It had started with Zoro brooding. Not an unusual thing in itself, but something that Sanji noticed nevertheless. For weeks the swordsman had just sulked and stalked the ship silently, jumping out of shadowy corners to scare the living hell out of anyone silly enough to get in his way.
Over the last few days, his foul mood had come to a head. Sanji had watched him descend into full Zoro-caveman mode. Every time the cook clapped eyes on him he was firing up about some tiny thing or another. He didn't complain about stuff out loud but it was just so obvious in the way that he stomped about glaring at everything and making a general pain of himself.
Or in Sanji's case, a very specific pain of himself.
For some reason, today was the day that Zoro decided to let Sanji know how he really felt. Sanji knew this because he was currently being slammed towards the wooden floor of the galley.
"Shut up!" Zoro growled, wrapping his sturdy legs around Sanji's suited pins; he had just enough time to entangle the cook before they rolled to a stop on the floor, Zoro on top.
"What the hell is your problem?" Sanji asked, from his rather undignified position. He had said some random offensive thing or another, but nothing more serious than what he said to Zoro every day. Something was up with the swordsman, that was for sure.
Zoro just stared down at him, his eyes dark and unreadable. His lips pursed but he said nothing.
Sanji wasn't going to be used as furniture all day so he decided it was time to get to the bottom of whatever was making the emotional retard act like this. He had been thinking about it since he noticed his nakama's weird behaviour and he had finally arrived at a theory. "Ever since I helped you out in Thriller Bark, yo.."
"I didn't need your help!" Zoro growled.
"Didn't need my help?" Sanji echoed, "You would have died out there!"
"I was fine, I don't need rescuing by anyone, least of all some Mr. Prince!"
"So that is what this is all about." Sanji said, shaking his head as much as his position would allow.
Zoro slammed his hands into the floor on either side of Sanji's head making the timber creak unhappily.
"What are you talking about? Stop messing with me, Shit-cook!"
"You would have been fine with it if it was Luffy, but because it was me, you get all shitty. Why do you hate me so much, Zoro?"
Zoro blinked then shook his head slowly, "Just butt out. I don't want your help."
"You know what? Just get off me," Sanji wriggled, reminding Zoro of their intimate position. He felt at a bit of a disadvantage in the argument being flat on his back on the floor.
"No. You have to promise that you won't do anything like that again."
"I won't promise. I'm not going to sit back and watch any of my nakama die, even you Marimo head. Even if you lie on me for a million years."
Zoro looked a little flummoxed but he pressed on, "I don't need your help, shit-head! It's an insult!" His face was only inches from Sanji's own, his eyes bright with anger.
"Well consider yourself insulted."
"You are so… urgh!" Zoro huffed, his fingers tightening on Sanji's arms.
"You're pretty annoying yourself. You look ridiculous, you lie on people and you won't get off, you have the manners of a drunken ape…"
Zoro growled and finally lifted his body off the crumpled cook. Sanji grinned,
"About time," he said, blowing a few stray strands of hair out of his face. "So tell me, Zoro. What exactly is your problem? Try to keep it to two hundred words or less, I have limited patience." The cook stood up, straightening his shirt and tie.
Zoro waited for Sanji to stand and then stood directly in front of him, chest to chest, "You don't know what will happen if you keep acting so recklessly, shit-cook."
Sanji looked him in the eye, cocky and proud as always. "And what is going to happen, moss-for-brains?"
The expression on Zoro's face changed and he leaned forward, it was really weird but for a moment it almost seemed as if he was going to..
Zoro brushed past the cook and drew his swords.
Sanji heard the sound of the steel leaving its scabbard and turned around just in time to deflect the first blow.
First it was all swords and his sweat, like always. Cold steel deflecting off polished leather. The whirling dance that they knew so well.
Two high strikes then one low, a fake, a full turn – Zoro swords like fan blades, Sanji's body twisted in a soaring pirouette – and bang! Slamming together shoulder, face to face. The final act, pushing shoving and growling until they broke and stormed off – enraged and thrilled that they were evenly matched, like always.
But Zoro didn't break away.
His eyes were narrowed, intent. His breathing was a little heavy; Sanji adjusted his balance and put his weight into his front foot trying to shove the swordsman off centre. He expected Zoro to push back, meeting his force with his legacy of cold steel but Zoro gave, just a little.
The cook slipped forward, all of his momentum carrying him into Zoro's arms.
He felt warm, damp lips before he could register what had happened, through instinct he pushed away hard and then suddenly it hit,
Zoro was already getting up, turning away shamefaced.
"Wait." Sanji said, not sure exactly what he was doing. He put out a hand and stopped Zoro from moving. He just wanted to talk to him before he chucked a Zoro size hissy fit and marched off but instead of doing that, by accident, he kissed him.
A few soft touches of hesitation, lips brushing, tasting, testing… and then Zoro engulfed him. His hands pulled Sanji closer and his lips were hot, inviting. He drew Sanji in and kissed him passionately, holding his head as he sucked the cook's tender bottom lip and then released it.
Zoro brushed away sweep of blond hair from Sanji's eyes, forcing the cook to meet his gaze.
"You in or what?" He asked directly, his cool words hiding a weight of doubt and shame.
Sanji took a slow breath and tried to contain the rushing endorphins pounding through his veins. His groin ached, his heart raced, his skin was clammy.
"I'm in." Sanji said, just getting out the words before his voice cracked.
Zoro's fingers teased his earlobe and held his hair back from his face. He kissed Sanji's face lightly, and then slowly pressed warm lips down his throat. Sanji leaned back onto the counter and closed his eyes, feeling Zoro's body against his own…
Zoro lifted his lips and drew away cautiously, "What?" he asked.
"You could have just said something, idiot. You've been driving me insane."
Zoro's nervous smile was quickly swept away by the arrogant grin that Sanji hadn't even noticed he had missed,
"Now where would be the fun in that?"