It was the girls that had distracted him. With the svelte forms of Nami and Robin to gaze upon, Sanji hadn't noticed until it was too late.
Sanji drew gently on his cigarette, the glow lighting up his golden hair. It was nice to breathe the smoke and the clear night air and watch the moon dance in the waves.
He had always been that way. Girls were his thing, he loved their figures and the way they walked and pretty much everything about them. Men… well, that was different. When it came to men, he was very picky. Only once in a blue moon did a man catch his eye but when one did, it could get pretty heated.
He hadn't seen a man he really liked the look of for years. It seemed like they had met every weird freak on the grand line and none of the hot guys but that was ok with him. As long as he had the pretty ladies to gaze at then he was just fine.
It wasn't until Thriller Bark that he realised what had happened.
After that, there was no denying it.
He saw the swordsman every day and every night. Tantalisingly close but so far away.
He puffed slowly, watching a school of flying fish dart through the waves like silver darts in the dark. He could feel someone watching him. It could have been anyone… even though they had all gone to bed except Zoro. One of them could have gotten up. Luffy might have had an energetic dream and be seeking his chef to refuel. One of the ladies might need a hot chocolate to help soothe them into sleep's embrace. It might not be… he turned around,
"Zoro," Damn it.
"Mph," Zoro grunted in a typical swordsman greeting.
Zoro came closer and leaned against the wooden railing. Sanji blew his last breath of smoke towards the stoic swordsman and Zoro pulled a face,
"Out here again," he said. It was a statement, not a question.
"Yeah, I thought about swimming off but Luffy would just try to swim after me."
"Mph," Zoro grunted. A glimmer of a smile crossed the swordsman's face as he gazed out across the ocean.
"I was thinking," Sanji blurted, trying not to sound too eager, too desperate. How could he do this?
"Don't hurt yourself," Zoro scoffed. He turned back to face the cook, his features chiselled in silver by the moon.
"Ummm… Did you like any of the girls that we have met so far?" Sanji asked, nervously.
"What girls?" Zoro deadpanned.
"All the lovely ladies that we've met throughout our travels, which ones did you think were the hottest?"
"I don't know," Zoro shrugged, "I guess I don't pay attention."
Sanji had the last deep drag of his cigarette and put it out. Here goes nothing…
"What about the guys?" Sanji asked, his heart was racing but his voice was calm and relaxed. Perfect.
Zoro's eyes narrowed as he subjected Sanji to a piercing stare that made his skin crawl.
"Yeah." Sanji mumbled into his cashmere scarf.
Zoro stayed completely silent.
Yep. That was it. He was going to have to kick Zoro's ass and try to make him forget the whole thing.
"I guess there were a couple," Zoro said slowly, "did you only just figure that out?"
"It was a hunch." Sanji stole a glance at Zoro, he was gazing out to sea again and frowning, ever so slightly.
Finally the swordsman turned back to the cook, "What gave me away?"
"You like fighting really tough guys with your shirt off just a tad too much. That and I've never seen you check a woman out, ever."
"So, what's it to you?"
"Nothing," Sanji said hurriedly, "I was just… wondering," he finished rather inadequately.
"Well now you know," Zoro said steadily, he looked deep into Sanji's eyes and the cook felt transparent.
They stood for a minute, Zoro calm and tranquil and Sanji nervous and flustered.
"Did you see any guys you liked?" Zoro asked.
Sanji swallowed so loudly that his ears popped.
"No," Sanji said, too-fast. Zoro nodded slowly and started to turn his head away, his shoulders slumping almost imperceptibly. "Ummm… well, just one…"
Sanji saw the smirk twitch at Zoro's lips.
"What sort of guys do you like then? Cross dressers?" Zoro grinned outright.
"No, idiot. Real men." Sanji said, with a slightly lewd smile.
"What makes a 'real man'? You like Vikings or something?"
"Why the hell would you even..? No! I only like guys that are muscled, rugged but not totally rough, strong, independent and very hot. Plus they have to have a sense of humour, so that rules you out."
"Picky." Zoro observed.
"What, do you just fuck the first thing that you fall over?" Sanji joked, trying to make light of it to escape the effect of Zoro's deep black eyes.
"Pretty much." Zoro grinned and moved his body ever-so-slightly closer, shifting his shoulders so the moonlight cast his face into shadows.
Pick me pick me pick me pick me…
"Did you ever think…" Sanji started and then stopped just as suddenly.
"Think what?" Zoro murmured, just loud enough for the cook to hear.
Sanji leaned just a little closer to catch Zoro's next words,
"Think th.." Sanji managed to get out, before the swordsman grabbed him by the lapels of his shirt and kissed him.
His kiss was forceful but gentle, when Sanji tilted his head and kissed Zoro back the swordsman embraced him, pulling their hips together and holding Sanji's body to his own. Finally, when they had their fill, they broke the kiss and Zoro laughed softly.
"What?" Sanji demanded, sensitive in the emotional intensity.
"…and hot. Very hot. You can't forget that."
Sanji felt Zoro's muscled arms around him and leaned in against the hard, perfect body.
I won't, he thought.