This is another oldie. Warnings: Mentions of non-con and unhappy subjects. Very dark. Don't read if you're not comfortable.
Zoro's 7 year old body thrummed with pain it wasn't sure it could tolerate any longer. Zoro was used to pain, physical stress, and even physical distress, but never had he experienced something so... hurtful. It hurt his mind, it hurt his soul, and somewhere, distantly he knew, it was damaging his body pretty bad as well.
The older boy moving above him was indifferent. Zoro saw with a vague (everything was vague because, he realized, he was trying to pretend it wasn't happening) sense of disgust that the boy had a look of bliss on his face. He was enjoying every minute of it while Zoro's body screamed at him to make it stop.
Zoro had tried to fight. They had hidden his swords, cornered him in the forest, and held him down while they took turns.
What did I do wrong?
The boy on top of him tensed suddenly, and let out a sickeningly satisfied moan. Zoro knew he was on the verge of passing out. So much blood. He didn't understand how they allowed themselves to get so dirty just for this. They were covered in blood too.
Suddenly the boy who had started it all, the one who had just finished with him, grabbed his throat.
"Tell ANYONE, and sensei will never let you come back to the dojo. He won't want some nasty little creep like you near his daughter. He'll hate you. Everyone will hate you. And then I'll kill you. Keep your dirty little trap shut, slut."
Zoro didn't remember anything after that. He passed out, like he thought he would, and thought for certain he was going to die in the wretched place.
He woke up in a dark shed. He tried to sit up and promptly vomitted on the floor next to him. He was still in the clothes he had been wearing, and the blood had dried and caked all over his lower body. He reeked of himself, blood, and them.
He forced himself to get up and get out of that place. When he finally shoved the door open, he was greeted with the site of rice fields being rained on. He began to recognize where he was, and started heading in the direction of the dojo. The rain washed away some of the blood and smell, but he knew he'd have to find a way to clean himself up before anyone saw him. He had no idea what time it was.
Some of the raindrops that were sliding down his face, he realized, were warm.
I must be... crying.
Like a baby.
I'll never beat her.
He heard a clattering noise of something being dropped in front of him. He looked up and saw his sensei, who had just dropped his umbrella, standing a few yards away. Zoro was numb for a moment, then remembered the other boy's words.
Before his sensei could take another step towards him, Zoro bolted in the other direction. Or, at least, he tried to. He got about five paces before he collapsed in a puddle, now covered in muddy water.
His sensei had him in his arms in a flash and Zoro struggled against him with the few ounces of energy and sheer will he had left.
"No..." He meant to scream, but it came out as a meek plea.
"Zoro what happened to you?! Who did this?!"
"Stop it, please..." And Zoro lost consciousness again.
When he woke up this time, he was in a warm, clean place. He knew he had been bathed, but that thick, dirty feeling still hadn't gone away. His whole body ached and his throat was so dry. He didn't want to move from the warm, clean, white blanket he was under. He wanted to crawl further under it and never, ever come out.
"How do you feel?"
He jumped slightly, not realizing his sensei was with him. He looked over to see his sensei looking over him with a nervous look he'd only seen reserved for when younger, brasher, and mostly weaker students pushed themselves to far, or lost to a stronger opponent.
"Zoro, how do you feel?"
Zoro didn't know what to say. He didn't know what he could say. He wasn't supposed to tell. But what was he supposed to say happened?
"Ha..." Was all he could managed before his voice cracked, and tears began to well up again.
He didn't want to leave the dojo. He didn't want everyone to hate him. He didn't want Kuina to hate him. He was so ashamed.
"I... I... I'm sorry sensei-" He sobbed. "Please don't make me leave! I promise I'll never do it again!" Zoro pulled his body up and best he could and made to bow in front of his sensei. "I'm not bad! I didn't want to and I'm sorry!" Zoro could taste his tears now and he knew he looked pathetic.
Strong arms wrapped around him and held him tightly.
"Shhhh. Zoro stop. That's enough." Zoro buried his head in his sensei's neck. His sensei's strong, gentle hands gently rubbed his back. Sobs still racked Zoro's body as he told himself to breathe and calm down. He had to think of something to save himself.
