffy, my boys,"

"Ace…Luffy, my boys." Garp grins despite the pain of having a molten fist through his torso, making it obvious that it doesn't bother him in the slightest. Even when the fist is withdrawn Garp doesn't flinch, his gaze staying focused on his grandsons.

Luffy, who is well beyond his own limits, starts to tremble while tears appear in his eyes as the realization of what had just happened sets in. "J-Jii-chan!" Luffy is clutching Ace's vivre card, his lower lip quivering as the tears fall from his wide and innocent eyes. Ace is sprawled on the ground next to Luffy, where Garp had pushed him out of the way so that Luffy's efforts wouldn't have been in vain.

"Ace, Luffy, promise me that you will live!" Garp keeps his voice firm as he gives his grandchildren a scowl, one that Ace returns with a scowl of his own along with unshed tears. "Promise me!" They each give Garp a reluctant nod and with the very last of his strength he grabs them by their forearms and throws them as hard as he can in the direction of the escaping Whitebeard pirates. "Now live!"

Garp grins in triumphant success while his body finally succumbs to the pain and he drops down to his knees. Marines begin to surround him as a medic is called to give him treatment even though they all know that it is already too late. As the last of his life starts slipping away he hears that the Yonkou Shanks has just arrived from one of the nearby marines. Now Garp can be at peace knowing that his grandchildren will be safe with that man around.

Marineford is in utter chaos by the time Shanks reaches the Gates of Justice. The battles are not only vicious but Shanks can already tell that many have died on both sides and even more were in the process of dying. As the Red Force practically sneaks up on the war still raging on Shanks notices that the Supernova Trafalgar Law has managed to sneak in as well. What the Death Surgeon is doing there is beyond Shanks but there is no doubt that Law's medical skills could be used to aid the wounded pirates.

A glow is coming from atop the mast of a ship, meaning that Admiral Kizaru is preparing to attack someone and from what Shanks can tell—what is most likely—is that Law's submarine is the target. At that precise moment, however, a voice shouts out loud enough for every one to hear, "That's enough!" and everything goes to a standstill. Kizaru powers down his attack and the killing grinds to an abrupt halt.

Standing between the Whitebeard pirates and Sakazuki is a young, pink-haired marine with his arms spread out. Tears are streaming down his bruised and battered face while he fights for breath and searches for the words that will hopefully put an end to this slaughter.

"A marine?" Law is the first to break the silence, even if no one but his crew can hear him, and to express his confusion at the situation. Everyone else is just as confused at Coby's outburst and they all wait to see how it will unfold.

Sakazuki is pissed, to say the least, and he shifts his gaze from the Whitebeard pirates he was ready to kill down to Coby. Sakazuki looks unimpressed by the late Garp's upstart subordinate and is getting the urge to put the brat in his place.


"Stop already! All of this fighting, just end it!" Coby sobs out and quivers at the malevolent gaze that Sakazuki has leveled on him. Still, Coby pushes on and lets the words pour out, even as a pirate goes, "What's with him?"

"We're throwing people's lives away! Even though every single marine has a family waiting for them to return!" The tears fall faster as Coby holds his ground, the words flowing even faster than he can process them. "Even though we've already accomplished our goal!" Isn't it enough now that Whitebeard is dead? Garp had even given his own life to save that of Ace's even though Ace had looked up to Whitebeard as though he were Ace's father.

"We keep chasing pirates who don't want to fight, drawing out a battle that should already be over-" Instead it's become a mindless slaughter on both sides as the pirates made their retreat. "-and abandoning marines who can be saved if we treat their wounds now!" How many have they lost already because they had t gotten immediate treatment? Coby can't even begin to count how many voices had already disappeared.

"And still, we're sacrificing even more people!" What sort of justice is this? This isn't what Coby had had in mind when he had wanted to join the marines. Coby is willing to die for his own ideals but this is nowhere close to matching up to what he believes in! "What about the marines who will fall after this?! We're making them look like idiots!"

"Huh? Who are you?" Sakazuki says slowly and menacingly as he finally moves, more irritated than before because his prey has escaped him. "You've wasted several seconds of my time…the Navy has no use for marines who aren't righteous."

Coby looks absolutely frightened at Sakazuki's words and his body starts to shake even more as the realization that he will probably die settles in. Coby seems frozen in place and yet he shows no regret for what he's said even as Sakazuki starts to raise a molten fist to strike him down.

In this very instant Shanks makes his move, blocking the attack that would most certainly have taken Coby's life. Shanks holds his Haki-imbued swords in place, keeping all of Sakazuki's magma at bay, while Coby crumbles to the ground, having fainted. "You did well, young marine," Shanks praises softly and Sakazuki glares at him. "You risked your life to create a brief moment of courage-" Precious seconds that gave Shanks the time he had needed to reach the ice where the standoff had been taking place. "-for better or worse, that has greatly changed the fate of the world."

Coby's courageous words had given Law enough time to get the heavily injured Luffy and Ace onboard and moved down into the lower levels of his submarine where Law could begin their treatment. It was also enough time for Shanks' men to position themselves to keep the marines in check, which Benn Beckman proved by temporarily stopping Kizaru from attacking the yellow submersible.

The marines begin to panic with the realization that Shanks was in their midst and they watch in terror as Shanks sheathes his swords to walk across the ice. Shanks stops when he reaches the all too familiar straw hat that he had inherited from Gol D. Roger and had, in turn, given to Luffy. Shanks bends down and picks up the treasured item, giving the worn straw a light caress. "I've come to end this war!"

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