Zoro was more than a little distracted. He had enemies approaching him from both his right and left and it made him grin. Easy. These Marines were nothing but practice to the Marimo. With his two swords crossing infront of him he spun around on his heel, taking them out with ease. He let out a light chuckle triumphantly.

But he couldn't get to ahead of himself. He wasn't the only one on the field fighting, nor were those the last of the marines. More were on their way. Zoro began maneuvering himself through them with skill, taking them all down. He felt pretty confident on how things were progressing, until of course the sound of his partners voice, well he wasn't really his partner per say, they just ended up continually fighting back to back it seemed, called out to him.

"Marimo! Look out!"
It was already hard to make out from the sounds of a fight going on around them and he couldn't pinpoint the cooks location. His mind raced. Look out? Was someone coming at him? Automatically assuming it wasn't for the enemies in front of him he came to the conclusion someone was approaching from the back. Well, that was just fine too. He'd handle that. A grin still on his face the swordsman spun on his heel, his sword raised high to slice down his enemy.

Except, he didn't slice down an enemy at all. His grin faded instantly and the blood drained from his face. The Cook, having had his back usually was keeping that tradition alive. He'd just kicked down a marine who figured he could sneak attack on their swordsman. It was the worst decision Sanji could've made though, because as he landed his eye could only widen as Zoro turned around quickly, having misjudged what he said, and his sword clashed with his neck.

Zoro flat out dropped his sword as blood sprayed out from the blondes neck. He rushed over to him, catching him as he fell forward, his fair skin stained in blood as he reached for his neck to try and stop it.

"Cook! Oi!" Zoro yelled in panic, helping him to his knees and to the ground.

Sanji's body was tensed, his mind numb. All he knew was he needed to stop this bleeding. It hurt so fucking bad and it was bleeding so much. He wanted to speak out but when he parted his lips, blood only escaped and wouldn't stop. When his back somehow rested on the ground Zoro put his hands, now also covered in the warm liquid, around Sanji's to help apply pressure.

Sanji looked up at him with a piercing blue eye. It pleaded with him as it began to drown in tears. Zoro clenched his jaw glancing up at the battle field. The marines were still coming and the rest of the crew was scattered. For now they stayed away, thank god. He couldn't seem to find their tiny doctor.

"Chopper! We need Chopper over here!" He yelled before glancing back at the paling cook. "Oi Sanji stay with me."

His eyes scanned down from his face to the gash. It wasn't a straight slit across, it moved diagonally down. Shit. He'd cut the cooks throat! Could anyone even survive that? His face became strained. What had he done.

Sanji was still looking up at him, his body was squirming in his panic'd state, his feet scraping at the ground. He could see Zoro on the edge of a freak out from his slip of the hand. He wanted to tell him to suck it up and find chopper but his vision was growing blurry. Was.. he actually dying? This would be the end. He failed at coughing up more blood from his throat and that didn't help the situation either. With his free hand that wasn't under Zoro's apply pressure on his neck he reached up touching at Zoro's face.

He just knew if he died here this asshole was going to be drastic. Would this be how they spent their last moments together? He closed his eyes tightly then glanced towards the fighting. It hurt so bad and he was becoming colder, lighter. That's what happened when people were dying wasn't it? It didn't help the edge of his vision was beginning to fail.

"Sanji." Zoro called his attention back to him.

Were those actual tears at the corner of Zoro's eyes? He was crying for him? Or was it the guilt of what he'd done already reaching him? The swordsman had leaned into Sanji's bloodied hand, bringing up one of his others from Sanji's neck to hold it there.

"I'm sorry I didn't mean to..." He started. "Chopper's coming and you'll pull out of this.. Sanji I'm sorry..."

Sanji tried to nod but couldn't feel if the action had gone through. His numbness had traveled all over his body. His hand fell from its place at Zoro's face and he was only able to get one last look at the mourning Marimo before the blood loss took its toll.

When Sanji woke up again he was in an imense amount of pain. His eyes flew open and he went to yell out but all that escaped him was a breathless gasp. His hand wanted to leave his side where it rested on the bed but something held it down. He glanced over, his brows furrowed at the face of a ghostly Chopper. The doctor appeared very sleep deprived as he tried to coo Sanji down.

