Chapter 9 – Changes Made

"There is no way in hell that I am going to ride that shitty, mechanical monster!" Sanji said with a stern voice, crossing his arms in front of his chest. His visible eye was fixed upon the green haired man, who had stopped laughing like a maniac and now sat waiting on his dangerous looking motorbike. The other boy had broad shoulders and he was taller than most his age, the masculine appearance was boosted by the Harley Davidson.

"Sure you are." Zoro said with a small nod at the end. "I'm not leaving you here to do something. You need to get to a hospital. And I'm not going to be late for school. So, logic says that you would have to come with me, now." the green haired man continued with a never-ending bluntness.

The wind was still picking up, and Sanji kept moving his bangs away from his seeing eye, quite a hard task with an injured hand. There was something about the other boy that annoyed his spirit to no end. Maybe it was the fact that he had smashed him down onto the pavement only to laugh like a maniac and then get back up on his bike without a single question about how Sanji felt.

"I don't need your help. Go play superhero somewhere else. Also, I don't need to go to a hospital! I'm fine." he muttered, avoiding the strong gaze the green-haired boy sent him. He still wasn't so keen on looking at that man's likeness.

"You don't need a hospital? Healthy people don't jump off bridges!" Zoro huffed back. "Sorry… you're hurt, and in shock. It almost feels like a storm is coming, and you need to get away from here. Seems like you don't have a choice, Princess."

"The fuck are you talking about?" the blond growled, starting to get genuinely pissed off.

"I can't leave you here, idiot eyebrow! You have any idea what uncle Geoff would do to me if I did?"

"Hey! You have no right at all to call me names. That freaking hair isn't natural! Neither of you have natural hair." Sanji shouted back, but Zoro threw him a glare that could burn holes through walls.

"Don't pair me up with him." he growled. His dark eyes were shadowed by the frowning brow.

"Why shouldn't I?" Sanji stabbed back at him, advancing a step. Smugly, Zoro grinned. Even if it probably was more of an invitation to a fight than a move to get up on the motorcycle, Sanji was at least not just standing over there anymore.

"Because I at least pretend to care about you. So get up on the bike. If you don't want to go to the hospital; fine! But you're not staying here to do something stupid again. I can drive you to school, if that pleases you."

"You should know that I hate your guts… but I'm doing this for Geoff and Ace." muttered the blond as he took some careful steps towards the boy and the bike. He swung a lean leg over the frame of the bike, still keeping himself as far away from Zoro's as possible. The green haired man turned the key and the engine started roaring.

"Hold on now." he said to the unwilling blond as he turned back to the road towards the school. Wrinkling his nose, Sanji slid closer to the teen and circled his torso with his healthy hand. His mind rambled on and on about how bad it was to be so close to the green haired male, but Sanji ignored his instincts and closed his eyes. Taking a deep breath to calm himself, he felt the smell of Zoro's worn leather jacked. Oddly, it reminded him of old apples, those you preferably used in apple pie, and strangely enough, it was almost comforting.


Relieved that the young man was okay, Smoker thanked Ace and put the cell phone back into his pocket.

Swallowing down the saliva that had started to gather in his mouth, Smoker pushed the doors to the police station open, marching in with careful steps. The ring on his finger meant that today was, well, the day he died. People would ask what "her" name was, and as soon as the name of Ace D. Portgas would reach Garp he was sure he would be brutally killed for touching, hell even just thinking about his boss's grandson.

"Are you a man or a mouse, Smoker?" he mumbled and headed to the reception desk to announce his arrival.

Behind the sturdy desk, a young woman sat and painted her nails while holding the phone between her shoulder and head, talking just as much with her voice as with her face and gestures. Apparently she was in the middle of a deep conversation involving martinis, a fancy car and someone's Calvin Klein underwear on someone else's kitchen table.

