Authors Note: Here is the first chapter. It is now betad!
Author's Thanks: Thank You Mai Lindal for all the help.
Disclaimer: I don't own One Piece or any of the charters in this story.
Swords Clash with Food
The heat of hate is the passion in rain.
Rain fell, thunder crashed, and lighting shone throughout the sky. Everyone on the Going Merry was running back and forth, keeping the small boat steady on the rough waters of the Grand Line. Nami the navigator was shouting orders from left to right. The boys were running back and forth on the deck, following each order the best they could. Even Luffy was trying to help, though often getting himself into trouble. Often Sanji or Zoro would have to grab the rubber man before he'd fall into the ocean.
After the storm had stopped and Nami said it was all right for all of them to go to bed, and for Sanji to go on look out, another storm started. Sanji and Zoro went into one of their own fights, the cook and swordsman forehead to forehead spitting insults back and forth before going into a ruthless battle. Even as the fighting started no one paid any attention to it. Nami had told all of them to go to bed and reminded Sanji once more it was his night on watch.
Neither of the men paid much attention as a black boot hit a silver blade. The clash was hard and sent the cook back into the wall with a loud thud. Zoro spread his arms, his swords separating and he charged towards Sanji once again. Sanji quickly blocked the attack by putting up his right knee.
Zoro pushed forward when his swords hit Sanji's leg and Sanji pushed back. Both men were glaring hard at the other, both angry with looks that said murder. Both hearts were pounding, and their temperature rising.
"I hate you," they shouted at the same time, foreheads pushing harder together.
Thunder crashed just then and everything went pitch black. The only thing heard from the two pirates was their heavy breathing. The lighting lit up the sky, and the shadow of limbs tangling, and two bodies falling to the floor could be seen on the galley wall. Neither man knew what had happened but neither cared at that moment.
A month has passed since that night, and no words have been spoken about what happened since the morning after. When the two realized what had happened between them, they told each other they wouldn't ever talk about it. The morning after the only hint that the two did do anything was the slight limp in Sanji's walk that existed most of the day. Zoro had asked him if he was all right and Sanji had nodded, saying it was fine; ever since the two hadn't said a word about it.
It wasn't that they didn't want to talk what had happened that night; but that neither knew how to go by it. Their opinions of the matter were different. Zoro was scared to even approach Sanji on the subject. When he realized how much pain the cook was in the day after he had wondered if he'd forced the cook into it without realizing. Therefore he thought Sanji hated him more than ever, and because of that Zoro walked on eggshells around the cook, though it was not so noticeable to the crew.
Sanji was a completely different story. He accepted that he was indeed attracted to the swordsman, but confused about his feelings. He knew he liked Zoro more than just as a nakama, but still had feelings for his Nami-swan. He had thought it would be best to talk to Zoro about what had happened when he was sure about his feelings and what was going on. A part of him hoped that Zoro would just talk to him about it so he would know how the other man felt before speaking up himself. Zoro was still being Zoro, though, the only difference in his behavior was that he was being a tad more helpful to the cook when needed, other than that he was still as stubborn as ever.
Now Sanji stood in the kitchen, preparing lunch for the crew. Usopp was also in the room, but at his workstation and out of Sanji's way. Zoro was there too, drinking some sake and, oddly, watching Usopp tinker with one of his gadgets. Other than the few clanks and clings Usopp was making it was decent and quiet in the kitchen, just the way Sanji liked it. Sanji, however, wondered why Zoro was in the kitchen with them. He was used to Usopp there tinkering around lunch time, but it was odd for Zoro to be there when he could be training or sleeping. Not that Sanji minded the fact Zoro was there. As long as the Marimo kept quiet and didn't bother him, he was fine. Conversation was open if the swordsman or Usopp chose to speak. Then he realized how quiet it was.
"Oi, either of you realize how quiet it is?" Sanji said, looking over his shoulder to glance at his two nakama.
Zoro glanced back at him, wondering what he was talking about. "What of it?"
Usopp looked up from his work and glanced at the two. He thought for a moment until he realized what Sanji had meant, just as Zoro did. "Luffy…."
"Luffy," Zoro repeated.
Sanji just nodded at the two and turned back to his chopping of vegetables. "Why don't one of you go see what he is doing? I would hate if he'd be bothering Nami-swan or Robin-chwan."