"Sanji, it's alright. I just gave you some morphine, it should be kicking in now."

Sanji was breathing with difficulty but nodded his head a bit. Now that he thought about it, the pain did seem to slowly be deteriorating He went to speak in return but Chopper stopped him.

"Don't try and talk, it'll just strain your neck more." He explained.

Sanji's eyes lowered downward and studied the bandages that wrapped his neck down to his shoulder's. It felt raw and stiff. They appeared to be fresh bandages on the edge, but the middle still bled red. He looked pleadingly and confused at Chopper, begging him silently to continue explaining what was happening.

The doctor seemed to sense this and pursed his lips. He took a deep breath. He could do this.

"Sanji..." He began, leaning off of Sanji and reverting from his heavy point. He trusted Sanji now not to touch his bandages. "You've been out for a few days."

Sanji wanted to swallow thickly at that, but his throat stung, causing a dry huff to leave his lips, originally suppose to be a whimper. It would seem any vocal sound at all escaped him. It was so frustrating. He had so much he wanted to say and ask. Chopper thankfully continued.

"I was able to clean and stitch up the wound. Thankfully the cut wasn't deep enough to cut any of your major arteries.. You are so lucky Sanji."

Sanji's eyes widened more when he noticed the doctor beginning to cry, rubbing at his closed eyes with his hooves.

"You lost so much blood and you could've been decapitated and.. and.."

Sanji clenched his teeth, slowly pulling himself onto his side. He reached a hand out silently to comfort the doctor. He couldn't imagine how scared it must've been for him. He'd probably worked himself crazy watching him like a hawk until he woke up. Sanji dared to sit up in his bed, leading the doctor to watch him as he did.

"Wait Sanji! You can't get up and move around yet. You're on strict bed rest!"

Though Sanji wasn't thinking about that. Just like the doctor didn't want him to, he lightly touched at the bandages on his neck. All he could think about was that last sight that had met his eyes. The sight of Zoro, blaming himself. He could only imagine what the idiot would probably have put himself through had he thought Sanji wouldn't survive. He glanced back at Chopper. How was he suppose to ask that though? Did they know.. that it was Zoro? That it was an accident?

He was pulled back by an IV hooked to his arm. He glanced down at it, confused then gestured to it for Chopper. Chopper was still fuming by his need to start moving around so quickly instead of rest but sighed.

"You couldn't eat yet so.. while you were sleeping we had to feed your nutrients through there."

He gave a slight nod then looked at the door. For some reason he had just expected Zoro to be waiting here for him to wake up. Expected him to be ready to drown him in apologies or something. He scowled and lowered his gaze. Chopper watched him intently, glancing at the door also. He could only wonder what the blonde was thinking. He kept glancing at the door? Was he worried about the others?

"I sent the others outside... They wanted to wait for you to wake up but it was hard for them to understand you most likely wouldn't be able to..."

Sanji stared at Chopper a moment, frowning. Couldn't talk. Well he supposed it was better than being decapitated. It was when he tried putting his legs over the side of the bed that Chopper insisted he stay put.

"No Sanji, please stay in bed! If you need anything you can just let me know.. I can find you a note book and you can write down your message... eh?"
Sanji was shaking his head and held out a hand to stop chopper. Then he held out his finger, a signal to wait and pressed his lips together. He wanted to know about Zoro, how Zoro was doing. Was he being hard on himself? How could he explain Zoro to Chopper. Finally he decided how he might go about it.

He leaned back slowly to the wall and crossed his arms. Then he scowled, closing his eyes. Chopper tilted his head at him a moment, wondering if he was going to take a nap before he recognized the pose. Sanji was asking for Zoro? That made the small doctor intensely nervous.

"He was in here for awhile but.. after last night when you.. well when things got worse he left and never came back. I haven't been outside to see where he went. He looked pretty upset though."

Sanji opened his eyes and watched Chopper as he spoke. Then he touched at his wound. Hopefully he understood what the gesture meant if they were talking about the swordsman. Did they know he left it?

