"But why me?!" Zoro protests with a very manly whine.
"Because he's drunk off of his ass again in that bar and I'm in no mood to talk to him when he's that drunk, there's only so much flirting I can put up with before I murder him." Nami groans, rubbing her aching temples as she looks up at Zoro who is curled up protectively in his hammock from which Nami had awoken him.
"So… why do I care?" He points out flatly. It aint' his problem if the witch finally decides to do away with the curlicue. Nami looks at him with agitated eyes and stares him down, that stare used to creep Zoro out, but not now. Now he knows to stare right back without blinking until one of them cracks.
"I'll take 600 beli off of your debt if you go pick him up and bring him back here safely." Nami sighs breaking eye contact. Now that is enough to pique Zoro's interest.
"It's two in the goddamn morning, woman. I had the midnight to morning watch this morning, then there was that marine attack and then we landed here, I haven't slept in an entire 24 hours!" He argues back, pulling the covers over his head at a good impression of disinterested.
"ZORO." Nami grits out.
"I 'aint getting out of this hammock for less than a thousand off of my debt." He growls, leaning up and glaring down at her.
"Great! You've agreed, now we're just haggling." Nami chirps happily. A sleepy part of Zoro's brain thinks that this is a bad idea.
"500." Nami grins at him.
"Fuck no. 900, maybe." He glowers back. How dare she half his offer right off of the bat?!
"400." Nami says sourly.
"THAT'S NOT HOW THIS WORKS!" Zoro snarls at her, thieving witch!
"300." The redhead growls back at him.
"If the next words that come out of your mouth aren't 500 or less then I'm going to be adding to your debt instead of taking away." The navigator promises, and it is a promise and not a threat.
"500." Zoro groans defeated and dropping out of his hammock. He lands on his feet and stomps over to the door.
"Thanks Zoro, you're a sweetie!" Nami coos after him as he leaves the ship in search for the shitty blonde. He resists flipping her off only out of concern for his wallet.
He drags his tired limbs up the hill, why is the bar on the top of the hill anyway, dumbass place for a bar. Oh god, he's so tired. He's never been this long without a nap. He curses Nami and then Sanji and then Sanji a little more for good measure. He finds the damn bar and is unsurprised to find Sanji in the bar, off his ass drunk, hanging upside down from his knees off of the chandelier.
"Get your dumb ass down here cook!" He yells up at Sanji over the music, but the blonde either doesn't hear him or ignores him and continues singing loudly and off key. Upside down. From the chandelier, like a goddamn bat or something.
He settles for reaching up with Wado still in her scabbard and jabbing Sanji in the ribs hard enough to make him fall and then catching him before he brains himself on the floor. Nami did specify that Sanji had to be back safely after all.
He shifts Sanji's drunken skinny body onto his left shoulder, replaces Wado's scabbard back in its proper place on his belt and heads back to the Merry.
The blonde seems to be in a more or less happy mood though, he's only kicked him a few times and is now just resting lazily across Zoro's shoulders like some awful shawl. Perhaps like those dead fox scarves that rich women wear. Except this one talks shit.
"I love ladies." Sanji sighs in wistful drunkenness.
"In other breath-taking news, the ocean is wet." He says back, his voice laden with sarcasm.
"Hey, you know why I like ladies? They have so much in common with the ocean." The cook sighs again in what he probably thinks is romantic whimsy though it sounds more like asthmatic wheezing.
"I swear on my sword Sanji, if you say "they're both wet" I will shove my sword down your throat and rip it out so you open up like a hotdog bun, you hear me?" He growls, pressing his thumb and forefingers into his eyes and wishing desperately that he was still asleep in his hammock rather than running this cheap errand.
"No, shitty pervert. They're both so breathtakingly beautiful, just look at her!" The cook yells in the decibels only achieved by drunk men at unsociable hours of the morning. The blonde bounces off of his shoulders and lands dramatically on the floor, gesturing with wide opened arms to the bottom of the hill.
Zoro looks from Sanji into the nothingness at which he's gestured.
"There is nothing there, you are so drunk." He grumbles, catching Sanji by the collar of his shirt and continuing to haul him downhill.
"Dumbass! She's there! The ocean, the most beautiful woman you'll ever lay eyes on. Just look at her." Sanji orders him. His tone is so reverent that Zoro actually does stop for a second or two and looks, really looks, at the ocean.
