This is for manaika on LJ because she is awesome.

I have long been a fan of AcexZoro (but really, if I'm being totally honest, I am actually just a fan of Ace and anybody haha) so I don't really know why I've never written them together before? This fic was particularly fun because I have a weakness for One Piece boys mixed with small children. Also first time sex. I'm not so good at writing first time sex, but it's definitely a thing that I love. A lot. Anyway, I hope you enjoy, and thanks again to Mana for being such a great person.

Beat of My Heart

Climbing the stone steps to the third floor of the apartment complex, Ace tucked his hands into his pockets and pushed his face down into the collar of his jacket. It was cold, too cold for the beginning of October. He expected weather like this in the middle of November, but it wasn't even Halloween yet, for crying out loud!

Oregon had turned out to be a good decision. The university was great, the area surrounding was lush and green, and the culture was interesting and friendly. However, on days like this he found himself missing Texas. He missed the dry, hot summers, and that stagnant, yet soothing feeling when the warmth from the day lingered in the air and on the ground long after the sun had set.

Sniffing, teeth chattering, Ace hastily knocked on the door and shoved his hand back in his pocket. A striped cat stared at him from the railing about ten feet away and he fought the urge to start talking to it. He probably would have if the door had not opened at that moment, and a disheveled, scowling, exceptionally attractive Japanese man had not answered.

One thin eyebrow rose and a smooth voice asked, "What do you want?"

Ace grinned behind his jacket collar.

"Hey, Zoro. It's nice to see you too."

The smallest of smiles cracked at the corner of Zoro's mouth and he glanced over his shoulder back into the apartment. "Nope, it's not pirates or ninjas."

Confusion had Ace blinking stupidly until he heard a small voice from inside.

"So then who is it? Aliens?"

A small head of curly, brown hair peered around the door and big brown eyes looked up at Ace curiously.

"Chopper!" Ace exclaimed.

"ACE!"

Zoro pushed the door open so Chopper could run across the threshold and throw himself at Ace's legs. When Ace lifted him up, small arms came around his neck and suddenly Ace's world was warm and sunny again. He squeezed gently and ruffled Chopper's hair.

"How you doing, kid? Man, what happened to you! You're a monster! How old are you? Nine? Ten?"

Chopper laughed and held up his fingers. "No, silly, I'm four!"

"Fourteen!?"

"No!" Chopper laughed again, "Four!"

"Ooohhh four! Wow, no way!"

Zoro stepped aside as Ace carried Chopper into the apartment. He looked sheepish as Ace grinned at him and he whispered, "Sorry, his grandma had to run to the hospital and she asked me to watch him for a bit. She'll be home a little later."

"Sorry?" Ace said, "Are you kidding!? Hanging out with Chopper is the best!" To emphasize his point, he twirled the boy in his arms and hung him upside-down. Chopper squealed in delight and waved his hands.

"Throw me up in the air, Ace!"

Laughing, Ace flipped him around again and draped the boy over his shoulder. "I don't know if I can buddy, you've gotten huge."

"Awww, pleeeeeeeeaaase?"

"Well, okay, but don't tell your grandma."


"Wait! No Zoro go around the thing! The other side!"

Zoro feigned confusion and peered around the kitchen island. Chopper immediately shot him; a direct hit from the foam dart just above his eyebrows. Zoro cried out and made a big show of dying slowly on the kitchen floor.

After giggling at Zoro's performance, Chopper turned to Ace and pumped the plastic shotgun.

"You're next!"

Ace screamed in the most girly fashion he could manage and ran down the hall.


Chopper's face twisted in concentration as he stared at the cards in his hands. His tongue peeked out between his lips and his eyes darted back and forth between the pile on the coffee table and the four he held between his small fingers.

"Do you…" he started.

Ace bit down on another laugh and hid it behind finishing off the last of his orange soda. He glanced over at Zoro and had to look away quickly when their eyes met. He didn't want to laugh and get his drink up his nose. Zoro sat across from him on the floor, his back leaning against the couch. One arm rested on his bent knee so he could hide a smile with his hand. This was serious business after all. Cards were a man's game.

"Do you have any fives?" Chopper asked finally. His eyes wide and determined when they moved to Ace.

Ace sighed dramatically and handed Chopper his last card.

"How do you do that, Chopper? Can you like, read my mind or something?"

