((Authors Note: Thank you guys so much for the amazing reviews! I really appreciate it! Id love to hear more from you guys so please keep me updating on how I'm doing with reviews.))
((Authors Note QnA: To answer 3HAREOO3's question, I never really established when this is taking place. It's before the time skip and since Brook and Franky are there i'd say it's after Thriller Bark, before Sabaody Archipelago ^^)) ((Warning: There is violence and gore))
"There's so much blood..." Chopper looked down at Zoro's mangled body lying on the red grass surrounded by a deep puddle of blood. "It's a miracle that he's alive." The little reindeer suddenly transformed into a huge, gorilla-looking animal keeping his tiny, innocent little voice. He looked at each of his nakama with a serious glare giving out orders professionally. "I can't operate here... Sanji... Take Zoro to the medical room on the Sunny. I'll be right behind you once I help Nami and Robin. I also need to calculate how much blood he needs, Zoro will definitely have a blood transfusion done on him." The cook gave Chopper an anxious nod placing in jacket over the bloody swordsman's shoulders. He then lifted him on his back gently trying not to shake him too much. The pirate hunter's blood started seeping into the cloths on Sanji's back staining them crimson and leaving the cook with the feeling of thick, warm liquid on his back. He took his tie wrapping it around Zoro's wrists to keep them slung over his neck so he wouldn't fall off. The swordsman groaned in pain at the movements despite Sanji's efforts to be extra gentle and despite the fact that Zoro has been unconscious for quite some time.
"Me and Robin will be fine Sanji-kun. We'll try to find a way to get those handcuffs off of Luffy... Please take care of Zoro." The swirly browed cook's eyes lit up in hearts singing delightfully.
"Of course Nami-swan! I'll meet you back on the ship!" He practically twirled off into the direction of the Sunny making sure to avoid the puddles of blood. 'Nami-san is so beautiful when she's worried!' Sanji thought as he walked into the dark forest. He weaved though tree after tree when a grim recognition hit Sanji causing him to hear the pounding of his own heart. The cook could barley feel the marimo's chest rise and fall and when it did, Zoro's face clenched on pain, like it hurt for him to even breathe.
"A...re... th...e... oth...ers... a-al...right...?" a whispering voice echoed in Sanji's ear as he turned to see the swordsman's tired, half opened eye. It looked like it took all of Zoro's energy to keep it open. They weren't cold or red anymore which relived Sanji immensely even if it was blood-shot and heavy looking. He tried to keep the same annoyed expression that he always wore around Zoro so the moss head wouldn't get the idea that he was actually worried about him.
"Their all fine... Now shut up marimo. You shouldn't be talking now. Save your energy." He spoke with the most annoyed, care free tone he could managed but it still came out shaky, hearing obvious undertones of worry.
"I'm.... So....rr...y..." There was a long pause of silence while Zoro took a shallow, painful breath which was seemingly all the air he could get. He let out a small cough as he continued talking weakly. "Da....mn... It... I-I tr...ied... To k-k...ill Na...mi... I pro...ba...bly... sca...red y-you gu...ys..." He coughed violently trying to raise his hand to cover his mouth but found that it wouldn't budge. His coughing fit continued for a long time making Zoro cough up some of the little blood he had left from time to time.
"Hey! Get it together moss head!" Sanji gritted his teeth sounding way too worried and desperate. The blond felt useless that he wasn't able to help his friend at a moment like this. He saw that coughing hurt Zoro unbearably and it bugged the cook to see his nakama this way, even if he acted like he hated the guy.
Zoro's violent coughing finally came to a stop leaving the swordsman moaning in pain. His breathing was getting much worse, it was even shallower then before and he could hear a rasp with each inhale.
"D...a...m...n..." Zoro's voice was even softer now and Sanji could tell it hurt him talk. He tried to brush off the coughing fit he witnessed earlier so he could whip the terror off his face.
The cook sighed calming down enough for his heart to start beating normally again. Sanji knew that the swordsman was blaming himself entirely for everything that happened, trying to hold all the weight on his shoulders as usual which angered the cook even more now, seeing the condition Zoro was in.
"Me, scared of you!?" The cook let out a fake laugh acting like the coughing fit never happened and trying to get Zoro's spirits up. "Why would I be afraid of a shitty swordsman like you!?" He flashed Zoro a forced, sly grin immediately turning around to watch his step in the darkened forest. He wanted to get a rise out of Zoro, to have a sense of normality for once to calm his nerves but the swordsman didn't take the bait. Zoro remained silent focusing on his breathing.
