A/N: I hope you guys like Chapter 1, because here's Chapter 2! I want to finish this story by the end of the summer, so expect weekling updates! (Hopefully I'll be able to update faster once I finish my classes~) This one's a sad one.
Disclaimer: Don't own One Piece, yada yada yada. I was never cut out to be a pirate anyway.
"Yellow diamonds in the light,
And we're standing side by side.
As your shadow crosses mine...
We found love in a hopeless place."
"Good afternoon, Sanji."
The worn out blond cook closed the door behind him after he entered Dr. Law's sterile office. He wore a T-shirt and jeans today as opposed to the dress shirt and tie he tried to pull off the day before. He looked even more tired, if that was possible, too. Law exhaled a soft sigh, taking note of the bruises around Sanji's wrists – finger shaped, the signs of abuse. His lips were thin with worry, but he had to wait. The cook did say he would get to that. He just hoped he could help the broken man in time. There was no doubt in the therapist's mind that Sanji had his own demons to face.
He just needed to find out what those demons were.
"Yeah," Sanji grunted in reply, plopping down on the somewhat comfortable couch across from Law's desk. He assumed the position he had been instructed to take during his first visit and put his hands behind his head. "So, I did a lot of thinking, and I'm not sugar-coatin' anything today. You're going to hear a lot of things you won't like, especially since you're a doctor and a respected member of society." He glanced at Law through his peripheral vision before focusing on the ceiling.
"I wouldn't have it any other way, Mr. R – Sanji."
"Good. Now, where did I leave off yesterday? Oh yeah. So, you know, Nami and I thought it was going to be a one time thing. Yeah, Zoro was hot and all, and the sex was great, but we tended to stay true to each other than go out of way for others. That wasn't what happened, though. He stayed. Even after he realized that there was a kid sleeping in the next room."
~ back then ~
The naked threesome was cuddled together under the sheets after their sexcapades. Zoro tired them out with his incredible stamina (not that they were complaining.) Nami was sandwiched in between the two men, but their arms were draped everywhere, holding on to anything – whether it be each other, the blanket, or even the headrest. The green haired man snored peacefully with his head nestled against a pillow. The orange haired woman's head was on his chest, and she slept silent and peacefully, both arms wound around Sanji's waist. The cook's head just barely touched Zoro's arm as he curled up closely to them, unconsciously craving their warmth. Honestly, this was a picture perfect moment.
And that's when it started.
It only took two cries to wake Sanji up. He sat up quickly and looked around, feeling somewhat disoriented. That was until he released what that unforgiving ungodly noise was: Kazuma. He shook away his drowsiness and tried to get out of the bed when he released that there was an iron grip against his wrist. Zoro was glaring at him with the eyes of Satan. "What. Is. That!" He whispered loudly, but Nami didn't seem phased by either noise.
"Let go of me, you barbarian," Sanji hissed back, his whisper having some bite to it, "it's my kid. He's crying. Now get off before we wake Nami-san!"
Zoro only let go because the word 'kid' was flashing before his eyes repeatedly. There were red lights and sirens going off in his head, and his thoughts turned to the worst: he had just fucked a married couple. Now, there wasn't anything really wrong with ménage-et-trois, but a kid put in between the three could cause problems. He let go of Sanji while lost in these thoughts, getting out of bed right after the blond. The cook had put his boxers back on when he left the room, while Zoro just walked out naked. He kept his distance from the parent, staying in the doorframe of the living room, watching as Sanji leaned over the crib.
"What's up, little guy?" Sanji asked softly, reaching to brush away his son's tears.
"D-Daddy," Kazuma sniffled, holding up his hands – he wanted to be picked up. He put his arms around his father's neck as Sanji lifted him up with one arm and rubbed his back with the other. "Bad dream again."
"Shh, it's ok, Kazi. Daddy's here," Sanji turned, nearly jumping in surprise when he saw Zoro standing there, watching him. His curly brow rose, but he was definitely glad that his son's face was buried into his neck because he had no idea how to explain why there was a naked stranger in his home. 'Go put some clothes on, you barbarian,' Sanji mouthed, whispering it very lowly to the green haired man across the room. That seemed to be his new nickname for the moss head. Zoro scowled at him before turning and heading back to the bedroom.
