Sex, Strawberries, Durian and Star Fruit

The calluses on Zoro's fingertips caught against the imperfections in the planks of the galley wall.  Braced in the windows' blind spot between the icebox and the preparation counter, he leaned his forehead against the rough wood, swallowed a moan, and rocked into Sanji's thrusts.  Sanji's hand was planted beside Zoro's head, the other gripping his bare hip.  The heat from Sanji's body blanketed his back.

The metal lantern on the table reflected in each of the galley's portholes, an orange-yellow glow against a backdrop of night.  The door was latched, as was the hatch leading to the navigation cabin below.  An open bottle of cooking oil made a slick ring on the otherwise spotless preparation counter.  The musky odor of sex hung heavily in the air.

Black trousers hanging around his knees, Zoro dug his bare toes into the grooves of the floor for purchase, as Sanji's pace increased.   He panted harshly through his slacked mouth.  It felt so good.  Sanji plunged deep with every twist of his hips, sending pleasure radiating through Zoro.  They'd been fucking for months, whenever they were both off the midnight watch.  Zoro had approached Sanji one night for no reason other than being extremely horny and in the middle of the ocean.  The tip of Sanji's cigarette had flared as he'd stared at Zoro for a long moment, before he'd said, "I'm not being the girl."

Zoro had no problems with that, considering, while Sanji enjoyed women, Zoro liked men.  He wasn't about to tell Sanji what he was missing.

The ship creaked as she settled on the waves.  Zoro stared blindly at the joint where the wall met the floor, his hand working fast over his cock.  The rhythm was off, his hips bucking jerkily between Sanji's thrusts and his fist.  His thoughts focused solely on coming.  Pressure built behind his balls.  A lust-wracked cry escaped from his throat, choked off like his breath as orgasm hit.  He spattered the previously stained wall with his release.

He shuddered hard and went still, his cheek pressed against the wood grain.  Sanji pounded into him, seeking his own release.  Zoro closed his eyes and licked his dry lips.  His mind drifted on clouds of nothing, the day's tension bleeding away.  His limbs grew heavier as he leaned against the wall, still deriving pleasure in waiting for Sanji to finish.

The grasp on his hip tightened and Sanji's thrusts stuttered.  Sanji's gasping sounded loud in the galley before it cut off completely and Zoro felt Sanji's cock pulse inside him.  He squeezed his muscles, earning a strangled noise from Sanji, and grinned.

Shifting so his forehead rested against his forearm braced on the wall, Zoro was content to stand there until Sanji regained his bearings.  Sex made him less antagonistic for a short time, though it didn't mean he liked Sanji any better.

Which was why the kiss on the back of his neck surprised Zoro.  His eyes popped open and he turned his head, craning his neck to look over his shoulder in disbelief.

Sex-flushed and sloe-eyed, Sanji stared back at him with an odd weightiness to his gaze.  He caught Zoro off-guard again when Sanji cupped his chin and rubbed the pad of his thumb across Zoro's lower lip.  Zoro was too stunned to move as Sanji pressed fully against his back and brushed a kiss on the corner of his mouth.

Completely floored, Zoro couldn't speak.  Kissing was an intimacy Sanji hadn't wanted, or so he'd thought.  In the many months they'd been fucking, not one kiss had been exchanged.  Sanji shifted, pulling out of Zoro.  With a firm pressure against Zoro's jaw, Zoro was turned around until his back was against the wall, and Sanji leaned in for another kiss.

Sanji's lips were warm and firm against his own.  Zoro could see the fan of fair lashes against the pale skin beneath Sanji's closed eyes.  He didn't know what had gotten into Sanji to make him change his mind, but a lick along the seam of his lips caused a fresh surge of arousal in Zoro and he no longer cared.  Eyelids slipping shut, he fisted a hand in Sanji's shirt, dragged him closer, and kissed him back.

A pleased rumble came from Sanji and he angled his head to deepen the kiss.  His half-hard cock twitched, nestled beside Zoro's reviving erection, their trousers still around their knees.  Zoro's tongue slipped into Sanji's mouth, teasing, tasting and taunting Sanji into reciprocating.  Sanji didn't let him down, plundering his mouth with more passion than skill.  Zoro's desire was stoked further by the lack of finesse, turned on by raw hunger replacing careful seduction.

Breathing heavily, Sanji kissed along Zoro's jawline and down the column of his neck.  Zoro's hips bumped against Sanji's, the sensitive head of his cock tickled by Sanji's pubes.  He moaned softly, grabbed Sanji's hipbones, and rubbed against him.  Sanji returned to Zoro's lips with an impassioned kiss that weakened Zoro's knees.

It didn't take much to get him on his back on the floor.  His surprise at the position was fleeting; like the kissing, Sanji hadn't shown any desire to look at him when they fucked.  Zoro had enough experience to know sex was usually good any which way he could get it, and he kicked his trousers off as Sanji greased himself up with the cooking oil.

Zoro was amused by the slightly befuddled look on Sanji's face once he was prepared and took pity on him by propping an ankle on one shoulder and hooking the other leg around Sanji's waist.  Sanji pressed forward and Zoro sucked in air between his teeth at the familiar stretch.  Once fully seated, Zoro dragged Sanji down into another kiss.

Braced on his forearms on either side of Zoro's head, Sanji returned the kiss greedily, seemingly more interested in it that fucking.  Zoro supposed it was the novelty of something new.  Finally, Sanji began rocking his hips, and Zoro saw stars.  He nearly clunked his chin against Sanji's face as he threw his head back, his head scraping against the plank floor.

Clutching the nape of Sanji's neck, Zoro rode the sparks of almost overwhelming pleasure with every hit of Sanji's cock against that perfect spot inside him.  He could feel Sanji watching him, but he didn't care about the contortion of his features or the sounds he made.  He enjoyed sex without that spot being hit, but when it was�

Heat radiated between his and Sanji's body and sweat plastered his shirt to his chest.  He wormed his hand between their stomachs and wrapped his fingers around his hardened cock.  He jerked himself off with a needy noises coming from his throat.  He balanced on the precipice of orgasm until he thought he'd go out of his mind.

