[Zoro] [Soulmate!AU] Burden | 1

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By icyfalls   |   Watch
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Published: May 19, 2018

Roronoa Zoro x Reader  [Soulmate!AU]
Soulmate!AU where you experience the pain that your soulmate feels


It wasn't easy being his soulmate. 

He was boorish; horridly uncouth and had a terrible sense of direction. It didn't matter that there was a single straight path in front of him because he'd still get lost and refuse to admit it. None of that bothered you though. If anything, it made him all the more endearing. An intimidating swordsman; first mate of the Straw Hat Pirates, being bested by a map and compass. But ever since he met you, it wasn't a problem he'd often face. Each time the Thousand Sunny anchored at an island and the crew made their way into town, he no longer got lost since you're there, leading him by hand to explore the town. You were the brains to his brawn and, most importantly, his navigator to local bars and alcohol. 

What did make it difficult to be his soulmate was, literally, how painful it could get. 
Since you were a child, you were often tormented by invisible cuts and bruises. Your daily life would get interrupted from morning to night. It was a never ending cycle of pain and torture for you, who lived a simple life on the Grand Line. As you got older, the pain became worse and it was harder to hold it in. You were bullied by your peers for being attention seeking; often crying out and tearing up for no reason. It reached a point where you'd pass out when your parents decided they had to do something about it. Having seen multiple doctors and healers, the only diagnosis they gave was that - your body was simply too weak. While your soulmate was constantly training and getting stronger, your physique remained the same and was far too weak to keep up with the pain. There was nothing you could do about it. Soulmate bonds were sacred and nothing could stop the pain from filtering through the bond. That left you with no choice but to start training your body to be stronger. It devastated your parents to see their child pick up a sword, but it had to be done. You had to in order not to succumb to the agony.

In a weird, twisted sense, it was nice to feel the physical ache of your own training. It also made you smug, knowing that whenever your teacher landed a hit on you with his wooden sword, your soulmate would feel it too. 

Your training went on for years before your teacher declared that he had nothing more to teach you, and that he was heading back out to sea. He was a mysterious swordsman whom your parents begged to teach you. Everyone in your village suspected him to be a pirate but no one dared to ask. Deep down, you knew that he was a pirate, from all the stories he'd tell you. Under his tutelage, you had been inspired to become embark on an adventure of your own. You were sad to see him leave, and when he did leave, he made a deal to meet you in somewhere in the New World. You didn't question his ambiguity, merely sending him off with a promise to meet him there. 

You had became the strongest swordswoman in your village. Even then, you could barely keep up with your soulmate. You knew he was out there, fighting day after day, with little regard for you. As much as that pissed you off, it also made you want to meet this infuriating character and beat him up for everything he's put you through.

And so, the day of your 17th birthday, you began your journey into the vast oceans. It was scary being alone out at sea. But the promise of adventure was one you soon began looking forward to as you visited different islands and met new people. 

It only took a couple of months before you found your soulmate.


You didn't know then that he was your soulmate. All you knew, was that the katana welding swordsman that walked down the same street thrice was really attractive. You had no idea where you got the courage from, but the fourth time he appeared at the top of the road, you left your seat in the diner and approached him. 

"Hi! Are you lost?" 

He glanced down at you and your smiling visage, taken aback from your close proximity. "Nah, I'm just having a look 'round town."

"But this is the fourth time you've passed by this street."

"You've been watching me?" He asked. Though his voice remained neutral, the hand resting on his swords shifted ever so slightly. 

"I noticed a handsome stranger, that's all." You backed off a little to give him some space. "I don't mean any harm. Really."

While he still remained guarded, he visibly relaxed when you moved away, a hint of a smirk appearing on his face. "A handsome stranger, you say?"

"Extremely attractive," you nodded. "Owns really nice swords too." 

He hummed thoughtfully, looking down your body to where your own sword rested at your hip, "...not too bad yourself." 

You were unsure if he just checked you out or if he was referring to your sword but it didn't matter to you and you asked, "so, where are you headed? I've been here a couple of days and I could show you around if you'd like." 

"I'm looking for a bar."

"...Are you serious?"

"I need my booze." 

You looked at him incredulously for a moment before laughing heartily, pointing at the building just ahead with a large wooden signboard. "The bar is right there! You mean you walked down this street so many times but failed to notice it?" 

