Sanji blew warm air on his cold hands as he made his way down to the storage room. They'd sailed into a winter zone last night. Light, fluffy snow coated the Sunny's decks and most everyone was outside playing in it. Sanji thought he might join them after checking whether they had enough asparagus to go with the meal he was planning. It had been a while since he'd bought their supplies and it never hurt to double check.
The storage room door was open, which surprised Sanji until he walked inside and found Zoro scratching the back of his head and looking around in confusion. It was a pretty regular thing to find Zoro in odd places, and he got as prickly as a lost cat whenever he was discovered.
"Lost again, marimo?" Sanji said, causing Zoro to jerk around.
Zoro scowled when he saw who it was and folded his arms. "No, I'm not."
"Then what are you doing down here?"
"I'm looking for something," Zoro said. "Not that it's any of your business, aho-cook."
Sanji crossed to where the crates of vegetables were stacked. The storage room was temperature controlled, keeping the items fresh. "There's nothing in here for you," Sanji said, sorting through the crates. "The only sake we have is up in the galley."
"I'm not looking for sake. I'm looking for Usopp's book. The one with the naked girls."
Sanji glanced over his shoulder with an upraised brow. "Why in the world are you looking for it? You like men."
Zoro frowned at him. "Who told you that?"
"What do you mean, who told me that?" Sanji turned to face Zoro, growing confused.
"I meant what I said, dumbass. Who told you that I liked men?" Zoro said.
Sanji's mouth opened and clacked shut. No one had ever told him that Zoro liked men. He'd assumed it from Zoro's blatant lack of interest for women. "I... thought you did," Sanji finally said, feeling awkward all of a sudden.
"So no one told you?" Zoro pressed.
Sanji shook his head as he pulled out a cigarette and dropped his chin to light it. The action caused his hair to curtain in front of his eyes, hiding his face. Discomfort tightened his collar. In all the time he'd been with the crew, he'd thought Zoro had liked men. It was just a part of who Zoro was, like Zoro's hair being green and that he had no table manners. Sanji had never thought otherwise.
"Huh." Zoro rubbed his jaw. "I guess Luffy can keep a secret."
Sanji's cigarette fell from his mouth as his jaw dropped to the floor. Zoro and Luffy? Zoro and Luffy? Here Sanji had been feeling bad because he'd thought he'd been wrong about Zoro's sexuality, and now Zoro was saying that he and Luffy... that he and Luffy... Sanji couldn't even finish the thought.
Zoro was staring at Sanji like sprouted wings and a beak. "What's wrong with you, cook?"
"Luffy...?" Sanji managed to get out, his mind reeling.
"Yeah? What about him?" Zoro cocked his head, his earrings chiming. "Oh, you mean about keeping a secret? I'm pretty shocked, too. Usually he can't keep his mouth shut. I guess he thought it was important enough not to say anything."
Sanji picked his cigarette off the floor, glad to find it still lit. He took a deep drag, wishing he could reverse this entire conversation so he could skip it entirely. "So you do like men?" Sanji said. He was glutton for punishment.
"Yeah, of course," Zoro said, like it should never have been questioned. Sanji thought he might start gibbering any moment.
"So why are you looking for Usopp's book?" he asked instead.
"Usopp thinks it got mixed up with the laundry and doesn't want that sea witch finding it by mistake. I told him I'd look for it while he's on watch."
A logical answer to the question and also as to why Zoro was lost below deck. "The laundry is two doors down," Sanji said.
"I knew that," Zoro blustered, turning to leave. He stopped at the door, hesitated, and looked back at Sanji. "Don't say anything. It's not anyone's business. Luffy only knows because he saw me."
"Oh, thank god." Sanji sank to his knees and prostrated himself to any deity out there. Relief didn't begin to cover what he felt. "Thank you, thank you, thank you."
He could feel Zoro staring at him. "What are you doing, you stupid dartbrow?"
"Thanking any god out there that you and Luffy aren't fucking."
Zoro sputtered. "Me and Luffy?!"
Sanji pushed up so he was sitting on his heels. His cigarette had survived the worship and he took another drag. "I know, it's ridiculous," he said with his exhale of smoke. He'd never been so glad to be mistaken.
"Of course, it's ridiculous! It's Luffy!" Zoro was up in arms now. "How could you even think that I'd be with him, when it's you--" He cut off abruptly, turned a vibrant shade of red, and jerked his gaze away.
Sanji's mouth dropped open again, and he caught his cigarette before it fell to the floor a second time. Him? Zoro liked him? "Me?" he said. This whole conversation had been one big misunderstanding, so maybe Sanji had heard wrong.
Zoro wasn't one to flee from confrontation, even one such as this. He clenched his jaw and his fists. "Yes, you. Do you have a problem with it?" he said defiantly.
Sanji loved women. He did. They were beautiful, soft, and luscious. They rarely gave him the time of day unless he paid them, but still he loved everything about them. So he was surprised to find the answer on his lips. "No."
Zoro's eyes widened slightly, like he'd been expecting a different response. So had Sanji. "You don't?" Zoro said.
"No, I don't," Sanji replied, and he didn't. Why he didn't, he had no clue, and he planned to think long and hard about it after he got exceedingly drunk.
One of Zoro's rare smiles lit up his features, and maybe Sanji knew a little bit why.
"Go and find your book, you shitty swordsman," Sanji grumbled, getting to his feet. He retreated to the crates and the safety, and sanity, of his vegetables.
"Heh. I'll see you later," Zoro said, and left. His footsteps grew quieter as he went down the hall.
Sanji braced his hands on either side of the crate he'd opened, staring sightlessly at its depths. In one crazy conversation, he'd gone from thinking Zoro liked women, to believing Zoro liked Luffy, to learning Zoro liked him and discovering that it was a strong possibility that Sanji liked Zoro back. It was enough to make his head explode.
Next time, he'd skip the asparagus.