Second fic in a week of daily drabbles (still not a drabble in my case, geez why do I write so much) I'm doing with Ivy (cuethe_pulse on LJ). Today's prompt was "bruise."


That's Just My Battle Scar

The bruise was all that remained. Sanji hadn't thought that would be his final memento of Zoro, or else he'd have gotten something better, though he wasn't sure what counted as better. The only things Zoro could have given him either smelled strongly of sweat and booze, or were too important to his livelihood to let go of. But Sanji would have wanted something, anything, that could last, if he'd known this was how their stop at Sabaody would end up.

Nonetheless, the bruise was a comfort. Maybe the only comfort he had on this island, far away from the rest of the crew and surrounded by his own personal hell. It was red and stark against the paleness of his skin, standing out harshly when he was shirtless, and the ugly pink dress they had wrestled him into just barely covered it. If he shifted his torso just right, he could see it peeking out.

Once he had found it, he hated the idea of it fading, and so each night he pressed his fingers into it, always until it hurt, and only then would he let up. This refusal to let it heal was first and foremost stubbornness, but he wondered if he was also punishing himself just a little, for even allowing this situation to occur.

Despite his efforts, it healed a little more every day, until the night when Sanji realized it was only just recognizable as the shape of Zoro's mouth under the purple smudges of his own fingertips. Horror filled him, along with the realization that he wasn't prolonging the bruise Zoro's mouth had put on him, but covering it up.

He pulled the dress up over his head and tossed it frustratedly to the floor. Nothing about this situation was fair, and the dress only added insult to injury. He didn't want it in the way, didn't want it in his sight, so he kicked it petulantly across the room.

Then he flopped down on the bed (pink, as that was apparently the only color that even existed in this place). His eyes closed, knowing he would just be angrier if he looked at his surroundings.

He wanted to sleep, but that rarely came easy for him. Back on the ship, he normally sat with Zoro in the crow's nest until he fell asleep in the dark, early depths of the morning. Some nights he did prep work for the next day's meals. Some nights he did nothing but lean against Zoro's shoulder, perhaps reading a book. And some nights they fooled around. But there was no Zoro here.

How strange it was to think that he might not ever spend his evenings that way again. And how frustrating to know that he could have prevented it, if he'd been strong enough.

Slowly, images bloomed to life behind his closed eyelids, playing that day back, though he'd rather have thought of anything else. Once again he was forced to watch Zoro disappearing, then Brook and Usopp, and then he was gone himself.

He wondered if the others had suffered this fate as well. Not for the first time, he gritted his teeth, wishing that getting to them could be simpler. Without the sounds of them around him, falling asleep was harder than ever.

Especially without Zoro, who had become a calming, comforting presence rather than an antagonistic one in the past few months. Whenever Sanji saw him sleeping these days, it was hard not to lay down beside him and do the same.

That last night on the ship, before they'd disembarked on Sabaody, they'd barely slept at all, though it had been for good reasons. Reasons that were much more pleasant to think about than his failure to protect the crew.

There was a light flickering up in the crow's nest far above. Sanji stood outside of the galley, smoking one last cigarette. He was forcing himself to go slowly, testing his control against his own desire, and also, he didn't want to seem too eager to join Zoro.

In measured breaths, he inhaled. When the cigarette was almost down to the filter, he ground it out, being careful not to put scorch marks on Franky's prized ship. Then he tossed it in the garbage and headed up the ropes into the crow's nest.

Inside, Zoro was sitting cross-legged against one of the walls as usual, running a cloth across the lacquer of Shusui's sheath. There was a blank, tranced-out look in his eyes as he worked, and he didn't glance up at Sanji's entrance.

Sanji wanted his attention. With only a few long strides, he was in front of Zoro, and there he crouched down.

"... What?" Zoro asked after a moment, his eyes finally unclouding.

"Having fun?"

"If I wasn't, how would you fix it?" he wondered as he placed the sword and cloth carefully beside himself, a sign that Sanji had his full focus, and could do as he liked.

