This was getting to be quite old…

Zoro sliced through the opponents around him with little difficulty, finding that the group of Marines the crew had just run into moments earlier wasn't really a very advanced one… Zoro scoffed as he took down another one. This always happened.

"We land on a new island, and there's always someone waiting to ambush us," The swordsman thought wearily. Not that he minded people ambushing them or anything. Honestly, he loved to fight; it gave him an adrenaline rush that he could find in nothing else. But it didn't get to be much fun when all that came after you were weaklings.

Pausing momentarily when he had a break in opponents, the First Mate of the StrawHat Pirates glanced over towards the deck of the Going Merry. The scene over there didn't surprise him: Usopp frantically shooting anyone that would come within three hundred feet with his Tabasco Boshi, Chopper flailing around in fright and then occasionally changing into Heavy Point angrily when one of the Marines curiously asked if he was a Tanuki, Robin calmly snapping the necks of anyone who she considered a threat, and Nami yelling about how 'they could never go ANYWHERE anymore' while smacking enemies over the heads with the Clima Tact.

He didn't really bother to spend as much time looking around the Marine ship he, Luffy, and that ero-cook were on. As far as their strength went, this group of enemies was nothing to worry about. He watched the cook make the enemies around him fall in a second and Luffy- all while smiling merrily –punching out everyone he came in contact with and slightly scoffed at the idea of them not being able to handle themselves.

"This shouldn't take too much longer," Zoro thought as he finished his glancing and struck down another Marine, "They should be-" His eyes suddenly shifted up to the right where one of the Marines in the Crow's Nest had a gun pointed straight down at their idiot of a Captain.

Instinctively, Zoro gripped Yubashiri and Kitetsu tighter, making to move forward to guard him. Then he remembered that no bullets worked on Luffy and hesitated. He looked up again just to make sure.

Something poking out of the end of the gun caught the swordsman's eye as he looked up again, and it shortly glinted in the mid-morning sun, "A needle…?" He thought anxiously, taking Wadou out of his mouth and sliding it back into its sheath, his lips curved down in an obvious frown. This was definitely new… But wait… Bullets couldn't hurt Luffy, but sharp objects definitely could. The needle certainly counted as a sharp object, didn't it?

Even if the thing only pricked the rubber man- as Zoro was sure it would –this was the Marines they were talking about. They wouldn't be dumb enough to shoot something at Luffy that they knew wouldn't do anything… Suddenly the needle looked much more menacing. The swordsman opened his mouth to shout out to his Captain, but all of the noise that he and the cook's opponents were making would only make it harder. How troublesome.

"Damn it."

With no other option to think of, Zoro dashed into the mess of people that Luffy was fighting, slicing through the necessary ones before he got to the boy. His hand sharply made contact with Luffy's shoulder right as the gun above was shot. He grunted as the silver object pierced his collarbone.


Sanji spun around on his hands, swinging his feet around and sweeping any Marines in a ten foot radius right off their feet to the hard wood deck. This was almost becoming routine by now. The cook took the cigarette out of his mouth momentarily to exhale as he took into account the members of his crew.

Luffy was the first he saw, (of course; the guy was so damn loud) and he was just fine. Sanji wasn't surprised. These guys were pushovers. He took a third of a second to glance in the Marimo's direction next, seeing what he expected: countless Marines littered all over the ground around him. He noticed though, that Zoro seemed to be concentrating on something... Were they receiving an aerial attack too or something? Why was the bastard staring up like that?

Sanji's thoughts considering the swordsman were abruptly cut off when he heard Nami gasp out in surprise. His head whipped around just as she jumped back, inches from a sword that one of the Marines had so carelessly and ruthlessly thrown down in her direction. He bit down on his cigarette, his eyebrow lowering dangerously.

"How dare he try and hurt Nami-san!" The cook scowled, immediately moving for the railing of the Marine's ship so that he could jump to the Going Merry and kick those guys' shitty asses.

