A wave of relief washed over Sanji and he braced himself. The wall to his left exploded inward, its debris crumbling about the room. He winced as small parts of the rubble scattered over him. Six shadows revealed themselves in the lingering smoke, and Sanji slowly glanced over, wincing in pain. "Guys…" He whispered hoarsely, his breathing rapid.
"Sanji!" Chopper, the miniature doctor squeaked. He hurriedly wobbled over the wall wreckage and to Sanji, who lay pinned to a table.
Sanji had to close his eyes, clenching his teeth as another surge of jolting pain flowed through his head. His veins were burning, a foreign toxin running through them. The blonde could already begin to feel his conscious want to drift. "Shitty bastards…" He swore. In the mix of everything, behind the image of the doctor the other shadows, belonging to his precious nakama, flew into motion.
Sanji's eyesight was too much of a blur though to really tell what was happening. He could hear though, in-between the rapid pounding in his head, the screams of the marines who had held him here against his will.
"Sanji are you okay?!"
Sanji attempted to move his hand, gesturing towards his face, but it made him tense. "Stuck me…in the neck." As if on que, he swallowed hard and shivered.
"We're getting you out of here Sanji-kun! Just hold on!" A blur of orange approached his other side, and began to pick at his restraints. It was a familiar voice; one Sanji was thrilled to hear. It was his precious Nami-swan. His eyes were beginning to roll back into his head, but he managed a small smile. "Nami-swannn…" He swooned weakly, before ultimately blacking out, his head slumping down in defeat.
When Sanji woke up again, it was with a start, and he sat up abruptly. His hand instinctively moved to his neck, feeling the sharp soreness that accompanied it. Instead he was met with the soft texture of a taped bandage. His eyes widen and he tried to recall what happened, but the feeling of a small hoof on his arm caught his attention, and he peered at Chopper with a confused gaze.
"Sanji take it easy." The small reindeer's face was frozen in concern; those large chocolate eyes melting into Sanji's. "You're still adjusting."
Adjusting? Ah that was right. His memory began to slowly drift back to him. He had been apprehended by the Marines, and they captured him. Then, to make matters worse they had gotten a gorgeous female to strap him down and inject him with something, causing him to be this way. But what the hell had that been? He let out a sigh of relief, taking in his surroundings.
The Going Merry. He was back home, at least. And he couldn't ask for a better place to wake up to than his kitchen.
"What happened…?" He thought aloud, bringing his hand back down from his neck bandage, and inspecting it over as if curious it might show some kind of substance leaking through. But it was normal.
"The hell did they inject me with?" His eyes narrowed, and he looked back at the doctor.
Chopper shifted his weight on his hooves. "A very high risk truth serum and they gave you way more than a legal dose! It put your body into shock but…" His eyes drifted over Sanji. He was a doctor yes, and had a known expertise in how the body worked. However, since joining the straw-hat crew he had found the unknown phenomenon which was the super human healing abilities his crew seemed to possess.
Sanji's right eye widened. A truth serum? Was that even real? He had never heard of such a thing actually existing. But he figured if Chopper knew it existed, and here he was with one hell of a headache, it must've been true. Though the other thing Chopper had mentioned, about his body falling into shock, was a little harder to wrap his mind around. He felt virtually fine other than this pain that seemed to cloud his mind.
"Is it out of my system yet?" He asked. It was the first thing that jumped to his mind. He didn't like being out of it for too long- he had responsibilities to attend to. He had cooking to do, Nami-swan and Robin-chan swooning too!
Chopper shook his head and turned back to the table where his medical supplies were scattered. "No, not yet. You've only been out a couple hours Sanji… and at that dose and that strong of a serum, its effects could last for a few days."
A chill ran up Sanji's spine. A few days of this? It wasn't a knee crippling pain of course, but still it seemed very much an inconvenience. Not to mention it made him tell the truth, which was a little unnerving. He trusted his crew of course, but being unable to lie seemed to worry him of his self-control. What if he accidentally reveals something he could come to regret?
