“yo, you need to check this out.” usopp called on zoro, he’s dressed in adidas track pants and a blue tee.
“yeah what?” he’s in the middle of his at-home exercises, as ace likes to say: ’the grind don’t stop.’
“sanji deadass wrote a song about you--look at these lyrics. i mean, ‘sharp eyes’ and ‘always so wise.’ man that’s gotta be you.” he brings the phone to his face displaying the lyrics.
zoro would be lying if it didn’t cause his stomach to churn or raise his heart beat, but he doesn’t show it.
“and?” he deadpans. trying to seem bored when all he think of the possibility that sanji had wrote a song about their relationship that lasted through the last years of high school and the beginning of university.
“and, that’s fucking crazy. i mean--” he scans zoro’s face, he knows that sanji once was zoro’s whole world. and in some ways still is.
“yeah? not really.” he adds, before going back to lifting the weights.
usopp lets out a nervous laugh, before adding quietly, “are you going to be okay?”
he, ultimately knows zoro--strong and cool had been heartbroken over sanji’s departure 3 years ago, after sanji had a record deal somewhere in america. they broke of their relationship over it, even though usopp could seen the fucking longing in zoro’s eyes whenever they see a billboard with sanji’s face on it.
zoro looks over at him, dropping a weight. “yeah,” he smiles, a smile that would work on literally anyone but usopp, and maybe luffy and nami. “yeah i’m good.”
“yeah okay.” usopp says, walking out.
“zoro!” sanji races towards him, legs moving at a godly speed, he is known for them after all.
the lunch bell just went off and just as zoro and luffy left biology class they were faced with a angered sanji.
“hey sanji.” luffy waved, happily. as zoro yelped when sanji collided with him,
“ow! what the fuck mushroom head?” zoro whined,
sanji gave him a puzzled look, “mushroom head huh? that’s a new one.”
“yeah, and if you don’t get the fuck off me, i’ll--oomf!” he was cut off with sanji’s hand over his mouth.
“shut it,” sanji started “i want to know why you thought it was alright for you to take nami’s strawberry cake.” he glared at him. before cringing because zoro just licked his hand.
“what the fuck!” he retrieved his hand from zoro’s mouth and took a step back, eyeing his now wet palm, zoro looked at it too only to add “didn’t know you were into that.”
“into what?” sanji visibly blushed, his face becoming blotching and red.
he got this flustered over that small of comment? zoro thought.
“i don’t know, pushing me onto a locker and being so fascinated at my saliva on your hand.” he smirked allowing it to smooth on his face slowly.
“yeah right, zoro.” he grumbled but he seemed even more flustered hearing what zoro said, especially at the mention of salvia on your hand.
zoro put his hands up as he moved his head around looking for luffy, “‘m not here to judge.”
once he spotted luffy he began to walk away leaving an even more mad sanji in his wake.
“by the way, the cake was delicious.”
zoro didn’t have a real family until he was put into at least two foster care families, the first middle class family who hadn’t shared anything with zoro, the family took him in for more charity reasons than not, that foster mother seemed to have her own share guilt issues that showed whenever she looked at him. he found out later she lost her child to something that could’ve been prevented easily. he arrived at the age of six and departed at 9.
the next was a low-income family who would just use him for the foster care money, although his foster siblings were quite nice, he would play soccer with them on the neighborhood field, the oldest sibling, a brother would visit sometimes and took zoro and the other four kids to this annual carnival in the city for the two summers he was there.
the final place he went is the place he currently lives, he was adopted by his father, koshiro. he and his daughter were a lower middle class family. his father would teach a kendo class at the community center two days a week, it’s where zoro learned all about it. where he found a true passion, he was 11 when he moved in with them and he found himself really, truly happy. another plus was that they were also japanese and he could connect with his culture, something he lost when his mother died, he lost his mother tongue but found it again there.
he also found a sister and best-friend kuina. two years older him, and extremely skilled at kendo and like, every other sport. their rivalry ended, 5 years later at age 16 she died in her sleep. he remembers clearly--waking her up for school, it was the last month before her high school graduation. he called her from the front of her door, grumbled loudly when wouldn’t answer and though to shake her to awake her. only to reach for her hand and find no reactions. something broke in him when she died. he vowed to his best in life for her, in school, in life, in kendo.
he didn’t attend to school for a full month before arriving again. luffy found his side the moment he stepped through the doors, the crew supported him through it all,
sanji asked him later that day if he was okay, and it was different than luffy and nami’s and usopp’s questions. because he eyes showed concern, yes, but his
“hey, did you do your chem homework?” sanji asked him the first day back from school after march or spring break, it wasn’t actually spring, at least not in toronto. it’s been three months since kuina’s death and sanji is still being too nice, zoro feels something is up--and if it’s him pitying zoro, well that’s not something he’d like.
