Prompt: 082. In the still of the night.

Ratings: Uh…T, I guess. There's a bit of sexual stuff, but none that's explicit.

Fandom: One Piece

Characters: Zoro, Sanji

Word Count: 2878

Warning: It's slash, and almost-smut. Nothing explicit, but it's pretty clear what's going on.

Author's Notes: WHAT HAPPENED? WHAT? HOW DID THIS EVEN HAPPEN? WHY? WHAT THE HELL? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? Also, I do not own One Piece. It is the property of Oda Eiichiro. But more important, HOW DID THIS FIC HAPPEN? WHAT IS MY BRAIN DOING TO ME?


Sanji woke suddenly, his eyes snapping open, and for a brief second, there was a moment of clarity. He could see the hammocks hanging in the hull of the ship, and the vague outline of his crewmates sprawled out on them. He could hear Usopp and Frankie's snores, Luffy's muffled demands for more food, and the steady ticking of the clock. Half past one in the morning, half an hour to his shift.

Then the dizziness hit him full force, and he slumped against the low-hanging hammock he was in. He'd slept late last night, washing up the dishes and putting the over-turned chairs and tables back into order before staggering into the men's quarters and collapsing into his hammock. All in all, he'd probably only gotten little over two hours of sleep.

Well, no point in sleeping now. He ran a tired hand over his face and, with a reluctant sigh, heaved himself out of bed. He pulled on his jacket, not bothering with the buttons, and poked his feet into his shoes roughly. Zoro had the shift before his, and knowing the moron, he was probably sleeping up there again. No matter—Sanji will simply have to kick his ass when he gets there.

He felt his way out of the hull, his adjusted eyes still having trouble picking out the hazardously thrown thongs and clothes on the floor, hopping half the way as he tried to put on his shoes right. Straightening himself as well as he could be half-assed to do so, he climbed up the staircase and emerged onto the deck.

The night was still and clear, not a trace of the small storm they'd sailed through that morning left, and all he could hear was the gentle lapping of waves against the sides of the ship. He leaned on the railings, staring up into the multitudes of stars in the vast openness of night, and fished out a cigarette compulsively.

He lit it with a match and took a long drag on it, filling his lungs with nicotine and feeling it seep into his blood stream, chasing away his drowsiness a little. He held his breath for a second before breathing out with a huff, watching the white puff of smoke swirl in the still night air for a bit before disappearing into the darkness.

It was ironic, really, that for all his caution about not ruining his hands, he had no compunctions destroying his taste buds. And for what? When he'd started, stealing cigarettes from Jeff and puffing away at them despite the coughing fits they always sent him into, it was because he'd wanted to quickly grow up, because he was sick of being a kid. But now…now, maybe, once in a while, he just needed to watch something burn.

He lifted his hand, watching the black ashes fall from the end of the cigarette, which burned a bright red in the pale, silvery light of the moon. And he took a second puff, letting the bitterness of nicotine fill his mouth.

It was probably still twenty-something minutes until his shift, but there was no point in dawdling down here. And if that bastard was sleeping up there, then someone with enough sense to not nap on duty had to go up there and teach him a lesson.

He dropped the cigarette onto the grass at his feet and stomped it out, and then bent down to pick it up again and throw it into the sea—both Usopp and Frankie had gotten pissy when he stubbed his cigarette out against the wood of the ship. Sighing again, he turned onto the second landing, and from there quickly made his way up the riggings, climbing them with practiced ease.

He'd prepared himself to find Zoro snoring obliviously in the crow's nest, hugging one of his swords like it's a security blanket. What he didn't expect was a bleary but definitely awake Zoro…with two empty bottles of rum at his feet, and a third bottle almost half gone clutched in his hands.

Drawing himself over the side and into the cramped nest, he demanded incredulously, "What the fuck do you think you're doing, getting drunk up here!? You're supposed to be keeping a fucking eye out!"

Zoro didn't answer, but tilted his head back, blinking stupidly up at him.

With a disdainful grimace, he firmly wrenched the half-full bottle out of Zoro's hands, throwing it to the side and kicking the empty bottles away with it. "Look at you," he tsked. "Can you even make you way back down to the deck?"

Still silent, Zoro first tried to get up, then settle for fumbling along the darkened floor of the nest, groping blindly for the rum Sanji had tossed away. Great. Now he had to somehow manoeuvre the useless lump back down again.

"What on earth were you even drinking for? Didn't you have enough at dinner time?" he demanded.

Zoro gave up pawing at the floor and returned to struggling to stand up, still unnervingly silent. Sanji shifted. Zoro's unresponsiveness was starting to throw him off a bit, and he could feel some of his righteous anger slipping, replaced by confusion. He knew the man could hold is liquor, but he rarely drank much, just having a few quiet beers to himself occasionally. It simply wasn't like him to hole up somewhere and get completely trashed like this. And it definitely wasn't like him to answer Sanji's provocations with this dull silence, instead of sharp retorts and even sharper swords.