He reached his arm down and fumbled at his pockets, relieved his cigarette and lighter were still with him. He secretly thanked the heavens they hadn't been confiscated or something, otherwise he wasn't sure how he'd get by when shit like this went down.
"Shit." He swore, lighting up his cigarette and taking the first drag. Then he settled it in-between his lips. Though, how could Chopper be so sure it actually worked? He hadn't been asked any sort of question yet. "Oi. Chopper." He called to him, and Chopper's ears perked. "Ask me something."
Chopper let out a small sigh, turning to look at Sanji. He pressed his mouth together, and brought up a hoof in contemplation. He let out a small 'hmmm' then glanced around at objects in the room, then back at Sanji. What was he supposed to ask? Everything that came to mind seemed rather lame, and easy. But he figured it probably wouldn't matter, easy question or not, because he was confident Sanji would have to answer.
"What's my favorite food?" Chopper smiled.
"Cotton candy." Sanji replied almost automatically, his mouth moving before he could even register what he had been asked. His eyebrow rose, and his mouth seemed to drop. He had just acted on his own? No, it wasn't him; it was that damn serum inside of his head.
He gritted his teeth into his cigarette, then motioned at Chopper with his hand. "Another."
Chopper let out another soft hum. He could see where this could be very fun and amusing, but controlled himself. He didn't want to take advantage of Sanji after all while he was like this, but wasn't going to protest when the cook asked him to keep asking.
"What color underwear are you wearing?"
"Blue." Sanji's face flushed as the word left his lips, and lowered his head. Chopper let out a small chuckle. "Shit. I didn't even mean to answer that…" explained an embarrassed Sanji.
Chopper sighed again, his smile falling. He patted at Sanji's arm comfortingly. "I'm sorry Sanji. It was a really strong dose, so it's going to do that. Sometimes it might even make you reveal your thoughts, so you have to be careful."
He moved to his medical supplies and began to gather them together. "You can still cook and everything but take it easy please. I promise you I'm going to start working on an antidote right away so this doesn't last forever!"
Sanji looked back up. Forever? What was that supposed to mean? It couldn't really last forever could it? "It can't really last forever can it-" He said abruptly. His face flushed a little more in irritation. There he went just revealing his thoughts. "Fuck!" This serum was just playing unfair.
"No but still…I'm going to work very hard Sanji! I'm sorry!" The little deer picked up his bag, then hurried out of the galley door. Sanji watched him leave, an unsettling feeling in his stomach. He prayed for Chopper's quick antidote making skills.
Then Sanji took another look around the Galley, the silence consuming him. He stood up, finding himself a tad bit unbalanced at first, but then slowly moved his way to his kitchen. He stopped, holding his hands on the edge of the counter, and stared down at his work station. If it had only been a few hours like Chopper had said, he still had his crew to feed. Slowly he began to get started.
"YOSH!" The raven haired boy, located at the very end of the Galley's table, plopped a giant slab of meat into his mouth. "Sanji," His words were severely muffled, but the crew, having experience in decoding Luffy eating language, understood. "You can't lie?!" He grinned largely, his cheeks puffing outward.
Sanji cringed at the sight and let out a small groan. He tried avoiding the gazes of the crew, but could feel them staring at him. "No I can't." He said unwillingly, scowling. He knew exactly how this evening was probably going to play out. He himself would be the main entertainment, question upon question thrown at him. He could just feel it. He took another swig of nicotine.
"What! Really?" The long nosed Usopp perked up from his seat. "Ask him something!" The excitement was evident in his voice, and it made Sanji's eyebrow twitch.
Chopper though jumped up from his seat, and glanced around the table. "No don't!" He pleaded. "Sanji can't control his responses-" But it went unheard as their Navigator's eyes flashed with beli signs. Her aura darkened with devious intent, and she tucked a strand of orange hair behind her ear.
"Sanji-kun," She smiled, fluttering her eyelashes. "Where do you keep your Beli Stash?" Her voice was sweet.
