One Enlighteningly Crazy Conversation

Zoro was avoiding him.

It had been two weeks since the Sunny had left Coldrim Island and Sanji had barely seen Zoro the entire time. Zoro showed up for meals, shoveled down his food, and left without a word. It pissed Sanji off. Here he'd gone to great lengths to see if he could even have some sort of thing with Zoro and now the bastard wouldn't give him the time of day. Fucking swordsman.

When another day passed with no change, Sanji'd had enough. After he finished the dinner dishes, he put on his coat and went in search of Zoro. Naturally, Zoro wasn't anywhere logical. Sanji found him in the storage room, once again looking like a lost cat. Somehow, it seemed appropriate.

Sanji entered the room and twisted on the light. Zoro jerked around, his winter coat in one hand and laundry bag in the other. "What the hell are you doing, asshole?" Sanji said.

Zoro gave Sanji a frown. "Laundry," he said, lifting the bag slightly.

"That's not what I mean, and you know it," Sanji said. He stalked over to Zoro and jabbed a finger in his face. "You've been avoiding me and it's pissing me off."

Zoro shifted his gaze, which meant he knew exactly what Sanji was talking about. "You're always pissed off."

Anger flooded Sanji. His knee flew up, intending to get Zoro where it counted. Zoro blocked with the laundry bag. "What the hell?!" Zoro exclaimed.

"You know exactly what," Sanji snapped at him. "I want to know what the fuck is wrong with you. Why are you avoiding me?"

"I'm not avoiding you. I'm giving you space." Zoro shoved Sanji away. "You made it quite clear that I disgust you."

"What?" Sanji hadn't expected that answer. "You don't disgust me."

"Ha! You've run off like you were going to vomit every time we've been in the same place, ever since you learned that I liked you."

"I have not-," Sanji started protesting, but realized that Zoro wasn't exactly wrong, was he? Damn it. He looked away, feeling awkward all of a sudden. "That's not what happened."

"Could've fooled me," Zoro said. He folded his arms, coat and bag still dangling from his fists.

Sanji pulled out a cigarette and lit it. He used the smoke as a cover. "You freaked me out," he confessed.

Zoro's sharp bark of laughter was raw and ugly. "Yeah. I got that."

"That's not what I meant!" Sanji's chin shot up and he glared at Zoro. "I've never thought of another guy that way before, so you'll have to excuse me if I had to take some time to decide if I'm interested or not."

"I know you're not interested, aho-cook," Zoro said.

"Yes, I am."

Zoro looked at Sanji like he'd grown a second head. "You are?"

Sanji nodded. He was somewhat floored that he'd said it out loud. He'd already decided that he might give this thing with Zoro a go, but thinking it and saying it were two different things.

The cigarette between Sanji's fingers grew long with ash. The wood grain of the floor made quite an interesting pattern. He scuffed at it with his toe. He heard Zoro set down his coat and bag, and braced himself. For what... well, he knew exactly what, but still wasn't sure he was ready for it.

Zoro surprised him by smacking him upside the head. "You should've said something, dumbass."

Sanji scowled. "You try telling someone you never liked before that you like him."

Zoro cupped Sanji's cheeks, met his gaze, and said softly, "I like you."

Sanji's heart sped up and he mentally cursed Zoro a thousand times over for being the cause. "Fucker," was all he managed to say aloud before Zoro kissed him.

It wasn't the most passionate kiss, or even the greatest. Sanji's eyes were open. Zoro's lips were chapped. Sanji's hands hung uselessly at his sides. But Sanji felt the kiss in places he normally didn't, and his breath hitched in the back of his throat.

As quickly as the kiss started, it was over. Zoro dropped his arms and stepped away. A rosy flush crept up his neck and colored his face. He cleared his throat. "We good here?"

"Yeah," Sanji said, his own cheeks feeling like they were on fire. He took a deep drag from his cigarette.

Zoro grabbed his coat and laundry bag, and headed for the door. "I'll see you later."

"Two doors down, to the right," Sanji said after him.

"I know where it is," Zoro said, and changed the direction he'd been about to go. His footsteps grew softer as he went down the hall.

Sanji took another drag on his cigarette. The crates of vegetables mocked him in the quiet of the storage room. "Shut up," he muttered. He shoved his hands in his pockets as he went out the door. He debated on getting exceedingly drunk again. He didn't think he was ready for this. He could still feel Zoro's kiss on his lips. Fucking marimo.

Next time... he'd still get the asparagus. Shit.