◎ Name: CC / Wolf
◎ Journal: fierybluebird
◎ Contact: LittleTigerCC12 on aim, silverwolfcc
◎ Character's Name: Marco
◎ Character's Canon: One Piece + WR AU
◎ Character's Age: Over 36+ // Because he's a phoenix, his canon age is still unknown, but he was the first son of Whitebeard and even twenty-two years ago when others in his crew looked a good deal younger, Marco looked exactly the same.
◎ Canon Point: Chapter 590
◎ Hacker?: No, but he has haki, which means he cheats reality a lot, and has a knack for showing up in unexpected places via a "sense" that something fun/terribad is going on. The Whitebeards also have some limited means of "communicating" with each other via haki perception, which isn't mind-reading, but it's basically knowing each other inside out mentally to the point that they can do things like share with a single look what they're planning etc. He's also more resistant to mind control than a normal human.
◎ Background/History: http://onepiece.wikia.com/wiki/Marco + 4 years of WR better detailed at the bottom
Marco is extremely strong: physically, as far as fighting goes, but also mentally, as he has a lot of willpower and was able to resist falling asleep from Shanks' haki. He's ridiculously protective of his crew and anyone he cares about as an ally or trusted friend. He loves Whitebeard as a father, calling him Pops like the rest of the crew does, and was the first person to explain to Ace why the pirates trust and love Whitebeard as a father. He gets very distraught when someone hurts his crewmates, and tends to be the worrier of the crew, sometimes referred to as the "Mother Hen" in fanon. He's intimately well-informed on crew matters, having been one of Whitebeard's most trusted commanders, and is seen as very responsible, even duty-bound at times. As the first division commander, he's "the big brother" of the family that is the Whitebeard crew ,and he looks after all his little brothers, calling them "young ones" and treating them almost like baby ducks until they get stronger and learn more about how the world works. He has a deadpan sense of humor, claiming in the middle of battle to be severely hurt by Kizaru, even when he was completely unharmed, and is shown to be quite sarcastic while maintaining an emotionless face. He doesn't like to show weakness to enemies or outsiders, and because a lot of people (such as Crocodile) want to kill Whitebeard to take his place, or in an attempt to become the next pirate king, Marco is usually quite wary of them. However, he does take a quick liking to Luffy, partly because he knew how important he was to Ace, and also because Luffy stopped Crocodile from attacking Whitebeard in the fight.
Marco has an intense loyalty to Whitebeard. So much so, that he generally dislikes Red-Hair Shanks for asking Marco to switch sides and join his crew instead. He also got annoyed with Shanks for using haki on his crew, which Marco is very protective of. His love for Whitebeard (and worry thereof) is so great that despite the composure Marco shows through the rest of the battle at Marineford, when Whitebeard got hurt and started to fall, Marco turned his back on his enemy to try to rush to Whitebeard's side, and this got him into handcuffs draining him of his phoenix powers. He openly cried at both Ace and Whitebeard's deaths, even though it was in the middle of a battlefield, but he still maintained the presence of mind to try to get the rest of his crew to safety -- showing exactly why he was one of Whitebeard's strongest commanders, mentally as well as physically. Likewise, Marco is extremely intelligent, and knowledgeable about aspects of the world, that few, if anyone, knows much about.
He was extraordinarily worried about Ace when Fire-Fist took off to avenge Thatch against Blackbeard and even tried to stop Ace, because while he trusts his fellow commanders to have the strength to take care of themselves, and knew Ace's capabilities, Whitebeard told Ace to stand down. Marco trusted Whitebeard's judgement intimately and likewise trusted that Thatch was strong enough to survive where he couldn't, which meant Blackbeard far exceeded anyone's expectations of strength (as Shanks tried to inform the Whitebeard crew, though they already knew.) In spite of this, however, in order to save face for Ace and his pride, Marco backed up Whitebeard every step of the way in the claim that they ordered Ace to hunt Blackbeard down, even to Shanks and the world at Marineford.
Even without being Teach's division commander, Marco kept a close enough eye on Blackbeard to know things about him no one that else appears to. This is most likely due to his care for all of his crew, not just his own division, and his attention to fine details that was necessary to help his captain keep the crew running smoothly. However, in spite of the friendship and closeness to his crewmates, Marco still managed to keep a managerial distance, calling the newer crew members "young ones" and making it very clear that they took orders from him. He can be warm and gentle with them (like making sure to bring Ace food), but for all his affection for his supposed little brothers, Marco doesn't hesitate to take lone action himself, like surging ahead in a battle.
The Whitebeard pirates in general have the reputation of swift and terrible vengeance, and Marco is by no means exempt from this. His fury for Blackbeard for killing Thatch was only compounded when Ace was turned over to the marines to be executed, and worse yet, when Teach killed their captain. Marco was also furious with Akainu (who delivered Ace's killing blow), but in spite of that and all the other times the crew made sure to exterminate anyone who hurt their family; Marco knew his first responsibility was to keep the rest of the crew safe and alive. If he rushed toward revenge in the way he desperately wanted to, his crew would have tried to back him up and gotten hurt. Thus Marco put the priority of making sure as many got back out alive as possible above their reputed priority of vengeance.
Marco can come across as very flippant and dismissive, part of his cocky arrogance and also part of his sense of humor. When Rockstar was trying to brag about his fame and asked if anyone had ever heard of him, Marco quickly retorted, "No," steamrolling any more attempts on the pirate messenger's part to puff up his name and own ego. Marco can be extremely deadpan and sarcastic, even in the middle of a battle, and usually jokes lies with a completely straight face. He lights up and he's at his best and happiest when he's talking about his Pops and how much they love him and why. There's a glimmer of this reflection when he's explaining things to his crew around him, or straight-away agreeing with his Pops (like minds), or when he's proudly determined thinking that even if victory isn't immediately at hand, it'll be fun to try.
Despite easily having one of the highest bounties in the world, being the second-hand-man to the strongest man in the world, and having one of the rarest and strongest devil fruits in the world, Marco doesn't talk much about himself or brag at all. Instead, he seems to share some of Whitebeard's dream of a desire for family in that Marco wants to keep them safe. He's smart and at least a little ambitious to reach the rank he did, but he has no desire to be the next Pirate King, and even having been around during Gold Roger's rise to fame (as well as Golden Leo Shiki's), Marco's loyalty was always to Whitebeard because he respected his captain so much for wanting family and love instead of jewels or power. Following in his captain's footsteps, Marco's strength and power isn't used to make him famous, but instead to protect the beloved crew he has. While Whitebeard was supposedly taking a gamble on Ace's "Will of the D" carrying the new generation of pirates into the future and setting Ace up to become the next Pirate King, Marco supported this stance and never sought the title himself.
