Zoro's mouth went dry and he tried not to look immediately over to the other. He held his hands together absentmindedly while they rested over his lap. He'd been caught sneaking a glance at the door again. He cleared his throat.
"Maybe." He said quietly, turning to glance over at Sanji.
Sanji was staring him down with his glorious blue eye. He exhaled some smoke, bringing away his cigarette from his mouth. His long fingers drummed at his arm rest, and his curly eyebrow rose in a curious fashion.
"You've been staring at that door all day marimo," he said with slight annoyance. He reached over and pressed out his smoke in an ashtray on the side table. "Am I keeping you?"
Zoro let out a dry laugh. Alright maybe he had been looking at the door all day, but he just couldn't help it. After the call from Robin earlier that morning all he could think about was getting over there and finding out what she knew. However, his eyes dropped past Sanji's legs and then onto the floor. He couldn't just leave Sanji alone.
It wasn't that he didn't think the man could take care of himself, he knew he could. He could easily lie and say maybe it was because Sanji was dumb enough to fall out of bed and crawl around unsafe, but that wasn't why either. It was really because he didn't know what was going on in the sense of the cook's safety. Was the All Blue still watching and waiting? If they left Sanji alone at any time,, would it not leave them the perfect opening?
He shook his head. "Nah, some of the guys are coming over." He explained. This didn't seem to help Sanji's mood any.
Sanji narrowed his eye. Something was going on and the shitty swordsman was not telling him. He wasn't stupid; he could read when he wasn't being his normal self. Something had been on Zoro's mind all day. He kept spacing out, missing half of Sanji's insults. Which was a shame, they were pretty good insults, he felt.
And now the guys were suddenly coming over. It made him recall about the phone call earlier. It was the only time he ever caught the idiot talking to anyone, unless someone made plans without him before he was sent home. He wasn't sure, but he knew it still bothered him about being kept out of the loop. Sanji didn't quite favor surprises.
"Why?" He asked, sitting up in his chair straighter.
Zoro leaned back into the couch, letting his head fall heavily to the side. He let out a small groan.
"Cause'." He mumbled. Jeez why did the cook just have to know everything? "They want to come and see your ass. Plus…" He stopped.
Oh crap how was he going to word this so that Sanji didn't take it the wrong way? The guy seemed too sensitive about anything that could be remotely negative, yet he didn't really want to say what was going on. He'd have to lie.
"Plus I got called into work tonight, so I'll be out."
He turned his face towards the door again.
Sanji felt like a weight slipped off his shoulders. Ah, that made sense, he supposed. Then something clicked inside his head and he glared.
"So wait you got me babysitters?" He growled.
Zoro couldn't help but laugh at how funny the whole thing sounded when Sanji put it that way.
"Yes shit cook. I got you babysitters."
Then, as if on cue, the doorbell rang. Zoro grinned. "Oh, here they are."
Sanji glared into the back of his skull, watching him get up and walk to the door. He opened it widely, allowing entrance to their guests.
"Zoro! Sanji!" Chirped Chopper happily. He was hugging a bag of chips to his chest. He hopped up in his excitement before running in and over to Sanji.
Sanji of course, couldn't help but smile. It was impossible to be mad at a situation if Chopper was involved, it was just fact.
"Hey Chopper." He greeted back.
Usopp traveled in behind him, holding a box of…something. "Hey Zoro where can we set up our stuff?" He asked, heading towards the kitchen counter anyway.
Zoro raised his eyebrow, peering into the box but didn't say anything. A large hand touched his shoulder and his head jerked back to their biggest guest.
"Don't worry Zoro bro, we got this." Franky grinned, lifting up his sunglasses. Zoro returned with his own grin.
Sanji, who was already being dragged into another vitals check by Chopper, craned his neck out to see what was going on with the other visitors. His eyes widen at what Ussop had begun to lift out of his box and set on the counter.
"Oi! Usopp! You mark up that counter and I'll mince the hell out of you!" He warned.
Usopp froze in his spot, causing him to drop the things he was holding loudly on the counter. He let out a yelp and Sanji's face flared.
