one-shot I've ever written and also the most intense one. I actually
started it a few months back but lost interest when only two scenes
were missing. Thanks to a writing spree, it's complete now.
I only edited the story once, so please tell me if there are
unbearable mistakes. The length just made the process pretty hard,
but I might look it over again later. It should be readable, though.
Roommate is also on a good way and if work stops bugging me
long enough, I should be able to update next week.
And now, enjoy!
Disclaimer: I STILL don't own One Piece.
Of Love And Loss
The air was heavy with cigarette smoke and the stench of
sweaty bodies. Music droned loudly over the dance floor and most
guests in Makino's club were dancing to its heavy beat, swinging
their barely clad bodies to the rhythm while the rest did their best
to get drunk or pick someone up for the night.
A blond man sat at one of the tables, an unlit cigarette
dangling from his lips and oblivious to all the half-naked people
dancing around him. Usually the first one to chat someone up, Sanji
Black had settled for something else that night and was now
supporting his chin with his hand as he looked at the green-haired
guy in front of him with a gentle smile.
Zoro, who had had a few rough nights at work, was sleeping
with his head lying on the table, snoring loud enough that even the
music couldn't drown him out. He hadn't even taken the time to change
his clothes and was still dressed in his 'Security'-shirt with the
bullet-proofed vest beneath it.
Sanji's smile widened as he reached out to touch a strand of
Zoro's green hair, letting it slip between his fingertips. "Stupid
marimo head," Sanji whispered, his eyes shining as he took in
the sleeping swordsman, his fingers still running through
surprisingly soft hair. "You have to learn to say no, you know?"
The sleeping man grunted in response, neither really hearing
the comment nor feeling the manhandling of his hair.
Zoro was working as a freelance bodyguard and with his
reputation of never letting his clients even get a scratch, he had
more orders than he could possibly take care of. If he could help it,
he still refused to turn them down, however, and the result was
always this: a completely exhausted idiot, sleeping inside a dance
"He still out of it?" a voice asked and Sanji looked
up to see Franky with new drinks standing next to him. He was wearing
one of his bright Hawaii T-shirts, a stark contrast to Sanji's
elegant suit. Franky had the habit of standing out and his light blue
hair, trademark speedos and colourful shirts were nothing against his
The man had also been the reason why they were at the club in
the first place: it was his very first day at work as a barkeeper and
as his friends, they wanted to make sure, he would have more than
enough work... a plan that quickly went sour when the strongest
drinker among them passed out minutes after his arrival.
"He overdid it again," Sanji answered softly. "Had
to protect some rich brat... you know how he is with kids."
"Same as you with women," Franky replied, nodding
his head while Sanji grimaced. "But that seemed to have changed
too, huh? Shouldn't you be out there and pick up some chicks instead
of messing with Zoro-bro's hair?"
Sanji's hand stopped at once at Franky's words and surprised
if not a bit shocked, he looked at his hand hovering over Zoro's
Franky frowned. "Dude, don't tell me you haven't
realised... what's up with you lately? Your cigarette isn't even
lit!", he said, his voice disbelievingly as he stared at his
friend who quickly took the cigarette out of his mouth. "I
haven't even seen you flirt at all today."
"I... don't know," Sanji answered.
Franky was silent for a bit and then lay a hand on his
shoulder. "I've noticed it for a while now... Zoro and you, the
way you talk and touch each other... Sanji-bro, don't take this the
wrong way but it looks to me as if you two aren't just friends any
Sanji turned his head away from his friend and looked at his
hands again. The music seemed to quieten down as his thoughts keeled
over and he took in his pale and tingling fingers.
"I... really don't know."
Sanji lit up a cigarette, his gaze shifting to the bright moon as
he sucked in the smoke.
He was standing at the back entrance of the Baratie, a posh
restaurant where he was working at most of the time, and let his
thoughts wander back to the day when his world had turned upside
It had been an epiphany of sorts, a revelation that had come as
unexpected as unwanted. Sanji was a man who loved women more than
anything else. Nothing could compare to the softness of their skin,
full lips that begged to be kissed or gentle natures that ought to be
Never before had he thought these things about a man and even now,
he wasn't quite seeing Zoro the same way as he saw those beautiful
And yet, there was this... thing between them.
Sanji sighed, the breath that escaped his mouth being mixed by a
wisp of smoke. With his shift ending two hours ago, it had become
awfully late... all thanks to the shitty old geezer who had made him
stay longer when he had 'bothered the female costumers'.
Sanji gritted his teeth, breaking his cigarette in the process as
irritation made his brow twitch in annoyance. The ladies hadn't
complained... on the contrary, Sanji was sure, he was the sole reason
they were coming to the shitty restaurant in the first place.
Every woman wanted to be treated like a princess and that was what
he did: he treated every lady like a true diamond... it wasn't even
as if he tried to pick them up or anything.
