Title: All or Nothing
Prompt: "Fathoms Below" - Merman AU
A/N: Prompted by Green-san and inspired by Syb's drawings~! (Aaaand a quite corny All Saints song. -u-")
There were just the two of them, face-to-face. Zoro was drawing a wide circle into the mud and seaweed as he swam, with the leisure strokes of a predator. Sanji was following the pattern, trying to force himself to be just as calm.
A long-awaited showdown.
The green tiger shark merman had called him out that day, to the fields behind the reddish walls of coral reef. Sanji could feel it in the tips of his fins; it was going to be a much more serious fight than what they had had so far. Zoro hadn't said a word ever since they had both arrived at the scene. He just kept regarding the sailfish merman with that stern, piercing look in his dark eyes. He hadn't made a move as of yet, either, which Sanji found unsettling. Perhaps just how the green-head wanted.
Finally, after some moments that seemed ever-lasting, the shark-fin lunged himself towards him like a harpoon, and the blond swiftly snapped his body to the right, with a whirl of dirt and sand in his trail. Zoro turned to face him with just a slap of his caudal fin, but was perfectly still for several seconds. Just looking; staring right into Sanji's eyes.
The sailfish's breath hitched when his opponent moved towards him again, and Sanji inched back instinctively upon feeling the wave of his momentum on his skin. However, after approaching him in a quick-paced, linear path, the shark abruptly slashed over to the left, then proceeded to circle around the confused blond, making him swirl and turn after him. Then Zoro retreated again, to continue that slow circling in the other direction this time.
What was this about?
Sanji didn't understand. Sure, Zoro had always looked like a grim, smug moterfucker, and the two of them were sparring and arguing all the time. But after a while, the whole situation evolved into something the blond could have even called... comfortable. Special. Warped as hell, but still special.
He cursed himself for being this stupid. He must have really misread something about the green-hair. About how he had thought they would share a kind of strange bond.
With the very same green-hair that looked like he was playing with him, luring him into circles. A dance of death, before trying to kill him...
Zoro initiated once again, swimming ahead with speed, and Sanji found himself dodging. The tiger shark merman swooshed past him just barely, the haste of it almost cutting. The waves pushed against the blond's other side, as well, when Zoro swam around him, then slid to the left, and back again, while Sanji tried to get the sand out of his eyes.
He had had quite enough of games.
Sanji shot himself forward, with the shark backing away this time. The blond could have sworn he could see shock spread across Zoro's face, even if only for a second. Just before his usual scowl took its place, and he went for Sanji again with arms extended. The sailfish countered with grabbing his hands and pushing against his palms, and after a while of grappling in the mess swirling up from the ocean floor, he pushed Zoro away, and slapped him with a blow of his fins.
They went back to swimming around each other again, but closer, and much faster this time, each of them trying to grab a hold of each other. Sanji, growing impatient, moved too quickly for Zoro's neck. The shark, in turn, caught his wrists in a strong grip, and no matter how the blond struggled and tried to swat and pry him away, he didn't release him.
Nor did he make an offensive move. And he stopped swimming, too...
When Sanji took note of this, he stilled himself, as well, regarding the other merman's face curiously. What in seven seas was the damn bastard up to...?
Zoro was staring at him as if he had a starfish plastered along his nose, which he wanted to stab with his mere glare. Then the corner of his mouth twitched, as he finally spoke:
"So what do you say?"
Sanji blinked at him, trying to comprehend. The circling, the swirling, those snaps to the sides, it all added up, he conducted, to a sort of pattern. And he felt a pang in his chest when he realized...
A duel invitation dance. To death.
The blond felt himself shaking in Zoro's hold, and there was something else aside from the sand burning his eyes. The tiger shark really meant it this time...
"Fine..." He squeezed out. "If that's what you want."
"Huh?" The fucking bastard had it in him to actually grin. "Really?"
"Fucking really!" Sanji shouted at him, his gills red with his racy blood-flow, along with his face. "I'll make your death so painful you'll wish you'd never been born, you shitty shark!"
"The hell are you talking about?" Zoro raised his eyebrows in confusion. Oh, he was pissing Sanji off so much...
"Are you an idiot?! The fight to the death! You invited me, you fucking asshole!"
"Wha–?" The anger seemed to rub off on the green-head. "Fuck no, you retard! Where the hell were you looking?!"
"Hell yes, you did!"
"Bullshit! I wasn't going to invite you to no fucking life or death duel!" Zoro shook his head.
"Then what?!" Sanji yelled with his puzzled bewilderment.
"I wanted to...!" The words got caught in the shark's throat.
"Spit it out, you fucking pile of sharkshit!" The blond ordered impatiently.
"Shut the hell up, you damn priss-fish!" The veins in Zoro's neck were standing out as he shouted. "And here I was trying to ask you out!"
