Hello XD letting you guys know in advance this is kind of a weird story I wrote cause' I'm trying to get out of my writers block.. I was inspired after the anime got to the part where (spoiler alert maybe!?) anyway when there was a tiny glimpse at Sanji skeleton in the lastest arc and he still had his swirl like a boss.
For obvious reasons, Sanji didn't want to talk about it. This was the weirdest sensation of his life, looking directly at his own skeleton. It looked good, he guessed, since he was proud of his own skeleton of course, but just weird. Normally people didn't get to see what their true insides looked like, except of course Brook. And how lucky the cook just had to be to get his abilities when shit hit the fan and the abilities of their devil fruit crew members rolled off onto those without.
His mouth was dry, even though there was nothing there, not even a tongue he could see in the mirror. There was a flutter of anxiety in his chest, but even that was simply impossible, because just as he had fled in here to really get a look and escape the ogling by the crew. The shirt had come off and he could see all of his ribs and empty chest.
This was too surreal and he looked back up at the mirror with a distressed expression. At least, it would seem, besides his permanent swirl of an eyebrow on his skull, there was no way of telling his exact expression. This freaked him out to his core. He wanted his old appearance back and he wanted to be normal. Sure, he still had his luxurious hair, but how was he supposed to go around and flatter the ladies now? He didn't even have eyes! What should he do, just go around and ask to see their panties?
The skeleton cook drummed his fingers on the sink lightly before stepping back, having had too much of an experience looking at his reflection close up. Slowly he reached and grabbed his shirt and jacket that he had flung to the side in his panic. They'll be looking for him again after all the excitement of everyone else enjoying their new abilities died down. He knew Chopper was dying for a glance at his anatomy at some point before all this wore off, if of course, it wore off.
It was a little embarrassing. Guess he had more of a thickness to him that he never noticed before, since his buttoned up shirt hardly fit him at all, hanging off his ribcage and wrinkling at the absence of his stomach. It matched his loose pants that looked a few sizes too big as well and only held up by his belt buckle. At least the added suit jacket made it look slightly better. This was going to be a drag.
Speaking of drag, he could really use one. Brook claimed to still have all his bodily functions and although he probably didn't have to breathe, he could light up. Which meant Sanji could smoke. He fished out his cigarettes from his pocket, struggling with his lighter from only using boney fingers, before lighting it up and taking a nice long inhale. He needed it so bad, cause things were only about to get more awkward. Not only seeing more reactions of people seeing him exposed right down to his embarrassing boney state, but also at the rest of the crew in their new circumstances.
Sanji had been too focused in his own musings to really notice who had gotten whose abilities, more concerned at first with his lack of flesh, but things became pretty apparent when he walked back down and entered his kitchen. Before everyone noticed the door had even been opened, he could see Nami wide eyed with a grin on her face as she sprouted several lovely and delicate arms while standing next to Robin who was nodding in approval – no doubt giving a handful of guidance.
To the other side, Luffy was laughing so much and hitting his knee, watching as Usopp, who'd gained his ability, was tugging out his nose longer and longer as it seemed to go on forever and ever. Chopper was sitting next to them, his devil fruit ability still apparently intact thankfully (would have been awkward with just a reindeer on board as their doctor that they couldn't really converse with) and laughing.
Franky was sitting there enjoying his cola and a view of his experimenting nakama and Brook – the biggest shock of all since none of them had obviously met him in the flesh – was playing a very happy and joyful tune. Sanji was no doubt bitter about being a skeleton for however long this would last, but the pointless anger he held just temporarily towards his friend vanished. Brook deserved some time to be really alive again.
The Marimo, the person whose reaction Sanji was probably least interested in seeing was sitting up on a chair to the island, fully enjoying the sake he helped himself to in the cook's absence. But like always, one entering the room didn't go unnoticed for too long in this crew. Luffy was the first to glance over to see their new skeleton cook shutting the kitchen door behind him and moving for the first chair. He felt way to awkward and his clothes too baggy to keep standing just yet.
"Whoa! Sanji looks so cool!" his captain shouted, practically pulling everyone's attention to him.
A few were probably worried, the way Sanji had just ran off like that. Or probably, maybe, they were just amused at watching a blond haired skeleton smoke in his fancy suit? Still, he couldn't help but feel exposed knowing the girls were looking at his very bone structure! He'd be blushing if he had cheeks – oh great. Now he understood exactly what Brook meant by those sayings and not just to be cute. He wouldn't really show emotions unless he said them, would he?
While a few of them just greeted him back or made comments about how 'cool' he looked or even asking him how it felt – which got an awkward reply of 'very empty' and 'lightweight' grumbled under his breath, since he was still trying to understand exactly how he could feel and he didn't want his forever exposed teeth to continually clack like a nutcracker – Brook was the only one, or maybe just the first one to really come over and sit beside him, turning to look at Sanji with a very warm grin.