Smoker cleared his throat and coughed, not really tempted to hear more of the bizarre conversation. Somewhere in his mind, the words "women, pff" was heard, but his face showed as usual, nothing. The receptionist finally noticed his presence and put a hand over the phone after a quick, singsongy, "Be right back with you! I have compaaany". The gray haired man looked at her rather suspiciously at the last sentence.

"So, what can I do for you, officer Smoker?", she asked and fluttered with her mascara covered eye lashes, resting her chin in her hands as she leaned out a bit over the counter.

"Just tell Garp I'm here… I have something to talk to him about." he sighed, waving his hand in the air, walking away. The receptionist pretty much lived on gossip, and the sooner he got away from her, the better. Plus, she seemed to have an unpleasant habit of flirting with every good-looking male in the station every time she was single again (which tended to be way too often).

But, it seemed that he hadn't been quick enough, as he heard an eager, female voice stage-whisper as soon as she had fumbled the phone back to her ear; at the same time that she did this, she started to write a text on her cell phone with rapid speed.

"Guess which eternal bachelor just walked in through the front door with a fucking engagement ring around his finger? Clue: he's hot, ranked, and gray haired!"

Smoker grinded his teeth. At this point, all his colleagues would know everything before he even had set foot in his office. And right he was… He had only time to turn around the next corner before he got attacked to men and women rushing out from rooms along the hallway.

"Smoker, you old goat!" "So you finally scored?" "I can't believe someone would say yes!" "Who is she, Smoker?"

A thousand shouts and questions were mixed with wolf cries and hands doing wavy gestures in the air. At the end of the line, outside the door to his office, Melinda Tashigi stood with her arms crossed and a questioning gaze on the other side of her glasses.

"What have you now done?" she asked and showed the text which seemed to have reached the cell phone of every single soul in the police station.

Smokey is getting married :-o Check out his ring! Think she's hot? ;-) Wished it was me :-((

Throwing his head back, Smoker growled at the stupid receptionist. He must have done something really bad to her in another life. The room was filled with laughter and the ever present question: 'Who is she?' Turning around, Smoker looked into the face of ten, fifteen gossip hungry police men and women, waiting for him to give up on all the saucy details. It was the point of no return, and the gray haired man sighed.

"Yes, I am getting married." he breathed, already tired and longing to escape from the herd of people.

"But that's not reason enough to start an interrogation about him!" he said, frustrated, and hoping that it would shut them up, if only for a while.

That while only lasted for a few seconds, before some brave soul uttered: 'Him?', and with that, the chatter picked up its speed again. Turning to his female friend, still with her arms crossed, Smoker gave her a long glance, pleading for help. A grin showed up in the corner of Tashigi's mouth as she shook her head.

"You're all on your own~", she laughed, and winked her eye before she turned around and returned to her office.

"So, do I have to write a book about it, or can we get this over with quickly? I'll give you five questions." Smoker sighed, a sign that he was giving up.

"Does Garp know about it?" police aspirant Fullbody asked, taking the first step. His partner in crime, Django stepped forward so he was on Smoker's side of the wall of people blocking of the hall way. Not giving poor Smoker time to answer the first question, he slung the next one out in the air.

"How did you meet?" The thin man's eye brow seemed to wiggle up and down behind his ugly, heart shaped sun glasses.

Before someone else had the time to bomb the police man with more questions, Smoker rose two fingers up in the air, signalizing that they only had three questions left to ask.

"Garp does not know." he answered, adding in his thoughts; and thank God for that, or I wouldn't be standing here today. "He does not know, yet."

Looking over at Django, he gave it a second's thought about how much was safe to spoil, both for him and for Ace. He agreed with himself that the simple line of "through work" would suffice. Apparently, the crowd wanted more and many sighted and uttered an 'Awww…".

"Is he… hot?" one of the females asked, giggling and also a bit blushing. All of them looked like kids in front of a candy store, big eyed and awaiting sweets, not in the shape of lollipops or caramels but details of the shocking revelation of their stubborn, romance hating, grumpy, bachelor Smoker's boyfriend and fiancé.

