After being requested to write more ZoSan stories, I hit my laptop keyboard right away!
Not sure whether to make this a two part story, oh well...Enjoy!
Sanji sighed as he listened to the usual rambling of the ships doctor.
"I keep telling you it's bad for your back! I can't change the way you sleep, you need to be the one to fix this!"
The man knew that Chopper was right. This was a psychological thing. All those days withering away on that damned rock never allowed him to have a comfortable sleep. Whenever he did manage to catch some shut eye, the natural reaction of curling into a ball was a protective mechanism that had never left him. Even now, after sleeping night after night in the safe environment of Merry, he still couldn't break the habit. Apparently the curling of his back was causing problems, and according to chopper, could lead to serious damage to his spine and neck. Eventually the arching of his back was causing him slight pain, and Chopper had prescribed him with pain relievers, on the condition that he work on controlling his sleeping position.
Sanji was working on it, yet bad habits can't be stopped just because you are told not to do it. The chef tried to mentally console himself that he didn't need to sleep in the fetal position, and that he could freely spread out. Yet during the night his body would convulse from the vulnerable outstretched position, and he would slowly curl into himself. His mind still subconsciously protected his body from the blistering heat, the harsh cold, or the deadly birds of prey.
Seeing as he was an early riser, no one had ever taken notice of his protective sleeping habits, and Sanji intended to keep it that way. Yet secrets are hard to keep when you live on a small ship with six other people.
Sleeping on the floor next to Zoro was a regular occurrence. Both men naturally allowed for the younger ones to sleep on the comfortable hammocks, and were content with sleeping on the solid wood. Sanji and Zoro made sure to keep a friendly distance when lying down to sleep. After that one morning where Sanji had mistakenly nearly smooched Zoro, they went to every lengths to make sure that that could never happen again.
After Chopper had finished his speech and resupplied Sanji with the pain killers, they both agreed it was time they headed to bed along with the rest of the crew. As usual, Sanji insisted that Chopper take the last hammock, which left him with the space on the floor next to Zoro.
Merry had been set to sail towards a winter island, one that Chopper was excited about, so the cold night air had a bite to it. During the quiet hours of the night, the two men on the floor had naturally shifted closer to the other's body warmth.
Zoro had been reminded constantly by Nami that he had to take over Robin's night watch shift half way through the night. So right on cue Zoro's eyes unwillingly peeled open. An unfamiliar warmth was pressed against his shirtless chest and stomach, and his muscular arm seemed to be holding the warmth closer. With his eyes now adjusted to the darkness of the men's sleeping cabin, a mess of blonde hair seemed to be obstructing his sight. With the realisation clicking into place, Zoro calmly sat up, leaning on his elbow to assess the situation. Below him he viewed how Sanji had curled against Zoro, his hands clinging onto dear life with Zoros left hand. The swordsman's eyes wandered over the chef awkwardly as he felt the deep, warm breaths on his hand from being held so close to Sanji's mouth. Now remembering being shirtless, a cold shiver wracked through Zoro's body, and he suddenly wished he was cuddling with the other man again. Cuddling?! Hold up, that couldn't be it. Seeking out warmth from another body was all that this was. So with the fact that Nami would bite his head off for ditching watch duty looming over his head, the green haired man curled himself back around the chef's body. His sanity had truly left him, as he nuzzled his cold nose against the warm neck in front of him. Shuffling his hips to be pressed closer against the man he was currently spooning, Zoro allowed for his buzzing thoughts to be over-taken by sleep.
The sound of heavy breathing behind him awoke the chef. His heartbeat sped up as he directed his gaze town towards the tanned hand he was clinging to. He automatically knew the presence surrounding him was Zoro, yet he was too tired to make a big fuss about it. The only thing he had a problem with right now was the throbbing sensation in his back. He needed to stretch out, now. Shuffling as gently as he could manage, he rolled over to face the man on the floor with him. His hand now free, the green haired man subconsciously snaked his arm back around Sanji's waist, pulling the source of warmth closer. Sanji groggily shuffled his body against Zoro's, and pressed the tip of his nose against the other mans nose. The chefs hands were snugged in between the chests of the two men, and Sanji happily drifted back to sleep, knowing that he was safe in this position.
So let me know what you think!