"Sorry Sanji! Sorry! I'll fix it I'll just-" Another crash, this time the floor.
Sanji let out a hiss. "Idiot!"
Zoro rolled his eyes before moving to the seat closest to the door, letting Franky pass him. He scooped up his jacket, and glanced over at Sanji.
The cook, still frustrated at the sudden mass of idiots in his apartment, met his gaze. It was a pleading 'don't leave me with these idiots' stare. Something about it made Zoro feel empty. He didn't want to leave Sanji, he wanted to stay with him longer but there was something he just had to do. And this was for Sanji's sake after all. He gave a warm smile.
"I'll be back." He mouthed, and Sanji seemed to have been able to read it, his face darkening again as he jerked it away, mouthing something that looked like insults.
Zoro just laughed to himself, slipping an arm into his jacket and began retreating towards the door, scooping up his bagged swords as he went.
When Zoro stepped out of his apartment and made his way towards the street, he hadn't expect to see a silver Mazda parked on the nearest curb. He raised an eyebrow, his hands resting in his jacket pockets, as he approached. The tinted window peeled down, and Robin's smiling face came into view. She must've just dropped Franky off. Zoro glanced around, just to make sure no one was watching before slipping inside the vehicle.
"I didn't need a ride-"
"ZORO!" Luffy's voice boomed from the back.
It scared the crap out of the swordsman, and he glared back at the teen. What the hell was he doing here! Luffy was sitting in the backseat, a large bag of fast food in his lap. He grinned widely.
"Luffy! What the hell?" Zoro growled. Then he looked back at Robin.
"Your seat belt." Robin's voice chimed and she lightly chuckled to herself.
Zoro's eyes fell to his chest, and embarrassingly he reached over and started to buckle himself in.
Robin pulled away from the curb and off into the street. Her face relaxed. Zoro's eyes looked up into the mirror, gazing back at Luffy who had resumed stuffing his face.
"I thought we were meeting up at your place?" He asked, glancing at the archeologist.
Robin let out a soft hum at his question. "You brought your swords I presume?" She asked while glancing at the bag Zoro brought with him.
Zoro narrowed his eyes and tightened his grip on his swords. She knew the answer to that, so why was she asking? Were they already going to start fighting them off? He heard Luffy belch behind them. It would explain why he was here.
Robin seemed to have read his mind. "I was able to do some tracking." She explained, flicking on the right indicator. "I have pinpointed one of the men Krieg was reporting to. He's local." Her dark eyes glanced over towards Zoro. "And he's our only lead if we want answers."
Zoro watched the road ahead of them. He knew what she meant by that. True, if he had left Krieg alive, they could have interrogated him for information. But at that point they all were too enraged about the events occurring to think of the whole situation. None of them had known at that point who they really were up against.
The shuffling of food behind them paused and Luffy let out a whine about something missing. Both of them ignored it. Zoro leaned back in his chair, his earrings giving a slight jingle.
"So what's your plan?" He mumbled lowly. If it were up to him he'd jump the guy and cut him down on the spot, it was what he wanted to do with every single one of the All Blue members, but he knew that wouldn't work.
"I'd like to question him, see what he knows." Robin pressed her lips together faintly. "But I doubt he'll be the type to answer willingly."
Zoro grinned at that. So that's where he came in.
"Where's he at?" He asked with more enthusiasm than there should have been in his tone.
Luffy, now swollen from his large amount of junk leaned his head in between the two front seats.
"Nami found him!" He announced happily.
Zoro let out a small snort. So then that woman was finally able to make sure of her skills?
"Yes it seems he was quite the womanizer. She was able to draw him into the lumberyards." Robin continued. They turned off onto a road that led away from most of the city. It became dark due to the lack of street lights, and the controls on the dashboard illuminated against their faces pleasantly.
Zoro kept his stern expression ahead. Alright, so this was going down. They had caught the guy, who, well he didn't know exactly who he was yet, but he did know that he was connected. Though he couldn't help but wonder how smart he could be if he thought a woman wanted to go to a lumberyard, Franky's no less, to have some nice midnight exercises.