"Zoro... you have to tell me what happened to you." His sensei's voice was stern but gentle. "You have to tell me the truth."
Zoro sniffed and pushed away from his sensei. "I-... I can't."
Sensei gently tipped Zoro's head up by his chin. "Look at me Zoro."
Zoro was forced to make eye contact, and was met with eyes as full as tears as his were. He gasped, not expecting to see that from his sensei.
He had to tell him. He couldn't lie to his sensei. He never could. He sobbed miserably. He didn't want to leave. He didn't want everyone to hate him. But he couldn't lie.
Zoro unleashed his miserable story, sobbing through some parts, screaming through others, and whispering at the end. As much as he knew he was dreading the end, because he would be told to leave, he felt like poison was being let from his body.
When he was finished he bowed deeply again, dry heaving from all the trauma to his lungs.
"Please sensei please I'm sorry! Don't make me go! I promise I'll never do it again!"
"Zoro stop it!" His sensei barked. Zoro was so shocked he looked up. The tears were still in his sensei's eyes, but so now too was such anger that he was afraid.
This was it.
Sensei wasn't going to let him stay.
Everyone was going to hate him.
He flinched as sensei grabbed his arms tightly. But instead of being shoved away or hit, he was pulled closely to his teacher once again. He almost couldn't breathe.
"This was not your fault, Zoro. You didn't do anything wrong. I would never make you leave here. You're not bad, Zoro. You didn't do anything. You're not in trouble. They wronged you, Zoro. They hurt you. Do you understand me?"
Zoro began to cry again.
Zoro woke up on the deck of the Going Merry. He shivered, despite the warmth. His face felt moist, and he realized with horror that he had been crying in his sleep. He quickly wiped the moisture away and looked around to make sure nobody was nearby or had heard him. That tight, painful feeling one gets when one wants to or has been crying still haunted Zoro's chest and he breathed, reminding himself it was a dream. A memory. In the past. He looked around the deck, everything was pristine (or as pristine as it was going to get on a pirate ship), warm, and sunny. He shook himself and got up. He needed some water. Or booze.
He stalked to the kitchen and found Sanji, Luffy, and Usopp playing cards. He decided to forego alcohol, not wanting to risk getting drunk in his mildly emotional state. Not that it showed on his face. He had long ago trained himself not to show emotions concerning pain, sadness, or real happiness. Those weren't safe.
He got himself down a glass and filled it with cool water from the sink. He downed it all and filled himself another glass.
Luffy and Usopp were arguing about each other cheating while Sanji idly smoked his cigarette, taking advantage of the distraction to peek at Usopp's cards.
Everything was fine.
Zoro had been slightly listless and lethargic for the rest of the day. His face remained as passive as stone, and he just wanted to be alone. As surprising as it might seem, that wasn't difficult to obtain on the Going Merry. Someone was always on watch, and when that wasn't Nami, she was in her room. Robin was usually reading somewhere, and Luffy, Usopp, and Chopper usually found ways to entertain each other. Sanji usually remained in the kitchen, and when he wasn't, he was near the girls. So all Zoro had to do was steer clear of Luffy and co., and the girls to be alone.
It had been at least... two years since he had last thought or dreamt about it.
The boys had been handed over to the local police. Sensei made sure that no one outside of himself, Zoro, those others involved, and the police knew about it. He had bounced right back, just glad to know he wasn't going to have to leave. Sensei watched over him carefully for several months afterwards, but Zoro had been fine. He had worked even harder to become stronger, if just to make sure it would never happen again.
Then she had died. Kuina had...
Zoro shook his head. He was really going to need some booze tonight.
Dinner was good, as usual. Sanji had tried several times to bait him into arguing. Barking at him to get his elbows off the table, close his mouth when he chewed, chew his food longer, stop slurping, don't take the last tomato, it was for Nami, he should have asked Robin if she wanted a refill on his drink before he got one, etc.
Zoro, for his part, was submissive and just did as he was told. He didn't really want to talk, or argue. He just shrugged his shoulders and rolled his eyes. He got a slight satisfaction of knowing how it seemed to unnerve the cook how much Zoro was behaving.