Sanji, in the meantime, moved to the kitchen, rocking Kazuma in his arm, murmuring 'it's all right' to the kid every so often. He worked with one hand to put a pot on the stove and poured some milk into it before putting on the flame. He began to hum under his breath, soothing the child further. "What did you dream of, sport?"
"You and mommy never came home," Kazuma spoke into his father's neck. Even if he could barely hear the boy, he knew what the dream was; it happened frequently. And the problem was that he was barely around because of work, which probably furthered his son's problems with abandonment. Sanji chewed the inside of his cheek. He probably got that from both young parents. The cook's mom and dad abandoned him when he was eight years old, sending him to an orphanage – he never found out why. And Nami's father had never been in the picture, while a gang member killed her mother when her and Nojiko were still small. The blond sighed heavily, hugging his boy closer as the milk began to bubble.
"We'll always come home, Kazi. Always. We love you so much."
It didn't take long to get Kazuma to fall back asleep, once he was reassured that it was only a dream and the warm milk had settled his nerves. Sanji put the sleeping boy back into his crib. (He made the mental note that they really should consider getting him a bed and his own room; he was getting so big!) When he turned, Zoro was there in the doorframe again, this time clad in his briefs. He silenced the other with a finger to his lips before leading him to the kitchen, away from the child.
"Before you ask – yes. He's mine and Nami's." Sanji said, breaking the silence as he walked over to the fridge. He pulled out a bottle of orange juice and grabbed two glasses from the cabinet before motioning for Zoro to sit at the small table against the wall.
"I noticed," Zoro grunted as he took the seat, "He's got her hair and your face."
Sanji's shoulders slumped, "It's that easy to tell, huh?"
"So, let me get this straight," Zoro interjected. "You two have a kid. Are you married?" He paused, scowling a bit, "Did I just fuck a married couple?"
"No. Keep your pants on," Sanji sat down, placing a glass in front of the stranger. "Nami and I have a weird relationship, OK? We're afraid of marriage." He frowned a bit, looking down at the orange liquid, swirling it. "It's so unfair to the little guy." He pinched the bridge of his nose. "But – yeah. Don't worry. You're not being some Don Juan or anything." He didn't look back up at Zoro. He felt ashamed.
"Relax, blondie. I don't care if you guys have a kid." Zoro took a swig of his juice and shrugged. And that was that.
~ and now ~
"He came back to the show several times after that before becoming a more permanent occurrence in our lives." Sanji was smoking again. "But he favored my company over Nami's, and I couldn't blame him at the time. She was slowly spiraling out of control. I refused to believe it, but I think that's why I subconsciously hung out with Zoro more – I wanted to get away from her." He paused, blowing out a cloud of smoke. "But I loved her." He watched it dissipate into thin air. "He learned to love her in order to be with me." He snorted. "Hell – even got her fucking pregnant just after Kazuma's third birthday."
~ back then ~
Sanji spit out of his wine while Zoro nearly choked on the food in his mouth. Both of them stared at Nami with widened eyes, and then they shared a glance with each other. They had gone out to dinner in order to celebrate her birthday, but they never expected this information out of her.
"How long?" "Who's?" They overlapped each other. Sanji looked nervous; Zoro was scowling.
"A little over a month," Nami said, refusing to look up from her plate. Her cheeks were bright red from blushing as she answered the next question:
"It's – er – Zoro's."
This time Zoro did choke on his food.
~ and now ~
"Nine months later, Zoro, Jr., was born." Sanji glanced over to Law, noticing how he hadn't bothered to write anything down today. It made the cook feel much more comfortable in this environment; it made him feel like he wasn't being judged. (Being here was worse enough, because he knew Zeff was judging him right now – probably thought his foster kid was addicted to something. If only, Sanji thought.) "He was vain – always wanted a kid named after himself." He rolled his eyes, causing the doctor to smile.
"Now, you all lived in different places at this time, yes?" Law asked, relaxing back on his chair a little. He crossed his arms, taking note of Sanji's movements. Even if he seemed more bruised up than he had yesterday, he was acting the same. That's what it probably was: acting. He had to learn of Sanji's pain quickly, because the cook was fading away right in front of his eyes. He didn't want to put him on medication; he just wanted to get to the route of the problem and help the poor soul overcome it.
