Based off of the song 'Everytime' by Simple Plan

AU one shot ZoLu, but nothing massive. Pretty light. No warnings, just a request to PLEASE review!

Please excuse any mistakes as... I was lazy and couldn't be bothered passing it to anyone to beta read, and couldn't be bothered doing it myself. ... what?

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3am

By Plushie

It was obvious the two knew each other. From the way their eyes seemed to follow the other's every move. The way small smiles twitched at the corners of their mouths when they caught the other looking. It really was quite adorable, at least to the bystanders of the two's innocent game of 'catch me if you can!'. As it had been thought, and as it appeared, indeed these two knew each other. Had in fact known each other for a while. Almost ten years now. A chance meeting in the playground at school had led to a friendship, and then best friends, then living next door and so on and so forth. In high school, they'd been in the popular group along with a few other students. And now that school was finished, they had ventured into the real world. They lived in a house together on the edge of town and were nothing but the best of friends. Room mates.

Both of them worked in a local warehouse, where all they did was lift boxes from one location, move them to a different location, move MORE boxes to that location, and then return the original boxes BACK to the original place they had come from. It was pointless work, but it was the only place that would take them with their limited experience. The game ceased as the clock rolled around to three and work finished for the day. Stretching as he leaned back away from the large box before him, Luffy grinned. Thin, wiry and no older than nineteen, Monkey D Luffy was a basically average teenager. He had messed hair, and his own style of dressing, talking, acting and generally was more likely to act like himself than follow some other 'idiotic idea of style' as Luffy put it. Looking across the room at his best friend, he smiled as he saw Zoro lifting one last box up onto a stack. The older man was about twenty-one and unlike any normal person, he had sea foam green hair. Most people congratulated him on being so game as to die his hair such a daring colour… truth was though, he had been born with it that way.

"Oi! C'mon Zoro! I'm hungry!" he called across the warehouse to the other player in their little game. The man he was talking to though, was a little busy at the time. He was raising an eyebrow at a girl who had timidly made her way over to him. His arms were crossed almost uncomfortably across his chest and he seemed a little on edge. A curious expression flitted across Luffy's face as he watched, hands in his pockets. What was going on over there? Was the girl in trouble? Had she pissed Zoro off? No… Zoro didn't seem angry. Just… uncomfortable.

Finally, the girl managed to stammer out what she had been trying to say, and even at a distance Luffy could see the light pink flush that appeared on the older man's cheeks. He cleared his throat, raised an eyebrow and then said a clear and blunt answer of 'No.' and then made his escape. His pace was brisk and it was obvious he was unnerved by what had just happened, but as was usual with Zoro, his face told nothing of what he was feeling inside. The girl seemed shell-shocked for a moment… before she hurried quickly away to one of her friends and shook her head miserably. As he reached Luffy, Zoro's face became it's usual indifferent 'Leave me the hell alone.' expression.

"Ready to go?" he asked, ignoring the girl who was quite obviously crying in her friend's arms. Luffy blinked at Zoro, then the girl, then frowned.

"You made her cry! Go apologize!" he reprimanded, placing both hands on his hips and glaring slightly at the older male. Zoro blanched slightly before frowning right back and crossing his arms grumpily.

"What for?"

"You made her cry!" Luffy repeated, knowing that Zoro was trying to avoid his embarrassment.

"Luffy…" the green haired man sighed, letting his arms drop to his sides. Dark eyes narrowed underneath ebony bangs and Zoro grimaced slightly. He knew that look… that was the 'Do it before I get pissed off.' look. And a pissed off Luffy, was NOT one of Zoro's favourite things.

"Go." Luffy ordered; Zoro squirmed. What was he supposed to do? Luffy didn't get what had happened… damn, looked like he would have to tell him. It was always fun trying to explain something to Luffy.

"Luffy… She asked me out." The older man sighed, averting his eyes and staring at anything other than Luffy, a light tinge on his cheeks.

"Eh? Out where?"

"Luffy…"

"OH, you mean out to play?"

"No-"

"Why'd you say no to that? Seems reasonable."

"Shut. Up. For five minutes, would you?" Zoro half snapped and Luffy blinked up at him, confused as to why he was so annoyed. Awkward silence fell between them, the two shifting a little nervously for a moment before Zoro let out a long, and suffering sigh.

