Urgh... I'm sorry this took so long. I finished my exams but now I have summer projects (*TTmTT) and I've been unwell so not been able to think straight enough to write this chapter but, hey~! I got it finished in time for A Sunday so all is well~ Hope it's worth the wait~ Thank you for reading~

Chapter 18 Reflections

I don't know what the fuck I was even thinking when I asked the shitty curly brow out on a date. I mean, we're already together so it's not like I'm doing this to try and woo him… although, I wouldn't complain if it helped me get him into bed again... I digress. What I mean is that it was spontaneous and I don't know what made me say it. I suppose I can see him as the type of guy who would enjoy an actual date every now and then so, hell, why not. It's not really my thing but, for him, I guess I'm willing to give it a try. He looked so genuinely happy when I asked him, like he was shocked. I wonder if he can also tell that I'm not one for going on dates or being impulsively romantic… And then when he told me to 'surprise him' I somehow gained a bit of confidence from having control of the evening and replied automatically. But then I got home and realised I don't even know where people go on dates.

So, although I'm embarrassed to say it; I had to go online and look it up. What the hell was I supposed to do? I don't know the first thing about dates. I've only ever been on one date; when I was 13, a strange girl named Perona somehow managed to trick me into going on a date with her to the cinema. Well, by then I knew I was gay anyway, but I guess I figured that it'd be like a final test; just to check that I wasn't just bisexual. And well, if there was a chance for me and girls then Perona made sure to put me off the female species for good. She was creepy as fuck and kept calling me cute; saying things like she wanted to dress me up in various costumes. She had some majorly fucked up fetishes. I swear to god she the whole time I spent with her was eerie as hell; I had this sick feeling like she was the stalker type who was going to follow me home afterwards.

So, anyway; I looked over some chat rooms and Q 'n' A websites where people asked pretty much the same thing I was looking for and I got a few ideas. I have something planned out but I don't know if he'll enjoy it or not. But whatever, on such short notice it's all I can come up with. I called him up and told him to dress comfy casual for our date this evening. As I get myself ready, putting on my comfy jeans and favourite white shirt and black hoodie, I begin to wonder what he will wear…

I can say many negative things about Sanji. For starters, I hate that sudden switch to 'gentlemen' he does whenever he sees a woman; It's such a fake act and it irritates me that he's only that pleasant and appealing to women. Secondly, I also hate his lack of self-concern; he cares far too much for others and not enough for himself. I hate the annoying nicknames he's created for me when saying my name would actually be easier to say; it has less sylla-thingies [1]. I hate how he covers half his face, even though his eyes are fucking stunning. I hate how he jumps into fights to protect his ego. I hate how he'll do absolutely anything for anyone else but refuse to accept help for himself… There are a few other things of course, and there are many things I love about him too… However, one thing I absolutely cannot fault him on is how gorgeous of a man he is. So far, I've seen him in a casual suit, our school uniform, a tracksuit and butt naked; and every single time, he's looked hot as hell. It really doesn't matter what he's wearing or what he's not wearing because he has a fantastic body and a model face. I know I've said it before but he really is just fucking good-looking.

Thinking about this reminds me of the first time I saw him; standing in the doorway of the dojo looking mysterious, alluring and exciting in that sexily slimming suit of his. It complimented is lean figure so well. And then there was our fight… it was like we were both suddenly overcome with passion. Thinking back, it was a bit rash of us but I suppose now that I know that he was doing it to check my health… which explains his reaction to my scar. It didn't make sense back then but, that look of hurt in his eye when he looked along the line of jagged flesh along my chest… it was guilt. I only wish that back then I knew why; so I could tell him it wasn't his fault and remove that painful expression from his face…

Quickly checking my phone for the time I do up my hoodie and grab my keys from my bedside table. Looking down I see my screwed up uniform half under my bed and smile when I think of school. Before I saw a blond headed cook walk through those doors I never thought for a moment that the arrival of a new student would have such a huge impact on my life. It seemed as though we were headed towards such a bitter relationship. Hell, I didn't think we would have any kind of relationship to begin with. He seemed to hate me from the very beginning. Although, thinking about it… no, he didn't. He was cold to me… but he never really did anything to give me the impression that he hated me. When I went to the cooking club that first time and he just came over on his own accord and gave me something to eat because Luffy had told him I didn't usually eat lunch… that was all him; he didn't have to and it's not like I asked him. 'Well, if you just forget then I'll make lunch for you and give it to you every day to make sure you eat it so that you can't forget.' I couldn't tell back then but he really was concerned for me…

