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It’s been two months since they got the Cook back from his pathetic excuse of a family. He’s a little worse for the wear, but nothing he has not lived through a thousand times before — a bullet wound and a couple of punches can barely make a dent on the Cook that Zoro knows.

It’s been two months since they got Sanji back from the Vinsmokes, and Zoro can still see the way Sanji’s hands shake.

Zoro would’ve missed it if he weren’t looking for it, but these days he can read his lover like a book. Zoro knows Sanji’s emotions run deep, deeper than most; they’re so visceral sometimes it’s difficult to watch, to breathe around the shape of it. Zoro also understand that some wounds are not physical, and the thing the Cook has with the Vinsmokes — whatever it is — is carved deep, beyond flesh.

Are you okay , Zoro doesn’t ask, because he doesn’t ask stupid questions, doesn’t waste his breath to ask something that he already knows the answer to. The wind brought Sunny to a fogged in waters this morning, not unlike the fog the Germa ships used for camouflage in the stories he heard from the others, and Sanji’s hands trembled so hard he made a cut on his thumb during breakfast preparations. 

Instead he takes a hold of Sanji’s hands, interlacing their fingers together, his thumb rubbing the back of Sanji’s own.

Sanji’s breath hitches in his throat.

“Zoro —“ he sputters, but the rest of his sentence dies when their eyes meet.

Zoro doesn’t say anything, because he knows Sanji understands what the gesture means — I’m here. Not a promise of an outcome, but a resolve. That Sanji will have Zoro, always. They stay like that for a while, Sanji’s hand in Zoro’s, unspoken words hanging in the space between them. I’m here.