I don't own anything but my ideas.

AU

Kicked

Sanji inhaled deeply on the joint tucked between his fore and middle finger, right at home where his cigarette—now in his other hand—usually rested.

Beside him, Zoro waited patiently until Sanji had pulled the thick-smelling drug from his lips and inhaled to suck the smoke farther into his lungs, turning the joint around to make sure the cherry was still lit before he passed it over to Zoro.

Sanji leaned back on his hands, letting his chest expand fully to coat every possible red blood cell with THC. He grinned, smoke leaching out from between his teeth as Zoro coughed heavily around the joint, fighting to keep the smoke down.

"You doing ok?" he asked coolly, letting the rest of the smoke into the air. Zoro turned to glare at him, trying to snap back a retort, but his diaphragm had other ideas. Sanji laughed loudly, throwing his head back as Zoro doubled over again, smoke spewing from his lips. Sanji reached out and plucked the joint from Zoro's hand, slipping it between his lips as he waited for Zoro to get ahold of himself.

"…Pussy."

"Fuck off, cook," Zoro rasped, flopping back on the grass under the quickly darkening sky to bask in the cloud settling over his mind.

Sanji grimaced, taking the joint from his lips and holding it out over Zoro's chest. "Don't call me that."

Zoro blinked up at him before taking the joint and inhaling again. Sanji could already see him straining to keep from coughing, but he couldn't keep it in for very long.

"Why?" he choked out around sharp coughs. Sanji, noticing that the cherry had gone out, dug around in his pocket and passed Zoro his lighter.

"Because I'm not."

"Yeah you are." Zoro sat up, joint in between his lips as he flicked the lighter to life, holding it gingerly up to the end of the joint. "And a damn good one."

Sanji shot him a flat look, bringing his cigarette up to his mouth, THC suddenly not doing nearly as much as he needed.

"Or you will be someday. It's not like you could stand to be anything else."

"Do you even know how much culinary school costs?" Sanji snapped, snatching the joint from him once Zoro had inhaled. Zoro made a face at him but didn't protest otherwise.

"We'll pay for it."

"Who's this "we"?" Sanji asked rudely, voice dark.

"You're helping me with my dream. This is yours. We'll pay for it and find scholarships and shit."

Sanji handed him the joint back. "It's almost kicked. And me agreeing to go with you to your tournaments isn't support, it's boredom. There's shit else to do in the ghetto and you're splitting the gas that's getting me out of this shit hole. Win win."

"Sure," Zoro muttered. Sanji could practically hear him rolling his eyes just through his voice. Zoro reached down and scrubbed the burnt-out butt into the grass before reaching around to his backpack to pull out the small plastic bag hidden deep inside.

They were quiet for a moment as Zoro began rolling the next one, and then as Zoro was twisting the ends in place he broke the silence.

"Know how I know you actually want to come?"

"I told you I do. It's getting me out of this fucking place for at least a couple of months and you're splitting the cost. I've already gotten used to your face so I can't lose at all in this situation."

"You didn't call my tournament stupid."

"You're stupid. It means I didn't feel like wasting my breath."

"Sure, cook."

"Do you realize how lucky I'd have to be to claw my way out of the ghetto and make it as a professional chef? I would have to start spontaneously going toe to toe with Luffy."

"Nah," Zoro passed him the new joint and the lighter, shaking his head when Sanji offered it back. Sanji sighed heavily as Zoro laid back in the grass to watch the clouds disappear into the navy sky, obviously not about to take it back, and clicked the lighter, drawing in smoothly before passing the smoking joint to Zoro's outstretched hand.

"What about old man Zeff?"

Sanji snorted, starting to find the situation rather humorous. Good, this was what he needed. "I'm still amazed he's put up with me for as long as he has. I have yet to see him get as angry with his own staff as he has with me."

"He knows you have potential."

"So? He runs a restaurant. He doesn't have the time, and I can promise you he doesn't give a shit."

