A/N: Hello everyone! Jeez I just can't stop writing One Piece stuff these days! And wowww! This one's gonna have more than one chapter too! *faints* I was just really in the mood to write Zoro, and since I'm a huge ZoroxTashigi fan….VOILA! The title means, "Four Swords" in Japanese. Or it might actually be "Four Sword STYLE" now that I think about it….dangit…. Oh well, just pretend it's "Four Swords" I guess. ^^; AND NOW….ON TO THE STORY!
He could feel it. His swords were ready. His first encounter with his opponent back at the stupid love-cook's restaurant had been merely a warm-up, a practice round. He'd been reckless then, horribly unprepared, and had nearly paid for it with his life. Wincing at the memory, he shook it off, reminding himself it was only a scar on his past.
Now, after countless hours of training, it was his time to claim the title, his time to fulfill his destiny.
Reaching over to clasp one of his swords, his muscles quivered in anticipation as he scanned the barren landscape for his opponent. A thick fog had descended, shrouding the land in an ominous mist, the sun just barely peeking through to illuminate the whiteness.
The faintest movement was heard behind him, and he was ready in an instant, a silent and natural transition.
He smirked as a figure began to emerge through the fog.
"Roronoa Zoro….looking confident and high-strung as ever I see…"
"Heh, I could say the same for you! I've been waiting for you….Mihawk."
The world's greatest swordsman stepped into full view, a sly grin spreading across his face. Crossing his arms, he studied Zoro.
"I do hope you are better prepared this time, Roronoa. I don't tend to spare anyone more than once."
Zoro chuckled. "I didn't think you would. I'm ready for you. I've gotten stronger. Hate to break it to you, but I will take your title." With that, he clamped his teeth down on his third sword, readying himself and nodding for Mihawk to do the same.
However, his opponent simply stayed as he was, continuing to grin somewhat condescendingly back at him.
"I see you haven't changed much, boy. But what you must understand is that you are not the only one who has gotten stronger. Allow me to demonstrate!"
But instead of reaching for his sword, Mihawk proceeded to whip off his cloak in one motion to reveal himself wearing a flowing, zebra-print dress, complete with high heels and gold jewelry.
Zoro gaped, his sword falling out of his mouth and clattering to the ground.
Mihawk chuckled menacingly before giving a twirl. "Ah, you like it? I feel I can move much more freely in my new battle garb! Go on! See if you can leave a mark on this!" He said, gesturing elegantly to his dress-clad frame.
Too sickened and utterly shocked to react, Zoro glanced down at his swords only to see that they had turned into a trio of squirrels, two of which were trying frantically to get out of his grasp.
"What the-?" He jumped in surprise, dropping the two remaining rodents and nearly falling on top of the third.
"What are you waiting for, Roronoa? Come at me! Or are you too afraid to strike this dashing designer garment? Hmm?" Mihawk continued to press him, that sly grin still creeping over his face. "Well, Zoro? Zoro? Oi, Zoro!..."
"Zoro! Oi! Zoroooo! WAKE UP, YOU IDIOT!"
Zoro's eyes shot open at the sudden pain as he yelped rather girlishly.
Wincing and holding his throbbing head, he sat up tentatively, blinking at the figure looming above him.
"Jeez, it's about time!" Nami growled in annoyance. "You sleep like a damn rock, Zoro! And it looks like you have the work ethic of one too!"
Still rubbing his head, Zoro glared at her. "The hell are you talking about? I was tryin' to sleep, sheesh!"
He blinked again, pushing the events of the awkward dream to the back of his mind, and saw that she was carrying a large laundry basket full of what appeared to be towels.
Propping the basket on her hip, she groaned in agitation before reaching in to grab one of said-towels and whipping it in his face.
"This is what I'm talking about, you baka! I asked you days ago to clean up the crow's nest, but I go up there today and what do I find? Gross, sweaty towels and crap allover the place! The whole room smells like goddamn B.O.! Do you even wash the clothes you wear?" She cried, pulling his haramaki back and releasing it, causing it to snap painfully against his stomach. Then, realizing she'd come in contact with his potentially toxic clothing, she shuddered and wiped her hand on his arm.
"Jeez!" He scowled, slapping her hand away and peeling the towel off his face. Tossing it back into the basket, he crossed his arms. "It's none of your freaking business! Besides, I'm the only one who ever goes up there so who gives a damn anyway!"
"It's disgusting! Don't you have any sense of personal hygiene?"
"Well then here! I'll just take off all my clothes right now and you can wash them!"
"No way! I've already got enough of your nasty laundry to do!"