Whitebeard himself was most famous for not allowing slavery and even taking islands under his protection to stop other pirates from trying to engage in it. He adopted any son of the sea who needed a home as one of his own and didn't hold any discriminations based on race, species, abilities, personality, and was a very firm believer that a son should never be held to pay for the sins of a father. Marco backed up all of these beliefs every step of the way, worked with cross-dressers, fishmen, monsters, giants, and other seeming outcasts without question or pause. The only thing Marco seemed to have troubles with was forgiving someone who hurt his crew; the same thing Whitebeard himself said he could never forgive.
Marco seems to have an incredible memory for names and faces, and has been shown to hold grudges for years past where most people would forgive or forget. He remembered Crocodile years later, Shanks, and various minor details about the crews and allies, and he is exceptionally skilled at spotting his own crewmembers. At one point when they were infiltrated by a would-be traitor, Marco was the one to find Chameleone and stop him, even though Chameleone's devil fruit disguised him perfectly by copying other people's faces and devil fruit abilities.
When Squardo was beating himself up for getting tricked by the marines into attacking Whitebeard, Marco was furious with him, but got straight to the heart of the matter and told Squardo that agonizing over the mistake wasn't going to fix it or help them. If Squardo wanted to be sorry, he could prove it by backing Pops up and helping him against the marines to rescue Ace. Likewise, Marco has a very straight-forward attitude towards problem solving with most things he comes across. While Whitebeard was considered a brilliant tactician in his life, but much like the King piece in chess: slow-moving, but lethal in close quarters, Marco's role was much more that of the queen. Throughout Marineford, Marco kept an eye on several different divisions at once, moved and adapted to many different circumstances, but always gave everyone their orders according to what they were best at.
One of Marco's biggest strengths is his usual ability to keep a level head in bad situations. He's deadpan and nearly unflappable; the only thing that gets to him is seeing his family/crew hurt. He can rationally analyze most situations and he's excellent at getting straight to the heart of the matter, or cutting through unimportant details along the way. As one of the older crewmembers and first division commander, he's earned the respect and loyalty of his men and even most of the entire 1600 man crew, and yet he cares about all of them, even if they're new and younger and he sometimes calls them idiots. He even took time out of his day to bring Ace soup and talk with him; well understanding the importance of simple gestures, and because he really looks out for the crew that much.
Marco is so rational and even tempered, that he's able to put his desire for vengeance against Teach second to keeping his family safe -- particularly knowing that this is what Thatch, Whitebeard, and even Ace would want. When Ace died, for all of Marco's fury and outrage, he made it his priority for the crew to protect Luffy at any cost, even though this meant letting Akainu go rather than killing him (despite again, the crew's reputation the world over for vengeance). Marco has a lot of experience in fighting, the New World, and piracy at large since they lived in the most dangerous part of the world, had a captain who had frequent assassination attempts on his head, and Marco's been part of the crew since before Shiki's visit to Whitebeard (20 years prior to Strong World/canon before the timeskip.) This means he knows a lot about the ocean's hazards, and enough to keep his family safe through all of that.
Like other One Piece characters, Marco has a flair for the dramatic, can be an extreme showoff (though for tactical purposes, he purposely tries to draw the attention and fire to him, when he wants to be overlooked, he often can be, especially since for a Whitebeard pirate, he's a very short 6'3" and not twenty feet tall or pockets in his chin) and he also has a verbal tick. In Japanese this is best used as adding "yoi" to the end of his sentences, but in English, this can be somewhat translated to having, "eh" at the end of the sentences.
Marco takes a great deal of pride in the Whitebeard name and tattoo. Having spent the last several decades watching legends come and go, Whitebeard was the only father he had. Not only does this set up the very core of Marco's personality and convictions, but he instills it in others as well, and he was the first person to explain to Ace why they called him Pops and convinced the struggling pirate to take the mark and be free with them. Likewise, it's a huge part of why Marco defends it so vehemently and gets the vengeance he once did; in order to spread their reputation and make sure everyone knows what will happen to them if they mess with the Whitebeard crew. Even when Ace and Whitebeard both had fallen, Marco pulled the crew together by his insistence that letting Straw Hat die would dishonor the Whitebeard name.
Obviously Marco's core never changed. No matter what, he's insanely protective of his family, crew, allies, and anyone who can earn that loyalty will be forever well-defended. But two of the biggest key points of change for Marco's four years in another world are both his emotional and social states.
After Thatch's death, Marco was in pretty deep mourning. Not only was Thatch his best friend, the man always at his side, and the one helping Marco get along with other people, but they were bitten by a betrayal. Despite Marco's skills in thwarting numerous infiltration attempts, he like everyone else, had believed that Marshall D. Teach was one of them. Instead Blackbeard stabbed Thatch in the back, took his devil fruit, and ran away. In a crew not only famous for their loyalty, but also for their revenge, this was incredibly shocking, and indeed it shook up the world. Marco earned his own fame from his own vengeance in previous years, and yet this time he wasn't able to get it himself. Whitebeard ordered Marco and the other sons not to go chasing Blackbeard, because he knew it would end disastrously. Even though this didn't sit well with Marco, he couldn't bring himself to disobey Whitebeard, and worse still, Whitebeard was already sick and dying. If Whitebeard died while Marco was away, Marco knew he'd never be able to forgive himself.
Surrounded by all the hurt and anger, Ace, the youngest and most reckless of the crew decided to get revenge for Thatch on his own, claiming responsibility on account of being Teach's commander.
In the Garden, Marco had a good long time to reflect on every single piece of it. More, he had time to actually process it all logically, rationally, and relatively detached from all the stress of the subsequent war in his world. Even though he started off quite lonely and had to learn to adjust hard not just to a new world where no one his name, reputation, skills, and everything he'd worked for for the past few decades, but he also had to learn to go from being surrounded by sixteen hundred siblings (and another several thousand in allies whom Whitebeard also called his sons) to having nearly none, and an almost panic worthy state about Ace who suddenly wasn't dead, but was a marine, oh and hated Marco.
