A/N: Unbeta'd, unedited ... Just something I felt like writing after rewatching the movie for the umpteenth time. It's one of my favorite's, and I feel like Sanji doesn't get the closure he deserves after Zoro attacked him like that.
Disclaimer: I don't own One Piece. I just worship it. ~
It was evening by the time they had finally chased off that shitty hippo-rhino once the thing realized it couldn't mate with Merry. It did take a punch from Luffy and kind words from Chopper to get the damn thing to go away for good, though. This was a relief on the crew's shoulders, because now everything was back to normal. The whole gang was back together, there was enough food in Luffy's stomach, and Zoro seemed to be 'Zoro' once again.
Sanji sighed, staring out at the moonlight. Only last night had they encountered a horrifying red moon, but there was a distinct beauty in it that enthralled Sanji. The love story of Maya and Saga stirred something inside of him, but he wasn't sure if it was for the better or worse. His head bowed; it made him even more angry and upset with Zoro. His shoulder stung – he shouldn't have been moving it around like that. (And Chopper had scolded him when he had a moment with Sanji alone. He should still be wearing the arm sling! But the stubborn cook wouldn't listen to him.) He gently reached up to touch the tender area, only to feel wetness under his jacket.
"Shit," He hissed under his breath. It was bleeding again. Chopper hadn't stitched it because he hadn't had the materials while they were still on the island, and the pain medication that he had given Sanji was beginning to wear off. The cook squeezed his eyes shut and clutched the wounded area. "Bastard –" He whispered brokenly. He was far away from the crew now, all of them lost in a slumber or quietly relaxing below deck. He didn't have to hide his anguish any longer.
Sanji dropped down to his knees in front of the railing and turned to rest against it. He really should go to Chopper, but something inside of him stopped him. Was it embarrassment? He had let his guard down when he had seen Zoro that way. The look in the swordsman's eyes was unlike anything Sanji had seen in them before, and it frightened him. He lost his concentration, only to have the bastard actually hurt him. Zoro had sliced through his skin, wanting to scar him. He could see it in the fucker's eyes. Well, he was going to scar. Zoro would get what he wanted. It bothered Sanji so much though, because no matter how much they fought – no matter how many times Zoro had taken out his swords to attack Sanji – there had never been a truly malicious intent. They were just playing with each other, baiting the other to spar. They never wanted to actually hurt each other before.
Sanji opened his eyes, gazing at the starry sky.
Or at least I never wanted to harm him.
So, where did this leave them? Did everything they said and did for each other mean nothing? Were those Zoro's true feelings toward him?
Sanji bit his lower lip as his eyes glistened with tears. They burned as they slowly slid down his face, releasing the anger and sadness inside of him. He covered his face with his good hand and sobbed silently. "Bastard." He said again, under his breath, in a voice so soft that didn't suit him. He wasn't supposed to break down like this; it shouldn't have bothered him this much, but it did.
Sanji froze in his spot when he heard the other voice. He cursed under his breath – he didn't think anyone would be above deck right now since it was his watch shift. He moved the hand away from his eyes, showing how pathetic he was to the owner of that voice: Roronoa Zoro himself. Sanji ground his teeth at the marimo, unable to pull himself together after being caught off guard. (Again. Sanji mentally kicked himself.) But his face had shame written all over it as he stared down at the cook.
"What do you want?" Sanji hissed after inhaling a deep breath. He put a hand over his shoulder in an attempt to protect himself. He felt so small, so weak in front of the swordsman. That fight earlier had proved that Zoro was the stronger of the two, and that had hurt Sanji's pride (along with all of the other things that the idiot ruined between them.)
"You're bleeding." Zoro stated, eyes locked on the blood on Sanji's fingers. His lips were pursed into a thin line as he dropped down to his knees in front of the cook. "Let me see—"
"Don't touch me," Sanji growled, bringing up his foot to push Zoro away. "You've lost that privilege."
The look in Zoro's eyes shocked the cook into silence, though, as he gazed into Sanji's own. His lips curved downward into a frown for a brief second before the first mate chuckled and brushed a finger through his green hair. "I figured that would happen." He fell down into a sitting position across from the cook. "I'm so—"
"You don't get that pleasure either." Sanji said suddenly, a fire burning in his eyes. "I don't want to hear your apology. You don't deserve to be forgiven."
Now it was Zoro's turn to be stunned. He opened his mouth but soon closed it before nodding his head. Sanji hated that look on him, but he wasn't ready to forgive the swordsman. Not after this. "You – " He began, his head beginning to throb with the amount of thoughts swirling into the darkness of mind, "You could have subdued me in any other way." His voice was low, malicious, "But you chose to attack my arm. My arm, you fucker. You know how important hands are to a chef!" He was trying to keep his voice down, really, but it was hard with all of this built up emotion bursting through his chest. "You know how important my arms are to me! You know, had you gone any deeper, I would have lost all feeling –" Oh, great, the water works again. Sanji hated this. His voice cracked, "I thought you and I had something special. I thought that … maybe …" He trailed off, turning his face away in attempt to hide this weakness. After a couple of seconds, he recuperated and found himself glaring at the swordsman again.
"But it seems that I was wrong."
With that, he forced himself to stand, albeit he felt a little lightheaded and could feel the blood dripping down his arm. But Sanji ignored the pain as he walked past Zoro, leaving him alone. The bastard could finish his shift; he needed medical attention right now. He stomped down the stairs to below deck and went to go wake up Chopper.