"Well then get to it, woman!"
At that, she turned on her heel and stomped across the deck, steam blowing from her ears.
"Witch….," he mumbled after her.
"Oh shut up….."
"Heard that too!" And she slammed the door behind her, yelling a now-muffled order at Sanji who had surely floated after her in a haze of love.
Zoro sighed and eased back against the mast with a yawn, eager to get some peace and quiet after that tirade. Closing his eyes, he shifted a bit, trying to get comfortable.
He frowned slightly, however, when some shuffling was heard close to him, followed by a few whispers.
"O-Oi, is he asleep again?"
"How could he sleep after that? Nami was so scary!"
"Yeah, but she made a SUPER good point!"
"Yohohoho! Maybe some music will wake Zoro-san up!"
He continued to frown as he tried to ignore the voices. If he slept through it, it'd be like it never happened.
Suddenly though, he felt a slight movement of air across his face, followed by a giggle, causing him to furrow his brow.
He opened his eyes a crack, then jolted at the sight of Luffy staring him down from approximately three inches away.
"Oi! What the-? What is up with you guys today?" Zoro scowled when Luffy began laughing jovially.
"Seriously….," he muttered, shifting uncomfortably as he noticed Usopp, Chopper, Franky, and Brook staring back at him too.
Luffy's laughter had ceased, and he was now looking intently at the swordsman with narrowed eyes, a puzzled expression on his face.
"Okay, what the hell! Why is everyone staring at me? It's freaking me out!" He exclaimed, feeling his ears getting hot.
"Zoro, do you even like girls?" Luffy asked suddenly.
Zoro's eyebrows shot up. "H-Huh?" he stammered.
"Do you like girls." Luffy repeated, crossing his legs as he blinked patiently at his first mate.
Zoro could feel the rest of his face heating up. "Of course I….why would you….I don't….huhhhh? What does this have to do with anything?"
"I think Luffy-san means because you argue a lot with Nami-san." Brook offered.
"That's true…." Usopp said with a smirk. "And you barely talk to Robin."
"Urghhhh….are you kidding me?" Zoro growled. "That's two people! That doesn't mean that-!"
He was interrupted as Luffy smacked his fist to his palm excitedly. "Hey guys! I remembered something! My brother told me once that when you fight with someone a lot, it's because you secretly love them! So that must mean he really loves Nami!" Luffy laughed at his revelation, causing Zoro's face to become even redder.
"I do not, you idiot!" he cried, his voice cracking slightly from embarrassment and anger. "And excuse me, but you fight with Nami a hell of a lot too, so obviously, you must be in love with each other!"
Luffy paused mid-laugh and considered. "Hmmm….yeah maybe!" he said with a grin.
"Whoa hold on a second….y'know….Zoro fights with Sanji all the time too…." Usopp said, glancing at the others.
"SUGEEEE! So does that mean Zoro secretly loves Sanji too?" Chopper cried in a frenzy of amazed sparkles.
At this, Franky began to sob. "You know we won't judge you, man! Just come out and say it! You can tell us anything!"
"WHAAAAAATTT?" Zoro cried, his face now beet red. "Are you saying I'm-? NO WAY IN HELL AM I IN LOVE WITH SWIRLY BROW! How could you even say that? Do I look g-?"
"Oi, then why's your face so red?" Usopp interrupted, pointing an accusatory finger at Zoro's tomato complexion.
"Huh? Uruse na! No it's not! Dammit, I like girls!" The swordsman growled.
Luffy blinked. "Oh, so you do like Nami then."
"GAH! NO! I-!"
"Must be Robin…." Franky whispered into Luffy's ear, causing the captain to stifle a laugh.
"SHUT UP! STOP INTERRUPTING M-!"
Everyone turned as Sanji emerged from the doorway to the living quarters.
"Hey," he said, leaning casually against the doorframe. "Nami-san told me to, quote, 'tell you filthy pigs that if you have any laundry, give it to her now while she's doing a load. Otherwise, you'll have to do it yourself. And if you don't know how, then screw you, 'cause you're no better than lazyass Zoro.'"
At this, Zoro shot a glare in the cook's direction. "What did you just call me?"
Sanji simply smirked. "Just repeating what Nami-san said…..lazyass…."
"Yeah, like hell you w-! Oi! There you go again, dartboard!"
Just as the two were about to lunge for each other, a collective guffaw erupted from the peanut gallery.
"Hey, look guys! They're fighting again!"
"Wowwww! It really is a sign of their love!"
Luffy's manic giggling cut through the hushed commentary. "Watch this!" he said with a grin.
