Hot lips grazed the skin of his neck and he gasped audibly, shivering as a cold body pressed him against a wall. He grappled for something to hold onto, finally snagging hold of the other's clothes and tilting his head back to grant more access. A name fell from his lips but he couldn't hear it over the pounding of his own heart.
Then…contact. His mouth opened slightly, warmth filling his body as he bucked against the one who was sucking his blood from his throat. He moaned, and he felt the vampire smirk against his neck, his eyes beginning to droop…
…and that was when Usopp Sogeki woke, cold sweat dripping down his forehead. He gulped for air, running a hand through his hair as he stared out at the darkness of his room. Sunlight was trying to break through behind the curtains, and he could hear the bedside radio playing.
"Gooooooooooooooooood mooooooooooorrrrrrniiiiiiiingggggg, Shibuuuuuuuuyaaa! Are you all feelin' SUUUUUUUUPAAAA this morning? It's a gorgeous 12! Comin' up next after the 9am news is the new song from crooner Brook Rumba…"
'9am?' Usopp blinked and looked at his bedside clock before bolting out of bed, screaming "I'M GOING TO BE LATE!!"
Chapter I: Things Just Got More Complicated
Written by Takato Metallium
Plot: AU, vampires, Zosopp, slight xxxHolic references. In a world where it's constantly night, Usopp Sogeki's life begins to mix with the supernatural, and he finds himself the unwilling (?) food source for a newborn vampire.
Disclaimer: I disclaim all rights to One Piece. It belongs to Eiichiro Oda. I only play around with the Mugiwara-dan X3
Usopp sighed as he laid himself across the counter, seated in the small booth chair that was uncomfortable as all Hell. He was sporting a couple of bruises, thanks to his boss after he had arrived fifteen minutes late despite riding across town on his bicycle, and was now holding an ice pack to his head.
"You should've gotten up when your alarm went off, shithead, then you wouldn't have infuriated Nami-swan," commented a familiar blond annoyance from where he stood in the doorway to the shop, cigarette dangling from between his lips and rubbish bin thrown over his shoulder, his other hand resting languidly in the pocket of his pants.
The curly-haired teen gave a half-hearted glare at his co-worker. While he was here because he needed the money to pay for college, Sanji Roteshuhe believed that his only purpose in life was to serve the women who ran the shop and restaurant – Nami and Nico Robin respectively. "At least Robin doesn't hit me over the head several times over," Usopp mused with a sigh as he removed the icepack from his head, wincing a little as pain shot through his scalp.
"Why were you late anyway, huh?" Sanji asked, coming into the shop and leaning against the counter, placing the garbage bin on the floor. "Forget to set your alarm again?"
Usopp's cheeks reddened at the reminder of the last time he'd been late to work, then crossed his arms over his chest. "As a matter of fact, no. I…er…kinda managed to sleep through it." He scratched the back of his neck sheepishly before placing the icepack back where it had been. "Had this weird dream too…" he muttered under his breath.
The phone rang, which caused the two to jump slightly. Sanji exhaled some smoke, raising an eyebrow at Usopp expectantly, at which the long-nosed teen sighed and picked up the old receiver from its cradle. "Mikan Treasures, Usopp speaking."
There was harsh breathing on the other end of the phone as though someone was in pain, a deep voice rasping out. "I…need to…talk to her…"
Blinking a little, Usopp nodded for Sanji to go and get their employers. "They'll be here in a minute…um, can I ask what you need?"
"Damnit, I don't have a minute!" the man hissed, and Usopp could hear banging in the background. "They're persistent…look, just tell Robin to get her ass down to the shrine, okay?!" Usopp heard a door break down and loud swearing before the line went dead.
"Who was that on the phone?" The dark-haired boy turned to see Sanji returning with Nami and Robin in tow, the blond chef with his arms crossed over his chest.
"A-ah, I don't know. He didn't leave a name," Usopp said as he put the receiver down into the cradle on top of the phone. "But he wanted Robin to go down to the shrine or something, whatever that means."
"I was just on my way, Nagahana-kun," the dark-haired woman said with a smile, a backpack slung over her shoulder. She turned to the younger lady, smiling. "Actually, would you mind if I borrow him for this, Nami-chan?"
"Sure, go ahead," Nami said, waving her hand in a shoo-ing motion. "I'll look after the shop."
"Wait, what…?" Usopp was about to say something else when Robin took hold of him by the wrist and began dragging him out of the pawn shop. "What…where are we going? Who was that on the phone?"
"An old friend of mine," Robin replied with a smile over her shoulder as they approached her mode of transportation – a sleek black and purple motorbike. She let go of Usopp and handed him a helmet, neglecting her own. "He's a bit of a hermit, but lately he's been having trouble with vampires…"
"Vampires?!" Usopp swallowed, his hands tightening around the helmet as Robin got onto the vehicle. "Y-you're joking, right? Vampire's don't exist, and even if they did, shouldn't you have taken Sanji instead of me?"
She merely smiled and patted the seat behind her. "You obviously do not understand Mikan Treasure's purpose, Nagahana-kun. How long have you been working here again?"
