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Enemy of Mine

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Title: Enemy of Mine
Paring: Mihawk/Zoro
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: 10,200
Dated: January 2007
Timeline: Independent, set shortly after Skypeia
Comments: Completely PWP. A dose of angry, bloody, combative sex. Dedicated to three people: dorknessrising , dethorats and kotszok for three completely different reasons. n_n


Luffy, Chopper and Usopp were shrieking and crowing on the beach, tossing lush flowers as though they'd never seen land before. Sanji was gingerly helping the ladies off the ship and on to the sand -- and Zoro was already making his way down the beach.

"Zoro!" Luffy called to him, grinning ear to ear, sprawled out on the sand. "Where you going?"

A hand was waved over his shoulder, the other resting on the hilts of his trio of katana. "Scouting," he called back.

"Keep an eye out for fresh water, kuso marimo!" Sanji shouted after him.

Zoro scoffed and curled his lip but he gave a bare nod nonetheless. The younger crewmates' glee was not unfounded -- it had been quite a while since their feet had touched land. And from Zoro's point of view... well, as much as he cared for his nakama deep down, some space was very much appreciated. And the promise of stretched muscles and a long jaunt around an island was more than welcome.

This one was indeed quite welcoming, the air pungent with lush, tropical foliage. The beach was a brilliant, bleached white and the jungle just beyond the underbrush dark and foreboding in such a way that promised a good meal and a dose of adventure. It was only a dot on the map, not even part of the log pose's system of stops but nonetheless good for a stretch of legs and breath of air.

As the shouts faded, Zoro absorbed it all and knew that he would appreciate their captain even more if he had an hour of not listening to him and telling him that dinner would be done soon. Twenty minutes into the walk and he felt only so much more at peace, the tension of a crew too long at a windless sea not muddling his thoughts. But as it eased, something else began to nag. So much so, and so inexplicably yet familiarly that it again brought the crease to Zoro's brow.

But as he crossed a rocky peninsula and stepped back onto the sand of a cove, he realized exactly why and his stomach tightened, every muscle immediately on the ready. A single tiny sail, a set of candles that flickered needlessly in the midday sun. For such an unassuming vessel, it was more than burned into the swordsman's memory.

"From the look on your face, I must assume you did not expect to find me here." The voice appeared suddenly, the only warning which precipitated the arrival of the man. His ability to move soundlessly was more than a little alarming, and Mihawk seemed to know this as he stepped into view less than two yards from Zoro's right, paying no heed to the hand that moved toward the boy's hip and the swords that hung there.

Everything in Zoro's being coiled, angry and humiliated at being caught unawares so easily. Especially by this man, the man he was supposed to be ever-ready for. He didn't yet draw his sword -- something was off here. It wasn't time yet. But his blood surged for it already, fingers tense and ready but not yet touching hilt. He rounded as Mihawk moved closer. "Hawk-Eyes," he murmured, wary. "Are you craving removal from your position already?" he wondered.

A twitch of upper lip might have been a hidden smirk, but it was difficult to read the master swordsman's expressions, even harder to determine his intent. "I'm not here to fight," he corrected. "And neither are you."

"Nn," Zoro replied, non-comittally. For all Mihawk knew, he'd hunted the other man down day and night. "I suppose you're on a tropical vacation," he remarked blithely, never letting down his defense.

This time the smirk lasted long enough to catch before Mihawk dipped his chin low enough to hide his eyes. "Something like that," he agreed, stepping forward until he was walking past the green-haired man, completely unconcerned as his eyes left Zoro's form, picked a new path ahead, never pausing, letting only the shift of air from his passing touch the young pirate's senses. He took his time, already turning his steps away from the beach to seek the dimmer light at the tumbling edges of the nearby jungle.

Zoro's blood heated as the man brushed past him and he loathed the back that faced him -- he was being mocked. That the man would so easily turn from him. He didn't see him as so much as a threat. And the new sense of the world that Zoro had gained in Alabasta, infuriatingly, told him the same thing. But could he let this pass? Dignity was dictating otherwise. That back was an invitation as much as a mockery. And with the rush of blood in his ears, sand scattered wildly beneath impossibly quick feet and the clash of steel echoed through the cove. A breeze stirred the sails of Mihawk's tiny boat and that knife held sandai kitetsu at bay. It was her first glimpse of the man her wielder ached for most and she raged in his grip for his blood. "Do not underestimate me," he warned, green eyes ablaze.

Turned now, half-facing the young man, knife drawn in a deceptively casual manner, Mihawk let his eyes rove Zoro's face, expressionless as ever. "You wield a dangerous blade without fear." It was only an observation, nothing more, but Zoro might have imagined a flash of... something in the other man's sharp gaze. He wanted to think it was respect. "I am going to put away my weapon now." His tone suggested that Zoro do the same.

It should have been an ebb of tension but instead it only swelled as the blades eased apart. Sandai kitetsu's shriek was furious as she was hilted but Zoro's fingers lingered warily. "What's the meaning of this?" he demanded of the other.

Mihawk's raised brow was visible only for a moment as he turned inland once more. "Is a lone traveler not allowed to pause for supplies, to refresh himself, to perhaps enjoy the momentary comforts of dry land?" His own knife clicked back into place, once more hidden in the guise of the heavy golden cross.

"The Grandline is vast," Zoro said, flatly, suspiciously. "This island a dot on the map." He didn't want to follow -- was he telling the truth? Merely a stop for a drink of fresh water and a taste of tropical fruit? His feet seemed to move without asking his permission.

Mihawk nodded in agreement, the flamboyant white feather which sprouted from his hat bobbing with the movement. "Which is precisely why I find it surprising that we should have had this chance encounter." Another brief glance backward whether to observe Zoro's reaction or simply see if he still followed was unsure. "Though not necessarily unwelcome," he added.

Emerald eyes narrowed, Zoro's jaw tightening. "Are you mocking me?" he demanded to know. Everything in the air was unpleasant -- he needed to attack. The other man's presence made him long for the cry of steel, no matter that he knew it to be foolish to engage. It was easy for Mihawk to call the meeting fortuitous -- though Zoro didn't know why -- but in the scheme of Zoro's life it threw a wrench into everything. It would be foolish to beg for defeat. But to walk away from him a second time without embracing death?