For all that, while he wasn't able to take care of his crew, he was forced to learn how to look after other people and how to adopt more family. He was able to transition from Marco: Whitebeard's oldest son, to Marco: a leader following in Whitebeard's footsteps and painting a path through the stars and time itself.
While Marco never lost his thirst for vengeance, he did gain something almost of a conscience in his little brother Espio, the Chameleon. Of course, he also had a terrible effect on the Chaotix crew member and turned him into a pirate, convinced him to sleep with Ace when they found him again, oh and always promised to help Espio kill Shadow if he ever felt like it. But hey, Marco never once said he stopped being a pirate first, and phoenix second.
Most bizarrely is that Marco's phoenix capacity aside from being literally birdlike, became mentally affected by the time shenanigans. Marco never fully told anyone, even his wife, just how deeply he was experimenting with Time itself, but the person he gave the most insight to was Thatch. Marco would move heaven, earth, hell, and yes, time, for Thatch. And while that was true long before his stint in the Balamb Garden, his messing with it in desperation gave him even more hope, and determination. While enough of Marco was able, in some ways, to let his father go, under the knowledge that Whitebeard was 72, sick, and already dying on the day that Whitebeard died the way he wanted to (standing up, proudly facing the enemy, and with a record no one will ever be able to match, and his family safely guarded because of it) Thatch and Ace were quite younger. Ace was only twenty, and Thatch had a world of potentials unfulfilled.
In One Piece, it's said that devil fruit users are restricted only by their imaginations (which is why inanimate objects make for boring users and some people are ridiculous with minor things) and if that is true, then Marco has more surprises for the universe than it can probably even handle. Marco never stopped trying to understand the legends of phoenixes, all with the same goals he ever had in mind: to protect his family. He is a pirate, and they are his treasure, and he never ever loses sight of that. Having been to the other side of metaphysical dimensions, having heard of Espio's special zone loss, and having spoken to the very people involved in Time Compression, Marco expanded his mind, and as a consequence, the limits of what he'd try.
While he shows his family no doubt in his capacities, they all know, or at least suspect, it's partially an act where he just wants to reassure them and keep them safe. Marco is a born liar, and when it comes to protecting his family, he'll swear anything through his teeth. Still, if there's one man consistently doing the impossible to protect them, it's Marco. Especially the more he transitioned from commander to cadet to SeeD to Captain. It wasn't a mantle he felt ready for, but he refused to back down either.
Marco married the only woman who'd be able to keep up with him, a shinigami who wouldn't outlive him (she was already dead) or inevitably die long before him, even if he lived another millennia. Despite, or perhaps because of her frequent head games, Grell was huge steadying influence on Marco in more ways than he'd ever be able to express. He dotes on her often, spoils her whenever possible, and trusts her even with Thatch and Ace's lives. She had the same dream as his Pops, and because of that, Marco has always made sure he'll never let her down.
The return of Thatch himself was like light in darkness for Marco. Suddenly he had his twilight back where he could see dawn, dusk, and the horizon in all directions. He knew where to go, when to go, and how he was going to get there. Marco no longer had to just focus on being a better commander to try to deal with the war back in his time, but he became convinced that time, like light, could be refracted into alterations and he could go on the exact beams he chose. After all, who could stop him? He's a phoenix and no one really knows the limitations to that, so why not do what he wanted with it? That's the best part of being a pirate, after all. Marco once even asked Thatch with warnings for all the possible negative consequences he could, to see if he should still try, but Thatch fell in line with Marco like a first mate, and said he absolutely should try, every step of the way.
Marco is still incredibly lazy about some things, and since he outright acknowledges he has no head for technology, he's almost one hundred percent completely and totally at the mercy of relying on others. This is partly arrogance as well. Marco doesn't even wish to be without those people he relies on, so he refuses to learn almost as a superstition that somehow it might make that person feel unneeded. Indeed, even though it would have been useful to learn about healing magics as much as possible to protect his other crewmates, Marco believed he wouldn't be able to use it in his own world's time, and so he convinced his adopted son to learn it all instead, and often ran into troubles when he could barely get off a low level spell. This tripped him up badly already when he thought he didn't need to focus on instructing cadets as much, and set him back in a great number of ambitions.
He is still thoroughly reliant on his family for certain things, and despite four years of separation from the Grand Line, Marco's focus remains on fragmenting time so he can hold onto literally stolen time with his other family members. He doesn't trust anyone to fly him in ships, airships or spaceships, other than Espio, he doesn't trust anyone to handle computers other than his wife. He doesn't trust anyone with Pokemon, Guardian forces, summoning creatures, and certain healing quite as much as he trusts Toby -- but he sent Toby to a safe spot so that the boy wouldn't break. And if Marco was once upon a time codependent on Thatch and trying to learn how to break that from Thatch's death, it isn't exactly removed. Marco would still entirely leave his emotional, mental, and existential well-being in Thatch's hands and not even think twice about it, for all of Thatch's own faults and issues, and the fact that Marco is married, and such a task should arguably fall to his own wife instead. Moreover, Marco's primary new goal is to find a way to stretch twilight to allow Thatch more chance to live, more chance for Marco to heal him in ways no one else can, and just more time period. So long as Thatch exists in any form, Marco will do anything, bend anything, and break anything for his brother and best friend.
Marco's first love is the sky, and while Grell once told Espio that Marco could only sneak up on him so easily in more outdoorsy places, Espio has always been nice about downplaying Marco's intense claustrophobia. Most everyone is aware that if Marco is going to get anywhere, he'd rather fly by power of his own wings, but barring that, he was a pirate on ships that even sailed under the ocean. On the other hand, these were ships built for men a good five times Marco's size, and so he never had to feel quite so claustrophobic, particularly as they'd reach open air soon enough. In the Garden, Marco often flew to the roof, and he was spoiled on the freedom of being able to go any random town he felt like. Still, very few have the capacity to fully understand the extent of Marco's related problems, much less deal with them.
