Usopp didn't even have time to hear Viola confirm whether he succeeded or not before he felt thin strings wrap around his waist.
There were people coming, a hoard that had once worshipped him for all of five seconds before deciding to sacrifice him, yet their hands never got ahold of him as he was whisked off the roof.
It was a gut-wrenching experience.
The distance between the building he had been on and the castle he was being pulled towards was too great and Usopp experienced a weightlessness filled with utter and complete dread as he fell off into the city landscape.
He was too tired, his last strength having been sapped away after shooting at Sugar, so the dark-skinned man hung limply as he watched the tops of other buildings close in on him. He gritted his teeth, angry and scared tears already falling from his eyes as he gripped weakly at the string. Before he was splattered against a sharp roof or unforgiving ground, Usopp was jerked to the side, moving towards the castle at breakneck speed. He tried to see where the string was coming from, looking up through his tears, and deciding that it was the top of the cage without really seeing anything.
As quickly as he had fallen, Usopp was being hoisted back up again. Still traveling in an arc across the town, but the buildings falling away from him this time.
Usopp landed, or more like crashed, on top of the castle with a sickening thud that made his brain rattle in his head and his body absolutely scream in agony.
He told himself he didn't scream because he was too strong for that, but he knew it was because he was too weak to make a noise after the breath had been knocked out of him.
On the roof was Doflamingo.
And some drippy guy who made the sniper's stomach churn, but more importantly there was Doflamingo.
He was an outrageously towering man with bright yellow hair and a pink feathered coat. He looked extravagantly gaudy, but he radiated enough power that Usopp stopped breathing for all of six seconds before his vision started to go black and he gasped air into his lungs.
Usopp was not in a physical state to even be presented with that kind of intimidation, much less feel the weight of the other's ire as the giant man sneered down at him without dropping his smile, a vein throbbing in his head.
"Caught you," Doflamingo ambled towards the crumpled sniper, his foot reaching out to flip Usopp on his back. "What a mess you've made."
The tall man bent down to grab the darker man's hair, dragging him behind him as he went back to his seat, tossing Usopp at the foot of it. The Straw Hat felt strings wrap around his wrists tightly, his skin splitting where there was too much tension, before he even landed back on the ground.
He groaned as soon as he was set down, though he quickly bit his lip, refusing to show weakness. He locked his jaw, determined to stay quiet.
Usopp had half a second to see another man by Doflamingo's feet before a crash sounded throughout the roof.
Luffy appeared before them, Law a step behind them.
Usopp nearly cried in relief.
It had worked.
They were safe.
He had done it.
He bit his lip again, this time from joy, the pain from earlier nowhere near the amount of overwhelming happiness that coursed through Usopp at seeing Luffy okay and well and knowing that his shot had stopped the little green menace.
"Usopp?!" Luffy's voice was loud as per usual and the black man had almost forgotten about his predicament in the face of his achievement at keeping his captain safe. "Bellamy, too?"
"Oh? You care about Bellamy, as well? If memory serves me right, you two fought in Mock Town, didn't you? I guess you made up. How touching."
Usopp could hear the panting breaths of the man laying face down next to him, the blood from his bashed face seeping out into a puddle below him.
"I don't care about what happened in the past - let my friends go!" Luffy sounded serious despite his loud voice and Usopp couldn't help but be overcome with relief that Luffy had come, even if it wasn't to save him specifically.
He didn't want to be stuck with Doflamingo.
"Hm," The giant man mused, his foot reaching out to jostle the beat-up man's body. Bellamy groaned at the contact.
"You'll have to fight for it. Bellamy came to me to die and your little crewmate here," Usopp saw a flash before the ruling king's foot slammed into his face. He could feel the warm blood pouring down his nose and into his mouth and he breathed in pained gasps as his world titled on its axis. "Ruined a lot of careful planning."
Usopp didn't hear the rest of it, his ears were ringing and he grasped at his face, feeling his broken nose that had been injured too much already that day.
By the time he centered himself again, there were two Doflamingo's and Usopp was about ready to just go to sleep out of the amount of unnecessariness that was.