"Let's just… go and get some food, eh?" he muttered, frowning down at his feet. Luffy instantly brightened at that, all nervousness, annoyance, or solemness fading from his face in favour of his second favourite word. His favourite was meat.

"Yeah! And meat!" the teen cheered and Zoro inwardly sighed in relief. Food was always a good distraction when these kinds of things happened. Really, it was a good thing Luffy had such a short attention span, otherwise that wouldn't work quite as effectively as it always did. And it always worked.

Grabbing the older man's hand, Luffy dragged his friend out the door and to the car, practically throwing Zoro into the driver's seat before leaping into the passenger seat himself and commencing his 'Let's eat!' bounce and song. Poor Zoro… he nearly cracked a molar for trying not to scream in frustration as he drove to the nearest food establishment.

After letting Luffy eat his fill (and almost use up all of his money), Zoro drove them home and they played video games for a while. That ended though when Zoro announced that if Luffy cheated one more time, then he was going to strangle him with his controller cord. The other had just laughed and looked up cutely at the older of the two, saying that if he did that, then Zoro would get bored. …Zoro kind of liked that idea. Boredom was better than insanity. Upon telling Luffy this, the teen asked what the difference was. In a fit of what Luffy called 'Zoro huffery', the older man stormed off, had a shower, and went to bed.

That left the teen alone… with a TV that had a hundred channels, and nothing to watch. Flicking onto a music channel, he curled up and began to think. That girl at work had asked Zoro out. He knew what that meant, but hadn't let on that he did because then Zoro would have just gotten pissed at him for apparently 'trying to embarrass him' or some shit like that. Luffy knew how the older man worked. And Zoro thought he was weird. Now that he had a chance to think about it though, he silently wondered why it had made him so… nervous. Even Zoro had seemed on edge about it. Like there was something between them, but not. They were friends, that was all. No, best friends, but that didn't mean they were going to become romantically involved. That was just too weird. … Maybe. A little. Well, it didn't sound that bad.

Ack, Zoro would kill him if he knew what kinds of thoughts he was having right now. Another thought struck Luffy then. What if, by some weird mistake, or chance… Zoro did get involved with someone else. Would he move out? Or would he kick Luffy out? Would he forget about him! No, no no no, that wouldn't do! But… at the same time, he'd be happy that Zoro had someone to share his life with. For some absurd reason, an image of Zoro standing with some cackling, faceless, witch-like woman appeared in Luffy's head and he frowned deeply. He wouldn't allow Zoro to forget about him, he wouldn't allow Zoro to be led on by some witch. No, he would make sure Zoro had a good life. Letting out a long, and suffering sigh, Luffy let his head drop back against the armrest.

"Stupid…" he muttered to the ceiling, narrowing his eyes at it, "Zoro's too smart for that… Me interfering won't help anything." Thumping his head against the armrest again, he sighed slightly as he thought of some of the things Zoro had done for him. Really, Luffy had had a great life because of the older man. Because of all he had done. Once, Zoro hadn't eaten for nearly two weeks just so Luffy could. At the time, it hadn't occurred to the younger teen that he was doing so, but after a while, he began to see how tired and sluggish Zoro was becoming. He didn't say anything, but the night after noticing, he had said he wasn't hungry and was too tired from school to even think about eating, let alone actually doing it.

He had snuck back to the door later to see Zoro staring longingly at the food before he stood and put it in the fridge for later, instead satiating his hunger with a drink. Luffy had been grateful that the next day, Zoro had finally gotten a job at the warehouse where they were paid pretty well for their almost slave labour. Luffy had been in his last year of school then.

The same year, for some reason, Luffy had found himself the brunt of bullying and generally being picked on. He'd told Zoro about it at one point, asking him whether he should beat the daylights out of them, or just let it go. Zoro had given him the greatest advice he'd gotten since his brother's advice on how to make friends.

"Let it go. If they're picking on you, it just means they're too pitiful to get on with their own lives, and besides…" Zoro winked, "Locker doors are always mysteriously opening and hitting them in the face as they walk past, right? If you get my drift." The older teen scratched his chin idly while Luffy chuckled.

"Right."

