Idiot Romance

Sanji drummed his fingers impatiently on the table.  Long shadows crisscrossed the galley, the sun setting beyond the open portholes.  Sanji's tie hung loosely around his unbuttoned collar and his discarded suit coat lay across the bench seat.  Cigarette butts nearly overflowed the ashtray in front of him.  Grinding his teeth, he stubbed out a spent cigarette and immediately lit another one.  He was going to kill Zoro.

Hours earlier, Sanji had been juggling bags of groceries and checking things from his mental list of supplies for the ship.  The Thousand Sunny had docked mid-morning in Laziton harbor and the crew, minus Usopp who stayed on watch, had disembarked and separated.  Sanji had wanted to get the ship's stores restocked first thing to free himself up for the remainder of the time they were in Laziton.

Then Zoro, smelling like a cathouse, had run into him on the street.  Sanji had tottered and had managed to catch his balance and the bags before they'd crashed in the dirt.  "Watch where you're walking, asshole," Sanji had snapped, though his glare had lacked effectiveness with a stalk of celery tickling his nose.

"Give me those."  Zoro had lifted the groceries right out of Sanji's arms without spilling anything.  "I'll take them back to the ship."

Sanji's protest had died on his lips.  Pack mule service without pressing?  "Fine.  But when I get back, I'd better not find the bags thrown anywhere.  Put them on the table in the galley."

"Yeah, yeah."  Zoro had walked off, and that had been the last Sanji had seen of him.  Sanji had finished the rest of his shopping, returned to the ship, and now he sat in the galley, still waiting for Zoro as the day slipped into evening.  He would've left ages ago, if some of the food Zoro had didn't need to go into the icebox right away.  Though, by now, it probably didn't matter.

"Ahoy, Zoro," Usopp's muffled voice drifted through the open portholes.  "What happened to you?"

"Nothing."  The door swung open a few moments later and Zoro stalked into the galley.  Scratches dotted with dried blood slashed Zoro's face and his forearms.  Streaks of yellowish dirt marred his shirt, haramaki, and trousers.  His trousers were torn at the knees and his bandana was tied around the right one.  He deposited eight squashed bags on the table, some overflowing with food, others barely held together by scraps of paper.  Three bags were missing entirely.

"What the hell did you do to my food?" Sanji rose, elbowed Zoro out of the way, and unloaded one of the bags.  Fruit and vegetables were bruised.   Boxes were crushed and spilling their contents.  One can had a head-shaped dent in it.

"This island has gorges," Zoro growled, stomping over to the unlocked icebox.  He took out a bottle of sake, uncorked it with his teeth, and guzzled it down.

"On the far northern side.  Nowhere near the town or the harbor."  Sanji narrowed his eyes at Zoro's back.  "You got lost again."

Zoro wiped his chin with his arm.  "Shut up.  It's not my fault the harbor moved."

"The harbor didn't move anywhere, stupid marimo," Sanji said, locating what remained of the perishables.  "Now I'm going to have to spend my evening replacing what you lost or destroyed, instead of enjoying myself.  I don't know why I let you take the bags."

"Then, next time, don't."  Zoro headed out the door, bottle in hand.  "It's not like I wanted to carry them."

"You're the one that volunteered!" Sanji yelled after him.  The door swung shut, leaving Sanji alone in the galley with his smashed bags.  He stabbed out his spent cigarette, lit another, and began putting the salvageable food away, muttering a continuous string of epithets about Zoro.  "That shitty, directionally thick, brain-dead moron�"

Sanji hummed absently as he scraped the cut carrots into the stew pot.  The Thousand Sunny had left port three days ago, heading for the next stop on the log pose.  Things aboard ship had been abnormally loud since they'd set sail.  Sanji was enjoying the quiet he'd found in the galley.  The tip of his cigarette burned cherry red and white smoke drifted in front of his eyes when he exhaled through his nose a moment later.  He put the cutting board back on the counter, took the celery stalks from the washbowl, and began chopping.