He finally came, with a white-out behind his scrunched eyelids, shooting his release on his and Sanji's shirts.  He milked his cock until it became too sensitive and let his hand fall to the floor.  The jolts against that spot were too much now and he shifted his leg off Sanji's shoulder, changing the angle. 

Sanji adjusted to the move, allowing Zoro to hook both heels around his waist.  Breathing raggedly through his mouth, Zoro opened his eyes and gave Sanji a languid smile.  For some reason, Sanji thrusts stopped abruptly and he stared at Zoro like he'd volunteered to do the dishes or something.  An indefinable expression chased across Sanji's face, leaving Zoro wondering what the hell was going on in that stupid head.  But then, Sanji lowered his mouth and kissed Zoro, and Zoro forgot about knowing. 

He wove his fingers into Sanji's blonde mess of hair, encouraging him to continue.  Rocking his hips again, Sanji obliged and the kiss went on, growing in intensity until Zoro's lips tingled.  Sanji broke away as his rhythm faltered and Zoro watched with sated eyes as Sanji found release again.  A crimson flush spread over Sanji's features, his kiss-bruised mouth contorting almost as if he were in pain.  He came with an undignified grunt and then collapsed on top of Zoro like deadweight.

"Get off me," Zoro said, hardly allowing Sanji time to recover this time.  Sanji's quick pants were warm against the side of his neck, making him feel all the more hot and itchy from sweating.

"You've got no class," Sanji said, pushing up and pulling out of Zoro in one smooth movement.  He wiped his forehead with his shirtsleeve, still breathing unsteadily from exertion.  "A person could wait until their lover recovered."

"A person could," Zoro sat up and reached for his trousers, "but I'm not going to."

Sanji straightened his own clothing and frowned at the drying semen on his shirt.  "This better not stain."

Zoro rolled his eyes.  "It hasn't yet."  A yawn cracked his jaw and he scratched his belly as he stood.  A pleasant lethargy weighed his limbs, the kind that could only be brought on by good sex.   He'd have a quick wash and then he was going to bed.

"Zoro."  His name on Sanji's lips made Zoro pause in unlocking the galley door.  He glanced back over his shoulder.  Sanji leaned against the table, an unlit cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth.  That odd expression had returned.  Sanji opened his mouth to say something, shut it abruptly, and looked away. 

Zoro scowled.  "What is it, cook?  I want to take a shower and go to bed."

"If you disturb Nami-san or Robin-chan, I'll kick your ass."

Scoffing, Zoro unbolted the door and walked out of the galley into the warm Grand Line night.

Out of the corner of his eye, Zoro could see Sanji looking at him again.  He continued curling the weights.  The overhead sun beat hotly against the decks of the Going Merry.  Sweat coated his bare chest and back and dripped from his chin.  Keeping silent count, Zoro watched Sanji watching him.  Sanji had been doing it for the past few weeks, with a furrow between his brows that wavered between annoyance and confusion.  Zoro was sure his expression matched Sanji's each time he caught the cook staring.  Confrontation yielded no answers, just an insult or a demand for some chore to be completed.

Whatever was on Sanji's mind didn't affect their fucking, which was why Zoro didn't care too much about the reasoning behind the looks.  The addition of kissing made sex that much better, in Zoro's opinion.  Sanji had a great mouth and arousal burned hotter with the raw passion behind the kisses.  Zoro also got fucked on his back more because of it, but that definitely didn't bother him.

Leaning against the aft-side rail, Sanji smoked a cigarette down to the filter, watching Zoro the entire time.  Zoro ignored him, as usual, working steadily through his training routine.  He didn't notice when Sanji left, only that he was gone by the time Zoro finished.

Zoro wiped his face with his previously discarded shirt, slung it around his neck, and put up his equipment.  Nami was sunning herself on the foredeck, with Robin seated under the table umbrella reading a book, a short distance away.  Chopper and Usopp sat side-by-side holding fishing poles on the rail.  A third fishing pole dangled in the water without a person holding it.

Zoro wandered inside the lower cabin, carrying his katanas that were never too far from reach.  A short, cool shower washed the sweat from his body.  The three earrings hanging from his ear tinkled as he toweled dry his hair. 

Redressed in his white shirt, black trousers, and haramaki, Zoro slid his sheathed katanas into their holding loop, as he headed up to the galley for something to drink.

"But Sanji, I'm hungry," Luffy's whine greeting Zoro.  He sat cross-legged on the table, rubber arms stretching towards the stove, where a round pie dish sat cooling on the top burner.  The sweet scent of strawberries drifted in the air and made Zoro's stomach rumble.  He loved strawberry pie.

Zoro grabbed his boots from the corner he'd kicked them in at breakfast and sat on the edge of the hatch stairs to pull them on.  The knife blade in Sanji's hand flashed in the sunlight streaming through the portholes.  He slapped the back of Luffy's hand with the dull edge.  "I told you, no."


"Lunch will be ready in an hour.  You can wait that long."  Sanji's shoulders shifted beneath his pale blue shirt as he continued food preparation.  "Now, get out of my kitchen."

"Okay, Sanji."  Luffy jumped off the table and headed out the door.  At the last moment before it swung shut, his arm shot back inside and he snatched the pie right out of the dish.


Zoro had never heard that tone of voice directed at Luffy before, no matter how many times he'd stolen food.  Sanji banged the knife on the counter, curse words flowing from his mouth.  He threw open the cabinet beneath the sink and began kicking something furiously.  "Fucking asshole!  Rubberdicked pegboy!  Mongrel fucking whore!"

Worrying about damage to the Merry, Zoro rose from the steps, crossed the galley, and snagged Sanji by his collar.  "Stupid idiot, you'll destroy the ship."

The rage on Sanji's face was startling.  Zoro leapt backwards, out of the range of Sanji's kick.  "What the hell?" Zoro said, gripping the hilt of a katana.  "It's just a pie, you dumbass cook."

Sanji's body shook with anger, his lips thinned and his hands clenched into fist.  He turned his back on Zoro.  "Get out."