"Eh…seven months I suppose, give or take a few days," he replied, nervously strapping on his helmet and getting onto the motorbike behind Robin, clinging to her waist tightly. "Why?"
"Ah, I see. That's what Nami-chan meant when she said you weren't ready. Sanji-san has already been on several missions with me."
Usopp didn't have time to ask anything more about that, letting out a shriek as Robin tore out of the alleyway between the shops and screamed down the street.
"I-I'm walking back," the teen stammered as he nearly fell to his knees after slipping from the bike, the helmet coming off his head with a clatter as his fingers fumbled with the strap. Robin stood from it, slinging the backpack over her shoulder again and she frowned.
"It's quiet," she murmured, beginning to walk up the steps to the shrine in front of them. "Too quiet."
"Th-that's a good thing, right?" Usopp asked, following quickly behind the older woman. "I mean…that means that the vampires have left, right?"
Robin stopped in the middle of the staircase, closing her eyes for a moment before she opened them again, frowning. "No. They're still here, waiting for us." She rummaged around in her backpack before producing a gun and handing it to the younger boy. "You know how to use this, yes?"
"A-ah…yeah, on the farm," Usopp said, fumbling with the weapon before wrapping his fingers around the handle. It fitted comfortably and they began climbing the stairs again.
"Silver will kill most supernatural creatures," Robin explained, her eyes flickering from place to place. "Not just werewolves like you might have heard."
"S-so this is why you hired me? Because I'm a good shot?"
"Not only that, Nagahana-kun, but…" Robin paused as they got to the top of the stairs, looking around. A small garden was to the right, leaves rustling in the trees and the front door of the shrine was busted open, splinters and wood everywhere. "Duck."
Usopp took her advice and the both of them squatted as a vampire went sailing overhead before it tumbled down the stairs. "Let's move!" the dark-haired woman ordered, taking her own gun out of the holster around her thigh and beginning to make a run for the broken down door, the long-nosed teenager following behind.
Robin turned her body and fired her gun, screeches filling the air that made Usopp wince and cover one of his ears with his free hand. He heard a sound to his left and turned, shakily aiming the gun and firing quickly at the vampire in the middle of attacking him, watching it stiffen and turn to dust.
"Nagahana-kun, you go ahead," she said, killing another that had leapt at her and shooting it out of mid-air. "You're looking for a young man around your age with green hair and three swords." She tossed him her backpack. "There's medical items in there; he'll tell you what to use."
"Got it. Be careful, Robin-san!" Usopp ran off, hearing gunshots and screeches behind him as he ran through the broken doorway, heading down a long corridor. The sounds from outside got quieter the further down the hallway he went and Usopp became worried, but he convinced himself that Robin could take care of herself.
He came upon another broken down door, and his nose told him that there was blood that had been spilled. He ducked through the shattered wood and paper, stepping into what looked like a meditation room, fire crackling in the centre of the room. Looking around, he spotted the person Robin said to look for, cringing at the sight of so much blood around the other youth before making his way over.
One hawk-like eye was cracked open, the young man reaching for one of the swords beside him before he huffed and his eye slid shut. "About time. Where's…where's Robin…?"
"She's outside, providing distraction." Usopp pursed his lips as he knelt, trying not to whimper at the feel of blood soaking his clothes as he set the backpack down on the floor. He swallowed, the sound loud and the other youth let out a harsh laugh.
"Your…first mission…eh?" he asked, breath coming out in short puffs as he tilted his head back against the wall, displaying savage bite marks along his neck that made the long-nosed teenager cringe. "S'okay…there should…be a syringe…in there…" He nodded towards the backpack, watching as the younger teenager began rummaging around in it before his eyes slipped closed. "You're…going to have to…inject it…into my bloodstream…"
"I-inject?!" Usopp turned a little green at the thought as he found a needle. He tore the plastic open, fingers shaking as he somehow managed to attach it to the syringe. A screech from the hallway made him jump and the syringe clattered to the floor, the needle not in place properly and causing the liquid to spill and mix into the blood. "Shit!"
"Fuck," the swordsman swore, looking at the spilled medicine with a deep scowl on his face. He closed his eyes, his ears picking up the sound of boots clicking along the hallway before he opened one eye again, looking at the woman standing in the broken doorway. "Your new…apprentice sucks…more than…that blond dartbrow…Robin…"
She pursed her lips together as she came over and knelt down, taking hold of his wrist and checking his pulse. It was slowing down and she looked at him. "I'm afraid I didn't bring any more medicine with me, Kenshi-san. There's only one other option left."
"No…" He shook his head, pulling his wrist away from her weakly as he shifted so he was sitting back against the wall. "…I'm not…becoming…one of those fuckers…"
"Then you would rather die from something so dishonourable?" Robin smiled softly as she saw him hesitate and looked to the caramel-skinned teenager on his other side, watching him look up and stare at her. "Nagahana-kun…no, Usopp-kun…for Kenshi-san to survive and stay like-minded as he is, he needs to take blood from a human. I'm afraid I cannot offer myself, being a vampire already," – she brushed off his look of surprise at her blunt statement – "as my blood would simply kill him. A parasite's blood does not work with that of another parasite's, for example."
