This is a birthday fic I did for bookworm_rach08. She just happens to be my sister's best friend in RL, and one of my first readers ever. xD This idea sort of blossomed in my head a couple weeks ago, and I thought she would like it. My goal for this story was to keep it under five chapters and I CAN'T BELIEVE I DID IT! Yay for setting goals and actually making them!

The whole thing is finished, but I'm posting a chapter a day, just to keep a little suspense. :D If you lovely readers make good on the reviews, I promise I'll reward you with a smex-filled epilogue. Muahaha.


Chapter 1

"Just shut it all down but the core unit right here. Run the defrag, or whatever the hell you techies do, overnight. If you can get the system up and running by Thursday without any kinks, we can run the awards show this weekend, and I won't have to cut off your fingers."

The red haired, freckled-face, technician stared wide-eyed at Zoro from behind thick glasses. The fact that he thought Zoro was serious made Zoro want to grin like a maniac, but like his best friend, Chopper had told him on several occasions, Zoro knew that scaring his employees was not the most effective way to get a job done.

"Thursday," Zoro repeated. "Now shut it off so we can go home."

The techie nodded and turned back to the multiple computer screens. He systematically started shutting things down and Zoro turned to leave the room. Zoro was in charge of all things that went on behind the scenes at the event center, but that did not mean that he had any fucking idea how to work the computer aspect of it all. Give him a stage and some good old fashioned black curtains and lighting, and Zoro could put on a show single-handedly. Set it up digitally, however, and Zoro was forced to hire pimpled, pony-tailed nerds that still lived with their mamas at fucking thirty-five.

Zoro preferred the low-tech way, but obviously the money was in the big gigs, and if Zoro had a good crew beneath him, he could put on a fucking kick-ass show.

Turning off the lights, Zoro locked his office and started down the corridor towards the main stairway. The Grand was an old theater, recently renovated and set dead center in Manhattan's arts and culture district. In the last three years, and most notably in the past year since Zoro had taken his job as head of security and eventually event organizer, the theater had risen to make the list of New Yorks' top venues. In the fall when The Times' review came out, The Grand had surged from number nine, to number four, just beating out Actor's Studio and The Hippodrome. It was an almost unrealistic feat, but Zoro wasn't done. He planned on taking it all the way. He planned on being number one.

"Hey, Zoro!"

Zoro turned and nodded his head of security officer as he dashed up the stairs two at a time. The dark-skinned man jogged to catch up, still pulling on his coat and fishing his beanie hat from his pocket.

"You said Alabaster was okay tonight, right?"

"Yeah," Zoro replied. "Bartender at The Lobby on Tuesdays fucking blows."

"I know, right? He waters 'em down."

Law was a cool dude. Zoro had known him since high school. He had disappeared for a few years when Zoro had first started college, but the two had bumped into each other in The District last summer. Law was sporting a few more tats, and several extra piercings, but he was still the same guy: honest, reliable, and down for both working and partying hard. Zoro had gotten him the job at The Grand and they had hit it off ever since.

It also helped that Law had turned out to be gay: painfully, flamboyantly, rainbow t-shirt wearing Gay. Not that Zoro had anything against straight people, quite the contrary in fact, it was just nice to surround himself with people of similar interest. Something he hadn't had while growing up.

Texting rapidly, Law shouted over the railing to the small group standing together in the lobby.

"Hey, jerk-offs! Somebody called a cab already or what?"

Several heads turned up, one gave Law the finger. Nami, Zoro's accounts manager whom everyone jokingly referred to as "The Fence", tucked her short, red hair behind her ear and called up to them.

"Called 'em five minutes ago! Where the hell are we going again?"

Law, still texting, slid down the banister ahead of Zoro and landed on the lobby floor with a flourish. "Alabaster. Zoro said it was okay."

Nami's eyes widened. "Really? You're okay with that, Zoro? I thought you had a problem with trannies."

The group headed for the door. Kaku, a part time stage technician, chuckled into his sleeve. "It's not trannies he's got a problem with. It's Don Q."

"Who the crap is Don Q?" Franky, another technician, asked.

Nami grinned over her shoulder as they made their way out the revolving doors. "He's a bar tender at Alabaster."

"He's had a hard on for Zoro since forever." Law was still texting as he spoke. "Dude's obsessed. He's got a shrine to Zoro in his bedroom and ev-"

"Will you knock it off?" Zoro growled. "He doesn't have a shrine, he's just… pushy."

"Yeah," Law giggled, "pushy and obsessed."

"Hey, baby," Nami said sweetly into her phone. "You coming out with us tonight?"

Zoro saluted to the group as the four headed toward the taxi parked at the curb. He had to stay behind and lock the doors, then go back around behind to the employee lot. Driving was hell in Manhattan, even if you had a motorcycle, but Zoro loved his bike. He had fixed her from basically scrap metal as a high school senior project. He had started with a rusted backbone and had finished with a sleek, black and green, modified version of a Z1000. It had everything: four-stroke, liquid cooled DOHC, four 38mm Keihin throttle bodies, TCBI Digital Advance ignition… There were four material possessions in this world that Zoro would kill for, and this was one of them.

Revving the engine, Zoro pulled his helmet on and kicked her into gear. He sped off down the street, heading for the flashiest, most raunchy gay bar in The District.