"Pantry." Sanji responded without fail. "Nami-swan is so cute when she's curious!" He noodled, but then abruptly stopped. God dammit! He hadn't meant to noodle at that moment, it just happened! His face flushed and he brought his hand up to run his fingers through his hair irritably. This freaking sucked. "Ah, I mean…" He tried to say something about the random outburst, but failed to find any words.
Zoro, settled in a seat next to his engorged captain crossed his arms. He shook his head and let out a snort, sending a smug grin at Sanji. "Dumbass." Sanji glared. Before he could reply though, another question was thrown at him.
"SUGOI! Sanji where's the meat?!" Luffy again. Sanji let out a hiss.
"In the fridge." Came his monotone response, followed by a more controlled, "You moron where else would it be? Besides you are EATING already!"
He had to control himself from going over and hitting the captain out of frustration. Really what kind of question was that? And damn his stupid situation making him answer it even though it was so idiotic. He clenched his teeth, shooting daggers at the male portion of the crew.
Robin, their experienced archeologist just chuckled lightly into her clasped hand. Sanji glanced over at her, his annoyed face softening. Their eyes met, and Robin offered him a small smile. "It would seem you are in quite a predicament cook-san." She said softly.
"Robin-chan." He said more calmly. "I'm sorry you have to witness these morons-"
"Sanji! Who's the best Sniper?" Usopp grinned.
Sanji's face scowled and he turned quickly, planting a kick into Usopp's skull. "NOT! YOU!" He yelled, frustrated. At least that was an answer he could agree with. He knew Usopp wasn't the best sniper yet, however he didn't know any other snipers, so easily he could reply to that the way he wanted. He dug his hands into his pockets, and stormed off towards the Gallery door. "Now leave me alone." He swung it open with force, and sped out.
The crew seemed to exchange glances at that. They hadn't meant for it to hurt Sanji's feelings and agitate him, but immediately they felt as if they had taken advantage of him. Zoro however seemed unfazed, making a comment about Sanji's dramatic leave. Luffy, also unfazed, took this moment to steal from the others plates.
Sanji had gone to the back of the ship, smoking his cigarette more frantically. Honestly he wasn't sure how many more days he could take of that. They weren't even serious questions like he feared he may be asked, but even so, having his self-control altered like that…it was scary and frustrating at the same time. It made him feel vulnerable.
He leaned against the Going Merry's rail. Hopefully they could all just keep to stupid meaningless questions like that. Dammit. He wished Chopper would discover his antidote faster. The sound of boots scuffling the wood behind him caused him to tense. Ah yes, just what he needed to make things better, the shitty swordsman. He narrowed his eyes and turned swiftly around, resting his back against the rail.
"What do you want Marimo? Come to get your one question?" He hissed.
Zoro hadn't been looking at him, and slowly brought his gaze over. What was he doing at the back of the boat? He could've sworn he was trying to find his way to the hammocks. Ugh, this boat simply rearranged too much for his taste. It was way too confusing.
His scowl didn't leave his face though when he studied Sanji. The cook still seemed shaken up from that little show at dinner. He let out a huff. He would be the one to act like it was the end of the world, they weren't even serious questions. Why the hell was he letting his panties get in a bunch?
"I don't want to hear any of your shitty secrets." He spat, wrinkling his nose in fake agitation.
Sanji snarled. "As if I'd even tell you shit head." He twisted his cigarette in the corner of his mouth.
"It's probably all girly shit anyway." Zoro rolled his shoulder, and glanced away, signaling he didn't give a fuck. It just continued to push the cook's buttons.
"Tch! You shitty swordsman!"
Sanji let out a sound of frustration, running his hand through his hair again, and clenching his other into a fist. This guy was so damn thick headed and it just burned him to the core. "Ugh," He hissed. "You're so fucking lucky you're hot." He had said it without meaning to, the serum revealing his honest thought's against his will.
Both men froze then, their eye's widening. The color in Sanji's face drained in horror. Had that really just escaped his mouth? Mother fucking shit. His cigarette fell from his mouth onto the floor, his body frozen and unable to think clearly to remember its existence. Sanji was mortified.
