Disclaimer: I own nothing in this odd little ficlet but the premise. All the characters are the intellectual property of Eiichiro Oda and all the companies involved with publishing and production of the manga and anime. I don't even own the spinner, but I know someone who does... They're made by a company called "Cosmo Cricket."
Spoilers/Warnings: Characters from up to Thriller Bark are present. No real warnings. Not even language this time! (Shocking!)
Pairing: Nothing overt. I suppose you could say Sanji/Robin, but it's a stretch. Chiefly nakamaship.
Dedication: To my sister who actually has the spinner featured in this story on her bedroom door.
Random A/N: Apparently I have a thing for incorporating damaged cabinetry. Go figure.
Sanji found the spinner while browsing through an old curiosity shop at a stopover island. It had eight sections that read: Hug Me, Find Me, Kiss Me, Call Me, Love Me, Try Me, Keep Me, and Miss Me. At first, he simply wondered why anyone would want such a thing. He had moved on and almost forgotten it until a young couple walked into the store.
"Oh, this is so cute!" The young lady cooed over the spinner before handing it to her boyfriend and insisting that he give it a spin. It landed on "Kiss Me," so they did.
Sanji couldn't keep from picturing the scene involving himself and one of the lovely ladies on his crew. When the couple left without purchasing the item, Sanji was quick to bring it to the counter.
Back aboard the Thousand Sunny, he hung it on the wall just inside the galley door with a small sign above it stating, "Spin me before talking to Sanji." It seemed like a good idea at the time...
Sanji heard the galley door open later that afternoon and knew immediately who it was. It was precisely halfway between lunch and dinner, so Luffy was seeking a snack. He was partway through preparing something already and was about to say so when he heard the sound of the spinner.
Sanji felt a sudden sense of impending doom. It had not until this very moment occurred to Sanji that most of the crew were male, so most of those employing the spinner would be as well.
"Oh no..." he groaned. He was afraid to look at where the arrow had stopped. Instead, he turned his attention back to the sandwich before him.
"Hmm..." It sounded like Luffy was thinking. That couldn't bode well!
The captain walked over, took Sanji's right hand in both his own, and promptly licked the back of it.
"What do you think you're doing?" Sanji asked disgustedly, wiping the Luffy spit off on his apron.
"The spinner said, 'Try Me,'" Luffy answered innocently. "Isn't that what it means?"
Of all the connotations of that particular section of the spinner, Sanji decided Luffy's interpretation was probably the least traumatizing.
"Okay! So, can I have a-"
"Here," Sanji shoved the sandwich into Luffy's eager hands, turned him around bodily, and gave him a quick shove. "Now, get out!"
Later, during dinner, the spinner became a topic of conversation. Sanji busied himself with checking on the progress of dessert so no one would see the blush staining his cheeks.
"So, has anybody spun it, yet?" Usopp wondered.
"I have!" Luffy grinned broadly. "It landed on 'Try Me.' In case anybody was wondering, Sanji tastes salty and a little smoky."
The table went quiet for a moment. Then everyone either shrugged it off altogether or chuckled over it for a moment. Luffy did awkward things all the time; you learned to live with it. Sanji sighed and took a brief moment to compose himself.
Eventually, he told himself, one of the ladies would take a turn and it would be worth any embarrassment beforehand.
The humming identified the first person into the galley the next morning without Sanji even having to look. Brook liked a cup of tea before breakfast. Even though he had braced himself, the cook couldn't help a wince at the sound of the spinner. He waited for the skeleton to make a move.
Finally, he could control his curiosity no longer and turned toward the door. Brook was standing there patiently with his long arms outstretched. "Hug Me," the spinner declared. He gave in with a roll of his eyes.
It was quite possibly the most painful hug Sanji had ever experienced. Brook had quite the death grip for one with no musculature and no padding whatsoever over bare bones. It didn't seem to bother the skeleton, however.
"It has been a very long time since I've had a proper hug!" The musician sighed contentedly. "Thank you. It warms my heart, though I have none! Yo ho ho ho!"
"I'm very happy for you," Sanji droned sarcastically. "You can let go now."
The skeleton retrieved his tea and retreated out on deck. Sanji glared balefully at the spinner.
"Ladies," he reminded himself. "Just think about the ladies..."
At breakfast, Franky commented that he would come by the galley later to fix a cabinet door that had a tendency to stick. Sanji didn't think anything of it until he heard the dreaded spinner again a few hours later.
Franky cleared his throat.
Terrific! Sanji thought silently. It's probably on something like, "Kiss Me!"
"You know all you guys are like little bros to me, right?" Franky finally asked.
"Huh?" Sanji blinked.
"I mean, I really appreciate you in a totally platonic, manly way..."
What was he babbling about? Sanji glanced over at the spinner. "Love Me," it proclaimed.
"Oh. I, uh, feel the same way."
"Really?" Franky beamed. "That's great! It's nice to hear..." Sanji heard the older man's voice crack. "I'm not crying! I have something in my eye!"
He hurried back out of the galley without even taking a look at the cabinet. Oh, well. It would keep.
Sanji squeezed his eyes shut when he heard the door opening and spinner going just before lunch.
Please, please, please! A familiar, delicate perfume wafted over to him. The scent of orange blossoms could only herald one crew member. Yes!
Which section would it be? Oh, how he looked forward to his lovely Nami-swan showering him with her affection...
"Hmph. Well, I guess we'll have to, seeing as Luffy's so attached to you," Nami stated with a shrug of one shoulder. "Besides, you do good work and manage our food budget surprisingly well. Speaking of, what are we having for lunch today?"
