Disclaimer: Don't own it!
Chapter 1: What's Wrong With You?
This is the new and improved fever! Yay me! I found time to revise it! Hope it's a better than the original! It started out as a game between my friend wishing-for-a-zolo-plushie and escalated into a fic so half the credit goes to her.
It was just a regular old day on the Going Merry. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the ocean was bluer and it seemed that nothing could possibly go wrong.
Roronoa Zororeleased a silent contented sigh feeling for once that nothing could go wrong. Sanji was too busy crooning over the girls to fight with him, there were no injuries for Chopper to tend with, Usopp was busy repairing random areas of Merry and the rest of the crew were enjoying the calm moment. It seemed even their captain was enjoying the heat, resting against the rail of Merry asleep.
With another silent sigh, Zoro found himself drifting off to sleep, but a light wheezing sound was keeping him from drifting off. He shifted slightly onto his side, arm resting on the three swords by his side and closed his eyes a little tighter. Today would be a perfect day … if only that wheezing would stop!
The swordsman cracked one eye open and grumpily gazed around the ship searching for the noise. His eyes rested on his captain and narrowed. The noise was definitely coming from him. With a small grunt he hefted himself to his feet and moved to sit beside the snoozing boy.
Luffy's hat was covering his face so Zoro tipped it back a little and his eyes narrowed further noticing how flushed his captain's cheeks were. It was pretty hot today, and it could have just been because of the heat, but to be safe he wanted to check anyway. He nudged the boy softly, but got no response and so tried again.
"Oi, Luffy" he whispered "You okay?"
Luffy awoke with a grunt.
"What? Huh? Yeah I'm fine... just snoozin'..." and Luffy's eyes fluttered closed again. Zoro watched him for a minute or two and when the noise didn't return, decided to go back to sleep himself; then was just dozing off himself when that wheezing started again.
Zoro's eyes snapped open and he pushed Luffy's hat from his head, leaving it to fall behind him, still safely attached to the string around his neck. He rested his arm on the railing of the ship and scanned every inch of the boy in front of him with narrowed eyes.
Nami chose that moment to look up from the book she had been reading and glance around the deck, curious as to why there was such a lack of noise and interruption. She raised a delicate eyebrow as her eyes rested on Zoro and Luffy. It almost looked like … Zoro was going to kiss the sleeping boy.
A wicked smirk crossed the navigator's features and she quickly whipped out the silent camera she had bought at the last island and discretely as possible, snapped a few shots of the two. With her job done, she closed her book and stood up from the chair she had been resting in, making her way to the girls cabin, leaving the two to do whatever they wanted.
Zoro however, through his intense study of his captain had determined that Luffy was not as 'fine' as he had claimed to be. A thin layer of sweat coated his body and though it was slight, with each wheezing breath he was taking, the boy shuddered. He moved away from his sleeping Captain and scanned the deck for their little reindeer doctor, but found no trace of him.
"Damn it" He growled before yelling "Chopper!"
The little reindeer appeared from behind the mast. He had obviously been sleeping too, from the ruffled look of his fur.
"What's up?" he asked curiously as he padded over to the two
Zoro pointed at Luffy, who was still fast asleep.
"Something's wrong with him." he said.
Chopper's eyes narrowed and he quickly turned, rushing back to the mast to retrieve his medical equipment (which he had been examining before falling asleep) and then trotting back to Zoro and Luffy.
"I'll take a look" he stated, quickly opening the bag and pulling out various utensils. Zoro watched nervously (though of course he'd never tell anybody that) as Chopper examined his captain and leaned back against the railing of the ship.
Sanji, who had been on his way back to the kitchen after delivering Nami-swan her afternoon mikan pie, spotted the little reindeer checking Luffy and made his way over.
"Oi, Marimo" he asked "What's up with Luffy?"
"If I knew do you think Chopper would be here?" Zoro snapped back, adding on a 'dumb blonde' under his breath for good measure
Sanji ground his teeth down on his cigarette and angrily blew out a stream of smoke, he opened his mouth to reply, but before he had the chance, Chopper spoke up.
