I do not claim to own One Piece, any of it's characters, names or other intellectual properties. This is only a hobby. I hope you enjoy.
This asshole came in at the same time every night. Zoro's left eyebrow twitched in irritation and he drummed his fingers impatiently against the register while he watched the idiot's every move. Just like always, the fucker started to make himself a small cup of coffee with cream and sugar, but two minutes or so into the process, Zoro would see him raise the coffee to his lips, make a sour expression, fucking pour out some of the brew into the goddamn trashcan instead of the sink, and then proceed to add more of whatever he had apparently decided that his damn coffee needed. Sometimes he would go through this whole ritual several times before he finally came up to the register. Zoro figured by now that this guy owed them money for at least twenty small coffees-and that was just for the last month.
Seeing the guy finish up his coffee routine, Zoro wordlessly pulled out two packs of Lucky Strikes and slapped them on the counter before adding two packs of matches to the pile. Zoro waited impassively while the shitty customer set down his coffee and rubbed his hand through his stupid, blonde emo-haircut. There were dark circles under the one eye that Zoro could see properly, and tonight he looked just as wrung-out as usual. Zoro couldn't help tapping his fingers again, keeping time to the clock in his head as the blonde fucker flicked through the contents of his wallet. The blonde sighed before looking at him with that tired, blue eye. "Better make it three packs."
Zoro nodded curtly before re-totaling the transaction and grabbing the other pack of Luckies. "That's twenty-seven and fifty-three." Zoro's voice was flat and unimpressed as he watched the customer dig out a few bills from among a sea of receipts.
When the blonde finally held out his money, Zoro glanced over the bills and rubbed them between his fingers to check for extras. "Out of thirty dollars?"
The blonde nodded, and Zoro punched the last key, experiencing a small feeling of satisfaction at the opening ding of the register drawer. "Here's your change. Have a good night." Zoro handed over the two dollars and forty-seven cents, and watched the dumbass leave with his stupid hairstyle.
It was just like every other night. Zoro didn't even need to look at his clock; he knew by now the the blonde always came in around two hours before Zoro's shift ended. That meant Zoro had two more fucking hours of little old ladies giving him dirty looks about his hair and his piercings, sloppy-ass drunks cracking explicit jokes, and fat bitches who didn't seem to own shirts that would actually contain their flabby boobs. Zoro hated this job, but right now working at this store was the only way he had to pay his bills. One day he would be out of this place. He had dreams and plans that he refused to abandon. However, until life began to work in his favor once more, Zoro had to resign himself to the soul numbing repetition of a forty-plus hour work week as a shitty cashier.
Suddenly, the shitty blonde came stomping back into the store, and all at once the usual routine for the night was upended. Zoro eyed the customer cautiously as he approached the counter, red and angry. "Do you have a set of fucking jumper cables?"
Zoro blinked, trying to remember if he still had a set of cables in his trunk, and apparently the idiot blonde took that as an indication that he hadn't been heard. "My car is dead. I need a jump."
"I have a set. Wait a minute."
Zoro locked his register, wandered to the office and stuck his head inside the doorway. "Luffy, this guy needs help getting his car started. Can you watch the register?"
Tilting back the brim of his obnoxiously yellow ball-cap-the one that had a thick red stripe off-center, running bill to back-Luffy chuckled, "That sounds like fun! Don't worry. I'll protect the money, Zoro!"
Zoro rolled his eyes. "Whatever. Just don't let anyone walk out without paying, or Nami will cut you apart and eat you for breakfast with a side of toast."
"Toast! I want the toast too! Give me some! It's not fair if Nami gets it all!"
"THERE'S NO TOAST!" Zoro took a breath to calm himself, and rubbed at his forehead. "There are some mints in the drawer up front. You can eat those."
Luffy ran up to the front, already drooling, and Zoro was already regretting all of this as he followed the blonde back outside.
"It must be rough to have a coworker like that."
"That's the owner." Zoro's deadpan manner was only betrayed by the tortured twitch of one eye.