"This is ridiculous," Zoro said, straightening from his defensive stance.  "If dessert's that important, make another damned pie."  A dented hunk of metal under the sink caught his attention.  He realized that was what Sanji had been kicking and was probably put there for that reason.  By the state of the metal, Sanji must have gotten irrationally angry a lot.  Zoro wondered how many dents that he was the cause of and grinned.

Zoro saw Sanji's shoulders slump, the anger leaving him as suddenly as it came on.  "There's no more strawberries," he said, sounding tired and defeated.

"Too bad."  Zoro stepped closer to the stove and wiped his finger through some strawberry filling that had stuck to the pie tin.  He sucked the filling off his finger and moaned at its deliciousness. 

Sanji arched his curled eyebrow at Zoro, leaned back against the edge of the sink, and searched through his pockets for his cigarettes and lighter.  "It's good," Zoro said, wiping his finger thoroughly around the pie tin.  "Strawberry's my favorite."

"I know."

Zoro cut him a glance, sucking his finger in his mouth.  Sanji was frowning fiercely at his feet.   It didn�t make a lick of sense how upsetting Luffy's pie-thievery was to him.  "It's really not a big deal, moron.  There'll be other pies made and stolen by Luffy."

"Hn." Sanji lit his cigarette and took a slow drag from it.  He looked at Zoro and a smile twitched his lips.  "Don't lick the tin, asswipe."

Zoro slid his tongue over the still-warm surface of the tin, licking up the remnants of the pie.  "'S'really good.  Might have to kill Luffy myself."

That earned a chuckle from Sanji, and Zoro felt oddly proud of himself for it.  He deposited the clean tin in the sink behind Sanji.  "You have some on your face," Sanji said.

"Where?" Zoro lifted a hand, ready to catch whatever remained with his finger.  He didn't want to let any go to waste.

It didn't, because Sanji leaned forward and licked the corner of his mouth.  Heat flared in Zoro's belly, underscoring his surprise.  "It's in the middle of the day."

"So?"  Sanji smirked at him and took another drag on his cigarette.  "Something to think about 'til tonight."

Zoro glanced out the porthole to ensure no one was watching and then dove in for a dirty kiss.  Sanji's surprised exhale of cigarette smoke wasn't that pleasant, but Zoro didn't mind because being one-upped was a good look on Sanji.

"Later," he said, and sauntered back outside.

"You.  Come with me."  Sanji pointed at Zoro, who was lounging with his feet-up on the table, drinking from a full stein of rum.  Pirates, drunkards, and other disreputable men sat around scarred tables on rickety chairs in Scally Wagg's Tavern.  Bounty posters with knife slashes and bullet holes decorated the crumbling walls.  Boasting and bragging became more boisterous with the number of drinks had, filling the dim room with lively shouts and booming laughter.

Zoro scoffed at Sanji.  "Forget it, dartboard eyebrow.  I'm not being your packhorse."

The Going Merry had docked in the early evening hours on one of the many islands that populated the Grand Line.  Luffy had run off immediately, in search of meat.  Zoro had escaped almost as quickly, especially once he'd seen the supply list Sanji waved after the anchor had been dropped.  He'd wandered around the clapboard town for an hour before he'd finally found the tavern.  His goal was to drink his money away and was only sixteen steins in.

"The supplies have already been taken care of, no thanks to you, shitty swordsman."  Sanji kicked the foot of Zoro's chair, sending it crashing backwards onto the floor and Zoro's rum spilling everywhere.

"Asshole!  What did you do that for?" Zoro demanded, jumping to his feet.  The empty stein rolled under another table.  Zoro gripped his katana hilt, ready to slice into Sanji.  "You wasted perfectly good rum."

"You could always suck on your shirt," Sanji said.  The patrons around them listened with anticipation for a fight, but they weren't to get one.  Sanji was already heading for the door.  "Come on."

"Who said I was going with you?" Zoro said.

"Just shut up and follow me."

Zoro bristled and went after Sanji for the sole reason of giving him a piece of his steel.  Night had fallen outside.  Candlelight burned behind shuttered windows.  Unsavory hands beckoned into the shadows between buildings.  Zoro marched after Sanji on the dirt-packed street, avoiding the scuffling of some ragamuffin children.  "Where the hell are we going?" 

"Here," Sanji said, cutting suddenly into an open doorway. 

Grumbling, Zoro backtracked and followed Sanji inside.  A wrinkled old man sat on a stool behind a tall desk in an otherwise featureless room.  The man eyed them suspiciously, but said nothing, and Sanji breezed past him like he wasn't even there.  Zoro's curiosity began outweighing his annoyance, as he climbed a rickety set of stairs.  Doorways lined the age-yellowed hallway on the second floor.  Sanji stopped in front of the third door on the left and fitted a key in the lock.

Zoro stared at Sanji in confusion.  "This is an inn."

"Brilliant observation, dumbshit."  Sanji pushed open the door and motioned for Zoro to go inside. 

Zoro stared some more.  "Why?"

"Even you can't be that stupid," Sanji said. 

Of course he wasn't that stupid.  He'd gotten hard the moment he figured out where they were.  It didn't explain why, though.  "Too good for the galley now?" Zoro said.

Sanji's nostrils flared in irritation.  "Do you want to fuck or not?"

Zoro sneered at Sanji and pulled his rum-dampened shirt over his head as he walked inside.  The room was spartan.  A wide bed with thin sheets stood in the corner, with a piss-pot hidden beneath it.  Orange flame flickered on a lit candle in its wall sconce.  A chipped washbasin and pitcher balanced on a short, cockeyed table beneath a broken mirror.  The shutterless window looked out onto the street across from the door.

Zoro dropped his shirt on the scuffed wood floor, followed by his haramaki.  The door lock clicked into place, as he leaned his katanas against the wall beside the bed. He tied his bandana around one of the hilts.  He lifted one foot and then the other, yanking off his boots and tossing them aside.  He was turned by a hand on his shoulder, and he caught a glimpse of the unbridled lust written on Sanji's face before he was being kissed senseless.

