Meanwhile, in the Infirmary




"Where do you think you're going, shit swordsman?"

Zoro paused in his attempt to get out of bed. Sanji stood in the doorway between the galley and the infirmary, wiping his hands with a dish towel. Smoke from his cigarette curled like his eyebrow toward the ceiling. He wore a pinstriped, blue shirt, rolled at the sleeves, and a thin black tie knotted perfectly. Zoro never understood why someone would choose to choke themselves with a tie on a regular basis.

Sunlight shone through the portholes set into the infirmary walls and highlighted the wooden cabinets of medicines and bandages in the small room. Chopper's desk stood opposite the infirmary bed. The little doctor had stepped out a moment ago to retrieve more supplies after giving Zoro a stern warning not to go anywhere.

"I'm getting up," Zoro answered Sanji's question, working to untangle the blanket around his waist. His torso was bare and his black trousers were torn. One of his legs was encased in a bulky cast, a souvenir from his last fight. It wasn't that bad as injuries went, but it still bothered Zoro. He needed to get back to training so it wouldn't happen again. "Sitting around isn't doing me any good."

"Sitting around is exactly what you're supposed to be doing," Sanji said. "Chopper told me you weren't supposed to move."

Zoro scowled. "Chopper doesn't know what he's talking about."

Sanji snorted. He threw the dishtowel over his shoulder as he came into the infirmary. "You're an idiot," he said, as he helped to disentangle Zoro. When Zoro attempted to get up again, Sanji pushed him back. "Forget it."

"You're not the boss of me," Zoro said, earning him an arch of a brow as Sanji fluffed the pillows behind him. Ash hung dangerously from the tip of the cigarette between Sanji's lips. "I can get up if I want."

"You could. You're not going to, though," Sanji said.

"And why is that?"

Sanji took the cigarette from his mouth, leaned closer, and whispered why into Zoro's ear. Heat flooded Zoro's body from his head to his bare toes and a dirty tingle settled low in his belly. Sanji straightened, returned his cigarette to his lips, and sauntered from the infirmary just as Chopper returned.

"I'm back," Chopper said, putting a bag of supplies from storage onto his desk. He looked at Zoro and gasped. "Zoro! You're all flushed! Oh, no! Are you getting a fever?"

Zoro cleared his throat and made sure his lap was fully covered by the blanket. "I'm fine," he said, glancing in the direction of the galley. "And don't worry. I'm not going anywhere."

End