I don't own anything but my ideas.
Sanji coughed, harsh and spluttering for breath. There was something blocking his airway and he fought against it, unable to discern what was holding him back from doing so. It was like iron, holding his feet and arms back.
And then he realized that it was iron. Cold, hard, iron chains binding his wrists and ankles together.
Sanji hacked again, his tongue convulsing helplessly against the thing shoved down his throat.
What the mother-fucking hell is going on?!
Sanji jerked around at a sharp sound to his left and winced, letting out a sharp cry as his head cracked against something hard and cold behind him. He couldn't see anything. Sanji fought the rising shiver in his stomach, making his spine quiver against the cold… cement. Or dirt. He couldn't tell. He fought back the bile in his throat, leaning over until his head touched his knees.
He shoved his tongue out, choking again when it hit something and stayed farther back in his mouth than could possibly be comfortable. Another soft keening sound slithered out of lips that had been forced open and held there for far too long if the soreness in his jaw was any indication.
Sanji leaned his head on the unforgiving cold wall against his back, letting his shivers overtake his body for a second as he tried to calm himself and work out what the hell was going on.
I was… I was with Zoro. Damn marimo had gotten lost… I think. Why did I go find him? What the hell happened after that?
Some… some fucking swing joint that the marimo had wanted to go in. But they did have good wine.
Spiked? With what?
He wasn't the best at holding his alcohol, not nearly as good as Zoro was (though he'd die before admitting it) but it had been a long, long time since he couldn't remember whatever had happened the night before one of his infamous hangovers. And it said something about whatever drug he'd been given if he couldn't even remember the girls that had been dancing at the bar.
…Music. Loud music… so loud it was… what the hell did that old man say…?
There was someone, some old man who had directed him and the marimo in the direction of that bar. Sanji couldn't remember what he'd looked like, but he had said something…
"The music is so loud that the rest of the town kicked the place down into the red light district, even though the bar itself is pretty clean. Best booze you'll find on the whole island, and best girls too. Just make sure not to grab any of 'em, because they're all strong enough to kick your ass right out of the bar."
That's right. We watched one kick some dirty fucker right out of the bar when he grabbed her.
Good aim too… she kicked him right through the door.
Sanji sucked in another shaky breath, gagging again at the taste that hit his tongue.
Cloth. …No, wool. Grating against his tongue. And some sort of soot.
A worker's hat? No, it's too thick.
A gag cut from a coat.
That was right, he could feel the pull on his hair where they had tied it into the knot at the nape of his neck.
Sanji sucked in another breath around the gag, forcing his stomach to relax before he pushed against the gag with his tongue again.
Spit dripped down his chin and onto his chest, his tongue was scraping against his teeth and he could taste the beginnings of pieces of skin coming loose and the blood that followed. Sanji convulsed again, gagging as his body tried to fight out the intrusion.
And then it was off.
Sanji hacked, spitting violently to get the taste of dirt and sweat from his mouth, curling in on himself as his stomach threatened to empty itself again. He could feel the cloth, damp from his spit, against his chest. That meant that at least his shirt had been ripped open.
A sudden noise, to his left again, and Sanji jerked to a stop, going silent as he listened.
Sanji shivered again against the cold wall, pulling his knees up to his chest. He let the tremor run its course again, and then let his head drop onto his knees, rubbing against them, pushing the blindfold away from his eyes.
He let out a relieved breath as it slid up over his eyes, coming to rest on his forehead, and he shook it the rest of the way off. As it flopped on the floor, landing on the damp ground with a smacking sound, Sanji's eyes had adjusted well enough to the pitiful light coming from the tiny window overhead to catch the motion as something moved on the other side of the room. Twitching, the way he had when he'd heard them moving.
Sanji tried to keep his breath calm and quiet, but another violent tremor rocked his body and he ended up sucking in another loud and harsh breath.
The figure against the opposite wall twitched again, pressing up closer to the wall.
Is that… green…?
Softly, barely loud enough for him to hear his own voice, but the reaction was instantaneous. The man moved again, his head tipping up, as if now that he could hear, his sight would have been back as well—Sanji could see the same gag and blindfold from where he was. The light from the moon was barely enough, but barely enough worked for him.
