Hold Me Together
by: a psycho chibi named Wendy
Disclaimer: not mine. Nope. I'm just an innocent writer.
Warning: Language, yaoi fluff, angst, ONESHOT
Pairing: Zoro x Sanji
Summary: "I'm not going to apologize, if that's what you want." "I don't want a fuckin apology.." Sanji muttered. A sequel to my fic titled Cockadoodle effin doo
Author rant: Yup, this is sequel to my other One Piece fic. I highly suggest you read that first, or none of this will make sense.
Note: Takes place directly after the Thriller Bark dealie. Hinted Spoilers if you haven't read into the Impel Down arc
"Damn.. I'm glad all of that shit is over with.." Usopp groaned as he flopped face first onto the lawn of the Thousand Sunny.
"No kidding..." Nami answered as she fell back into one of the lawn chairs. "That was way too messed up, even for our standards." She glanced up at Robin and frowned when she saw a faintly concerned expression on the normally neutral face. "Something wrong, Robin?"
The sudden question startled the raven haired woman for a moment as she looked back to her comrade. "No, not really. Just concerned for Swordsman-san."
"Yeah, where is Zoro? We owe him an epic party for missing out on the one last night!" Luffy cheered as he bounced happily along the lawn.
Robin's eyes narrowed slightly, but she put up her calm smile as she attempted to stop the captain from tearing apart the ship for his first mate. "I believe Doctor-san ordered him to get some more rest. He even instructed Chef-san to guard the door and make sure he doesn't sneak away."
"That's right! He shouldn't even be moving, but he's so stubborn.. The damn asshole.." Chopper grumbled, his little hooves crossed over his chest.
"Let's just leave him be. I think we've all earned a rest for our bones." Brooke stated as he passed by Robin. His sun bleached hand rested on her shoulder as he whispered to her privately. "I'll assist you in keeping the others busy... Those two need time to talk.."
Robin gave their newest nakama a grateful smile as she nodded. "They do..."
In the galley, Sanji was carrying a large bottle of sake in the crook of his arm with a couple of ochokos in his hand. He headed for the far corner of the dining room to the door that led to Chopper's infirmary. There was a deep frown creasing his brow, but he calmly opened and closed the door before locking it. When he looked to the single bed he saw Zoro laying across it with an arm slung over his eyes.
His own blue eye took note of all the bandages that covered the man's skin. The bruises and cuts. Scrapes and burns. Everything that damaged the one person that he held dear. "You're a fuckin bastard." Sanji nearly spat out as his anger finally rose to the surface.
A snort left Zoro's prone form, but he made no other move. "What did I do this time?"
Sanji's eye narrowed dangerously, but he didn't move away from the door. "You know damn well what you did, fucker. What the hell gave you the right to do that, huh? I didn't ask for your fuckin help."
The way the normally confident voice cracked made Zoro pull his arm away from his eyes. He turned his head towards the door only to see the blonde head bowed low. The arm holding the bottle was trembling slightly, and the tension in the thin body looked ready to snap. Zoro honestly couldn't tell if this was anger or something else. 'If he was just pissed he would have kicked me by now...' "You were about to get yourself killed. Like I was going to let you."
"And how the hell was it any different from you?!" Sanji snapped. "You were already close to dying! You could barely even stand up!"
The outburst startled Zoro, but when he saw the wet trails falling down his cheeks he sat up. His muscles burned and his body screamed in protest, but he forced himself to stand. He quickly crossed the short distance between them and reached out to take hold of the trembling chin. To his alarm, Sanji actually jerked away from his touch and pressed himself tight against the door. "Sanji? What the hell is wrong?"
Mentally seething at himself for breaking down, Sanji wanted to be anywhere but there. His throat felt tight, and his body wouldn't stop shaking. 'Dammit.. Fuckin dammit..'
Seeing that the blonde was trying desperately to pull himself together, Zoro frowned in concern. It wasn't often that his lover let him see anything below his confident surface, but he knew to pay close attention when he did. When the sound of clinking ceramic caught his attention, Zoro looked down to see the white knuckle grip that was on the two white cups. He was quick to pry the cups out of the shaking hand, and pulled the bottle out of the blonde's grasp before he did something careless with them.
After placing them on Chopper's desk, he turned back to see Sanji leaning heavily against the door. One hand was covering his eyes while the other was griping tight to his shirt. Right over the place were Zoro had plowed the hilt of his ruined katana in his side. Seeing that made Zoro feel badly, but he didn't regret his actions. The fact he was with the blonde at all made the unbearable pain worth every second.