"Yes. So we all decided that – you know – maybe it was time to move in and become a family. Or whatever we were. Two kids would have been tough to just leave for Nami, and we were better men than that. So, we all pitched in and bought a two-story house that would comfortably fit the five of us. We had to make sure that someone was home at all times, so we changed around our work schedules. I had to drop my stripping gig to spend time with the kids; Zoro worked at a dojo and did some underground fighting on the side, so he cut back on his fights; Nami … well, she started to scare me." Sanji grimaced, "But – eh – we convinced her to stop taking in those clients and got her off the stage and onto the floor, working as a waitress for the bar of the club instead. It was better hours, honestly, but she was so crushed that she couldn't perform anymore. But, I mean, come on. She had two kids. Now was the time to be a mom, not a stripper."
"You say she was scaring you? How so?"
"She was just … distant." He paused, staring up at the ceiling, lost in memories. "I think she was drinking on the job. She would come home inebriated sometimes. Fuck if I know what was going through her head…" A frown lined his lips, and his fingers unconsciously tapped the side of the couch. He hated talking about Nami, hated having to think about what she'd done to the family. He shook his head. "But that's not to say that we didn't have any good times. My friend, Usopp, and his wife, Kaya, were considering children, so they offered to watch Kazi and ZJ for us if we ever wanted to go on vacation or something. We eventually took up their offer when the weight of parenthood was heavy on our shoulders, and we escaped to the Alabasta Resort for a couple of days." And suddenly he broke out into a grin, "Not that we could afford it. But they were some of the best days of my life."
~ back then ~
"You're sure you don't mind? You can still back out of this, Longnose," Sanji said loudly into his phone as he sat in the backseat of Zoro's convertible. The trio was on their way to resort, and the music was blasting so loud that Sanji could barely hear himself think – but he was OK with that. This was a time to relax. They all deserved it.
"I – I'm sure, Sanji!" Usopp replied, "They'll be angels, I'm sure. Oh NO PUT THAT DOWN IT DOESN'T GO IN YOUR MOUTH –" The line went dead. Sanji glanced at his phone and shrugged. The longnose would be fine. Hopefully. He put the phone back into his pocket and relaxed back into the leather seat.
"Now this is the life," He said with a laugh, feeling the breeze in his hair. "How much longer 'til we get there, Zoro?"
"Not long, we've got a couple of exits."
He was right. They were there in under an hour. The resort was nice; it had its own private beach for its guests, and there was a casino attached to the hotel. Sanji saluted the two after they checked in and headed straight for the slot machines, leaving the horny bunnies to fuck. (It was really hard having sex when living with a baby that wakes you up all hours of the night and a young son that enjoys sleeping in the same bed as his parents when he has a bad dream.)
He won a couple of thousand belli. It was a nice feeling. But the sex was so much better.
That first night, they took a stroll on the boardwalk attaching the resort to the casino. There was a small amusement park with a couple of rides. Nami convinced Sanji and Zoro to ride the teacups with her. She spun it around quickly and laughed and laughed while Sanji began to feel queasy and Zoro told her to slow down. But by the time the ride was over, the three of them were laughing and embracing each other.
They were so happy.
~ and now ~
"You seemed to have a wonderful relationship with these two people, Sanji. What happened?" Law sat up a bit, eyeing the cook as he relived every moment of his life before his eyes. He knew what this could do for a person, but Trafalgar knew he was close to the trigger that made Sanji's life turn for the worse.
"After that vacation, when we had to face reality again, the transition was easy for me and Zoro. But Nami was still there in her mind, partying and drinking. She never wanted to grow up and have responsibilities." Sanji lit his third cigarette of the visit thus far. He had a feeling he'd go through half the pack before the end of this hour. "… and at some point, she got addicted to cocaine. I have no idea who got her hooked – probably that fucker gave it to her."
"Who?" Law's brow rose at the malice in Sanji's tone.