The blonde looked at him with a wide blue eye. "You're shitting me!" Zoro slowly shook his head, "Damn. I didn't realize. I had always thought he was some idiot teenager the manager hired as a favor to someone."
Zoro snorted as he dug his keys from his black jeans. "Nope. That guy is the actual owner."
The conversation died and lay there somewhat awkwardly as Zoro hunted through the trunk of his crappy pontiac. He stifled his irritation with the blonde hovering uncomfortably over his shoulder, and focused on finding the damn cables. Finally, he dragged the much-needed equipment from a dark corner and turned back to his customer. "Where are you parked?"
His eyebrows shot to his hairline when the blonde pointed out a sleek, blue jaguar. "Nice car."
"Thanks." The blonde jogged over to his car and opened the trunk. He turned and shouted so Zoro could hear him clearly, "The battery is in the back so just pull up to here!"
Zoro nodded and ducked into his own vehicle.
It didn't take too long for the two men to set everything up and make the first attempt to resuscitate the jaguar's battery. Unfortunately, it became apparent after an increasing amount of time and several tries, that the blue luxury vehicle wasn't going anywhere, anytime soon. They both reentered the store, feeling agitated and messy. Leaving the blonde to his own devices, Zoro went to wash his hands, drying them casually on his yellow work apron. His irritation faded into a feeling of just plain tired as he he looked at the clock; still one hour and fifteen minutes to go. He scratched the fingers of one hand through his short, green hair in a self-soothing gesture, and strolled unhurriedly back out to the register.
"Shishishishishi! So cool!" Zoro raised an eyebrow. The emo-blonde and Luffy were both leaning on the countertop, apparently now all buddy-buddy. Luffy beamed a massive smile in his direction and Zoro unintentionally flinched. "Hey, Zoro! Guess what? Sanji is a really great cook!"
"Chef." The blonde quickly interjected.
"…and he'll bring me some muffins!"
Zoro rolled his eyes. No wonder Luffy was being friendly. "Good for you."
Luffy pranced away from the counter, letting Zoro reclaim his space. "Since Sanji has to wait for the tow truck, it's okay for him to drink as much coffee as he likes!"
Zoro gritted his teeth. Oh boy, Nami had better not find out about this! "Are you sure?"
"Yup!" Luffy stopped and turned eager, black eyes to his new friend, "Can you make meat muffins?"
Sanji appeared to choke. "Er… sure."
Luffy vanished with a bound and left the two men standing in silence. Zoro scowled at the countertop, his fingers restlessly fussing with a loose penny on top of the cash drawer. "Um." Zoro's dark eyes snapped up to meet blue, "I guess I'll take your owner up on the offer and grab another coffee?"
"Go ahead." Zoro sighed and stared dully after Sanji's retreating form. The thought of more liquid in the trash-where it was most definitely not supposed to go-made him grind his teeth in frustration. Was it really that fucking difficult to walk three steps to the shitty sink?
A few customers gave him something to do, as Zoro did his best not to watch that damn annoying coffee ritual. After precisely eight minutes of fucking around with his drink, the shitty blonde apparently felt, mistakenly, that Zoro wanted his company. Not for the first time, Zoro wished he could just walk away and fuck off into the back room for the rest of his shitty shift. There was more uncomfortable silence, as Sanji leaned on Zoro's counter and stared out the dark window, into the night.
"So, Zoro. Do you like working here…?"
"No." Zoro's answer was as sharp and direct as his glare.
More awkward hanging about nearly made Zoro snap and plead with the customer to go fuck with another cashier in another convenience store. "Do you dye your hair yourself?" Fuck!
"No. I don't dye my hair."
Sanji turned fully to stare, "I'm not stupid. Of course you get your hair dyed! I just thought that it looked pretty well done."
"I don't dye my hair." Zoro spat out each word from between his tightly clenched teeth.
"Prove it. There's no way your hair is really green!"