"Hold on…" he grunted, shifting away from the wall and onto his knees, ignoring the painful numbness throughout his body as he shuffled over to Zoro. "Hang on a sec', Zoro."
Zoro let his knees slide down from where they'd been pressed up against his chest—maybe trying to stand up—and Sanji winced at the dark stain he could see covering Zoro's torso. His shirt had been white, and neither beer nor wine was that viscous. Blood.
Sanji winced again, sucking in a sharp breath as his knee came down on something sharp, letting out a sharp yelp as the involuntary jerk that followed almost toppled him over. Zoro grunted sharply as Sanji yelped, just a few feet away now, looking around and trying to struggle away from the wall with both his wrists and ankles chained.
Who the hell had gotten to them in order to hurt Zoro like that? And Sanji wasn't even sure how he was; aside from his knee, he was tingling all over and sensations seemed to be a little lacking at the moment. Sanji wondered if that wall had been cold at all, or if he was the one cold.
"I'm fine, marimo! Just hold on a fucking minute and I'll get the blindfold off," Sanji snapped, hobbling on his throbbing knee as he finally reached Zoro's side.
His attempt to sit was less than successful, and he ended up with his chest coming down hard on Zoro's shoulder, right in his solar plexus.
Damn fucking idiot just has to be as buff as a fucking boulder! Sanji coughed, trying to not fall off balance again and right into Zoro's lap. To his credit, Zoro stayed silent this time, and Sanji was grateful for that.
But now that he was hovering over Zoro, he was blocking the light from the window, and that meant that he could only see Zoro's outline.
"Sorry if I bite you," Sanji warned in advance as he leaned forward slowly, letting his chin come to a rest on the top of Zoro's head to get his bearing before he started working his way down, feeling his way along the marimo's head until he felt the cloth under his skin.
Sanji grunted in frustration, trying to find a good angle to get his teeth under the cloth without scraping a good hunk of Zoro's skin off into his mouth. Though he wasn't sure why he cared at this point. Someone else's sweaty coat had been shoved down his throat, and now Zoro's cold sweat was flavoring his tongue. Probably blood too. What was a little skin?
Sanji let out a triumphant "aah!" as the blindfold came away, letting it drop by his knees as he began tracing his way down from the top of Zoro's head again with his chin, his eyebrows furrowing at the amount of blood he felt as he kept going lower.
He traced along Zoro's cheek, working his teeth under the cloth again and sliding back on his knees, shaking his head back and forth to try and pull the gag down. His had been sufficiently wedged in his mouth, and if Zoro's was anything like his, this might be a little harder.
Zoro grunted under the strain of trying to keep his neck straight as Sanji yanked back again, trying to pull the gag from Zoro's mouth, but nothing was working.
Sanji pulled back with an exasperated breath, muttered some sort of apology under his breath and then bent back in. Well, if Zoro's blood and sweat was already contaminating his mouth, why the hell not a little spit too?
It wasn't like the marimo would tell anyone.
Zoro jerked back sharply, his eyes going wide as Sanji's lips bumped against his.
"Get over it," Sanji grumbled. "And if you say anything to anyone, I will personally filet your dick and serve it to the next sea king we see."
Zoro stayed plastered against the wall for a second, but leaned back slowly and tipping his head up to help Sanji's access.
Sanji had half a mind to tell Zoro to shove it and work the damn thing out of his own mouth, but he wanted what the marimo knew, and he could barely understand Zoro's stupid gorilla-grunting anyways, a gag wasn't going to help.
Sanji forced his teeth under the cloth, much quicker this time because Zoro's lips were softer and more flexible than his jawbone. Not that Sanji was paying attention.
Another aggravating few minutes of yanking later, in which Sanji could actually feel Zoro and himself getting stiffer against each other in annoyance, he gave it a mental 'fuck it' and shoved his tongue past Zoro's lips.
Zoro's next jerk was so ill-timed that Sanji, his teeth still hooking in the cloth in Zoro's mouth, went flying backwards with Zoro, his knees slipping unceremoniously out from under him, and he sprawled face first out over Zoro's bloody chest.
