The sun rose over the long fingers formed by the ebony oak trees with their stunning white leaves.
The 'Thousand Sunny' had docked at the new island and the crew couldn't be happier as it had been a month since they last docked.
Zoro and Sanji were the first to leave the ship, leaving the others behind as they scouted; which was unusual as it was commonly Luffy with Zoro.
'I want to get an idea of what's here before I get supplies.' the cook had said.
Zoro groaned, but Luffy deemed it a good idea, and as Zoro can't go alone because of his poor directional skills, he was stuck with the stupid cook.
"Annoy me, and you're dead, cook." Zoro growled and the chef bristled at this.
"You're such a child, marimo!" Sanji hissed, but it seemed to be lacking it's usual vigour and almost sounded..... Thoughtful?
"What's wrong, dartboard-brow? You lack the culinary knowledge to turn this forest into edible food?" Zoro snapped and Sanji hissed through his teeth.
"Shut up, marimo. At least I can make something without turning it to mush or get lost trying to find the pantry." Sanji retorted and the swordsman growled, reaching down for his swords before they both stopped dead in their tracks.
Looking up, the two men saw the path give way to a semi-steep hill and from a part in the thick leaves, they saw a beautiful clearing with a massive waterfall that shone with light from the sun, a beautiful pool beneath and most of all, all kinds of plants, berries, trees and even a few areas where the glittering bodies of fish flickered with the unnatural light of the sun.
"Holy shit." both men said as they looked at each other and grinned.
With a quick spin, they were off, charging back towards the ship.
Zoro and Sanji were once again, the only ones on the island as they gathered fruits and such in a sheet they got from the ship.
Around mid-noon, they were knee-deep in water, still as stones.
Sanji twitched and jumped forwards, quickly missing a fish and slipping forwards, only to have Zoro catch him before he fell into a deeper part and he held him tightly against his own semi-wet body, watching the cook carefully.
"Nice going, shit-cook. You trying to die?" Zoro finally asked and the chef snapped out of his trance before he ripped from Zoro's tight grasp and turned to the fish again with a growl.
"Stupid, shitty-fish! You'll be the death of me, if not drowning, it'll be malnourishment or starvation!" the chef screamed and the Zoro couldn't help but chuckle.
The chef set his blazing blue eyes on the swordsman's amused dark eyes.
"You need to be still, and patient. Don't move and I'll show you." Zoro said and he stood there, stock still, eyes searching the water.
Sanji couldn't help but freeze, not moving an inch, and within ten minutes, the fish were back, but he held back as he watched Zoro's every move - or lack of - till there was a snap of movement and his three swords flashed before the hilts were the only thing out of the water.
Zoro grinned and Sanji watched in awe as the swordsman pulled his blades free of the water, revealing the three glittering fish skewered on the end.
"Holy crap, marimo! Where have you been all my life!" Sanji cried out and Zoro gave him a strange look, and upon seeing Sanji's shocked gaze, he grinned stupidly, almost like Luffy.
"Who knows?" Zoro shrugged before he threw the fish onto shore and concentrated again. "Your turn. Remember what I showed you." he added and Sanji nodded, determined to get this right.
He stayed still, and the fish came back. He didn't move and inch as one slipped right up to his hand, a second one following and with a flash, he dove forwards, snatching the two fish and leaping to his feet out of the freezing water and smiled brightly.
"ALRIGHT! Strike one for Sanji!" he laughed and with a shock, a soft hand brushed the bangs that clung to his usually uncovered side of his face.
His eyes flew open to see Zoro uncovering his dripping face, the softest, kindest smile on his face, his usually pitch black eyes faded to a soft grey.
"You did well, Sanji." he said and Sanji jolted.
Zoro never used his real name....
Roronoa Zoro just USED his real name....
And holy shit, did it make the cook feel good.
With a sharp flick, the now dead fish were thrown onto the shore and Sanji blinked as he realised Zoro's swords pinned them to the sandy shore.
"Look at you. You're a mess, you baka-cook." Zoro said softly and brushed the hair from his face once again. "Though you did catch the fish. Well done, Sanji." Zoro smiled softly again as the praise came from his usually bitter lips.
Sanji shivered again as his real name was repeated.
"Zoro...." he breathed and the swordsman smiled slightly.
"Yes.... Sanji...?" Zoro asked softly, their faces not far from each other, though it was a good few hand sizes away.
"I..... I.... No..... It's wrong...." Sanji muttered and with a shock, the swordsman fell to one knee to match the height of the kneeling, slouching chef.
"It's only wrong if you say it is." Zoro said softly.
It sounded so clear, so easy, so.... Logical.
Before Zoro could talk himself out of it or Sanji could process what was happening, their lips met softly at first, before Zoro became rough when Sanji returned the kiss, and a few moments later, Sanji was pushed onto his back by the ever dominant marimo.
Let's just say, when they returned to the ship, they had plenty of food, which made the rest of the crew abandon all of their angers of them taking their time, and after dinner was over, the chef and swordsman returned to the mens quarters and with a violent tug, the swordsman pulled the chef onto him as he laid on his couch.
The crew already guessed before the two men clearly showed it, so no one was in shock or said anything, except for Luffy, who congratulated them before rolling over and falling asleep.
But both didn't care, as Sanji curled up close to Zoro, who smiled and breathed into the chef's ear.
"When they fall asleep..... We could sneak out to the cave behind the waterfall, or the one inside from under water." Zoro breathed and Sanji shivered in delight.
That forest had surprised Sanji with the sudden beauty behind giant leaves, but now it was surprising him by giving him all he wanted and more from the swordsman.