“Zoro-Senpai, have you seen Yosaku?” Jonny murmured.
Zoro cracked his eyes open and shook his head. He sat up, his hand already on his swords.
“No, why?” he asked.
Jonny squatted down and bit his lip. Zoro noted he looked worried. An uneasy feeling began to settle in his gut. Zoro frowned, Yosaku had come home, right?
“He didn’t return last night,” Jonny said.
Zoro groaned as he stood. The blonde idiot worked himself into trouble again. He should have known. These guys couldn’t stay out of trouble no matter how hard they tried.
“Where did he go?” Zoro asked.
Jonny stood as well, following Zoro as he walked off the veranda. “He said he was going after a small time mountain bandit.”
Both men walked away from the house and Jonny lead the way onto the mountain. Zoro was irritated. That idiot had to make trouble again. It wasn’t uncommon for both dumb asses to do this, but it was beginning to work on his nerves. Zoro had quite enough, thank you very much.
They hiked up the mountain side to get to the bandit hideout. It wasn’t far or anything, but because Zoro kept getting lost they took twice as long as they should have. Jonny had to go back a few times to find the moron and bring Zoro back on the right path.
Finally, they made it to the hideout and Zoro was too mad to even knock. He cut the door with one of his swords and walked right in. A few of the bandits there looked up startled before trying to attack. Zoro and Jonny made quick work of them, clearing out the whole band.
They reached the leaders room and Zoro cut open the door with his Santoryuu. Jonny charged in but froze, making Zoro wonder what was wrong. He stepped in after his partner and his eyes widened.
The boss was a large man, bulky and fat. He had a massive sword on his back and he looked mean as hell. But what made Zoro’s blood boil was the sight of Yosaku. He was tied up and bruised in several places. He was conscious, which was good, but he didn’t seem to like any of it. There was a lot of blood on his clothes and Zoro noted it was drizzling out of his blonde hair.
The swordsman turned to his Mo hawked friend and Jonny saw the utter rage in his eyes. He gulped and motioned for Zoro to take it.
“Who dares interrupt!” the boss seethed.
Zoro grinned like a maniac. “You better tell me who harmed him, otherwise you’re all dead.”
The remaining bandits gulped hard and quickly pointed to their boss. The man grinned and stepped forward, unsheathing his sword.
“So what if I harmed him? You gonna do anythin’ about it?” he asked.
Zoro bit down on Wado and glared at the man, “I’m gonna kill you!”
He stepped forward and into a strike, cutting half of the room an everyone had to duck quickly or get beheaded. The leader had his sword out and blocking the rest of Zoro’s strike in less than a second. Zoro growled around the handle in his mouth and crossed blades with the man.
The man grinned, “So this is the famous Pirate Hunter Zoro? What a joke!”
Zoro frowned and was about to strike when Jonny yelled. He whipped around and saw his friend get backhanded to the floor. Zoro glowered and was about to help him when he felt the presence behind him get very close. Uncomfortably close. He turned in a flash and held up his swords to block the attack.
The boss grinned like a madman and pushed the swordsman to the ground. Zoro grunted with the force of it and glared at the man. Then, something smashed into the back of his neck. He staggered and the boss let go.
Zoro stood, trying to get his bearings when his vision went black and the last thing he heard was a cry of his name. The floor felt hard under his head and he wondered what just happened before oblivion took him away.
Zoro shoots upright in the bed. He looks around wildly and tries to think about what just happened. He has a nasty headache and his whole body is sore. What the hell? Zoro lays his hand against his head and rubs his other hand in his eyes. The light is so bright, why the hell was it so bright in a damn cave?
“Zoro?” a small voice says.
Zoro looks around again and his gaze is pulled to the floor. There’s an animal there. He frowns.
“Tanuki?” he questions.
The animal scowls and opens its mouth. “Zoro! How dare you say that! I’m a reindeer, reindeer remember!”
His eyes widen in shock and his mind is blank for a second. The animal just talked. He scoots back and his back hits the wall hard, followed by his head. He groans and his hands fly up to his head to feel ... bandages?
“Zoro, calm down you hit your head remember?” the reindeer says.
Zoro glares at it, and it takes a step back in surprise. “Who the fuck are you and where am I?” he asks.
