One Piece is the property of Eiichiro Oda. Author's notes are at the bottom.
"I think I'm more of a boob guy more than a butt guy," Yosaku decided with pursed lips and a beer bottle in his hand. "Because nothing gross comes out of boobs."
"False. What about breast milk?" Usopp corrected. "I still look away when Nami breast-feeds Scott..."
"Awh. You're a queasy one, aren't you, Longnose?" Ace chuckled.
"Well, I don't mind it..." Sanji mumbled from his spot in the kitchen. Raising his voice, he continued, "Why not just appreciate the female as a whole?"
"There has to be one thing you like the most." Johnny drawled. "What about you, Zoro? Boobs or butts?
The swordsman, having excluded himself from the conversation and having just caught the last part, looked up and arched an eyebrow. He answered, "I don't really look at other girls..."
"Oh, come on," Johnny groaned, pushing his sunglasses up onto his forehead with a genuinely bothered expression on his face. Snickers arose around the room. "Fine. Which of Robin's assets do you enjoy the most?"
"... I like everything about her."
"I knew it!" Usopp shouted, with the rest of the crowd resounding in booming laughter. "You, Roronoa Zoro, are whipped!"
"Oh, fuck you! You're the married one!" Zoro retorted. "What the hell are you talking about, anyway?"
Yosaku approached Zoro, bending at the waist before his friend. "Robin has your balls on a leash, Zoro. The more you act out, the tighter the leash gets. Because you're afraid of that leash getting tighter, you conform. Soon, you're a product of her mind. You speak when spoken to. You sit in bed with her, reading and commenting on the Fishman Island documentary you two watched. You refuse to take part in possible argument-triggering, typical male conversation. You are whipped, Zoro."
Zoro pushed Yosaku out of his face and sulked. "I'm not... whipped, whatever that means. What's so bad about being faithful?"
"I'm sure Robin looks at other guys." Usopp added. "Nami does..."
"Does she actually like the whole clingy bit?" Ace very seriously inquired. "Is that some sort of fetish?"
Zoro sulked even further, grumbling about his hatred for his so-called "friends" as Sanji treated the group with a fancy meat platter that he set down on the coffee table to admire. The blond smirked, using the tea towel he had thrown over his shoulder before quitting the kitchen to wipe his hands briefly. "I propose a challenge, marimo."
"Lay it on me, Question." Zoro responded, his heart swelling. A challenge. He liked the sound of that.
"I know a place - the Sandersonia. Somewhere coveted where every hot girl goes on Friday nights like this one - perhaps some more aesthetically pleasing than the lovely Robin-chan."
"Quiet, algae-head. I don't appreciate you being so perverted," the blond hissed. Zoro mumbled something about hypocrisy under his breath. "Now, while I don't encourage adultery, I wager that there's going to be at least one girl there off of which you can't take your eyes. You won't be able to resist her."
Zoro frowned, both at the mere thought of even getting close to cheating on Robin and at the fact that his friends even thought that he would. He put these thoughts aside for a moment to inquire, "And if it doesn't happen?"
"Name your price," Usopp weighed in.
"You're all my personal servants. For a month. I don't want any lip, especially from you, dartboard-brow prissy." Zoro proposed, ignoring the shit-cook's muttered insults.
Usopp twisted his lips. "And if you lose..."
"No way in hell am I gonna be a maid for all five of you bastards."
"How about this, then?" Yosaku began. "If Zoro loses, he takes care of the tab at the Sandersonia for a month."
"Doesn't seem too fair; he pays for our drinks, we do his laundry? Bullshit." Ace pouted with narrowed eyes.
"If there are no more arguments," Zoro boomed over Ace's lamenting, "The deal's on."
"See you tonight, then." Sanji smirked.
Zoro returned home from Sanji's apartment soon after the deal had been made. While he was positive that this bet would be a total bust and that he would have his five pigheaded buddies as his slaves for a delicious thirty days, it was the actual going out of it all that he was dreading. There was the process of interacting with strangers and unwanted touches, and, oh, what to wear...
Zoro stood inside the over-sized closet attached to the master bedroom - he'd upgraded to a walk-in closet when Robin moved in - with a scowl fixed on his face when Robin sauntered in, a fresh basket of laundry in hand. She stated, "I don't think I've ever seen you in here for more than two seconds, Zoro."
