Twitterton bustled with activity. A multitude of ships docked at the portside town, crews their stocking up on supplies and partaking in shore leave. Pirates and locals exchanged stories and wares, bartering and drinking day and night. The cobbled streets were worn smooth from the constant foot traffic and slick from the multitude of birds constantly flying overhead. Colorful umbrellas protected travelers from unwanted stains on their shoulders and heads.
Sanji balanced his purchased packages on one palm, umbrella clutched in his other hand, as he made his way back to the Sunny. The Strawhat crew had arrived that morning, glad for a respite after a month between ports. The log pose would take only a day to set, but the delectable Nami-swan indicated they'd stay longer if no one got into any trouble. Sanji made certain stocking provisions was his first priority, as getting into trouble was Luffy's forte.
Delivery men would be meeting him at the ship with the bulk of the supplies Sanji had purchased. The items stacked on his hand were from the men's tailor, boxes of new suits, shirts, and ties to replace his patched and permanently stained clothing. He'd picked up a few things for the other men on the Sunny: cravats for Brook, t-shirts for Usopp, Zoro, and Chopper, and casual button downs for Franky and Luffy.
Caws, crows, and squawks competed with the sweeter birdsongs overhead. Music spilled from taverns along with boisterous carousing. Customers chatted with proprietors, and children screamed as they played on the streets, making Twitterton a loud and lively town. Sanji danced out of the way as a fight tumbled onto the street from one of the taverns, keeping his packages balanced perfectly, only to nearly be run over by a rabble of tots sledding on cardboard down the bird-shit slicked streets.
"Careful." A large, warm hand pressed against Sanji's back, unnecessarily assisting him with staying on his feet. Sanji turned to tell Zoro off and the words died on his lips. It wasn't Zoro, and Sanji was enthralled. The man now sharing Sanji's umbrella was slightly taller than him, with skin the color of dark chocolate and he had sun-bright hair that fell rakishly over crystal blue eyes. His black t-shirt stretched tautly across a muscular chest and broad shoulders, and was tucked into fitted black trousers. His smile promised sin, and Sanji felt butterflies in his stomach and a dirty tickle down lower.
"Uh... thanks," Sanji said, unable to tear his gaze from this man's face.
"I'm Raylon," Raylon introduced himself. His voice dripped with honey bourbon and slid down Sanji's spine like Raylon's hand. "Raylon Wyatt, of the Sunkissed crew. Would you mind if I bought you a drink?"
The hand wandered to Sanji's ass, and Sanji nearly choked on his cigarette as desire flowed through him. He didn't squeak, but it was close. A bevy of portly passengers from the Travelin' Down pleasure schooner bustled past with their overly large umbrellas, causing Sanji to crowd even closer to Raylon.
Raylon took the opportunity to pull Sanji snug against his muscular body, his eyes and smile promising all sorts of wicked delights. Sanji wanted to bend over right there on the street and offer himself to Raylon. He blinked doe-like at Raylon, packages in one hand, umbrella in the other, and the cackle of birds up above. Raylon plucked Sanji's cigarette from between his lips and dove in for a smoke-filled kiss.
Those unfamiliar lips snapped Sanji out of his haze. He jumped upwards with a squawk that rivaled the birds' and fled, leaping from umbrella top to umbrella top, face flaming and heart pounding in his ears. He reached the docks in a flash and scurried up the gangplank to the safety of the Sunny.
The door to the men's bunkroom slammed with an echo. Sanji braced himself against it, as if Raylon might bust through and molest him at any moment. A traitorous part of him, the part that lived in his trousers, thought it was a great idea.
Cursing up a storm, and knowing Franky was on watch and wouldn't let anyone untoward come aboard the ship, Sanji deposited the boxes on his bunk, grabbed the umbrella from where he'd dropped it, and went to take a very cold shower.
Sanji barely reacted when the door to the head flung open with a crash against the wall. He was lounging in the bath, a privacy he rarely got to indulge in. A cloth was draped over his eyes, another over his lap, and his arms were stretched along the rim of the large tub. A cigarette smoldered in an ashtray within reach.