The reindeer’s eyes widen even further and he scampers from the room. Zoro is left alone with his thoughts and headache. He wonders why he can’t remember what happened after he was in the cave, that must have been some time ago, right? But why can’t he recall?
He flinches when a sharp throb slashes through his head and his headache worsens. He can hear voices outside but they’re so loud. He groans again and falls sideways. He feels so tired, why? Where are Jonny and Yosaku? Who in the Grand Line was that reindeer just now.
He doesn’t want to think about it so much anymore and his mind goes blank and his vision blurs. He lets darkness take him to wake up another time.
He wakes for the second time, and this time there isn’t any reindeer in the room. Just a black haired woman reading a book. He frowns, his headache less, and sits up. She sees it and closes her book, smiling at him.
“How are you feeling, Swordsman-san?” she asks.
He frowns again and looks her over. She’s a middle aged woman, maybe in her twenties. She has black hair and blue eyes. But who is she? She looks vaguely familiar but Zoro’s head throbs as he thinks about it. He winces and lays his hand on his head.
“Oh, you shouldn’t touch them, they’re fresh. Doctor-san told me to say that to you,” the woman says.
He looks at her again and says, “Who are you?”
She doesn’t seem surprised and smiles at him. “Doctor-san worried about this, it seems you have lost some memories, Swordsman-san.”
He glares at her, “What? How?”
He swings his legs over the edge of the bed and wobbles to a stand. The woman helps him and he feels slightly comfortable around her, even though he doesn’t know her.
She notices his gaze and smiles again, a soft smile that seems real. “My name is Robin, the reindeer you already met was Chopper.”
He nods at her statement and they walk to the door. Zoro looks at his clothes while doing so. He is wearing a pair of black pants, no shoes. His shirt is gone and is replaces with a large number of bandages. He wonders what happened.
The Robin woman opens the door and they step out. Zoro shields his eyes from the bright light and when they make it to the railing he sees it. His eyes widen. They’re on a ship. Wait, wasn’t he just in a cave in the mountains?
A few loud noises attracts his attention to the lower grassy deck. Wait, what, grass? Okay, now that was weird. Zoro squints to see the people on the lower deck. There was a girl with red hair, a cyborg, a skeleton. The reindeer and a guy with a long nose. A teen looking like he didn’t belong here and a blond haired dude with a platter of food.
“Oh! He’s up!” the teen with black hair says.
The long nosed boy shoots up and the reindeer follows. The blonde turns as well and smirks.
“Long time no see Marimo!” the blonde says.
Zoro frowns and casts a glance at the woman helping him stand. She sees his inner turmoil and turns to the group.
“Everyone, Swordsman-san seems to have lost his memory of us.”
Zoro almost chokes at her bluntness and his eyes widen as he hears the reactions of the other people. Their talking through each other and asking the reindeer, (Chopper, right?), what is going on. He let’s go of Robin and stands on his own, but not for long, his legs buckle and he catches himself on the railing.
There’s a collective gasp and next thing he knows there are several pairs of hands on him. His head is exploding with many voices and he panics. He looks up, catching Robin’s eyes, and he swings one of his fists backwards, catching the black haired teen in the face and sending him flying. Zoro grits his teeth at the impact and puffs air on his hand as he retracts it.
It’s silent, he then realizes. He looks up to see a few confused and angry faces. The blond guy is seething and being held back by the red head. Zoro swallows and lifts himself via the railing. The reindeer is fussing over him and asking him to sit back down.
He’s had enough. Enough of all the people talking. Enough of all the people casting glances at him and worrying over him. He’s angry as fuck.
“SHUT UP!” he yells.
Everyone stills and the blonde guy stops his half-assed fight with the red head. They all look at him as if he’s crazy. Zoro is heaving in air, he’s out of breath. He’s angry and he want’s answers. He casts a glance at all of them.
“Who the fuck are you all and why in the Grand Line am I on the fucking ocean. Where the fuck are Jonny and Yosaku, what did you do with them?”
Eyes widen and they’re all still silent. Then, the red head walks to him, slowly.
“Y-You really don’t remember?” she asks.
Zoro shakes his head and her eyes widen. “Just tell me where I am so I can go back.”