No, not any more.
Shuddering as a fresh gash of wind surged through the alley and
messed up his hair, Sanji finished his cigarette, stumped out the
butt on the ground and with hands in his pockets, he made his way
He wasn't living far from the restaurant and that was sole the
reason, he had chosen an apartment in a rundown building, placed in
one of the worst parts of town.
Living in Tokyo was expensive and even though Sanji earned more
than enough money as sous-chef to rent a nice enough place, he was
saving money to fulfil his dream: to open up his very own restaurant:
'The All Blue', a place where you can eat seafood from all over the
It had been his dream since he was little and even though people
had laughed at him for such a romantic dream, he had paid them no
mind and continued to work hard for his goal.
Not everyone laughed, though. Zeff had always been supportive and
his friends cheered him up whenever he had been in a slump.
They were always complimenting him on his food, even when it
wasn't up to par, and Zoro, too, had grunted out a compliment or two.
That guy was always the toughest nut to crack. Only Sanji's
riceballs never failed to catch him off guard: the damn bastard loved
them to death and it always showed on his face.
It was a surprisingly cute trait... one Sanji never got tired of
teasing him about.
Humming as he walked through the dark alleys that led to his home,
Sanji stopped abruptly when his sensitive ears picked up a noise.
After a few seconds, he thought he had misheard and wanted to walk
on, but then-
"Oh, no! Please let me go! I don't have anything!
Sanji whirled to his right when he heard the panicked voice and
started to run down the narrow way between buildings.
It was coming from an alley just by the main street, one many
people had to walk through when they didn't want to make a detour...
a fact well known by many robbers.
His feet carried him on and on, always following the obviously
female screams as walls flew past him. A cat hissed angrily as he
approached her but Sanji jumped over her, scaring the poor thing to
death as he landed on his feet behind her. "Sorry, kitty!"
he said, holding up his hand apologetically and never ceasing to run.
Sanji's feet screeched over the pavement when he had finally
reached the infamous alley and stopped suddenly as he saw the
originator of the voice: a young girl surrounded by three ugly
bastards with knives in their hands.
One of them, a fat guy with three missing teeth was leering at the
poor girl, swinging his knife in front of her eyes. A dirty grin
spread on his face as tears spilled down the girl's cheeks. She had
to be quite young, sixteen, eighteen at most and with the braids in
her hair, she looked like a doll... innocent and trembling before the
"We don't care what you say, missy. Think ya can fool us,
don't ya?," the fat guy said, using his knife to touch first her
tear-stained cheek and then lining his way down to her cleavage. "We
gotta make a body search then, right gu-"
The bastard's dirty talk was stopped as Sanji's foot in his face.
As if in slow motion, the man's face distorted by the sudden
force, two teeth broke out of his mouth and when time returned to its
proper pace, he flew to the side and crushed against a wall, his body
slumping to the ground, lifeless and unmoving.
"Aniki!" the two other thugs cried out in shock before
turning to the blond who had kicked their boss aside. "You damn
bastard! Who the fuck are ya?!" Their bodies took on a defensive
stance, the knives in their hands trembling as they regarded the
blond stranger with fear and disdain.
Sanji stood tall in front of the woman who silently cried behind
him. His face was twisted in anger as he looked at the ugly fools,
his hands balled into fists in his pockets.
"Oi, you alright? Are you hurt?" he asked the girl over
his shoulder, ignoring the men in front of him.
The girl didn't answer at once but then Sanji could hear a tearful
'yes'. "Run and get the police. I'll take care of these
bastards," he said and the remaining two men cried out in
outrage at his words.
"I can handle them. Go!" he said a little louder this
time and the girl seemed to finally snap out of it. Taking a deep
breath, she thanked him and began to run down the way Sanji had come
One of the men wanted to follow her but Sanji quickly blocked his
way. "Not so fast, asshole. I said I would take care of you,
didn't I? And I always keep my promises."
The guy sneered but Sanji only returned it with a twisted grin.
They had no idea what they had bargained for when they attacked a
lady in his neighbourhood.
Thirty minutes later, Sanji's curled eyebrow twitched as he saw
the light in his apartment.
"Great... just fucking great," he mumbled as he limbed
up the stairs.
He was living on the second floor of a small building, his
apartment being one of five others on that floor. A metal stairway
connected every home and provided a sort of joined balcony. Not that
anyone spent more time than was necessary on it.
The stairs creaked under Sanji's weight and reminded him once
again of the building's bad state.
If it hadn't been for Franky and Usopp helping him and the other
residents out, Sanji wouldn't even be able to live there any more.
Things kept getting broken... the metal staircase was rusty, the
heater was as reliable as a Luffy entrusted with food and fourth
floor resident Coby recently paid an involuntary visit to third floor
Alvida as her ceiling broke down.