"Do you feel mocked?" Mihawk parried, this time not bothering to look back as he lowered his head to pass beneath a cluster of vines that hung from the forest's canopy.

Well, now he did. Zoro hated him for being so nonplussed, so completely in control of everything about himself in such a way that seemed to point out every flaw the younger swordsman had. Nothing betrayed him from the crispness of his clothes to the warning glint of gold around his neck. Anywhere he stepped was his domain. "You haven't changed," was a rather grave remark.

Zoro couldn't see the frown that passed briefly across Mihawk's features, and he'd already steeled his expression by the time he stopped before the small camp-site, a sparse bedroll and smoldering firepit the only decoration. He bent to crouch before the charred logs, stirring the embers to something resembling life. "You have," he finally replied. "An encouraging sign."

The younger refused to let anything resembling pride appear within him at the remark. He knew how unwise it would be to let any such thing go to his head. But it wasn't exactly bad to hear the words from Mihawk's lips. Still. "But it's not time," he growled faintly, as much as it pained him to speak the words. As 'not unwelcome' as this chance meeting might be, it was awkward and out of place. And furthermore, how had he let his feet carry himself this far?

"No," Mihawk agreed. "There will not be a fight today." He stood then, turning to find Zoro's shifting gaze, to hold it still. "But not every battle is fought with steel."

It took great concentration to keep the tremble from his frame as Mihawk's haunting eyes held his own -- it was all but unnerving the power in the man's eerie gaze. The moment was nearly physically painful, the desire for the clash overpowering his senses. It was a moment enragingly premature. A step was taken closer, lest he believe that Zoro kept his distance out of fear. "And I suppose you brought me here for a game of checkers," he hissed. There was no question in it -- that Mihawk had demanded him to follow, that the other's presence taunted him forward each sandy step into the shade.

"No," Mihawk answered and there it was again, that almost-almost smirk that he didn't try too hard to hide. He reached behind to loose his sword from its hidden straps, holding it reverently for a moment before stooping to lay it out across the bedroll. When he straightened again, he considered the young swordsman who stood less than a step and another away, the set of his features demonstrating his sincere attempt to prove to Mihawk a total lack of fear. It made the man want to laugh. But he didn't because it would only have confused the boy, perhaps turned him away from this place and this moment. "You are frustrated?" he finally continued, a simple observation, easy to make. "Do you find your adventures lacking? Your companions?"

"What?" A flicker of genuine surprise lasted only a breath across Zoro's face before his features hardened again. What concern was it of his? "No -- not at all. Just now."

"Ah," was Mihawk's only reply. When it seemed as though he would say something else, the swordsman merely nodded and pulled his hat from the slick of black hair that, Zoro noticed for the first time, didn't lay quite flat. A moment later his coat joined the hat atop his sword and bedroll and Mihawk let both hands stretch toward the canopy of trees, the muscles in his back shifting and rolling, skin perfectly smooth, a pale olive unmarked by so much as a blemish. "You should leave now," he spoke, voice low, quiet, so completely devoid of threat that the words could be nothing else.

Zoro's skin prickled with what could only be envy, his gaze locked on the completely unmarred surface of the other man's skin. Mihawk must have taken him for a fool for every scar that marked Zoro's tanned flesh, each scar that he sported without shame, nursing reminders of past battles that he'd never forget his mistakes. This man had no mistakes to be shown. It only made the desire to spill his blood that more demanding. His eyes flashed suddenly. "Why did you bring me here?" he demanded, his posture growing defensive. He wouldn't flee -- there was no fear in him, only the lust he felt for the other. Their travels across the desert and the sky and the jungle had almost allowed it to recede, never forgetting the goal but perhaps letting the means to it fade slightly. This was the harshest reminder.

As Mihawk turned, Zoro saw his mistake. The man wasn't unscarred. No, there was nothing as deep or severe as the one he'd left in Zoro's flesh, but there were faded reminders of what must have been Mihawk's younger years. After all, he hadn't -always- been the best. "You came," he corrected. "Of your own will. And now you must leave of your own will. Unless there is something more you want of this chance encounter." The larger man was already moving back toward Zoro, eyes intent on... what? Purpose in his stride. An aura of power almost tangible.

It was will that kept him rooted in place, refusing to show weakness even in his own internal sort of panic. That power closing in on him and only urging him to attack -- to draw his sword on an unarmed man? No -- there was no victory in that. "More?" he repeated and suddenly realized his breath was ragged and Mihawk's golden eyes were again demanding his gaze as he drew closer.

Somehow, impossibly, that small distance was breached and Mihawk's hand was on Zoro's jaw, fingertips holding firm but not rough. "I had not intended interruption of this self-imposed solitude," he began, leaned in closer, his other hand appearing the curve at the back of Zoro's neck. "But I suppose it cannot be helped." And as though it were the most natural thing in the world, simply a step in his own personal meditation, Mihawk lifted Zoro's chin, found the boy's open mouth with his own.

Zoro reeled with the touch -- everything about it almost too much for him to comprehend. From the power that invaded his spirit and all but crushed in around him to the taste of the other man breathed in a gasp. He almost jerked away, shock threatening to overtake his senses. But somehow he managed not to, instead frozen, tense. Everything in him raged for more of him -- this was not a sense that he'd expected the desire to be fulfilled. This, the man third only in his life to his captain and HER. This, the man whose blood flowed over his fingers when he touched himself. And with an angry, animal sound he savagely pushed his own will into the touch, his eyes snapping suddenly shut. A hand somehow thought to reach for something, found only skin and stiffly held at the back of Mihawk's neck. His head spun, his stomach churned, perfectly groomed bristles brushed his chin and he bit at Mihawk's mouth. A challenge was accepted.

This time Mihawk did smile, though Zoro could not see the gesture, probably did not recognize the stretch of lip between his teeth for what it was. The man breathed, a deep, heavy sigh of a battle joined, yet not quite truly begun. He paused, tasting the air, tasting the boy. And attacked. Rough white cotton snagged and popped where bark and thorns bit into it, grazed the skin beneath, not enough to mark, but enough to threaten the possibility. And Mihawk's teeth were at Zoro's throat, wild and dangerous yet somehow still impossibly controlled and intentional.

