Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
About Varied / Professional Premium Member The Dark Muse AKA DaveOther/United States Recent Activity
Deviant for 6 Years
6 Month Premium Membership
Statistics 332 Deviations 2,905 Comments 12,393 Pageviews

Newest Deviations

Flash Player 8 is required to view SitBack. Get the latest version of Flash Player.

Commission Info

What You Need To Know To Get What You Want

Kitsune Studios’ Commission Agreement

By entering into an agreement with Kitsune Studios, you (the commissioner) accept the following terms as they are written, unless otherwise negotiated.

Types of Commissions

$5 - single character
+ $5 - per additional character
+ $5-15 - for backgrounds, depending on complication

$10 - single character
+ $5 - per additional character
+ $10-20 - for backgrounds, depending on complication

Color: (Digital)
$20 - single character
+ $5 - per additional character
+ $15-25 - for backgrounds, depending on complication

Color: (Traditional)
$30 - single character
+ $10 - per additional character
(No background options available for traditionally colored pieces, sorry.)

Multiple Panels/Series

Regardless of level of completion there is a standard $20 fee per page for comic-style pages on top of previously mentioned prices.

Series of pictures shall be billed as separate images, but for more than 2 images in a series we will deduct $5 per page after the second page.
For example:
2 page before/after inked, 1 character, minimal background = $40 [$10 per page + $10 per background]

4 page series, inked, 1 character, minimal background = $70 [pg 1-$10, pg 2-$10, pg 3-$5, pg 4-$5 + $10 per background]

$2 per page or $30 per chapter (10 pages), whichever is higher.

Important Notes/Disclaimer

All payments must be done through Paypal or money order (there is a fee), and we will not being work on your piece until we have received at least 50% (half) of the total cost of the commission*.

Refunds are only available if the work is not completed and must be made within one week of payment having been made. The retainer fee (first 50% of payment) is non-refundable.

We, the artists, reserve the right to reproduce, modify and distribute any commission we accept. The commissioner is also allowed to reproduce, distribute and modify any artwork they have purchased. No other person is allowed to distribute, modify or reproduce our work as covered under the DMCA. With regards to prints, buyers may only distribute images they have taken of the original piece, they may not modify or reproduce any printed works.

* - Story commissions are handled on a chapter by chapter basis. The first ten (10) pages must be paid for in advance, thereafter payment will be handled on demand. This first payment is the equivalent of the retainer fee as mentioned above, and is non-refundable. You (The commissioner) will be notified when a chapter is available to be purchased, and will receive that chapter when payment has been confirmed. At such time you may do what you will with the story. As author(s), we reserve the right to publish online any written work, regardless of length, for promotional purposes. Should the topic of actual publication come up, terms of how that will be accomplished will be discussed in detail with both you (the commissioner) and the publishing company.

In addition to the above, with regards to story commissions, accepting this contract means that you (the commissioner) agree to the following stipulations:

Do not pester the author(s) about the story. We value communication with our commissioners, regardless of media, and when we have an update, we will inform you (the commissioner) as soon as it is available.

We will not accept payment in advance, as stated above in the addendum to the note on payment information. This puts undue pressure on us to perform, which we’ve found kills our muse. Let us work at our own pace, and pay us as we provide completed chapters. As an addendum to that, you (the commissioner) will not get the next piece until we have been paid and the payment has cleared our system, also as stated above.

Allow us the chance to clear our to-do list a bit to make room for the new story. At any given moment we have upwards of seven (7) commissions in various stages of progress. When we accept a commission, the new one goes to the bottom of our list, and we will work on it as it comes up to the top.

Thank you for choosing Kitsune Studios.





beautifulrainboweyes's Profile Picture
The Dark Muse AKA Dave
Artist | Professional | Varied
United States
Just a self-made freelancer trying to make his way in the world.

