Title: The Placing of Blame – Chapter 2
Pairing: ZoSan
Rating: R – for swearing. They ARE pirates after all!!
Dislaimer: SO don't own. SO wish I did.
Summary: The placing of blame in a bad situation, wherein two men who barely consider themselves friends will have to learn to depend completely on each other.
Warnings: None that I can think of.

Chapter TWO


Stupid. Idiotic. Foul, annoying, brainless swordsman. Really. The man was a few peas short of a pod. If there was one thing Sanji knew about Zoro, it was that the moment he sensed a fight on the horizon, it was almost guaranteed that the man would be diving headfirst into the middle of the fray and forgetting other things that may be SLIGHTLY more important. Say, perhaps… the other people around you? What if something had happened to Nami-swan or Robin-chwan because of the swordsman's actions?

I'd boil him alive, is what. With some sage, some rosemary, and perhaps some spicy chili sauce to disguise the toughness of the meat.

The cook landed a kick square between the eyes of yet another Marine and continued grumbling to himself. Leave it to Zoro to screw everything up. All they'd needed to do was run back to the ship, as a group, and fight the attackers surrounding the Going Merry. They could have already been sailing away to freedom by now. But no. NO! A couple hundred Marines cresting over the hill, and the damn seaweed-head says "get everyone back to the ship" then dives in. Well, naturally, Luffy will want to fight, too. Sanji will feel obligated to back him up. Usopp and Chopper will high-tail it back to the ship. Nami will freeze in the middle trying to determine the best course of action. Robin won't move and inch and simply start 'clutching' men with her blossoming arms.

So they splintered off. And now Sanji found himself alone. Couldn't be helped, he supposed. The sheer number of attackers swept over them like a river and drifted the nakama apart from each other. The cook cursed loudly when the slash of a sword nearly connected. One swift round-house kick and two more Marines were filling a recently vacated spot. It wasn't even possible to pause for a second and determine his surroundings. Gah! When he saw that swordsman again…

As if fate was peeking into his inner thoughts, a familiar battle cry drifted towards him. Zoro was close. Taking a guess at the direction, Sanji took the closest Marines by surprise when he barreled right into them at a full sprint. It only took a moment to make out some recognizable katanas slashing through the air, and another moment later he was back to back with the man he'd been cursing for the last couple hours. Now, Sanji would never admit it out loud, but a great sense of relief washed over him. He'd found somebody. And it was a somebody that might take some of the pressure off him for a bit and let him recoup. The dash to find a nakama had proven to him just how tired he was becoming.

Sanji sagged against the familiar back and felt it stiffen. Not because it didn't know him, but more like because it was worried. The cook normally didn't 'sag'. It was undignified to 'sag' in front of ladies. He was only given a brief respite, however, before it was necessary to defend himself again.

Damn this situation. Damn that storm last night. Damn the stupid fool behind him. Damn it. Damnit. Dammit.

Sweat streamed into his eyes and Sanji reflexively blinked it away. A simple motion, but it nearly caused him to loose an arm. He stumbled sideways a little, and missed another swing by a fraction. This was getting bad. His eyes were burning now, and the world in turn was getting a little blurry. For a second Zoro seemed to still behind him, then come back to life with a mighty attack. Sanji tried to blink the sweat out of his eyes again.

Suddenly there was a great pain in his belly. He looked down. What on earth was a sword doing there? The world around him froze and intense agony blossomed from the wound like wildfire.

Oh. Damn.

The world tilted sideways. How odd. Then Zoro coughed violently behind him and the feel of it echoed through Sanji's body. It seemed to snap him back to himself. He'd been run through! Zoro was back-to-back with him! They'd been run through, together!

Oh. Damn.

Sanji felt his knees starting to give way. Zoro cursed behind him, but the cook was just too fascinated with the sword hilt protruding from his stomach. His mouth filled with warmth, and he didn't even attempt to stop the blood from spilling past his lips. A quick motion to his right caused him to stiffen, but a katana appeared from behind him to stop the advancing Marine.

Suddenly, he was just very, very weary. He didn't register the coughing fit spasming his body, or the man behind him trying to protect them in weakening desperation. He just wanted to sit down. Just sit. Maybe sleep a little. Unbeknownst to him, he'd even begun mumbling under his breath just exactly what he thought about swordsmen with ridiculously green hair.

Oh, hey… now the ground was much closer. Lucky! He wasn't even sure how that had happened, but his legs were stretched out before him, and there was a warm, solid pressure at his back for him to lean upon. Must be time to sleep then. Closing his eyes, Sanji let his chin rest upon his chest and tried to heave a mighty sigh. However, it only resulted in a gurgle and a new river of warmth flowing from his mouth.

An unfamiliar weight landed upon his right shoulder and someone spoke his name.

"Ne, Sanji…"

It took a monumental effort just to open his eye a fraction, but when he did it met a dark gaze only inches from his own. A dark gaze from tired, red eyes and then a smile from bloody, crooked grin.

" … you know this is all your fault right?"

And suddenly he was wide awake. Snapped to alertness and instantly aware that Zoro had just passed out, or possibly died, on his shoulder and that there were more Marines than he could count slowly inching in closer to them. The rest of his nakama were nowhere to be seen, and he had a bloody, gaping hole (with sword attached) in his belly.

Well . . . damn.

Reaching into his pocket, the cook pulled out a slightly crumpled cigarette, placed it between his lips and flicked his lighter to life. Tucking the small case back into his pocket, he took a long drag, and then allowed his own head to fall back and rest against the broad shoulder behind him.

"Idiot, brain-dead swordsman … this is all YOUR fault."