Smiling at the memory of that, Luffy remembered how he had indeed 'mysteriously opened' a locker and smacked a bully in the face with it. He'd ended up in a huge fight, and then had been suspended. He'd crawled home with a broken arm and nose, bruises, cuts, gashes and lacerations of all kinds. There didn't seem to be a part of him that wasn't black or blue, or some form of sickly bruised colour. Zoro had bandaged him up once he'd gotten home, cracked jokes about how Luffy looked like a weird-ass painting, or a plate of funny coloured vegetables, and then once Luffy was asleep… Zoro had gone out, found the little 'gang' smoking crack on the corner… and then had shown them exactly why it wasn't wise to mess with his friends.

Once again, Luffy sighed to himself as he remembered the last ten years. Good times, bad times, it didn't matter… Any event that had taken place, he thought about it. Analysed it, and then thought how it had made them both better people.

"Luffy, I did not lose your hat! You left your window open, when you very well KNEW that there was a fucking storm coming!"

"How did I know?! How the hell can I predict the weather, Zoro!?"

"…IT WAS ON THE NEWS, ASSHOLE!"

"SHUT UP! It's your fault, and that's it!" Luffy screeched in response before slamming the door and walking out into the thunder, lightning and general chaos of a summer storm. Zoro stared at the door for five minutes before he finally came back to himself and grabbed a glass bottle, throwing it at the door so it shattered and purple grape juice went everywhere. He'd clean that up later… Moving back into the lounge room, Zoro frowned at the blank TV, and listened to the rain and thunder outside. Somewhere deep inside him, some deep and vengeful voice, said that it hoped Luffy was struck by lightning… That was what made him run out after the boy.

They'd found Luffy's hat twelve blocks down, before heading home to apologise to each other. After thinking about the last ten years in detail, Luffy happened to glance up at the clock. He blinked when he saw that it was nearly three in the morning. He'd been thinking for seven hours. Was that even possible? Well, it was possible yes, but, was it possible for Luffy to think for that broader expanse of time? Must have been, because he had just done it. Shifting in the lounge chair, he stretched and grunted a little when his chest, back, elbows, knees, neck and shoulders all gave one big chorus of cracks. The music channel was still running, now on to party music whose beat made Luffy's ribs thump. Frowning a little, he flicked the TV off and got to his feet. He was wide awake, and had no idea why. He just felt like doing something.

Anything!

As long as it involved movement of some sort. Practically trotting into the kitchen, he grabbed out a drink from the fridge… only to put it on the table and not drink it. Instead, he paced the kitchen about five times, looking in cupboards and the fridge, the whole time thinking that there was no food in this damn house, when every cupboard was actually full of packets of noodles, or cans of soup. Packets of potato chips, a few small ice cream containers with assorted biscuits and chocolate bars in them. Zoro never ate that sort of junk, and if he did, it was only because Luffy insisted that he do so. Continuing to pace, he headed out of the kitchen and then down the hall, moving for the bathroom. He got to the doorway, flicked on the light and had his hands on his fly when he suddenly decided that no, he didn't actually need to go.

Flicking the light off, he moved back down the hall and paused at Zoro's door. He could hear heavy breathing, but no snoring. Zoro must really have been deeply asleep. He didn't snore when he was deep asleep, but did when he was half asleep. Luffy found that rather funny. Taking a silent step into the room, Luffy leaned up on tip-toes to see if Zoro was in fact asleep. Indeed he was. He was splayed out over the bed, laying on his stomach. One arm was hanging over the side, while the other rested on his naked back, twisted behind him absurdly. That was okay, Zoro liked to sleep in weird places, at weird times, in weird positions. Luffy also found that rather funny. In fact, he had a photo of when Zoro was a lot smaller, skinnier, and not quite as grumpy. It was such a cute picture too!

Luffy yawned as he sat up in bed and scratched at his hair. He'd washed it last night, so it was all fluffy and frizzy. Smiling a little at the soft feel, he swung his tiny feet from the bed and stood. Baggy pyjamas with lions roaring all over them, shuffled and rustled as he headed for the bathroom. Today was another day of year five at primary school! Giggling a little in excitement, he remembered that last night, Ace had allowed his new best friend, Zoro, to come over and stay for a few days. Zoro had no family, and his foster parents had gone away for a few days, leaving the boy home alone. Ace didn't like the idea of an eleven year old boy being left home alone anyway. Pausing when he heard hissing, Luffy turned to see his older brother beckoning him from the doorway of the spare room.