Transgender artist by Queen-Soulia
Male or "they" pronouns please.
Panromantic stamp by Tea-StrawberryKnight of Void by YukinoTenshi23Derse Dreamer by YukinoTenshi23
White butterfly bullet by ZerbertWhite butterfly bullet by ZerbertWhite butterfly bullet by ZerbertSlytherin House STAMP by CrystalLynnbludWhite butterfly bullet by ZerbertWhite butterfly bullet by ZerbertWhite butterfly bullet by Zerbert

Divider II by RBSRdesignsDivider II by RBSRdesignsDivider II by RBSRdesigns

Rainbow Dash Cutie Mark Bullet Point by Star--SproutCommissions [Open] by RevPixyArt Trades [Ask Me] by RevPixyRequests [4 Friends Only] by RevPixyRainbow Dash Cutie Mark Bullet Point by Star--Sprout

SnK Dividers! [F2U] -links in description by raru-tanPoints [Decline] by RevPixyPaypal [Accept] by RevPixySnK Dividers! [F2U] -links in description by raru-tan

Divider II by RBSRdesignsDivider II by RBSRdesignsDivider II by RBSRdesigns
Also on:



Mature Content Filter is On
(Contains: ideologically sensitive material)
A/N: Didn't want to sit on this until the weekend, so merry early Yule to you, minna!!! As usual, Silva-love, is here as Law, and Jenna returns as Ace. Beta-read by the wonderful Ember.

There's some implied stuff here, so folks who are a bit... squeamish about darker relationships should mind the tags as they come up in a couple of chapters.

Description: When he took the job at the dive bar just off Red Line Ave, Sanji Noir really didn't know what he was getting himself into. Life was hard growing up the second son of the most famous riverboat chef on the Four Blues, but surrounded by the craziest people he's ever met, he's found himself sucked into chaos, intrigue, and romance? Just what kind of bar is Luffy running here?

Warnings: Modern AU, yaoi, trans character, asexual character, polyamory

Pairings: Zoro/Sanji, Ace/Sabo/Luffy/Law, Sanji/Law

Disclaimer: One Piece belongs to Odacchi, I'm just borrowing them.

Back at the Sunny, Wednesday morning, the Baratie long pulled out of port taking That Person with them, Sanji had finally relaxed after three very intense days. He actually surprised himself, the tension he'd been carrying since Sunday seemed to be drained from his body, and all but for his side where his ribs were still bruised, he was virtually ache free. Well... mostly. He could ignore it. Bruises tended to be slow-healing type things after all. He figured that probably had something to do with how he felt as he moved about the kitchen whipping together breakfast for dinner.

Already he had a buffet lined up on the bar so that people could come and go as they pleased. Nami had warned him that Wednesdays were Painting Days, whatever that meant, and that they weren't open to the public. So, that meant a sit-down dinner with the crew before the public descended on them was literally off the table. Thus he had a mountain of pancakes, bacon, sausage, friend potatoes, and at current moment he was scrambling enough eggs to feed an army platoon. Or at least one Luffy.

What he didn't realize, in the hustle and bustle of the early afternoon, was that he was humming, mumbling words lightly under his breath. "Je ne sais, ne sais, ne sais pas pourquoi on s'aime comme ça, la seine et moi…"

Ace peeked into the kitchen, muffling a yawn with his hand and then practically pranced inside. The new guy was distracted by his cooking and… singing? Nice. He was pretty up close too. Very, very nice. Ace grinned, opening the fridge door, snagging up an energy drink and then moved to stand behind their new cook and bartender. That close he could actually make out the words, even if they weren’t strictly loud enough to be understood.

"Ooooh you're French? Lu never told me that!"


The blond jumped nearly three feet, egg flying out of the pan for a moment. He had just enough wits about him to hold out a plate to catch the flying breakfast, before turning back around to the stranger. He muttered something and exhaled slowly.

"Yeah. My family is entirely French, as far as I know. Maman, that is, my mother taught me both languages. And you are?"

"Mm." Ace hummed in understanding and opened the can, taking a small sip. He held out his free hand to the blond, and bangles of citrine and sunstone jingled together against a suspended lavender quartz pendant wrapped around his wrist. "Portgas D. Ace. Sanji, yeah? Pleasure to meet ya!"

The cook shook it, with a nod and a small laugh. "I guess you're the other one I'm supposed to guard my fridge against? The last of the infamous D brothers?"

Ace grinned, squeezing the hand before releasing it. "That'd be me, though honestly I'm nowhere near as bad as Lulu is. Honest."

"Pardon my rudeness, but oh thank God! I don't think I could handle more than one of him!" Sanji laughed harder, going back to his eggs to mound them high on the plate he'd used just a moment ago to catch the escaped bits.