Chopper shrugged. "I don't think so. I just remembered that you asked Zoro for one earlier, and they can't be in the pile because I think those are all two's and Jacks."

"Are you counting cards?" Zoro asked.

"What's counting cards?" Chopper asked.

Zoro rested his chin in his hand and smiled.

"Cheating."

"Not when you're four!" Ace laughed.

Zoro made a face. "Did Nami teach you that?"

Chopper nodded with a grin.

"That woman…" Zoro sighed and shook his head. "I can barely pass my entry level math class and Chopper's counting cards at four years old. I quit."

"You quit, Zoro?" Chopper's hands were already reaching for Zoro's cards.

"No, I mean I quit life."

Chopper giggled and rubbed his eyes, "You're so funny."

Ace plucked the cards from Chopper's hands, adding them to the pile and shuffled them absently. "You tired little buddy?"

Chopper nodded again and pulled himself up to stand. He tottered around the coffee table and climbed into Zoro's lap. Ace's heart did a little flip at the look on his friend's face when Chopper snuggled into his chest.

"Can we watch a movie?"

"Sure," Zoro said softly as his hand moved to rub gentle circles into the boy's back, "What do you want to watch?"

"Mmm, Goonies."

Zoro started to pull himself up, but Ace beat him to it.

"I got it," he said, and moved to the DVD rack. By the time he had found the DVD and placed it in the Xbox, the two of them were settled on the couch, Chopper tucked into Zoro's side, his eyes drooping as his hands curled into Zoro's sweatshirt.

Ace made himself comfortable on Chopper's other side and experienced a little pang in his chest when small legs uncurled and tiny feet rested over his legs. The Goonies was one of his favorites, but he couldn't concentrate on the movie with all the cuddling going on next to him. Chopper's innocent questions and Zoro's patient and gentle explanations stirred up feelings inside of him that were wonderful and warm and painful all at once.

"What are Pampers, Zoro?"

A soft chuckle, "Diapers."

"What? But they're big kids! They don't wear diapers!"

"Yup, Mikey's big brother was being snotty, you know, like Sanji."

"Oh."

Ace knew what it was: he missed his kid brother. Luffy was studying abroad with some friends and the two of them had only texted a few times and spoken on Skype once in the last month. Things were strange, sometimes lonely, without him.

"Zoro… What's 'bullshit'…?"

"It's another word for cow poop."

"…oh…"

When the questions finally ceased, Ace sat forward and peeked around that mop of curls to find Chopper asleep against Zoro's chest. That more than anything set Ace's heart beating a little harder. The way Zoro's arms cradled Chopper's small body was too precious for words. Ace put a finger to his lips and stood. He grinned at Zoro's confused expression and moved into the kitchen to grab his cell phone.

'No' Zoro mouthed as Ace returned and sat on the coffee table. He thumbed open the menu and selected the camera.

"Ace," Zoro whispered, "don't, I swear to God."

Ace shook his head and held up the camera. "Stop being totally adorable together and I'll stop taking pictures."

Zoro grumbled but didn't try and stop him. He rested his chin on Chopper's head and tried to look disinterested as Ace focused. When a dark blush started to spread across Zoro's cheeks, Ace almost dropped the camera, but he managed to hold on and take a few pictures without completely losing it.

"Okay, got it," Ace tried not to laugh. "You can stop pouting now."

"I'm not pouting," Zoro replied as he did a terrible job at hiding his smile in those curls.

Ace just smiled back and turned around to click the sound off on the movie. When he turned back he started to fiddled with his phone for lack of something better to do. He didn't feel awkward, but he also didn't know what to say. Zoro always had that effect on him.

After a few moments Zoro's voice broke through the quiet.

"Hey, thanks."

Ace looked up, "For what?"

As he ran tanned fingers through Chopper's hair, Zoro shrugged, looking thoughtfully down at the carpet by Ace's feet.

"I don't know, just… being cool, rolling with the punches. We finally get a chance to hang out, but then his grandma called and I couldn't say no."

Raising his eyebrows, Ace leaned forward and brushed a sandy curl out of a small, angelic face.

"I'm sorry, Zoro, I didn't know you were upset about it."

"No no!" Chopper stirred, but settled back down when Zoro started rubbing his back again.

"I'm not upset about anything," Zoro spoke again, softer this time. "I just thought you would be mad."