Chopper narrowed his eyes. "Oh um. He actually.." He rubbed at his eyes again. "He was holding the bleeding at bay while you were unconscious. He wouldn't let go even after I arrived."

Sanji's eyes lowered and his hand moved from his neck. He leaned his forehead over, letting it rest into his palm, his fingers messing with his bang. Fucking Marimo. What could he have been thinking?

Chopper got up from his chair, where he had been sitting and walked towards the door to the kitchen.

"I'm going to try and get you some water alright? If I see him I'll ask him to come see you."

Sanji looked back up at him and moved his lips to acknowledge the reindeer, but was left with nothing but frustration. He nodded his head instead.

The Marimo never came to visit him though the next few days in the infirmary like the rest of the crew had. Even though Sanji always asked whoever sat with him if he knew. Luffy just laughed, patting him on his shoulder and complimenting him on his Zoro impression, Ussop felt the need to spice up his story he was telling since Sanji must've been falling asleep, Franky and Brook created and sung a duet telling him to get better.

Robin and Nami were probably the most helpful. Robin provided books for Sanji to read when things were boring and Nami gave him his paper so he could finally write out messages to everyone. It didn't help the medications he was on kept his hand a shaking mess and since he was on a crew with absolute morons, he ended up using the paper far to soon trying to explain things.

It was more irritating that the bastard was avoiding him then the injury itself, which had become more and more frustrating and hard to live with. It was like a huge part of his communication with the others had been cut off. It wasn't until a few nights later, when he should've been asleep that the door to the infirmary opened and moonlight shone inside.

Sanji's eyes softened at the shadow against the wall. It was Zoro. At first he wasn't sure if he should get up and try to see him. The way he'd been avoiding him he'd probably flee. But then something crossed his mind. Had Zoro been visiting him every night after he went to bed? Little things he had just looked over as Chopper's doing, extra blankets, a refill of water, became painfully obvious they were done by the swordsman. He glanced at the extra blanket he was holding to him giving it an experimental but silent sniff. It was definitely Zoros.

It wasn't until the door shut and a few steps came towards him that Sanji tensed and closed his eyes. He had the oddest feeling that a hand hover over him. He was right. He could feel the blanket being drawn back a moment, exposing his neck and chest and the sigh of relieve that followed it. The hand lightly touched the bandages before traveling up and lightly brushing against Sanji's cheeks.

For a moment Sanji actually expected Zoro to say something. It was cheesy enough that a low 'I'm sorry' or 'I love you' would fit into place. But it never happened. Zoro retracted his hand and that made Sanji's brows furrow. Dammit Zoro, why was he acting like that? He dared to open his eyes, startling the Marimo in place.

Blue eyes stared into black for a long moment until Sanji finally decided to get up. He did appear to be a little annoyed, but mostly because it had been how many days and the asshole hadn't come to see him? After what he did? He wasn't gonna blame him for that but this was a little ridiculous. Though, Zoro didn't see it that way. The Marimo backed up, bumping slightly into Chopper's desk.

He saw an annoyed Sanji and felt it was towards him. Sanji was mad and he had every right to be. It made Zoro stab his palms with his finger nails, his knuckles growing white. Dammit he shouldn't have tried checking on him anymore, he was sure the last thing the cook wanted to see was him, he'd probably figure it was some sort of bull shit pity.

Sanji narrowed his eyes. What was the Marimo waiting for? Surely not him to say something. He thought it was obvious he couldn't exactly do that anymore, or at least for a while. He struggled a sigh before giving a slight nod in greeting. Zoro averted his eyes.

"Sanji... I.." Zoro began but gave up half way.

The swordsman scratched at his head aggravated. What the fuck was he suppose to say? I'm sorry for slicing your throat? You probably will be scared for life and never regain your voice? Oh shit. That was right... Sanji couldn't talk. He'd never hear the blondes voice ever again. Suddenly, he regretted ever telling him to shut up before.

"Cook you know I didn't mean to.. you know.." He still stared at the ground. "Do this to you."

If the moron had been paying attention he'd know Sanji was nodding. But he wasn't. Zoro looked his hand.

