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Sanji Is A Slut

Title: I Should Have Kissed You Slowly Author: RandomTwirler Pairing:…

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Nel Espada
Title: I Should Have Kissed You Slowly
Author: RandomTwirler
Pairing: Zoro/Sanji
Rating: PG-13 for language, innuendo, and almost-yaoi
Timeline: This piece is another installment in the Reminiscence and Reverie Collection on my blog and buried deeply in the community history and is set between the Drum Island arc and the Alabasta Arc – only mild spoilers for the former. 
Summary: Why taking that first step is so difficult sometimes...



He could see him there under the hazy light of the waning moon – flaxen hair, pale azure eyes.

He could smell him – practically breathe in that scent of stale cigarettes and freshly brewed coffee from nearly ten feet away.

He was like a shadow against the railing of the Merry – protracted lines and sharp angles in that impeccably tailored charcoal suit with the complementing buttercream dress shirt – mercury-hued tie all but disremembered in some other location on the vessel.

He wasn’t sure why he had decided to follow the cook out into the night. Maybe the bushido felt that it was a perfect opportunity to instigate a midnight duel. Perhaps there was some unspoken thought that needed to be verbalized. Or maybe the swordsman just wanted to be near him.

The reason didn’t truly matter all that much to the olive-haired first mate – not any more than the lap of the waves against the sides of the ship or the soft flapping of the Strawhat flag as the breeze picked up and the night grew darker.  All that did matter was that he was there now, leisurely closing the distance between their shadows, near enough to the edge that he could sense the placid spray of the ocean against his cheeks, blinking his eyes at the insignificant tickle.

It wasn’t regularly that Zoro thought intensely about anything – mostly because he seldom had the time or vigor to do so. Also, he wasn’t particularly proficient at it. He was not what one would call a ‘profound’ man by any stretch of the imagination – very stabs first, asks questions later kind of fellow. The idea of training with his swords and pumping iron had always been more pleasing than the thought of extended introspection – meditating was about as far as he ever got, and that was more of an art of cleansing the mind of thought.

Deep thought was reserved more for people of that navigator wench’s capacity – people who didn’t already have things to be doing all day – people who could sit for long hours and just think about their lives without a relentless necessity for action and improvement. Because Zoro was a man of action – he always had been and probably always would be.

When he wasn’t training in the crow’s nest, he was guzzling alcohol in the ship’s hold or meditating in the mikan grove.
When he wasn’t doing that, he was on night watch duty, eating in the galley, or dead to the world in the men’s bunk. There merely were not sufficient hours in the day to be spent thinking…

Things had been bizarre between him and the cook lately – ever since the blonde had broken his back on Drum Island. Zoro couldn’t remember a time before then that he had ever been so scared for someone else in his life – ever. It had been a rude awakening that had stirred up so many different emotions of fear and doubt, all twirling around in his head as if he had a prayer of figuring them out.

But he had – he had figured it all out. However, in that singular terrifying instant that the pieces had fallen into place and everything had suddenly made sense, he was torn between being immensely impressed with himself that he had discovered it on his own and being unquestionably fucking horrified of what that discovery had meant.

He wanted the man before him – probably almost as much as he wanted to achieve his greatest dream – and that was a categorically petrifying thought to contemplate. He had no idea what could possibly come of it, or if it would even be reciprocated, but he knew that he had to act on it soon or he would go entirely stir crazy over it. They had been dancing around each other for nearly a week now, and it had visibly take its toll on both of them in ways that were anything but advantageous to their daily trades.

In those seven long days and nights he had come to accept that fact with evident certainty – he would stand by idly no longer.

Coming to stand beside the cook, he glanced out over the sea into the never-ending murkiness as he let the silence stretch over them. It was eerily still, as if the whole world was holding its breath about them, waiting on the edge of its seat to witness what might transpire next – it was unnerving, yet thrilling at the same time.

“So…are you actually going to talk about that stick that’s been shoved up your ass since Drum Island now?”

The rich tenor of the cook’s voice washed over him like silk against his weary ears, indulgent and sinuous in its tone, yet lethargic as it registered his weariness – Zoro forgot to respond. It was only when he picked up on that resigned sigh and sarcastic spur from beside him that he comprehended his mistake.

“Nevermind, talking never has been your strong suit, has it…?”

He couldn’t tell if the cook was teasing him, or if he was genuinely disappointed by the swordsman’s lack of response. A sudden impulse shot through the bushido in that moment, as if concerned that the cook might decide to up and walk away before he had a chance to take action – which was something he prided himself on, after all. He was astounded it was taking himself so long to do anything – he was the second greatest swordsman in the world for Christ’s sake! Why couldn’t he just spit these words out?