"Could you please keep that smoke away from Luffy, Sanji?" he said in a clipped tone "He's having slight breathing troubles as it is"
Sanji flicked the cigarette away into the ocean and moved to lean against the mast.
"Oi shitty cook, shouldn't you be making lunch or something?"
"Lunch can wait until I hear what's wrong with him" Sanji replied offhandedly "After all, he may need some type of special food"
It was a cover up and Zoro knew it, but he decided to keep quiet for once. Sanji wouldn't make fun of him being worried if he didn't make fun of Sanji. It was amazing that even when Luffy did nothing at all, he cold bring the people of the ship a little bit coser together in silent understandings.
"So?" Sanji questioned as Chopper moved back from the capatin
"I , don't know." he said softly, his small, puppy dog like eyes shivering slightly.
Zoro and Sanji paused.
"What?" they asked simultaneously. Chopper sobbed and pulled his hat down.
"I don't know! This is something I've never seen before... my books!" and he scurried away.
Zoro and Sanji were in shock. Luffy gave a hacking cough and slid down the railings. Zoro's face hardened.
"He probably should be in bed." he muttered and bent down to pick Luffy up.
Sanji watched, knowing better than to make a comment right now. To say anything would probably be to snap Zoro's tension in two. And although they fought like cats and dogs any chance they had, Sanji knew that when it came to the moss-head and Luffy, he shouldn't really interfere. Those two always shared something special and the cook knew it. After all, why else would Zoro put up with such a bratty captain?
"Because he respects him … like you do" an annoying voice whispered in the back of the blondes mind
"Shut up" Sanji muttered half heartedly before turning to go back to the kitchen to make some soup for his sick captain.
Zoro walked down to the cabin, denying the worry and anxiousness he felt, the chance to sneak up on him. He lay Luffy down on the couch and sat beside him.
"Why doesn't Chopper know what's wrong with you?" he muttered, staring at Luffy's paling face.
It had all happened so fast. One minute the boy had been fine and the next … he was sick in bed and struggling to breathe. And it had been such a nice day too…
The swordsman heaved a sigh and lay down on the floor beside his captain. It seemed that Luffy's condition was deteriorating quickly considering by now his wheezing was much louder.
The swordsman shot upright as his name was called and turned towards his captain. The boy was covered in a layer of sweat and Zoro quickly got up and moved to grab a shirt lying on the floor to wipe it away. It didn't really matter whose it was, he'd take the stick for that later, right now all that mattered was taking care of his captain. He really could do with a cloth and some water right now though, as Luffy seemed to be developing a fever.
He stood up and moved to walk away, but quickly stopped as a hand wrapped around his arm.
"Don't go Zoro"
The swordsman flinched as Luffy's weak voice filled his ears and turned back around to see half lidded eyes gazing at him. Quickly abandoning his idea to retrieve the cloth and water, Zoro moved to sit beside his captain once more. He could always call for somebody else to get it after all and Luffy didn't need the stress.
"I'm not going anywhere … just rest up okay buddy?"
"I'm okay" the boy replied weakly
"I doubt that" Zoro replied as he wiped the sweat from Luffy's face with the shirt once more, holding back a smirk as he noted it was Sanji's
"No … really … it happened-"
A coughing fit interrupted the boy and the wheezing was deeper now and much louder. Though he was doing his best at hiding it, Zoro was starting to worry.
"It's okay" Luffy continued after a while "He'll come"
Well, that statement confused Zoro to no end. After a short moment of thinking he turned to ask the boy what he had meant, but found him sleeping and sighed.
"What's okay Luffy?" he whispered to the otherwise empty cabin "Who's coming?"
Meanwhile, up on deck Chopper was studying his books vigorously. He could find nothing. Nothing! How the hell had Luffy managed to contract something? And why couldn't he identify any of the symptoms with his medical information? As far as he could see it was the flu, but then some of the symptoms, and when he had looked at Luffy – it just couldn't be!