Ace shook his head and smiled. "Why would I be mad? I had a great time."

A knock on the door broke the calm and Ace stood to answer it. Chopper's grandmother stood outside in her usual gaudy pink and purple, her face harsh. However, when she saw it was Ace that answered the door, she smiled and commanded that he give her a hug.

After passing a sleeping Chopper into Dr. Kureha's arms, Zoro handed her the boy's backpack and waved as she made her way down the stairs to her and Chopper's apartment on the first floor.

When the door closed, Ace was suddenly back to being unsure of what to do. He slipped his hands into his pockets and smiled shyly as dark eyes observed him.

"You want a beer?" Zoro asked.

Ace nodded and followed Zoro into the kitchen. He leaned against the entry frame and watched the way Zoro's shoulders moved underneath the cotton of his hoodie. He was broad, but not large, just big enough to be intimidating without being overstated. He was power beneath lean muscle; a compact strength that Ace loved to watch.

"You okay?"

Zoro's words startled Ace out of his appreciation of certain muscle groups and he took the beer from Zoro's hand with a nod.

"I'm good. Just thinking about how great you are with kids."

Zoro smiled as he drank and led the way back into the living room, "Says the king of being good with kids." He sat on the couch with enough room to spare that it was obvious Ace was supposed to sit with him.

"It's not that I'm good or bad with kids," Ace murmured, "I just have a lot of energy." He sat down and took another few swallows from his bottle to try and hide the fact that he was probably blushing. He knew he was kidding himself though, Zoro noticed everything.

"Do you want some someday?"

Ace turned and raised his eyebrows. "Kids?"

Zoro nodded.

"I…" Ace stopped and licked his lips. "Yeah, I think so. You?"

Zoro settled back against the cushions and stared thoughtfully in the direction of the coffee table. "It would depend on where I am, what I'm doing. Who I'm with, I guess."

Ace nodded, "Yeah…"

A long moment stretched in silence and Ace watched his hands. There were so many things he wanted to talk about with Zoro, but he didn't want to sound overeager, or nosey, or pushy. He wasn't sure what was allowed and what wasn't. He didn't want to be like that last guy; the guy he had seen Zoro with during the summer quarter, the one with the stupid sunglasses and the obnoxious clothes. That guy had taken advantage of Zoro. He had been violent and cruel and all the things that Ace never wanted to be, ever, because Zoro deserved nothing less than being treated like he was perfect.

Because Zoro was perfect.

"What're you thinking about?"

Ace shook his head. Oh, you know, just how completely over the moon I am for you. "Nothing." That's all.

"Do I make you nervous?"

Chuckling, Ace ran his thumb through the condensation on the outside of the bottle, "Yeah, a little."

The couch cushions shifted and Zoro moved a little closer.

"You don't have to be."

"I know."

Ace fought the urge to laugh and scream and maybe cry all at once. Zoro had turned his body and now his knee was resting against Ace's thigh. It was warm and solid and oh wow those jeans did a lot of amazing things to all sorts of Zoro parts. How the hell was he supposed to keep his hands to himself? Was he even supposed to keep his hands to himself? Maybe he was already messing everything up by not making a move.

"Ace," his tone was gentle, but firm, "Look at me."

Zoro's eyes were soft and for a moment, Ace forgot how to breathe. His heart fluttered like a frantic bird within the cage of his ribs and he found himself praying that it didn't fail him. It was amazing, he was so close and Zoro was so warm.

"Can I kiss you?"

Ace could only nod. He had forgotten how to speak.

It was easy, so much easier than he had ever expected. Zoro leaned in close and pressed his lips against Ace's once, softly. It was gentle, sweet, nothing like what Ace had thought kissing Zoro would be like. Ace felt himself relaxing against the cushions and shivering slightly when Zoro's fingers trailed up his forearm.

When Zoro pulled away, there was a split second when Ace almost reached up and pulled him back. But was that okay? How much was too much? How fast was too fast?

"Here," Zoro said with a playful growl, "gimme this."

Taking Ace's beer, Zoro finished the last couple swallows and set it down on the coffee table next to his own empty bottle.

"Now you're gonna taste like beer," Ace grinned.

Zoro smiled back and he moved closer. "I already tasted like beer anyway."

"Yeah," Ace slid his palms up Zoro's thighs, "I guess that's kind of cool." His hands might have been shaking a little but he ignored it.