"Didn't notice that." He looked mildly embarrassed but grunted in acknowledgement before walking towards the entrance. "Thanks for your help."

"Hey wait!" You skipped up to him, easily keeping up with his large strides. "You're that pirate hunter everyone's talking about, aren't you? Could I join you for a drink?"

"It's Roronoa Zoro." He corrected, walking ahead of you. "Suit yourself. I just need my alcohol."

"I'm [Name], by the way. And Zoro-kun?" You called out sweetly, stopping outside a building. "The bar is right here."

He halted stiffly and turned around, storming into the double doors, but not without pausing momentarily as he passed by your giggling form, the tip of his ears coated red.

"Not a word about this." 

You obliged, not mentioning a thing about his sense of direction, or a lack thereof. Instead, as you settled down next to him at the counter as the ale started coming, you fell into a easy stream of conversation with this handsome swordsman. You spoke of your master and your desire to see him again, and Zoro told you of his ambitions and his crew. It was easy to talk to him. He would listen when you spoke, not once interrupting you. And you soon realised that he was really just a simple guy, with big dreams and unrivalled courage and loyalty. 

Before you knew it, it was in the wee hours of the morning and the barkeep was chasing the two of you out. The image of Zoro, leaning against the counter with his face resting on his palm with a soft smile playing on his lips, was etched into your mind and you never wanted to forget that sight. If you had drunk any more, you might even have admitted that you had a crush on him. Laughing it off, you got off the high stool and made your way out of the bar with him following closely behind. 

You shared a look with him outside - a telling look that neither of you wanted to leave each other that night. But you resisted the urge to invite him to your room, knowing that it would make even harder to part ways with him eventually. Instead, you jokingly offered to walk him back to his ship lest he got lost. He rejected that offer, of course. After staring at you for a long while, Zoro bid you farewell and started to walk away. 

That night, you could only hope that Roronoa Zoro would make it back to his ship, considering how he was walking in the opposite direction of the port.


It had been 2 days and you were ready to set sail to the next island when you realised that your ship was being robbed. You were loading your supplies onto the small ship and went back to the inn to grab your belongings. When you arrived back, everything was gone and your ship was set ablaze. That ship was all you had. Save for some money and clothes you had on you, everything else that you owned was in it. It would take months - even years - to save enough money to buy another ship. You ran towards your ship, determined to catch the perpetrator. You saw two figures emerging from the flames, one of them with a large sack draped over his back. Drawing your sword, you waited for them to get off the ship and attacked. 

"How dare you!" Both of them combined struggled to fend you off. You were relentless in your movement, dodging and blocking each and every one of their attacks. In your rage, their apologies and cries fell upon deaf ears and you continuously lashed out at them. "Drop my things and give me back my ship!"

You were asking for the impossible but all you saw was red and all you felt was anger. How would you get to the New World now? From the corner of your eyes you noticed a larger ship going up in flames and a more men getting off with sacks in their arms. A crime syndicate, you realised as you shifted to a more defensive stance when they ran over to help the other burglars. There were over 10 of them now and you weren't confident of winning the fight since the newcomers seemed more proficient with their weapons. 

Cursing under your breath, you dodged another attack from one assailant before lunging for another. They also fought well together, covering for each other where there were openings. A gun was whipped out and it was then where you heard your name being called out. Between deflecting the bullet and dodging another attack, you barely had time to turn when you saw a flash of green and the robber holding the gun suddenly fell to the ground. 

"Zoro?" You were more than just a little surprised to see the pirate hunter standing there in front of you, the shirt he was wearing left unbuttoned. After the night you spent drinking with him, you hadn't seen him again though a part of you really wanted to. He had a sword in each hand and a deadly glint in his eyes. 

"Yo." He grinned menacingly. "Need some help?"

Reluctant to admit it, you hesitantly nodded before turning to glare at the enemy. "The two at the back are mine. They burned down my ship."

"Roger that," Zoro said before lunging at the first burglar. You swept his legs, making him fall over and you left Zoro to deal with him, using his body as a jump board as you leapt to attack the remaining assailants. It was surprisingly easy to work with Zoro with bringing your opponents down. He supported you well and vice versa. Since you had Zoro to cover for you, you took a more aggressive stance and continued slashing them down. When you finally reached the two who burgled you ship, the grip on your sword tightened as you saw them both pointing guns at you. You could hold your own against various weapons and in a fist fight, but when it came to guns, you found it hard to gauge the path and speed of a bullet. 