That wasn't the only strange thing. Nobody else on the ship had shown any similar symptoms and yet they had all travelled together on the same ship and Zoro had even gone with Luffy on the last island, so he should at least be showing some sign of sickness … but he wasn't. Maybe it wasn't contagious … or maybe only devil fruit users could catch it! He just didn't know and it was driving him crazy! How was he supposed to be abe to cure anything if he couldn't even help his own captain!
A whine of frustration broke from the reindeer's mouth as he failed to find any answers to his questions. Nami, who had just exited the girls cabin looked towards the little reindeer with a hint of worry. She had always had a soft spot for the little furball.
"What's wrong Chopper?" she asked as she came up beside him, crouching down to his level "You look stressed"
Chopper ignored her, intent on studying his books. Nami blinked. That wasn't like the reindeer.
"Hey, Chopper … hello?" she asked. The reindeer's head shot up.
"Oh, Nami, I'm just looking up something" he replied before flipping over a page with his little hoof "Luffy's sick"
"Luffy's sick?" she asked, a little stricken
Chopper nodded and didn't even look up as Nami swept past, the light breeze making the pages of the book sway. Normally, she wouldn't be that worried, but if Chopper was this concerned then it had to be bad. She also knew that sometimes the little reindeer had a tendency to overreact, but she wanted to check for herself to make sure.
In the cabin Zoro gazed at Luffy as the boy gave another hacking cough. He had woken up again due to an earlier bout of coughing and was staring tiredly at his first mate.
"Luffy, what's okay?" the swordsman pressed, a little demanding.
"Huh?" Luffy replied tiredly "Wha?"
"Before … you said it was okay … that he would come … what's okay Luffy?"
"This" Luffy replied as he took a deep breath, trying to shake the breathless feeling that had taken over his entire body "It happened when-"
He was cut off by the door opening and Nami stepping into the room. Zoro spun and a slightly annoyed look crossed his face.
"Nami..." Luffy gasped, brightening a little.
It was always good to see his Nakama when he was sick, not that it happened often. Zoro turned so Nami could look at Luffy.
"Hey, what's wrong with you kid?" she asked.
"It's okay, really, I happened when I was little back in Fuchsia but-"
Again Luffy fell silent as Usopp entered the room followed by Sanji who was carrying a bowl of steaming soup. Zoro growled quietly, angry at the fact that yet again Luffy had been interrupted from telling them what was wrong with him.
"Hey captain" Sanji smirked "Made you some chicken soup – extra large chicken pieces!"
Luffy brightened up and reached for the soup, but was assaulted by a violent coughing fit. When the coughs had finally subsided, Luffy lay sprawled on the couch, barely awake and breathing heavily. The crew were hovering around him with worried looks crossing their faces. Slowly the boys eyes slid closed as though he didn't have the strength to keep them open and within seconds he was asleep.
"Shit" Zoro muttered "What the hell's wrong with him?"
"He said it happened when he was a kid … maybe it's like a yearly disease he contracts or something"
Zoro grunted, eyes still fixed on his captains flushed face before he turned to Sanji.
"Would you bring down a bowl of water and a cloth to keep his fever down?"
Sanji knew now was not the time for fighting and merely nodded, leaving the room. Nami turned to Zoro and watched as he rearranged Luffy's tangle of limb into a more comfortable position.
"You really care about him huh?" she asked softly.
Zoro paused, and then continued his work, ignoring the question. Nami watched him, her eyes slightly sad and then she smiled in a knowing way. Sanji re-entered and Nami made to take the bowl, but Zoro got there first. He took the bowl with barely a glance at the navigator and dipping the cloth in the basin for a moment, he laid it on Luffy's forehead. Nami blinked and then smiled again.
"Come on Sanji," she mouthed and pointed out the door. Sanji nodded and followed the orange haired woman out. The door closed softly and Zoro was left sponging Luffy's forehead gently. There was a soft sigh and Luffy's trembling seemed to die down.
"Thanks Zoro." he muttered and then a small smile spread across his face. Zoro paused and then smiled.
"No problem kid." he replied.
Well, that's the new and improved chapter 1. I know it's not very long, but my time is limited and I really don't have any to make it longer. I hope it's better than before. Chapter 2 should be along shortly.