Zoro kissed him again, still sweet. He pushed past Ace's lips with his tongue, licking into his mouth, exploring gently. Ace mimicked Zoro's movements, trying to catch the rhythm while his heart hammered in his chest. He was dizzy with desire, his head spinning, but he felt almost crippled by the fear of his inexperience. He had never kissed anyone like he kissed Zoro; he had never wanted to. There had been others, a fleeting crush in middle school, a boyfriend during the summer in high school, but he had never felt the need, the craving that he felt when he was touching Zoro, or when Zoro was touching him.

When Zoro's lips left his and moved along his jaw and down his neck, Ace made a noise in the back of his throat and gripped the sleeves of Zoro's sweatshirt.

"You okay?" Zoro asked.

Ace nodded. His eyes were closed but he knew without seeing how Zoro was looking at him. His dark eyes would be so intense. His jaw would be set in that perfect way that made his features so sharp and so incredibly handsome that it would hurt, physically hurt, to look at him.

"Ace…" Zoro's voice was soft again. "Ace, you should probably breathe."

The breath that left his lungs left on a laugh. Ace opened his eyes and looked at Zoro with a grin that was crooked with embarrassment.

"I'm sorry."

Zoro shook his head, "No need to be sorry." He took one of Ace's hands and brought it to his lips. He kissed the scarred knuckles before he turned it over and kissed the rough palm. Ace shivered uncontrollably as he watched.

"I don't want you to think you have to do anything to make me happy," Zoro continued. "If you're not ready then you're not ready. Right now, everything is perfect."

Ace was gone. There was no longer any doubt in his mind: he was completely in love with Zoro. The castle was stormed and the dragon was dead. Spell broken. Kingdom saved. Game over.

Sitting up, Ace slid his hands from Zoro's thighs up to the bottom of his sweatshirt. His fingers teased the skin at the top of Zoro's jeans and his hands gripped strong, muscled hips.

He breathed across Zoro's lips and whispered, "And if I am ready?"

Zoro's smile was wide. His teeth flashed for just one moment before he attacked. Ace breathed him in, savoring the smell, the taste. He pulled at the other man's body and nearly lost his mind when he felt Zoro shift and climb into his lap, straddling his hips. Arms slid around his neck and immediately their bodies were flush.

Ace's limbs were putty. He couldn't make his hands caress anything, couldn't make them go in the directions that he wanted, couldn't really do anything but hang on to Zoro's sweatshirt for dear life.

But then Zoro's hands were in his hair, they were kneading his scalp. His lips were kissing his forehead, his eyelids, and his cheeks. Ace let out a trembling breath and let himself sink into Zoro's touch.

"You're so cute," Zoro whispered.

Ace laughed into Zoro's chest.

"I'm ridiculous."

"Yeah, well," Zoro smiled into his hair, "that too."

"I feel like a yellow belt on the first day of team training."

Zoro pulled back and a playful smirk pulled at the corners of his mouth. He used the back of the couch as leverage and leered down into Ace's face.

"You're nowhere near yellow, my friend. You are definitely still in white."

Ace smacked Zoro's ass playfully and pretended to be deeply offended. "You're so mean! I've at least made the team! Come on!"

Zoro chuckled and leaned in closer. "Yeah, you've earned extra points for being hot." He kissed Ace's lips once, "…and for being sweet." Another kiss, "…and for giving me space…"

Ace's breath caught as muscled arms came around his neck again. Zoro's eyes closed, and suddenly the atmosphere was serious.

"For not calling and texting me every five minutes and getting jealous about stupid shit… For just… trusting me…"

Chest aching, stomach tying itself into knots, Ace blurted out the first thing that came into his head.

"He didn't love you."

Zoro's eyes didn't open, but he rested his forehead against Ace's.

"He didn't," Ace continued, the words tumbling out of his mouth like they were the only thing keeping him alive. "I know he didn't because I do, and all I want is to make you happy. Seeing you happy makes me happy and that's all I want and I don't ever want to make you unhappy—I don't want to think about what that would feel like. So you can, you can trust me too, okay? I'll do whatever you—"

Zoro cut him off with another kiss; this one was neither gentle nor sweet. He devoured Ace, molding against his body like they were made to fit each other exactly. He held Ace tight, pressing him against the couch.

