Sunlight Drag Me Home
Author: drcalvin, drcalvin[squiggle]
Summary: After Fishman Island, what if the White Stream had released the Strawhats somewhere else? Mysterious island, aphrodisiacs and the problem of uncontrolled desires in powerful pirates. Porn with plot and a dash of angst, basically.
Pairing, Characters: Luffy/Zoro, Nami and the other Strawhats
Spoilers: Splits off from canon at chapter 654, but doesn't contain any major spoilers for Fishman Island arc.
Note: "Cantharidin" is the name of a substance derived from a blister beetle. It is also known as Spanish Fly, historically used as both aphrodisiac and poison. This is my first ever One Piece fic; comments and feedback are extra welcome.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to loveandallthat for a most excellent beta help! All mistakes that remain are mine ;)
It was a rough ride, but Franky's masterpiece came out victorious once more. When their fishing-line finally snapped and the deep-sea "anchor" fell away, the Thousand Sunny was violently catapulted out of the White Stream. For a few moments, Nami feared they had come to the untimely end of their journey.
Instead, the Strawhat Pirates wash up in a sea so still, she begins to suspect that they've landed in the Calm Belt until the lookout spots a small island.
It is tiny, nothing but a dull, dust-colored collection of hills with a few scattered palm trees. Nami can't find it on any sea-chart, but it looks harmless enough. Not even Usopp seems too worried when the luck of the draw picks Sanji, Zoro and Franky to accompany the captain on the first tour of the unknown island.
Franky and Sanji return in short order, carrying casks of fresh spring water. They also report that Luffy has taken off after a herd of large, flightless birds, Zoro hot on his heels.
"No sign of inhabitants or predators, though," Sanji says, looking down at the smooth sand with a pleased smile. "If you start building up a fire, we can have a beach barbeque once mosshead and the captain get back."
Brook, Chopper and Usopp have just begun the "Yay-Party!" dance when they all hear a loud puff, as if a giant had lost his breath.
All senses on alert, Sanji whirls around to where his crew mates are staring, and sees a tree-high plume of light-colored... smoke? Sand? He can't make out what it is, but considering that they're in the New World, on a seemingly pleasant island which just happens to be completely abandoned, he's willing to bet it's dangerous as hell.
"We're on a Giant Island Whale!" Usopp hollers, still too caught up in the new adventure to actually feel fear.
"Yohoho, that would be quite exciting!"
"Maybe it's a factory?" Franky hazards, his height giving him a better view. "Looks a bit like steam exhaust, see how it keeps pumping out more clouds?"
"Hey..." Nami begins, making Sanji perk up with eagerness for the words of wisdom from his darling. "Which direction did Luffy and Zoro go off?"
Sanji's eyes follow the path back to the spring and then turns slowly, reluctantly – in the same direction, it turns out, as where the dusty plume is slowly dissipating. Well, shit, there go his plans to seduce the mellorines with a barbeque under serene starlight.
"Shitty mosshead probably fell into a sand dune," he grumbles, but takes off at a quick jog anyway.
"Hold on to the party stuff," Franky yells at the rest of the crew, "me and cook-bro will have this fixed in no time!"
Beyond the empty beach, the land rises into a series of gently sloping hills with only scattered palm trees and low bushes covering them. Nothing should be large enough to hide wild beasts or giant factories.
Still... Sanji slows down as an odd, yeasty scent reaches his nostrils. There's something here, all right, and the strangest thing is that he's almost certain he recognizes it. His mind spins through the yeasts and fungi he's encountered over the years. It's not quite the delicate scent of Polka-Dot Chantarelles, slightly too sharp for Seamorels. However, he is certain that there is an entry for this scent somewhere deep in his mental cookbook.
At that moment a loudly squawking flock of animals come barreling around the corner, spreading dust and feathers all around.
"Yahahaa!" They're followed by an unmistakable hunting call. The slavering beast known as 'Strawhat Luffy about to get fresh meat', is out in full force, and both Sanji and Franky move into battle stance.
"MY MEEEAAAT!" Luffy howls as the pack of birds begin to break apart, most of the animals moving away from Franky's looming presence.
One cola-powered fist later, two birds are down for the count. While Luffy throws himself at one of the stragglers, Sanji prepares to fell one last escapee, images of freshly grilled bird with mandarin stuffing already dancing in his mind.
The moment his foot connects to the animal, however, a cloud of dust rises from its side. His sensitive nose notices an almost burned tone beneath the fungal scent before his mouth is blanketed with a strong astringency, nearly enough to mask all finer nuances... but not quite enough to fool a Baratie-trained cook. Sanji's memory book flips a page, to the far back where failed recipes and bad ideas are exiled. This entry, however, contains something much worse than attempts at flambéed sea-weed.
Sanji's eyes widen as he realizes from where he recognizes this particular combination of fungus, tannins and that last, most dangerous hint: a shadow of a roaring fire having passed by, leaving a most dangerous spark behind.
His moment of shock gives the bird enough time to squawk in distress and attempt to flap away on stumpy wings. Sanji, busy trying to cover his mouth and nose, is happy to let the animal escape as far as it'll be able to run, but unfortunately his captain has other plans.
"Sanji! You're letting the meat get away!"
"No, Luffy! Watch-"
Then there's a (smoky, dusty, bad bad BAD!) tangle of rubber limbs, wings and clawed feet. Sanji is torn between trying to save himself and warn his captain. Pragmatism wins out in the end, because Luffy's already covered in the damned stuff! Quickly, he backs away, coughing and spitting out as much dust as possible.
"Franky! Luffy!" he manages between coughs. "Get away from the birds! That's Canthari Cap dust! It's poison!"
Despite her worry that something monstrous will come storming out of the hills any moment now, Nami is too curious about the odd smoke phenomenon to remain on the ship. She isn't always the most adventurous of the crew, but the sight of that slowly dispersing cloud gnaws at her curiosity until she can't stand it any longer. After all, the ship is prepped and ready for a quick getaway. Robin and the others waiting onboard, knows to begin pulling the anchor the moment a warning sign comes from the island. She has time for one little peek.
Besides, the small size of the island and the complete lack of human tracks both strongly hints that it is a natural phenomenon. And if it is, as she suspects, some form of dust geyser, or even an extremely odd localized sandstorm, it might be something not even the Weatherians have seen before!
She's reached the second hill and prepares to send off her 'all clear' signal, a tiny rainbow called out from the Clima-Tact, when something grabs her ankle. Before Nami has time to even yell out, she's yanked off her feet and lands painfully on her back among the bushes growing in the shadow of the hills.
"Ouch, what the he- eh, Zoro?"
It is none other than the Sunny's own swordsman who pulled her down. His face is covered in thick dust, but his eye looks almost feverishly bright. Nami shakes off a slight moment of unease upon noticing how intently his gaze is locked on the hand holding her ankle in an iron grip.
"Hey," she whispers. "What's going on? Snipers?"
He makes a – Nami knows people don't growl, that deep rumble was just some weird worried mutter. Nevertheless, she finds herself lifting her Clima-Tact to a guard position, almost absentmindedly twisting the settings into battle mode.
That, a potentially threatening move, is what finally gets Zoro to drag his stare off her foot (and what's so damn fascinating anyway?) though he doesn't release her. When their gazes meet, she recoils. His eye is bloodshot, open far too wide with a ring of white visible all around the dark iris.
There is an odd scent coming off him too, neither pine trees nor smoke, but close enough to make Nami remember the winter islands she has visited. Zoro isn't wintery though. His hand is like a hot band around her ankle and there are so many signs of wrongness that Nami doesn't even know where to begin comprehending them all.
His grip is steadily tightening. She grits her teeth against the pain, taking refuge in feeling the hair on her arms rise as her weapon charges the air around them.
"What the hell are you doing?" she hisses. "Lemme go!"
"She's angry," Zoro mumbles, a disturbing little smirk blooming on his face, "Always fights when she's angry." His other hand comes to rest on her leg, slowly sliding upwards and her skin crawls at the sensation.
There's something damn disturbing about the entire situation, but Nami still can't bring herself to really be afraid. This is Zoro! She's seen him level armies, knows he can cleave a ship in half and yet she's never for a moment feared all that murderous strength turned on the crew. She can't wrap her mind around it now either. Instead, she falls back to something easier, more familiar: getting majorly pissed off at him.
Zoro is apparently really out of it, because he hardly reacts to her Clima-Tact when it bounces off his head with a solid 'clonk'. If anything, that freaky smile grows and her stomach flips when he licks his lips.
"Let me go if you value your life," Nami growls. No reaction, so she raps him again, this time at his wandering hand, which has reached her knee. "HEY! Let me go, you perv!"
Then he's on top of her, his heavily muscled body flattening her against scratchy bushes. Her breath sticks in her throat; Zoro hands are grabbing at her shoulders, his breath heavy in her ear and – oh shit – something that is absolutely, unmistakably an erection pressing against her hip.
Her thoughts stutter against each other, because this is simply not possible, on a whole different level from talking reindeers or flying islands; they are amazingly impossible. This is too unreal to be comprehended.
Zoro doesn't seem inclined to do much more than grip her too tight and breathe disturbingly heavily into her ear, which fits Nami excellently. A few quick twists of the Clima-Tact (though she barely needs it, tense enough to set off sparks on her own) creates a tiny, but highly concentrated, lightning storm between them.