It was weird, since it was like they were getting to see their friend for the first time in a different light – and his smile and expressions that accompanied his words. Still it was amazing, to Sanji's bitter demeanor, that he wasn't fazed looking into his empty skull. Though, he supposed, Brook had had many years of looking into this type of reflection. He knew skeletons so much Sanji couldn't help but wonder if he had a guess of how any of them would look, based off some of their distinct facial features, and it was only like getting to see another side of him too.
"Ah, I'm sorry Sanji-san, you ended up with my fruit, yohoho!" The musician comfortingly put his hand on Sanji's bony shoulder and squeezed, watching as the skull in front of him slightly turned and looked in that general direction, probably shocked he could even feel it. "I would take it back if I could!"
The cook gently brushed his hand aside – or so he hoped it was gently, he wasn't sure since he had boney shoulders now – as he leaned forward to grab the tables center ashtray and bring it closer, putting out his cigarette butt then turning to look back over at his friend. He gave a halfhearted shrug.
"Nah, it's alright Brook. Enjoy it, live a little." He would've smirked at his clever play, or maybe he was and it just wasn't obvious. "Third time's a charm."
Brooks grin widened and he backed up in his seat. "Thank you Sanji-san!" It was so sincere Sanji might even feel guilty if they changed back. Had this guy always had such a good outlook about him before? "Those beautiful ladies will have to give me their panties now! Yohohoho!"
Sanji took it all back. He was still perverted competition, how had he felt bad about that again?! Still he sighed, slowly getting up – and pausing for a moment to the random Nami arm that flourished onto his shoulder and giving a nod to their navigator after she apologized playfully to him – and making his way to the other side of the island to his cooking station. Skeleton or not, he was still the cook of this vessel and it was his job to get everyone fed.
Still, it wasn't that easy. When he turned around out of his seat he was practically face to face with the shitty swordsman who hadn't said a single thing about the event. No, instead he just sat there, nursing his alcohol and enjoying the view which he wasn't very discreet about, he'd been staring right at Sanji's bony neck.
Instinctively, the cook raised his hand as if to scratch at the back of his neck, embarrassingly turning his face away when he realized there wasn't even a neck to scratch. Fucking Marimo, who cared what he thought? So what if Sanji was somewhat curious? It was probably stupid anyway and freaked him out just as much as it did him. He clenched his jaw with determination and continued to his work space.
It would be interesting, tasting his cooking progress on taste buds he didn't even have. Or even being able to lift up one of his knifes with a boney hand somehow without any sort of muscle, just sheer will alone. Devil fruits were intimidating and unique as fuck. He listened in on the excitement of the crew.
Apparently now Luffy was dragging Usopp outside to try some of his favorite things with more 'space' (thankfully, because Sanji would have promptly kicked their asses for fucking around in his kitchen) and most of the crew ran out to see as well. Not the ladies of course, they walked calm and elegantly, Nami having already seemingly mastered Robin's technique enough to open the door for her and share in a proud laugh.
Which left Zoro inside the kitchen with Sanji. How annoying. Sanji glanced back a bit just to see what the shit head was up to. His eyes were down and he was finishing off his sake. What was he looking at? His nonexistent ass? Yes, leave it to Zoro to be upset about this only because the ass he thought of so fondly was nothing but bones.
It had all happened so quick - from after they defeated those marines and bursted out of there, to Sanji freaking out and coming back only to cook - he hadn't even had a moment to think about Zoro. Obviously, here was a problem. In secret, because as the cook would admit in silence he was a bit of a priss about everyone knowing, they'd been together on and off for a long while now. When your personal fuck body went from alive to dead in a day, it seemed just a bit problematic, skeletons didn't have penises after all. The idiot Marimo was probably pouting about it even now.
Yes, now the shock was wearing off. They weren't sure exactly how long this would last, so what would this do to their relationship? Well fuck; this could only mean they were going to have to talk, but he really didn't want to go talking in front of Zoro like this – him and his stupid perceiving eyes scanning everything about him, judging him.
Except, that wasn't what Zoro was actually doing. Sure, the Marimo couldn't pull his eyes away from their new skeletal cook, but he just couldn't help it. His chest was finally just calming down at the fact Sanji really was alright, alive and in boney pieces. The swordsman wasn't easily intimidated or terrified, but he had no explanation to what had happened to him after some idiot rookie marine decided to fuck the majority of their crew over.
Sanji hadn't said anything about the experience yet, but Zoro couldn't help but keep replaying it in his mind as he just tried to understand what had happened. Sanji and Brook, along with a few others had gone aboard the Marine ships to fight and were the last few to leave, hearing the call to fall back, when the beam hit. Sanji was sky walking to the Sunny, Brook running around on the surface of water just below.