He was going to fucking kill the marimo.
"I 'aid 'ucking 'old shtill!" Sanji snarled, further annoyed by the way he couldn't fucking talk. Oh, but that wasn't surprising, you can't speak with your tongue in someone else's mouth. His tongue just happened to be stuck between the dentures of one muscle-headed moron by the name of Zoro. The same one he was now laying over.
Fucking ape of a marimo. When the people who did this to them showed their faces, he was going to kick out the exact number of teeth in each of their mouths that his tongue had touched in Zoro's.
That thought almost made him want to run his tongue over every tooth in Zoro's—
WHAT?! Sanji choked slightly, his struggle to regain his footing—er, kneeing—halted sharply as his brain registered just exactly what he had thought.
Zoro grunted as his head was jerked farther down when Sanji slipped again, and he grunted again in question.
Sanji growled to himself, trying to shake his head before his teeth were yanked on again, again caught by the cloth, and he almost flung himself back into Zoro's lap just to get the right leverage in order to kick himself in the head.
Stop talking. Stop thinking. Just concentrate on getting your tongue—NO, just concentrate on getting this damn thing out of Zoro's mouth! And my tongue out for that matter!
Think… mouthwash. And smashing the heads of whoever did this in. And Nami-san. No, better not think of Nami when I'm like this. Think toothpaste, mint, mint tea, ice tea, ice cream, heavy cream, alfredo sauce, noodles, rice, rice and grilled fish, sea king meat, the ocean, salt water—
Zoro's favorite food is sea king meat.
NO! Stop it! Damn it!
I wonder what Zoro tastes like?
The thought had come up before Sanji could stop it. And his eyes popped that it had even entered his mind.
WELL! He was a chef! And his tongue was in Zoro's mouth! What the fucking hell was he supposed to do?!
Ignore it. He should ignore it. That's what he should—
But now the thought had come up…
No, no, no nonononononononon—
Beer. A little sake. Rice. Meat. Some sort of… cow. No, deer. Venison. A marinade, with lemon, and chilies. Scallions. Garlic. No, garlic salt. And the sake was in the marinade. Interesting mix, but good.
And if he could still taste it, no matter what a trained pallet he had, then they couldn't have been eating too long ago.
Idiot probably didn't even taste what he was eating.
He had ordered for Zoro, hadn't he?
Zoro had said… what had he said?
"Feh, just something with meat. All meat tastes good with booze."
"It won't taste as good as your cooking anyways."
Sanji stilled as he remembered that, blinking twice before he realized just what position he was in and pulled himself back into reality. With one more yank, the gag came free, and Sanji pulled back, letting the cloth fall to Zoro's collarbone.
Zoro leaned forward, his tongue lolling out as he choked, trying to get the taste and feeling out of his mouth the same way Sanji had. Sanji hadn't noticed how tightly squeezed shut Zoro's eyes had been. Had that been from him, or the gag?
Whatever. Didn't matter.
Sanji turned with a groan, lowering himself carefully so as not to crack his head against the wall again as he sat by the marimo, letting Zoro take his time in trying to get his stomach to settle. Whatever they had been given was messing with their nervous systems, and bad. He had been right earlier, the wall hadn't been cold—or at least, he couldn't feel it if it was—he was the one that was freezing.
Sanji waited until Zoro's strangled gasping had died down to a labored gulping for air and the occasional spitting, trying to remove the taste of sweat and charcoal from his mouth. Zoro joined him in leaning his head back against the wall, his legs slumping in front of him as he relaxed.
"Oi, marimo," God, he was dying for a cigarette—his tongue rolled absent-mindedly against the place on his lip where it normally would have been, "any idea what happened?"
Zoro let out a long sigh and nodded. Sanji scowled. The idiot would remember. Probably because he could hold his alcohol better, so he could handle the drug better.
"We were at that bar that the old man sent us too, and some woman brought you a complementary glass of wine, because you hadn't ordered one with dinner. I think you were scared you'd start acting like an idiot around the strippers, like you normally do when you're drunk."
