The Gentle Rocking of the Waves



Hands pillowed behind his head, Zoro didn’t open his eyes when the hammock shifted. He knew who it was before the familiar warmth fitted against his side. The hammock swung lightly as Sanji settled, with an arm thrown over Zoro's stomach and his head nestled in the crook of Zoro's shoulder. Sanji exhaled slowly and Zoro felt the tension drain from him as he fully relaxed.

The scent of cooking oil and cigarettes filled Zoro's nose with each inhalation of breath. Snores and whistles rising from Luffy and Usopp's hammocks blended with the water lapping against the hull. Sanji's breathing evened as he slipped into sleep. Zoro lay awake still, the hammock swaying softly with the roll of the waves. Sanji's presence was like a balm, a feeling that constantly amazed him despite how long they’d been together.

Sanji, with his curling eyebrows, his vitriolic tongue, and his fawning lust for the ladies, had turned Zoro inside-out with a single glance the first day they'd met. The instant attraction had blindsided him and he'd fought it as viciously as he'd fought any foe. He was thoroughly defeated by a flick of a cigarette and a bloodthirsty smile.

"Go back to sleep, Zoro." Sanji looked over at the approaching vessel teeming with Marines. His lips curved and his cigarette butt sailed end-over-end over the side of the ship. "I'll take care of this."

The fight had been beautiful, if a bit one-sided, and Zoro had lost the battle with his own heart. His attempts at continual denial had faltered when Sanji turned his full attention on him. Avoidance was nigh impossible on a ship and his blustering had been seen through.

"Countless women have fallen for me, as well as a number of men." Sanji corralled Zoro against the sink with a subtle move that Zoro hadn't noticed until after he'd been trapped. "What made you think I wouldn't know that you had, too?"

Sanji kissed like he cooked, with an unfettered passion and just enough spice. Zoro was slain by a firm pair of lips and heated eyes. Afterwards, nothing had changed but the sleeping arrangements and the occasional hour stolen together alone. Sanji fought using a cutting tongue with the crew and a killer kick with their enemies. His ego was surpassed only by the meals he created. He lusted after the females, disappeared with them at any port of call, and returned wearing the heavy stench of perfume.

Zoro didn't mind, because when they left port the women were also left behind while Zoro remained at Sanji's side. And it was on nights like this, lying awake listening to Sanji breathe, that he felt most at peace, and he held onto the feeling for as long as he could.

Sanji's arm tightened and he murmured Zoro's name. Zoro smiled softly and drifted off to sleep under the gentle rocking of the waves.


End


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