Disclaimer: Don't own One Piece and associated characters, places, etc. Also, don't own Ellipsis the Great or any of her awesome stories.
Warnings: Heavily Implied SLASH!
Summary: Side-story to Talk to Me by Ellipsis the Great. Makes more sense if you read that first, but can be read alone. Luffy wonders why Zoro rarely talks.
A/N: Just had to get this out. Just read Ellipsis the Great's story Talk to Me. It was awesome, and this was inspired by both it and a comment she made to me afterwards. Also, thank you Ellipsis for beta-ing this for. She made sure the characters were accurate and the sentences made sense.
It was a normal day on the ship of the Straw Hat Crew. No sudden encounters with random pirates, no fights among crew members, no screams as Nami beat Sanji again for being such a flirt.
As a matter of fact, it was quite an odd day. It was very quiet, which, for all members but one, was unusual.
That silence was about to be broken.
Monkey D. Luffy was enjoying a quiet day aboard his ship, simply lounging in the sun. He was taking the down time to think about his crew. He knew quite a bit about all of the members of his crew, as most of them were very chatty and willing to share.
In his musings (in between being distracted by birds) he realized that he knew very little about his swordsman. Upon realizing this he decided to ask said swordsman about his silence.
Zoro was enjoying a quiet afternoon (for once). They were few and far between, so he decided to take advantage of it. He was currently resting against the side of the ship, simply catching up on some rest.
Suddenly the silence was broken as Zoro was knocked over, due to the captain tripping over him.
"Zoro! Just the man I was looking for!"
Zoro sighed in exasperation. There went his quite afternoon of rest.
"What do you want, Luffy?"
Never quite learning the art of being subtle, Luffy just let out his question.
"Why are you so quiet all the time? You hardly ever talk' it's really unusual!"
Zoro just looked at him blankly before merely shaking his head, getting up, and walking away.
The poor straw-hatted captain stood there confused for a moment. Rather than sulking, as was his first choice, he decided to go talk to his other crew members about the swordsman's attitude.
Nami was having a strange day. First, she woke to the ship being silent. Then, she spent most of the day in silence, not being bombarded by flirty comments and gestures from the ships chef. The least strange thing of her day so far was when Zoro walked by her, apparently in a huff, muttering about nosey straw-hatted captains that should mind their own business. Having this followed by seeing Luffy running towards, was also not strange. The conversation she had following this was odd, however.
Luffy cringed as his navigator yelled at him.
"I just asked him why he's always so quiet… I mean, really, how much does any of know about him?!"
"We know enough to trust him. He's our friend, and if he wants to talk to us, he will. If he doesn't, that's his choice."
"No. Luffy, if you are going to bother Zoro, fine. Don't drag me into it."
Luffy finally gave into the urge to sulk for a few minutes, watching Nami walk away.
Then, he suddenly remembered something strange he had seen the other day.
Nami heaves a long-suffering sigh. "What, Luffy?"
"I just remembered something!"
"Really? What was that?"
Nami was quickly getting frustrated with her captain, and was coming to understand how he could have gotten the swordsman into such a huff after just a short conversation.
"I saw Sanji and Zoro."
Nami just stared at him for a moment before realizing he was serious, and barely stopped herself from smacking him so hard his hat would go flying into the ocean (which would start all sorts of other problems).
"That's nice Luffy. We are on the same ship. I see them every day."
"But Nami! I mean I saw them, together! They were standing around and talking. Without fighting!!"
This got Nami's attention, and she let her anger slowly dissolve.
"Really? Did you hear anything they were saying?"
"No…but I think Zoro might have been teasing Sanji or picking on him again. Sanji kept squirming and fidgeting but didn't seem to saying anything back to Zoro, then he walked away quickly. Zoro just stood there smirking, as if he had won an argument or something!"
If Nami had thought her day was bizarre before, she was definitely not prepared for her captain to be so interested in the swordsman's life. Or for him to have paid such close attention to it. Zoro's behavior must have been quite strange for Luffy to have noticed.
"Why are you suddenly so interested in Zoro, Luffy?"
Of course, Nami had never been one for subtlety, either.
Luffy turned unexpectedly red before quickly replying "I'm not! I swear!"
"Well, alright…" Nami gave Luffy a speculative glance, but decided to leave him alone…for the time being.
"Well, let's go find Zoro, then. Maybe I can help you pry some information out of him."
Usopp was having a good day. None of the usual crazy things had happened. While that would normally have set him one on edge, he was enjoying it. It meant that he didn't have to make up another excuse to not fight, or to not go on an island. He was just wandering slowly around the ship, when he saw Luffy running towards him, with Nami trailing not far behind.
