Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot of this story, hence the term "fan" fiction.
I Hate Perverts
A One Piece Fanfic
Don't Trust Shady Vendors
"Fish! Fresh fish for sell from all four Blues!"
"Get 'er news and learn about the latest from Marijova for half the normal price!"
"Baked bread! Right out of the oven!"
"The best quality rigging in the sea! Don't skimp out on your ship!"
Zoro ducked and weaved through the seaside marketplace as the vendors each jostled to get the most customers, give the best bargains and sell the most stuff, whether people needed it or not. Sometimes they seemed to get so competitive that their prices got so low they were practically giving things away free, which made little to no sense to the swordsman and was one of the many reasons why he didn't deal with that kind of business.
The end of a heavy piece of timber swung his way, on a steady course to collide with his head, and Zoro barely dodged it, crowded as the port town was.
"Sorry," grunted the man carrying it, not even bothering to look behind at whom he almost hit. At that moment Zoro decided he just wanted to finish what he came here for and leave as fast as possible. Back on the Sunny, a deck warmed by the sun's rays beckoned him.
Normally the swordsman had little business to deal with on land. That is until certain crewmates of his sniffed this out and figured he had nothing better to do than heave some heavy packages for them. Did indulging in some alcohol have no significance anymore?
He left the tourist district of the town without realizing, diving into the slums where no sane citizen would venture. Zoro's hand was constantly resting on his swords, ready to draw them out in a moment's notice in this place where thieves and muggers were plentiful.
Of course, he didn't think of how menacing his figure posed already. Few, and only desperate, men would dare to go after the face that was plastered above and absurdly high bounty- the face of Roronoa Zoro. He was wanted and that made him dangerous, much like the wanted posters of other rising pirates that he looked to find.
It could be a leftover habit from his bounty-hunting days, or a 'know your enemy' approach instilled through years of fighting experience, but Zoro made an effort every now and then to pick up the newest bounties if they were available. The easiest way was through a Marine base though his status definitely prevented him from willingly going within a mile of one, so he stuck with the copies that some bars and restaurants carried.
More often than not, Zoro forgot to appraise the posters or merely scanned the scowling mugs on the grimy walls. In this case, he was in dire need of some sake that the ship had oh-so-coincidentally run out of and was reluctant to wait for Sanji's return to filch some. This way he could accomplish both things-search and drink, and appear to be doing something useful.
"Oi! You!" a gruff voice growled. Zoro spun and unsheathed his sword in a second. Its quivering point stopped mere inches from the fleshy underside of an old man's chin.
He muttered a hasty apology and withdrew his blade, yet the man seemed unfazed. Defiant even. "Yeah, I was talking to you… cocky bastard."
Zoro had been walking in the opposite direction from the graying man, but he froze at his words. What was this guy's problem?
The graying man, dressed in ragged robes and wearing a leather patch over his right eye smirked, pleased he had the swordsman's attention.
"I have an offer to make you."
An offer? Zoro's instincts began to chime; there was something off with this entire thing. The darkened side street they were in, the old man… what kind of person didn't flinch at the end of a katana? "I don't make deals with your kind."
He nearly spat the last two words and didn't hesitate to be harsh where payment was due.
"My kind?" the man looked surprised, even affronted. "I'm merely a street vendor."
"Funny place for one," Zoro grumbled, hand itching towards his swords again.
The other man shrugged and scratched the stubble on his chin. "Perhaps… but I'm not talking about a deal. I was wondering if you would try a free sample of my homemade brew."
"Free" struck a sensitive chord in Zoro's mind. He was constantly low on cash and when he had some it was on loan, only adding on his debt, making him the cheapest guy on the block.
Somehow, the vendor also sensed this momentary pause as a weakness and shuffled over to a dingy stall, nothing more than a cardboard box and leftover wood thrown together.
"Come, come. They won't allow me on the streets with my set up here, but I guarantee you've never tasted anything like my sake." His single eye gleamed for a second, though it could've been the swordsman's imagination.
Reluctantly giving into his thirst for alcohol and the allure of not paying for it, Zoro followed the man and waited on the other side of the makeshift counter while he took out a bottle and a mug from underneath the stall. His eyes narrowed as the liquid rose to the fill the cup and kept on returning to the vendor's eye patch.
