Zoro was dreaming.
He was on a tall cliff overlooking brilliant seashore. A soft sea-scented breeze ruffled Zoro's characteristic green hair as the setting sun splayed red across the horizon. Zoro smiled contentedly running hand along the hilts of his swords and sighing.
A sound to his left dragged Zoro out of his stupor and he turned to glare at the culprit. Zoro was greeted with the familiar form of the "Ero Love Cook" and the scent of cigarette smoke. It surprised Zoro to see Sanji looking, not at him, but past him at the sunset, with the same serene expression the swordsman had worn earlier. The wind picked up and Sanji's hand moved to his head to keep the golden strands covering the left side of his face.
Zoro's frown deepened as he realized that the cook was going to do nothing but admire the surroundings. Had he wanted a fight, Zoro would've complied wholeheartedly. But he wasn't going to stand around watching the grass grow if it was in this bastards company.
The crap cook had a lot more to offer in a fight.
Zoro noticed that he had been staring at Sanji longer than what was socially acceptable and he averted his eyes to the dark forest behind the cook. Zoro took a few steps past Sanji, deciding to head back to the other crewmembers, but not before stealing a glance back at the horizon. Zoro was greeted with the sight of Sanji's cerulean gaze fixed on his own, and a gentle smile on his lips. Zoro's breath caught in his throat and he felt his heart flutter oddly.
But then, Zoro couldn't breathe and he felt himself gasping. The feeling intensified until Zoro was no longer seeing Sanji but rather a grinning Luffy with two of his fingers lodged up Zoro's nose and the other hand over the previously sleeping mans mouth. Zoro snorted angrily as he tried to draw a breath and Luffy withdrew his hands giggling.
"What the hell were you doing idiot?!" Zoro snapped at the captain after regaining his breath.
Luffy was too busy giggling to reply but then he stopped to look, frowning, at his hand.
"Ewww… Zoro's boogers are on me."
The rubber boy then proceeded to wipe his hands on Zoro's pants.
"Don't do that idiot!" Zoro yelled and bopped Luffy on the head.
"If you guys are done being idiots, I came to tell you that dinner is ready." Nami's voice called from outside the kitchen.
Luffy was gone in that instant, leaving Zoro to look bewildered at the empty space that was no longer occupied by his captain. Shaking his head Zoro trudged up the stairs to accompany his nakama to a meal, hoping to get there before Luffy devoured all the meat.
Sanji had just finished plating the fish curry and rice on each of his nakama's plates, making sure that the plates reserved for his Nami-swan and Robin-chwan were especially aesthetic looking and tasteful. He inhaled the spicy fumes from the meal and hoped it would not be too much for the ladies, though Sanji had tasted the sauce and it matched his pallet. Sanji's chest swelled while imagining the remarks the ladies would give him and how the slight heat of the dish would make their cheeks pink.
At the thought Sanji wiggled a bit and bent to pick up the tray of food, but was stopped by a sharp pain in his back. 'Not again…' The cook sucked air sharply through his teeth, paused, and then straightened his back slowly. Cursing under his breath, Sanji reached again and managed to pick up the tray, this time ignoring the pain shooting up his spine. Hands trembling a bit, he placed the food on the table by the time Luffy burst in followed shortly by the rest of the crew.
"YEA FOOD!" Luffy launched himself at the plate nearest him and dug in.
"Ah, Nami-swan! Robin-chwan! Your plates are right here." Sanji indicated two spaces at the end of the table.
He received his thanks from the ladies as they were seated, which he returned with 'not at alls' and many hearts, and went to fetch a citrus beverage he had made earlier for Robin and Nami. The cook's heart sank when he saw the drink was located several inches below his reach in the ice box.
Gritting his teeth, Sanji stifled his sounds of pain while bending over to pick the pitcher up. He grabbed it and straightened his spine carefully and carried it back to the table. Sanji filled the girl's glasses, making sure he showed none of his pain. It wouldn't do to show weakness around his nakama. Sanji just hoped his back pain would stop by tomorrow, the one thing he hated was to be made helpless. Well, that and the idiot swordsman.
Luffy and Usopp were eating their meals noisily while Chopper ate calmly a vegetable dish Sanji had prepared him. The young ladies were talking pleasantly amongst themselves and thanking Sanji for the drinks. Sanji looked over to Zoro to see coal eyes staring back with a blank expression. It pissed him off. What the hell was his problem anyway? Sanji glared at the marimo before sitting down carefully, so as not to aggravate his back pain, and finally started eating his curry dinner.
Zoro lay in his hammock hearing the cook toss and turn beneath him. The rest of the crew was asleep and the swordsman was only awake because a certain love cook refused to lie still, which was not only odd because Zoro could normally sleep through anything, but because it was also odd that Sanji would even be up this late. He slept like a damn rock (Not that Zoro should be talking).
Zoro thought about how Sanji was acting earlier that evening, 'He was carrying himself weirdly, like he was protecting an injury or something. He was not nearly as loud about Nami and Robin as he usually is at dinner.' Zoro rubbed his face with his hands as Sanji again fidgeted beneath him. 'He'll get over it. I don't even know why I'm worrying about it anyway. It's probably nothing.'
But Sanji was having a rough time.
He was in agony. The cook felt as if someone was deliberately taking a sledgehammer to his spine. Every movement made him have to bite his lip to stifle a cry of pain… and he was just so damn tired.
'I need a cigarette…' Sanji sighed before carefully inching his legs over the side of his hammock. It was a good thing he got the one on the bottom, Sanji thought he would have died trying to get into or out of the thing. 'Look at the great Sanji Blackleg now. It used to be that I could take out dozens of marines with just a single kick. Now I can hardly get out of a stupid hammock.'
