The cook couldn't understand it. He was puzzled by these emotions that seemed to pop up, not at random, but on cue when the sniper came around him. He didn't like how he was completely puzzled over these feelings, and he definitely didn't like how it was over a man of all things. He loved women, not men. Why was Usopp a primary target for him? Why did he blush when the sniper brushed against him? And why the hell was he envious of Franky for being so close with him? Of all people, he would've at least hoped that if he were ever interested in a man, maybe he'd be interested in Luffy, hell maybe even that bastard marimo. But it didn't seem right anyways, considering the two were already interested in each other. Why Usopp? Why the long nosed liar that complained about being useless?
He decided, maybe it was time to investigate his feelings; maybe test them out and see what was such a big deal about Usopp. At first, he couldn't help but become extremely cold towards him, giving him glares whenever he passed by, calling him out on whatever little mistakes he made, shutting him up at the dinner table if he ever said something more than stupid. He even gave him lesser food than the others. Filled with anger of these unknown feelings, Sanji took it all out on the poor sniper that wasn't even aware of these feelings of his. The only result of this was shear guilt. The faces Usopp had made got the best of him. The others seem to quickly notice Sanji's awkward mood swings towards Usopp. They didn't question nor ask Usopp what he had done to piss Sanji off in such a way. They just waited to see if there would be any change.
Soon enough Sanji brought that to a stop. He couldn't bare being heartless to the innocent liar since he hadn't done anything whatsoever to piss him off. He wanted to apologize, only his anger began to rise for real when seeing Franky and Usopp partnering up to make some new shitty machine. He kicked at the walls and stomped on his pack of cigarettes seeing them smile at each other, helping the other out with this and that. What was so great about that huge pervert anyways? What did he have that Sanji didn't? Why did Usopp enjoy his company so much? Sanji could be just as fun! He could learn about mechanics and do just the same thing. At a time like this, he didn't want to be a cook. But why?
Sitting within the men's quarters, he thought to himself. He was fine seeing Luffy and Chopper around him, only because they seemed so…cute together; playing tag, riding on the swings, telling each other funny stories, or fishing and falling asleep where they sat. He smiled, picturing those gullible faces sinking into a slumber together. That was totally fine with him. Hell, even when Usopp was around that bastard marimo, he didn't mind. It was obvious who Zoro was fascinated with though that was still a mystery to Sanji. Anyone would wonder what was so great about Luffy. Sanji couldn't help but admit that Luffy was at least entertaining. Nami and Robin barely spent their time with Usopp. Nami and Usopp seemed like close brother and sister and that was about it. Robin was more of the type to not have much interest in the long nose, merely laughing at his lies and nothing more.
Brook just entertained everyone with his music. He didn't do much with Usopp unless Luffy was there to pull them all together for some bullshit game. Sanji sighed to himself. Last but not least, Franky. Maybe it was because Usopp spent just about as much time with Franky as he did with Luffy. Or maybe it was mainly because Franky was already classified as a pervert and Usopp wasn't safe with him. Franky didn't seem interested, but the way they communicated pissed him off to no end. Sanji wanted to ask, but he was…secretly afraid to. Why? Well, of course he'd seem like a total creep for even asking. And it would seem obvious as to why those two were so buddy-buddy together. Taking another swing at the wall with his leg, he huffed, taking his cigarette into his fingers and blew out a few smoke rings to try to calm his nerves
It was already supper time, though the food was not even close to ready. Luffy was being the usual alarm, letting the others know the food's progress as Sanji cooked. He worked quickly, feeling a bit stupid for falling asleep for a couple of hours and not starting up on supper 30 minutes prior to now. He kept sighing deeply. His mind was racing with those damn thoughts about the long nose, about how to beat Franky's ass for being so close with him.
"Shut up, mind. Just shut up!" He muttered to himself, cursing every now and then under his breath. He stopped, the food needed to sit for 20 minutes to boil. The seasoning could be added right after, and then he'd stir it thoroughly and make sure that the potatoes on the inside were soft enough to suck into nothing. He eyed the soup and added a bit of pepper, then tasted the hot brew. Yes, it needed to sit for 20 exact minutes. He had some time to spare. He knew it was best to stay within the kitchen while food sat and cooked, but his mind was too full to ignore. He just needed to step outside. The timer would go off and someone would be bound to hear it.