There was probably another reason than his lack of a clean stall that prevented him from selling or handing out free samples in the marketplace with the rest of the vendors. Zoro had a feeling the eye patch might have something to do with it.
Nevertheless, he took the mug of alcohol the man handed him and tossed it back, the sake's smooth, warm sensation sticking in his throat. He set the mug down and wiped him mouth. Zoro had to admit; it was the good stuff despite not costing a cent.
The vendor grinned up at him widely, showing a full set of missing teeth and inflamed gums. "I see you're a lover of sake."
Zoro grunted noncommittally. "Thanks."
He turned his back on the creepy, old man, but not before the seller waved and replied cheerily, "Not at all! It's just my good luck to have such a enthusiastic drinker."
Those final comments caused Zoro to question the man's intentions once again and his brow furrowed thoughtfully.
Ah well… he sighed in defeat when he could think of nothing. There had been no hint of poison in the booze. It was only some sake…
As far as Zoro's reasoning went, what else could it be? An enemy was a man- not a glass of spirits.
Put one foot in front of the other… There we go. You can do it. Five to ten minutes after Zoro left the creepy, old vendor behind he'd begun to feel nauseous, a tight roiling in the pit of his stomach and continuing as he walked down the alley. He tried to ignore it at first, spitting at his body's discomfort as usual, but then he stumbled and had to fling out his arm to catch himself on the wall.
Swaying from the deep sense of vertigo and breathing heavily, Zoro glared at the world spinning around him, demanding it right itself and stop being such a pain in the ass. With a curse, the swordsman shoved himself off his crutch and pushed onward.
His stomach seized and he lilted far to the left. By the time he corrected himself, his boot caught on a stone in the path. Once more, he stopped himself from crashing to the ground, but this time Zoro heaved a sigh and slid down the wall, coming to sit at the bottom.
Huh? Why are things so blurry? He tried to blink away his offending vision. When it failed, he noticed his aching head. Oh yeah… I knocked my head on my down…
"Damn," Zoro swore to the last as the lights went out.
"Whoa! Wait there!"
"What? Why?" The dull thuds of one set of footsteps racing after the other.
The second, clearly male, voice panted, "You didn't have to run off like that- holy shit."
"I know right?" the first speaker's grin was evident in his voice.
"What do you think a beauty like that is doing in a place like this?"
The first man shook his head. "No idea, but it looks like she's out cold."
There was a grunt as the second man crouched down to get a better look.
"Should we wake her up?"
"You crazy?" his companion questioned incredulously. "I've been with enough bitches to know not to touch them when they're sleeping." An awkward silence followed and he sighed. "Nah, but we might as well drag her out where someone can find her."
"Well, aren't you the gentleman," the second man replied sarcastically.
"At least I don't have a death wish."
The man crouching down turned his head. "What was that?"
"Uh huh." He returned his attention to the object of their conversation. "I say you don't have enough balls to- hey look! She's waking up!"
Zoro cracked his eyes open to find himself on the ground with two men hovering near him, one crouching and the other standing away off with a scowl on his face. The guy crouching, and closest to him, had his hand extended.
He barely heard the words, "Want a hand?" through the whirlwind of sound that crashed around his ears. This scenario usually meant only one thing.
Damn it, these morons are actually trying to mug me!
Yet, as the swordsman processed his immediate suspicions into action, the supposed "morons" were oblivious to the danger.
"Don't be afraid, we aren't going to hurt you. Well… the frowning guy over there is Hal…" He jerked his thumb towards his friend. "And I'm Arthur-"
A sword hilt came slamming into Arthur's face and he went down like an unbalanced sandbag, keeling over in nothing flat with barely a sound.
"Arthur!" the other man, Hal according to his now unconscious friend, dashed forward. On his feet and baring two of his swords, unsheathed and shining, Zoro was more than a match for the distraught, unthinking fellow.
Without an inkling of mercy in those green eyes, the swordsman struck and Hal went down before he could utter a single swear. Zoro sheathed the katana as the man's eyes rolled back into his head.