"Arlong," Sanji grumbled, "She had to deal drugs for him to survive throughout high school, but usually she was strong enough not to do any herself. Something was up with her, but she wouldn't tell us. You know, she probably needed this," Sanji said, motioning his hand between the two of them before continuing, "She was so fucking secretive – always wanted to handle things on her own. But she knew she couldn't. She needed us, and we needed her. It was really frustrating that she wouldn't let us in, even after we had all decided that this was what we were going to do." He sighed heavily. "She kept going out and not coming home for days, which was stressful since ZJ was still a baby. I had to take off a couple of times to stay home, since I barely trusted Zoro alone with the two kids. But, then, finally … One day, I got home a little early, and I came back to find the kids all alone. On the table was a note…"
~ back then ~
Sanji opened the door to the house, glancing around at the darkness. Something was wrong; he could just feel it. "Nami-san?" He asked hesitantly, taking a step forward. "Kazuma? Zoro?" He nearly jumped when his little boy popped his head out from the basement door and put a hand on his chest. "Jesus, Kazi. You'll give your old man a heart attack if you do that—" But he saw the look of distress on the young boy and became quiet.
"Zoro won't stop crying, Daddy," Kazuma said, wiping his own tears. He exhaled a deep breath and walked over to his father. Sanji crouched down and wrapped his arms around the boy.
"What's the matter? Where's mommy?"
Kazuma tensed in his arms. "Mommy left." He mumbled. "She went away."
"What?" Sanji pulled away and looked at him, staring into those beautiful blue eyes of his innocent son.
"She left a note." Kazuma pointed to the kitchen.
Sanji stood and glanced down at him before walking into the kitchen. Zoro Jr.'s cries grew louder as he spotted the piece of paper on the table with Nami's near cursive written on it. The cook felt a lump in his throat as he reached down to pick it up, and he gasped when he read it over.
Sanji-kun, Zoro –
I just can't do this anymore.
But know this:
I love you both so much.
P.S.: Please don't tell the boys that their mother was a coward.
Sanji fell into one of the chairs, his legs giving out under him. Those words had never looked so final before. Nami was gone; she wasn't coming back. Little Zoro's cries were echoing in his ears, making his head throb, as tears filled his own eyes. Kazuma watched in silence, unable to understand what was going on. "That bitch," Sanji said under his breath, the tears threatening to fall. "How could she just –" His words were broken, hooded with the building emotion in his chest. He ripped his cellphone from his pocket and dialed Nami's number. When she didn't pick up, he dialed again and again and again until he finally just threw the phone down at the table. He rubbed his hands over his face, trying to calm himself down, knowing that Kazuma must have been frightened by his actions. He glanced over the note one last time before ripping off the bottom – the P.S. – and putting it in his pocket. Zoro didn't need to see that.
He exhaled a deep sigh and stood, hurrying down the stairs to get the little crying boy. Zoro Jr. was in his crib, screaming to his heart's content. He must have been hungry. "Shh," Sanji murmured softly, lifting the little's boy into his arms. He began to rock the green haired child slowly, humming an old lullaby that Zeff used to sing when Sanji felt alone. "Umi ni nemuru mono tachi no … komori uta wa sea moon…" He could feel the tears trickling down his cheeks and cursed himself in his head, but the little song seemed to calm down Zoro's son. "You must be hungry, Zoro-kun." He spoke gently.
It wasn't long until Zoro came home. He found Sanji sitting on the couch with Kazuma curled at his side and ZJ in his arms. The marimo leaned in to give the man a peck on the cheek, but then he realized how upset the cook looked. "Oi, what's wrong?" He asked in the cook's ear.
"Read the note on the table." Sanji replied in a whisper.
Zoro did what he was told before kicking down one of the chairs in anger. Kazuma whimpered against Sanji's side, and Sanji cringed at the noise. ZJ started crying again.
It was going to be a long night.
~ and now ~
"Jesus," Law said under his breath, rubbing a hand over his mouth. This was not the story he expected Sanji to tell, but it was a rough tale indeed. "She just up and left, Sanji?"