"Shut up," Zoro breathed when he pulled away. His dark eyes opened and stuck Ace with the most intensely passionate gaze Ace had ever seen.

"Just shut up, shut up. You're so fucking adorable."

Ace could only sit frozen, locked in place by those amazing eyes. He trembled as Zoro leaned in again, almost predatory, and whispered against his lips.

"I want you so bad right now."

Suddenly, Ace's hands knew what to do. He didn't know if it was instinct kicking in, or if it was just because of how desperate Zoro sounded, but either way when his hands slid underneath Zoro's sweatshirt and pulled it and the shirt beneath it up and over Zoro's head, he did it with confidence.

He mapped out the plane of Zoro's chest, soaking in the weathered skin and the hard ridges of that terrible scar stretching from left shoulder to right hip. He kissed trembling muscles and ran his touch over collar bones and beautifully defined abs.

He lifted his arms when Zoro tugged at his shirt and laughed when the neck got caught up with his necklace, making it impossible to get the soft cotton past his nose.

"Jesus," Zoro snorted, "Tell your clothes to knock it off."

"I would but they don't listen to me. Next time I'll just…"

His words trailed off as Zoro undid the button and unzipped the fly of his jeans. Those dark eyes glanced up at him once, just a quick check to see if everything was all right, before he slid off Ace's lap and onto his knees on the floor. Zoro then hooked his fingers into the elastic of Ace's briefs, and pulled them down slowly.

Ace lifted his hips, but that was all he could manage as his cock was freed and was now under the intense scrutiny of Zoro's gaze. He knew he was a good size, above average, but it had never mattered before. No one was going to see it. Ace knew that big was good in general, but what if Zoro was one of those guys that wanted them smaller? He had told Ace he would bottom. Shit! What if he was too big! What if he hurt Zoro!? What if Zoro didn't want to have sex with him now!?

"I um…" Ace started, "Zoro, I—"

But then Zoro's hand was on him, wrapped around his base and he was pumping steadily. Ace breathed out and tried not to buck, or kick out his legs, or shout, or something equally stupid. It felt so amazing, so incredible to be stroked by someone else's hands. Zoro's grip was strong, sure, precise in his movements, confident. Ace felt himself melting, his very bones turning to water and his breath heavy as if he was running a marathon.

"Good?" Zoro asked.

Ace could barely make his mouth form the word, "Yeah."

Then the universe sort of collapsed. It shrunk down to one single thing and Ace couldn't keep the sounds that had built up in his chest from escaping out from between his lips.

Zoro's tongue was on him. His mouth, his mouth was on his dick. Suddenly there was too much, there was nowhere for the feelings—for the pleasure to go. Ace lifted his hands, instinctively needing to grip Zoro's head, his hair, to force the other man down on him and just bury himself in the back of that amazing throat. But he stopped himself. He threaded his hands through his own hair and pulled, loving the sweet ache, taken by the intense pressure of Zoro's wet, warm mouth. The way his lips slid up and then down, up and then down, again and again; the strong hand at the base, his throat relaxing and then closing.

As pressure built, Ace wasn't sure what to do. Pleasure was clouding his senses. He was dizzy, out of control.

"Zoro… um, ah Zoro… wait. S-stop…"

Zoro did not stop. He went in more aggressively, sucking harder and pumping his hand faster. Ace couldn't contain what was happening to him anymore and just leaned back, covered his eyes with his palms, and let the feeling wash over him. Everything tightened at once, everything coiled, together, retracted like a spring, and for one instant Ace thought he might die when it let go.

But he didn't.

Orgasm hit him like a freight train and he cried out. Wave after wave of pleasure coursed through his body, pooling at the place where Zoro still stroked him, still sucked him. He pulsed into that hot, wet mouth, shivering uncontrollably, making the most pathetic of noises. His palms dug into his eyes, every muscle in his body went from tense and tight to loose and tingling.

He felt Zoro slide off him and start trailing kisses up his stomach. He was embarrassed to look, but so happy he almost wanted to cry. When he finally did come down and lowered his hands, Zoro was sprawled in his lap, his chin resting on Ace's chest. He was watching Ace with a look of such smug satisfaction that Ace almost laughed.

"Um…" Ace murmured, still trying to catch his breath, "That was… uh… wow."

Zoro grinned at that and kissed Ace's skin. "That might be the best dick-sucking compliment I've ever gotten."