The soft squeak of the door interrupted his peace.  He could see Nami-san and Robin-chan outside from the window above the sink, so he didn't curb his tongue.  "Get out, shithole.  It's too early for lunch."

"I know."

Sanji reeled back when Zoro plunked a ghastly smelling, dead eel on the preparation counter in front of him, scattering celery bits everywhere.  "What the hell?"

"There," Zoro declared with a mulish tilt of his jaw.   His swim trunks dripped on the galley floor, making puddles around his bare feet.  He carried one katana, resting the bloodied blade on his shoulder.  "Now stop complaining about what happened to the food."

"You think this disgusting thing will make up for it?" Sanji said, not wanting to even touch it.  Nausea rolled in his stomach. 

"It's meat, isn't it?"  Zoro waved his hand.  "Just do whatever it is you do and it'll be delicious."

"You can't eat this type of eel, dumbass," Sanji said.  "The meat is all sinew and toxic to humans."

"Oh."  Something oddly like disappointment flashed across Zoro's face before he screwed it into a sneer.  "If you were a real cook, you'd be able to make something with it."

Sanji's scathing retort was cut off by Chopper's yell entering the galley and bouncing against the walls.  "AHHH!  LUFFY FELL OVERBOARD!"

"That idiot."  Zoro pivoted and dashed out the door, leaving Sanji alone with a useless, dead eel and the stink.

"Shitty swordsman," Sanji muttered, pulling his collar over his nose.  He retrieved a set of tongs to dispose of the eel.  "Like one fish would make up for things.  What the hell was he thinking?"

The ship lurched and Sanji executed a fast back-handspring in order to keep his balance.  White-capped waves crashed over the edges of the deck and violently rocked the Thousand Sunny.  A fierce wind whipped the Straw Hat pirate flag high on the mast.  Nami had ordered the sails lashed at the first sight of the dark clouds closing in on them.  Lightning illuminated the ominous sky, accompanied by a resounding crack-boom of thunder.  Rain tasted heavy in the air, but hadn't fallen yet.

The wise ones had taken shelter inside, with Franky at the helm and Robin keeping her devil's hands on Luffy to stop him from returning outside.  Only Sanji and Zoro remained on deck, locked in a fight that had long since ceased being about anger and had mutated into a dare about who would retreat undercover first.

Zoro grinned around the katana hilt in his mouth, the other two katanas crossed in front of him.  He charged after Sanji, boots thudding against the wooden deck.  Sanji anticipated the roll of the ship, bent his knees, and leapt when it was in his favor.  He used Zoro's head like a springboard, landing nimbly behind him.  Sanji twisted and kicked, his foot planting in the small of Zoro's back, sending him sailing through the air.

Zoro caught himself on the portside rail and received a wave of water in the face.  Sanji snickered, brushing his windblown hair out of his sight.  Dripping, Zoro shook his head like a dog and charged Sanji again.

Sanji pivoted and caught Zoro's strike with the heel of his shoe.  The strength behind the blades reverberated down Sanji's leg.  Zoro's nostrils flared and he struck again.  Exhilarated, Sanji blocked, flipped, and retaliated as the katanas became blurs of speed.  He landed a solid kick in Zoro's stomach, but Zoro absorbed it with only a grunt.  The steel sliced the wind, blowing Sanji back a few steps.

Another wave crashed over the deck, making it more slippery.  Sanji jumped and twisted in mid-air.  Tri-crossed swords blocked his kick to Zoro's face.  Contorting his body, Sanji struck with his other leg in Zoro's side, sending Zoro flying once again.  Clearly winning, Sanji went after Zoro with a series of handsprings, intending to rub it in Zoro's face.

Surprise struck Sanji when his hand landed on a fish.  The fish skidded on the wet deck under his palm and he was forced to overcorrect as he vaulted upright.  He sucked in his stomach and Zoro's swing sliced right through his tie.  The two black pieces of cloth caught in the wind.

