Title: One to a Thousand
Rating: M for language, adult themes and sexual content
Disclaimer: I do not own One Piece
A/N: The final chapter! Thanks to everyone who took the time to read all of this. I really appreciate all of your favs and reviews. Till the next story!~
As time passes, everything settles into something else; sometimes the slow change can make it all feel insignificant and mundane, but when Sanji sat back to really think about it, it had been a hell of a change between them.
Before he realized it was happening, Sanji had stopped sleeping in the men's quarters entirely. Gradually, he spent more and more nights up in the Crow's Nest until it just so happened that all of his clothes and personal effects were up there, and weeks and weeks had gone by without him needing to get anything from the men's quarters at all.
And then, there was this situation, which seemed to be popping up with an irritating frequency.
"Oi, you're in my way, marimo," Sanji growled at Zoro, nudging the swordsman's leg with the toe of his shoe, a stack of plates in his arms.
Zoro, who had been napping on the floor of the kitchen, leaning again the pantries nearest to the sink, opened his eye and sleepily glanced up at him. "Just step over me," he muttered.
"Like hell I'm going to keep doing that!" he said, his brow twitching indignantly. "What a pain. If you want to sleep, do it somewhere else."
Zoro yawned, groggily shifting his body over slightly. "Is that better?" he asked.
"Did you even move at all?" Sanji barked. "If you're so damn tired, go to sleep!"
"I'm waiting for you," Zoro replied drowsily, his eyelid beginning to flutter closed again. "Why's it taking you so damn long..."
Sanji clenched his teeth. "If you think I'm taking too damn long, then give me some help, shitty marimo," he growled. "It would be a lot quicker cleaning up with two people."
Zoro shook his head. "No way. Last time I did something in the kitchen, you complained the whole time."
"That's because you kept breaking things."
Zoro opened his eye, looking up at Sanji unhappily. "Oi, get it right, cook. I broke one thing."
"It was a pot."
"Whatever it was."
"A metal pot," Sanji emphasized. "How the hell do you break something like that?"
The swordsman shrugged nonchalantly. "It was fragile."
"It was not!" he barked. "You should have been able to throw it on the ground without denting it."
"Tch, no reason to be so upset about it," Zoro rumbled, resting his hands behind his head.
"You also weren't even trying to put things away in the right place."
"Well, how am I supposed to know where anything goes, anyway."
"You piled everything in the pantry. Who the hell puts dishes away in a pantry?"
Zoro shrugged again. "That's why I'm not helping."
Suddenly, Sanji realized that he had already put everything away while they argued, and had probably managed to step over or around the swordsman at least a dozen times in the process. "Tch, well now I'm almost done, so just wait a few more minutes," he grumbled, picking up a rag and wiping down the counters.
Wordlessly, Zoro rose to his feet. Sanji paid little attention to him as he adeptly cleaned the kitchen counters, polishing them until they sparkled with cleanliness.
Sanji started in surprise at the sound. Turning around, he saw Zoro sweeping the far in the kitchen.
"Oi, what are you doing, marimo?"
"What the hell's it look like, dartboard-brow," Zoro muttered.
"Well, I see what you're doing, but—"
Zoro turned toward him, his single eye piercingly fixed upon him. "You sweep after you wipe everything down, and then you're done, right?"
Sanji nodded in surprise; he still could not quite get over how stupidly observant the marimo could be sometimes.
"Alright. Then finish your damn part of it then," Zoro grumbled, turning his attention back to the broom.
Too stunned to retort, Sanji quickly returned to his task, his mind struggling to interpret Zoro's bewildering behavior. But after mulling it over a few minutes, all he could chalk it up to was the idiot swordsman somehow managing to surprise him again.
Satisfied, he tossed the rag aside and washed his hands. He figured he would do one quick check of the pantry to pull the items he would want to use for tomorrow's breakfast, and then he'd be ready to go to the Crow's Nest. However, as he reached for an item on the pantry shelf, he was interrupted by the startling sensation of heated lips against the side of his neck.
This, too, was another another instance of Zoro surprising him.
"O-oi, I thought you were tired..." Sanji stammered. The swordsman's burning lips pressed against the sensitive skin near his jawline, followed by teeth gently nipping him, caused a hot flush to course through his body.
"Ah, but I'm wide awake now, ero-cook," Zoro rumbled softly, his lips brushing Sanji's earlobe, hot breath ruffling through his hair.
Sanji tried to push Zoro off of him. "I'm in the middle of something," he protested. Strong arms grasped him more firmly in retaliation, however, and he was unable to pull himself free.
