-Storm-

A One Piece Pointless Fluff Fic by Digitaldreamer

Hello all! Wow, it's been awhile since I've posted something, ne? Gomen, the stress of finals and lack of sleep kind of killed my muse. The good news is it finally seems to be recovering, so I have a few more big fics in the works, as well as a co-written project with my dear Chibimono Akuno, whom you may all know from her one-shots.

Of course, actually writing is getting rather tough given how my muse is sort of in recovery mode…but on my first day of finals we had a huge thunderstorm and this idea hit me. So I sat down and started writing instead of studying, and the thing somehow grew into eight pages of ZoLu fluff. Oh, and some angst creeped in as well, because where would I be without angst?

I'm not entirely sure how IC it all is, but it is AU so some actions should probably be taken with a grain of salt if they don't seem spot on. This is the Luffy and Zoro you know, but at the same time they aren't. Or at least, that's what I tell myself so I don't feel like a pathetic moron who cannot write to save her life, even if it is true.

Right, so…yeah. This is a modern day AU in which Zoro and Luffy are roommates, oh the excitement. New readers of my work should note that this is SHONEN AI! That means Luffy and Zoro making out viciously only not really because I couldn't bring myself to write something like that. Whatever, you get the idea. It's boys loving each other and if you have a problem with it, leave, orwrite me an amusing flame so I can laugh at you.

So go on, read and enjoy! It's not really my best work, but I think it's pretty good considering my muse has been out of comission and I'm a bit rusty. Oh, and please leave a review, I've been depressed as of late so any feedback, even constructive criticism, really helps. Oh, and if there are any spelling mistakes, please point them out, none of my beta's were available when I wrote this.

Disclaimer: Own them I do not.

They are from Oda's genius.

I suck at haiku.

---

Zoro came home from a long day at work to find the apartment smelling strongly of popcorn. Very buttery, burnt popcorn, from the smell of it.

The swordsman stood in the doorway, brow furrowing as he sniffed the air. He frowned as he stepped all the way into the apartment, the door swinging shut behind him. "Luffy? Did you burn popcorn again?" His deep voice rumbled through the small apartment, only barely heard above the thunderous roar of raindrumming onthe rooftop.

He saw his roommate's tense back from across the strange kitchen and living room hybrid that the main room made up, the younger teen's face pressed up against the glass window of the microwave. The low hum of the appliance was barely audible, as well as the tell-tale pop of popcorn. At the sound of Zoro's voice the boy turned around and beamed, his still-wet black spikes of hair sticking to his forehead a bit. He had clearly been outside not too long ago, though his red hoodie and jeans looked warm and dry enough.

"Oh, hey Zoro! Back already?" Luffy asked.

The swordsman nodded as he shrugged off his completely soaked trench coat, draping it over the back of one of the two chairs at the kitchen table. "Why are you making popcorn?" He asked, raising an eyebrow pointedly at the microwave. "And is that your only batch or did you burn the first few?"

"Hey, I'm getting better at not pressing all the buttons!" Luffy exclaimed. "I only burnt three bags before I hit the right one!"

"Three?" Zoro groaned, raking his fingers through short, soaked green spikes. And Luffy wondered why he worked so much...

The boy beamed and nodded. "Yup, isn't that great?" He asked.

"Yeah…sure…whatever." The swordsman sighed, shaking his head. "You still haven't explained to me why you're making it."

If Luffy's grin could have gotten any wider, it would have split his face in two. "Well, for the Show, of course!" He exclaimed as if Zoro should know exactly what he was talking about and be just as excited.

Well, Zoro wasn't. He was just very confused. "The…show?" He repeated.

His roommate blinked, then nodded. "Yeah, you know! The Show!" He exclaimed, motioning towards the living room.

Zoro stared blankly back at him. "Something…on…TV?"

"On TV?" Luffy snorted. "No, silly! I mean the thunderstorm!"

The swordsman blinked in confusion. "The…thunder storm?" He repeated, folding his arms and quirking an eyebrow.

"Yeah! You know, thunder, lightning, lots of rain? It's the best show ever!" Luffy cheered, waving his arms extravagantly. He paused in his wild motions as a loud beeping noise came from the microwave. "Ooh, it's done!" He exclaimed, popping open the microwave and pulling the paper bag out. The greasy popcorn rustled as Luffy poured it out into a bowl.

Zoro watched this all with a bewildered expression on his face. Sure, he didn't mind storms, on the contrary he rather enjoyed them, but he didn't really think Luffy would be the type to want to just sit down and watch it. He never had time to do so himself, he didn't really see what was so great about it.

