I love Sanji because I see my mother in him. Both dress nicely, cook well, smoke a lot (LOL okay not funny but still), swear too much, have a strange fancy for pretty ladies, but overall humbly generous, with a remarkable skill of understanding others' true emotions, & just knowing what people need most. So this is for you momma.
Good thing Sanji is her favorite character, otherwise this would make no sense for me to write this. XD
"Are you done with your food Chopper?" Sanji asked.
Chopper must have zoned out because he looked startled when Sanji's voice hit his ears, and looked even more surprised when he realized that he was the last person still at the dinner table; everyone else had already finished their dinners and returned to whatever business they needed to tend to. He looked at his fork like he forgot he was holding it all along.
"Oh, um, yeah…" Chopper said quietly.
The chef walked over to take a closer look at his plate. Sanji was not expecting to feel as astonished as he did at what he saw: all of the mushrooms from the dish pushed to one side of the plate.
There were a lot of mushrooms, still covered in a sauce that Sanji had used many times for past meals. The rest of the plate was bare but still looked a little full with the pile of mushrooms. Tonight's dish was a new pasta addition to Sanji's menu but it had similar elements to many of his other dishes he could recall seeing Chopper pulling a Luffy-stunt and gorging it all down. The rest of the crew seemed fond of it—was there something wrong with Chopper's portion? Perhaps he overdid it with the sauce on his plate?
Sanji took his cigarette and flicked some loose ashes off to the side, and asked Chopper, "Were the mushrooms not good?"
"It's not that. They tasted good, actually."
"So why didn't you finish them?"
"Are you mad at me Sanji?" Chopper asked, ignoring to answer him without meeting his gaze.
Sanji paused a moment before pressing on. He slowly inhaled some breath, "I just want to know why you didn't eat them, if you think they tasted good."
Chopper calmly placed the fork on the table. In his Brain Point, Chopper looked very anxious, like a child who broke his mom's expensive chinaware and didn't want to face her reaction.
So Chopper said it bluntly. "I really don't like eating mushrooms."
"Wait, you don't?" Sanji was stumped, "but I know you've eaten the ones I've served you before. Did you not like those either?"
"No no I did! I love all your cooking Sanji—"
"So what the hell is so different about the dinner today?"
"Because I can actually see them!!" bellowed Chopper.
Sanji was taken aback at his sudden outburst. It wasn't one of his bashful dances he did when he was complimented; he was cursing something—of all things food—and he meant it. Then it occurred to him: Usually when he would apply mushrooms in the dish, they would be cut in smaller slices so it wasn't easy to tell straight off the bat that they were mushrooms, but in tonight's meal they were whole, and pretty large too. For someone who disliked mushrooms, then that meal must've really pissed him off.
Chopper saw Sanji's face for the first time that night, saw the wide look in his visible eye, and quickly shielded his mouth in case any more unnecessary things were said. Hopefully no one else heard him and wouldn't come in the room to ask what's wrong.
Sanji said nothing and brought his cigarette back to his lips. He thought about what to say as he puffed smoke. As he smoked, he took a quick glance and saw the kid with his bright pink hat hiding his low face.
Sanji took a deep breath, and as soon as he exhaled, he told Chopper courteously, "You know I don't like food being wasted. But if you tell me why you don't like mushrooms," (Because there's obviously something deep behind all of this that I don't know about), "I promise I won't get mad about you not finishing your food."
The reindeer trembled very slightly, but Sanji caught eye of it. A deep sigh emitted from Chopper's mouth. "It'll be really hard for me to talk about it, but I'll do my best," said Chopper softly, quietly, unhappily.
The blonde man showed his undivided attention by pulling up a chair to sit on; he replaced his previous blunt with another stick he pulled from his breast pocket. As he lit the new cigarette, Chopper began his tale.
Being the fast talker Chopper is, Sanji made himself listen to his story very intently without interrupting him. Chopper spoke of a man who was considered very whacky (a weird bastard in Sanji's terms) but was in fact the one responsible for him to want to become a great doctor, and not that old grandma with the belly ring. A crazy man who showed Chopper just how bizarre a human can be just by being himself. A generous man who had given him food and shelter—he who had shown the height of mercy a human can offer, because Chopper never received any similar treatment from his reindeer pack. A righteous man who had given his all to cure a country that was dying of its own poison—yet probably knew the country could not be cured—and in the end fell to a different kind of venom that showed Chopper just how vulnerable humans can be.
Chopper did not finish his story before his sensitivity bubbled uncontrollably. But he didn't need to in order for Sanji to understand. It didn't take long for Sanji to realize that Chopper felt a share of responsibility for the quack doctor's death. In fact before Chopper started reducing to sour tears, Sanji hypothesized that there was a poisonous food contribution in the story. Sanji is a chef—he knows there are such things as toxic mushrooms and other dangerous foods that can kill a person without whim.
As Chopper dropped his head forward, sobbing incessantly, Sanji set aside the dirty plates he seemed to have forgotten about midway through the story. Not before wiping his hands with a tablecloth, he reached out to rub Chopper's back as he continued to weep. Shaking cries rumbled strongly enough for Sanji to feel them through his moving hand. Sanji propped an elbow on the table for a chin-rest, and decided that he would sit on that dinner table with Chopper and continue his soothing ministrations until it was over. If Chopper wanted to he could cry his heart out, because it's not good to bottle up feelings of repentance, especially if he knows in the back of his mind that he was not to blame, and because Sanji knows what it's like to feel responsible for someone else's loss.
Maybe it's because the two of them share similar ideals of wanting to help people that makes Sanji able to identify with Chopper's pain. And maybe it's because they both believe that strength is built on the foundation of good health; after all, without good health how can one continue the strength to carry on further? And maybe it's also because when they both think about the people who touched their lives in the past, and remember they both did something to those special people that a normal person would never forgive them for (because in a way they both took away the dreams of those special people), they both get very emotional. But maybe, just maybe, it's because both of them have made indirect promises to their heroes – I will achieve your dream, because your dream is mine as well.
When the weeping toned down to just minor sniffling, the rest of the world waited for a response, so Sanji let out his deepest sigh that signaled the end of the night.
"Next time, I'll let you know when I'm going to put any mushrooms in our meals. And please, just help me by telling me if you don't want them or not."
Chopper's eyes became wetter and glossier when he saw Sanji's reassuring smile.
"I serve food to make people happy, remember?"