Fandom: One Piece
Pairings: none. (i suck at romance, so why try? :P)
Timeline: After Ennies Lobby before Florian Triangle Series.
Spoilers: Do not read if you care about spoilers and are not up to date to Ennies Lobby.
Summary: At the newest island, Zoro's strength is admired…a bit too much, and he is now the next target of an X-world government scientist.
Zoan – Chapter eleven
Sanji tried to move his right arm, but it didn't respond.
Bane chuckled. "I admit you had me there. Any normal person would have been knocked out instantly; too bad I'm not normal. Even though I've eaten a devil fruit, the good doctor has developed a drug to prevent the ocean from cursing me, temporarily that is."
Bane's blue eyes changed to a brilliant yellow.
"You have had multiple broken ribs in the past, I see. Oh, and you still have a nasty wound in your shoulder."
Sanji narrowed his eyes. "How do you know that?"
Bane smiled. "I ate the joukei joukei (sight sight) fruit. Now I can see in the dark, far away, through things, heat signatures, and even in slow motion."
Sanji's mouth dropped. with that kind of power he could do so much.
A trickle of blood came out of Sanji's nose.
"Hey, hey, hey! What are you thinking about, you pervert?" Bane said backing up slightly.
Sanji had a blissful look on his face, thinking about what he could do with that ability.
Bane snarled, eyes now shifting to orange. Bane ran at Sanji and tried to smash his nose in, but Sanji snapped out of his fantasy and ducked, sweeping his leg around to knock Bane off his feet. Bane's other hand was already coming at Sanji's injured shoulder; he also jumped, dodgingSanji's sweep kick.
Bane's hand collided with Sanji's shoulder, opening up the wound. Still in mid-air, Bane did a series of light jabs to Sanji's other arm, and it went limp as well.
Sanji was knocked to the ground, but he rolled out of the way before Bane could follow up his attacks with a kick.
"What did you do to my arms?" Sanji asked.
"They're called pressure points. You'll get feeling back eventually, but until then…" Bane raced at Sanji for an attack. Sanji kicked Bane's arms away but was tripped by Bane's sweeping kick. Sanji fell to the ground once again. This time the wind was knocked out of him, and the cook gasped for air. Sanji looked up just in time to see a leg looming over his body. Sanji rolled to the side, escaping the ax kick, but as soon as he stopped rolling he realized that the kick was still hovering over him. It was like Bane already knew he was going to stop there. Bane's heel smashed into Sanji's ribs, making an audible crack.
Sanji clenched his teeth and slowly got to his feet. His ribs hurt a lot more than they did a couple minutes ago. Bane even hit him in the same exact spot. With the pain, Sanji could feel his right arm coming back to life, but he still couldn't move it. It was hard fighting without hands; Sanji used them as a counter weight and a balancing point more than he realized.
Bane smiled, his orange eyes shining.
"You're a lot easier to hit in slow motion."
Sanji knew he couldn't take another hit like that. He swallowed the pain and spun around and around.
The temperature rose a couple degrees.
"What are you doing?" Bane asked, but then he saw Sanji's leg burn red. "What the hell?"
Sanji stopped spinning, his expression filled with malice. "Diable Jambe."
Sanji shot like a bullet towards Bane, flipping his fiery leg around.
"Fast…" was all Bane was able to say before Sanji's flaming shoe connected with his jaw.
Bane soared through the air, smashing into dozens of trees before crumpling in a heap.
Sanji held in his pain-filled yell as the vibrations of the kick rattled his broken ribs. The blond lit a cigarette and his leg's red glare disappeared. "I guess he doesn't need dessert."
Sir H.C. bent down over the fallen swordsman and felt for a pulse. He found none.
He sighed and saw Rika running towards him.
"James, he's gone," he said as the scientist got closer.
"It was to be expected," Rika responded. "Help me carry the body; I want a full autopsy done."
While Rika grabbed the legs, Sir H.C. grabbed the arms and they both waddled over to the building, until Zoro's body spazzed.
"I thought you said he was dead!" Rika yelled, releasing Zoro's legs.
"He is! …or was," Sir H.C. defended, also reliqueshing his hold on the swordsmen.
Rika felt for a pulse; he was rewarded with a steady beat.
"How is he still alive?" he mumbled.
Zoro's eyes flashed open, and he looked around frantically.
"What the? Where-" His frantic tone turned to confusion. "…Chris? Is that you? What's with the glasses?" Zoro stood up and turned to him. "Dude, why the hell did you leave me at the bar? I totally got that chick's address, ya know!"