The discharge makes Zoro jerk back, finally releasing her, but now Nami is officially Worried. Nobody who just got zapped by lightning has any business looking so pleased about it. And his eyes are still freaky and he's sitting on her leg and...
There is a little voice inside of her. It tells Nami that she must, under no circumstances whatsoever, consider the power difference between them and give in to panic. She'd rather sink the ship than fear that kind of violation from a crew mate.
So she is not afraid. Because nothing will happen. That is the end of it.
"Roronoa Zoro," she says, in her sternest Navigator voice, "what do you think you are doing?"
"So pale. Does it bruise easily?"
This time she's fast enough with the staff to keep his hand off her leg. "Don't jerk me around, Zoro! What's turned your head?"
The question doesn't even seem to register this time and so Nami does something she's never in her life imagined.
She swings her staff around, sorely tempted to aim for his head with all her strength, but knowing that such a move might misfire spectacularly. Instead, with a hair-raising clatter, her staff collides with the handles of Zoro's swords.
It's barely a proper hit; the moment they begin to rattle, a large hand clamps down on them and Zoro glares at her.
Seriously, Nami could cheer. Because that's a proper Zoro-glare; that's his 'damn greedy wench, what do you want now?' look and she knows it through dust and drugs. Nowhere in it can she sense his previous hunger.
"Get the fuck off me," Nami whispers, surprised at her own tone, dripping poison like it hasn't since she stood next to Arlong and enforced his will. But now it flows through her again, that icy anger that drowns out all fear. She stares him down with disdainful confidence; trying to fuck around with her, is he?
"Na. Mi? Nami!" He releases her, falls back on his ass and she absently notices how his sweat is leaving deep tracks in the coating of dust. Did he pick up some freaky illness?
Zoro almost seems to choke on something, before clenching his eye shut. With shaking hands, that nevertheless move without hesitation, he unties the knot of his sash and holds the swords out towards her.
"Take 'em," Zoro orders, looking away from her. "And get off the island!"
"What are you-"
"I DON'T KNOW!" The volume of it is shocking enough on its own, but seeing Zoro's face twist with either pain or rage, makes her stomach turn into knots.
"There was this, thing, like soft rubber. Just exploded all over me and Luffy. Those damn birds!"
His entire body is shaking wildly now. Zoro drops the swords, treating them like mere sticks instead of the dreams they embody, and pushes himself backwards, away from her.
"Too hot," he says, though she must to strain to hear him, "couldn't even see Nami for the fire."
Fear and loyalty are at war in her, but when Nami reaches out and is allowed to collect the three katana unmolested, she forces herself to speak. "Uh, hey, don't you think you should come back to the ship? Let Chopper have a look?"
His fingers dig into the sandy ground as if he's trying to anchor himself in the very earth itself, and she almost thinks he's sobbing. Then he lifts his head, still resolutely avoiding meeting her eyes, and she sees the wide battle-crazy grin that she knows so well spread on his face.
"Nami," he grits out, "I want. To break you. Open. Hear you scream, feel –" He is turning towards her, voice dissolving into a rumbling growl. Though she is trying to move, to rise, run, it is like swimming in syrup and all her thoughts are scattering.
Maybe she said something. Maybe he heard Wadou Ichimonji cry out when Nami clenched the swords close, the cool sheats a rock against the sea of horror about two drown them. Whatever it is, he freezes for a heartbeat.
Then he plunges his left hand between his own legs and, judging from the color draining from his face, Zoro's just gone and done something painful and self-sacrificial again.
She is quite grateful, which is why she makes sure to hang on to all three swords while making off at a speed that would impress even a swimming mermaid. Behind her, Zoro's whistling breath echoes far too loudly among the silent dunes.
That didn't happen, she tells herself, and if it did Chopper will take care of it all and she wasn't – Zoro wouldn't –
She screams, nearly dropping her bundle. Usopp screams too, they're both screaming and for a moment everything is wonderfully familiar, their everyday silly antics. Then, from behind her, there is a sound like the bellow of a hurt bull and Nami doesn't even think, just hefts swords higher and runs.
Usopp's trusty old coward-instincts must have kicked in, because he is keeping up with her as they reach the beach. She splashes carelessly into the water and tugs on the Mini-Merry until it rocks loose from the sand, thoughts beyond her, knowing only one truth: Get off the island.
Maybe Usopp is speaking to her, she doesn't know; she can't think of anything except reaching the ship and the doctor. Yes, they need a doctor. Now. Her shirt is soaked through with cold sweat when they bump into the Thousand Sunny and maybe she's trembling. She only realizes later that she snarled at Usopp when he tried to give her a hand up.
"Are you all right?"
Oh good lord, Sanji! She'll have to excuse herself later, but if he starts up with that Nami-swan crap, she'll kick his teeth in (if he's lucky; she might aim lower too, instinctively).
Luckily for them both, he doesn't play around today. Once Sanji sees that she's noticed him, he backs off, hands held palm up. There is a deep frown on his face, though he seems to make an effort to smile, appear gentle and harmless.
"You found Zoro."
The heavy sureness of his words makes Nami instantly suspicious.
"You know! What's wrong with him?"
Sanji nods and wipes his sweaty brow.
"It's complicated, but... Please, go downstairs. Chopper can explain."
"Where are you going?" Usopp asks, appearing over the side.
She hates the part of her that feels it necessary to throw him too a suspicious glance. But he seems completely normal, only winded after their rushed escape. Wincing, Nami also notices that he's brought Zoro's swords; she must have forgotten them in the landing boat.
"Gotta, heh," Sanji trails off and waves a hand – why is he so sweaty, it's hardly that hot – Zoro was also... No!
"Franky's helping me set something up. Tie up," he winces slightly, "a few loose ends. See you later."
Usopp can hardly believe his ears when Chopper explains the situation. It's a, God of liars preserve him, magic mushroom. Although apparently magic in this instance means "turns everyone into a crazy horn-dog until they've ahemhem'd enough times". The process apparently has something mysterious to do with hormones and ripening of spores, language that mostly goes over Usopp's head as he tries not to snicker at the thought of a giant (magic) sex-mushroom.
Franky, whom Chopper has deemed lacking enough fleshy bits in his breathing organs to be affected, fares worse at that. He has been biting back a grin throughout the entire story and once Chopper finishes, loses it completely. His laughter shakes the dinner table and Usopp feels himself cracking up too, though at least half of it is nerves, because... His gaze slides down the table, to where Nami is sitting between Robin and Chopper. Her face is pale and her stance battle-tense.
"Shut up, you shitty cyborg!" Sanji plants a sharp elbow in Franky's side.
The cook is wearing heavy manacles around his arms and legs, making his limbs look distressingly thin. Together with the loose sickbay clothes Chopper insisted he wear and Franky's solid bulk next to him, Sanji looks almost like a kid. A sick kid, because he's flushed and sweating, fiddling incessantly with a pillow picked up from the sleeping quarters.
"It's not a joke, okay? I thought I'd lose my mind on the way back to the Sunny! And I only got a mouthful from that shitty bird. That algae-infested idiot has been drenched in this goddamn stuff!"
"Heehe, yeah, sorry, Sanji-bro. It's just, it's so... Ahem, anyway, we've got a super antidote, right?" Franky says, tipping an imaginary hat in Chopper's direction. "Our smart little doc-bro fixed both Sanji and Nami before anything happened!"
"Do you wish to attempt to disinfect a maddened swordsman, without breathing in any of the spores covering him, and make him swallow three mouthfuls of medicine?" Robin asks, fingers tapping out a light beat on the table. She hasn't said much. She hasn't left Nami's side either, not since the younger woman appeared on the ship, wild-eyed and furious.
"No, see, that's the problem!" Chopper's entire body is drooping from misery. He turns worried eyes at Nami and pats her hand with his hoof, eliciting a small smile from her. "According to what Nami said, it's too late. Zoro was deeply affected from the beginning. By now, he is probably completely in the grip of the toxin."
"So? We just give him more of your super-medicine!"
"Once the toxin has worked fully into the victim, the amount of antidote needed increases exponentially. We simply don't have enough on hand! And I've only treated someone exposed to Canthari extract before, since the mushroom itself only grows in the New World."
Usopp glances at Sanji, who despite his heavy perspiration refuses to move the pillow from his lap. "Is that why you're not, uh, completely well yet?"
"Yes. The antidote can suppress the mental effects if administered early enough but there are several bodily reactions that can only be diminished, not completely eliminated. Especially the fever and physical arousal will remain for several hours," Chopper says, too far into Doctor-mode to care about human sensibilities. "That is also why I must keep dosing Sanji and Nami for at least another three hours."
"Our Mr. Zoro has a strong constitution," Brook says. "Can we not simply wait it out?"
Sanji shakes his head, taking over the story.
"I've seen this before. Was this real piece of shit customer, back on the Baratie. He'd brought Canthari Cap-extract to make sure he could..." His mouth twists in disgust. "Well, that shitty asshole poured it into his date's drink! And his own too, think he wanted to 'keep up'. Feh. But he'd miscalculated the amount."