The car pulled to a stop near the front, a bright neon sign reading 'Franky House' inviting them in. Zoro shook his head. Yeah, they obviously weren't dealing with a genius here. They climbed out of the car, Zoro holding the door open for Luffy, then wandered right on in. It took a second though, considering Zoro had first headed towards the back lots.
Robin pulled out her phone and was reading at a text. "They're in number two."
Luffy, who was holding his arms crossed behind his head, yawned. What, was this past his bedtime or something?
After getting through the gates, thanks to Robin, they headed that way. A figure came into view, walking in circles in front of the structure. It paused, seemingly noticing their approach and then began to wave.
"Robin! Luffy!" Nami shouted happily. She met them before they got to the door.
Nami was thrilled to see them. She didn't like being the only one with this creep any more than she needed be. She smiled when she noticed Zoro's long bag across his back, and then Luffy. That creep was definitely getting what he deserved. It was time to get some answers.
Robin smiled back, crossing her arms in front of her. "Did you find anything out?" She mused.
Nami shook her head. "He told me his name was Fullbody. Other than that..." Nami's voice trailed off and she looked to the side.
A smack brought them all to attention. Luffy looked at his hand and laughed triumphantly. He'd smashed a mosquito. Zoro glared.
"Let's do this then." He growled, taking the first step towards the door. For obvious reasons they weren't going in through the big one, he figured. He stepped in; shocked to find that this particular warehouse was different than any of the other ones he was familiar with. Usually they were just wall to wall with supplies. This one looked different.
The entry way was just a normal room, kind of resembling a break room with a fridge and seating. There was even a microwave. To the far wall was a large window, displaying the open empty space of the rest of the structure. Zoro furrowed his brows, stepping closer to it. He peered out at the man sitting in a chair in the center.
He looked lean, but he couldn't exactly tell much else about his body. Apparently Nami had gone ape shit with the duct tape, and he was pretty pried to the chair. His mouth was covered too, and his eyes. Pink hair split out from holes around his head.
Zoro slowly slipped off his bag and held it in front of him.
The rest of the crew followed inside. Luffy stood next to Zoro looking outward. His usually carefree atmosphere was vanishing.
"So he's a part of the All Blue?" He asked. Just like Zoro, it seemed he needed that last reassurance before doing anything they'd regret otherwise.
Both Nami and Robin nodded.
"Usopp was able to track the location of the cellphone Krieg called to announce..." Nami's voice trailed off again.
"It belonged to Fullbody. His records are suspiciously wiped clean, if you know what I mean." Robin glanced over at the man, at Fullbody. She was hinting that other forces, ones with power were at work here.
Luffy nodded. "Alright. Leave this to us."
Nami cleared her throat, sitting down on one of the couches. Robin watched her, and then looked back at the two boys already moving to enter the open space.
"Wait." She called out. Both Zoro and Luffy glanced up at her curiously.
"Remember, killing is a criminal offense. He has some interesting ties into law enforcement and his disappearance could go noticed. Be careful."
The two fighters exchanged looks but only nodded to Robin, then stepped out into the room.
Luffy walked about a foot away from Fullbody, and then stood with his legs spread apart, his hands on his hips. He glared down at him. Zoro approached from the side, taking his swords out of his bag to place at his hip. He tossed the bag over to the side.
His gaze was threatening. His heart was beating already, being this close to one of them, one of those people. He reached out and roughly ripped the duct tape from Fullbody's mouth, and listened as the pansy let out a scream.
"I could put this here..." Muttered Franky. He pointed a finger across the blue print to something else. Usopp, who was scratching at his chin in a contemplating way, nodded his head in approval.
"I said," Sanji growled, clearing his throat again, "what the hell are you guys doing in my kitchen?"
He had wheeled himself into the kitchen opening, his eye on fire as he watched the two experimenters discuss their plans.
Both Franky and Usopp turned their heads to look at Sanji. They wore a 'oh when did you get there' expression that made Sanji wish he could kick them around so bad. His fingernails were stabbing into his palms.
Franky stood up straighter and let out an awkward laugh. "Sorry curly cook." He apologized, rolling up the plan he was working on. He grinned. "We were just thinking of some super modifications!"
