A/N: And here we go, my first ZoNa fic! Maaaan, it's hard looking for ZoNa fics, isn't it?
I've always wondered how Zoro managed to acquire his weights. Especially that big one in the RUN!RUN!RUN! closing, I mean, seriously, where in Going Merry did he store that?
Disclaimer: Oh, dude. I could only dream I'm brilliant enough to create the One Piece world.
"Forget it, you idiot."
Aboard the Going Merry, a very irate Nami stamped her way down the stairs. Close on her heels was Zoro, his trademark trio of swords clinking against each other as he walked.
"I need to train," Zoro explained patiently, fully aware that arguing with Nami—the strategy he usually goes with—wouldn't produce the outcome he desired. It's smart to be on her good side this time. "I need to build up muscle."
Nami warily eyed Zoro's monstrous physique. "You've got enough muscle. I, on the other hand, have had enough of this conversation."
"I gotta get stronger," Zoro persisted. "And to get stronger, I need—"
And thus began Zoro and Nami's Daily Stare-Down Routine. After quite some time sailing together, it was no secret that both had personalities remarkably similar and yet highly conflicting. Usually, they were in disagreement over something small like Zoro's shirt tossed carelessly over the deck chair Nami has unanimously declared her property ("Zoro! Your rags are all over my things again!") or Nami's bossiness ("And what makes you think you can order me around, hah, a hag like you?").
The pair's ominous silence was broken by the moans of their captain.
"Oi, Sanji, let me have that last piece of meat. Come on."
The sound of a leather shoe hitting flesh followed. "Dumbass. I'm carefully dividing the food between us five since we're running out." Sanji's voice quickly turned sweet and songlike as he addressed Nami from the kitchen. "Nami-swan! When are we going shopping for food? The cupboard is nearly empty!~"
"Sanjiii, I'm getting hungry."
"YOURS IS THE LARGEST SHARE OF THE LOT!"
The orange-haired navigator plopped down on the deck chair and lifted her hand to her temple which started to throb with a migraine. "Look, we've got little cash and supplies as it is. These weights of yours are hardly a priority—"
"Is, too!" Zoro protested like a child.
"—so get out of my sight for now. I'm having a headache."
That simpleton! How could he even think of spending her money at a time like this?
She closed her eyes and strained to find solitude amidst the clanking of pans as Sanji tried to chase Luffy, who managed to get the meat and whose mirthful laughter filled the place, around in the galley, the small explosions as Usopp tested out his new and improved pachinko and the presence of this absolute numbskull, and if she just ignored everything for a second or two—
"I've seen some that sell for under fifty thousand beli, so it won't be too much, will it?"
A deep breath, Nami. If you relax, this would all end nicely. Yes, that's it, draw in fresh oxygen into your lungs and breathe it all out.
Calmness soon washed away all traces of stress from Nami's face and she lifted her face up to Zoro's to give him a serene, cheerful smile. Zoro, taking this as affirmation to his request for purchasing weights, gamely grinned in return.
Fifty thousand beli…
"WERE YOU DROPPED ON YOUR HEAD? DON'T GIVE ME THAT SHIT!"
Sporting a fresh lump on his head, Zoro gripped the back of Nami's deck chair and lowered his face in level to hers. Arching one eyebrow, in all innocence, he said, "But then…"
"If I don't get stronger… how can I protect you?"
How can you… protect me?
Nami, the one who always knew exactly what to say at a negotiation, what orders to bark out when the ship is at the mercy of a storm and what threats would make any pirate, even/especially (take your pick) her nakama, bend to her will, found herself at a loss for words.
She tried to get angry and punch him again for being so daring as to put himself in her face, but it's like all the pent-up anger she seemingly always reserved for him was suddenly gone. She wondered if this stupid swordsman even realized the intimacy of their position. She wondered if he'd consciously move away.
Zoro did not move in the slightest.
Nami didn't know which was worse: Zoro being in such close and possibly dangerous proximity or admitting to herself that she didn't want him to back off.
Wait, what the hell was that last part?
Feeling her face grow very warm, Nami forcefully tore her eyes away from his face and struggled to form words out of the incomprehensible syllables that suddenly began to stumble out of her mouth like untamed animals.
"You—ah—what are you—look, you freak—I don't—"
Zoro (thank God!) was oblivious to her flustered state and stood up straight once more. He let his eyes rest on Nami for one moment more, and looked out at the clear blue seawater.
Does this mean what I think this means? Oh, God, what is happening; I'm going to lose it—
"Usopp's not that strong either, although there are times he can really be self-reliant," Zoro said.
"And Luffy gets into a pinch a lot," Zoro continued, not noticing Nami's baffled expression. "And that stupid love-cook gets in trouble, too."
What the what.
Zoro sighed in exasperation at his crewmates' occasional screw-ups, then, smirking in Nami's direction, continued, "So, what do you say?"
Nami, still rather bewildered by her feelings run amuck, shook her head and tried to make sense out of everything that just happened. She bit her lip as, red-faced, now for different but not exactly unrelated purposes, it dawned on her that she actually thought Zoro… oh, good God, the shame!
"My decision's final, Zoro! No means no!"
She crossed her arms, clearly not a defensive stance, her temper flaring as the implications of her realization became more and more embarrassing. Damn that Zoro! Making her feel so weird! Those weights weren't of any importance anyway! Might as well not let him buy any; it won't do her any good in the least.
Looking defeated, Zoro scowled and furtively took one last glance at Nami's face for any trace of sympathy that he could exploit. Her colored cheeks drew his attention. "Oi, Nami… you're looking kinda red. You okay?"
"I—I—," Nami stammered before furiously digging into her pocket for several thousand beli and shoving them in Zoro's hand. "Bastard! You got too much free time! Make sure you train until you die!"
She stalked off, leaving behind a very puzzled Zoro with a wad of cash in his fist.
It was strange for Nami to willingly give up her precious money so he could buy some training apparatus just after she'd been so stubborn about not giving him any. Looking down at the amount he now had, he grinned, making a note to thank Nami for the money later.
"You and your dumbass pachinko! Usopp! It was because you were so freakin' weak! You better make more weapons, you long-nose!"
Zoro turned and shivered at the sight of Nami terrorizing poor Usopp, who was too confused and scared to speak. It was like she was suddenly interested in all their developments in strength or something.
A thought occurred to him. Did he make her like this?
Nami moved on to bully the love-struck cook, and began criticizing his fighting skills, too. Even Luffy was not spared from her fury. She raved and ranted about how codependence was a good thing but don't always count on it or even hope for it or else it's gonna bite you in the ass, do you understand, you bunch of ignorant fools?!
Zoro pocketed the money given to him. Nah. He couldn't have been the reason.
"Ah, Nami! Ahaha, sorry, but you know, a whetstone would be really helpful right now—"
"LIKE HELL! MARIMO IDIOT!"
A/N: In the end, Zoro never bothered trying to get along with Nami anymore. It was just too much trouble. Hope you enjoyed! :)