Rating: NC-17 overall
Word Count: 2165
Total Word Count: 45, 158
Summary: There's something in his demeanor, the way he hides his true feelings whenever they start to unconsciously slip out, that speaks volumes. And Sanji would hardly consider himself somebody that wants to fixpeople but, well, he likes a challenge, and Law presents a rather giant one.
Spoilers:Up to chapter 730 or so
"You look nervous."
"Nah, just…ready for this to be over, I think," Sanji lights up a cigarette and looks at the two men beside him, glad that they've turned out to be pretty decent guys. He wasn't sure what to expect from Law's crew and aside from his polar bear being kind of strange, the rest of them seem perfectly normal and it's been reassuring to have them around. Most of them were pretty quiet but these two, Penguin and Shachi, had seemingly taken to him and he was fine with it.
He'd been a little apprehensive telling them where Law was but their reaction had mostly been a lot of eye-rolling. Which was what had convinced Sanji the most that their crew was a lot like his own, because any crew that could get away with laughing about their captain's shortcomings were ones that had a good relationship with said captain.
Not that he'd ever thought Law was anything but a good captain but still, it's nice to see.
"We know about you and the Cap."
Sanji fumbles with the cigarette and almost drops it, catching it at the last minute and glaring at them. "Know what?" he asks lamely, getting twin grins from the duo.
"It's kinda obvious the way you're pining for him…"
"I am not!"
"And he's not the kind of man that would let anybody do that unless he felt the same. Don't worry, we approve."
Sanji's kind of freaked out by their apparent hive-mind mentality but when they both start laughing he knows they're playing him.
Apparently Law's crew more than makes up for the sense of humor he seems to lack.
"So, is it true that he's never really…" Sanji doesn't know why he's prying but it's better than sitting here worrying for the next who knew how many hours. Luffy had been pretty vague over the Den-Den Mushi and the connection had been horrible, but at least they're on their way and should be there by early evening, by Nami's calculations.
"I've been with him a long time and I've never seen him spend the night with anybody," Penguin shrugs. "I mean, I'm sure he does, but it's not like he advertises it."
Sanji nods in understanding, smoking quietly. At least that fits with what Law's told him.
"But anyway, he must really love you, since he literally gave you his heart," Shachi puts in, grinning in a way that bares his sharp little teeth, and Sanji digs it out of the inner pocket of his suit jacket and stares at it. He knows the other guys are joking, but there's something true about that statement regardless.
"That's still creepy," Penguin mutters and Sanji's inclined to agree. "Still, you seem like a good guy and the captain, I think, needs somebody he can be completely open with. Even if he'll never admit it."
"Yeah, he's really not that scary, but you probably know that by now."
"Yeah," Sanji says quietly, sliding the heart back into his jacket and feeling at least a small bit of comfort from its continued beating.
"Hey," Penguin speaks up, patting Sanji's shoulder. "So, we hear you're one of the best cooks in the world, and our food here is shit, so maybe if you want to pass the time…"
Sanji shrugs, but cooking's always been something that's calmed him and, in this situation, anything that can make the minutes fly by is appreciated. Plus he never turns down the chance to show off his skills in front of new admirers, so that pretty much decides it for him. "Why not? Lead the way."
"Oh, we've just gotta warn you that there's no bread on the sub…" Shachi tells him as they head to what passes for the galley, and Sanji rolls his eyes and thinks that he should have guessed.
Oh, well. He'll make do.
Law's barely got his feet on the deck of the sub when Bepo flies toward him, wrapping him up and holding him a few inches off the ground, and the sight of Law being held up by a talking polar bear is one that Sanji wants to engrave into his memory forever.
Despite looking grumpy as always, the older man seems okay, although Sanji can feel the exhaustion pouring off of him even from where he's standing.
Bepo eventually lets him go, looking kind of sheepish, and Penguin and Shachi wander over, talking to Law in low voices until Law yanks them both closer and then they just seem a little stunned, hesitantly wrapping him into a three-way hug, obviously unused to any display of affection from their captain.
Sanji's deliberately hanging back, wanting to see Law meet up with his crew first, but a hand to his back propels him forward and he turns to look back, seeing the hand disappear in a flash of flower petals and knowing that Robin's just trying to help him out.
Penguin and Shachi see him coming over and tug Bepo away, promising he'll be able to see Law later, and Sanji nods to them before getting close to the doctor.
"So. You need this back?" Sanji holds up the heart and Law reaches his hand out, taking it and jamming it back into his chest.
"Thank you for taking care of it for me," Law intones rather formally and Sanji shrugs, both of them staring at each other and being a little uncomfortable.
"Oh, just get on with it, already!"
"Your navigator doesn't have much patience, does she?" Law chuckles, because of course that last bit was from Nami.
"She's right," Sanji takes a step forward, hands twitching a little at his sides, and since Law looks reluctant to take any sort of initiative now he reaches to loop his arms around Law's neck, squeaking a little when the action causes the other man to grab his waist and pull him in close.
It's like they're trying to crawl inside of each other, all clutching hands and bodies as close as they can be, except…Sanji's having a hard time sorting out his thoughts but there's nothing primal about it, just a deep, overriding sense of relief and Law's physically shaking in his arms, although Sanji's pretty sure that's just because he's dead on his feet.
He's not sure how long they stand there, clinging like children and just breathing each other in but he hears rushed footsteps on the deck and when he opens his eyes again they're alone.
