Rating: PG-13/PG-15/somewhere in there
Word Count: ~2000
Spoilers: Not that much? Post!timeskip, somewhere between the Punk Hazard and Dressrosa arcs, I guess.
Summary: Zoro was splayed out on the deck, katana and a few weights beside him as he snored away, and Sanji wondered for probably the millionth time just why they had what they did.
It was a little odd how…normal it all seemed. Sometimes when he was cooking dinner it was easy to forget that two years had gone by, that all of them had grown up in their own ways and that they weren't the same (largely) carefree bunch of misfits that had sailed together before…
Before everything. Before the world changed. Before they'd had to fend for themselves for far longer than they'd ever been a crew, but there are times when he can't really remember what it was like not to have all of them around.
He sighed and took his cigarette out of his mouth, contemplating whether or not to light it even though he was running low on supplies and who knew if they'd have time to go shopping when they next his landfall before everything turned to shit (because that's what happened these days, more often than not). The cake he had in the oven was done except for baking, and he had all of his prep work done for dinner which meant that, briefly at least, he could take some time for himself.
Seeking out Zoro was instinctive. Maybe it shouldn't have been, but after making sure Nami and Robin were well-stocked with drinks and supplies (thank God it was getting warmer, because while he might have been born in North Blue, he didn't remember much of it and although he didn't wander around half-dressed like the other guys on the crew, that didn't mean he wanted to be freezing, either.
He bowed to his ladies regardless when he hit the main deck, Robin using an extra hand to wave lazily to him while another flipped the pages of the book she was perusing, and Nami smiled briefly and then went back to her sea-charts. A small explosion from the far side of the desk barely fazed him as he moved, but he had a feeling that Usopp and Chopper and Franky were working on some new experiment-or-other. Brook was up beside the wheel, playing some sort of haunting melody on his violin, and Luffy was perched up in the rigging, still and contemplative.
He'd been like that more recently, and even though he was still childish most of the time, there was a darkness to him and a drive that hadn't been there before, and Sanji knew they all still tip=toed around him whenever anything related to Ace came up. It was only natural, he thought, and while he hadn't spent that much time with Ace, the other man had been something special and Sanji had appreciated having somebody on his own intelligence level to converse with (well, besides Nami and Robin, but even he would admit that he got a little…distracted when it came to them).
Well, he conceded with a shrug, he supposed there was somebody on-board like that now, although that definitely wasn't permanent and while Sanji trusted Luffy's judgment, there was something that made him feel…uneasy about sharing their ship with the captain of another crew. And especially one as powerful as Law was, although Sanji had come to the conclusion that his reputation was far more sinister than the man himself.
He had no doubt he could be, given the right provocation, but in reality he was just a young man with a dark past and, well, who among them couldn't relate to that?
"He's on the far side of the ship, asleep in the sun."
Speak of the devil, Sanji thought as a shiver ran down his spine. Of course Law would know who he was looking for. Even though he and Zoro tried to keep what they had relatively low-key (which, most of their crew was so oblivious it wouldn't have been hard) he knew anybody that was even remotely aware of their surroundings would pick up on it. And Law was more conscious than most.
"Thanks," Sanji knew it was useless to try and pretend that wasn't why he was out here, and before Law turned back to the rail he saw the slightest hint of a smirk curling the other man's lips.
Shitty doctor, he thought grumpily as he headed to the mostly unoccupied side of the Sunny, lighting his cigarette as he went. Low supplies be damned, he needed it now.
Sure enough, Zoro was splayed out on the deck, katana and a few weights beside him as he snored away, and Sanji wondered for probably the millionth time just why they had what they did.
It wasn't as if they had a lot in common, after all, and they spent most of their time at each other's throats, but he knew there were few people he trusted more than Zoro and for some reason ever since the beginning they'd been…drawn together, even if he'd never admit it.
And maybe back then it had been more of a lack of options than anything; Luffy and Usopp were still kids and there was no way he was doing anything to his beautiful goddess Nami, and yes, maybe as time had gone on the prospects hadn't gotten…that much better (Robin was also untouchable, and aside from that he was left with a reindeer-hybrid, a cyborg, and a skeleton, which…yeah, not likely), but even with all the lands they'd been to and all the time they'd spent apart, falling back into bed with Zoro had been the easiest thing of all.
Prospects, he thinks with a grin, because maybe if he were braver and if he didn't have Zoro as some sort of…semi-permanent fuck-buddy there actually was a decent prospect now, but even though Law was, well, hot, Sanji couldn't help but wonder if he'd ever lost control of his powers in the middle of sex and inadvertently sliced somebody to pieces.
So no, when it came to that, he was actually more comfortable with Zoro's swords.
And besides, as much as it surprised him to admit it even to himself, he had no desire to be with anybody else.
