Hello, this is dragongirl5k5, with my introduction to this my One Piece story, Sentiments. Let's go over the basics, shall we?

Warnings: There is yaoi and boy's love in this story! Don't like? You know where the back button is. There are many hetero couples as well, but nothing too explict with them.

Pairings: ZoLu, SanNam, FraRob, UsopKaya, BrookOC, ChopperOC, SmokerAce, more later on.

To join me, we have Zoro and Luffy! Also, my friend, Blackrose606, known as Britt!

Britt: Ahoy, me harties! ...or, somthing like that!

Me: Epic fail at piracy.

Luffy: Hey, Zoro, look! We're on the text!

Zoro: *rolls eyes* I see that, Luffy. Where's that beer I was promised?

Me: *sweat drops* We're off to such a great start, aren't we?

Reviews would be absolutely awsome, don't forget! Criticism is fine, flames are a no. Please excuse any grammar or spelling mistakes I missed. Story is in Third Person point of view. Hope you enjoy!

Song of the Day: Car Crash by Matt Nathanson

Disclaimer: Ahahaha. No. No, I do not own One Piece. *throws turkey leg* Happy, now?

Chapter I: Rise and Fall

Zoro's pov

Zoro walked towards the high school, wishing he could master the technique of nap-walking, yet strolling with an unusually quick gait. Normally, he would take his time to relish the serene morning air before stepping into the hell of the educational system.

But today, he actually wanted to get to school. As blasphemous as it sounded, it was the truth. Why, you ask?

Because he was coming back today.

He being one of his closest friends and one of the few people in the world to gain his respect. He being the rambunctious ball of fifteen-year-old energy with black hair and wide, curious eyes. He wasn't the tallest or broadest guy in the school but could kick ass better than Zoro himself. He was the playful idiot that could make him laugh like no one else could.

He was Monkey D. Luffy. Him and his older brother were moving back today.

They'd been gone only thirteen months, but it felt like forever since he's seen him. Over a year since he's seen him smile that huge, crooked grin. Zoro won't admit it out loud, but he's missed him maybe more than anyone.

Their ragtag group just couldn't hold together without our silently proclaimed leader. But, it probably would have happened with or without Luffy here. Sanji was busy helping at his father's restaurant, while also spending time with his girlfriend, Nami. Who has been working her ass off with her studies, finding time in between to spend with Dartbrow and friends. Usopp's been busy perfecting his engineering and arts skills, and entertaining kids at the library with his tall tales for volunteer work(but he always saves the best stories for Kaya). Franky, Robin, and Brook are grown adults who have their careers to think about. Chopper was under the watchful eye of Kureha-sensei whilst he studied medicine.

He too, had become preoccupied between the classes he actually gave effort to pass and his bushido training. It's not Luffy's fault at all, really. It's just, if we're missing even one nakama from our group, it just doesn't feel right. We'll always be friends no matter what, even if our schedules are tight.

Zoro doesn't want to seem as anxious as he really is, so he wears the same bored expression as usual when the school comes into view. Other than his return, this was just another troublesome day to mark down in the books.

He wondered if he'd see Ace there, too. Though, Luffy mentioned in his letters that he promised to write(and he never breaks a promise) that his brother has been working super hard lately to support them. Times are tough, and Zoro's not sure if he could do what Ace does. He's never had siblings, so maybe he doesn't understand what it's like to practically raise a younger brother on your own. He's not sure he'd have the patience to raise a dog, let alone Luffy.

Of course, they weren't alone. Their grandpa helps out and sends money all the time, but he's a marine, always traveling. A nice barkeep named Makino who makes great food, as Luffy recalls, has helped take care of him since he was a toddler. And since he was seven, him and Ace were in the care of their foster mom, Dadan. Aside from the grandpa, Zoro has yet to meet any of these people, and it was a very messed up meeting at that. (He hadn't know narcolepsia was inherited until that encounter).

However, for whatever reasons, Ace left home after he graduated at age seventeen, taking his little brother with him. Even before that, it was always them together, as Luffy described it. Zoro's not sure what the textbook example of siblings are, but he knows they're not it; but he does know that their love is unconditional and that they would do anything for one another.

Zoro himself has been on his own a lot through life. But, he knows how to take care of himself and is rather good at it, too. Nothing wrong with being a loner. As of now, he was living with his legal guardian, Mihawk. Who is always traveling on business but pays the rent via mail, so Zoro figures he's got it pretty good right about now.

Just as he finishes that thought, the sight of Atsushi High School comes into view straight up ahead. He can smell the teenage angst from here.

"Oi, Marimo!" Speaking of teenage angst.

Oh joy.

He clicks the pause button on his mp3, bringing the songs Days by BIS to an abrupt end. Sanji stares distastefully at the electronic device he's now shoving in his pocket.

