Title: Hidden Perceptions.
Fandom: One Piece
Challenge: Subtle Love
Disclaimer: No such luck, One Piece doesn't belong to me.
Notes: Done in about an hour. Together with editing. First time posting.
Theirs is a strange kind of relationship. It is no secret that the two of them cannot stand each other. The green-haired swordsman has no patience for the blonde-haired man who in turn has no patience for the latter. They fight. They bicker. They argue.
They fight over the tiniest things and quarrel over the slightest provocations. They all know that when Sanji meets Zoro (or vice versa) all hell will break loose. So it was no surprise that Nami’s first instinct was to roll her eyes and slide down the wooden mast to stop the impending fight when she saw Sanji walking towards Zoro. Said green-haired man was at his usual spot, only now, instead of sleeping, one hand was holding his katana, the other rubbing absently on the silvery blade. It was a cloudy night and Zoro and Nami didn’t see the lanky figure at first. But Zoro’s hearing is better and his head snaps up the stop tread of footsteps.
She wants to go to them, to break up the impending fight but something makes her stop and watch. Sanji says a few words, most likely biting retorts Nami muses absently, and to her surprise, Zoro just lower down his sword and makes place for the blonde cook. Said cook folds his lanky body next to the muscular man and takes out a cigarette and starts puffing on it, pale grey smoke curling in the night air. They talk, that much she can tell, their mouths are moving, but she’s too far and so she hears only faint unintelligible murmurs. Then Zoro, who had resumed his polishing, stops and flashes a smile at Sanji. Nami stares, unable to comprehend the meaning even though it felt so damn clear to her and her heart skips a beat for a moment as Sanji laughs, the warm sound carrying on the cold wind.
Later she watches them and wonders about them, wonders what is it her brain is trying to tell her and yet she is failing so hard at grasping it. Ussop comments that she seemed a bit…out of it recently. Before launching into a fantastical story that she knows has no truth in it.
She sees the way they fight, and they way they glare at each other and she sees the unexplainable look in their eyes, behind all the anger and disgust. She sees the curling of the upper lips, blatant distaste for the other and she sees the slight tilt of the corner of their lips.
She starts noticing things now, how Sanji flirts with her, voice low and sexy and she hears the way it alters when he addresses the swordsman. It is different, harsher and yet…there is a strange smoothness, an ease that she has never heard delivered to her before.
She sees the way they throw looks at each other, fraught with hidden meaning, masked by superficial irritation and she sees the way they smile. It comes easily now, not forced and it is Zoro’s smile that aches the most. Brief and fleeting, barely touching those full lips. A ghost of a smile that flitters away almost instantaneously.
It only hits her completely the day Zoro got hurt.
Said swordsman had came back to the ship, limping, blood tracking a crimson path behind him and promptly slumped into a chair on the deck, ignoring all of their panic. Chopper, as usual, was busy fussing over him as the rest of them stood watch. Almost unconsciously, Nami stood beside Sanji and turned a worried eye on the lean cook. No flirting, a cigarette was lit nonchalantly and he puffed on it slowly, blowing out wispy tendrils of grey smoke that curled around his head.
Idiot, he said, with his typical biting tone and the green-haired swordsman glared at him and growled. He counters back smoothly, but Nami sees the slight tremble of fingers as he removes the cigarettes, sees the way his brow tenses, sees the tension in his shoulder and the odd jerkiness of his movements.
She sees the way his eyes closed, over blue that reveal too much and when he opens them again, they are clear and blank. Sighing and tossing away the stick, he walked to Chopper, volunteering to bandage the stupid oaf.
Long fingers deftly unrolled the white linen and quickly wrapped them around the wounds. She sees how the fingers dance over skin, light and fleeting like butterfly wings. She sees the way the tension slowly melts away from Sanji’s shoulders. She sees the way Zoro’s body relax slowly, as if comfortable. She sees the way he looks away and-
Sanji’s hand closed over Zoro’s for a brief instance, the touch is returned instantly, swift and yet incredibly soft. Nami feels a hollow feeling inside her and detachedly, she wonders how that rough calloused hand would feel over hers. It aches even more now, because now she sees and she understands. Sanji stands up, delivering a stinging retort and Zoro snarls back at him. They stand up, each going in the opposite direction, with the tiniest hint of a smile on their lips.