The red head steps back in shock and the blonde guy takes her place by grabbing his shirt and snarling in his face. Zoro stays passive though, all traces of panic gone.
“You bastard, how can you forget your own damn crew! You just punched your captain!” the blonde growls.
Zoro raises his brow and shoots a glance at the mess he made when the teen went crashing into a few barrels. “Crew?” he says.
The blonde steps back in utter shock. “He really doesn’t remember,” he mutters.
The red head inches to him again and sighs, pulling the blonde behind her. “We don’t know where Jonny and Yosaku are. Last time we saw them they were with us, but then they left happily, so don’t worry about them.” She smiles up at him then. “I’m Nami, nice to meet you.”
Zoro is at a loss for words. “Um, Roronoa Zoro, I’m a bounty hunter.”
They stay silent for a while and the red head hisses something as she turns really fast and then back to him. “That’s nice. Anyway, let me introduce you to everyone,” she says.
Her tone is calm, too calm. Zoro feels uneasy, like he’s somewhere he’s supposed to be and on the other side he’s not supposed to be. He inches to the railing and looks at all of them for a moment. Then he studies the ship. It’s a ship alright, big and bright and colorful and- PIRATE FLAG!
His sudden urge to kill someone slams into him and he reaches for his swords, realizes their gone and shoots a panicked look at the group. His eyes shoot from person to person. Are they really pirates? Did they kidnap him along with his partners? Where were Jonny and Yosaku?
The red head sees his panic and tells everyone to back off. He’s grateful for that, even if she were to be a pirate. They don’t really look like pirates. Most pirates are dirty and MEN and evil and, well, yeah, evil is the good word. These people seem kinda, nice-ish.
Zoro swallows and relaxes slightly, but his defensive stance doesn’t leave him. The red head smiles slowly and goes over into a relaxed stance, making the others follow. The dark haired woman joins them in front of him and smiles softly at him.
“Who are you?” Zoro asks slowly.
The red head sighs. “We’re the Straw Hat Pirates. You’re our swordsman, Roronoa Zoro.”
He doesn’t believe her.
The reindeer took his swords. He’s not allowed to have them as long as he can’t remember the crew. He could be a danger to himself and them, so says the reindeer. Zoro is sulking and trying his hardest to disappear from their vision. He already tried jumping ship.
It didn’t work.
They tried to explain that he had memory loss, but he doesn’t believe them. Zoro sighs and tries to shrink in the couch of the crow’s nest. He wished he could just go back, but apparently, he can’t. They won’t let him.
He tries to picture himself as part of the crew but he doesn’t see it. He just doesn’t. How can he be a pirate, he’s a bounty hunter dammit. And that captain is totally gone bananas. Zoro shakes his head and figures there is something keeping him here, but what?
He lists of every crew member, the red head made him learn them. He doesn’t like her.
Monkey D Luffy, Captain and idiot who can’t swim.
Nami, Navigator and bossy witch.
Ussop, Sniper (apparently, he’s a coward though) and liar.
Sanji, Shit Cook (Ha! He’s gonna keep that one, it suits the bastard) and irritating sissy that only serves the "Ladies”.
Chopper, Fur ball, reindeer, kinda lovable if you try.
Robin, The woman with dark hair and the strange ability to know where he is when he tries to hide.
Franky, Weird cyborg person who strikes a pose every five seconds and yells “SUPER”.
Brook, Skeleton, he doesn’t have anything more.
Zoro sighs and rubs at his head, he still can’t see any reason why he would be on this crew. But they do have a point. He fingers the scar on his chest, a phantom ache clawing it’s way up in his memory. He gets that he got it, but he can’t remember from who. He also feels this weird ache in his ankles. He goes to check them and his eyes widen as he sees scars on both.
Did he try to cut his legs off?
He really is an idiot. Zoro groans and lets himself flop down on the couch even more. He looks at the ceiling and feels the weird sense of being at home. He wonders why. He doesn’t remember anything. But the crew tells him things, even though he goes out of his way to avoid them all.
There is one thing bothering him. The blonde cook. The bastard keeps shooting glares at him and he’s sure the bastard hates him and wants to fight. But every time they are about to, the reindeer or red head intervene and he can see hurt in those blue eyes.