Sanji's toe caught on one of the roots sending the cook stumbling forward shaking around Zoro on his back. The greed haired man grunted in pain trembling from the sudden movement. Sanji regained his balance quickly stopping for a few seconds to see if his nakama was still alive, not even daring to breath. He heard Zoro's raspy breathing once again and finally exhaled continuing forward. Shitty roots and vines where lying on the ground as if they where freaking meant to trip people. "Damn forest..." Sanji muttered under his breath. He knew that the Sunny was just on the other side but the more he walked the worse Zoro seemed to be getting. The cook continued carefully navigated through the forest not wanting to trip again. He anxiously speed-walked towards the Sunny checking to see if Zoro was still alive once in a while.
Zoro had already slipped out of consciousness once again on the cooks back worrying Sanji even more. He could feel that dark aura coming back for a split second, then dispersing again as if it was never there. "What's going on with you moss head?"
'I guess this isn't a bed...' Zoro thought trying to move but his entire body felt as heavy as lead. Even the air around him was getting thicker and thicker making it impossible to breath, his chest was getting tighter too making Zoro feel like he was going to suffocate. The so-called blanket the swordsman felt on his back was the ero-cook's now dripping red coat draped over his shoulders to keep him warm. In his half conscious state he was able to feel the gentle foot steps bouncing him up and down.
"Kill him..." Zoro's eyes squeezed closed gritting his teeth together.
'No...' His statement was clear and full of confidence but the voice didn't go away, it didn't get any quieter... It only felt more powerful.
"You like the colour of blood don't you? The feel of it..." The voice echoed at an ear blasting volume ripping through the swordsman's already throbbing head. It caused him to close his eyes even tighter.
'I told you no! Now get out of my head you bastard!' Zoro's voice was full of rage remembering what this thing made him do.
"I am you Zoro, I'm what you really want... I'm how you really are... " The voice got more menacing, you could hear the bloodlust twisted into it.
"Kill him..." Those cold, quiet words slipped past Zoro's lips landing in the cook's ear. Sanji turned back looking at the green haired man worried. He was... Sleep talking? The cook has never heard of anyone talking while they where unconscious. He brushed it off focusing all of his energy to walk as fast as possible without shaking. He didn't want to worsen Zoro's condition. "Blood..." The swordsman's voice was cold again holding the same satanic tone and full of bloodlust. The dark aura came back but disappeared yet again when Zoro stopped talking.
"Pain in the ass..." Sanji muttered continuing to stride forward. Finally he could hear the splash of waves against the shoreline from behind the trees just in front of him. The cook smelt the sea water and bursted out of the forest seeing the decently sized boat with a lion figure head that looked more like a sun then anything else in his opinion. Relief flooded him seeing that it was still where he left it and practically ran towards the ship which was swaying gently on top of the waves. He climbed aboard quickly but smoothly still trying to make the ride better for his sickly nakama.
Everybody turned from whatever they where doing on the deck, their eyes drawn to the sound of foot steps climbing up the Sunny. A curly eyebrow revealed itself from behind the ship as the rest of the body followed. "Sanji!" Usopp ran over to greet him happily when his smile dropped seeing the half dead swordsman limply leaning against Sanji's back.
"Sanji-san... What happened to Zoro-san?" Brook seemed to spot Zoro right away leaning over the cook to get a better look. Even if his face was only bone you could see the concerned and horrified expression matching Usopp and Franky's.
"I don't have time to explain! I have to get him to the medical room quickly, Chopper should be right behind me with Robin-chan and Nami-san." His explanation was a lot more rushed, again, sounding more worried then he wanted to. He whipped by Franky along with the shipwrite's half-created invention kicking open the door to the small medical room. The strong sent of medicine slapped Sanji in the face as he entered the room placing Zoro carefully on the bed. He narrowed his eyes looking at the usual strong swordsman, lying lifelessly on the now blood covered bed. The red liquid seeped into the white covers quickly turning them crimson.
As if on cue Chopper bursted into the room with his medical equipment ready. He ran up to Zoro's bedside as Nami and Robin waited patiently at the door. He turned to the doorway of anxious nakama asking in the same professional tone as before "Could you get a couple of items for me?" He made eye contact with the bandaged Nami who nodded determinedly. Robin smiled calmly walking away from the cramped room to explain what had happened to the rest of her confused crew mates.
"Will he make it?" Sanji asked grimly not even trying to hide the worry from his voice.