Sanji threw the fish at Zoro.  It smacked him in the nose.  "That was an expensive tie, asshole."

"It's your own fault.  You shouldn't be wearing it if you don't want it to get ruined," Zoro said, watching as the tie pieces blew away.  He adjusted the katana between his lips and dropped back into a defensive stance.  "Let's go, pretty boy.  I'm going to smear your ass all over the deck."

"Hah.  Fat chance," Sanji said, pivoting into a spin kick where he stood.  Zoro blocked him and the fight was back on.

Sanji noticed quickly, however, that Zoro didn't seem as into it anymore.  His blocks were a little sloppy, his strikes not as powerful, and he lost his smile.  Sanji became annoyed very quickly.  "What the hell is your problem?"

"What?  I don't have a problem," Zoro said, the heel of Sanji's shoe brushing past his jaw within scant millimeters.

"Then fight me, you marimo bastard." 

Zoro grunted, but nothing really changed.  He struck out repeatedly at Sanji, not coming close enough to actually hit him.  Sanji landed a solid dropkick on the top of Zoro's head that made the katana clenched between his teeth ring.  The storm clouds took it as a signal to start pouring. 

Within seconds, Sanji and Zoro were both soaked to the skin.  Zoro sheathed two katanas and took the third from his mouth.  "I'm not stupid enough to stay out in this."

Sanji gaped slightly at Zoro's retreating back.  Since when did Zoro give up voluntarily?   And since he had, that meant he'd let Sanji win the dare and it pissed Sanji off more than anything. 

Zoro was going to wish he'd cut off more than Sanji's tie when Sanji was done with him.

The scent of onion, garlic, and pepper spiced the galley.  Sanji checked the simmering pot that warmed his cheeks from the rising heat.  Bending, he opened the oven and eyed the baking bread.  Everything was right on schedule.  With a self-satisfied smile, he returned to the sink.

The galley door swung open and Sanji glowered.  "If you ask when dinner is, I'll kick your ass again."

"I'm just getting something to drink," Zoro said. 

"Hn."  Sanji continued washing the preparation dishes.  Things had been somewhat strained between himself and Zoro since Zoro had thrown the fight.  Not even the lingering bruised jaw Sanji had given Zoro afterwards smoothed things over for Sanji.  Zoro, for his part, slinked around like a de-clawed tiger, watching Sanji moodily.

Sanji turned on the tap, drowning out Zoro's clinking in the icebox.  Sanji rinsed the soaped marinade bowl and set it in the drainage sink.  He washed the measuring cups, mixing bowl, and utensils used to make dessert.  He hoped Nami-san and Robin-chan enjoyed the chocolate souffl�.  He'd serve it with lightly sweetened whipped cream, to counter the rich, dark chocolate taste.

"Sanji-kun," he imagined Nami-san saying.  "This dessert is divine."  She leaned forward, deepening the valley of her cleavage, and gazed adoringly at Sanji.  "Will you feed me another bite?"

"It would be an honor, Nami-swan."  Sanji cut a piece with the side of his fork, swept it through the whipped cream, and lifted it to her soft, pink mouth.  Nami's lashes fluttered as she took the bite, and she hummed in pleasure.  The sound slithered down his spine, arousing desire in him.  He took her hand.  "Maybe you'd like to finish your dessert in my cabin?"

Sanji didn't get to hear Nami-san's reply.  Zoro dropped an empty mug in the water-filled wash sink, splashing Sanji's apron.  "Oi!  Watch it, asshole," Sanji snapped.

Ignoring Sanji, Zoro peered in the pot on the stove.  "What are you making?"

"Coq au vin," Sanji said.  He enjoyed the dumbfounded expression on Zoro's face a moment, before clarifying.  "It's chicken."

"Then, why didn't you say that to being with?"

"Because I like making you look stupid."

Sanji smirked at Zoro's glare.  Zoro glanced at the pot again and rubbed the back of his neck.  The heat from the rising steam pinked his cheeks.  He cleared his throat.  "I, uh, heard white wine goes with chicken."