"Ne, Zoro, are you sick?" Chopper finally asked after Sanji had threatened to kick his marimo head through the door for picking his teeth at the table and Zoro had shrugged again. "Do you feel warm, does your stomach hurt? Are you-"
"I'm fine Chopper. Just kinda tired today." Zoro said, looking and Chopper and grinning. "Just because I don't want to fight with the love-cook tonight doesn't mean I'm carrying a disease."
"You probably are. Who knows where you've been, you dirty-"
Zoro wasn't really aware of when he body began to move, what triggered it, and why he didn't remember anything until he had grabbed Sanji by the throat and had him up against the wall. He just knew that Nami had screamed, and Chopper was trying to pull him back. The look on Sanji's face was one of pure shock and... fear.
When he realized that Sanji really, truly couldn't breathe and that he was causing it, he released the cook, who immediately dropped to the floor. Chopper, who had transformed into his bigger form, popped back to chibi size and ran to Sanji's side. Zoro still had his arm in the air, his hand still wrapped around some imaginary neck. He blinked and dropped his hand, then looked down at Sanji who was having a coughing fit and grabbing at his throat.
"Zoro!" Luffy yelled. "What did you do that for! He's your nakama!"
"Everyone out." Chopper said with quiet intensity. "Zoro, you stay until I get back."
Zoro just stood there, watching as this all happened. It was kinda like slow motion. He heard everything, but it was extremely quiet.
When the kitchen was empty, he slumped against the wall and slid down to the floor. It was either a few seconds or an eternity afterwards that the door opened slowly again, and Chopper poked his head back in. The small reindeer approached the swordsman slowly. He looked like he was trying to hold back tears. Zoro certainly hadn't meant to cause that.
"Z-Zoro... I have a sedative in my bag that I will use if I need to, okay?" Chopper said, as he placed a small hoof on Zoro's arm. Zoro looked at the reindeer.
"Is he alright?" He croaked.
"He'll be okay. His voice will be strained for a few days, and he'll probably cough a bit between then and now, but no serious damage... Wanna tell me what happened?"
"I don't know." Zoro replied. His voice was hollow. "I still don't know what's happening. I... wouldn't have done that. He wasn't on guard. He was just being stupid, like he always is. I don't know why I did it. I didn't even know I was doing it until after it was done."
Chopper nodded, looking Zoro over. "Have you had any black outs lately?"
"Sleep walking that you know of? Fall asleep one place, wake up in another?"
"Are you upset about something?"
Chopper looked at Zoro. "Ne... Zoro, I can't help you if you don't tell me whats wrong. You have to tell me the truth."
You have to tell me the truth.
"I-I know Sanji was trying to get you to fight with him. Did he go to far? Eh... he's, well, you've both said meaner things to each other and-..."
"He didn't know what he was saying, Chopper. It just reminded me of something and I just kinda... reacted. It won't happen again."
"What did it remind you of?"
"I don't want to talk about it, Chopper. I said it won't happen again."
"But what if he says something else that he doesn't realize will make you snap? What if we're not around to stop you? Do you really want to hurt him? Zoro?"
"Then the stupid fuck should shut his damn mouth!" Zoro yelled and got up, stomping out the door and slamming it roughly behind him. Everyone except Sanji was standing around. Now they were all looking at him.
"Is there a problem here? So I fucking snapped! The pissy shit ass cook needs to learn when to fucking knock it off! Anyone who has a problem with that can certainly take it up with me!"
"But Zoro-" Nami began.
"I don't even want to fucking hear it from you! Don't take up for that asshole and pretend you care! You're just using him like everyone else on this god damn ship!"
"Hey! I didn't do anything-"
Zoro took a few steps toward her when Luffy stepped in front of him. "Zoro. That's enough."
Zoro stopped and suddenly felt a small sting in his right arm. He looked down and saw Chopper looking up at him. There was a needle in his arm.
"I'm sorry Zoro. Why don't you sleep for a while?"
"What the fuck was that all about?" Sanji said horsely. Everyone was in Nami and Robin's room. Sanji had been lying down on the couch while Chopper put bandages on it.
"He even turned on me and I didn't do anything! He... wouldn't have done anything to me, would he?" Nami said, looking very unsure and more than upset. Robin put her arm around her shoulders.