Zoro parted his lips and Sanji plundered his mouth hungrily.  The stiff ridge of Sanji's erection pressed against Zoro's thigh and an answering heat pooled at Zoro's groin.  Clutching fistfuls of Sanji's hair, Zoro kissed back with interest, the kind that Nami charged.  

The blunt edges of Sanji's fingernails scrapped dully against Zoro's bare back.  Sanji nudged him backwards and their lips parted as they tumbled onto the bed.  Zoro fumbled with Sanji's buckle as Sanji worked the buttons of his shirt.  The husk mattress crinkled with the movement.  Sanji's shoes thumped on the floor as he kicked them off.

Need made Zoro clumsy and he cursed the button on Sanji's trousers.  Sanji took care of the problem and got rid of Zoro's pants at the same time.  Zoro ogled unabashedly as Sanji searched the pockets the pants he held in his hand.  The candlelight tinted Sanji's pale skin gold.  Shadows played over the lean muscle and emphasized the length of his legs.  His cock curved from his body, flush and heavy from arousal.

Zoro realized it would be the first time they'd been fully naked when they fucked.  The bed was quite a novelty, too.  Maybe sometimes the shitty cook had good ideas.

Sanji came up with a glass vial from the pocket of his pants, which Zoro recognized as body oil.  Zoro was surprised.  Body oil was expensive.  "You sure you want to use that on me?" he said.

"I don't see any other idiots here."  Sanji opened the stopper on the vial, poured a little into his hand, and slicked himself.  The heady scent of spice tickled Zoro's nostrils.  Leaving the re-stoppered vial within reach, Sanji moved over Zoro on the bed.

Zoro shifted his legs and hissed as Sanji breached him after minimal preparation.  Foreplay was for girls, and Zoro liked the stretch and burn, a barefaced reminder that he was with another man.  Ankles braced on Sanji's shoulders, he kissed Sanji's waiting lips, hovering centimeters from his own.

The kiss grew with a passion to rival their fighting as Sanji rocked into him.  Zoro couldn't get enough.  Being fully naked and in an actual bed apparently made his hormones run wild.  He clasped the back of Sanji's neck and ravaged the lips fitted against his, until they were both more panting into each other's mouths than kissing.  Sanji's pace sped up and he rested his sweat-dampened forehead against Zoro's.  His ragged breaths were hot on Zoro's face.

Zoro snaked his hand between their bodies and grasped his aching erection.  He wiped his thumb over the damp head, smearing the pre-come he'd leaked.  Pumping his fist, he jacked his cock in rhythm with Sanji's thrusts.  His chest was sticky with spilled rum mixed with sweat.  The slap of skin against skin sounded dirty to his ears.  His thigh rocked against his arm with every stroke of Sanji's hips.  That perfect spot inside him wasn't being hit, but the sex was still awesome and a moan was torn from his throat.

Sanji muttered a curse, pressed more over Zoro, and banged him fast and furiously.  He came with a stuttered gasp.  Zoro felt the pulse of Sanji's release inside of him and was turned on even more.  He continued jerking his cock, reaching for his own release.  Sanji shifted back and, peering through his eyelashes, Zoro saw him watching.  It was enough to push Zoro to the edge.

He came over his fist and on his belly with a sharp exhalation.  His body hummed with relief.  Sanji shifted out of him and off the bed.  He heard the clink of Sanji's lighter and the scent of the cigarette roused him enough to realize he was thirsty.  He stretched with a pleased sigh, sat up, and scratched the back of his head.  The tavern with its rum called to him again.  He threw his legs over the side of the bed and reached for his pants.

"What are you doing?" Sanji said.  He leaned against the wall by the open window, the smoke from his cigarette curling outside.

"I'm going back to the tavern," Zoro said.


With one foot in the pants leg, Zoro looked at Sanji with a frown.  "What do you mean, 'don�t'?"

Warring emotions flickered across Sanji's face, but he turned his back before Zoro could name them.  "Never mind.  Do whatever you want, marimo-head."

Zoro hated when people did that.  "If you have something to say, then say it.  Tell me what the hell you mean by 'don't."

The tense line of Sanji's back belied the uncaring in his tone.  "I don't have to tell you shit."

Zoro kicked off his pants, stalked over to Sanji, and spun him around.  "You're acting like a damned girl."

"The fuck I'm not."  Sanji knocked Zoro's hand off his shoulder.  "Piss off.  Go drown yourself in a rum barrel."

"This is about my drinking?"

"No, asshole.  It's not about anything but fucking.  Just fucking.  Otherwise, I don't give a shit about you."  Sanji flicked his cigarette out the window, surged up, and kissed Zoro savagely.  There was nothing nice about the cut of his teeth or the bruising pressure against Zoro's lips.

A rush of fresh arousal slammed through Zoro.  Not to be outdone, he crushed Sanji against him and upped the assault.  He attacked Sanji's mouth without holding back.  He fought for dominance with his lips and tongue, refusing to be cowed.  Sanji ripped at his hair, holding his head in a punishing grip.  Zoro's blood heated, his heart pounding in excitement and anticipation.

Sanji pulled away first, but Zoro's crow of victory vanished beneath a wave of desire when Sanji growled, "On your stomach."

Zoro's nostrils flared and his throat ran dry.  A demand made by lust rubbed him just right.  He moved back to the bed and spread on the wrinkled sheets.  Crossing his arms beneath the pillow, he watched through slitted eyes as Sanji used the oil and stroked himself to hardness.  His own cock firmed again, trapped between the mattress and his abdomen.

He started to rise up on his knees as Sanji climbed on the bed, but Sanji shoved him back down.  He entered Zoro with a long, firm slide and then blanketed Zoro with his body.  Sanji pushed his arms beneath Zoro's armpits, under the pillow, and clasped Zoro's hands.  His legs ran along the inside of Zoro's legs and he pressed a wet kiss on the nape of Zoro's neck.  "Damned, shitty swordsman," Sanji said roughly and began to move.