"Yes," Smoker said matter-of-factly, knowing that such a question would only come from a woman. "He is… hot." he continued with a small laugh, and added a third finger to the collection, holding down his little finger with his thumb.

The same woman seemed to have another question, and this time, the blush had grown larger, covering most of her cheeks and the bridge over her nose.

"Who… who of you top…", she began, but Django, standing next to her, smashed her in the back of her head, and another woman filled up the now empty space.

"How long have you been dating?" she asked, knowing that it was a code word for 'how long have you been denying your ravishing gay life?', but showing off an innocent smile.

"Roughly two and a half years."

The answer was met by whistles, and a brave comment: "Are you sure? Because it sure seems like you haven't been laid in at least five?" People around laughed, and agreed, but Smoker himself did nothing but raising yet another finger, now just holding his thumb on his palm, showing that the crowd only had one question left.

Paulie, their newest recruit, stepped forward and asked the one question Smoker had dreaded, if you counted away prying into his sex life:

"What's his name?"

By the sudden change of look on Smoker's face, several smug grins appeared on the faces of the interrogators. Finally, they seemed to have asked the right question.

"Can't his… initials be enough?", the gray haired man asked, his mouth twisted in a mix between agony and laughter. Several heads shook in denial, and Smoker's head dropped slightly.

"Come on, Smoker. You have to tell us what's his name is." Fullbody said. "You are, for fuck's sake getting married, so no more secrets for you!"

"Ace." Smoker said, hesitantly looking around as it was the crowds turn to get a drastic change in facial features. Faces went pale and more than one pair of eyes drifted over towards Garp's closed door.

The female who had asked about Ace's looks uttered a faint: "That Ace? Ace Portgas?" and Smoker nodded, biting into his cheek, his eyes also fixed on the door.

"You're in some deep shit, man.", Django stated. "You have been screwing the boss' grandson for over two years, and now this?" he continued and waved his ring finger, "He'll kill you."

"I know!" Smoker growled, his usual stern face back in place. "I have had two and a half years to think about this moment, so I don't think you can make it any worse for me right now. And, that was all the questions." he said and dropped down his hand with five fully extended fingers before he did a small little bow.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I'll see you in hell."

Turning around, the gray haired man strode towards the wooden door and knocked on it twice. He heard a chair scraping against the floor on the other side, and Garp's voice asking 'Smoker?'.

Swallowing down his nervousness, Smoker entered the office, and closed the door after himself. His colleagues would without any doubt try to find out anything they could, but he didn't feel like giving it to them directly. They could look stupid, trying to lean with an ear close to the door, eavesdropping.

"So, Smoker, who's the lucky lady?" Garp laughed. He had obviously also received the text.

"I was coming to that part, chief... It is not exactly a lady..." Smoker stuttered, but was cut of by Garp's phone ringing on his desk. The police chief held up his hand and excused himself for a second and picked up the phone. Looking back at the door, Smoker pondered if he should make a run for it, before it was too late.

"Ace? Shouldn't you be in school?" Garp's surprised voice rang out in the room and made Smoker's heart stop. This couldn't be anything but bad, and now there was nothing that could save him. Garp's own grandson was going to confess that he was involved with Smoker.

"Now what? Officer Smoker? He is standing just beside me." Garp continued, seeming quite confused. "Why are you laughing, brat? Have you been drinking… on a Monday, Ace?"

It seemed as if Ace had more fun on his end of the line than Smoker had next to a frustrated police chief. Suddenly, Garp went quiet. No more growling or muttering. Smoker just waited for him to turn around and stab him with a cold stare.

"Engaged? To who?" Garp asked. Ah, here we go.

"To him?" Garp said, and spun around, staring at Smoker's hand. "I'll talk with you later, young sir." the old man snapped and put the phone back in its stand, thus ending the call.