"Ooh, this'll be great!" Luffy was saying as he rushed around the kitchen, trying to get together a glass of soda. He paused for a moment in his reaching for a glass to glance back at Zoro. "Do you wanna watch too, Zoro?"

The swordsman frowned, brow furrowing. "I dunno, I…" He trailed off.

"Awww, come on Zoro, it'll be fun! Ace and I used to do it all the time! It was the greatest!" The boy said with a wide smile on his face.

Zoro's frown deepened at the mention of Luffy's former roommate and older brother. He didn't know why, but he always found himself feeling a little pang of jealousy whenever Luffy mentioned Ace, all the things they did, all the time they spent together, everything. It didn't bug him at first, but for some reason it did now. Maybe it was a bit irrational, but he couldn't help it. Do you keep on mentioning him because I'm not good enough for you?

"—ro? Zoro? Are you gonna watch with me?" Luffy's words suddenly tugged Zoro out of his thoughts. The swordsman blinked, shaking his head as if trying to clear it. Where had all that come from? Zoro wasn't the type to think stupid things like that! Who cared if Luffy mentioned Ace a lot, he was his brother after all! Zoro was just his roommate, so why should he care? He'd only known Luffy for a few months, who cared what the boy thought of him?

It was stupid.

"Uh…no thanks. I have some work to get done." Zoro muttered, brushing past Luffy towards the hall that lead to the bedrooms and the tiny bathroom that they shared.

"Awww, but the best part's about to come!" Luffy whined. "Please watch with me? I think you'll like it!"

The swordsman paused, glancing back. "No, it's alright. I need to get this stuff done, I don't have time." Helied before making as if to continue to his room. "Sorry." He added.

He didn't want to be around Luffy right now. He wasn't really sure why, he just…didn't.

Luffy stared after Zoro, his lower lip poking out in a pout. He opened his mouth to say something, but it was cut off by a flash of lightning and a LOUD crack of thunder. The boy let out a yelp of surprise, reaching up to cover his ears. The popcorn bowl and soda fell to the floor with the clang of aluminum hitting tile and the tinkle of breaking glass as the lights flickered off.

They didn't come back on.

Zoro spun around, eyes widening. "Luffy?" He cried, rushing out of the hallway and into the main room. He looked this way and that, but all he could see was the light outline of the windows in the nowpitch black room. Damnit… "Luffy? Are you okay?"

There was silence for a moment, filled only by the sound of the rain drumming against the ceiling. Finally there was the sound of tiny pieces of glass clinking together and slow movement. "Y-yeah, I'm fine." Another bolt of lightning came, illuminating the room for but a moment to reveal the boy standing in the middle of the kitchen in a puddle of soda, the broken glass glittering like jewels at his feet. Fortunately, the Luffy seemed fine, if a bit shaken.

The swordsman let out the breath he'd been unconsciously holding. Good, Luffy was okay. "Stay there, I'm coming over. I don't want you getting hurt or anything, okay?" The last thing he needed was to have to deal with Luffy whining about a cut foot.

Fortunately, Luffy didn't feel like being rebellious tonight. "'Kay."

It took only a few strides for Zoro to make his way over to the boy, and by the time he did his eyes had adjusted. He stopped just in front of the glass and held out a large, calloused palm towards his roommate. "Okay, take my hand."

Luffy laughed, though it sounded a bit weak. "It's just glass Zoro. I think can get out by myself."

"I know. Just take it and then try to step over it, okay?"

Zoro could tell the boy was pouting even in the dark, but he took the swordsman's hand anyway and made as if to step over the shards of glass. His legs were, just as Zoro predicted, not quite long enough, so the boy attempted to hop the rest of the way over. Of course, when he did so he slipped in the spilled soda, causing him to lose his balance and fall forward!

Luffy crashed face-first into Zoro's chest, his fists reaching up to gripthe swordsman'sstill slightly damp t-shirt on reflex. Zoro's arms went up on instinct to wrap around the boy, his entire body rock solid in spite of the weight crashing into him. He didn't move an inch.

The two stayed like that for a moment, Luffy's fingers digging into Zoro's back a bit in an attempt to keep his grip. After a few seconds though, he relaxed in the swordsman's strong arms. He knew he was strong himself, but if he ever fell, he trusted Zoro to be able to hold them both up, just for a little while. He took a deep breath, inhaling the scent of rain from Zoro's shirt before looking up at him. He couldn't really see Zoro's expression in the shadows, but he had a feeling his roommate was almost smiling at him.

"You knew that would happen?" Luffy asked.

"I had a hunch."

"Heehee, that was close. Thanks Zoro." The boy said with a small chuckle.