He reaches for a cigarette, remembers too late that Chopper has forbidden them and gnaws on his finger in annoyance.
"What happened?" The tone is neutral, but the words are almost the first ones their captain has uttered since Chopper collected them for a crisis meeting. Usopp sits up a bit straighter.
Luffy, protected again due to his new immunity against poisons; Luffy whom they all feared wouldn't understand what was going on, has been surprisingly level-headed about the whole issue ever since they got back on the ship.
Sanji shrugs. "He went nuts, completely crazy. The young lady was affected too, but she'd drunk less. We packed them both into the cool storage until a doctor came. Zeff recognized the symptoms, see. The doc managed to save her, but that bastard got what he deserved. His heart gave out while the doctor was treating him. Trust me, it's a real shitty way to die. Anyway, that girl? The doctor cooked up a cauldron full of antidote for her and used every last drop."
"But if we tried that? Locked him into the cool room," Brook begins, only to be interrupted by Chopper.
"No! That's just the opposite of what we should do. Remember, the spores are toxic only as a side-effect, what they really attempt is to, uhm, spread. If the body they're in gets put in an environment which affects their growth negatively, such as a low-temperature area, they will release more and more toxic chemicals."
"Huh." Sanji looks thoughtful for a moment, then waves it off. "Well, the lady survived, who cares about the shithead?"
"Is there anything we can do so that the spores do not feel threatened, then, and affect the body chemistry minimally?" Robin asks. "If I understand correctly, trying to delay the most critical effects while our doctor makes more of the antidote is the only option we have."
Hemming and hawing a bit, Chopper finally manages to spit out the truth.
Not, Usopp reflects, that it was that hard to figure out, given that they'd already been informed that Canthari Cap tincture is an expensive and dangerous aphrodisiac.
Once nature has taken its course, the spores go inert and leave the body through normal bodily excretions (Ey, cook-bro, are you leaking shrooms at me? Franky, you idiot, you're immune! Still, ewww!), optimally allowing the affected being to return to its regular existence.
Awkward silence settles over the table, broken only by Sanji's occasional fidgeting. Just when Usopp is about to ask if they can't perhaps try to lock Zoro into the bathroom, with lots of hot steam and maybe some cooking oil, Luffy thumps his fist on the table and stands up.
"Yosh! Robin, can you look after my hat?"
"Where are you going, captain?"
"To help Zoro," Luffy says as if it's the most natural thing in the world. "Brook, you or Franky come with medicine when it's finished."
"What! Luffy!" Chopper's voice rises and almost breaks in his agitation. "Luffy, you don't understand what Zoro might be like! He can't control himself right now!"
"Aa." He fires off one of those patented Luffy-grins. "Good thing I'm rubber, huh? And that Wadou and the others are waiting here on the Sunny!"
"Oh, for crying out–" Nami seems to snap awake, glaring at the captain. "Do you even know what you're suggesting? Zoro's not," her voice catches, but she visibly steels herself and carries on. "The guy's not right in the head, okay?"
This seems to disturb Chopper greatly, and he flutters around her helplessly. "Oh, Nami. Ah, I don't know, it's the influence of the Canthari, but of course we need to..."
"Chopper? Sorry, but, please, shut up." Nami closes her eyes and seems to focus on something deep inside. Even Luffy is still, tilting his head encouragingly in her direction. "Look. It was creepy as hell, all of it. But I knew when Zoro wasn't... quite there. Okay?"
"Yeah, 'cause you're smart enough to recognize all of us!"
"Yep, I guess I am. But Luffy, there at the end. That was Zoro. That's why he let me go, I know that." She looks down at her hands, opening and closing them twice, before pinning Luffy with a glare. "What he said... He scared me more when he was himself, than when he was acting like some dumb animal. Okay, Luffy? Do you get me? He's my comrade and I'll face a firing-squad for the idiot, but Zoro isn't right in the head and I think..." She finally relents and takes Choppers supporting hoof in her own hand, squeezing it slightly. "I think he'll try to hurt you if you go out there."
"Gramps said I had my head screwed on backwards a couple of times. Dadan and Ace too," Luffy points out, still smiling gently. "Haha, and Rayleigh too! But he said the Pirate King was allowed to be a bit nuts so that's all right."
"I still speak to my crew, moonlit nights when I have the watch," Brooks interjects gently. "It always gladdens my heart when they reply."
"But you wouldn't try to–" Nami breaks off, just shaking her head.
"Zoro won't hurt you," Luffy says. He's not smiling any more, but his voice is filled with the conviction that has pulled them all together, and the crew grows still. "He won't. If anything tries, a mushroom or Zoro or anything else, I'll stop it."
He reaches over half the table to lay a hand on her shoulder and everybody politely looks elsewhere when Nami's eyes go suspiciously shiny.
"Nobody is allowed to hurt my comrades. But Nami? This, I mean, us." It's a clumsy wave, but they can all sense that it means him, their near-indestructible captain who carries so many dreams on his shoulders. "We'll be okay."
"Yes, I remember," Nami says, frustrating creeping into her voice, "you're rubber. Sometimes that's not enough!"
"Naaah, I know." Luffy giggles as if he's just escaped from they galley with a big juice steak. "It's just, it's Zoro, you know?"
"I do, that's just it! You're both too insanely strong, I remember Whiskey Peak, when you two idiots–"
Her mouth opens wide in surprise and she stares at Luffy, whose smile has gone blindingly brilliant at the mention of that long-ago island. "No way. No WAY!"
Though he's trying to hide it behind his hands, Luffy is clearly giggling now. It makes Usopp fleetingly wonder exactly what their captain learned on the Amazon Island, because this? Was not something he would have imagined in his wildest tales.
Apparently, neither did the rest of the crew.
"You're shitting me," Sanji says, his voice wavering between amusement and shock.
"When did you even," Usopp begins, "I mean, where –"
"Don't answer that!" Sanji wails and almost smacks Usopp with the cuffs when he tries to shake him. "Because if he says my kitchen I'll have to, to bleach this entire thing and I can't right now and please not in my kitchen!"
"Ah, Sanji, I don't think he means that they actually have..."
"I CAN'T HEAR YOU! Oh god, Chopper please tell me that this medicine causes hallucinations!"
Luffy's only reply is more giggling, but he does accept Chopper's hastily collected emergency pack.
Strangely enough, while they watch Luffy slingshot himself back to the island, Usopp has the feeling that Nami, despite everything, is the one least surprised by the this revelation.
Much to Luffy's disappointment, Zoro isn't waiting for him among the hills. Briefly, he considers trying to find the birds and see if the smell of grilled meat will tempt Zoro out. Though Chopper said that they were under no circumstances to eat the meat since it also had mushroom stuff on it, and even if Luffy can handle it, maybe it's rude to Zoro to eat when he can't. But maybe he's not hungry anyway, and won't mind Luffy eating? Although in that case, he's not likely come when Luffy starts a barbeque...
"Ahhh, this is all too hard. ZORO! Where are you? Heeeyyy, where are youuuuu!"
There isn't anyone by the giant mushroom either, not that Luffy really thinks Zoro wants to go back there. Except maybe to cut it into tiny pieces. At least standing on the spongy "hill" gives him a pretty good view of the island. Standing on his toes, he can just see over the highest hills, where he can make out denser foliage. It must be the spring the others were so happy to find before. Occasionally, a palm-tree seems to shake over by the spring.
Hmm... That looks almost as if someone, say a drugged swordsman without his swords, is taking out a bit of frustration on them.
A few well-aimed rubber leaps and Luffy reaches the shaded area. This is actually a pretty nice place! He'd already been intent on hunting when Franky said he thought the greener area was a likely source of fresh water, but compared to the otherwise dry island, this little valley is like an oasis of calm life.
Or, well, it was a calm oasis until someone tore through it, leaving a trail of broken trees and splintered boulders.
A rage-filled scream and a crash. Luffy looks on with interest as a hefty palm topples over, before making his way over to the source of the disturbance.
Even without swords, Zoro is living up to his reputation as the second most dangerous Strawhat. Judging from the way he's leaning loosely on the tree-stump, he's broken it off with his bare fists, before pushing it a fair distance away.
When his swordsman doesn't even turn around, Luffy pouts slightly, but continues up to him with a friendly grin. He even manages to lay a hand on Zoro's shoulder and note how hot he feels, before he's tackled to the ground by a burning mass of previously suppressed desires.
Whatever Luffy wanted to say falls away from him, when he gets a good look at Zoro. There is nothing sane, and very little recognizably Zoro in his face right then. A glazed eye, as bloodshot and empty as Nami described it, and a pulse that is storming as if his heart wants to break free from his body. But what makes Luffy recoil aren't these obvious signs of physical illness, nor the sweat-soaked hair which sticks out in unruly clumps, or even the many splinters dug into Zoro's arms. He's seen all of his crew filthy, beaten-up and on the edge of exhaustion. None of them is any less wonderful in his eyes just because they have a bit of dirt on them.
But Luffy hasn't ever seen Zoro look so terribly, hopelessly hungry. There is none of that prickly pride, or the carefully covered humor that always make his own smile widen. He can't even feel the intense killing instinct that he was halfway expecting. And honestly, though most who only see the foolishly grinning captain of the Strawhat wouldn't believe it, he has been quite looking forward to dealing with that part of Zoro too.