The swordsman had just returned to the Sunny when he turned and glanced over, seeing the weird colors branch out and catch them, but not really seeing the change himself. Brook halted immediately, probably from the weight of being human again and plunged into the water. Sanji came to a stop, swinging his head back shouting back to him – since of course he was a devil fruit user, he couldn't swim- and jumped in after him, not aware of the new circumstances just yet.
Zoro didn't think anything of it, since he didn't know either, going to walk off again until he heard a very joyous chorus of 'yohoho' and turned back for a look. It was Brook, but not as he knew him, more favorable of his old wanted poster, floating upright in the water. He was amazed, looking at his hands and raising his sword high because it seemed like a random blessing he was back to normal. But then it dawned on him and Zoro could read it off his lips as he looked around in the water.
The Marimo's eyes shot straight down to the ocean where he'd last seen the cook go into the water. If Brook was human and Sanji wasn't resurfacing… well it didn't take a genius like him obviously. Before he even had time to think or even acknowledge the confused call of his name from Brook watching him dive into the water, he was swimming to where he'd seen the cook last. Or at least that general 'area'.
That's when he saw it, the image that scared him still in the water. He knew it was because of Brook's devil fruit and it was to be expected that Sanji would look like this – but it didn't make the image any better to take in, seeing someone he held so close as a skeleton – or rather appearing dead. He should never have to see a sight of Sanji like that, it was very unsettling, but he didn't let it take a hold of him.
Because even though he couldn't see into Sanji's eyes anymore, since his sockets were dark and hollow, he knew he was probably conscious and now realizing his mistake in diving in before analyzing the situation. There was no way he didn't know now, the way his arm had been extended, a boney hand reaching out towards the surface. Zoro had just grabbed it and forced their way up to air, holding his drained frame close and headed for the Sunny.
It was still jarring considering Sanji, probably in some sort of shock or humility, stayed silent. Zoro glanced down at his skull a few times when he was bringing him back. He weighed nearly nothing to him. After that, the swordsman had assured a worried Brook that he had him and he was alright before hoisting the cook up on to the Sunny's deck where everyone else resided. Apparently, Sanji wasn't the only one hit by the beam, since Robin had actually fished a drenched Nami out of the water as well and eyes were wide at the elastic shape Usopp was in.
Still, when they were on board Nami demanded of their shipwright to get them out of there and he did promptly, Zoro holding on tight to the Cook as they went – not too tight though, he really did feel like he could end up cracking his bones, but doubted he was so fragile even like that. When the ship had settled again, Sanji's conscious seemed to reappear. He shoved Zoro off, who allowed him silently, and got up, quickly moving toward the bathroom, ignoring any calls out to him (especially perplexed, concerned and interested ones from their doctor).
It was a relief to see him join them all in the kitchen after what Zoro guessed was a look down at his new state of being, but now that they were alone he didn't know exactly what to say to him. He was concerned, it had to be a very different experience to see oneself in that matter. Then, he couldn't help but wonder, if Sanji would blame himself for it or feel it changed anything between the two of them. Finally, he put down the empty sake bottle and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. But on the other hand everything felt more or less the same.
By this point Sanji had things prepped enough to have them set for a while, making sure the pot was on simmer before getting out another cigarette and moving back towards the table. If they were going to talk he wanted to be relaxed about it, he wasn't sure how much stress these bones could actually take if he would stand and be denied. It was amazing how even a dumbass like the Marimo took the hint and rose from his seat, only to wander over to the table and stare at the cook while he got comfortable.
Sanji's hand was shaking, which was weird on top of everything else, but could only mean he wasn't that excited about finding out his current boyfriend most definitely didn't find him attractive anymore. Still, the lighter's flame flicked and he was able to enjoy his one pleasure that was sure to never end. Carefully, but also bluntly, 'cause it was his fucking kitchen, he leaned back in the chair and put his feet on the table, letting out a slight hiss at the way his pants clung around such boney bird like legs.
He glared at Zoro, hearing the soft snort in response to his sufferings.
"The hell's so funny, Marimo?" he growled, just daring him to try and say some shit about this.
Zoro just shrugged, taking a seat across from him and leaning up against the table with his arms crossed. "Nothing, shit cook. Just impressed that damn eyebrow of yours survived."
Sanji let out a 'tch' and turned his head away, relaxing back into his seat, some stress rolling off him. He was foolish to think this would be too bad, it really was just Zoro he was talking to here.
"Idiot. Haven't you heard? This shit holds the equation to the universe." He gestured his hand to his eyebrow and probably would've been wearing a slight grin.
Well, even if he wasn't wearing one, Zoro was.
"That what you're calling it these days, skeleto cook?" he teased.
