15 Reasons to Fall in Love
Disclaimer: I do not own One Piece
If Sanji had known he was going to be kissing the marimo in the kitchen that evening, he may have stayed in bed that morning. However, in typical Marimo fashion, there was no warning, no foreshadowing to the event that was going to transpire that evening.
It had been a completely normal day by all accounts. In fact, maybe that in itself was the warning. The day was too normal. There'd been no freak storms, no marine or pirate attacks, just a perfectly mellow day aboard the Thousand Sunny. Sanji had been grateful for the down time. It was only a matter of time before their next adventure, and the down time and recovery time was good for the crew. He decided to make the most of it, pouring himself into his cooking and producing an elaborate dinner time meal that awed everyone with its taste and presentation.
It was a pleasant dinner. There was enough food to even satisfy Luffy's usually insatiable appetite. The crew was in high spirits, and their dinner was a comfortable, entertaining one. Sanji couldn't have asked for a better day, his nakama were safe, well-fed, and happy. What could possibly ruin this absolutely perfect day?
The answer came in the form of one seaweed-headed swordsman. As the night wore on, the crew began filtering away. The ladies left first to bathe and retire for the night. Franky followed not long after, claiming he was nearly finished with a project and would like to finish it before he headed to bed. Brook left after a while, the sounds of his violin could be heard drifting from the crow's nest, where he'd be taking first watch. After Usopp finished his long-winded (and probably mostly fabricated) tale of some heroic adventure, he and an enthralled Chopper left to go play some games on the deck. Luffy followed not long after, being sure to vacuum the scraps off of his crewmate's plates before he left.
Sanji expected Zoro to grab his customary bottle of booze and head out like the rest, so he was surprised when the marimo set about clearing off the table and brought the dishes to the sink where Sanji was getting ready to wash them.
"Need some help with these?" Zoro asked, his face a calm neutral.
Sanji raised an eyebrow skeptically, expecting some kind of gag. When Zoro just continued to stare at him expectantly, Sanji finally gave a careful nod. "…Sure…thanks, Marimo."
Zoro threw him off completely with a sincere smile before he set to rinsing off the tableware he'd collected. Something was off. Since when did the marimo smile like that to him? Never that Sanji could remember. The best Sanji usually got was a playful grin that usually sparked the start of some kind of competition between them. They didn't have the kind of relationship that led to a lot of warm smiles.
Sanji decided for now it was best to let it go. It had been such a good day; surely even Zoro had been affected by it. He was almost always in the thick of things when things got messy, perhaps it was just the relaxing mood getting to his moss-brain. Deciding that was that, Sanji set to washing dishes with the marimo in a comfortable and companionable silence.
They were almost done with the dishes before either of them spoke. It was Zoro who broke the silence. "Hey, Love-cook," He said, eyes never leaving the dish he was carefully drying.
"Yeah, Marimo?" Sanji asked, eyes flicking curiously to the swordsman.
Said swordsman was staring at the same cup like it had asked him a particularly tough riddle. He was silent for a moment, contemplating the innocent glass before he carefully set it aside and trained his eyes on Sanji.
"If I told you I had feelings for you, what would you say?"
Sanji would have laughed, had he not seen the seriousness in Zoro's expression. It was a sincere question. Sanji's eyes widened in shock as it really sank in. The marimo…had feelings for him? The same Marimo who was constantly fighting with him, trying to one up him, and poking fun at him? The same Marimo that Sanji had accused of not having two brain cells to rub together? That Marimo…was confessing to him?
It had barely sunk in, his thoughts still spiraling, when he noticed the swordsman had leaned in closer. He hadn't even fully registered what that meant until the swordsman's lips met his own.
Sanji was paralyzed. He didn't kiss back or pull away. He just stood, eyes wide in complete and total confusion. What was happening? What. Was. Happening? Weren't they just having dinner? Weren't things just normal a minute ago?
After a couple of seconds (that felt like hours) Zoro pulled away, searching Sanji's eyes for some sort of response. Lord only knows what he found, because Sanji didn't. But whatever it was, it prompted the marimo to lean in once more and press his lips to Sanji's.
This time, Sanji responded. He wasn't sure why he was kissing back. Only that it didn't feel wrong. It actually felt very right, completely natural, like kissing Zoro was what Sanji was made to do. He didn't resist when the swordsman gently probed his lips with his tongue. No, instead he parted his lips, inviting Zoro to deepen the kiss. And he kissed back with enthusiasm.
It wasn't until he felt Zoro's hands on his chest that he came to his senses. They skimmed over his shirt and sent pleasant shivers down his spine in a way that was entirely new to Sanji. It wasn't that it was unwelcomed, but it kick started the chef's brain enough to start asking questions.
With all the willpower he could muster, Sanji pulled away from the kiss, giving Zoro a gentle push to send a message his mouth could not. Zoro complied, pulling away and opening his eyes, meeting Sanji's with a look that was heavy with hope and desire.
"Wait…Zoro," He panted, catching his breath that had been completely stolen from him. "What are you doing?" He finally asked.
"Kissing you," Zoro stated plainly. He was panting too and deep inside, in an area of emotions Sanji wasn't going to touch right this moment, was a little satisfied to see the usually stoic swordsman so worked up.
"Okay..." Sanji acquiesced. "But, why?"
"Because I have feelings for you, and I wanted to," Zoro shrugged. The intense look from before was fading from his eyes. In its place, doubt was forming. "Isn't that pretty normal?"