"You– What?!" Sanji screamed back, he wasn't really sure why. Maybe he was still caught in the heat of the moment.
"I'm... I'm not going to repeat it, asswipe!" The tiger shark responded stubbornly, and he closed his eyes as a red tint crept onto his face. He looked...
"But...!" The sailfish merman stared at the other wide-eyed, his mind a clotted bundle of kelp. First this shithead performs a death duel dance with him, and then he spews some shit about asking him ou–
Wait a goddamn minute...
"Was that supposed to be... a motherfucking mating dance?!" Sanji was yelling again. He didn't know better in the situation at hand.
The blasted asshole had riled him up too much. First he hates him and then he wants to fuck?!
"Y-yeah, so fucking what?!" Zoro wasn't hesitant to respond in kind.
"But you did it all wrong!" Sanji shook his fists in Zoro's hold in frustration. Using the short moment while the tiger shark merman was too flabbergasted to keep holding him with such fierce strength, Sanji writhed himself free from his grip, and backed away a fin-whip or two.
This fucking idiot!
"Well, I might have made a mistake here and there, but...!"
"What?! Fuck that! You did the whole thing fucking backwards!"
"Yes way! You should have circled in the other direction the first time, and then you should have moved to my right!" He explained, pointing a finger right towards the shark's nose. "And here I thought you wanted us to kill each other, you fucking eel-faced bastard!"
"But I did move to your right!" Zoro protested. "Are you fucking blind or something?!"
It was known to even the smallest fish in the ocean that the tiger shark merman Roronoa Zoro had the most terrible sense of direction all sea creatures have ever seen. Everyone knew about it, except, tragically enough, Zoro himself.
"I can't believe it..." Sanji rubbed his forehead with his fingers, then combed them through his hair. "Oh God, I can't believe what a huge fucking idiot you are!"
He broke out laughing. He couldn't help it, it was just so stupid and absurd that it was almost funny.
"Well, fuck you!" Is all the tiger shark could come up with as a reply, his face as red as the coral behind them.
"Oh well, can't be helped, the lost child has to be taken home..." The blond shook his head with his snickering, then swam closer to Zoro again.
"W-what the fuck are you blubbering about?" The green-head looked at him warily, and his eyebrows rode even higher on his forehead when Sanji took his hands. "Hey, whoa!" And he went to yelping when the sailfish pulled him with him.
"I'm gonna be a good sport and show you how it's done now, so be thankful," the blond graced him with the smuggest grin in his repertoire. "Just follow me."
"Hah! As if I would need any of yo– Wooooah!" Zoro didn't really have time to complain, with how enthusiastically Sanji pulled him along the first few strokes of the correct dance, along the wide circle pattern.
There were just the two of them, hand in hand. They were swimming together, with Sanji preventing Zoro from mixing up the moves of the mating dance again. When it was time for the quicker swirl-around, however, the tiger shark yanked on the blond's hands, taking the lead.
"Hey!" Sanji complained as they began twirling in a spiral.
"It's my favorite part." A wide, childish grin came as a reaction from the green shark. One way or another, that silly expression made the sailfish merman chuckle, and shortly, they were both laughing.
This damn moss headed asshole...
Sanji was just calming down from his laughter when he could note the slowing of their joined movement. He also registered Zoro's one hand placed lightly onto his right hip, and his own slid onto the shark merman's shoulder all but from itself in response. Zoro was peering at him again, silently and sternly. The color of his cheeks was still there from his earlier red face. Or perhaps it was coming forth anew?
"Are you gonna answer me now...?"
His voice almost sounded shy. In Sanji's head, however, the first word for it was cute. Followed by God fucking dammit.
"Are you an idiot, marimo head?" The blond mocked him.
"What was that?!" Zoro growled.
"Were you paying attention at all, you fucking sponge-for-brains?" Sanji couldn't hold back his snort and laugh. "I've already answered you, idiot!"
Zoro looked perplexed for a moment. However, he would have been blind not to notice the small, pink blush appearing on the other merman's cheeks. Not to mention that flash of blue eyes and that small smile accompanying it...
As it slowly dawned upon him, the tiger shark almost burst out giggling, and he took Sanji by great surprise when he simply leaned in to kiss him on the lips. Soon there was a set of slender fingers in his green hair, and another five trailing down his side onto his scales, their tails intertwining.
"Thanks for the dance, stupid marimo..." The blond whispered, breaking away. A strong arm, however, slid around his waist, and pulled him closer to press their bodies together, and Zoro silently claimed Sanji's lips in another, deeper kiss.
There were just the two of them. Floating above the green plains, behind the red walls of coral. And at the moment, it seemed as if it was just them in all of the blue ocean.