Okay, so this is my first shot at writing fanfiction. Actually, this is my first shot at writing any sort of 'creative writing' story outside of school. &seeing as how I'm a social science major I haven't done any creative writing for academic reasons since middle school.
So why I've decided to start now with a (what I intend to be) quite long multi-chaptered One Piece yaoi (ZoSan!)... I've no idea. But that's what's happening & to make things better I'm doing this in the middle of midterms and papers.
Disclaimer: Oda is brilliant and I could only hope to borrow his characters for this story. Instead I'll be using clones mutated by the inevitable OOCness of a new fanfic writer.
Notes: Please please feel free to comment on purely aesthetic things. Grammar, spelling, writing style. I tend to write in my thinking voice so expect sentence fragments, pauses, and italics/bold for emphasis. If you find it annoying, let me know. I really have no qualms with going back and editing stuff.
Also I still have no idea how this whole fanfiction system works so please be blunt!
He was focused. He could feel the adrenaline building up.
5. 4. 3. 2. 1.
And he was in motion. Dodging the men that rushed at him. A side step here. Backtrack two steps. Knee to gut. Unsheathe and block. Duck, kickout, thrust up, and run. He could feel the rhythm and see the movements as they were laid out.
"CUUUUTT! Perfect Zoro. Just Perfect! Next is the dock dive, but our lead will have to do that himself because we need a full body shot, face and all. Take a rest stunties."
Zoro headed straight to the food tent. It had been a long day and all he really wanted was some grub and a nice long nap. He looked up to see Ace grinning, beckoning him over with one hand. The freckled faced twentysomething barely glanced at Zoro as he ambled over, sliding over a plate piled with sandwiches.
"I know I said I wanted something that burns a little faster, but balsa wood burns WAY too fast. We wouldn't even have time to set off the main explosion before everything burns down! And I realize that you may love setting things on fire over and over again, but I'm the one who's gonna have to rebuild it each time!"
"yeaaahyeaah okayokay Usopp. I'll see what I can scrounge up. If worse comes to worst we can always send our lovely Swordsman over to intimidate our neighborhood scientists into giving us materials." Ace was practically giggling at the thought. The film shoot was taking place at the closed down Alameda Naval Base sitting on the San Francisco Bay. The old base had been decommissioned for years, but it was a wide open area with a number of sturdy warehouses where the Mythbusters crew did some of their experiments. You could even still see the remnants of the freeway that had been built specifically for The Matrix Reloaded's car chase.
Zoro loved it. Even if he wasn't really a stunt double. Not at all. In fact, he was only doing this because Usopp and Ace and asked him to. A big budget hadn't been allocated for this particular film so they had decided to take advantage of the poor, yet very talented, college kids in the area and recruited them as interns.
Though Zoro was pretty damn sure Ace didn't go to college. No. Ace had gone to So Cal immediately after high school to live out a Beach Boys song. And with Ace's permanent tan, apartment stocked with surfboard equipment, and refusal to ever fully cover his torso upon returning, Zoro was pretty damn sure Ace had accomplished that goal. Yet he had still managed to be "discovered" with Usopp at the Academy of Art working on a set design for a potential show they might-though-probably-would-never put on. The show, from what Zoro could tell from the aftermath of their miniature models, was an attempt at recreating WWII. Without the politics or the people. Just the bombs.
The studio had been desperately seeking a stunt double who knew how to use swords and the two special effects nuts had immediately thought of their green-haired friend.
Zoro loved it because it was easy money. The competitions he entered never had a payout he could live off of for very long and the dojo he helped out at occasionally was part of a non-profit organization. No matter how much he loved his swords, no matter if he was one of the best, swordsmanship wasn't exactly a highly sought after skill.
He had obviously been born in the wrong era.
When Ace had excitedly approached him with the job offer, Zoro hadn't been particularly thrilled. Being a stuntman sounded an awful lot like dancing. He'd have to learn the moves and counts and it wasn't at all about instincts or survival, but it was money he could earn with his swords. Or at least with someone's swords. Even if they were fake.
The guy in charge of stunts had practically wept after Zoro's audition. He had been hired on the spot and was even asked to help choreograph some of the action scenes. Again, not exactly something he was initially interested in, but the money was good and he wasn't in the position to be picky.