"He is a rather excessive eater." Ace leaned back against a counter, sipping slowly at the drink and fighting another yawn. "I mean, don't get me wrong, I can eat a lot, but nowhere NEAR as much as him."

"Heh. Then I guess I'm gonna become your new favorite person. I already know I'm Luffy's."

"Of course you are, you can cook." Ace snickered.

"Oh I'm not just a cook, Ace-chan," Sanji teased, snagging a piece of bacon with a fork and holding it out for the artist to taste, "I'm the cook."


The brunet raised an eyebrow and leaned in to take the bacon into his mouth, slid it off the fork, and chewed on it thoughtfully. He let out a small delighted sound.

"Mmmm, yes... very, very nice, Sanji-kun!" He pulled back with a grin. "But that's just bacon. I've had a loooot of bacon in my life, and admittedly while it is delicious, it's nothing special."

"Is that so?" There was an air of affected insult about the blond, and he gestured to the bar, "Then by all means, try what you'd like. I stand behind my food."

Ace pushed himself up from the counter and made his way over to the bar. He placed down his drink and snatched up a plate and some utensils to pick and choose from it all.

"Don't mind if I do~! Haven't eaten since lunch yesterday..."

Something made a high pitched whine and it took a moment to realize that something was the cook. His eyes wide, though only one was visible, his face pale, and a storm of confusion reigned all over his expression.

"Good heavens, WHY?!"

Looking up from the plate of sausages he was eyeing, Ace blinked at the cook in confusion. He tilted his head, the light glinted on a red tiger’s eye shaped like a spade hanging from his ear. "Something the matter?"

"Y-you can't just not eat! It's not..."

He bit his tongue. Sanji had no right to judge. He didn't know a thing about the other man, and frankly, he wasn't a saint about it either. If he didn't snag bites from what he was cooking as he went, he simply didn't eat all day long.

He seemed a little green at that, "Nevermind. I just... I'm not used to people taking it so casually."

Ace blinked again.

"Aaaah... um." He grinned sheepishly and stabbed a sausage with his fork and dumped it on the plate. "'S not like I didn't eat deliberately, I don't skip meals if I can help it. Nothing to worry about. Was just sleepin'."

"Oh." And then things started to click a little, taking in the brunet's appearance, "Oh! You're the painter! The one that does the murals, right?"

"Yep, that's me." Plate now piled high with different foods, Ace made his way back to his spot at the counter. "Paint 'em whenever I can on Wednesday's, since it's basically a free day for everyone."

"Hmm." Sanji tapped his chin thoughtfully, "I think maybe everyone has a free day because you paint. I haven't been here long, but even I can see the way Miss Nami manipulates everything. Crafty and beautiful. It's a good thing she's got a heart of gold, or I'd be worried for everyone's safety."

The artist tilted his head in the other direction, which revealed a duplicate spade in the other ear. "Huh. Never actually thought about that before. But now that you mention it, it wouldn't surprise me… Nami can be terrifying..."

He took a bite of the sausage and let out a hum of approval, and then tried some of the fried potato.

"An' I gotta say, Sanji-kun, you do cook really well~"

The cook allowed himself to preen a little. It always felt good to have someone appreciate his food. It felt even better when the someone was a freckled cutie in a jumper two sizes too big and splattered with paint. Call him a sucker, but the blond had a thing for the off-the-shoulder, peek-a-boo singlet look. And the legs... Sanji had good legs, they were one of his favorite features, but he couldn't pull off tights like that. Not and retain his masculinity. He let his eyes wander for a second, dancing happily from labret piercing to ear studs to the top of a bold letter A tattooed on his left shoulder, and shook his head, pretending to be responding to the artist's comment.

"This is just simple fare. Something to warm the belly and energize the body for whatever work the day, or in this case night, has to offer."

"Then I can’t wait to taste something that's 'not so simple'."

Ace grinned and then started to scarf down the food in a similar fashion that Luffy did. And it was a wonder that he didn't choke. Soon, the plate was clean, and he once again had his drink in hand, sipping at it in content.

Sanji chuckled. "You really are Luffy's brother." Something about the bob of the brunet's Adam's apple and the curve of his neck caught in the cook's mind though. He frowned briefly, "Though... I gotta ask... you're not actually related right?"

