"Good night, my lord. And may the great God be always by your side."
Zoro silently watched one of the manor´s servants walk away, down the dark hallway decorated with portraits of the once-family members, who were now long dead and gone. The young lord didn´t really like those paintings; they made him think that one day, he´s going to get his very own and then die, and all that will be left of his existence will be this ugly and unrealistic thing. And it will just hang there and scare his offspring with it´s weird appearance; Zoro didn´t suppose that kids would like an older man with green hair and tanned skin. His younger siblings didn´t like it now, so why should they like it later?
"Good night," he mumbled into the dark, more to himself than anyone in particular. If it was his choice, he much more enjoyed being silent, or, from time to time, he liked to sing for himself quietly. Well. Everyone has something.
For Zoro, it was music. He loved it; didn´t really express himself in the field, since his parents, or his entire family, to be more precise, hated music – or any kind of art, besides their awful portraits. They were businessman and women; a race born to fill this grey world with grey fish. Yes. Zoro´s family, living on the Spanish seashore closest to France, had a huge fishing company, with customer bases all over the world. 'Alga Bahía' was incredibly successful for it´s canned fish Zoro came to hate by the age of five.
And that, the fact that the family business must not die with his father, was the reason why all the young green-haired boy could do was sing in his room; secretly, of course. He had to promise on his dear mother´s head that he would stop. That was when he was six and his grandfather heard him sing. Since then, Zoro kept his hobby in the deepest circles of the manor, and always made sure that the rest of the house was already asleep when he sang.
He loved to go out, though. The balcony seemed like a perfect place to try his voice on many different kinds of songs he knew – but during this time of the year, hot summer with it´s heated nights, it was just way too dangerous. Many times when he tried his luck and came out, he would see a servant or one of the kids running around. And he knew very well that they would tell on him. Which would result into some serious trouble involving his furious father and feared and disappointed mother. That was the last thing he needed in his regular day program.
And yet, tonight there was the little something that was luring him out of his bedroom to feel the warm breeze on his skin. Zoro, much more carefree than usually, listened to the tiny instinct in his gut that encouraged him to open the balcony door. He stepped out carefully, taking a look first before really setting his foot on the still-warm stone floor. The sun shone all day; Zoro still felt overheated, even though it was by ten now.
The boy looked around the gardens his mother loved so much, to the deep forest his brothers adored. No one was outside; yet, he didn´t want to sing out aloud. The inquisitors might be around; and he had no doubts that they would come to the house next day and ask questions. And even if his answers were 'correct', his extremely believing parents would have nothing against those pigs dragging their son away for alliance with the Devil.
Spain was full of inquisitors, there was no doubt in that. And even if you were an honorable man believing in God more than in your own nose between your eyes, one wrong word, or even an eye flick, could get you to the prison full of un-humanly torturing.
Zoro sighed quietly, and watched the starry night sky.
It was warm; hot even. He hated summer for this. He didn´t mind late summer and early autumn, and he liked winter, too, since they didn´t have snow too often. But this, the beginning of August, he considered horrible. And what must it be like for poor people who lived in wooden houses by the river. They must have been baking alive, unlike the nobility who, more or less, had fine stone houses able to keep some of the coldness inside the thick walls.
The wind whistled past almost unnoticeably, and Zoro opened his mouth a tiny bit; he had no idea what kind of demon had gotten into him that night, but he was absolutely careless. He started to sing.
Not too loud, but not that quiet, either. Inquisitors might have been close by; anyone might have been close by. But Zoro didn´t care. It´s been too long. Too long he had gone through the hot days without songs he either heard in the town, or read in the old books he found, or sometimes, made up himself. Those were probably his favorite. He knew the exact words and melody. In the songs he heard, he usually missed some parts, and as of those he read in his books, he didn´t know the exact melody.
"The wolf calls to the lonely moon," he began in a soft and uncertain voice, as it sounded raspy after all the time he had kept silent. "The moon calls to the wolf…"
This was one of the oldest ones; he started composing and writing his own music just two years ago, when the inquisitors happened to wander around the town too often, and he began to feel extremely lonely. He craved a human touch, a warmth of another body; he was fourteen then, and he just wanted to hold his mom´s hand again. But she was all up for raising her children into good and reasonable men, God´s servant´s as the inquisitors and priests advised her. That was the definite end to all mother´s love Zoro ever got in his life.
So he continued to sing, and tried to forget about inquisitors and big-mouthed people looking for extra money as an exchange for information. Everybody knew that inquisitors had money. Lots and lots of money. And they would spare some for those who gave them names.
But on that night, Zoro didn´t care.
Even as he saw a tiny light by the gate to the mansion, he didn´t lower his voice. If anything, he raised it. He sang proudly his lullaby, the one that was supposed to symbolize eternal prison he had in himself.
And he could swear he saw those two man in long black coats grin evilly. Because that was all they were – evil. Not him, not even the town witches, but those so-called God´s men were the evil forces tainting this world. And Zoro just couldn´t bring himself to mind tonight. He knew he´d end up tortured like a stray dog and locked up, killed even, but he just didn´t mind any of that. He had no idea why; why it was that he didn´t fear them anymore. He just didn´t.
"My, my," Zoro, his braveness suddenly flying away as he heard that purring voice, jerked in horror to the source of the sound. Yet there was nothing but darkness; he didn´t spot anyone, or anything. Maybe that was just his wild imagination… "You´re hell of a stubborn kid, ain´t ya?"
This time, Zoro was absolutely certain he heard someone speak to him. But where was the intruder? He doubted that an inquisitor would climb up the mansion´s walls just to scare Zoro, and he doubted a servant would dare to. So what by the name of God was it?