With a grunt of annoyance, he grabbed Zoro's arm, helping him up with a sharp yank.

He stumbled to his feet, swaying uncertainly for a bit before bracing himself against the mast with one arm. With his face no longer in Sanji's shadow, Sanji could see his blood-shot eyes and smell the sharp stink of alcohol that clung to him.

"Come on—get a grip on yourself. We've got to get—" He was cut off as Zoro tottered dangerously again and fell forward, on top of Sanji, sending him careening backwards, and his back hit the side of the nest with a sharp burst of pain.

Zoro landed on top of him with an oomph, and Sanji gasped then wheezed rather pathetically as the wind was knocked out of him. The solid weight of the man on top of him drove the sharp edge of wood further into his back, and Sanji futilely shoved against him. "What the—get the fuck off of me!" he hissed.

But with gravity and bulking masses of muscle on his side, Zoro hardly budged, and in the cramped space of the nest, with both of his legs pinned under Zoro's own, all Sanji could do was curse and push at him, trying to ignore the wood digging painfully into his back.

Zoro stirred, his hands fumbling up along Sanji's side, up to his shoulder, and down along his arms, pawing aimlessly while he remained lying prone, crushing Sanji beneath him, his heavy head resting on Sanji's shoulder, and—

"What the—Don't lick me, you idiot!" He desperately tried to struggle away from the drunkard, or at least work his legs free somehow, but the bastard was too heavy, and the nest was too small, and there was nothing he could do and—

A sharp glint caught his eye, and turning his head, he could see where the empty rum bottles lied, shining in the moonlight, and Zoro was taking advantage of his exposed neck again, nuzzling at him and—and did he just bite him?

Sanji grasped frantically at Zoro's hair, wrenching his head away, and he was squirming around, but no, Zoro's weight kept him pinned down and immobile, and stretch as he might, he couldn't reach the bottles, and Zoro's hands had worked their way under his shirt, burning against his side, and it was moving, reaching higher, leaving a blazing trail behind, and all he could feel was them, and the smell of rum filled his nose and made his stomach churn.

And then he was back again, nuzzling up along Sanji's neck, and he was leaning up, trailing a warm, wet tongue along Sanji's ear, and even as he blundered forward and sucked at Sanji's earlobe, a slurred name slipped out of his mouth.

"Kuina…" he breathed.

His hair stood on end, and he couldn't suppress a repulsed shudder as Zoro's teeth grazed against his earlobe and the hands under his shirt moved too, groping at his stomach, his sides, and Sanji made a helpless sound as the hands started moving up again, and what is that against his thigh, oh God, no, and was he thrusting, no, no, NO—

He flailed, lashing out blindly, and pain exploded across his knuckles, and yes, he was free, he could work his leg out and kick, and Zoro went sprawling back, and he was free. And he scrambled to his feet, still blindly striking and clawing at the air, and yet, even in his panic, he noticed the painful clarity, the shock, in Zoro's eyes. But he didn't care, no, he was swinging over the side of the nest and scaling down the riggings as fast as his trembling limbs could take him, almost slipping three or four times before he made it back to the comforting openness of the deck.

He ran for the railings, almost tripping over his own feet in his haste, and fell on top of them, gasping, retching. Nausea still churned his in stomach and pressed down on his throat, and he could feel bile rising up, but he heaved dry retch after dry retch until he hung on the thin, wooden railing limply, completely exhausted, his breath coming in raw, painful wheezes.

A breeze had picked up now, rapidly growing in strength, and the cool wind helped clear his head. And after god knows how long of clinging to the railings until his hand started cramping, he straightened himself with some difficulty, tucking his shirt back into his pants, his stomach giving another uneasy churn at the sight of his bottom button hanging on only by a thin thread.

And that wasn't the only memento the fucker had left him. The skin of the third knuckle of his hand had split open and a thin trickle of blood was running down his finger. It was a shallow wound—he hadn't been aiming properly in his panic, so the hit didn't have as much force behind it as he would have liked. But it was still a wound, it was still bleeding, and when Sanji lifted his hand up to lick at it, it stung and tasted like rusty copper.

He ran his injured hand through his hair, his horror slowly being replaced by a low, simmering anger. What the—what the fuck was up with that bastard!? He was—It was—He'd seen him drunk before, dammit, and this—this just—

Fuck.

He was going back to sleep, Sanji decided. Zoro can stay up there and keep watch and get his ass so drunk that he drowns in his own vomit. He didn't care—he was going back to his quarters and getting a good night's sleep like he goddamned deserved after this. And the next time he saw that piece of shit, he was going to make him eat his own teeth.

