Just a thought that was rolling around in my head one day. I don't believe Zoro is as heartless as he seems sometimes, and wondered how he would act if he were put in the position of supportive friend, instead of smart-mouthed swordsman.
Disclaimer: One piece is not mine, and I make no profit from this story
Warnings: Zoro being Zoro.
Reviews and feedback appreciated!
Zoro stepped out of the kitchen and onto the deck of the Going Merry, closing the door noiselessly behind him. He lifted the long jacket Chopper had insisted he wear and pulled his arms through, shifting his broad shoulders. The fabric was actually pretty nice, not that he would ever admit something like that out loud. He raised his head and took a deep breath to enjoy the cool air brushing lightly across the ship's deck.
It was late, judging by the high moon, and the Straw Hat crew were all tucked safely in their hammocks, dreams of their dreams dancing through their subconscious minds. All except for himself, and, he realized, sharp green gaze moving toward the front of the ship, their own resident orange-haired demon.
Nami was standing next to the sheep figure head, one hand on the rail and her face pointed toward the dark horizon.
Zoro walked down the steps and across the deck to climb the stairs on the other side. "Nami?" he asked, sure to make enough noise so as not to startle her. "The hell are you doin' out here? It's the middle of the night."
"Is that why it so dark all of the sudden? I wondered…" Nami didn't turn to look at him, her voice sarcastic but lacking the bite it usually held. When Zoro failed to take that as a queue to leave, Nami's shoulders fell a little. "What do you want, Zoro?" she asked quietly.
"Hey," Zoro frowned and stepped up beside her, leaning on the rail, "what's the matter with you? You're not on watch tonight, you know."
Nami still didn't face him, but Zoro could see the creases of her scowl by the moon's faint silver light. "I know that," she said. "I just don't feel like sleeping right now, is that okay with you, Captain?" Her tone was beginning to echo it's usual self, and Zoro felt like they were getting back onto safer ground. A sharp and sassy Nami was a lot easier for him to handle than a brooding, morose one.
He gave her a silent once-over and nearly rolled his eyes. Nami was wearing her trademark outfit of t-shirt and too-short skirt, arms and legs completely exposed. "Where's your coat?" he asked. "You're gonna get sick again, idiot." He shrugged off his jacket and tossed it to her, watching as she put it on without a word and continued to stare unseeingly at the wide ocean in front of them. She had been acting like this for awhile now, ever since they had left the cold climates of Drum Kingdom, staring off into space and barely responding when someone would speak to her.
Zoro had a good idea about what was bothering the Straw Hat navigator, he just didn't think it was his job to pry. Although as he considered each member of his crew, he realized he might be the only one who would.
Luffy was an obvious out, too excited about chasing a war lord to be bothered with noticing menial things like the mental state of his crew. Sanji was also a big 'no'. He had in fact noticed Nami's preoccupied behavior, and immediately tried to fix whatever it might be with sappy words and desserts. Needless to say, his antics accomplished nothing, apart from earning him a fist-sized lump on the side of his head.
If at all possible, Zoro was certain Nami would have sought out Ussop to talk through whatever was bothering her, had the sniper not been completely engrossed in his new inventions at every waking moment. Chopper was still too terrified of everyone to stay around them for more than ten seconds at a time, and Vivi, their blue-haired runaway princess, was just as sullen as Nami herself.
That left Zoro, who ran one long-fingered hand through his cropped green hair. "Alright, out with it," he frowned. "What's gotten into you?"
Nami shrugged her shoulders under the large jacket. "It's nothing," she mumbled, but her grip tightened a fraction on the wood of the railing.
Zoro's frown only deepened. He had no illusions about his lack of people skills, he knew he probably wasn't the best one for anyone to confide in about personal problems. He also knew his mind was strategic enough for solving riddles, and if he could give the girl any advice, he would. It wasn't only because Nami was the ship's navigator, Zoro thought as he turned around to lean his back against the railing. It was because they were part of the same crew.