For a moment he thought he heard, "I told you… never trust a woman…"
Whatever that meant Zoro had yet to find out and he hardly cared about. The only thing he was concerned with now was how heavy his breathing was and how his insides clutched every time he moved, roiling in the worst kind of discomfort.
Before he knew it he was doubled over, dry-heaving on the stone of the alley. There was nothing but booze in his empty stomach and even that wouldn't come out, but he felt a small bit of relief as he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and stood on shaky legs.
Zoro's mind flashed back to the fresh memory of knocking out the two men. It was easy, or… it should've been easy, even barely alert and with his opponents armed. He felt a tiny drop of guilt for attacking them when they were defenseless, but it paled in the light of the realization that his arms were leaden and when he held his katana it was like he was carrying a boulder on each end.
That never happened. Zoro's body was a well-oiled machine, trained to endure the harshest, most grueling trials and he wasn't afraid to test those boundaries. His swords were familiar, Wado Ichimonji… Sandai Kitetsu… Shuusui… he knew their likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses… he was one with all of them.
So, how was this time any different?
Fighting to the brink of death didn't induce such feelings, nor did drinking twelve barrels of sake, though he hardly got tipsy on copious amounts, what in the world could make him feel so off? So strange that he felt the need to double check his surroundings that he hadn't been sent elsewhere through some bizarre Devil's fruit…
He tapped his fingers on the hilt of Wado Ichimonji, almost anxiously, and then made the mistake of looking down. Only to find two, round objects in his way.
It took a hell of a lot to faze Roronoa Zoro, Demon of East Blue, and member of the fearsome Straw Hat pirates. In fact, many didn't believe he was even capable of any emotion revolving around shock, fear, anxiety, or sorrow. But if this wasn't cause enough to have a major panic attack, he didn't know what did.
He actually backed up, his back colliding with a wall he'd forgotten existed and felt for the solidity of the alley, of something as he fought to remain calm and upright.
The first was out the window, yet the second…
Through all of Zoro's profuse swearing, both out loud and in his head, certain phrases repeated. Mainly along the lines of, what the hell? Why do I have freaking boobs?
As unlikely as it seemed, but was becoming more real by the passing second, it was true. Zoro was boasting a chest worthy of Nami, perhaps just a touch shy, and now that his blatant alarm became overrun by his control on the battlefield, he noticed that his hair was also longer. It was just as green, he could tell from the strands that barely brushed his shoulders, but it was definitely past his ordinary short hairstyle.
Damn, damn, damn… what the hell happened? How is this possible? Calm down, calm down, it's just another fight… Admittedly, looking at the situation as if he was in combat, facing down another, rather tricky opponent, allowed Zoro to stop gasping and loosen his paltry grip on the stones behind him.
But, he still didn't know how this happened. Going to sleep a man – though being knocked out was more accurate- and waking up an… ack… woman of all things, was not a common occurrence. At least as far as Zoro was concerned and for once he actually wished one of the book-reading women from his crew was present. It was fleeting wish, however, and the humiliation would be… he couldn't even think about it. If anyone he knew was here, or heard of this, he would never live it down.
He began to work out the sequence of events before his "transformation". There was his mission, which had nearly been forgotten, to find alcohol and wanted posters. Then he had found it, that high-grade sake from the old man with the eye patch, and left in a hurry, but feeling fine. But, that had changed and the next thing he knew he was lying in a side street, and not alone either.
Zoro went through everything again and again, while he- he refused to refer to himself as a "she- pushed off from the wall and began to make his unsteady way along the alley. And just when he though it made sense and he knew just who to enact his revenge upon, it slipped away; a slippery seal narrowly escaping from the shark's jaws, leaving him eager to tear something to shreds.
The swordsman put two and two together and it made five.
What was screwing with his damn mind?
He wearily took a left branching from the dingy pathways. His body wasn't cooperating, unused to the slenderness and curves of a woman, especially the blasted breasts hindering speed and pretty much everything.
Sighing, Zoro forced himself to focus.
Old man with eye patch… specially made sake… creepy old man… giving out sake… old man… free sake…. That was it! A grin made its way across Zoro's face, victorious and accentuating his feminine face, as a passing man might have commented.
