Talking Blues
By Chou

Chapter 5 – The Commish

"Is that a fact?" he said with a voice like a razor.

"He" was Roronoah Zoro, thug, brawler, and all around bad cat. He was addressing the cops that had busted into his gym to arrest him for no good reason.

Well, no recent good reason.

His hands drifted to the pockets of his black slacks, and to the switchblade he kept in there for just such an occasion. Sure, the cops had guns, but that had never stopped Zoro before.

Before he could make his move though, he saw the grifter who called himself Luffy walk in between him and the cops.

"Hey, hold up a second, officers." Luffy said in a cheerful voice. "I'm sure this is just a misundertaking."

The cops stared at him, puzzled. Zoro's stare was a puzzle too, only the pieces had razors for edges and made a picture of a knife when you put them together.

"What're you doing?" he growled at Luffy, who turned and flashed him a large grin and a wink before turning back to the officers.

"So, officers sirs, why are you arresting my pal here?" Luffy said with a cheerful, innocent grin.

"Step aside, lad. This doesn't concern ye. We've got orders from the chief to bring him in for questioning." replied one of the cops

"Yeah, wit a rubber hose." snickered another, before Zoro's glare shut him up.

"So…I can't convince you otherwise then, officers?" said Luffy hopefully.

The first cop shook his head and tightened his grip on his service revolver.

"Move, or ye're going in with him, lad." he said.

Luffy sighed. "Ok then. Guess its plan B."

Zoro, who had reflexes like a rattlesnake and eyes like a hawk, barely saw Luffy's leg whip up between the cop's legs like snapped rubber band. All the air went out of the cop and he doubled over, tears of pain welling in his eyes. The other cop only stared in shock, which gave Luffy plenty of time to whip an arm around and punch him. The cop's head banged into the wall and he slumped to the floor, unconscious.

Zoro looked from one unconscious cop to the other, and arched an eyebrow at Luffy, who was dusting off his hands. Yosaku, Johnny, and Coby were making shocked little choking noises, their eyes bugging.

"Where'd you learn to fight like that, grifter?" Zoro said appraisingly.

Luffy laughed "I live in a bar, so I've had to break up a few brawls. And the guy I respect most in the world, he taught me too."

Zoro grunted. "Most guys live in bars, the only thing they fight's being sober. Huh. Lot dirtier than I would've thought, looking at you."

The mutual admiration was interrupted by the sound of a car peeling away at high speeds. Zoro cursed over his breath.

"Forgot about the guy outside."

Luffy shrugged. "Eh, no biggie. We can be out of town before they get back."

"We?" Zoro gave him the razor stare.

Luffy ignored it. "Yeah. C'mon." he said cheerfully.

Zoro waved him off. "I ain't never ran from a fight, and I ain't starting now. Sides, I leave, and those pigs'll make hell for everyone."

Luffy shrugged. "Ok, what do we do then?"

Zoro smiled. It wasn't a nice smile. It was an "I just ate your dog." kind of smile. Luffy almost took a step back before Zoro spoke.

"We go to see the commish."

Meanwhile, at Police Headquarters …

"Coffeeeeee! I want some good coffeeee! Somebody better give me some coffee or I'll report them to the Commissioner! With donuts! I want coffee with donuts!"

Sergeant Helmeppo pointed in what could charitably be called an imperious way at various officers of the law.

He might've gotten the coffee and donuts if the front door hadn't been kicked in.

Several dozen officers drew their service revolvers and aimed them at the door by reflex.

Then they saw Zoro's smile.

"You cupcakes can shoot me…but it'll just piss me off." Zoro said. One by one, the policemen lowered their guns uncertainly. Luffy walked in behind Zoro and grabbed a donut from a nearby table.

Helmeppo came out from behind the desk he had hidden behind.

"Shoot him! I'll tell my daddy, er, the commissioner! SHOOT THEM BOTH!" he shouted.

Nobody saw Zoro throw the knife. It just seemed to move from his body to pin Helmeppo's shirt to the wall without covering the space in between. Helmeppo fainted almost instantly. The police officers paid too much attention to that, because in moments, Zoro was among them, his fists, knees, and elbows lashing out with an inhuman viciousness. Luffy bowled into them a moment later, a dervish of fists.

Between the two of them, they knocked out or otherwise incapacitated several dozen armed police officers in a matter of moments.

Zoro walked over to where Helmeppo had recovered from his faint just in time to come face to face with someone braver men wet themselves at. Zoro grabbed a fistful of gaudy shirtfront.

"Where's the Commish?" he growled.

The door to the Commissioner's Office was kicked open. A hulking figure stepped out of the cracked doorframe. In one hand was a large hatchet. In theory, it had been used to bust open liquor barrels during Prohibition. In theory.

"Here I am, punk. You want a piece of the great one?" Commissioner "Hatchet Hand" Morgan growled, "Come get it." He charged.

"You son of a…" Zoro turned from Helmeppo and tugged his knife from the wall. Morgan's charge was stopped short; a well-thrown chair shattering against Morgan's head saw to that. And then Luffy was on the stunned commissioner like a monkey. Morgan took a swing and missed, catching only Luffy's feet in his face as his reward. Luckily, a desk broke his fall as he flew backwards.

"Damn it…" Morgan growled as he got back to his feet "I'm Commissioner Morgan! Who the hell are you!"

"Monkey D. Luffy. Nice to meetcha." Luffy said cheerfully. Then he tackled Morgan hard and started punching.

"Stooooooop!" rang out a shrill voice that was only male by the loosest definitions.

Luffy punched the bloodied Morgan again.

"I said stoooop!" Helmeppo screeched. He had a shaking revolver pointed at Coby, Yosaku, and Johnny. They had snuck in to watch the fight unnoticed, not too long ago. It was bad timing for them, but it always was.

Zoro got ready to move. Helmeppo saw it.

"Don't move, dirtbag! One wrong step, or if he keeps hitting my dad, and I'll plug these jokers!" he cried.

Luffy stood up and walked a bit from Morgan's battered form. He looked at the rubble on the floor carefully, then at Helmeppo, then finally at Zoro. Zoro looked back, and an unspoken agreement passed between them. Helmeppo only noticed that they weren't paying attention to him.

"Hey! I'll shoot them!" he screamed. "Pay atten…huh?" he stopped in mid screech. Morgan had risen to his feet and was preparing to drive his hatchet through Luffy's back. Time froze for a second.

Then, quick as a flash, Luffy reached down, snatched up a paperweight from the ruins of the desk, and flung it hard at Helmeppo's head as Zoro's dashed past Morgan and skidded to a stop on the floor.

Helmeppo sunk to the floor, unconscious.

"Hey, Zoro…thanks." Luffy said without turning and grinned.

Morgan fell back, the knife cut in his side non-fatal, but bleeding badly.

"No problem…boss." Zoro snapped the blade of his switchblade back into the handle in a deft movement.

And they walked out Police Headquarters side by side.

Author's Notes:
Well, it's been a long time since I've done a chapter, hey? Sorry for the wait, folks, but writer's block's a pain.

Next chapter: That bad cat Zoro's hooked up with Luffy, but which swinging crewmate is next? It might not be who you think it is…