"I-I don't know... I can't tell for certain right now." The little doctor answered in the same grim tone as Sanji though his voice was shaking twice as much. He checked Zoro's vital signs each time making the same surprised, look of despair when he was done. "He's burning up with a high fever and he needs a blood transfusion, quickly... Nami can you please get the blood bags?" Nami nodded again pushing her way into the room and rummaging through the well maintained closet.
The Straw Hats heard a pained moan coming from the crimson bed beside them. Did Zoro gain consciousness again!? He must be in tremendous pain right now if he is... The pirate hunter's body twitched slightly as a painful cough came out of Zoro causing him to spit up more blood. That idiot was trying to move!
"Shitty swordsman! If you lose any more of that stuff your going to die, stop trying to move!" Sanji snapped causing the twitching to come to a stop. He sounded annoyed but mostly worried dreading it soon after. He was sure Zoro knew the cook was concerned about him now, to tell the truth, he probably knew it from the very beginning which was the last thing Sanji wanted.
Nami held up the bags with Zoro's correct blood type waiting for Chopper's next instruction. "This is the hard part." He stated laying out all of his surgical items neatly onto the table beside him. The doctor took another glance at Zoro, sniffling to hold back the tears that where making their way to his eyes.
Darkness surrounded Zoro and the unbearable pain was still coursing through his entire body. It was getting even worse then before and was now at a point where the swordsman would be screaming in agony if he could. He tried to open his eyes again but failed, his eye lids where still too heavy to lift. "Cut them down... Make them spill their blood and scream out in agony..." That damn voice was back and he really didn't have the energy to argue with it anymore. It was still pounding through his head with each word. Suddenly the voice stopped being replaced with another one. "Hey Zoro!"
"Hey Zoro!" Sanji snapped again testing to see if he was awake. The dark aura was bursting out of control again. The swordsman opened his mouth to speak but all that came out was a pained groan.
"Say something damn it!" He covers his worry with annoyance waiting for Zoro to respond.
He pushed harder finally able to force a word out of his mouth. "Lu...ffy...?" Sanji's voice was so hazy to the half dead pirate hunter that he couldn't tell who it was anymore.
"Do I sound like Luffy to you? Idiot..." Sanji shoved his hands in his pockets looking at the pirate hunter closely still hiding his concern.
"E...ro...-coo...k..." Zoro panted out again. The cook immediately broke out into a sarcastic clap.
"You got it! Congratulations!" His enthusiasm was sarcastic and fake along with the grin he gave Zoro. "Looks like your smarter then I thought!"
"I'm... Gl...ad... Eve...ry...body... I-Is alr...ight...." He let off a slight relieved smile which soon dropped as he coughed up blood again.
"Alright, alright. Now stop talking." Sanji looked away trying to sound as annoyed as he possibly could feeling slightly saddened that the swordsman didn't take the bait again. Nami smiled seeing the two of them talk, in this rare occasion it relieved her that they where talking.
"Sanji-kun is right... You should get some rest." The navigator spoke calmly and sweetly as if talking to an injured puppy. Zoro's face twitched in annoyance at the tone, he hated being pitied.
Chopper finished hooking Zoro up the bag full of crimson letting the thick liquid flow to the swordsman's arm. "Once you fall asleep I'll start treating your injuries, you need rest Zoro." Chopper added, concerned but professional.
He didn't like worrying everyone, it bugged him to be so useless... To make matters worse they weren't acting afraid, or reluctant to help him even after what he did, even after what they saw. Don't they know that if they make him better he could possibly attack them again? Hurting, or ever worse... killing them!? Of course he doesn't want to but... He noticed his thoughts fading as Zoro lost consciousness once again.
"It seems like he finally went back to sleep." Chopper stated relieved. "Let's get started! Fist off we need to clean his injuries, I can't work with all this blood on him. We need to bring his fever down too... Sanji can you go get a bucket of warm water along with a dish cloth soaked in cold water? And Nami, please get some rags."
"Right!" They both scattered in opposite directions, Sanji going to the kitchen to get the bowl and a wet dish cloth while Nami stayed, opening different cabinets in the cramped room. Nami finally found the rags when Sanji bursted back through the door holding a silver bucket filled to the top with comfortably warm water in one hand and a white dish cloth soaked in cold water with the other. He placed the bucket quickly on the small table closest to the bed making sure to avoid Chopper's tools then placed the cold cloth on Zoro's forehead carefully. Nami handed the doctor one of the white rags she found giving another to Sanji and leaving the last one for herself.