Namur is yet another Marco was pretty damn codependent on. Not only did Namur take care of Thatch for three years before Marco found them, but Namur knew everything that Marco had been through, that Thatch had been through, and unlike the other two, the fishman didn't beat around the issues or deflect with every single chance he could. And more, Namur was the most balanced of all the crew members, in a way that held everyone together right from the middle. Namur's a fishman, and for a pirate like Marco who is incapable of swimming and doesn't even like large quantities of water, Namur is pretty much his lifeguard. More than that, Marco implicitly trusts Namur because the shark fishman is capable and does what needs doing with only a single word, nod, or direction from Marco. Even despite doing his best to embrace his role as Captain, Marco is all too used to half of his crew rebelling against him just for the fuck of it and an in effort to show him how strong they are (rookies). So Namur's trust, implicitly given, and never revoked, keeps Marco going forever and he gives that trust back in spades.
Every single nakama and family member is irreplaceable and Marco makes sure to never let them forget it (because they're human....ish and forget sometimes) but time shenanigans have made Marco both wary and flexible. He's still prone to suspicion, but he's able to absolutely believe in the idea that anything is possible now. After all, he's seen and done a lot, even by New World standards of his own world. Furthermore, as Marco reminded his crew, their Pops would have adopted a lot more, and letting Teach's betrayal affect them or hold them back is too damn weak for Marco's liking. It's not easy to earn Marco's trust, but once earned, he doesn't forget a thing and his overprotective loyalty is as extreme as the rest of him.
For all he says that however, Marco has become considerably less flashy. The man who used to literally sparkle in battles as a means of drawing attention to himself, has spent the better part of a few years never ever blending in, but certainly learning some more covert means of operations. At first he did this because he thought he would be without Thatch and he needed to learn. After Thatch's return however, it just became so that he and Thatch could help each other. This way Marco could do things more Thatch's way and help ease the man back into living.
Marco is still and forever will be dramatic, and in fact, marrying Grell exacerbated that considerably. A sometimes penchant for going big and showing off, goes all out when it comes to Grell, and she always encourages it. He's not above making up wild stories, ridiculous lies, and deadpan whaleshit all under the guise of entertainment, but even more than that, he'll be completely serious about the most ridiculous things, and completely ridiculous about the most serious things, and if he can, he'll do it without giving away his hand whatsoever.
He's also still one hundred percent a pirate. He doesn't trust heroes, he doesn't trust justice, he believes strongly in revenge, "borrowing without permission," and truly he enjoys a bit of chaos, mayhem, anarchy, and bacchanalia for the sake of it. While he practiced a decent amount of restraint and encouraged it over Grell, if there was an opportunity for antics, he got it, and part of what restrained him was loyalty to the Garden and Cid and his desire not to cause them any undue trouble. Marco's restraint, like his loyalty however, is not easily earned, and his temper is a simmering grudge that never ever goes away.
As a phoenix, Marco is able to procure blue flames with limited regeneration powers. The flames do not burn however; but Marco is so adept at using his devil fruit that unlike most zoans who can only switch between 3 modes (hybrid, original/human, and full form of the alternate species) he can procure the flames at whim. Likewise, he's shown himself able to transform any part of his body he wants into a phoenix form without completely switching into hybrid or full phoenix. His phoenix form is large enough to carry a normal-sized human, well capable of flying, (which Marco can also do just by switching his arms into wings) and very fast. He's a very strong martial artist and prefers to kick; partly as a reference to phoenix lore, and also because with his arms in wings, he likes to hang suspended and have the option of backing up with them. Due to the wings and devil fruit, he's a little bit of an acrobat, known for flips and kicking while upside down.
Able to hold his own against all three marine admirals, who are all logia (elemental devil fruit specifically: magma, ice, light) and highly trained in the use of "haki," Marco is also very strong with his own haki. Haki is the One Piece world's condensed spiritual pressure which can be used to pierce the elemental logia types; put weak-willed foes to sleep or stop them in their tracks, and resist blows like an armor. When one of the pirate emperors was visiting Whitebeard using all their haki and making Marco's crew pass out, Marco was easily able to resist -- something expected of one of the strongest men in the world, and first division commander in the crew of the strongest man in the world.
Marco is extremely skilled at cartography and astronomy, as he canonically used both to fly and set his courses (though again, not allowed to steer the ship, just set the course) and while he was spoiled with living for over four years in a world that was entirely mapped out, he and Thatch used to talk about how nice it would be to map the stars. Marco himself has a special love of stars, having to do with sparkles and phoenix metaphors.
Marco is incapable of ever learning to swim, and cursed to be weak to ocean. He can be taken by surprise and defeated by stronger haki (such as with Garp) and he's so protective of his family that seeing them injured sets off his temper and causes him act rashly, which doesn't work out well for him. Plus, while he can remain extremely composed no matter how bad the situation is, this does not mean he isn't deeply affected emotionally. If anything, though Marco rarely shows his emotions, he is deeply affected by events, and the reactions he does reveal can be very extreme, from tears to solidarity. He has great conviction in what he does, and what he believes, even though as far as even One Piece pirates go, he doesn't seem to have much (if anything) by way of morals, but when he likes something, he strongly does. Likewise, when he dislikes someone there isn't much that can stop him from showing it.
While he can fly, he can't travel long distances, especially in thunderstorms or unpredictable weather. This also takes effect in the form of his mild claustrophobia, and an intense dislike for being restricted to areas he can't fly freely using only his wings. As a being made of flames, he's weak to rain, he doesn't do well in fog, and he's especially weak to ocean and seastone. Likewise anything that gives off "the energy" of the ocean. As a zoan, Marco is susceptible to various zoan problems and dangers, including diet restrictions, as the more carnivorous a zoan is, the more bloodthirsty they become (which can be both a weakness and strength.)
Despite being nearly immortal from the phoenix devil fruit, Marco is definitely able to die and has several set weaknesses hampering his regeneration capacity. He also gets tired and worn out the more he does, and because he doesn't have normal signals of when to slow down, he has to be more careful about it.
Likewise, zoans have been shown to develop some distinctly animal traits and personality affectations, and as such, Marco is also limited by his bird
◎ Weapons & Other Special Inventory: His pirate gear, wedding ring, a pair of reading glasses that are really just for show, a copy of the book "Moby Dick," and a file of drawings from Toby mostly of the family and animals/pokemon.
(AKA you probably can't copy-pasta this part so make sure you don't miss it, okay!)