"Oi, shitty Marimo, wake up," he toed Zoro's side lightly and the man's remaining eye popped open, because of course he was still on high alert. Sanji knew he sometimes ran his fingers over the scar, when Zoro would let him, even though it was only remarkable because of how visible it was. They'd all been scarred in the last two years, some of them more noticeably than others, but Zoro seemed completely unfazed about losing an eye and his reflexes in battle hadn't suffered at all.
"What? Dinner?" Zoro looked hopeful and Sanji snorted, dropping beside him and staring out at the ocean.
"Not for a few hours. There's a cake in the oven that'll be done in a while if you're hungry, but that's for dessert," he warned and Zoro grumbled something, reaching beside him for a bottle of sake (that Sanji knew damn well had come from his private store in the back of the pantry, but he couldn't even be angry about it) and swigging nearly all of it in one go.
"Mm. I'll live," Zoro decided, his shirt as usual hanging open and his bare chest gleaming with sweat from the workout he'd obviously been doing before he fell asleep. "You're thinking too hard again."
"I have to think for both of us, so it gets tiring," Sanji replied automatically, although at this point their jabs toward each other held far more fondness than malice and maybe that should have alarmed him more than it did.
"Che, you're so full of it," Zoro shifted closer and Sanji let him without saying a word, folding against his side and letting the smoke from his cigarette trail off into the air. "What are you obsessing over?"
"Nothing," Sanji said quickly, although he had the feeling Zoro wouldn't let it go that easily and he was right. Even though the other man's method of getting him to talk was apparently poking him in the side. "Okay, fine, I was…thinking about us," he knew that was dangerous, but Zoro hummed thoughtfully and didn't reply. "Not…you know, nothing about feelings…"
"God forbid," Zoro muttered under his breath.
"But just…we're not each other's only options. So why do we keep…"
"Fucking?" Zoro raised his eyebrow and grinned, and Sanji rolled his own eyes and crossed his arms. "Because it feels good? Because we trust each other? Because it's safe? Take your pick," he closed his eye and Sanji let his head rest on Zoro's shoulder, unable to say anything because all of those were true.
"Yes, okay, but those aren't traits that are exclusive to the two of us," he said logically and heard Zoro scoff.
"Look, shit-cook, you're an annoying, perverted asshole most of the time but you're also one of the strongest and most loyal people I know, and you're smart, and if I cared about things like that I'd probably say you weren't ugly…"
"Wow, what glowing praise," Sanji griped.
"But in the end, there probably isn't a reason why it was us and not anybody else. And maybe there doesn't have to be. The way I see it, as long as we both enjoy what we're doing and it's not taking either of us away from our dreams or distracting us when we're fighting, who cares?" he said it like it was the most simple answer in the world and to him it probably was, but for Sanji it almost felt, well, too simple, even though the more he thought about it the more he realized it was probably right.
Maybe there didn't have to be a reason. They always said that love was blind (he never quite knew who 'they' were, but that didn't really matter), and while this wasn't love, it was something and the fact that he and Zoro kept coming back to each other time and time again spoke far more than words ever could. And that knowledge was getting too far into the dreaded 'feelings' territory so he abruptly stopped that line of thinking and tried to quit fixating on it at all.
"There. That's better," Zoro stated as if he could tell exactly what Sanji was thinking about, which should have been creepy but was just kind of comforting, and Sanji hummed and removed his cigarette long enough so he could turn Zoro's head and kiss him. Maybe it was too much, since they never really did anything outside of, you know, having sex, but Zoro didn't seem to mind and he brought his hand up to slide up the nape of Sanji's neck, fingers tangling in the shaggy hair there.
Sanji pulled away first, resting their foreheads together and trying to figure out why this was suddenly okay, but Zoro was still relaxed and he stroked his fingers through Sanji's hair like he knew he needed the reassurance. "That was…"
"Just…not where the crew can see it," Zoro decided. "But, you know…we've got time before dinner, and nobody knows we're out here, right?" there was a gleam in his eye that spoke to what he was suggesting and Sanji shoved feebly at his chest.
"Yeah, well, at least he's not gonna interrupt us," Zoro seemed to think that was an answer and kissed Sanji again, his free hand trying to undo the buttons on Sanji's shirt.
And Sanji, well, he knew better than to try and stop Zoro when he was this focused on a task.
…not, of course, that he minded.
But he'd still never say that out loud.
1. I haven't written a stand-alone Zoro/Sanji fic in…years, probably, so this is me trying to get back into the swing of things, and I hope it's acceptable? I'm also kind of working on a sequel to 'This Is Your Life', which is the giant modern!AU ZoSan I wrote a long time ago but it's called 'From Here On Out' and you can find the link on my profile page if you want to check that out :)
2. Let me know what you thought or if I've still got any talent writing for this fandom at all, and if you want to check out my tumblr, it's currently at trafalgars dot co dot vu