In Zoro's opinion there are three kinds of gay bars, or clubs really, (it seemed like there was no such thing as a gay establishment that was strictly a "bar" anymore). Where there are gay people and drinks, there is always a dance floor which in Zoro's mind means, that it is in fact, a club.

The first type of "gay club" was a place like Skypedia. It was labeled "gay bar" but half the people that came through the doors were straight folk that were tired of being molested in regular bars. Hordes of straight girls that just wanted to dance with pretty boys and not have to worry about getting Rufied or attacked in a bathroom, filled the dance floors. You could find the occasional straight man there, but ninty-nine percent of the time, he was either with a girl, or he just hadn't come out yet.

The second type of gay club was so very obviously gay, that straight people were often intimidated. The music wasn't quite as popular, more classic stuff than anything else, and biker dykes and trannies roamed freely. Guys wouldn't have a problem taking off most clothing and dancing all but naked against railings, and the night was periodically punctuated by amateur drag shows. There were a few clubs like that in The District: Seven and The Lobby were a few. Zoro liked The Lobby, Franky and Kaku worked part time there, Kaku as a bartender, and Franky as a bouncer.

The third type of gay club was the type Zoro wasn't really into. This third type was almost like a slap in the face. These clubs were few and far between, but they were infamous. These clubs were where you could take your Gay out and flaunt it. It was almost like it was mandatory to be particularly obnoxious to make up for social stigmas over the past few thousand years. Alabaster was a place like this. Alabaster had strippers: tranny, dyke, vanilla, whatever. It had drag shows, fetish shows, even a public sex license and a rumored brothel upstairs. Zoro didn't know how much of those rumors were actually true, but he did know that prostitutes, pimps, and pushers buzzed around Alabaster like flies around a fresh pile of shit. When Zoro walked into the place, he immediately felt dirty.

However, he tolerated it because the damn place served the best goddamned drinks in the entire fucking city.

The smell of cigarettes, sweat, and alcohol-saturated sex filled the air as Zoro bypassed the line and walked right up to the bouncer. Lucci was a big guy, six foot five, or six. Zoro wasn't good with racial profiles, but if he had to guess, Lucci was probably Russian, mixed with some kind of Northern barbarian tribal background. The dude was fucking scary, and always immaculate in his black suit and white tie.

"What up, Lucci," Zoro said softly.

Lucci nodded, never one to speak if he didn't have to, and lifted the rope for Zoro. The green-haired man moved inside, and the smell tripled in potency. Strippers gyrated inside of cages on either side of the entrance, and a flock of drag queens tittered and waved as Zoro passed them by. The first floor was almost completely dance floor with a bar in the center. Making his way through the throng of people, Zoro headed up to the second level and past lighted platforms complete with stripper poles and naked, writhing flesh.

He moved slowly through the sea of bodies toward his group's regular table. Franky and Kaku had disappeared, no surprise there, and Nami was lip-locked with her girlfriend Vivi, something he didn't particularly want to see since Nami was like his sister, but Vivi was straddling her so really he couldn't see much of Nami anyway.

As he sat, he turned to Law who was talking excitedly to Killer, one of the club's employees. Killer was cool, even for a dancer. His routine was good, and he was definitely nice to look at. He was toned, with nice skin, and blond. Zoro liked blonds. Franky had tried to set Zoro up with Killer once, but it turned out Killer was a bit of a freak. Zoro enjoyed men, he enjoyed sex, but he really wasn't much of a freak, not compared to Franky and Killer anyway.

Law turned to Zoro and pushed a drink across the table. "Got you something to get you started."

Zoro accepted gratefully, nodding to Killer before he turned back to his tattooed friend. "Where's this new boyfriend you said you wanted me to meet?"

Law grinned. "He's on next. We came at just the right time."

Killer smiled at Zoro and ran his hand over his long, blond pony-tail. "He's the most talented newbie we've ever had."

"Oh yeah?" Zoro's eyebrows rose. He wasn't really interested, he was just happy that Law had found someone he really cliqued with.

"Yeah," Killer continued, "and you'd never guess what he does for a living."

Zoro swallowed the last of his drink. "Living? This isn't his living?"

Killer shook his head. "Nope, he dances for fun."

The song began to change, and Law scooted to the end of his seat. He put his elbows on the table and arched his back. Zoro let out a half chuckled as visions of puppies wagging their tails filled his head.

The track changed, a new beat started up, and the dancers rotated platforms. A few left, and three came out from behind the curtained doorway. The last of them caught Zoro's eye. He was a tall, muscled guy with shaggy, black hair. He wore a simple getup of jeans, a black t-shirt, cowboy boots, and a black, wide brimmed hat. He climbed the step to the middle platform and circled the pole.

"I see you picked him out already," Killer chuckled.

Zoro turned away from the dancer to stare wide-eyed at the blond. "That's Law's new man?"

Killer nodded. "That's our Ace."

"Ace?"

"Yeah, that's his real name."

Zoro frowned. The name sounded familiar. He turned back to the platform in time to see Ace take off his hat and hand it to a man sitting at the closest table. People cheered and held bills between waving fingers as Ace made a circle around the pole again.

When the dark-haired man glanced at their table, he smiled, locking eyes with Law for a moment. He had an exceptionally handsome face and a splash of freckles that gave him that friendly, southern boy look.

"Oh, I think I just came in my pants…" Law sighed.

Killer snickered.