"Not unless he wanted me to kill him." Sanji said darkly.
"Something is very wrong with Swordsman-san. From the beginning of dinner until now, he hasn't looked like himself." Robin said softly.
"Ne, Chopper. You have to fix Zoro. He's the first mate, he can't act like this. We're nakama." Luffy said sternly.
"I'll fix the bastard up all right. I'll fucking kill him. We'll find a new first mate. This is bullshit-"
"Zoro isn't sick." Chopper said, sighing and finishing up his job on Sanji's neck.
He hopped down from the couch and began pacing the room.
"Something like this is a mental instability-"
"So the fucker's a nut job! Kick him off the ship, we don't need-"
"Let Chopper talk Sanji!" Usopp said. "Maybe if you hadn't pushed Zoro so much today than this wouldn't have happened!"
"Enough!" Chopper yelled angrily. It was an interesting effect. Everyone was quiet and looked at him, quite startled to see such aggressiveness out of the young reindeer.
"Zoro seems to be suffering from some sort of acute stress. The way he described it to me is that he didn't know what he was doing until after it was done. He wasn't in control of himself. He was acting strangely all though dinner, but his appetite was okay. He doesn't have any other symptons of mental instability, but something is obviously bothering him. Sanji, he said you said something that made him remember something bad. He said that you probably didn't realize you said it, but before he could think of what he was doing, he had already grabbed you. So you triggered a bad memory for Zoro that made him automatically react in a violent way. What did you say this time that you haven't ever said before?"
Sanji looked confused. "I always talk shit to him. That's what we do. That bastards just making up excuses."
"Has Zoro ever done something like this to you before?" Robin asked.
"Then I think it's probable that Swordsman-san is telling the truth. He doesn't have a reason to hurt any of us. Swordsman-san and Cook-san aren't the best of friends, but I have never seen him want to truly hurt you. Nor you him. So please try to think hard about what you said that might have been different this time."
Sanji sighed and rubbed the back of his head. "If it's for Robin-swan, of course."
"Zoro should sleep through tonight and most of tomorrow morning. When he wakes up I want everyone to stay away from him. Don't do anything that might agitate him. We might have to stop at the next island and stay there until we can get this worked out. What do you think Luffy?"
Luffy put his hand on his hat, his face was dark. "Just fix my nakama." He left the room.
Usopp sighed, depressed. "I'll take Zoro's watch tonight." He left the room quietly.
"Sanji, if you want to sleep in here tonight, you're welcome. Robin won't mind, ne?" Robin smiled and nodded. Sanji swooned.
"That's so sweet of you ladies. But I wouldn't want to burden you. I'll be fine."
They smiled and excused themselves.
Chopper and Sanji were left alone.
"I know you're angry at Zoro, Sanji. But... people who are unseated mentally like this can't be held accountable for their actions. Mothers have gone insane and killed their children before, wake up the next day, found them dead and not remembered a thing of it. If something happened to Zoro in his past that is agitating his subconscious right now, he really might not know what he's doing. We have to be very careful about this. You can't take it personally. I imagine that when Zoro grabbed you, he didn't even see you. He probably saw someone else."
Sanji sighed and ran his hand through his hair. "That's all fine and dandy Chopper, but the moment he endangers Nami or Robin, or anyone else on this ship, thats the moment I stop caring about whether he's sane, insane, mentally unstable or otherwise. Fixing him cannot come before keep everyone safe."
-You... Why are you here?-
You put your hands on a innocent.
-... I did?-
Your power is not to hurt those who don't deserve it. How could you?
-I didn't mean to... I lost it...-
You are not at peace.
-I can't... I can't reconcile it. I can't.-
You can, or you'll become what you hate the most.
-It won't change what happened.-
You'll never become the best if you cannot over come this. Will you hurt another?
Zoro woke up suddenly, dazzling sunlight filtering through the men's bunk. He was on the couch, he was covered in sweat, and he felt groggy.
Chopper... sedated me.
He groaned and rubbed his face.
Zoro got up. He felt like hell. He wanted to find Sanji. To tell him it wouldn't happen again.
"Who know's where you've been, you dirty-..." Zoro closed his eyes and tried to remove the memory from his mind.