But that was why it was cheap... cheaper than any other apartments
of that size and for Sanji, it was good enough.
Hobbling, he made his way to his door, careful not to put too much
weight on the rusty metal. He fumbled a bit with his keys in his
pocket and then slowly turned the key in the lock.
Loud TV noises greeted him after Sanji had opened the door and
As expected, the first thing he saw was a green alien stretched
out on his couch, a bottle of sake in his hand as he laughed loudly
about some bad joke on TV.
"You do know that you don't live here, right?" Sanji
asked as he closed the door behind him. He gritted his teeth as he
tried to walk over normally. It was no use alerting the marimo of his
"I have a key," Zoro replied, shrugging before taking a
swig of his bottle.
"That's for emergencies."
"This is an emergency."
"In what way?"
"I was out of sake," Zoro answered, swinging the now
empty bottle in front of Sanji's face as the chef came to a halt
"I'm not a fucking convenience store, Zoro! Do it like other
people and buy your own damn food!"
Zoro grinned. "Strange... you aren't even drinking sake and
yet you always have a whole new stash of bottles when I'm here. And
don't even try to say they are for you... I know you just drink that
fancy wine of yours."
"I have other friends, you know?" Sanji said through
"But only Franky and Ace drink stuff like this," Zoro
replied. "And neither of them are visiting you regularly. That's
Sanji felt his eyebrow twitching again at Zoro's smug tone. "So
what? I just like you intoxicated and quiet when you're
here. That doesn't mean you live here."
"I have a drawer and a toothbrush, though."
Sanji stared at him. "You've what?! Since when?"
"Today. It's more convenient that way and I don't have to use
yours any more..."
Sanji didn't even know where to begin to reply to that
but he desperately hoped that Zoro meant the drawer and not
his toothbrush with that last remark.
"You... I... what the-" he started but Zoro ignored him
and stood up, making his way to the bathroom.
"Sorry, gotta piss," the marimo said and went past
Sanji, making him feel like an idiot.
"Now, you just wait, you damn bastard! I'm not finished
talk-" Sanji began. Forgetting about his foot, he wanted to
follow Zoro but was stopped by a surging pain in his right ankle as
he set his foot on the floor. "Fuck! Dammit!"
Apparently noticing the pain in his voice, Zoro came back at once.
"Shit, I knew something was off. Your suit was too wrinkled for
a princess like you... Are you hurt?"
If Zoro hadn't sounded that concerned, Sanji would have giving him
a piece of his mind for that 'princess' remark. "I'm alright,"
he said instead as Zoro crouched down before him to look at his foot.
"I just got careless when I beat up some thugs... twisted my
Sanji grabbed Zoro's shoulder for support and hissed as Zoro
picked up his foot and gently removed his shoe and sock.
"It's swollen... we have to cool it. Lay down, cook," he
said to Sanji and too tired to protest, Sanji did as he was told. He
lay down on the couch and waited until Zoro had done his needed
bathroom break and came back with some ice from the kitchen. Gently
picking up Sanji's foot, Zoro sat down and lay Sanji's feet on his
legs to put the icepack on the cook's swollen ankle.
Sanji hissed again at the first contact and then sighed in relief
when the cold began to ease the pain.
"Fine with this program or do you want me to change to the
cooking show?" Zoro asked, remote control already in hand.
"Cooking show," Sanji mumbled, staring at a point at the
wall. It was embarrassing how familiar this whole situation was.
Sanji often got hurt, mostly when defending a lady but sometimes,
also at a tournament or when he was sparring with someone.
And Zoro... Zoro was more often at Sanji's place than at his own
and thus normally the first person to take care of him.
Sanji wouldn't ever admit it but he was rather stubborn about
injuries and it always took one of his friends to make him realise
that they needed treatment. Zoro, as the first person at the scene,
usually did everything he could with his limited medical knowledge
and then dragged him off to Chopper the next day.
It had taken Zoro a whole lot more of 'convincing' the first few
times but now Sanji didn't even try to fight him any more, because...
Another thing he would never admit to was that he quite enjoyed
"What happened?" Zoro asked quietly as he took off
Sanji's other sock and shoe. "Another damsel in distress?"
"Something like that, yeah."
"You have to be more careful, cook. Those guys might have
been weak but anyone can get a lucky shot once in a while."
Sanji's eyebrows rose at that and he turned his head to look at
Zoro. "You lecturing me now?"
Zoro shrugged. "More like giving you advice. I know you turn
blind and deaf whenever a skirt comes your way but this is just
stupid," he said as he began to massage Sanji's healthy foot.
"How often do you intend to get hurt?"
"Says the guy who is covered in scars," Sanji muttered,
gripping the cushion at his side as Zoro eased his tense flesh. Damn,
he was good at that.
"That's why I'm saying this, Sanji," Zoro replied,
looking away from Sanji's feet and directly into his uncovered eye.