Sanji took advantage of the easy welcome, sliding into place in Zoro's lap. Warm, calloused hands latched onto his hips, holding him there.

"I might start by giving you a kiss," he said, and he did just that. It was a gentle tease, something to feel out the mood before he truly invested himself. Zoro's hands tightened around his waist, lips becoming more insistent, and Sanji worked on drawing it out until they parted. Tonight, Zoro was in the mood to be indulged, something which Sanji could definitely do.

"And then what?"

"I'd... touch you," Sanji said, scooting back a little so he could fit his hand between their bodies, pressing the heel of his palm against the front of Zoro's trousers.

Zoro let out a small huff of a breath, his eyelids dropping to half-mast. "Then?"

"I'd... tell you that you smell like sweat, and should take a shower."

One eyebrow raised, and Zoro bucked his hips up, a wordless command for Sanji to move.

But Sanji refused, locking his knees in tight around Zoro's legs, and he pressed his palm down more firmly. "Later. I'm busy now."

Zoro scowled, shoving Sanji off of him. However, he didn't get up and walk away like Sanji half-expected him to, instead coming down hard on top of him until he was forced to spread his thighs in order to accommodate Zoro's hips. The first grinding press of their bodies moving together sent an electric bolt of pleasure through Sanji's gut.

They rocked hard against each other, until the both of them were panting, and Zoro's mouth latched onto Sanji's neck, biting against a cord of muscle, then trailed fitfully down the dip of Sanji's collarbones and settled on the pulse beating hard in his chest. There he sucked, hard and intent, and Sanji groaned, Zoro's mouth becoming just this side of too painful. More than anything, he wanted to push away, but for some reason, his arms only pulled Zoro in tighter.

Zoro's mouth came away, leaving the skin there feeling sore and oversensitive. He took a minute to pull Sanji's shoes, trousers, and underwear off, another moment to unbutton and unzip himself, and then a few seconds slicking both he and Sanji with the tube of lubricant that was conveniently placed in his box of sword maintenance supplies.

When he pressed in, Sanji let out a sigh, rocking his hips down against Zoro. They had done this enough times now that neither of them really had to pay close attention to what they were doing, and sure enough, Zoro's mouth went wandering again, right back to the bruise against his heart.

His teeth pressed into flesh that was already blooming red, and Sanji let out a hurt noise. He pressed his nails hard into Zoro's back, a reflexive return on pain.

But Zoro didn't take his mouth away. Even as he pressed deep and hard into Sanji, even as he wrapped his fist around Sanji's cock, he sucked on that spot until it was nearly numb from the pain, and Sanji let him. He only relented when he'd come inside Sanji and then moved down to suck him to his own orgasm.

Sanji remembered that they had laid together after, regaining their normal breathing patterns. Eventually, they would get up and take a shower together, which would lead to round two, and over the course of the next day, Sanji would completely forget about that bruise.

But it was there now, albeit nearly gone. He pressed his right hand against it as his left worked over his cock, replaying in his mind the way Zoro's face became intent and focused during sex, the way he occasionally fiddled with Sanji's hair when they were spending their evenings together, the look he got in his eyes when he was watching Sanji. Fond, almost.

Fuck. He had to get back to the crew, he had to get back to Zoro. There were still things he needed to tell him, things he wasn't sure Zoro knew yet. What if Sanji went the rest of his life without ever telling him that he wasn't just a pastime, that Sanji was serious about him?

He knew that Zoro was going to laugh in his face, but at this moment, he would take anything, so long as he got to see Zoro at all.

When he came, his fingers pressed deep into the bruise on his chest. But he refused to open his eyes just yet, not wanting to break the spell. He didn't want to open them and find that he wasn't in the crow's nest, lying beside Zoro. And he found that as time went on, it was easier and easier to convince himself to keep them closed for the rest of the night, to let himself cling onto the belief that Zoro could be here, if only in his mind's eye.

An hour later found him asleep and cradling the bruise, held against his heart as closely as the one who had bestowed it upon him.