The easiest way to win was to end the fight quickly, you decided. Grabbing a second sword from a fallen robber, you lunged before pouncing at the with two blades in arm. You moved as quickly as you could and in your haste, you couldn't completely avoid the bullet that was shot at you. It tore into your arm and you grit your teeth in pain, but carried on with your attack, swinging your sword swiftly as you cut them both down. 

Zoro flinched after the gunshot, his gaze snapping up to you. A scowl on his face, he quickly defeated all the enemies before making his way to your side. 

"Shit," he mumbled when he saw your bloodied arm. Taking his bandana from his arm, he tied it tightly around your arm.

"I'm fine," You gritted out as you stood up shakily, walking towards the sack with your stuff in it. "We need to leave. They're probably from a gang and backup might show up anytime now."

"Can you stand?"

"I got a bullet in my arm, not my foot."

"Just checking," Zoro chuckled and moved to pick up the other two sacks on the floor. You frowned at that. 

"Those aren't mine." 

He merely shrugged, heaving both sacks over one shoulder as he took your bag, slinging it over the other. "Doesn't matter. Let's go."

A pirate through and through, you mentally noted. Though you didn't agree with taking what wasn't yours, you were in no position to fight him for it. Your priority was retrieving your items. Whatever loot he took was his business and you wanted no part to play in it. Left with nothing to carry, you used your free hand to apply pressure on your wound, wincing as you did so; noticing that Zoro faltered as well. 

You led Zoro back to the inn where you previously stayed. The innkeeper gave you a concerned look but didn't say anything, merely passing you a key and you made your way up the stairs after you thanked her. 

Zoro eyed her suspiciously and you whispered to him as you walked up the stairs, "this place is safer than most. The innkeeper has helped me a lot since I got here."

He nodded in response, choosing to remain silent as he followed you into the room on the top floor. He placed your things on the bed while throwing the other two sacks into one corner of the room. A knock on the door made him tense and he warily opened the door, only to find the innkeeper holding a bottle of whiskey and a first aid kit. Thanking her gruffly, he took it from her and locked the door. Taking your hand, he led you to the bed, making you sit down against the pillows while he went to the connected bathroom to get a basin of water. Oddly, it was comforting to feel his hand wrapped around yours.

"H-hey!" You protested when he sat down on the side of the bed, lifting your arm to rest on his leg.

"Relax, would ya? I'm just trying to help." Zoro swatted your free hand away. He reached for the bottle of whiskey and passed it to you. "Drink. You're gonna need it."

"Thanks, but I can do it myself..." Taking a long swig from the bottle, you tried to distance yourself from him. Even your voice was unconvincing but you stubbornly struggled against him; feeling strange at how close he was. 

"Yeah right," Zoro snorted, not moving an inch as he cleaned your wound with a clean, damp cloth. He then picked up the disinfectant and poured it over the wound. You teared up at the stinging sensation and took another mouthful of whiskey, hoping that it could help dull the pain. Zoro rummaged through the first aid kit before finding a pair of tweezers. Glancing at you, he mumbled, "this is going to hurt... a lot."

You grit your teeth and stopped fighting him, instead focusing on stopping yourself from screaming when he dug into the wound, trying to pry out bits of the bullet from your arm. Zoro was breathing heavily, sweat dripping down his temple. You held out the whiskey to him before he continued. "You might need this... It hurts like a bitch."

Without a word, he took a big gulp and continued prying out fragments of the bullet from the wound. Immediately catching yourself, you bit your lip, preventing yourself from crying out in pain. Zoro stared at you for a moment, his expression unreadable before he continued clearing the debris. You could almost taste blood from where you had bitten your lip by the time he was done. Zoro cleaned it up as best as he could, stitching up the wound quickly before wrapping a bandage over it. When he was done, he sat there in front of you, his head hung as he panted, jaw clenching and unclenching. By then, the whiskey had already taken effect and you felt the the pain being eased. 

"You're good at this," you acknowledge quietly. "Thank you."

"Had lots of practice," was his curt reply. 

"I'm sure you had..." 

Exhaling audibly, he looked at you. "You're a tough one. All that and you didn't scream once."

"The whiskey helped," you shrugged, before adding as an afterthought, "and it wasn't all that bad." 