"I could've killed you. I almost killed you. I wasn't even paying attention and I..." He clenched his jaw painfully, closing his eyes as he fisted his hand. "I'm sorry I'll leave."

Sanji wasn't fast enough. He moved to reach out and grab Zoro as he dashed for the door but failed to get far with his IV. He tried calling out for him but all it achieved him was nothing more than a fit of coughs. He kicked back on the bed. Dammit!

After a few more days of recovery the cook was allowed outside of the infirmary. It was nice not being locked up in the tiny room, but a bitch nonetheless because he still wasn't able to cook or smoke. The constricting bandages were allowed to come off, replaced by a nice easier bandage to deal with, a white strip around his neck like a collar where the deepest of the cut was located. Things didn't get better between him and a certain swordsman though.

Whenever he was so close to finding him, the Marimo brushed him off or ignored him completely. It hurt Sanji to no end. He couldn't exactly yell at him for being a moron or prove him any different unless he stood still and faced him. It made living with his new disability ten times worse.

"Sanji." The soothing voice of the crew's archeologist made Sanji peel his face off his kitchen table.

His cheeks were red, along with his tired eyes. Since he couldn't do much else he mostly stayed where he felt most comfortable. He moved his arms from their place on the table and offered Robin a smile. He put his thumb and pointer finger together and turned his hand, gesturing tea and if she'd like some.

Robin just smiled and sat across from him. "No I'm fine. I've just come to see how you are doing."

Sanji glanced away, sighing. He wasn't doing well at all Robin, but he couldn't exactly tell her that and wouldn't bother her with his problems. He put on a bigger smile, but as always she saw through it. She brought her hand up to brush her hair away from her neck.

"It was Zoro who slashed you, wasn't it Sanji?"

He didn't even have to gesture, though he was shaking his head adamently. It was the way his face froze and paled that told her she'd read him correctly. It didn't take much for a person to notice the distance growing between them. She rested her hand on the table, tapping her fingers gently.

Sanji gave up trying to tell her differently. He stared down at her moving fingers, his jaw clenching. He lifted his hand up to get her attention before pondering how to explain this. It was an accident, he pleaded silently inside himself. He shook his head lightly again.

"Not his fault?" Robin read off his gestures. "Then an accident?"

Sanji stopped his gesture, signaling a successful yes.

"And let me guess, he blames himself and refuses to talk to you?"

Sanji kept sitting still, only averting his eyes.

"But Sanji, isn't this good? You guys were constantly fighting and no doubt this resulted from one..." Her voice drifted and she stopped though, witnessing first hand how Sanji's mask began to crumple and the hurt was showing through.

"Unless you miss him, Sanji?"

Sanji closed his eye a long moment, his lips twitching between pursing or opening to unsuccessfully reply. He did miss the Marimo, more than anyone could know. Though, he guessed the crew wouldn't know. They were pretty personal and hidden about it all. Still, just thinking of how much he missed his Marimo made the top of his cheek tint red.

"You love him?"

Sanji hid his face in his arms again. Yeah maybe he did. Hell, fine, he did. But it didn't really matter now did it? He couldn't ever tell the Marimo that. He couldn't tell the moron anything, he'd just walk off after blaming him for a slip of the hand. It was unfair. He would never hold this against Zoro, he loved him.

Robin rested her elbow on the table and rested her chin in her palm. She sighed sadly for her friends, both Sanji and Zoro. Both were so conflicted, their way of communication cut. She thought to herself for a moment before moving her arm from underneath her. A hand sprouted from the table and gave Sanji's shoulder a comforting squeeze.

"I'm sure things will change."

A few more days passed and things were getting unbearable. He was allowed to cook again and that was a nice outlet for the Cook's frustrations. Though, it didn't help him get any closer to reassuring Zoro. The swordsman didn't look at him, no doubt because his bandages were fully off at this point, a nice pink scar in their place. That and it seemed a more personal matter that didn't need discussing in front of the crew.