Turning the key in the lock and giving the door a quick push to make sure it's locked, tugging at the strap of my backpack (which is pretty heavy due to its contents…); I think about my destination, mapping out the directions in my head; The Baratie; Sanji's home. I remember expecting him to live in a much more luxurious home and I definitely didn't expect the cook to live above the restaurant. Come to think of it… that's where all this craziness began; I think, when I was out late that night (the night I first confronted Mihawk and met the cook), I passed the Baratie and then shortly after I ran into the blond while was he was out on one of his –as I would later learn- regular confrontations with Mihawk and his men. Man, I still won't accept choppers diagnosis; that I wanted to forget that night and then I did… I mean, sure, he said some scientific gibberish which does make it believable but considering how desperate I was at learning his name before I passed out… I wanted to be able to remember. I know I did. No way is my pride bigger than my attraction for the blond… or is it? Shit, now I'm questioning myself.

Shaking the unpleasant thoughts out of my mind, I begin walking in the direction of my cook. My cook… My Sanji. That first time we kissed and we both knew how the other felt... Damn, I've fallen for him hard. I'm doing shit I never even dreamed I would ever do. For starters, I'm joining a damn mafia group but even that's not as shocking as me going out on a date; out of choice. Though, I'm pretty confident in my plan. If he doesn't enjoy it or is a bitch about it then that's just his loss. I'm not aiming to impress him.

Getting closer to the Baratie I see the blond idiot leaning against the side of the restaurant, smoking as he extends his neck and blows out a long stream of smoke. I don't condone smoking and I think it's a fucking unhealthy habit but… I'd be lying if I said that he didn't look fucking sexy as he held the stick of tobacco between his thin fingers and raised his hand up to his face to place the cigarette between his lips. The swift motion looking almost like he was putting on a tantalizing performance just for me… It makes me want to grab him by the neck and replace his cigarette with my lips; which, if you ask me, is a much better (and healthier) use of his lips.

As I approach the cook I can see that he's wearing a light blue shirt with a wide collar and a black jacket. His jeans are also black and compliment his long slender legs and fine ass perfectly. I have to remind myself not to stare at his rear too much but promise the pervy side of my brain that that ass belongs to me now and I'll be seeing a lot more of it soon…

"Oi, I'm looking for a sexy idiot shit cook. Have you seen one?" I ask with a smirk. He looks at me and takes a final drag of his cigarette before dropping it on the floor by his feet and stamping it out.

"Shitty marimo; always so vulgar…" Turning fully towards me, I look him up and down and smirk as I begin having even more perverted thoughts about him. He seems to see my visual caressing and blushes with a frown. "Oi, are we going somewhere or what?" I look up from his legs and raise an eyebrow at him.

"Hm? Oh, yeah, right." I hold out my hand to the idiot, offering it to him. He hesitates but eventually takes it and allows me to lead him in the direction of my surprise date.

"Shouldn't you tell me where we're going so that I can make sure you're not going to get us lost?"

"Tch. Shut up. I know the way. Besides, it's a 'surprise'. Or don't you understand the word?"

"Fuck you! I know what it means! I'm not an idiot! Fine, I trust you not to get lost then." I snicker at the word 'idiot' and receive a shove from said idiot in consequence. "What's in your bag? It's making a clinking sound… is it glass?" I don't answer. He seems to register that whatever it is, it is part of my surprise and doesn't press me with any further questions.

We walk in silence for the rest of the trip. We have to stop twice so that I could remember which road to go down, which the cook found hilarious calling me a 'lost child'; he seems to always find enjoyment on teasing me about that. I suppose, although it's something I find irritating about myself (since it would be a lot more convenient if I were able to easily find my way without trouble like most other people) I have to be kind of thankful that I have this trait. Since, if I didn't I wouldn't even be here; holding the slender hand of a man I've fallen hopelessly (and annoyingly) in love with. Anyway, I remembered shortly after and soon we are on the outskirts of town and walking steadily up a hill. Well, I'm walking steadily and almost dragging the blond idiot behind me as he looks around and begins to question our whereabouts and what our business is at the top of the hill. I ignore him the whole time, answering none of his questions as I know full well that everything will become clear once we reach the highest point of this mount of earth...