"And I was planning a quiet night… ah well, but since ya goin' against the rules and church itself, I guess I should give you a hand before they drag you outta here to chop your fingers off one by one…"
The young lord barely caught all of the words, as he heard a strong accent in the visitor´s speech, just as he was distracted by his shaking knees. His widened eyes giving off the shocked expression were hectically searching for the man speaking with him, but all Zoro saw was a dark shadow flick in the night. He tried to follow it´s movements, but it disappeared from his poor night sight somewhere by the main doors.
And then, something blood-freezing happened.
There was a rather loud shriek, and the light from the inquisitors´ lamp disappeared. Like someone poured a water on it, or blew it down. Ad then. Another shriek; and silence. The ever-present silence that gave Zoro visible goose-bumps, even though he was sweating constantly. All that could be heard was the cicadas, that, for some unexplainable reason, also got much more silent that they were up until now. As if something terrible happened.
Before Zoro knew it, he was leaning over the stone railing of the Victorian-styled balcony, trying to spot something. But there was nothing, just the died-out lamp laying on the ground. He gulped.
For God´s love, what was that?
And then, he immediately got back. Closed the door as quietly as possible, crawled back to the bed and threw the duvet over his tensed body – just in time before his door opened.
Footsteps too heavy to belong to a woman or a servant crossed his floor, coming way too close to the large bed. Zoro seriously began to fear for his safety; if this was his father, he didn´t dare even imagine what would happen next. Beating? Punishments like kneeling on his little sister´s grave that was decorated with sharp alabaster fractures? He didn´t want to know. He prayed that father haven´t noticed.
And then, before he realized it, a weight not very much like his father´s sat down on his bed. Zoro did his best not to gasp, muffling all of the tiny sounds; he even forgot to breathe as he felt the coldness of another person in the room.
Yes. This man, or whatever it was, was cold. Zoro could tell, and he didn´t even need to touch his night visitor.
His father was the coldest person he knew. Someone this cruel… was rather hard to find.
But suddenly, the green-haired boy felt a very gentle touch on his face; the gentlest he´s felt in years. It was the back of somebody´s cold, yet soft, finger, caressing ever so sweetly his cheek. But Zoro was too scared; he squeezed his eyes shut as tight as possible, still not breathing. He had no idea what was this supposed to be – an inquisitor right in his room, or another wicked game of his father? He didn´t know, and didn´t want to know. He supposed his heart would stop before he got the chance to find out, anyway, so he didn´t really care.
But the finger stayed there; and was joined by another finger. Zoro nervously waited, listening to the soft sounds that the gentle strokes of skin against skin made, and focused on returning his lungs into functioning again; slowly and carefully, so no one would notice. Whoever it was in his room, on his bed and also on his face.
The foreign hand stopped it´s movements all of a sudden, just it had started them, and pulled back a bit, just to rest on Zoro´s chest.
"You´re young," the intruder whispered to Zoro, nearly making him get a heart attack right away; it was the very same voice he heard on the balcony. Just before the two inquisitors disappeared. "You brim with promise. Your singing is beautiful," it continued in a low tone, "… I´ve been listening to you for the past three years. You grew up a lot since then. You´re nearly a man."
Zoro squeezed his eyes even tighter, fighting the urge to open them and take a look at whoever it was telling him all this.
"You yet have at least few years to go; two years until your eighteen, isn´t that so? I know you´re not asleep, Zoro."
By then, the green-haired lord lost it. He opened his eyes, even though in a terrible fear.
And there, where he supposed he´d see his visitor, he couldn´t see a thing. It was pitch black dark in his room.
And then, the hand was removed from his chest again. The weight on his bed was gone in the matter of seconds, too. And Zoro had no idea why, but he was crushed. He wanted to see the one he was talking to, and, God, was touched by. He haven´t had any kind of a human contact in two years.
"Just let me take this away with me…" the man mumbled in that exotic voice, "and I´ll see you… soon. Yes, soon enough. I suppose I won´t be able to hold out for much longer, my little esmeralde."
And just as Zoro started to be able to see a bit, something unthinkable happened; he felt a quick, but intense pressure on his lips as something slightly wet touched them. Zoro was not experienced in this at all, but he knew what a peck was. It was fast and not lasting even a bit, but it wasn´t easily passing. He bet he would carry this memory… at least until this creature would come to see him again.
"Un beso para dulce suenos… esmeralde…" there was an accent in it, but Zoro understood very well. And it sent creeps up and down his spine. A kiss for sweet dreams. Hah. Zoro doubted he´d fall asleep again.
"H-hey!" the green-haired boy called out. "Wait!" He jumped out of the bed, his hands clumsily searching for a candle to light a fire on. But when he finally managed to illuminate the room, the man was gone.
Zoro couldn´t help but sadden. Why though? This was dangerous; the man was dangerous. He invaded his home, violated his privacy... yet Zoro felt sad that he left so quickly. All there was left of his presence was the burning feel on Zoro´s lips, cheek and chest. He touched the first said place; his knees shook a little as he did so. He shivered all over and had to sit down.
Oh, God forgive him; he wanted more. Needed more. Zoro was sure he´d end up in Hell for this sinful feeling in his lower belly.
Minutes passed quickly and he just sat there, trying to start breathing regulary; but then, Zoro realized something.
He started looking all over the room, his eyes quick and nervous; the man said he was going to take something away.
After a little time of endless harsh breathing and tingling in his tummy, Zoro´s sight fell upon the wall behind his bed.
The crucifix was gone.
Two months have passed since the night encounter that still gave Zoro chills anytime he´d remember it; his lips still felt weird, and he still liked to recall that one night that was worth all that danger of singing outside of his bedroom. The mysterious visitor himself haven´t showed up ever since; and Zoro was giving himself mental slaps for expecting anything. He was actually more than sure that the visit itself was just his crazed imagination accompanied by the extreme weather; simply, the young lord believed he was hallucinating.