Sanji dropped the mug in his hands and water from the wash sink splashed his apron again.  He hurriedly regained his composure.  He couldn't let on that Zoro had stunned him.  "Any fool knows that you only serve red wine with coq au vin."

"Che.  Who cares?  All wine tastes like piss," Zoro blustered, and then left the galley in three quick strides.

Alone, Sanji shook his head, wondering what the hell that had been about.  Since when did Zoro know anything about wine?  And why would he say anything if he did, knowing Sanji would be the only one impressed by the knowledge?  Sanji shook his head again.  "Idiot."

Zoro had just walked out of a brothel.

Standing on a street a few shops away, Sanji clucked his tongue at the pathetic nature of some men, as he watched Zoro look both ways before choosing a direction and hurrying away.  By the pensive frown on the brute's face, he shouldn't have bothered to spend his money, since it hadn't worked. 

Hands tucked casually in his pockets, Sanji waited for Chopper and Usopp to come out of the shop.  Sanji needed to restock since their last stop, which was nothing unusual with the amount of food Luffy consumed on his own.  Add to that a crew of seven more and it was a wonder they managed to make it between ports.

The harbor at Swifton was alive with activity.  Dockworkers scurried between ships and vessels berthed on long, branching piers.  Carts hauling supplies bumped along the stone waterfront.  Faded colors painted homes and businesses dotting the rocky terrain, with a winding walkway crisscrossing between the buildings.

"Once I obtain the secret ingredients, no one will be able to withstand the might of my Super-Slingshot-Balls-Of-Doom!" Usopp declared, to his captive audience of one, as he stepped onto the street.

"Super-Slingshot-Balls-Of-Doom!" Chopper gasped, following him.  Attached to a harness, he pulled a wagon filled with bags behind him.  "That sounds terrible!"

"It is terrible to anyone on the receiving end," Usopp said.  "Our enemies will tremble upon sight of me.  Some will even run away like cowards!"

Sanji rolled his eyes and lit a cigarette.  He trailed after the other two as they made their way to the next shop.  He would've preferred Nami-san or Robin-chan's company, but the girls had gone off together with conspiratory smiles that made Sanji's brain slide into the street gutter.  Oh, to be a honeybee buzzing around those two flowers today�

The log pose would take several days to set, so Sanji made note of places he wanted to spend more time at after he'd re-supplied the ship.  He knew better than to leave that job to the last minute.  More often than not, they had to leave port in a hurry.

Sanji arranged for the larger wares to be delivered to the Thousand Sunny.  Once Chopper's wagon and Usopp's arms were overloaded, they returned to the ship.  Sanji spent the rest of the afternoon in the hold, sorting and securing the supplies.  The strapping young lads that brought the large flour and grain bags, water casks, and preserved meat barrels flexed distractingly for a while until their carts were emptied.

The sun was setting over the horizon by the time Sanji came above deck.  He had no cook duties, as everyone would eat in town over the next few days.

"Hello, Robin-chwan," Sanji greeted with a pirouette.  She was seated in a lounge on the deck lawn, with a book in her hand, having relieved Franky of watch.  "Is there anything I may bring the most beautiful woman on the Grand Line?"

"No, thank you, Mr. Cook-san," Robin said, smiling her perfect smile.  "I ate before I returned to the ship."

"The galley is always open for you, Robin-chan, if you desire something later."

Reluctantly, Sanji left her on deck and headed below to his cabin.  He was mussed from working in the hold and needed to change clothes if he were to present himself in town.  Upon lighting the lantern, he spotted a flat package sitting on his bed.  Romantic thoughts made him swoon happily.  Was this what Nami-san and Robin-chan had been so secretive about?  Had they gotten him a gift?

Beneath the package was a note, and Sanji unfolded it with eager hands.  The hearts in his eyes popped.  It was from Zoro.

"Here.  Now stay out of reach of my swords. � Zoro."