At least I'm getting the chance to work on my strategic planning. Zoro thought as he picked up a sandwich from the plate and shoved it into his mouth. It's just another form of training. And this way I can tryout all kinds of new moves, even if I never get to actually land any blows.
After washing down his fourth sandwich with a conveniently place bottle of (hopefully Ace or Usopp's)water, Zoro laid his head on the table and dozed off, not in the least bothered by the excited conversation of his two friends as they discussed which explosives would be best for a future scene.
As content as he was with his current life, he couldn't help but be painfully aware of his growing disappointment. It had been a while since Zoro had done any real fighting. Most anyone he considered capable of holding their own against him tended to be big names in the kenjutsu world and were either constantly on the road putting on demonstrations and seminars or retired. And those that Zoro really yearned to face, the ones he'd actually have to give his best in order to beat, tended to stay out of the public eye and ended up virtually untraceable.
I can't let all these choreographed fights dull my edge. I really just need a good clean brawl.
And as he listened to the splash of the waves in the distance and the unintelligible voices of his friends, Zoro fell asleep.
Sanji used to live for nights like this. Women and men dressed in their finest, smiles graced everyone's lips, discussions were informed, and they understood fine dining. To a degree, he still lived for nights like this. Especially when it was hosted by the ever elegant Robin Nico at her always tasteful art gallery. He loved catering at these high class events because it was nothing like the scuffed up Baratie which was filled with brutish men and practically had a standing invitation for every roughneck to come in and brawl.
Until the Tenryuubito moved into town. Well, they hadn't really moved into town. He figured they'd always been around the city, ruining parties, turning every conversation into a political debate. (Though he was pretty sure legalizing slavery wasn't really up for much of a debate in any civilized country anymore. The sick fucks.)
The Tenryuubito were considered to be elite due to family name alone. Most were trustfund babies who had never had to lift a finger for themselves and actually believed they were entitled because there was some obscure scrap of paper that claimed they were related to George Washington or some other bullshit like that.
It wasn't like they were Robin's friends or anything. Hell, he was certain they weren't anyone's friends, but they had power. They had influence.
And tonight the ambassador of a small desert country was going to be there; was going to introduce his daughter who would be studying in the states to aid in her understanding of foreign cultures.
"The poor bastard has no idea what the hell he's throwing his daughter into." Sanji muttered to no one in particular. These parties were becoming too heated, too political for Sanji to fully enjoy himself. For Sanji to feel like he had any right to enjoy himself. No. He would stay out of this.
He felt a soft tap on his shoulder.
"Sanji, this is Vivi Nefertari, the daughter of the visiting ambassador." Robin's voice was soft and melodic, "she insisted I introduce her to the head chef."
Sanji didn't hear a single word the girl said. All he could do was swoon at her light voice. Admire her exotic, shining blue hair. Appreciate her voluptuous—
He took her hand in his, bowed low, and brushed his lips over her soft skin. "I had no idea I would be meeting such a lovely woman such as yourself this evening," he crooned "If only I could be the provider of your nutrition for the remainder of your stay."
The young diplomat blushed and a voice from over Sanji's shoulder chuckled. "I'm pretty sure she just offered you the position of 'personal chef'. Something you might have heard if you hadn't been visibly drooling." A redhead stepped forward and nodded to Robin before turning a polite smile to Vivi.
Sanji didn't know why she did it. His lovely mellorine.
His lovely EXmellorine.
He couldn't explain why it seemed that every time he had run into her these past couple months the same thing would happen. It didn't make sense. Did she hate him? It couldn't have been the break up. Seeing as how she had been the one to dump him as soon as she realized that all the benefits she reaped while going out with Sanji (invitation to high class parties where she could network with rich potential clients) she could still very well gain access to while not going out with Sanji. And Sanji didn't mind. It was no secret that she had never been in it for the romance, but he had been satisfied with having a consistent Someone he could dote on. Honestly, he still doted on her. But none of that explained why the hell Nami was cock blocking him.
There was no other way to explain it.
Every once in a while he'd find a pretty little thing who was enchanted by his charms and just when she'd slip her number into his pocket or they had grabbed their coats and were heading out the door, Nami appeared at his side intimidating in all her confident beauty and would either scare off his potential lover-to-be or whisk him away to serve as her personal tour guide.