There isn't room for any of that, Luffy realizes, when Zoro groans atop of him and presses a stiff erection against his leg. There isn't room for any of the things that make him Zoro. He grits his teeth in annoyance at that realization and put a calming hand on the muscular neck, making vaguely shushing noises.
How dare some damn mushroom try to make Zoro go away from his own body! And that, oh, that isn't something Luffy is just willing to accept, because there where things not even mushrooms are allowed to do to his crew.
First things first, though. Their doctor has made it quite clear that Zoro doesn't have time to wait while Luffy runs off to do a bit of retaliatory gardening. He doesn't seem very interested in waiting either, rubbing himself against Luffy in a way that feels quite nice. And would've felt even nicer if he'd been aware of just who he was rubbing up against, but Luffy has always been good at finding the best in any situation.
"C'mon, let's get this over with, eh?" he mumbles against Zoro's forehead, tugging at his robe. Bleh, he doesn't even taste right, all sour and stuff. "I wanna have my Zoro back."
It might have been his arm, perhaps his voice, but clearly something reaches the confused man enough for him to grab Luffy's wandering hands and press them against the ground. He's not moving very quickly, but he is pressing with all the firm strength that Zoro possesses, and manages to give every impression that resistance is a Very Bad Idea.
Just when Luffy begins to feel somewhat hopeful about the situation, Zoro switches his grip, leaving one powerful hand holding his wrists and putting the other on Luffy's throat.
Okay, turns out it a really is good thing that he is rubber. Especially once Zoro began to squeeze, the knuckles whitening around his windpipe and cutting off his air-supply.
Luffy tries to smile encouragingly at the man above him, though he suspects it looks more like a wince. Sure, it doesn't really hurt, but he only had time to draw in a quick gasp when Zoro grabbed him. He always finds it pretty unpleasant not getting air – too many drownings, perhaps – but with Zoro so, well, whittled down to his very basest instincts, Luffy is sure that he wouldn't be doing this if he didn't need it quite badly. Not like he can't hold his breath for a really long time, anyway.
He doesn't even need to hold it that long, because once the grip is as firm as Zoro can make it – meaning it would've probably broken the neck of anyone else – he makes a little growl that Luffy recognizes quite well from previous fights. It's something he's always considered kinda sexy, even if he didn't really know the word back then.
Ow! Luffy tries to yell it in protest, but only manages an angry little huff when Zoro's teeth pierces first his skin and then go rather deep into the muscles at the side of his neck.
At least he is moving, rubbing himself against Luffy and making all kinds of alluring noises, but honestly! When Luffy began entertaining thoughts of suggesting to Zoro that they try some of those grown-up activities Rayleigh had explained to him after one Amazonian marriage proposal too many, he'd imagined the entire thing to feel a lot less like being mauled by Hody Jones. And Zoro smelled like sour mushrooms, too. Dammit, why couldn't it have been a big sex-maniac-making steak that caught him instead?
Just before Luffy's increasingly erratic thought processes pass completely into unconsciousness, Zoro groans and jerks against him. His grip slacks off and his entire body collapses on top of Luffy.
Puffing like a stranded whale, Luffy pushes off the semi-unconscious man and slaps a hand to his neck, crawling towards the First Aid-kit. He doesn't think Zoro caught his jugular, but it would be way too embarrassing if Chopper has to come save him because he's allowed himself to bleed out by mistake.
"Captain?" A bleary voice interrupts his adventures in self-plastering.
Luffy felt his entire self light up again, completely forgetting the wound on his neck. "Zoro! You're you!"
Not that the swordsman seems to be in very good shape, quite the opposite. Without that overwhelming drive dominating him, it is easy to see how pale he is, the fever leaving only two red spots on his face. Luffy feels a flicker of anger when he sees how Zoro's features are marred by lines of pain, the likes of which he usually only sees after a truly harrowing battle.
As Zoro struggles to rise, Luffy hurries over, pulling the other pirate close until they're leaning on each other.
"Wha– what's– you're bleeding?"
"It's nothing," Luffy assures him, squeezing Zoro's hand in his own. "Remember the mushroom?"
Closed eyes, a deep frown. "Shit."
"Aa. Sanji recognized it."
"Nah. Chopper had some antidote, but not enough. He's making more, but it'll take a bit. I thought. Y'know..."
He's not usually bashful. Luffy is going to be the Pirate King soon and he's never been the easily embarrassed type. In fact, once Rayleigh explained things in dry, but highly explicit, terms, he figured he had this whole "sex" thing pretty much under control. But with Zoro's feverish hand in his own, with that strong body leaning so trustingly against him, Luffy still feels a flutter of something too excited to be embarrassment, but too frail to be just horniness.
"Wasn't how I'd imagined it," Zoro mutters, but the way his eyebrow is quirked sardonically, make all of Luffy's worried tension disappear. Sure, it tells him. Yes, Zoro's smile says. Of course we've been thinking of the same thing, his hand repeats, squeezing back with a desperation that is far from being only mushroom-based.
No, even if Luffy was planning to – though planned is something of an exaggeration – do things a bit differently, they can get through this. Candles-schmandles, but starting off with a couple of big steaks and good sake? Yeah, that would've been really nice.
"Heh." He laughs and presses a light kiss to Zoro's temple. "All trips start somewhere, right?"
"Mhm. First day a sailing boat, next week a Goi-" The spasm that shakes Zoro, his hiss of pain, they don't exactly worry Luffy. Zoro can take it. But they do serve to make him majorly pissed off at the stupid mushroom again. How dare it! His crew, his swordsman, his Zoro!
He puts the anger away for now, dragging himself back to the task at hand.
"Think we can get these off?" Luffy asks, already pulling at Zoro's clothes. He only receives a dazed nod in reply, but whatever damage Zoro's previous destructive spree has left on the island, it also did a number on his trousers. Agile rubber fingers, an utter lack of concern regarding the wearability of the garments in the future, and Luffy has him bared down to his boots in a remarkably short time.
When he begins tugging at his own vest, though, Zoro makes a noise of protest.
"Not yet. Want, I wanna see," he manages, before his visible eye rolls up almost completely. Luffy can only look on in dismay as Zoro once more loses control to the mind-altering toxins floating through his body.
When next the swordsman turns towards him, he is once more completely driven by the mindless need for another body. Luffy can see no sign of the Zoro who would've cut his way through the Grand Line to find his captain and with a resigned sigh, he abandons the attempt to remove his own clothes.
"Next time you wake up," Luffy mutters when Zoro roughly grabs him and begins thrusting against his hip, "I'm gonna wash off some of this mushroom stuff. Hey, hey, not the teeth!"
Although it's more than likely that Chopper is going to scream at them both already. And Zoro really seems to like that, so he might as well...
The line of thought is firmly brought to its conclusion when Zoro bites into his left bicep hard enough to draw blood. Luffy winces and wondered if this is how Wadou feels every time.
"Oh, shush you," he grumbles when his cock perks up at the thought (and the fact that Zoro's writhing brings his leg into close contact with said, apparently completely indiscriminate, body part). After all, everyone knows how Zoro really, really likes Wadou. On the other hand, it kind of hurts more than it feels nice. Luffy was hoping for a bit more mutual pleasure, even taking the mushroom into account.
"Uhm, could we maybe – hey! Whoa!" This time, Zoro's hands haven't gone for his throat, but are instead cupping his ass firmly. Even if he is still leaving deep teeth-marks on Luffy's shoulder, the way Zoro is squeezing them together and thrusting against him is actually kinda really super nice. Wrapping his legs around Zoro's waist, Luffy begins pushing back, wishing his shorts could just fall off or something. If he can just get a little more friction!
Then Zoro moans against his arm, a sound of such utter want that it makes his toes curl with pleasure. He is grinding into Luffy as if his life depends on it (well...) when the young pirate decides that it is high time for a bit of tit-for-tat. Stretching his neck somewhat, he hides a wicked grin against Zoro's collarbone, before opening his mouth and burying his teeth in the sweaty skin.
That it makes Zoro cry out and come against him is an unexpected bonus. But what really surprises Luffy is how suddenly his own orgasm is overwhelmingly close. A wave rising from within, driven by those lovely noises Zoro makes and the feel of a powerful body tensing in his arms. It sweeps him away, despite his struggles to hold on to the moment. Instinctually, he bites down, far harder than planned and as he tastes that faintly metallic tang, the wave breaks and he finds himself utterly swept away.
Well, Luffy thinks, once they both lie gasping together in post-orgasmic exhaustion, he did always like fighting.
They've managed to get rid of all clothes, wash off, get sandy, break a few more trees and wash off again, when Luffy realizes that Zoro is eying him with a very particular interest but still seems to be entirely Zoro.
Since his right arm is starting to feel as if someone has done a good attempt of eating him, Luffy has used the latest break to slap on some plasters. When he feels that speculative gaze travel over him, he keeps fiddling with a bandage for a few more moments, his grin widening as Zoro can't quite hold back a hungry little noise.
"Sorry I hurt you."
"Nah, it's not that bad. Chopper says you can't eat the birds anyway, so I'll get all the meat tonight!"