"Yeah... I'm going out tonight." Zoro informed her absently as he wrapped an arm around her waist. "With the shit-cook and the rest of 'em."
Robin arched an eyebrow. "You never struck me as the nightlife kind of man. Where are you boys going?"
"Some place called the Sandersonia..."
Robin turned to set the laundry basket down on the carpet before her wide collection of shoes. "That whorehouse?"
"Is that what it is?" Zoro smirked. "No wonder that dartboard-brow bastard loves it so much."
"Well, Zoro..." Robin sighed, handing him a pair of black jeans and a light green Oxford shirt. She lingered on his right arm and smiled. "If you go anywhere near the strip club downstairs, I will personally break your spine."
Zoro smirked. "Wouldn't expect anything less."
Unluckily for Zoro, the deal had indeed entailed visiting the underground strip club. The stubborn shit-cook refused to miss out on spending half his income on tipping half-naked bimbos. And while almost never bothered with women besides Robin, there was something to be admired about a girl who had enough upper body strength to hang upside down on a vertical pole...
"Robin's gonna kill me."
Zoro muttered this to himself multiple times, especially after he would happen to steal a glance at one of the girls working the crowd or one of the highly unsanitary metal poles. He felt like a desperate scumbag being here, but he planned to stay at the bar until Sanji died of a nosebleed and they had to leave. "Robin's gonna kill me..."
Zoro gave an inward sigh at the female voice. Now the strippers were attempting to socialize with him. "What's it to you? Leave me alone."
"Well, excuse me," said the female as she sat at the bar. "But I just wanted to buy myself a drink. And inquire about your swords."
Zoro looked up from the counter to stare, shocked, at the well-dressed woman on the stool two down from his. He wouldn't have bothered to spare a glance at the female had she not mentioned his swords, which he had insisted on bringing with him, though he'd had to leave them at the door... "My swords? How did you-?"
"I'm here with my Marine buddies," the black-haired female answered quickly as she pushed her glasses up the bridge of her minuscule nose. "I was at the door when you were arguing with the bouncer about leaving them behind. Santoryu, I see? If I remember correctly, Sandai Kitetsu was among the three. Are you into cursed swords?"
Zoro sat nearly gaping at this girl. She could actually talk swords. Why, if he ever tried to start a discussion about his katanas with Robin, it ended with her complaining about how they "made her nervous". So, he indulged. "Hope that's not too intimidating."
"Of course it isn't." The woman played, a coy smile on her lips. She placed her elbows on the counter, narrowing her eyes at Zoro. "I know you."
"As the guy you met a few minutes ago?"
"You're the owner of the dojo smack-dab in the middle of all those mansions over on Nanohana Avenue, aren't you?" She concluded. "It's like meeting a celebrity. You must be mighty talented to have your own dojo."
"Damn right, Captain Glasses." Zoro took a sip from his beer bottle to hide his bashful smile. She was inflating his ego way too much in one shot for him to handle. "You hoping to train over there?"
Even in the dim, colourful lights bouncing off the walls in the club, Zoro could spot the blush in Captain Glasses' cheeks. She stammered, "Is that an invitation?"
"Could be. I wouldn't get too sick of seeing you every once in a while." Zoro licked his lips; this girl was much too cute to ignore. "What are you drinking?"
"A v-vodka cranberry." The female stuttered.
Zoro snorted as he flagged the bartender down. "What is this, breakfast? That's weak, Captain Glasses."
The woman slid over to the stool directly beside Zoro's. "Not everyone is a raging alcoholic like yourself, kenshi-san."
Kenshi-san. "Robin's gonna kill me."
"You know, I'm starting to think that this Robin person is your girlfriend." Captain Glasses smirked as Zoro requested her beverage. "Is she?"
"Uh..." Zoro was conflicted. Either he could be honest and throw the bet, making him feel like he barely tried to prove his friends wrong, or he could lie and waste money on all his friends' overpriced drinks after he took this flirting game too far. "Technically, no."
It was an omission of the truth, not a lie.
"Good. Because I'm not a homewrecker." the Marine simpered, turning to Zoro and lightly stroking his forearm. "Even then, I'd hate to have to stop flirting now."
Zoro knew bedroom eyes when he saw them, and the brown eyes behind those red frames were burning into his soul. "I never caught your name."
