Based on a three-sentence fic prompt from Candy-of-Doom: Every time Zoro looks into the mirror, he sees Sanji repeating his movements instead of himself and gradually falls in love with him.
I wrote the three-sentence fic, but I was in love with the idea and wanted to expand on it.
are the perfect lovers
- from 'Tricks with Mirrors' by Margaret Atwood
The first time Zoro had ever seen the face in the mirror, he'd nearly broken the bathroom door in his haste to escape the image. Because the face he saw in the mirror that morning, and all mornings after, was not his own. He knew what he looked like. He'd seen himself in the mirror before, it was only very recently the face had changed, and he still appeared to be himself in all of the photographs taken by his friends.
Zoro knew he had tanned skin, sharp eyes, and arched brows that gave him a permanent scowl. He knew his hair was moss green and that when he smiled he looked like he was plotting murder. He knew for a fact he wasn't blond, with hair covering one eye and the other topped with a stupidly curled brow. He knew his skin wasn't so fair, and he hated dealing with facial hair and so he never let himself grow any the way the face in the mirror had. He knew his eyes were dark as night, and that they didn't look like the sky and the sea were waging war against each other.
When the face in the mirror smiled, he was beautiful.
Zoro watched him now. The figure in the mirror moved with him, their hands splashing water up to their faces. They both looked away to find the toothbrush and locked eyes again as they brushed their teeth. The man mirrored Zoro's movements perfectly, but they were different at the same time. The man in the mirror didn't have the same upper body definition that Zoro had. His movements were more graceful. His hands weren't calloused like Zoro's and instead slender, deft fingers made every movement look like artwork.
It had taken Zoro a while to adjust to the new face he saw in the mirror, the face that wasn't him but mirrored him faithfully. At first he'd been terrified, he'd covered the mirror, refused to look into it. His friends couldn't see the man. He didn't mimic them, and they couldn't see him in place of Zoro. He was only there for Zoro to see.
The man never made a move to communicate with him, or made any action besides the ones Zoro made. It wasn't long before Zoro finally uncovered the mirror for good and decided to live with the man that resided within it. It wasn't such a hard adjustment to make. Zoro could get pretty used to seeing the handsome face in the mirror every day.
Sanji screamed so loudly that morning that he woke his roommate up, and the resulting crash as he scrambled to get away and tripped over his own feet caused complaints from three separate neighbors. He jabbered unintelligibly, scaring poor Usopp to death through second hand terror, begged the younger man to cover the mirrors up, and then hid under his blanket for the rest of the day. He skipped three classes including an important exam, but there was no way in hell he was going to come out of hiding.
That was the first day that the person he saw in the mirror wasn't him. Sanji wasn't some grumpy looking, green haired punk. Sanji carefully maintained his appearance, it wouldn't do for him too look so uncared for, but the mirror no longer reflected his hard work. Instead, day in and day out, it revealed the same man. He was no one Sanji knew or recognized, but he'd taken over Sanji's reflection.
Sanji had checked himself into the hospital a week later, seeking out serious psychiatric help. It was terrible for his reputation, and when he later returned to the university he could feel the stares and hear the whispers about how crazy he was. He didn't care at the time though, he only wanted to get better, he'd only wanted his reflection to return to normal.
He let them lock him up in a home. He took their pills, he sat through daily sessions where a doctor that was paid entirely too much assessed his mental state. He was diagnosed with delirium, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, but no matter which disease they called it and no matter what pills they prescribed to treat it, the green haired man still stared back at Sanji in the mirror.
He eventually figured out there was no cure for him. He began lying to the doctors, claiming to be cured, telling them the man was gone. The stranger's face in the glass no longer terrified him. The man never made a move to hurt him, in fact the man didn't move at all unless Sanji did. He was the perfect reflection in every way except appearance. He wasn't in danger, and he didn't feel like he was going crazy anymore. Something had changed; that was the only explanation and Sanji accepted it.
The doctors eventually released him, prescribing him a bottle of pills for whichever mental disorder they had decided to lay blame to. It didn't matter, Sanji wouldn't be taking them. He didn't need them, because he wasn't sick. This was a new version of normal, that was all.
Sanji stared at the face in the mirror. The man had sharp eyes, a defined jaw, and wore a stern expression. Unlike Sanji, the man didn't have facial hair that needed maintaining, which made shaving a pain in the ass. Sanji didn't want to change his look just because the stranger in the mirror didn't want to look like him. Usopp never questioned why Sanji needed his opinion on the shape of his goatee.