Things for the most part went back to normal. Sanji tried to continue his usual routines, spoiling the ladies and trying to keep everyone fed. Though, he didn't hang out much with the others as he used to. All that seemed to happen was the awkward occurrence of hanging with some of the guys while they did experiments or other random crap. They'd be talking and then throw him a question or opinion and expect an answer or snarky response.

Sanji could only give a sad smile, unable to answer even if he really wanted to. Although Chopper had explained to him before that the chances of Sanji getting his voice back were slim to none, the cook had been hopeful. The guys would feel awkward and apologize, suddenly the mood ruined. Sanji just felt he'd rather not put them in such awkward situations.

Zoro for the most part was absent from the crew life as well. He was training even harder than before, if possible and being as anti social as it gets. Whenever someone wanted to speak to him he'd only respond in grunts or glares. He was beating himself up hard, putting anything slightly wrong with the cook and the new situation with the crew on his shoulders.

Sanji didn't know it though but even as he pushed himself, blaming himself, he hadn't stopped trying. He'd watch down through the crow's nest at the mute cook as he twirled around spoiling the ladies or catch a quick glance in the kitchen. When it was his watch over the night, it was he who was behind the suddenly restocked fridge in the kitchen, even if he had the new hook scars to prove it.

He wouldn't confront Sanji or bother him. For some reason the Marimo just felt this is what he needed to do. He couldn't get close to the cook, if he did he'd just hurt him again. He'd already done enough damage taking his voice from him. It made the swordsman sick and angry just thinking about it. He punched at the crow's nest wall, sweat trailing down his head. If only he had been better, he'd have sense the Cook behind him instead.

Sanji though was finally reaching his limits. So much infact that he devised his very own plan. First though he had to ask his precious Nami-swan for something that she didn't give away lightly. Mostly because the last time she did Sanji ended up using it up faster than either of them hoped he'd need to. He gave her a shy smile, writing imaginarily in the air with his hand.

Nami sighed, pulling back a bang.

"Alright Sanji, I'll let you use some paper and ink. But I swear if you use this up in a few days I'm going to be mad."

Sanji shook his head, lifting up just one finger. Nami raised her eyebrow at it. "Just one? You sure?" She asked, walking to her work desk and fetching a clean sheet. She grabbed one of her bottles of ink and walked back. She gently handed it back to the cook. She smiled.

"Good Luck."

Zoro waited until it was the middle of the night and he'd seen all of the crew head to bed before entering the kitchen. It felt awkward, being in the cook's territory without him around but he was just getting a drink. It wasn't anything bad, he wasn't stealing any sake (something he decided to stop for the time being as to not run into the cook), just grabbing a glass of water. But before he could even reach for the cabinent, the lights came on and he froze still.

Sanji let himself in, knowing full well Zoro came in here late at night. Really? Like he wouldn't noticed the out of line glass being put back? But that was besides the point. He shut the door behind him, locking it and turning back to Zoro. In his hands he held the ink, quill and paper. Zoro lowered his arm from reaching and stood for a moment, fighting whether or not to turn towards the cook.

"I was just getting some water." He explained lowly, in case the cook was angry at the intrusion. Not like he could tell him he was anyway.

When he didn't hear any loud noise from any sudden bursts of anger, he dared to turn around. Standing at the other side of the counter was Sanji. He had his quill inside the ink at this point and a piece of paper. They stared a moment until Sanji looked back down at the white sheet and grabbed the quill. It only took him a minute to scratch out the words in his fancy script.

'We need to talk.'

Zoro stared at the words. They needed to talk? Was that some cruel pun on the cook's misfortune? Maybe, but he doubted it'd be the one suffering from it who'd try and make that joke. He approached the counter warily, his scowl dark.

"What's there to talk about Cook." He continued. "I almost killed you."

Sanji glared at him and Zoro almost had to wonder if he said to much. As if bringing up the event relit the anger inside the blonde. He was wrong though. Sanji was cursing at him for being so foolish. He was writing again and held up the paper.

'Accident Neanderthal."

He pointed the back of the quill to the word 'Neanderthal' for emphasis. It almost made Zoro want to chuckle but he suppressed it. He shook his head.

"Doesn't matter. You barely survived Sanji and now..."