The pillow muffled Zoro's moan.  Sanji thrust with a screw of his hips that drove Zoro's pleasure-sensors insane.  Zoro rocked with Sanji, rubbing his cock against the bed.  It bordered on being too sensitive, so soon after his previous orgasm.  The pressure built slowly and steadily.  Sanji's fingers tightened over Zoro's hands, his forehead pressed against the back of Zoro's neck, driving in with solid slaps of skin-on-skin.   Zoro turned off his mind and gave himself over to the feel of being fucked, and fucked good.

He came first, orgasm raking up from his toes to spill onto the sheets.  Sanji stifled a cry of completion against Zoro's shoulder when he finally found release.  Sated and lax, Zoro lay listening as Sanji caught his breath, his body a warm weight on Zoro's back.  Faint sounds of late revelry drifted through the open window.

"I have the room until the morning," Sanji murmured eventually, his cheek resting on Zoro's shoulderblade.  A weighty silence followed, but Zoro could hear what was being asked.

Content not to move from the bed, he knocked his ankle lightly against Sanji's, with a grin on his lips.  "You're such a girl."

He could feel Sanji's scowl.  "Shut up."

Still grinning, he shut up and drifted off to sleep.

Sunlight streamed through the open window onto the occupied bed.  Street vendors' calls blended cacophonously with the jingle of cart bells and clap of horse hooves on the dirt roads.  Zoro snuffled awake slowly with a jaw-cracking yawn.  He blinked groggily, squinting in the brightness.  The cracked ceiling streaked with grime confused Zoro a moment before he remembered where he was, and he shifted his head on the pillow.  With one leg thrown over both of Zoro's, Sanji lay curled on his side facing Zoro, snoring softly.

Zoro brushed back the hair fanning over Sanji's face and traced his fingertips along the curve of Sanji's cheek.  Something fluttered in his stomach.  He yanked his hand away sharply when he realized what he was doing.  The blonde strands fell over one closed eye, as Sanji slept on.  Blowing out a slow breath, Zoro scrubbed his hand over his face.  What had that been about?

Deciding Sanji's touchy-feely girlishness from the night before had rubbed off on him, Zoro shot Sanji a sour look and climbed out of bed.  Sanji stirred as Zoro slid on his pants.  Sitting up, his hair sticking up in the back like a ducktail and with pillow creases on his cheek, Sanji stared blankly at the window across the room before looking blearily in Zoro's direction.  "It's morning?"

"That would be why the sun is out, dumbass," Zoro said, disturbed by the fact that he found sleepy Sanji endearing.  He grabbed his boots and shoved his feet in them.  "I'm going back to the ship."

"Oh.  Okay."

Zoro cut a glance at Sanji out of the corner of his eye.  Sanji had swung his legs off the edge of the bed and was reaching for the cigarette and lighter sitting on top of his discarded pants.  His expression revealed none of the disappointment Zoro had thought he'd heard.

Shrugging to himself, Zoro slid the katana sheathes into the loop of his haramaki, slung his stained shirt over his shoulder, and headed for the door.  "Don't forget to bring back the oil, love cook."

The snick of the lighter was Sanji's response, as Zoro left the room.

The old man behind the desk in the lobby of the inn shot Zoro the same suspicious look as the night before when Zoro strolled past.  Zoro ignored him, stepping out into the sunny morning.  Dirt kicked up from horses choked the air and the buildings appeared even more rundown in the daylight.  Squealing children darted past him, being chased by a fat man with a rolling pin.  Tiny flowers along the borders of the walkway tried vainly to live, while trampled underfoot by shopping women.  Zoro's stomach rumbled when he passed a fruit seller and was pleased to remember he had unspent rum-money in his pocket.

The strawberries had few bugs and he bought some extra to get Sanji to make him a pie.  There were a couple of exotic-sounding fruits that he bought, too, that he thought Sanji might like.  Sanji enjoyed weird food, and the stinky, spiny Durian and star-shaped Star Fruit were definitely weird.

"Oi, Zoro," Usopp greeted him as he climbed onto the ship.  He'd only found himself on the wrong end of town once while searching for the docks and he'd had the strawberries to fight off hunger.  "What do you have there?"

"Nothing for you," Zoro said.  He glanced around the empty deck.  "Where's everyone else?"

"Robin and Chopper went to go and find Luffy, and Nami's in the cabin, checking her charts."  Concern colored Usopp's face and he drew down one of his targeting goggles to peer in the direction of town.  "I don't know where Sanji is.  We haven't seen him since last night."

"He'll be here soon," Zoro said, scratching his bare belly.  Dried come flaked under his nails.  Leaving Usopp, he dropped the fruit off in the galley and went down to the head for a quick shower.  "'Morning, Nami."

Nami didn't raise her from her charts spread over the desk in the lower cabin.  "Good morning," she said absently, as Zoro walked past her.

After his shower, dressed in a clean shirt, trousers, and haramaki, Zoro untied his bandana from the hilt of the katana and retied it around his bicep.  Combing his fingers through his damp hair, he made his way back up to the galley from the men's quarters.  Sanji had returned and was standing in front of the preparation counter, the exotic fruits spread before him. 

"Did I get enough strawberries for a pie?" Zoro asked immediately, spotting his favorite fruit in a bowl in the sink.  He plucked one from the bowl, damp from rinsing, and bit into the end.  Flavor exploded on his tongue and he slurped the juice that trickled on his lips.

"You bought the fruit?"  Sanji wore the oddest look, a sort-of surprised disbelief with a mixture of something that brought pink to his cheeks.

"Yeah, why?"  Zoro bit into the strawberry again and chewed as he spoke.  "St'awbewwies fa' me.  I 'daught you mi' li' dose."  He pointed at the Durian and Star Fruit.

Sanji blinked at him a couple of times, then suddenly turned and began rearranging the fruit.  His cheeks grew pinker.  "Don't talk with your mouth full.  It's disgusting."

"So?"  Zoro popped the rest of the strawberry in his mouth.  "Pwie?"

"Yes, there's enough for a pie, if you stop eating them.  Now, go away, you shit swordsman.  I've got things to do."

Zoro stole another strawberry from the bowl, ducked the kick to his head, and chuckled on his way out the door.