He had known it was suspicious, yet honestly! The alcohol-loving swordsman wasn't one to suspect his drink when it was one of his few pleasures and things he didn't regard with a distrustful eye; after his nakama of course.
That damn ossan had drugged the sake with… something. He had no idea what. Possibly it was a magic potion or plant extract, or both? Or it was a Devil's Fruit… Zoro cringed on the inside. Please let it not be a demon fruit! He begged.
He knew enough about them from crewmates and enemies alike that once you tasted one you were doomed never to swim in the sea again and stuck with whatever power you gained. Zoro could hardly imagine his future. He would walk down the streets and people would stare and shout.
"Oh look! It's Roronoa Zoro! The greatest swordsman in the world- or was it swordswoman? I can never tell because he accidentally ate a fruit that turned him into a woman. What an idiot! He's a shame on the very title!"
Their laughter would rise to the heavens with his name, but far from the way he'd dreamed he'd achieve his lifelong goal.
Zoro shook his head, dispelling the disturbing vision. All he had to do was find the old geezer magician, or whatever he was, and cut him until he turned him back or told him how. Even then he might send his appendages to the four corners of the world. First he had to figure out where he was….
Light shined on his face, blinding him after being in the shadows for so long, hours maybe? He quickly shielded his eyes and continued walking at a brisk pace with his head down. His sharp gaze kept a lookout for his nakama that might be frequenting the town still, until he remembered he was in the slums. However, he didn't relax his tense muscles, though they were diminished to a reasonable amount for a girl they remained strong, and rightly so as his appearance caught the attention of a man carrying a knapsack over his shoulder.
When Zoro saw him smile and veer in his direction he tried to slip around him as if he hadn't seen the stranger, but it was too late.
"Oi!" he waved and gave Zoro a friendly smile, throwing him a little. No one he met on the streets ever acted friendly with him, steering clear of the danger he obviously promised, much less flashed their pearly whites. And, boy, this guy's teeth were white.
"So, are you new in town?" the man continued cheerily.
Zoro's eyes narrowed. "Why?" He winced slightly at how different his voice sounded, higher and less rough, though he couldn't call it delicate.
"Because it's not often I see girls like you where the outlaws are abundant."
He glared at the boy; he really wasn't much more than one. He didn't like being talked down to and his hands moved to the swords at his hip, nor did he appreciate the way the guy's eyes kept roving over his body, lingering on his ample chest. Self-consciously, he realized that his clothes hung loose in places they didn't before and that his shirt was more than a little snug, not made with a women's assets in mind.
Then he also remembered that he could gain the advantage and put to use this "womanhood". Abrupt discomfort, he couldn't call it embarrassment, snuffed out, he came up with a simple idea and didn't take heed of the sly smirk that touched his lips.
Mr. Knapsack possibly took it as more than conniving, maybe even seductive, and he leaned in eagerly where before Zoro's glare had put him off. "Are you lost?"
The question in itself was innocent, but Zoro grabbed his chance. His fingers stopped in their path to his katana, though he fought the desire not to snap at the suggestion that he was directionally lacking.
He didn't succeed completely.
"No," the swordsman struggled to smile and keep in mind what he appeared as. Where it would be creepy on a man, wide, innocent eyes could be found attractive on a girl. "But, do you know where I can find the bar?"
Forget please, Zoro would never stoop that low for a guy who didn't only look pathetically weak, but was panting before him like a dog with a treat hung over it.
This is not up for bargain, bastard. Zoro's mouth moved, but he thankfully didn't say it.
"Bar?" the man blinked, then recovered his grin. "I guess you know where you're going if you came here and know there's only one bar. Skully's, right?"
It sounded right and Zoro nodded.
The boy adjusted his knapsack and glanced at his feet before gazing at Zoro. The swordsman took a step back, disliking admiration that wasn't tainted in fear and not concerning his sword skills. "Do you mind if I take you there? I know the way."
Zoro held up his hand. Damn, it's so small and fragile-looking… He coughed and turned to the boy. "It's fine. I can get there myself-"
He pivoted swiftly on his feet, quicker than he expected actually, when Knapsack took one of his hands.