Zoro sighed. He hated when he talked about the ladies like that but knew the cook was right. He slowly stood up, grabbing his bottle of booze, and waved a hand. "I'll go see." And with that, he left the room without any argument.
Sanji watched as Zoro walked out and frowned. A part of him was hoping Usopp would be the one going, but seeing that if Luffy was stuck under Zoro's weights again or had gone overboard, Zoro was the better one for the job. Shrugging off his slight disappointment, he went back to the cooking.
After Zoro found Luffy, who was surprisingly out of trouble and with Chopper playing one of their games, he was going to go back to the kitchen and drink his booze, as everything was all right, but stopped and turned to his training instead.
It wasn't that he didn't want to go into the kitchen and sit in the warmth, away from the harsh winds that had been passing by all day, but that he wasn't sure if it was a smart idea to spend more time with the shit cook than necessary. Things still didn't seem clear about what happened a month a go, hell, he wasn't even sure what was going on or how he felt towards Sanji. No, it was better if he stayed outside and continued with his training.
"Swordsman-san," Robin called from across the deck. She had been watching Zoro lately and noticed the confused expressions he made at odd times during the day. She had also noticed the odd way he'd been acting and it worried her. She wasn't sure why Zoro was acting slightly off and was surprised no one else noticed. Then again she wasn't like the rest of the crew. She always looked more into things than the others. It was a habit she had had since she was a kid.
Zoro glanced over at the woman and frowned. He slowly placed his dumbbell back to the floor and walked on over to her. "What is it?" he asked, hoping she didn't want him to do a stupid task as Nami would. Then he remembered Robin wasn't like the witch. She was more serious than the navigator. If she wanted something it might be something serious, actually needing help or something else.
Robin smiled. "Would you like to sit and talk with me?" she asked, moving to the small tea table on the deck she and Nami usually sat at together.
Zoro stared at her and glared, though he followed the woman with a deep sigh and sat down across from her. He had an odd feeling about this and wondered what she was trying to do. Sitting down, he watched her with a stern look. "What do you want?"
Robin however continued to smile and motioned to the small coffee pot she had next to her. "Would you like some?"
Zoro shook his head. "I don't like that shit. I'd rather have booze," he said, folding his arms over his chest and watching Robin carefully. "Well?"
Robin sighed; she knew she wouldn't be able to beat around the bush with Zoro. She would have to tell him straight out. Unlike the other men on the ship, Zoro was often serious and was careful when getting into things. "Well, Swordsman-san, I couldn't help but notice that lately you've been acting slightly… off."
Zoro raised a brow in question. "Off? What the hell are you talking about? I haven't been acting off."
Robin shook her head, taking a sip of her coffee. "What I mean, Swordsman-san, is that I noticed you've seemed to be confused, like if something's bothering you?"
Zoro stared at her for a long moment. He was going to say something but stopped, sitting back and staring again. Does she know something she isn't suppose to know? Did she… No! She couldn't have... could she? he thought and sighed. "Nothing's bothering me… why? Do you know something that I don't?"
Robin shook her head. "No, I just couldn't help but notice that you've seemed a bit confused and as if you were mulling over something. Acting a bit weird around Cook-san like you two had had an argument and were trying to hide it."
Zoro shook his head. "Oi! Shit cook and I… no, there is nothing like that…" Zoro sighed and ran a hand through his hair. He knew he was stuttering and wasn't sure how to explain himself. How was he supposed to tell the woman that she was half right and what really happened was that he might've taken advantage of the cook through his anger? "Look, it doesn't have anything to do with arguing with the cook. It's just I don't know… I'm bored I guess. He hasn't been arguing with me and it kind of sucks… I guess," he lied. Well, half lied, he and the cook hadn't been fighting as much lately and he was getting bored because of it… but there was a lot more to it than just that.
Robin had watched him as he pondered on what to say. To her it seemed that she was right, that Zoro and Sanji had had some odd argument and Zoro did not want to talk to anyone about it. "Then why don't you talk to Cook-san about it?"
Zoro's eyes widened at the sudden suggestion and started laughing. "No!" he blurted out when he had calmed down. "I can't do it, it's out of the question. If he wants to talk to me about why he isn't fighting with me, then he can. I am not going to talk to him," he said, standing up and running a hand through his hair once more. "Well, if that is all, I'm going back to my training."