"Tashigi," Captain Glasses confirmed. "My friends call me Tash."
"What about the guys who are into you? What do they call you?" Zoro inquired. Robin's gonna kill me.
"Well..." Tashigi rasped. "You can find out if we go to my place."
Robin will kill me and bury my remains under the floorboards. Zoro chewed on his bottom lip in thought. The last time he got to flirting with a girl like he was at that moment, a girl named Nico Robin, he ended up in the friend zone for a year. It was hellish having to hide his feelings for her while falling deeper in love with her. Even now, when they had been engaged to be married, Zoro found himself unable to comprehend why she still hid things from him. It was as if she still had ulterior motives after all this time, like she was leading him on, seeing how deep he would go before it was all ripped away from him at her hands. Then, there was Captain Glasses. Tashigi. Obviously, Zoro was not yet in love with this girl, but he already felt a connection with her that he had never experienced with Robin. Tashigi had his attention right off the bat with her knowledge of swords, the fact that she was cute as hell helped, plus, she was a shameless flirt. Zoro appreciated her no-bullshit approach to what she wanted, and he would be damned if he didn't take her up on her offer.
Zoro took her hand. "Shall we?"
"Yeah. I, uhm... I have someplace I need to be. I completely forgot. I'm sorry, Tash."
She covered herself with a blue blanket. "Oh... well, you have my number, right? I'd love to see you again."
"Sure, yeah. I guess I'll, uh... see you around."
The excitement of exploring new curves was the first thing on Zoro's mind when he entered Tashigi's apartment, and the excitement was slowly being replaced by fear as he made the shameful trek home to his fiancée. He hadn't gone all the way with Tashigi - they'd been deep in heated foreplay when he got paranoid about the idea of a pair of Robin's eyes in the vicinity - but what he'd done already was perfect reason for Robin to brutally murder him. He felt like utter shit, and he proposed that coming clean to her would alleviate just a fraction of the guilt.
And that was if she didn't snap his neck before he could explain.
As usual, Robin was reading by lamplight when Zoro arrived. Zoro took in her features and altogether forgot about Tashigi, giving a sigh of relief at the disappearance of Captain Glasses from his mind. He greeted, "Hi."
"How was your night? Not too much fun, I hope?" Robin smiled as she removed her reading glasses. At Zoro's silence, she scooted over on their king-sized bed and patted the now empty spot beside her. "Tell me all about it."
"I cheated. Kind of." Zoro blurted out. "Before you get upset, please let me explain."
There was a blank expression on Robin's face, quite possibly one of the most dangerous looks she could wear. She grit her teeth and, in a speech just short of a hiss, she replied, "How much can you explain, Zoro? You cheated on me. That's that."
Zoro exhaled and shook his head as she made to quit the room, holding her hands in his. "It's not like that. I can explain."
Robin retrieved her hands from Zoro's grip and folded her arms, staring sternly at the male. "Go on, then. I'd love to hear just how you managed to kind of cheat on me."
"It's kind of a winded story, but you have to promise me you'll listen. Promise."
The female grit her teeth again and looked away from Zoro's pleading gaze. "Fine."
And so he retold the story, all in one breath: "Me and the guys had this bet thing going. Shit-cook said that I'd end up flirting with or checking out any given girl at the Sandersonia. I decided to bite and we made a deal. If I didn't, Ace, Yosaku, Johnny, Sanji and Usopp would all be my bitches for a month. If I did, I'd cover the tab at the Sandersonia. I was sitting at the bar and this girl - Tashigi - comes up to me and starts spewing some shit about my swords. Long story short, we ended up going back to her apartment and fooling around, I guess. We didn't fuck or anything, just... yeah."
Robin mulled over the events as told by Zoro and nodded slowly. She produced her engagement ring from her left hand and held it out to Zoro. "Take it."
"What?" Zoro spat. "Are you fucking kidding? I was honest with you, like you always ask of me, and you're doing this to me?"
"It's meaningless now," Robin gestured to the ring. "I don't want this, and I don't want to commit myself to you if it just means that you're going to 'kind of' cheat on me."
"Babe, you're overreacting. Think about what you're doing." Zoro tried. "It was a mishap."
"It's not a fucking mishap if you knowingly jumped into bed with a stranger!" Robin accused. She hurled the blue diamond ring at Zoro and stepped back. "I can't believe you would betray me like this! When have I ever done something cruel enough to deserve this?!"
