Has anyone else noticed, after the fight with Usopp Luffy screams a bit but doesn't actually sob? Crying silently never works as an outlet for your emotions.
This is for Luffy.
Everything is a blur. The elegant city and beautiful colors swirl into a mix of colors and the sounds of everything around him are nothing but incomprehensible buzzing. The only thing that makes sense to Luffy is the firm grip on his elbow. That single hand somehow worms itself through the thick haze of pain-more emotional than physical- and Luffy submits to it. For once he doesn't lead but allows to be lead.
Sometime later the buzzing dies down and the swirl of colors dull to a simpler white and grey.
"Zoro?" Luffy calls softly when he realizes he is in what seems to be a motel room. This is a first, Luffy's heart constricts painfully. Sleeping on land instead of the waves, this is not a welcoming change. Luffy doesn't hear the usual answer so he twists around as he asks again. "Zoro?"
"Yea?" Zoro answers as he closes the door behind him. The lean swordsman takes in of the sight of his Captain still exactly how he was left two minutes ago, crouched with his knees pulled to himself, a pitiful bundle. He sighs as he meets the large brown eyes. "Went to get some cash from Nami."
Luffy simply nods gravely.
The two stay where they are, standing and sitting, both staring at each other. Luffy knows what the look Zoro bears mean. The last time he has seen it was ages ago, in a small bar when Luffy had ordered his First Mate not to strike back.
Whatever happens, do not fight back.
When Luffy uttered that order, for the shortest split second, Zoro had fixed Luffy in a scrutinizing stare. And then like how Luffy expected from his First Mate, Zoro had understood.
Luffy wonders what Zoro sees now, if his First Mate can understand this because Luffy himself isn't quite sure what to make of it. He has lost his nakama, his first ship, and in doing so, a part of his soul as well.
Luffy watches Zoro suddenly turn and lock their room door. Without giving Luffy as much as a glance, he walks past his captain and enters the bathroom.
"You're not going to wash?" Luffy asks in confusion when his first mate returns, leaving the water on.. "Nami hates it when we do that."
In answer, Zoro joins Luffy on the floor taking a seat so he and Luffy are sitting back to back. With great care, he removes his katanas from his hakama and pulls Wado Ichimonji out of its sheath to inspect the blade. His movements are slow and easy.
"It's just the two of us," The swordsman quietly says, never turning around.
At that Luffy looks at the locked door in front of him, listens to the water running behind him, feels the solid presence beside him, and understands. And so, Monkey D. Luffy pulls his hat off, slumps against his first mate, and begins to cry.