"Officer Smoker..." he began, eyeing the man with an ice cold glare. "Is there something you would like to tell me?" Garp asked with a tune that made Smoker flinch a little. Not only did the not so very well hidden, threatening voice make him even more nervous, but there was something about the old man that reminded him of his bitch of a mother. Ah, his mother. Yet another one he would have to suffer to tell the news, of course, if he survived Garp.

"Yes, sir." he said after finishing his thought. He held his head high, but avoided Garp's eyes and looked out in the thin air instead. "I'm marrying your grandson."

"You're marrying my grandson." Garp repeated, fingers stroking his gray beard.

"Yes, sir." Smoker admitted. He felt sweat drops gather at the base of his neck. Damn it if it wasn't typical Portgas to call his grandfather himself, just to fuck with Smoker.

"Why shouldn't I kill you for touching him, Smoker?" the old man asked his officer with a sugar coated voice. You could almost see the fake halo above his head.

"Because I still need to kill him for ruining any chance of my survival by calling you." Taking after his boss, Smoker coated his voice with a fake falsetto. "And the fact that corpse white makes my hair look even paler."

Breaking out in laughter, Garp threw his huge arms around Smoker, drawing him into some kind of mix between a hug and a fox trap. Garp's knuckles rubbed Smoker's short hair as if the police officer was a young boy. Smoker was really fascinated that it had all been over so quickly. If it was over... He wouldn't put it past Garp to suddenly crush him after a second thought.

"Welcome to the family, lad!" Garp bellowed with laughter. He let the other man go and regained his seat behind his untidy desk. Looking up at Smoker, he got a certain look in his eyes which made Smoker swallow hard and think 'this is it'.


"That's it?" Smoker was amazed. That Garp Monkey would let his son just run away and live his life, and getting married was a bit too much for Smoker to comprehend.

"Well," Garp nodded while sipping on the tea he had poured for himself. "you know the rules. Make him happy and he is yours. Hurt him, and you can start looking for jobs in Northern Asia... with both legs broken."

Smoker still said nothing, his jaw slightly hanging. Garp looked at the shocked man with his hard blue yes over the brim of the tea mug.

"I know what happened over the weekend, and I guess it isn't exactly easy on the whole lot of you. So I'm letting this slip. You deserve something, officer Smoker, and even if Ace wasn't really the thing I had in mind, I guess he'll do. Just do me a favor and make sure that Zoro boy doesn't get in too much trouble, will you? After all, family is important, even if you can't pick everybody yourself."

Garp spoke with a calm voice despite the topic that hid under his words. Smoker said nothing, but only nodded. He would make sure that neither Ace nor Zoro would suffer, no matter what other members of his family had done.

"I understand, sir." he managed at the end.

"That's good to hear. Now, you're free to go for the day, since I happen to know that you'll get a pretty unpleasant visit later this afternoon. About the boy." Garp said, leaning heavily against the words 'unpleasant and 'the boy'. Smoker bit his lip. As if he needed something to top this weekend.

"I'll see you tomorrow at work. Now go, I have a phone call to make to a certain young, freckled bastard."

Smoker nodded and left the room. As he closed the door after him, the small crowd that had gathered outside cheered and Django stepped forward to beg for the story about how he survived the lion's den. He just shook his head and started walk towards the front door. Tashigi stepped out from her office as he was about to walk past it, and the look she gave him spoke of trouble. Taking a detour into her room, the gray haired man sighed.


She looked up at him and handed him a paper covered in official seals.

"Sir, you're not going to like the man who's visiting your protégé later today."


Taking the last turn before the school, Zoro slid up through the drive way and killed the engine with a twist of his hand. As quickly as possible, Sanji dismounted and straightened his ill-kept shirt in a attempt to make himself at least look a little better than the nervous wreck he was. The ride behind Zoro had been a bit too much for him.

