When His Eyes Turn Into Hearts - Chapter 3 - wendy_deluxe (2024)

Chapter Text

Sanji couldn't contain his excitement. "Isn't this just the most romantic thing ever, Marimo-chwan?" He looked over at Zoro, who was paddling stoically. "Just you and me, sailing the blue seas together!"

Zoro shot him a look. "Oi, now isn't the time for your lovey-dovey nonsense, Love Cook. Focus on paddling."

Sanji saluted with a "Yes sir," his cheeky smile never leaving his face. Despite Zoro's stern demeanor, he couldn't help but appreciate the effort Sanji had put into their survival. The raft was sturdy, and the supplies neatly packed at the center of the small vessel were more than enough to sustain them until they found the rest of the Straw Hats.

They paddled in silence for a while. Zoro observed the horizon, looking for any sign of an island or the Thousand Sunny. His mind raced with the thought of reuniting with Luffy and the others.

After a time, Zoro noticed that Sanji's paddling had become erratic, his strokes no longer matching the steady rhythm they had established. He frowned, looking over at the cook. Sanji's face was red with exertion and his movements were sluggish.

"Cook," Zoro said gruffly, "Take a break."

Sanji looked over, his smile wavering. "What? No, I'm fine, Zoro. I can keep going."

But Zoro wasn't having it. He snatched the paddle from Sanji's hand and gave him a stern look. "You're not fine. You're overdoing it."

Sanji opened his mouth to protest, but before he could say a word, Zoro continued, "We don't know how long we'll be out here. You need to save your strength. Let me take over for a bit."

Sanji's face morphed from surprise to a proud, mischievous one. Seeing the genuine worry in Zoro's voice made his heart flutter.

He watched as Zoro took over the paddling, his muscular arms flexing with each stroke. Sanji propped his head in his hands to admire the view. Zoro's broad back, his tight grip on the paddle, the way his muscles rippled with every movement—it was all so... mesmerizing.

But Zoro was not oblivious to Sanji's ogling. He could feel the heat of Sanji's gaze on his back. "Cook," he said gruffly, "I said take a break. Stop staring and get some rest."

Sanji blushed slightly, his gaze dropping to the water. "Oh, right," he murmured, and began rummaging through the supplies. He uncovered a barrel filled with fresh fruits and a bag of meticulously packed meals. "I made these for you, Zoro. Eat up if you get hungry. I don't want my knight to starve out here."

Zoro's grip on the paddle tightened. "Alright, now sleep," he said firmly. It was more of a command than a suggestion, and Sanji knew better than to argue.

Sanji nodded obediently, even though Zoro's back was turned to him. He carefully laid out a blanket that he had managed to save from the wreckage of their ship, smoothing it out over the raft's uneven surface.

"You know, I've always trusted your navigation skills, Marimo-chwan," Sanji said with a yawn, stretching out his arms. "I'm sure you'll figure out how to get us back to the crew."

Zoro's only response was a grunt, but Sanji took it as a silent acknowledgment of his faith. Laying down, his eyes drifted shut almost immediately.

"Get a good rest, Cook," Zoro muttered, his voice low and tinged with concern. His energetic cook finally looked human—tired and drained.

Sanji had pushed himself too hard, driven by his own stubbornness and his love for Zoro. The cook went as far as to build a raft and hunt for food while nursing the unconscious swordsman. It was clear that Sanji hadn't slept much. The weight of their situation took a toll on him and Zoro felt at blame for ever allowing it.

Zoro's stomach growled. He set the paddle aside and glanced over at Sanji sleeping. Careful not to wake him, Zoro reached into the supply bag and pulled out one of the meticulously packed meals.

As he unwrapped the parchment, the aroma of perfectly cooked meat carried through the air, making his mouth water. It was as if Sanji had anticipated his every need and craving. Zoro took a bite and chewed thoughtfully, the meat tender and seasoned just right.

Somehow, amidst the chaos and scarcity, Sanji had managed to prepare something so delicious. Zoro took another bite, his eyes widening in amazement. He glanced over at Sanji, who was now snoring lightly.

But no matter how much his stomach demanded more, Zoro knew he had to save some for Sanji. He carefully wrapped up half of the meal and placed it back in the supply bag. Satisfied, he began to row once more, his arms now fueled by the sumptuous food.

Zoro's eyes felt heavy, and his arms burned from the endless paddling. The sun had dipped below the horizon hours ago, leaving them adrift in a sea of inky blackness. The only source of light was the small lamp that Sanji had managed to salvage from the ship, casting a feeble glow around them.

Sanji was still sound asleep, his breathing deep and even. Zoro knew he needed rest too. They had been adrift for days now, and the physical strain was starting to show. Carefully, so as not to disturb the sleeping cook, Zoro lay down beside Sanji, but not too near. The last thing he needed was for Sanji to wake up and think he had been trying to cuddle with him.