Zoro wasn't aware of the surface against his back until oxygen reached his lungs again and a breath was a sound he heard. The heel of a palm dug into the rough bark, heat everywhere, washing down from his face to his chest and through his blood. The moment eased one desire and racked him with a new one, tiny pinpricks sending shivers all over his skin. Time kept slowing down and picking up, leaving him disadvantaged. And gasping his way back into a muddled reality, both hands snatched for the fabric at Mihawk's hips. His own teeth sank into his paler skin as he pulled the larger man against him, both warm with tropical midday air.

He'd long ago lost his chance to leave and he knew it. Mihawk knew it too. And his hands and mouth demanded penance for whatever interrupted afternoon plans he might have once had. Mihawk didn't bother to undress the boy --a waste of time--, instead merely pushed the ridiculous green haramaki up and out of the way. A snip of fabric and Zoro's trousers were suddenly hanging loose and Mihawk was slipping the hilt of his small knife between his teeth. He didn't offer any words, an explanation for what was happening aside from the intent in his eyes and the strange and sudden desire radiating from his bare skin.

If he were more sound of mind, Zoro might have thought to protest. He might have considered that at some point he had to go back to his ship. As it was, he was struggling to think past that very second and everything that bombarded his senses, from Mihawk's presence to the stinging marks left on his skin. The control that the older man had was almost startling, how even now he exuded that well-kempt and dignified air that almost made Zoro feel ravished in comparison. In the moment, Zoro despised and respected and lusted for him more than he'd ever expected he could for another.

Mihawk's grin looked like a snarl around the handle of his knife, an expression not unlike one Zoro was known to offer as prelude to a meeting with Wadou's blade. But even as the thought crossed Zoro's mind, the knife slid from Mihawk's mouth to drop into his deft grip. "Do you still feel it?" he asked, his words husky, deep as his free fingers ran over the thin fabric of Zoro’s shirt, tracing scar that he knew split Zoro's torso. "The day I let you live?" The knife flicked out, almost too fast to see and left the tiniest nick at the curve of Zoro's hip. Almost accidental.

It was only surprise, hardly pain that faintly hitched Zoro's breath. A droplet of blood welled and the sting both sobered and enticed him. He wondered if Mihawk craved Zoro’s defeat as much as Zoro craved his. Did he long to fell the threat to his position, would it thrill him to keep his place as the best through bloodshed or was he just as dull as those before him? How much of a threat *was* he and what means would he use to ensure his power? The fingers -- those fingers on the deeply marked flesh made heat gather at the base of his spine. "Do you regret it?" he wondered, breathed deeply. Don't be a fool. Don't let your guard down, no matter the situation.

Another flick of his wrist, another drop of blood and this time Mihawk swiped his fingers across the tiny wound, brought them to his mouth, tasted them. He closed his eyes. "No," he said, simple truth.

A shudder ripped through Zoro as he watched this and suddenly he dug into a fistful of shaggy black hair, yanking the older man's mouth to his. His tongue dove after the flavor of his blood, perhaps to steal it back, perhaps only to prove his continued participation in the duel. Rough fingernails scraped at Mihawk's scalp as he drew copper into his mouth on the other man's tongue.

For some reason, the swordsmaster allowed this, giving up his attention long enough to allow Zoro a taste before biting down once, hard, pushing him back, his golden eyes, not at all unlike a real bird, catching him like a hawk on a field mouse. The knife tracked a tiny trail of nicks up his neck, smaller even than the ones at his hip, and Mihawk's own tongue swept every drop away before it could fall, until his mouth was on Zoro's ear, his ever-present jewelry slipping between the man's lips. The flat of the blade rested cool against his shoulder as Mihawk worked, momentarily distracted by the triple drops of gold.

The onslaught of pure physical sensation was almost too much. Delicious pricks of pain contrasted with the pure pleasure inspired by the attention to long healed, self-inflicted wounds. The concept should not have been nearly as enticing as it was -- the way that Mihawk sampled his blood like a delicacy, how he looked at him, moved on him like prey. It shouldn't have inspired the deep, heady sense of arousal that sparked within him. His back muscles tensed with attention to those sensitive piercings, tugs of teeth at the thin ingots making shivers tear through him. Even as he breathed heavy, grit his teeth against the pleasure, he felt that blade. He knew that blade and owed it proper respect, never forgetting its presence.

The boy's pants shifted lower, course hair creeping up to the exposed navel, and down to the growing effect he and his blade were having. Good. Mihawk let the earrings slip from his tongue with a last tug of teeth, just as the tip of his knife bit at the jut of Zoro's jaw. "Ahh," he observed, a heavy sigh of breath as he pressed a thumb above the wound, watching as a slow trickle of blood traced a path down the boy's throat to pool in the dip of his collar. It only just touched the dirty white fabric, before Mihawk had thrust Zoro's head back against the tree, hot, greedy tongue stealing away his prize before the thirsty fabric drank it all. The grip on Zoro's hip was bruising but he hardly noticed.

A curse came on a rush of breath, finding himself undone in such a way that he'd never imagined. The tiny blade gleamed so near his throat, the slightest flick threatening to spill more than a simple trickle. Zoro himself couldn't understand the trust that came over him, wished to believe it intuition in Mihawk's honor and not simply his own body compromising his wits and safety. Heat made him ache from head to toe but the older man's tongue rivaled the heat even of his own blood, lapping it from the arch of his neck with sea and sweat. As he pressed his head back tight against the rough bark, he wondered what this was for the other. Did he crave this, did he long for Zoro's blood in this way? Did he wish to spill more, held back only by honor and whatever plan the swordsmaster seemed to have somewhere in his mind? Zoro shuddered heavily as he lapped at the thin cut at his jaw.

"Your body remembers me," Mihawk breathed. "The last time I spilled your blood. I did not know if you would survive, but I am not surprised you did." Before Zoro could reply, Mihawk was slipping the cold metal of his knife between the young pirate's teeth. "Hold this for a moment," he instructed, proceeded to grasp Zoro's throat with both hands, not hard enough to choke, and a breath later, he had moved on, hands sliding lower, feeling Zoro's body, every muscle, from his jaw to his shoulders, arms and wrists, massaging a strange sort of exploration across his palms, then back to Zoro's torso, smoothing the gooseflesh his touch coaxed from the boy's skin. Here and there his fingers trailed a smear of red, remembering the marks he'd only just left.

