Disclaimer: Chapter One (Piece)
Timeframe: Alabasta Arc (Somewhere between Luffy missing his eighth or ninth meal give or take a few- just don't tell him that)

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Zoro almost felt like sighing in relief when he finally found the door to the bed chamber where he and the rest of his crew were residing.

Seriously, why did the rooms of the palace have to keep switching about all the time? It was becoming so that even the helpful guards who gave him unwanted directions had forgotten where exactly the room was. And after a hard afternoon of training, the last thing Zoro needed was to spend unneeded time afterwards finding a relocated room again and again- it was as bad as his crew getting lost all the time.

He had barely put a hand on the doorknob before the door was wrenched open from inside allowing Nami to swiftly slip out and close it behind her effectively cutting Zoro off from entering whether it was planned or not. Not even waiting for him to tell her to get out of his way, Nami grabbed the swordsman's wrist and dragged him away from his destination to a nearby private garden devoid of human life until their arrival.

"What the hell are you doing, woman?!" Zoro growled wrenching his arm free from the navigator's grasp.

"Preventing you from stressing out Chopper more than needed" Nami replied unfazed by his hostility instead glaring at him just as intimidating. "You were out training again, weren't you?"

"Tch! What else was I to do while waiting for our Captain to wake up?" Zoro scoffed making to leave again only to have Nami block his way.

"You're staying right here until I change those bandages of yours, Baka!" Nami growled not giving an inch despite the height difference between the two. "Now, strip!"

Staring down at the red haired girl not at all intimidated by him and what he could do to her, like snapping her neck single handed like it were a twig, Zoro released his irritation she had given him and relented sitting down on the nearest stone bench and unbuttoned the black coat like dress to slip out his arms letting it hang around his waist thanks to his haramaki.

"BAKA!" Nami snapped punching Zoro upside the head when she saw his stitched up chest. "You took off your bandages!"

"You try training with them on!" Zoro snapped as he picked himself up his right cheek more swollen than Luffy's after stuffing meat in them.

"You're supposed to be resting right now!" Nami countered as she smacked Zoro again now completing the image so that he now looked like a chipmunk with stuffed cheeks as he lay sprawled and dazed on the ground.

Nami doubted she would ever understand how or why Zoro could keep on going. While not awake when someone, most likely Chopper, had finally tended to his wounds, she was the first to see Zoro after his fight with Mr 1, not to mention the amount of injuries he had attained during the course of the fight, and was amazed that he was still breathing despite looking like there was no blood left within his veins. Regardless of that, he still managed to get up and give her a piggyback ride through half the city and help Vivi reach the top of the tower where the bomb was hidden getting shot at in the process.

And yet, here he was trying to improve himself instead of resting up while in the company of a rather beautiful girl who was more than willing to help him recover instead of doing better things like…

Like…

…Okay, maybe there was not much she could do until the moronic swordsman was in better condition even if he did have stamina and endurance to spare and could probably still last longer than her regardless. And with all that had happened to them since Vivi's arrival in their nakama until now, Nami had been rather hoping to make up for lost time with Zoro once things had settled down some.

"Seriously…" She grumbled as she began work on dressing up the long gashes scattered over the swordsman's front. "Does the word 'rest' exist in that moss mould on your shoulders?"

"They're the same as naps, aren't they?" Zoro pointed out only to receive a karate chop to the forehead that left a smoking imprint.

"No, that's 'laziness' you Baka!" Nami rebuked as she carried on with her job. "I mean, really, most people going through what you've experienced would take opportunities like this to relax and enjoy being waited on hand and foot instead of trying to break their body even further"

Then again, ever since she had first met him, Nami could not help but wonder if Zoro really was human. Luffy, she could pass off because of the Devil Fruit he had eaten but Zoro, it was like the man was inhuman or perhaps even a real devil given to how even Arlong seemed scared of him for that brief moment before Luffy showed up and switched places. Come to think of it, with the way things were going, Zoro was more liable to lose his life due to their Captain's stupidity than from some injury an enemy gave him.

"And done!" Nami said as she finished dressing Zoro's wounds and slapping his chest perhaps a tad harder than necessary judging by the grimace to pass over his face. "Just try not to do too much training until your body's healed more, got it?"

"Yeah, yeah" Zoro grumbled before grabbing Nami by the wrists and pulling her onto the bench beside him.

"Hey! What're you-!" Nami tried to protest as Zoro pulled her feet onto his lap.

"Just returning the favour before you decide to put interest on it" Zoro smirked quickly glancing over her bandaged foot before putting his fingers to work in massaging away the stress she had put both appendages through.

"What makes you think I wo-ooohh!" Nami suddenly felt like she had died and gone to heaven as she felt his fingers knead her feet and send pleasant shivers riding up her spine.