And yet, it wasn´t that rare for him to lay still during the lonely late September nights and think of how it felt; he didn´t quite know how could he hallucinate something that precisely, so precisely that he could still tell what various kinds of feelings pumped through his body when he remembered. A wet pressure against his hard lips unused to any kind of contact with human flesh. It was certainly hard to forget, or not recall. Zoro liked to imagine that the visitor would come again; every night he lay and waited, picturing what he´d do. He´d light a candle and…
Zoro shook his head, staring at the textbook bluntly. It was full of songs; he found it just three days ago, laying on the ground in the mansion´s attic. Three days alone with a treasure like that, and he was still at the first page. He just couldn´t stop thinking of the kiss.
He even read some romance scrolls he found in the library.
Kiss was an intimate act between two people who felt a strong affection towards each other.
The green-haired boy sighed heavily and set the book aside. No, he wouldn´t be able to do any work today; again. This way it went night after night, week after week and for the second month. Maybe even third. Zoro knew just too well that he was not going to see – or hear, for that matter – the creature that had come to him that night ever again. Not if he didn´t eat something funny, or stole his father´s pills. Hallucinations were a rare thing when it came to him; this was the second time he had one. The first time was when he fell terribly ill and had very high fever.
Zoro got up from where he had been sitting. It was near eleven in the night. And like this, he was functioning every day; he waited nearly until the midnight before he fell asleep. Last time, it was between ten and eleven. Zoro hoped it would happen again, but no matter how long through the night he waited, it didn´t come back. He was even thinking of going out and sing, but if it was a hallucination, it wouldn´t probably save him this time.
That was actually another suspicious thing.
Three days after what happened that night, two inquisitors went missing; and no one had ever found or seen them again. Not that there were no other inquisitors; but the two that were spying the other night were nowhere to be found. And it seemed that no matter how much you paid your servants, they weren´t able to get any information about the situation.
And what else; Zoro still remembered what the man in his room said. In that honey-coated voice of his, he told Zoro he´d be taking something with him. After he left, Zoro checked the whole room and found out that the crucifix above his bed was gone. It wouldn´t be much of a problem if it was just a big crazy dream that would disappear as soon as the sun would come up. But the cross was still gone when Zoro woke up.
Of course, the servants, commanded by Zoro´s mother, put another one in his room. But every night, Zoro took it down and hid in a drawer.
How he wished to hallucinate again.
And even if so, a tiny part of him, the reckless and childish one, the one that believed in everything that had ever been created by writers and dreamers, believed and loved to believe that it was not a lively dream. That part liked to think that it was all real, that it all happened just like Zoro remembered. And that part was Zoro´s biggest problem. It tied him to the thought of the man that kissed his lips and told him he won´t take long to come back.
And it´s been two months now.
For the young lord, it was just too long. Not that he´d happen to have troubles wishing it was real and would repeat one night, no; he never stopped longing for the creature of that night to return to his chambers. He still craved more touches and gentleness. But it´s been too long to be true. Too long to happen again. Zoro thought that maybe, his one-time visitor had spotted someone better. In fact, that wouldn´t be much of a surprise. Zoro´s entire life was filled with people that 'spotted someone better'.
The lord stood at the edge of his bed, sliding the dark brown vest down his shoulders. It was late for anything to be done. Zoro felt quite tired. September days were often tiring; father had many business partners coming over to see his mansion and factory, and Zoro always had to be present, since he was the oldest son, therefore the one who shall once lead the company.
The boy yawned like a sleepy kitten and pushed his pants down, staring at the last piece of clothing that was his snow white shirt. He undid all the buttons quietly and quickly grabbed a long creamy night robe, tying the sash around his waist loosely. He climbed into the bed and crashed against the pillows, feeling overworked and irritated. He didn´t want this stupid family business. He wanted music.
Zoro rolled over so he lay on his back, staring at the darkness of the room. It was somehow soothing. Like any of his fears and troubles would get lost in it. It was more usual for kids to be afraid of the dark, but the greenhead never really was. If anything, he felt safe. Most of his relatives couldn´t see very well in the dark, just like he couldn´t, but it was just enough if he sat quietly and no one knew of him.
After few short moments during which Zoro fought his inner reasonableness and recklessness, the boy began to sing a quiet song. It was Finnish and Zoro heard it when father took him for a business cruise to the country of cold wind and fishing industry. He barely remembered the words, yet it was still one of his favorite ones. While still in Finland, he asked one of the servants that spoke English if she could translate it to him. And since then, he couldn´t get it out of his head. It was about pirates, looking for their homes and loved ones. Zoro somehow associated it with his very own life.
Zoro remembered to keep quiet, as much as it was possible. He didn´t need to have anyone tell his parents who still did not wish for him to sing.
Zoro rolled to his side and went to sleep. Slowly, he began to accept the fact that for as long as his father wasn´t asking him to marry a duchess, he was going to lay alone through the nights.
"Oh, I think you might be a bit confused here, my friend. From the two of us, I´m the demon. That means that he´s the one being possessed."
A tall, freckled demon with dark wavy hair snorted, leaning his back against the gothic railing of the castle. "You´re the one confused. In certain cases, even a demon can be possessed, if you know what I mean." The last part of his lecture came out as a purr.
"I don´t." Sanji stated stubbornly and turned his back on Ace, continuing to nib of the human heart Ace had given him earlier as a share of food.
Ace grinned happily. "Very well then; I shall tell you the secret of a possessed demon."
"Oh, spare me."
"Sanji, we´re incubi. And what do all incubi need to survive?" the blonde demon was already unpleased with the way Ace put that; survive.
