Author's Note: My first ZoLu fanfic. Please R&R! Constructive crit is as appreciated as praise!
Zoro heard Luffy's cry of alarm from somewhere nearby. Trapped in some sort of hideous maze, he spun around, frantically searching for the source of the call.
"Zoro! Zoro, help me!"
Zoro awoke with a start. Thunder crashed outside, and the Going Merry rocked wildly with the force of the gale that was blowing. His heart was still pounding from the panic he'd felt in his dream.
He mentally shook himself. Luffy was perfectly safe, asleep in his hammock, it had only been a nightmare. So why did he feel as though something were terribly wrong?
He rolled over, blinking tiredly. He squinted through the darkness at Luffy's hammock. Then his eyes flew open. Luffy was gone.
"Luffy?" Zoro called.
"Luffy, where are you?" he said more loudly.
He had an inexplicable feeling that something horrible had happened. Panic rising, he jumped out of bed and threw open the door, stumbling as the ship gave a great lurch. He ran onto the deck, shouting, "Luffy! LUFFY!" He couldn't see, it was too dark. Suddenly a flash of lightning illuminated the ship. Just in time for Zoro to see Luffy be swept overboard by an enormous wave.
"LUFFY!" Without even pausing to consider what he was doing, Zoro flew to the spot he'd just seen Luffy and dove over the side. The sea was freezing, and the salt water stung his eyes, but he kept them open, searching frantically for Luffy. He could barely see his own hands in the dark water. Where was he? He knew the influence of the Devil Fruit's power must have taken effect as soon as the wave had hit Luffy. How long did he have to find him before...?
Zoro's eyes and lungs were burning, but he could relieve neither. He continued to dive, deeper and deeper, until his vision began to darken. He realized that he himself was going to drown. He closed his eyes.
Something brushed against his left arm. He grabbed at it instinctively. It was cloth. He grasped it tightly and pushed with all his might towards the surface. For one horrible moment, he thought he wasn't going to make it. Then his hand caught one of the Going Merry's portholes. With one arm around his captain, Zoro heaved himself over the side of the ship.
Panting, he dragged Luffy to the nearest shelter–the kitchen. He forced the door shut, then sank to the ground, exhausted. Luffy had come to and was coughing up seawater. Zoro tried to rise, thinking to thump Luffy on the back, but found he had no strength left.
When at last Luffy was done, he looked up. His eyes were slightly out of focus.
"Zoro?" he croaked.
Zoro stared at him blankly. He began to tremble. He pulled his knees to his chest and buried his face in his hands. Luffy crawled over to where Zoro was sitting and looked concernedly at him. Tentatively he put one arm around Zoro's shoulder and used his other hand to gently pull Zoro's hands away from his face.
"Zoro, you're crying!"
It was true. Tears steamed down Zoro's face as he gazed at his captain.
"Don't–you–dare–ever–do–that–to me–again," Zoro choked.
Luffy looked confused. "What did I do to you, Zoro?"
"You idiot!" Zoro shouted. "You terrified the shit outta me! I thought you were going to drown! What the HELL were you doing out there in this storm?"
"I was hungry," Luffy whimpered. "I was gonna get a snack."
"A SNACK!" Zoro thundered. "You risked your life for a SNACK!"
"But–I–" Luffy sniffled.
"Don't ever do that again, or I'll–I'll–" Unable to continue, Zoro seized the front of Luffy's vest. Roughly he pulled himself forward and pressed his lips to Luffy's. Luffy stiffened from shock, and for a moment Zoro regretted presuming to kiss him. Then his captain leaned forward, wrapping his arms Zoro's neck. The kiss tasted salty, but Zoro decided he would never dislike the taste of seawater again.
Finally, they broke apart. There was a silence, then Luffy spoke.
"Can I have a snack now?"
Zoro couldn't help but grin. He wondered if Luffy could ever keep his mind off of food for more than three seconds. He rose and went to the refrigerator. "Let's see if we can find some meat," he said. He quickly found a leftover turkey leg, which he offered to his captain. Luffy munched away happily for a moment. Then he spoke again.
"If I promise to never accidentally almost drown again, will you kiss me again?"
Zoro smiled. "Yes, Luffy. If you promise me that, I will kiss you as much as you like."