He rubs his hands over the brim of the straw hat, smoothing out its ragged edge. He cocks his head to the side and listens to the gurgle of the aquarium. The shark that Ussop had caught was swimming in circles lazily.
His stomach growls.
But he doesn't feel hungry. Or does he? He's not sure.
He swings his legs back and forth. The room is not lit, and the only light streams in from the port windows and the water reflect shimmering shadows that dance across the walls.
He gets restless, and squirms around.
Luffy turns, and the light snaps on.
It's Robin, helping herself to a mug of coffee.
"I'm hungry." His stomach growls again.
Robin smiles and takes a sip from her mug. "Unfortunately, the refrigerator is locked."
Luffy is about to agree with Sanji's horrendous act of selfishness when a slight movement on the desk catches his eye. He swivels his head to the window.
"It's Ussop's turn to keep watch." Robin cradles the steaming mug in her hands, watching the uncharacteristically sober Captain.
Luffy nods, and turns away from the window slowly. "Oh okay." He keeps swinging his legs back and forth.
"Is there an island?"
Robin shakes her head. "None yet."
Luffy plunks the hat back on his head and pulls the brim over his eyes. "Awww! It's taking too long!"
Robin doesn't reply; she knows he's not talking about getting to shore.
Luffy hops off the couch, and wriggles his toes in the soft carpet.
Robin watches him head for the door, and she raises the mug to her lips again.
Luffy shoves open the door, and it bounces off the wall, hinges creaking. He turns on the light, stomps noisily into the room.
"I'm bored!" He yells, and his voice rings against the silence.
"See what I drew!" Luffy scuttles over to the bed and holds up a sheet with a blob of ink in the middle of it, surrounded by blue squiggles. He's proud of it – no one was able to guess what it was – and he knew that Zoro was the only one who knew.
He flaps the paper, and leans over the bed.
Zoro lies there, unmoving.
"Hey." Luffy whines.
There is no response. Luffy knows there won't be one, but he focuses on his hunger at the moment.
"Sanji's so mean! He's starving me!" he pauses. "I still eat your share anyway. So it's not so bad."
"But Sanji has this new wine! You'd like it!"
He rests his chin on Zoro's chest, feels the bandages scratch at his cheek.
"Sanji is acting kinda weird these days." He puts a hand on Zoro's stomach – the flesh beneath his fingers is chilly, and the defined outline of muscles are slowly vanishing as Zoro deteriorates. "He didn't even react when Nami wore a new skirt today."
He puts his other hand on Zoro's forehead, applies a little pressure.
His First Mate doesn't obey, and a tinge of anger creeps up inside him.
"Why won't you wake up?"
He looks at the swords that lie by the swordsman's side.
"Is it that difficult to wake up?"
He recalls celebrating with the others the freedom of their shadows, hopping in the warm sunlight that dusts across their grateful skin. He remembers rejoicing in all his nakama standing at his side before he turns and sees Sanji, wide-eyed.
The cook was carrying the swordsman, and the both of them are drenched in blood. Luffy doesn't worry. They are both strong – and he lets Chopper take them in.
Sanji emerged from Chopper's room with a few bandages and bruises, locks himself up in the kitchen, cooking up a feast for everyone.
Luffy remembers peering in the kitchen window, drooling slightly while he waited – Sanji didn't look so happy, which was strange, since Sanji always looked the happiest when he was cooking.
Luffy went to visit Zoro to show him a wooden toy that Ussop had made for him and found his First Mate still sleeping. He wasn't worried; Zoro loved to sleep.
That was a month ago.
In that month, Ace had been captured, and the new Shibukai had been announced. In that month, they had taken out ten Marine warships, and Sanji had created a new dish called "My Fiery Love for Nami-san and Robin-chan!" Luffy wasn't supposed to have any, but Robin had offered hers to him, much to Sanji's chagrin.
In that month, they were drawing closer to the Merman Island, and Franky and Ussop had some blueprints thought up of what else they could do for Thousand Sunny's decorations. In that month, Chopper made a lot more Rumble Balls, and Nami had drawn the map for Thriller Bark Island.
In that month, Zoro hadn't woken up.
Luffy bites his lower lip, pouts. He had walked in on Chopper and Sanji talking yesterday – Chopper was crying, and Sanji looked drained. When he asked them what was going, both replied with a cheery "NOTHING! NOTHIGN AT ALL!" so Luffy had brushed it aside without further thought.
But Robin had told him earlier in the afternoon to go visit Zoro, which was silly, since he always visited Zoro. But she had told him to do so without her usual gentle smile, and her eyes seemed a little darker than usual.
Luffy looks at his First Mate.
The white katana rolls off the edge of the bed and clatters against the floor. Luffy stares at the part of the blade that had slid out of its sheath, and sees a hairline crack. Zoro always took exceptional care of his white katana, so the crack was proof of the strength of the enemies that they had defeated in Thriller Bark.
Luffy keeps his eyes trained on that crack.
And realises that the only sound in the room is the sound of his own breathing.