"Liar." He rolled his eyes. "It fucking hurt." 

"I'm used to it."

He kept silent, waiting for your explanation and you elaborated, "I guess I'm just... used to the pain? My soulmate gets hurt quite often and growing up, I had to learn how to bear with it instead of crying all the time." 

"You've noticed, haven't you? That I'm your soulmate?"

Nodding, you said quietly, "I started to suspect it the moment I saw you today."

"How?" He frowned. 

"That scar on your chest." You pointed to the scar exposed by his open shirt. "I passed out from it, and the pain was terrible on the days that followed."

Unconsciously, he touched his scar, a dark look flashing through his eyes before he looked back at you.

"I... I got this back when I challenged Hawk Eyes Mihawk in Baratie. That time with the hunger pangs... was when I starved for a month. Recently with the leg injury, was in Little Garden where I tried to cut my foot off in order to escape... And-"

"Why are you telling me this?

Though he seemed like he had plenty to say, but when he heard the quiver in your voice and saw the tears welling up in your eyes, he fixated his gaze with yours and settled for, "I just wanted you to know the reason behind all that suffering. I can't apologise for doing those things - I did what I had to... But I am sorry that I put you through all that."

You were angry and confused. So, very conflicted at what you should be feeling at that moment. For so many years, you had resented your soulmate for putting you through so much agony. And now that you met him, you couldn't find it in you to blame him. He wasn't a bad person. That much you knew from spending the night in the bar just talking to him. But he was a notorious pirate, and you couldn't see yourself being a part of that world. 

"I used to pass out a lot from the pain," you told him. "My body wasn't strong enough to endure all that you put yourself through, and I would just... break because of how weak I was in comparison to you. It was the reason why I was forced to pick up a sword and train... to become stronger so that my body could keep up with the stress. All I ever wanted was to live a happy life in my village. But I could no longer stay there because the villagers were scared of how 'strong' I was. I'm nothing compared to you, but to them, I was a league above. I didn't fit in and had no choice but to leave, chasing after my master's footsteps while living in a shadow of your pain..."

"Do you blame me for it?"

"I did," you confessed quietly. "But I don't know anymore... Leaving my village made me realise how narrow-minded I was and how big the world really is. I want to blame you, but I can't anymore... It was selfish of me to think that way... And meeting you the other day where you told me about your crew and your dreams... How could I ever blame you for being you?"

The tension in the room was almost palpable before Zoro slowly reached out to lace your fingers with his; almost testing the waters to see if you'll reject his touch. When you didn't, he carefully intertwined your fingers together. "I can't stop you from suffering because of me... but I can promise to share the burden if you come with me..."

Tiny sparks formed from where he held your hand, and like a current, it zapped through your body, sending charges of healing pulses through your veins. The pain in your wound was beginning to dull. The ache was still there, but the persistent burn of the hole in your arm started to subside. 

"Out to sea?"

"Into the New World," he added. "When you meet your master then and decide that you want to leave, you can. But until then... let me rid you of all the pain and suffering."

That was practically a proposal, and you nearly flushed at that thought. You trusted him. That, you were certain, but to even then, you just had to challenge him. 

"...And if you can't?"

Zoro took a moment to think before a small smirk appeared on his lips, which soon after reflected on yours. 

"Too bad then. I'm already sharing this burden with you. What more could you ask for?" 
hey guys!!

it's been months since i last wrote something ;;
i'm super rusty and wrote this in a rush so pls note me if you see any major mistakes!! 
its been a while since i've started watching one piece and i really love it so much. all the characters have really nice development and its great to see these bbys the way they are now, knowing that they'll get even stronger. 

I haven't seen many one piece soulmate aus around so i thought it'd be a good idea to write one. there will be a part 2 to this fic where zoro and reader have a more established relationship! (that was supposed to be the main plot of the story before this happened lol)

anyhow, i really hope you enjoyed this fic!! pls look out for part 2, and if you like soulmate aus, please consider participating in my reader insert contest here: fav.me/dcbw5g5

comments and feedback are always appreciated.
thanks for reading! <3
anonymous's avatar
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akarinabina's avatar
akarinabinaHobbyist Writer
This is so darn cute!!!!!!! I loooooooooove it!!!
icyfalls's avatar
ahh thank you so much!! 
i'm glad you like it <3
NakashimaTheNinja's avatar
NakashimaTheNinjaStudent General Artist
Waaaaa I love the AU idea!!!
It's so angsty but so lovely at the same time, if that's possible xD