And with that, he shot out his arms to the feuding men, wrapping one around Zoro and the other around Sanji, trapping them in an inescapable death grip.
"Luffy! What the hell are you doing? Let us go!" The two wriggled and squirmed, unable to break free.
Luffy merely laughed, continuing to grin mischievously. "I can make them kiss, guys!"
"WHAT? NO NO NO NO NO!"
But despite the screams, protests, and death threats spewed in his direction, Luffy began to move the writhing couple closer and closer together until their lips were forced to meet, emphasized by a loud 'MWAH!' sound effect from their dear captain.
As if struck by a bolt of lightning, the two jolted away from the contact, eyes wide with shock, mouths gaping in a choked scream of terror.
Neither reacted when their bodies hit the deck, Luffy having released them as he and the rest of the crew were consumed with hysterical laughter.
Zoro and Sanji continued to lie there, unmoving, twitching and shuddering uncontrollably.
"Urgh, Sanji-kun! Where are you? You're supposed to be-!" Nami stormed up to the doorway, but paused when she came across the strange scene in front of her.
Robin appeared close behind. "Sanji?" She asked, puzzled, as the miserable blond began crawling towards the two women, tears streaming down his face.
"Nami-san! Robin-chan! Please forgive me! These lips were only meant for you!" He sobbed, taking hold of Nami's ankles and slamming his head into the deck repeatedly.
Nami shot a nervous glance at him. "Ummm…..I'm not even gonna ask…"
"Oi! Everyone! What is that?"
The crew jumped, startled by the sudden urgency of the voice. Apparently, having quelled his hysterics, Brook had moved to the edge of the ship and was pointing a bony finger at something in the distance.
The rest of the crew, save for Zoro and Sanji, quickly jumped up to look as well.
A thick, hazy fog appeared to be creeping across the water towards the ship, a seemingly odd occurrence considering the day's nice weather.
Usopp donned his goggles, studying the object closer. A minute later, he flipped them up and turned to his nakama with a frown.
"It looks like…..smoke!"
He sat in his office, the air filled with the smothering smog puffing from his two burning cigars.
With a grin, he moved his gloved hands across his desk, spreading out a number of wanted posters. Chuckling to himself, he began to mark those he had annihilated with red x's. Soon, all but one had been marked.
He frowned, picking up the remaining paper, glaring intently at the smiling visage of Monkey D. Luffy.
"And yet, you're still out there…." He murmured softly, blowing out smoke.
Just then, the door to his office burst open, and in stumbled a tall, blue-haired woman with glasses.
"Commodore Smoker!" she cried, clutching her sword close to her chest.
"Urghhhh….." Smoker sighed, running a hand through his silver hair in aggravation. "What is it, Tashigi. You don't have to shout."
"Errr….I'm sorry, sir!" she replied, slightly breathless. "But you're needed up on deck! One of the watchmen has spotted an approaching pirate ship!"
Upon hearing this, his eyes flashed heatedly for a split second, then, giving a curt nod, he led the way out of the room.
The two moved down the long corridor, Tashigi having to jog slightly in order to keep up with Smoker's brisk pace.
"Isn't this exciting, Commodore?" she grinned. "We haven't seen much action in a while. I mean, I'm always training, gotta keep from getting rusty, but is that really what I'm sharpening my Shigure every week for? Training? I don't think so! Have you ever just wanted to knock some serious heads? Y'know, just a-!"
"Tashigi, do you ever stop talking?" He turned to shoot her an annoyed glance.
"Hehehe, well I-,"
"Commodore Smoker!" A marine called as the two emerged on deck. "We've identified the pirates, sir! It's the Straw Hats!" He informed with a salute.
Smoker raised his eyebrows. The Straw Hat crew? So far out on the Grand Line? Surely there was a mistake. But as he turned his gaze to the vast ocean, the tell-tale lion head of the Thousand Sunny could be seen sailing a ways ahead of them.
Tashigi frowned. "The Straw Hats?..." Then she gasped slightly. "Zoro…" A look of intensity crossed her face as she gripped her sword instinctively.
Smoker nodded with a smirk. It seemed he'd underestimated the rubber rookie's potential.
"Keep them in our sights!" He ordered, puffing out smoke. "We're going to pay Mugiwara a visit….."
He raised a hand, and the ocean became shrouded in a smoky mist.
A/N: BAM! There's chapter one! This was just kind of an exposition chapter….the plot really starts moving next chapter. Ho man, hopefully I'll be able to update fairly quickly….four-day weekend coming up so that's promising! =D Hope you enjoyed it! ^_^