"So then why has he kept you around this long? It's been four months now; I've never seen you improve so fast in any other cooking class."

Sanji was quiet. He followed Zoro's gaze up to the clouds and inhaled for a second time. Zoro grunted in objection, reaching up to take the joint from his fingers.

"Has it really been that long?" Sanji asked finally. He was starting to really give in to the cloud taking over his mind. It was pleasant. The orphanage used to have a storybook about… clouds smiling or children playing with them or some shit. He'd really liked it, but then one of the asshole kids had destroyed it. Sitting here was giving him déjà vu.

"I think it's actually been longer. Because you take every Friday off to work fulltime and the teachers have really started to get their panties in a knot over it. The first three months they really didn't care, but now you've pushed a lot of tests between all of the classes."

"What?" Sanji let out a barking laugh, Zoro catching it and chuckling beside him, both riding a decent wave of happy. Zoro handed Sanji the joint back, having forgotten he was holding it. "Do they think I'm trying to cheat by taking on the great Zeff and nearly getting myself killed every time I walk into that place?"

"Who the fuck knows. Or cares."

Sanji snorted again, reaching up to shuffle a hand through his hair. He looked down to his hip where Zoro was lying. His mouth had fallen open and his eyes were closed, hands resting behind his head as he drifted on the happy wave. Sanji reached out with his foot and nudged him, making Zoro's eyes flutter open.

"Don't you fall asleep on me," he ordered, a lot gentler than he'd meant to. "I'm not dragging your ass out of here if the cops show. We're sitting on top of a hill, upwind of a school."

Zoro scrunched his eyes together, giggling stupidly. "Yeah, we didn't really think that through."

"Whatever. No one cares around here. They all think we're shit and headed for the dead end anyways. I swear they ignore weed because they think it's the only thing we have."

"Not for long," Zoro mumbled, starting to doze off again. Sanji nudged him again with a growl, harder this time.

"…I'm gonna keep calling you "cook"."

"Ugh," Sanji groaned loudly. "Just to rub it in? You still going to be calling me that when we're eighty and dying in the basement of the house of whatever ghetto kids we have that hate us because we have no insurance money or inheritance so there's no point even getting rid of us?"

He turned to snub the kicked joint out on the ground beside him when he realized that Zoro's head was in the way. He paused for a second, hand hovering over Zoro's face, trying to figure out the easiest way around his head to the ground, but he wasn't quite sure of his ability to distinguish Zoro's hair from the grass at the moment and ended up turning to rub it into the ground on his other side.

"Because it's going to happen one day. My dream and yours. There's no point in ignoring what we want and avoiding the inevitable just because we're not holding the best hand right now. Game's still going, and we're pretty good at bluffing. We've got a good chance."

How was it that the inarticulate bump was more articulate than him right now? And he could hold his alcohol better, though Sanji would chop off his dominant hand before admitting it. It wasn't fair.

"I want you to come along with me when I travel."

"I already told you I'd come to the damn tournament."

"I mean further down the road. When we're done with all the necessary bullshit," Zoro waved his hand flippantly at the sky. "Because Zeff will have whipped you into the best cook by then and you'll have published actually good cook books and traveled and cooked for kings and shit, and I'll have been the first one to know about your cooking. Even before Zeff."

Sanji rolled his eyes. "You and that bottomless pit of Luffy's stomach. And shitty macaroni and cheese made by an eight year old does not count as cooking."

"It was damn good macaroni."

"It was boxed, dipshit."

"Yeah," Zoro gave shot him a look, "because all of the ingredients we bought that I didn't use and no one else would have used just got eaten up by the gnomes around the house. It was about as boxed as normal noodles that legally have to be sold in a bag to be approved by the FDA."

Sanji rolled his eyes, looking out over the city were the lights were really starting to gleam against the black sky.

"It's still my favorite."

"I thought onigiri was your favorite. Why do I go through all the trouble to make it if it's not even what you really want? Onigiri's a bitch to get right."

