When His Eyes Turn Into Hearts - wendy_deluxe (2024)

Chapter Text

Zoro was sleeping in the crow's nest with his strong arms and legs spread out sloppily. As the sun rose in the distance, he reveled in vivid dreams of booze and sword fights. But the sound of footsteps approaching caused him to stir. Now half-awake, Zoro didn't bother opening his eyes. He knew who it was.

Sanji stepped inside the crow's nest, making his way towards Zoro. In his hand was a small plate that held two heart-shaped onigiri.

With an inward sigh, Zoro braced himself for what was about to happen.

"Good morning, Marimo-chwan!" Sanji placed the plate of rice balls on Zoro's chest, right under his chin. "I made these special just for you."

Zoro pretended to be asleep, choosing to ignore Sanji's existence. It was easier that way.

"Oh, come on, Zoro," Sanji whined, tugging at one of his green locks. He giggled and said, "I poured my heart into making these. It was a labor of love!"

Zoro's eyes snapped open at the feel of his hair being tugged. He glared down at Sanji, who was looking up at him with an innocent expression. "What do you want?"

“Making sure you’re having a nutritious meal before you start your training today," Sanji replied, his voice sweet and gentle. "So you can become the world's greatest swordsman!" His smile grew wider, a hint of blush spreading across his cheeks. "And I mean, well, I’ll do anything for my Marimo-chan!"

The swordsman scowled, his cheeks flushing slightly in annoyance. "I don't need your help, Cook." He pushed the plate away, trying to ignore the way his stomach growled in protest. "I just want to sleep."

Sanji laughed lightly, unperturbed by Zoro's rejection. He knelt down next to the sleepyhead, setting the plate of onigiri beside him. "You know where it is when you wake up."

Zoro grunted in response, trying to get comfortable again. His eyes drifted shut, and he began to doze off once more.

As the morning wore on, the sun grew brighter and the air grew warmer. Sweat began to trickle down Zoro's back, and he felt sticky and uncomfortable. He sat up and glanced around, surprised to find that he was alone in the crow's nest. Sanji must have gone below decks to prepare lunch.

Just as he felt hungry, the smell of onigiri wafted up to his nose. His stomach growled loudly, reminding him that he was, in fact, quite famished.

Zoro reached for the plate of rice balls that Sanji set aside for him, picking up one and taking a bite. It was warm and fluffy with the filling perfectly flavored. As he chewed, a twinge of irritation crept in at Sanji's constant flirting. It was bad enough that he had to deal with it day and night.

Finishing off the first onigiri, Zoro munched the other one. He wondered if Sanji would ever just accept that he wasn't interested. But it wasn't like Zoro could reject Sanji without hurting his feelings. If only there was something he could say or do to make it stop...

...

Lunchtime was over.

Zoro was at deck, swinging his barbell through the air in a series of precise motions. The sun beat down on his back, causing him to sweat, which inevitably summoned a strong force nearby. Looking over, Zoro found Sanji, wearing a mischievous smile on his face.

The cook held out a green towel, his eyes turning into hearts. "Here you go, Marimo-chwan! I thought you might need this."

Zoro snatched the towel away, his cheeks flushing with anger. "How did you get my towel? Snooping through my stuff, eh?” he demanded.

“Why, Marimo-chwan, I found it lying around somewhere. I had no idea it was yours!” Sanji drawled, waving his hand dismissively. "You see… if it’s you, I’m a slave for love!"

Zoro growled under his breath, rolling his eyes. "Whatever, you pervy cook." He wiped his face and neck with the towel, ignoring the way it smelled faintly of fabric softener. "I wish that dumb passion would kill you already."

"Oh, I'm so scared!” Sanji clasped his hands together, his voice wavered, and he looked up at Zoro with a pitiful expression. “But it doesn’t matter! I'll just keep on loving you from the other side!"

Zoro groaned. "You're such a pain, Cook." Sanji's presence, as usual, was beginning to grate on his nerves. The cook followed him everywhere, wearing that same annoyingly hopeful expression on his face. "Can't you just leave me alone?"

"Oh, I can't help it!" Sanji protested, batting his eyelashes. "Your muscles are just so... so... awe-inspiring!" He breathed deeply, as if trying to take in the sight of Zoro's powerful frame. "I feel so... weak in comparison!"

"Then train, Cook." Zoro grunted, his muscles tensing as he lifted the barbell over his head. "Don't expect me to feel sorry for you."

“Zoro?! Training with me?!” Sanji clapped his hands together in excitement, nearly bouncing on his toes. "I’m so glad to be alive!”

Zoro narrowed his eyes, unimpressed. "You didn't have to sound so damn eager about it. I wasn't offering to train with you, Idiot Cook. You should know that I didn't mean for us to be partners in this."

Sanji hopped over to the nearest barbell, adjusting it to a comfortable weight before lifting it off the ground. "Like this, Zoro?" he asked, his blue eyes shining with a newfound focus. The muscles in his arms, shoulders, and back rippled with effort as he hoisted the heavy weight over his head.

Zoro watched him intently, his expression a mix of surprise and grudging respect. "Not bad," he muttered, impressed. He took the barbell from Sanji's shaking grip and began to instruct him on proper form. "Keep your back straight, and engage your core. Just don't overdo it, Cook."

As Sanji followed Zoro’s instructions, his muscles strained under the weight of the barbell, and sweat began to bead on his brow, but he didn't let it deter him. He was determined to impress Zoro.

...

The setting sun cast a warm, orange glow over the horizon, and the air grew cooler. After hours of training, Zoro and Sanji were both exhausted, lying sprawled on the deck of the ship.