"Sorry," Ace licked his dry lips, "I forgot… uh… words…"

Laughing, Zoro straightened and ran his hands up Ace's chest. "Do you want anything? You need something to drink?"

"Me?" Ace chuckled, "What about you?"

Zoro shrugged, "I'm fine."

Ace ran a hand over his face and watched the lines of Zoro's perfect jaw clench and unclench. He was probably doing it subconsciously. His shoulders were tense, and his hands were absently kneading muscles in Ace's sides in a semi-desperate way.

Reaching out to run his thumb across Zoro's jaw, Ace murmured softly, "Are you?"

Zoro blinked once, slowly, like a cat, before he pulled away gently and stood. He reached out his hand and Ace took it excitedly, having a fairly good idea where they were headed. He pulled up his jeans and let Zoro lead him into the bedroom, watching as the other man shut the door and turned off the lights. The streetlamp outside illuminated the space well, so Ace could see everything in a soft kind of clarity.

Tanned fingers went to scarred hips and slid jeans off and down over muscled thighs. Zoro was a sight to behold. Never before had Ace seen a body so perfect, not even in movies, not even in art. His cock was amazing, rounded at the tip, thick and perfect, just like the rest of him. When Zoro stepped out of his jeans and reached for him, Ace felt his knees would buckle, just like they had the first time they had kissed.

He supported himself by holding Zoro's shoulders and looked down into those incredible eyes as they watched him with something so affectionate it yanked on his heart. He was so enthralled by the way Zoro was looking at him that he didn't realize he was naked until Zoro pulled away and beckoned him towards the bed.

"Zoro, I don't know if I can yet. I'm not—"

"Shhhhh," Zoro moved to the night stand and opened the drawer. He took a bottle from inside and crawled up onto the bed to lie back against the pillows. "Just relax and watch."

Ace's breath halted as Zoro opened the bottle and poured lube into his palm. When he lowered his hands to his cock, he licked his lips and motioned Ace to come closer with a nod of his head.

"Come here," his voice was rough.

Shaking, Ace moved. Arousal rekindled and he felt himself start to harden again as he moved to the end of the bed. He climbed up and knelt between Zoro's spread legs. He put a hand on Zoro's knee and ran the other up a muscled thigh.

Zoro lifted one hand to brace himself against the bed's headboard. The other left his dick and slid lower. He pressed fingers into himself and locked eyes with Ace as he did it.

Ace's own cock throbbed at the sight, and the feel of Zoro's muscles tensing and flexing underneath his hands started to make him feel like he was losing control. He felt wild and untamed, a predator ready to pounce on its prey.

He ran his hands up Zoro's thighs to the junction at his hips.

"You're so hot…"

"You ready?" Zoro asked. His voice was like gravel and Ace loved it.

Nodding, Ace moved closer and Zoro reached for the bottle. "Come here," he said again.

Leaning over Zoro's body, Ace supported his weight on his hands and leaned down to kiss lips that were wet and waiting for him. He made a soft noise as Zoro's hand found him. The lube was cool against his hot skin and for a moment it was shocking. But then Zoro was pumping his length eagerly, warming him, guiding him. When he felt the first press of Zoro's body against his tip he choked on a breath, stopped his hips from moving forward.

"What if I hurt you?" his voice trembled.

Zoro shook his head. "You won't."

With that he kissed Ace again, lifted his legs, and pulled Ace into him. Ace pressed inside slowly, in one careful movement. All thoughts of his inexperience and self-doubt fled as Ace was surrounded by Zoro's body. He was so perfect, so tight, so incredibly hot. Burning. Ace moaned against a tanned jaw as his hips sank into the cradle of Zoro's thighs.

He felt hands on his shoulders, caressing his neck, tangling in his hair. Zoro was kissing his cheek, his jaw, his chin, whispering as Ace trembled over him.

"…good. It's so good, Ace. It's okay… it's okay. It's perfect… it's so p—ah… aahhh…"

Ace's heart swelled at the sound of Zoro's moans, and he pulled his hips back and pushed forward again. Fingers tightened so hard into his shoulders that he was sure he would have bruises. Thighs tensed and fell away from his hips, spreading wider to make room for steady movements. He looked up and found Zoro arching is back, his head thrown back against the pillow. Pleasure clouded his senses, numbed his tongue, making it hard to speak.