Both Rika and Chris stared at Zoro.
"What? You don't remember? The one with the brown, curly hair. Damn, she was hawt, ya know?" Zoro grinned.
"Ya know?" Sir mumbled. "…Dean? Dean Svan?" Sir H.C. asked, hesitant.
"Uhh, yeah. Who else would I be?" Zoro, or Dean, looked around. "How did we get in the middle of the forest? The last thing I remember you were-ah!" Dean clutched his head, and his whole body jerked.
"What do you think, James? How can he be Dean. Dean was the first one we-" Sir asked.
"Yes I know," Rika interrupted him; his eyes were wide with fascination and a smile graced his lips, "I think somehow the devil fruit connected all the minds we've experimented on."
Dean let out a small noise of distress, head still in his hand and Rika took a step closer, observing. "I've done little research into the psyche of the fruit users, but tests have shown that there is a certain bond between the fruit's 'demon' and the user. Perhaps I have broken the boundaries and connected the users."
Dean looked up, his eyes softer. "Dr. James Rika? My old colleague, I haven't seen you in years!"
After a pause, Rika played along. "Emmitt, is that you?"
"Yeah! It's been years! I talked to your father and he said that-nnuh." Zoro's body jerked again, but then stiffened.
"I wonder what's causing this…" Rika mused with excitement.
Emmitt, or whoever it was, looked up at Rika.
"Finally, James, I'm so happy I could see you again." Zoro's voice was icy smooth.
"I'm sorry; I'm bad with names. What was yours again?" Rika asked.
Zoro smirked. "Oh, James. You don't remember your own wife's name?"
The green haired swordsman's eyes fell shut, and the last thing he heard was Sir H.C. talking, but it was garbled.
He was in the darkness again.
He clenched his fists; he did not want to be here again.
A loud growl erupted behind him, and Zoro turned to see the panther, but now the feline was about eight or ten times bigger.
Zoro's eyes widened in shock as the huge cat headed right towards him. He reached for his swords, but he found he didn't have them.
Zoro let out a silent curse. Without warning, the panther dove at him and gobbled him up. The panther opened up his large jaws then slammed them down. Unfortunately, Zoro's legs were right in between.
The swordsman screamed in pain as his legs were crushed between the black cat's teeth. The panther opened its mouth and Zoro slid back further, heading towards the throat.
"There's no way in hell I am going to be breakfast!" he shouted through the pain.
Thinking quickly, he realized he needed to grab on to something.
Zoro saw the uvula and grabbed it with all his strength. It was slippery, but he wouldn't let go.
The panther gagged and spilled the contents of its stomach on the floor plus Zoro.
When Zoro hit the ground, his legs snapped even more. He clenched his fists and resisted the urge to scream at the top of his lungs. Overcome with pain, Zoro had a chance to look at the panther. It was definitely upset and still gagging, but it didn't make a move to swallow him again. What caught Zoro's eye was that the other stuff the panther spit up began to move. The massive globs, coated by saliva, weren't just chunks of food; they were other people!
That was all Zoro was able to observe before the pain overtook him and he passed out.
"Chopper, you did it! You really did it!" Usopp cheered.
"Bastard, I don't like it when you praise me!" Chopper wiggled back and forth.
"Alright, alright, enough messing around. We need to find that idiot before he kills himself," Nami said.
Chopper packed up what he needed in his backpack, all headed out.
Before leaving, they hauled Nakiami off the boat and dumped her bags into the ocean. Robin was on her feet and feeling fine, Sanji also joined with them when he saw everyone leaving.
"Sanji, you're hurt!" Chopper said coming over to him.
"Don't worry about me, Chopper. We have to find mosshead first."
"At least let me bandage you."
Robin came over to the little reindeer. "I can bandage him, if you like, Doctor-san."
"Oh Robin-swan, you're so wonderful to me!" Sanji said with hearts in his eyes. He twirled around, but then suddenly dropped to the ground when his ribs screamed at him.
"Are you sure?" Copper said, concerned.
"Yes, Doctor-san. I have done slight first aid before. We'll catch up to you in a little bit and you can treat him more thoroughly then," Robin said.
"Alright," Chopper agreed, "We should hurry, everyone." He shifted into walking point and ran ahead, leading the way with his nose.
Rika's wide eyes of amazement turned into shock. "Elodie?"
Zoro, or Elodie, smiled. "Yes, dear." Her voice was filled with anger and sarcasm.