"Ace?" he murmured, "Wha…?" and he padded over, scratching at his ribs and shaking his arms a little as the sleeves curled around them. Ace led the way into the room and then stepped aside to reveal a box that had the four flaps of the lid closed over it. Pressing a finger to his lips, the oldest D brother very carefully lifted two of the flaps. Luffy peered in before squealing a little and slapping his hands over his mouth as he giggled like a mad thing. Curled up as tight as he could go, on a bed of his own clothes with a pillow clutched to his chest, was Zoro. Ace winked and pulled a camera from his pocket, carefully leaning over and taking a photo before slipping the camera back into his pocket again.

"Now we have proof…" Ace smirked and Luffy giggled for a while longer… before diving into the box and waking poor Zoro up with a loud holler of 'SCHOOL TIME!!'.

Luffy smiled a little as the memory struck him and continued to watch his friend as he slept. Zoro had no blanket over him, and his pyjama pants had bunched up around his ankles and calf muscles. His hair, though short, was slightly tousled and a little frayed from obvious twisting and turning. Taking another little step forward, Luffy twitched slightly as he glanced around. As always, Zoro's room was meticulously clean. His wardrobe was open, but his clothes were either neatly hung in a row, or were folded on the shelves. His window was open as well, revealing a setting full moon and a beautiful view of the rest of the lit town outside.

Giving an interesting growling noise, Zoro rolled and flopped over onto his back, arms and legs dangling over either side of the bed. Jumping slightly at the sudden noise and movement in the still night, Luffy paused and waited to see if Zoro would wake up… but he didn't. He just slept on peacefully, face completely relaxed in sleep. Moving to crouch beside the older man, Luffy took a soft breath… and stared. After at least… fifteen seconds of staring, he got bored and puffed his cheeks, pouting forcefully as he did so. Once again, thoughts of Zoro came to mind. He thought about how Zoro's walls were so clean, and barely had anything on them aside from a coat of light green paint and a luminous clock, while Luffy's walls were covered with posters, paintings, pictures of him and Zoro, or their friends from school.

Knick-knacks, boxes, chairs, randomly thrown around objects and a few odds and ends littered Luffy's floor in his room, while Zoro's floor was always fairly clean; the occasional dirty piece of laundry or scrunched up bit of paper laying around only to be quickly found and shifted so the floor was clean again. Where Luffy made weekly phone calls to his brother, Zoro didn't contact anyone. Where Luffy was sick sometimes, or tired, or sore, Zoro was always healthy and fit. Though, Luffy sometimes thought the older had a severe case of 'there's a pole up my ass so leave me the fuck alone.'. He was so grumpy sometimes!

The urge to do something overtook him again and he tapped his fingers nervously on the edge of Zoro's bed. He wanted to… go somewhere. Yeah. Take a drive! But… he didn't have a license. Zoro did! But… he probably wouldn't want to go. But what if he did? Maybe he'd like a drive! Or… maybe he wouldn't approve of being woken up at 3 in the morning.

…Meh! Only one way to find out! Reaching out a thin finger, Luffy prodded one of the floppy arms.

"…Zoro?" he whispered. A soft groan made it's way from the older man's lips as his brows furrowed before smoothing out again as he stayed asleep. Twisting his lips in light annoyance, Luffy prodded again.

"Zoro!" he hissed, "Oi, come on! I got something important to ask!" Groaning again, this time in pure annoyance, Zoro's eyes flickered blearily open and searched the room for a moment before finally spotting Luffy… and narrowing. He was not pleased. Glancing at the clock on the wall, Zoro raised a hand and rubbed at his face.

"Naa…" he groaned, "Luffy, it's quarter past 'I'll kill you if you wake me up.' … So, why are you doing so?" Luffy blinked at him, and then looked at the clock as well.

"… I thought it was quarter past three." he noised and Zoro snorted heavily, pinching the bridge of his nose between forefinger and thumb.

"What do you want Luffy?"

"Oh! Can we go for a drive?"

"… What!? It's three in the damn morning! Go to bed!" Zoro growled, grabbing at the blanket that was lying on the floor and yanking it up and over himself.

"Quarter past three actually, and I know! Please? I really, really wanna!" Luffy pleaded, grabbing the blanket and tugging at it before resting his chin on Zoro's forearm and puppy dog pouting. Sighing heavily, Zoro could see he wasn't going to be able to go back to sleep without a fight.

