Roronoa Zoro was agitated as he walked the busy streets, looking around for a bar he’d been told to go to. His roommate Nami had been extremely insistent that he should meet her newest boyfriend – the latest in a long line of people she’d dated since they’d gone back to university this year – and that doing so in a bar rather than their flat was a good idea. Zoro didn’t mind so much that the meeting would take place in a bar than he minded that he was expected to turn up and make small talk with a random dude just to make her happy.
It wasn’t that he didn’t want to support her or get to know new people but Nami had a tendency to jump from person to person; dating them for only a while before moving on. Zoro was getting bored of trying to be friendly when he didn’t expect them to stick around for very long. For all he knew, she’d get bored of this guy by the end of the week, be bringing back yet another partner before Zoro had even had the time to remember his name.
It wasn’t just men either – Nami was proudly bi; a fact she’d told him joyously when she’d brought over her first girlfriend. He hadn’t cared, had never really been bothered by such things. If he thought about it, he was probably bisexual as well: having been attracted to people of all genders over his life. Unlike Nami though, it was rare for him to find someone he actually wanted like that. Aesthetically he could appreciate anyone, but the desire to have sex with them or ask them out just wasn’t there.
Well… not usually.
There had been an incident in the past week that was still playing on Zoro’s mind but he didn’t know what to do about it now. He hadn’t even gotten their name, didn’t know anything about them. He’d probably never see that person again, had kind of come to terms with that.
Sometimes it just wasn’t meant to be.
When he eventually found the bar, Zoro was in a bit of a foul mood. He checked his phone for a moment, rolling his eyes at the many texts he’d been sent since he set off. Most of them trying to give him directions, reiterating the name of the place or just straight up asking him if he was lost. Zoro frowned at the newest one, annoyed that she’d offered to come and find him instead.
He wasn’t that hopeless – he’d made it here, hadn’t he? Alright, maybe he was an hour later than he’d said he’d be but at least he had turned up! It wasn’t his fault that the city was such a messy place, that it was difficult to find your way around in. On some level he was just pissed off that he had been pressured into coming over, having planned to spend the day meditating instead.
As he made his way inside, Zoro cast his gaze around the busy bar in search of her bright orange hair. She’d always been ginger but had taken to dying it brighter now that she was away from home, had the money to spend. She’d even convinced him to dye his own; the brown having changed to a mint green that he had to admit he liked a lot. Nami had insisted that this was the best time in their lives to play about with their hair colour, had even gone to the lengths of buying and doing it for him the first time. Initially he’d expected to hate it but had been pleasantly surprised by the result; enough to keep doing it for a few weeks now.
He spotted Nami standing by the bar surrounded by other people who were waiting in line to be served. He started towards her but stopped when he recognised the person standing next to her. The tall blond who was laughing, captivating him from even this far away.
Zoro’s eyes went wide at the sight of them. It was the woman he’d picked up at the bar a few nights ago. Sure, they had short hair now, were wearing men’s clothes but there was something so striking about them that he was sure it was the same person.
When she spotted him in the crowd, Nami waved her arm and called him over.
“Hey, over here!”
The blond with her turned their head to look at him, their eyes widening as well as they stared at him. Zoro looked closely as guilt and shame seemed to flash over their face, hurriedly masked as Nami started fussing over him.
“Sorry I’m late,” Zoro was apologising but he couldn’t take his eyes off the stranger. The person who was supposedly Nami’s boyfriend. The one who was now avoiding making eye contact. “The street signs must have changed since I came here last.”
“Oh, come off it,” Nami started laughing, slapping him on the shoulder. “Just admit you got lost. You should really use your GPS if it’s that bad. I swear you could lose your way on a straight road sometimes.”
Zoro ignored the jokes at his expense, just flashing her a disgruntled look. She turned to the blond, gesturing in Zoro’s direction.
“Ah, Sanji-kun. This is Zoro, my roommate and long-term friend – I’ve told you about him before.”
Uncomfortably, their eyes met as ‘Sanji’ turned to face him properly. They were the same blue. If Zoro had doubts before, he certainly didn’t now. Though, of course, there was still the chance – slim as it was – that perhaps he was mistaken. Maybe this guy was just shy, didn’t get on easily with new people. Perhaps there was someone else who just looked very similar.
“…Nice to meet you.”
Nope. Even his voice was practically the same, though the pitch was lower this time. There was no doubt about it. Everything added up.
“…Likewise.” Zoro offered his hand for a handshake, more to test the other man than to be friendly. Sanji took it, though the look on his face said he didn’t want to. Both of them felt trapped by the rules of social etiquette, by the need to be polite. Nami laughed at them.
“Let’s go sit over there.”
As Nami and Sanji led the way, Zoro studied his body from behind. Remembered the other night in more detail.