"If you say that, it makes me hate myself even more." He said plainly, staring at the dark fake sky that seemed to be dripping with blood. Which wouldn´t be much of a surprise, since they were in Hell.
Ace took the heart Sanji was holding in a gloved hand and took a bite. Hungry as always. "You don´t need to feel bad about it," he munched while talking, making his speech not really catchable. "It´s normal for us, y'know?" he added and took another bite.
"That doesn´t mean I won´t hate it." The blonde mumbled, getting more and more down with his already not so great mood.
"Look," Ace said, "I seriously don´t see what your problem is; you´re gonna die if you don´t have sex in next two of three days. And you dead is the last thing I want, got it? Plus, the human boy is seriously getting into your head. He´s no good for you. Just go up there, fuck the first noblewoman you see and you have another two months to struggle over his sexiness or whatever it is that caught your attention like that."
"That´s the thing." Sanji growled in frustration. "He´s – I mean, I don´t know anything about his sexiness. He´s always covered to chin when I come see him." he confessed not-so-happily, mental images of the human boy he´s had in mind for so long coming up in his imagination. He wondered what would have happened if he pulled the duvet south, at least once. Would he be able to resist?
"So? I´m eager to hear your heartbreaking story." Ace was being ironic, but Sanji didn´t really mind this time. Somehow, he needed to tell someone.
He sighed heavily. "There´s no heartbreaking story, idiot. It´s just that, when I first saw him, he was singing a certain song. The song –"
"That you heard the last time before you died. I know, you told me two years ago."
"Yes. Exactly." Sanji was happening to be more and more depressed. Ace had this weird ability to make one be like on a swing with moods. "He sang that song, and since then I listened to his singing every time he sang. It´s not that often, but I came to see him almost every night."
"You mean spy on him." Ace corrected his friend´s statement with a smug grin.
"… Whatever. It´s not like I can just step out of my shadows and do what my body pleases."
"Uh, yeah, you can?" Ace had his chocolate brown eyes wide and upset. "For millionth time, Sanji, you´re an incubus. You have to do what your body pleases. This way, you´re getting weaker and weaker. You realize why I gave you that heart? Do you?"
"So I don´t collapse for two more days?"
"So you can do and fuck that kid." There. All gentlemanly manners Ace had left in him were gone.
Sanji frowned. "That would mean I´d happen to be possessed for the rest of my days. See, I can´t. I can´t even show my face to him."
"But you saved him, didn´t you?" Ace reminded him of that night he had spoken to his little obsession. "From those fanatics."
The blonde demon nodded slowly. "Yeah, I suppose I did. Which doesn´t really matter. I won´t go out to do something so cruel again."
Ace blinked in shock. "Are you fucking nuts?" he chuckled after that, not sure if Sanji was kidding or totally out of his mind. "Sanji, how many women have you fucked three times? How many hearts have you eaten? Huh? Hundred? Five hundred? Thousand maybe? Once you were a powerful incubus, but now you´re just a wreck, and that´s all because of that little boy-bitch that you´re refusing to cum in."
"Okay, that was kind outta line."
"No, you needed to hear that, idiot. Do you even realize that you don´t need to take him three times? Just do it once, find out he´s terrible at it and continue pounding some boobylicious ladies." Ace was never the one to talk elegantly; he usually just went down to the business.
Sanji shook his head, his shiny blond hair getting messy. "Yeah, well, maybe you don´t realize that sometimes, once is not enough. Maybe I am possessed by him. Maybe I really am. Maybe he´s gotten into my mind too much, because I know that if I touch him just once more, I won´t be able to stop. Even two months ago, that one little kiss was mind-blowing. I know if I took more I´d have to have him all the time."
Sanji turned around and gave the heart back to Ace. Having finished his thoughts about the human boy with emerald hair, he lost all the appetite he had left. Ace was scowling at him as Sanji handed him the cold object. "And what about just fooling around? You can play with him, right? I know you like that, too." Ace offered another solution, eager to help Sanji even though the demon pissed him off constantly. "You don´t have to sleep with him. You two can just… you know, play, and meanwhile you can have sex with anybody else. You can get better, and maybe you won´t have to hurt your baby-boy."
Sanji shrugged. "Might work for a while. But that kid is quite smart. He´s going to want more, after some time, too. And if he asks, I won´t be able to hold out for long."
The freckled incubus sighed heavily. He brushed away the few dark locks that fell to his face and finished his meal. "Fine. Do it your way. Just promise me to sleep with someone before you pass out and I´ll have to be in this shithole alone for the rest of my afterlife."
Sanji smiled a bit. "Yeah. Promise."
"Promise on your dick."
"Fine. I´ll go find Marco. Sometimes I just get tired of human flesh…" Ace showed his tongue then, turning on his heel to look for the older demon he had developed a crush on. Sanji grinned a bit. Ace surely talked big, but on the inside he was head over heels for the Hell´s First Division taicho.
The blonde got up from where he sat just few moments ago, looking at the coal black sea under the castle he and Ace shared. Other castles of powerful demons were on different spots in the underworld, not so far away from their home. Sanji saw Ace wave his large black wings just few times before he landed on the balcony of Marco´s castle, inviting himself in.
Maybe Ace was right; maybe Sanji really needed to have at least a little bit of Zoro. Just a tiny bit would do. Another kiss, another caress. Nothing else. Then he´d sleep with a random human woman to keep himself alive before visiting Zoro again.
Yeah. That could work.
Seeing how that escalated quickly, Sanji gave himself a mental slap and jumped off of their own balcony. Just before his body would smash against the dark waters of Hell, he started moving his own wings. The cold air threw him back up, guiding him right to the gate to the human world. Sanji imagined Zoro´s room to the last detail – he could quite well, since he´s been visiting that place for almost three years by now – and flew through the bloody red hole.
