This was requested by freakingscarykid. He said "I was thinking someone insults Nami, calls her fat or something, whatever, you think of it and Usopp decides to defend her honour." He/She (sorry, I have no idea which you are!) then gave me two basic storylines, either Usopp uses Zoro as a shield to beat up the guys or Zoro tells him to make Sogeking do it, which is a way of saying "do it yourself you shitty longnose." He/She mentioned Zoro/Usopp friendship. I happen to adore it too, so that wasn't hard~ but I strayed a bit off the original plot. I'm really sorry, freakingscarykid!
Chivalry was usually Sanji's job. He was always the one to escort the ladies whenever they needed it - and when they didn't, and to dazzle them with his amazing charm (thought he), feed them, make sure nothing was hurting them, and all those things that sometimes scared them.
Usopp, was not chivalrous. He knew girl could handle themselves; he lived with Nami and Robin. How could he not? Even Kaya, who was ill and fragile by nature, was tough to deal with when she got that way. But, if someone were to upset or hurt one of his friends, lady or no, Usopp would take a stand. Especially if said friend was just sitting there, taking it.
Nami won a bet with one of the local drunks. They'd been in the tavern for a while, being bored waiting for the Log Pose to set, so Nami saw an opportunity to make money and wagered with a burly man named Alastor ("Call me Al, luv, all my friends do") about who could drink more; him, or Zoro, who happened to be there with them and was instantly roped into the contest by Nami.
Frankly, Usopp thought it was unfair against the poor man who had no idea who they were competing with. Al had called the contest off after X many drinks. "I'd best quit, while I still have my wits about me. I can see you're a heavyweight, kid. You're not even tipsy!" Zoro acknowledged the praise with a grunt and kept on drinking, despite the contest being over. However, while the man was digging for the sum he owed Nami, one of his followers seemed to wake from his alcohol-infused death and pointed at Nami.
" 'Ey, aint'ya that brat who stole from me shop about a year ago?" Nami paled a little, but quickly replied. "You mistake me for someone else; I would never steal from you. Besides, you have no evidence. The money, please." The man was about to get up and assault Nami, Zoro fingered his sword open and Usopp squeaked, but Al stopped him.
"Now, Burgis, don't jump to conclusions. Maybe you got the wrong lass. And even if she did steal your money," he paused and looked haughtily down his straight nose at Nami, "she probably needed it more than you. Look at her! She's sunk as low as being a pirate, probably too wretched to go into prostitution like the other gals." Nami didn't flinch at the comment but Usopp saw her shoulders tensing. Zoro got up and took a step towards the men, glaring at them with all his might, but Nami held up a hand to stop him. "No, Zoro, don't rise to the bait." She turned back to Al. "My money, before I get impatient." Al handed her the money, but before she could take it, he grabbed her wrist and pulled her towards him. "Listen, you little whore. You aren't worth looking at. You aren't even worth living." Zoro jumped up again and Usopp had to use all his might to hold him back. It would cause them a lot of trouble if Zoro went and killed someone, since this was the only place in town to get groceries. Usopp wanted to slice Al just as much as Zoro, but he and Nami thought on similar levels, and since Nami was staring unfazed at Al, Usopp wouldn't go into action.
Al kept hissing at Nami. "If I were you, I'd go drown myself in a ditch, spare the world some of it's misery. You were with Arlong, weren't you? I'll bet he didn't touch you, with that mug, or" Al smirked when he saw Nami's reaction, "did he? That's the only time you'll ever get some-" At this level, even Usopp was outraged. "Hey!" He slapped Al's hand away from Nami, who held onto the money for dear life and rubbed her wrist. "You don't have any right to talk to her like that, you stinking old man! Your grandchildren too disgusted to take care of you, or did you just never get a woman?" Usopp was fuming, so much that he didn't notice the man's growing anger.
"I'll bet grabbing my friend's arm is the closest you've ever been to a gal, am I right?" The man no unearthed a couple of guns, aiming them directly at Usopp. "You say something, you filthy longnose?" Usopp laughed nervously. "Ahahaha, you see, the peculiar thing is SICK 'EM ZORO BITE BITE BITE!" Usopp switched tactics and pushed Zoro in front of him. Zoro glared at Usopp. "I'm not your damn mutt, Usopp! Don't talk to me like that!" Zoro, however, didn't have much choice about fighting them, because a second later, the gun fired and Zoro ducked to evade it. He tsk'd.
"Fine. Just get Nami out of here." He mumbled and pushed Nami at Usopp. Usopp smiled gratefully at Zoro, who was the only one he'd confided in about his a-little-stronger-than-friendship opinion of Nami. Nami stumbled and fell on Usopp, who caught her and dragged her out.