Robin was a bit shocked by his reaction but it also proved her point. Something did happen between Sanji and Zoro and it was bothering the swordsman. Sighing to herself she took another sip of her coffee and watched as Zoro once again picked up his weights. She couldn't help but wonder what it was that was bothering him and knew the only thing she could do now was to talk to Cook-san herself. And if that didn't work she was going to need some help and she knew the perfect person to go to for that. She glanced over at the navigator and smiled.
Two hours had passed since Zoro spoke to Robin and he wondered how the woman knew something was bothering him. Was he that obvious? He didn't think he was, then again he had been thinking a lot more and doing less training. So it could be that she did expect something…. He sighed again and closed his eyes. He needed a nap, this thing was giving him a headache. Dropping his weights down on the deck Zoro made his way over to the mast. He took his swords from where they were fastened to the haramaki, sat down and laid them besides him.
Zoro hadn't been sleeping for a long time when he heard a loud crash followed by a stream of curses. He opened his eyes and glanced around, seeing Sanji where he had trained before, holding his right foot and surrounded by his weights. My weights…. "Shit! My weights," he cursed, scurried to his feet and ran over to Sanji.
"Your weights!? What about me! I'm the one who nearly killed myself falling over them, you shitty swordsman," Sanji cursed and hissed at the pain in his foot.
"I'm sorry," Zoro started. He didn't mean for Sanji to trip over his weights but because he had he was worried. He was still trying to stay on the cook's good side and knowing the cook fell over his weights was one thing, but acting like he was more worried about his weights was another. The anger, however, took over him before he could even think about what he was saying. "But if YOU watched where you were going, then you wouldn't have tripped, Aho-Cook!"
Sanji glared at Zoro and stood up, only to yelp at the pain in his foot. "Fuck you! If you didn't just throw your damn weights around and put them somewhere nice and neat, this wouldn't happen!"
Zoro growled but his anger changed into concern when he watched Sanji try and stand by himself. "Look, I'm sorry, let me help you to Chopper then," he said and gently grabbed Sanji's arm.
Sanji, however, pushed him away. "Don't touch me! I can do it myself," he shouted and started to make his way towards the kitchen. He knew he wouldn't be able to make it to Chopper by himself and thought it was better if he could get Usopp to get the doctor instead.
Zoro sighed and rubbed the back of his head. "What the hell did I do?" he asked himself. He turned to the opposed deck where he seen Luffy and Chopper still enjoying there game. "Oi, Chopper," he called, just as Usopp came out of the galley.
Chopper jumped with a start when hearing his name and glanced at Zoro. "Yes, Zoro?"
"The cook wants you," Zoro answered and grabbed Usopp by the shoulder before he could go and join Luffy. "Usopp, I need a favor…" he said to the sharpshooter, letting go of his arm.
After Chopper made his way into the kitchen Luffy bounced over to Usopp and Zoro wondering what his nakama were doing about. "Hey, Zoro, why are you hogging Usopp? If you want to play you can!"
Zoro shook his head. "No, I need a favor from him," he said to his captain and turned back to Usopp. "You think you can make me some type of a stand to put my weights on so people won't be tripping over them all the time like the shit cook?"
Usopp and Luffy blinked at Zoro, wondering what he was talking about. "A stand?" Usopp asked and glanced at Luffy who just shrugged.
Zoro sighed in frustration. "Yeah, you know, something I can put them on so they won't be all over the place all the time. Not the real large ones of course but my dumbbells and smaller weights."
Usopp smiled and pointed a thumb at his chest. "Of course, the great captain Usopp can do that! That will be easy! I'll get right to it!"
Zoro grinned. "Thanks."
Later that afternoon, when everyone had had lunch and was back to doing their own things, Sanji decided to take a break from the kitchen and go have a cigarette. He grabbed a plate of cupcakes, wincing when he put his weight on his left foot and cursing. Chopper had said it was only sprained but it hurt worse than when he broke it. "I could kill him…" Sanji said to himself, thinking about the Marimo. "Damn him and his weights! He didn't even care that I got hurt," Sanji said under his breath as he limped out of the kitchen and onto the deck.
Sanji wanted to give the lovely ladies their dessert before going on his break. He glanced around the area first, making sure no weights or sleeping bodies were in his way, then smiled as he limbed over to his lovely Nami-swan. "Nami-swan! I have snacks for you!"
