The timeline for these drabbles is two weeks after a character's 'defining event' (aka, the tragedy that gives them their motivations in the series). I started with Zoro, so this is two weeks after Kuina's death. The idea has probably already been done. Oh well. Oddly enough, despite being situated two weeks after a terrible event, the tone of these drabbles is grinding humour with just one quick line of pain lurking in the background...My inspiration has never been able to cough up anything normal.
Title: Aftermaths - Zoro
Word Count: 298
Characters: Zoro and his sensei (I don't know if we ever learn the man's name...). Kuina's father and his apparent non-reaction to his daugther's death intrigued me. And since I read too much 'Lone Wolf and Cub', 'Vagabond' etc., this drabble happened.
The swordsmaster toasted the moon, drained his cup and contemplated his crazy student.
"I really can't stress this enough, Zoro; it just won't work."
"I' ILL ORK!"
The sensei found himself smiling. The glare the boy leveled at him was considerably more lethal than the wobbly three-sword stance being developed.
"But you can't speak that way-"
"Ah on eed oo eak."
"...I guess you don't need to, but how will you challenge your opponents or talk to your allies?"
"Ah on eed aahies."
"Ah, you'll go it alone..."
Bushido, which had shaped the sensei's youth, was a solitary path. He'd been taught how to rise above emotions and thought; how to find enlightenment on the edge of a blade; how to drink sake and watch the moon rise instead of raging at fate for taking his daughter, and he missed her so much even though he knew he shouldn't because all things were transitory, even Buddha...
By contrast, Zoro's open rage, grief and lunatic determination were as refreshing as the sake, and the only thing that made his teacher smile these days.
"I guess one can do without speech or allies, Zoro...but can you breathe like that? Enough to get by in a fight?"
After some experimental snorts and muffled gasps, the boy blinked in surprise and dismay.
The sensei refilled his cup, and knew that if he let those small shoulders slump, the sake would taste bitter.
"Use a stick to work up jaw strength. You will practice the first five basic lunges and learn to breathe all over again. If you can master that by morning..."
The inferno of challenge burned once more in his student's eyes.
"...then I'll teach you the next step."
The swordsmaster smiled into his cup and watched the night unfold.
I've got Luffy written, will post it tomorrow, and Sanji all but written, will post it tomorrow or Sunday. Nami's came out all wrong, but I think I know why. I have a vague idea of Chopper's, and NO CLUE as to Usopp's, probably because we've sort of already seen him in the period shortly after his mother's death, so I have a hard time riffing off of that. I might do Robin, too, if I feel inspired.