"Zoro…"

Dark eyes found his and a calloused thumb dragged over his jaw.

"I want to make it good for you," Ace panted. "Tell me how to make it good for you."

Zoro's mouth turned up in a soft smile. His hands slid from Ace's neck, down his chest, and around to grip his ass. He pulled, bringing Ace in harder, stronger.

"Just keep doing what you're doing."

Ace braced himself on his hands and held himself up and over. The position shifted the way their bodies were connected, changing the angle and intensifying the feeling of sliding in and out. Zoro's knees came up, and suddenly everything was easy.

"Ah, yeah, like that," Zoro's voice was so low, so rough. "Keep doing that."

Thrusting harder, Ace's movements grew quicker and more precise. His confidence built with every growled word. He let his head dip down to brush his lips across lover's. He breathed into Zoro, and breathed him back in. Their soft pants and throaty groans mixed and danced from one mouth to the other. Their movements became frantic, desperate. Ace started to feel that tightening once again, that coiling spring was retracting, getting ready to release and nearly kill him. It was so much more powerful this time, so much better. The feeling of Zoro against him, of having his arms around him, being able to feel Zoro tensing and coiling right along with him was something he never wanted to let go. He never wanted anything else ever again. This was it for him. This was heaven.

"You gonna come?" Zoro panted.

"Yes. Are you?"

"Yeah."

Ace felt Zoro's hands move from around him. They slid down between their bodies to his cock and he started pumping himself fast and hard. Ace wanted to watch, but he was captivated by the look in Zoro's eyes. They watched Ace with something so vulnerable, so incredibly beautiful that he was momentarily lost. Then Zoro's eyes squeezed shut and he clenched his jaw around a long, low growl. His body tensed and warmth splashed between them. Ace tried to last through it, he tried to watch as Zoro broke apart, but he couldn't hold on. Orgasm hit him a second time, this time more powerful and more intense than the first. He dropped his head and buried his face into Zoro's throat. He felt arms go around his neck and he spilled everything he had, everything he was, into Zoro. Pleasure took over and for a moment he didn't even need to breathe.

Panting, shaking, drunk still from the high, Ace left sloppy kisses on Zoro's skin. He murmured praises into the other man's ear that probably had no meaning, but they tumbled from his lips like water over rocks. When Zoro pushed against his shoulders, Ace lifted himself up on his elbows and was immediately caught in another slow, sweet kiss.

When they came down completely, they separated in order to wipe themselves clean and slide underneath the covers. They lay on their sides facing each other. The sheets were cool and comfortable against Ace's skin, and the feel of Zoro's thumb rubbing gentle circled onto his hip was soothing enough to lull him into complete relaxation.

Zoro watched him with heavy-lidded eyes. "You have your meds?"

Ace nodded, "In my jeans pocket."

"You can't sleep without them, can you?"

"Kind of," Ace shrugged against the pillow. "They're regulators. They help me sleep when I need to, and keep me awake when I shouldn't."

"Isn't that how we met though?"

"Was it?"

Zoro chuckled and pulled Ace closer. "Yeah, I was waiting at the light to cross the street and I ran into you."

"Oh, that's right," Ace turned his face into the pillow, embarrassed. "I had run out of meds a couple days before. I was on my way to see my friend Marco."

"It was so weird."

"What?" Ace grinned, "Me falling asleep standing up?"

"Yeah, that."

They chuckled together beneath the covers, enjoying the feeling of lying next to each other. The silenced stretched for a few minutes, but it was a comfortable silence, easy to get lost in.

But the something tugged at Ace's heart and he couldn't keep quiet.

"Zoro…"

"Hm?"

"I meant what I said before."

Zoro's eyes opened and he looked at Ace with that intense gaze that Ace had grown so fond of.

"About what?"

Ace moved closer and slipped his fingers through Zoro's.

"I love you. I promise I'll always love you. And I'll try my hardest to be the person that you can love too."

For a moment, a mere quarter of a second, Zoro's eyes flashed. Ace didn't know what that meant and he worried that maybe he had said the wrong thing. But then Zoro moved in, sliding his body against his, and put an arm around his neck.

"You're dense."

Ace's heart skipped a beat, "How so?"

Zoro's lips brushed over his and he murmured, "You don't have to try and be anything to get me to love you. I already do."

He kissed Ace then and everything was perfect.

END