"Birds?" But he's not really interested in the reply, coming closer to Luffy and slowly reaching for him.
Warm fingers trail down his side, almost tickling and they make a little frizz of excitement shoot up Luffy's spine. When Zoro bats away his hands to tie up the last bandage, all neat and tight, he's feeling far too much to sit still and wait. Luffy turns around and throws himself at Zoro, shivering with delight at how the other man opens his legs for him, pulling him flush against his body.
"Are you staying? I mean, you you, is it over?"
Zoro shifts a little, a flush rising on his cheeks when their cocks press against each other, but he shrugs as nonchalantly as he manages.
"It's like having a storm inside," he says, distractedly running his hands down Luffy's back, "sometimes lightning just strikes and I can't really do shit. There's nothing but light and heat, until I come back again."
"But it's gotten better? You'll stay for a while," Luffy says, his voice a clear order.
"Aye, aye." Then Zoro takes his face in his hands and leans up, gently lapping at his cheek. "You've got a bit of blood..."
While Luffy melts like hot rubber all over him, he continues licking his way down Luffy's neck, until he's nuzzling against the edge of the dressing.
"Take it off!"
He's certain and he's the captain; a firm poke in Zoro's side reminds him of whose orders are to be obeyed. Then Zoro's uncovering the wound he's caused, his calloused hands sliding deliciously against sore skin, before they're followed by gentle kisses.
It makes Luffy hiss and rub himself against Zoro, this careful exploration of the wound left from his previous loss of control. His own hands grab onto the short hair, tugging encouragingly at the green strands, and one of Zoro's legs wrap around him, squeezing nicely against his ass.
Not only Luffy is affected. He can hear the deepening breath of his swordsman, feels his entire body tense and grow ready as if preparing for a truly grand battle. When Zoro mumbles a wordless question against his flesh, he groans in happy encouragement.
Then Zoro's teeth, which Luffy recently felt bite straight through his durable rubber-skin, nibble oh-so-gently along his throat, leaving kisses and light bites along the side of his jaw. It makes his stomach go warm and heavy with pleasure, knowing the immense strength hidden in this small gesture. In reply, he scrapes his nails down Zoro's back, encouraging him to continue, to taste more.
It seems as if Zoro is understanding his noises perfectly, because he keeps licking and sucking around the wound, sometimes daring to apply a bit of pressure. It hurts too sweetly, a perfect counterpoint to their hips moving against each other. Wave after wave of pleasure-pain sweeps over Luffy and for once, he can happily let himself go under.
When Zoro's movements stutter to a halt, Luffy doesn't notice until he becomes aware of the stiff heaviness of the larger man. "What's wrong?"
The response takes such time, that Luffy half expects to get attacked by a mushroom-mad beast again, but finally, Zoro's fingers flex against his skin.
"I can't," he finally manages, "it just. Shit! Shit, shit, SHIT!"
He releases him and rolls away, not gone yet, but in pain of an entirely different kind compared to the little thrills coursing through Luffy.
Zoro's grasping at the ground, digging his fingers into the sandy earth, trying to hold on for life and sanity.
This shouldn't happen. Luffy knows they shouldn't have to do anything like this. Not when his silent invitations were being so warmly, teasingly answered while they relaxed among the sea folk. Not when they've both been eying each other's increased strength with more than just tactical approval. There's long been an unvoiced question between them, starting with the whisper of a suggestion neither pirate can recall who put to whom first, subtly growing clearer as the danger has grown, while they've collected shipmates and scars and bounties.
"I fucking hate this." Zoro's head is bowed beneath the weight of mindless need that is about to devour him. He's fighting back, though Luffy can see him losing control, losing himself, all too quickly. "First those damned Marines steal you, then we get strong enough to beat them, then this fucking shit! How am I supposed to fight a damn plant!"
Oh, if Luffy had an answer to that! If he could only teach them all the right attacks to defeat this entire dangerous sea that tries to swallow up his crew. But he has only the instincts he was born with and the growing conviction that enough is enough. This time, he will fight to keep Zoro with him.
"Can I try something?"
"Uhn." Zoro takes a few meditative breaths, pushing down the fire that wants to devour him even as fresh sweat breaks out on his face and his usually powerful arms shake from the effort.
Seeing him like that, fighting so hard and knowing that it is because Zoro hates losing another moment of this grand new thing between them, makes a swell of heat grow in Luffy. He wishes he could taste the other man slowly. That there was time for him to lay Zoro down and learn the look and feel of every new scar, see how many shadows of secret techniques he can tease out of the way the muscles flex, the pattern tightening tendons draws – but there isn't, not right now.
So Luffy allows himself only a moment, of feeling Zoro's chest beneath his hands, following curious fingers with a hungry mouth, tasting scar-tissue and hard nipples and a glorious expanse of naked skin, before he wraps both hands around an Zoro's almost frighteningly hard cock.
"Oh, Luffy, oh fuck, please..."
It's still Zoro. It's his first and strongest crew mate, fighting to keep hold of himself despite everything, and Luffy is so happy to give him what he needs.
He's tried this on his own recently, once he was alone on the island with nothing but cowed animals as possible witnesses. Stretched himself out, wrapped his mouth around the flesh and sucked, discovering sensations he couldn't ever have imagined before.
To do it to Zoro is completely different. He can't feel anything in himself, although he somehow can, because every needy sound that escapes his swordsman stabs into him, leaving a desperate ache behind. Luffy fumbles around for a moment, before grabbing hold of himself with one hand, movements uncoordinated and eager. He holds Zoro down with the other, pushing himself further down as well until he feels the other mans cock stretching his throat open from inside. Then he's just trying to move, sucking and swallowing when he remembers to, in a mad race against both the poison and his own almost uncontrollable desire.
He can't tell whether Zoro is aware of what's happening or not, because he's never heard these kinds of harsh, broken-off screams from him before. There's nothing to compare the experience to, but though Zoro is bucking into his mouth, he still seems to try and anchor himself in the ground with hands and bent legs, tense enough to snap in two.
It's impossible to hold out for long. Zoro, already driven to the edge by the poison, breaks first. Whereas his previous orgasms have been quick, silent things, this one is accompanied by a wail that forces Luffy to use a punishingly hard grip on himself to keep from following him over the brink.
It doesn't really taste of anything; not surprising, Zoro was almost completely empty after their third round already. If anything, this pleases Luffy. A part of him wants everything now, or faster thank you, but mostly, he wants to save as many little treasures as he can. For later, when it's just them.
As Luffy sits up, his cock bobs heavily between his legs and he can't help but whimper slightly at the feel of Zoro being all warm and lovely against him.
Despite heaving breath and full-body limpness, Zoro manages to give him a splendidly dirty grin of greatest satisfaction at that.
"You held on?" Luffy asks, just in case. He giggles when the only reply is a lazy hand wave, Zoro apparently feeling the question too stupid to deserve a proper answer.
"Gimme a moment, and I'll try to," Zoro swallows and licks his lips, "pay it back."
Oh, he wants that, Luffy does. His cock does a happy little jerk at the mere thought, but he's fairly certain that it's not an activity to attempt right now. Part of it is his self-preservation instinct, which he does (despite what Nami and Usopp may claim) actually possess. Especially with his shoulder and arm still stinging from before, there's something quite intimidating about letting Zoro that close to his family jewels.
There is also the niggling suspicion that giving a blow-job is the kind of low-intense pleasure that Zoro can't handle right now, which kind of brings him back to his first point: Very high potential for a very big ouch.
But not even Strawhat Luffy is stupid enough to tell his crew members, especially not this one, that they can't handle something. Instead, he scoots up until he's sitting on Zoro's stomach. He's still too hot, but feels really nice beneath Luffy. Firm in just the right way and the view is quite nice too.
"Later," Luffy says when Zoro's gaze seems to be getting a bit too stuck on his cock, "I wanna do something else to Zoro now."
Perhaps he sounds more teasing than he knows; perhaps Zoro just likes being admired. Whatever the reason, his swordsman's reply is to raise an eyebrow questioningly, before he flexes his hands once and, in a move that nearly steals Luffy's breath away, lifts his arms back and stretches – his entire body tensing, all his well-honed strength on display. Luffy can feel himself being lifted off the ground a little, but he can't take his eyes off the play of muscles along Zoro's length.
He can see the vulnerable points, so open; neck, heart, all of it is there for Luffy to tease and taste and enjoy. Zoro's arms are above his head; he's locked his fingers together and is turning himself into a living invitation. It's all Luffy can do not to throw himself at him with the same speed he uses to attack a scrumptious meal. Completely impossible to not scoot forward a little, his hips thrusting hopefully against the empty air.
"Hey, Captain?" He's laughing at his reaction, Luffy knows, but he can't begrudge him that because he loves to feel Zoro's silent laughter. It's traveling up his legs, it's filling his stomach and for a moment Luffy feels almost overwhelmed with joy that this man is here with him.
Perhaps some of it spills out, despite his best attempts to control himself, because Zoro's smile softens. "Go ahead, Luffy. Just, take your pick. I'm-"
He bows down over him, stretching just a little, because he feels so good sitting where he does, but some words were made to be whispered into the skin, so close that Luffy can feel the echoes of his own breath against his lips.