"Seriously though, cook,"
Sanji paused at Zoro's serious tone.
"…You can't hold you alcohol for shit."
"But there was something in it, I think something pretty strong," Zoro jumped back to the topic, leaving Sanji growling beside him. "I mean, you were acting dumb—like you normally do when you're drunk—but that was only like… three sips in. And there's no way even a pansy like you can't handle three sips of wine."
"I'm warning you, marimo—"
"And I started feeling odd after I ordered my next beer too. And it was something really strong that they gave us, because I was only on my fifth and I don't ever get drunk until at least my fourteenth. By that time you were gone and drooling all over those stripper women—"
"I was WHAT?!"
"So I grabbed you, flung your arm over my shoulder, and dragged you out, figuring that whoever wanted us would just follow us anyways. Too bad too, because the food was good."
Sanji smirked, by now looking for anyway to get back at the swordsman. "But not better than mine, right marimo?"
Sanji's grin faltered at Zoro's pensive look that was hinting at the edges of a smile. Zoro shook his head, "No, never better that yours."
The silence was a pregnant one. And slightly painful too.
What was that? Sanji cleared his throat, "So… what happened next?"
Zoro shrugged, "So I tried to head back to the dock, but they put a damn building right in the way while we were eating—"
"—and then all of a sudden we were in this alley, and eight guys were blocking the way back out."
Zoro reached up awkwardly as much as he could and scratched something on his back. "You couldn't even stand by then, so I dropped you and grabbed Kitetsu and Yubashiri," he grimaced, "but honestly, I could barely stand by then. I think I took down most of them, except for a few nicks on my chest—"
Sanji looked down at the "nicks" that were still oozing blood, hours later. "Nicks" his ass.
"—and then all of a sudden you were standing there, stumbling in a fighting stance—rolling, drunkard eyes and everything…" Zoro paused, "with a broken bottle you must have found in the trash in your hands. Swinging it around like you thought you were Dracule Mihawk."
Sanji's heart stopped, and head snapped around, craning his eyes to inspect his precious hands. With how little he could feel now…
No. Thank god. Sanji let out a harsh breath that had been clogging his throat and let his head tip back to its normal position. Nothing gone. Sanji blinked again, looking back to examine the tiny cut on the inside of his thumb, nestled in the creases of his palm.
"What happened?" Sanji asked when his voice would allow him. He was going to kill whoever drugged him and endangered his hands like that. His pride drooling all over those gorgeous women like that? Fine. Never his hands.
Zoro shrugged again after a moment. "I lunged for you and grabbed the bottle, to keep you from hurting your damn hands, and something cracked me over the back of the head."
Sanji considered the blood he had felt on Zoro's head trying to work the blindfold and gag off. He considered the fact that Zoro had turned his back on his opponent, even though a scar to the back was one of the greatest shames to Zoro. He considered that Zoro had lunged for the bottle, just to protect Sanji's hands.
Just to protect Sanji's hands, Zoro could have gotten himself killed.
"…Thank you," Sanji murmured quietly, and then snarled, "I'm going to kick in the head of whoever did this. They'd better bring an army when they decide to show up—!"
Sanji jumped when the door suddenly clacked, the long hollow sound of the lock bouncing around the room. Zoro barely moved, and Sanji couldn't help but blink at that, and then light flooded the room and Sanji's tongue fell out of his mouth as he took in how much blood Zoro was drenched in.
The sedative had to be slowing down Zoro's blood clotting. That was the only thing that made sense. That was the only way Zoro could have had this much blood on him. That was the only reason Zoro would still be this sluggish.
The fuckers. Sanji felt his blood seething in his veins.
Two guards stepped into the room, and though Sanji could have taken them out easily with his hands bound behind his back, he didn't bother moving when he saw them both with tranquilizer guns. If they hit Zoro, Sanji wasn't sure he could fight and protect the marimo with his hands tied. Besides, Sanji wasn't even sure if Zoro could defend himself in this condition. He hadn't even looked up to see the guards. And though the chains on his ankles were flimsy enough to break with one good kick, Sanji didn't want to test the timing of the guards' reflexes.