Zoro reached out to touch the blood on the deck before him. It was Sanji's blood spilled on the wood … because of him. Truth be told, he didn't know why he had gone and sliced the cook like that. Was it to prove a point? But whatever the reason, he regretted it because it hurt the blond in other ways beyond the physical pain. Zoro hadn't been thinking clearly; he had had a mission to do, and he had stepped on the ones he loved to try and fulfill his promise to a friend. Now Sanji hated him, and there was no way he could make it up to the love-cook. He had broken their bond.
He had made Sanji doubt his love, and there wasn't a way to prove to him otherwise.
But that wouldn't stop Zoro from trying. He loved Sanji, and he was worth the fight. However, he knew that it was going to take a lot to earn the cook's trust again.
The next day, everything seemed normal except for the fact that Sanji was in a sling again. (The doctor had scolded him again and stitched the wound, angrily telling the cook to rest that arm or there would be nerve damage.) But, Sanji was acting the same, flirting with the girls, yelling at Luffy and Usopp, and making special treats – albeit with one hand – for the crew. But there was no denying the tension between him and Zoro. To the naked eye, one would think everything was fine between them.
But some saw otherwise. Nami noticed it first when Sanji came out with drinks for the crew, holding them out on the platter like he usually did. He distributed them one by one until there were none left. He stood in front of the training swordsman and shrugged, "Sorry – must have miscounted." And with that, he turned on his heel and went back to the gala. Zoro's expression was unreadable, but Nami was certain that she had just witnessed Sanji still being bitter about the attack. Zoro had apologized, so why weren't things back to normal?
She pouted ever so slightly and went to get up from her lawn chair, only to be stopped by a hand gently pushing her back down. "Huh? Robin?" She asked looking to the older woman.
"I do not know if that is wise, navigator-san." Robin said without looking up from her book. "Cook-san seems very angry."
"But Robin, Sanji-kun shouldn't hate Zoro for that. Everything should be OK between them now. Zoro made his amends, didn't he?"
"Cook-san defines his worth to the crew on his abilities to cook and protect." Robin stated, taking a sip of her drink. "Not only has Swordsman-san disabled him temporarily, but he has wounded Cook-san's pride by hurting what he finds very important to him." She glanced over to Nami, "Navigator-san, if you were in Cook-san's shoes, would you forgive him so easily?"
Nami frowned and thought back to the conversation they had at the village after the attack. In spite of his wound, Sanji still cooked for everyone, because he felt it was his duty. She sighed heavily and pinched the bridge of her nose. "What do we do? We can't have nakama hating each other…"
"I think Swordsman-san has been made aware of the damage he caused." Robin turned back to her book. "But it will be up to him if he decides to fix what he's …" She paused, frowning ever so slightly at her word choice. "Broken."
"Oh, Sanji-kun," Nami said under her breath before slowly getting up. "I won't bring it up to him. I just want to see if he's all right." Robin nodded and watched as Nami approached the galley.
Sanji was standing at the counter, staring at his cutting board. He didn't react to her coming in, but Nami then realized that his gaze was far beyond his cooking utensils. She took a hesitant step forward, almost afraid of that lost expression on his face. Suddenly, without warning, he threw the cutting board aside with his good hand, sending the poorly chopped vegetables onto the floor. Nami gasped; she had never seen this behavior from the cook before. "Sanji-kun?" She said softly.
Sanji snapped back to reality and turned to her, a vulnerable expression on his features. He hadn't even heard her come in because he was so angry with himself for being unable to cut a damn carrot with one hand. It was so hard to cook with only one hand, but he didn't want to aggravate the wound anymore than it was. "Nami-san," He spoke with a hesitance in his voice, "I'm sorry you had to see that."
"Ne, it's ok, Sanji-kun." Nami could feel her chest tightening. She didn't like seeing him this way. She hurried over toward the fallen vegetables and picked them up, "I'll help you."
"No, no – you don't have to do that, Nami-san –" Sanji tried to protest, but he knew Nami was just as stubborn as he was.
"I insist. Tell me what I need to do, and I'll do it." Nami stood and smiled warmly at him.
"Nami-san, I don't want to burden you," Sanji said, lowering his gaze. She could see his chagrin written in the way he stood, shoulders slumped, head bowed. Nami took a step forward and placed her hand on his cheek, staring into that beautiful, visible blue eye.
"You're not burdening me. I'm nakama, baka! We help each other."
Sanji smiled at her and caved into, allowing her to help him make dinner. After that night, the crew took turns helping Sanji cook meals until Chopper gave him the OK to use his arm again. Everyone had helped out, minus Luffy because Sanji didn't trust him and … Zoro. What a surprise there, to be honest. Sanji knew he meant nothing to the swordsman, and that was what hurt the most. Did even the word nakama mean nothing to him?
The blond stared at the marimo across the table, watching as he laughed with Luffy. His eyes narrowed slightly, and he stabbed his fork into his meat with a little more strength than he should have. Sanji shoveled the food into his mouth, bowing his head and suddenly becoming quiet, lost in his own hateful thoughts.
No – Zoro did know what nakama meant; he had a strong loyalty to his captain and the other crewmates.
It was only Sanji who didn't matter.
He got up abruptly and left dinner without finishing his food to the surprise of his crewmates. The tension in the air was thick, but Zoro tried not to dwell on it, instead commenting that Luffy could eat Sanji's leftovers. With that said, Luffy did reach over for Sanji's uneaten food, which prompted a fight with Usopp and Chopper for it. Laughter soon filled the galley, the tension dying away.
But the lone blond cook's shoulders slumped as he rested against the railing, cigarette in hand, wondering silently if this whole nakama thing was worth it at all.
To be continued? D