It was the smell that brought him out of his fevered sleep. Sitting up, Sanji looked around groggily at the other occupants in the room, and could not fathom how any of them managed to sleep through such a stench; something that smelled a lot like rotten fish eggs and the insides of Usopp's shoe. Whatever it was, it was strong enough to reach all the way into the boys bunk room, break through his congestion, and wake him up from a deep sleep.
The cook had been sick recently, suffering from some sort of mild cold, so after a great deal of protesting on Sanji's part and a great deal of insistence on Chopper's part, he had finally agreed to take it easy for a few days until his illness passed.
Most of the crew had been very nice to him since he had fallen sick. Robin-chan had so sweetly agreed to coordinate the necessary efforts in the kitchen so that the crew would not go hungry. That promise, along with Nami-san's whispered assurance that she would make sure none of his equipment would suffer permanent damage from the rest of the crew using it (though, he suspected this vow had a great deal to do with the expense that would be required to replace the damaged items), was just enough to ease his mind so he could concentrate on recovering.
He stumbled from his hammock as the mingled snores of Luffy and Usopp continued their strange duet that sounded similar to a constipated elephant giving birth to backward twins. He followed his nose, which was raw and sore from constant running, and his apprehension grew as he realized that the terrible odor was coming from the kitchen. The door banged open and a muddled and angry chef charged in. Zoro looked up in surprise, and dropped a large messy ladle into a bubbling pot. Grey goop splashed up.
"What the fuck is that?" Sanji demanded using his hand to cover his nose in defense of the obscene odor.
Zoro, for his part, looked absolutely stunned to see him.
"You're out of bed." he observed dumbly.
"Well, it smells too bad to sleep, asshole! What is that?" he repeated.
This time, the question seemed to snap the swordsman out of whatever weird trance he was in, and he suddenly appeared to have a great deal of trouble looking anywhere near the cook. He concentrated instead on the pot of boiling pollution on the stove, which every so often, issued an odd sort of hissing noise.
Sanji stared at the silent man for a minute while doing his best not to choke on his own rising bile. His eyes burned, his ears had started to ring, and he didn't think that he was going to be able to take much more.
There was brief pause. The hissing pot hissed slightly louder.
"Soup?" he finally repeated back to the swordsman in confusion as he blinked back tears.
The sudden and unexpected shout caught Sanji off-guard. He took a step back in surprise.
"You're skinny, and you're sick, and you're not eating!"
Zoro was pointing an accusing finger and his expression was set in a sharp scowl. Sanji's mouth hung in an open gape, but was quickly closed when the first print of odor reached his taste buds.
The swordsman glared for another minute, then the sudden rage seemed to dissipate as quickly as it had first come. Clouded green eyes dropped once again to the floor, mouth fell into a tight frown, and the tan face seemed slightly flushed.
Sanji tried to say something, anything to break the awkward silence, but found himself utterly speechless. Of course, it was quite possible that he was starting to asphyxiate.
He marched over towards the stove, fighting down his gagging reflex as he got closer to the source of the stench. He grabbed a dish towel, flicked off the burner, and snatched the pot of 'soup' from the stove. Without a word, he fled the kitchen and hurried to the deck. When he reached the railing, he started to overturn the pot to dump the liquid mess, but then thought better of it, and just to be safe, he threw the entire pot into the dark blue cut of the sea.
Pulling in great gasps of blessedly clean air, he ran a hand through his sleep tangled hair, coughed a little in the back of his still scratchy throat, and then walked back into the kitchens. Zoro was still standing by the stove where the cook had left him, wearing a pissed but slightly wounded expression. Sanji was grateful that the bastard seemed to have enough sense to at least open the few high windows in the kitchen. The air was beginning to clear, and the blonde looked at the other man steadily.
"You are the worst fucking cook on the planet." he pointed out in a very calm and reasonable tone.
"Fuck you!" but Zoro still was not looking at him. Sanji smiled.
"Next time, OK?"
He walked up to the other man and put hands on either side of his face. Zoro looked at him with surprise twisting his heavy brow. Sanji started to lean forward, but then paused and pulled back slightly.