Sanji was a shameless flirt and everyone knew it. He preferred the term chivalrous. What he wasn't was an idiot. As lovely as it would be to think that Nami was doing this out of territorial jealousy, it wasn't and he wouldn't delude himself into believing it.
Unless there's no other answer. Unless she really is jealous!
Sanji twirled towards Nami and placed a peck on her cheek. "I wasn't expecting to see you here, my lovely tangerine! But, as always, it is a pleasure."
Nami simply raised an eyebrow at him before responding. "Ofcourse I'm here. I've been assigned to be Miss Vivi's financial advisor during her stay and if you accept the offer of personal chef… it seems we'll be spending quite a bit of time together."
The grin that followed made Sanji's insides squirm as if the rearrangement of his internal organs would somehow make that grin represent sunshine & rainbows rather than the promise of many lonely nights as Nami effectively became his walking chastity belt.
Nami watched as Sanji's face twitched only the slightest bit, but enough for her to know he had felt her threat. She was doing this for his own good. Sanji was a good guy and she wasn't really a bad person. She liked to think that, had she believed that he had truly loved her, she would have stopped taking advantage of him immediately.
Well, that's what she liked to believe. But if she were to be completely honest she knew that even if Sanji had loved her he would have forgiven her selfishness just as quickly.
And that's the fool's problem! He fawns over every girl without any regard to their intentions. You'd think after going out with me he'd try and regain some self-respect, but no. He keeps doing it! And that was why Nami had appointed herself a sort of quality spot-checker. She understood manipulative women and Sanji was a prime target. An easy target.
And maybe, if she was able to help Sanji find someone who was actually sincere in their affections towards him, Nami wouldn't feel indebted to him for all the business he had brought into her life.
She sighed as she watched Sanji continue to swoon over the ambassador's daughter.
Maybe if she offered to remodel his kitchen her conscience would be set at ease.
-snort- Right. What's the point in using Sanji's contacts if I'm just going to use all my hard earned money on him in the end. No. She'd rather suffer his endless affections.
Letting out a final grumble Nami tuned back into the conversation.
"While Miss Nami is correct in saying that I am looking for a personal chef… it would perhaps be more accurate to say a personal caterer" the young politician-to-be was clarifying.
Robin gave a knowing nod. "I assume that during your stay you intend to immerse yourself in everyday life?"
"Those are indeed my intentions"
"And, of course, it's not quite the norm for everyday working class citizens to have a personal chef in their employ. Yet that does not change the fact that you are still here as a representative of your country and will, unfortunately, have to continue playing princess at these social gatherings, correct?"
Vivi returned Robin's smile. "That is absolutely correct. I decided that if I have to constantly go to these parties, it would only be fair that I have at least one constant myself for comfort."
"And oh~ how good food can make any event worth the time!" came the deep voice of a smiling man with long wavy black hair. "Did I hear that this young blonde man is the head chef for tonight?"
"Yes father this is Sanji. Who is, apparently, already a friend of both Robin and Nami. Sanji, this is my father, Cobra Nefertari."
Sanji gave the Alabasta ambassador a firm shake with his hand and a slight bow of his head. "I must give you my greatest thanks for bringing such a beautiful gem into this world. I would be honored to offer my services in any way possible, whenever and wherever they are needed." He gave another bow, this one much lower and with greater flourish.
Sanji had gone out with enough women to know that any lasting relationship required being on the good side of the men in a girl's life. Whether it be friend or family. Schmoozing was, after all, practically the same thing as flirting just without the romance. It was something he was good at.
Cobra chuckled and turned to speak to Robin. "Nico I really must once again thank you for letting us use your gallery for tonight."
"Not at all! I am the one who must thank you for letting me display such exquisite Alabastan artifacts..."
Sanji watched as Robin's face lit up with enthusiasm concerning the current exhibit before excusing himself from the group in the name of checking up on the food.
In fact Sanji had seen a few of the Tenryuubito making their way over and had decided to avoid any sort of meeting. He had been very aware of the fact that agreeing to Vivi's proposition placed him exactly here he didn't want to be: a first row seat to all the inevitable political drama that the young girl would be sure to face.
The position of 'head chef' wouldn't exactly make him a main participant in any future events, but Sanji was solid in his beliefs. He was opinionated and people as narrow-minded and elitist as the Tenryuubito brought out the worst in him.
Sanji found himself in the kitchen where he joined in the cleanup that had already begun.
I used to live for nights like this.