Sanji tilted his head, still scowling. He motioned with his hand for the Marimo to continue.

"You're stuck using fucking paper and ink!"

Sanji rolled his eyes, moving back to write on the paper a little faster and harder than before.

'Wouldn't have to if someone had let me speak before' He showed him, before taking it back to add an extra 'Shit face'.

Zoro clenched his teeth, tempted to snatch the paper away.

"You wouldn't have to if you could speak at all."

The swordsman's stubbornness was getting old quick. Sanji slammed his hand on the table, glaring at him. The Marimo met his intense gaze, not backing down from how what he believed. He watched patiently though as Sanji continued to write a little further down the paper.

'Doesn't matter. Don't blame you.'

Zoro stared at those words a little longer than the rest before turning his face away. Sanji didn't blame him? How could he not blame him? It was his fault, there was no going around that. Why was the cook lying to himself. He turned and started towards the door.

"Yeah well maybe you should." He snapped.

Sanji's eyes widened as yet again the swordsman turned his back to him before he could finish. He went to follow him before remembering to grab his ink and paper. The cook tried to grab them, forgetting the container of ink's top. Black liquid oozed out and on to the floor. Fuck! He wanted to yell and to growl. He could hear the swordsman undoing the lock. So he dropped his paper and did something he wouldn't usually do, but still didn't mind doing.

He aimed and chucked the ink container at that damn greenhead. It landed and the Marimo cussed out, reaching and getting a handful of spilt ink. He turned to look at what the hell the cook wanted now only to be surprised. Not even seconds later he was knocked down and against the floor, Sanji having pounced on him, his clothes stained with ink.

The cook was really upset now. His method of writing his feelings to Zoro was gone. That and the damn brute wouldn't stop trying to leave. It was getting overly frustrating. Zoro tried sitting up, not wanting to get physical with the cook, but it proved hard to resisted, especially when Sanji slammed him back against the door. He moved his face in close, staring into those dark eyes, as if maybe if he tried hard enough his thoughts could transfer to Zoro.

That didn't seem to be happening but what did he expect? The Marimo's brain barely got any other signals. He studied Zoro's eyes.

"Sanji why are you doing this? I'm just trying to leave you the fuck alone! I just fucking hurt you-"

Sanji refused to let him finish. He crashed his lips against his, his face pained. Dammit Marimo that's not what he wanted to hear. He didn't want to know he was suffering by thinking these things. The swordsman's mind wasn't in the right place. He wasn't mad, he never was. Since that moment he saw Zoro slash at him, he knew it had just been a misinterpretation. He knew Zoro didn't mean him harm. He wasn't fragile either. There was little the Marimo could do to hurt him.

What was worse was Sanji couldn't convey that. He couldn't tell him he was wrong. He could kiss him all day but would he understand what it meant? He loved the damn bastard, he needed to know that. But that was probably the hardest thing about not being able to speak. He'd never get to say it. Sanji pulled away, letting out a deep breath before letting his head fall over against Zoro's chest in defeat.

It was so unlike him, but he was so frustrated and conflicted he almost wanted to cry. His hand moved from its place pinning Zoro to the door to the Marimo's shirt. He gripped on to it tightly, cursing silently. Even if he tried to cry its not like it'd be heard.

Zoro was perplexed, confused by the sudden outburst of affection from the cook. His face softened sadly. He... had denied himself to even think about it but he had been missing the cook immensely. So why was Sanji doing this? If he was angry this was definitely not what Zoro had been expecting. He was waiting for a kick to the neck like an eye for an eye. He slowly raised his arm and wrapped it around Sanji's neck, holding him closer to his chest. Then his head rested back towards the door and he stared at the ceiling. There were a mess, weren't they?

Zoro's head didn't perk up till he felt something wet, that wasn't ink, falling on him. He lightly pressed Sanji's shoulder's back, surprised to find a crying cook, his face flared. It scared him. He hadn't even known.

"Oi... what's...?"

His eyes narrowed as he watched the cook's lips parting over and over again as he stared at him angrily. He kept saying the same thing over and over again, flustered it wouldn't come out. The cook gripped onto Zoro's shirt again. Why wouldn't anything escape his throat? Not even a whimper, a hum, a cry?