Zoro merely smirked as he continued his work despite already turning Nami into putty within seconds of starting. As his fingers moved through the arches towards the heels, Nami herself felt herself arching backwards as the vibes he was sending through her body made her feel both blissful yet ticklish and it took all she had to stop from laughing out loud and bringing attention to them- the last thing she needed right now was Sanji butting in and forcing them to break apart like nothing was happening like while on the Going Merry.

Eventually, as she felt the swordsman's hands begin to traverse passed her ankles towards better lands, Nami managed to collect herself enough to kick her feet free and swing her legs off the bench before he could go any further.

"Oh? Did I cover the cost already?" Zoro asked that annoying smirk of his etched on his features.

"Shut up!" Nami gasped relocating to his lap while looking away from him as she finished collecting herself.

Zoro merely chuckled as he wrapped his arms round her waist taking in the scent of her hair as she leaned against him and still managed to pick out the unmistakable scent of mikans through that pungent fragrance she had purchased a while back. He had nearly forgotten what it was like to hold her like this the last time being not long after Chopper had joined them and even that moment had been fleeting thanks to the cook showing up with one of those shitty drinks of his.

"Enjoying the moment?" Nami asked quietly after a while savouring every second that was passing knowing just as well as him that this would possibly be the last chance they got in a while once their Captain woke up.

Zoro merely grunted in response which was as good as a yes in Nami's book.

"Hey, Zoro? You ever wondered what it could be like if we left Luffy and sailed the seas by ourselves?" Nami inquired wanting to hear his opinion on something she had once thought about doing not long after first accepting Luffy's invite when she was still part of Arlong's crew.

"That wouldn't have happened and you know it" Zoro replied instantly.

Nami huffed as she looked away. She knew he was right, though. While he may not be the type to let others control him, Nami knew that Zoro held Luffy in high regard and saw the Captain as an equal, a brother and perhaps even a rival seeing how the two were going at it tooth and nail until she interrupted their brawl back in Whiskey Peaks. There was also that uncanny ability that rubber skinned idiot had that somehow made friends out of enemies- Vivi and, to an extent, herself were prime examples of that having once been his enemies to begin with.

"So, you're saying your loyalty to Luffy is more important than me?" She pouted not expecting Zoro to suddenly turn her around to kiss her passionately causing her to sigh into his mouth as their tongues danced briefly before he pulled away.

"I'm not saying Luffy's more important to me than you. He is important to me just differently from how important you are to me" Zoro tried to explain frowning as his own words started to confuse him the sight causing Nami to giggle. "Oh, shut up! You know what I'm talking about"

"Maybe…" Nami teased in sing-song fashion as she leaned in. "But why don't you show me some other way how important I am to you?"

"Well…when you put it that way…" Zoro began as he kissed her again the sting of his wounds taking a backseat to something well worth the extra bite they would be giving him later on.

~#~

"Why can't you just rest like the rest of us, Zoro?!" Chopper whined as he took in the sight of the crimson tinted bandages covering Zoro's torso.

"Like what? I can only nap for so long. I have to do something asides- ARRGGHHH!" Zoro's explanation became a strangled cry of pain as Chopper, in Heavy Point, planted his foot in the small of Zoro's back while tightening the clean bandages he had just wrapped around the swordsman's waist. "YOU TRYING TO CRUSH ME OR SOMETHING!?"

"IF YOU WON'T STAY PUT I'LL CONSTRICT YOUR MOVEMENTS FOR YOU!" Chopper yelled back seemingly forgetting just who he was dealing with as his Hippocratic Oath took effect and pulled tighter on the bandages.

"If you ask me, Zoro's just a masochist" Usopp muttered quietly to Nami as the two watched the wrestling match taking place. "It's like he enjoys pain as much as he gives it"

For her part, Nami held in her giggles while mentally agreeing with the sharpshooter although her version of Zoro in pain was not something she would want to share with any of the others. Watching as Zoro put up with Chopper's 'healing' despite likely being able to break free of the hold the reindeer had on him, Nami could only smile softly while wondering why his broken compass never pointed in her direction until after she had ran into Luffy.

At least she had ample material to dream about until their next time together once back out to sea- hopefully, although she prayed Vivi didn't leave them, in her quarters when all was quiet again.

#~#

Would have been up earlier- like, 18th earlier as a B-day presie- but I just couldn't find the site almost as if someone kept moving it around whenever my back was turned. Now I know how Zoro feels whenever his crew gets lost again and again…and again…and again…

Anyways, this stupid site's wanderings aside, review if possible & until next time

Watch this space, peace out & happy B-day Fmdevil!