He thought he should remember to tell the Boss to fix it later; it wasn´t working right the last few months. Sanji appeared outside the manor Zoro lived in; though that wasn´t much of a problem. He knew how to unlock the door from outside; he did it all the time, over and over again.
Silky feeling crept down Zoro´s face as the foreign hand touched his jaw, chin and lips. The finger poked at his lower lip as if playing with him. Zoro slightly opened his mouth, eager to have more of those sweet touches. The finger slid from one corner of his mouth to the other one, leaving Zoro salivating in curiosity of what was going to come next. He would have licked that finger, but he didn´t want it to stop.
Then, the playful hand of a stranger continued down his neck. It hasn´t been always this daring, however, tonight something felt different.
Zoro sighed quietly as he felt the hand rest on his collar bone, toes twitching and fingers grasping his blankets. His visitor´s hand continued it´s actions, caressing Zoro´s tanned skin soothingly and lovingly. Zoro couldn´t help but quietly let out sharp breath he had kept to himself until now. Those light touches on his skin were better than anything in his life. For once, he felt loved and appreciated, and he didn´t want them to ever stop. His skin burned everywhere the hand touched, and those places it touched were left tingling for many next days. And still, Zoro loved them.
Maybe too much. He was addicted to them. And he wished for more of them. He wished the stranger would come more often, would touch him more often. Every night, he´d enjoy his lovely gentle fingers on his sun-kissed skin, and the next day, he´d feel more lonely than ever in his life.
The hand he came to love so much pushed his duvet down. Zoro gasped at the sudden coldness that swept over his body, but soon, he didn´t have to fear the night air. Even though his night robe was pushed apart and his chest was exposed now, the stranger´s hand stroked it with all the love Zoro wanted from him. It was more firm though, more possessive, more demanding.
Zoro felt his nipples stand out in the cold room. They got swollen every time the stranger visited, though. Zoro had no idea why, but he sort of liked it.
And suddenly, those rude fingers brushed one of them.
Zoro moaned out rather loudly.
"Hot damn," Sanji whimpered at the sight of the sleeping boy who was laying on the bed, mumbling something unintelligent in that raspy voice of his. He´s been watching him for some time now; Zoro had rolled over exactly two times, mumbled something three times and exhaled sharply once. Sanji´s insides were literally boiling. His hands burn in need to touch the greenhead, even if it was just a little bit.
Zoro mumbled something again; and Sanji could swear it was something close to 'stranger'.
Sanji had the urge to cry out. Was Zoro dreaming of him? Even after two months or so… did he remember what happened? Sanji wished he did.
The light-haired demon came closer. Sniffed the air. It was getting colder; late September was slowly changing into October. Winter wasn´t that far away. Zoro was covered up all the way to his neck, even though the rolling over have messed it up a bit. Sanji stood just by the edge of the large bed, quite close to Zoro´s hand. It looked almost alabaster in the moonlight. Also a bit cold.
"One touch," Sanji mumbled to himself quietly. "Just a touch." He repeated, reminding himself of what Ace said. A touch was enough. He could play around; and Zoro didn´t even need to know about it. Just one touch might be enough.
But Sanji knew very well he was just kidding himself. Maybe Ace looked like an idiot, but he wasn´t, not completely; he was incubus, just like Sanji, and Sanji knew that no matter how strong his will was, one touch would never be enough. He knew it, just as he knew that he needed to do something about this quickly, before he developed a bond with this human boy.
He reached out.
Fingers connected with Zoro´s glowing skin, the strong jaw. Sanji hasn´t been here for two months and the boy had matured quite a lot ever since. He was still shorter than the demon, and still not so large and muscular, but from what Sanji observed, his body shape was slowly changing him into a strong man.
Sanji couldn´t think otherwise but silently call him perfect. He sat down immediately, craving a better access on his handsome face. The demon eagerly cupped Zoro´s cheek and sighed in relief. He wanted this for too long. More than two months, he´s been lurking around in the shadows of the green-haired lord´s room, watching him breathe peacefully and dream of various kinds of things. And for all this time, Sanji wanted just one thing; be close to him. Not just physically. He wanted to know more about this marvelous creature that stole his sleep such long time ago. He wanted to see who he was, what he liked. And, sometimes, Sanji even imagined that Zoro sang for him.
If Ace was here, he´d probably kick him in the head.
And he would have been completely righteous to do so. Sanji knew that thoughts like these were – sooner or later – going to kill him. Slowly and painfully. Love was the biggest torture, no? And if a demon fell in love… it was torturous three times more. This was only a beginning of lonely nights during which Sanji knew he´d be sitting alone, thinking of the beauty of his chosen mate, wishing he could be with him but knowing that if he was, Zoro would die. Then Ace would probably appear out of nowhere and tell him to man up and go trolling for ladies. And Sanji wouldn´t, because his eyes would already be only for Zoro.
Incubi had the terrible tendency to love only one creature in their entire afterlife. Advantage was that if the creature was also an incubus, they could be together until one of them died; the other would follow then, because of the bond that was too strong and one mate wouldn´t be able to live without the other. The only problem of being an incubus, Sanji thought, was falling in love with a human being.
Incubi had quite a regular week; three days of visiting their prey. After the third night together (that must of course involve a sexual intercourse), they take the prey´s heart and eat it. That gives them power and energy. Then, they´re free to do pretty much whatever they please. Either go for more or rest. Ace usually ate a heart on Wednesday and the rest of the week slept with other incubi demons – therefore incredibly handsome males. Sanji, when he had his brighter days, did mostly the same, with only difference; he did not sleep with men. Never. He had sudden need to try it, but he never did. Ladies were cute, soft and fragile. Men were large and… hard.