The sensation of lips along the back of his neck, followed by a tongue flicking forward and tracing each vertebrae as Zoro pushed down his collar, made Sanji gasp in surprise. Fervent hands slipped in front of him, unbuttoning his jacket, then reaching up for his tie.
"Why do you wear clothes that are so damn hard to take off?" Zoro muttered in his ear; a complaint Sanji had heard more than a few times before. He struggled to pull the loose knot of Sanji's tie downward. "In fact, this part is the worst."
"The tie is the easiest thing to take off, shitty marimo. You should hate the buttons more."
"I do hate the buttons," Zoro whispered, his mouth once again right up on his ear, lips brushing his earlobe as he spoke. Sanji tried to suppress a shudder. "But I hate the tie more."
"Tch, if you hate taking it off so much, just leave it on," Sanji replied defiantly.
Zoro started. Blinking in surprise, Sanji glanced back to look at him. The swordsman stared at the ground, his expression gravely serious as he furrowed his brow. "Maybe that wouldn't be so bad," he murmured lowly, raising a hand to his lips as he mulled over the idea.
"I-idiot," Sanji stammered, abruptly twisting his body around until they faced each other. Then, before the shitty swordsman could reply, he ardently pressed their lips together. He didn't close his eyes as they kissed, and for some reason, he felt extremely satisfied by the wide-eyed expression on the other man's face. It was several seconds before Zoro finally closed his eye and started to focus all of his concentration on the tantalizing kiss.
It seemed like no matter how much time had passed, and no matter how many times the two of them repeated these same actions, Sanji never tired of that delectable mouth. Hungrily, he deepened the kiss, fervently pulling the other man nearer.
If it went like this for much longer, there was only one way it could go; yet even if Sanji still planned on heading up to the Crow's Nest before they continued, he almost couldn't bear the thought of ripping himself away from the other man, even if it was only for a short time.
If anything, even the clothes in between them seemed to create too much distance. He wanted to feel skin and body heat; he needed to feel every tremor, every shudder, every twitch of pleasure. Desperately, he pulled him closer, to feel all the subtle nuances of the swordsman's body reacting to his own.
Fingers dug sharply into his back as Zoro also gripped him tightly, somehow even more impassioned as he crushed their mouths together forcefully, his tongue dominating Sanji's own.
Finally, Sanji somehow managed to rip himself away, gasping for air. It was unspeakably difficult, though; his body was crying out in agony for more, aching for the swordsman.
"We should go now before it's too la—"
"It already is," Zoro interrupted breathlessly, cutting Sanji off before he could finish the word. His mouth briefly reconnected with Sanji's in another ravenous kiss. "I can't wait any longer."
Sanji paused for a moment, momentarily entranced by the look in Zoro's eye. He had seen it before, but lately, he felt like it was growing more clear and intense. It was a strange hybrid of emotions, and though the desire was more apparent, it commingled with something much more honest and sincere; likely something far more difficult to say than the simple utterance of not being able to wait for his body any longer. It was both startling and yet exhilarating to see that look become increasingly obvious and plain. Sanji felt his pulse quicken.
That look triggered a much different emotion in Sanji than the blinding lust he was currently experiencing, but even so, it seemed only natural to respond by giving into his desire—no, their mutual desire. The cook started to untie the crimson sash around Zoro's waist so he could pull off the rest of his clothes.
He felt greedy hands start to finish their earlier task of unbuttoning his shirt, but still, the green-haired man continued to look at him, his brow slightly knitted with some kind of difficult-to-handle emotion, and Sanji couldn't quite bring himself to tear his gaze away from him in intrigue; this was something new.
Zoro opened his mouth as if he wanted to say something, but the words didn't quite come out, and his eyebrows furrowed a bit more deeply; the troubled look was disconcerting to Sanji.
"Hnn, what is it?" the cook asked finally, comfortingly brushing the swordsman's cheek with the side of his hand.
Zoro's face flushed slightly. Again, he looked like he might speak, but he simply averted his gaze instead.
Sanji felt his heart pound a little bit harder; whatever words were so hard for Zoro, he could perhaps venture to guess, but he did not want to push it. Instead, he leaned forward and brushed his lips against Zoro's left ear, letting his lips gently run down his skin, the swordsman's earrings jingling slightly, until he passed his earlobe and began to run his lips down his neck.
Zoro trembled in anticipation. Encouraged, Sanji licked at his neck, and the other man let out a pleasurable murmur in response.