Awesome stories! I love 'em!
Have a great day/evening! ^^
icyfalls's avatar
hehe thank you so much!! 
i'm happy you like them <3
Kate-ananab's avatar
I really enjoyed reading this chapter, even tho I'm more for the damsell in distress thing (what can I say, I love angst) but your writing and characters interpretation were really good! Keep going! 
icyfalls's avatar
i'm always up for a damsel in distress hahaha but i thought this kinda reader would be more appropriate for the storyline XD
thank you so much! your comment made my day!!
i'm gonna tweak this story a little and make a chaptered series out of this so i hope you'll keep a look out for that too <3
jessluvswriting's avatar
This is really great, hon! Zoro's in character and I wanna read more! You did a great job.
icyfalls's avatar
aww thank you so much dear!! 
i really like this concept and i've been thinking about it quite a bit
so i may rewrite the entire thing and turn it into a multichaptered fic XD
jessluvswriting's avatar
I'd love to see what you come up with. ^_^
lyndsy24's avatar
lyndsy24Hobbyist Writer
Love this! Fantastic work 😍
icyfalls's avatar
ahh thank you so much!!
SuperCutePuppy's avatar
SuperCutePuppyHobbyist General Artist
this is awesome. I love the story, I love how it's written and I can't wait to read the chapters following this. nicely done sweetie!
icyfalls's avatar
aww thank you dear! <33
glad you enjoyed it!
JustTayx's avatar
JustTayxHobbyist Writer
That was a beautiful story! I have to admit that Zoro is one of my favourite characters, though it's been a while since I've last watched One Piece... Really good story, and I'm a sucker for soulmate au... 

Looking forward to part 2! :)
icyfalls's avatar
thank you so much love!! 
i'm so happy you enjoyed it~~

hehe i'm hoping to turn this into a multichaptered fic
but we'll see!! XD
ThePeopleofMoonia's avatar
this is absolutely wonderful! I love the idea of this and am wondering what the rest of the crews soulmates are like :)
icyfalls's avatar
aww thank you so much dear! :>
i'm really happy you liked it <3
ThePeopleofMoonia's avatar
I don't like it I love it! Love 

Although... I am frightened/sad to imagine what Brook's soulmate went through when his body died and decayed (also whether or not they themselves are still alive.)
MilesEdGayworth's avatar
MilesEdGayworthHobbyist Writer
can’t wait for part 2, and this is just purely beautiful. I love it and you’re awakening the zoro feels in me agaiinnnnn😭❤️
This idea is just wonderful and my heart aches duh.
icyfalls's avatar
ahh thank you so much dear!! i'm so happy you enjoyed it <33
zoro is perfection yass

hehe i really like this story line as well! i wrote this in parts during study breaks 
but i'll probably rewrite the entire thing after my exams. 
hopefully it'll be a multichaptered fic if i'm not too lazy XD
WindMeister8's avatar
Nice to see you're back at writing, icy!! :dummy: Ahh even though you say you're rusty, this is still pretty well written! XD
Pain!Soulmate is cool to work with, although at least Zoro and reader-chan didn't find out they're soulmates before it's too late like Levi and reader-chan in my story. ;P
I wonder whether Mihawk is reader-chan's mysterious teacher ehe. :D

(Minor thing but I spotted some tense issues : acknowledge quietly. )
(Also the transition to "You had became the strongest swordswoman in your village." is a little abrupt)
icyfalls's avatar
i literally wrote this in parts because i was so stressed from studying ;;;;;;
going to rewrite the entire thing after my exams. maybe a multichaptered fic if i'm not too lazy? XD


eh i haven't thought of who it's gonna be yet ;)
maybe its Mihawk?? maybeEEE? maybe NOT?? :3333333

HAHA thanks b! will get round to editing it soon! > u < ) b
WindMeister8's avatar
Aww I see! That would be cool, yeah! XD

Oh pfft lolol forget I said that then hehe. ;P Looking forward to what you think about it!! <33

Hehe okie I'll bet on Mihawk for now. :D

Np! :hug:
Muse98's avatar
This was SUPER cool! Sad the boat got burned but now they get to travel together!
anonymous's avatar
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