"I don't want you to end up like me."
"I won't. It's just a hurt ankle, Zoro. It's not like I'm
fighting with swords like you."
"But they were armed, weren't they? Cowards like that always
Sanji flinched inwardly as he had been caught... again. "Just
knives. They were... tiny, really."
Zoro scowled but didn't say anything. Sanji thought he was saved
"Ow, ow, ow! Zoro! Stop it, dammit!" he cried out as
Zoro removed the icepack and poked his swollen ankle with a finger
instead. "What kind of a fucked up nurse are you?!"
Zoro snorted in return. "Nurse? Do I really look like a
fucking nurse to you?"
"No, but your head looks like a big ball of moss-... Ow! I
told you to stop, dammit!" Sanji cried out after another strong
poke. The marimo was obviously unable to take a joke.
"It's your fault. You've got to take better care of your
body. You're overworking yourself at the restaurant, too, aren't
Sanji crossed his arms. "It can't be helped... the shitty old
geezer needs me, alright? He had been... a bit sick lately."
Zoro frowned. "Sick? Nothing serious, I hope?"
"Nah, just... colds and stuff. Simply what old farts get when
they are getting even older."
Zoro just grunted in response, lay the icepack back on Sanji's
foot and continued his massage on the other one.
Sanji tried to focus on the TV show instead of the hands on his
For a long time now, he had tried to ignore it... tried to ignore
how much the other's presence affected him but it was a lost cause.
Ever since Franky had approached him at the club and said that his
relationship with Zoro seemed to be odd, that they seemed to be more
than friends, Sanji had been overly aware of the other man.
Every touch, every gesture suddenly seemed to have a deeper
meaning. Sanji began to follow him with his eyes whenever Zoro
entered a room and above all: his heart began to thunder with every
But there was one, tiny thing that stood between them.
"Ah, Kuina said she wants to meet you, by the way," Zoro
said, gaze concentrated on Sanji's foot.
"Kuina, isn't she... angry that you're always here?"
Sanji asked tentatively.
"We're both guys. Why would she be?"
Sanji gripped the cushion hard enough that his knuckles turned
white. Why would she be, indeed...
Kuina was Zoro's long-time girlfriend and also his very best
friend. They have known each other for ages and had a love you
normally only saw on TV: child-hood friends turned fiancées.
"But you aren't spending much time with her."
Zoro shrugged. "We both love our freedom and have known each
other for such a long time... a bit of distance doesn't hurt,"
he replied. "And most of my work is here, anyway. Not to mention
Sanji fought the blush rising to his cheeks. Give it to Zoro to
make him feel flustered with such a simple remark. "I'm not
yours," Sanji mumbled, eyes fixed on the TV.
"And yet you're always taking care of my body."
Biting his lip, he turned to Zoro with a glare. "Stop using
this stupid innuendo! Coming here every night is suspicious enough...
the neighbours already think I'm a homo."
Zoro frowned. "Really? Aren't you bringing women here?"
"I... o-of course not! Don't you think the walls are too
"Ah, you a screamer then?" Zoro asked, smirking and
Sanji thought he was about to lose his damn sanity.
"Stop it already, you damn marimo!" he cried, grabbed
the cushion behind his back and hit Zoro with it who just laughed.
"This isn't funny!"
"Alright, alright," Zoro said after several hits.
"Didn't know you are that insecure about your sexuality."
"I'm not, it's just... people have been saying stuff,"
Sanji mumbled. "And I don't want to lose my reputation."
"Really? What's so great about being known as a lovesick
Sanji hit him again.
"Ow!" Zoro exclaimed as he blocked the cushion with his
arm and laughed again. "But seriously, don't worry about Kuina.
Even if people say stuff about us, she won't believe it. She knows we
aren't into guys and just friends, cook."
Yeah, just friends.
But as Sanji sat there with Zoro, watching silly programs and
enjoying the massage on his feet and legs...
If there was nothing to it then what was he feeling so guilty
Time stretched on and before Sanji knew it, Zoro's birthday
Blowing on his cold and glove-covered hands, Sanji looked at the
collection of cakes in the shopping window of the confectionery and
Of course, he wasn't thinking about buying one... his pride as
chef would never allow him to buy a cake made by someone else, but he
did look to see if he could get some inspiration from the display of
sweets. The marimo was extremely picky about any sort of sweet food
and Sanji planned to surprise him with the best fucking cake, he had
The party would be at Robin-chan's house... the woman was a famous
archaeologist and living in a big mansion, so most of their parties
were being held at her place. It had been supposed to be a surprise
party but... Luffy and Chopper were as good at keeping secrets as Ace
was at keeping his shirt on. Or Franky his pants, even.
Now, it was a surprise party sans the surprise but that didn't
mean they weren't looking forward to it: the Strawhats (as their
circle of friends had been called since High School) were famous for
their parties and one of their friends turning twenty-one deserved to
have the best fucking celebration Tokyo had ever seen!