Sanji's mouth dropped a bit, the cigarette hanging from it threatening to fall into his lap. Modifications? He knew they weren't talking about modifications to his kitchen. Like hell he would allow these guys to touch his most precious possessions. He narrowed his eyes. What were these two planning? Hell, what was anyone planning? Was he the only one not planning something?
Usopp grinned. "We also brought some stuff for your wheels!" He announced.
Sanji winced. His wheels? They couldn't possibly mean his wheelchair. He prayed they meant a car, but ultimately knew that wasn't the case.
"Chopper came to help us out." Usopp called to the tiny doctor.
Chopper had settled down on the couch to watch television after he decided Sanji was still doing alright. He had hoped Sanji would join him, take it easy and watch some shows, but knew maybe it was a little overboard to bring in both the designers at once.
His head perked up at the sound of his name being called, and paused in bringing a chip to his mouth.
"Okay!" He announced. He knew at least this part of the plan. Chopper jumped down from the couch, transforming into his heavy point. Then he approached Sanji.
Sanji gazed up at Chopper. He closed his eyes and forced himself to take a deep breath. This… was just too much. He was out numbered and out powered in his own home. He was going to kill that marimo for leaving him alone like this.
Chopper reached down. "Sorry about this Sanji." He whispered, picking Sanji up.
Sanji said nothing. He would not speak while being man handled by a fluffy man reindeer. He just remained silent.
Chopper brought him to the couch, and sat him down. Sanji was able to get one last look at the wheelchair before both maniacs with screwdrivers grabbed it and placed it on their makeshift construction table.
He just sighed and Chopper frowned. He thought about offering the cook a chip, but then remembered something and rushed over to his sack also resting on the couch. He fished out a small envelope, a nice elegant script across the front.
"Oh! Sanji!" He said happily, changing back to his smaller form. He walked over the couch cushions to the cook and offered the card.
"Brook sent you a get well card."
Sanji looked down at his name written in script. Brook huh? The last he had seen him had been before the Baratie incident before their singing friend went on tour. It made him curious just who had the pleasure of telling their skeleton friend what had gone down. His heart ached for a minute as he ripped into the envelope. He wondered what he thought about it all.
The front of the card was a generic get well covering. A bear holding balloons. Though there was a little sticker at the bottom of it.
"Record your own message." He read softly to himself.
Brook recorded him a message then? It would have to be a song. His eyebrow twitched. He swore if it was bink's sake again he'd probably go insane- a long 'yohohohoho' escaped from the card, and Sanji couldn't help but laugh out loud. He had totally known it would be something like that. He smiled, letting it play anyway, and staring at the message Brook had written to him.
Sanji took his cigarette out of his mouth and pressed it down in his ashtray. He couldn't be mad at Brook, he was too much of a good guy. The skeleton left him a message telling him that he had heard what had happened and that he would try to make it back to see everyone as soon as he could. He also wished him the best in his recovery.
Sanji closed the card, and glanced over at Chopper who was still watching him. He reached over and grabbed him, forcing him close then gave him a playful noogie, making his hat fall off to the side. Chopper just laughed and Sanji released him, digging his cigarette and lighter out of his pocket.
He was seemingly stuck here anyway, he might as well make the most of it.
"What are we watching?" He asked, reaching as far as he could with his arm over the couch and bring the bag of chips closer. He inspected them, he'd rather they be eating something he had made himself but for the moment, that didn't seem like something that was going to happen any time soon. Chopper sat up and gazed back at the TV. His little furry face seemed to blush as he noticed he had been caught watching cartoons, but he grabbed the remote and offered it to the cook.
"I was just flipping channels." He laughed nervously, rubbing the back of his head. "You can watch whatever you want!"
12 years earlier
"Oi. Kid. Wake up." Fullbody hissed, striding into the room. His nostrils were flared as he gazed down at the small blonde boy.
The blonde boy's eyes regretfully opened. They took several long blinks, as if to reassure he wasn't still dreaming and then glanced at the man standing before him. Using some of the very little energy he had left in him, he moved his arms up and pushed himself off the ground where he had been sleeping.
