Title: So Good So Far
Rating: NC-17 overall
Characters/Pairing:Zoro/Sanji, Law/Sanji, eventual Law/Zoro/Sanji
Word Count: 3074
Summary: Written for a prompt from curlybrow who requested "Sanji confesses his confused love for Zoro, but Zoro refuses him, then Sanji turns to Law for comfort, and when Zoro secretly learns that Sanji and Law are doing it, he becomes really jealous...".
Spoilers: For recent chapters, probably…
"What the fuck are you talking about?"
It probably said a lot that, in Sanji's brain, he hadn't even considered this to be an appropriate response to his…well, he may as well call it what it was…confession. Not that he'd expected Zoro to just drop to one knee and profess his undying love, of course; he'd actually thought that Zoro would probably try and fight him, which would end up with them rolling around on the floor and grabbing at each other and…
Yeah, he banished that thought pretty quickly because Zoro's reaction seemed to be pure confusion and maybe a little bit of revulsion, and that wasn't even on his radar of things that might come out of this conversation.
He didn't know if it was salvageable now, but Zoro had been drinking quite a bit (although, for him, it probably wasn't even enough to make him slightly tipsy). Best to pretend he'd said nothing, he thought, and he lit up a cigarette to buy some time before going to rinse out some dishes that had been left in the sink.
"You've got so much moss in your ears that you're hearing things, dumbass," he replied, scathing as always, but this time instead of saying something about his eyebrow or demeaning his cooking skills the swordsman merely narrowed his good eye and grunted. "What? The moss hasn't actually leached so far down your head that you're turning into a tree, has it?"
"I know what you said, Cook," Zoro started slowly, like he was trying to choose his words carefully. "But just…what the fuck?"
"So you're saying that nothing that's ever happened between us has been more than hatred?" Sanji snapped before he realized that, well, he couldn't take that one back, and he'd pretty much screwed himself now.
"I respect you," Zoro was now looking at him like he'd never seen him before, and that might have been more insulting than his previous expression. "I don't like you most of the time, but I respect you a hell of a lot and I know damn well you'd never let anybody on this crew take the fall for you if you can get in the way," he frowned. "It's fun to get you riled up, that doesn't mean I want to fuck you," he was back to looking kind of horrified and confused again and Sanji bit his lip and turned to the sink, scrubbing at a water-stained plate a little too harshly.
"Forget I said anything," he finally mumbled, because he trusted Zoro enough that he wouldn't go and make fun of him to everybody else for it but if things were awkward between them somebody was going to notice.
"Hey," he could hear the scrape of a chair's legs on the wooden floor and he startled a bit when Zoro came up beside him. "You annoy the shit out of me, Cook, but you're not a bad guy. If I was into that at all, maybe I'd be okay with it."
"So it's not just me that you're repulsed by?" Sanji tried to keep his tone light but even to his own ears it came out wounded, and Zoro clicked his tongue and shrugged.
" 've got more important things to worry about, 's all. The road I've chosen is one I've gotta eventually walk alone," he sounded serious now and Sanji had to admit that, at least if he was that set on emulating Mihawk, it was probably true. Maybe it made him feel a little better that he wasn't so undesirable that not even Zoro, who to his knowledge had never had a sexual partner, would take him up on an offer of it.
"Whatever. You're missing out, moss-head," he finally stopped scrubbing at the dish and let it slide into the water, rolling his shoulders back.
"Actually, I'm more surprised that you came to me instead of going to your precious women," Zoro was smirking now and Sanji kneed him none-too-kindly in the shin. "Hey!"
"Bastard. Like I'd ever demean the honor of my beautiful ladies by daring to touch them in that way," he chewed on his cigarette a little, wondering if he should admit more but damn it, this was the closest he and Zoro had ever come to having a heart-to-heart and he wasn't going to squander the opportunity. "I love women. I love pleasing women. If one of them came to me and asked me to…I might do it because I know it would make them happy. But if it's up to me, I'd never do it."
"Well, since all you do if a woman touches you is start bleeding all over the place…" Zoro muttered, but he was half-smiling and Sanji didn't kick him too hard for that one.
"Shut up, asshole," he sighed and turned around, taking his hands out of the water and drying them off on a nearby towel. "So. Are we gonna forget this ever happened? Because I'm not too keen on the thought of you holding it over my head," he didn't think Zoro would do that, not really, but it was better to be safe than sorry.
"Che. Whatever. Already forgotten," Zoro promised, but he looks markedly more awkward than normal when he clapped Sanji on the shoulder and turned around.
"You're already being weird about it," Sanji muttered around his cigarette, staring at the pile of dishes he still had to do and wondering if he could get away with being lazy for one night out of his life.