He wasn't sure what to feel about the green haired man that stared back at him every day. Part of Sanji wanted the man to disappear. He wanted his old reflection back, the one that was actually him. Another part of him, however, hated to lose the nameless stranger he now saw. He felt attached to his new reflection, and he looked forward to seeing it every day. He wasn't sure when it had happened, but steadily Sanji had come to like his new reflection.
"Zoro?" Luffy called, finally snapping his friend's attention from the mirror.
Zoro turned, looking at his younger friend. Luffy was staring at him seriously, a rare look for the usually carefree guy.
"Yeah?" Zoro asked. He wanted Luffy to stop looking at him that way; it made him uncomfortable.
"You've been staring at the mirror for a long time now," Luffy said.
"I…uh…" Zoro fumbled for a good excuse. His friends had already dismissed the man in the mirror as a bad joke on Zoro's part, telling the truth wouldn't work.
"Is it that guy again?" Luffy asked, casting his serious look over to the mirror. His eyes narrowed slightly as he stared at the glass.
"What? No, I just-"
"He can't have you," Luffy spoke firmly. "You belong here."
Zoro gaped. It was one of Luffy's rare moments of insight. For such a carefree young man, he could certainly be perceptive sometimes.
"Of course he can't," Zoro assured him with a smile. "It's just my reflection, Luffy. Now come on, weren't we going out for lunch?"
The mention of food erased the topic from Luffy's mind entirely. Which was good news for Zoro; he didn't want Luffy to know what he'd been thinking. He didn't want the younger man to guess that for a moment there, Zoro had been desperately wishing he could slip through the glass, live inside the mirror, and be with the man who had become his reflection.
"Sanji, I think you should take your meds."
Sanji tore his eyes away from the mirror and turned them to Usopp. His friend was trembling slightly, but there was a firm set to his jaw that suggested he'd mustered up plenty of courage.
"I don't need them," Sanji assured his roommate, turning back to the mirror and staring at the man on the other side.
"Yeah," Usopp's voice faltered slightly. "Because you said you weren't seeing things anymore but, Sanji…"
Sanji turned his gaze away from the mirror again.
"You've been staring into that mirror for almost an hour."
Sanji blinked in surprise. Had it been so long? It felt like just a few minutes had gone by, but an hour had passed already? An hour of staring at the mirror, willing the man on the other side to move, to move without Sanji's guidance, to prove he was real. Not because Sanji was worried that he was hallucinating, but because he dearly wanted to meet the man he saw in his reflection.
"Sanji?" Usopp frowned. "Your meds?"
Sanji's eyes refocused on his long nosed friend. He smiled, opening the cabinet behind the mirror and taking out the still-full bottle of pills.
"Sure, Usopp," Sanji said, spilling one of the capsules out into his palm. "If it'll make you feel better."
It was late at night. Zoro had work early in the morning, but that didn't matter to him at the moment. It wasn't the first sleepless night he'd had lately, and it wouldn't be the last.
The man in the mirror had dark circles under his eyes, and his usually neat blond hair was mussed, suggesting he was suffering the same sleepless night as Zoro. Those blue eyes were still crystal clear and beautiful though, and Zoro couldn't tear his gaze from them. The man didn't move, except for the darting of his eyes as he looked from one of Zoro's eyes to the other, observing the dark brown orbs much the same way Zoro was observing the man's blue ones.
Zoro moved, raising one hand to the glass. There was a handprint there already, from days and nights spent doing the same. And just like those past times, he wished with all his might that he could push through the glass. He wanted to find himself on the other side, beside the reflection he was facing.
As his palm pressed against the glass, the blond's did the same, resting perfectly against Zoro's. The reflection's fingers were longer, and Zoro could see them pushed against the glass beneath his own. He closed his eyes, trying to imagine warmth beneath his palm and the feeling of flesh against his fingertips.
When he opened his eyes again, the man on the other side opened his as well. Zoro wondered if that man had the same wish. He hoped that man wanted to meet Zoro as badly as Zoro wanted to meet him.
But the glass beneath his palm remained flat and cool. With a frustrated sigh and one last longing look at the blond in the mirror, Zoro pulled his hand away and flipped off the bathroom light. He'd sleep for now, and meet the blond again in the morning.
And someday he'd find a way to get through that glass.