“uh, yeah actually.” zoro answered looking over to him, they're in the library for their law class, zoro is somewhat interested in this course,
“okay, then you did number 5?” sanji then asks, they’re sitting next to each other. sanji props his elbows on the table, places his hands on his face and tilts right enough that he eyes zoro.
“what? you need help?” zoro asks.
“actually i don’t---” he stops because zoro leans forward towards him, one arm rested on his chair the other gripping a pencil. and sanji feels a tightness in his chest.
“it’s balancing chemical equations so you just--” zoro starts.
“i know how to balance them i’m just,” he stops when zoro turns his head towards him, slowly almost, their faces are centimeters apart. and his voice stops when his sees the brown in zoro’s eyes and the way a piece of his fucking green hair falls forward onto his face.
“you’re just what?” he asks, his voice slow, he pulls each word. eyes sanji’s face with a calculated stare.
“tired, i'm just tired.” he finishes. he is, working at the baratie after school even though he doesn’t need to. he loves it though, the thrill of cooking, the spices, the smells. but now all he can smell is zoro’s natural scent of warmth and his breath smells like toothpaste and usopp’s favorite candy. he can’t stop staring at his lips.
zoro grunts and moves away, he noticed sanji’s staring.
it’s their school's winter formal they’re 17 going on 18, and zoro was forced to go because of luffy.
(“if you don’t come i’ll, uh..stop being your friend?” luffy says, head tilted to this side. trying to threaten him. “oh no, you got me luffy. i’ll go.” he says sarcastically, a gloomy day while doing homework. luffy doesn’t notice his sarcastic tone and laughs in accomplishment.)
he wears a suit that’s rented because he really doesn’t want to make koshiro pay for a real suit; they're fucking expensive, and he’s only using it for a day, and maybe he’ll rerent one when he graduates. he arrived with luffy who also wears a suit only it's red and if that doesn’t just scream luffy.
they later spot usopp and nami entering together. they’re a thing now, and zoro is really pleased with it, only usopp has gotten even more squishy and lovely with her if that’s possible. sanji enters last and he wears a tailored suit, probably some designer shit, he was always the most well-off from the crew.
“just ask him out.” nami eyes him, in all his glory. “look at him, he’s fucking cute. and you like him.”
it’s been an ongoing thing in which nami pesters zoro into flirting with sanji since near the end of junior year.
he grunts then says, “nami, i’m not going to do anything.”
she sighed, taking a sip of one of the refreshments, “i can’t force you.” she turns her head in the direction of sanji, he opened the back door of the venue they’re in, probably to smoke.
“but,” she starts, “you can join him outside.” she winks.
“hey.” he says when zoro walks towards him.
“yo.” he sits down next to him on the steps of the school, freezing ari and ting “what’s up?”
“just catching a break.” he lifts his joint towards zoro.
“you’re smoking that here?” zoro smirks, “what if you get caught.”
sanji shrugs, “everyone is fucking smoking man.”
zoro grunts in agreement. it quiet between them for a while, only it’s good--better than their petty fights, and it’s comfortable, the silence and the crisp air of march.
“zoro, i, uh.” sanji starts his fingers twisting together
“yeah?” zoro says just to fill the silence. sanji is acting abnormal, he second guessing himself something that doesn’t happen.
“i know nothing will happen, ‘m not asking you do to do anything, but i really can’t contain this shit anymore.” he exhales his smoke, and turns his head towards zoro.
“what is it?” he wonders if sanji has some drug addiction, or like got kicked out of school.
he drags his joint back before saying a couple of words that shape zoro’s world for the next few years, that light a fire in his chest, words he sometimes remembers late at night after training the fuck out of his body.
he say: “i have feelings for you.” he stares deeply into zoro’s eyes,
zoro wants to ask if he’s joking, if he’s playing. because he always thought sanji was cute, under all those fights, he always appreciated the moments between the two of them. when he cooked for him once, after a very competitive soccer game at the community center, and said i can't let you starve, even if you’re annoying as fuck. or when he sang for zoro while they’re high as hell, and the way sanji fingered the guitar strings, sang with a voice husky and low, zoro felt something.
“you’re serious.” zoro just states.
sanji huffs, eyes leaving zoro he plays with the cuff of his suit. “no shit.”
“since when?” zoro ask, leaning towards him.
“does that even matter?” he narrows his eyes at him, nerves leaving and the hurt of rejection surfacing, because of course zoro doesn’t feel the same.
“it does.” he moves closer, hands on either side of sanji, his breath ghosting over sanji’s mouth.
“what--” sanji starts.
“can i kiss you” he rasps out.