"Hmm?" Ace looked at the blond and laughed, before making his way over to the sink to deposit his dirty dishes. "Not really… well... we're cousins. Grew up together."

"There aren't any... other leggy brunets with fantastic asses and adorable freckles hanging around are there?"

"Mmmm nope. That'd just be me." Ace licked his lips with a sassy smirk, hands on his hips in a way that betrayed hidden piercings under his sweater. "Why do you ask?"

"Oh, well, see I saw this really hot kiss the other day, and I was pretty sure it was Luffy getting kissed, but y'know... I didn't exactly stick around long enough to really find out too much." The blond smirked back, his nerves about the whole thing hidden deep below his casual at-work mask of two parts flirt, one part ego.

The artist frowned for a moment, thinking, before his expression brightened.

"Ah! When Lu was training? Yeah, that was me, guilty as charged." he sipped at the can, and made a face as he discovered it was almost empty. "Anyway, what about it?" He raised an eyebrow and tilted his head. "...Something wrong with it?"

Sanji shook his head.

"Unconventional. I don't think I'd be able to do it, growing up with somebody like that and then taking it that way... eh, the guys I did grow up with were just disgusting enough to turn me completely off of them! But hey, it's not like there's any worry for birth defects or whatever, cuz you're both... well, I assume you're both... Ah fuck."

Where had his confidence gone??

"I'm babbling. I always babble when I'm nervous. Sorry."

Why was his mask slipping?! Shit! He could feel it, the way he wanted to be genuine with the freckled brunet. Maybe it was an effect of the last couple of days, having to hide things from That Person all the time.

"No, there's nothing wrong with it. Not to me. I'd just worry about what other people think. I mean, not that I'm not... er... That didn't come out right."

Ace stared at him for a good, long moment, his face blank. He swished the remaining liquid around in the can, before throwing his head back and downing it. After he placed the empty can down on the counter he turned back to Sanji with a grin.

"Hey, no worries! Sorry 'bout that. If it was me that made you nervous that is. I get where you're coming from too, so just relax." He moved over to the fridge and pulled out another can. "I just get a little defensive sometimes. Like you said, I worry about what other people'd think too. It's not like we keep our relationship a secret, but we don't really broadcast it either. But since you're cool with it, really, nothin' to worry about."

"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said anything. It's not my business. I was curious, though that's no excuse. I should've just... let's go back to flirting and pretending that I'm not a complete and total spazz, y—!”

Ace laughed, and leaned in and silenced him with a kiss—just enough to take him by surprise. With a small flick of his tongue across the cook's lips, Ace pulled back with a snicker.

"Like I said, nothin' to worry about, Sanji-kun."


The blond melted a little. Yup, was definitely a reaction from the weekend. He was still all geared up from seeing That Person he'd forgotten he didn't have to walk on eggshells with everybody else. As such his next response was both too soft, and too high, compared to his normal tone, "...'kay."

"Great then." Calmly, Ace opened his new can and took a sip. "Need any help in here? For... anything?"

"Yeah, I... no. I'm..." The cook shook himself a little, color on his cheeks, and stepped back, pretending to check that the stove was off completely, and gathering little tidbits of things he really didn't need to do. "I'm fine. Thank you. I'm glad you liked dinner. It-It was nice meeting you."

Ace's smile softened and he nodded. "Alright then. Best start painting now before the shakes come on..." He stepped closer to Sanji again and kissed his cheek. "Thank you very much for the food, Sanji-kun. It was delicious."

With that, he turned and exited the kitchen, a bounce in his step.

Sanji watched him go, feeling a bit colder than before now that the bright brunet wasn't filling the room with his personality, and his hand drifted to his cheek absently. "Yeah..."

The feeling didn't last long because just as soon as the sexy artist was out of his sight Luffy, Usopp, and Chopper descended on the bar, having only just then come in from the back lot. The cook assumed from the state of their clothes that they'd been sparring, though he had no idea how Usopp, with his skinny build and cowardly attitudes, could hold his own against the Rubberman, let alone little Chopper.

"Oi! Assholes! Go wash your filthy mugs before you even lay a finger on the food!!"

He loomed over them and for a split second it looked like they were going to listen, but then Luffy, trying to be sneaky, inched his hand towards the plate of bacon. Sanji moved faster than all except Zoro had seen before. One second the captain was disobeying orders, the next he was picking himself up off the floor, having crashed through a table in the process.