I reach the top of the hill, nodding with approval at the view from this point, and practically pull Sanji up beside me; tugging him to my side so that he doesn't trip and fall back down. He stumbles in my hold and looks up at me with a low grumble before looking out in front of him and silently gasping. His eyes soften almost instantly as the orange glow of sunset lights up his features, giving him a look of golden radiance as the rays caress his skin and clothes alike. He looks stunning against the light of the diminishing day and I feel like I'm looking at all his essence of beauty in one frame of a moment.

This is the most 'country' like part of town which leads to the next town past here. This sunset looks over clear fields and a horizon of forest. Out here it's quite, calm and natural. Looking up to me with wide eyes he exclaims in almost a whisper;

"Zoro you…" I claim his open mouth and silence his words. I can't help but smile slightly as I do my own caressing of the cook; allowing my hands to gently cup his cheek and pull him closer by the neck. Pulling away slightly with a smirk that I know I deserve.

"Now you can't say I'm not romantic." He blinks at me before smiling and chuckling, placing a light kiss on my lips.

"No, I suppose I can't. I'll be honest; I'm really taken back by this… it's…" He turns to face the sunset again; looking across the skyline in awe…

Unable to complete his sentence as he gets lost in the beauty of days end, I chuckle to myself and pull my bag off my back. Taking out a blanket I brought for us to sit on and placing it on the flattest part of the hill, I think I saw something like this in a movie once… or something similar… I don't remember, I'm not interested in shitty chick flicks. Placing my bag down I take the cooks hand, breaking his trance and coax him into sitting with me. I pull out a bottle of sake and a glass from my bag and fill the glass, handing it to him.

"It's not top quality or any shit like that but it is good." Putting that bottle down I pull out another bottle of the same sake and open it, I take a swig from the bottle and look over to the blond to see the results of my 'surprise date'. He grins at me, and takes a sip of the sake. Nodding with approval he smiles over at me.

"Not bad; for a marimo choice." I know that's his way of complimenting me and smirk at him, looking over at the setting sun.

"So how'd I do? I've never done this shit before so I don't care if it's not good enough for your royal ass…" He rolls his eyes at me and looks out across the sky again.

"It's perfect. It's not what I expected from you but somehow it just feels like it could have been nothing else other than this."

I bore of the sun and the silhouette of trees and instead look over to my beautiful cook. I look down to his hand which is placed by his side on the blanket and place my hand over his, drawing his attention from the sights for a second before he smiles and looks back. Nope. That's not enough; I want his full attention. Placing the bottle of sake to the side, I lean over to him and place a kiss on his neck. He tilts his head and looks over at me from the corner of his eye, questioningly. I kiss his neck again, but further up, before reaching up and kissing his jaw. He turns his face towards me slightly and hums at me curiously. I want him facing me. I reach up with my other hand and use it to tilt his face towards mine so that I can claim his lips once more. I bite down on his lower lip before licking his upper lip in a quest for entry. He raises an eyebrow at me and asks, without raising his voice.

"You came here just to make out?"

"Hey, it's my date. I planned and brought you here; this is my reward." I grumble in a low voice, annoyed at the fact that our lips aren't connected at this moment. He scoffs lightly with a smirk.

"Don't objectify me." I look up and use my palm to brush away his mop of a fringe so that I can stare into both his eyes.

"Then stop being so damn sexy…" His wide eyes, red cheeks and slightly parted lips are telling me that that has caught him off guard and surprised him enough to give me the opportunity to lean forward and seal his lips.

Taking the glass from his hand I place it far enough away so that, as I release the cooks hand from under mine and instead place it on his waist as I kneel up and push down on him compelling him to lean back and eventually end up lying on the ground, it won't get knocked over. I have a hand underneath his head, entwining my fingers in his silky golden locks. Of which, he probably washes every day… He doesn't seem to be complaining anymore, it's more the opposite actually. He's kissing me back with an equal passion that I've met on many levels, showing me that fiery side of him that I love oh so much. He even allows my hands to travel up as far as his pecks before he pulls away slightly to guide my hand away from his nipple.

"Oi… don't do that. We're not doing it out here." I give a groan of frustration before complying and leaning back in to continue the kiss, begrudgingly moving my hand back down but continuing to stroke the soft and toned skin of his abdomen. We have to repeat this 'telling off' when my hand then travels too low and eventually Sanji forces me off him so that we can actually make something of this 'date'.