Sanji grinned as his genius mind had just come up with a great
receipt. Mentally going through the list of groceries he still had to
buy and the ingredients for Zoro's cake, he went off in direction of
the twenty-four hour grocery store at the corner of the street. He
would have to try out baking the cake first...
But not only Zoro's birthday made next Saturday special. It was
also the day when most of them would be meeting Kuina for the first
time. They didn't have the chance until then because Kuina was
usually busy working at the dojo she had inherited from her father
but seeing that Zoro and her were now engaged...
Sanji's smile wavered slightly.
He was happy that Zoro had found someone like Kuina but... that
didn't keep him from feeling this pang of jealousy in his heart
whenever the thought occurred.
Sanji paced in his living-room, his eyes darting again and again
to the clock.
He clucked his teeth angrily as he waited for Zoro to arrive.
The bodyguard was having a job that day and as it was too late to
drive back home for him, Zoro had warned Sanji that he would be
staying over that night.
Now, it was a bit over two hours after the promised time and Sanji
was becoming nervous. Zoro's job was dangerous... it happened often
that he was stabbed, broke a bone or two and barely escaped a
situation that would have meant sure death for any normal person.
Sanji had lost count of the times he had been called by Chopper
and told that his friend had been submitted to the hospital again.
Chopper's grandma Kureha was working at the hospital and always
got to know first when one of their friends were there. Chopper
himself had a vast medical knowledge, seeing as he had preferred to
study medicine instead of playing when he was young and so he was
unofficially a young doctor at the age of fifteen.
Sanji's heart nearly stopped when there was suddenly a loud thunk
on his door. Going over quickly, Sanji opened the door and Zoro
stumbled in, covered in blood and with his shirt cut to pieces.
"Zoro!" Sanji cried out as he slang an arm around Zoro's
shoulders to support his body. "You... what are you doing here?!
You have to go to the hospital!"
"No..." Zoro said panting, his chest heaving with heavy
breaths. "Not my blood... most of it... not mine."
"What... what the hell happened? You said the job today was
routine, didn't you?!"
"Yeah, but... got ambushed. Turned out the politician had
made some enemies out of a loan shark company," Zoro said
through gritted teeth. "Didn't tell me about it or I would've
asked Johnny and Yosaku to help out. Got them all, but... collateral
"Collateral damage?! Collateral damage?!" Sanji
yelled and Zoro flinched. "Are you fucking insane?! You look as
if you had just fought against an army in World War III!"
"Keep it down, will you? Aren't the walls thin?"
"I don't fucking care about that now! All I know is that I'll
get you to the shitty hospital, marimo! I'm gonna call Chopper and-"
"No!" Zoro cried out and clutched at Sanji's shirt,
dirtying it with blood. "He has his entrance examination for
Tokyo U tomorrow, doesn't he? And I'm not hurt badly... the bruises
are a bitch but nothing I can't handle."
Sanji stared into Zoro's determined eyes and sighed. The shitty
swordsman was right... Chopper had been nervous for weeks and
incredibly happy that he finally got the chance of entering the best
University of Japan. Despite his vast medical knowledge, he had
freaked out whenever his entrance examination was mentioned.
Calling him now and telling him about Zoro would probably give the
young boy a heart attack.
"Fine..." Sanji said reluctantly. "Fine,
but I'll take a look at your injuries and if I get even the slightest
impression of you needing a doctor, then I'm going to fucking get
one, got it?"
"I don't need a doctor, curly-brow! A bit of sleep
and I'll be fine."
"Don't give me that shit, Zoro. I'm gonna call Law if I have
Zoro blanched. "Are you insane?! That guy is fucking
"He is a fucking genius, that's what he is... and now, shut
up! I'm gonna get you to the bathroom."
Zoro scowled but didn't say anything as Sanji supported him. Once
there, Zoro sat down on the toilet seat, his shoulders sacking as his
legs finally didn't have to carry his weight any more.
Sanji peeled first the remains of Zoro's T-Shirt off and threw it
on the floor to throw away later... with that many cuts and blood
stains, Zoro couldn't wear it any more, anyway.
After that Sanji slowly opened the clasps of Zoro's bullet-proof
vest and took it off. The chef hissed as it made way for toned skin
and he saw the full extent of Zoro's bruises. Practically his whole
torso was covered in a collection of red and blue, one especially
large bruise covering the swordsman's entire left side.
"What the hell have they hit you with that you look like
"Iron tubes..." Zoro mumbled sheepishly and then
grinned. "You should see the tubes, though."
Sanji scowled but didn't remark on Zoro's bad sense of humour as
he carefully scanned his chest for broken ribs. He heard Zoro suck in
a breath or two as he touched his sensitive flesh but Sanji didn't
think he found any broken bones. Muscles tensed under his touch and
the chef tried not to stare as they moved under Zoro's tanned skin.