Confused, and a bit perturbed, Sanji opened the flat box.  Nestled inside was the ugliest tie he had ever seen.  It had an abstract pattern done in violent green, yellow, and orange.  It looked like someone had vomited on the cloth.  With that pattern, Sanji wouldn't be surprised if someone hadn't vomited.  Sanji wasn't sure he wanted to touch it. 

"Shitty marimo," Sanji said, narrowing his eyes as anger rose.  He slammed the lid onto the box.  The bastard was making fun of him.  Well, Zoro would find out who got the last laugh after Sanji choked him to death with the tie.

Sanji sat on the deck lawn, enjoying a cigarette.  A light breeze stirred his hair and felt good on his bared forearms.  He'd rolled his cuffs in deference to the warm sun shining high overhead.  He was on watch until sundown, but didn't mind.  The restaurant in Swifton that he wanted to try for dinner didn't open until after sunset and he'd visited all the other shops the previous day.

He sipped his tall glass of tea, the ice cubes clinking together.  Chopper, Franky, and Usopp had set off together to find Luffy and Sanji wondered if they'd had any success.  He wasn't certain where Nami-san and Robin-chan had gone.  He thought about asking one or both of them to escort him to dinner that evening.  Lovely ladies such as themselves deserved a night out on the town.

Sanji's peaceful solitude was disturbed by the thunk of boots hitting the deck.  Rolling his head on his shoulder, Sanji peered in the direction of the sound and scowled.  "What are you doing back?"

"I can come back whenever I want, stupid cook," Zoro said, stomping across the lawn.  He had fading red lines around his neck and a healing cut on his skin from where he'd sliced the tightly knotted tie off.

"Piss off.  You're ruining my day."  Sanji turned on the grass, purposely putting his back to Zoro.

Zoro's shadow loomed over him.  "And you're ruining my life."

With that, Zoro dropped something in Sanji's lap and the sun reappeared.  Sanji caught his cigarette before it tumbled out of his mouth.  "What the�?"  A clump of white and blue flowers sat in a mess of dirt on his lap.

Sanji rubbed his eyes, but the flowers didn't disappear.  He glanced over his shoulder.  Zoro was nowhere to be seen.  "This has to be a joke," Sanji muttered, poking at the colored petals.  Zoro couldn't have just given him flowers.

Sanji picked up the flowers by the stems and the soil clinging to the roots fell free.  A larger clump separated when it hit Sanji's lap.

And hundreds of tiny black ants came pouring out of the dirt.

"AAAAHHHH!"  Sanji shrieked � in a manly fashion � and leapt to his feet.  He threw the flowers aside and beat at his trousers, trying to get the dirt off.  It was too late.  The ants had reached his clothing and were crawling all over him.  "AAAAAAHHHHH!"

"What?!  What?!"  Zoro appeared on the deck, a katana drawn in each hand, ready for battle.  He ran over to Sanji.  "Oi, cook�"

With another shriek, this one of fury, Sanji whipped around and kicked Zoro with all his strength.  Zoro's block was useless, and with a startled yelp, he went flying.  He landed with a splash in the harbor, far from the docks and shore.

Sanji followed him into the water in desperation, diving over the rail of the ship.  The sea was cold compared to the warmth of the day.  Sanji didn't care.  He struggled out of his clothing, treading water beside the Thousand Sunny.  He could feel the ants crawling on his bare skin beneath his garments, with their creepy six-leggedness. 

Naked, his clothing sinking from sight, he scrubbed at himself with his blunt nails, cursing Zoro all the while.  Long red scratches marred his pale body when he finally climbed back onto the ship.  He went right to the bathhouse on the ship to wash with soap until his body squeaked. 

But the feeling of the ants remained long after they were gone.

The knock on his cabin door was unwelcome.  Sanji lay on the center of his bed, wearing only his red cupid boxers, scratching his arms, his legs, or his belly whenever phantom ants itched his skin.  The lantern light drew shadowed outlines of furniture on the walls.  Strains of music drifted in the air from the den den player.  His attempt at being productive was discarded on the sheets beside him.