They watched as clothes were shed, and lots of tanned, muscled skin was revealed. Zoro had a nagging feeling in the back of his mind that he had seen this guy before, but he couldn't remember where. He hadn't fucked him, he would have remembered that body. The guy's face, however, Zoro was sure he had seen him before.

When Ace lost the thong, Zoro figured it was time for another drink. He appreciated cock as much as the next guy, but for some reason watching Ace's seemed wrong. He excused himself, without anyone really noticing anyway, and headed for the bar. He ordered three shots and a Dumptruck, the house special. It burned but went down smooth, and it was pretty much the only thing in existence that could get Zoro buzzed.

As he made his way back through the mass of people, he held his drink high and squeezed between two queens wearing feather boas. They tickled his nose and he had to run a hand over his face to get it to stop.

When he opened his eyes, he genuinely almost tripped over his own feet. Moving through the crowd towards him was a blond. He was tall and thin with pale skin. There wasn't anything in particular that set him apart from everyone else, it was more like the entire package was exotic, graceful. He moved like a cat through a patch of tall grass. He was looking to the side, but Zoro could tell even in his profile his expression was melancholy, sad. As Zoro neared him, the blond turned his head to reveal an absolutely gorgeous face. His gaze caught Zoro's and held.

His eyes were so incredibly blue.

They came close, and time seemed to slow. The sound of the thumping music faded into the background, the people around them seemed mere shadows. The blond's eyes bore into his, suddenly taking interest and studying Zoro as intensely as Zoro was studying him. They came together, slid sideways to let each other pass. Their eyes held for a fraction of a second, just enough to turn each other's heads, but then the moment was gone. Zoro had passed him and the blond turned away and kept walking.

Zoro felt light headed. What just happened? Had he really just eye-fucked a guy he'd never seen before in the middle of his least favorite club? Had HE just been eye-fucked?

He shook his head and took a swallow of his drink. Holy shit. Holy shit…

Speaking of fucking, Law was practically getting it on with Ace the Dancer when Zoro returned. Ace had his hat and his jeans back on, but the boots and t-shirt were in a small pile on their table. The two were playing some tongue hockey, much to the amusement of Franky and Kaku, who had also returned. Joining them was Drake, another bartender for The Lobby, and Kidd, a red-headed psychopath that sometimes worked Alabaster's drag show. He was scary-ass mother-fucker, especially in heels, but apparently he and Law went way back.

"Wow, Zoro," Franky whistled as Zoro sat down. "Looks like you just saw a ghost."

Zoro shook his head. "Negative."

Law pulled away from Ace, whispering softly. There was a lot of whining, and "later baby, later" before Law finally turned and graced Zoro with a wide grin.

"Zoro, I'd like you to meet my boyfriend, Ace. Ace, baby, this is Zoro."

Ace reached across the table, offering his hand. "Zoro?" he asked, his expression thoughtful.

"Yeah," Zoro gripped his hand. "Do you feel like you know me too?"

Ace nodded. "Where the hell do I know you from?"

A thought occurred to Zoro then. "Wait, what's your last name?"

"Portgus," Ace answered.

Zoro almost dropped his drink. "Holy—You're Luffy's brother!"

Ace's eyes went wide. "Holy shit! I remember you now! Christ, what's it been? Ten, eleven years?"

"Eleven," Zoro said, "Has to be, I'm twenty-two."

"What are you guys talking about?" Kaku asked. "How do you guys know each other?"

"We took martial arts together when we were younger," Zoro explained. "Ace's dad taught the class. It's were I met Luffy. Ace and I were in the same age bracket, so we competed in tournaments together."

"He beat me all the time," Ace grinned.

"You used to be puny," Zoro shrugged.

"So did you."

"What?" Franky asked incredulously. "What's this I hear? Zoro was puny at one time? I have to write this down. Are there pictures? Video evidence of this?"

"Shut up," Zoro growled. "I was like nine."

"It's so awesome to see you again, man," Ace grinned. "What's up with you? What are you doing?"

"Eh," Zoro shrugged, "Kickin' ass and takin' names."


As distracted as Zoro had been coming back to the table, Ace and Franky kept the night interesting until well passed two. As the group left the club, pulling on jackets and lighting up cigarettes, Zoro got Ace's cell number and promised to meet up sometime for a sparring session. Lucci nodded to them as they left. Zoro noticed that his eyes never strayed far from Kaku's ass, but he said nothing about it.

They had decided to walk back to the apartment Franky shared with Kaku. It wasn't far, and they knew the slow decompression back through the streets would do them good. Franky sang a tune, loudly and in a high pitched tenor. The sound echoed off the brick walls like a chorus of voices. Kaku laughed and smoked, talking quietly with Drake. Ace and Law lingered behind, throwing each other up against walls. When they disappeared behind a large trash bin, Killer snickered and blew smoke out in a ring.

"Couldn't wait to get home, I guess."

"I guess…" Zoro echoed.

Zoro felt a little wobbly. He'd definitely had more to drink than normal. That didn't necessarily mean he was drunk, just… off. His head was still stuck in the memory of piercing blue eyes, and no matter how much alcohol he had consumed that night, it hadn't been able to erase that memory.

Maybe he was also feeling a little sorry for himself. He hadn't gotten laid in a while, and now with Law having Ace, he couldn't even get an easy buddy-fuck.

"Hey," Killer said at his side. "Check that out."