Zoro blocked a strike, swung around, and sliced through his opponent.  Blood spurted on his shirt and with a grin around the katana hilt in his mouth, he attacked the next pirate.  His katanas flashed in the sun, one in each hand and the third between his teeth.  His bandana kept the sweat from dripping in his eyes, as the fight with the Bogu Pirates continued. 

The brute-sized men wore armor plates strapped to torso and limbs.  They fought in Naginata Style, using wood shafts with a curved blade fashioned onto the end.  The Bogu were fearsome and Zoro could tell they had the skill to back up their reputation in the Grand Line.   

They were still no match for Zoro or his Santoryuu Style.  

Zoro jumped over a naginata slash and cut down his foe as he landed.  The sounds of battle rose from the decks of the Bogu Pirates' ship.  Blood stained the air with its metallic tang.  Zoro danced over the dead bodies sprawled around him, katanas flashing, exhilaration zinging through his veins.

"GOMU GOMU NOOOOO PISTOL!" Luffy's bellow came from the foredeck and Zoro ducked as a Bogu came flying past him.  Laughing, Zoro plowed through his foe, his strength and focus allowing him to slice cleanly through the Bogu's armor.  He was intoxicated by the fight against strong opponents.  Weeks had stretched with nothing but water around the Going Merry.  A break in the monotony of training, sleeping, and fucking was exactly what he needed.  

Zoro's katanas rang against the Bogu's nagitana, knocking it aside before he drove Yubashiri's swordpoint home.  He jabbed backwards, under his arm, with Sandai Kitetsu, spearing another Bogu on the demon blade's tip.  He pivoted on his feet, drawing his arms apart, and charged the Bogu circling around him.  

All too soon, the battled ended.  Zoro's chest heaved as he looked around for more of the enemy to fight.  The dead littered the decks, the weathered wood varnished with blood.  The Bogu Pirate flag fluttered down from the mast in tatters, torn from its place of honor.   

Sliding his katanas into their sheathes, Zoro's shoulders slumped with disappointment.  It was over already.  He pulled off his bandana, tied it around his arm, and jumped from the rail back to the Going Merry.  

Usopp slid down the mast, slingshot still in hand.  He pushed up his targeting goggles.  "Is it over?"  

"Yeah."  Zoro examined his arms as Usopp sighed loudly in relief.  The Bogu had gotten in some good swings.  Several gashes and slices criss-crossed his arms and a few on his chest.  He poked at a deep wound on the back of his wrist and frowned at the pain.  "Where's Chopper?"  

"Inside, patching up Sanji," Usopp said.   

Zoro's head drew up sharply.  "What's wrong with the cook?"  

"I don't know.  Luffy flung him back earlier and Nami and Chopper dragged his body�"  

The rest of whatever Usopp said vanished beneath the loud pounding of his heart.  Zoro stumbled as he rushed up the steps to the galley, his knees not working properly.  A bleak weight pressed against his chest.  Sanji�  

The galley door banged against the wall as Zoro burst inside.  Nami and Chopper jerked in surprise and Sanji � sitting on the edge of the table, shirtless and bandaged, but quite alive � scowled at him.  "Watch the door, you idiot marimo."  

Zoro suddenly felt more angry at Sanji than he'd ever been.  "Stupid, shit cook.  What the hell were you doing?  They were nothing!  You can't even fight without getting hurt?"  

Annoyance creased Sanji's features.  "You're one to talk.  Crashing in here, looking for Chopper to bandage your tender wounds."  

Zoro stomped over to the table, siezed Sanji by the shoulders, and shook him hard, ignoring Chopper's exclamation of protest.  "They were nothing!" he repeated, spitting out the words.  "I trust that you can take care of yourself and then you let those worthless pirates mess you up."  

"It was a lucky shot."  Sanji brought his knees up and kicked Zoro backwards with his feet.  "What the fuck do you care, anyway?"  

"I don't care, asshole.  Go get yourself hacked to pieces if you want," Zoro snarled and stalked out of the galley.   

Standing at the stern rail, Zoro glared out over the sea with his jaw clenched.  Damned cook.  What the hell was wrong with Sanji?  Getting hit by a lucky shot.  He should feel lucky Zoro didn't kill him.  Next time, Sanji should just die if he was going to be so careless.  

An image of Sanji lying dead, a shroud covering his face, appeared in Zoro's mind and he bowed quickly over the rail, feeling like he was about to retch.  He breathed rapidly, the salty air making his throat tighten.  Behind him, he heard Luffy's gleeful "Woohoo!" and Robin's light laughter as they landed on the deck, returning from the Bogu Pirate ship.  

Zoro straightened and pushed the image forcefully from his mind.  It would never happen.  Sanji wouldn't give him the satisfaction of being able to say "I told you so."  

Turning around, Zoro dropped into a sitting position, leaned his katanas against his shoulder, and closed his eyes for his usual post-fight nap.  

Sleep was a long time in coming.  

The heat from the stove and Usopp's room-warmer invention helped fight the chill in the galley.  Outside, the wind whistled sharply, blowing gusts of snow over the Going Merry's decks.  Luffy made a bright speck against the white, bundled in his winter coat, seated on the Merry's figurehead.  The rest of the Straw Hat crew played wise and stayed indoors on the blustery day.  

Across from Zoro, Nami was reading a book, her chin resting on her hand.  Robin and Chopper played chess at the other end of the table.  Mugs of hot cocoa steamed beside the board.  Usopp sat on the floor, tools spread around him, building yet another contraption.   

Seated cross-legged, sideways on the bench seat, Zoro sharpened Wadou with a sharpening stone.  He lifted the katana in the light coming through the porthole, examining the bevel of the blade.  Satisfied, he set the stone aside and began to wipe Wadou down with a polishing rag.  

"Taste this."  A ladle was thrust in his face, filled with dark liquid.  He opened his mouth and slurped automatically.  A disgusting flavor coated his tongue.  Making a face, he looked up at Sanji.  "It tastes like someone's used socks."

A deep furrow etched between Sanji's brows.  "So, I wasn't mistaken."

"Did you forget how to cook, cook?" Zoro smirked.