"Why? Where do you wanna go at this time of night?" he asked, his tone irritable.

"Mm… no idea! I just… I wanna go somewhere!"

"… You're weird. You annoy the crap out of me with video games, wake me up at quarter past three in the goddamn morning! Ask me to take you for a drive and you don't even fucking know WHERE!?"

"Mhm!"

Zoro stared at him before sighing heavily.

"Ok, alright, whatever you want." the older man mumbled as he literally crawled out of bed and got to his feet. Luffy paused at that, but dismissed it almost at the same time.

"Thanks, Zoro." he sighed in relief as he grabbed a shirt and a pair of jeans for Zoro to put on.

"Yeah yeah, shut up." the older man grunted as he pulled his jeans on and then tugged the shirt over his head, "This better be a once off, Luffy. You hear me?"

Luffy nodded furiously, "I just really really wanna go for a drive."

"Yeah yeah, so I heard." Zoro griped as he clumsily pulled on a jacket and then followed after Luffy as they left the room. Grabbing up the keys from the hook in the hall, Luffy led the way to the front door, Zoro tagging lazily along, letting out a large yawn as he waited for the teen to pull on his shoes.

"Zoro was fast asleep, ne?"

"Mm, how could you tell?" Sarcastic response, even when half asleep. Man Zoro was cool. Luffy smirked a little.

"Well, your eyes were closed, but that doesn't mean anything." he responded in kind, his tone light and eyes slanted as he waited for Zoro to clumsily pull on his shoes. Once they were both in jackets, and had shoes on, Luffy opened the door and grimaced at the cold breeze that swept in. Zoro's eyes slanted in irony and annoyance.

"You know I hate you right now, don't you? Cos if you don't… now you do." he commented, hugging himself.

"Eh heh heh." Luffy laughed nervously, rubbing at the back of his head before stepping aside to allow Zoro out of the house. Closing the door behind him, Luffy scooted across the yard and unlocked the car. He helped his driver in, and then hurried around to the passenger side and got in himself. Zoro had already started the car, pulled on his seatbelt and turned the heater on by the time Luffy had closed the door.

"Zoro's cold?" Luffy asked, rubbing his own skinny arms absently. Zoro shook his head as he backed out of the driveway, glad that at least the roads would be pretty much deserted at this time of morning.

"No. I'm fine, but you're not. Stop shaking, you're rattling the car." he commented idly as he worked his way out of the backstreets and then onto the main roads where he accelerated. Luffy threw him a scathing look before looking out the window again. An… interesting thought, had just occurred to him. It was also rather depressing.

Actually, there were two ideas. One happened to be, was he in fact incapable of looking after himself? Is that why Zoro watched out for him so much? And then there was Zoro. Why did he give up so much of his time to run around after Luffy? What benefit was it to him? Luffy sure wouldn't want to run around after someone like himself. He was, to be truthful, a little brat a lot of the time, and he knew it. Looking out the window, Luffy sighed at the darkness. He wasn't so sure he should've woken Zoro up now… Glancing at his friend in light concern, dark eyebrows furrowed.

"Hey… oi, you okay?" he asked quietly, the wry smirk from before, fading into a small frown.

"…Mm." Luffy noised softly in return, turning to smile at his friend. He could almost see Zoro visibly relaxing, his hands on the wheel loosening as his shoulders fell back down into a natural position against the seat. Luffy watched him for a while before turning back to look out the window again. Why did Zoro do this? Why did he put up with him so much? There was no purpose, no real reason behind it. Luffy had never done anything to deserve such, well, almost kingly treatment. It didn't make sense really… The green haired man had always been the type to put himself first, and everyone else second, but… he'd always, always put up a fight for Luffy, had always looked after him; never let him down. So why? He could have had a much better career, a much simpler life, a better hobby even!

Zoro had always loved swords, but because of Luffy, had never been able to afford one. Never been able to afford classes. Where Luffy went to everything he wanted. Movies, he got pocket money, ate well all the time now… Zoro had nothing. Sighing a little miserably, Luffy continued staring out the window. Was that the problem? Did Zoro think he was too pathetic to look after himself? It was bizarre… but, maybe it was true. Was that the why he was looking for? Could be… if so, it would make sense as to why Zoro had always looked after him. There was only one way to find out after all…

"Zoro…?" he asked, almost hesitant. He didn't really wanna know if he was pathetic, but if that was the reason for all that Zoro had done for him… then he needed to know. Needed to fix it.