Putting his mouth on his ear once again, Sanji whispered as softly as he could. "If something's too hard to say, why don't you show me instead." He nipped at his earlobe. "If you can, that is."
He wasn't sure why he said it himself. Maybe it was because he knew the swordsman would respond to a challenge, no matter what the situation. It could have been because he didn't like to see Zoro make that kind of troubled face. Whatever the reason, the cook had no idea what he was getting himself into.
Passionate, mouthwatering kisses, so eager and yet tender at the same time. Skilled hands that seemed like they were only capable of touching the places that made Sanji uninhibitedly cry out in pleasure. The other man's body, once again burning with that seductive heat that seemed to light a fire in Sanji's core.
It was a rush of relief when they were finally close together, skin to skin, no distance in between them.
The cook felt a slight pang of guilt that they were about to do it on the grain sacks, but they were in waterproof packaging; besides, he didn't have time to feel that bad about it for long, as Zoro kept his mind and body wholly occupied.
How did the swordsman know where to touch, when to touch it, how to make him moan like he was completely incapable of holding back his voice; he wondered these things again and again. Futilely, Sanji clutched a hand to his mouth, as though he could somehow physically block the sound.
Zoro shook his head and pulled his hand away, leaning in closer toward him. "Don't—I want to hear it."
The swordsman was so shameless sometimes.
But then, maybe he was too.
When they were finally through, Zoro toppled on top of Sanji and they both panted breathlessly, indiscriminately clutching at each other. As he thought about Zoro's intense gaze throughout the end of it—that stoic emotion he managed to somehow contain while still showing it so openly to him—he felt his cheeks burn.
Indeed, Zoro seldom spoke about the complex feelings between the two of them, even if he managed to display it so brazenly at moments like these.
Absent-mindedly running his fingers through Zoro's hair, Sanji's mind drifted to those ridiculous words the other man had said, during those few brave movements when he didn't hold back his words.
The cook realized that just maybe, he had never said enough in return to Zoro. But he was feeling a bit courageous now, with the euphoric post-coital calm flowing over him and the feeling of Zoro's body pressed against him closely enough that he could feel his heartbeat.
"About that thing you said..."
"Hnn, what thing? I haven't spoken for awhile now."
"From some time ago," Sanji started, unconsciously starting to stroke Zoro's hair a bit more quickly in nervousness.
Zoro glanced down at him, waiting for whatever he was about to say.
Sanji felt his cheeks grow hot, his confidence rapidly deflating. Anxiously, he averted his eyes from the swordsman's gaze.
"You... you're definitely the only one," Sanji said, stammering slightly.
Flustered, Sanji fidgeted. He knew it was vague, but he was frustrated that Zoro was actually going to make him explain it further; just saying those few words had been challenging enough.
"That shitty comment about a thousand women..." he muttered finally, feeling utterly defeated for having to say even that much.
He finally dared to look back at Zoro, just as the swordsman was glancing away, his face partially enshrouded in shadows. Sanji could not quite tell what kind of expression he was making, and he started to feel a wave of concern that maybe even now, he had said a bit too much.
"Is that so," Zoro finally replied, his voice subdued.
At first, the corner of Zoro's mouth jerked slightly as the swordsman obviously struggled to maintain his calm expression. But quickly, he was losing the struggle, as the corner started to turn upward even further until he finally had to give up. Grinning broadly and uncontrollably, he shifted his body slightly until his face was right in front of Sanji's.
"Well, then, ero-cook..." Zoro started, leaning in closer.
Sanji raised an eyebrow in question, his heart pounding a little bit quicker.
The swordsman leaned forward until his lips were right next to Sanji's ear. Softly, he whispered something that was almost completely inaudible—but somehow, the cook managed to catch every syllable.
Unable to help himself, Sanji chuckled, his cheeks suddenly slightly pinker. When Zoro pulled back enough for him to see his face, he saw that he was blushing, too.
"Idiot marimo," Sanji said, shaking his head.
"Dumbass cook," Zoro replied, grinning wider.
Although Sanji was curious to see where the slightly awkward, yet undeniably pleasant moment might have gone, the sound of something noisily clattering nearby made both men turned to the door that led back into the kitchen.
They gave each other a mutual look; there was only one person who would rummage through the kitchen like that. Reluctantly, they got up and started putting on their clothes so that Sanji could attend to their gluttonous captain's needs.
Before Sanji opened the door that led back into the kitchen, Zoro laid a hand on his shoulder.
"Hm?" he asked, turning about to look at him.
"Just so you know, I'm not done yet."
