passion in the language

Dear love, Sanji scribbled, I've never had to write a letter like this . . .

No. Not elegant enough. He crumpled the sheet of paper, tossed it into the wastepaper basket, and cleaned the nib of his pen.

In careful italics, he wrote, My precious, my sweet, my heart's delight, the flower of my fancy . . .

Over in his bunk Luffy groaned in his sleep. Sanji paused to adjust the lamp flame, and tilted the shade so that the light he needed to write by wouldn't disturb his captain's sleep. No sleep, no appetite; no appetite, no proper appreciation of Sanji's cookery. (He brushed aside the thought that nothing, be it lack of sleep or the end of the world, could possibly stop Luffy's appetite.) Besides, who knew? Tomorrow might see another day of reckless adventure, life-or-death battles, even a Marine assault! Sleep now would avoid embarrassing mid-battle dozes later.

It wouldn't be so bad except that Luffy snored.

No. Too flowery. He added it to the discard pile and started again. My adored one, my rose, my perfection of womanhood . . . Or should he be emphasizing her girlish nature?

Beloved of my heart, he tried, sweetness beyond compare, beauty that shines like starlight . . . On second thoughts, better to save those images for Robin or Nami.

Luffy snored. Usopp snored. Zoro snored. The sound of three healthy young men snoring seemed to fill the room. This was not conducive to poetic inspiration or to properly flattering the young lady he'd seen at the market yesterday and planned to see again.

Light of my life, spare me one moment of your beauty and make me happy forever.

That, Sanji decided, wasn't too bad. It'd do. Unless he thought of better. He rose and stretched. If he left it on her doorstep tonight, perhaps she'd smile at him tomorrow.

He paused, picking up the discarded pen. Making eel stew tomorrow. Don't be late, pondweed-head, he scribbled, and dropped the note on Zoro's chest as he left.

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