But for some reason, they wouldn’t come out – merely allowing him to open and close his mouth repeatedly without a single issuance of sound. It was both frustrating and embarrassing, and Zoro wasn’t sure what to do about it.

So, instead of thinking about it further, he turned abruptly to face that cook, locking onto that one unobscured cerulean eye through the hazy darkness, catching that startled raise of an eyebrow and parting of lips as he drew unsuitably close. He could feel the brush of the cook’s dress shirt against the unused buttons of his own black undershirt, the heat from that lithe body seeping through to his own chest, evoking a contradictory shiver from the man before him that probably had nothing to do with the temperature of the evening.

His hands remained by his sides, one gripping the railing with a white-knuckled clutch, the other fisted at his flank – as if he didn’t trust them enough to permit them access to this reserved moment between the two men. His words were gruff and raspy as he knocked their foreheads together, pulling a soft gasp from the blonde before him.

“You’re absolutely right about that…words are empty, useless. Actions talk far louder anyway…or some shit like that.”

He felt before he heard the soft chuckle against his chin, as if the cook found some amusement from those ill-mannered, coarse words, those pale lips twisting slightly into a half-smile in response.

“So, what exactly is it that you need to tell me that you just can’t seem to find the words to do so, Marimo.”

The inquiry ended on an even breathier chuckle at the awkward intimacy of their position, and Zoro couldn’t retort, because the cook had somehow managed to generate his own hypnotic pull. His mind seemed to have fled him, because all he was able to do was tilt his head just enough to brush his nose against the softness of one ivory cheek, and lean in just the smallest distance, effectively killing the previous smirk on the blonde’s lips as both breaths hitched.

They were so close – he could virtually taste the cook on his tongue, their lips fewer than a millimeter from brushing. He could feel that scorching breath against his mouth, the scratch of that barely-there scruff on the cook’s own chin as their lips orbited one another’s, now sapphire eyes slipping to half-mast at the proximity. He could feel the tickle of windswept golden strands dancing across the bridge of his nose, the nimble weight of a long-fingered hand resting against the crook of his bare elbow, as if the cook meant to steady himself – or maybe just to touch, to make certain that this was all real…
Zoro was closely holding his breath as he leaned forward at the near-promise of a life-altering motion that would forever change them.

But then something clicked in the posterior of his brain – something that made him practically seasick with unease. He wasn’t sure what it was, but it was slowly becoming almost debilitating in its acuity. It was also threatening to ruin this perfect moment with someone who Zoro hoped would allow themselves to become very essential in his life – as if they already weren’t.

The ignominious emotion was beginning to truly piss him off as he could feel that breath quicken at his jawline, those pastel eyes gradually opening once more as if sensing the swordsman’s inner turmoil. Their noses bumped haphazardly, lips barely sweeping against one another as-

“Luffy, you asshole! Where the fuck did you put my…Oh, nevermind, here it is!”

And just like that the spell was broken – an azure set of eyes snapping open in astonishment, hazel ones sliding closed in infuriated defeat.

Zoro could feel the tension in his jaw as he clenched his teeth securely, as if physically restraining himself from hurriedly closing that now broadening distance before going on a rampage. Even as he bowed his head slightly in resignation, he was still so near that he could feel that burning breath against his cheekbone, gusting forward on an unsatisfied pant as that slender nose bumped once more against his own – almost as if to encourage him back into that previous intimacy. The closeness was almost enough to make him change his mind before he perceived the footsteps that drew ever nearer as a light from the galley filtered outward, piercing the near blackness.

Now, Zoro didn’t care one way or the other if that red-headed sea bitch found out about them – in fact, it might do her some good to be knocked down a peg or two – assuming she actually cared about the blonde cook. But he knew that that would kill the man before him, even if the cook wouldn’t admit it right then. Zoro knew that it was far too soon to reveal that sort of thing to anyone else in the crew – especially something as intimate as their first kiss…so it would just have to wait.

Knocking their foreheads together in some semblance of an apology, the swordsman grunted softly before frowning deeply and turning away. He didn’t want to see that disappointed expression on those perfectly sculpted features. He didn’t want to hear that trembling sigh of disappointment from those pale lips. And he most certainly didn’t want to be around when the cook cursed himself for letting that happen ‘in such a public place where anyone could walk out, and it was absolutely the idiot swordsman’s fault for affecting him in such a way that he would overlook that vital point.’

No, Zoro didn’t plan to be around when any of that occurred, so he just kept walking until he reached the bathrooms, slamming the door closed and propping a chair against it. Plopping down along the edge of the porcelain tub, he scowled deeply, almost painfully as he slammed his hands against his face in frustration, dragging his calluses along his tired appearance.

The only thought that registered in his brain was one of irritated submission:

“I should have just fucking kissed him…”


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