He doesn’t get why, but every time it happens, his chest aches and he realizes that feeling is love. He, oh God, he loves him. He loves that person, his body loves that person, but his mind forgot about him.
He gets it now. There are two things keeping him here. Maybe three.
First and foremost is probably his promise to Luffy the captain told him about. He doesn’t remember it but it’s believable. He can see why he would follow the idiot, he’s strong in a certain way. He’s attracting people and making friends and allies left and right.
Second is his own ambition. The red head told him about his fight with Mihawk, how he lost and gained the scar. She also told him how he got all other scars and what battles they were in. The last thing she tells him about is a fight with a warlord. He can’t believe it, but the moment she told him there’s a gnawing worry clawing up his spine.
He goes to the blonde. The cook seems to get what he wants and tells him what happened in that battle. The moment the blonde mentions Kuma, the warlord he fought, a shock of pain slams into his body as his mind remembers the awful pain he felt. He crumples with a gasp, the only thing he feels is pain and he can’t even remember why he got this hurt.
The blonde is yelling and calling for his crew mates as he holds the man up, trying to keep him of the floor. The reindeer takes him, and he cries out in pain when his chest is prodded and pushed at. The reindeer finds nothing and they tether him to the bed, making him stay. He catches a brief conversation about phantom pain and then it all goes black.
“What happened!” the blonde yelled.
Zoro saw him, felt the pain in his body, but he couldn’t remember why. There was something happening. Something happened. What had it been?
“Tell me what happened, why is this place covered in blood!” the blonde asked.
His mouth opened and he didn’t know what he said but he heard.
“N-Nothing. Nothing at all.”
He got it. He had been protecting someone, and the blonde was one of those someone’s. Maybe, who was it that he was protecting? Who was it?
“You idiot! Give up on your dream! It’s not worth dying for!”
His chest ached, he didn’t know where the voice came from but he recognized it. It’s the Cook.
Where is he, there’s only water, and arms.
Jonny. Yosaku. The long nosed guy.
His eyes traveled and he spotted a swordsman with a massive sword.
... Mihawk ...
He coughed up blood, lifted his sword and made a promise.
“I will never lose again! Is that okay! Pirate King?”
Why was he promising this? What for?
“Yosh!” was the answer.
He felt content, happy with it.
Snow, cold water. More snow.
Bird? Duck. Carue.
Woman with blue hair, Vivi. Princess.
Sick Navigator. Something with a doctor.
He couldn’t be sure.
Cook broke his spine.
He’s stolen a coat. Kicked ass.
Punched by an old lady. Stuck in the snow without clothes.
Wrong order. Damn.
He opens his eyes to see the infirmary again. There’s a sour taste in his mouth and he coughs softly. There is a shuffling sound and he turns his head to see the reindeer.
“Chopper,” he says.
The reindeer looks up, startled. He hadn’t used their names since the moment he first woke up.
“Zoro, you’re awake,” Chopper says.
Zoro makes an attempt to sit up. Chopper helps him and Zoro can breathe easier.
“How are you feeling?” Chopper asks.
Zoro looks at the doctor. He can remember him. But nothing else after that. He knows he’s on the Sunny. So what happened to Merry. Who are Robin and Franky, who is Brook? Why does he feel like he met them already. He blinks a few times and realizes he’s spacing off. Chopper is looking worried and he smiles softly.
“I remember you,” he says, voice scratchy.
Chopper’s eyes widen and he smiles brightly.
“Really? What else do you remember?” the reindeer asked.
Zoro rubs at his head and winces as it throbs. “S-Something with, um, bird,”
Chopper looks at him with a question in his eyes. Zoro cringes, this is going great.
“Carue,” he says.
Chopper brightens and says, “That’s Vivi’s duck. That’s nice, Alabasta is coming back to you. Do you remember being a pirate now?”
“No, I don’t. What is Alabasta?” Zoro asks.
Chopper deflates a little. “Oh, well that means you got memory of Drum island?” he asks.
Zoro nods. “Yeah, it was cold. And the Cook broke his spine.”
The door opens and in walks said blonde. He’s holding a plate with soup, and it smells heavenly. Zoro’s mouth waters at the sight.