Breath fogged the blade, Zoro feeling wary as the other man touched his hands, wondered if he was seeking out Zoro's secrets. Tiny pinpricks and cuts throbbed pleasantly, far more pleasantly than they should have though he managed to see better through the haze he was in now. And not to be outdone, he darted when Mihawk went in for the copper that welled again at his jaw, stopping just a breath short of the other's mouth with the blade still tucked between his teeth. Challenge and lust burned as his gaze bore into the piercing hawk eyes and blood from a thin cut trickled lightly over the fingers gripping Mihawk's shoulder.

Mihawk stopped, mouth open, blinked, his eyes turning from Zoro's blood to his own, the trickle of crimson at his shoulder. A smirk twisted his mustached lip and he took Zoro's wrist with a strength that still managed to surprise the boy. Lifting those fingers to his mouth, the swordsmaster sucked clean the blood, -his- blood, from Zoro's skin almost as though he was pointedly taking back what the green-haired man had tried to take. "You have indeed become as skilled with your mouth as they say you have. I had wondered."

Zoro growled faintly, watching with a certain consternation as Mihawk plainly stole what was clearly his. All too easily, the blade shifted with a flick between his teeth and the tip came to rest lightly just below the well groomed facial hair, not quite ready to nick the soft flesh there. "So flattering that you've kept up on me," he murmured around the hilt. Thrill and arousal surged through him -- just to tip forward the slightest –

Mihawks smiled, leaned forward just enough for the tip of the knife to touch, not breaking skin --he was far too controlled for that-- but clearly demonstrating his utter lack of fear. "You would not cheat yourself of an honorable victory," Mihawk hummed, the movements of his throat, shallow. "Yet you would be a fool to think you could kill me here even if it was what you truly desired." The man's hand left Zoro's wrist now, resumed their downward trek, intent on memorizing the planes and angles of Zoro's stomach, waist, hips.

Another growl, this one frustrated, rumbled around the tiny knife. He was infuriated with the way that his skin shivered and his body ached for more. He loathed the knowing and absolutely correct statements from that cool and calm mouth. He was nearly painfully hard and even the loosened fabric of his pants was discomfort. With a twinge and a hitch of breath, he realized Mihawk's words -- not every battle was fought with blades. With a toss of his head, the knife landed dully in the grass and he bit the inside of his mouth until he tasted salt. And then his mouth was again crushed to the other man's brutally.

Once more, Mihawk allowed it, a reward for a lesson learned. He let his lips part, his mouth open for the taste of Zoro's blood to stain his tongue. A flick of his wrist and the boy's trousers were sent sliding to the ground, leaving Zoro bare from the waist down, fully exposed, not an inch of desire hidden. Mihawk didn't touch him, but he laughed, a silent huff of breath into Zoro's mouth.

Frustration boiled Zoro's blood, loathing the other man for the way he mocked him. He hated the feel of his cheeks burning, how difficult it was to choke back a groan as the flavor of his blood mixed with the flavor of Mihawk's mouth. Fingers hooked deftly at the waist of the older man's trousers and pulled him firmly forward so that they were hip to hip, Zoro trapped between bark and flesh. Perhaps to hide his now exposed throbbing arousal or in search of friction -- or simply in search of a similar response.

"You want. You desire. You forget your control. Pleasure is a choice. Just as is pain. Let me show you." Taking one of Zoro's hands, the swordsmaster, pulled back, placed the rough palm between them at the front of his own slacks. "I control my desires," he murmured, breath hot in Zoro's ear as he made the boy feel the soft flesh beneath the fabric.

Zoro bristled with anger and humiliation, only further punctuated when his own cock gave a demanding throb as Mihawk guided his hand to grope between his legs. He felt foolish for having entered into this duel without thinking how much of an upper hand the other had on him -- but he hadn't expected such... traumatizing effects, hadn't foreseen this sort of mind-numbing, vision-blurring state. But at the same time, he smirked vaguely, taking the opportunity to rub his palm at the soft bulge it was pressed against. He lifted his chin to rest it on the other's shoulder, his voice murmuring into the hawk-eyed man's ear. "Have you entered into a battle of lust with me because you know you still have the upper hand... while in other battles you're not so sure?" he wondered, his voice as close to innocent the green-haired swordsman might achieve.

Without needing to see the boy's expression, Mihawk mirrored the smirk, lifted a palm to cup the back of Zoro's head. "You have immense potential, boy. But I've no interest in fighting you until I'm sure you will be an exceptional challenge. And you would do well to remember, it would be no injury to -me- should I choose to walk away at this moment." He pressed in close once more, lips on Zoro's ear. "Still," he amended, hips shifting against Zoro's trapped fingers, "There are one or two weaknesses in which even I might be persuaded to indulge."

Confidence flickered through Zoro at the words. It was proof that he wanted something, that he wasn't only in this to defeat and humiliate. Just because he had more control over his body was no indication of his desire. And then Zoro was sliding down his body, knees sinking to the soft earth with his eyes fixed on the swordsmaster's face -- not respect, not submission. He would make him just as affected as himself, force desire onto one that was so confident in his perfect control. And closing his eyes, he nosed into the front of Mihawk's well-worn but clean trousers, his hot breath soaking into the material as he felt out what his hand had previously with mouth half-open against the fabric. Ignoring his flushed face, he rubbed his cheek against it, determined to feel him as hard as Zoro himself was.

Mihawk's fingers slipped from Zoro's neck as the boy lowered himself to his knees. A flattering position, the swordsmaster couldn't help thinking even as he steadied his breath and touched the top of Zoro's head, subtle yet encouraging. There was little reason not to enjoy himself if the boy was so willing. And little by little he allowed his tight control to unwind. He was the master of his own body, and if he could not yet sample the boy's swordplay, he could at least enjoy this.

