Title: Sapphire and Silver
Word Count: 1,523
Summary: The silver ring isn't magnificent, but it seems to call to Sanji. Unknown to the crew is the curse laid upon it. The ring searches for an akin soul and starves for revenge.
AN: I have to say, I am quite satisfied with this. (◕ω◕) My first One Piece multi-chapter story... it'll do. Haha.
Thank you so much to everyone who has stuck with me through this fic! I want to think everyone who read and especially reviewed! Your feedback is what makes submitting these stories fun!
I hope you all enjoy the epilogue. I'll hopefully see you in my next OP story!
"I can't believe you gave back the treasure," Usopp exclaims.
Nami waves her hand at the man in a dismissive fashion. "I kept some of it, of course, but it didn't seem right to take all of the treasure from that obaa-san."
At the confused looks she gets from Usopp, Luffy, and Chopper, the redhead frowns. "What?"
"It's just surprising," the sniper says.
"Yeah," Luffy agrees. "When it comes to treasure you never think twice about stealing it. It's almost like you care."
Nami promptly beats the captain and sniper over the head with a barrel, sparing Chopper only because he hadn't said anything, but she gives him a very menacing look that sends the littler reindeer scurrying past the cook that steps out onto the deck. Sanji looks from Chopper's retreating form to Luffy and Usopp, who are both sporting steaming bumps on their heads. It's quite easy to guess what had happened, especially with the way the red-haired navigator is lecturing the two men before her angrily.
"Nami-swan~!" The blond twirls over to her, somehow managing not to spill the drinks on the tray in his hand. He picks up one of the more aesthetically pleasing drinks and offers it to the woman. "A specially concocted drink just for you, my Mellorine."
She huffs and takes the drink, muttering her thanks under her breath before stomping off to presumably go back to working on her maps. Luffy promptly scoots over and pulls on the cook's pants leg to demand his own drink, which Sanji gives him and Usopp, along with his own scolding about how they should treat Nami better. After presenting everyone with their drink, the cook returns back to the kitchen.
Upon entering his domain he's greeted with the sight of Zoro seated at the dining table, his drink in one hand and the other propping his chin up.
"Don't give me that look," the blond calls in a singsong voice as he walks over to the counter to continue working on lunch. "You're the one that said you'd help me in the kitchen until my hand heals up, marimo-kun."
"It's not like you really need me for anything. You end up taking over everything you tell me to do anyway," the swordsman grumbles.
"That's because you don't listen to what I tell you."
"No one cares if the vegetables are all sliced perfectly and identically, damn cook!"
"You have absolutely no appreciation for what I do," Sanji sighs. "A meal isn't just about nutrition. It's also about the presentation of the food. Carefully presented meals are much more satisfying than food just thrown haphazardly together."
"Make the food pretty on your own time."
The blond just rolls his eyes, not even deigning to carry on with the conversation. "Get up here and cut up the okra, shitty swordsman."
Zoro mumbles under his breath, but goes to the counter and begins the task anyway. "I don't understand why you insist on serving vegetables all the time. It's not like Luffy's ever going to like it."
"Whether he like it or not he's going to eat it, even if I have to force feed him. A diet of only meat isn't healthy for anyone."
The swordsman doesn't respond, simply concentrating on trying to cut the okra into slices the cook would approve of. Most of the complaining is really just for show. It's a chore to help the blond in the kitchen, but he feels obligated to. Plus there's the fact that he really doesn't want the cook further injuring himself trying to do everything on his own. Zoro would rather be stuck with kitchen duty for a year than have the cook's injuries worsen, like he had nearly done.
The swordsman had managed to hide the bruises on his neck for a while, but the blond found out about them a few days ago. The result was disastrous. Sanji had locked himself in the kitchen, only letting the crew in during meal times. He even went so far as to forego snacks for the day, all so that he could avoid the swordsman. That night he had had to go to Chopper, because he had hurt his already injured hand, at which point both Chopper and Zoro chewed him out about trying to do everything on his own. Zoro and Sanji had fought about it all, the blond clearly rattled with guilt, but the blond had finally agreed to stop avoiding the swordsman and allowing help in the kitchen again.