Back to three, he’s getting it. He’s staying because of the blonde. The promise, his ambition, their nothing compared to what he had with this man. But now it’s gone and he doesn’t know if it’s replaceable. Guilt creeps up to him and he turns away from both doctor and Cook. It’s silent and he waits till they leave. Chopper does. He leaves him with the Cook. He knows his name now. He does now. And he wants to use it.
“Sanji,” so he does.
The blonde freezes and looks at him. He sets the plate down and sits in the chair next to the bed.
“So you remember me?” he asks.
Zoro nods slowly. “Yeah, bits and pieces. I know you broke your spine. Idiot.”
A shoe flies his way and he dodges before it hits him. It flings against the wall harmlessly. He glares at the blonde and sees the smirk on his lips. He scoffs and averts his eyes.
Zoro huffs and closes his eyes. “You, em. You worked at a restaurant. You told me to give up on my dream, to live. You also found me when something happened. There was a lot of blood and I was hurt bad. I don’t remember what happened though.”
Sanji looks at him with a sad smile. There is slight relief in the blonde’s eyes and Zoro wonders why. He clears his throat and opens his mouth to say what he has wanted to say before the blonde cuts him off. There are soft lips against his and his breath hitches. Zoro’s eyes open wide and he stares at Sanji. The Cook is kissing him. His eyes are closed and it’s just a press of lips on lips, but the spark is already fired.
Zoro doesn’t register what he does until Sanji is between the wall and himself, pressed chest to chest with the swordsman. He’s kissing him back with fiery passion and Sanji lets out a breathless moan. Zoro decides he likes that sound. He breaks the kiss to look at the blonde. Sanji is flushed and his eyes are half lidded. His lips are bruised from the kiss and he looks extremely erotic that moment. Zoro swallows.
“I- I don’t remember any of this. It’s only Drum and a piece of what I told you. That’s it,” he says softly.
Long fingers thread through his hair and Sanji smiles at him. “But you think it can work, right?” there’s a plead and small hope in that question.
Guilt tears at Zoro and he feels like crying. He places his head to Sanji’s chest and feels. Just feels him. He breathes quietly and hears the Cook’s erratic heart rate.
“I do,” he says softly. Sanji’s breath hitches. “But, I want to know how I lost my memory. Can you tell me?” he asks as he lifts his head.
Sanji’s eyes are watery, but he nods.
It’s not like he hated him. He’s just gotta learn his place. No, Zoro didn’t hate Ussop. But he was mad anyway. He was mad that the sniper left them, that he gave up on them and betrayed their trust. He’s mad.
“I’m sorry,” Ussop told him.
Zoro nodded and left it at that, but forgiveness came later.
Ussop seemed to get it.
The lightning hurt. Bad. He could see it in her eyes as they rolled back into her head and she passed out. He shot out of his place and caught her.
His glare was directed at the fake god. “She’s a woman,” he growled.
“I can see that,” the bastard replied.
He charged, and like always, got in a few hits. But lightning struck.
Ussop came to say sorry again. Zoro sighed. He’s forgiven him already, so why say sorry all the time.
It’s different. Ussop is sorry for not having faith in their decision, he’s sorry for being an ass. He’s sorry for all of it, for real.
Zoro forgives him. Ussop is happy.
Luffy asks Franky to join them. Franky does.
Robin betrays them. He gets hurt.
“I want to live!”
It echoes in his mind, why? Is it important?
His eyes open again and this time he’s not alone, or with Chopper. Sanji is sleeping next to him. It’s been a few months now. He’s got a few memories back. It takes a long time, Chopper said. Zoro knows who he is now and what’s happening. He’s okay.
He groans as he sits up and looks around. Franky is snoring, like always, he thinks.
He knows who Franky is. Thank god.
He steps out of the bunk, Sanji grabs at him but he stuff a pillow in his arms. He walks off, up to the deck. The air is fresh. He likes it.
Robin is on watch. She beckons him to come up to the crow’s nest. He does.
“You alright?” Robin asks softly as he climbs through the trap door.
He nods, short answer.
“You seem to like it here, no?” she asks.
He nods again, “Yeah, I’m getting more back. I know more about you, Franky and about Merry.”