"Well, I'll see you later. I promise I won't disturb you as long as you stay sane." Zoro grinned as Sanji drew his fingers through silk blond hair, covering as much as he could of his bandaged eye. Throwing a look full of pure hatred towards the leather clad teen, Sanji turned around without a word and started walking towards his classroom. There was no way he would stay close to that guy when he didn't need to.

"Dick head..." he mumbled as soon as Zoro had started his bike again to park it further away on the parking lot.

Walking in to the school yard through the heavy oaken doors, he looked up at the heavens and breathed in the air. There was still a strong wind blowing, but it wasn't as noticeable in the center of the town. The clouds moved fast thanks to the winds, but when they had passed, the sun shone down on the paved ground and the students running around towards their first class for the day.

It was a beautiful day. Sanji never really liked those classic summer days were everything was perfect and the sun shone upon the hero. He preferred life in picture, something the wind provided this day. Thinking back on his sentence, he hesitated. Maybe it had been a good thing after all, that the idiot moss ball head saved him. Maybe, just maybe.

Still with his face aimed to the skies, Sanji bumped into someone, causing him to wince in pain for the bruises that were hit. At least he didn't fall over. Taking his mind off the clouds and wind, he looked into the face of his long nosed friend. Said friend looked in disbelief at him first, before he threw himself around the blonde's neck.

"Sanji!" he laughed into his ear, voice balancing between happiness and depression. Breaking off the sudden hug, Sanji forced himself to manage a smile for Usopp. His friend shook his head, drying away the tears that threatened to break out.

"You look like shit, Sanji..."

And so did Usopp. It looked like the incident had struck almost as hard on him, but Sanji could understand that it must have been a shock for him to find them there, in that alley, and... Shaking his head to get rid of the memories, he looked Usopp in his eyes.

"I do?" he tried to laugh. "I know... But I'm back in business. And so you seem to be. Are you okay?" he asked, and showed that they ought to get going so that they wouldn't miss class. Their teacher wasn't keen on late students.

"As okay I can get, I guess. And you?" Usopp asked carefully. Sanji thought about his reply for a second or two. He was glad that Usopp wasn't going to hide under his bed for the rest of the year or longer. The boy had fragile nerves and you could scare him with the simplest of ghost stories, but Sanji knew that he cared too much about his friends to do that. Somehow, the chicken Usopp was a great hero.

"Well, it could be better I guess." Sanji finally said. He decided that it might be a good idea to leave out the drama that happened on the bridge not an hour ago, if Zoro decided to hold his tongue as well. "I'm staying with my neighbor, and his nephew. Who's a shithead. But I'll live."

"You'd better hurry," muttered Usopp. "or Mr. Kidd is going to kill you being late to Physics."


After parking his bike and making sure that the lock was safe, Zoro strolled into the school building with his natural easiness. Walking down the hallway, he thought about this utterly disturbed weekend, and what it would mean. Muttering, and kicking an empty Coca-Cola can that lay on the floor, he decided that it was a problem for later on. Looking out through the big windows, he spotted the now familiar blond walking and talking with someone else he recognized. Wasn't that Usopp? Shaking his head, Zoro gave up. This situation was way too complicated for its own good.

Opening his locker, Zoro took his books and took off the leather jacket, walking through the stream of students that hung out in the hallway, effectively blocking everyone's path. With a whole lot of 'excuse me' and 'let me through', Zoro pressed his way through towards English class. Ten minutes later, he was back at his locker, looking confused. He didn't remember turning anywhere.

Cursing under his breath, he looked up to find his friend not two meters away, sitting on one of the drinking fountains. Luffy was wearing his trademark smile and straw hat. Beside him stood the redhead Nami with a pile of different books in her hand.

"Zorooo~", Luffy bellowed, looking as ecstatic as ever, waving both his arms in the air. "Zoro! Come on, class is starting!"

"I know, I know!" he said as he scuffed his way through the crowd. He looked at Luffy and then the redhead, and back again, he raised an eye brow. Did Luffy's date actually work out?