"Mm," Sanji said whilst blowing a ring of smoke into the air. "And we haven't heard from her since." He shrugged, "I'm kind of numb about it now, but things had been difficult for a little while. We somehow managed. Usopp would baby sit for us when he could, and when he couldn't I asked Ace to." He paused, blinking, "I don't think I've mentioned him yet. Uh … Ace was the bouncer at Thrillar Bark. He and I – er – had some sort of fling for a while until Nami and I decided to go 'steady.' He was happy for me. Plus, he was trying to get into his parole officer's pants."
"He's a pyromaniac. Tried to burn down a building or something. I don't really know the details and what not, but he was let out for good behavior. And Moria knew his little brother, Luffy, so he gave Ace the job. Funny story, Zoro was best friends with Luffy, too. But I'll get back to Ace, later. He plays a significant role in this story." He gave a soft laugh, "But – anyway. Zoro and I grew closer, and we decided to get married."
~ back then ~
It was a bad night for the both of them. The kids were already asleep, and the two of them were curled up together on the bed. Sanji was listening to Zoro's heartbeat, while Zoro stroked Sanji's hair. The cook looked up at the sound of his name, his bloodshot eyes meeting the other's exhausted ones. "Mm?"
"Let's get married." Zoro said softly. "I've been thinking about it for a while, actually. We were made for each other, you know? As cheesy as that sounds." He smirked slightly, moving his hand to his lover's cheek. "But what do you say?"
"I say you're crazy," Sanji replied weakly. "But I guess I'm crazy, too, because I would want to spend the rest of my life with you." He chuckled, putting his hand over Zoro's. A smile slowly formed on his lips. "Yes. I will marry you."
And the two kissed.
There was no ceremony. They only went to go get the rings together and then hurried to the government building to get the official paperwork. And that was that. With one kiss, they were married. They held hands walking out and went out to dinner, leaving the kids alone with Ace for the night. Hell, Sanji and Zoro were never so in love before.
~ and now ~
Sanji sighed. Those years were behind them. He glanced over to Law, wanting to see his face because he nearly forgot the other man was in the room. The doctor seemed tense, watching him with a hesitation.
"It was good for a little while," He said, breaking the silence. "Kazuma was getting ready for kindergarten and ZJ turned two. We were a happy family for a while, but we were never the same after Nami left. And on top of that, we'd lost her income. I was making a decent amount of money, but Zoro had to nearly stop fighting all together – so we lost all of that money. I could only think of one thing to do…" He swallowed, glancing back up to the ceiling. "Don Krieg."
"Don Krieg? The mafia boss? But – how do you know him?"
"Zeff needed money to start the restaurant, so Krieg lent him the money and expected it back in ten years – with interest. Zeff managed to pay him back before I took up the sous-chef position." Sanji brushed his fingers through his hair. "So I figured I could manage the same deal."
~ back then ~
"What brings you here, pipsqueak? I haven't seen you in ages." Krieg said, laughing from the opposite side of the table.
"I need money." Sanji said lowly, ashamed that he had to go to a criminal. "If I don't get any soon, I won't be able to support my kids."
"Is that all? For the son of Zeff, anything." Krieg grinned maliciously. "The same deal is in order. I expect the money back in ten years – with interest. Or there will be consequences." Sanji gulped and nodded, while Krieg took a sip of wine and glanced to the man on his right. "This is Gin. He'll be dealing with you throughout this agreement. He'll check up on you, make sure you're getting the payments together."
Gin had to be no older than Sanji and looked at him with a hesitance that made the cook think that maybe he was just a misguided soul. But there was something about the air around him that also made Sanji think that he was ruthless and cold. However, Gin stood up and walked over to him, extending his hand. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Sanji-san."
And as Sanji stared into Gin's eyes, he remembered something. This was not the first time he had met this man, and when the realization hit him, the other laughed. "You're—"
"Yes." Gin replied, holding onto his hand tightly for just a moment. "I am."
It had to be at least five years ago, when Sanji was still trying to make a name for himself in the restaurant. A kid walked in, broken, alone, and probably a drug addict, and demanded some food. Patty and Carne threw him out the back door once he had started a commotion, but Sanji didn't like seeing people hungry. He brought out some food to the kid, who at first rejected it, but with Sanji's persistence accepted the meal. He had been so grateful and vowed to pay Sanji back for this some day. The cook shrugged it off; he had known what starvation was like. He just didn't want someone else to feel it. He threw the guy some money before heading back inside, grinning like a fool.