Zoro closed his eyes and tried to drift off to sleep, but something felt off. Something was moving. Zoro's eyes snapped open, and he stared into the darkness.

"Cook, are you awake?" Zoro whispered.

Sanji didn't respond, but his breathing quickened.

Zoro's ears perked up, the sound of the waves suddenly dwarfed by the muffled moaning. He held his breath, listening closely. It was definitely coming from Sanji. He turned his head to look at the cook, who was lying on his side and covered in a blanket.

Sanji's forehead was glistening with sweat, and his body was trembling slightly. Concern etched Zoro's features as he sat up and moved closer to the shivering figure.

"Cook," Zoro whispered, reaching out to touch Sanji's shoulder, but as his hand hovered over the trembling figure, Sanji flinched and his eyes snapped open, wide with shock. The raft rocked gently in the calm night water, the lamp's glow playing across Sanji's face, revealing a mix of fear and confusion.

"Z-Zoro?" Sanji's voice was shaky, his eyes searching the swordsman's face for reassurance.

"Yeah, it's me," Zoro said softly. "You were moaning in your sleep. Did you have a nightmare?"

Sanji sat up without answering Zoro's question, his eyes scanning the dark horizon as if looking for something that could explain the sudden chill that had washed over him. The silence stretched out between them, filled only by the gentle lapping of the waves against the raft.

Zoro's gaze followed Sanji's, his mind racing. He had never seen Sanji like this—so quiet, so withdrawn. The usual energy that emanated from the cook was gone, replaced by a palpable anxiety that hung in the air. Zoro wished he knew how to comfort him.

"I-I'm sorry, Zoro," Sanji murmured, his voice barely audible over the whisper of the waves.

Zoro frowned, the silence of the night broken by Sanji's unexpected apology. "I don't know what you're sorry for, Cook. But I forgive you.”

Sanji looked over at Zoro, his eyes shining with unshed tears.

Zoro cleared his throat, feeling awkward. "Here, I saved some for you." He handed Sanji the other half of the meal.

Sanji took it with trembling hands, his eyes wide. "You... you didn't eat it all?"

Zoro shrugged, his eyes on the water. "It's your food, Cook. You made it."

Sanji stared at the meal, his eyes blurring with tears. He had cooked it for Zoro, expecting nothing in return, not even a simple 'thank you'. But here was Zoro, sharing his food with him, even when Sanji hadn't asked. He felt a lump form in his throat, and before he knew it, the tears spilled over. Sanji started sobbing like a baby, the pent-up emotions of fear, exhaustion, and love spilling out of him.

"MARIMO-CHWANN!!" Sanji's sobs echoed over the calm sea. "I love you so much! Please forgive me for falling in love with you!"

Zoro felt relieved when Sanji's sobs subsided into sniffles. The cook's usual energy was slowly returning, and the tension on the raft eased. Sanji wiped his eyes with the back of his hand and took a deep, shaky breath.

"You okay now?" Zoro asked, his voice gruff.

Sanji nodded, trying to compose himself. "Yes, Zoro. Thank you!" He ate up the food, filling his stomach.

Zoro studied Sanji for a moment before lying down, his back to the cook. "Wake me in a couple of hours. Keep watch, Cook," he instructed firmly.

"Understood, Marimo-chwan," Sanji said, his voice still thick with emotion.

It felt like mere minutes had passed when a gentle shaking jolted him awake. Sanji was kneeling beside him, his eyes wide with excitement.

"Zoro, wake up!" Sanji's voice was filled with urgency. "Look!"

Zoro sat up. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes, squinting against the rising sun as his eyes focused on the distant form that Sanji was pointing.

At first glance, Zoro couldn't believe what he was seeing. Hope swelled in his chest. "Is that...?"

"It's an island, Zoro!"

Sanji took up the paddle once more, his eyes never leaving the horizon. Zoro picked up the second paddle and joined Sanji's side, the two of them working together as the island grew larger in their sights.

The closer they got, the more Zoro's gut twisted into knots. The island grew clearer, and so did the shapes of the structures on it. His eyes narrowed as he recognized the unmistakable building of a Marine base.

"Cook," Zoro said through gritted teeth, "stop paddling."

Sanji froze as he took in the looming silhouette of the Marine base. "Zoro, what should we do?"

Zoro smirked, a glint in his eye. "Think you've got your strength back, Cook?"

Sanji, noticing the tease, flexed his arms dramatically despite their thinness. "You bet I do, Marimo-chwan! I've got the power of love to keep me going!"

Zoro unsheathed his swords with a swift, practiced motion while the adrenaline surged through his veins. "We're going to steal a ship and get back to the crew."

When His Eyes Turn Into Hearts - Chapter 3 - wendy_deluxe (2024)
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