"No problem." Zoro muttered as he stepped back, carefully taking Luffy with him so the boy wouldn't get sliced by any glass.

As soon as Luffy was on his feet Zoro withdrew from him, the slight tension that had come before the blackout returning in double. The swordsman's strides were a bit short as he weaved around the kitchen table, stopping to open the cupboard. "We'd better get that cleaned up." The swordsman stated as he pulled out a slightly dusty broom and dustbin. These two objects were very rarely used, given the nature of the apartment's occupants, but it was moments like this that made Zoro glad they hadn't just tossed them yet.

Luffy didn't reply, he simply stood there. Was Zoro mad at him now? Was that why he'd let go so fast? Luffy hadn't really been ready to let go yet…

"Luffy?" Zoro had moved across the room and held out a rag to the boy.

"Um…yeah, right." Luffy said, ducking his head slightly as he took the rag to hide the slight blush coloring his cheeks, not that he needed to in the dark.

The two quickly cleaned up the mess in silence, sweeping the shards of glass and popcorn into the dustbin and mopping up the spilled soda with the rag. Once this was done Zoro checked in the cupboard again for some flashlights. The only thing he found was a dead light bulb and an old air freshener.

"Damnit, why the hell don't we have any flashlights? I swear we bought two a few weeks ago!" The swordsman snapped in frustration as he tossed both useless objects into the trash.

"Um…actually, we did…" Luffy trailed off, focusing on tugging the strings of his hoodie so they were even.

Zoro looked from the dark cupboard to his roommate, eyes narrowing. "What did you do with the flashlights?" He asked, voice strangely calm.

"N-nothing…" Luffy replied quickly, still fiddling with the strings.

"Luffy, what did you do?" Zoro's voice was a bit harsher now, fist clenching around the handle of the cardboard.

The boy didn't reply.

"Luffy-" Zoro's near-shout was cut off by another flash of lightning and crack of thunder, causing Luffy to yelp again while Zoro simply winced. They stayed there for a few seconds, Luffy not moving, his shudders clear even in the dark.

"Sorry…Usopp and I were playing with them last week and we burned them out. Usopp said he'd take them home and fix them, but he keeps forgetting to bring to school." Luffy finally spoke, his voice strangely quiet compared to his usual tone.

Zoro stared at him for a moment before sighing and closing the cupboard. "Mystery solved." He muttered, his mouth pressed in a thin line. "What are we supposed to light this place with now?"

"I said I was sorry…" Luffy mumbled.

"Forget about it." Zoro snapped. However, when he saw Luffy's shoulders tense a bit he relaxed. "Sorry…don't worry about it." He muttered, looking away. "I think I still have a few candles in my room, we can use those." With that he turned and started down the hallway, his footsteps rather heavy as always. After a few seconds Luffy padded quickly after him, slipping through the door to Zoro's room behind him.

"Thought so...there's only two, but that should be fine." Zoro said as he pulled two white candles and a small box of matches out of his desk drawer. He didn't use candles very often, but he kind of liked them, so he kept a few in case he ever felt like using them. It wasn't like they were girly scented candles or anything like that, anyway.

The swordsman quickly swiped a match against the side of its box, the end of the stick bursting into a tiny yellow flame. It cast shadows cross Zoro's desk as he lit one candle, then the other, creating a stronger light that flickered slightly when he blew the match out. He then picked up both candles and crossed the room, handing one to Luffy.

"Alright, there you go. It's not much, but it's light until we get the power back." He said simply. "Be careful and don't burn yourself."

"Thanks Zoro." Luffy said as he took the candle, an amazed look on his face as he gazed at the tiny flickering light. "So cool…"

"Yeah, sure. I've got work to do, so you can go do…whatever." Zoro muttered as he moved back to his bed and sat down, placing his candle on his bedside table.

"Go…do…whatever?" Luffy repeated, swallowing. He really didn't want to be alone, not in the dark like this…

"Yeah. Go on." Zoro said, motioning towards the door.

"But I-"

Zoro cut him off with a shake of his head. "Luffy. I'm busy and I can't stop because of some black out. Go."

In all honesty, he wasn't that busy. His paperwork could wait until tomorrow…but he'd already snapped at Luffy a few times as it was. He felt spending the evening brooding, thank-you-very-much.

Luffy's shoulders slumped, but he turned and made to do as he was told. However, the motion of his turning around caused the flame of his candle to blow out. The boy paused, blinking at the candle. "Awww, it went out."

Zoro glanced from the window to Luffy, letting out a sigh. He sat up, grabbing his candle from the table before walking over to the boy. "Hold it over here so I can light it again." He commanded, and Luffy did so.

Once again the yellow flame ignited and Zoro moved back. "Okay, now you can go."