"Look," Zoro breathed out slowly through his nose before he spun around and stalked back over, stopping far too close to Sanji. "I trust that you're not gonna, like, jump me in my sleep. But yeah, I'm not gonna pretend that it's not weird hearing you're into guys when all these years I thought it was only women you cared about," he sighed. "So I'm processing, shit-cook, but that doesn't mean I think you're a different guy or that I'm gonna avoid you or anything," he frowned, but Sanji could tell he was being honest, even if it was in his usual blunt way.
"Yeah. Sure," Sanji wasn't sure he fully believed him, or even if Zoro realized he was already behaving oddly, but Sanji was inwardly kicking himself because he'd pretty much said that nearly all the times they'd been fighting he was thinking about…something else, and since all he and Zoro did was fight, the swordsman might very well start ignoring him altogether without thinking about why, and that might be harder to take than outright rejection.
"Look," Zoro settled his hands on Sanji's shoulders, more confidently than before but now he almost seemed angry. "I don't pretend to know what goes on in that brain of yours, but whatever you're feeling for me? It's not love. I don't do romance, Cook, even if I did sleep with people. I'd die for you, maybe, but I'd die for all of the rest of them, too, and so would you, but I don't see you confessing to anybody else. So whatever you actually feel toward me, figure it out, because I know it's not what you think you feel and the sooner you get over this, the easier it will be. Unless you wanna explain to the rest of them why there's weird tension between us."
"I thought you said…" Sanji started but Zoro shook his head.
"We both know even if we pretend this conversation never happened, even if I don't think about why things are different, they're gonna be," he looked down and Sanji was inwardly impressed that he'd realized that nearly as fast as Sanji himself had, but the words themselves were like a knife to the heart. "Just…I'm gonna go to bed," Zoro let go of him, looking like he didn't even know what to say, and he turned around and left the galley without a word, leaving Sanji there with the pile of dirty dishes.
They weren't getting done tonight.
He was drunk.
He rarely got drunk, because getting up at five in the morning with a splitting headache and a raging hangover while having to cook enough food to appease Luffy…it wasn't a pleasant prospect to consider.
Still, he needed something to take away the sting of rejection, and a rather large part of him was trying to figure out if Zoro did have a point. Why was Sanji convinced this was more than just strict friendship and wanting to protect a crewmate? He didn't really have an answer, because it was more of a feeling, but the truth remained that he'd fall into bed with Zoro at the slightest indication Zoro wanted it and he certainly didn't feel that way about anybody else on the crew…not even his gorgeous women.
And now he was just a little pissed off that Zoro would presume to know how he was feeling and just demand that he forget about it like he could rip away that part of his emotions and toss them overboard without a second thought.
"Fuck him," he said out loud, hiccupping a little, and the creak of the galley door opening had him blearily glancing toward it. The rational part of his brain told him it was somebody up for a midnight snack, maybe even Luffy hoping he'd left the fridge unlocked, but the decidedly less-sober part was entertaining fantasies about Zoro changing his mind and coming back to say he returned Sanji's feelings…
"That's an odd statement to make."
Sanji dropped his forehead to the table and tried not to be disappointed.
Of course it wasn't Zoro. Zoro probably hated his guts more than ever now and was no doubt freaked out by him. Zoro probably never wanted to speak to him again.
He heard the fridge opening and thought absently that only the girls should have the passcode for the lock, but a second later when he heard footsteps heading back toward the door he panicked and reached out, hand flailing in the empty air for a moment.
"Have you ever been in love?"
The footsteps stopped, thankfully, and Sanji heard a long-suffering sigh like the other man really wanted to leave but somehow felt obligated to stay now.
"To put it bluntly: no, and I have no real interest in the concept."
Sanji mumbled something into the wood of the table and realized that there was no possible way he could have been understood, so he forced himself to hold his head up and mumbled, "you'd think a guy with a crew called the 'heart pirates' would know more about it."
"I'm quite sure you know that there is a marked difference between loving somebody and being in love with them," Law didn't sound amused and Sanji wondered just how much he was prone to blurting out while intoxicated, so he tried to reel himself in.
He dropped his head back to the table and mumbled again, not even certain himself what he was saying, but when he finally looked up again he was surprised to see that Law hadn't left. "What?"
"I may not be the best at reading social cues, Mr. Blackleg, but I believe you're facing some sort of dilemma right now and, since you all are in fact doing me a huge favor by coming to Dressrosa, it would be insensitive of me to not hear you out," he sat down and crossed his legs, scowling, sword up over his shoulder as his fingers flexed on the sheathe.
"You don't have to," Sanji tried to brush it off because honestly, Law was about the last person he suspected would be able to help him. Well, maybe Luffy would be worse, but Law wasn't exactly a sympathetic ear.
"I'm here and I've already sat down," Law said bluntly, making it sound like a chore of some sort, so Sanji tried his best to keep his words clear and started to explain.
"So you're quite sure your feelings are genuine?"
"What d'you mean?" Sanji muttered, throat dry from talking so much, but to his great surprise Law didn't react in any way that could be considered mocking and he seemed to be, if not engaged, at least courteous enough to pretend to be interested.
