High Standards

Prompt: High School AU/Sanji teaching Luffy to cook
Characters: SanLu
Fandom: One Piece

This was a contest prize for a contest I held over on deviantart.

The student-teacher program was a new project in Sanji's high school. He didn't really know what to expect when he was requested to participate but it offered extra credit in his finals and so he decided to go ahead. The program involved over-achieving students tutoring the under-achievers. They figured students would react better to people their age, he supposed. Participating 'tutors' also had to have a certain personality – calm, patient – things not normally associated with a student like Sanji.

He was known for his extravagant and exuberant nature. Emotions were never held in check with Sanji. When he saw a pretty lady he showered her in praise and promises and danced and twirled around her. When somebody pissed him off his language was filthier than a gutter and he lashed out without restraint. It often got him in a lot of trouble. Knowing this, Sanji knew he wasn't an ideal candidate as a tutor, but the teachers knew when it came to cooking; Sanji was an entirely different person.

Cooking was Sanji's passion. When he stepped into the kitchen all of his troubles and cares were left at the door. His focus fell entirely on the day's preparation and no matter how hectic the kitchen became he kept his cool. It was because of this dedication and level headed approach to cooking that Sanji had been asked to become a tutor. He didn't deny he felt smug about it. He would be teaching three under-achievers (if they decided to show, since the after school classes were optional).

The first class proved less than fruitful. Only one of the students turned up and to make matters worse it was Luffy. He was a young, impulsive, and simple kid from what Sanji knew. He'd seen him around, but never really felt any desire to get to know him. There was a trait about the boy that irked Sanji. Luffy was a glutton.

Sanji's love of food in his mind was entirely different to Luffy's. He liked to slowly enjoy each flavour that hit his tongue – Luffy's devoured without so much as a chew. His appetite was ravenous and Sanji found out from the first lesson, he was not going to make things easy. Luffy had sticky finger and often stole ingredients and ate them before his tutor had a chance to salvage them. For his troubles he received a few lumps from Sanji's heels and an earful of expletives. None of it phased that silly grin of his though and Sanji wondered why he bothered. The kids had probably only taken this class to get some free food anyways.

It was in their fourth week together that Luffy surprised Sanji. Until then, Sanji had seen no real reaction to his recipes when Luffy tries them. He had no idea if the kid liked one flavour more than another or if he disliked anything at all. For a normal chef, Luffy would be a delight – he just loved to eat everything. For Sanji, he was a nightmare. He'd always prided himself in creating reactions in people with his food. Luffy's reaction to Sanji's food was the same as a meal from the cafeteria – it was down-right insulting! He had just about lost hope when Luffy finally gave him a spark of hope. It was a simple meal – a new chicken marinate. It wasn't part of their lesson plan and Luffy had stolen it from his bag, but he couldn't deny he was pleased when he finally saw a reaction in the kid. His eyes widened a fraction and he paused mid chew to hum in appreciation before his ravenous consumption resumed. He's kicked the kids head in for stealing of course, but couldn't deny he was pleased. From then on he decided if he wanted to improve his own abilities, he shouldn't expect to receive reactions so easily and instead should strive to earn them.

Over the next few weeks Sanji prepared all of Luffy's meals. It had been a bit of a surprise when he turned up on his doorstep the first time. Luffy's brother Ace answered the door. He looked less than pleased at Luffy's visitor, but Sanji took it in his stride and at Luffy's enthusiastic greeting from inside the apartment was enough invitation as he pushed past Ace and delivered the boy his meal.

It started off innocently. Sanji found Luffy's rapid consumption of his hard prepared meals too frustrating and so took to feeding him his meals one spoonful at a time. Within a couple of days Luffy came to expect the treatment and when mealtimes came he rushed to Sanji's side like an eager puppy ready for his feeding. Sanji had to admit, he didn't mind this too much when it was in the privacy of their after school lessons, but when Luffy plopped himself into Sanji's lap in the middle of lunchtime in the middle of the cafeteria he couldn't help but blush. Luffy sat expectantly as the people in the room fell to a hush.

It was strange. He should have been angry – outraged – yet, he wasn't. With a tut and a curse he pulled out the kids dinner and fed it to him as always. He was rewarded with his second reaction from Luffy in the weeks he'd worked to earn one as Luffy made a soft noise of appreciation and for the first time in two weeks tried to snag the next mouthful before Sanji was ready to give it. Sanji gave it, satisfied with the day's results as he grinned and returned to his own meal, eating around the kid still sat in his lap.

The next day the rumours were flying around campus. Sanji didn't bother to fuel them with answers when people approached him. Was there something between him and Luffy? Sure... it was something after all. He held no delusions. He felt something akin to affection for the kid. Luffy was pig headed, loud, blunt and simple but he had a good heart and their time together hadn't been spent in silence. They talked a lot about everything and anything as they prepared food and waited for it to cook. He had no idea if Luffy returned any kind of affection or if what he felt would lead to anything, but what they had now was fun and a challenging. He didn't care what people on the campus thought or said. He still fawned over the ladies and fought with the men – Luffy just didn't fall into either of those categories though. He was a being all of his own that Sanji admitted made him feel pretty mixed up. Luffy didn't care what anybody thought of him and followed his own path and his own dreams and Sanji found himself admiring the kid before he could stop himself. Admiration eventually evolved into affection and then maybe a little more.

Sanji stirred the cake mix he'd taught Luffy to make over a dozen times as the kid nattered on about some 'cool' robot movie coming out that weekend and blinked when the chatter suddenly stopped. He glanced up from his work and found Luffy staring at him intently as if waiting for something.

"Huh?" he noised, intelligently. "What?"

"I said," Luffy repeated, unfazed by Sanji's ignorance. "Do you wanna go with me?"

"To the movies?"

"Un."

"Together?"

"Un."

Sanji observed Luffy's intense determination in his expression. It was the look on his face he got when he wanted something and didn't plan on stopping until he had it.

"I'm not paying for your food after." Sanji stated.

"I'll buy you dinner." Luffy answered.

"Why?"

"Because I'm the one asking you out."

"Asking me out?"

"Un."

"Like... out,out?"

"Un."

"Like... on a date?"

"Un."

With each question, Sanji's voice raised a little more in disbelief. Luffy answered with curt nods, confident and determined as ever. Sanji looked at him as though he'd sprouted another head for a few seconds before he scoffed and continued stirring his mix.

"Idiot, what kind of idea is that?" he scolded.

"..."

"As if I'd eat food from a shop." He continued. "I've spend the last few months teachin' you how to cook! I'd expect a home cooked meal."

Luffy's lip squeezed into a pout, and he mumbled, "Fine..."

"Good. Lazy brat."

"...pick you up at seven?"

"Sounds good. Now get back to work."

"Heh...!"

Luffy didn't need to be told twice.