Neither of the girls would have busted in with such force, so he ignored the intrusion until the rag was plucked off his eyes. "What are you doing, asshole?" he said, blinking in the sudden brightness.
Zoro stood beside the tub, wadded rag in hand, his face red and twisted with anger. Bird shit slicked him from head to toe, making him look worse than the statue of the mayor that had been erected in town.
Sanji smirked. "You got lost again, didn't you?"
"Shut up." Zoro's voice didn't hold the usual tone of false ire. Instead, it was heavy with hurt and something darker. "I saw you with that guy in town. Now I know why you refused to let me tell anyone about us."
Shock colored Sanji's cheeks, as did discomfort at having been caught being manhandled by Raylon. "That's not what happened. He came on to me. There was nothing I could do about it."
"No one can make you do anything you don't want to," Zoro said with an expression that tore at Sanji. Zoro dropped the rag and headed for the door.
"Wait, Zoro!" Sanji called after him, but Zoro slammed the door shut behind him, its clang reverberating against the walls with finality.
Sanji started to climb from the tub to go after him, but Zoro's words soaked in and he slumped back in the water. Zoro was right. No one could do something to Sanji that he didn't want, not of that nature. Raylon had felt him up, had kissed him, and Sanji couldn't deny that he hadn't liked it, even though he'd run back to the ship. The evidence of his jack-off session under the shower proved that, even if it had swirled down the drain.
Sanji had thought he hadn't wanted to tell their nakama about his and Zoro's relationship because, like having the bath to himself, it was rare that he got to indulge in something private. Now, he questioned if that was the real reason, as Zoro had implied. He and Zoro had only been together for a few months. Zoro's self-sacrifice to Kuma had spurred Sanji into action, and Sanji had finally admitted that the big, dumb brute meant more to him than he'd liked. The smile that had appeared on Zoro's face when Sanji confessed those feelings still made Sanji's heart trip when he remembered it.
Sanji liked Zoro. He really did. Possibly even loved him, though Sanji squirmed at the idea. Zoro was an ill-mannered oaf, but he was Sanji's ill-mannered oaf and Sanji liked that - or at least, he'd thought he had. Getting kissed by Raylon, and Zoro having witnessed it, had thrown everything into turmoil. Sanji didn't know how to feel.
Sanji sunk beneath the bath water, hoping to drown his confused and conflicted thoughts.
Sanji went tavern to tavern, searching for Zoro, after spending so much time in the bath his skin was still pruned hours later. Sanji had decided that, simply because he'd been physically attracted to another man didn't mean that he liked Zoro any less or that he didn't want to be with Zoro. Zoro never complained when Sanji was attracted to women and this wasn't any different. Well, Raylon had managed to kiss Sanji and Sanji had never landed his lips on any of those women, but that was a technicality Sanji hoped would be overlooked once he talked to Zoro.
Sanji found Zoro in the fifth tavern he tried, spotting the familiar broad back and green hair at the bar. A puddle had grown beneath Zoro's stool; it and the lack of birdshit indicating he'd gotten clean somehow. The tavern was crowded, round tables filled with groups of pirates flying under various flags carousing with each other. Tankards of ale sloshed and voices were raised in camaraderie. Sanji deposited his umbrella in a bin with many others and wended his way through the tables toward the bar.
A tap on his shoulder caused him to look back, and he fell into the enthralling gaze of Raylon Wyatt. Raylon had a handsome male on one arm and a buxom beauty on the other. His smile stirred Sanji's trousers. "We meet again. Have you come for that drink?"
Sanji's eyes focused on Raylon's lips when he spoke and Sanji really wanted to be kissed again. Something in the back of Sanji's mind was telling him that this was wrong, but he was having problems listening. The man and woman on Raylon's arms stared at Raylon with adoration, even as Raylon stepped closers to Sanji. Raylon's seductive voice slithered through Sanji. "Unless you would prefer to drink from a different source."
Arousal hit Sanji so hard, his knees knocked. His mouth watered as his gaze dropped to Raylon's crotch. He could see the outline of a thick cock beneath the fitted trousers, and he desperately wanted to suck on it. He adjusted the bulge in his own trousers, causing Raylon's eyes to focus downward and lick his lips. Sanji nearly started begging. "Yes--"
A katana blade appeared suddenly in his vision, the light catching the silver metal and blinding him briefly. The brightness burned through the fog in his head, and he realized with embarrassment and horror what he'd been about to do. He turned to see Zoro standing there, black bandana tied around his head and a look of death in his eyes.