Zoro catches the blond glancing at the bandages around his neck for the umpteenth time and internally groans. It's going to take a long time for the blond to get over this one. "What are you making for lunch?"
"Hiyashi soba, miso soup, and shrimp tempura" the blond says over a steaming pot. "When you're done with the okra, get the green onions and chop those up."
The swordsman looks from the pan of oil on the stove filled with shrimp to the plate beside it with golden, shrimp tempura piled high. His stomach rumbles in anticipation. He doubles his efforts in cutting up the vegetables, quickly moving on the green onions.
In a few minutes all the food is ready. Sanji begins making plates for the crew, sprinkling nori flakes over the soba and putting the okra and green onion on the side. Zoro watches the blonde's face as he goes about his task. He wonders if the cook is aware that he smiles when he's cooking and preparing food to be served. Probably not.
"It's good to finally be back out to sea," the blond says. "I don't mind docking at islands, but ten days a little too much for me. I was ready to leave as soon as the Log was set."
"Me, too, but Chopper refused." The swordsman snorts. "Sometimes that little guy can be even more hard-headed than Nami."
Sanji stops all movement, visible eye going large and shoulders going tense. He winces as pain stabs at his wounds and relaxes his shoulders a moment later, trying to pass it off as if nothing had happened. Zoro was paying attention, though.
The blond shifts from one foot to the other as he puts the finishing touches on the meal before moving to set up the table. "Nothing."
The marimo raises a brow, clearly not buying it.
Sanji starts to fidget. "It's really nothing."
"You wouldn't be fidgeting if it was nothing, shit cook."
The cook sighs and brings a cigarette to his lips before lighting it. "I forgot to tell you something."
"You see… that day a week ago when we all split up to find information about the ring," the cook pauses and glances at his lover's throat, "I received some… news from Nami-chan."
The swordsman frowns in confusion. "And?"
"It appears that she and Robin are aware of our relationship. She said that they… uh… heard us." At this Sanji's face goes bright crimson, and he sucks at the end of his cigarette urgently.
Zoro stands there a moment, completely dumbfounded.
"She says that we should tell Luffy."
The swordsman slumps into a chair at the table and groans. He could actually handle telling Luffy. Hell, he could even handle telling the other males in the crew, although there would probably be a few comments made by Usopp and Franky, but nothing bad. He has no doubt that their nakama will accept the news. What makes him feel slightly ill is the fact that the girls know. Sure, Robin had been throwing knowing glances around, but she always does that. Nami's going to give him hell.
"If those two know, then there's no point in hiding it from the rest of the crew," he sighs.
The blond exhales, taking a moment to consider this. "You think?"
"Yeah. We're nakama after all."
"Nami-chan said the same thing." Sanji doesn't even try to hide the smirk when the other man makes a noise of irritation. "When should we tell them?"
"I say during lunch."
The blond nods his agreement. With that decided he goes to round up the crew for lunch.
The meal went smoothly, as did the announcement about their relationship. Sanji was kind of worried Usopp was going to choke on his soba when he had heard, but the sniper hadn't seemed to mind after he managed to down the noodles. Judging by the way Franky had leaned over to Zoro to whisper something to him and the way the swordsman had sent him flying, he's guessing they didn't have a problem on that front either. Luffy had laughed joyfully and congratulated them. It all went perfectly well… until after lunch.
Strangely enough, Chopper was the last one to leave. With their nakama all out of hearing range, the little reindeer had told both Sanji and Zoro that sex was prohibited until their wounds were properly healed. Sanji and Zoro both went for their preferred alcohol as soon as the doctor was out of the room, cheeks colored with embarrassment. Clean up could wait for a bit.