He poked his head outside the door. It was probably about noon, from the looks of the sun. He could see Robin in the crow's nest, and Usopp was sitting on the stairwell fiddling with some sort of knick knack. He walked meekly out onto the deck to get a better look around. Usopp looked up and saw him.
"H-hey... Zoro..." The long nosed man looked like his was torn between running away and walking up to Zoro and hugging him.
Instead Usopp just smiled and laughed a little. "There's sandwiches in the kitchen if you're hungry. That is, if Luffy hasn't gotten to them already."
Zoro nodded, and made his way to the kitchen. Sanji would probably be in there anyway. He would have to apologize to his captain too. A mixture of guilt and dread plagued him.
Stupid idiot. Can't even keep calm because of some stupid memory. Had to lose control over something like that. Choke the life out of your nakama, shit.
I probably scared the hell out of Nami.
And it was Nami he found in the kitchen with Chopper instead of Sanji. Nami was so startled she stood up out of her chair and stepped back several paces.
Zoro had never felt worse about anything in his life.
He looked at Chopper who was looking at him nervously. "I'm alright right now. I'm sorry I yelled at you yesterday." The little reindeer's eyes began to water. He sniffed.
"Okay." Chopper walked up to the swordsman and put his hoof on Zoro's knee. "We have to talk about it, when you're ready, okay?"
Zoro simply nodded. He looked at Nami again, who looked slightly panicked. Her eyes follwed Chopper as he left the kitchen. Apparently she didn't like the idea of being left alone with the swordsman. The table separated them.
Zoro wasn't quite sure what to say. His relationship with Nami wasn't particularly friendly to begin with. She was a conniving woman who had him in debt up to his green, spiky hair. But she was his nakama, and he begrudged her a tremendous amount of respect, knowing what he knew about her past. She didn't deserve to have a violent hand turned towards her by someone who should be using that hand to protecting her.
"Are you really okay?" Nami said, her hand gripping the chair in front of her tightly. Her knuckles were white.
Shame like he never knew hit him in waves.
"Nami... I don't know what happened yesterday. I have some vague reasoning, but... it doesn't make it right." He kept his gaze on her hands. "I took steps towards you in anger. I might have hurt you then, I don't know. But I... don't want to hurt you. I didn't mean to hurt the cook." He went quiet for a moment. He didn't really know how to say what he wanted to, or if anything he could say would help. "On a regular day, I would kill anyone who acted the way towards you or San-... my nakama the way I did yesterday." He looked at and saw that Nami was looking at him with sadnes in her eyes.
"Zoro... what did Sanji say to make you so upset?" She released her death grip on the chair.
Zoro sighed. "I was just being weak." Nami took a few steps towards him and stopped within arm's reach. Her hand reached out to his arm.
"Zoro, you are not weak. I'm just glad to know that you weren't in your right mind yesterday. I didn't know what I was going to do if that was the way you really felt." She took another step towards him. "Zoro, look at me please."
If only because he owed it to her, Zoro matched her gaze. The sudden impulse to pull his... friend into his arms was overwhelming. He wanted to hug her, tell her he was sorry, and promise that she would never, ever have to think about it again. She seemed to sense his tenderness and wrapped her arms around his waist. He sighed with relief and pulled her into his arms.
"I'm sorry, Nami." She tightened her hug.
"It's okay. I am here if you need me. You don't have to fix this by yourself, you know."
"LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!" They heard Luffy shout from outside. The released each other from the embrace.
"Land?" Zoro said.
Nami nodded. "We're gonna take a break for a week or so. Restock. The place is supposedly a small port town called Atad. It's small enough that you shouldn't have any trouble getting lost." She grinned.
Zoro snorted. "I don't get lost."
The door to the kitchen opened and Sanji walked in. Zoro saw the bandages on his neck.
"We need you to release the anchor. Nami, come with me." He said, holding his hand out to the red head. She obeyed and nodded to Zoro. Sanji left without another word.
Zoro sighed. He released the anchor as the sailed into the harbor. Luffy greeted him with a smile and a hard smack on the back with his rubbery hand. "Are ya hungry?"
Are you alright?
You had me worried.