"He's mine." Zoro's growl rolled through the tavern, causing everyone to fall silent. The man and woman on Raylon's arms continue to fawn at Raylon, as if unaware of the situation.
Raylon focused on Zoro, and that heady smile stretched his lips. "I'm sure we can come to an arrangement. If you'd like to join us..."
To Sanji's dismay, Zoro's katana started to lower, but then he shook his head hard and his gaze narrowed. "Whatever devil's fruit power you have isn't going to work on me. Take your ass elsewhere before I cut that smile off your face. He's mine."
"Oh, well," Raylon said with a shrug. "Your loss."
Sanji laid his hand over Zoro's on the hilt of the katana, as Raylon turned and walked away with his enthralled companions still on his arms. Zoro's eyes cut to Sanji and Sanji gave him a nod. "I'm okay. You broke his hold. Let it go."
Zoro stared at Sanji for a long moment before lowering his katana. The tavern's patrons let out the collective breath they'd been holding and conversation resumed. Zoro sheathed the katana and pulled his bandana from his head. His green hair stood up in disarray even more than usual with the action.
He started to turn back towards the bar, but Sanji grabbed his arm and dragged him out of the tavern. Sanji popped open the umbrella he'd snagged on the way out the door and led Zoro into the shadowed alley between buildings. The evening air was warm, the sun having settled down for the night. The shops had closed. Pirates and locals now prowled the town looking for entertainment and booze.
"I'm sorry," Sanji told Zoro, words that he rarely spoke, let alone truly meant.
"Wasn't your fault," Zoro brushed him off, as he retied his bandana to his arm.
"Zoro," Sanji laid his hand on Zoro's chest, capturing Zoro's attention fully, "I'm sorry."
Zoro studied his face in the dim light. He seemed to like what he saw, because a small smile quirked the corners of his lips. "Tch. Stupid cook. Falling under the power of a devil's fruit user. Knew you were a wimp."
Sanji hooked a leg behind Zoro's knee and overbalanced him to crash against the alley wall. Sanji pressed bodily against Zoro, the umbrella shielding them from any unwanted surprises. "I'm not a wimp," Sanji said, his lips inches from Zoro's. "But I am horny as hell."
"I think I might be able to do something about that." Zoro's large, warm, calloused hand snaked down the back of Sanji's trousers to cup his ass. "As long as you're done mooning over that guy."
"You're jealous," Sanji said, with a hint of teasing. Something still felt off between them, something that sex wasn't going to fix.
"Of course I'm jealous, dumbass," Zoro said. "You belong to me."
Sanji squirmed a little at the declaration. "You never act like this when I'm around women."
Zoro snorted. "Women aren't a threat."
"What do you mean, women aren't a threat? I love women and would dive inside their welcoming arrrr-nnnggh." Sanji moaned like a wanton whore when Zoro's finger pushed inside him.
Zoro grinned knowingly. "See?"
"Bastard." Sanji squirmed a lot more now, trying to get more of Zoro's finger, maybe even a second one. "I hate you."
Zoro's lips brushed against Sanji's own as he whispered, "No, you don't, and I want everyone to know it."
That was the crux, wasn't it? Zoro wanted to claim Sanji for the world to know - pretty much had in front of the strangers in the tavern - and Sanji was reluctant to allow it. His excuses seemed more hurtful now, as if he were rejecting Zoro by not telling their nakama. This close, Sanji could see the insecurity tightening Zoro's eyes. It made Sanji's heart ache.
"Fine. But I get to tell them," Sanji said, and Zoro's face lit up with surprise and happiness. Sanji tried to keep stern, even though he felt mushy inside. "And you have to--"
Sanji's demands were cut off by a kiss that curled his toes and ignited his passion to a fever-pitch - and he let Zoro take him right there in the alley for anyone passing by to see. But Sanji found he didn't care.
He belonged to Zoro.