The knock became more insistent.  He wanted to yell, "Fuck off!" but the fact that it might be Nami-san or Robin-chan stayed his tongue.  Rolling out of bed, he reluctantly answered the door, half-standing behind it to hide his unclothed state from delicate eyes.  He needn't have bothered; one look at who it was and he slammed the door in Zoro's face.

Zoro banged on the door again. 

Sanji yanked it open with a glare and a satisfying "Fuck off!"

Zoro scowled.  "Screw you."

Sanji started to slam the door shut once more, but Zoro caught it and held it open.  Sanji's clenched jaw ticked.  "What do you want now?" he snapped, as he fought against Zoro's hold.

"Come into town with me."

Sanji stopped fighting and stared incredulously at Zoro.  "Are you insane?  Why the hell would I go anywhere with you?  I loathe you."

"Fine!  Don't come!  I don't care!"  Zoro let go of the door and stalked off.  Sanji noticed, then, that Zoro had been wearing different clothes: a long-sleeved black shirt and black trousers, without the ratty haramaki or bandana tied around his arm.  Of course, Zoro had gotten soaked when Sanji had kicked him into the harbor, so he'd had to change.

"Asshole," Sanji muttered, shutting the door.  He'd gotten two steps back to the bed when a fist pounded on the door again.  He about-faced, yanked it open, and barked, "What?"

Face screwed in determination, Zoro snagged Sanji around the back of the neck and mashed their mouths together.

"Mmph!"  Sanji's nose squashed painfully and his teeth clacked hard against Zoro's.  Zoro let go of him almost immediately, turned bright red, and fled down the corridor.

Sanji blinked several times, slowly closed the door, leaned against it, and slid to the floor.  "Shit," he said, stunned.  He'd never expected that to happen.

But he should have.  Events of the past few weeks began to add up in another way.  Zoro had volunteered to carry the groceries and had gotten lost.  He'd made up for it by catching Sanji an uncookable fish.  He'd cut Sanji's tie, threw the fight from distraction, and bought Sanji a really ugly tie to replace the ruined one.  He'd attempted to impress Sanji with wine knowledge that didn't apply to coq au vin.  He'd given Sanji flowers that happened to be bug-infested.  He'd changed his clothes and asked Sanji to go to town with him � on a date, Sanji realized � in his usual blunt way.  And then came the awkward, injuring kiss.

Zoro hadn't been tormenting Sanji the past few weeks; he'd been romancing Sanji.  Badly.  Like only an idiot could do.

When Sanji found that he couldn't stop thinking about all the things Zoro had failed at � and found it more and more ridiculously endearing � he realized that it had worked.

The following morning, Sanji spotted Zoro standing shirtless on the stern rail, feet spread for balance, lifting an insane amount of weights over the water.  The Thousand Sunny had left Swifton in a hurry the night before after Luffy had drunkenly kissed the Mayor's wife and caused a fistfight with half the town when he'd destructively defended himself against the Mayor's rage.  Luckily, the log pose had set and the Straw Hat pirates were able to escape under the roar of a furious mob.

Zoro had hidden rather effectively from Sanji since his kiss-and-run.  Sanji had known, however, that Zoro would never skip his training, no matter what, and he'd bided his time until Zoro was midway through his routine. 

Sanji paused a moment and watched the play of muscle in Zoro's back as he lifted his weights.  Zoro was physically pleasing to the eye, Sanji had decided long ago.  He lacked brains, but that seemed to have worked in his favor with his inept romancing.  If Zoro wanted to give something more a go, Sanji was willing to bend him over a barrel and try it. 

Hopping nimbly onto the rail beside Zoro, Sanji enjoyed the flash of panic in Zoro's eyes.  Zoro did not stop lifting, resolutely, and began counting out loud as if Sanji weren't standing there.