"We'll find a safe island," Luffy whispers, every word a caress and a promise, "and everyone will go ashore. And I'll stay behind to keep watch, and Zoro will sleep on the deck, and when the Sunny is empty you'll wake up."
"What'll be your order, Capt'n?"
His cock is heavy with desire and Luffy worries at his lip, telling himself to hold back just a little more. He so wants Zoro to see this in his mind's eye when they come back to the ship, wants him to remember and ache a little with want, whenever they spot a new island.
"You'll take out your swords, but only your swords and leave all the clothes off. Then I'll watch Zoro dance with his swords, I'll watch him until I can't wait any longer at all and I'll jump Zoro. I want to take you on the deck, where we can feel the sun and the wind, because I'll want you and need you. I always need you. Want to have you right there, on my ship, I want you to want me so much that you drop your swords and forget everything else but me."
And Zoro's nodding and gasping, writhing beneath him as the fire begins growing inside of him again.
"I want you, Zoro," he says, slowly tasting each word, because he'll only be able to say them for the first time once. "Can I? Right now?"
A hiss, and he's twisting so invitingly, but Luffy wants to hear him too, wants to see what Zoro looks like when he's tasting his own words. "Zoro." Licks his ear, once, quickly, moves back just a little until their gazes can meet. "Can I?"
"Yeah," Zoro nods, color filling his cheeks, "oh yeah, come on." He's full-out blushing now, but his smile is true and the eagerness in him is all his own. "Just, fuck me, Luffy."
It's a good thing he's already come twice before, because the pulse of desire that shoots through him at that drives him forward, desperate and mindless. They're kissing, it's messy and rough and absolutely perfect. It's impossible for Luffy to stop, just as it's impossible for his hands not to wander all along Zoro's side, up the arms still held back, opened for him so beautifully.
There are months of loneliness and pent-up desire he wasn't even aware he was carrying around, rushing out of him and he needs so much. He's sucking at Zoro's tongue, loving all the sloppy sounds that escape them, loving that it is a 'them', impossible to hear a Luffy and a Zoro, impossible to keep apart (just like they should be, always) and his hips are working mindlessly, thrusting against Zoro.
It's a moment of pure physicality, where whatever makes Luffy into Luffy is all there, in his body and his senses. As if he's already sinking into Zoro, their bodies so perfectly attuned.
The too sharp tone of the next kiss, the tiny (wrong) tension, pushes away the harmony. Since Luffy's so deeply immersed in his body right now, he feels it to the depths of his entire being and he jerks back, all heaving breaths and shocked-wide eyes.
Sorry, Zoro mouths, lifting his hands to push Luffy away a little. He is forcing his breathing into a regular pattern, grabbing hold of his almost overwhelmed body with all the discipline he knows after a lifetime of grueling practice.
"No," Luffy replies, still half-reeling from the depth of feeling that opened between them. "Shh, 'm sorry. Forgot. Don't worry, I'll hurry now."
The lubrication is already in his hand, being only one snap of a rubber-arm away and Zoro's calmed down enough to speak.
"Done this before?"
"Nah, but Rayleigh told me." Luffy is distracted, but he can see how the other pirate is hanging on to his words, using them to cling to his sanity as much as the breathing exercises. So he keeps on speaking while making sure his own parts are covered with a thick layer of slick.
"Said Hancock wants to marry me and I gotta know what I'm saying yes or no to."
"Did you? Say yes?"
"Huh? Course not!"
He knows what to do, he does. Well, theoretically. Once it became clear to both master and student that this whole thing with girls wasn't something for Luffy – which, frankly, took less time than explaining the point of mutual orgasms at all – Rayleigh insisted very firmly that Luffy know what to do, how to do it, and that it all requires copious amounts of lube for everyone who doesn't come equipped with an extra-stretchy body.
Still, Luffy finds his fingers fumbling and nervous when he's opening the tube. It's okay, because Zoro twitches really interestingly when the cool gel drips down on his chest, but it's a little scary too. He doesn't mind biting or scratching Zoro, and it's not as if he doesn't knows the other pirate is tough. He simply wants to get it right. As right as the moment just before, when they kissed. Like Zoro nibbling gently on his neck, and he's almost hesitant to go on because if he fumbles it up, it'll be like, like getting a rip in his hat. Sure, he can fix that (or at least Nami can) and they'll fix this too, of course they will! Nevertheless, it's one of those things which Luffy doesn't want to happen, ever.
"What about Zoro?" he asks, pouring a big dollop of lubrication onto his palm. "Did you ever try, um, stuff?"
The other man shakes his head, then considers for a moment. "Well, not really. I mean, Yosaku and Johnny, they wanted to play a little... We, ah, once they explained properly, I mean." His mouth quirks up at the memory and an answering grin breaks out on Luffy's face.
"Zoro didn't!" he crows, but he knows he did. Of course he would; when other swordsmen ask Zoro to 'play', anyone who's known him for about two days should be able to predict how he'll react.
"Yeah, they explained. Afterwards," Zoro says with a slightly sheepish expression and Luffy's respect for the two East Blue bounty-hunters rises a notch. Anyone who has been beaten by Zoro in a duel and still wants to get naked with him is, if nothing else, admirably tenacious. As well as possessing a finely-tuned sense of taste, if you ask him.
"So, y'know, can't be ungracious. Never got this far though."
"Don't worry, I know exactly what to do!" Luffy crows, too happy to be bothered by Zoro's muttered 'was afraid of that'.
Turns out that Luffy does know what to do, although it's an equal bet whether Luffy or Zoro is most surprised in the end. He also discovers that his powers have advantages not only when self-pleasuring; rubber-limbs have no problem reaching everywhere, after all. With Zoro having already forced himself into a lightly centering meditation, his body is relaxed and Luffy's fingers slips in quite easily.
"You," Zoro says, a most delightful shudder traveling through him as those fingers twist and turn, "better hurry."
Nodding, Luffy adds another finger, feeling as if his mouth full of sand and hopes. Hurry? Noooo problem, it's all he can do not to throw Zoro's legs over his shoulders and just press himself inside right this very moment. His cock, which had almost begun to get a bit tired before, is back to straining so hard that it's almost painfully sensitive. Unconsciously, Luffy is already thrusting lightly against the muscled thigh beneath him and Zoro is pushing his hips upward, straining for more closeness.
He has three fingers in Zoro, can open them and slide back and forth easily, when Zoro's control snaps. The swordsman roars beneath him and rips Luffy towards himself, the movement sudden enough that Luffy's hand slips out.
To the young captain's surprise, he's not biting or attacking this time, instead only crushing them together. He's shaking, though, his cock so hard and far too hot against Luffy's stomach, and his hands feel as if they're branding Luffy with their desperate grip. Making soothing noises, he snakes a hand between them and, sparing a tiny grateful thought for his stretchiness, manages to pull his cock towards Zoro's opening. It is almost, almost enough.
"C'mon, you stupid mushroom!" he hisses. "Don't you like this too?"
Zoro seems to have lost the ability to do more than cling to him, his grip too firm for Luffy to actually manage to do anything. Frustration is making him ache from his teeth down to his balls but he keeps squirming, mumbling whatever soothing nonsense happens to come to him until Zoro's grip loosens slightly. Luffy hurries to push him back down, giving himself one too short moment of trailing his hands along the inside of Zoro's tights, before spreading his legs. Despite everything, he feels excitement bubbling through him again.
Right then! Luffy mentally checks off everything he was supposed to do – ask nicely, lube, stretching, yup – and pushes inside before anything else attempts to mess them up.
Beneath him, Zoro arches and groans in mindless pleasure. Luffy manages to maneuver his left leg onto his shoulder, and it's quite nice how Zoro squeezes his shoulders a bit extra every time he goes deep. It's more than nice how he grips Luffy's biceps and tries to pull him closer at the end of every thrust, lifting his hips to meet him.
Being inside of Zoro, drowning in the enveloping heat of him, is beyond his wildest expectations. There's a frantic excitement in him and he knows that he is instantly, forever, addicted to the scent of Zoro's excitement and the sounds their bodies make together. He has some vague notion of touching Zoro, wants to feel his cock in his hand, but it requires too much coordination right now. Luffy settles for supporting himself on Zoro's chest instead, his blunt nails digging into his right pectoral muscle while he snaps his hips with more and more force. There are words spilling from his mouth, overwhelmed babble and the occasional breathless giggle, and it's all so much that Luffy thinks he might fly into pieces before he even has the chance to come.
Pushing Zoro's leg even further down, so that the swordsman is bent almost double beneath him, he can just reach, taste the firm flesh. His breath is puffing against Zoro, who's twisting, but pulling him even closer, oh there, there – Luffy's swept away. Buried to the hilt, he shakes and groans, barely managing to give Zoro that last bruising bite he needs for his release, before he collapses into a twitching heap of pleasure.
Beneath him, Zoro goes stiff as a board; still too silent, not there enough... Only as his body slowly softens, as his gasps turn into half-repressed sobs can Luffy feel him again.
They won't need to talk about it. There's nothing to say, after all, no more than empty, angry words against a dangerous world and a merciless ocean that takes and takes, wiping out moments that ought to be held in memories for ever. Luffy clings to him, rubbery limbs wrapped almost completely around Zoro, as the other breaks down from stress and fatigue.