It was a rather devious flavor of pleasure that Zoro felt as flesh stirred beneath the fabric, beneath his touch. And he nosed in rougher, encouraging and panting deep and hot against it. He showed no indication of being interested in parting the material, however, letting what he was nuzzling to life remain trapped in a stifling prison. His hands slid up Mihawk's thighs, squeezing at the muscle he found there.

"Good," Mihawk murmured, fingers already working deeper into Zoro's hair, nails scraping lightly at his scalp.

Zoro growled deeply into the fabric, a predatory sound that rumbled through layers. His own arousal protested, no softer for Mihawk's chiding comments about his sense of control. But he kept himself from minding it, kept his hands on the other man to keep them from his own pleasure. Instead he focused everything on imposing desire on the other. He was only too pleased at the firmness that was forming under his attention. He opened his mouth over the trapped shaft, teeth against it, dragging to the tip which he pressed his mouth over. He cared little for the fact that he was dampening the fabric as he pressed his tongue flat against it, rolling muscle at the suggestion of Mihawk's cock head.

Mihawk made no sound, but he shifted, pushing back, fingers gripping just a bit tighter as Zoro took the lead. He didn't mind. It'd been a long time. And being the best meant being more or less unapproachable. He reveled in the boy's lack of fear. It forecast just a hint of what their inevitable battle might be. It had been a long time since anything --or anyone-- had inspired excitement in the thoughts of Dracule Mihawk. He welcomed it now.

Those teeth threatened, scraping hard against sensitive flesh, if through protective shrouds. Zoro liked this. How the other had gone silent, how his nails bit lightly into his scalp. How his cock jumped when his dragged his teeth down its length, pressing it tight against his stomach. He popped open the button. And then continued, breathing deep the man's musk through his pants. Glancing up, he captured Mihawk's golden eyes as he against rubbed his tanned cheek against the now prominent bulge.

Mihawk smiled, a thin quirk of lips that showed no teeth. "You have done this before," he commented, catching Zoro's eyes and holding their gaze.

Zoro's eyelids lowered in a vaguely incredulous expression. "You forget what I fight with," he responded, non-committally. And he tensed his jaw against Mihawk's shaft, a reminder that these muscles easily wielded the weight of a katana.

"Heaven forbid," Mihawk teased, voice a purr, odd, yet somehow fitting to be heard from his throat. "But is your skill with your mouth enough to make mine with my hands?"

The younger man's gaze only narrowed and Mihawk's zipper murmured as he pulled it down and let hot flesh slide deeply past his lips without the slightest hesitation. Zoro was rewarded by a quick intake of breath, the prickle of gooseflesh under his hands. It was a strange dance of threat and trust, confidence and control that they engaged. Mihawk should have been at his most vulnerable, there with Zoro's mouth on him, yet he seemed not to care about, or even notice the dangers he put himself in. Or maybe he just liked it that way.

A rumbling sigh was felt down Mihawk's length as he took him deep, then pulled back, letting moisture smear over his skin. Then catching his head just behind his teeth, Zoro let his tongue swipe over the flared tip, pressing it into the roof of his mouth. Lips curled just the slightest, a suggestion of a sneer as the tip of his tongue traced around Mihawk's crown.

"You should take on your own preparations as well, Roronoa," Mihawk rumbled, one hand falling back to Zoro's hair. "I would not care for hurting you. In this way."

Zoro's brow furrowed and he let Mihawk slide deeper to hide his momentary confusion. It was perhaps worse though when color blossomed across his face as he realized what the older man was referring to. Roughly, he pulled back, teeth scraping and saliva dripping down his length. The idea was... unsettling, threatening, intriguing, tempting... He was loathe that the other man think that he was somehow winning if he got that. But the idea was not... unpleasant. A part of him thrilled at the concept of having this... power inside him, he imagined reigning it, riding Mihawk into the grass until he was gasping for mercy. Other parts of him weren't so sure about the idea -- on a purely physical level -- and his stomach twisted a little, torn between deep arousal and uneasiness at the whole suggestion.

Unfortunately for him, the swordsmaster took note of Zoro's hesitation and slid back enough to drop to a crouch, his eyes then at a level with the boy's. A warm hand cupped his jaw, traced the bone and slipped a scarred thumb between spit-slick lips. "I sometimes forget that some are not as... worldly as others. My apologies." A pause as Mihawk leaned in closer. "Would you like me to show you?"

For a brief moment, the younger man appeared as an angry, trapped animal, his teeth tensing against Mihawk's thumb between them. But then something flickered through him and a hand shoved the other's paler chest, pushing him to the ground. Zoro pried off his shoes behind him, letting his pants trail as he moved forward, glaring into Mihawk's face with all the challenge he could muster. Chest to chest, cock lightly brushing cock as his knees set on either side of the swordsmaster's hips. And bracing himself on one of Mihawk's shoulders, he slid two fingers into his own mouth, not quite able to glare the other down as he reached back to prod at himself, inspiring shudders through his own body.

Mihawk exhibited more patience than he might have otherwise, with another. If the boy needed him off his feet, face to face, to feel comfortable enough opening himself to this possibility, Mihawk was willing to make some concessions. Besides, there were few sights he could image at the moment that were more inspiring than the flushed cheeks and quivering muscle that knelt in his lap trying so hard to meet his eyes in defiance.

Zoro's lips parted in a quiet gasp as he pushed past his own nervousness, his face only flushing deeper as he pushed a single, slick finger into himself. At risk of crumbling his defense under arousal and nerves, he steeled himself and forced his body to relax, sliding the digit once, deeply in and out. His thighs quivered, his head suddenly dropping that Mihawk didn't see his panting lips and tightly drawn brow. But the hand on his shoulder told the story itself, nails biting hard into flesh as a second finger joined the first.

Mihawk raised an expressive brow, the hand on Zoro's face lingering as he watched the boy prepare himself. He may have been inexperienced, but Mihawk's instinct and eye for reading others told him that Zoro had likely done this before. Perhaps in the privacy of his own nighttime moments. He spared a moment's thought to wonder what sort of thoughts the young swordsman entertained. Battle? Victory? Sweat, blood, steel? Another body? He was a provoking young man, Mihawk decided. With a long way still to go. Still, there was most certainly a something to look forward to. In the future.