"Shut up, dickhead."  Sanji went back over to the stove and stirred the bubbling stew pot.  The pink apron was tied over his clothing.  "It tasted fine twenty minutes ago.  None of the vegetables were rotten, and I thoroughly pre-cooked the meat�" 

Trailing off, his shoulders tensed suddenly.  He lifted the ladel from the pot and turned slowly around.  "What. Is. This?" he bit out.

A striped sock draped over the edges of the ladel.

Zoro burst out laughing.  "No wonder it tasted like socks!" 

Nami giggled and Robin laughed behind her hand.  Chopper chortled unabashed.  "A sock in our soup!  Ahahahahaha!"

"Usopp," Sanji growled.

Usopp halted mid-crawl to the floor hatch, with only one stripped sock on.   "IforgotsomethingIneed," he blurted and disappeared in a whirl of dust.

"Get back here, you long-nosed shit!"

Usopp, of course, didn't come back.  Sanji stomped around the galley, muttering curses as he pulled his winter coat on.  He heaved the soup pot off the stove and went to dump its contents overboard.

Zoro grinned tauntingly at Sanji when he returned.  "Guess your soup's only good enough to do laundry in."

A wet, striped sock hit him in the face.

Nami giggled again, though her eyes were on her book once more.  Chopper and Robin had returned to their game.

Zoro dragged the sock off his nose.  Sanji tossed his coat on the bench seat beside him.  He smirked down at Zoro, with a challenging lift of his curled eyebrow, daring Zoro to retaliate.

Zoro slung the sock around Sanji's neck and used the ends to pull him down into a short kiss.  "Asshole," he said with a smile.

Sanji's expression was priceless and Zoro chuckled, releasing the sock.  It was then that he remembered they were not alone.  Nami and Chopper stared at him, jaws on the table.  He felt a heated blush spread over his face.

Robin didn't appear surprised.  "Mr. Cook, may I please have a refill of cocoa?"

"Um, ah, y-yes, Robin-chan."  Sanji matched the color of his apron.  He snatched her empty mug and went over to the stove.  The warmed pot clacked loudly against the edge of the mug, knocking it over as he started pouring.  He righted it, cursing quietly.

Zoro glanced at Sanji's back and then averted his eyes.  Tension thickened the air.  He couldn't believe he'd kissed Sanji in front of the others.  He hadn't even thought about what he was doing; he'd just acted.  It wasn't an impulse, either, to try and rattle Sanji.  It had been a natural action, like breathing, or walking, or swinging his swords.

"Here you are, Robin-chan."  Sanji handed her the refilled mug.

"Thank you," she said.

"Sanji�," Nami had found her voice first, though her words were stuttered, "�you?  And Zoro?"

"Ah, it's� it's not what you think," Sanji said, fumbling for his cigarettes.

Nami looked incredulously at him.  "What is it, then?"


"I love him."  Zoro looked up at Sanji, who stared back with impossibly wide eyes.  "You.  I love�"  What the hell was he saying?  He scrambled to his feet, shoved Wadou in her sheath, and ran out of the galley.  He was freaked out by his own confession.  Since when did he l�have feelings for Sanji?  If he'd been falling in l�that emotion, he would've put a stop to it.

Slipping on the snowy deck, Zoro threw open the hatch and jumped down into the men's quarters.  The wind blew snowdrift into the forecastle, but Zoro didn't care.  He threw himself onto the couch, braced his elbows on his knees, and buried his face in his hands.  "Stupid, fucking idiot," he cussed himself with a harrowed groan. 

It didn't change the fact that he was in love with Sanji.


Midnight rolled around and it was Zoro's turn on watch.  No one had bothered him in the men's quarters, which was both surprising and thankful.  He'd managed to wrap his head around what his heart had decided without any input from him.  He didn't know when he'd fallen in love, he just was and that was all that there was to it.  Now, he needed to know where Sanji stood about it.  He'd have to corner Sanji alone sometime in the morning.

Not wanting to face the others yet, he dug a spare winter coat, scarf, and gloves out of one of the booty sea chests in the hold.  His own winter weather gear was in the galley still, where everyone had been sleeping the past few weeks, to keep warm.  A pile of snow stood at the bottom of the ladder to the deck.  Zoro closed the hatch behind him and then climbed the rigging to relieve Robin.

Only it wasn't Robin on watch, like it should have been � it was Sanji.

Bundled in his thick coat with fuzzy green muffs covering his ears, Sanji watched Zoro intently as he climbed into the crow's nest.  Discomfort made Zoro awkward and he nearly fell on his face.  Sanji's arm shot out, catching him.  Cheeks burning, Zoro unhooked his toe from the edge of the crow's nest wall and found his footing.  "Thanks," he mumbled.

"Shitty swordsman," Sanji replied, and kissed him.

Zoro made a sound of surprise in the back of his throat.  He stared cross-eyed at Sanji, as Sanji's warm mouth covered his own.  Sanji kissed him ardently, one hand holding his shoulder, the other firm on the back of his neck.  His eyelids slid shut as realization set in, and he wrapped his arms around Sanji and clutched him tightly.  His stomach fluttered, as he sunk deeper into the kiss.

Sanji broke away first.  He rested his forehead against Zoro's, breathing heavily.  "I want to fuck you, right now."

Zoro ached swiftly with desire.  "Hell, yes."

"I'll meet you in the men's bunk.  Robin's waiting to come on watch."

Zoro nearly went tumbling again, this time awkward from arousal.  He made it safely down the rigging and into the men's quarters.  He lit a lantern and tugged off his clothes.  The hammocks cast webbed shadows on the hull.  The hatch overhead closed and Sanji's boots rang on the ladder.  His nostrils flared when he saw Zoro naked.

He took a mostly used vial of body oil from his coat pocket, tossed it to Zoro, and started undressing.  The oil smelled like lavender, bought again by Sanji at their last island stop.  Zoro poured a dollop on his fingers, braced a foot on the couch, and reached back to prepare himself.  Sanji cursed and a boot went sailing.  It thumped against the hull and tumbled to the floor.