"If we all help it will go fast." She smiled soaking her rag in the water and getting to work on Zoro's injuries.
"Your so smart Nami-swan!" Sanji cooed soaking his own rag. He followed Nami's lead and started to carefully clean Zoro's wounds.
"Thank you mina!" Chopper whipped away the tears from his eyes wetting his cloth and getting to work. Zoro's face twisted up in pain wincing with each stroke of the rag. It seemed he could still felt pain even in his current state. After whipping the excess blood off of the swordsman all of their eyes widened at the gravity of his injuries. The blood was covering up most of deep the cuts and bruises inflicted on him. He looked completely mangled seeing how almost every bone in his body was broken and all his muscles where torn to shreds.
"Damn it marimo what happened to you!?" They all looked in horror until Nami broke the silence swallowing hard.
"H-how is he alive!? Is he really still breathing!?" Nami placed her hand over her trembling mouth in shock unable to pry her eyes away. She started to shake letting tears drops to the floor.
"Don't worry Nami-san, Zoro will be fine. You know how stubborn that marimo can be!" His attempt to comfort her was futile but he needed to say it out loud anyways. It felt like Sanji was the one who needed to hear it the most. 'Damn you shitty swordsman making my Nami-san cry... When your all better I'm going to kick your ass!'
Chopper was crying along with Nami treating his wounds in between sniffles. It took what seemed like an eternity for his body to finally be able to pass for human. Chopper took the bandages wrapping it tightly around every inch of the swordsman carefully.
"This is all I can do for now... The rest is up to Zoro." The doctor took another saddened glance at the lifeless green haired man before putting his equipment away. The pained expression was now constant on Zoro's face as his breathing got louder and more forced. He was panting constantly and Sanji knew that wasn't a good sign.
'Shit... I hate worrying about you. Damn bastard, get better quickly!' He kept his eyes on Zoro thinking that his loud breaths where better then not breathing at all.
"Someone needs to be watched Zoro at all times for the first couple of days just in case something happens." He tried to word it nicely but it still came out grimly shooting the worst case scenario into everybody's mind. Nami shuttered at the thought and quickly volunteered to take the first shift.
"I'll watch him first since Sanji-kun has to make supper." The navigator smiled sadly placing the bloody rags in the bucket next to the bed. She sat down on the stool at Zoro's bedside getting comfortable. "You should get some rest, doctor Chopper."
Chopper immediately blushed starting to dance and clap out of the room. "Calling me doctor won't make me happy! Idiot! Bastard!" He practically sung the insults as he danced out the door.
"He sure looked happy." Sanji grinned focusing his gaze back on Nami while picking up the silver bucket. "As soon as I'm done with supper I'll let you rest Nami-san."
"Thank you Sanji-kun!" The navigator said enthusiastically causing Sanji's eyes to form into hearts again.
"Anything for you Nami my dear!" He cooed spinning out the door.
"I told you to kill him!" The voice yelled, for the first time actually sounding angry. A demonic, bloodthirsty ring was in it too causing Zoro's head to feel like it's going to explode.
'I already told you I wouldn't! Now go away!' The swordsman snapped back feeling much better then he did before. He whipped his eyes across the dark room as two eyes and a mouth lit up from the darkness. Zoro could make out the outline of it's body but it was completely black blending into the background. It's lips curled up into a cold, devious smile as it's gaze pierced through Zoro.
"I know you want to... Wouldn't his blood feel amazing on your hands!?" It's voice got more exited as it looked down on it's camouflaged hands which continued to blend in with the darkness.
'I said no! Now shut up!' The pirate hunter didn't back down turning away from the face. He blinked for only a second and when his eyes re-opened the face was a lot closer to him, standing back in his line of vision.
"Soon the cravings with take over you, your bloodlust will become so unbearable that it will be impossible to quench!" It brought it's face closer to Zoro's with each word. When he finished it bursted out laughing demonically now opening it's mouth wide to reveal fang-like teeth. It's eyes rolled to the back of it's head and spun back to the front landing it's gaze on Zoro. Over and over again the thing's eyes spun in it's head slowly. Zoro still stood unfazed crosses his arms and giving the creature a look of anger and determination.
"You can't hide from your own demon self... Zoro!"
((Authors Note: I really hope you liked Chapter 2 as much as Chapter 1! Please keep reviewing, I want to make my story as good as possible! Chapter 3 will come out soon!))