"Hello again. A little lost?" Nami smiled, and was awarded with a faint smile and a soft muttering resembling a 'hello'. Another thing to worry about; Luffy actually getting a girlfriend. All those years, it had been just the two of them and no girls. Like Bonnie and Clyde, Only two Clydes, and no romance. Well, he could outlast her.

She glared at him, muttering something hardly audible about him being a brute. Zoro wasn't slow to respond with a vehement 'witch'. Luffy, who hadn't noticed anything as usual, still smiled and leaned against the wall with both his hands behind his head.

"But really, we should go to class. Do you have English too?" Nami wondered, coating her voice with fake politeness.

"We should. After you..." Zoro grinned, and bowed his head towards the frowning girl. He grabbed a hold of Luffy's arm and started walking, dragging the straw hat clad boy after herself and with Zoro tagging along. As much as he hated it, where Nami was, class was. And it was a bad thing missing too many classes, he had experience of that.

"Zoro! I got a text from Usopp before! He's telling us to have lunch with him later today!" Luffy suddenly said, as he walked backwards. Nami was still holding his arm, but the raven boy was facing Zoro.

"I don't know..." Zoro drifted off. Hadn't he seen Usopp with a certain blond he'd rather avoid?

"Pretty please~ He says he's bringing his friend too! I'll let you have my Jell-O!" Luffy begged.

"No you won't!" Zoro laughed. There was no way Luffy would ever give food away. If it stood between a chicken leg and the cure to cancer, the boy would still have trouble picking. Never-the-less, Zoro gave in to Luffy's demands after even more begging and his friend's famous puppy eyes. Still, he had an uneasy feeling about what would happen during lunch time.


And right he was. Luffy had told him that they were meeting in the cafeteria after their Math lesson, and as always, he jumped out through the door, despite the fact that Nami still held him with a firm grip. Zoro walked a bit behind them, shaking his head. Nami would have to amount to much more than she looked to be able to have an actually successful relationship with Luffy. If he hadn't known better, he would have guessed that you needed a cipher to understand him.

Strolling through the corridors Nami kept up a conversation with Luffy while Zoro ignored them, his mind elsewhere. The scene on the bridge replayed over and over, with Sanji staring straight into his eyes, falling backwards. The green haired teen was unsure where the hell he was supposed to place Sanji. The blond irritated him until his blood boiled, and it was way too obvious that he couldn't stand Zoro either. Yet, Zoro had saved him. And damn it if he wasn't one of the hottest idiots he knew, under all those layers of bandaged and bruises.

"Usopp!" Luffy shouted across the cafeteria, waking Zoro from his fantasies. The raven grabbed Nami's hand and dragged her with him in a zigzag pattern between the tables. Zoro halted when he saw who sat beside Luffy's friend at the table. It didn't seem like Sanji had seen him yet, so there were still time to turn around and run, but he guessed Luffy would go after him, so there wasn't really a choice.

"Usopp! This is Nami, she's totally awesome!" he stated proudly. A slight blush crept up on the girl's face, but she greeted the long nosed boy and his injured friend. The second of them smiled gently at her.

"Woah, Sanji! You have an eye patch like a real pirate! It's so cool!" Luffy continued, but the blond ignored him and addressed Nami instead.

"Oh, I haven't seen such a beautiful flower here in school before! Say miss, are you new here?" he swooned, and despite the fact that he sat down, his body wiggled in the chair. The redhead looked at him with a dumbfounded look and a bit away, Zoro's chin fell towards the floor. What the hell was that?

"I am new here, yes. Thanks." she finally replied as she took a seat opposite to the young gentleman. Luffy sat down too, beside Nami.

"My name is Sanji Black, my cute mellorine~", he said, and smiled more as Nami stretched out her hand to shake his. After a moment of consideration, he smiled goofily and gave her his left hand in an awkward twist. He showed his injured hand, still in plaster.

"I'm having a bit trouble with the other one right now."