The Merry bobs in her, only a shadow in the moonlight from this distance, and the ocean is such a vast expanse of blackness that it's hard to see where the ocean ends and the sky begins.
"Just… look." The cook sighs wistfully.
"Sure, it's pretty enough. Let's get going." Zoro concedes and tugs Sanji along the road again.
"Argh, you don't get it, do you? The ocean is a million different things, a thousand moods and personalities, she's emotion and passion thrown together with life and love and calm and… how could you want anything more than that? All those ladies… they're all like a little piece of her." Sanji insists, staring starry eyed at the ocean before them as they draw closer to it and the ship.
Zoro frowns. He wants to dismiss this as drunken ramblings but Sanji seems so serious, so genuinely in love almost that he's not sure that he wants to question this. He gets this sense of purpose and importance from this, like his swords, like Luffy's hat… it seems… real.
"What do you mean?" he questions after a while of silence.
"She's everything, stupid. She's life itself, pure beauty." The cook smiles gently at the water.
"I think you're forgetting that your lady love over there has tried to kill us all repeatedly." Zoro points out, remembering the many vicious storms that they've all been through. The way that the rain lashed at them and the waves threatened to carry them off of the ship and into the inky depths of the water.
"Psh. She's powerful, her anger might kill us but when you're that strong what does it matter? She might be my love but I'm just some insignificant thing to her, she doesn't care if I die. If she can kill me then I'm simply not worthy, but she hasn't yet. Besides, she's done far more to help me than hurt me. Every island we get to is only because she allows it, she provides me with the food to fill your bellies, the vapour off of her becomes rain that waters the land and gives us all life. Without her Zoro, this planet would be a desolate dry dust ball revolving around the sun, it's only because she lets you that you live… and if she decides to take that gift back then you've no right to complain." Sanji argues passionately, his blue eyes burning bright.
"One day I'll prove myself though, she'll notice me. She'll see my heart and maybe she'll show me hers." He declares with a more in character twirl and flutter of hearts.
"…All Blue." Zoro concludes aloud.
"Her heart, yes. Something that shouldn't- couldn't exist. But I know she has it, it's out there. People say she's heartless, but they've got her all wrong. Her heart is everywhere to see if people would only look!" The cook sighs. They're at the beach now and the love-struck blonde bends down and scoops up a palm full of sea water into his hands, he turns and holds it up to Zoro's eyes.
"Just… see." The blonde breathes.
"Every drop of water in my hands, every part of her… they've all been through All-Blue at one time or another. The proof of my dream, the magic of this ocean… it's all around. How else could you get miracles like life, like mermaids or the grand like or… or ANY of the things we've seen? It's there and I will find it, her heart, her All Blue." He sighs, pouring the water into Zoro's hand before turning to gaze sappily out into the ocean.
Zoro looks down at the diminished pocket of water in his palm, it ripples slightly with his pulse, almost like it's alive too. Sanji might be drunk but he does have a point. Kind of. His sensei used to teach him Zen stuff sometimes, he used to say how everything was connected, how all things fed into each other. He supposes he sees how that could apply to the ocean. Still…
"So, all this time I had you down as some explorer but really you're just a love-struck fool chasing some lady." Zoro teases, ruffling Sanji's hair with his wet hand.
"THE lady, you bastard, have some respect!" Sanji squawks, kicking at Zoro and completely missing. Yeah, he's drunk.
"And a DAMN fine looking lady at that, lookit you all sparkly and shit! Looking good tonight!" the idiot yells and wolf-whistles at the ocean.
"Aaaand now you're past your weirdness limit. Inside now, bed." Zoro orders, shepherding the idiot cook inside by poking him in the back.
"Get in your hammock and go to sleep you drunk freak." He orders Sanji. The blonde stumbles down the stairs and lands face first on the sofa so awkwardly that Zoro would almost suspect that he'd broken his neck if he couldn't hear the moron snoring already.
He hesitates at the open bunkroom door and casts one last look over at the gentle ocean, reflecting the stars in the night sky and the orb of the moon on her surface. He supposes that she is rather beautiful after all. A sudden splash of water up the side of the boat that mists Zoro with water reminds him that it's not polite to stare at another man's woman, even if that woman happens to be a huge body of water covering most of the planet. He shakes his head and goes back to his hammock, not quite able to ignore the sleepy sappy smile the cook has on his stupid face.