The rhythmic clink of metal on metal rang out on the ship as someone trained. It was pretty loud as it eclipsed the clinks of my work with my pistols.
I was taking them apart and cleaning them, or at least that’s what I was pretending to do. I was actually watching a certain green haired man train. The strong sunlight was causing him to sweat even more profusely, all of it was running down his sculpted abdomen, teasing me.
“Rei?” My gaze snapped from in front of me to my left where Usopp was trying to talk to me, “Are you seriously still cleaning those things?” He teased.
My face heated up a little bit at his words.
“What’s going on, man?” He asked.
I shrugged before responding, “My mind’s just been else where, okay?”
“Thinking about your next masterpiece?” Usopp nudged me.
I felt my face heat up as I growled, “Yes.”
“Tell me about it, please!” Usopp begged.
“No, you’ll see it when it’s done.” I told him turning back to the task at hand. I was the artist on the Straw Hat crew. I loved it, and I was more than happy to show people my art work… when it was finished. It was only ever when I had a work in progress was I hesitant to share with anyone. And, of course, Usopp wanted to see it at all stages.
“But I wanna see it now!” Usopp exclaimed and tried to reach for the sketchbook I had beside me.
I snatched it before his grubby fingers could even graze the cover.
“No!” I yelled, clutching the book to my chest, “You can see it when it’s done!”
“But, Rei!” Usopp whined.
“Usopp, leave him alone.” Zoro snarled to the long nosed man on my behalf.
“Oh, come one, Zoro. Don’t you wanna see what Rei’s been working on long into the night?” The black haired boy teased.
The swordsman set down his massive weight and turned to look at the two of us. My face flushed even further getting the full view of his chest and stomach, with that sexy scar across it all.
“Leave him alone, he’ll show it to us when he’s ready. Until then, knock it off.” He snarled.
Usopp laughed as he backed away from me and, more importantly, my sketchbook.
“Come on, it was teasing, it was teasing! I would never want to see your work before it’s done! Come on, you know me!” He then laughed more and took off to another place in the ship.
I sighed and relaxed, allowing my sketchbook in my arms to fall to my lap instead of the vice grip I had it in.
“Thanks.” I smiled up at the swordsman.
Zoro smiled down at me as he wipped his forehead with a towel he had draped around his neck, “No problem, your art work is yours to release when you’re ready.”
I felt my smile widen even more as I looked down at the black cover of my sketch book. Before setting it to the side and turning my attention back to my pistols.
To my light dismay Zoro was putting his weights away, he was done with training today.
I sighed slightly and began my assembly. Deciding that when I was done I would go up to the crow’s nest and draw. I liked it up there.
I hummed to myself as I made charcoal lines along the mostly blank page. My latest ‘masterpiece’ was not what everyone thought. While I would usually draw the crew together, or doing interesting things, or scenes from some of the previous adventures that we’d been on; this one was different.
This one was something I couldn’t hold in anymore, it was a charcoal drawing of Roronoa Zoro. His long, green coat was off one of his arms mostly exposing his chest and abdomen and the scar along it. His dark green bandanna was on his head, casting a shadow over his steely eyes giving him a predatory and sexy look about him. One of his swords, Shusui, was completely unsheathed and he was holding it across his body in a downward angle. Held close to him, with his other arm wrapped around their frame, was me. A more feminine version of me.
I sighed as I looked over the drawing of myself, I hated it. My face was rounder and nose smaller, eyes larger and I stood shorter than I actually was with a slightly scrawnier figure. My short, messy hair was slightly longer. I tried my best to make myself look like a girl for him here. It didn’t work out though.
Not as thought I was a hyper masculine figure to begin with. I only stood at about five feet six inches. Had very little bulk muscle, it was all made for speed. My dark brown hair was short and messy, curling at awkward angles. My dark eyes were… dark and rather boring. I didn’t have really masculine features but there was no way you could confuse me for a girl even if I tried.
I growled quietly to myself, it would never work out. How could he ever feel the same about you. You’re a boy, he doesn’t like boys. Just look at how he acts around Robin, he’s kind, and with Nami, they’re like an old married couple. And how he acts around the guys? Mostly he’s vaguely interested in their activities but mostly is annoyed by their antics, especially Sanji.
I cursed myself, wishing and praying to whoever could hear me that I could have been born a girl so I could stand some kind of chance with him, or at the very least that I didn’t have these stupid feelings towards him. That he didn’t make me feel the way he did.
I squealed and threw myself onto my sketch book before I whipped around to come face to face with the stupid moss head himself. I felt my face get really hot. He had come over the side of the railing on the crow’s nest, and a million thoughts flooded my mind.
Did he see what I drew? Did he recognize me in the drawing? Did he care? Did he think I was weird? What did he think about it at all? Was he going to throw me off the ship? Was he going to cut me? Was he going to reject me after acknowledging me feelings? What if he makes fun of me?
“Yes?” I squeaked out, seeing a confused look on his face.
“Sorry.” He muttered and turned his head away from me, “I should have called up to you on my climb, I don’t think that was ready to see yet.”
I shook my head furiously.
“What’s up?” I asked, trying to calm myself. He thought it was an unfinished piece. He didn’t care.
“Uh, dinner’s done.” He told me.
I nodded and took a deep breath, “Thanks.”
I quickly closed my sketch book, making sure not to let him see the drawing anymore. I stood up and took a step towards the railing waiting for him to start climbing down so I could follow.
He stayed where he was. I cocked my head to the side.
“Something wrong, Zoro?” I asked him.
He turned back to look at me, his face completely serious. I stiffened, did he understand what I drew and was about to lash out at me?
“Yeah, you really need to start seeing yourself the same way I do. You looked pathetic in that drawing compared to what you actually are.” He shot me a smirk.
I was taken aback for a second but recovered quickly, “Excuse me?” I shot at him.
He paused as he was about to climb down, looking at me playfully, “I might need to see that drawing again, but what I thought I saw was me and a crappily drawn you in my arms. You need practice at drawing yourself better.”
I opened and closed my mouth as I stared at him, that same coy smirk on his handsome face.
“What?” He laughed at me, “You didn’t know?”
“Didn’t know what?” I demanded.
“I like you.” He told me.
I felt my face turn into a furnace at his words, “But-but-but, Robin, and N-Nami, you-you-”
“I don’t like either of them.” He told me, “Where’d you even get that idea from?”
“You, just, seemed to act like you did, is all.” I muttered.
He smirked wider at me, “No, why do you think that I always defend your not wanting to show your drawings before you’re ready?”
I looked away and turned my head down. I guess that explains that, I thought.
“You’re cute when you blush.” Zoro said softly, my head shot up to stare at him. That cocky smile still plastered in his handsome features.
I muttered a thanks, averting his gaze again, before he reached forward and grasped the front of my shirt and pulled me forward. I was afraid for a second or two that he was going to smash his mouth onto mine.
“Are you okay with this?” He asked me softly.
“What?” I blinked.
“Are you okay with me kissing you?” He asked me, my eyes widened at his words, “I wont do it if you’re not ready for that sort of thing.”
I shook my head, “I-I’d actually like that.”
He needed nothing more, he pulled me forward lightly and pressed his lips gently onto my own. It was everything that I wanted and more.
Zoro pulled away after a few seconds and smiled genuinely at me.
“Come on.” He urged as he started to descend the ladder, “Before the damn, Ero-cook gives all the food to Luffy because we aren’t there.”
I hurried to follow him down the ladder for dinner, not once for the rest of the evening did the giant smile on my face ever once leave.