"Zoro! How dare you treat me like that, do you know how much I can raise your debt for this?" Upon seeing Zoro was busy dealing with the drunks without harming any of the bystanders or the bartender (who was hastily hiding all his best booze from fear a bullet would hit the bottle, not minding the safety of his guests), she sighed and let Usopp lead her out of the bar.
"God, I can't believe this! He cheated me 50 Beli! If I thought there was anything left of him, I'd charge him down and force him to pay. Good thing Zoro was there, I forgot my clima-tact at the ship."
Not mentioning the fact that if Zoro hadn't been there, there would have been no contest, Usopp smiled nervously. He was a little embarrassed that he'd come to rely on Zoro….again. Why couldn't he be stronger? Nami barely even counted him as a possibility to fight. He sighed.
What was he even doing with someone like Luffy…?
Back on the ship, Zoro was the one to bring Usopp his meal where he was sitting on the railing.
Zoro sighed and shook his head. Looked like he'd need to have one of those talks with Usopp.
"Hey." he poked Usopp in the shoulder with the plate, "Lunch." Usopp mumbled his thanks and took the plate. Zoro didn't leave, but sat down next to him and waited for Usopp to spill. He always did, after a little bit of a pressure. "Thanks… for earlier, I mean."
Usopp started. Zoro nodded and kept staring straight ahead. Usopp knew what he was doing, and he knew it would work. In the not-so-little while he'd been sailing with Luffy, he'd come to realize that even though Zoro looked menacing with his cold gaze and uncaring attitude (not to mention the fact that he was a complete killing machine, THE GUY HAD THREE SWORDS), he was a very good listener and good with advice. "Ne, Zoro…. Is there any sure-fire way to be stronger?" Zoro didn't reply yet, so Usopp filled the silence. "I mean, I tried working out like you do, but it's no good. I mean, even if I got all buff, I wouldn't know any techniques, right? I just don't have Sanji's skill, or yours. Luffy, Chopper and Robin have their powers, and even without them I'm pretty sure they'd kick ass. Maybe not Chopper, he'd be a reindeer. Nami has her specified weapons, and I have mine, and we're about as strong. I'm not saying she's weak, but I want to…." Usopp fiddled with his hands, looking for the right word.
"You want to be there to protect her, if she needs it. Like today." Zoro finished for him. Usopp nodded and continued. "Like at Arabasta, you know? I know I was busy doing my own thing, but she got hurt, and…. It could happen again. When you or Sanji or Luffy or anyone aren't there."
Zoro nodded, understanding completely what Usopp meant. That was pretty much the reason he was always training, except he wasn't focusing on Nami.
"I think the best thing is to find out what you're naturally strong at." Zoro mused. Usopp looked at him and waited for him to continue. "Me, I slice. Chopper heals, Robin knows, Sanji cooks, Nami directs, Luffy's… he's there for us." Usopp nodded eagerly. "So, what do you do?" Zoro looked at Usopp for the first time. Usopp looked away, thinking. He was never really good with someone staring at him.
"I…well, I… don't do shit." Usopp finished lamely. Great, he felt even more depressed. All he could do was lie and tell stories, and he didn't even do that well! Zoro bopped him on the head. "No, you angsty teenager. You talk. You have a way with words. It's a rare ability; use it." Usopp rubbed the back of his head where Zoro's fist landed. He still didn't feel reassured.
"Those guys would have knocked you to next Sunday if you hadn't so bravely hidden behind me. You just gonna let that stay that way?" Usopp looked at Zoro skeptically. "What should I do, attack them? I'll be killed! Thanks for that, Zoro, I can feel the love in that. You want me dead." Zoro sighed deeply and stood up. Sometimes, Usopp was just so difficult. "Look, go over there like a real warrior of the sea, face them, and tell them exactly what's on your mind. Don't just shout profanities at them." Zoro started walking to the kitchen. "Just how would that help?" Usopp yelled after hem. Zoro didn't look back. "Just do it, you idiot! Trust me!" When the door had closed and Usopp could no longer hear him, he smirked.
"Leave the rest to me."
Usopp kicked a random rock that was unfortunate enough to be in his way. Tell them exactly what's on your mind. Just what would that do? Make them angry! He'd be a holed cheese by the end of the day! Stupid Zoro and his stupid advice. He must've gone bonkers!
So, why am I back at the tavern?
Usopp had no answer. Well, maybe one, he did trust Zoro. He seemed to know exactly what to do without asking anyone, like that time when Jango was going to kill Kaya. He cut off the branch that was blocking Usopp's view without Usopp having to tell him to.