Looking from the plastered hand to the cracked lip and the eye patch, Nami shook Sanji's left hand.

"As Luffy said, I'm Nami. Nice to meet you. But, how did you get so hurt?"

A slight twitch was seen on Sanji's face, and he looked away from the girl. Some of the other students around the other tables were looking at him too, some pointing and whispering. Rumors sure traveled fast. Averting his attention back on Nami, he shook his head.

"It's a long story, way too long to bother such a delicate lady. But, changing the topic back on you, could I perhaps have the honor of showing you around the school?" he asked, but she shook her head.

"I already have Luffy here for that. Ain't that right, Luffy?" She nudged him in his side, but the black haired boy had his face turned the opposite direction, looking for something.

"Ah, Zorooo. Come on!" he called when he spotted the green haired boy. He waved one of his hands to show where they were, as if Zoro would have missed the yelling boy. The instant Zoro's name left Luffy's lips Sanji froze and followed the gangly teen's line of sight. And there he was, walking towards them and looking like a thunder cloud. At least he took the seat furthest away from Sanji.

"You really can't stay away from me, can you?" The blond pierced Zoro, who sat down at the table like it was nothing. Well, maybe it was, but Sanji still preferred to not have the teen around him.

"You two know each other?" Usopp and Luffy said in chorus, each of them looking curiously at their friends.

"Unfortunately. That brute seems to be stalking me. " Sanji huffed, trying his best not to sound bothered.

"Like I can help that you can't take care of yourself. I think that you ought to be pretty thankful for me, after this morning." Zoro glared at him, spitting out the words.

"Don't you dare, shitty bush-brain, don't you dare!" he growled back, standing up from his seat.

Usopp, the only one beside the two of them that really knew what was going on, made a quick calculation in his head, added up two and two, and made it almost make sense.

"O-oi! You really shouldn't fight here. And you need to take care of yourself, Sanji! Calm down, please!"

"I can take handle that jock, Usopp!"

"Let him have it, Usopp! I guess he can't realize that he's actually weak!" Zoro stated with his chin shot out, eyes fastened on Sanji on the other side of the table. He stood up, with one foot on the chair.

It was the last drop before Sanji boiled over. Later, he regretted that he had done it in front of Nami, but at the time Zoro was the only thing in front of his eyes.

Bracing himself on his left arm on the table, he swung his body over it with a swift movement. The green haired boy hadn't been ready for him to do anything but yell, so he didn't have any time to avoid the sole of Sanji's shoe as it hit him square in the face. He tumbled over his own chair, but was soon back on his feet.

Sanji stood where he had been sitting just a minute ago, panting but in full battle stance, ready to place another kick at any given place on Zoro's body, preferably the face or the crotch.

Zoro's fingertip touched his lip, feeling the wetness of the blood Sanji's sole had drawn. He dried it of with the sleeve of his hoodie, taking slow steps towards the raging blond.

"So you're not all looks, huh? Still, if I had my swords here, you'd be decked on the floor in a matter of seconds." he grinned.

"Who the hell uses fucking swords nowadays?" Another kick came, aimed for his solar plexus. Zoro concentrated the half second he had, and remembered what his teacher had told him about the true spirit of a swordsman. If you were true to your profession, you were supposed to be able to block and attack even without a sword.

Now, Zoro was a good swordsman, but he didn't expect such power in Sanji's kick, even as it was the second one. Instead of throwing Sanji to the floor, he could barley remain his footing. Both Zoro and Sanji looked at each other again, but this time their eyes were full of surprise. Neither of them had really expected the other one to be any trouble, with Sanji being both skinny and injured, and according to said blond, the green haired buffoon looked like he was all power and no tactics.

"Hey, what's going on! You two, what are you doing?" Nami stuttered, her eyes following the two fighters like a tennis match.