Zoro looked where Killer was pointing, and slowed.

They had just been passing Eighth Street when Killer said something. Eighth was labeled a street, but it was more like an ally. Two hulking buildings flanked each side, and the way was long and dark. All manner of thugs and druggies waited in those shadows. Eighth was like the ass hole of The District. No one, not even Zoro walked that street alone.

Eighth was where you went if you wanted to get gang raped, or killed.

What was currently happening in that dark ally, startled Zoro so profoundly, that the buzz he had been feeling only moments ago, fled, leaving only a hard pulse of adrenaline coursing through his veins.

Moria, one of The District's most notorious Fetish Kings, stood just outside the fading glow of a street light. He had one grimy hand kneading the crotch or his leather pants. The other was resting on the brick wall of the building. He was leaning over a slighter figure, half hidden by shadows. Moria was a professional Dom at Thriller Park, and specialized in younger boys. He liked making people think he was a vampire by wearing white makeup and custom-made ivory fangs. He had a healthy relationship with coke, and he loved hurting boys on camera. He was notorious for recording a scene and then playing it on the big screen the next night at the fetish bar. It was pretty sick, but Zoro managed to ignore it for the most part, unless Moria happened to put his slimy hands on him or any of his friends. It had happened once, and Zoro had made Moria realize it would never happen again if he wanted all his parts to remain intact.

On any normal day, Zoro wouldn't have given the Dom a second glance. He would have kept his pace, and passed Eighth without another thought. Let the bastard have his weird-ass bondage scenes, it didn't hurt Zoro any.

But not tonight. Zoro moved past Killer and strode into the darkness of the ally. He had never actually set foot on Eighth, but he wasn't exactly thinking straight at the moment. He heard Killer call out from behind him. He heard Franky and Kaku as well, but he didn't understand what they were saying. All he saw, all he heard, was the way Moria's painted lips were turning up into a smile, and his fake mother-fucking vampire fangs glistened as they neared pale skin.

Zoro seethed. He didn't fucking need this.

Zoro took three steps, tucked in his arms, and shoved Moria full on from the side. The fat, psudo-vamp stumbled, slamming into the side of a trash bin. The sound echoed up the brick walls like Franky's song had only a few minutes ago, but this song was much less sweet. Moria righted himself and whirled to face his attacker. When he saw it was Zoro, however, he froze.

"What… What the fuck, man! What the hell do you want!"

Zoro stood quietly, his hands balled into fists at his sides.

"Get the fuck out of here," Zoro snarled.

"What the fuck! Why do you care-"

"I said get the fuck out of here!"

Moria didn't argue. He ran, disappearing down the dark street.

Angry, confused, adrenaline still pumping through him, Zoro turned to the man leaning against the brick wall. His blond hair fell into his blue eyes. His face was slack, almost bored.

"What the hell were you thinking?" Zoro growled.

The blond stared with disinterest at Zoro's shirt. He blinked slowly, shoving his hands further into his pockets.

Zoro really didn't need this.

"So," Zoro growled again, moving closer, "are you crazy, or just stupid? That guy's a fucking psychopath. Do you have any idea what he would have done to you? Where the fuck do you think you are?"

The blond looked at him then. His eyes were cold, not anything like what they had been in the club.

"He wouldn't have done anything to me," he said softly.

Zoro tried not to react to the raspy baritone and moved still closer. "No, that's what Moria does, he throws you some lines about this and that, and the he gets you in his fucking dungeon or whatever and then drugs and beats the shit out of you!"

The blond blinked again, slowly. "It would have never gotten that far. I was about to fuck him up before you showed up." It sounded like he was discussing the weather, or his favorite music.

Zoro bared his teeth, his anger was mounting. "Fine," he said quietly. "Sorry I tried to save your fucking skin. I won't do it again."

He turned to leave, but he felt a pull on his jacket. When Zoro turned back, he saw the blond had his sleeve in a white-knuckle grip. He was looking at the ground but something was softening in his eyes.

"Wait…" he whispered.

Zoro waited.

"I'm sorry…" the blond said, even lower than before. "I'm sorry I was ungrateful…"

Zoro didn't like the way he said that. There was so much pain in this blond's voice, so much loneliness. He remembered the look they had shared in the club, and the more he thought about it, the more Zoro seemed to see desperation in those blue eyes. It was hindsight obviously, but goddamn it, he couldn't get the image out of his head now.

Fuck. He really, really didn't need this.

"Fine," Zoro mumbled. "You're forgiven. Just get the hell out of here. You're just asking for someone to try and fuck you up."

The blond rolled his eyes. "Let 'em try."

Zoro pinched the bridge of his nose and moved to block the view of his friends, who had taken interest in what was happening. They stood at the mouth of the ally, watching as Zoro leaned in close to the blond's lax frame.

"See, that kind of attitude'll get you killed out here. No one comes down this street unless they're looking for trouble."

Those blue eyes that had been watching Zoro's belt, now slid up his chest, very slowly making their way along his neck and up to his face. Zoro felt a tremor run through him, a sudden unbalance as those long lashes blinked lazily at him.

"What if I am looking for trouble?"

Zoro wondered if he had ever heard a voice so sexy. He doubted it. This guy's raspy baritone softened his hard parts and hardened his soft parts. Zoro couldn't help it and leaned an arm against the brick wall for support. He knew if his knees buckled he would never hear the end of it, but fuck, it was about to happen. He cleared his throat and wet his lips, trying to regain some kind of footing.

