Not Always Lost



 

Sanji felt someone enter the galley and closed the icebox door. "Oh, it's you." 

Zoro scowled in response.   He wore his usual olive green long coat, black trousers, red sash, and ratty green haramaki that matched his marimo hair. Three gold earrings dangled from his left ear corresponding with the three katana at his side. His scowl made a puffy scrunch of the scar bisecting his left eye. 

Sanji crushed out his cigarette in the ashtray on the long counter separating the cooking from the dining area. Lantern light brought out the warm tones in the wood dining table and reflected in the in the metal preparation countertops. Dinner had ended hours ago, and Sanji was checking supplies for breakfast in the morning. Sanji tugged at his blue shirtsleeves beneath the cuffs of his black suit coat, his tie loose around his throat. He brushed the tickle of blond hair away from his nose. "What do you want?" 

"I'm looking for Franky," Zoro said. 

"He's probably in his workshop." 

Zoro's scowl deepened.   "I know that." 

Sanji's inward-curled brow arched as he looked at Zoro. "Then why are you here?" 

A flash of hopeless embarrassment flew across Zoro's features, so quickly it was nearly unnoticeable. But Sanji noticed, and he grinned. "You got lost again." 

"Shut up."   Zoro crossed his arms over his chest, his chin tilting at a mulish angle. "The rooms move on this ship." 

The Thousand Sunny was a brigandine sloop with plenty of room for the crew of nine and the occasional guests. Above deck, the men's and women's quarters, head, and mikan grove, along with Usopp's satellite workshop, were situated before the main mast. The galley, aquarium bar, infirmary, and navigation nest was at the stern of the ship. Below deck, instead of numerous passages, a single corridor ran the length of the ship, from stem to channel lock. Doors with handcrafted signs hanging from them designated the laundry, storage, Usopp's main workshop, and Franky's workshop. 

Sanji shook his head, still grinning at Zoro. "The rooms do not move. You won't admit that you have the sense of direction of seaweed." 

"The channel lock rooms do." Smugness tilted Zoro's lips, which irritated Sanji. Zoro also being right irritated Sanji more, and he launched a kick at the swordsman to knock the smugness away. 

Zoro blocked the kick with the flat of a katana, a reaction so fast Sanji hadn't seen him draw it.   The two years they'd been apart had really sharpened Zoro's reflexes, something Sanji would never admit to being impressed by or proud of the hard work Zoro had done. Sanji hadn't been lazing around during the separation, either, and the sole of his shoe caused the metal to reverberate audibly when they met. He bent his knee, leaning in toward Zoro's face. "That doesn't explain how you ended up in the galley, marimo." 

A different kind of embarrassment flashed swiftly across Zoro's features, leaving red in his cheeks.   He averted his eyes, and muttered, "I always know where the galley is." 

Sanji's heart did a weird flip-dance in his chest, which he blamed completely on indigestion, as he did the heat crawling up his neck and into his cheeks. "Stupid swordsman." 

Zoro smiled a brief, sheepish smile, tinged with warmth, and Sanji needed to take an antacid. 

Sanji lowered his foot, pulled out his cigarettes, and lit one, hiding his reaction with the movements.   He cleared his throat after he took a fortifying drag, not looking at Zoro. "I'm on watch in another hour, if it makes a difference." 

There was a quiet schnick as Zoro slid the katana back into its sheath. "I think I'll be able to find the crow's nest." 

Sanji's lips twitched.   "Dumbass." 

Zoro's soft laugh followed him out of the galley. 

Sanji didn't bat an eye when Zoro arrived in the crow's nest two hours late and smelling of beets.   The feathers made for an interesting conversation.

 

 

End