For Zoro, their fight would be about his victory. About taking a step from hopeful to best. About the victor's thrill.

By the time the boy issued his final challenge, it would no longer be about winning or losing for Mihawk.

And right now, what he wanted was a taste. He didn't know how long yet it would be before that final confrontation. And though he'd never speak it aloud, his days had begun to be touched with just the tiniest hint of impatience.

A slick hand abruptly gripped Mihawk's arousal, wetting it again before Zoro was pushing in closer to him, forcing him into a slouch until the tip of his cock was lightly brushing, promising flesh. He was able to meet the other's gaze now, as addled as his own was. And he challenged himself to keep his eyes on Mihawk's face as he reached back to guide, his jaw setting tightly as he sank down to accept him. His vision blurred briefly, breath in quiet pants between his teeth as he let Mihawk sink into him to the hilt, pausing there a moment, muscle quivering around him as Zoro adjusted. The younger man's own cock slid blissfully against the washboard of Mihawk's stomach, friction making the throbbing hardness jump, desperate for more.

"Mm. Good," was Zoro's reward, as Mihawk's skilled hands supported the boy's hips, shifted and settled him into his lap, just so. "Do you need a moment?" he offered.

"No," Zoro groused, stubborn as he ground down slightly, shifting Mihawk inside of him and rubbing himself against skin and muscle. He could be in just as much control of his body as the other -- putting himself in this position only proved it more. And he only shuddered the slightest as he drew himself up, using Mihawk's shoulders for leverage and sank slowly back down. Each little movement made things easier and while desire, frustration and need were mounting with each breath, he began to feel more aware of himself. He realized he wanted it. He wanted to pry the pleasure from his senior, to feel his power, to let it smolder inside them both. He wanted to soak as much of it in as he could, to let this sample inspire him until he was the one to snuff it out. With a soft grunt, he thrust down into Mihawk's lap, ready for more.

"Good," Mihawk replied, in truth wishing no further hesitations. He let the boy begin, to find the shift of skin and muscle that was easiest for him, a pace that would not wear him too quickly or delay gratification too long. The hands on Zoro's hips learned these movements, fell into sync with them, gripped tighter, began, a little at a time, to take the lead.

Sweat was starting to bead on Zoro's back and brow, a cool sea breeze chilling his skin. Mihawk was skilled -- the way that he matched Zoro's own natural rhythm, as though he saw and felt each movement before it was made. Not unlike their first battle, though Zoro was loathe to admit it even to himself. But not only did he match each slow thrust perfectly, he pushed it just the tiniest bit further, tugging Zoro down onto him, hips gracefully rolling into him. Never any sense of urgency and never enough to make Zoro not want it, just enough to make him welcome it when new angles touched him in places that made his breath hitch. His arousal ached painfully, dripping and smearing on Mihawk's stomach and he forced himself to ignore it, using the sensory starvation to let him hold out longer, determined to last against Mihawk as long as possible. From the corner of his eye, light glinted and the hand on the swordsmaster's shoulder slid down his arm to his wrist, pulling his hand away to instead place it on the discarded blade that lay beside them. Suggesting.

Mihawk caught the glance, searched Zoro's face, nodded, his fingers closing around the hilt once more. "Show me," he murmured, eyes meeting Zoro's pointedly. "What you want."

A deep breath, Zoro tensed and released around the other, his back straightening as his hand on Mihawk's wrist guiding the blade nearer. The nicks he'd left on tanned skin had closed and the one on his jaw burned softly red as he arched his neck and let the cool, flat of the blade slide across it. He knew the sting of metal would allow him distraction, let him last longer and hoped that the spill and flavor of his blood would heat Mihawk's own... and only very deeply did Zoro acknowledge his own pleasure in the act, in the pain and in Mihawk's tongue lapping at his life force.

Mihawk smiled. "Control is important. But knowing what one wants is as well."

The knife twisted in his hand, the edge of the blade scraped along Zoro's jaw, a tease, drawing no blood before lifting away. The blade's sharpness, if it hadn't been before, was evident now as it parted the front of Zoro's cotton shirt, from collar to navel, yet never once touching his skin in the process.

The boy's torso was rigid, his breath stilled as the tip of the knife flicked away the edges of the fabric, laying bare his chest and the scar. Mihawk's scar.

"Ah," he hummed, pleased. "It suits you." There was no insult behind the words, no veiled attack to Zoro's strength. Merely truth.

There was no indignation at the comment, Zoro's breath evening slightly as in the moment he ground slowly into Mihawk's lap. He wondered if the other considered the mark to be a claim to him. Without much thinking, he lifted fingers to the edge that cut through the muscle of his stomach, growling softly as he rubbed at the roughened skin and tensed around Mihawk. Licking his lips, he leaned forward slightly to speak softly into his ear, "It reminds me... keeps me hungry."

"My blade remembers the taste of your blood," Mihawk replied, his glance darting to the dark sword still laid out on his bedroll. When he looked back, the knife was pressed against the boy's ribs, a shallow line already drawn across the skin.

Zoro groaned quietly, the sound a murmur in Mihawk's ear, nails tensing at one shoulder. As blood welled from the thin cut, he shifted, changing the angle of entry and forcing a harsh breath from his lips as all but involuntarily, he thrust into it.

A second and a third, all parallel to each other, crept down Zoro's torso. Enough to bleed, shallow enough that the scars would fade in days. Lifting the blade away from Zoro's skin, a swipe of fingers and Mihawk was tasting him once more, meeting his eyes as he moved, searching for friction, for sensation.

"Open your mouth," he spoke, when his fingers were clean.

Panting softly, Zoro met his gaze , eyes reflecting a certain amount of wariness but not distrust. A swipe of tongue across his lips and they parted expectantly.

Mihawk's lip quirked, pleased at how easily the boy obeyed. He was not afraid. With a quick flick of the knife, a thin line was drawn across his own thumb, blood welled, thick and dark and once more the digit was placed into Zoro's mouth.