She eyed Sir H.C. "I see you still have him around."
In a flash, she twisted around, using her momentum, grabbed Sir H.C.'s face, and smashed it with all her might (or Zoro's might) into the ground. This time Sir stayed down.
She snarled at Rika, advancing towards him, while he retreated.
"I have to know, which was the reason you married me for? Was it my money or was it my connections?"
Rika steadied his nerves and slowly reached for a sedative needle in his pocket. "Both, darling." Rika tried to distract her. "Your wealth got my research to where it is today. And with you and your twin brother, I was able to test the effect devil fruits have on different genders. Just like how I used Emmitt and Dean to test if intelligence had to do with anything. You helped me out more than they ever could. Thank you, sweet heart."
His pet names for her were laced with sarcasm.
Elodie's frown deepened. "So there wasn't anything between us…. Not even a little?"
Now a considerable distance away from Sir, Rika's back finally bumped against a tree. "Well, there were the perks of having you as my wife. You were always great in bed."
Tears formed at the edges of Zoro's, or Elodie's, eyes, "That's it, huh?" She grabbed his throat and raised him off his feet.
"Now, now, sweetheart," Rika was able to choke out. He grabbed the needle from his pocket and aimed for the arm holding him captive, but Elodie's free hand stopped him.
She crushed his wrist, making him drop the needle. Rika screamed in pain.
"You are going to pay for what you did to me, to Zack, and all the other people," she growled.
Five claws pierced through his flesh, narrowly missing his heart, but inflicting a death blow.
She let him go, and he fell to the ground, coughing up blood.
"Now I get to watch you die. Slowly. Like when you watched Zack and I die."
Usopp, Nami, Franky, Luffy, and Chopper darted through the trees, Chopper leading the way with his nose.
They heard a scream echo through the trees, so they knew they were getting close.
Usopp ran up next to Chopper exclaiming, "I see a clearing up ahead!"
They came across the burnt down building, but no sign of Zoro or anyone else was there.
A voice carried itself over the burnt building.
"You are going to pay for what you did to me, to Zack, and all the other people." It was Zoro!
The four made their way around the building to find a man with his head smashed into the ground, but still no Zoro.
"Zoro! Zoro! I have the cure! Where are you?" Chopper yelled, shifting to his little form.
"Yeah, Zoro! Come on!" Luffy joined in.
Zoro didn't respond.
The group scanned the trees for any sign of their friend.
"Wait, I think I see him!" Usopp called out, pointing into the trees. Sure enough, Zoro had their back to them and was just a slight distance in the dense trees.
"Zoro!" Chopper and Luffy said together in relief.
The group started towards the swordsmen, but Usopp held up an arm, halting them.
"Something's wrong. He's in the half form!" Usopp said, voice wavering.
"Zoro…?" Nami called hesitantly.
The crew watched as he turned his head towards them slightly and then rear his head back, looking to the sky. He stepped backwards and a man dropped to the ground who was, until then, hidden from the crew by Zoro's figure. He turned to the crew and stumbled towards them. Once Zoro was free from the shroud of trees, he fell to the ground.
"Zoro!" the crew gathered around the swordsman.
"What… the hell… took you… so long?" He said through gasping breaths, a weak smile breaking through.
The group chuckled, relieved their swordsman was alive.
"Chopper, his arm! He's bleeding so much!" Nami pointed to the blood covered hand and arm.
Upon examination Chopper spoke, "It's not his blood…he must have-" Chopper was cut short as Zoro clutched his chest in pain.
"Everyone, give him some room, I need to treat him right now," Chopper commanded, going into doctor mode.
Chopper worked quickly, getting things from his bag and setting them out expertly. "Open your mouth." Chopper put something big and squishy in his mouth. "Chew and swallow." Zoro did as he was told.
"Was that the thing Robin got in town?" Nami asked Chopper.
The reindeer nodded. "Yes, it's called Rax weed. It is a powerful immune system booster."
Chopper gave Zoro multiple shots, and soon Zoro was asleep. Chopper stuck an IV into his arm and bandaged the still bleeding injuries from his previous fight.
Zoro's sleep, however, was far from restful. He had a pained expression on his face the whole time, and he was sweating so badly that his green tank top looked like a whole different color green.
Everyone was so focused on the treatment that they didn't realize that a certain scientist and his assistant were absent.
Hey everyone, yes I am indeed still alive. Thanks for sticking with me so long. I intend to finish this story in the up coming weeks. So, uh, thanks for reading!