"You wanna go somewhere? I got a ride."

Slender shoulders pushed off the wall and long legs put that lean body right in Zoro's space. He came so close, Zoro felt the brush of those blond bangs against his forehead. Warm breath ghosted across Zoro's lips.

"Take me to your place?" the blond whispered.

The green-haired man felt a shiver roll up his spine and back down. There was heat in that gaze, power. The intoxicating promise of sex...

"What's your name?"

The blond's mouth twitched. He pulled away and slipped his hands back in his pockets.

"Call me whatever you want…"

They emerged from the ally together. Ace and Law were still nowhere to be seen, but at that point, Zoro really didn't care. Killer watched them with a sly smile.

"Hey guys," Zoro said as he started to head up the street. "My bike's back that way. I'll catch up with you guys on Thursday."

His friends seemed a little stunned, and for good reason. Zoro had never been a one night stand kind of guy. He rarely picked up anyone when they were out. He was the least promiscuous of their group, and usually knew his bed partners for a few weeks before taking them home.

"Okay, boss," Franky said, his surprise slowly giving away to a wide grin. "We'll see you on Thursday."

"Yeah, hey come by The Lobby this weekend," Drake said. "First round's on me."

Zoro saluted, and motioned to the blond to follow. He started to, but then stopped and slid up next to Kaku, who was still staring at him with a slack jaw.

"Hey, can I get a cigarette?" he asked smoothly.

Kaku nodded, pulling out his pack. The blond slid the cigarette between his lips, and bent his head when Kaku offered a light. There was something about the way that mouth moved as he pulled in the smoke, or maybe it was just the way his body leaned in to the flame, or the way those long fingers held that stick so delicately. Whatever it was, it had Zoro wishing he was that cigarette and the blond's lips were around him.

That lithe frame straightened and the blond smiled as he blew out the smoke in a long, thin stream.

"Thank you…"

Zoro moved and slipped his hand underneath an arm. He pulled the thin man away, not giving Kaku time to pull himself back together, not giving any of his friends time to question or tease, or do anything that would delay him longer. Watching the show with the cigarette had sent all the blood in his body to his groin. He wanted the blond now, and he didn't want to have to kill one of his friends out of sheer impatience.

As Zoro disappeared around the corner with his companion, Drake started to snicker at the look still plastered to Kaku's face.

"Nice, Kaku," he teased, "real smooth."

Kaku's wet his lips and tried to swallow. Suddenly his mouth had become very dry.

"I'm kinda' jealous of Zoro right now…"

Franky clapped him on the shoulder and pulled the smaller man along beside him.

"You're not the only one, bro. You're not the only one."


Zoro's apartment was above The Grand. He lived on the top floor where the old supply and storage had been renovated into a studio, complete with kitchen and enclosed bathroom. It worked out perfectly. The rent was unbeatable, and he was always close to work if something happened to fall apart while he was off.

The blond stood in the doorway, surveying the space.

"It's very clean," he said simply.

Zoro nodded. "I don't like clutter." Moving to drape his jacket over a chair, Zoro paused to think if he should offer his guest anything.

"Hey, do you want-"

Zoro's voice caught in his throat when he turned around. The blond had moved exceptionally fast, closing the space between them. Now he was gazing at Zoro with that same look he had caught the green-haired man in at the club. Zoro's cock twitched and gooseflesh rose across his arms. His heart started to thump in his chest as the blond's hand came up to run gentle fingers over his jaw.

Zoro so did not need this.

Grabbing the slender hand, Zoro pulled the other man's thin frame against his. He leaned in and pressed his mouth to the soft lips. He had no idea what to expect, but even if Zoro had tried to expect something, it would have been nowhere near what he got.

He had never been with someone so responsive. The blond picked up Zoro's rhythm and pressed back, his hands running over Zoro's face and through his hair. His tongue slid against Zoro's as they kissed heatedly. Zoro moved down the other man's neck, licking and tasting, practically ripping the shirt from the other man's body. He slid rough hands over tightly muscled flesh. The guy obviously worked out, he was just so damned skinny you couldn't tell underneath all the clothes.

Zoro found a nipple and ran his tongue over the soft bud. The skin tightened against his lips, and fingers pulled at Zoro's hair. The sounds the blond was making were the sweetest Zoro had ever heard. His erection throbbed almost painfully at the thought of what the sounds might be like when Zoro had this guy's dick in his mouth.

Abruptly, Zoro straightened. He reached around a slim waist and grabbed two decent handfuls of muscled ass. He lifted, and the other man let out a soft cry as he wrapped his legs around Zoro's torso. The bed wasn't far, and Zoro enjoyed the panting, almost desperate noise so close to his ear. He wasted no time in relieving his company of the rest of his clothes, and when he had the blond naked on his bed, Zoro took a moment to settle back on his knees and just look.

He was Goddamn perfection. This blond had a smoking body on top of that drop-dead face. His skin was like fucking ivory, and his cock was long and heavy, just begged to be sucked.

Maybe Zoro looked for too long, because his bedmate sat up slowly, a look of fear and uncertainty coming over his features.

"What… what's wrong?" he asked. His voice was shaking.