Robin’s eyes flash with guilt, but he says nothing. They know. Everyone feels a little guilty about something. Other’s more. He feels guilty about not telling Luffy something, but he doesn’t remember what yet. Sanji knows, but won’t tell him.
Robin feels guilty about trying to die and leave them. Ussop about betraying them.
They accepted it. They don’t care.
Zoro sits down on the bench and he stares out the window. The night is dark, almost starless. He feels uneasy.
“Something wrong?” Robin asks, always perceptive.
Zoro bites at his lip, he doesn’t know what. “It’s, something. I don’t know what though.”
Robin seems to get it and doesn’t comment, letting him figure it out on his own. His head aches. He’s going back. He bids Robin goodnight and goes back below deck.
He dreams about Alabasta that night, about all of it. Vivi, Carue, Crocodile. Everything. The fight with “Mister whatever he was called.” Slashing iron. Iron. He cut iron! He shoots up in bed, it’s morning. Sanji is gone. He more exhausted than he’s been in a month. He stumbles out on deck.
Seeing the crew helps, eating breakfast helps. But the gnawing feeling of uneasy is still not gone. There is something he needs to know. But what?
Everyone notices his uneasy and they try to lift his spirits. It doesn’t work.
Sanji makes it work after a quick kiss and a little bodily exploration. No further. He’s scared.
Sanji doesn’t mind.
“It’s alright,” the blonde says.
Zoro smiles and he feels exhaustion creep back into his limbs. “I’m so tired,” he says, it’s the truth.
Sanji notes it and places his hand on Zoro’s head. He tsk’s and stands, fixing his clothes. “You have a fever, let’s get you to Chopper.”
Zoro nods and stands. Bad idea. The floor tilts and he’s sure it’s not him, but he hits the ground hard and his lips let loose a groan of pain. Sanji’s hands are on him that instant and the Cook heaves him up. He’s protesting, but Sanji’s is having none of it.
Chopper files him back into the infirmary and shuts everyone out. He’s passed out before the door closes.
Pain. It’s all he felt and he’s not happy. There was a big person saying things to him. What’s going on?
“-Take his pain.”
He agreed without his mind. He didn’t get it.
More pain, excruciating.
Memories flashed before him and he screamed. He couldn’t take so much at once!
His head was in pain, his body was in pain. Dammit. Where was sweet oblivion when one wanted it.
It didn’t come.
“Zoro, stop it already, you’re not healed yet!” Chopper screeched.
Zoro’s hands were bat away by the tiny hooves. He growled as the doctor fixed his bandages.
“You’ve got to heal, leave them or I will kill you!” Chopper said.
Zoro rolled his eyes but didn’t argue. He did need to heal. He glanced at Sanji and the blonde cocked a grin at him. Told ya so, it said.
Zoro flipped him off.
Dinner was a disaster, as always. But this time was worse. There was a food fight. Everyone got involved. Everyone. Nami punished them.
A storm rolled around. A fight with marines. More pain, phantom pain following after it. Screams and growls.
He wasn’t getting it.
Bullets, guns, swords. No that wasn’t right.
Distraction, pain, darkness. Memories of the past.
Darkness. Damn marines.
“Who are you?”
“Were the Straw Hat Pirates, and you’re our swordsman, Roronoa Zoro.”
Zoro shoots up in the bed. He glances around wildly and spots the furry reindeer sleeping in the chair next to the bed. He smiles.
Finally, all his memories are back. He feels happy.
He’s got to tell Sanji!
He swings his legs of the bed and sneak out of the room. It’s night. Someone is on watch.
Zoro climbs the ladder to the crow’s nest. Sanji is on watch. He shrieks in surprise when Zoro taps him on the shoulder and the swordsman has to dodge a boot.
He smirks. “What was that for, Cook?”
Sanji’s eyes widen and they fill with tears. “You got them back!” he exclaims, flinging himself at the swordsman.
Zoro falls back and takes the brunt of the impact, but he doesn’t care. He cradles Sanji to him and squeezes. He missed the bastard.
“Tadaima,” he says, kissing Sanji fully.
Sanji kisses him back with the same passion and it leaves them breathless. The damn Cook gives him the most seductive grin ever and whispers in his ear while tearing at his clothes.