Nami looked up from the newspaper she was reading and glanced at the approaching Sanji. She smiled her sweet smile she gave Sanji when he did something for her or if she wanted something. "Thank you, Sanji-kun," she said taking the offered cupcake and hot coco. She glanced at Sanji and grinned. "Sanji-kun, can I ask you to do something for me?"
Sanji's eyes became hearts and he stepped closer to her, being careful with his feet. "What's it, my lovely angel?"
Nami's grin grew wider as she brought a finger under his chin and stroked it gently. "Can you carry my equipment down into my room and put them on the top shelf for me? I would do it myself, but it's far too heavy for me to carry…" she said, batting her eyes and moving closer to him.
Sanji blushed and he spun around on his good foot. "Right away, my angel," he said, grabbing the box and lifting it right off the ground. He yelped in pain from putting too much weight on his foot and swallowed. Nami watched in concern.
"You all right, Sanji-kun?" she asked, sitting up.
Sanji nodded. "Oh, how happy it makes me feel to know that you are worried about me, yes, I am fine, my sweet, I just hurt my foot before when I fell over the shitty swordsman's weights. But I assure you it won't stop me from doing this task of love," and with that he limped away, hearts still zooming in his eyes.
As he stepped away from the smiling Nami, he noticed Zoro and Usopp working together on something odd and that all of Zoro's weights were piled up next to them. He thought it was an odd sight to see. Zoro never helped Usopp with his projects. He was glad, though, to see that Zoro had piled his weights together and that they were not strewn all over the place.
Zoro glanced at Sanji as he passed, carrying Nami's box. He watched the cook's retreating back and sighed heavily. Sanji was a hopeless case when it came to women, namely their navigator. Zoro knew that even if Sanji was half dead he would still do Nami's bidding. It pissed Zoro off each time he saw it. He hated when Nami treated Sanji that way and he wondered why Sanji fell for it every time. Why didn't he see that Nami didn't see him the same way he saw her? Hell, he didn't even think Sanji saw her that way, not truly, he had always thought it was the cook's high hormones talking rather than he himself.
"Oi, Zoro," Usopp shouted, getting Zoro's attention. Zoro glanced at the long-nosed man and remembered what he was supposed to be doing. "Don't fall asleep, Zoro, we're almost finished. Hand me another nail, please."
Zoro blinked a few times before nodding and handing Usopp another nail, watching as the sharpshooter went back to work. The damn cook better be thankful for what he was doing. Normally he wouldn't do anything of this sort for the blond, but after what had happened earlier he felt that he had no choice.
Robin and Nami sat together on the deck in their lounge chairs, enjoying some quiet time and girl bonding. It was then Robin decided to bring up her conversation with Zoro to the navigator. "Navigator-san…" she said, putting her book down and glancing at the younger woman, smiling.
"Yes," Nami said, noticing the smile and knew instantly what it meant. Robin was planning something and it was about one of their crewmates. She liked where this was going already.
"Have you noticed anything about Swordsman-san lately?" Robin started, glancing over at the green-haired man as he worked next to Usopp. Nami followed her gaze and then glanced back at the older woman in question.
"Yeah, I think he's been a bit lazier. Not to mention, when does he help Usopp with one of his inventions?" the navigator said, watching Zoro hand Usopp another block of wood.
Robin's smile grew as she took a sip of her coffee. "He is helping Long-Nose-kun because the thing they are making is for him," she said, catching Nami's eye.
Nami stared at Robin with a twinkle in her eyes. "Robin, tell me what you know. What is Zoro doing and why is he doing it?"
Robin chuckled and watched Zoro for a moment. Nami had acted just as she thought she would and she couldn't be more delighted. She turned back to the navigator. "Well, I had a talk with him earlier and I have an idea what it could be, but I don't understand why that would be bothering him."
"Robin, don't beat around the bush and tell me what it is already," Nami said a bit louder than she attended to causing glances from the four crew-members that were on deck. Nami blinked and turned to them all. "Mind your own business! Luffy, go make sure Sanji isn't sniffing mine or Robin's underwear."
"YOSH!" the caption said and ran downstairs to the girl's bunk. Nami sighed and turned back to Robin with a huff.
"Okay, now tell me what you know," she said again, looking around to make sure no one was listing.