"But…but I…" Usopp gulped at the look Robin was giving him and looked at the green-haired youth, noticing his eyes were drooping and his breathing was slowing down. He shuddered and pulled back the sleeve of his jacket, baring his arm. "Wh-what do I do?"
"There's a dagger in the bag," Robin instructed, propping the swordsman against the wall more firmly as his head started lolling. "You'll need to slice your hand open and offer it to him. The rest will be up to Kenshi-san."
Usopp's trembling fingers reached into the backpack once again, feeling the smooth metal against his fingertips and pulled the dagger out by the handle, turning the golden-handled knife over in his hand. He recognized it from Nami's shop, having seen it in the display cabinet when he first started working there and then noticing that it was gone. Nami had said she'd sold it to someone.
Taking a shuddering breath, the long-nosed teenager sliced his palm open, a whimper leaving his lips as blood spilled from the skin of his hand and drip to the floor below. Cupping his fingers up, Usopp dropped the knife to the floor of the shrine and held his hand up to the swordsman's face.
Robin nodded her approval and gently took hold of the back of the youth's head, pushing his head forward and watching him sniff the air before his eyes opened. She took hold of Usopp's hand with her other, wrapping her fingers around it and prying the green-haired youth's mouth open with her other hand. Usopp whimpered again when he felt a tongue against his palm, hissing as it slid against the cut. Lips wrapped around the skin of his palm and began to suckle, dark eyes opening to look at him with a half-lidded gaze.
"That's right, Kenshi-san," the dark-haired woman cooed softly, brushing the fingers that had previously been at the back of his neck through his short-cropped hair. "Drink. It's alright." She smoothed the fingers of her other hand along the back of Usopp's, closing her eyes as she attempted to calm the both of them down.
A hand came up and clamped around Usopp's wrist, startling the teenager and nearly causing him to bolt away like a jackrabbit but the hold of both the swordsman and his employer kept him in place. Lips grazed along the skin of his arm as the blood ran dry from his hand, and he could feel sharp teeth digging into the flesh but not hard enough to break skin.
Robin let go of the both of them, smiling as she saw a new light enter the swordsman's eyes and the wounds on his throat heal. She watched him lean over the other teenager, mouth brushing along Usopp's neck and nipping playfully. "Didn't anybody ever tell you not to play with your food?" she teased, earning a grunt that made her giggle.
"F-food?!" Usopp squeaked, scrambling to move back but the newborn vampire had a tight hold on him, keeping him in place. The swordsman growled in his ear as teeth grazed along the rim and he closed his eyes tight, expecting to be taken for all the blood he was worth.
Then a tongue roughly dipped along his palm and he felt the cut he had made heal. He opened one eye, trembling at the sight of that hawk-like gaze that nearly made him wet his pants for reasons he didn't know. A smile curled across the newborn's lips, licking the boy's fingers free of blood. "Mine," was all he growled, kissing the tips of his fingers and Usopp was reminded of the dream he had had before waking up that evening.
Robin stood from where she was standing on the other side of the younger man, crossing her arms lightly across her stomach and smiled as Usopp looked at her for help. "That's right. You're Kenshi-san's now, Usopp-kun."
"Wh-what do you mean? Why me??" Usopp looked between the both of them as the swordsman finally let go of him and he scrambled back away from the two vampires, watching Robin chuckle behind her hand.
"It's because you offered your blood to him," she said simply, leaning down to pick up the backpack her assistant had left on the floor. "Kenshi-san will not become like those vampires we encountered out there so long as he has you to feed from. It's a binding contract, like the one Nami-chan and I share."
The swordsman leant down and picked up the three swords that were scattered over the floor, flicking the blood from them and sheathing them at his side into the scabbards that were attached to the haramaki he wore. His eyes flickered to the boy on the floor, smirking slightly. "Apologies for having not introduced myself. My name's Zoro l'Ollonais…ah, Roronoa Zoro in Japanese." Zoro scratched the back of his neck, raising an eyebrow at the younger teenager.
Usopp paused, making a mental note of the French last name as he stood, wincing at the feel of blood making his jeans cling to his legs. "Usopp S-Sogeki. Nice to meet you, I guess…"
The dark-haired woman smiled and turned away from them. "Shall we go? I'm sure Sanji-san is cooking up something nice as a welcome home for your first mission, Usopp-kun." She began walking away from the meditation room, ducking through the smashed-up doorway and disappearing down the corridor. Usopp began to follow, but hesitated, nervously looking back over his shoulder at the newborn vampire.
Zoro smirked, resting an arm against his swords as he walked up to the younger teenager. "Don't worry," he said, voice slightly rough as he licked his lips, eyes becoming half-lidded as he grinned. "I'll watch your back."
'Yeah…which part of it will you be watching, though?' Usopp thought to himself, pursing his lips together before hurrying to follow after Robin, hearing the swordsman's heavy footfalls behind him as Zoro followed after him like a shadow.
– end part one –