He heard a familiar, "Screw the plan!" and knew something was about to be fucked up by Luffy.
The black man was pleasantly surprised when he got a front row seat to Doflamingo's stomach getting a good hook from his captain, the Pink Menace doubling over as a rainfall of goo fell around Usopp.
The sniper was afraid to look up and decided resolutely not to when the goopy material started talking to Law.
The Heart Captain looked like he had the upper hand for all of two seconds before Doflamingo was there, kicking Law's sword away from the pile of snot before impaling the man with a hoard of strings. His blood sprayed out of the wound, a spurt hitting Usopp's face and he froze, eyes wide in terror.
He heard Luffy call out Law's name before Doflamingo was in front of him too, his leg raising and sending Usopp's captain to the ground with his hands tied. He didn't even hit the floor before Bellamy's blade was cutting into his captain.
Usopp didn't try to hold back his voice then, Luffy's name on his tongue before he could even think about it, rising up to a sitting position and leaning towards his captain as if he could help him.
There was a single second between when Usopp saw a hand enter his vision and his head slammed against the rooftop, his vision and world going black.
"I, too, am a D."
Usopp blearily blinked his eyes open. His head was pounding, but when he tried to reach up and touch it, he found his arms tied.
He looked around, eyes catching onto Law, Doflamingo, and the slimy man, but Luffy and Bellamy were nowhere in sight.
He watched the fight with unclear eyes, but Law appeared to be winning.
Blood poured out of Doflamingo's mouth, his grin finally off his mug as he clenched his teeth, absolutely seething.
Suddenly a huge tower was drifting towards them, then Doflamingo was in the air and then so was Law.
Usopp was having a difficult time keeping up with them, his head still throbbing in time with his heart beats.
He watched as Doflamingo raised his leg, and the sniper expected him to kick Law back to solid ground, but when he brought his foot down, Law plummeted with his arm still firmly in Doflamingo's grasp.
It took a few seconds for Usopp to comprehend what had occured, the action that must have happened for the end result and the processing of the end result in general.
He felt vomit rise in his throat and he couldn't stop it from coming, turning over just in time to let the contents of his stomach splash onto the ground next to him. He coughed wetly, spitting out the leftover fluid and gasping for air, dust hanging thick around him and clogging his throat with acidic mud.
Law's arm slapped against the floor and Usopp felt his eyes roll back in his head as he tried to block out the noise.
Doflamingo landed next to Law's shaking form, the captain grasping his armless shoulder and shuddering in pain, teeth clenched so tight that Usopp swore he could hear them creaking.
"You look tired Law. I'm surprised you were stupid enough to try and take on not only me, but also Trebol, all by yourself. It's going to take Straw Hat a while to get up here. He seems to have a weak heart - all he has to do is kill his friend, yet he's putting it off. Some allies you've got, Law." The man walked towards the doctor, the Heart Pirate struggling to get up and failing. The Fake King crouched down in front of him, staring curiously at the bloodied man."You lived a dark life. Roci was able to lengthen your time here, but it's a little pointless if you just become his shadow, chasing after the things he never could stomach himself, don't you think?"
Usopp saw the gun raise, the barrel pushing against Law's head, and he felt a wash of panic going through him.
Luffy wouldn't want Law to die.
"Wait!" Usopp was shocked at the sound of his own voice, but he had only a moment to regret it before Doflamingo's attention was on him and not the fallen man. "He-he's already down!"
Doflamingo gave the black man a blank stare, thumb stroking his gun in slow circles before he uncocked it and lowered it to his side.
"And? I plan to kill him, Sniper. Or do you prefer I kill you first?"
The words filled Usopp's throat with bile and he blanched, his breath quickening until he thought he would pass out.
He thought of Luffy, just a floor below them, he would be there soon. All Usopp had to do was stall.
"K-killing us wouldn't be f-fun." Usopp swallowed, trying to get his bearings and calm his near-hysterical voice.