The guards did, however, look a little unnerved that they had gotten the blindfolds and gags off, and that made Sanji smirk inside. So they did know who they were dealing with.
Another man stepped into the room, the two guards parting to let him pass. His shit-eating grin made Sanji's blood bubble and his muscles clench.
"Good morning my friends," he held out his hands, as if welcoming them. "My name is—"
"Hey fucktard," Sanji snapped, ending what was sure to be the start of a long tirade, "I couldn't give two shits about your name, but if you're holding us to try and get to Luffy, I have two things to say. One: Luffy will never let himself be killed over us, nor could you kill him if the only thing you have on your side are fucking tranq's. Second: if Luffy shows up and finds his first mate like this," he jerked his head toward Zoro, "he will bury you six feet under faster than you can realize what a fucking idiot you were for kidnapping us in the first place. So you'd better fucking unchain me and bring me some goddamn bandages and alcohol before this idiot loses any more blood."
Zoro grunted beside him, shifting for the first time, "'M fine, cook—"
"Shut up, Zoro," Sanji snapped, never breaking eye contact with the nameless man in front of him. What worried him even more was the fact that Zoro did as Sanji said and went silent.
The guards shifted uneasily, turning to mutter something to each other, before the man who Sanji cut off suddenly barked out a short, clipped, high, grating laugh. Sanji hated it. It made his eardrums grind. The man nodded to one of the guards, who scuttled out of the room way faster than looked professional.
Not a minute later, the scurried back in with bandages in his arms, and the man made the other guard aim his tranquilizer gun at Zoro.
"This tranquilizer," he began with a very high and mighty tone, "works against the nervous system—specifically, the muscles—and the one that your friend already has going through him works against brain activity. Apart, they're harmless enough, but together, his nervous system will be depressed to such a degree that Roronoa's heart and lungs—very important muscles—will slow to the point where they cease to function."
Sanji gritted his teeth and shifted so he was in a bad position to stand suddenly. Well, it actually wouldn't have made much a different to him, but to anyone else it would have, so it looked good in this situation. "I won't make any sudden moves," he said darkly.
The guard dropped the bandages and alcohol at Sanji's feet and moved to unlock Sanji's cuffs. Sanji had to smirk when he unlocked his ankle cuffs too—maybe they really didn't know who they were dealing with.
"Zoro's too," he jerked his head toward Zoro, rubbing his wrists, and the guard did so after a nod from the man. Zoro slumped back against the wall the second the guard was done.
"Water and a light too," Sanji added as the guard was turning away. They placed a canteen at his feet, and then set up a candle outside the door's window, so Sanji couldn't work with the fire to get them out, and so it was away from the alcohol.
With one last grin, right before the man shut the door, he chuckled, "I'm looking forward to meeting Luffy," and locked the door, his feet clacking hollowly against the floor as he left.
Sanji sent one last vicious snarl at the door before he grabbed the alcohol and a strip of cloth and turned to Zoro's head.
He soaked the cloth in the clear liquid, sniffing at the sudden bombardment on his nose, and swiped it over Zoro's hair.
Zoro hissed, pulling away slightly, and Sanji murmured, "Shut up," under his breath, not stopping even as Zoro cringed away from the liquid. Sanji's eyebrows furrowed when Zoro again did as he was told without complaint and straightened back up to make Sanji's job easier. How long would this drug take to wear off? Sanji must have slept most of his off when he was unconscious, and he'd had much less to drink as well. That must have had some part in—
Zoro exhaled sharply, his head snapping slightly to the right of its own accord until Zoro forced it back up.
"Sorry, sorry," Sanji murmured, leaning forward and blowing on the cut gently until Zoro's shoulders relaxed. Sanji didn't stop for a few moments after that, taking in the way Zoro's wet hair shivered under his breath that was almost in time with Zoro's own breathing. He didn't even stop to consider the fact that he'd just basically comforted Zoro and picked up the alcohol-soaked cotton again.
Sanji swabbed Zoro's hair until his blood was inexistent and then pushed apart the short, green fringes, searching for the source of the blood.