Suddenly, Zoro realized the blond's voice wasn't the only thing that was shaking. His shoulders were trembling, his legs were too. His hands were balled into tight fists in Zoro's sheets. He was biting the inside of his lip, and holy fucking shit if his eyes weren't a little watery.

Zoro's heart gave a little pang. He had been where this guy was and understood what he was going through.

Leaning in close, Zoro ran a finger down the blond's cheek and kissed his lips softly.

"This is your first time, isn't it?"

The blond's lips trembled, and his eyes filled for real. He bit it back, however, clenching his jaw and taking a slow breath.

"Yes…" he whispered.

Zoro's hand ran over a bent knee and slid down an extremely muscled thigh. The pale skin was so soft it felt like his palm was sliding over silk; the most expensive of Egyptian cottons. For a moment, Zoro pictured this man dressed in the fine linens of the players in the Mikado or any Kabuki theater for that matter. They would seem like rags against his creamy skin and his soft, golden hair.

Zoro must have been looking for too long again, because he felt the blond's body tense.

"I… I'll leave if you want me to," he said, barely a whisper. His voice still trembled like his body. It made Zoro's heart skip.

"I know you probably expected me to know what I was doing. I thought… I could fake it but I… I can't. I don't have any idea what-"

"You're beautiful…" Zoro murmured.

The blond's eye widened. He stopped breathing. Zoro felt a rush as if he were the first person that had ever given this man a compliment. He kissed thin lips before the other man could react, and gently pushed the lithe body back down on the sheets.

"I'll be gentle, okay?" Zoro let his mouth glide over a toned stomach. "I'll go slow."

With every kiss, the blond's breath became heavier. With just this small touch he was coming undone, and Zoro was so taken by it, that the world around him seemed to fall away. He stripped out of his shirt, and stood quickly to shed the rest of his clothes. He crawled back over that flushed body and slid his hands up and over legs that were so tightly packed, he was momentarily distracted. What did this guy do that gave him muscle groups like those?

He kissed the inside of one of those powerful thighs, and the blond let out a soft breath. His chest started to heave, taking panting, desperate breaths as Zoro ran his tongue up his long shaft. He writhed and moaned when Zoro took his length in his hand and stroked him slowly.

Zoro couldn't believe it. He had never, never been with anyone that turned him on like this. The blond's voice was killing him slowly, breaking off pieces of his restraint and tearing through his defenses. When he slid that long cock into his mouth, the blond cried out. It was a rough, masculine sound, and Zoro was glad of it. He didn't like whiny bottoms. If he wanted a whiny, girly bottom, he'd fuck a girl. Zoro didn't want a girl, had never wanted a girl, and the person lying before him was anything but. He was vulnerable and a little emotional at the moment, but he was very, very much a man.

As Zoro distracted by rolling his tongue and taking that hot length in as far as he could, he popped the cap on a bottle of lube he had procured from underneath the pillow. He covered his fingers and teased the blond's entrance gently. The other man responded by bending his legs and spreading his thighs to give Zoro easier access. Zoro moved closer and slid a finger inside the blond's warm body.

Another guttural cry fell on Zoro's ears, and the green-haired man wondered if he would be able to hold out. The blond's voice went straight to his cock. It ached and throbbed in its neglect, but Zoro would not rush this for anything in the world. He had this gorgeous person spread out on his bed, crying out with every little move he made. Nothing short of the end of the world would get Zoro to do anything but take his time.

He released the throbbing length with a wet pop and slipped another finger in, massaging carefully inside that tight space. He leaned forward and kissed the backs of pale hands. The blond had covered his eyes and was gasping wildly from between his wrists.

"Is it okay?" Zoro murmured.

The blond nodded.

"It feels good?"

The blond nodded again.

Zoro kissed those fingertips again and they fell away, revealing clear blue eyes and tear-streaked cheeks. It was an incredible sight, and Zoro committed it into his memory.

"I can just keep doing this," he whispered, sliding his fingers in and out slowly. "I can get you off like this, with just my hands."

The blond's eye rolled back as Zoro's fingers worked. He seemed lost and unable to speak, transcended as Zoro caressed him on the inside.

"No…" he said suddenly. His eyes opened again and he looked up at Zoro. "I want everything… please… Please give me everything…"

Zoro almost broke open and bled out his soul all over this person, too beautiful and too sweet to be real. Zoro claimed his mouth, sliding his tongue inside and plundering as thoroughly as he was about to plunder this man's body. When he broke away, he fumbled again underneath the pillow for the package of condoms. He ripped one open with his teeth, and almost laughed when he realized his hands were shaking as his slipped it on. He moved over the other man once again, and brushed soft blond hair out of those fucking gorgeous eyes.

"Don't fight it," Zoro murmured, "relax as best you can, especially in your thighs."

The man below him nodded. "Okay…"

Zoro kissed him again. "You want it like this, or on your stomach?"

Thin lips trembled. "Does it make a difference?"

"Not really," Zoro answered, "it's just whatever you're more comfortable with."

"Oh…" he watched Zoro's mouth, and ran his own tongue over his bottom lip. "Then I'd like to stay like this… if that's okay with you."

Zoro nodded and slipped his knees underneath supple legs. "Yeah, it's definitely okay."

With one hand to guide himself and another holding a pale thigh, Zoro pushed forward, sliding slowly into wet and pulsing muscle. He grunted softly as he was met with resistance. "It's okay… it's okay…" he whispered against a smooth cheek. "Relax, relax your legs."