"I'm not going to apologize, if that's what you want."
"I don't want a fuckin apology.." Sanji muttered. Unable to take even standing in front of his wounded lover, Sanji's knees buckled from under him, and he slowly slid down the door to the floor. Crumpled in a heap, Sanji's trembling grew worse as he gripped tightly to his hair. "Dammit.. Why did you do that? Why couldn't you just let me take it? Why?!"
Zoro never would have imagined that this would have had such an affect on Sanji, but he soon recalled the words that had been spoken to him months ago. 'I've already been broken once. That sort of thing leaves behind cracks. Weaknesses that can be exploited.' "Sanji..."
"Ya know what's worse than waiting for death to finally snatch you up?" Sanji suddenly asked. He lifted his head to lock his bloodshot blue eye on the man standing in front of him. "Standing around helpless while it decides to take everyone you care about... And then you.. You of all people had to do that fuckin heroic bit!"
His own anger being tempted, Zoro glared at the form at his feet and folded his arms over his chest. "And how was it any different when you tried to stop me?"
"I've already told you, dammit! You have a real dream! Something you can actually do! Something worth fighting for! I wasn't going to let you give up on that!" Sanji growled viciously.
"And I told you I would beat your ass down if you ever tried to sacrifice yourself for me." Zoro countered quickly. He was about to say more when a sharp pain in his ribs made his breath hitch.
Sanji's mind was still in a hazy blur of anger and fear, but the moment he saw his lover stagger back and clutch at his torso he shot to his feet. "Zoro! Damn stubborn bastard.. Lie the fuck down before you really kill yourself!" he hissed as he carefully guided the swordsman to the bed. Once he was seated, Sanji was about to pull away, but a surprisingly strong arm locked around his waist. "Dammit! Let me go, Marimo!" He wanted to struggle, but he didn't want to risk further injury to the already unstable body.
And Zoro took advantage of this. "Never. Sit. Now."
Unable to break free without force, Sanji let out a frustrated breath and sat down next to Zoro on the bed. "I'm not in the mood for this, dammit.."
"I don't care what mood you're in. You're going to listen to me." Zoro stated while holding the blonde to him tighter. When the stubborn cook finally relaxed a bit in his grasp, Zoro took a deep breath. "Have I ever told you what I was going to do after I defeat Mihawk?"
"After..?" Sanji repeated as he tried to think back over their time spent together. After a moment he frowned slightly. "No... You haven't."
"That's because I've never bothered to think about it." Zoro reached out with his free hand to brush the bangs away from the beautiful tattoo that surrounded his lover's left eye. "I never thought about anything that might happen after that moment. I never thought it mattered. I never considered that what happened afterwards would be all that important." A deep frown furrowed his brow as his thumb slowly traced one of the swirls of water tattooed onto the pale face. "Until the moment you tried to take my place out there."
Blue eyes widened. "Zoro..?"
"Shut up." Zoro cupped his hand on the warm damp cheek and pulled the blonde closer. "I found myself facing the threat of losing you. Hearing you accepting it so easily... Saying that you knew it would happen, and that you were ready..." He placed a soft kiss on the blue ink that only he was allowed to touch. "You may have been ready, but I wasn't."
Sanji bit hard at his lower lip trying to fight back the emotion that was trying to break free. "Who the hell are you to make that decision for me? The others need you more than me. I can be replaced..."
"If you say that one more time to me, I'll rip those stupid eyebrows off your face." Zoro snapped before roughly pushing the blonde to the bed.
Landing on the firm mattress with a soft grunt, Sanji bit back the urge to fight back. "If you weren't held together by those damn bandages I would kick your head in!" he growled in annoyance.
A smirk tugged wide over Zoro's lips as he pinned the thin arms to the bed. "Yes, but I know how you are. Your kishido doesn't just apply to women."
Pinned, Sanji gritted his teeth hard as he looked away. "Fuckin moss headed bastard... You're too injured to fool around." he grunted, but kept perfectly still. He wouldn't risk hurting his lover by resisting. It twisted his stomach in knots to think of hurting him any further.
Which Zoro was fully aware of. "I know, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to take advantage of your nature in order to get you to actually listen to me for once." The growl that provoked make his smirk twitch wider. "I've finally gotten you all figured out, shit cook. Took me a long ass time, but I've finally figured you out."
Those word made Sanji's heart beat faster as he made a weak attempt to push himself further into the mattress. "What the hell are you babbling about? Let me go, dammit!" he barked, but cringed away when Zoro leaned in close to his face. "Zoro.. Stop..."