Slowly, Sanji went on with his examination, determined not to look
into Zoro's eyes while he worked. Having Zoro half-naked in front of
him and having to touch his well-build chest, was a dangerous
situation if there ever was one.
Franky's words kept flowing into his mind as Sanji's touch became
less probing and more caressing, his fingers brushing over skin that
was much softer than he had imagined...
Nearly, jumping as Zoro spoke to him, Sanji blushed and jerked
back his fingers. "Th-There doesn't seem to be anything broken,
but we should go to the hospital tomorrow. Just... just to be sure,
you know?" he said, avoiding the swordsman's no doubt curious
Taking a deep breath, Sanji looked back at Zoro's body, avoiding
the head as he tried to estimate the rest of his injuries.
At least, Zoro seemed to have said the truth about the blood... he
did have a couple of cuts on his skin but nothing bad enough that he
would need stitches.
A fucking miracle, seeing as Zoro had gathered more of them than
Frankenstein's monster itself.
Frowning, Sanji went to get a wet cloth and his first-aid box. He
took a few deep breaths as he stood in front of the sink, cringing
when he saw his flushed face in the mirror. Glaring at his troubled
image, he grabbed the edge of the sink, gritting his teeth as he gave
himself a mental slap.
He was such an idiot.
Taking care of your friend's injuries... there was nothing strange
about that, was there?
They had done so much before... even bathed together in hot
springs or sparred with naked upper bodies and Sanji had never let
his eyes wander before, had never felt his stomach flutter or his
heart speeding up when he had looked at Zoro or even touched him.
And yet, here he was... completely flustered and acting as if it
was a hot, half-naked woman he took care of.
Franky's words must have opened a vent of some sort... they had
started something in Sanji, made him notice Zoro more and introduced
the possibility to him that maybe, just maybe, he was feeling more
for him than friendship.
At that point, there was no sense in denying it: Sanji was
attracted to Zoro, painfully so, and if he was completely honest with
himself, then he had known it for a while... even before that fateful
night at the club.
Once Sanji had gotten a cloth and wetted it in the sink, he
carefully used it to clean Zoro's cuts and to remove the dried blood
The vest had protected Zoro's chest from getting cut, but there
were several ones on his arms and one on his face.
He tried to ignore the swordsman's half-naked state, his eyes
refusing to look at the broad chest. Sanji's heart was beating
heavily in his rip cage as he gently brushed the cloth over Zoro's
skin. Muscles tensed again under his touch and Sanji's heart seemed
to speed up at every move, every ripple of muscles...
After Sanji had finished cleaning the one on Zoro's arms, he
washed the cloth and made to clean Zoro's cheek, his hand
outstretched to reach the wound as he looked at Zoro's face for the
first time after starting to treat the swordsman's wounds.
Sanji swallowed as dark eyes met his... a look so fierce and
probing that Sanji's breath hitched in his throat. The hand that was
still holding onto the cloth was clasped by rough fingers, the warmth
they emitted seeping through Sanji's every bone.
"You've changed," Zoro said, his voice low as he held
Sanji trapped with his gaze. "You've never done this before. You
were never that... gentle."
"Don't Zoro..." Sanji replied in a trembling voice. "I
have to clean-"
"You're nervous, too. Your face is red and you-... you're
avoiding my eyes."
Sanji swallowed as fierce eyes bored into him. He tried to pull
back his hand but Zoro's grip was strong and the swordsman didn't
even allow him an inch of backing up. He was completely trapped... by
the strong grip as well as those storming eyes.
Taking a few shaking breaths, Sanji said, "I'm not nervous,
Zoro. I just... I have to clean your wounds. The cut on your cheek
and then... disinfectant. I still have to use it, I-"
Sanji was stopped by a tug on his arm, the cloth he still had in
his hand, falling to the ground upon the sudden movement. His face
flushed again as he realised that he was standing between Zoro's legs
now, his heart thumping and thumping as Zoro's free hand suddenly lay
on the small of his back.
Zoro sighed, his head falling forward and his forehead leaning on
Sanji's chest, right above his fast beating heart. He had to feel
it... had to feel the strong, steady beat under Sanji's skin.
"What changed, Sanji? When did it start?" Zoro asked
honestly, his hand letting go of Sanji's one and joining the other
one on the chef's back, hugging him tightly.
Sanji closed his eyes, another shaking breath escaping his mouth
as he began to tremble. "Don't... do this. Don't ask," he
said weakly. "Your wounds... I-"
"Fuck the wounds," Zoro mumbled. "This is more
Taking a few more deep breaths, Sanji slowly lay his arms around
Zoro's shoulders, fingers running through soft, green hair as he
pressed the swordsman's head closer to his chest.