Zoro hadn’t known why he’d gone out that night. Probably something to do with Nami bugging him that he stayed home too much, that he was getting in the way of her love life by lounging around in the living room all the time. She’d told him he was wasting his youth, wasting his university experience. Zoro didn’t care but she wouldn’t stop nagging him.
So, of course, he’d gone out to a bar. By himself, just to give Nami some space in their shared flat.
“Hey, wanna get out of here?”
Zoro had looked to his side to see a rather attractive blonde leaning his in direction, her blue eyes almost staring holes in him. They hadn’t even talked and he was being prepositioned – that’s why he didn’t do this often. Zoro didn’t like how easy-going people at university were, how they were quick to jump into bed together and forget about it the next day.
He wasn’t like that, preferred to get to know another person before even thinking of such things. However, he was a little taken aback by her boldness, her beauty. Something about her made him want to agree. So he had.
Perhaps bizarrely, she hadn’t taken him back to her house nor asked to go back to his. They’d ended up at a hotel with her footing the bill and Zoro trying not to be embarrassed by it. He’d offered to pay half but she’d refused, just taking the keys and walking off before he could press her further. He’d supposed it wasn’t the worst thing in the world; it was her suggestion after all. It wasn’t like he could have taken her to his place anyway; the whole point of going out had been to let Nami have fun in the empty flat.
When they got to the room, she’d kissed him hard on the mouth and dragged him inside without hesitation. Zoro had wrapped his arms around her back but she’d pulled away and shook her finger at him, confusing him more than anything. Annoyed and feeling messed with, he’d walked over to the bed anyway, turning to look at her with an eyebrow raised.
She’d surprised him then by pushing him onto it, pulling his pants down enough to free his cock before straddling his waist. Going far faster than he’d expected her to, stunning him out of his frustration in just a second. It had been hard to keep up with her pace.
“Leave it to me,” She’d purred, reaching back and gasping his cock firmly as she’d positioned it at her ass. Apparently not caring about foreplay, not having even worn underwear this entire time. “Just lie back and enjoy yourself.”
It was at this point that Zoro had figured out that this was no ordinary woman. Most women wanted nothing to do with anal to begin with, would never instigate it themselves. Certainly not for a one night stand like this at any rate. As he’d looked up at her, he’d stared more intently at her jaw, her neck to figure it out. It was faint but he’d thought he could see a hint of where a beard had been, an Adam’s apple he’d not noticed before.
He’d been right; this was no ordinary woman indeed. However, he couldn’t say he actually cared. Men were actually his preference anyway – Zoro was actually quite pleased by the turn of events. He wasn’t going to say anything about it though; whether she was a man dressed up, an overly masculine woman or trans in some way, it was none of his business. She’d referred to herself as a woman so he would too. All that really mattered to him right now was that she was incredibly hot, willing and eager.
“Sure.” Zoro had lifted his hands to grab at her hips, steadying her above him to make it easier. “Whatever you want.”
She’d smiled in satisfaction at his response, starting to lower her hips and push him inside. Zoro had grit his teeth, groaning as he sunk into her heat. He hadn’t known how she felt so wet, though he suspected she’d readied herself for this earlier, had come out with it in mind. He hadn’t even cared that they weren’t using a condom, distracted by her on top of him and looking so damn good.
The sex had been more than just enjoyable. Zoro couldn’t remember a time he’d had more fun. When he woke up in the hotel room a little later, the room was empty. She’d left without a word and without a note. He’d checked through his phone only to see that she hadn’t added her number either. It had been a pity; it was rare for him to find someone he liked, let alone someone he wanted to have sex with. Zoro had kind of been hoping for more than a one night stand.
Right now, he was kind of grateful he’d given up on the idea of her. From what he could tell, Sanji was not a very nice person. At least, not an honest or good one.
Everything had been going fine as the two men had kept it to themselves; acting like they didn’t previously know each other. Just talking and drinking with Nami, getting to know more as time passed. Zoro didn’t like staying silent but couldn’t find the right moment to bring it up or the right words to say. He was tense in a way he hadn’t been before, agitated over what to do.
It didn’t take all that long before the opportunity to discuss it arose.
“I’m just popping to the bathroom.” Nami got up from the table, taking her handbag with her.
Her boyfriend waited until she was out of sight before scowling in Zoro’s direction and getting closer to him. By now it was evident he’d realised Zoro had recognised him, had been holding on until she’d left to say anything. He reached across the table to grab at Zoro, glaring at him out of nowhere.
“Don’t breathe a word of it to Nami-san!” The man hissed, his grip tight in Zoro’s shirt. “She won’t understand.”
Zoro was surprised by the use of honorifics, by the respect they denoted. The dude was clearly cheating on her yet referred to her like that? He had half a mind to spill the beans immediately, annoyed that his friend’s boyfriend would do such a thing. He fisted his hand in the blond’s shirt in retaliation, yanking him closer so he didn’t have to yell so loud.