Nami was…difficult. She was a teenaged, money-driven tyrant of epic proportions, who would stop at almost nothing to get what she wanted. She was determined, too. And a little scary, even to Zoro. She drove him absolutely crazy with her bossy attitude and rude behavior, not to mention the blackmailing she had already committed against him, and leaving him in dangerous situations she herself had created.
Nami was also very observant, Zoro knew, and brilliant in an evil-overlord sort of way. Her quick thinking and ability to guide the ship without hesitation in a crisis had saved them all on more than one occasion. On top of that, she seemed to have a soft spot for their errant Captain, which was the only reason Zoro hadn't thrown her overboard to begin with. Not that he didn't still think about it, from time to time.
"It's about Alabasta, isn't it," Zoro said shrewdly. He smirked when Nami shot a quick look his direction, knowing he had hit the nail on the head, so to speak. "You're worried about what'll happen to Vivi if we don't make it in time." Zoro turned back around to lean down and rest his elbows against the railing. "Don't be."
"How can you say that, Zoro?" Nami sounded nearly accusing. 'I thought you wanted to help Vivi, too."
Zoro thought of the slight girl below deck, long periwinkle hair throw carelessly across her pillow as she cuddled close with that giant goose, or whatever it was. If Zoro were a different kind of person, he would think she was too young to have such a heavy responsibility resting on such small shoulders. He was Zoro, however, and what he really wanted wasn't so much to help the princess, but to lend her strength to help herself. "Yeah, I guess," was all he said. He knew Nami would never fully understand the way he viewed the world, and vice versa. "But we're still a few days out. We'll just have to see what's waiting for us when we get there, and deal with it then." His look became more stern. "There's no reason to worry about something we can't even reach yet, right?"
Nami sighed, clutching the jacket closer to herself. "I know," she said, almost sadly. "I just hope we can actually save that country. It seems so impossible."
"We don't need to save the country," Zoro pointed out. "All we need to do is make sure Luffy can get to Crocodile, and keep Vivi alive in the process."
"I don't understand," Nami shook her head. "How can you make something like this sound so simple?"
"Because it is," Zoro told her. "You're wasting your energy over-analyzing what hasn't even happened yet. Don't. Vivi will do what she needs to do, and so will the rest of us." He wasn't sure if Nami would even listen to him, no matter the circumstances, and so he was surprised when she nodded.
"Alright," Nami stepped away from the railing and walked off to go back inside without another word, still wearing Zoro's jacket.
Zoro thought about going after her to retrieve it, but decided the extra cover wasn't worth the argument. He moved over to the railing by the stairs and sat down with his back to it, the three katana he favored leaned against one shoulder. He could see that Nami had responded to his advice, could tell by the way her rigid stance had relaxed and the crease between her eyes had softened. Zoro hadn't expected any thanks for his role of Agony Aunt, as awkward as it had been. It simply wasn't how either he or Nami operated, and that was fine with him.
In the back of his mind, Zoro was secretly proud of himself for being able to make a difference. There were not many people who saw him as anything more than a brainless bodyguard, hacking and slashing his only real talent. What they didn't know, Zoro mused, was that the same man who had taught Zoro such powerful swordplay had also taught him other skills, such as the recognition of empathy, if not the actual practice. Things like sleep schedules and sense of direction, however, were attributes his poor sensei was never quite successful in wedging into Zoro's mind.
The swordsman crossed his arms against the cool night air, going through a few meditation exercises to keep his mind off the discomfort of his body. He was on watch tonight, and so he would soldier through it without complaint.
About twenty minutes into his shift, Zoro tensed as he heard something being thrown his direction, gripping the hilt of one of his katana. It didn't sound like a blade, bullet or furniture of any kind, and so Zoro relaxed, surprised when a heavy bundle of cloth landed directly on his head. He pulled it down for inspection, making his hair stand on end even further than it already did from the static electricity. The object was a soft blue blanket, and smelled faintly of tangerines.
Zoro supposed, as he wrapped the blanket around his shoulders and settled back again, it was probably thanks enough.
Just to be clear, I do NOT hate Nami, this was written from Zoro's point of view, in what I think would be his opinion of her.