But when he first saw Zoro, it threw him into the worst and most suicidal routine he could possibly start. Zoro was simply different to anybody else. His saddened eyes, his calm expression, his elegant behavior, his silent speech. And his voice. His beautiful voice. And those rare times he dared to let it out and sing at least a bit. Sanji fell for those little night visits; and instead of looking for ladies to sleep with and eat their heart afterwards, he was observing the beautiful young lord from the Spanish seashore.
And he knew he was getting weaker. Quickly. Day by day, his life energy was lowering. Ace saved his ass for another two of three days by sharing a heart with him, but Sanji knew he had to act if he didn´t want to die for good.
So, sitting in the boy´s bed and touching his face like this, thinking of many things, he haven´t even noticed Zoro´s hitched breath.
Sanji´s dead heart just about exploded right then and there. Zoro was awake.
"Is that… aren´t I dreaming?"
"… Yes you are. Uh. Of course you are." Sanji stated quickly, hoping Zoro would eat it. On one hand, he didn´t really want Zoro to acknowledge his presence. The boy wasn´t all that stupid. Sooner or later, he´d figure that Sanji is not from this world. And that might lead into some funny consequences. But on the other hand, he did want the greenhead to know that he was there. Every night. He wanted him to know that he was obsessed with him. Long story short, there was an inner battle within the blonde.
Zoro´s dark green eyes, so untypical for Spaniards, shone in the dark. Sanji was happier than ever that the boy actually couldn´t see him. "I was dreaming… a moment ago. You woke me up." Not all that stupid at all. Too smart, in fact.
Sanji blinked. But still, his ever-present nonchalance had him tied in place so he couldn´t embarrass himself. "Very well, you got me in the place. I shall now then return to where I belong, and let you sleep peacefully." He said as calmly as possible, even though his heart was beating fiercely as he was watching Zoro rise a bit, supporting his weight on his elbows. It made the blanket fall down a bit.
"I wasn´t sleeping peacefully," Zoro voiced, "not since you appeared on my balcony."
Again, the blonde´s heart broke a tiny bit. "In that case, I apologize. Never shall you see me again, nor shall you fear my presence." And with that, he prayed Zoro would stop him as he stood up from from the young lord´s bed, ready to walk away.
"Wait!" a heavy stone fell from Sanji´s heart. Zoro sat up, the blanket now fully fell down to his hips. Sanji´s breath stopped, just as his undead heart did. Zoro´s night robe was untied. "I don´t want you to leave again. Is it going to be another two months? Can you imagine what – I mean, do you realize –"
Sanji silently watched the boy sigh heavily. And he felt many regrets as his body refused to listen to his mind, and his legs moved towards the bed again. Zoro was staring into space, trying to see where he was. Luckily for the incubus, he carried a cloud of darkness all over his damned body.
"Why would you return just now, anyway? I´ve been waiting practically every night, and you wouldn´t show up. So why come now, say few words and disappear? Huh? To torture me? Are you God´s servant sent to this world to punish me for dreaming all sorts of… bewildering dreams?"
"Oh, my dearest," Sanji laughed bitterly, thinking it was just ironic. "I might be many things, but not a God´s servant. In fact, I´m the one they´d call a monster that turned his back to God and went to seek the Devil´s comfort instead." No need to hide that, really. There was no reason for Zoro to have this fact stolen from his knowledge of his night visitor.
Zoro crossed his legs, his knees bent. "So you´re here to take me with you? For what I´ve been dreaming?"
"Dearest heavens, no. Not even a damned soul like mine should think of a despiteful act like that." Sanji sat back down on the bed, the incredible need to touch Zoro as he saw the boy was somehow upset, just to bring him peace. "But, if I may ask," he realized Zoro had mentioned this for the second time, "what are you dreaming of, what might be so bad that it would drag you down to Hell?"
Zoro, feeling the pressure next to him, reached out the way he thought the stranger might be sitting. Sanji, however, dodged that and let the creamy hand move right past him. "Yes," Zoro murmured, "you. You´ve been haunting my dreams. I fear I might go crazy soon. Are you even real?"
Sanji smiled, and even though it wasn´t his original plan, he caressed Zoro´s cheek like the first night. "Even though it pains me to say so, yes, I am real. And please forgive me for having you feel like going crazy." While saying those words, his hand never stopped it´s movement on Zoro´s cheek.
The boy, even though intending to stay fully aware of everything that was going on, begun to melt into the sweet touch he´s been dreaming of for so long. He melancholically pictured himself as a lazy cat purring on it´s masters lap. He felt a bit pathetic then. Leaning into his visitor´s hand, he sighed a bit. "Still, you don´t really make it better."
Sanji pulled the hand away. Zoro opened his eyes, not even realizing he´s closed them, trying to spot the man. "If I was not real, would it be better?" Sanji asked in a concern.
Zoro shrugged. "If I knew you didn´t exist, therefore I couldn´t have you, it would have been better than knowing I maybe could but still don´t."
Sanji shook his head, stroked Zoro´s arm and let go just as his fingers reached the boy´s wrist. "Then pretend I´m not real."
"That would make me a madman, wouldn´t it?" Zoro smiled sadly.
"I suppose so."
Next day, Zoro woke up with a horrible headache. Blood was rushing in his ears, making it hard to think straight. His cheeks were burning up and he was feeling like his body was too heavy for his legs to carry.
He called in the family´s nanny, asked her to tell his parents he wasn´t going anywhere today. Later, they sent in a doctor, who diagnosed Zoro from a flu.
"I would recommend you to leave your son sleep for as much as he can." The old man said, grabbing his medical bag and walking clumsily towards the door of Zoro´s room. "I haven´t seen symptoms like this; no runny nose, no sore throat. Just fever."