◎ Element: Fire. While Marco is a bird, and much more like an air-bender in his constant attempts to avoid problems & confrontation, a lot of it is an image he projects: of being too cool and level-headed, and somehow ~above~ it all. In reality, Marco is a raging pyro, enjoys mischief for mischief's sake, and is a force for destruction named after the god of war for a reason. He is extremely protective, but between an option to set the world on fire or not, most of him probably would be more inclined to say yes do it.
◎ Strongest Sense: Balance. He likes to fight upside down, he hovers both literally and metaphorically, he can perch on people, and his father's ability was earthquakes and shaking. As such, he's very familiar with dodging earthquakes, tsunamis, and still managing to keep his footing/balance. Likewise, his father created a great deal of stability for the islands under his protection, and while Marco is much more about chaos, and anarchy, Marco learned to temper that with the love he had for his father and his father's goals.
-- If that doesn't count; then sound because he's a bird and has similar startle-reflexes.
◎ Seven Personality Traits: Good: Loyal, protective, intelligent. Bad: Hot-tempered, violent, piratical. Neutral: Fierce.
◎ First-Person Sample:
DP post + DM post +
◎ Third-Person Sample:
The weeks following Marineford were hell. Marco wanted nothing more than to just drown in a drink that reminded him of his adoptive father, or at least to fly away and never look back. He couldn't though. He knew he couldn't keep the islands Whitebeard had claimed for the crew safe. He wasn't even sure he could keep all of the remaining Whitebeard crew safe and alive. Even with that red-haired bastard Shanks' help in getting Kaidou out of the way so that the third pirate emperor wouldn't be able to attack Pops' beloved fleet leaving. Their losses weren't numerous, but the losses were great. Even without Oars Jr. directly in their crew, the crew felt it as deeply as one of their own. His crazy risks so like Ace's own. Ace himself, there wasn't a man in the crew who didn't love the freckled idiot and want to help him. And they'd failed that. And Pops. Without their captain, Marco wasn't sure how many of them even wanted to go on.
But the once first division commander carried on. Because Pops would have been disappointed in him if he didn't. Because Pops would have wanted them all to live. Because Pops believed in them. Believed in them to see the new era and persevere through it. So Marco would do whatever it took to see them there. Jinbei had managed to make sure Ace's kid brother got out alive. It wasn't everything, but it was a lot. Marco liked the kid and he knew full well that Ace loved Luffy more than himself. Even Pops had seen something special in the boy's spunk. Hopefully however much his morale was suffering, his own nakama could help him get through it.
"Marco!" a frantic knock came to the door.
"Eh?" Marco looked up in the glasses from the maps, charts, and books he'd been scanning through. "What now?" he asked in exasperation.
"Brownbeard's attacked Foodvalten," the pirate explained.
Marco wanted to swear. He closed his eyes briefly wishing he could ask Whitebeard what to do. Wishing to anything Whitebeard could give him just one more hint, one piece of advice, but it wouldn't come. Not in this lifetime. The phoenix opened burning blue eyes again, "Leave it," he growled shortly. "Get everyone out that you can." Once, just Whitebeard's name would have been enough. But not anymore. There was too much for Marco to look after and too many chinks in the armor. "The place is too rocky for anything but guerilla warfare here on out. When he realizes no one's going to grow anything under his thumb, he'll starve fast and move on." And if not it would go on the growing list for vengeance.
"You got it boss!" the pirate scurried out.
Marco ran a hand through the spiky strands of blond hair. Fishman Island was the biggest worry. It always had been. It was the thorough-way of every pirate making his way to the second half of the Grand Line. And with the close proximity to Sabaody, pirates were constantly tempted to kidnap the fishmen and mermaids and sell them into slavery. Especially the kids who were easy prey. With Jinbei's help they might have been able to at least strike up a greater reputation among the fishmen themselves for protecting each other, but even that might have just made the price go up and the attempts along with it. Marco gave up with the maps for now. What good were geographic strategies without the people's spirit to back them up? The god damned World Government had no idea what a mess they'd made.
It was a gamble. Hoping the Straw-Hat kid would pull through, and pull a coup only a D could manage. And Marco desperately wanted to ask Ace if he was insane to do it, but that was just another version of the big thing he couldn't have. And Thatch? What would Thatch say? Hopefully just laugh. Marco could use one right about now. He wandered onto deck to find someone who wasn't working their ass off working on ways to repair the damages around the world.
"Did I ever tell you about the first time Pops found me?" he couldn't quite manage a grin yet, but he had a feeling by the time he finished the story he'd be able to. Pops had always loved reminiscing stories about the past, and it made Marco feel better to think on them fondly. It's what Pops would have wanted and if Marco couldn't get what he wanted himself right now, he could at least carry through on what Pops would have liked him to.
◎ Is your character retaining any previous game memories? -- YES! Witchesreign!
In WR, he was summoned to another world due to a spell called the "Time Compression." The Headmaster Cid reminded Marco of his Pops (the most important person ever to Marco) so this was a great comfort to him after the funeral of his father, and the entirely different world displacement. Despite Marco's age, as a phoenix, Cid agreed that Marco could probably pretend to be just within the age range to go to the mercenary school.
Further messing with Marco's head, while there was a version of his best friend and baby brother, Ace, at the school despite Ace having also died in the Marineford war with their Pops, this version of Ace had grown up as a marine. Marco was forced to deal fairly instantly with his hatred of military establishments (especially the marines themselves who'd been responsible for Ace's death) and really any sort of extreme regimental organization, or risk alienating his one link to the past. While Marco did decide that any version of Ace was still a version of Ace, so far as the marine Ace was generally concerned, Marco was a terrible ruthless pirate infamous for revenge and he generally wanted nothing to do with the older man.
Nevertheless, Marco didn't give up easily and even signed up for the Disciplinary Committee headed by Seifer, both as a reason to give detentions after curfew and himself an excuse to practice late night training sessions; and so he could keep trying to befriend Ace even if just to puzzle out the differences between them.
Fortunately, Marco had always been a big reader and while as a pirate he never had the chance for any kind of formal schooling, he took rather naturally to it. He made full use of the extensive library, Triple Triad card game, and did his best to memorize the world's geography and monsters. While his initial goal was to learn spy tactics now that he would have to learn to do it without the help of previous 4th division commander, Thatch, Marco also wanted to learn world politics and leadership so that he could protect his family back home despite the inevitable ongoing war they would be forced to face on all sides. Marco would be the first to say he doesn't understand world politics at all, however.