Standing up, Sanji gritted his teeth as his back stung painfully, just to spite him it seemed. He then started making his painful journey up the stairs to the deck.
He didn't hear the footsteps following quietly behind him.
Gold earrings jingled quietly as Zoro tread up the stairs after the cook. He was going to find out what was wrong with the bastard, and then maybe he could actually get some sleep tonight.
Coming out from below deck Zoro spotted Sanji leaning heavily against the railing, blowing smoke towards the dark sky. Not wanting to startle the cook, Zoro approached him with footsteps loud enough to be heard and cleared his throat.
Sanji turned to look at him with a bored look. "What the hell are you doing out here Marimo?"
Zoro paused. What was he supposed to say?
"If you are here to annoy me… don't. I don't want any of your shit right now, so leave me alone." Sanji turned to look back at the stars with an expression that was suspiciously like a pout.
Zoro could feel his blood start to boil. "Well excuse me for coming to see what was wrong with you! I didn't think you'd turn all pissy on me." He turned away from the cook and started walking back.
"Who ever said anything was wrong with me!? It's your own damn fault for following me like some stalker."
Zoro kept walking. It probably wouldn't do to aggravate Sanji any further if the idiot was hurt.
"Listen to me when I am talking to you, bastard." Sanji then completely forgot his injury and charged after the swordsman, lifting his leg to kick him. A blinding pain consumed the cook's torso and he collapsed to the ground.
Zoro looked behind him to see Sanji fall, the cook's face contorted into an expression of agony.
"H-Hey, Sanji. What's wrong with you?" So the cook was injured after all. Zoro knelt down beside him, brow furrowed. "Where are you hurt?"
Sanji's chest was heaving as he panted for air. "My… my back", he swallowed and tried to calm his breathing. "It hurts like a bitch..."
"Idiot." Sanji's cigarette lay on the deck. Zoro smashed it with his finger. "Why didn't you go to Chopper?"
Sanji didn't answer. He tried to get up but Zoro put his hand on Sanji's chest to keep him down. If the cook was too prideful to see a doctor, then Zoro would have to do this himself.
"Turn over." Zoro commanded.
The cook deadpanned. "…What?"
"I am going to massage your back, idiot." Zoro felt the urge to face-palm.
Sanji still looked doubtful.
"Don't worry I am experienced with this type of thing. Surely you can trust your own nakama…" Zoro's eyes bore purposefully into Sanji's cerulean.
The cook hesitated and eyed Zoro suspiciously before flipping himself over slowly. "I never thought I'd ever trust myself to you, marimo. Let alone, let you do this."
Zoro snorted, "Never thought you'd have to, Love Cook."
The cook decided that it was okay for Zoro to do this. Besides it was kind of nice to not be fighting for once.
"I need to take off your shirt." Zoro said, lifting the fabric up to the cook's arms. "Can you lift your arms?"
"Yeah…" Sanji felt his cheeks flush as he put his arms above his head. It was odd for a man to be undressing him, even if it was just Zoro.
Zoro saw that Sanji was getting uncomfortable. "Don't worry. I'll be gentle." The swordsman teased, smirking.
"S-Shut up, Idiot and just get it over with!"
And so Zoro set to work on Sanji's muscles, starting with light pressure and gradually adding more when he thought the cook could handle it.
Sanji was in bliss. It had hurt initially, but it wore off. He felt all the pain of the last few weeks start to drain from him and after ten minutes of Zoro's callused hands on his back the cook felt like he had melted into a puddle of goo. As a result it made him want to release a variety of sounds that managed to stick in his throat, especially when Zoro massaged a particularly sore part of him.
"Hey Cook?" Zoro's baritone permeated the comfortable silence.
"Hmm…?" It came out as a groan.
"How'd you get these bruises?" Zoro's hands lightly grazed his sides giving Sanji goose bumps as he repressed a shutter.
"Mmm? Oh. It was a lucky strike from an idiot marine a few weeks back." Sanji said feeling a little drunk.
"Taking an awfully long time to heal aren't they?" Zoro's hands resumed their previous positions on Sanji's back.
"Wouldn't know…" Sanji let out a drawn out exhale.
Zoro continued his ministrations on Sanji's loosening back muscles for about thirty more minutes until he felt the cook's muscles were loose enough.
"How do you feel?" Zoro watched Sanji sit up and roll his shoulders and bend his spine a bit.
"Incredible… What ever you did, I feel almost no pain." Sanji grinned ecstatic that he was no longer burdened from his injury.
"Told you so." Zoro gave Sanji a smug grin. "You cracked some ribs. That's why your back hurt so much. Well, that and the fact that a hammock is not the best thing for a person's back to rest in."
Sanji looked puzzled. "Why the hell would cracked ribs give me a backache?"
"Your muscles around an injury like that tend to tense up. I'm not surprised you were hurting as bad as you were." Zoro explained.
"Oh." Sanji was impressed with how much Zoro knew about injuries, well, it wasn't surprising, seeing how much the buffoon liked to get himself hurt. 'I guess Zoro isn't all bad… He's actually pretty nice… I guess. I should thank him.'
"Uh… Thank you, Marimo." Sanji smiled kindly at him.
'He's smiling just like he was in my dream.' Zoro's cheeks flushed and he felt his heart beat faster. He tried to distract himself by handing Sanji his shirt. "Ah… Don't mention it."
To be Continued.
So…? Was it too entirely dreadful?
Although I am reluctant to admit this, this is my first yaoi fanfiction and the first story I have posted on . I would love a review from you as much as Luffy loves meat (A LOT).
Disclaimer: I do not own One Piece, but Zoro and Sanji can own each other as much as they want.