“Oh? And why shouldn’t I?”
‘Sanji’ snorted, rolling his eyes as he tugged on Zoro’s shirt again.
“You want her to know you fuck random men you meet at bars?” The challenge was laid down at his feet, completely hostile. Like it was something Zoro should be ashamed of, though it was just what everyone seemed to be doing these days. He was about to retort when Sanji added a further jab: “Without protection, might I add?”
Zoro felt himself flush red. It wasn’t a common occurrence for him, had been entirely on impulse. He only hadn’t told her about it because he hadn’t felt it was her business. He was a private person by nature; keeping things to himself unless it was relevant to bring it up.
Did it even matter if Nami knew anyway? She was pretty open about this sort of thing, being bi and not exactly shy about sleeping around herself. Maybe her boyfriend didn’t know that, had no idea that she’d likely be cool with his hobby and might even play along with him to help him out. Zoro knew she owned a strap-on, had seen it in action by accident when he’d drunkenly stumbled into the wrong bedroom. At this point, he was fairly certain that Sanji didn’t know that.
“She knows,” Zoro lied smugly, pushing the blond away effortlessly with one hand. “I got nothing to hide here.”
Eyes going wide, the blond went pale. Any ammunition he’d thought he had was definitely useless now. He was left to Zoro’s mercy. The mercy of a stranger who had nothing to owe him, but plenty to owe his girlfriend. Sanji seemed lost for words.
Nami came back from the bathroom, sitting down again and smiling at them both. There was a hint of concern in her gaze as she looked at Zoro.
“You guys getting along over here? I thought I saw you at each other’s throats for a moment.”
Zoro smirked, looking from Sanji’s face back to Nami as he crossed his arms.
“Nah, nothing important. Just a disagreement.”
Sanji’s shoulders relaxed visibly, the blond man sighing in relief. He probably thought he was off the hook, that Zoro wasn’t going to say anything. He was wrong. If anything, Zoro was just biding his time; trying to think through a way of telling Nami that would hurt her the least. Though she changed up partners fairly often, she’d really seemed to like this guy. Zoro had liked him too, but far less now that he knew what a bastard he was.
If he was going to tell her what had happened, he was going to do so with tact. Probably when her boyfriend wasn’t around, so Nami could let it sink in and think everything over before reacting. She had a nasty temper at times and though Zoro firmly believed Sanji would deserve every last bit of it, he knew Nami sometimes regretted her bouts of rage. Better to keep quiet until they were alone somewhere, where she could vent her frustrations in a less public place.
Though things were a bit awkward now, Zoro did his best to talk to Sanji normally. Laughed at his jokes, made fun of him when he did something weird. The reactions he got in response were pretty endearing but he was trying not to let that cloud his judgement. Though to some extent he could understand where the guy was coming from – there was a difference between accepting your sexuality and being open with other people about it – the way he was going about it still didn’t sit right with him.
If there was one thing in the world Zoro hated, it was liars. Especially when they were doing so about something important, something that could hurt someone else.
As they reached the end of yet another drink, Sanji interrupted the conversation.
“I’ll get us another round,” The blond offered, getting to his feet and collecting the empty glasses. “What do you want?”
“Any kind of cocktail with orange in it, Sanji-kun.” Nami replied, leaning forward on her elbow. Sanji grinned back at her, clearly infatuated with every move she made. It was still a little hard for Zoro to believe what had happened between them; if anyone else had told him something like that he probably would have laughed it off. For all intents and purposes he seemed besotted with her – why would he cheat like that?
Zoro took a second to skim the drinks menu in front of him. He was still feeling agitated, wanted to make the idiot’s life difficult.
“I’ll have this one.” He pointed at the most expensive thing he could find, watching as Sanji frowned at him but didn’t complain.
“…Alright.” Turning back to Nami, Sanji grinned at her, hearts practically spinning around him now. “I’ll be back in a bit!”
As he turned and headed to the bar, Nami looked over at Zoro. She was grinning mischievously, clearly up to something. Zoro fiddled with the menu for a moment, weighing up whether now was the time to tell her or not. A more secluded place would be better, but he was getting more and more agitated the longer they sat together, tired of pretending everything was fine.
Nami wrapped her arm around Zoro’s shoulders, pulling him in close as she looked over to the bar.
“So, what do you think? He’s your type, isn’t he?” She seemed amused as she spoke, acting like it wasn’t her boyfriend she was talking about. The behaviour baffled Zoro – what did his type have anything to do with it anyway? Nami looked back to his face, even more amused. “I haven’t said it directly to him so he probably thinks we’re exclusive but he’s technically available if you’re interested.”