"Dude, you need to bury that ancient thing. I saved up for months to buy my Ipod and seeing you with that thing just pisses me off." There were a lot of things about him that pissed the dartbrow off. The feeling was mutual. Can you believe this guy is one of his best friends?

Che. Neither can he.

"Sue me, then. What do you want, Dartbrow? Shouldn't you be over there kissing Nami's ass?" Zoro knew it was coming, so he managed to dodge the flying leg swung at him.

"Baka Marimo! How dare you talk about a woman like that!" Zoro almost smirked at the fuming blond, and made and effort to look as casually bored as possible while passing him into the building.

"Yeah, yeah." Zoro added, smiling at the string of inappropiate curses from behind him. Suddenly, a thought struck him. "Have you seen him yet?"

Sanji looked thoughtful for a moment, before a knowing smile split his face. But it was gone a second later, replaced with his usual expression. Lighting up a cigarette, he replied, "Not yet. We're all on the lookout though. After all, it shouldn't be that hard to spot him."

'Shouldn't' was putting it lightly. Luffy didn't have an ounce of tact in his body. Though there's nothing unusual about his appearance, (except his trademark straw hat) he stands out in a crowd like no other. With his green hair, Zoro isn't one to talk, but still.

He says his goodbyes to the blond smoker and heads inside, making a straight beeline to his locker, ignoring everyone in his path. Locker 669 came into view and he spun in the combination, more like a robotic sequence of his hands than a set of numbers. Zoro tried to recall what his first period class was. World History. Damn. That meant a quiz. Lucky him-

A brush of air. A swish of the wind. Inside? Not uncommon. People were always opening the doors, exiting and entering. Sneakers running and squeaking against the floor, like the other hundreds or so that have touched this floor - but different. Then, in a rush of noise and wind, his keen hearing caught it. "Zoro~!"

And in the next minute, he was smacked into the metal of his locker, a fifteen-year-old sized slingshot pinning him to the spot with a choking hug. Zoro grunts loudly, untangling his arms from the strangling embrace and pries the chuckling boy off of him.

Though, he realizes that he didn't mind the contact of the usually affectionate Luffy. The contact was nice, he thought and chastised himself for knowing how lame that sounded. He'd been away from his straw hat friend for too long. His absence had been more of a toll than Zoro expected, so maybe he was underestimating how much he had been missing him.

"A warning would be nice next time," he says in his casual, grumpy tone, but he's smiling and Luffy's got that hopeless idiot grin on his face.

"Sorry!" He laughs, eyes filled with light that could brighten any room. "But, I missed Zoro!"

"I can see that." He mutters, unlatching his back from the locker. Yeah, he'll be feeling that in the morning. His strength hasn't wavered, and that makes Zoro happy and oddly proud, and he's smirking, so he covers it up by asking: "Did everyone else get this sort of treatment?"

Luffy nodded vigorously. "Yosh! Of course! I missed everyone sooo much!" He exclaimed, exaggerating by spreading his arms wide apart. "But, I missed Zoro a LOT!"

That last throw-away comment, said so innocently in such a Luffy-like manner, oddly sent a startled heat through Zoro's spine. The feeling was... pleasant. Shaking himself out of it, he focused back in on his rambling friend.

"-the train ride back was a lot of fun! Kokoro-baa-san was really cool and let me sit at the front, even though she wasn't s'pose to!" Luffy had this obsession with the sea. He was one of those people that was born for an open life like that. Freedom and adventure were his life goals; never mind passing Algebra II.

"So, I take it your happy to be back, ne?" Luffy nodded. "See everybody yet?"

"Eh...let's see..." He thought aloud, holding up his fingers. "I saw Brook, Robin, Franky, Usopp, Chopper and now Zoro..." He held up six fingers, eyeing them deeply. So slow, I think to myself.

"Oh!" The light-bulb struck. "Sanji and Nami! I have to see them!" He turns, ready to make a mad dash and knock down a freshman girl walking past us.

"Oi!" I grab him by the collar, and he complains with a low whine. "We all meeting up then or what?"

"Ah! Yosh!" He grins excitedly. "We'll all meet up at our old spot by the field! It'll be just like old times!"

I begrugdingly let a smile slip. "Yeah, sounds good. You know how to get to your classes?"

"Usopp's gonna show me the way!" He turns again, this time not about to plow any unsuspecting student over when he looks over his shoulder to say, "Oi! Don't get lost and be late Zoro! 'Kay?"

"Shut up!" I yell back at his retreating form, who is laughing wildly, crashing through the halls with his usual flamboyant grace. I scowled; of course he'd bring up my sense of direction, that little monkey.

I shut my locker and made my way towards the stairs. The bell rung, and I realized it was the second and if I didn't hurry my ass would be late.

"Shit." I bounded up the stairs so I could turn left...right? Left? Ah, whatever.