Both Usopp and Chopper screamed. Then Nami joined them.

"Sanji's trying to kill us!!"

"My table!!"

This drew the attention of the other girls, as well as Sabo and Franky, who had been messing around with the sound booth only a minute before. Even Zoro looked up from his nap against the steps of the stage. Tension mounted as everyone took in what had happened and began to turn to the suddenly popular cook. One by one they started to draw a not altogether wrong conclusion but just as the furious manager was about to round on Sanji something cut her off.


Luffy was laughing.

A hand on his head to make sure he still had his hat, the Rubberman picked himself up off the floor and out of the splinters of table to reveal a grin so wide it made his whole face look stretched out.

"Now that's more like it!" He clapped the cook on the shoulder and headed off to the bathroom to wash up, subtly fixing his necklace.

Sanji turned to Nami, who was the only one still watching him. “I-I-I… Miss N-Nami, I can explain I-I-I… it’s…”

She held up a hand, bangles jingling, and shook her head, clearing her face with a deep inhale.

“I’ll pay for the damages, if… if you want.” He tried again.

“Luffy said it was fine, then it’s fine. This isn’t the first time someone’s broken something inside. How do you think the ‘No Fighting Inside’ rule came into existence, if not for things like this.” She sighed again, making her way to the broom closet. “BROOK!! Come give me a hand with the table!”

“Yo ho ho ho! On my way, Nami-san! Perhaps this time you’ll be gracious enough to let me see your panties after?!” The hippie chortled, dancing off the stage with a graceful leap—

Right into the broomstick in the manager’s hand.


Whatever response Brook had for her, Sanji didn’t hear. He’d already ducked back into the kitchen, heat on his face, and the feeling that someone was watching him closely. He needed to get out of sight. Hide. Get away. Lose himself in his cooking and forget about the ball of anxiety churning in his gut. Maybe a cigarette would help? No, he’d probably anger the beautiful manager further if he stepped outside now. It was better that he just… do what? The food was cooked. Ah! Wash dishes, and it was tucked around behind the wall that had the shelves of alcohol on display for the patrons too. Perfect!

Outside in the dining room, Zoro, Robin, and Ace exchanged a look.

Hours and about two dozen cans of paint later, Sanji wrapped his arms around himself more tightly, marching quickly towards Hack’s Café. He was supposed to have met Law almost twenty minutes ago, but Luffy, chasing Chopper because the little doctor-to-be had the last of the cotton candy treats Sanji’d made, had tripped over Ace’s ladder, sending the entire bucket of bright blue paint cascading over the edge…

Right over one rather jumpy and very unaware cook.

The captain had apologized, though Sanji doubted his sincerity, and Nami assured him that damages to his suit would be taken care of by Luffy. Whether that meant the Rubberman would be buying him new clothing, or the money would be added to his paycheck, or they were simply going to clean the one they’d damaged? Sanji didn’t know. All he did know was that the stunning manager had sent him home without his suit coat. Fortunately, Ace loaned him a jacket, but it wasn’t very warm, and it was covered in glitter and sequins. If he hadn’t been shivering, his skin would have been crawling.

In any case, all of that meant he had to go home and change before he could meet up with Law, and since he couldn’t wear his favorite binder because of the bruises on his ribs, it meant layering more intelligently.

Truth be told he didn’t really want to go out, but he’d promised the handsome surgeon another cup of coffee on Monday night via text message. That Person hadn’t been happy about that. Which meant Sanji was all the more determined to go through with it, no matter how he felt at the moment.

Jogging the last block, the blond gave Sabo a wave before ducking inside to give a look around.

Law was seated at one of the tables near the wall, his hat hung with his jacket on the back of the chair as he worked on a mess of papers, a pair of thin-framed glasses on the end of his nose and his legs crossed under the table as his pen moved rapidly over the papers. Scattered around him was the real indicator of how long he'd been here; five empty espresso cups stood stacked neatly, lids stuffed inside the cups, next to three much larger mixed coffee cups. From the foam still clinging to the rim of one and the thick smell of chocolate near his table, they had been some sort of mocha. He'd arrived early so as to make up for being late last time and had been there almost forty five minutes.