Opening the kitchen door, he felt almost as if he was able to take a big whiff of air from the fresh outdoors. The kitchen had become stuffy with heat from the stove. He needed a break. He took a few steps towards the deck and opened the door. Of course, he thought with disgust, Franky and Usopp are trying out some new shitty invention that one of them created. He growled, moving over to where he could see them more. The sight was almost scorching his poor eyes. He chewed on the end of his cigarette and muttered curses to himself. Franky was too close, that pervert. He was right behind Usopp, guiding the sniper's hand over a lever that was pretty easy to reach and didn't need much guidance for. Usopp gave him such a sweet smile, looking up at the older man with thanks. Franky smirked at the sniper and pointed forward. Whatever they were saying, it was inaudible for Sanji to hear. He wanted to get closer, but his pride held him back. What did he look like eavesdropping? These were his crew mates here. Usopp had pulled the lever; the machine began to move, making loud grinding noises, letting the world know that the gears were turning. Usopp turned a small wheel in front of him, the head of the machine turned at a certain angle. Sanji turned his head towards the direction it was pointing in. Not too far away was a giant rock that remained stranded in the body of water. Usopp closed one eye, focusing his aim on that lonely rock and pressed a huge red button next to the wheel. A giant cannon ball blew from the opening of the machine and bam, a direct hit. As always, the sniper hit straight on, perfectly. Sanji smiled, that's my sniper. He shook his head for using the word "my" in such a sentence. He turned back to the other two, seeing them high five each other. Franky became louder.
"Suuuuuper job, Usopp-bro! That was amazing!" The long nose was almost incoherent.
"Thank you! The cannon still needs some modifications though. It's so loud when it's in use. I think we have to tweak some of the gears and oil them up some more." Technical talk. Sanji didn't really get it like they did, but he had a general idea. The gears just need to be quieter, right? Anyone could figure that out. Easy as pie, he thought.
"Yeah, I'll make sure not to use the older gears, but they were the only ones that seemed to fit. I think that the engine we used was a bit too… well weak, wouldn't you say?" Franky scratched his head, looking out to where the loner rock use to be. The engine's not strong enough. See? Even I understand this.
"I'd say it's pretty advanced for its model. Maybe tuning it up a little more and we can test it out some more?" Usopp eagerly advised. He clenched his fists then brushed his legs off. We just need to fix it up. Even I can be a damn engineer.
"Of course! Well, we'll need to use a few more dials for the tune up. I would say more impact dials would be helpful. Got any more of those?" Impact dials will make it better.
"Yep. I have about… a gazillion! Maybe we can use some more of that cola you have down under. Or… it would be nice if we got .35 mm gunpowder too. Or even some kind of motor fluid to make things go smoother." Er… Cola will help and…some kind of gun powder… and motor fluid? The hell are they—I give up.
Franky chuckled and patted Usopp's head. He nodded; this idea of theirs was impressive. "Then the next stop, we'll restock on all of that." They agreed and then looked out at the horizon again. Are they done being buddy-buddy now?
"You seem to be studying them so much these days." Sanji flinched and turned to see Robin standing next to him. How long was she there? She continued with a casual glance his way, "What's on your mind right now?"
Robin was such a sweet girl, Sanji couldn't think as to why anyone would call her a demon child. He smiled dorkishly and looked down, having his heart pound two times faster than normal.
"Ah, Robin-chwan, I'm not… studying anyone. I'm just watching the two dorks work out their newest invention." He swayed slightly. If he were around Robin and Nami more, maybe thoughts of Usopp would slowly disappear.
"I don't buy it." Robin said flatly. She gave Sanji a very long, serious looking stare. "You can be more truthful than that." Her eyes burned right through him. This woman, she was a pretty nice catch, Sanji knew that much. He couldn't escape with lies around her. He knew she was right. He turned back to facing forward, cigarette teetering from the end of his lips. He sighed and hunched over a little, letting his posture relax.
"I guess… you are right about that. There anything wrong with me doing that?" He asked. The raven haired woman took a moment to reply. She was calculating some sort of response. Maybe one that'd pierce right through him. Had he ever been more right?
"I would think so, if you're getting very upset over it." He tensed and shivered slightly. He was being sort of a dick since all this was coming to attention. "I think you owe Mr. Long Nose an apology." She left it at that, and walked away, as calmly as ever. Sanji watched her move away. She was so graceful in her movement. Robin was right though, Sanji did need to ask for Usopp's forgiveness. He wasn't even sure if Usopp would even talk to him. He didn't seem to be avoiding him or anything; he was just busy whatever he was working on. SAnji, having to cook three meals a day and nothing more, he had the time to give to the younger one.
Sanji puffed his cig once more before dropping the rest of it into the ocean. He leaned against the wooden railing and looked at the waves. What the hell was he doing? How long had he been standing there observing the other two members? What was the time? Time. Shit! I almost forgot about the food! Snapping back to reality, Sanji hurried through the doors to make his way back to the kitchen.