His whole body was shaking. There was a pain scratching at the insides of his stomach, screaming for substance. He licked his dry lips a little before settling them in a faint line. He turned his head and watched Fullbody move to a table and chair in the room.
Fullbody let out a noise of annoyance, looking away from the boy. He was so sick of watching the stupid thing, he wished it would just hurry up and keel over already. Then he could get his promotion and move on with his life. He smiled wickedly. Though, if that had been the case he wouldn't get to have this daily entertainment.
"Would you like to know what's for lunch today?" He teased.
Sanji carefully shifted himself to where he was sitting, hugging at his knees. He watched Fullbody with a wide eye, the left covered by his unkempt hair. He still said nothing, only observed the man's every move.
This only seemed to annoy Fullbody more though. He turned his head towards the door and barked for them to bring something in.
Sanji watched as the door to his room, the only thing that didn't seem to be neutral in color like a padded room, opened up. A large broad man stepped through the doorway. Sanji's throat clenched tight, the smell of delicious food running across his nostrils. His eyes widened and followed the plate that was carried across the room by a man with large hands.
The man glanced to look at him. Sanji had to half wonder if he was seeing things, the way his mustache seemed to be abnormally large, and tied off at the ends. People didn't really look like that did they? He turned his head to look back at Fullbody.
The mustache man looked away again, setting the food down in front of Fullbody. He grunted in disapproval, slamming silverware he'd been holding in his other hand down as well. Then he stomped out of the room.
Sanji licked at his lips again, and he dug his fingernails into his legs. He could smell everything on that plate. The steamed vegetables, grilled fish... It was the smell of heaven.
Fullbody held his napkin up high and tied it around his neck. Then he grabbed his silverware.
"Going to be eating good today!" He announced, going to town at his meal. He cut off a piece of fish, and then more loudly than he needed to, emphasized bringing it to his mouth and then chewing it, letting out a moan of pleasure.
Sanji didn't even move. He looked similar to a living doll, staying in the same place and staring at Fullbody's plate. However instead of based off a normal boy, he complimented a skeleton far more.
"Don't you wish you had some?" Asked Fullbody, holding a piece out in Sanji's direction.
It was nothing more than a cheap trick. He scowled when Sanji didn't fall for it and plopped it into his mouth. He chewed angrily, staring at a point in the floor. This used to be far more rewarding before the boy was this far gone, which seemed strange. He would've thought the more starved, the more desperate.
He lowered his silverware down, finding himself not having much of an appetite anymore. He pulled the napkin away from him and set it over the food.
"This needs salt." He mumbled.
Sanji's head seemed to tilt at that.
"Salt..." He began, having to clear his dry throat. His voice was nothing more than a squeak. "Would ruin it."
Fullbody yanked his head to glare at him, his forehead wrinkling. Stupid brat, what did he know? He stood up, his hand shaking. Shitty kid, talking back to him. Didn't he realize his situation? He began to raise his hand.
"Shut up!" He yelled, slamming his fist into the table. The impact caused it to fly across the room towards Sanji. Sanji acted quickly, raising his boney arms in front of him. However he let out a strangled cry as the knife Fullbody had been using sliced into his leg.
He dropped his arms immediately, and held them over the cut as blood soaked into his pants. His eyes, though they lacked any real moisture to cry, attempted to gather tears. His lip trembled.
Fullbody grinned, stepping forward.
"Don't you ever talk back to me." He scolded. He turned on his heel to the door and wrenched it open. Sanji, through his pain, could hear him tell a few men to come clean up the mess before he could pick at it. He rested his head back against the wall, hoarse cries escaping him. Why was this happening to him? He didn't understand what he had done wrong. When was this hell going to finally end?
Author's Note: Since this story is based mostly on Sanji's past and all you will find a lot of his enemies included in this story! I hope you all are still enjoying it. I'd love to hear what you think. The balls going to start rolling here pretty soon. :D Sorry that this chapter is a little short, my word counter said there were a lot more words than Fanfic is labeling this.. oh well. Im not going to start counting to see XD. Till next time :'D reviewreviewreviewreview