Although he didn't like the way the blonde was drawing back from him, Zoro refused to let this drop. "You're not dispensable, Sanji. Your dream isn't worthless. You can't be replaced." His right hand moved to the black t shirt the blonde was wearing and slowly lifted it up. He only had to raise it a few inches to see the horrible black bruises on the left side of the lean rib cage. Seeing the result of his actions made him frown, but he placed his hand carefully over the center of the bruise where his hilt had dug in. "How many?"
Able to guess what the question was referring to, Sanji closed his eyes and tried not to flinch at the contact. "Chopper said three or four are cracked... I didn't tell him how it happened."
Not surprised by that, Zoro leaned in towards the heavily discolored skin. Bending in such a way irritated his injuries, but he ignored it to place feather light kisses on the bruises he caused. "I'm not going to let you go, Sanji. My dream is worthless if I can't have all of my nakama by my side." He allowed his lips to trace the lines of the ribs beneath the injured flesh. "And you.. You're the one I need more than anyone."
It was taking all of Sanji's self control not to kick the man off of him. His eyes closed tighter so he wouldn't see the bandages. So he wouldn't see the pain he knew was in his lover's eyes. "Stupid Marimo... You don't.."
"Stow it, curly brow." Zoro hissed before taking a hard lick at the bruise. The blonde's body arched at the sudden mix of shock and pain. He knew he was pushing Sanji to his limits, but that was what needed to happen. "When I was facing that damn bubble that bear guy made, I was able to put a few things in perspective." He prodded lightly at Sanji's chest to get his attention. When those blue eyes cracked open and focused on him he continued. "You were ready and willing to die in my place. I told that bear guy that I was ready to die. When I was alone, I realized that I may be ready, but I wasn't willing. I was going to live through whatever happened."
Cupping the inked left side of the pale face, Zoro leaned in closer and nipped gently at the lower lip the cook's teeth were gnawing on. "You belong to me for eternity, blondie. You are going to live whether you like it or not."
The whispered words against his lips tickled and thrilled him. "Eternity is a long time, sword boy.." Sanji muttered, keeping still under the larger man's weight.
Zoro's smirk returned when the rail thin body finally relaxed underneath him. "Yeah.. But I'm a glutton for punishment." He kissed his way to the pale left ear and gave a soft growl. "No matter what, I'll always drag your ass back where you belong. You can't escape me."
A chill ran down Sanji's spine, but he was soon chuckling weakly. "What makes you think I want to?" He took one of the dangling earrings between his teeth and gave it a light tug. "Shitty marimo like you would fall apart without me." he purred, earring till between his teeth.
That familiar pulling sensation always turned him on, but Zoro knew neither of them were in any condition to take it further. Instead, he rolled over to his side on the bed and pulled the blonde tight against him. When those long limbs instantly wrapped around him, Zoro let out a content hum and relaxed against the mattress. "Then you better make sure you hold me together, shit cook."
Holding on as tight as he dared, Sanji ran his fingers slowly through the short green locks. After a silent moment, Sanji bit at his lower lip again and closed his eyes. "Zoro... I've been gettin a bad feeling again... Something's gonna happen soon.. Something horrible..."
He trailed off to await for a response, but the only reply he received was a soft snore. His eyes opened and glanced down to see his lover's sleep slacked face. "Zoro..." He knew the swordsman needed all the rest he could get, so Sanji decided to let the man sleep.
Carefully he reached down and pulled out a small tattered card from his back pocket. Holding it up, Sanji glared at it silently. It was an old playing card. One that he had found while cleaning up a fish Luffy had dragged out of the Sunny's aquarium before the party he had cooked up for everyone. The longer he looked at it, the more he wished he could forget he ever found it.
The ink was nearly smudged beyond recognition, but Sanji's eyes could still make out a single spade on the card.
A spade with a hole ripped through its middle.
After looking at it for what seemed like the millionth time, Sanji closed his eyes tight and crushed the card in his hand. The feeling of foreboding was overwhelming, but he tried to suppress it. He tried to focus on the warm body he had pressed against him.
He couldn't shake the feeling that he may not have much longer.
"No, dammit.." Sanji buried his face against the soft green hair and took a deep breath. "I won't let you go either, fuckin marimo..."
His hand sought out Zoro's, and he was soon tracing the ring that still encircled the middle finger. "You're stuck with me, bastard... I don't care if the fuckin world blows up.. I'll find my way back to you..." he mumbled as his eyes slowly closed.
"I swear... Zoro.."
I may write another fic that goes with this story line, but it depends on Oda-sama.