Zoro, tense, dared himself to glance over to the cook. He had heard that correctly hadn't he? The cook had actually just called him attractive? A warm sensation began at his cheeks. "What did you…" He began, but Sanji cut him off frantically.
"Nothing! I said nothing! You're fucking hearing things!" His face flushed a blood red. His body was lightly shaking and he spun on his heel, beginning to storm off.
Zoro moved quickly however. He reached out, grabbing Sanji by the arm and roughly yanking him back. Sanji dared to glare at him, and meet the Marimo's confused gaze.
Zoro narrowed his eyes, and a sly grin played at his face. "You just called me hot." He stated.
Sanji jerked his arm away, shaking his head. "The hell I did! You're fucking mental! As if I'd do that?!" And he tried to make his second flee.
"Oh?" Replied the swordsman, he was right on Sanji's heels.
Of course Sanji would be heading to the Galley, his safe haven. He tried to slip in before Zoro, and hold the door closed before he could follow him in, but to no avail. A struggle broke out between both sides, one trying to open it, the other trying to keep it shut. Luckily, no one seemed to be around in that moment. Sanji pressed all his weight up against his side of the door, struggling. "Go away you shitty algae!"
"Then tell me," Zoro said, leaning his weight into the door on the opposite side. He had to raise his voice, allowing the cook to hear him. "What do you think of me?" He kept grinning.
Sanji's stomach churned, and he desperately tried to keep his mouth shut, even bringing his hands to his mouth. But in doing so, it provided the opening Zoro needed, and he moved his way in. He chuckled at the cook.
"I think you're a thick brained attractive neanderthal!" The words escaped him and were unforgiving. Sanji, in that moment, really wished he had the ability to self-combust.
His answer had done nothing but inflate the swordsman's ego. Zoro's mouth dropped slightly in the surprise of the statement, but his amused expression at hearing what he had thought he had heard didn't leave his face. He let out another laugh, and Sanji was quite literally steaming. He aimed his foot at Zoro's head.
Zoro dodged it swiftly. "You like me," He accused, then ducked under another shot. It would appear that when the cook was flustered as he was now, his kicks were slightly off than usual. He was just inviting himself to be interrogated.
But then it dawned on him. What if Sanji did like him? It made his chest feel heavy. It was something he had once thought impossible.
Sanji bit into his lip, cursing again but not responding to Zoro's accusations. It wasn't actually a question, so he wasn't about to respond to it- willingly anyway. Zoro's hands rested on top of his sheathed swords as the kicks became more frantic, but finally he reached out and grabbed one of Sanji's shoes, forcing him to remain still.
Sanji stumbled a bit in surprise, but froze as Zoro asked his next question. "Oi cook." He began. He was ready to hear a confirmation to all these thoughts now jumping around in his head. "Who do you like?"
Sanji pulled his leg back and dropped to the floor. His hands flew to his head, and he struggled to resist the words trying to come from his mouth. No, he couldn't answer this. He wouldn't answer this! Even if it was going to kill him! He clenched his teeth hard, and almost doubled over, an imaginary battle at war inside his head.
Zoro's eyes widen at the cook's sudden struggle, and he moved forward cautiously. What was happening now? Why did that kind of question invoke that reaction? Was the cook resisting it?
"I like…" The words were forced through Sanji's visibly clenched teeth. His nails dug into his head. "…women…" That word seemed to be the most pained to say. It was forced most definitely, but was it from the serum?
Zoro's face seemed to drop at that. He found himself feeling utterly disappointed. He shifted his eyes away from Sanji. Then it hadn't been what he had thought, what he secretly wished were true? But what had he really been expecting? It was pretty obvious that Sanji did nothing but fawn over women. It was a given, but even so why did the cook seem to be struggling to say that?
"I like… women." He struggled again. At least he was able to manage that because it was true, but he couldn't stop saying it. As if the first time hadn't counted. But no, he knew the reason. It was because there was something else he liked too in that way and now he found himself being forced to repeat it until it was all out. This serum was ruthless and it really was going to make him spill everything wasn't it?