It wasn't hard to find. Sanji took in the jagged tears in the skin, trying to decide exactly what had been used to make such a rift in Zoro's skin. Either a splintered piece of wood, or a real idiot wielding a serrated knife. Sanji was guessing the latter, if those guards were anything like the people who'd attacked them.
Sanji whispered another apology before he touched the cloth to the first facet in the slash, yanking it away the second Zoro winced and blowing on it carefully. He repeated this routine for hours—dab, blow, repeat—until Zoro wasn't even flinching anymore at the contact of the stinging liquid on his skin and Sanji could feel the affects of lowered oxygen taking a toll on his equilibrium.
When Sanji was finally satisfied, he tied a makeshift bandage around Zoro's head to keep it as clean as he could and shifted around to sit in front of Zoro.
Sanji didn't even bother asking, and wrapped the hem of Zoro's shirt around his fingers, working it up Zoro's chest and as away from the tears in his skin as possible.
"How are your hands?" Zoro asked as Sanji peeled the shirt off of him, being careful not to catch it on the bandage on his head.
"Fine," Sanji answered automatically, reaching for the alcohol as he tossed the ruined shirt aside, but Zoro caught his wrist as he stretched for the first slice, turning his hand over and over again.
Sanji sighed, relenting to let Zoro look—as he was letting Sanji strip him with no objections—and held his other hand out, palm up, so Zoro could see the cut on his thumb.
Zoro released his other hand to take the one being offered to him, running one of his large, rough fingers over the tiny cut. His brows were knit tightly as he worked over Sanji's hand.
"It could've been a lot worse," Sanji offered quietly, not expecting much, but Zoro nodded in return and finally released him, settling back against the wall behind him, his shoulders stretched to give Sanji better access. "…And it'll heal fast. It won't even need disinfecting because it's mostly healed." Zoro only nodded.
These cuts were much easier. They didn't even seem to hurt Zoro when Sanji cleaned them. Sanji felt his chest relax at that realization.
When Sanji was done, he tossed the cloth away and slid the alcohol out of Zoro's reach when he tried to pick it up.
"You can't drink that, marimo," Sanji snapped, pushing it farther away, "this is the one time I'll ever tell you that and seriously mean it. It's meant for cleaning wounds, it's been melding with your half-dried blood, and it's got methanol in it. Unless you want to go blind, you'll have to deal."
Sanji settled next to Zoro, ignoring the swordsman's grumbling and running a finger absently over his lip where a cigarette normally would have been. Damn.
Not ten minutes later, Zoro started to shiver. What really called it to Sanji's attention was when he didn't stop.
Sanji looked over as Zoro dipped his head and sighed, scootching himself to the right until he was pressed up against Zoro. Maybe they would give him an antidote if he yelled a little…
"You know," he snorted, "we wouldn't even have been in this mess if you didn't insist on finding that damn bar in the middle of the damn red-light district."
Zoro snorted too, his eyes poking out from their hiding spot in his knees to glare in a surprisingly not hostile way at Sanji. "You seemed pretty happy to be there with those women. I've never seen you actually touch a woman's tits before—"
"I DID NOT!"
"And I never thought I'd ever see you slap one on the ass. Never thought I'd actually want Nami with her camera anywhere either, but there's a first time for everything—"
"Oh god…" Sanji moaned, slumping over on Zoro's shoulder more.
Zoro sniggered to himself. "'S alright, she didn't seem to mind too much."
"I'm going to kill myself."
"Hey, I wouldn't mind if I was one of those girls and you did that."
Sanji blinked, watching as Zoro rested his head on his knees and drifted off, his low, rumbling snore reverberating around the cell. He decided not to consider the underlying reason why Zoro was saying this, drugged or not, and leaned his head back against the buff shoulder. He'd have plenty of time for that after Luffy broke them out.
And right now, Zoro was just comfortable.
Not three seconds after he had come to that realization, a distant rumble echoed through the bars of the window, and Sanji's head popped up. He looked over to Zoro and nudged him carefully, leaning back—satisfied that he wasn't dead—when Zoro grunted in his sleep at the disturbance, and then smiled at the next explosion sounding through the walls. That one was much closer. They'd be out of here in less than two minutes.