"I think it would be absolutely entertaining." Doflamingo twirled his gun on one finger. "Do you think I should torture him more?"
With that, he raised his gun and shot Law squarely in the shoulder, the doctor hissing in pain as his already damaged arm was further injured.
Usopp screamed, terrified out of his mind and not knowing what to do about the obviously psychotic man.
He felt his lips tremble before words started pouring forth, anything to get the other's attention away from torturing Law or Usopp.
"There has to be s-something more entertaining th-than killing people. I, the gre-great Usopp, personally find killing the least fun thing to do. You get nothing out of it but a dead body and-"
Despite his voice growing in strength, the sniper cut off when Doflamingo waltzed over to his prone form and raised the pistol to his head.
"Why should I listen to you, Sniper? You've already caused my plans to crumble and I can assure you that making me more angry will not bode well for you." The towering man smiled down at the man with a grin that was more feral than any sort of positive emotion a grin usually was supposed to signify.
Usopp's mouth trembled, completely stumped, no words coming to mind.
"You think I don't know you're stalling?" Usopp bit his lip again, eyes wide as the barrel of the gun pressed more into his head.
"Th-the much adored Usopp would never waste anyone's time!"
"Is that so…" Doflamingo looked down at Usopp and the darker man was unable to gauge what kind of emotion was going on behind his pink glasses.
The tall man suddenly stood up, turning on his heel and heading over to Law. He picked the other man up by his arm, blood from the doctor's wound gushing out as he was manhandled back to the family head's seat and unceremoniously thrown to the ground near the blond's feet. Doflamingo took a seat, leaning a cheek against his hand and looked down at the black man, the strings around Usopp's wrists falling away.
"Okay, Sniper, entertain me."
Usopp didn't move.
He stared up at the man, unable to comprehend his words.
"Well?" The Donquixote leader looked absolutely thrilled at Usopp's hesitation. "What are more fun ways to entertain me?"
"A-a game?" The stutter this time was more from confusion than fear, though the sniper was still filled to the brim with the emotion. "Ah, yes, I am called the 'Talented and Beautiful and Hilarious Game Master' back home, because I could win any game put before me with grace and skill."
Doflamingo looked over the other man with clear amusement.
"Is that so, pretty? What game do you recommend?"
Usopp stared up at the other, his mouth opening but no words coming forth. He mouthed the word 'pretty' as if he could figure out its meaning if he could fit his lips around it correctly.
"You see, I don't believe you have a game in mind."
"That's not true!"
It very much was true.
"But I'll cut you a deal. I'll offer up a game and if you win it, I won't kill you." Doflamingo looked down at Law, nudging him with his foot. "I think this one is a little out of commission, so we'll figure out a deal for him later."
Usopp glanced back at the hole Luffy had disappeared into. It couldn't be too long before the other came back.
He only needed to stall a little longer.
"What game?" Usopp finally managed, struggling to sit up.
"Endurance: let's have sex." Doflamingo looked beyond amused when Usopp choked, his face paling rather than darkening. "We see how long you can go. We can stop whenever you want, but…"
The black man waited with bated breath as Doflamingo's grin widened until he could nearly see all his teeth.
"If you give up, I get to go back to my version of 'fun.'" Usopp's world tilted but he caught himself before falling over.
"Fuck you, bastard." Law piped up. Usopp was surprised at his interruption. The other man was bleeding a lot from a whole bunch of different places. The black man steadfastly tried not to look at the space where the captain's arm was supposed to be. "You're a sick freak. Why don't you eat shit and die?"
Usopp shrieked in both shock and furious pain when his thigh was torn through by a bullet. He clutched his hands over the wound, hyperventilating as he stared at the fresh blood mixing with his nearly dried blood from earlier.
"Law, another word out of you and I'll kill him," Doflamingo pointed his gun at Usopp's face but the black man didn't look up from his leg to see it. "And then I'll shoot you, too."
Law's mouth opened but he didn't say a word, eyes spitting his hatred at the larger man.
Doflamingo smiled in response, sitting back and turning towards Usopp again.
"Entertain me, Sniper."