Zoro´s mother, sitting by the bed, held the little cross hanging on her neck close to her heart. "Will he be okay?" she asked.
"He should. With today´s medicine, he certainly won´t have any trouble surviving. But make sure he gets enough sleep and water. Also, open all the windows you can; he needs lots of fresh air. Get him some extra blankets, cover him so he´s not cold, but let the cold air in." The doctor gave the instructions to the family, watching lord and lady Roronoa worry over their oldest son. The other kids were told to leave Zoro rest.
The boy himself was laying in the bed, wheezing weakly.
"Oh, and please," the doctor said before closing the door behind himself, "do not hesitate to call me in if he seems not to improve, or get worse."
"Thank you, doctor," lord Roronoa grumbled, not happy at all with his son´s condition. There was supposed to be a big business banquet in a week, and he was playing ill? What a rude thing to do to his own father, the old lord thought angrily. "If you please, come with me to the main hall. You´ll receive your payment, and I´ll show you off personally." He turned to his wife. "Dear! Let the boy rest, stop bawling your eyes out. I don´t feel like dealing with more pains in the neck."
Zoro´s mother let go of the little golden pendant and touched Zoro´s burning forehead. "Be safe, dear." She whispered before leaving her place by his bed to wander off with her husband and the doctor. The door clasped as they let it close finally, leaving Zoro to his own thoughts.
Not that he had many. In fact, the pain was too strong to let him think straight. All his weakened and slowed mind could produce was a mental image of dark room and a warm feeling in his tummy.
Down in the hall, Zoro´s father was already thinking the worst.
"Is there any chance he is being possessed?" the man asked, not concerned about his child, but the family business.
"Possessed?" the doctor repeated with slightly widened eyes. "What kind of possession do you have in mind, my lord? I hope you don´t intend to say that your son is… under an evil influence?"
"In fact," the lord spoke firmly, "I do. Say, dear, hasn´t he been a bit different to our other children?"
The old doctor smiled slightly. "It is no disease to differ from others."
The lady sighed. "He´s right, doctor. Ever since our Zoro was a little child, he´s been different. Too quiet, I´d say. Except for singing, that is."
"Oh, that awful habit of his!" lord Roronoa exclaimed. "Doctor, isn´t there any way you can change that? I believe there might be an evil presence within him – surely a demon of some sort, don´t you think? You said it yourself. There are no usual symptoms of flu, just the fever. I think that is a symptom of a possession; or so I have read in a certain book."
"I tend to suppose it was a holy book, wasn´t it?"
"Every book in this household is," lady Roronoa interrupted shortly.
"In that case, my lord, you may stay calm," the doctor said with no trace of interest at all. "Your son is perfectly fine, just tired."
Lord Roronoa, on the other hand, was frowning. "I hope you do not doubt the Holy Spirit´s presence within every object in this house; that book was quite reasonable, I´d say. And my son is not like other young lords, and I think you´ve already noticed. You´ve been our family doctor for more than twenty years."
The old man sighed. "Very well," he spoke up after a moment of thinking. "If you fear your son´s safety, I guess there´s nothing wrong with that. You´re his parents, after all." He opened his bag, digging his old and wrinkled hand inside. Looked for something. "So, just in case, I will give you the name of a… colleague of mine. I took him in when he was a very young boy, taught him all I could. He´s still young, sassy a bit, but if you fear some evil, there´s no one better than him. He is an exorcist."
Lord Roronoa took the little card the older man gave him. "Trafalgar? What kind of name is that?"
"It´s an English name, my lord. His father´s ship sank while cruising to Madrid fifteen years ago."
"Fine then," the lord said, his voice emotionless. Just businesslike, as usual. "I only hope he´s not a charlatan or some sort of a cheater. Although since you took him in, I believe you raised him to be an honorable man."
The doctor smiled. "You may be sure I have."
The doctor then received his money, thanked the lord and left hurriedly.
This was not going to work for long, since the pendant of the real doctor was already loosing it´s spiritual energy.
He ran out of the mansion and kicked in the shadows.
"Ouch!" a noise came out. "That wasn´t necessary, you ass!"
The old doctor´s body shape started changing slowly. The hunched back straightened, bony fingers transferred into elegant ones and papyrus-like skin stretched into tanned one. White hair grew shorted and in a matter of seconds, went coal black. The clothes hung loosely on the slender man´s body as he crossed his arms in front of his chest and stared at the dark shadow before him with a pissed expression. "Yes it was," he said, not in a very good mood. "Can you imagine what would have happened if that goddamn thingy on my neck stopped working just two minutes earlier? They´d – well, in fact, we´d have to kill the whole family! You just never think, Portgas fucking D. Ace!"
The incubus chuckled nervously, seeing that his friend was not really pleased with this day visit; first, it wasn´t dark, and Ace haven´t realized that carrying a shadow around would look suspicious, and second, knocking out a poor doctor and making Law wear his body was not really nice. "Okay, fine, sorry about that and before you start yelling at me – you´re sexually deprived."
"Fuck you, Ace," Law said with no gentlemanliness at all. "You link everything to sex. But it doesn´t work just that way; yes, I haven´t had a strong heart since last month, but that doesn´t mean I can´t be pissed off only because you´re stupid!"
"Hey, we´re doing this for that idiot blondie, remember?" Ace reminded the tall and quite attractive incubus and let go of that shadow of his. They started walking along the riverside leading to the town.
"Sanji is an idiot, too. I really don´t see what he likes about that… submissive kid."
"Yes, I know, you´re fucking lord Eustass because he´s big and dominant."
"I never should have told you."
"You were drunk," Ace grinned, "and you had no idea who you were talking to."
"Right," Law mumbled grumpily, "now the whole underworld knows."