Though he was getting a bit riled up himself, the swordsman simply assessed the woman as she regained her composure after yelling. She was more shocked and upset than angry; Zoro could tell by the tears in her eyes. All the defiance he could have possibly possessed at the moment melted away when she began to cry. He took a cautious step towards her. "Robin-chan, I'm sorry."
"Don't come any closer." She warned darkly with a trembling bottom lip.
Despite her words, Zoro pressed on. His fingertips just brushed hers. "I know you're upset with me, Robin-chan. You have no reason not to be. Let's just talk about-"
Robin's open right hand crashed into Zoro's cheek, and there was no time for his head to return back to its original place before she slapped him again, screaming, "Bastard!"
In his movement to hold her wrists, Zoro gave Robin a passing glance to see that she had wrapped her arms around herself, squeezing herself almost protectively as she cried openly, freely. Perhaps what surprised him the most aside from the fact that Robin was expressing shameless emotion was the fact that she fell into his chest when he hugged her. His muscular frame seemed to completely swallow her thin shape as it shook. He whispered, "I never got to tell you why."
"Why what?" She had suddenly developed an interest in the buttons on the shirt she'd picked out for him to avoid Zoro's penetrating gaze.
"Just why... why I did what I did with her." The male explained. His hands idly rested on Robin's waist. "At first, I thought her and I legitimately clicked. We're both into swordsmanship, and I thought that that was what blinded me to the actual gravity of what I was doing."
"You wanted to prove something, didn't you?" Robin offered with a glance at him.
"I did. I wanted to prove that I wasn't as stuck on you as everyone says I am. I thought of everything that's wrong with you and I so I wouldn't feel as bad when I went through with... cheating." Putting a label on his actions with Tashigi behind Robin's back was sour on his tongue. "I looked for every excuse I could not to feel bad about it, and, for a while, it worked."
Robin nodded, digesting this. "And then what happened?"
"I realized that no single hour of push ups on top of some girl with tacky glasses could replace what you and I have. Hey, I'm serious!" Zoro frowned when Robin chuckled at his former statement. "I know I've risked ending our relationship already by even thinking for a second that she was any better than you, but you have to trust me when I say that I know just what I would be missing out on if you ever left me."
"And just what would that be?" Robin entertained with a smile.
Zoro blushed even before the words left his mouth. "Knowing what true love is like. I mean, I'm already there, right? Why should I have to start over with someone else?"
With a simper, Robin wiped her remaining tears away and giggled. "Shut up, Zoro. God. I'm exhausted."
"I'd be surprised if you weren't," Zoro scowled as he rubbed his tender left cheek. "Your slaps hurt, woman."
"They're supposed to hurt, sweetheart... speaking of getting hurt, I trust you didn't partake in the strip club?" Robin arched an eyebrow.
Zoro's face flushed; he could feel the blood rushing to his face yet again. "If it counts for anything, I didn't tip any of them."
Pulling back, the archaeologist pulled back and gave Zoro's chest a gentle pat. "If you weren't the breadwinner in this household, I would have clean shattered your spine and made it look like an accident by now. I suppose I'll have to dream up another punishment."
"Oh, have mercy." Zoro bent down to retrieve the engagement ring.
As she crawled into bed, Robin grinned. "I don't know. I might just sneak up on you one of these days."
"Tch." The muscled man joined his fiancée in bed, capturing her left hand and fixing the ring back onto her finger. He kissed her cheek. "Goodnight."
"Wait." Robin hesitated. "One more thing."
"... was she prettier than me?"
Smirk. "Prettier? Impossible. But she was a hell of a lot shorter. Made me feel weird about marrying a skyscraper."
"Don't be surprised if you wake up and you can't move."
"Whatever you say, Robin-chan."
This chapter is about 3,260 words long, thus making it the second-longest one so far. *confetti*
I've actually wanted to write this one since before I considered making this an entire drabble collection. I've never been a fan of ZoTash, personally, but I've wanted to experiment with a situation in which Zoro has to make a choice between being super faithful and not being, as Usopp put it, whipped. And then this chapter was born.
I also wanted to fit in another joke about Robin's height in there. It's a headcanon of mine that Zoro constantly makes fun of her height and she's all like, "You're just mad because you're tiny." Mmhmm.
See you all next chapter!