“Try this.”

Zoro pivoted mid-step on his way to the icebox toward Sanji, who stood behind the stove in the galley. A long counter with bar seating separated the cooking area from the dining. The wall cabinets were hooked closed, and the counters cleaned spotless. A handful of dishes filled the sink. Something bubbled in a large pot on the burner, which Sanji anchored in place by a handle. Sanji held a spoon out in Zoro’s direction with his other hand. “What is it?” Zoro asked.


Zoro scowled, but did as requested. It was some sort of stew, with some sort of kick to it. “It’s fine.”

It was Sanji’s turn to scowl. “You always say it’s fine.”

“Because it’s fine.”

Sanji faced the stove, giving the pot of stew an irritated stir with the spoon. “You have no class and no taste.”

“Fell in love with you, didn’t I?”

The shells of Sanji’s ears pinked. “Shut up.”

Zoro grinned rottenly, and came up behind the other man. He slid his arms around Sanji’s waist, nestling in behind him. The soles of Zoro’s boots gave him an inch in height on Sanji, allowing him to easily rest his chin on Sanji’s shoulder. Sanji wore yellow and brown today, which made Zoro think of an overripe banana, if bananas had legs that went up to their curled eyebrows.

The Thousand Sunny bobbed drunkenly on the high waves, wind and water lashing at the portholes. Zoro swayed in rhythm with the ship and Sanji. The rest of the crew was spread throughout the Sunny, riding out the storm. Zoro had been hanging out with Chopper in the infirmary when thirst had driven him to the galley.

“What’s in it?” Zoro asked. The soft strands of Sanji’s hair tickled Zoro’s cheek.

“Why do you care?”

Zoro actually didn’t care, but it was fun to rile up Sanji. “Because you do.”

“Goddamn marimo,” Sanji cursed and stirred more furiously. Zoro bet Sanji’s cheeks colored to match his ears. For someone who loved the ladies so loudly, Sanji was certainly uncomfortable with Zoro’s affections. It amused Zoro to no end.

Zoro turned his head to nuzzle Sanji’s neck. “C’mon. Tell me.”

“I don’t have time for this.” Sanji tried to shrug him off.

“You have plenty of time.” Zoro didn’t know if it was true or not – he wasn’t a cook – but it was too early for dinner. Either this stew took a while to cook or it was part of a larger meal. “Unless you really want me to leave.”

“Yes,” Sanji stated, but by the way his body tensed in Zoro’s embrace, Zoro knew he was lying.

Zoro brushed a wet kiss on Sanji’s neck. His fingers danced down Sanji’s belly to the stirring interest beneath the brown trousers. “You taste like the spices in your stew.”

“Quit it,” Sanji’s said halfheartedly.

Zoro’s wandering fingers paused. “If that’s what you really want.”

Sanji took a breath, as if he were about to say ‘yes’ because being contrary was their thing. But all he said was, “I need a cigarette.”

Zoro grinned against the side of Sanji’s neck, which Sanji felt and caused him to mutter, “Shut up.”

Zoro obeyed, letting his hands do the talking instead. He cupped Sanji through his trousers, massaging with a palm. Sanji approved of this new form of communication by pressing back into Zoro’s burgeoning erection.

Zoro laved another kiss on Sanji’s neck, as his fingers nimbly undid Sanji’s belt, button, and zip. He tugged Sanji back two steps before pushing Sanji’s trousers and heart-covered boxers down to pool around his ankles. The storm caused the Sunny to roll and heave, forcing Sanji to keep his hands on the stew pot lest he get burned in very bad places.

Dropping to his knees, Zoro kissed Sanji in a more intimate place, causing Sanji to utter a string of curses and the spoon to bang against the metal side of the stew pot. Zoro smiled again, and toyed with Sanji with his mouth and hands until Sanji demanded hoarsely, “Zoro, come on.”

Zoro obliged, quickly retrieving the oil they used in the galley for their fun. Then he was in Sanji, finding rhythm with the storm, riding high with the danger of the waves and the chance of getting caught. His calloused hand brought Sanji to completion first, and satisfaction chased Zoro into orgasm within minutes. He rested his forehead against Sanji’s sweat-dampened, shirt-covered back as he caught his breath. Having great sex was the second best thing about being in a relationship with Sanji. Sanji loving him back was the first.

“Get off me already.”

Not that Sanji would ever admit it. Not out loud, anyway. Which was what made it so entertaining for Zoro to tell him, often.

Chuckling, Zoro moved, taking the time to clean them both up with the dish rag before straightening clothing. Sanji went back to stirring the pot on the stove, muttering about stupid horny swordsmen and how the stew better not be ruined. Zoro dipped his fingers into Sanji’s front shirt pocket. He lit one of the cigarettes he’d retrieved, wrinkling his nose at the flavor.

“I don’t know how you can complain about my lack of taste, smoking these things,” Zoro said, as he offered the cigarette to Sanji.

Sanji took the cigarette between his lips. “You know nothing.”

“I know I love you.”

Sanji jerked his gaze back to the stew pot, and puffed with agitation on his cigarette. The blush that spread across his cheeks darkened the post-coital flush on his sharp features. “Go away. You’re bothering me.”

Zoro grinned, and ambled over to the icebox. He caught the door as it swung fast with a hard rock of the ship in the storm. He started to reach for a bottle of sake when Sanji spoke up. “Check the bottom shelf, back left.”

Zoro bent lower, reached where told, and found a bottle of nihonshu. Several weeks back, at their last port, Zoro had been drafted into pack service and they’d stopped for a break at a froo-froo pub. They’d split this particular brand of nihonshu as they fought about nothing in particular, while Zoro drew random designs on Sanji’s knee beneath the table. Then they’d returned to the empty ship and had spent a lazy afternoon in a proper bed, a rarity for them. It had been a really good day.

Zoro’s heart skipped a few beats, and a soft smile curved his lips. Sanji would never verbally admit that he loved Zoro, but he didn’t have to because Zoro already knew. Zoro closed the icebox door and returned to Sanji’s side. He brushed one more kiss against the side of Sanji’s neck. This time, he didn’t say anything, which spoke louder than the words he’d teased with before.

Sanji studiously stirred the stew and puffed on his cigarette. “Shut up.”

Zoro smiled.