The line of his back seemed longer, the knobs of his spine visible through his shirt as he practically crouched over the table to get his face closer to... whatever he was working on. His hair was also a mess, rather thrown about even worse than the hat hair Sanji had seen last time, and it became apparent why exactly that was when he lifted his right hand from the papers to shove it into the fluffed black mass and massage his scalp, making it tangle further.

From the way he was camped out, it seemed he was prepared to wait at least an hour or more for his date to arrive. Of course, being an ER doctor made one much more aware how easy it was to fall out of time and wind up running quite late.

The blond didn't even look at the counter as he crossed the shop, "I am so sorry! Luffy spilled the paint, and then Nami tried to mop it up, and I barely got out of there with my shirt on let alone intact to come here, so I had to go home, and I really hope you haven't been waiting that long."

He wasn't blind, he could tell how long it'd been, but it was polite to say that, to pretend that he didn't know. He was also careful not to look at the papers, certain that they were most likely carry over from his shift at the hospital, and though Sanji wasn't entirely confident on what exactly was legal about reading someone else's medical files, he knew on a personal level that they often contained things he most certainly wouldn't want anyone else to find out about. So he turned such that Law would have a chance to gather up the sensitive ones while he unwound a scarf from under his hoodie, and draped both layers over the back of his chair.

Underneath he had a long sleeved tee-shirt that was baggy on his skinny frame, and layered over with a second slightly tighter tee with his favorite band's logo across the front. Even if the shadows hadn't given him away, the way he hunched his shoulders did; he was being good and not wearing his binder. Or anything actually. It felt weird, but he'd rather deal with being on edge from people he didn't know than risk a lecture about how he was going to aggravate his bruising.

Unfortunately what he didn't notice was that turning like that revealed several new dark spots. Things the average person wouldn't recognize, but being a medical professional, the brunet knew how to judge the age of a bruise just from coloration alone. And the line of the blond's jaw, a circle on his wrist, and something that looked suspiciously like a bite mark just above his collar were all less than four days old.

Law quietly filed that information away, but he had no proof; not even a suspicion to go on that it wasn't merely a bit of rough play. Or another fight with Zoro. Or Luffy not watching his strength as he hauled the newest Nakama around. He had absolutely no proof of any of it and no basis for suspicion, though he was suspicious as he began piling the anatomical sketches he'd been reviewing together to put in his bag. It wasn't exactly sensitive information, mostly just review he liked to indulge in to keep his mind sharp, but he found most people were uncomfortable with the graphic nature.

"Ah, it hasn't been long at all, no worries," was what he actually said as he tucked the sketches away. "And there is almost always something that goes wrong on Painting Day. If one outfit doesn't get completely ruined then Ace has had one hell of a bad day and Luffy was probably out sick."

He leaned back and uncrossed his legs under the table to clear the space between them for Sanji to get some coffee if he wanted it, or some pastry or the like.

"Does that actually happen? Luffy getting sick I mean." The cook laughed, taking his seat gratefully. As soon as he was off his feet he let out a half-squashed groan, and he reached down to rub the back of one calf. "I swear that boy is like a living hurricane. Or a tornado? I'm fairly certain I still have bacon stuck to the ceiling."

"To be honest, he doesn't really get sick, thankfully. And yes, he is a living tornado and you probably do have bacon on the ceiling, but I can promise it'll be gone by morning," Law grinned a bit as he drained the last of his current drink and set the cup aside.

"Good, at least that way it isn't wasted." The doctor was good for him; Sanji could feel the left over tension leaving his shoulders. A romantic interest that already knew the details under his clothes? It made the flirting thing so much easier. "I hate to see good food in the trash. Especially my food! And I'm not trying to sound egotistical here, but I make damn good food."

"Oh I know. I've had Luffy telling me every spare moment he has about how good your food is," he laughed softly. "He's been telling everyone he knows… everyone that will listen, and even some strangers who seemed rather alarmed at suddenly being screamed at that 'Sanji makes the best food in the worlddddddd'."

His grin stretched wider on one side than the other as he elongated the word to convey the enthusiasm with which Luffy proclaimed his skill.

"Oh God." Sanji covered his mouth with his hand, laughing and grinning. "That would explain the text my brother sent me this morning."

"Oh dear me, what did he hear? I'm almost afraid to ask."