Before we sit up, I lean up and take a moment to just take in the cook's image at this moment. I like doing this… Just looking, and taking mental photographs of him… His hair is messy and sprawled across the grass, the gold creating a perfect contrast against the green of the grass. His open-collar blue shirt and jacket loose against his perfect and pale skin which, I know it's cliché but like I fucking give a damn, seems to glow with the light of the ever diminishing sun. I see the bandage which still remains on his forehead and remember that horrific sound as metal met skull… I never say this but, thank god it was nothing more serious than what it was. That was before I had even confessed and thinking about how lucky I am now, I can't even imagine what it would be like at this point if things had been different. I lean down and place a kiss on his forehead, before helping him sit back upright and taking another mouthful of sake to erase the horrid thoughts from my mind. God, I'm being so morbid today.

I'm not happy with it but as soon as he starts calling my objections 'childish' I become determined to prove to him that I can, as he puts it, 'enjoy a romantic moment'. The sun is almost all behind the trees and, very soon, it will be very dark. The cook seems to enjoy sitting in silence staring at the sky, I make a note of it but I don't think it's something that I'd want to do too often. I prefer more… hands on times. Literally. As we gaze and watch the sun slowly disappear, he leans towards me and rests his head on my shoulder. And, after another swig of sake, I tilt my head and rest it on top of his. Man his hair is soft… In the silence and warm light I can't help thinking that it's nice… I suppose, moments like this are okay. We're just sitting here, appreciating the natural beauty of the world and enjoying each other's company. Yeah, okay… I can admit; I like it.

We don't talk about anything because we can both recognise that there's no reason to break the calm and pleasant atmosphere. It isn't until the sun is finally behind the trees and it begins get chilly that the thought of leaving crosses my mind. I check the time on my phone, it's almost 10. I don't want to move from this position but we should go before it gets too cold. I look down at the cook and notice that he's drifted off. Smiling softly, I turn my head and kiss his hair, whispering kindly.

"Hey, Sanji, we should make a move before it gets too late." He smiles at my words and turns his face to rest his chin on my shoulder so that he's looking up at me.

"I like when you say my name." I blink at him and blush as I realise that I did just use his name casually without thinking. I don't usually use it because… well… I suppose at first I just wanted to annoy him but now, it would feel weird if I began using his name more often.

"Heh, shit cook…" I grin at him.

"Don't ruin the moment…"

He sighs with a pout before straightening himself and standing; placing his hands on his lower back and leaning backwards in a stretch. I pack the bottles back into my bag after a final drink of my bottle. As I stand also and swing my bag over my shoulder, I'm taken aback by a surprise attack from the blond who grabs my neck and pulls me forward into a light kiss. Leaning back, he smiles at me and says in a genuine tone;

"Thank you for today, Zoro. I get that you're not one for dates but this was really wonderful." It's dark but the streetlights behind me are allowing me enough light to see the bliss clear imprinted on his face; His cheeks are lightly flushed and pulled upwards in a huge, toothy grin. His idiotic face is enough to cause my stomach to turn and I feel kind of… light and good. I can feel my face getting hotter but hope that the lack of light will hide it.

Reaching forward, I grab the beaming man's slim waist and pull him against me.

"It doesn't have to end this. You could come over; my place is still empty…" I go to kiss him again but miss when he turns his head from me, evading my embrace.

"It's been a long day… I just to get back and sleep on everything that's happened..." I roll my eyes with an upset and annoyed groan, keeping my hands on his waist. I slump my head on his shoulder and kiss at his neck. "We joined a mafia gang today… I don't think I'd ever even considered I would ever do something like that in a million years but… I want to protect the Baratie and all of the people I care for."

"I know… and you're not doing it alone anymore."

I slide my hands round him and hold him close. I'm not thinking perverted or anything anymore; I mean this more than anything and I want him to know it. No matter what happens I will be here for him. I'm the one who forced him out of his shell, his comfort zone, and told him to trust more; that working with and accepting help from others is not a corrupt and unfair thing to do. I can't break that newly built trust and I don't plan on doing so.

"Zoro…" I feel the blond go almost limp in my hold as he lets those words sink in again. I've said something similar before and it seems that every time he has to force himself to believe that those words are real.

In reply to my hold, he raises his arms and wraps them around me, clasping me firmly. My hold on him will remain secure and I'll only ever let go when I know that it's the right thing to do.

"Hey… we really should start heading back." He mumbles half-heartedly to me; his grip around me not breaking in the slightest.


"We have school tomorrow…"

"Tch… what is school to us? We're mafia, now." I spit in an attempt to lighten the mood, to which he chuckles and reluctantly releases me to step away and take my hand; interlocking our fingers and gripping it tightly.



[1] Zoro means syllables XD

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Disclaimer: The characters belong to Eiichiro oda; the creator of One piece.