Zoro sat up, looking over at Sanji, who was still catching his breath. "Hey, Cook," he said, "I've got something important to talk to you about."

Sanji had his eyes closed and his face
flushed from exertion. His breathing was labored, and his chest rose and fell with each ragged inhale. "I'm so... happy that... Zoro trained with me..." he mumbled.

"Listen, Cook," Zoro began, his voice low and serious. "It's about-"

But Sanji didn't let him finish. He shot up to his feet, his face pale and his eyes wide with panic. "Oh no! I completely forgot about the snacks!" He dashed toward the ship's galley, his feet moving faster than Zoro could keep up. "Wait for me, Marimo-chan! I'll be right back!"

Zoro sighed heavily, watching Sanji disappear into the ship. He leaned back against the mast, his arms folded over his chest. The words he had wanted to say hung in the air, unspoken. He had finally gathered the courage to tell Sanji that he couldn’t accept his feelings, that he saw him only as a crewmate, not a love interest. But the timing was never right, and it seemed like it never would be.

...

After dinner, Zoro retreated to the crow's nest, his turn for the night watch. The stars twinkled above him, a silent audience to his tumultuous thoughts. He had to find a way to tell Sanji that he didn't reciprocate his feelings, without breaking his heart. The persistent flirting was wearing on him, and it was only a matter of time before it grew into something more than just a nuisance.

The peace was shattered by the sound of light footsteps climbing the ladder. Zoro already knew it was Sanji, probably bringing some midnight snack with a ridiculous shape like a heart or something.

Sanji emerged into the crow's nest, a bottle of sake in one hand and two cups in the other. "Marimo-chwan," he whispered, his breathy voice carrying a hint of shyness. "I brought us something to celebrate our successful training today."

"Tsk," Zoro said, his voice gruff as he took the cup of sake from Sanji's outstretched hand. "This isn't anything to celebrate. It was just training."

Sanji's smile never wavered. "But, to me, it's special," he murmured, his eyes full of meaning. "Because I got to spend time with you, Marimo-chwan."

Zoro couldn't help but crack a small smile. "You really are something else, Cook," he said, taking a swig from the cup. The sake was smooth and warm, just the way he liked it. He felt the heat spread through his body, relaxing his tense muscles. "Thanks."

Hearts leapt out of Sanji's eyes at Zoro's small act of acceptance, "You are most welcome, Marimo-chwan! Please accept my undying love-" Sanji jumped to his feet with the enthusiasm of a puppy. He was about to pounce on Zoro, but the swordsman had anticipated this move and swiftly rolled out of the way. Sanji landed with a thud, the sake bottle and cups flying in the air.

"Can you be normal for a minute?" Zoro snapped, his patience wearing thin. He couldn't believe he had allowed Sanji to get this close to him, even if it was just for a simple cup of sake.

Sanji's cheeks turned a darker shade of red, and he sat back, his eyes downcast. "I-I'm sorry," he stuttered, his voice barely audible. "I just wanted to be near you." He placed his index fingers together in a pleading gesture, his eyes peeking up at Zoro through his lashes. "Please, Marimo-chwan, can I stay with you tonight?"

Zoro sighed, his frustration evident in the tightness of his shoulders. He knew that saying no would only lead to more persistent begging from Sanji. "Fine," he grumbled, taking another sip of his sake. "But if you make a single noise, I'll throw you overboard."

Sanji's eyes lit up like the stars above them. Without any other words, he laid his head on Zoro's shoulder. Zoro stiffened at first, unsure of what to do, but then he felt the warmth of Sanji's cheek and the steady rhythm of his breathing.

Zoro swallowed hard, his eyes focused on the horizon. It was the perfect timing he had been waiting for. "Look, Cook," he said, his voice low and serious. "There's something I need to tell you."

Sanji yawned looking tired and sleepy, his eyes fluttering closed.

"I have to be honest with you. I don't... I don't feel the same way." Zoro paused, gathering his thoughts. "No matter how much you cook for me, or follow me around, it's not going to change how I feel."

"...zowo... youwer... youwer... owneegeeree... mmm... syow dweleeshoes... I cwaynut looweev widoowut yowe... "

Zoro's words trailed off as he heard the gibberish coming from Sanji's mouth. He turned to his side, and to his surprise, found the cook fast asleep, his head resting on Zoro's shoulder, and his mouth still moving with the remnants of his dream. A soft snore slipped out, and Zoro sighed in defeat. Another opportunity wasted to set things straight.

"I guess it can wait," Zoro murmured to himself. He carefully maneuvered Sanji's head off his shoulder, placing it on the wooden plank next to him. The cook didn't even stir, lost in his peaceful slumber. Zoro took another sip of his sake, the warmth of the alcohol doing little to ease the tension in his chest.

Standing up, he decided to leave the crow's nest quietly. He needed some fresh air and more booze to clear his head.

...

The moment he stepped out onto the deck, the wind slapped him in the face, cold and salty. The sea had turned from calm to chaotic, the waves rising higher and higher as the storm approached. Thunder rumbled in the distance, a warning of the chaos to come.

"Zoro," Sanji's voice was tight with fear as he clung to the ladder. "What's happening?"

Zoro's eyes never left the horizon. "Storm," he said, his voice tight with tension. "Big one."

“We have to wake the others!" Sanji scurried down the ladder, calling out to the crew.

"Too late," Zoro murmured, his gaze never leaving the monstrous wave. It loomed over them, a mountain of water with the power to crush their vessel.

When His Eyes Turn Into Hearts - wendy_deluxe (2024)
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