"He said one of his customers told him to hire me because a... hang on, I'll read it to you."

Snagging the phone out of his hoodie pocket unwittingly revealed another of those bite marks, this time on the other side, and the skin had clearly been broken in a few places because there was a ring of slight scabbing in the center of the bruise.

But the blond seemed not to notice as he pulled up the message, "He says, 'Prince, heard you were making an impression at your new place. Being told to hire you because a strange bouncy man in a straw hat keeps complimenting your food. Something you need to share?'"

Law added that to his mental catalogue even as he burst out laughing. "That's exactly what he's doing. I almost feel sorry for your brother, he's going to get a lot of that. However, do warn him not to feed Luffy under any circumstances, otherwise it'll be his turn next."

"Oh, trust me, Alex already knows about Luffy." Sanji shook his head fondly, "It's because of Luffy the place is even doing as well as it is. He goes there after every match when he's in town."

"Oh! Your brother is at Rain Dinners? Be careful, or Luffy might just adopt you to get access to excellent food. Not that he hasn't already adopted you, but much moreso." The brunet realized his cup was empty only when he tried to take another drink, and blinked down at the little smears of chocolate on the bottom. "Did you want anything to drink? I appear to need a refill."

"I would kill for a caramel mocha that I don't have to fix myself."

"Soy or almond milk, yes?"

He remembered from the last time. He was a doctor, after all, and assuming an allergy of some sort, had added it to the growing 'file' in his head about the handsome blond.

"Yeah, that's probably smart." The cook blushed lightly, and internally blinked at himself because he hadn't even been thinking about it. He'd been wrapped up in the conversation.

Law smiled again and nodded, pacing up to the counter.

"Koala, I have to impose on your excellent coffee-making skills yet again," he began, the edges of his eyes crinkling in a grin, "I simply must throw myself on your mercy, I cannot live without another of your large mochas, and Sanji is in need of a caramel mocha with soy and almond milk. Please," he added on the end with the best begging eyes he could make. He had, after all, bothered her almost ten times in less than an hour for more coffee.

The barista laughed merrily, "Anything for my two favorite workaholics!" She brought the order over in almost half the time, having started Sanji's the moment he walked in the door, and gave Law a winning smile, "Why if it weren't for your caffeine addictions, I might just be out of business."

The brunet chuckled, his lip ring glinting when it pulled to the side. He was only wearing one today, instead of both because he'd lost the end to the other one this morning and still hadn't found it.

"Ah, but it is my pleasure to support your excellent skill. Also, how bad is my tab? I know I forgot to pay at least three times over the last couple weeks."

"Not too bad until tonight. If you want I'll take it out on the lay-about on the curb." She winked, knowing he was going to pay, but wanting to tease Sabo for stalking the couple.

He looked out at said 'lay-about' and his eyes danced. "As tempting as that is, I'd better settle up myself. Otherwise he's likely to tattle on me and I'll wake up painted green. Or purple. Or blue. Again. I don't think I ever got all the blue paint out of my hat the last time."

"That's just because he thinks you wear too much black. Picking on Sabo is an excuse to give in to the urge." The register dinged with the printout for Law to sign. "Are you covering Sanji's too?"

"Of course. I asked him out for coffee, not the other way 'round. He can pay next time, presuming there is a next time," he chuckled gently. "Besides, if I give him a 'gift' of the coffee, maybe it won't be such a large shock when I give him the present I already got him for today."

Koala shook her head, adding the caramel mocha, "Someday, Mr. Crow, your shinies are going to come back to bite you in the rear. If he kicks you, I am not picking you up off the floor."

"If he kicks me I better pick myself up off the floor, otherwise Daddy didn't teach me a damn thing," he replied simply as he picked them both up in his hands after handing over the cash to cover his tab and headed back to the table.

He couldn't even dispute the 'crow' or 'shinies' comment. It was all too accurate really.

Sanji looked up from his phone like Law was a godsend, pouncing on the drink as soon as the darker man handed it to him. The first drink was accompanied by a moan that really had no place being legal in public, his eyes closed and phone forgotten on the table. It vibrated twice, but he didn't even notice, too enthralled with his mocha.