"I don't know," Sanji said. He had realised that it was
useless now, useless to feign ignorance. He had been completely
figured out. "I don't know when it started."
"We've been... strange, haven't we?" Zoro said against
Sanji's chest, his breath warm even through Sanji's shirt.
"Yeah... it's been going on for a while, I think."
Zoro chuckled. "We're hopeless... not noticing something like
Sanji smiled, his fingers brushing over the base of Zoro's neck.
He grinned as he felt the swordsman shudder under his fingertips.
The situation hadn't become any easier but... Zoro seemed to be
feeling the same way and that alone lifted a heavy weight off Sanji's
shoulders. "It's... not easy to accept. Guess we didn't want
to accept it," Sanji said. "We're both guys. I'm a ladies'
man and you... you're..."
"Kuina... I have Kuina," Zoro said, the hands on Sanji's
back holding onto the chef even tighter. "Shit! This is bad...
really, really bad, Sanji."
Sanji opened his eyes and removed his arms around Zoro to press
his shoulders back. Getting the idea, Zoro let go of his back to look
up at him.
"You love her," Sanji said slowly, avoiding the
A hand came up to his cheek, startling Sanji as Zoro willed him to
look at him. "Yeah, but... I'm so confused. Kuina is... she is
safe. I do love her but you're... you."
Sanji swallowed as his heart began to speed up at those words.
What he was implying was-
"Fuck! This is so messed up," Zoro said, his face
twisting as if in pain.
Sanji's own face heated up as he looked at Zoro, as he saw that
earnest, haunted look.
"Y-You're joking... right?" Sanji said. "You
can't-... you can't compare me to Kuina! Kuina is-"
Everything he was not, Sanji finished the sentences in his head.
Zoro's thumb brushed over his cheek, the callous digit leaving
fire on every part of his skin and Sanji took a shaky breath as it
moved down to his lips and brushed over sensitive skin.
"Sanji," Zoro said breathlessly and his name on the
swordsman's lips was enough to destroy even the last bit of the
chef's resolve. "Does this feel like a joke to you?"
Zoro grabbed the collar of Sanji's shirt and tugged him down,
smashing his lips against the cook's. Sanji closed his eyes at once
at the contact, moving his lips against Zoro's and opening his mouth
as soon as Zoro's tongue begged for entrance.
They clutched at each other. Like drowning men, they tasted each
other's lips, each contact an explosion of feelings.
Zoro pulled Sanji onto his lap, hissing when their erections
rubbed against one another. Forgetting all about Zoro's injuries,
Sanji wrapped his legs around Zoro's waist, not noticing how the
swordsman flinched as Sanji's leg brushed against the bruise on
He was too occupied with ravishing Zoro's lips and moving his hips
on his lap, enjoying the friction it caused on their stiff and still
After a while, the kissing ceased and they concentrated on moving
their hips together, their trousers getting uncomfortably tight.
"Sanji... bedroom," Zoro said through gritted teeth and
Sanji nodded against the crook of his neck.
Without wasting even a second, Zoro held onto Sanji's legs and
stood up, carrying him out of the room and in direction of the
Clothes were shed with alarming speed and once both of them were
naked, Sanji pushed Zoro onto his back and let his hands wander over
that broad chest, he had examined only a few seconds ago.
"Your bruises," Sanji suddenly said. "I... forgot
about them. Did I hurt you?"
"Not in a way that I didn't enjoy," Zoro answered,
smirking so smugly that Sanji rolled his eyes.
"What a pervert... you a masochist?"
"Do you want to find out?" Zoro asked as he grabbed
Sanji's hips and pressed them down, so his erection was pressing
against Sanji's ass. "Or do you have a thing for it, too?"
Sanji flushed as Zoro was pressed against him. "Are you
asking me if I want to be the bottom?" he asked, biting his lip
at the thought.
"We can take turns?" Zoro asked, grinning. "I
wouldn't mind being fucked by you."
"I'll have to take your word for it, shithead," Sanji
said and leaned down to softly kiss Zoro's lips.
"Make me feel good."
"When did you first notice?" Sanji asked afterwards.
Zoro was lying on his stomach, one arm under one of Sanji's pillows
as he felt comfortably drowsy.
Sanji, on the other hand, felt strangely awake. There was a faint
pain in his back but nothing too uncomfortable. Thankfully, he still
had that bottle of lube stored in his bedside drawer.
"I don't know," Zoro answered after a bit. "I do
know that I began to see you differently since a few months ago. I
suddenly wanted to spend more and more time with you, yearned to talk
or even fight with you. I've been searching for excuses to stay with
you and... and I also began lying to Kuina."
"So... I'm the 'other woman', huh?" Sanji said and made
a face. "Don't think I like that expression, though."
"I hate this," Zoro said, making Sanji look at him. "I
hate being beyond control and hurting her."
"W-We... can stop this, you know? Just stop and... she
doesn't even have to know."
