I sincerely doubt this was worth the wait.
Thank you, everyone, for your continued support of something I honestly just got bored with. I am touched that I have continued to receive alert notices and reviews over five years after beginning this story. It is for that reason that I will continue it. I will attempt to recreate the same style, though my own writing has matured phenomenally since I last wrote BNNNA. I hope you still enjoy.
Master... Zoro didn't know what to think about that, and honestly, he didn't want to. Sitting up, with Luffy falling between his legs, Zoro ran a careful hand through the other boy's hair, just behind the new ears that were now the most prominent features on his head. Luffy closed his eyes and purred, leaning against him with an admittedly feline like perfection.
Strange how this didn't have quite the same affect on him as the rubbing of the day before.
"Luffy," He grumbled softly, watching those fuzzy dark ears twitch in his direction as his captain opened one eye to look at him. "Were we playing a game?"
Luffy smiled and licked Zoro's chin with that sandpaper tongue again. "Yeah. You won, but it took you a long time."
"You didn't tell me we were playing."
"Do I have to?"
Zoro didn't answer. Luffy might not be the brightest fingerpaint in the set, but he knew just as well as Zoro did that his first mate would always find him, always follow him, to the end of the Line and beyond.
Chopper sat in his lab, at a total loss. No matter how he looked at it, the compound he had created should not have caused the effects Luffy was experiencing. Chopper had painstakingly recreated the solution, but all of his tests proved the cat condition in impossibility. The only remaining explanations were that a) the medicine was actually unrelated, b) the medicine had somehow been affected by Luffy's devil-fruit powers, or c) somehow, something new had been added to the solution before Luffy ingested it.
Both a and b seemed highly unlikely, given that the medicine was the only change in Luffy's otherwise normal day, and as far as Chopper had read, no studies had found that devil-fruit users reacted any differently to medicines than anyone else. Which led him to the possibility that someone on this ship had tampered with his medicine, possibly with the intent of doing harm to someone on the crew.
The very idea made Chopper queasy.
"Niku, Niku~ Maguro~ Maguro~ Saaanjjjiiiiii, Maguro!"
"Yeah, yeah," Sanji confirmed, uncomfortable with Luffy's newest food chant. Luffy asking for meat was nothing new at all, of course, but the addition of tuna to the obnoxious pleas was a disconcerting reminder of how Luffy was changing. Already, he had downed an entire jug of cream, or would have, if Zoro hadn't knocked him over the head and taken it away from him, saying 'too much cream is bad for cats'.
A situation which was just freaky as all get out.
The swordsman himself was simply sitting there, eyes calmly on their captain, while the younger man flailed and rolled about excitedly in anticipation of lunch. Sanji wondered what he could be thinking, wondering if the man he loved was just being himself, or if this was more and more influenced by Luffy's changed physiology.
Sanji shook his head and went back to whipping up something tuna-ish for lunch, his hands moving fast enough that they blurred before him and he was unable to think about anything else. When he finished, he plastered a smile on his face and sauntered out past Luffy and Zoro to give Nami the first dish, like always. Best to pretend things were normal, he thought, rather than acknowledge that things might never be normal again.
Zoro watched Luffy stretch across the table to steal some of Ussop's portion of food. This was a normal, comfortable event, especially if one ignored the hiss Luffy issued when Ussop attempted to bat the rubberman's hand away. Zoro simply slipped a bit of his own tuna onto the raven-haired captain's plate, pointedly not looking at Nami, who was studying his profile with a serious expression. His poorly hidden feelings were more on display than ever, but he found it hard to care when Luffy happily ate the new piece of tuna and his tail wrapped around Zoro's ankle.
A barely suppressed shiver went through him, and he hated himself for continuing to be attracted to his friend, even in his current state. But it was hard to ignore, when Luffy was increasingly affectionate with him, and everyone else noticed. Probably best to go back into a state of denial.
Yes, state of denial.
Denial. Denial. Denial.
"Zoro, is he talking to you?"
"Well, cats do tend to become attached to one person more than others," Sanji said, eyeing them warily.
"At least Zoro can keep an eye on him until we figure out how to change him back," Chopper said, sounding as though he might cry.
"Perfect! Alright, I've decided," Nami exclaimed, getting the boys to look at her, "Zoro, you're in charge of Luffy until further notice! Don't let him out of your sight!"
"What?! No!" Zoro shot a look at Sanji, but the ero-cook was too busy making heart eyes at their red-headed navigator.
The rest of the crew rounded on Zoro with wide smiles on their faces. "We're counting on you!"
Luffy just snuggled up to his side and purred.
Crap, he was so screwed.