As a phoenix, Marco isn't the most outgoing of the Whitebeard family, however, as the oldest son of Whitebeard and second in command to only the Captain himself, Marco was used to having over sixteen hundred siblings around to call his family, plus several dozen thousand more that he was used to counting on in the war as his allies, whether he'd still be able to protect them or not. To wind up suddenly almost completely on his own, required a huge transition. The extra clubs helped, and the Headmaster made sure Marco's roommate was someone who at least always got along with birds. Marco's favorite roommate was Tavros, who, despite being quite timid, had no trouble understanding Marco in his phoenix form, and also thought it was pretty damn cool that Marco could fly.
Unfortunately the Time Compression came with a lot of negative side effects including that a lot of people came and disappeared without warning. Still, Marco remained forever grateful to anyone who helped during the most trying first year, especially those who tried to help with the marine version of Ace or spoke up on Marco's behalf, in particular one of Ace's own roommates: Gakupo, whom Marco forged a lengthy friendship with and regularly went running to the city to grab a pizza with or stop by the bar.
One of the most important people Marco met was Grell Sutcliff. He tripped her over one day (literally) when he was reading a book instead of paying attention to where he was going. In an effort to get out of trouble with her, he started flirting. As a Time Compression side effect, the entire school was subjected to a series of terrible repetitive nightmares. Rather than relive Marineford every night over and over, Marco, like most of the school opted to staying as awake as possible instead. Since he started brewing entire water bottles of iced tea, Grell latched onto this resource, and they wound up sharing most of the month together, sharing stories and studying in order to ward off the nightmares.
By this time Marco had made enough friends around the school that a few students viewed him as something of a role model, and thanks to a reputation (repurrtation) from Tavros and Nepeta, many kept coming to him to get his help with romantic issues. Marco became a full out shipper of the worst category. Something about being a bird, and wanting everyone to couple up and be happy. That said, he knew he couldn't just talk big about romance without being willing to be just as bold, especially with the way so many of the "kids" seemed to look up to him. As Sokka put it, if anyone could handle Grell it'd be Marco. So Marco asked her out on a date, and they wound up in something of a whirlwind (red typhoon?) romance.
Marco first took her flying on his back to watch a movie about a plucky young Chocobo who wanted to win races despite his father's wishes for him to stay on the farm. Despite being clearly meant for kids, between taking the first new person on a flight since Thatch's death, and a story about how the Chocobo really all along just wanted to protect the farm so his father wouldn't have to work so hard, he was pretty emotionally touched by it all. Marco's relative sadism thanks to zoan side effects (carnivorous zoan become more and more bloodthirsty) coupled nicely with Grell's own sadomasochism, whips and chains kink, and generally unnerved the rest of the world around them who generally just hoped Marco could keep Grell relatively in check. Marco on the other hand knew a side of Grell no one else did: that she'd actually always dreamed of being a mother, but couldn't due to biological restrictions, and in the era she came from and as a shinigami, adopting wasn't much of an option. Marco, having owed his entire life worth living, to his adopted father, promised himself no matter what he'd adopt any kids that needed it in the Garden, just like his Pops did for him.
Espio, the Chameleon, had a confusing friendship with Marco. It started off tumultuous, and it got weird. Espio had something of an inferiority complex about his height, and despite being 6'3", Marco's entire family is nearly five times his size, so Marco sort of understood. On the other hand, between Espio's hardline stance on justice (something Marco resents for killing his family) and Marco's hardline stance on revenge (his firmest belief) nearly all of their arguments were heated philosophical discussions. Fortunately, Espio enjoys arguing, and Marco respects anyone who puts up an intellectual fight. Furthermore, after marine Ace, Marco was trying a lot harder to understand the other side of the story, even if he couldn't accept it.
Marco's attitude to Espio softened up when a young kid only fourteen years old arrived at the Garden. Tobias Hayes was a pokemon trainer whose hand had been glitched by the Missingno virus. The virus was blocked off from spreading, but because it had taken the life of another trainer who had tried to help him, Tobias had fled and spent the last couple of years living in a cave with the one pokemon that stayed with him. Marco was instantly reminded of Ace's younger days and his own wild timid phoenix side. He got the kid some food, posed as just a bird, and slowly got the kid to open up and start talking and willing to be around people again. Espio was the boy's roommate and sensing that Marco's overprotective instincts needed to be put at least a little at rest, Espio promised to help look after the kid no matter what.
Back in his own world, Marco, along with the other Whitebeard pirates had been in charge of protecting Fishman Island, and as such Marco had a huge soft spot for mermaids and sirens. In his search for more legends of phoenixes (supposedly to research the sudden blue phoenix hanging around the Garden -- at the time only Grell, Toby, and Espio were allowed to know the true identity of that as Marco) he came across the story of the siren, trapped by a monster who held her prisoner in the tower. Marco refused to let this stand, and employed Grell's help in a bikini wielding her chainsaw to kick the Elvoret's ass. And while Marco was terrified of losing any memories by using the summoning too often, he always had a soft spot for the Siren.
Soft spot for the siren or not, Marco was still one of the most vocally pissed off students when Headmaster Cid was forced to change the graduation requirements for all students. He increased the amount of required and elective classes, and said they needed to find two more available guardian forces. Marco was already pushing the edge in trying to pretend to be under 25, so he was terrified what would happen if he wasn't allowed to graduate before his next birthday, but the Headmaster promised Marco could take the test as soon as possible, so Marco buckled down and focused extra hard to try to finish classes.
Unfortunately, Seifer wasn't getting another chance and ran off. So Marco and Azula had a competition each other for who would take control of the Disciplinary Committee. Azula doubted she could win on popularity, and since they were both straight A students and possessors of blue flames that couldn't even touch each other in a battle, they agreed on letting the rules themselves decide the matter. Marco was a known prankster, pirate, and not usually quiet about his stance on laws. Even though he was able to get an A in international law, he openly said it was just so he knew which laws to break and how. If Azula could get a single bit of proof on Marco's misdeeds then the Disciplinary Committee would fall to her by default. Of course, Marco didn't say he'd make it easy for her, and one of the nicer things about dating a shinigami was that it made cheating a lot easier at everything. Despite pranking the Garden with water balloons, Marco and Grell just barely avoided causing an international incident when they almost dropped one on the President Laguna (oops!) and when Azula was unable to truly catch them, Marco inherited the D.C.