But when he opened his mouth to snarl some choice words, the guy was already speaking. "Come on, please. I insist!"
Without making a spectacle in the middle of the street, as he could be seen and there were people milling about, Zoro had little room to protest and bent to the boy's request. Though, he didn't hesitate to rip his hand from his grasp.
All I have to do is put up with him until we get to the bar, then I can ditch him in no time. How hard is that? Zoro reassured himself, indignant rage fringing his mind at all times. His racing heart was unconvinced.
Unfortunately, it could be hard. Extremely hard, and that was before he had a boy moaning after him. It seemed he was constantly trying to please him, or the girl he was on the outside, telling jokes that were supposed to induce laughter, Zoro was frightened by both the idea of how his laugh would sound in a female version and the horrific puns, and lavishing the occasional compliment.
That quickly became too frequent and mindlessly boring, and Zoro could swear he was losing his mind. Could he cut the boy's tongue out at least, so he wouldn't squawk anymore? Zoro was still mulling it over, hand in his chin, when the noise from Knapsack he'd been ignoring caught his attention.
"Oh, wow… it looks like we're already here…" his tone hinted at impending heartbreak. "Hey, um, I just wanted to say…" He turned to Zoro, his eyes sparkling with hope that the swordsman predicted would soon be crushed. However he didn't predict the pathetic man would take him in his arms and bring their faces within inches of the other. "… I know I don't deserve someone like you, but you're so beautiful that I can't help but want to be near you," he finished bravely. Brave because he was asking for it if he didn't let Zoro go now.
Then, the boy dared to breach that unbreakable line and leaned down… to kiss him right full on the lips. It was short, but to the swordsman it was six seconds of agony and desperately wanting to burn the passion off of the guy's mouth. He was more than capable of doing it, so why hadn't he?
His question was left unanswered, as he broke free of the kiss and the boy stood across from him taking raspy breaths of air and grinning stupidly.
That grin resolved any plan he had to control himself as a woman, which may have been why he tolerated so much in the first place. Or, it could've been Zoro didn't want to risk becoming hopelessly lost when he was in such a hurry to fix this problem and end up maiming his guide. But, the door to the bar was right there, black and covered in grime, or possibly it was black from all the dirt.
"That was out of line, but great… damn, you are good!" the boy couldn't stop smiling. "I hope you can forgive me-"
Zoro sidled up and punched him with a well-aimed, powerful right hook right above the jaw. Surprise was also on his side, and the boy stumbled and fell on his butt from the combined force. He was still conscious, but the swordsman hadn't aimed to go that far. Though he would if Knapsack didn't get the hint that he was not interested.
Big, tearful eyes gazed up at him and relief made Zoro sigh. Had he finally seen the light? The next words confirmed the opposite even as the boy cradled his jaw and cheek that would definitely be bruised and likely be fractured.
"Can you at least tell me your name?"
"Son of a bitch, leave me the hell alone!" Zoro ground out between gritted teeth inserting a razor sharp edge into his otherwise unthreatening female voice to make it that much clearer. And the boy seemed to understand.
He booked out of there, throwing a shower of loose pebbles into the air. Zoro was impressed. Any faster and he'd give a starving Luffy chasing a giant piece of meat a run for his money.
As things went though, in his haste to leave behind his impromptu love, so had his knapsack, lying in the dust.
Zoro shook his head, a small frown on his face. One rejected suitor and a broken heart and the sun was still high in the sky. He grabbed the handle and flung open the door.
Author's Note: No! I didn't! I actually did a gender bend of Zoro… oh the shame… I said I would try my best not to write overused ideas, but this one has been nesting in my head for ages now. Look! It even made baby ideas! So, I don't have much to say about this except I'm sorry for my absence and that this is a two-shot. Except a conclusion to Zoro's misery in as brief a wait as possible! It's my second two shot, and I know my first It's History… got quite a bit of positive feedback, even asking for more than two chapters. If you guys let me know early, I might be able to stretch this out longer than I originally planned, but it's all up to you.
P.S. Boy with knapsack is hence called Knapsack due to my utter lack of creativity and the likelihood that Zoro wouldn't ask his name and would refer to him as an object instead. Thanks for reading and please review! See you soon!