Water 7 – Part 2

Suddenly Zoro felt as good as sober. He hadn't expected Sanji to take him seriously but worst of all, he wasn't entirely sure any more he had been kidding. Honestly, he had never given it much thought.

They stared at each other in the moonlight. The swordsman suspected that his face mirrored the shock plastered all over the cook's.


'I...I am not sure,' was as close to the truth as he could get at the moment.

Zoro watched Sanji open his mouth a few times but nothing would come out. Eventually, he waved impatiently in Zoro's direction as if he tried to chase away a fly and settled for his go-to response: lighting up again.

For a fleeting moment he considered asking the cook for a cigarette just to distract him from the uneasy situation but in the interest of his health he decided against it. Emotions were whirling through him and none of them familiar or pleasant. He wasn't the kind of guy to dwell on his feelings or puzzle over the implications.

Zoro understood ambition, determination and loyalty, and their counterparts: indifference, cowardice and betrayal. He knew he cared for his nakama and valued the importance of promises. There was of course annoyance – something he felt most often in his current company but that was as far as his introspection usually went.

All these strange new emotions were unsettling to put it mildly, therefore Zoro decided to focus on his own go-to response: being annoyed with the dartboard eyebrow for dragging them out in the open.

Fully intending to start a fight that would get them geared up and back on familiar territory with the usually satisfying end result of feeling sore and relaxed at the same time like after a good work out, Zoro marched toward Sanji and very abruptly felt at a loss how to start it. What could he say? 'You make me think about things I rather not think about,' was lame on top of being cowardly.

He looked at the other man's profile who was apparently too lost in thought to notice Zoro's presence. All the mustered up annoyance evaporated like the smoke from Sanji's cigarettes and somehow it suddenly mattered a great deal what the cook thought of this...this situation and the swordsman didn't know how to ask for his opinion.

Before he could come up with a way to phrase the question, the cook suddenly grabbed his wrist and dragged him with him toward one of the tall shadows. It seemed to be the night of Sanji dragging him to places, Zoro noticed wryly.

'Where are we going now, cook?'

'We need to talk.'

Zoro was about to point out that Sanji acted like a damn girl until he caught the look on the man's face. It instantly reminded him that a part of him was dying to find out what the other made of this new revelation and decided to let the cook drag him through the moonlit streets.

They entered one of the buildings without knocking. To Zoro's surprise, it turned out to be their quarters. Since everyone was at the party and would probably remain there for some time, they had the place to themselves.

Sanji lit an oil lamp and placed it on the common room table. After further rummaging through a few cupboards he produced two glasses and two bottles of sake. 'I would warm this but I don't think my brain can wait that long,' Sanji muttered while he poured for both of them.

The swordsman wasn't too sure what the cook was on about but accepted the offered glass without comment. Sanji clinked his glass against Zoro's before he downed the entire content and promptly went for a refill. Zoro watched his nakama with raised eyebrows. He couldn't recall ever seeing Sanji drink like he meant it. Usually it was all sip here, sip there like the prissy little bitch he was.

Ah, familiar thoughts. The swordsman smiled to himself before he sampled the booze. Not as good as the stuff Paulie had served but not bad either.

Paulie... The shipwright had been awfully close earlier. Way closer than Zoro would normally be comfortable with. Yet it hadn't bothered him at the time. It had just been ...different? ...maybe even nice?

As if he had read his thoughts, Sanji finally spoke. 'That guy was practically in your lap and you didn't mind? That's not like you.' His voice sounded almost like he was making an accusation but it came out more incredulous as if he he couldn't believe it to be true.

Zoro pondered that for a moment. 'It seemed all right at the time,' he finally replied with a shrug.

'I never thought... I mean you are... I always figured you didn't... gaaarr...' The blonde man grabbed the bottle again, obviously lost for words. Zoro extended his own glass and Sanji topped him up without further comment.

They drank in silence for a bit, both lost in thought.

Zoro watched Sanji shake his head from time to time as if he was having an argument all by himself. Obviously the idea that the swordsman - maybe - liked men had struck something in the damn cook as if it had changed who Zoro was. What a stupid idea!

'Love cook, nothing has changed. I'm still the same guy I was this morning or yesterday, last month, take your pick!' Zoro tried, still not really sure why it mattered to him what the other thought.

'I know, marimo. That's not the point.'

It wasn't? 'What is it then? I mean I'm not even sure I like guys.' Wow, that had come out easier than he had thought it would. However, it hadn't escaped his notice that Sanji had flinched when he had said it.

'I can't... when I saw you with that guy earlier, him putting the moves on you and you not, I don't know, punching his lights out like you would with anyone else I was...' Zoro was getting a bit fed up with Sanji constantly pausing in mid-sentence.

Oh well, but he could see now what was going on with the cook: he was embarrassed. He had as much as admitted that he had worried about Zoro. Very pansy of him but oddly touching. But the swordsman felt generous, maybe he had mellowed a bit from all the booze. 'Cook, we are nakama. We watch each other's back.'

'Yes, of course we do. Shit, you are still not getting it.' Sanji jumped up from the bench and was now pacing the room, shooting odd glances at Zoro, rubbing his forehead as if he had a headache coming on.

'Oi, asshole, you are making me dizzy. If it's not about the liking guys thing, maybe, or watching my back, what the fuck are you so worked up about?'

'Stupid marimo, it's this!' Sanji shouted angrily before he grabbed the front of Zoro's shirt and smashed their mouths together.

Zoro was faintly aware that he had dropped his glass in surprise. Sanji was kissing him. When he opened his mouth to ask what was going on, the other took the opportunity to deepen the kiss. Soft lips working against his, warm tongue stroking into Zoro's mouth, coaxing him to reciprocate.

Apparently, his body had decided to take action without any active input from Zoro's brain because he heard the crunching of the glass under his feet as he moved his legs to allow his arms to pull the cook into his lap.

Sanji made a desperate noise in the back of his throat when he finally kissed back that went straight to his cock.

'Yeah, I think I like guys,' Zoro murmured a bit stupidly between kisses when Sanji finally got up and pulled him towards the bedroom.