Being late wasn't exactly model student behavior, but was well worth it if I wasted my time talking to Luffy. Still, a nagging tug in the pit of my stomach wouldn't leave me be. My usual gruffness and his upbeat attitude had felt so normal, so natural. I'd forgotten what'd I'd wanted to say for almost a year: I missed you. I'm glad your back.

But as they sat on the edge of my tongue, the words never came.

Zoro's never liked being called a coward and his reputation has made sure that no one else even thinks about saying it. Yet somehow, he can't help but inwardly mock himself for not telling the younger teen about his feelings.

Feelings and shit. He's never been good with expressing them. Saying, I missed you, was just so out-of-character, so uncool of him. If he didn't though, well, he'd have to deal with the mocking of his own psyche. Out of the question.

So, he'd suck it up and tell him. No big deal, right? Didn't mean anything.

You keep telling yourself that. His mind scoffed.

Zoro entered the World History class grumbling curses under his breath, confusing almost all of the class, excluding Robin-sensei who wore a knowing smile on her face.

The bell rang almost as enthusiastically as the students who piled out of their classes. Zoro moved effortlessly through the crowd, ignoring the bustling of teenagers from either side of him.

He was headed to Calculus, and the period after that was Lunch. The anxiety was a slow burn building up in his stomach. He refused to acknowledge it.

People littered the halls like trash in the street. It was a freakin' maze trying to get through the throngs of them all.

Zoro came across a large group of them, a particularly obnoxious bystander currently in his way. With a loud grunt, he pushed the guy away with more force than was necessary. (Well, he was in his way. Just for the record.)

"Oi! What's the big- ?" He began, but when he saw that it was Zoro's scowling face looking down at him, he promptly closed his mouth on whatever he had been about to say.

That figures. He thought, moving right along. But I swear, if one more person bumps me-!

Zoro nearly seethed when he felt another shoulder bump past his own. Today just wasn't his day.

"Excuse me, Mister Zoro." Hearing the notably fake polite tone and seeing the leopard printed hat, Zoro saw that this probably wasn't the person to pick a fight with to get out his frustration.

"Yeah, sure." He replied to the grinning Tralfagar Law. Come to think of it, he was always grinning.

"I hear Mr. Monkey D. Luffy is back today." He said conversationally. "Send him my regards, will you?"

"Whatever." Zoro muttered. Him and this guy were on a whole different level in this school - top dogs, if you will. Along with Luffy and some choice others.

"Happy to have him back, ne?" Law commented, walking in step with him. Zoro nodded again. None of his business what he really felt.

There was a cluster of people up ahead. The normal buzz of sound was overtaken with a loud, angry voice.

"-Don't fuck with me!" Two girls screamed. Zoro recognized one of them. Camie?

He pushed past the crowd gathering, until he could see his friend face-to-face with that of a lunatic.

"Oi, Bellamy! What are you doing?" The blond man looked more deranged that usual. Zoro noticed the red around his eyes and the dilation of his pupils.

"He's high." Law said quite certainly, from somewhere behind him. Zoro nodded once in agreement, never taking his eyes off the action.

The green-haired girl was shaking, but gulped back her fear to stare at her assaulter. Her friend, Kaya, stood loyally by her side.

"I haven't done anything!" But her voice cracked at the end.

A series of murmurs went through the crowd. "Where are the teachers?" "I heard the shop class is being held late." "Biology class is taking a quiz." "What's going on?"

Zoro silently cursed. Usopp was in shop right now. If anything happened to his girlfriend, he'd never forgive himself... Zoro didn't think they had to worry, though. Even with people confused at this moment and willing to stay still until needed, the two girls in the line of fire were well liked.

He spotted Nami across the crowd, hand flexing at her side. Sanji was further away, lighting up a fresh cigarette, ready to fight. They all shared a look of understanding. It sucked that Zoro's swords were still in his locker for his bushido class, but he figured he really didn't need them.

"It doesn't matter now! It's over!" A flash of silver. A sound like death. No one saw it coming. No one could move fast enough to stop the bullet soaring through the air towards the two girls.

"KYAH!" The shrill screams of terror were the only thing rushing through Zoro's mind when he saw the splash of red as the body was pierced. It fell to the floor with a sickening thud and the whole room forgot how to breathe.

Zoro stood frozen, in this eerily silent world that couldn't be his own. It's funny how in the most important instances in your life, time stands still, and when the moment to prove yourself comes, you suddenly feel overwhelmed. Zoro isn't going to let this be one of those moments.

Even though barely a minute had passed, it seemed eternity had come and gone. No one else had moved yet. Hands clenched and teethed bared, Zoro moved his body as fast as it would go, fear a living thing inside of him.


Dun dun dun!

Yeah, cliffhanger I know. *dodges flying chainsaw* Whoa! Slow down! I've got good news. The next chapter is pretty much done, so I'll have it up really soon! Bad news? Don't always expect updates as fast as that. Don't forget to click the button at the bottom! XD