"Um," Law sounds uncharacteristically unsure, pulling back enough that he can look at Sanji and reaching to cup his cheek. "We're…I have a cabin. With a bed. If you want…"
"Fuck, yes," Sanji hauls him into a kiss then because it's already been too long, nearly tripping over his own feet when Law tugs him toward the door that leads to the lower areas of the sub.
"Did it hurt? That's a stupid question, but…"
"More of a shock than anything, to be honest," Law replies. "I had enough presence of mind to try and shield myself even though, well," he looks down at the bandages on his abdomen and touches them gently. "I had to get the bullets out myself after."
Sanji wrinkles his nose and Law laughs shortly and pats him on the head
"Well, I didn't have much of a choice, and it's a lot…cleaner than letting anybody else in there, even though cutting myself apart is…not something I'll ever really get used to," he admits.
"Mm," Sanji closes his eyes, cuddling into Law's warmth. They'd both been too tired to actually do anything of a sexual nature, but he supposes it says a lot that he's perfectly happy just lying in bed with the other man at this point. "So what's the plan now?"
"Wait for Kaidou to make a move. As…roundabout as everything was, we did manage to eventually destroy the factory and bring the Riku family back to their earned place as rulers of Dressrosa. Your captain has a…thing against killing, really, so while I'd rather Doflamingo be dead, at least if he's alive Kaidou will still hopefully seek him out," he sounds thoughtful. "I know you need to get going to that samurai country, but…"
"I think we can take a few days off," Sanji shrugs. "Besides, we're in an alliance, right? So we can travel together, and it's not like your ship's going to draw any attention," he points out, Law having to nod.
"I suppose you're right, and in the end, there is safety in numbers. But you're also correct in implying that we need a break," he adds, and Sanji smiles to himself. Of course Law would never just admit he needed to take it easy for a while.
"I'm…" Sanji sighs, fingers curling around Law's shoulder and trying to touch him at every point possible, "You can ignore this if it's too sappy, but…I'm really glad you're okay."
"It is, but I appreciate it, and I…" he tips his head back and Sanji almost has to laugh because even after all of this Law still can't let go of his pride enough to admit he's got human emotions.
"Hey," Sanji pushes himself up so they're level and kisses the other man, lingering a little because he can. "Say it."
Law gives him a look that clearly says how annoyed he is about all of this, but he frames Sanji's face with his hands and looks directly into his eyes. "Sanji, I love you, and I'm very glad you're okay."
"There we go," Sanji kisses him again for that one, even though he knows Law's half-mocking him. "Your crew knows about us, by the way."
"I'd guessed. At least I would assume that Penguin and Shachi would figure it out, and I'm sure they'll tease me mercilessly, but they seem to like you," he slides his hands down Sanji's sides, fingers flexing against his hips.
"Yeah, well, they asked me to cook for them…"
"Ah, that explains it," Law's definitely teasing now, grinning in a way that almost looks friendly, and it's such a departure from his normal mood that Sanji's having a hard time trying to reconcile it..
"Is that why you fell for me?" he asks and Law sighs.
"I have to say, it doesn't hurt," he reaches out, brushing the tips of Sanji's fringe with his fingers, and Sanji closes his eyes against the attention, feeling like some sort of pleased, oversized cat. "But, for what it's worth, I'm glad they approve."
"Would you care if they didn't?" Sanji questions, and Law snorts.
"Hardly. I'm quite good at getting what I want regardless of what anybody else thinks, and it's safe to say that I want you," the look he's giving Sanji right now is pure sex and Sanji groans and tries to stop his body from reacting because neither of them are up for this right now. "Were you concerned that once I came back…"
"That if we weren't on the clock anymore you'd decide I wasn't worth it? Yeah, kind of," he admits, because the thought had crossed his mind and he knows that when people are desperate or not thinking they're going to live they do impulsive things.
"I'm…" Law pauses, resting his forehead against Sanji's and letting out a slow breath. "I might be a cold-hearted bastard, but I'd never do what I've done with you with anybody unless I was serious about them. And getting shot multiple times before getting kidnapped by a deranged psychopath rather…changes one's perspective on things, but my feelings toward you have always been genuine."
"I get that now," Sanji lies down, head pillowed on Law's shoulder and one leg thrown carelessly over the other man's body. He hates hearing about what had happened to Law, even though the man himself seems to be over it already, but Sanji's never been good with seeing people he cares about getting hurt…especially when he can't intervene somehow. Law's one of those people for him now, just like any member of the crew, and he'd gladly throw himself in harm's way if it meant saving him pain. And it's strange, because he never would have imagined himself with another man long-term, and especially not with somebody like Law, but now that he's here he realizes that he's…happy, and that's not something he wants to let go of. "Hey."
"Yes?" Law sounds half-asleep and Sanji presses a kiss to his neck and smiles.
"I love you, too."
Law gives an exasperated little groan but Sanji can feel how relaxed he is.
He doesn't know what the future will bring, or how long they'll be able to stay together, but he knows that the rest of his crew are right in saying he should hold onto what he has instead of dreading what might one day rip them apart.
And what he has, he thinks sleepily, is pretty fucking amazing.
1. Yes, dear readers, we have come to the end. Thank you all so, so much for your kind words and readership of this fic even though it's not really a common pairing, but I haven't written a fic this fast or had this much motivation to write in a long time (it started out as a one-shot and ended over 45,000 words!) so I'm very glad people have enjoyed this, and please do tell me what you thought of the epilogue :)
2. I…have another fic for this pairing in the works, because I kind of love writing them, and it's sort of AU-ish but still set within the OP world so I'll try and get the beginning of that written out since I the plotline planned out already.
3. Thanks for reading!