Happy birthday, me!
Elly x Zoro (time skip)"First Time/Birthday" scenario
Non-Canon Anime/Manga: ONE PIECE
June 30, her birthday.
It's an unspoken rule.
For some reason, the older you get, you're not supposed to celebrate this day. And Elly was very, very old. As a demon, she wouldn't die unless killed in a specific way and her restorative powers had kept her around for a long time. She'd given up on birthday parties, especially since she had no friends or family left. But she had found people that accepted her, and they were so full of life! She couldn't say no when they'd insisted on making a big deal out of the day.
Zoro scratched his head, frowning. He and Sanji had lagged behind the others because he had some questions he just didn't know how to answer. The cook always gushed about women all the time and he didn't know where to turn. Desperation had forced the swordsman to turn to the guy he hated to trust the most.
"What do I do?" He asked for what seemed the hundredth time.
"Just do what seems right," Sanji said finally in exasperation. "Get a gift. Give it to her yourself, whatever." Zoro gave him an evil look but nodded before turning on his heel to disappear into the bustling town. "That moron better not get lost," Sanji muttered to himself as he turned back to the inn they were staying at. Elly was already inside, waiting for them to finish the preparations for the party.
She was also freaking out.
Her fingers drummed on the table top, her split-striped tail swishing behind her with anxiety. To put it mildly, Elly was more than excited - she was nearly frantic with a mixture of happiness and sheer terror. She'd been told to wait in her room in the seaside hotel they had booked for the night while they finished decorating and was now pacing in front of an open window. Her eagerness was a pleasant feeling, but the worry was not.
And this is one hell of a problem, she thought, biting her lip. The question was, of course, what was she to do about him? She'd insisted that they didn't have to get her any gifts but knew they had. Her main fear was that the big man she'd developed secret feelings for would do something special for her. How was she supposed to react? What if he didn't do anything? Elly mulled this over and over again and still hadn't come to a conclusion before there was a light rap on her door.
"Hee hee!" It was Chopper, and the little reindeer couldn't contain himself. She grinned in spite of her worries and held out a hand.
"Yeah!" He tugged his hat down with one hoof and took her hand with the other. "You're gonna love it!"
He was right; the party was marvelous. She'd never seen so many balloons, for one, and the fact that the captain kept using parts of himself to make more never ceased to crack Usopp and Chopper up. Brook had decided to shake things up with some older music she was used to, and it sounded really great. There was enough food and drink for everyone - including Luffy -- and the girls sat together and chatted calmly when the party got a little wild. But something was missing, and she kept looking around, obviously upset. After things had calmed down a little, Sanji waved the girls off and strode over. Nami stuck her tongue out at him, but while he wriggled in glee he also shook his head, pointing to the droop of Elly's ears and her sad expression. Robin tugged on her friend's arm and the two wandered over to start picking up confetti and wrapping paper. Sanji stepped closely beside the birthday woman.
"I know what's wrong," he said softly, blowing smoke off into the distance. "The asshole didn't show up."
"Wha- no, what?" Elly tried to laugh this off but the blond man turned to stare at her, anger in his one visible eye. It burned dark blue with a rage she'd only seen a few times. Her eyes widened in panic. He wouldn't.
"I'm gonna go get him."
"No, wait -" Of course he would. She knew it but he was too quick. On his feet in one breath and out the door in the next, Sanji was simply gone before she could say anything. She drew a deep breath and got up to help clean, but they waved her off.
"No, no, if you're tired you go rest. It's your day!"
"We've got it!"
"Is all the food gone?"
Grinning despite herself, she waved thanks and walked up the stairs to her room again. On the way she forced herself to think about how lucky she was to have friends like that, because she was and knew it. That wasn't the question. She was a greedy person to want something more when she should be happy to have what she did. Pushing open the door she sighed drearily.
"The hell's wrong?" A grumpy and very familiar voice greeted her. The silhouette in front of the window was large-bodied. She smelled the familiar scent of steel mixed with rough soap.
Elly's ears and tail jerked straight up, and she let out a distressingly cat-like mew. "Nya!" The door snicked closed behind her and she pressed her back against it, hissing faintly. He just chuckled, which irritated her even more.
"What are you doing in here, you idiot?"
"Stupid," Zoro snorted. He stepped forward and she saw that he looked more upset than usual. "Cut that out!" He snapped when she slid to the side, avoiding him.
Elly blinked. "Wait, don't tell me. You got lost in town." He swore under his breath, his face starting to burn with embarrassment. "That's really why you weren't at the party?"
"Found my way back." He thrust his lower lip out in that pout she knew so well. Don't need to tell her that blonde pervert found me only one street away... The thought made him even more sour, an expression she recognized that was accompanied by monosyllabic sounds of his grumpiness. She started to giggle, relief trickling out of her little by little until she burst out laughing. Zoro grunted, and that only set her off harder.
"I got upset over that!" She blurted out, reaching a hand blindly to grasp something for stability as she wobbled. It was deftly caught in a rough-calloused palm that pulled her forward then settled hesitantly on her upper back.
"You got upset?"
"Um." Elly laid her ears back and grinned sheepishly up at him. The truth was, being so close to him was causing her to stutter with sensory overload. He was warm, he smelled good, and felt even better. "N-not, I mean, I thought maybe you got in trouble..." That was better, she thought with relief. A plausible story, anyway. He said nothing, however, and after awhile she glanced curiously up to see his one good eye staring intently at her. Her face burned, and she dropped her head, the purple locks along her cheeks falling forward.