Luffy didn't move at first, glancing from the candle and then back to Zoro, his pleading eyes visible in the candlelight. He was generally the kind of kid that made friends easily, but that was because he needed them so much. Luffy couldn't stand the thought of being alone without his friends, his nakama…

Zoro shook his head, looking out the window so he didn't have to see Luffy's face, his silhouette dark against it.

His roommate let out a sigh, turning and making as if to leave again. However, at the door he paused, and then glanced back at Zoro's back. Then, in a quick motion, he brought his candle up close to his face and blew it out. "Oh, it went out! Sorry Zoro, could you light it again?" Luffy asked, turning back to Zoro with an innocent smile plastered on his face.

The swordsman's brow furrowed. "Again?" He said as he strode across the room with his own candle yet again.

Once more Luffy's candle was lit, and then Zoro made as if to retreat to his bed again. However, just as he was about to, a flash of lighting illuminated the entire room, almost simultaneous with the crack of thunder that made it sound as if the entire night sky were splitting apart. At it's roar Luffy let out a cry, his arms reaching out to grab Zoro from behind and pull him close, burying his face into the back of the swordsman's shirt.

"Please don't go! Please…it's scary…" The boy whimpered, voice muffled by damp cloth.

"Luffy…" Zoro trailed off, sucking in a breath. The arms around him were needy, pleading, filling him with a longing to just turn around and hold the boy close.

But it wasn't his place to.

He swallowed, trying to get his throat to work. "Luffy…come on. I have…work to do. I'm busy right now. Go watch your storm."

"I don't want to watch it." Luffy mumbled, his arms tightening around the swordsman. "It's scary."

"I thought the best part was just coming up? Besides, I thought you liked watching it with Ace. I'm not your brother, Luffy." Zoro said, trying to ignore the way a hint of bitterness was seeping into his tone as he slowly pried Luffy's arms away from him.

Luffy froze, his arms dropping to his sides as he backed away a step. "I-I did like watching storms with Ace…I did. But he's gone now…and I know you're not him. You're Zoro…you're different." He mumbled, just barely audible over the drum of the rain and low rumble of thunder as the storm continued on. "But…I like that you're different than him. I don't want you to be Ace, I want you to be Zoro. I want Zoro to watch the rain with me, not because Ace isn't here to do it, but because I want to watch it with him. Because he's important to me too…and without him, this storm is really scary."

Zoro ducked in a breath, feeling his heart melt a bit at this. It was a strange feeling, but not unwelcome. It was like the rain, washing away his doubts. No one had ever said anything like that to him, ever wanted him around like that. "Luffy…" He whispered as he turned around, staring down at his roommate.

The boy gave a shaky, tear-filled smile as he held up his candle, which had gone out again. "M-my candle went out again. Do you think you could light it…one more time?"

Zoro stared down at him for a moment before wordlessly pulling Luffy close, crushing him to his chest like he would never let the boy go. Luffy didn't say anything either as he pressed himself as close as possible to Zoro's warmth, burying his face into his chest. Tiny fists gripped onto the back of Zoro's shirt as calloused fingers ran through still damp black hair, wordless confessions whispered into ears with only the storm as a witness. Soft brown eyes met dark green and after a few seconds two pairs of lips met in a soft, chaste kiss; a sudden downpour of unspoken love and affection, two hearts thundering as one. There was no explanation, no real confession; it was just there, an unspoken agreement, a final release.

Words weren't needed anyway.

Finally after a few seconds Zoro finally withdrew, a small smile upon his lips, the one few of his friends saw. "I think my candle's gone out too, so I don't think I can light yours." He commented nonchantly as he held up the stick of wax as evidence, pressing his forehead against the younger teens.

"Awww…" Luffy pouted, but it only lasted a few seconds before he was grinning again.

"Oh well…the show's better without lights anyway, right?" Zoro said as he carefully untangled one hand from Luffy's, taking the boy's candle as well as his own with it. Luffy watched as the swordsman placed both unlit candles on his bedside table, then sit down on his bed, the old springs sagging under his weight. Zoro glanced up at Luffy and smiled, patting his lap.

"…Yeah." Luffy's smile was brighter than the lightning flashing outside as he crossed the room and hopped onto Zoro's lap, curling up against the swordsman and snuggling close. Zoro's arms fell around him as Luffy's head fell to rest on the swordsman's shoulder, and the two watched the storm in silence.

And what a show it was. The rain drummed upon the roof, the lightning danced, and the thunder sang while the two roommates watched, saying nothing, simply enjoying each other's presence and the grand performance.

Zoro decided he'd take time to watch storms more often.

-Owari-