He only had one foot on the railing when he felt the deck below him vibrate with the hurried movement of feet scurrying to his left. Shortly, the cook turned his head, semi-surprised to see Zoro dashing towards the group of Marines Luffy was engaging, slicing through some of them.

Because of the crowd around them, Sanji couldn't see what Zoro was doing. Shrugging it off and cursing at the swordsman for no particular reason, he began to hoist himself over the railing when- at the corner of his eye –he saw Luffy stagger out of the group with a surprised expression on his face, having to grip onto the railing to keep from falling to his face.

That's also the moment when Sanji heard the gunshot.

His head whipped up to the Crow's Nest where a Marine was now pulling the smoking barrel of his gun back, and then frantically looked back down at the group of Marines, and then at Luffy, who was outside of them. Luffy was outside. Where was that swordsman??

"Shit," Sanji's eyebrow's lowered more as some breath caught in his throat. Without thinking, he sprinted over to the group of Marines, kicking a side of them down and causing the other side to flinch in fright. What the hell was that idiot thinking?! Luffy wasn't affected by bullets! Why the hell did he shove him out of the way?!

Just when he opened up his mouth to yell at the swordsman, who he now feared had a hole through him, he saw Zoro grunt as he pulled something silver out of his collar, now coated thinly with red. It took Sanji a minute to process what had happened as he watched the, what looked like a, syringe to fall to the deck. He let some breath out of his mouth through gritted teeth, mumbling some choice words about marimos, heart attacks, and idiots before he jumped off to the Merry. There was no way he'd forgotten about Nami-san!

Sanji couldn't be sure, but he thought he saw a glint of color contrasting the red in the syringe as he passed by, and it gave him an anxious feeling. He shrugged it off again. This was the Marimo. He'd be fine.


Luffy was, quite frankly, surprised when he felt himself being pushed to the side by a hand that could only be Zoro's. Nobody else in the crew quite had that kind of force behind a shove that would make Luffy have to grab the railing to keep from falling.

The gunshot rang loudly in his ears as he was shoved, as well as a grunt of pain from his First Mate. As soon as he got his footing, Luffy turned around quickly, immediately consumed with concern for Zoro.

Zoro pulled something out of his chest with an annoyed-sounding mutter and threw it to the ground forcefully. Luffy glanced at it quickly, vaguely recognizing it as something that Chopper used from time to time. He trotted over to his swordsman, punching out the remaining enemies that Sanji had so mercifully left standing. Looks like he wasn't the only one who thought Zoro now had a bullet through him.

"Zoro? You okay?" He asked, both with innocence and seriousness.

"Yeah," He grunted, flicking off the remaining drops of blood from his body nonchalantly, "I'm good," He looked down at the syringe curiously and then dismissed any more thoughts he had about it. So far so good.

"What was that??" Luffy questioned, rubbing his straw hat-covered head in confusion and looking down where Zoro had been looking.

"Hell if I know," Zoro sighed, "Now come on. I don't think there are any more on this ship. We should go see if the others are done over there."


Needless to say, after Sanji had gone over to the Going Merry practically doused in flames of rage towards the ones who were attacking Robin and Nami, there weren't many Marines left to speak of there. Moments after Luffy and Zoro had joined their Nakama again, the Marine ship made a hasty retreat.

"Thank God," Nami groaned, sitting down on one of the Merry's steps, "I thought they were never gonna go away…"

"Ever since Alabasta, there have been more and more Marines on our tails," Usopp noted with an exhausted sigh, leaning on the Merry's railing, "Don't they ever quit??"

"Shitty bastards," Sanji grumbled, jutting out his lower lip a little, "Going after ladies like that…"

Chopper began frantically running around the deck, checking everyone from head to toe to make sure they were unharmed. Fortunately for him, these Marines weren't all that strong, so any injuries suffered by anyone on the crew would be minor. Still, when he got to Zoro, the reindeer got an extremely focused look on his face, like he was expecting something gross to be latched on to the man's chest.