Sanji frowned. "What kind of feelings? Zoro, just this morning you hated me."
"I've never hated you," Zoro frowned as well. "I don't particularly like you when you're getting all noodly over the girls, but I don't hate you."
Sanji's head was spinning. The marimo truly had just thrown him for a loop. He couldn't make sense of anything at the moment. "Marimo," Sanji growled, trying to head off the headache he could feel forming. "Say exactly what you feel, plain and simple."
"I love you," Zoro replied simply. No hesitation, no doubt.
Sanji's scowl deepened. This still wasn't making any sense. Since when? How? Why? What exactly brought this on? Questions cycled through Sanji's head like they were riding on a Ferris wheel. Each one replacing the last before Sanji had any time to pursue it.
But there were more pressing matters at the moment. Namely one green-headed swordsman, watching him expectantly.
Sanji shook his head once to clear the pointless questions away and make room for the question at hand; how to answer the marimo.
"Zoro, we can't," He finally managed. Though it sounded forced even to him.
"We can't?" The previous passion and Zoro's eyes was completely gone now. It had been completely replaced by hurt and confusion.
That look almost set Sanji back, but he met Zoro's gaze with a stern one of his own. "No. We can't."
Sanji sighed. This couldn't just be easy, could it? No, of course not. This was the Marimo he was talking about. That man wouldn't know the answers if Sanji wrote them out for him….Now there was an idea. "Zoro, I could write an entire list about why you and I would never work out."
Zoro scowled now. "Can't you at least give me a chance?"
Sanji shook his head. "No can do, Marimo. Trust me on this one. You and I, as a couple, would never work."
Zoro's hand struck out fast, and Sanji winced, bracing himself for the impact of a fist to his face. It wouldn't be any less than he deserved, he supposed. Zoro was spilling his heart out here, and Sanji was shooting him down with ease.
The swordsman was full of surprises this evening though. Instead of the harsh contact and blossoming pain of a fist against his jaw, Sanji felt a warm brush against his cheek that left a trail of sparks in its wake. It was gentle, and backed by pleading look from Zoro's dark eyes that captured Sanji entirely. "Please," He spoke, his tone quiet and almost desperate. "Consider me? I won't force myself on you. I'll leave things alone for now. Just…please don't write me off just yet, okay?"
Before Sanji could even reply, Zoro pulled away. He picked up the last of the dishes, carefully arranged them in the cabinets (just the way Sanji liked), and left the galley before Sanji could even work up a proper refusal.
…What had just happened?
It took Sanji a few minute to gather his wits. He narrowed the entire ordeal into four easy to understand categories: The marimo had confessed to him. The marimo had kissed him. He had rejected the marimo. The marimo wasn't taking no for an answer. Not just yet.
Once Sanji had filed the whole ordeal down to that, he immediately left the kitchen, making a beeline for the navigator's office. Luffy may have called out to him on his way, but Sanji moved with single minded purpose, not stopping until he reached the door that led to Nami's map room. He knew she'd probably already retired to her room for the evening, in fact he was hoping she had, but the gentleman in him insisted he knock before entering. He gave the door two quick taps before bursting in, not even leaving enough time for a response had the room been occupied.
Fortunately it wasn't. Moving carefully so as to not jostle or misplace anything, Sanji searched the desk for a page of blank paper. He found it, snatching a piece off the stack and nabbing a pen before quickly exiting the room. If Nami knew he'd taken even one piece of paper, she'd charge him three times the original cost of it plus interest for every minute he didn't pay her back.
He mentally berated himself. It wasn't like him to think such thoughts about the navigator. She worked hard at her trade and paid good money for the quality paper he had just stolen, of course she would have the right to demand compensation if she found out. He sent out a mental apology to her for his rude thoughts and wrongful actions. The marimo was getting to him. He needed to set this straight.
Returning to the galley, ignoring Luffy's cries for an after dinner snack, he quickly shut and locked the door behind him. He sat at the table, carefully spreading the stolen piece of paper out before him. He had told Zoro he could write and entire list on why he and Sanji would never work out, and he damn well was going to. Maybe, if the marimo read it, he would see the madness in his actions and agree with Sanji.
"15 Reasons that I Cannot Date the Marimo," Sanji headed the page.
Zoro thought they should be together? Sanji sure as hell was going to show him.
Salutations! I've never actually posted anything to this site before, so this is my first. It's also my first time writing anything ZoSan, so I'm just a mess of firsts here. I apologize for any OOC-ness that may occur. I'm trying to avoid that, but it may end up happening anyway. Also, it may end up very cliche or boring. Or both. I'm hoping not, but I still want to try my hand at this either way.
I also apologize for any grammatical errors, spelling errors, or typos. I read it over twice, but it's three in the morning and it's very possible I missed things. It's also very possible that my grammar isn't that great anyway. That's very very possible. I'm a comma splice queen. I've been trying to pay more attention to that, but you've been warned.
I am posting this in hopes that I will keep up with this. Sometimes I start things and don't finish them, but hopefully with an audience, I can avoid that. I'll try to post weekly, if not more often. I'm aiming for 16-17 chapters, and I don't think any chapter will be much longer than this. We'll see.
Sorry for the long authors note, I think I covered all the bases. These will be brief to non-existent from now on. Any and all opinions are welcome, though I'd appreciate constructive criticism more than flat out criticism.