Title: Where one saves another
words: 300~!
pairing: Usopp/Sanji (and some Zoro nakamaship to both thrown in there)
rating: E for emo...jK, let's call it PG13 for all the blood I'm picturing.
written: 8-26-2008

Sanjis hand was strangely warm considering. Usopp cradled it in his, keeping the pressure firm.

He wouldn't let it slip from his grasp even if the blood was making it more difficult.

The crew turned to him as he burst into the room.

Nami shrieked at him.

"USOPP! Where were you?! We thought...maybe you had been killed..." Her voice trailed off as she spotted Sanjis hand clutched in his. "Sanji..."

Usopp gulped back his frustration that she only just now noticed, but upon a passing glance most of his nakama apparently hadn't known in the confusion. He panted and steadied his voice.

"I had to go back for him. I couldn't..." Emotion started to seep back in. It had been so scary running back toward the thing that had done this to the chef...but he couldn't leave Sanji this way.

Chopper began making preparations. The crew silently observed the cooks sliced and battered body for a moment. Usopp more so, not sure yet how bad Sanjis injuries truly were.

Zoro clicked his tongue. He had known of course. He had seen it happen. Had been the one to carry him back to the ship, unconscious and bleeding.

"The idiot cook can't keep track of his treasures very well."

Zoros tone and knowing glance told volumes.

That Sanji would survive. That Usopp had been included in that statement. That Zoro at least knew WHY he had to go back. And a subtle confidence that with the cooks precious items back with him, the chef would be sure to make a full recovery-hand and all.

Usopp took a breath and walked to the other side of the bed after Chopper took his fleshy cargo, taking Sanjis other and firmly attached hand in his.

"Just this once...I'll forgive him for being so careless."