What he can do is turn to his captain, lean on his strength for a moment. Zoro can bury his face against the abused neck, just for a moment, and hide from his shame, his crushing disappointment.
There's tomorrow for them, Luffy knows, and the day after. There are new islands and greater battles. An almost endless amount of nights stretching ahead of them, time wide as the sea, where their bodies can learn each other while they share pleasure and pain. Someday, this one lost moment will be as insignificant as one of the waves that pass the Sunny on her journey.
But that's tomorrow, and this is now, and one single wave is sometimes enough to drown you. So he holds Zoro close and makes sure to hold onto the memory of their first time together twice as hard – he's carrying so many dreams already, Luffy. One more moment of love won't break him.
With a groan, Luffy manages to roll off his human pillow. Shading his eyes against the sinking sun, he looks up at the perky skeleton poking him with an increasingly uncomfortable bony finger.
"I do hope I find you in good health, gentlemen?" Brook tips his hat, an overflowing picnic basket hanging snazzily in the crook of his arm. If he notices that he is speaking to two naked, filthy men lying in a devastated valley, his manners do not betray it.
"Our little doctor has sent me, for the antidote is finished!" With a flourish, Brook pulls a small bottle and a syringe from the basket. "Further, Mr. Sanji sends word that has prepared a splendid feast for when you return."
Okay, that? Is almost enough to wake up for. "Bird-meat?"
"Alas, no, but we have used the time to do a spot of fishing. Mr. Franky managed to haul in quite an impressive specimen of Elephant Tuna."
"Meeaat..." With a groan, Luffy sits up. His spine cracks when he stretches, treating Brook to the sight of his well-mauled back. "Oi, Zoro!"
Hardly surprising, the older man is utterly dead to the world. After about the eighth frantic climax Luffy lost count. By then he himself was mostly just lying half-dozing until Zoro was really close to coming, when he lent a hand or a mouth. Even so, he feels as if he's gone a round with a Warlord of the Sea or three. He can't even begin to imagine how exhausted his partner is.
"Perhaps we should simply give him the antidote before he wakes up?" Brook suggests. "If I understood young master Chopper properly, the spores continue to spread their toxin in the body even after the active phase has passed."
Tired but trusting the doctor, Luffy agrees. He's patting his head absentmindedly, until he remembers that his hat is waiting back at the ship. A quick look around the clearing reveals that the rest of their clothes are best forgotten, although he might come back for Zoro's bandana later.
The medical supplies he hasn't already used lie scattered on the ground as well. Since most of it is sticky with lube and bodily fluids, he feels reasonably sure that Chopper won't mind if they just leave it all behind.
Luffy yawns hugely again. Wow, he's so tired he could almost fall asleep BEFORE DINNER! This isn't a state of being he can tolerate for long.
Standing up on wobbly legs, Luffy gratefully accepts the robe Brook hands him. With evening falling, the wind feels chilly against his skin.
Cocking his head, Luffy looks at the skeleton quizzically. He's not used to Brook sounding so hesitant about anything.
"Do you believe you will both recover properly?" Even without actual eyeballs, he does an admirable job of not-quite glancing at the unconscious swordsman.
Luffy's really found himself the best crew ever, he knows, and he loves how they keep proving it. He squeezes Brook's bony shoulder in silent reply and feels all worries fly away from him.
They stink to high heavens. His stomach is trying to claw its way out of him in the direction of the nearest meal and it feels as if Zoro actually managed to bite off a chunk of his back there at the end; but all of that still more or less passes for "normal" on the Thousand Sunny. That's not what Brook's asking, but the beauty of it all, the most wonderful thing about his sensitive musician? If Luffy tells him that it's okay, he won't ever be questioned on it again. At the same time, the moment something isn't okay? They'll be there for them, Brook as well as the others.
"Thanks. We will be," Luffy says and his Soul King gazes at him for a long moment, then gives him a grave nod. Understood.
"Uhm, but maybe you can help me carry Zoro back?"
Brook nods and takes out a syringe. "Let me just give him our doctor's fine medicine and then I shall lend you all the strength of my arm. Why, you would see the muscles bulge from my efforts – if I weren't only dry bones! Yohohoo!"
In the end Brook has to carry most of Zoro's weight, since Luffy's legs threaten to turn to rubbery noodles with every third step. On the way, the musician entertains him by explaining that Franky, much to his horror and Sanji's vindictive glee, did end up affected by the spores after all. It was just that his low level of exposure and greater body-mass delayed the symptoms. Still, they were quite mild and he mostly only showed some (especially considering his wardrobe) embarrassing physical symptoms. Chopper still found it necessary to forbid him go back on the shore again, which left only Brook to come to their aid.
Night has almost completely fallen once they make it to the landing boat, where Luffy collapses with a relieved groan. The familiar slow lull of waves joins Mini Merry's softly chugging engine and he fights to keep his eyes open until they've reached the Sunny. Zoro slumps against him, his skin finally free from that feverish heath and his breathing deep and even; free of pain and drugged needs. Luffy struggles... to remember why... he shouldn't fall...
Nami is sitting on the lawn-deck, enjoying the sun and Sanji's extra-fancy "Excuse My Rude Behavior Yesterday, Mellorine" breakfast when Luffy rushes up from the men's cabin and almost crashes through the door in his eagerness to get to actual honest food after an unimaginable sixteen-hour fast.
She calmly sips her coffee when Sanji kicks him out so quickly that he literally bounces off the mast. She can't quite make out what the cook is shrieking about, but she mentally translates it to a fear of getting mosshead-cooties on his kitchen. With mild amusement, Nami watches Luffy renew his assault until a double-sized Sea King sandwich is thrown his way, along with a promise of a full brunch if he will just sit down and shut his shitty mouth for five minutes.
When Chopper comes running, flapping his arms and wailing about opening stitches and the risk of infection from human-inflicted bites, she only raises a supercilious eyebrow and mentally tsks when Luffy ignores every appeal to calm down a little.
Finally, the shadow that has been waiting behind Luffy's vivacious entrance steps out onto the deck. Nami nods a greeting, one sharply polite and controlled nod.
Zoro blanches and raises his hand. Opens his mouth, closes it again and turns his gaze towards the open sea. One of his hands is flexing at his empty hip, seeking relief in the swords that aren't there. Then his body begins to turn and he seems on the verge of going back below-deck.
Now that, she thinks, just won't do.
"Zoro," she whispers, silky soft and thunder-deadly, "we are going to talk about this."
Smiling like a shark, Nami leans forward. "Zoro. Who is the most wronged part in this discussion, in your opinion?"
He throws her a one-eyed glare at that, but nods deferentially enough.
"Exactly. And that is why we will solve this my way. By talking. Not, I repeat, NOT by hiding and sulking. Or cutting off body-parts as a way of compensating. Or trying to do some other kind of suicidally brave and utterly unnecessary rescue the next time we are in a fight. Are we in agreement? Zoro?"
The grumble probably means yes.
"Here?" he asks after another few frozen moments. Hallelujah, the man can still articulate! "Or do you want to go inside?" Suddenly, he flushes deeply and takes a full step backwards. "Uh, Robin can come, of course. Or Chopper, or we can stay. Here."
Nami barely keeps from rolling her eyes. Sometimes, she can feel her intelligence dropping just by breathing the same air as her crew mates
"I'm not afraid of you trying anything now, you blockhead. And I don't want to take you down below just to scream at you. But Zoro, we need to talk – with real, actual words, about what we really, actually feel. I'm not Luffy. I can't read your mind. And, I repeat, offers of cutting off body-parts don't count as talking."
He gives her a deeply suspicious look, but finally nods in agreement. "Well, I certainly can't read yours." With that, Zoro plops down on the deck and spreads his hands; open, unarmed. "Talk?"
She can't exactly say why, but it is only once she's joined him on the soft grass, meeting his scarred gaze on the same level, that she can let go of that calculating, wary mood she's been in all morning. They sit there, for a while, looking at each other in the sunlight while the Sunny sways gently beneath them and Luffy loudly makes his way through Sanji's breakfast spread. Zoro seems content to wait as well.
"I don't know where to start," she finally admits. "But you scared me yesterday."
He nods slowly, seeming to consider for a moment. "This isn't... Nami, I'm not trying to make, to be..." He groans and shakes his head. "I'm sorry, okay? I'm really. I'm not asking for forgiveness. I'm just. Sorry."
As good beginning as any, she guesses. And she thinks she gets it, this part at least; mushroom-induced madness isn't really something he can ask forgiveness for, nor is it something she feels like handing out or withholding
"If you want me to..." Zoro stares at her with that dead-earnest look he gets sometimes and she nods encouragingly. She can't follow his logic half the time, but they're crew mates. In a way, that's half the problem. The words seem to catch in his mouth, though, and his hand hovers over the missing swords again. "No," he mumbles seemingly to himself, "we gotta talk, she says."
"I do. I want to deal with this. I need to – for my sake, but for the sake of the crew too. We can't sail on without closure! You know that."
He grunts in vague agreement, before catching himself. "No. This isn't about them. This can't be about the crew. Because I'm sorry. For what I did to you. Not just because you're our navigator, but because you're you." Zoro's fingers are slowly digging into the lawn. "Nobody should have to feel any of what happened yesterday."