Quickly looking for an immediate escape route he was stopped in planning his great escape when Nami's voice carried over Luffy's shouting.
"Don't even think about it. We need your help. Or rather, we need your lying skills."
That caught his attention, and he stopped trying to sneak away.
"Zoro and Sanji have been acting odd recently, and we want to figure out why! It'll be fun!" Luffy was practically bouncing as he spoke.
"Wait, you want me to lie to Zoro and Sanji? Oh, well see, the thing is, I would, but I have to…help Chopper! Yes, that's right! I promised I'd help him with…stuff…today…so I'll just be off…sorry I couldn't be of more help…"
As he was talking he had slowly been backing away from them, and disappeared completely as soon as the final word was out of his mouth.
"What a coward. But I suppose that means we probably won't be able to get Choppers help either. Chopper will put Usopp to work as soon as he shows up." Nami said, not bothering to hide her amusement at the thought of Usopp being put to work.
Luffy just huffed, sliding into a sitting position on the deck.
"Well, let's just forget about it for a while. We can confront Zoro after dinner. I'm hungry, and I can smell Sanji starting to cook. I'll have more energy for questioning Zoro with a full belly."
Nami just laughed at Luffy's laziness, settling her self down on the deck beside him.
"Good idea. So, why are you suddenly so interested in what Zoro does?"
Luffy pales, then quickly turns red.
"I already told you I'm not!"
"If you weren't, you wouldn't be putting this much effort into finding out why he's always so quiet." She pointed out.
"I don't believe you."
Luffy just sulked (again) for a few minutes, before Nami started up again. "Come on, you can tell me."
"It's really nothing though."
"Luffy, if it was nothing, you wouldn't care so much."
"I'm worried, alright?"
"Worried? About Zoro? Why?"
"No, not about Zoro. Well, kind of. I don't like my crew fighting. I thought Sanji and Zoro were over their arguments."
"But they fight constantly! Though…I guess it is more playful banter than anything—neither of them really means it."
"Exactly. If Zoro has started picking on Sanji again, I may have to have a talk with him. I won't have my crew falling apart. It's not befitting of true pirates."
Nami laughed at that, nodding to acknowledge that she understood Luffy's thoughts.
At Sanji's call, the pirate crew scrambled into the makeshift kitchen…only to be shoved back out onto the deck.
"What have I said about crowding my kitchen?"
Everyone meekly sat down at the table just outside of the kitchen.
Dinner was a fairly quiet affair, with Luffy and Nami shooting Zoro and Sanji occasional glances.
As the dinner was nearing its end Luffy decided that he couldn't wait any longer and just stood up, bumping the table and nearly falling over. Once he righted himself he looked straight at Zoro and asked, "Zoro, why do you rarely talk?!"
Zoro just stared at him blankly before finishing his dinner.
"Luffy, that was rude. Zoro talks, but he talks when it suits him." Sanji defended Zoro, hoping no one would notice the blush creeping across his face.
"But Sanji, he never talks other than to make small comments or to insult you! Luffy just doesn't want to see the crew fall apart because Zoro is a jerk!" Nami stands up, defending Luffy.
They started shouting at each other across the table, startling the entire crew, who was used to seeing Sanji bend over backwards for Nami.
The argument was brought to an abrupt halt when Zoro stands up. Everyone's eyes moved over to him, as he slowly walked away from the table, stopping by Sanji and looked over his shoulder at everyone.
"You really want to know why I rarely talk?"
Everyone, except Sanji, nodded, Nami and Luffy more enthusiastically than the others.
A smirk slowly crossed Zoro face as he responds. "It's because talk belongs in the bedroom."
After saying this he turned his head to give Sanji a meaningful look before sauntering off to below deck, where the cabins were.
The rest of the crew watched in stunned silence as Sanji's face quickly turned a beet red, and he suddenly jumped up, following Zoro below deck.
Above deck the crew suffered from varied reactions.
Luffy looked pleased, undoubtedly because his crew wasn't fighting as he had thought.
Nami couldn't decide between shocked and intrigued. This didn't keep her face from heating up as a blush found its way onto her face.
Usopp had fainted as soon as Zoro sauntered off, as it was a rather unusual sight.
Chopper simply turned red before quickly disappearing to the sickbay.
The silence was fairly undisturbed until moments later when a shout echoed from below deck, and everyone once again adopted their varied expression, suddenly very interested in doing anything furthest away from the cabins.