Zoro looked at her in surprise, his eyebrow raising as he thought through her word choice: ‘technically available’. That meant she had no intention of handing him over, was planning to date him as well. This situation couldn’t get more bizarre if it tried.
“What? You want to share him with me?”
“Why not? I have a girlfriend anyway.” Nami shrugged. Zoro sort of knew that – had seen her hanging out with Vivi many times. In fact, she was the other person he’d stumbled in on when he was drunk. She hadn’t been over since just before Nami had started dating Sanji; Zoro had assumed they’d broken up. Apparently not.
The idea that Nami was someone who was comfortable dating more than one person at a time felt secondary to her blatant and odd offer. Zoro wasn’t really the type to judge people for such things; as long as everyone involved was happy he felt it wasn’t his place to say anything. That said – it also depended on whether they were aware of it as well. From what he knew, the difference between polyamory and cheating was consent: there were ethics to relationships like that.
He frowned at her as he leaned back in his seat, surveying her quietly.
“Does he know that?”
“Mm, probably not. I may have forgotten to mention it.” Nami stuck her tongue out cheekily, tapping herself on the head lightly with a fist. What a rascal she was, deceiving someone else like that. Zoro’s frown deepened. Maybe Sanji and Nami did deserve each other after all: they were both dishonest, each keeping someone in the dark. She shook her head at his expression, waving her hand nonchalantly. “She knows about him though; we talked about it before I did anything.”
Hearing that was somewhat of a relief. Alright, Nami was only keeping Sanji in the dark on this one. And to be fair, Zoro felt like he deserved it. Not that what they were doing was all that different to begin with, but at least Vivi had known about it prior. In Sanji’s case Zoro hadn’t had a clue, neither had Nami. And that was without any other factors to consider, like the crossdressing.
He wasn’t sure what was going through the blond’s head when it came to that. Whether it was just a hobby or something deeper, something more about him that maybe Sanji hadn’t come to terms with. If it was simple and just that he was confused about his sexuality then they were exactly the people to help him out. Would be able to give him a decent taste of some of the options ahead of him, give him the space to explore without shame. And even if it was something to do with gender then it wouldn’t be a problem with the present company: neither he nor Nami cared about such things.
As far as he knew, Nami just dated people she found interesting. As for himself, sure Zoro had a preference but since it was incredibly rare of him to have an interest to begin with, he was fairly certain it wouldn’t make a difference. He’d been trying to ignore it this whole time but whether he was a man or a woman, Zoro found Sanji attractive. Annoyingly so.
Zoro had never considered the possibility of dating someone who was also with someone else before but he had to admit he was intrigued. There’d been something about Sanji that had drawn him in almost immediately, had caused him to act out of his comfort zone. He’d been genuinely disappointed when he’d woken up alone, deep down had wanted more. Now the chance was being dangled in front of him and though it wasn’t quite how he would have liked it, he did want to give it a try.
It didn’t erase what the blond had done, didn’t justify his actions in the least. But perhaps this was an opportunity for Sanji as well – one that would make things easier on him. He wouldn’t have to go to bars like that if he could get what he needed elsewhere, wouldn’t have to keep secrets from Nami and do things behind her back. She’d outright given Zoro her blessing, after all.
Of course, he wasn’t going to keep the secret from Nami any longer – she didn’t seem like she would be angry over it.
“Then maybe this won’t be such a shock.” Zoro laughed, turning to whisper what had happened into her ear. When he pulled back, she looked a little surprised but was beaming, a somewhat predatory look on her face.
“Oh, really? That makes things a bit easier.”
They both looked over to the bar then, seeing Sanji still waiting in line to be served.
Sanji was glaring at him from across the room, it having no effect whatsoever with the nervous look covering his face. He had no idea what Zoro had just told her, no clue as to what was to come next.
Nami grabbed Zoro by the arm and dragged him towards the bar. Zoro let her do it, smirking as he looked at the blond, feeling a little sympathetic for him now. The only thing that had been an issue for him was now gone; Nami clearly didn’t have a problem with it so neither should he. If he was honest with himself, he’d very much enjoyed his time with Sanji before. So much so that he wanted to do so again.
When they got there Nami let go of Zoro to loop her arm through one of Sanji’s.
“Change of plans, Sanji-kun. You’re coming to our place.”
Zoro grinned, doing the same to the other arm now that Sanji had turned to face them. The blond looked between them in surprise, nervousness written all over his face. As it should be.
“You heard her, Sanji-kun.” Zoro teased, leaning closer to him, almost kissing him on the cheek from his proximity. “We got a proposition for ya.”
Before the blond really had a chance to reply, they began frog-marching him out of the building. Both ignoring the words that were coming out of his mouth and the worry in his tone. Zoro and Nami shared a glance before breaking out into laughter.
Poor bastard didn’t know what was about to hit him.