"Chicken pot pies," Sanji mumbled absently. His mind was elsewhere, trying to simultaneously discern what could have prompted this particular line of discussion and console himself over the lack of anticipated affection.
"That sounds great!" Nami nodded in approval. "After lunch, can you do a quick inventory? The next island will be coming up in a few days and we should probably start on our supply lists early, since there's a long stretch before the following island. See you at lunch!"
Sanji watched her exit the galley area and let his eyes drift over to the spinner on the wall. "Keep Me."
He had just finished his inventory when Chopper and Usopp wandered in together. He didn't get a chance to see what result Usopp had received before Chopper took his turn, but the marksman looked pleased and hurried off with a mischievous grin plastered on his face.
Chopper looked puzzled about his reading. He looked from Sanji to the spinner and back again.
"Can I help you with something, Chopper?"
"Um..." The tiny doctor fumbled his hooves together in front of himself. "Can you hide?"
"Well, see, the spinner says, 'Find Me,' so I thought... Does it mean I'm supposed to hide from you, instead? Or have I found you already? That seems silly, though..."
The reindeer human looked so crestfallen that Sanji couldn't help himself.
"Count to twenty slowly, okay?"
Chopper squealed with glee, pulled the brim of his hat down over his eyes, and obediently began counting. Sanji shook his head but couldn't help a small smile. The things he did for this crew...
When Sanji returned from his impromptu game of hide and seek, he found a can sitting just inside the galley door. There was a string attached to the base of the can; it trailed off to points unknown. The can was resting on top of a note in Usopp's handwriting. "Pull string taut and speak into the can," it stated.
Once again, Sanji's curiosity got the better of him. He picked up the can and pulled gently until the string was tense.
"Hello?" he inquired into the mouth of the can, feeling like a complete and utter idiot.
"Ah, Sanji! I see you found my note!" The voice was tinny, but undeniably Usopp. "What do you think of this invention? I can easily string them throughout the ship for ease of communication!"
"That's, uh, great, Usopp. Why exactly am I your first guinea pig?"
"You gave me the idea, of course!"
"I what now?" Sanji honestly couldn't recall discussing onboard communication with Usopp.
"The spinner! It said, 'Call Me!'"
"I should have known," Sanji groused. "Do you have anything important or useful to say, because I have work I could be doing..."
"Actually, you'll need to edit your inventory. Luffy stopped in while you were out and helped himself to some of the cured meat stores."
"Why that no good, bottomless... Thanks, Usopp, I'll rope someone else into doing your dish duty tonight."
"Not a problem! The Great Captain Usopp is ever vigilant! I recall one time-"
Sanji dropped his can before he was subjected to an outlandish, and no doubt outlandishly long, story. He glanced over at the spinner, needle still pointing at "Find Me." These last two hadn't been so bad!
Sanji was just beginning his preparations for dinner when he heard a familiar tread, the door open, and then the spinner. He cursed under his breath. There wasn't a single spot on that spinner he wanted that blasted marimo to select! Zoro chuckled rather evilly, and Sanji turned to take in his feral grin and single quirked eyebrow. He was standing so that he blocked Sanji's view of the spinner.
"What did you spin?" Sanji thought he did a masterful job of masking his panic.
"Guess," Zoro taunted.
"I'd rather not."
"No?" Zoro took a rather menacing step forward. Sanji craned his neck to look around the muscle head, but Zoro kept himself between the cook and the spinner as he approached. "I'll just have to show you then..."
"Hold on a minute!" Sanji backed away until he ran into the wall behind him. His eyes widened as Zoro's hand dropped to his sword hilts. "What are you-"
Before he could blink, a length of gleaming steel was right next to his face, the tip stopped just short of embedding itself in the wall by his head. Zoro leaned forward, wicked grin still on his face.
"I 'missed' you," he confided in a low, conspiratorial tone. Then he was backing quickly away from a very angry chef.
"What is wrong with you? What if the ship had lurched, you moron? I could have lost an eye!"
"Well, I thought it was funny!" Zoro was laughing heartily now, even as he dodged potentially lethal kicks aimed at his head. He ducked out the door.
"This isn't over," Sanji yelled after him. "You just earned yourself dish duty tonight!"
He scowled at the spinner and the previously harmless seeming "Miss Me" section.
Dinner and the resulting clean up passed with relative uneventfulness. Sanji remained in the kitchen after the others had departed. He knew that Robin was on the first night watch this evening and would be in shortly for a mug of hot coffee.
This is it, he told himself. Robin-chan is going to spin the spinner, and it will all be worth it!
He sat eagerly watching the doorway as the coffee percolated. Soon he heard the archaeologist's soft, dainty footfalls approaching and fought to remain calm.
"Good evening," she greeted him as she came through the door. She arched an eyebrow at his eager expression. Dutifully, she turned to the spinner and flicked the arrow. When it stopped on "Kiss Me," she graced him with one of her enigmatic smiles. "My, my..."
Sanji wriggled in his seat. He closed his eyes, leaned forward, and puckered his lips. He held his breath as he felt Robin's right hand rest on his jaw. In one fluid motion, she turned his face to the side and placed a tender peck on his cheek.
"Thanks for the coffee..." She filled her mug and was on her way.
It wasn't exactly the kiss he'd wanted, but Sanji couldn't honestly say he hadn't enjoyed it.
"Mellorine," he gasped breathily.
Shaking his head to clear it, he stood and faced the spinner. Resolutely, he took both it and the sign down off the wall.
It had definitely been worth the trouble!