Disclaimer: It's 2013 and I still don't own any bit of One Piece. Can you believe that? *insert my bitch eye-roll here*
He awakes in the middle of the night, feeling her clawing at his left shoulder.
"Hey you." The corner of his lips lifts up into a small smile as he leans sideways, propping himself up on one elbow to better look her in the eyes.
Her eyes are big and round and beautiful just like her momma's; warm and sweet like hot chocolate has melted in them. He looked into them and wonders where his share of genes goes—not that he minds, her momma's eyes are ten times more beautiful than his.
"You are bald." He tells her in a whisper.
She wrinkles her nose at the insult, then her bottom lip quivers. Water begins to accumulate in her big, round, chocolate-colored eyes. Next thing he knows—she attacks, wailing and screeching and throwing her chubby arms at him.
"UWAAAAHHHH—"her high-pitched cries spear the silence of the night. It's been over two months but sometimes he still wonders why such a tiny creature as she is is capable of being this loud.
"Shit." He mutters to himself and then gives her a precautious look. "No, that can't be your first word." He warns her.
"Zoro shut her up…" His wife stirs in her sleep, subconsciously nudging his side.
"That's our daughter you're talking about." He shakes his head slightly, amused; then he pulls himself upward on the bed. He picks up the pink bundle placed between him and his wife and cradles it in his arms. "I'm gonna take Orange out for a bit." He says.
"For the last time, her name is not Orange…" His wife mumbles.
"Yeah, yeah, I got it." he reaches out a hand to tug a stray strand of orange hair behind his woman's ear and then leans to place a gentle kiss on her exposed temple. "You go back to sleep."
His Orange loves the sea.
But that is to be expected, he guesses. She was born at sea. The chilly salty air from the ocean was the first breath she took in; and the deep bottomless azure blue was what her innocent eyes first caught sight of.
"It's quite nice out here, isn't it? "He asks her as he steps outside and onto the aft deck.
The night wind blows and she seems to like it immensely. She wiggles back and forth in her pink cocoon, letting out a jovial howl which resembles that of a cub's. He shushes her: "Shhhh…we gotta let mommy sleep. She gets super cranky when she doesn't get enough sleep; and you and I are both going to get it."
He loves talking to her, although Nami said it's still too early for her to talk back. He knows that she knows; they understand each other perfectly. After all, his Orange is a clever little gal. And despite what Nami says, he knows she got this from him.
"I used to sleep at night, ya know." He tells her as he gently but clumsily rocks the bundle in his arms. He is still green at this. Holding a soft, wriggling creature in his hands still feels new and terrifying. He just cannot risk dropping her again, especially without her Aunt Robin's sprouting hands to catch her right there before her head hit the floor. And despite what Nami says, last time it happened, it was NOT funny. Really, scared the crap out of him.
"But your mom said since she's the one who pulled you out of her private parts and has been breastfeeding you ever since, it's only fair that I got the night shift." He pauses and gives her another precautious look, "I hope you won't be saying private parts anytime soon. It's not a good word, Orange. And your mom will definitely kill me if she finds I say such things in front of you." He chances a glance towards the bedroom he shares with his wife and a small smile crawls up on his face as he remembers those many arguments they've had since his Orange was born. He remembers standing up for himself, saying that he would be more than happy to do the breastfeeding job but unfortunately he wasn't born with "the package". But then Nami threatened that he could forget about being anywhere near "the package"if he didn't do as she asked, and that's how he lost his battle nice and clean.
"No, no, we are not afraid of her." His Orange wrinkles her nose at him and he stresses his words reassuringly in return. "it's just that she's a troublesome woman , ya know, I let her have her own way mostly to save my own troubles. I'm actually the bigger person here, if ya think about it."
His Orange keeps staring at him as he justifies himself, her eyes wide and round. She's doing her "talking and judging without actual words" little infant trick again. If she could talk she would most likely be saying "Dad you are so lame. You always let mom have her way."
He lets out a small sigh. "Well…you are a girl, you'll understand very soon."
Actually, he is kind of concerned over that. In 15 years from now his Orange will grow up. She'll have her momma's look, her manipulative personality, and very likely—her wardrobe preference. She'll become a Nami 2.0 and he'll be beating off young hormonal boys from their front yard.
It almost saddens him to think that way. To think that in day one she's just this soft, wriggling tiny creature in your hands and in the next she'll be growing up and leaving your side, sailing afar in the sea and claiming her own name.
His Orange will accomplish more than he ever has. He just knows that. Despite what Nami says he knows she will become the greatest swordswoman in the world someday. That's why he asked her Uncle Usopp to start designing little wooden swords for her. He'll make sure she only learns from the best. He'll be there to hold her hand when she holds a sword for the first time in her life; he'll be there all ears when she returns with her own fame and tells him about all the adventures she's been through at sea.
His Orange is the most beautiful thing that happens in his life and he will not screw this one up.
"A little lost over there, are we?" His wife's teasing voice rings from behind. He turns around to see her in her cream-colored night robe. He scowls at her: "why d'ya always assume that I'm lost? I'm just…here, enjoying the view, ya know." He shrugs.
Nami smiles, hands on her hips as she quirks an eyebrow. "Come on, Zoro. You've been out here for half an hour. It's cold, let's get inside."
"Gotta hit the loo." He says and holds out the pink bundle towards his wife, "Here. Take Orange back first."
"Stop calling her fruit, Zoro. Call her by her real name." Nami rolls her eyes as she cradles the bundle into her arms. The little infant whimpers gaily, rubbing her face against her mommy's chest." She has a beautiful name. You picked it for her, remember?"
"But she looks bald and exactly like an orange." He explains in a mumble, his now free hand reaching behind his head to scratch the thick green hair there.
Nami sighs. Then she walks up to him and kisses his cheek softly. " Take your time. You'll get there someday." She whispers into his ear.
He watches as his wife retreats back into their cabin, his Orange in her arms. He stands where he was for a while, then he takes out from his pocket the little wooden sword Usopp gave him the other day. His features soften as his thumb trains along the carved letters on the sheath.
He'll get there someday. His wife always knows best.
Author's Note: Ever since I saw this cute fan art (the one I used as this fic's cover; it's ultra cute, isn't it?!) some time ago I've been wanting to write a story about Zoro and his beloved daughter (that he had with Nami, of course).
Hope you like this little piece of doodle. Tell me what you think in a review. Your encouragement is my motivation. :3
Oh I almost forget: HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! Let's continue our support to our favorite pair in year 2013.:D