Disclaimer: I do not own One Piece nor do I own Zoro and Luffy! I just like to put them together in my mind and play with them.
Author's Notes: This story takes place after the SIXTH movie! My favorite one to date. So there are mentions of spoilers so if you have yhet to see movie 6, well then what the hell have you been doing and you've been warned!!
Oh and just another note, the words in bold and italics are quotes directly from the movie!!
Zoro watched Luffy carefully as the young captain ran across the deck of the Going Merry in pursuit of Chopper. He was acting as he always did, carefree, childlike and spirited. Everything was as it should be in that regard, but something was bothering the green haired swordsman.
It, whatever it was, had caught Zoro's eye just after they had raised anchor and left t he Baron's island. There was a trace of something unusual flickering in his captain's eyes. It was barely noticeable but as usual, Zoro picked up on whatever was bothering Luffy almost instantaneously.
Ever since he'd first spotted the shadow hovering over Luffy's normally expressive eyes, Zoro had been constantly watching the younger teen. No one besides Luffy knew what had really happened on that island and the captain refused to elaborate on what had occurred. He'd merely smile and say that it was a 'mystery island' and go about his normal goofiness. Even though Luffy said it was a mystery, Zoro knew more had happened because the shadow over the raven haired teen would fall over him until he would abruptly change the subject.
So Zoro watched. He watched as Luffy limped slightly as he ran after Chopper or how he'd tug at the bandages on his hands. How Luffy would look at each of his nakama in turn and would randomly stop and look quickly to see if they were all still there, almost as if he thought they would vanish at any given moment. He'd just sit quietly and watch his captain, all the while trying to figure out what had happened.
The only time that Zoro would avert his gaze from Luffy was when the younger teen's wide, almost frantic eyes would fall on himself. Even then though, he was still keeping watch out of his peripheral vision. When Luffy looked at him, his eyes were almost desperate and Zoro would notice his hands would curl into fists. It was like Luffy was trying to restrain himself from reaching out and touching the swordsman to confirm his very existence.
It was unnerving and quite obvious that there was something bothering the pirate but the older teen just couldn't figure out what it could be. But Zoro was determined to find out what it was.
"Oi, Luffy," Zoro called out to the younger. His eyes narrowed as Luffy jumped upon hearing the swordsman's voice and turned unfocused eyes to stare at Zoro.
"Come with me," Zoro practically ordered before pulling himself to his feet and walking towards the galley door.
Luffy followed wordlessly as Zoro led him down into the currently vacant boys' quarters. Once the door was shut, Zoro sat down on the couch and watched Luffy fidget in place for a moment before speaking. "Alright, spill it."
"Don't play dumb, Luffy. I know something happened on the Baron's island and I want you to tell me what happened," Zoro practically demanded of the younger teen.
The shadow fell over Luffy once more and the straw hat wearing pirate slumped under the weight of it. "Zoro... I..." He shook his head roughly before forcing on another false smile. "Nothing happened. C'mon, Sanji should have dinner ready."
Before Luffy could even make a single step towards the door, Zoro grabbed his captain's arm and tugged him until he sat beside the swordsman. Zoro slung an arm around the raven haired teen's shoulders, half in comfort and half to hold him in place.
"That's not going to work this time. No more subject changes, no more false smiles. Tell me what happened to cause the shadows in your eyes," Zoro calmly asked the hurt teen.
Luffy slumped further and withdrew into himself but Zoro waited patiently for his captain to concede and start talking.
"He... He took you all from me," Luffy whispered and his first mate had to strain his ears to make out his words. "One by one he took you all from me and fed you to his flower. I tried so hard, I fought so hard to save you... all of you but..."
Zoro watched as Luffy wrung his hands together, wincing when he applied too much pressure on the bandages adorning his hands, his form tensing as he searched for the words.
"What happened next," the older teen asked softly. He was fairly new to the whole offering comfort to others thing but even a dense man could see that Luffy needed some form of comfort.
The raven haired captain took a deep breath before he continued. "When I went after you... I couldn't even get passed him. The Baron shot me... one arrow through both of my hands and feet and I was forced to just watch each one of you disappear. One by one until I... Until I was the only one left."
Zoro had to stifle a wince as he listened to Luffy recalled what had happened on the island. His chest tightened as he heard how his captain had suffered, being forced to watch as his nakama disappeared before his eyes. "Luffy..."
"That's... There's more. After he'd taken you all away... He asked me if... if I wanted to live, a life of utter loneliness, or to die with my nakama..."
You've finally come, Straw Hat...
One arrow... Two arrows...
Straw Hat, your swordsman is dead...
What will you choose? Life or death?
Zoro couldn't see the memories flashing through the younger teen's mind but the emotion radiating off of Luffy spoke volumes. The swordsman tightened his hold on his captain and pulled him until he was pressed into the other teen's side.
"You... you don't have to say anymore..." Zoro whispered.
He knew what Luffy's answer had been to the Baron's question. He had been willing to die with them and that said more than anything else really could. Zoro felt Luffy relax into his side and knew that things would eventually regulate and return to normal once the shadows faded from his captain.
"I have nightmares every night," Luffy confessed. "I just scream your names over and over as you all slowly fade away. Worst thing is when you fade away... It hurts so much..."
Zoro had figured that sleep had been evading the young captain; the dark circles under his eyes were a pretty good indication. "Well then let's get some sleep."
Luffy looked at Zoro in confusion until the swordsman pushed him down until he was lying on the couch. Once his captain was settled, Zoro lay down beside him and held Luffy close. Before he knew it the raven haired teen was already asleep. With a small smile, Zoro followed him into sleep, determined to keep the nightmares away. It was the least he could do for his captain since he was so willing to die for with his crew.