His head was a pounding mess. A ringing in his ears protested to him to stop struggling, and his eye sight began to blur. "I like women! And I like…" Zoro personally wanted to strike the man; yes he had heard him the first two times, why did he feel the need to continue to disappoint? But it wasn't that. There was something else. Finally, Sanji snapped.
"And I like Zoro." He whispered. It wasn't like he could've kept it a secret now, he had already foolishly revealed enough. Tears clung to his lashes from the pain that seemed to lift from his mind. The ringing stopped, and the blur at his eyes faded. His gaze moved to the floorboards, and his chest tightened.
There, they were out there, his feelings. It wasn't the way he had ever exactly wanted them to get out there, hell he probably would have never revealed them, but there they were for Zoro to see. He braced himself, waiting for the swordsman's crude response.
Zoro's heart leapt and his head perked back up. He had heard it, yes definitely he had heard it. A warm fluttery sensation filled his chest. The cook liked him too? He reached out cautiously and placed a hand on Sanji's shoulder. The cook flinched at the touch and gave him a murderous stare. "Really?" Zoro asked him, a serious tone to his voice.
Sanji swallowed slowly. The bastard just made him reveal something like that against his will and yet he was still asking for verification? This was utter bullshit. He lowered his chin, a shadow casting itself over his face. "Fucking Marimo. I'm not going to say it again." He swatted Zoro's hand away, and stood up abruptly. He retreated yet again to the door, prepared this time however to unmercifully kill anything that got in his way.
Zoro just remained in the same spot, hand still in the air as he watched the cook leave. Part of him was absolutely thrilled to hear Sanji's feelings. Zoro after all had held some of his own secretly for Sanji too. However, he couldn't help but feel a little sickened at the way he had obtained such information. He had essentially taken advantage of Sanji's situation, forcing him to reply. But how would he have ever found out any other way?
Zoro dropped his arm, balling his hands into fists. Regardless that was still a pretty low thing to do. He felt angry at himself. The guilt shadowed over him. He would have to make this up to the cook somehow. But how was he supposed to go about doing that? Perhaps he knew a way. He got up, and left the Galley, wandering the ship again. He hoped a certain doctor might still be up and about.
And much to his pleasure, he was. He was out on the deck in the beginning of his watch. His face was in the middle of a medical book, hooves meddling with concoctions.
"Chopper." Zoro called out to the furball. He eyed the equipment. That must've been the antidote for Sanji he was working on that would make the truth serum wear off faster.
"Hi Zoro! What's up?" Chopper chirped in reply, not looking up from his work.
Zoro took a deep breath, raising his arm to scratch at the back of his neck. This was awkward, how was he supposed to ask for this again? Was this really the smartest thing to do in order to make things even with the cook? He glanced over to the side. Well what did he have to lose? Things would only get worse if he didn't at least try right? This was the least he could do.
"Do you…" He began, nervously bringing his arm back down to his side. "Do you have any more of that truth serum you confiscated?"
The little doctor stopped, glancing slowly up at the swordsman hovering over him. "Yes….why?"
Sanji had gotten almost no sleep. After that confrontation with the marimo, he had been mentally exhausted. But the realization that he had actually revealed his secret to him- ugh! It terrified him! At least fate seemed to be giving him a break. The marimo hadn't seeked him out any more after that.
He was embarrassed about the whole ordeal, and it made him nervous. What was he going to do this morning when everyone came in for breakfast? How could he be sure no one would ask something that might revolve around last night's events, why he had stormed into the men's quarters and threw himself into his hammock, burying his face into his pillow.
His body tensed the moment the Galley door opened. His blood seemed to run cold. He just knew it was him, Zoro. They were the only ones ever awake this early. It could only possibly be him. Sanji gritted his current cigarette. There was no way in hell he would give that bastard any satisfaction of getting under his skin. He kept his back to him, and continued preparing breakfast.
Zoro stepped into the galley kind of slow, his head still groggy. Man this was an annoying sensation, a clouding of his mind. He glanced up slowly, spotting the blonde as he furiously chopped at something. Yup, he was definitely still pissed. It would be a little freaky though if he hadn't been. Zoro pressed his lips into a thin line, and approached cautiously. He could do this.