Not many people could understand the double life of being at least half an animal species other than human. Grell had many of her own idiosyncrasies as a shinigami, and while the timelessness correlated to a lot of Marco's phoenix aspects, there were plenty of things only another zoan or animal could get. Espio filled this void in Marco's life he had never before truly realized existed. Despite their continuously ongoing talks about justice and morality, (many of which consisted of Marco stubbornly refusing to agree with Espio even if he kept listening) Espio quickly became one of the three most important people in his life. As a chameleon, Espio had a lot of trouble handling the cold, and as a phoenix whose flames don't burn, Marco did his best to help out with that. Espio was also one of the few Marco found that he could trust even in spite of a worldview that generally consisted, as Marco had always seen it before; that all people like Marco and his family should be behind bars or killed, and royalty exalted for their bloodlines. Espio was slowly able to help reconcile Marco's world views that not everyone had to be like Garp: willing to stand by and sacrifice family for morals, and that indeed there are many shades of grey to morality in general.
While Marco still was never able to understand morality in the strong way Espio held loyalty to, Marco was able to grow to respect Espio's reasoning out of respect and loyalty for Espio himself. As Marco put it, "I might not understand your conscience, but I'll always respect that it's important, and I'll always try to respect whatever you feel is important, because you're important." Espio likewise grew to trust Marco back ironically because of their discussions about justice. For all that Marco would be probably forever prejudiced, Espio came to realize Marco was unfailingly loyal about family and as Espio put it, "Even revenge started off as a very basic form of justice."
Not all was stable in the makeshift family, however. When Marco and Grell got in a fight, Marco could handle most of the damage with his phoenix healing -- although, when she bit his tail he realized he was either going to need to kill her or marry her. He decided upon the latter because he thought it would be more fun than trying to destroy a death god. But when Grell and Espio got in a fight, while Marco didn't exactly take sides, he often was employed in damage control. Luckily between him and Toby they could usually make things civil between the others. Of course, when Toby himself got hurt, all bets were off.
Marco's tradition of revenge became more exacerbated in regards to Espio when he heard about Espio's thirst for his own vengeance and Marco asked him not to try it alone. Going alone had been Ace's downfall (Marco lies both in canon and in RP and sticks by the claim that they ordered him to go) and Marco promised to back Espio up if Shadow ever arrived. A Shadow did arrive, but as Espio discovered, it wasn't the one who destroyed the entire special zone.
Marco nearly met his downfall in the defensive driving course. Despite being fantastic with maps, Marco was and is still, atrocious with buttons, helms, and he had a bad tendency to try to drive a vehicle the way he flew. This never worked out well. He crashed five cars, had to take the class three times, get extra tutoring and the only way he can use a vehicle at all is to go more slowly than walking there himself. He messed up a lot of cars and even after graduating, he vowed to never get a pilot or driver's license, though this meant relying on Espio for help. For all of Espio's snark however, the chameleon even specialized as a pilot to offset Marco's inherent weakness.
Toby went through a lot of rough times including a coma Marco didn't sleep through, especially since when he was rewound to nine years old just before then, he couldn't remember Toby. Toby drew Marco a lot of pictures, including one of Marco's Pops that Marco carries with him in his wallet at all time (laminated) and even a few of Marco's brothers. There were cases of notebooks and hundreds of drawings of pokemon, Espio, and other garden mementos. After the coma Toby jumped forward several years in age, much to the confusion of Marco and Grell, but Marco rolled with it easily enough, since as a phoenix, the Time Compression and his internal longevity had a bad tendency to skew time together. It got extra confusion when Toby developed a crush on Espio who absolutely didn't know how to handle it. While Marco and Grell did their best to help, Marco also made sure to keep an eye on Espio and took him out for drinks.
Marco's huge tendency to act like a dork to try to please Grell also resulted in hijacking the PA system and getting detention for a month. It gave him someone to be overprotectively focused on and luckily the more dramatic Marco was, the more Grell loved it. Marco was even able to take Grell back to his world to "meet" his brothers however briefly, and using the Time Compression memory show her to his Pops. While Marco didn't want to get married until he had at least graduated and could cover his finances (and Grell's expensive tastes) better, and pay back the diamond scholarship that had put such faith and trust in him, when Grell ran for Homecoming Princess, Marco definitely saw a good opportunity to make for the best night of her life, which is when he proposed.
He found an unlikely friend in Japan and they had many lengthy discussions. The isolated country with his own lengthy timeframe and many forgotten legends (including those of phoenixes) had a deeper effect on Marco than he ever really wished to admit. He reminded Marco a lot of Toby (especially with the isolation and drawing and love of animals or cute things) and Marco found himself able to relax around Japan more than anyone else since his brothers. He also changed the way Marco saw the world in a lot of ways, and helped Marco primarily transition into thinking of himself less as an orphan recovering from the Marineford War and trying to prepare for the ongoing war back in his world, but more as Marco himself, the phoenix, forever a pirate, but also someone capable of living in the moment and enjoying each one to the fullest.
Some things never change, including Marco's love of tattoos and mischeif, and upon graduating, Marco began flying out on covert op SeeD missions, and took up a few positions with Wayne enterprises (headed at the time by a pair of Damians). He developed a small weakness for Steampunk comics, or whatever the brothers recommended him, and he helped them completely smuggle, launder, and squirrel away money.
Despite the discussion Marco & Grell had with Headmaster Cid, when Marco's Pops showed up, Marco begged Grell to move up the date of their wedding so that Marco could have his father officiate, and Cid gave away the bride. Espio was designated Marco's best man, after lengthy conversations and Marco's own occasional panic and missing his brothers, and the additional insistence that Espio is a brother to him. Indeed even soon after, Marco took every chance he got to remind Espio of it. Likewise, he insisted up and down that he was going to take Espio with him back to his own world when he brought Grell with him. Marco & Grell had to delay their honeymoon for work reasons when the computers were all infected, and Grell was a computer clinician, but they also delayed it even extra for the paintball tournament, which according to Marco is like a holiday but more exciting. While the honeymoon couldn't last long enough, they didn't have much time before getting thrown into chaos again. Marco found out that Gakupo remembered his originally pacifist ways, but reconciled his new more violent self. Marco and Espio had an extra stupid bug eating contest in effort to freak out the humans, and bonded together over how annoying heroes are, if by bonded the word kidnapping still applies.