"Tch, like I would have thought you were," Sanji replied, brusquely shoving the rough hand off of him. "Just wait a damn minute and we'll go to bed."
"Ah," Zoro nodded, smirking in that haughty way that made Sanji feel like he wanted to knock him to the ground... although to be honest, if he did, he didn't think he would be able to leave it with just that anymore.
Clutching a rustic brass key in his hand, Sanji quickly headed toward the hotel's restaurant, searching for a glimpse of moss in the crowd as he puffed on a cigarette.
He finally spotted him, sitting at the bar with a drink in hand. As he drew nearer, however, he noticed that the man seated next to Zoro—a moderately handsome gentleman with stupidly perfect hair, wearing expensive clothes and extravagant jewelry—was animatedly talking to the swordsman, leaning in closer and closer as he spoke, casually touching Zoro on the arm as he laughed a bit too loudly at whatever nonsense was spewing out of his mouth.
Although Sanji could just barely see the side of Zoro's face, he noted the distinct twitching of an irritable brow as the strange man drew closer and closer.
Realizing the situation was a little nostalgic, a strange urge came over Sanji. Suppressing a grin, he boldly strode toward them. When he reached Zoro, he nodded a greeting, then turned toward Perfect-hair-man and blew out a long stream of smoke as he loftily regarded him.
"Ah, didn't know you were meeting friends here," the man said to Zoro. His eyes flickered toward Sanji for a moment. Then, he returned his gaze to Zoro, a fake smile plastered on his face. "Say, think your friend will mind if I borrow you for a little while? We were just having a nice chat, and I'd like to get to know you a little better, if you know what I—" he began, reaching out toward Zoro's arm again.
Sanji coolly stepped forward, brushing the stranger's hand aside, so that he never had the chance to feel the swordsman's bicep.
Wordlessly, the cook leaned against Zoro's body, his poise calm and casual, and he looked Perfect-hair-man dead in the eye.
As he spoke, Sanji delicately ran his fingers through Zoro's hair with an unmistakeable air of familiarity.
"Sorry, but it seems there's some kind of misunderstanding here. You see..." the blonde-haired man started, leaning down and smiling devilishly as he wrapped an arm around Zoro's neck while he pressed his body against his arm. "...He belongs to me."
Perfect-hair-man's face faltered for a moment. Quickly recovering, he smiled again, more repulsively this time, his eyes flicking back and forth between the two of them. "Well, if you'd prefer, you could both come and—"
"I wouldn't finish that thought, old man," Sanji interrupted, his expression quickly darkening. He purposefully tightened his grip around Zoro, turning his head so that his nose grazed the side of the swordsman's face. "You see," he continued, casting a sidelong glance at Perfect-hair-man as his lips nearly touched the other man's cheekbone, "I've never been very good at sharing my things."
Perfect-hair-man leaned back, sighing outwardly. "Alright, I see. I suppose I'll take my leave, then," he replied, rising from his seat. "But if you change your mind, I'll be around all night." Then, with a revolting wink, Perfect-hair-man excused himself and retreated to an open seat slightly farther along the bar.
"Why the hell did you do that?" Zoro asked, as Sanji took a seat in the now-empty seat next to him.
The cook shrugged lackadaisically. "I wanted to keep you out of trouble."
"Tch, I wasn't doing anything that would get me into trouble."
"Since when is that ever the case," Sanji muttered in reply.
"Tch," Zoro repeated, furrowing his brow as he took a swig from his glass. "So did you get a room?"
"Ah," Sanji nodded, tossing the key on the counter top. "Ready to go?"
"Let me finish my drink first."
Zoro glanced over at him. "It won't take me long to finish it."
"You'd rather finish your damn drink than... Tch, fine, hurry it up," the cook replied irritably, reaching forward to ash his cigarette in one of many ashtrays laid out on the bar.
True to his words, Zoro took a few more sips, and then downed the remainder when there was only a quarter of it left. "Alright, let's go, ero-cook."
As they passed the other side of the bar, where Perfect-hair-man was starting to chat up another young man seated by himself, Sanji glanced over and noticed they were being watched. He avariciously tucked his arm in the crook of Zoro's arm, smugly returning Perfect-hair-man's stare. As always, even as some of his attention was diverted elsewhere, he was still very much aware of the sensation of the excessively muscular bicep intertwined tightly with his own.
And then, they finally reached their room. Fidgeting to open the door with lustful hands groping at his body, already starting to unfasten buttons even though they were still outside the room, Sanji just barely managed to get the two of them inside and slam the door shut behind him.