"Hm?" the driver responded, eyes set on the road ahead. He was very tired…

"Am I… pathetic?" Luffy asked softly, his voice almost a whisper. He was almost embarrassed to be asking something so trivial… so stupid. The car jerked as Zoro accidentally hit the brakes in his shock.

"What!?" He almost yelped, glancing sideways at his friend as the car returned to normal speed.

"Am I-"

"Yeah, I heard you the first time! Luffy… why would you ask a crappy question like that?" Zoro practically yelled, ticked off that Luffy would think so poorly of himself. He'd worked so hard to make sure the kid didn't fall into a rut, didn't end up depressing himself… and here he was, asking if he was freaking pathetic! What the hell was wrong with him!?

"I dunno…" Luffy sighed, "The thought just struck me and I had to ask was all… Am I?"

"Tch, no!" the older snorted, growling in the back of his throat slightly as he frowned, "Did someone say to you, you were? If so, forget the bastards… Stupid idea to listen to other people's bullshit opinions." He trailed off into mumbles, grunts and mutters that Luffy couldn't make out. Sighing a little, the younger of the two looked out the window again, a small twitching to his lips. He wasn't pathetic… or, he should say that Zoro didn't think he was pathetic, but Zoro's opinion was the one that mattered most. Yeah… If Zoro had shown even an inkling of believing, or thinking that he was indeed pathetic… Luffy didn't think he could've handled it. It would have been too much.

"No, Zoro… I was just thinking about how you look after me so well."

"Heh. Don't start getting all sappy, eh?" the older man replied, looking a mite uncomfortable as he focused on turning the car around a corner and into a dirt road that looked like it would lead them out of town.

"Mm… I'm not. I'm telling the truth. Zoro…. I have heaps of stuff in my room, you have nothing… I go everywhere, and you stay home all the time, unless we go somewhere together. I buy things I want, but you reserve your money to buy me things." Luffy stated, turning to look up at the older male. At first, Zoro looked like he'd turned to stone, then Luffy thought he was liable to explode. After a while though, the hard features settled back into their usual indifferent expression. The silence though, it stretched for a lot longer than either of them thought it possibly could.

"That's because I don't want anything." Zoro finally spoke, his tone soft at first, "All I need is clothes, a bed, food and money to buy it with. I work for the money, I pay for my clothes, and then can't be bothered buying anything else for myself, so what? None of your business really." He sounded rather snippy and grouchy. Grimacing slightly, Luffy let the matter go for the moment. He could tell how sharp and ice-like the older man's tone was. He was annoyed, or hurt… Luffy wasn't entirely sure, but he knew that something was up. He had that sense around Zoro… Just like the other had the same sense of Luffy.

The most painful feelings he tended to see in Zoro though, where when he was sad, or lonely, or hurt by something Luffy had shouted in a pique of fury because the older had done something to displease him. The idea of him yelling at Zoro, no… the idea of Zoro displeasing him, made him almost visibly flinch as he thought about it. The older had done nothing but look after him, and if Zoro did something to make him upset… it was more than likely for his own good.

"Zoro…" he began but paused when the green haired man lifted a finger from the steering wheel, obviously silencing him.

"Luffy, it's my house, ne?"

"Yes, but-"

"I bought it, didn't I?"

"I know, but-"

"Then, it's my job to do the things house owners do. They are as follows; pay the bills, keept it clean, look after those living in my house… by the by, that's you in case you didn't know. Buy the things we need, and deal with it in my own silent way. Understand, kid?" Zoro explained, gaze set on the road ahead and eyes not speaking any of the emotion that filtered through into his voice. It was… icy, but not in a bad way. Like he was stating facts that he knew he had to do. Like… he didn't have a choice. Watching him silently, Luffy sighed inwardly.

"Zoro…" he began again, glad the older man didn't try and stop him this time, "I'm supposed to help with those things. That's what someone living in a home owner's house is supposed to do…"

"Maybe… but it's my house, and therefore I make the rules. My rule is this, do what you want, Luffy. It makes no difference to me, as long as you don't kill yourself by doing it. Spend the money you earn, and if you want extra money, just damn well ask. The money you get though, you earned it so you have the right… no, the responsibility, of spending it how you wish, and how you see fit."