"Oi." He took hold of her shoulders to pull her back enough to look even more closely into her eyes. Elly swallowed hard, her throat closing up so tight she could barely breathe. Then he looked to the side. Following his glance she saw a small, crudely wrapped package sitting on the bed. Her expression grew incredulous.
"You got lost because you went out to get me something?" He just shrugged and gave her a little push. Elly moved mechanically, shaking hands reaching out to pick up the precious box. Inside was something she never would have considered possible - a silver chain with a delicate little bell attached. Now she positively couldn't speak. She lifted it out, eyes wet with unshed tears. This was not a "friend" gift. Even he must know that. She might have stood there for hours in her shock if he hadn't reached around to place it around her neck. His hands were surprisingly deft and the clasp was secured quickly. The chain fell lightly down her throat, the bell resting just before her gentle swell of cleavage.
"Just a collar," he mumbled. "For a stupid cat."
Perhaps it was new-found confidence because of the gift, or she'd just reached her limit on "cat" teasing for the year. Whatever it was, Elly spun around, wide-eyed, ears twitching cutely and tail lashing about her legs. "I love it!"
This time he took a step backwards, his face apprehensive as she unleashed her inner feline. "Erk!" was all he could choke as she hurled himself in his arms. His hands automatically held her so she wouldn't fall, this time lower on her back. It didn't take long before his grip tightened, though, when he realized she was hugging him. He hugged her back, sweating a little with nerves. She smelled really good, the sleepy mix of lavender and vanilla. He moved to pat her on the head to try and lighten the mood, but found himself running his fingers through her hair instead. Elly purred faintly when he rubbed her ears and the big man blushed even harder. What am I doing?!
"Zoro," she murmured against his chest. "M'gonna fall."
"Nope." He reached under and swept her into his arms, once again without thinking. He knew at this point his face couldn't get any hotter and redder, but it seemed to. "Not gonna 'letcha." He blew out air in a great gust that could have been a sigh. Right. He remembered what that asshole cook had said to him earlier. What seems right. His eye fell on the bed and he shivered.
"M'fine." He set her down and sat close beside her, curling an arm about shoulders. He heard her gasp and touched her chin, gently angling her towards him. Though nervous at first, when their lips met neither one thought of anything but the kiss. Elly's hands reached around to caress his neck and he dropped his hand to give the little bell a light flick with one finger. The sweet sound rang musically out, more resonant than it seemed possible for such a tiny thing. The kiss deepened as the sound faded and he traced his fingers the rest of the way to the gap between her breasts. He felt her heartbeat on the skin of his palm, wild as his own, and knew it was right. Her hands were on his shoulder-blades as he explored and when he stroked through the soft fabric of her shirt she gripped him tightly. When he slipped underneath, her nails bit into his skin. "That's better," he murmured into her ear. "Thought you had lost your spirit."
"Stupid," Elly snapped breathlessly. She had managed to pull her hands around to the front so she could caress his chest as well. She had an interest in the jagged scar, and her fingers ran carefully over every inch.
"That's my line."
"You know it's not my name, dumbass." She leaned forward and bit his neck. "Just once, I'd like to hear you say it."
"What's wrong with Cat?" He'd managed to unhook her bra and it fell into her lap. Elly carelessly batted it away, stared him defiantly in the eye and stuck her hand into his haramaki.
His response was a gratifying exhale of air that caused her to smirk. "What's wrong with Marimo?"
"Gah..." He clenched his jaw but she saw his lips quirk with amusement. "Can we talk about something else?" He carefully rubbed a thumb over a taut nipple and felt her tremble in his arms.
"Okay," she said with aplomb. "Then how about we chat about how your swords are on the floor over there but there's something hard as steel poking me here -" Her hand moved delicately and brushed the tented front of his pants.
"Oi!" he moved so quickly she hadn't time to react at all. Before she knew it she was laying underneath his tightly coiled body, his hands on either side of her head and his forehead touching hers. His breathing was ragged and fast, his eye closed. When he spoke next, it was darkly seductive, the promise of pleasure mingled with powerful force. "S'your fault I'm that hard, kitten, and you're gonna need to tell me to stop."
"To stop?" Baffled, she watched this transformation from play to deadly serious in awe.
"'Cause I..." His eye opened and she felt a warmth spread into her lower body from his gaze alone. "want," he continued, the meaning very clear in how he spoke, his mouth moving to cover her own. Just before they touched he husked, "you," and proceeded to kiss her so thoroughly that she lost all sense of reason. She could only hold onto him and hopefully give back some of what she was getting, which she must have because after what seemed like only moments he shuddered with pleasure and drew back. Elly felt he wanted confirmation and smiled with genuine happiness.
"I love you," she said simply, and watched with a certain amusement as his eye widened, his face frozen in shock. His reaction was as priceless as she had imagined. He continued to hover over her, green forelocks trembling with the only movement in his entire body.
"Sorry," she shrugged.
"You little idiot! I was supposed to say that first!"
"Yeah, m-" He blinked, then hung his head, a grumbling mumble of curses emerging. Elly didn't know whether to laugh, cry, or do both. He ended with, "Shit, man..." and reached for her.
"Sorry," she apologized again, smile playing about her lips.
"Shut up," he snapped, fingers tracing that smile. He kissed her several times, a lot gentler than he had before. Light, fluttering touches brushed her neck, throat, lips. Zoro kept it up until she was soft and shivery against him once more, then nuzzled open her mouth with his tongue. He made certain his eye met hers. "Happy birthday."
He ignored her surprise and continued to hold her gaze. Amazingly, there was no trace of embarrassment in his face at all when he spoke again. "I love you." He grinned. "Even if you are stupid."