Zoro wasn't sure what he'd been expecting at the request. But somehow it wasn't this. And as Mihawk's thumb slid past his lightly parted lips, surprised briefly colored his features. And then the flavor of tangy copper blood was reaching his tongue and he shuddered heavily, tongue instinctively reaching for it before his brain even caught up. A lap of tongue to the pad coated his tongue with the thick, salty fluid and a sound formed in Zoro's throat -- a low, animal's growl. His whole body tensed, every muscle with that sample, a taunt to desires far deeper than sex. Teeth closed on Mihawk's thumb as he swallowed the flavor, his mouth now inundated with texture and taste in such a way that no other substance could achieve. His tongue swiped again -- thick, hot, he imagined it staining his skin, his clothes. Eyes closed, brow set and fingers closed around Mihawk's wrist as he sucked at the digit with great concentration. In the moment he didn't care that it had been an offer. He was far too lost in the experience, immediately drunk on the power of it.

After a breath, Mihawk drew his hand away. "Do not become too distracted," he warned, thumb drawing a smudge of red across Zoro's cheekbone. The knife rested against his bare thigh, still gripped loosely in Mihawk's fingers.

A snarl of protest was just stopped short of escaping Zoro's mouth, forgetting himself for a fraction of a moment. As it was, he licked Mihawk's flavor from his lips, breath heavy, and instead focused on what the man clearly himself was preoccupied with. He thrust down hard onto Mihawk's arousal, darkness forming in his eyes as though inspired by that taste of blood. He burned to see the older man lose control, raged to win this challenge. A hand braced on Mihawk's firm stomach as he started to ride in earnest, letting long, hard, deep thrusts rock him to the core and heavy pants set the tempo.

Mihawk sensed what the boy's goal was, toyed with the idea of giving him what he wanted. But he wasn't a man to just open his throat at the first sign of pleasure, to shiver into pieces even with a lithe, enthusiastic young swordsman determined to ride him into the ground. Still, he let his grip shift from Zoro's hips to slide up around his waist, knife still in one hand, the chill of the metal touching Zoro's spine.

A wary and warning breath huffed between Zoro's teeth at the cool caress of the knife. The muscles of his back tensed slightly -- he didn't expect that Mihawk would be so low as to mark his back in this moment of mutual lowered defense but that he would tease Zoro with it ruffled his feathers. Still rocking hard onto Mihawk's cock, he growled low and let his arms curl around the older man's neck and shoulders, raking nails between his shoulderblades just enough to raise light red tracks on his pale-olive skin. He turned his head for his tongue to reach for the side of Mihawk's throat, pleased to find the flavor of sweat forming there, sampled in a few hungry laps and a bite to the skin.

Mihawk turned his jaw, allowing the boy a better angle from which to taste his skin. An unvoiced hum vibrated his throat where Zoro's mouth touched. He would not mark the boy, of course, but he did not pull his hand away, delighting in the shivers he felt across the boy's back whenever the metal caressed his spine. Gently... gently...

It took concentration to keep his breath even, not to gasp with the rise and fall of hips, with Mihawk deep and grazing places he'd never felt in simple experimentation. Zoro's teeth ran along the pulse in his throat, letting it beat between them and against his tongue. It was thrilling, Mihawk's blood beating under the pressure, the threat of jaws to snap and the other man's blade steadily trailing across his skin. Zoro's own blades were still at his hip, resting against his thigh and his mind wandered to them -- to running the other man through, spilling his blood with him still deep inside, in throes of lust and death. It was far too dishonorable a thought, but exciting in spite. But in lieu of victory, he soaked in Mihawk's power, biting at his throat as though he could siphon it away.

It was an experience Mihawk had not had the opportunity to indulge in for a long time. He didn't often feel as though there was anything missing in his life, so it was something he didn't actively seek out. Still, being there, this boy on his lap, blood on his tongue and the promise of death hanging over them both like an engagement made far too long before the wedding... it all made
him remember why he held himself apart from people. Roronoa Zoro was such a beautiful distraction... and neither was ready for Mihawk to give up his title.

With a wordless sigh, the swordsmaster reached between them, blood still faintly seeping from his thumb and took gentle hold of the boy's long-ignored need.

A quiet gasp and Zoro's hands clenched convulsively on Mihawk's shoulders as his long fingers curled lightly around Zoro's cock, dark and wet with weeping need. His lips slid away from Mihawk's skin, held a breath away and panting -- had to hold out -- but his body betrayed him and his hips bucked into Mihawk's touch, a deep groan ripped from his unwilling throat as he slammed back into the other's lap. His vision was clouding again, unbelievable pleasure ripping viciously at his control -- he needed it so badly, his body demanded it, forgetting the battle and seeing only release. He bit on curses, body curled over Mihawk's hand, forehead on his shoulder as he trembled, fighting an entirely new battle, this one with his own body as he struggled to stave off the impending climax that made his back heave with breath.

"You are not weak," Mihawk murmured, mouth on Zoro's neck. When he bit, it was just hard enough to reopen the marks he'd left before, to let the coppery flavor flood his tongue once more.

A harsh sound erupted from Zoro's lips, a hand snatching up a fistful of Mihawk's scruffy hair, holding him there as pleasure crashed down on him like a wave in a tempest. His other hand clamped on the hilt of a katana, he himself unaware of the instinctive defense, knuckles as white as wadou's bindings as he spilled into Mihawk's soft hold. He shook against him, even as he struggled not to, strong pulses dripping down Mihawk's chest and stomach.

Mihawk's hand left the boy, reaching around to once more grip Zoro's hip. The knife slipped from his fingers to fall with a soft thunk into the ground. Without giving Zoro a moment's respite, he lifted and pushed, own legs tight with concentration as he thrust into the young swordsman, brow furrowed and damp.

Zoro's toes dug into the thin grass, teeth clenched tight as climax ebbed and brought to his attention the grip on his hip, guiding -- a tiny gasp as he thrust deep, purpose now showing through in his actions. Even as his muscles quivered in the glow of post-orgasm, Zoro steeled and braced and realized that perhaps releasing first was not losing, but instead gaining an advantage. Still panting from his own climax, he shifted, forcing Mihawk to slouch more and rocked onto him hard, grinding into his lap on the downstroke. Leaning forward to brace on the grass, his flushed face was confident, not even the normal flavor of aggressive but a cool confidence as though he was on the verge of touching the prize. His fingers slid through the hot come that tracked Mihawk's muscled stomach and slid between his lips, pushing a new flavor onto his senses as Zoro rode him expertly, his own need no longer clouding his senses and instead anticipating every move, tightening, thrusting down before Mihawk's hands could guide him. Not letting him take it -- forcing it on him.