"Can we? Can we really stop this?" Zoro asked.
Sanji wanted to say yes, wanted to tell him that they shouldn't
hurt Kuina and that he wished them happiness but the words got stuck
in his throat. These lies were just too unbearable.
Sanji turned over, so his head lay beside Zoro's on the pillow.
One of his hands made its way near unconsciously over to the base of
Zoro's neck and absent-mindedly, his fingers began to run through
Zoro's short hair.
Zoro sighed when he didn't receive an answer, his eyes closing at
the tender fingers in his hair. "Sanji... what are we doing
"What we've been doing for the past few months, marimo,"
Sanji answered. "We're cheating on your girlfriend."
A week later, it was finally time for Zoro's birthday party.
In order for them to have a bit of time to think everything over,
Sanji and Zoro had agreed not to meet until that time, but three days
after that night, Zoro had missed his last train home after a job and
reluctantly appeared on Sanji's doorstep. It had taken them a whole
of three seconds to stumble into Sanji's apartment, shed their
clothes and slamming the door shut behind them.
They had ended up making love right on the floor that night.
Nervously, Sanji fumbled on his tie as he looked down the street.
He was right in front of Robin's house and had been told to go and
greet the guests after he had nearly destroyed one of Robin's
favourite vases... his nervousness had made a right klutz out of him.
Meeting Kuina that night was what had him on edge. Sanji was
feeling guilty, so incredibly guilty that even the mere thought of
having to meet her and act as if nothing had happened, made his
Both, Zoro and him, had agreed that it couldn't go on like that.
They didn't want to betray Kuina, to hurt her, but... they had
already done just that and it was nagging at Sanji's conscience. He
had always heard stories about men who had cheated on their beloved
and when they made excuses and said it couldn't be helped, Sanji
wanted to do nothing more than to kick their sorry asses.
There was always a choice and the one Zoro and Sanji made, would
ultimately end up hurting Kuina.
"Care to tell me what is eating you up now, cook-san?"
Robin suddenly asked, making Sanji jump and release a breath that
turned to white smoke in the cold air.
"Robin-chan! As lovely as you look in that coat and with your
flushed cheeks, you shouldn't be out here," Sanji said, smiling
his gentlest smile. "This weather isn't suitable for such a
Robin wasn't fazed by that, however. "Cook-san, I believe I
asked you a question. Will you tell me what's going on or am I
allowed a guess?"
Sanji tried to stare her down but she looked just too lovely like
that, so he sighed and looked down instead. "Your guess will be
right as always, anyway. It's Kuina."
"Indeed it is then," Robin said with that unnerving
smile of hers. "The only question now is, why you have your
panties in a hypothetical bunch. Are you nervous to finally meet your
best friend's fiancée or is there something else your friends
ought to know?"
There was something that everyone in Sanji's circle of friends
knew by heart: Whenever Robin was talking to you like an all-knowing
therapist, then she was an all-knowing therapist. And quite
a good one, actually.
"You've been talking to Franky a lot lately, haven't you?"
Sanji asked, his eyes squinting.
"And Zoro had spent a lot of nights in your apartment."
At that moment, Sanji tried his best to glare at Robin, but once
again, she was too beautiful for hard feelings. "So, you did
talk about us."
"How about we make a deal, cook-san?" Robin said,
smiling charmingly. "You tell me about your relationship, I tell
you about mine?"
Sanji took a long look at her, but then decided that denying
anything had no use at this point. "Fine... fine. Just
like Franky had noticed before, Zoro and I are... not just
friends any more."
"Then you have already...?"
Sanji's face flushed and he desperately hoped that the cold had
reddened his cheeks enough that Robin wouldn't notice anything.
"Yeah, we did."
"Oh! How interesting! How was it?"
"Robin-chan!" Sanji exclaimed, his eyes widening at her
Chuckling, Robin looked apologetically at him. "Sorry,
cook-san. My interest might appear a bit shameless, but I do find
such a development delightful."
"Really? But... Kuina..."
Expression suddenly turning serious, Robin said, "Yes, that's
truly unfortunate, but... I can't help but feel happy when two of my
friends find happiness in each other."
"Did we? Find happiness, I mean."
"You don't know?"
"I'm not sure," Sanji answered, rubbing his cold hands
together. "There was no big declaration of love or anything
between us. We just accepted to have this... attraction between us."
"But you're spending a lot of time together, Sanji-san. And
you've been friends for ages, yet you count out love?"
"It's difficult," Sanji admitted. "Putting the fact
that we're both men aside, how can we really know that our feelings
go beyond friendship? Where is the border between friendship and
"That's a question not easily answered, but I think you know
it when you've crossed that line, cook-san."
Sanji looked down and nodded. "Maybe... you're right,
"And? Did you cross it?"
"Well, did you and Franky cross it?"
Robin just replied with another charming smile.