Robin smiled. "Well, Navigator-san, it appears to me that Cook-san and Swordsman-san have had some sort of a fight that crossed some lines and now the two aren't on the best of terms. It seems to me that Swordsman-san wants to apologize to Cook-san but he is too stubborn to do it, and Cook-san won't even acknowledge that whatever it is happened, like if it never did," she explained, sipping once again off her coffee.
Nami leaned back in her chair, crossing her legs and smiling. "So it looks like those two idiots are friends after all even though they deny it. Boys are so dumb. So that's why Zoro continues to hang around the kitchen yet away from Sanji-kun? Because he wants to apologize over some stupid fight but Sanji-kun won't listen," she thought for a moment and shook her head. "My theory is that Zoro and Sanji-kun had some weird fight that turned into something more serious, and a fight of course followed and the two said something, or more like Zoro DID something that he didn't mean and Sanji took it the wrong way. Zoro and Sanji-kun tried to talk about it but in the end Sanji-kun said it was nothing, but it was really because their little rivalry slowed down and now both are bored and too stubborn to do anything about it."
Robin nodded. "That's my thought exactly. Now, my question is what were they arguing about?"
Nami nodded. "Robin, do you know when this all started?"
Robin thought for a moment trying to remember when Zoro started acting strange. "I believe it's been about a month. The night we had that harsh thunderstorm. The night Swordsman-san took over Cook-san's watch."
"It must have been the fight they started right after the storm calmed then. We all thought it was just a normal fight and now it turned out to be something more…."
Robin nodded and glanced at Zoro and Usopp for a moment. She watched as Zoro cursed at Usopp for slamming the hammer on his hand and Chopper running over to take care of the damage. "Yes, I guess it was. I talked to Swordsman-san about it, but he said it wasn't anything about a fight with Cook-san."
"So it's up to us to try and get it out of Sanji-kun," Nami said, finishing Robin's thought and smiled a wicked grin. "That should be easy on our half. Sanji is a sucker for girls."
Robin nodded. "Namely you," her smile matched Nami's and both girls weren't into soft chuckles.
Sanji had little problem getting the box on the right shelf in Nami's room. He was just about to leave when Luffy bounced in, knocking him over and onto the floor, the rubber man falling on top of him. Sanji groaned and stared up at his Caption's wide eyes. "Oi, Luffy, what the hell do you think you are doing running into Nami-san's room without permission?"
Luffy laughed. "But I have permission, Sanji. Nami told me to come down here to sniff her panties with you!"
Sanji's eyes widened when he heard that and nearly had a nosebleed just thinking about it. "What, what do you mean? She didn't say that, did she?" he said, forgetting that Luffy was still on top of him.
Luffy laughed. "Nah, I just wanted to see what you would do! She wanted me to make sure you weren't sniffing her panties and I'm supposed to stop you if you do," the rubber man said with a wide smile.
Sanji sighed and pushed Luffy off of him so he could sit up. "I wasn't, I was doing as Nami-san said and put her box back onto the shelf. I would never disgrace my flower!"
Luffy blinked. "So you don't want Nami to take your virginity?" he said, jamming his pinky up his nose and smiling.
Sanji's eyes widened and his face reddened in anger. "Luffy! Don't talk about Nami-swan like that! And I'll tell you I lost my virginity a while ago!"
Luffy's eyes sparkled. "Really!? To who!?"
Sanji stood up, ignoring the pain in his foot. He straightened his jacket and tie and glared at Luffy. "That's not your business," he said coolly, anger oozing out the tip of his tongue.
"Awe, but Sanji! Captain's orders! Tell me I want to know!" Luffy whined.
Sanji stopped in his tracks, glancing back at his captain. Man, didn't he hate when Luffy used those words, 'Captains orders', it always meant that everyone on the ship had to listen, no matter what. Unless he figured a way to weasel out of it. "Uh, Luffy, how about I make you some extra meat instead?"
Luffy's mouth watered. "Okay, but you still have to tell me," the captain demanded, bouncing up and down. "After we have some meat!"
Sanji sighed and stared at Luffy. How was he suppose to tell his captain that he had lost his virginity to a certain green-haired swordsman only a month a go and was still unsure about it all. Sighing heavily Sanji lead the way out of the girl's room and into the kitchen. Now he realized that he still hadn't gotten a chance to have his cigarette break.