With that, Zoro's tenuous hold on his temper snapped. "It's none of your damn business anyway! I don't have to prove anything to you! Why do you wear your shitty hair like a depressed teenager?"
"Fuck you! It's called style! Something you obviously don't know anything about! Shitty moss-man!"
"Uh, someone called for a tow?" Both men jolted back from snarling in each other's faces and refocused matching scowls on the poor tow-truck driver.
Sanji pushed off the counter and followed the driver outside. Before he left, he flipped Zoro off and sneered, "This isn't over, shitty cashier!"
That did it! Next time he saw the blonde, Zoro was going to stuff that asshole into the garbage compactor and use the smelly machine to smash the shit out of him! Zoro didn't even bother to hide his dark look as a jittery teen came to the counter with a soda. The clock read eleven thirty-two. There was still another half hour that he would be fucking stuck here. Zoro growled as he scanned the can of cola and the pimply teen nearly pissed himself. "That's one dollar and nine."
Later, the next cashier finally came in to relieve him, and Zoro nearly bolted from the register. Luffy chuckled and waved as he watched Zoro struggle into his beat-up jacket while trying to clock out at the same time. Usopp scratched his curly, black hair and wondered what on earth had gotten into his coworker as Zoro stormed out the door. "Hey Luffy? Did something happen?"
"Nah. Zoro just called Sanji some funny names, and Sanji screams real loud when he's mad!"
"Uh… who's Sanji?"
Zoro exceeded the speed limit and blew through a few stop signs before he calmed himself down. It wouldn't do him any good to think about brutal murder without the actual person present anyway. Refusing to let emo-blonde fuck up his thoughts any longer, Zoro put his blinker on and pulled into his apartment lot. He took the stairs instead of the creaky old elevator, and jogged up to the fifth floor. It felt good to exercise, and he was sweating lightly and panting by the time he reached his landing. Room five-oh-eleven, room five-oh-twelve-Zoro Knocked on the door and stepped back. It didn't take long for him to hear the heavy footsteps headed his way. The door flew open, and a giant of a man grinned down at him. "Hey bro! Come right in!"
Zoro returned the smile, "Thanks for looking after him again, Franky. He wasn't any trouble was he?"
Franky shook his shaved head, "He's a super good kid, Zoro. He fell asleep trying to wait for you though."
His smile grew as he entered the small living room with Franky at his heels. A small boy with fluffy brown hair was snuggled around a pillow on the couch, fast asleep. Zoro moved to gently shake one thin shoulder. "Come on. It's time to go."
Zoro laughed and simply scooped up the child, pillow and all. "We'll give it back tomorrow, okay?"
Franky nodded, "Super okay by me! Goodnight, Zoro. Goodnight, Tony!"
Sleepy brown eyes peeked over Zoro's shoulder. "G'night."
Zoro balanced his burden expertly as he closed Franky's door after him, and dug in his jeans for his own apartment key. His door was one over from Franky's, and Zoro shifted Tony in his arms so he could better access the lock. The bolt clicked, and Zoro maneuvered them inside.
"I want to sleep with you."
Zoro sighed as he tossed his keys toward a table, invisible in the dark and stumbled out of his sneakers. "You're too old for that." He made the mistake of looking down into watery brown eyes and a pouting expression. He caved instantly. "Fine, but you have to make sure you brush your teeth, okay?"
Tony nodded eagerly and wriggled out of his arms. Zoro listened to the pattering of small feet as Tony scurried around in his own bedroom; the manipulative little shit didn't even seem tired anymore. Zoro smiled and yawned, wandering into his messy room to go about the business of shedding his uniform and locating his favorite pajama pants. He was too tired to really care about finding a shirt, so he just brushed his teeth and stumbled into the bed. Tony crawled in right after him and curled against his back.
"Mmm, goodnight Chopper, buddy."
The warm, affectionate rumble made Tony smile, and snuggle closer. They both fell asleep quickly. The comfort of each other's warmth allowing them to feel relaxed and secure.