Sanji's jaw clenched, hearing the man get closer. Finally he stopped chopping, placing his knife down gently onto the counter. He let out a huff and glared at Zoro. He prayed that his gaze might burn its way through Zoro's thick skull. "What do you want now marimo?" He growled.
"To apologize" Zoro said quickly. His eye's widened slightly at his own words. Wow so that's how that feels. It was pretty relentless, not giving any time to process what was going on. That stupid serum, making him speak automatically. He was trying to be sincere here, at least let him try to put some emotion into it.
Sanji raised his curly eyebrow. To apologize? That seemed off. Since when did the swordsman ever willingly apologize to him? And even if he did ever try, he wouldn't have just announced his intentions to either. Sanji studied him down- he didn't look any different from normal. He exhaled from his cigarette. "I don't want your shitty apology." He explained in a rough mutter. "Was bound to come out anyway." He turned his shoulder back towards the counter.
They stood there again for a few moments in awkward silence. Zoro's eyebrow twitched in irritation, what was he supposed to say? What had his plan been for this again? Oh yeah, he didn't have one. He took a deep breath, preparing himself. "Me too." He said finally and confidently.
Sanji continued to stare at him, and cocked his head to the side a bit in contemplation. His eye's narrowed. "What?"
"Me too." Zoro repeated, huffing and giving a slight shrug to the side. Persistent serum wasn't it?
"No shit head I heard that. I meant what's that supposed to mean?"
"I…" A faint burn raced across the top of Zoro's tan cheeks. "I like you too."
For a moment Sanji thought his knees might fail him. He gripped the edge of his counter cautiously, just in case. His heart beat drummed loudly in his ears and his own face began to flush, accompanied by a burning sensation.
"You… But…" He shook his head in disbelief. "What?"
Zoro wrinkled his nose. Dammit he was going to have to repeat it? Sanji didn't have to repeat his- "I like you too shit cook." He growled.
Sanji stared wide eyed. He was dreaming right? "Why are you telling me this?"
Zoro shrugged again, scratching at the back of his neck. "Cause' I felt bad for making you say it. I wanted to let you know what I thought about it. So I got shot up too." He gestured to a small band aid on his arm where Chopper had apparently given him a shot the night before. It was weird hearing everything in his head flow out like that. He could understand how that easily angered the cook.
Sanji's blue eye followed the gesture, and rested on the band aid. That moron… he felt that bad that he went and got a dose of it himself? Sanji would have almost been flattered if he didn't want to belt out into laughter. What an idiot. Why did he want to put himself in that kind of hell for a reason like that? He laughed anyway. "You moron."
Zoro squirmed a little under his gaze, crossing his arms. "Oi." He said lowly. "Just wanted to make it fair."
An evil grin spread across Sanji's face. Zoro eyed him hesitantly, watching as the blonde cook took a slow step towards him. He narrowed his eyes.
"So who is it you like again?" Sanji asked teasingly.
"Sanji." Zoro replied lowly, without fail. "What are you getting at-"
"Oh? Why do you like Sanji…?" The blonde was in his personal space now, leaning in. Zoro let out a huff. So that's how he wanted to play.
"Because he drives me insane." He leaned in close to Sanji in return, reaching out to brush his shoulder softly. "I see what you're doing cook."
Sanji just merely chuckled. "What else?"
"Cause he's loud." Zoro replied, his hand moving up to caress Sanji's face. "Why do you like me?"
"Cause you're an idiot." Sanji replied. They both stopped, feeling the other ones breath near their faces. Their lips were just inches apart. Both of their hearts were beating insanely fast, their bodies moving closer on their own, as if instinctively.
"You want to kiss me?"
Author's note.: OOCness? I don't even know but man I love me some fluff :'D. XD p.s. I like to imagine later in the story that until the effects wore off or chopper finished his antidote they just walked around with duct tape on their mouths kbai.
Huge thanks to MuffinGirlBethan for beta-ing this!