"Oh, I am sorry my cute Nami~" Sanji directed his attention away from his sparring partner and immediately his anger was gone with the wind and he wore the same goofy smile as before. Zoro didn't need more than that as he threw himself forward. If the blond didn't care about his injuries, then Zoro wouldn't either. Well, he would avoid the places were he was most hurt, but at that moment, Sanji deserved a fist somewhere in his face. Swords or not, he could win a fight against a skinny blond.

The second before he crashed into Sanji, the other boy took his last chance to spin out a kick, but Zoro continued forward and both of them tumbled over a chair and on to the floor. Curses flew through the air and all the people in the cafeteria peeked over each others shoulders to get a glimpse of the improvised wrestling match.

Sanji begun to breath faster and faster, both because of the physical challenge it was to fight with injuries, but Zoro's presence, Zoro being so damn close, was helping a great deal too. Sanji wanted to scream his lungs out each time their bodies bruised, and when the green haired man's hand touched him, it started to blacken before his eyes, but he bit his lip and settled for kicking the shit out of him. His whole high-school future was heading downhill, and a panic attack wouldn't help him.

"Okay! What is happening here!"

And with those few words, the whole cafeteria froze, Zoro and Sanji included. The white haired old man walked through the crowd that had gathered around the two fighters, but just like Moses and the Red Sea every student moved aside. His white blazer rested only on his shoulders and when he strode forward, it followed his walk with wavy motions. His eyes looked out over the stunned students behind his round glasses, but it wasn't until he had stopped before them that he starred down on Zoro and Sanji.

"Principal Rayleigh...!" Zoro stuttered, an unusual sound. He stood on all his fours, fist hooked on Sanji's shirt. Sanji himself was on his back and held himself up and his elbows. He was the only one in the room who didn't look at Rayleigh with big deer eyes, his eyes fixed on the ceiling and his breathing labored.

"Would any of you mind telling me what's going on?" Rayleigh asked politely, and as nobody else took the call, Luffy stepped in with a big grin on his face.

"Zoro and Sanji started a fight." Pointing at them, he added: "That's the two of them." In the back ground, Nami face palmed at the bluntness.

"Mr. Roronoa, and Mr. Black?" he hummed as he looked down on them. Zoro had let go of Sanji and stood up, brushing of his hoodie, but Rayleigh focused on Sanji instead.

"Are you okay, Mr. Black? Mr. Black?" He never got any answer as Sanji, for the second time on two days, fainted.

"Shit, not again!" Zoro mumbled and dove down into a crouched position beside the blond.

"Not again?" Usopp asked, poking his nose out from beside principal Rayleigh.

Tapping his sandal clad foot, the old man stroke his beard and muttered something about kids these day, how they simply didn't have it in them, and how things were better back in the good old days when... Snapping out of it, he looked down at Sanji.

"Any pulse?"

When Zoro nodded seconds after, Rayleigh let out a sigh.

"Take him to the school nurse. And, Mr. Roronoa..." Zoro turned his attention back to the white haired man, and stared him straight into his eyes.

"I though we were clear on what would happen if you started fighting again..."


A/N: So, finally, chapter nine is finished. I planned to finish this a long time ago, but stuff got in the way. I kinda lost my will to write for a while as my best friend for twelve years passed away in March. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank my friends in school, my sister Linnea, my dear boyfriend Linus and my Choppery friend Maja. Big hugs to you!

And that was chapter nine, yeah! As stated on Livejournal; pretty fun to write. Once again, thanks to Maja for helping me with my Writer's Block (WB, not to be confused with Whitebeard). But I have to add that I know nothing about American schools except what I've seen in tv series. But, meh...I'll manage anyway, won't I? And, oh! If you are reading this on fanfiction, I can tell you that I have started a Livejournal with drabbles and other things. It get's updated a whole lot more over there, I tell you. It's listed as my homepage if you want to have a look. (slowsunrise. livejournal. com and just remove the spacing)

I promise to try to update faster next time, really! Huge hugs to everyone who have been waiting for this and reviewed during this awfully long time. Love to all of you!