Zoro immediately noticed the look he was getting, raising an eyebrow at Chopper, who was now eye level with him since he had sat down, "… What?" He didn't like it.

Chopper began checking over him adamantly; trying not to be fooled by his Nakama's unharmed appearance. There was always an injury on Zoro. The man let out some breath in irritation:

"Chopper, I'm fine."

The doctor looked at him disbelievingly. Zoro continued, "These guys were a lot weaker than the normal enemies we fight. I'm not going to bleed out from a fight like this."

That last phrase made Chopper cringe a bit, but he nodded in understanding. Suddenly a little red spot on Zoro's collarbone made his expression harden again. He quickly leaned in to get a closer look, which made Zoro lean back a little in surprise. The rest of the crew quickly turned their attention to the two of them after hearing Zoro's confused reaction:

"W-What the hell?"

Chopper looked at it for a second before recognizing it as a mark from a needle. It almost looked like some of his surgical needles actually, "Zoro, how did you get this mark on your collarbone?"

He was caught off-guard, but answered all the same, "Some damn Marine shot this needle thing and it hit me."

Sanji's eyebrow lowered a little at the man's failure to mention that he was protecting Luffy. He probably didn't want anyone to dwell on that. But the way Chopper seemed so focused made him a little nervous…

"I thought it was a needle…" The doctor muttered, climbing off his friend.

"Is something wrong, Chopper?" Luffy asked from the other side of the ship.

"… I don't think so…" He replied unsurely, "He was definitely hit by a needle, but I don't think it left any permanent damage, internally or externally, from what I can tell."

"Then Zoro's okay, isn't he?" Luffy blinked, confused by Chopper's uneasiness.

"I'm fine," Zoro answered before the reindeer could say anything, standing up, "I'm sure if there was anything wrong, I could feel it."

There was a short pause before Nami spoke up: "This is all your guys' fault anyway…" She mumbled.

"How the hell do you figure??" Zoro grimaced back at her.

"If you and Luffy didn't have those bounties, we might be able to come and go into towns in somewhat peace," The girl continued.

Zoro let out some breath in an uninterested hiss, "It's not like we're inviting these Marines to attack us every time we dock."

"Yeah," Luffy agreed happily, sporting a big toothy grin, "Besides, we wouldn't be pirates if we didn't get attacked by the Marines sometimes. And it's good to have a little excitement, isn't it?"

"There's ALWAYS 'excitement' on this ship," The crew all muttered, shaking their heads at Luffy's ever-carefree attitude. Robin giggled.

"Well, pirate ships are meant to be lively, aren't they?" She asked with a smile.

"Yeah! See? Robin gets it!"

Usopp sighed, "We might as well give up. He's a lost cause," Everyone nodded.

The crew's attention was quickly shifted to other matters after Chopper's examinations were all taken care of. Zoro was usually the one who got the full grunt of the attacks in fights with anyone they came across, so if he was alright, then they would all be alright too. At least, that was Luffy's philosophy.

Besides, it was just a prick on the neck.

Author's Note:

Hey everyone! Here I am with another project that I probably shouldn't be starting, considering I REALLY need to update "Cursed" and "Lyrics of Life"… But I just had this idea for a Zoro/Luffy/Sanji nakamaship type thing, and I had to go through with it. (I love writing this stuff!)

It'll be my first time attempting nakamaship with all three of them (usually it's just Luffy and Zoro or Sanji and Zoro), but I'm pretty sure it shouldn't turn out TOO hideous. And it's not going to be very l0ng, I think, because- like I said –there are other things that desperately need my attention… Sadly…

But yeah! I hope you all like the idea so far, and that you can all try and guess what's going to happen in later chapters! :] Thankies!

(Any Sanji/Zoro nakamaship in this story, I have to dedicate to dandy wonderous, because she's the first person I think about when I think about Zoro/Sanji nakamaship. XP)