Usopp took a deep breath before he coughed it out again; the brutes were standing right outside the tavern, talking. Aaaaand now they'd seen him and were coming his way. Oh crap.
Usopp started to turn around and hastily walk away, but stopped dead and turned back to Al and his gang - and turned away, and back at them, and away - until they were right in front of him. "Hey, if it isn't that brat that was with the whore and the lunatic." Translation; Hey, if it isn't the coward who was with that girl and the swordsman that we're going to brutally murder in the middle of the day. Oh joy!
Usopp squeaked and was about to run away, when he remembered Zoro's remark 'Trust me!' Well, Zoro hadn't failed before. Usopp gulped and looked the man in the eye. It was pretty swollen, probably 'cause of Zoro. The rest of him didn't look any better. Zoro had obviously been ticked off.
"I-I-I just came… to t-tell you, t-that…" Usopp thought. Exactly what was on his mind? Well, talking was his specialty.
"You had no right to talk that way to Nami." Al laughed, along with Burgis and the rest of the men. "Ohoho, the guy's got backbone! How about we break it for him?" But once Usopp got started talking, there was no way stopping it. "First of all, Nami would never go into prostitution; she's better than that. She's got friends looking out for her better than yours seem to be doing; I bet they'd sell you for a bottle of jack. Secondly; she could get any man she ever wanted." There was a bit of bitterness in Usopp's words that time. "She's not only gorgeous on the outside, but she's nice, witty, and incredibly smart. She takes care of all of us, even though no one asked her too, and she does a damn good job at it. And even if she was with Arlong, it was a cover-up for the village she was saving! Have you ever done anything like that? She saved an entire village for years, by toiling alone on the sea, collecting money to free them! She could have ran away, but she was just too compassionate to! Whatever she went through was total Hell, but she endured it, while you wouldn't last a day without your bottle! She's about as perfect as a girl can be, and we all know it; you do too! You said she wasn't worth living? We'd all risk our lives for her!" Usopp was shouting loudly now, making wild gestures with his hands, while the drunken lot stood baffled by.
"So if you're going to talk her down, you'll bloody well have to take all of us on, because we all love her!" Usopp panted, having poured out everything on his mind. Seeing that the men were just mindlessly staring, like someone had wiped their brain blank, he regained his breath and turned away-
Only to see Nami standing behind him, a few feet away. "GYAAHKJLJSFD- *cough cough* Na-na-na-nami, what a surprise, eh.." Usopp glanced at her nervously, her face held no expression but something Usopp couldn't decipher.
Al and his fellows came to, and noticed their pray had escaped. "We're not just going to let him stand there and wallop us, are we?" He yelled at his companions and they all ran, ready to attack Usopp, but were stopped with a very sharp blade, VERY close to their necks. "Shush. Don't interrupt their moment." Zoro whispered at them, careful not to let Usopp or Nami notice him. The men gulped and felt their adam's appled scratch the blade, while Zoro watched Nami and Usopp with anamused smirk.
Usopp fidgeted. Why must I always fidget? he wondered. "Er, look, I just, the way they talked to you, and Zoro told me to, so it's really his-" Usopp was cut off by Nami's arms. Wait, what the hell, is she attacking me? Wait…
Nami was hugging him. And she was crying.
"U-uhsopp *hic* you b-big idiot!" Usopp fumbled. What did he do wrong? Not knowing what else to do, he rubbed her back soothingly. "Hey, come on, don't cry… we promised that old pinwheel dude we'd try to make you happy, he'll kill me if he finds out…" Nami hit Usopp lightly on the chest. "I AM happy, you dork!"
..okay, now Usopp was confused.
Nami pulled away from him and wiped her face, and Usopp saw to his amaze and relief that she was smiling. "Thank you, for… everything you said." Usopp smiled. "Just telling the truth, for a change." Nami suddenly got the urge to hug him again.
Usopp had no objections.
In the shadows, Zoro was grinning triumphantly.
As soon as Usopp went off to the tavern after their talk , Zoro went to Nami and told her Usopp had stormed off into town, probably to have a word to the drunks. Zoro put on his worried face for extra effect. Nami ran off right away, with actual worry and concern shining from her face. Zoro secretly followed, ready to step in if he was needed. Maybe now those lovebirds would notice their feelings for each other.
Zoro's grin suddenly dropped and he scratched his head embarrassingly.
"I feel like a freaking Cupid."
I hope you liked it, freakingscarykid, even if it isn't exactly like the one you requested. IT'S THE STORY; IT SPUN OUT OF MY HANDS! THERE WAS NO CONTROLING IT!
If anyone else wants me to write something, feel free to ask (and I'll try not to stray off orders again!)