"I think it´s okay, though. He´s kinda hot. Would have had a threesome with you guys, if I haven´t had my own hottie."
"Seriously," the incubus frowned, "what is so hot about Marco? He´s an incubus, just like you are. Where´s the fun in that?"
Ace shrugged. "I guess it´s that I don´t have to kill him after the third fuck." He admitted.
Law sighed. "True."
"Whatcha gonna do after your third, anyway?" Ace asked randomly, even though he didn´t think Law would actually respond straightly. He had this habit of keeping secrets to himself. Or any interesting facts. Or all the other good stuff Ace would care to know.
The older demon shrugged, too. "Not sure yet. This was our second, if we´re talking about sex. Otherwise it´s sixth."
"Oh," Ace smirked teasingly, "was it, Mister Trafalgar? And what were you doing until now?"
"Fuck off, you big ass. As if you´re not crawling before Marco with your ass exposed all the time." The dark-skinned demon snorted. "Whatever. Still, from the three of us, you´re the one who´s well off."
Ace cocked a brow. "What do you mean, well off?"
"Marco is a strong demon, right?" Law thought. "He´s not just going to die some day. If you make sure to fall in love with him, and make him fall in love with you too, you´re okay for at least another few centuries." Law sighed after this. He seriously had no idea what to do with his own object of affection.
Ace nodded slowly. "I guess your right. But there´s no guarantee he´ll fall in love. Not even the guarantee I will. But you two guys… you should have seen Sanji when he returned. He looked like a baby; on one side, he was so happy that he´s been to see that kid, so happy that he had the chance to touch his face. And on the other side, he looked like he was going to explode just because he had to hypnotize him so the kid would go to sleep and had nothing but blurred memories of last night. He felt really bad, if I can say so. Sanji, I mean."
Law shook his head. "Yeah. Sanji is pretty much head over heels for him."
"So you are for your Eustass."
"Fuck off. I´d never fall in love with human. A crazy one like Kidd, at the top of that."
"And yet, you come to see him all the time. Have you thought of making him an incubus?"
Law blinked in a shock. Ace was awfully talkative that day. "Stop asking things I´ve never thought about."
For a little moment, Ace decided to shut up. Maybe if he kept silent for a bit, it might make Law actually think about what Ace said. Also, they have reached the town´s suburbs, full of black markets and poor starving people. It wouldn´t be much of a good idea to talk about eating human hearts and making random hotties incubi. These people´s eyes, they were big and dull and staring. Full of weird emotions neither Law or Ace could name. Many of them probably thought of trying to kill them and rob them of what it was they might be carrying with them. Some other might think of pleading for some money. The few women might have been thinking about seducing them and convincing them to take them away from here.
Either way, both demons didn´t like the place. But they needed to get to the church to be able to come back home.
Ace held his breath as there was this very unpleasant smell of rotten food, maybe even flesh. His eyes wondered to one of the wooden houses, half destroyed by random natural factors and half still standing. He tried to remember just where it was he had been living before he died and happened to be the disgusting creature he was now. Maybe it was South America, but he actually had no idea.
Ace felt a tug on his long black sleeve. He turned around to see a skinny and quite pale girl with long white hair and light blue eyes. She was about seventeen, and obviously, haven´t eaten anything for past three days. Her head, compared to the rest of the body, seemed big, although that might be the hair doing. It was tied up in a topknot, the rest was falling into her face and two long thick locks fell down her swan-like neck and over her small chest.
"Hate to ask, lil' bro send me." She spoke quietly in a raspy voice. She was probably rather uncomfortable talking to a man like Ace, looking all nobly and, let´s face it, snobbish. She wasn´t looking into his eyes, but away. "Can´t you spare some money? Or food? Or medicine? Whatever would help. He´s gonna die soon, anyway." The last sentence she mumbled with no emotion in those huge eyes.
Law turned around, watching Ace stare at the girl. "Is your brother albino, too?" he asked.
The girl turned to look Law´s way, but not directly into his face. "Ye," she mumbled, voice still low. Trafalgar wondered what kind of life it must have been. Did she have to keep quiet all the time? And why? There were things he just couldn´t understand.
"And how long has he been ill?" Law continued, walking towards Ace and the girl.
She shrugged. "Kinda long. 'Bout month or so."
Law looked at Ace, who was also looking at him. "I´m doctor," he said, "I may look at him. But albinos have weaker bodies. They can´t stand many illnesses."
The girl nodded. "I know. Ya don´t need t' go there. 'S not real nice."
Ace wondered why wouldn´t she look at them. Though she was still holding onto his sleeve, maybe because she was afraid that she´d be left alone again.
Law nodded. "Very well. I´ll have a look."
Ace´s natural friendly mood suddenly came back to life. "Oie, kiddo. What´s your name, anyway?" he asked with that usual cheerful smile of his, hoping that by being like this, he´d make the girl more comfortable around them.
"Uh," the girl gasped in a shock – it wasn´t that often that someone would ask her name. "I-it´s Sol. Soledad actually, but Sol´s shorter."
Ace frowned a bit, grabbing her hand as she seemed to fragile and tired to walk on her own. Her legs were like two toothpicks. "Isn´t that a bit sad name?"
Sol shrugged, quite eagerly grasping the man´s hand back as she felt it´s warmth seeping into her skin. "Fits."
Oopsie. I mean.. like, really, oopsie. I have no idea at all why plot bunnies keep hopping around my head all the time.
Though I think that in fact, this might be like three-shot. Max. I hope. First, it was supposed to be longer one shot, but suddenly it had 9000 words -_- Ah well.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed. I can´t tell when will I update, but I hope to do it soon.
Also, the other fics… ahem. Yes. Soon. (Oh yeah, and I was on vacation and had smart books with me, so, yeah, I wanted to write a creepy story.)