~Hello, people, this is just a small one-shot I wrote, mostly to distract my mind from the exams that are coming up. It could be light Sanji x Zoro, Shounen ai, or just friendship, whichever you prefer! Say whatever you want, but those two are really cute together! :3
So, yeah… hope you enjoy the story! ^^
Disclaimer: I do not own One Piece or any of it's characters!
The velvet night sky hung like a comforting blanket over the still ocean, and the nearly full moon and the starlight was the only light that fell on the single ship anchored not far away from the unpopulated island. It was the only shape to break the image of the seemingly endless, vast ocean
The flag on the ship would occasionally lift to the soft breeze passing by, giving away the grinning skull-shape, topped with a straw hat. Out here, there was no one to chase the ship's inhabitants, however, as no one else were around to care.
No movement could be seen on the ship, which was quiet. The sun was still a couple of hours away from dawn, which meant a while longer with peacefulness, as opposed to the activity that was usually rising with the sun.
A soft yawn broke the silence, as a person quietly stepped up on deck, stretching sleepily, eyes still a bit unfocused with sleep. Zoro moved swiftly across the wooden boards of the small but sturdy ship that had carried the crew of the infamous straw-hat-pirates through many an adventure.
He wasn't exactly sure what had awoken him at such an early time, as the swordsman was usually the one to sleep the longest, even though he often moved up on deck when the sun rose, only to sit down and fall asleep again.
Drawing a hand through his short, strangely green hair, he made his way to the galley to have a glass of water. A soft sound suddenly broke of his stride and he stopped, eyebrows furrowing just slightly as he could tell the sound came from the back of the ship.
It sounded as though someone were singing softly…
He wasn't even aware that his feet seemed to move against his will, back towards the back of the ship, curiosity perked by the unusual sound. Sure, song and music wasn't unusual on the lively ship, but nothing like this.
As he got closer, he managed to make out the words in what sounded to be a lullaby of sorts. A shiver went up his spine, involuntarily, as he stopped a bit away from where the sound came from, listening to the mournful, solemn tone of the melody and the gentleness of the voice.
Stepping a bit closer, careful not to make a sound in fear of breaking the spell of the song, he finally was close enough to see just who it was. He might have a deep and rough voice when talking, and an astoundingly foul mouth, but Sanji was a very good singer, even Zoro had to admit as much.
The swordsman wasn't sure whether he should make some sort of snide comment that would make things go back to normal again – he didn't quite like the way the music seemed to fill his entire being with it's peaceful yet sad mood, like a hypnotizing spell – or if he should just retreat silently and pretend he hadn't heard anything.
As he stood there, hardly daring to breathe, pondering about the dilemma, he didn't notice that the melody had stopped and that the visible of Sanji's eyes gazed at him as the cook's golden blonde hair shifted slightly in the breath of wind, which seemed to carry the magic away, leaving behind only a slight trace of it to linger over the two men, neither moving from their positions.
"You can sing." The statement sounded almost like his normal, indifferent tone, but not quite the same, as Zoro met Sanji's gaze evenly, his own dark eyes showing the slight awe his face and pride would never be able to show.
"I guess…" Sanji's voice was also the same as usual, almost. He shrugged, turning back to lean on the railing like he had before. Zoro felt just a tiny bit of the magic he'd felt before return, as he let his eyes take in the lanky shape, the pale skin and the golden hair of the man before him.
Despite all his creativity when coming up with insulting nicknames for the man he seemed to constantly bicker with, the only word that came to mind at the moment was…
"Beautiful…" his eyes widened slightly as he realized, too late that the word had escaped his lips before he had even registered the absurd direction his thoughts had leapt. Sanji had tensed and then slowly turned to look at him again, blue eye slightly wider than usual, filled with confusion, surprise and something else Zoro couldn't define.
"Um… the song I mean… a bit depressive but… not half bad, really… you know…"
Zoro could feel his heart beat wildly behind his chest, and for the second time that night, he had to remind himself to breathe, cursing himself inwardly and also praying that Sanji didn't see the persisting blush creeping up on his cheeks as he shifted his eyes out on the horizon.
"It's a lullaby… my mother used to sing it for me," Sanji said quietly, eyes resting on Zoro for a bit, before turning back.
"Never thought you to be sentimental," Zoro commented, though it didn't sound as accusing or insulting as it normally would.
A simple shrug was the only reply from the cook as he pulled a cigarette from his pack and putting it between his lips, lighting the tip. Zoro watched with a strange sensation in his chest as the other man released a puff of smoke before turning back to meet his eyes yet again.
The swordsman's feet yet again seemed to betray him, carrying him over to stand by the railing, only a few feet away from the blonde. Close enough to smell the tobacco and the distinct scent of rain. Sanji's scent.
He wasn't sure exactly when he'd started noticing how the cook smelt, but he supposed it didn't matter.
Gazing to his side, he saw that Sanji had a distant expression in his visible eye, and a small smile resting on his lips. He looked so serene and calm. Zoro didn't realize he was staring until Sanji shifted slightly to look at him questioningly.
He was close enough to touch, and Zoro felt a strange urge to reach out and find out if the cook's pale skin really was as smooth and flawless as it seemed in the dim light of the countless stars…
His train of thoughts surprised and unnerved him as he tried to look away, only finding that he was unable to break from the seemingly bottomless blue eye meeting his, filled with wonder.
The word didn't break from his lips this time, but when Sanji smiled softly, almost shyly, it felt as though he had caught the unspoken compliment anyway.
"Hey, um… if you want to… you know, sing more… I didn't disturb you, did I?" Zoro stumbled across his words, feeling a bit stupid as he scratched his head awkwardly.
"Is that your backwards way of saying 'I like your singing, could you please sing more'?" Sanji asked, but in stead of the cocky smirk Zoro expected, the smile crossing his lips now was candid, and a soft chuckle broke from the blonde's lips, being caught by the breeze and carried away.
"So, what if it is," Zoro muttered, a bit embarrassed. "But if you don't want to sing now that you have an audience, I could always head back," he started to leave, but a hand moved out and grabbed his, almost on reflex.
"No, I… I don't mind if you stay."
Zoro moved back to lean against the railing, and involuntarily closed his eyes as the soft, velvet voice of his companion broke the quiet night yet again, floating with the wind, straight through his heart.
Yes, there really was only one word to describe the unearthly magic of the sound and the man making it.
Sanji glanced at him, and he figured he could get used to uttering the unfamiliar word, if it meant he'd be on the receiving end of the blonde's brilliant smile.
"Pretty damn beautiful…"