That kid was Gin.
"My God," Sanji whispered, "it has been a while. I see you've gotten off the streets."
"Someone helped me when I needed it the most." Gin replied with a soft smile.
Krieg cleared his throat. "So, do we have a deal?" The two snapped their attention toward the mafia boss.
~ and now ~
"When the money came is when the fighting started. Zoro grew bitter over it, but I was just happy that we could afford to breathe a bit. He never asked where I got the money from, and he was benefitting from it, too – he just wouldn't admit it. But we began to fight about little things. It got to its worst point when Zoro Junior was around five. I was expressing some doubts about having him begin to train at the dojo so early…" Sanji closed his eyes, grinding his teeth together at the memory. "But Zoro would have nothing of my argument. He shot me down at every turn, claiming that he began to train at five, and if ZJ wanted to be just like his dad, he would start then. I thought he was too young, and I kept telling him that. I didn't want ZJ getting hurt. But, finally, when Zoro grew tired of me, he punched me – hard – to 'shut me the fuck up.' He'd never hit me before; I never expected it out of him, and I didn't fight back because I was too shocked. The fighting escalated after that, and it became the new norm for our family. He would never everhit the kids, though. He'd only hit me if he thought I was out of line." He rolled his eyes, "which was a lot. I fought back sometimes…
But I was becoming vulnerable, and I began talking to Ace again."
~ back then ~
Sanji's cheek was beginning to swell, the throbbing pain giving him a headache. He wiped his eyes, moving away the tears that had threatened to fall down his cheeks. This was ridiculous; Zoro's mood had changed for the worst, and there was nothing he could do to fix this. He thought Zoro might have loved him, but Sanji must have guessed wrong. He held back his sobs (he was a man, damn it!) and exhaled a deep, deep breath. The kids weren't home yet. It was too early in the day, and Zoro wasn't coming home that night.
So Sanji picked up his cellphone and curled up on the couch, listening to it ring and ring and ring before:
"Sanji-san?" The familiar voice made him feel just a bit of hope. "Do you need me to watch the kids tonight?" Sanji was unable to speak for a moment, just listening to Ace's voice, remembering what they had years ago before any of this happened. "Sanji? Are you there?"
"Ace," He said weakly, feeling the sobs bubbling up in his chest. "Ace, I need you to come over. Please. I need you." He clutched the phone tightly, cursing as the tears ran down his cheeks.
"What's wrong?" The other's tone changed; Sanji could hear how concerned he was.
"Just come over." And with that, Sanji hung up.
When Ace arrived, Sanji pulled him into a hug, not wanting to let go. The other was shocked to see the bruises on his face at arms, and he demanded to know what happened. He hated seeing Sanji like this; the cook was supposed to be happy! He had been pleased with his choice in Zoro, but he was beginning to have his doubts. Sanji sounded so helpless on the phone, and Ace would do anything to see him smile again – especially after everything that had happened. He waited for the blond's answer, a stern but gentle look in his concerned eyes.
Instead of telling him, Sanji kissed him.
~ and now ~
"We were careful," Sanji murmured. "We were really careful. No one knew except us. The kids didn't understand it, so they accepted it. Zoro didn't find out until two years later." He blew out smoke from his latest cigarette, "Though, I wish he hadn't.
"Sanji-san," Law interrupted. There was compassion in his eyes for the broken man in front of him. "I'm going to have to cut you off here. Your hour is over. We will continue tomorrow."
"Is that so?" Sanji asked, sitting up. He rested his elbows against his knees, cigarette dangling from his lips in a nonchalant manner. He looked Law in the eye before he stood, shoving his hands in his pockets. "Do I really have to go home?"
This was said in a very soft whisper, probably not meant for Law's ears, but the therapist had heard him anyway. If there were a way that he could, he would take Sanji away from that dysfunctional home, or get Zoro counseling – ugh, if only there were a way to help more than he could now! Law didn't say anything, instead watching the cook walk out. He had a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach.
A/N: Hope you guys liked it! Please review~ Next chapter brings in the present day Roronoa-Black family!