Disclaimer: I don't own One Piece or any of its characters.
Luffy frowned, a pout floating on his mouth. He let out a groan of frustration, rocking back and forth on Going Merry's head restlessly. It just wasn't fair. Why did everyone else had to steal his ideas? Seriously, he had the best of the best presents for Zoro on his birthday, but no, the others just had to go and claim his presents for their own.
At first, his plan was to make a cake for Zoro. Luffy was so excited that he got up earlier than usual and went to the kitchen, rummaging through the cupboards and drawers to find the necessary cooking utensils. This cake would be the best cake ever, even better than the one Sanji had made for Nami's birthday. As he gathered flour, sugar and milk, he realized he didn't know how to make a cake. Supremely unconcerned, Luffy ceremoniously dumped the ingredients he had found into the big bowl and began shuffling them with a mixer he found. When he tried turning it on, the mixer rebelliously jumped out of his hands and promptly spewed the liquidly dough everywhere, splattering on the walls and the floor.
What a yelling he got from a most displeased Sanji later that morning. " You idiot! Didn't you know I'm going to bake a cake?" the cook had shouted angrily. " Not that marimo deserves one anyways," he added with a mutter, before landing another kick at his captain's head. " Now get out!"
Since he was now kicked out of the kitchen (quite literally), he wandered around on the deck. With his cake idea gone, Luffy had no choice but to go find another present. It was then he spied Zoro's training weights lying neatly in the corner, a few of them snapped due to their over-usage and practice. The light bulb flickered on in his brain. He could go and fix the weights! After all, Zoro always trained with those. He skipped over to the corner, only to discover that Usopp's tool box also happened to be there. What a lucky day! Luffy went to work right away, picking up the hammer and began ramming a nail into the nearest hole. He grinned, thinking how happy Zoro would be once he saw that his weights were all fixed up.
Just when the first screw had almost fitted into the hole, Usopp showed up, crying out in alarm. " Wahhh! Luffy what are you doing? That's not how you insert the nail - you're not suppose to use the hammer! Here, let me, the great Captain Usopp, leader of a thousand pirates, handle this matter." He quickly snatched the hammer and the bent nail from Luffy before any more damage was done. " Just leave Zoro's present to me!"
And so, yet again, Luffy was forced to search for another present. Somehow, he managed to stray to the men's bedroom, where he saw Zoro's treasured swords resting casually by the wall. Suddenly, he remembered that a few days ago, Zoro had been complaining about running out of polishing for his swords. No one could miss the carefulness the swordsman had for his beloved swords, the way he tenderly cleaned and furbished them till they were a glossy, silver-blue hue, always keeping them safe and sound, either by his side or tucked safely somewhere in the ship. If anything, Zoro valued his swords more than his own life at times. Similar to the way how Luffy had cherished his infamous straw hat with the highest regard.
He carefully scooped up the swords, cradling them to his chest, about to run off to find some polishing oil when he bumped into Chopper, who was holding a can of polishing oil. " Luffy, where are you going with those swords?! I was going to polish them for Zoro. You know, since today is his birthday ..."
Growing annoyed, Luffy sighed, reluctantly handing the swords to Chopper. Really, he was running out of ideas. It was so much easily to get something for Usopp and Chopper, even Nami. Wait a minute. Luffy stopped. Nami was really smart. She could think of a gift for Zoro. Calling for her while barging into the girls' room, Luffy skidded to a stop when he saw Nami holding one of Zoro's shredded shirts. Why didn't he think of that earlier? Zoro always gets his clothing teared and mangled whenever he gets into fights and him not being so good at sewing, he tended to ruin his shirts even more. Even better, in Nami's hand was a sewing kit. Nami was so smart!
" Not now, Luffy," she irritably glared at him. " That moron has so rips in his clothes, it's a miracle that all the seams are still together. It'll take me the whole morning to fix them, so I don't have time for yours - or anyone else's goofing off."
Dejected, he whined at the unfairness of it all. " But Nami! There aren't any presents left for Zoro!"
" What do you mean, Luffy-san?" Vivi appeared, holding a blanket and pillow, which would be perfect for the swordsman, to make his sleeping a little bit more comfortable and it only made Luffy moan more. Just great. Another brilliant idea gone.
" All my ideas for Zoro's birthday present are being stolen by you guys," he grumbled, squatting on the couch. " I had the best present and all of them are taken."
Vivi gave him a little smile. " I'm sure Mr. Bushido won't mind what kind of present you get him. As long as you're the one giving something to him."
Luffy had been pondering Vivi's words for some time on his favourite seat. Just because he knew it didn't matter what to give Zoro, he still wanted to give something worthy of his first mate. But exactly what? There wasn't a lot of things that could possibly sum up who Roronoa Zoro is. It had to be special and fitting in Luffy's eyes. Something for a friend.
Then, his face suddenly lit up with a smile. " I got it!" he cheerfully shouted out loud, as he leaped off Merry's head, knowing what to do.
Sprawled out on the sunny deck, Zoro slept, blissfully unaware - or leading others to believe so. He could feel the warm rays of the sun skimming over his skin, inhaling the sweet ocean air. To him, it was the perfect way to spend his morning. He was about to get up and head to kitchen (he could smell the birthday cake from here), when a shadowed object plopped down on his face, shielding the sunlight from his eyes. Blinking curiously, he sat up, a straw hat cozy in his hand, looking up at Luffy. " Your hat," Zoro said, offering it forward.
" Nope," Luffy simply said, shaking his head. " It's for you." Raising an eyebrow, Zoro waited for him to continue. " Just for today, you'll get to wear my hat." The grin plastered on his face was wider than anything, cheerful and pleased. " Do you like it?"
Surprised but nevertheless, Zoro placed the hat on his head with uttermost care, a small smile playing at his mouth.
" Thanks, captain."