They docked without much ado. Zoro stayed in the background, silent. The town seemed pirate friendly. Nami was either being considerate of the situation, or felt particularly generous, but she purchased separate rooms for everyone at the inn. She smiled and said she'd add it to Zoro's debt.
According to the locals, there was a festival in two days, so everyone agreed they should stay for a minimum of four days. Two extra days for the hangovers they might need to nurse.
And that was when Chopper pulled Zoro aside and told him that he was under doctor's orders not to consume an ounce of alcohol. Zoro dropped his jaw and shouted, "WHAT?!", but Chopper threatened him with a sedative and Zoro promptly shut his mouth.
"You and Nami seemed to have worked things out." The little doctor said, the toe of his hoof scratching a spot in the ground.
"...Have... you spoken to Sanji?"
"I know. I just don't know what to say, Chopper. Sorry I tried to strangle the life out of you, ero-cook?" Zoro muttered.
"Maybe." Chopper said, looking up at Zoro with bright, innocent eyes. Zoro flinched.
"Talk to him before we leave. Doctor's orders." He said, stern suddenly.
"Doctor's orders my ass! You're trying to kill me!" Zoro retorted.
Chopper reached in his bag.
"Alright! Alright! Just put that damn needle away!"
Two days of boredom. Zoro was also under orders not to lift weights. He was allowed to do katas, run, jump, climb trees and anything else he might want to do, but without his weights, he couldn't get in much of an exercise.
If this was Chopper's idea of theraputic, he was sorely wrong. Zoro was able to avoid Sanji simply because the cook was obviously avoiding him. Usopp seemed to have gotten comfortable with Zoro again, and Luffy didn't seem phased by anything. Nami resumed torturing him about his debt, ordering him around, talking about interest rates, etc. Robin gave him occasional smiles and winks. She teased him when one of the local girls asked him if he was married.
How old was she? Five?
Zoro had stuttered and been flustered and said, "No." The girl giggled and blushed. He promptly ran far away.
The only thing, aside from not being able to train properly or drink that made this vacation of sorts miserable was the dream he had had during a nap the day of the festival.
It hadn't been the memory of the rape this time.
It hadn't even been about the incident on the Going Merry that day.
He was sleeping next to Sanji. In a field of yellow grass that was at least a foot high, the two of them were sleeping next to each other. They weren't touching, they were bothed fully clothed. Sanji was curled next to him, facing him in his sleep. It was so quiet, so peaceful, so calm. He could see himself from outside his body how even and deep his breaths were. This was his peace, he remembered thinking before he woke up.
And waking up this time hadn't been such a jostling affair. He breathed deeply and opened his eyes and felt rested. No damps tears. No aching chest. He didn't need to look around to know that he had woken up just where he had fallen asleep, underneath a tree on the outskirts on the village. It was mid afternoon. It was a very pleasant feeling.
But the more he thought about it, the more it frustrated him. His peace shouldn't include the fucking ero-cook.
They were supposed to meet back up at the inn before going to join in at the festival. There was going to be a costume parade, food, dancing, music, story telling, contests of strength, races, and all sorts of things he was sure there rest of the crew might enjoy. But he couldn't even drink. Damn that little reindeer. He would have just stayed in his room or not joined them at all if he didn't already know that Chopper would come running with that needle.
He needed some distraction from thinking.
Maybe if he just asked Chopper if he could stay in it wouldn't be a problem.
When he met everyone, they were all chattering loudly about what they were going to do.
"Of course they'll want to hear about the great Captain Usopp-"
"I want to see the parade-"
They all began to file outside when Zoro stopped Chopper.
"You can stay here if you like Zoro." The doctor said, smiling knowingly.
Zoro sighed and scratched the back of his head. "Right. Thanks."
He watched them walk down the dirt street into the heart of the little town. He walked back to his room and laid down.
I didn't want him to say that. To think I was... dirty.
Didn't want him to know I was weak.
Wanted him to... not hate me.
Maybe, yeah, I liked it when we fought.
Liked the way he looked.
Maybe I liked it more than I should have.
Maybe thats why it bothered me when he said that.
The door opened and Sanji walked in, cigarette in his mouth. He closed the door behind him. His face was dark.