"You said it yourself: in your eyes, he's your only viable option, and has been for the last several years. So it's entirely possible, I would think, that you're fooling yourself into thinking your feelings for him go deeper than simple concern for a fellow cremate in order to justify considering him at all," he said slowly, and it took Sanji's drink-addled brain a few moments to work through this.
"So, you're saying that if there was somebody else, I might realize I don't think of him like that?" he decided that was what Law was getting at, and the other man confirmed it with a quick nod. "I mean…maybe?" he frowned, because honestly he'd never thought about that but what Law was saying was undoubtedly true. Thinking about it now, that he'd even convinced himself he'd fallen for Zoro at all was strange since if he had to make a list about what he'd look for in a potential partner, Zoro probably wouldn't make the cut.
Still, it hardly mattered because it wasn't like he could just turn his feelings off and, even if there was some truth to Law's speculation, it wasn't as if he could test it out since Zoro was, well, still his only option. He voiced the last part out loud, something in his voice a lot whinier than he'd intended, but while he expected Law to roll his eyes when he glanced at the doctor he looked more…contemplative than anything.
"There's another option," Law said slowly, and Sanji blinked a few times, trying to wrap his brain around that one. IF there was, he was certain it would have crossed his mind by now, and there was literally nobody else on the ship close to his age that was interested in men. Yes, he'd had one night stands before, back when they'd actually had time between adventures to stop at an island for a few days, but It wasn't something he was especially fond of and…
"You?" he blurted out before he could stop himself, because the very notion was absurd, but Law gave him a tight-lipped smile in return that was affirmation enough. "But you…I mean…"
"I may be…saddled with a dark reputation, but I am only human and I've spent the better part of the last two years on an island with only Caesar, a harpy, and various half-human pirate experiments as potential partners so I can safely say I've been voluntarily celibate for a good while now," his voice was low but there was something dangerous in his golden eyes, a kind of banked heat that made Sanji's throat feel dry just by looking at it
"But you…me…" Sanji was cursing himself for sounding like a babbling fool, but the more he thought about it the more appealing the idea was, and that surprised him. No, it wasn't close to what he thought he felt for Zoro, but he did get along with Law a good deal better and the other man was fucking gorgeous. "Why?" he finally got out, and Law smirked.
"As you said, when there's a lack of options, you take what you can get," he stood up, hoisting his sword over his shoulder. "That being said, you're attractive and intelligent, your captain is in an alliance with me so I feel no danger from being potentially intimate with you, and yet I know we both aren't sentimental enough to think this would be anything more than scratching an itch, as it were," he turned away and Sanji was moving before he could stop himself, stumbling a little as his head swam. He still managed to clutch at Law's shoulder, nearly falling into his body when the older man spun around. Sanji somehow was able to find his footing, straightening up and crossing his arms.
"Tell me how you feel in the morning when you're sober and you've had some time to think it over," Law replied, although he didn't sound offended.
"What if…" Sanji wasn't sure if he should ask this because he still wasn't quite certain Law wouldn't slice him in half if he pushed too hard, but he needed to know. "What if we do this and I…I still have feelings for him?" he whispered, and Law shrugged.
"Then when I leave this ship, as I inevitably will soon enough, you can approach him again and see if his mind has changed. It will be…hard to hide a relationship of any sort completely on a vessel this small, and his reaction to it might well give you the answer you require," he half-smiled and Sanji frowned.
"You mean, if he gets jealous?" he guessed, although that seemed like too much to hope for. Zoro was protective, though, and he'd been protective of Sanji in the past, so maybe…
Well, he supposed the worst that could happen was that nothing would change from where they were now, and Sanji would still be able to live with that.
"Why are you doing this at all? I mean, trying to help people with…love problems, that doesn't seem…" he wanted to kick himself again because he had a way of running his mouth and saying the most offensive things around Law, but to his great surprise Law's smirk only widened.
"As I said, I'm not looking for a relationship. If it has unintended positive consequences, so be it, but as long as I get to fuck you, I don't really care what happens with you two in the long run," he lowered his voice and Sanji shivered, because fuck, he hadn't realized how much he wanted sex or how long it had been since he'd had it until right now and his body was screaming at him to slam Law against the wall and go at it right then and there.
"Tomorrow, Mr. Blackleg," Law murmured, pulling away, and he turned and left the galley without another word.
Sanji was left there, half-hard in his pants, and still kind of wondering what the fuck had just happened.
1. I know, I know, I should be updating my vampire!Sanji fic, but I've been so swamped this past month between work and school that when I got this prompt I wanted to work on it because this fic will probably be at least a manageable length and the vampire one could go on for quite a while yet.
2. The title of the fic comes from the song of the same name by O.A.R. (who are probably my favorite band at the moment so go listen to their music, seriously!)
3. Feedback is always appreciated! I hope this was a good beginning and I will try to get the next part up as soon as I'm able to!