"No," she agrees, "not me. Not you."
"Especially not you," he growls, hand fisting around a lump of sod. "Especially not because of me."
"How much do you..." She hesitates, glancing over to where Robin is leaning against a mandarin tree, not even pretending that she wasn't listening. Sanji and Luffy are probably still busy in the kitchen, but she can see Chopper fidget worriedly by the stairs. She'll bet actual money that the others are sneaking around somewhere too. And yet, despite whatever Zoro seems to think, how can it not be about the crew too? Isn't it always about them all, the Thousand Sunny's odd family?
"Do you even remember anything? Of what you did, or why?"
Those bared teeth are never a smile, Nami knows, and that hurts her too. Because for the merest second her stomach had clenched at the sight. She refuses this fear, wants to pull it out with the roots and destroy it.
"Suddenly it stunk like, I dunno, acid or something. Then everything got hot and just, went away. Bit by bit." Zoro stares at the bit of grass and dirt he is crushing as if he can read the all the currents of the ocean in it.
"It's weird, falling into your own head. You don't really realize it until you're too deep to come out again. I spotted you..." He closes his remaining eye, growing so utterly still that she feels her own breath catch in her throat, waiting for whatever will come. "But I couldn't see you, not really. It was as if you were, not a thing, but something unimportant. That I still needed, somehow. Shit, I don't know. It wasn't real. Until I heard them. Kitetsu. Wadou. Shusui. They called me, when you..." He cocks his head and looks at her. "Thanks for that. It brought me back. But that's not why – this isn't a, a gesture! It's not to make up for anything, do you understand?"
She shakes her head. No, she doesn't, but she is trying. "I'm listening." Harder than ever before.
"Nami, if you want to... Please, if it's what you want, just tell me. I'll put down my swords. Or leave the crew. Because it is, if it's what you want, it's the thing I have to do! Do you see?"
There aren't any seagulls on this island. They should've felt more wary about that, Nami thinks, thoughts flittering here and there in the utter stillness. The wind has almost completely died down and there is a suspicious lack of noise from the galley.
"I didn't know what was going on," Zoro whispers, words falling like cold rain from his lips, freezing them both. "I just saw you, you were afraid and I thought... I could stop it, whatever had scared you so badly. It's what I do. Should do."
There can't be anything left in his fist by now, but his knuckles are still straining, white with force and Nami can't look away. She's remembering too, those awful moments when their trust was strained and she was so very, very afraid.
"Then I remembered the burning. And I knew it was me. I scared you, hurt you. And that's why I had to give you my swords. Don't want them back, either, unless you can give them back and feel safe. Be safe. We can't sail on, if we keep hurting from this. I can't. So. Do you...?"
He falls silent and Nami tries desperately to listen to that silence. She can hear the wind, see the way the streams are growing, but she can't always understand what her crew mates say with their hearts. Not like Luffy, and she's hardly ever missed it so desperately before.
Zoro, though, appears to be able to read her confusion well enough. He sighs deeply, but doesn't give up. "Let me try with more words."
She just nods; go ahead, make it all understandable. Let's make it better, together. Somehow.
"I've got dark places inside. I know that. It's not somewhere I go looking often," Zoro begins, voice growing in strength even as a drop of blood forms at the bottom of his fist. "But it's a place that's always been there. I use it. For Asura, for keeping hunger away, for fight– for training with Him. But it's not something I use for anything else. It's not, I've never done... I mean, I don't go into that darkness without swords."
She bites her lip as his voice almost cracks on that admission.
"Never go that deep on my own," Zoro continues, his eye fixed on the steady drip of blood falling on the abused lawn. "Swords are dangerous. Swords kill; all swords. So if I just put all the darkness into the blades... then it becomes about trusting my strength, my luck. I can hone my skills. It's not set free. I don't lose control, I don't hurt people by mistake. I don't ever allow that damn part to come out without a blade in hand and I shouldn't have done it now either. For no reason, never."
"I think that's what scared me the most," Nami admits. "That you were crazy was freaky. But how you acted when I could see you weren't quite as crazy? It was almost worse."
Zoro nods, agreeing completely, and she knows that he too fears his own darkness more than the foreign feelings of excessive lust. Those, after all, are outside and outsiders can always be defeated, somehow.
"The perverted cook wouldn't have tried those things. Or Usopp. Or you. Even if you all went mad from that fucking mushroom. I thought I could, ah, put it all away. Deep inside, back into my swords."
"You told me to take them and run," she says, her own voice now definitely breaking, damn it all.
He shudders. "I hoped it would help, that it would... go away with them. It didn't."
"But you stopped!" She has to blink away tears now, rubs angrily at her eyes because she needs to see him, dammit.
"But I might not! And I can't..." When Zoro meets her gaze, she's not too surprised to see a familiar glitter in his whole eye. "I can't promise I won't lose myself again. I'll train, I'll try to control it, by all the seas, but I just don't know!"
"But you stopped." He did. In pain, in confusion, through the madness, he stopped. "You gave me your swords."
"But I could– !"
"You STOPPED!" Suddenly, she can't sit, can't be still even one moment longer. On legs that have almost fallen asleep she stumbles up, fists clenched with anger and elation.
"You freaky, crazy, madman! You scared me!" she screams, no, she's shrieking and hitting him, fists bouncing harmlessly off his shoulders because he isn't lifting a finger to defend himself. "I thought, oh god, I thought you wanted rape me, I thought you would kill me and you, you didn't! You stopped, because you – Roronoa Zoro, you didn't hurt me. Even when you went mad, you... You're my comrade and you didn't hurt me. You stopped."
"I'll always stop," he grinds out. "Oh fuck! I swear I'll always – Nami, I'm sorry. So sorry, I'm sorry."
It's a relief to finally fall. Allow herself to weep into his shoulder and to know that it's their swordsman who is putting a hesitant arm around her; their Zoro, their thickheaded, half-mad, useless lump of fighting-instinct who is not-quite sobbing along with her and whatever happens? She can trust him to remain that.
"I'll never hurt you," he promises, four choked words whispered into her ear, just between them. She is so madly happy to hear that, to know that she can take that promise and trust it to the end of the world.
"Don't you dare leave," she cries, though there is a broken laughter bubbling up beneath her tears now. She hits him again, even though she's the one most likely to carry away bruises from it. "You owe me a billion zillion trillion belies for scaring me like this! You think three lousy old swords are gonna make up for that, huh?"
She'll never know if Zoro actually managed to say that he was happy that she could still manage to be a greedy wench who didn't know the value of a good sword, or if she's learned to read his thoughts a bit better (that he didn't send that thought her way is a possibility she dismisses as too silly to consider) but when she begins to rant at him through her tears, it feels as if life has returned to the Sunny.
The ship is rocking calmly beneath their feet, the waves a soothing counterpoint to the chaos inside of her. At the edge of her hearing, she can just catch Franky's badly covered sobs – I'b nod crying ad all, you basdards! – and she knows he's the one making her mandarin trees shake as he blows his nose.
Once Nami draws back, Chopper is there to catch her with a blanket and gentle little reindeer-hooves, hugging and reassuring even as he bemoans his inability to help them. For Zoro, who looks too close to shattering when their little doctor extends a gentle touch in his direction, there is Sanji. He is fired up into a holy rage at the sight of Nami's tears and kicks the swordsman hard enough to break an ordinary man's neck. Within moments, furious challenges are exchanged and they are posturing at each other. Sanji continues to rant while Robin and Brooke help bring out an impressive second breakfast, although Zoro becomes distracted when Usopp comes running with his swords.
And here comes their captain, who has smiles enough for the world, but who will always save the brightest ones for his precious crew. With hands stretching too far, grasping just a bit too roughly like always, he's grabbing them and drags them together. Nami finds herself grinning even as her head klonks into a rubbery chest with a slightly painful thump.
"See, Brook?" Luffy yells, hugging his first two crewmates uncomfortably, wonderfully, close. "I said we'd be fine!"
He's still bandaged all over his arms and most of his back, though at this rate, he'll laugh himself out of them within the hour. Still, Nami makes sure to throw a stern glare at her fellow captive-in-headlock, 'don't you dare hurt him either'!
If she ever does get around to writing a dictionary for non-verbal idiot communication, she will probably start with the entry for 'hell no, I'll drown myself first!' because rarely has she seen an answer projected with quite such determination before.
Luffy's yelling something about setting up a signal for the Marines, because he doesn't care if Chopper claims it impossible to burn down the entire island or not, someone had better do something about that dangerous mushroom and the silly Marines had to be good for something, right?
It's a crazy idea, Nami knows, to voluntarily get the official forces on their tail again. Madness. And trusting their chances of escape to a dangerous and almost completely unreliable underwater stream again? Sheer insanity.
But Zoro's hand rests on her own, holding it quite gently against Luffy's bandaged back. There is a deep, still joy in her crewmate's tired face and she closes her eyes and feels the captain's laughter quiver beneath her palm.
"I'll find us the stream again," Nami whispers, knowing that Luffy will hear and understand. "But first we'll torch that thing. We'll burn it all, we'll bring the Marines and whatever they do, we'll keep escaping together."