While the swordsman's capable of napping through a lot of racket and commotion, from the turbulence of raging storms to his younger crewmates playing boisterous games of tag on deck, continued slumber is virtually impossible with Usopp's terror-stricken voice screeching in his ear as the sniper shakes him awake with enough force to bang his skull repeatedly against the floor.


"Ow, ow, shit, WILL YOU STOP THAT?"

"-IN THE BATHROOM- IT'S HORRIBLE!" Comes the wailed reply, loud enough to momentarily rouse Luffy where he's still sprawled on the couch beside them. The captain peers groggily over the cushion's edge at them through half-lidded eyes, voices a sleep-roughened complaint that it's way too early in the morning but they should go right ahead without him if they're not still too worn out from the night before, and rolls over, dragging the blanket back over his head.

Zoro valiantly resists the urge to punch him in the bare ass-cheek that's peeking from beneath the fabric and staggers upright with a frizzy-haired, boxer-clad Usopp clinging around his neck and gibbering like a scandalized koala.

"Now what the hell's going on?"

"There's something in the bathroom!" The long-nosed pirate hisses, still hanging onto him with a death-grip but sounding slightly less panicked now that he's aware he's receiving his older nakama's full attention.

"What, somebody forgot to flush again?" Zoro snorts, and tries not to laugh when a fist smacks him on the shoulder.

"NO. Some THING." Usopp's voice drops conspiratorially low. "Merry's been boarded- by the living dead!"

"Zombies?" The swordsman asks incredulously, raising an eyebrow. "You sure you weren't just sleep-walking or something, seeing shit that's not there?"

"NO, I was wide awa-"

"-and it wasn't just the damn cook? He sure looks like a fucking zombie sometimes, when he first-"

"-says the same thing about you," the sniper mutters sulkily. "NO, I'm not seeing things and it wasn't Sanji-kun either! THERE'S A ZOMBIE IN THE BATHROOM!"

"Okay, okay, quit bitching and give me a second..."

"What are you doing? Your sword's over there!"

"I'm not fighting the living dead with my dick swinging around in the breeze-" Zoro snaps back as he struggles into his trousers, nearly overbalancing when Usopp hooks both legs around his waist to avoid being dumped to the floor. "-and I'm not getting zombie slime all over Wado either."

"But if you get bit- we'll have to keep you chained to the mast because Luffy won't get rid of you even if you're trying to eat the crew!"

"I will not, and besides, I don't-"

"Zoro does too," protests a faint mumble from the couch. "He bit Sanji last night, and Sanji's mad 'cause it left a mark. I heard him when he got up for watch."

"... shut up, Sencho."

Usopp snickers.


Ten minutes later, two pale-faced and slightly wide-eyed Straw Hats scramble back into the men's quarters and slam the trapdoor shut behind them, nearly falling down the ladder in their haste to get safely inside.

"That-" Zoro pants as he steps off the last rung, "-has gotta be the fucking scariest thing I ever saw in my entire goddamn life."

"I TOLD you!"

Luffy peers out from beneath his blanket and does a double-take at the sight of the brilliant red palm-mark staining his swordsman's cheek. "ZORO GOT SLAPPED BY A ZOMBIE?"

"It wasn't a zombie," the older pirate growls, glaring at Usopp. "If dip-shit here hadn't sent me charging in there-"

"It's not my fault! She had that green stuff smeared all over her face and-!"

The sniper's plea of innocence is interrupted by the aperture overhead crashing open violently enough to rattle the lantern hanging from the ceiling.