Zoro glanced over his shoulder and was burned by Sanji's heated stare.  Shirtless and wearing one boot, Sanji gave up stripping and move swiftly behind him.  Shoving his trousers down, Sanji snatched the vial from Zoro and coated his rigid cock.  He capped the vial, tossed it on the couch, and positioned himself.  With a firm press forward, he slid inside Zoro.

Zoro exhaled sharply at the stretch and burn.  His toes curled on the cushion, his foot still propped on the couch.  Bent forward, he braced a hand against the seat back and the other on his knee.  Sanji wrapped around him, chest to back, and began fucking him hard.

Zoro's rumble of pleasure rolled across the men's quarters.  Sanji thrust with full, fast stabs.  It felt unbelievably good.  Sweat beaded at Zoro's hairline and on his upper lip.  Sanji was hot and heavy against his back.  Panting breaths underlined with nearly inaudible whimpers gusted past his ear.  The ridge of Sanji's pants zipper rubbed abrasively against the back of his leg.

Sanji's hand closed around Zoro's hard cock and Zoro hissed.  Body oil slicked Sanji's palm from using it on himself.  Zoro moaned unrestrainedly, as Sanji jacked him in rhythm to his thrusts.  He bucked reflexively and the slight change in angle sent sparks spiraling through his vision.  "There," he begged raggedly.  "Right there."

Sanji complied, and Zoro was gone.  His balls tightened, pressure building with every stroke against that perfect spot.  Sanji pressed against his back, holding him tight with his other arm, riding him with smacks of colliding flesh.  He came with a hoarse cry, shooting onto the couch.

Head hanging, Zoro's mind floated in a post-orgasmic haze as his body was used.  Sanji mouthed his shoulder and bit down as he came, snapping Zoro back to reality.  "Ow, you asshole."

Sanji grunted and lay like a dead weight on him.  Rolling his eyes, Zoro waited until the count of six before arching his shoulders.  "Get off."

"You have no sense of romance."

"Having you cling to me like a barnacle isn't romantic, either."

Sanji snorted, shifted out of him, pulled up his pants, and flopped onto the couch.  He lit up a cigarette, putting the case and lighter back into his pocket.  Zoro found Sanji's shirt first and used it to wipe up, earning a "Fucker."

Stepping into his own pants, Zoro sank onto the couch beside Sanji.  He leaned his head on the seat back and closed his eyes.  Lethargy weighed his limbs.  The acrid scent of smoke wafted past his nose.

He was just drifting off when he felt Sanji's hand on his thigh and a kiss on the curve of his shoulder.  "Love you, too, you stupid shit."

He slipped into sleep with a smile on his face.

"Nami-saaan, Robin-chaaan, I have sundaes." Sanji swaned down the steps with hearts swarming around his head like a plague of locusts.  Zoro rolled his eyes and continued the remainder of his repetitions.  Sanji stopped beside the table where the two ladies were seated and placed a tall, glass dish in front of each of them.  

The pleasantly warm weather was a nice change from the solid week of spring storms they'd sailed through.  The Going Merry bobbed on the choppy waves, following the course that Nami set.  Small repairs had been made to the mizzen sail and seeds planted where one of the mikan trees had been lost.

"Oooh, sundaes!"  Luffy charged Sanji and went flying when he received a kick to the chest. 

Sanji bent, his still leg extended in the air, and held the serving tray out for Chopper and Usopp, both seated on the foredeck. "One for each of you."

"Thank you, Sanji!" Chopper burbled happily, his hooves clinking against the glass dish.

Sanji straightened after Usopp took his, picked up a dish, and held it in the air.  Luffy snatched it as he rubberbanded back on board the ship.  "Thanks, Sanji!"

Zoro completed his repetitions as Sanji reached his side.  Somehow, the cook always appeared with treats right as Zoro was finishing up with training in the afternoon.  Sanji took a seat on the deck, placing the tray in front of him, and picked up one of the two remaining sundaes.  His and Zoro's foot came down hard on Luffy's hand before it reached the tray.

Laughing, Luffy's hand snapped back when they released him.

Zoro flopped down cross-legged beside Sanji, their knees knocking.  "What's the purple crap on this?" he said, taking the last dish.

"Boysenberry.  Shut up and eat it."

Zoro ate a spoonful.  The fruity flavor was sweet on his tongue, mixed with the vanilla ice cream.  "This is good."

Sanji shot him a look that read: Of course it's good.  I made it, dickhead.

The clink of spoons against glass drifted across the ship, as the crew enjoyed their sundaes.  Zoro finished his � it really was good � and put the empty dish on the serving tray.  He stretched out on the deck, shifting to use Sanji's thigh as a pillow.  Closing his eyes, he sighed contentedly and listened to the wind play with the waves.

"Get off me, marimo-head."

Without waiting for Zoro to move, Sanji pulled his leg away.  The back of Zoro's head smacked against the deck.  "Ow, you stupid cook.  What'd you do that for?"

"I'm not a pillow."  Sanji flicked Zoro's forehead.  "And that did not hurt.  Your head's as hard as a brick � and as thick as one."

"At least I can't use my eyebrows as a dartboard."

Sanji rolled his eyes at the lameness of Zoro's comeback, picked up the tray, and headed for Nami and Robin's table.  "Robin-chwan, Nami-swan, did you like the sundaes?  May I bring you anything else?"

Zoro folded his hands behind his head and closed his eyes again.  Sanji's fawning voice rose and lowered in volume in response to the girls.  He'd join Sanji in the galley in a few minutes, to wash the dishes and get in a few gropes to tide him over until midnight.


Luffy's bellowed greeting brought Zoro to his feet and the others hurrying to the rail.  Closing in on them was a Marine battleship, its broad sails billowing in the sharp breeze.  A canon fired a return greeting that splashed off the Merry's bow.  Luffy cackled from his perch on the figurehead and he flung both of his arms forward.  "GOMU GOMU NOOOOOO�"

Zoro shoved his katanas in the strap on his haramaki and latched an arm around Luffy's neck.  Another arm crossed his and he glanced at Sanji, who gave him a quirk of a smile.  "Fighting always makes me horny.  How about you?"

Zoro grinned wolfishly in return.  Maybe he wouldn't have to wait until midnight.