Zoro was immediately uncomfortable laying down in the other man's presence so he stood up. Sanji just stood in front of the door. He took a deep drag on his cigarette and blew the smoke out slowly.
"Got somethin' to say to me, shitty marimo?"
Zoro chafed at that. But he reeled in his pride, remembering that he had laid his hands on this man in real, unrighteous violence. His nakama.
"I'm sorry." He said quickly and quietly, crossing his arms over his chest, feeling exposed and self conscious.
"Sorry 'bout what, you dumb fuck!" Sanji spat angrily. Zoro glared. He bit back anger once again.
"I'm sorry for trying to strangle you, shit cook." Zoro ground out.
"Wrong answer." Sanji said before Zoro felt the impact of Sanji's foot slam into his chest, pinning him against the way.
"The fuck?!" Zoro said, coughing.
"I said, WRONG ANSWER. You can beat the shit outta me all you want. I will never forgive you for even speaking to Nami that way. We're gonna work out your fucking mental issues right here and right now, because my number priority is her and Robin's safety, you dumb ass." Sanji's foot pressed harder on Zoro's chest, and Zoro gasped for breath. His swords were lying across the room. Even if they hadn't been, his own shame about the situation would compel him not to draw them or even make a move in defense.
"Does... does working aaaah... out my... issues... include fuck... killing me?" Zoro managed to get out.
"Maybe. We'll see." Sanji released Zoro from the hold and stepped back. "What the fuck's your problem, marimo?"
Zoro had to grip the wall behind him to stay standing. "S'nothing. Not any more at least."
Zoro saw the side kick coming from a mile a way, but either didn't have the will or sense to dodge it. It landed square on his temple and sent him flying into the opposite wall.
"Nami isn't going to be happy about these repair bills, asshole." Sanji said, annoyed. Zoro grunted, holding his throbbing head as he tried to get back up, but failed.
"I don't think you letting me beat the shit out of you constitutes working out your mental problems, marimo fuck head. Either say something, or I keep kicking."
Zoro vaguely remembered the moment of misery that occured just before he told sensei that he had been raped. Sure, it had all turned out for good then. But this was a different story. He would have to tell Sanji what happened, Sanji would tell him it was a poor excuse, and then Sanji would know. He would fucking know. Know he was a weak, pathetic, fucked up, dirty whore. Even if sensei told him over and over again that it hadn't been his fault, that he hadn't done anything wrong, it still didn't change the fact that he was dirty. That they picked him, out of everyone else, as fit to rape. They thought he had deserved it. And there had to be something to that.
"Oi. Don't just sit there, dumb shit! Say something!"
"I wanted to forget."
Sanji blinked. "What?"
"I wanted to forget I was..." Zoro got up slowly and gingerly. He looked at Sanji. "You called me dirty, that morning. It's been over 10 years since I thought of myself that way. I thought I had forgotten about it, gotten over it, moved on, but I hadn't. I snapped. I snapped at Nami for... other reasons, I think." Zoro almost looked thoughtful. "Yeah... I think so. But you said it and I snapped. I didn't realize what I was doing. I hate your fucking guts, you shit head cook, but I never... I don't want to see you dead."
"What did you want to forget? What? Kids tease you about being a snot nosed brat when you were a kid? Grow up, shit head! It's no reason to try and kill someone!" Sanji snapped. "Is that what happened? You're fucking traumatised cuz' you were teased as a kid?"
Zoro picked a button on Sanji's jacket to stare at. "I wasn't teased."
"Then what, asshole?! What could possibly justify what you did?!"
The button was black. And shiny.
"I was..." Zoro stopped. He felt nauseated. "...7 years old when I was gang raped. Four times. They called me a dirty little slut. When you said it that day I snapped." He laughed, but there was no humor in his eyes. "Dreamt about the rape that very afternoon actually, so I was already a little off kilter. I hadn't dreamt about it in so long... It's not an excuse, it's just a reason. In any case, I already talked to Nami. If you think I'm a danger to the crew, you're going to have to kill me, because I'm not leaving. Least ways not until Luffy tells me to." Zoro looked up from the shiny black button and felt sick again. The look on Sanji's face was hard to describe. It was somewhere west of horrified and somewhere south of disgusted.
So now he knew.