"… You're so stubborn." Luffy smirked, turning back to the older man with a sly grin. Zoro hmphed, his eyes drooping tiredly, but it was obvious he was in a lecturing mood. He got like that about certain things.

"Damn straight. Now, is this what this drive is about? Can we go home now and sleep?"

"Hmm… can we drive a bit longer? Please? We don't have to work today, so can we watch the sunrise?" Luffy asked quietly. Zoro sighed heavily before shrugging.

"Sure, whatever. Two hours to wait yet though…"

"You're the best, Zoro." Luffy grinned. He wasn't sure in the dark, but he thought he saw the older man's chooks colour… just a little. Not much, but just enough to be considered a light blush. He didn't know why, or how… because Zoro had never blushed in his life.

"Yeah yeah, just shut up with all the sappy crap…"

"Aye aye, sir!" Luffy mock saluted. Smirking a little, Zoro shook his head.

"Smart ass bastard…" he muttered, more to himself than to the other occupant of the car. Luffy was grinning like a fool, before he looked out the window again. A comfortable silence this time, fell between them, letting them drive for another hour before Zoro's eyelids were too heavy for him to keep open and he had to stop before he killed them both in a car accident. After a little talking about some random things that Luffy mainly jabbered about while Zoro grunted in response, they fell silent again. Dark eyes gazed out of the window at the small, flat plain they'd chose to park next to.

He could see on the horizon that the sky was tinting an amethyst colour, the purple slowly lightening and then streaking with long splashes of gold and pink. Small clouds were lined with the gold, almost like they had been sewn around the edges with a gold thread, while only the brightest stars persisted in their goal of winking down at the Earth below. Finally, a small bridge of fiery orange appeared between the mountains in the distance, and Luffy's eyes glittered. He'd always, ALWAYS, loved sunrises.

"It's coming, Zoro! It's so pretty!" he whispered as he watched the sun slowly creep up further and further, the sky now splashed with bright pink, and large wedges of gold like a painting. Luffy was staring at it like it was the shiniest thing in the world, which… in retrospect, it probably was. As the sun got higher and higher, the sky began to tint blue, taking on it's natural colour. The whole thing was over within a matter of mere minutes that felt like seconds.

"Zoro…" Luffy hissed, continuing to stare out of the car, "Isn't it pretty?" He paused though when he received the same blank answer. Turning to look at his friend, he gave him a quizzical expression before he paused as he saw him asleep. Green hair was plastered to the window, Zoro's head having fallen against it when he'd dropped off to sleep. Condensation was holding his hair up in a weird way against the window, while the soft, sharp breaths Zoro made as he sleep, puffed methodically against the window. Smiling a little fondly, Luffy reached out to pet him carefully on the head.

"Silly Zoro…" he muttered, before blinking and gasping slightly as a much larger hand whipped out and grabbed his wrist in an almost punishing grip. For a moment, Luffy panicked, thinking Zoro was annoyed at him but, the grip soon fell much looser. It came as an absolutely astounding shock though when Luffy found the back of his hand pressed against cold, chapped lips. It was plainly obvious Zoro was asleep, and the moment he let go of Luffy's wrist again, the boy snatched his hand back to him. A short thrill had run through him as he'd felt those lips on his skin. It was like pins and needles prickling deep into his hand and up his arm, but in a nice way.

An almost pleasurable way. It shivered and danced down his spine, causing every fibre and nerve in his body to alight, and heat him up ever so slightly. His cheeks coloured, and he held a hand over the spot where Zoro had kissed him. His face was one of shock, eyes wide and round and mouth open just a little as he stared at the still asleep driver of the car. Had it been some twisted and whacked out mark of fate that had brought both of them to this spot? Had made Zoro kiss his hand, had sent that thrill through him? … Nah. Couldn't be! … but still. There was always the possibility. A small smile threaded it's way across Luffy's face until he was smiling more brightly than the sun could have ever possibly shone. This was why he liked Zoro as much as he did! Why he liked being around him! It… why, it made perfect sense!

Which is why-

"Heh," Luffy noised softly, eyes falling half closed in a fond smile, "Another mystery feeling."

-Luffy didn't get it…

End

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So for the moment I've had a bit of drop where I don't wanna write angst/torture/ or anything horrific... so sue me! Doesn't mean I won't be back with more soon, though! On the other hand, what did you think:D