"Oi, you didn't eat any of that, did you?"
Zoro blinked at him.
"Good. Just checking." and then Sanji kissed him, pushing his tongue violently into the open familiar mouth .
Zoro stumbled slightly at force of the kiss, and Sanji used the unusual show of imbalance to shove the other man and twist him around, away from the stove, and up against the center counter isle. After a minute, he pulled back slightly and whispered, "Up." against the wet swollen mouth before grasping Zoro hard by the hips, and urging his ass onto the counter top.
"In case I haven't mentioned it before, you're a stupid bastard." Sanji casually remarked while pulling at the fastenings of Zoro's pants.
"Fuck off. You were sick, and for some reason, I felt sorry for you. Probably because you've been whining like the little girl that you are for the past couple of days."
Zoro sounded pissed, distracted, and breathless.
"So you try and poison me?"
"It wasn't poison! It was soup you ungrateful bast—"
Zoro's curse was promptly cut off as the blonde yanked down the front of his pants and sucked him into his mouth. The swordsman fell more than leaned back, and gripped the edge of the counter. He made an odd sound that was somewhere between a wheeze and a grunt and kind of a squeal, that later he would flat out deny ever producing.
After a few minutes, Sanji pulled back and grinned at the flustered and panting man.
"Like I said, you are one stupid bastard. Do you honestly think that I would ever let myself starve? I've been eating, Asshole. There was no need to worry."
Zoro's eyes, which were tight and squinted, opened wide.
"I wasn't worried, you Shit-"
Sanji chuckled around his mouthful of Zoro's cock. It was amazing how well this worked for shutting the dumb fucker up.
Sanji straightened up again and started to make short work of the buttons on his shirt. With a curse, Zoro leaned forward to try and help him, but the cook shoved him back with a snarled, 'Worry about your own, Asshole! Or do you want me to fuck you through your pants?" Zoro glared at him, but shifted to slide the pants the rest of the way off his hips.
Privately, Sanji admitted that he liked the feeling of the other man helping him strip out of his clothes, but past experience had proven that he should generally handle the task himself if he wanted to preserve a decent supply of shirts. Zoro tended to pull and rip rather then unbutton.
Soon, they were both naked, and then two sets of hands reached out to touch and grip and bruise, and mouths strained to taste and kiss and bite. He cried out when callused fingers twisted hard against his nipple, and he angrily smacked the fucker on his head before catching the mouth in a harsh kiss. Time was irrelevance, time was sensation and heat and "Jesus FUCKING Christ, Cook, just use something –anything—to get the fuck in…"
"I love it when you beg for it." whispered like black ink into a pierced ear, and then Sanji knew indignation and pride to be a physical thing as heels dug into his back and he was shoved forward with issued demand, sliding more deeply into their connection.
This was challenge met and measure taken. This was pure obsession and kept vows. This was sweat and rage and toxic soup. This was, as all else had become in his life, an extension of nakama, with varied dedications and mixed definitions that came together and blended like the precious waters of All Blue.
In the end, it was the choked, "god, its so fucking good" as Zoro came with his cock trapped between their torrid body slide, words that Sanji doubted Zoro even knew he said, that pushed the cook over the edge until his fingernails dug deep into the tense shoulders, drawing a bloody signature. Sated, he shifted and crawled more securely onto the counter and collapsed across the swordsman.
Laying across the sprawl of the other man, Sanji couldn't decide if he wanted to make some sort of satisfied agreement or tell the son of a bitch to fuck off, so in the end he just said, "Nurgh." against the sweaty side of Zoro's neck and closed his eyes. He was so goddamn exhausted. Fucking the swordsman was hard work.
Zoro's voice sounded soft and distant, which was strange, since the chef could still feel the damp body slick against him. It felt cool and comfortable and very very good, so he leaned more heavily against it.
"Oi! Are you OK?"
He felt himself sliding as the edges of consciousness twisted and blurred. The last thing that he heard was a panicked, "What the fuck am I suppose to tell Chopper?" before things faded completely away.