"It is my favorite," Zoro shrugged, ignoring Sanji's glare. "It doesn't hold the same memories though. That macaroni made my life ok after Kuina. I never thought I was going to settle into Koshiro's house. Still think I wouldn't have if you didn't give me a reason to just try every day."

Sanji sat back, contemplating that with the haze in his mind bogging his thought process down. He was pretty sure that was a hell of a compliment.

He finally managed to come up with a retort, minutes later. "You're a wuss. And you don't even have the right curves to make it worth it."

And what a response. Brilliant.

"I thought I was a pussy."

"It's starting to seem like you have one."

"Well, you'd prefer that, wouldn't you?"

"Not really, no."

Sanji's eyes popped as he realized what he'd said. He kept his head facing up to the black sky, pointedly ignoring Zoro's shift to stare at him with no doubt was a grossly overdone look of bewilderment.

"Shut the fuck up," Sanji snapped finally when it seemed that Zoro wasn't going to look away until that comment had been acknowledged. Zoro grinned hugely, rolling over onto his side so he could drape himself across Sanji's outstretched legs like Sanji was his personal pillow.

"Hey—" Sanji barked, but stopped when he saw the stupidly content smile on Zoro's face as the green head tucked itself into his arms and the contours of Sanji's hip. He huffed and looked away, ignoring Zoro's next huge grin.

"…I'm going to have to have a name for you then."

"…Huh?"

"If you're going to call me "cook" I need a nickname for you."

"Well isn't that adorable," Zoro drawled. "We could be the ultra gays of the school."

Sanji would have slapped him again if it weren't for the stupid smile giving away his actual opinion. He huffed again, blowing his bangs back into place. He looked down and reached his hand up slowly, threading his long fingers into Zoro's soft, mossy green hair. Zoro hummed contently and shifted to wrap his arm around Sanji's waist.

"Marimo."

"…What?" Zoro's voice had taken a sharp dip and Sanji grinned, scratching gently at his scalp.

"It's just so soft and round…" he crooned. "It fits you perfectly."

"Hey—"

"Shh, shh…" Sanji hushed Zoro quietly, holding his head tightly pressed in his lap to keep him from escaping. With the THC, it was also keeping him from having to give up his own high and fight back. Zoro grunted after a brief moment of struggling, flopping back down dejectedly. Sanji laughed and resumed his stroking.

"I think it's cute," he warbled.

"There's no chance of getting rid of this idea, is there."

"Just think, you could be Marimo Roronoa, swordsman extraordinaire, greatest in the world."

Zoro just grumbled to himself, turning his face to hide in Sanji's stomach. Sanji grinned to himself, gaze drifting back to the lights of the city. He never really had a chance to appreciate them the way he wanted to. He started tracing patterns in Zoro's hair and felt the tense body melting like hot wax under him.

This was nice.

"Are you going to school tomorrow?" he asked offhandedly, not bothering to put any energy into getting his voice to an audible range. Zoro had good hearing. The marimo head looked up, staring blankly at him before they both burst into laughter, falling against each other as they chortled.

"How about instead," Zoro cut in finally, breaking up the lingering laughter, "we sleep in because you haven't been able to more then ten times since you started working with Zeff, do nothing but spar and fuck all day, and you can cook whatever you want for meals. We can go to the store tonight."

Sanji's automatic retort was waiting in the back of his throat, regarding the fact that Zoro could fuck off because he wasn't a slave, but that honestly sounded wonderful. It'd been a while since he'd cooked something for Zoro and himself that wouldn't get interrupted or stolen by the orphanage brats, and wasn't half-assed as he rushed to get to the Baratie after school.

"That sounds nice," he answered finally and Zoro smiled gently, laying back down on his lap, and within seconds Sanji could feel the reverberating snores from Zoro's chest. He looked up to the sky where the stars had finally started to find their places in the night and the moon was coming up over the treetops, illuminating the hill just enough to make it so Sanji could look down and watch Zoro sleep if he so desired.

Oh yeah, this was nice.