Thanks to Loveikuto1996 for giving me the inspiration! This is like 'Do Not Swallow Your Tears' but the roles reversed. This chapter is mild angst. Enjoy :)

"But Usopp-sama is not the man to hide like a coward in fear, and so he stood up and exclaimed-"

Luffy let out a wild laugh when Sanji treaded on Usopp's foot in his rush to serve his ladies, though the laugh was swallowed by the shriek howl of pain from the sniper. Usopp hopped on one leg as he called the cook seven kinds of idiots, before being effectively silenced when Sanji hurled the now empty tray straight into his mouth.

With his hands never stopping the rapid movement from his dinner to his mouth, Luffy scanned the board pleased to find his crew mates enjoying themselves and the good weather. However he paused, confused, when he didn't find the familiar green head who usually settled beside their barrel of beer and the pirate frowned when he finally found the silhouette of two katanas against the moon, up in the crow's nest.

The captain grabbed the last lamb leg and was on his feet in mere seconds, bounding away. The remaining crew mates called to him in alarm but he waved the concerns off with a grin and made his way up the mast.

There, he found who he was looking for, sitting against the wooden balustrade before his white katana that he had unsheathed and buried into the wooden floor so the katana was standing. The moon that was hanging low in the sky gave enough light for Luffy to see his swordsman's face that reflected off the elegant blade.

Luffy looked at his first mate, silent. Some would have fallen silent for they felt the ill gloom that set itself home somewhere around the swordsman's head and did not dare to provoke him further. Luffy didn't say a word for a much simpler reason. When Zoro was in a mood like this, quieter, more reserved and distant, his senses heightened to a level beyond anybody else on this ship, Zoro would talk when he wanted to.

And apparently tonight, by the way Zoro was already sitting off to the right leaving enough space for a second person, Zoro wanted to.

The captain took the invitation and the seat-his seat-and settled down purposely close enough so their elbows were jostled and waited, not minding that his lamb leg was growing cold.

And seconds or minutes or possibly hours later(Luffy doesn't know because he doesn't care because he'll wait as long as Zoro needs him to), Zoro let out a ragged sigh, and there was wistful grief and exhausted pain for a childhood memory that only bubbled up one day every year and Luffy wanted to tell his friend that he was sorry he didn't remember sooner and he knew the horrible twisting emptiness and he would do anything to make the hurting go away but he wanted to say it all and at once. So Luffy did. Sitting side by side, under the moonlight, and before the gleaming blade, Luffy quietly told his friend.

"I'm here."