Zoro massaged circles into shaking thighs, and kissed gently down a sweat-slicked neck. The blond turned his head away. He clenched his teeth together hard but he did not make a sound.

"It's okay…" Zoro repeated softly. He brought his hand to the other man's flagging erection and stroked gently.

There was a trembling sigh, and Zoro almost howled when the blond's impossibly long legs came around his hips. His body opened for Zoro's length and suddenly Zoro was inside, surrounded by heat and life and fuck he was so tight!

"Oh God…" that smoker's rasp was right in Zoro's ear. "Oh fuck… fuck…"

Zoro panted against that cursing mouth and nuzzled underneath a sweaty jaw. He kissed the soft skin there and ran his hands over silk hips and creamy abs. He pulled out, achingly slow, and pushed back in. He was rewarded with not only delicious friction on his cock, but with a soft cry, so painfully sweet it made Zoro's chest tighten and his heart sing.

"Hurts?" he whispered.

The blond gasped at another gentle thrust and shook his head. "No, it's not… it's not so bad."

"Feels good?" Zoro's tongue made another trail up that sweaty neck.

The blond lifted his arms and slid his hands up Zoro's shoulders. "Yes." His fingers combed through Zoro's hair. "You can do it harder."

Zoro groaned in appreciation and braced himself on his arms. He ground his hips down and shuddered when the blond's hands slid down his chest, feeling out the scar that marred the top half of his torso. Zoro kept the slow pace, thrusting in hard and pulling out gently as blue eyes opened wide; as thin fingers danced over gnarled flesh.

"Don't…" Zoro breathed. He felt a violent tremor ricochet down his spine as nimble fingers teased the scar again.

Panting harshly with each movement of Zoro's hips, the blond's gaze returned to Zoro's face. His skin was flushed, his hair heavy and damp as it hung over his eyes.

"Make me…" he purred.

The attitude was what pulled Zoro in, the fire that was somewhere behind the inexperience and uncertainty. However, even beneath that spark, a profound sadness blanketed this man's true self, and Zoro was becoming desperate to mend it. He wanted to clear away all those layers and find exactly what was hidden beneath them.

He sped up his movements, catching the blond off guard. The body beneath Zoro arched, almost obscenely. Those sweet cries sounded again and again as blunt fingernails raked down Zoro's already marred chest.

"Tell me your name…" Zoro growled.

The blond panted beneath him. "No…"

Zoro lowered his mouth and bit the flesh between neck and shoulder.

"Tell me."

The hands left Zoro's chest and fell to the bed. They twisted in the sheets, pulling, tightening, just like the way Zoro could feel the man's body tightening around him.

Zoro raised a hand and gripped the edge of the headboard for leverage. He quickened his pace once again, and lowered his mouth to catch the cries flowing freely from the other man's mouth.

"Tell me your name…" he growled again, there was nothing gentle in his voice.

The blond closed his eyes. He turned his head to the side and rocked his hips up in time with Zoro's powerful thrusts.

"I'm no one…" he gasped, "Nobody…"

There was that sadness again, but Zoro was so close he couldn't hold on to his concern any longer. He leaned down and took the other man's jaw in his hand. He tilted that beautiful face up and brought his lips to one delicate ear.

"Fine," Zoro snarled. "I'm gonna make you come so hard, you're gonna forget you have a name at all."

With that, Zoro straightened. He took the blond's cock in his hand and stroked him fast and hard with each violent thrust of his hips. The man's cries echoed off the high ceiling. They danced through the naked rafters and slammed against the windows. Zoro had never heard anything so erotic in his life. He wanted it to last for hours but his own orgasm was on him. He bore down, feeling those blunt nails scraping up his hips. The blond's cock pulsed in his hand, sending warm wetness across pale and tan stomach alike. Zoro pressed his face in creamy skin and let himself go. He groaned, pushing himself as deep as he could go, burying his length deep inside. He shuddered one last time, tension flowing out of him, breath leaving him. He molded himself against the slender body and thought how amazing it would be if he could just stay there forever.

When he came back around, Zoro took a moment to listen to the blond's breathing as the man tried to steady himself. He slipped his arms underneath that lithe torso, and smiled to himself as thin arms came back around his neck. He made himself believe that his heart was racing only because of the physical exertion, and it had not in fact sped back up when soft lips started to trail kisses across his cheek.

Zoro hummed and lifted his head. He kissed closed eyelids and ran his lips over surprisingly dry temples.

"Good?" he asked, meaning more than just the sex itself.

Hopefully the blond knew what he meant.

"Yes."

Laying one more soft kiss on those sweet lips, Zoro got to his elbows and gently pulled out. He got to his feet and padded into the bathroom, disposing of the condom and grabbing a pair of sweats on the top of the laundry. When he reemerged, the blond had his jeans back on and was slipping the shirt over his head.

Zoro moved immediately to intercept, sliding his hand around that slim waist.

"Hey, you don't have to go," he whispered.

The blond froze, caught in uncertainty once again.

Zoro took both hips in his hands and kissed that sweaty neck. "You can sleep here. I might even have some cigarettes lying around somewhere."

The blond turned then, his eyes lighting up hungrily. Zoro snorted and broke away to move into the kitchen. He fished the pack of smokes that Law had left last week from the bookshelf and returned to the bed. He grabbed a lighter from the nightstand drawer and handed both over. The blond accepted with a nod and moved to the window.