Zoro's gaze focused on Sanji's lips. He wasn't an expert or anything but it didn't take him long to read what the cook would practically be yelling at his face. It made his cheeks flush. With the memory he had, he could almost hear the cook saying it. 'I Love you.'

It made him grind his teeth and grab the cook's hands, as he had opted to start shaking him. He looked into his eye.

"Sanji stop! I get it! I understand."

The Cook stopped for a moment, gazing at him. Did he? Did he really understand? Because he was about to kick his ass onto the deck and brand it somewhere on the damn bastard if he wasn't going to get the picture. He couldn't say it, sure, but he knew how to use a hot iron rod.

Zoro pulled Sanji closed and embraced him, digging his face into his hair and taking in his scent. He closed his eyes, finally after a long while of stubbornness, understanding. Sanji didn't blame him and wasn't just playing nice to him because he made a mistake. He accepted the accident because he loved him. It made Zoro feel shitty, like an asshole, but better at the same time.

"Me too." He whispered into his ear. "I love you too."

Sanji pouted, burying his face into Zoro's shoulder. Finally. Fucking finally he understood. He was so exhausted and relieved. Maybe now the Marimo could stop avoiding him and be there for him like he needed. He couldn't heal properly without him.

Zoro rested his hand on Sanji's back as they stayed like that for a while, just thinking. Well, Sanji could've been trying to talk again, but he'd never know.

"This is going to be hard..." He found himself mumbling.

The cook nodded in agreement and pulled away to look at Zoro. He reached up, yanking at the green hair and mouthing 'Shit Marimo', another thing Zoro had seen his lips say enough times to know what it meant, and let out a silent chuckle. It made Zoro want to melt seeing that smile again. They both got up from the floor. They had some ink cleaning to do.

Things got incredibly better for the two of them the weeks after that. It had been difficult still at first, Zoro having the hardest time trying to understand Sanji's charades, since Sanji as no longer allowed to borrow paper he'd just end up ruining and Sanji getting annoyed by a thick headed swordsman. Though in a way, it was interesting. When he wasn't trying, Zoro seemed to understand all Sanji asked or wanted with ease.

When Sanji had first noticed it, he found it funny. They had adapted their relationship past the sound barrier. Though since Sanji was usually the one who talked more, it was up to him to make Zoro talk just so that it wouldn't always be so damn quiet. They'd even eventually got to where they could spar again, throwing insults at each other, some silent and some involving hand gestures.

And although no one could really over hear their conversations anyway, they still met up in the kitchen late at night. Sometimes for trivial trying to understand what each other was getting at, other times physical activities. Though those were all unique in their own ways. That night though, several weeks from the night Sanji confessed his feelings, Sanji had something even bigger to tell Zoro.

So when the swordsman finally came in, stole his sake and ignored the Cook's silent rants by repeating 'can't hear you' before sitting at the table, Sanji couldn't help but smile at him. It was a little suspicious, since the cook might've smiled sometimes, but never so long. Zoro watched as he settled across the seat from him.

"Oi. What's got you so happy?" He asked, a little uneasy about it. Maybe this was a trap.

Sanji looked down at the counter though before sitting up in his seat. He moved forward, leaning across the table to the nervous swordsman. He was practically laying on it when he forcefully took Zoro's arm, dragging him closer. Their lips met over the table, Zoro willingly opening his mouth so their tongues could rendezvous. He grinned. So this night was going to be another one of those unique ones? He was sadly disappointed though when Sanji pulled away, scanning at his face.

"Zoro." A low, raspy voice called out to him from the cooks lips. At first Zoro wasn't sure he'd even heard it at all. It was almost like a breath and it made the hair on the back of his neck rise. Sanji, he was...talking?

"I love you."

Zoro grinned.

Author's Note: Once upon a time on my tumblr I took random prompts from people and this was requested by, Freakingcrazypersons . I also got to merge in a prompt from ImagineyourOTP where on of your OTP can't talk :'D Hope you enjoyed this Freakingcrazypersons and person reading this now! ~