“yes” he says all choked up.
he tastes like toothpaste yes, and cheap beer and weed. he pulls back and tells him open up, and sanji whimpers he’s weak only for zoro.
he listens to the song after a shower later, it is quite overdue--their relationship ended years ago. the memories that sanji sparks back into zoro’s memory hurt. the remembrance of when their relationship first started;sneaking off during lunch break to talk, and sanji would occasionally bring zoro lunch. when they first told their friends--nami’s smirk, luffy infectious laugh, usopp’s grin. it hurt but also brought a smile remember.
“hey!” nami knocked on the door to his room, he lived in an apartment with usopp and luffy. it was pretty nice, with zoro being relatively famous at doing kendo and usopp being an engineer. they have more than enough to get by, which they worked hard for.
he grunts in response, woken from his nap.
nami sneers at him “it’s 4pm.” she says once she opened the door to his room, he was sprawled on his bed. his room was large, with a huge ass window on one side and his bed on the other. it’s very minimalistic with only his closest and kendo supplies serving as something interesting to look at.
he grunts again to respond.
“anyways,” she puts her hands on her hips, “i’m here because sanji, he--”
of course nami has heard something directly from sanji, and that doesn’t sting, no but it causes his to skip a beat and his chest feel a sort of envy. the rest of the crew had always kept close contact with sanji after their breakup and his departure and it always hurt hearing news or even simple stories about how he’d once lost his guitar after a show only to find it later in his tour bus a week later. it hurt, and it did sting even if he tires to tell himself it doesn’t.
“i don’t want to hear it.” zoro finally sits up, and lets his eyes fall gravely onto hers.
“zoro, he just wanted to apologize, if you feel offended or--” she grimaces. her mouth forming a frown.
“if he wants to apologize, he can tell me himself.” he says, lets his eyes fall to the ground. he is more offended that sanji would feel like he would be offended. the song was more nostalgic for zoro. and of course it hurt, but it was sanji’s truth, and his art that he wants to share to the world.
nami’s frown deepens, but in her eyes zoro sees a flicker of hope as she says “he’s landing here in a couple of days.”
they walked out of the community center and were hit with the freezing breeze of winter. it was their last year of high school and zoro couldn’t be happier.
“fuckin’ cold.” he muttered, head covered in a cozy hat sanji leaned to him.
“mhm.” sanji agreed.
they finished their gym routine, tuff shit that left them sweaty, and zoro thought sanji with sweat dripping down his brow and neck was a really good look.
“hey dickhead.” sanji spoke. cheeks pink from the wind and head tucked into his jacket.
“yeah?” zoro answered, head turning slightly.
“uh, i got record deal.” he said, a great smile written on his face. he was beautiful, in every way, in the way he pocketed his hands in his jacket, the way his eyes sparkled whenever he cooked, or sang for zoro. in the way his eyes glazed over after too much kissing in his car.
zoro grinned, and wrapped an arm around sanji, a sideways hug.
“congrats, sanji.” he said, confidently, a smile that said i’m so proud of you, and i’ve always known you could do it.
“so you’re getting an album and stuff?” zoro asked kicking the large portions of snow. sanji has a pretty large following from covers on youtube, they’ve always wanted to hear his music.
“yeah, actually i am.” he grinned proudly, arms coming to wrap around zoro, head tucked into zoro’s neck--or what he thought was zoro’s neck, scarves and jacket being a thick layer between skin.
“i’m so happy.” he finishes.
zoro holds him tight.
“i’m not happy.” he sighs, pulls his hair back from his face, revealing his left eye.
they're in sanji’s condo. it's in the downtown part of the city, its large and costs more than zoro can imagine. but he guesses that’s what comes with people a performer. sanji is in the kitchen, cooking stir fry noodles with more meat and less veggies, as zoro likes. zoro could hear the sizzle and see the view of sanji’s back as he cooks. he watched him cook until he was snoozed off for a bit, then awoke from sanji’s ill voice saying three words that clenched his heart.
“what do you mean?” zoro offered, groggy. head rising from sanji’s soft pillow.
it’s not like he never thought this would happen. but he had always pictured it different, not when he was feeling comfortable, feeling at home. listening to the soft sizzle of the food cooking. and sanji’s warm voice singing a tune. he imagined it at a cold restaurant. or after a concert, not like this.
but it’s not like he never thought it would happen, because now sanji is more than just his lover, he’s kind of everyone’s. his beauty and knowledge and abilities are known to the world now. and he could get more really. and so could zoro. after all they are just high school lovers.
“i mean,” he grabs a plate and puts food onto it, and slowly walks over to zoro. sits on a coach that directly faces zoro. and says “i mean, i’m not happy with us. i, i want more.” he eyes him.
zoro sits up now, locks eyes with sanji unblinking. and with a deep hurt in his chest he lets out.
“and what is more?”
sanji looks away, head hung low replies, “something you can’t offer.”