He dug around his pockets and fished out a crooked cigarette, jamming it into his mouth, but his hands were still shaking, and he couldn't strike the match, and his irritation only made the trembling worse, until he threw the unsmoked cigarette into the ocean with a low growl of anger.

Fuck.

He wondered who Kuina was.

He didn't sleep that night. He didn't even stay in his quarters. Lying still, in the darkness, exhausted but unable to sleep, hearing the snores and slurred mumbles of Luffy and Usopp and Frankie as if nothing had happened…and with nothing to occupy his mind, he found that he could still feel the phantom heat of Zoro's hands stroking his stomach, his sides, his mouth on his throat, along his jaw line, licking, biting, the sharp wood digging into his back, his legs turning numb and then prickling horribly beneath his weight, and there, on his thigh—

He fled out to the deck and spent the rest of the night pacing along the deck, smoking cigarette after cigarette, thinking about anything but that.

And so when early morning dawned, and he shuffled his way into the kitchens to prepare breakfast, he was all but sleeping on his feet. But tired as he was, his mind was still reeling, racing round and round in circles, and it was with a fouler temper than usual that he set down the plates on the table, which was overflowing with food—an amount more suitable for dinner than breakfast, but when you were on the same crew as Luffy…well, he doubted even that was enough.

He considered grabbing a plate for himself, but just the smell set his stomach churning in protest again. His crewmates trickled in as the day lightened, and after making sure the Luffy didn't dip into the ladies' dishes, he retreated into the kitchen to clean and put away his pots and pans.

He was so engrossed in his task, oddly comforted by the loud squabbling in the dining room, that he hardly noticed the door opening again, and a tired-looking, yawning Zoro strolled in, looking so at ease that Sanji almost stormed over that instant and stomped his head into a red paste.

He froze, the sponge squelching as his hand tightened on it involuntarily, spilling soapy water over the cut on his knuckle. It stung a little, which was ridiculous, because it had scab over already. He stood at the sink, holding his breath, his back prickling all over because he could feel Zoro staring at him, feel his eyes, his hands, and yet not wanting to turn around, because that'd be admitting that he was nervous, that he was bothered, and he didn't want to—

He dropped the pan with a loud clang as he heard someone pitter-patter into the kitchen and whirled around, his heart thumping in his chest. And he sagged against the counter in relief when he saw that it was only Chopper, depositing his dirty dish.

"Hey, Sanji!" he greeted cheerfully, dropping his plates in the sink, and Sanji smiled back, relaxing a little. But then the reindeer frowned, and asked, "Did you hurt your hand?"

"Uh…" Almost guiltily, Sanji covered the small wound with his other hand. "It's okay—just hit it when I was blundering about in the dark."

"But—But it's your hand!" Chopper protested, half-alarmed and half-confused.

"Really, I'm fine," he lied. "I would've come and saw you if it was anything bad."

Still frowning, the reindeer gave him an uncertain look and grudgingly trotted back out. Sanji flicked his eye over to Zoro nervously, but the swordsman was looking away, focused on his breakfast, chatting idly with Frankie by his side. And even when he turned his head, sweeping over the room with a stoic look, and Sanji's stomach squeezed and lurched, his gaze slid past him and moved on, as if nothing had happened.

Sanji bristled. He wanted to go out, stop lurking and hiding behind the counter and storm out of the kitchen so he can kick the bastard through the wall and out into the deck, and he'd stomp on his stomach, his sides, his neck, his ears, his thighs—

Just—Just what the hell did he think he was doing, getting wasted and start pawing after him like, like some—

Getting wasted.

That was right. He was drunk.

With another sickening lurch of his stomach, Sanji realised that in all probability, Zoro didn't remember last night at all. If he had—if he'd had any idea what had happened—he wouldn't be here, sitting at the table with everyone, eating and chatting and being dutifully indignant at Luffy stealing his food.

He didn't remember.

And somehow, that made everything so much worse.

He'd paced the deck all night, decimating his cigarette supply, thinking himself into a panicked frenzied about what was going to happen, hating it, and not being able to help it, his skin still tingling where Zoro had touched it—and all of it, everything, was for naught.

Zoro didn't remember a thing.

His panic, his nausea, melted away , replaced by a bitter, spiteful anger that made his eyes prickle and burn.

Fine. He wanted to forget? He'll let him forget. He wasn't the only one that can sit there, all blissfully ignorant, acting like nothing was wrong. Sanji wasn't going to stand here and fret pathetically, like a goddamned schoolgirl with a crush. He wasn't going to let it bother him—he was better than that. It was nothing but some weirdo biting him anyway—he'd been through far worse. And he was going to carry on, because he wasn't bothered by anything. He didn't need anything from Zoro.

And as far as Sanji was concerned, Zoro can go and suck his dick.

The bastard.