For a moment, Mihawk allowed himself to be distracted, to let his eyes slip closed and taste the flavor of the boy on his tongue, the rough, calloused skin of those fingers. For a moment he let the boy think he had won something. Then he frowned, closed his hand around the boy's wrist, pulled his fingers free.

No, he shook his head. The young swordsman was too cocky, too confident. Those things could be the boy's downfall. Had already been once. It would make for a disappointing final battle were Zoro to come to it with that attitude.

It took only a breath, only a moment and one swift move to throw Zoro onto his back, one hip ground into grass, narrowly missing the knife that still stuck upright beside him. One leg bent over Mihawk's shoulder, awkward, but firm as the swordsmaster pulled out, pushed back in, a new angle and a new determination. There was more at stake here than his own pleasure. There was a lesson to be learned.

Furious anguish snarled from Zoro's lips, fingers gripping at blades of grass, neck arching and teeth bared as he was laid into mercilessly, the angle and his own abused flesh arguing over pleasure and pain. He wrenched his body, straining against Mihawk's iron hold that secured him in the impossibly awkward position. His breath was all but taken away between the thrusts racking him and the bend of his body. All for thinking that he had the upper hand -- defenses were high until he was confident -- should have easily seen this blow coming.

It didn't take much longer before the larger man jerked hard and went still, fingertips digging painfully into Zoro's waist, a chocked sort of grunt the closest Mihawk came to making any sound before he released a long breath and let his cheek fall against the muscled calf that still lay stiff across his shoulder.

Zoro groaned just the softest in the back of his throat, though refused to think it had to do with Mihawk's release now leaving him warm and wet inside. His muscles ached, his clothes were tattered, his skin bloody, sweaty and dirty. Not unlike their last meeting, he could only ruefully think. Ruffled, flushed, he caught Mihawk's eye, shoulders against the ground as he rubbed stray drops of his own come into his skin. "Next time I'll know you better," he warned, a soft growl.

Mihawk hadn't yet moved, but when Zoro spoke to him, he looked up. With a strangely gentle motion he pulled back from the boy's body, laid his leg down in the grass and sand, and moved forward, on his hands and knees until he was hovering over Zoro's prone form. When he answered, his mouth was near enough to Zoro's to touch, his breath was hot and smelled of blood. "I'm counting on it."


Zoro was thankful for the stream that he’d found, water that he wouldn’t taint by bathing in it nor resorting to the harsher touch of saltwater. Not far from the cove itself, it emptied into the sea and promised a fresh water source beyond the vaguely salty inlet. It only stung his fresh wounds the slightest and washed the more telling traces of the afternoon from his skin.

The heavy wildcat slung over his shoulders would curb questions as to why he was returning with the light on the horizon beginning to dwindle. His shirt had been far beyond saving, in complete tatters and stained with blood. A thin cut here and there was a swipe of claw or the scratch of a thorn.

Mihawk’s tiny ship had departed when he returned to the beach and Zoro felt no regret for it. There was no need for more words exchanged until he was stronger. He was humbled for a second time, ready to spend the night, after a hearty meal, training. He burned for the next meeting they had – no matter the nature, he would be prepared. Twice now the other man had got the better of him, next time he would get the worst.

As he approached the spot where the Going Merry was anchored, the startings of a fire came into view on the beach.

"Oi! Shithead!" Sanji's voice found him before Zoro could make out distinct faces in the distance.

"Zoroooo!" a frantically waving set of arms signaled that Luffy, too, had noticed his firstmate's approach. "DID YOU BRING US MEAT?"

It wasn't long before Zoro was tossing the hefty cat down at the feet of his slobbering captain. "Good enough?" he asked, the faintest hint of a smirk tugging at the corner of his mouth.

"IT'S HUGE!" Luffy crowed, dancing around the feline corpse, saliva pouring from his laughing mouth.

Sanji's eyes, however, were on Zoro, on the numerous shallow cuts that marked his shirtless torso. "Impressive," he finally commented. "To let a puny cat like that hand you your ass so well."

Zoro was oblivious to Luffy spinning Chopper around gleefully, the two of them plowing into Usopp and narrowly missing the fire as they crashed to the sand. He caught Sanji's gaze sharply, sneering at him. "I was asleep," he growled, a hand on Sanji's chest pushing him out of his way so that he could stake out the baskets of fruit that the rest of the crew had gathered from trees along the beach. He was starving.

In a moment of uncharacteristic calm, Sanji didn't push back, only shot a suspicious glare at the back of Zoro's head. "Next time you decided to use your mossy head as bait, catch us something bigger, dumbass," he called, twisting the long-handled carving knife in his fingers before stooping to prepare Zoro's kill.

Teeth sank into a tart-sweet fruit and Zoro let himself fall to the sand, leaning against a barrel that had been retrieved from the ship. He shot one last nasty glance at the cook, not caring for the wary glances he was getting from him and then closed his eyes. The warmth of the growing fire was pleasant even with the crowing of the younger crewmates as they kicked up sand and Nami and Sanji shouted at them. He was more tired than he cared to admit to himself, his muscles aching vaguely and fingertip bruises as throbbing reminders on his hips.

He couldn't say he was ashamed to be sporting the marks (whether his crewmates had even the slightest inkling where they came from or not) any more than he was ashamed of the line that sliced his torso and promised to do so for the rest of his life. The ache left in his muscles and the soft stinging cuts on his jaw and neck and stomach were reminders of his weakness but also inspiration to grow that much stronger. He almost regretted knowing that they would fade in a day or two. Still, memories were vivid enough, leaving other lasting impressions upon him that wouldn't let him forget -- his own overconfidence and mistakes but also the taste of that man's blood and the mutual desire for a clash of power. He was only too keenly aware now of Mihawk's desire for him and next time he would prove himself more worthy of it, be it through the clash of swords or the prowess and true confidence to set them aside.