Meanwhile Marco's new wife was forbidden from campaigning two years in a row for Homecoming Queen, so Marco wound up having to run for King not that he was particularly enthused. Both Espio and Grell found a way to prank Marco for a change, though it sent him into an accidental mood for awhile remembering Marineford a little too clearly. He was taking it for granted that Grell was the one person he could count on never leaving him, even by dying, and while he did slowly find it humorous, it came with a few revelations as well.
A new commander took over the Garden, rearranged the ranking system, and insisted that off-campus all non-humans had to use a potion to transform themselves into humans. And not even one of Toby's many returns could fully keep Marco's temper from flaring at yet another demotion. Marco was eventually granted a mission to try to get his rank back up.
Marco took up tutoring math, became traumatized by balut, explained to his son some things about people eggs, and during an event when Espio was replaced, much like marine Ace, by an alternate version of himself, while Marco took awhile to roll with the punches, he did his best starting with checking on Toby.
Spaceships remain a weakness for Marco that he doesn't get (seriously it's a long running thing), but the more Marco grew to rely on Espio for it, the more he slacked about it himself. Just like his inability to swim, Marco always assumed he'd just have to have a nakama around to make up for it.
One of the biggest trials at the Garden was the Venture to the Island Closest to Heaven. The purpose was to expediently train cadets, but Espio's justice wouldn't allow for it. While Marco was certain Toby could handle it, Espio resigned and he and Marco had a huge argument they couldn't reconcile. Espio moved in with Toby. Marco started making his biggest transition from first division commander and son of Whitebeard, to a true leadership role, both as a father to Toby whom he and Grell officially adopted at Christmas, and as someone in charge of protecting hundreds, thousands of lives relying on him. He grew to respect the commander, but his own refusal to do anything other than go his own way meant that he continued to rely on himself first and foremost to look after the whole family, whoever and wherever that meant. Grell got a concussion when out on the island and while Marco had to keep working round the clock to watch over all the cadets, Espio didn't go see her in person so she was pretty upset about it.
Marco joined Rainbow Dash's flying organization, Espio rejoined the garden, and Marco realized that at his current pace, getting his rank back up would take forever. More importantly, he wanted to be able to keep a closer eye on the cadets, so he asked the Commander the requirements to become an instructor. He developed a more laid-back attitude about being forgotten and time shenanigans, but it did make him miss the Wayne brothers and he made a joke about pretending to be a ninja goose thanks to missing Robin, who had been the last remaining Disciplinary Committee member after Marco graduated and the others faded away. Marco's loathing of justice continued, but family forever came first, and that included Espio, as Marco said himself, he missed his family less with the chameleon around to bug. And while losing Toby again affected all of them, Marco and Grell found ways of dealing with it, however psychotic.
And just when Marco was about to start withdrawing from humanity entirely, Thatch and Namur arrived. Thatch especially meant the world to Marco, and the way Thatch jumped straight into tactics again, but there's only one Namur and Marco remelted in his love for them. In fighting a Lunar Cry, Marco freaked out about black holes, they wound up in a completely different dimension where Thatch turned into a darkness snake and Fionna helped Namur until Marco could snap out of his timelessness issue.
In a fit of painful memories, Grell tried to throw away her mementos of Toby, but Thatch stopped her in a way that didn't settle well with either of them. Thatch & Marco kidnapped Espio in a long pirate tradtion that literally started with and lasted to the end of time. Espio & Grell discussed Thatch's issues. Between Thatch & Namur's arrival, the Lunar Cry and Time Compression, Marco got a lot more serious about time and gradually began work on how he could utilize it to protect the family even while he stepped more and more out of his role as first commander and into Captain. He told Thatch it was folded, and when Toby returned on Namur's birthday, Espio proposed so he could do it before Toby left a fifth time, and the entire Garden was invited to beach party in celebration. For all of Thatch's worries, Marco swore up and down that Thatch helped like no one else ever could, and Thatch did his best to make amends to Grell and Espio respectively. There may have also been an inevitable threesome with Marco, Thatch and Grell. The family has a lot of issues. At one point Marco was even called in to investigate his own money laundering schemes from when he was working under the Damian twins.
Reluctantly Marco modified his tattoo, along with Grell, Thatch's and Namur's. In an effort to incorporate both the past, the present, and the future. Through eternity. And just as Thatch started getting bored, Ace showed up and shit got real. Thatch ran away unable to cope with his guilt, but Marco dragged him back. Marco left Ace to work his magic and Grell recognizing that Marco was wearing thin helped pick everything up. At the Raha Cup, Toby reached an overwhelmed breaking point, and unfortunately Namur and Espio caught the worst of it. While Marco was mostly able to calm Toby down, he sent Toby to a point on the Grand Line instead where he'd be safe and able to adjust more clearly. Unfortunately, he knew how hard it would hit Grell and Espio especially, but he had little choice, lest he lose his son forever. Granted, Espio definitely took it hard, and though Marco tried not to let it show, he didn't hold up great either. Fortunately Marco wasn't kidding when he called Ace his secret Ace, and the wildcard continued to do his best, despite having to deal with a lot of his own shit. Thatch got his car shipped over from Trabia and took the single boys out, continuing the tradition of kidnapping Espio.
The Garden crashed and while Marco wasn't in danger himself, he continued to display his lack of comprehension of modern technology, but at least the leadership thing came in handy. Marco didn't fully grasp how deeply troubled Espio was, but he kidnapped Espio for his own birthday where they wound up discussing it some. Marco began resorting to old habits of avoidance instead of coping, but because he had his family to rely on to help with each other, he wasn't completely detatched, and even fell into a more fatherly step, even without Toby's presence. And Marco really couldn't have gotten through it with the the family. Espio's revelation about being mind-controlled by the Garden's enemy Sol Invictus sent chills down Marco's spine in which he started focusing 100% on how to get everyone he gave a damn about out of the Time Compression together and safely.