Sanji would've sent him a glare, shifting awkwardly in his seat, his bones giving a few creaks as he did. He wasn't going to let his anxieties of what Zoro thought control him. He shouldn't really care, it was just a few days, then he'd be all fleshy once more for sure, but still he couldn't help but feel the most exposed he'd ever been in front of Zoro and he'd seen him naked.
"Oi, shut it Marimo. This shit's weird enough without you pointing it out," he muttered, dropping some ash from his cigarette into his table's tray.
Zoro relaxed, his brows slightly furrowing as he watched the cook move. He'd felt like this before, shortly after Brook joined, but it was an odd fascination that took over him. It was creepy to see Sanji as a dead skeleton, but at the same time he wanted to watch and see. Without thinking really about it, he reached out and put his hand over Sanji's, squeezing the boney appendage.
"Can you feel that?"
Sanji froze. It was weird, he was staring down at Zoro's hand on his and he could feel his entire warmth with no skin. He was dead, but he wasn't dead. He looked up at the Marimo's face to study his expression. He'd been too humiliated to see his expression earlier when he'd saved him, so now he took the opportunity, his heart beating loud in his chest.
Zoro was too preoccupied to even noticed himself. His expression was amazed, but his eyes had widened in a way that almost made him appear freaked out. So in seeing that, knowing his fears had come true and Zoro was weirded out, Sanji didn't waste time in yanking his hand back. He retrieved his cigarette while he was at it and forced it in between his jaw before shuffling to his feet and nearly bumping the table.
"Bastard, of course I can feel it." he hissed back, hurrying back to the kitchen.
He was more hurt than he'd thought he'd be. Stupid sensitivities about shallow things like appearances or what Zoro thought taking control of him. He didn't give a shit. Though he could definitely feel Zoro, he had all the abilities Brook had dammit, he could feel and he could see his expression. Hadn't he ever heard of something called being discreet?
"Oi!" Zoro cocked his brow in confusion, turning around in his chair to catch the sight of the cook fleeing away back to his work.
He'd just been curious, he hadn't actually wanted to insult Sanji. He knew it had to be weird on him but he couldn't even begin to try and relate or imagine how the situation was without some input - since the marimo himself obviously never had the privilege of seeing his own bone structure before. When and if that happened to him, he'd be very dead (but at least as a greatest swordsman, no doubt).
Still, he wasn't going to let Sanji just walk off offended - he knew him far too well to know the damn cook could hold a grudge. That and he wouldn't let the cook be confused by his reactions. Quickly, he shuffled out of his seat and toward him, reaching out and grabbing Sanji's arm.
He paused though, still not used to how thin his bone was, regardless of how many times he'd reminded himself it'd be. Still he held on, turning the skeleton cook toward him.
"Listen, Cook, I-" he looked into the dark holes of his eyes.
"It's hard to stare at, I get it." Sanji muttered under his breath, pulling his arm back and scowling away.
"The hell, it's not that idiot! It's just... It's something I was never supposed to... Wasn't ever going to see. Who normally gets to see a skeleton of their cook, yeah?"
"Tch." Dumb reasoning - why the hell would the swordsman want to see his remains unless he really did hate him more than he led on. "There's a reason most people don't get to see skeletons, Marimo. Respect the dead, get out of my face."
"Hell no. So you can go sulk more? This shit is interesting."
"I am not sulking and it's not interesting, I'm dead!"
Zoro shrugged. "Interesting to me, I can't wait to look it over. Hey, can you poop?"
The Marimo grinned, seemingly satisfied. "There we go, there's some emotion. Knew you were still a drama queen, cook." He chuckled to himself then daringly leaned forward and brushed his lips against skull.
Since honestly he wasn't sure were to go at first, there weren't lips and it'd probably freak Sanji out more if he went for the teeth, so he settled around the skeleton cook's temple. Zoro pulled away with a smirk, practically hearing a skull joke play out in his head. 'If he had cheeks, he'd be blushing'. Damn he felt stupid just thinking one of those, but it was true, the somewhat shock of being caught off guard was on Sanji's skeletal features and he quickly averted his hollow stare and clenched his teeth. Zoro knew from several past experiences the cooks ears, had he had any, would've been on fire too.
The cook shoved Zoro away, turning sheepishly back to his work. "Asshole, you're really that curious?"
Zoro shrugged. "Once in a life time chance, eh cook?" he grinned.
Sanji glanced back just in time to catch that, then snap his attention back to his work. Bastard, that's what he was. Who was interested in skeletons? That Marimo just kept getting creepier and creepier by the minute.
"Whatever idiot, do what you want, but I will kick your ass if you get even more weird." As if that were even possible.
"Now that I would like to see."
And he would.
MyLadyDay beta'd this!