Sixth fic in a week of daily drabbles I'm doing with Ivy (cuethe_pulse on LJ). Today's prompt was AU, and I may write a bit more in this universe at some later date...

Convenience Store Blues

Having a summer job was nice, Sanji guessed, except he'd rather thought that Zeff was finally going to let him work at the restaurant this year. Instead, he was ringing up cheap dinners and beer at a convenience store five days a week on top of babysitting some of the neighborhood kids every few days.

It wasn't really exciting, but at least it paid. Besides, there were cute girls sometimes, and he knew a few of his co-workers from high school. Most days he worked with Usopp, who was about to start college just like Sanji was, or Chopper, who was still in high school but rather desperate to avoid his grandmother's wrath for most of the day. And anyhow, it wasn't like he intended to spend the rest of his life working here.

The store had gotten pretty quiet now that it was past midnight, and Sanji rested his elbow on the counter, cradling his chin in the palm of his hand. His eyes threatened to slip shut, until the chime of the door sliding open shocked him back to awareness.

Glancing up, he saw a green-haired guy wearing a school uniform, a messenger bag over one shoulder, and a scowl on his face. He barely looked at Sanji before disappearing down one of the aisles.

"Scary," Sanji muttered as he went back to the magazine that was laying open in front of him. He'd almost forgotten the guy was in there when a cup of instant ramen, a tonkatsu bento, and a six-pack of beer were placed down right on top of his magazine.

Sanji was instantly irritated, a glare setting his features. "You're kind of a dumbass, aren't you? If you were going to pretend to be drinking age, the least you could do is change out of your uniform."

The guy smirked, which was possibly more frightening than the scowl. "Usopp lets me do it."

"As you can see, I'm not Usopp," Sanji said, still not reaching for the scanner. "And I like to think I have a little more backbone than him."

"That so?"

"Yeah. You can take it back or I can call the cops," Sanji said, snatching his magazine out from under the bottles and burying his nose in it.

The guy stood there for a moment longer, the smirk still on his face, before grabbing the six pack and taking it back to the cooler. When he returned, Sanji put a saccharine smile on his face and asked, "Will that be all for you?"

"Shut up and ring it up."

Sanji scanned the ramen and the bento, bagged them, and placed them on the counter. "650 yen," he said, still holding onto his forced smile. The guy dumped a handful of coins into Sanji's outstretched palm and picked up the bag, also maintaining his smirk. They probably would have looked a frightening sight to any outsiders, and Sanji was glad they were the only people in the front of the store.

"Have a nice night," he said, once he'd placed the coins into the till. "Come back soon!"

"Yeah, I'll be back tomorrow to get my beer," the guy said, and the door whooshed shut behind him as he left.

Sanji put his chin back in his palm and settled in for another long bout of silence until the end of his shift. Another three hours and he'd be home free, and he wouldn't have to come back for two whole days.

"Everything okay up here?" Usopp asked half an hour later, breaking the silence as he reappeared from the back room.

"Yeah. Oh, but there was some high school kid who tried to buy beer."

"Ah?" A sudden panic filled Usopp's eyes.

"He said you sold it to him."

"I've never sold beer to anyone in my life!" Usopp said frantically.

"Really? He had green hair, and he had a uniform on... Might've been from that high school a couple blocks away? I think he had a third year's pin on."

"I've never seen anyone like that! I can't believe you sold beer to Zoro!"

Sanji smiled, and Usopp made a high-pitched noise of fear now that he'd ratted himself out. "Zoro, eh?" Sanji asked. "Anyway, I didn't sell it to him."

"You didn't?"

"No, I told him to put it back and he did," Sanji said, closing his magazine.

"Wow... whenever I tell him to do that, he just tosses his money down on the counter, grabs the beer, and runs off. He must like you."

"Nah. He probably just realized I'd kick his ass if he tried it on me."

By the time Sanji came back to work two days later, he'd forgotten about the asshole with the green hair, so when he glanced up from his magazine to see Zoro walking in, his mood instantly took a turn for the worst. He sat there anticipating the clash to come, but it was all for nothing, because this time Zoro only put a stack of two bento on the counter, along with a bag of chips and a can of coffee.

"No beer today?" Sanji asked as he began to scan the items.

"Figured I'd get it when I see Usopp instead of dealing with you," Zoro said, and Usopp sputtered in the background about how he definitely did not sell beer to minors and that Zoro was clearly at fault.

"Good choice," Sanji said, trailing off as he bagged the items. "1,198 yen."

Zoro scooped the bag onto one wrist as he handed over a mixture of bills and coins. "So, I was thinking."

"Congratulations," Sanji said disinterestedly, dropping the money into their slots.

"When do you get off work?" Zoro asked.

"Past your bedtime."

"You don't know shit about my bedtime. Do you work tomorrow?"

"Yes. And I'm not interested anyway."

"I'm not asking for me. I have a friend who wants to meet you."

"Unless your friend is a cute girl, I don't care."

"She's cute. I'll bring her here tomorrow."

"I'll believe it when I see it. Bye, Zoro," Sanji said, lifting one hand in a wave.

Zoro nodded and turned to head out the door, and the second it was closed behind him, Usopp faced Sanji seriously. "He likes you."


"He does! He's just trying to find ways to see you again!"

"Whatever," Sanji repeated.

"Hm, you don't believe me. Just wait until tomorrow, you'll see. He'll pretend he forgot the girl, and he'll keep flirting with you..." Usopp said, and Sanji tuned out his jabbering about how Sanji was clearly blind if he didn't see that Zoro was just trying to get under his skin.

In a way entirely unrelated to this potential girl, Sanji was looking forward to tomorrow too. There was just something in Zoro that was too interesting to ignore, he guessed.