"Seven hundred ten, seven hundred eleven, seven hundred twelve, seven hundred thirteen�"

Sanji flicked his cigarette butt into the sea, and between lifts 714 and 715, he hooked his fingers around Zoro's chin, forcibly turned Zoro's head, and brushed a kiss on his lips.

Zoro dropped the weights with a tremendous splash.

"Oh, shit."  Zoro's eyes widened and Sanji laugh loudly.  Zoro's gaze darted between the water and Sanji, and then he grabbed the towline and dove into the sea after his weights.

"ZORO OVERBOARD!" Luffy yelled, and slingshot himself from his perch on the yard to the stern rail.  Usopp, holding a telescope, and Franky, with Chopper clinging to his head, slid down the back sail to join Luffy.

Sanji jumped back onto the deck, groaning silently.  Wonderful.  He'd kissed Zoro in front of an audience.

Usopp caught Luffy before he went over the rail after Zoro.  Franky set Chopper on his feet and slapped Sanji hard across the back.  "Always knew Zoro'd make a real woman out of you one day."

"I am not a woman!" Sanji sputtered, and kicked Franky hard.  He sailed over the edge of the ship into the sea.

"FRANKY OVERBOARD!" Luffy yelled, and then grabbed Usopp around the waist.  "USOPP OVERBOARD!"

Usopp flailed.  "Luffy, no!  Nooooooo�" 


"Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!"  Luffy spun and looked around for his next victim.  "Oh, Chooppperrrr..."

"AHHH!"  Chopper tossed a rumble ball into his mouth, his fur puffed into Guard Point, and he scrambled to run away.

Sanji made a fast exit while Luffy stretched his arms after Chopper.  Nami-san and Robin-chan were, thankfully, nowhere to be seen, as Sanji ducked into the safe-haven of his galley.

He wasn't alone for long.  Zoro burst through the door, sopping wet with a strand of seaweed wrapped around his neck like a tie.

"You're dripping on my floor, shitty swordsman," Sanji said, and hoped he sounded okay, because he was suddenly nervous.  He shoved his hands in his pockets and leaned casually against the counter.  Lighting a cigarette might give him away.

Zoro stared at Sanji for an infinite moment.  Sanji stared back.  "You kissed me," Zoro blurted finally.

Sanji nodded.  "I did."

"Did you mean it?"

"Of course I meant it, dumbass."

A smile spread across Zoro's face, lighting his features with unfettered joy.  Sanji's heart tripped.  It was serious, then.  Not some fling Zoro wanted to pass the time or relieve their needs.

With a sudden whoop and a single stride, Zoro picked Sanji up and spun him in a circle.  "Gah!"  Sanji whacked Zoro upside the head.  "What are you doing, you stupid marimo?  Put me down!"

Zoro lowered Sanji to his feet, but didn't let go.  His smile remained as he closed the distance between their lips.  The kiss was a little too hard and clumsy and all Zoro.  Sanji knew then that he was in big trouble.  Sorry, my lovely Nami-san�

Zoro pulled back and grinned ecstatically.  "I can't believe that romantic shit really worked!"

"Me, neither," Sanji said.  Zoro was getting Sanji's clothes wet.  Sanji failed at bringing himself to care.  "How the hell did you ever get any dates in the past?"

"Why would I have?" Zoro said with a confused frown.  He shrugged.  "Romance is a pain in the ass, anyway.  If those whores hadn't guaranteed it would work, I wouldn't have bothered."

"You got romantic advice from whores?"

"Who the hell else was I going to ask?  If you pay them, they'll tell you anything."  Zoro tilted his head slightly in thought.  "They were wrong about the chocolate, though.  That was supposed to come after the flowers, but I ate them.  And the kiss was supposed to come after the first date-thing, but I couldn't take it anymore."  He smiled again � a big, stupid, happy smile.  "Whatever.  They were right enough, right?"

Sanji didn't know whether to laugh at Zoro, or fall in love. 

So he did both.