Usopp and Zoro, a clean shave


A quiet rasp, then silence as a blade was cleaned. A thoughtful noise, barely audible, from the one wielding it. Gentle sound of water sloshing. Another pass, slow and deliberate, practiced. Careful.

Usopp would admit it was slightly hypnotic, watching the slide of blade on skin. He wondered if he wasn't being a little too intense in his vigil as well, considering the process was nothing new to him. But there was something about watching Zoro shave that was so far beyond domestic that he felt it needed deep scrutiny. So he sat on the bathroom counter, legs folded up, hands on his crossed ankles, and squinted as he followed another slow pass of the straight razor held in Zoro's hand. His fascination was tolerated, inexplicably, met with only the ocassional sidelong glance. And if Usopp was honest he probably shouldn't be so captivated but there was one thing about the entire scenario that was niggling at him. Something about the precise way Zoro held the straight razor, or the measured pace of every stroke, or the intense look of concentration on his face. Not that Zoro wasn't usually some form of intense, but this just bordered on silly.

"You're being really careful with that thing," Usopp observed, breaking a lengthy stretch of companionable silence.

Zoro didn't look away from his work, gaze fixed on the mirror before him, and didn't respond until he'd lowered the straight razor again. "Yeah," he said finally, like it was the most obvious thing in the world. "This thing's sharp as hell. I could hurt my self."

Clearly oblivious to Usopp's flat stare or the loaded silence that followed this statement, Zoro went back to work. Usopp let him get through one more sweep with the razor before his incredulity got the better of him.

"Was that a joke?"

Zoro shot him a look in the mirror, apparently genuinely perplexed. "What?"

Pulling a face, Usopp made a flapping motion with both arms that encompassed all of Zoro in one grand gesture. "You could hurt yourself with a straight razor? This from the guy who tried to hack off his own feet! You practically jump on every other sharp thing you see and you're worried about a dinky little shaving razor? I'm surprised you even use that thing."

Razor met counter and Zoro shot him an irritated look which was somewhat dampened by the shaving foam still decorating half of his scowling face. "Oh, yeah? And what do you use, a bowie knife?"

Usopp's sound of offence was a touch high-pitched. He blamed it on the acoustics of the shuttered bathroom. "Hey, that was one time! And I was like thirteen!"

Zoro's answering smirk was a little too victorious for Usopp's taste and he folded his arms with a huff as the razor was lifted again, feigning disinterest as Zoro returned to his task. Seconds ticked by and Usopp pretended not to watch, examining his fingernails, the floor tiling, the curtains on the shower. Zoro worked slowly but steadily, with the same unwavering precision, and finally Usopp gave up and returned to his former state of spectating. "See if I share precious childhood memories with Luffy ever again. You two gossip like hens."

Zoro made a snorting noise that might have been a laugh and Usopp moved to hop down from the counter, considering the show was over. He was surprised to find himself intercepted, so much so that he nearly fumbled the bowl of lather that was shoved into his hands before getting a hold on it. "Uhm?" he inquired intelligently, looking up when Zoro side-stepped to loom over him and unceremoniously glopped some shaving foam all over the right side of his face.

"It's better than a bowie knife," Zoro said by way of explanation, tossing a hand towel onto one shoulder and proceeding to apply more lather without invitation. Straightening up abruptly, Usopp remained perched on the edge of the counter, holding the bowl with which he'd been charged in both hands and feeling oddly touched about the whole thing.

"Not that you really need it," Zoro went on a moment later, prodding him in the chin and making an exaggeratedly sympathetic face. "Can you even grow stubble?"

Usopp tried for a glare, but the bark of laughter it earned made him think his full white beard might have taken the edge off his attempt. And when Nami barged in a few minutes later just in time to catch the fallout of a shaving cream fight full in the face, Usopp decided maybe Zoro had the right idea about this shaving thing. You really could get hurt if you weren't careful.