The breeze felt good on Zoro's bare skin. He watched as those slim hands moved through motions he had seen thousands of times, but never before had he been so mesmerized by those particular movements. It was obvious this man worked with his hands. Something that required a dexterous skill that Zoro could never hope to acquire. Maybe he was a musician? He looked the part.

He didn't realize he was drifting off until the bed shifted. The blond had slid in beside him and was now lying back on the pillow, watching the night sky through the window he had left open.

Zoro wanted to ask for the man's name again, but he was sure he would not get it.


When Zoro woke, it was still dark. He glanced at the clock. The glowing numbers displayed a quarter past four. He breathed deep, rubbing at his eyes to try and wipe away the heaviness in his eyelids. He knew something had woken him. There was a tangible tension in the air, thick and heavy as it settled against Zoro's side.

He turned his head. The blond lay faced away from him. Zoro knew immediately something was wrong. The man's breathing was clipped, short and punctuated as if he was...

Zoro rolled to his side and slid a hand down underneath the sheets. He touched the other man's back gently, moving his hands over sinewy muscle and pulling himself against the thinner frame. He rested on an elbow and gazed down into an anguished face. Tears slid from those lonely blue eyes. A hand held long, agile fingers loosely over a trembling mouth.

"What's wrong?" Zoro asked gently.

He didn't answer right away. He lay there for a few moments, crying tears onto Zoro's pillow. When he finally spoke, his voice was a hoarse; dry, the scrape of autumn leaves over pavement.

"It's nothing…"

Zoro moved his hand, and trailed fingers through heavy tear tracks. "Yeah, this is a lot of nothing right here."

The blond's eyes closed and he turned his head into the pillow. "I've done a horrible thing…" he cried.

Zoro barely knew this man, didn't even know his name, but at that moment Zoro's heart ached for him. He wished he knew how to make this blond's pain stop. He wished there was something he could do.

"Hey," he whispered. "Come here. Turn over."

The man hesitated; turned his head to look at Zoro's face.

Zoro pulled him gently. "Come here," he repeated. "It's okay."

He came. He rolled over. He buried his head into Zoro's neck and splayed his hands over the gnarled scar on the thicker man's chest. His shoulders shook violently as Zoro's arms came around him. "It's not okay…" he sobbed desperately. "Nothing's okay…"

Zoro held him until he stopped shaking. He ran his fingers through his hair until the man's sobs subsided. When Zoro felt the body go slack against him, he lay back on the pillows, taking the blond with him. He closed his eyes, running his thumb over smooth skin. He didn't fucking need this. This was the kind of thing that was going to distract him, mess up his concentration, screw up his schedule and fuck with his structured life. What was he doing getting mixed up in something like this?

The blond sighed softly, and his fingers tightened their hold on Zoro's bicep.

The green-haired man let out a breath, pushing all thoughts but the ones involving skin on skin out of his head, and willed himself to sleep.


When Zoro woke, morning had passed, and the sun was almost halfway through its journey across the sky. The light shone down on him through the open window, blinding him as he yawned and opened his eyes.

He was alert within a moment. He sat up, rubbing tears from his eyes and taking in everything at once. He was alone in the bed, the spot next to him cold as if there had never been another body there at all. Zoro's gaze surveyed the room, peering through the door to the dark and unoccupied bathroom.

The blond was gone. He had left some time ago.

Sighing, Zoro lay back on the pillows. He hadn't expected much in the way of morning after conversation, but he had thought that maybe the guy would stick around at least for a little while. Let Zoro make him some coffee or something. Ask if he was all right.

Rolling to the side, Zoro contemplated going back to sleep. Wednesday was his day off. The one day he set aside for himself. He needed time to let his mind rest, to not plan, to stay as far away from schedules and show line-ups and backstage organization as he possibly could. His employees knew not to bother him on Wednesdays unless it was the direst of emergencies, and his friends only texted or called in the evening. Wednesday mornings were for quiet, meditation, and training.

The pillow smelled like cigarettes and almonds. Zoro's groin tightened at the memory of pale skin that tasted like sweat and something nutty. He hadn't made the connection the night before, but now that he thought about it, his mysterious bedmate had been covered in various tastes. The man must have some kind of attraction to flavored lotions.

Zoro slid a hand down the front of his sweats. He was hard. His muscles, which had been so grateful to him for the relief last night, were now awakening with tension. He had an itch to move, to work out some of the anxiety he was feeling deep in his chest.

He rolled and pulled himself out of the bed. He padded to the open space adjacent to the small kitchen nook, and began a series of stretching movements. The space was designed to be a dining/living room area, but Zoro didn't have a table or chairs. He had a small television, but he rarely watched it. He had shoved his one piece of furniture, his couch, into a corner, and that served as his lounge and eating area. He had pulled up the carpet, and installed smooth, wooden panels for flooring. This way he had plenty of room to work out and wouldn't be bothered by anyone. Manhattan had many gyms Zoro could apply to for membership, but what he really needed was privacy.

When he felt sufficiently limber, Zoro moved to the wall, taking his most prized possession from a wooden rack bolted into the brick. He slid the steel katana from its casing and took a few practice swings before laying the sheath on the floor.

He moved to the center of the room, took his stance, and started to work that golden hair and absolutely perfect skin out of his system.

TBC