The surgeon chuckled as he sat down and sipped his own, just luxuriating in Sanji's obvious enjoyment. He used the hand in his pocket to carefully adjust his pants before pulling the small velvet box out and turning it in his hands.

"Hmmmm." The blond melted, and sighed happily, then all at once said, with an embarrassed chuckle, "Yes. By the way. About Rain Dinners and Alex. I hadn't answered you before. Too focused on coffee."

"Oh, don't worry about it. It happens," Law replied easily, smiling again.

A muscle in his cheek twinged and he realized he probably hadn't smiled this much in such a short time span since he'd first dated Luffy and Ace and Sabo. Not that he didn't smile while with them, but that giddy first-couple-dates energy that made smiles come easier was gone from the comfortable, loving relationships he already had. There really wasn’t anything quite like New Relationship Energy.

"But yeah, have you been there? You said you're Luffy's league official doctor." With both hands wrapped around his cup, Sanji tucked his feet up on the rung of the chair, pointedly ignoring the phone as it vibrated again.

"Once or twice. My hospital shifts don't leave as much time as I'd like for leisure dinners, not even for my friend's championship dinners. Or sponsor dinners. Or any of the myriad other occasions Luffy comes up with to eat there," Law crossed his ankles and sipped his own drink, fingers still idly spinning the box on the tabletop.

Like a flare, the thing caught the blond's attention, "What's that?"

"A present for you." A flick of his clever fingers and it slid across the table to gently bump the other’s elbow. "I figured it wouldn't get in the way when you cook. I would have got you something much nicer but everyone I know says I way overdo it with my starting gifts so I tried to dial it back. Some."

"But we've only... ahh?"

Color lit up his cheeks as he opened it, and the moment his eyes landed on the charm was obvious. His mouth moved but no sound came out. Gaze darting from necklace to... were they boyfriends now? Was that what this meant? Sanji didn't know, but.... wow... It was... wow... Was that real gold?! And... and... sapphires?! ON A SECOND DATE?! The cook's inner child squealed at the magnitude of the present, lifting it gently from the box so he could watch the light reflect from it suspended on his fingers. He brought it back down, thumb tracing the S-shaped charm tenderly.

"A-are you sure?!? It's... it... I... you... for me!?" He actually looked like he might cry.

"I… yes, was I wrong? Will it get in the way when you cook? I wanted to get you a bracelet or ring, but I thought those might get in the way," he almost stammered, taken aback (as always) by the reaction. "And well, people with one allergy tend to have others, so I figured real gold was safest to prevent a possible skin reaction, but if it's no good—" Law was babbling, he knew he was, but he couldn't seem to help it.

Instead of trying to come up with some kind of answer, Sanji just surged across the table and kissed him, hard! What? It had worked when Ace did it to him that morning! And he really did like the necklace. It was perfect!

Yep, that worked, and Law settled into kissing him back easily, his hand coming up to cup his jaw gently.

A brush of thumb across brand-new bruise though made the blond wince, breaking their kiss. He pulled back trying to subtly shift the doctor's hand back up his cheek so that they could continue the touching, but away from where it hurt on his jawbone. The tiny flare of pain shot the memory of how he'd received said bruise through his mind. He desperately wanted to just continue the impromptu making out, even if they were in danger of spilling their coffee.

Law paused, something was... off. Something was off in Sanji's posture. He was listing. Just a little, anyone else would never have noticed. But Law was a doctor, and Sanji was... favoring. He pulled back all at once, his eyes darting down to his side. Yes, his arm on that side had the elbow tucked in protectively, not by that much, but he was clearly favoring his bruised ribs.

After several days, the pain should have abated enough he no longer needed to favor, and his eyes found Sanji's again with concern and worry, and an undercurrent of anger. Of 'what did you do to that rib'. Not the kind of anger that would have him lashing out, but the anger that said he knew he'd been hurt further.

"Ah, sorry, I ran into my door this weekend. The mosshead is apparently living downstairs now, and he sort of chased me up the steps, and I tried to close the door, but he's a wall of bricks, I swear to God!" The cook's lip tucked up between his teeth, and his eyes immediately darted away to the floor. "I must've... made it worse. I haven't been binding though! I promise! I didn't even wear... um..."

"Sanji." The doctor’s voice held a quiet firmness that cut through the excuse. "Something has put pressure on that rib. I can see you favoring it. The only reason it would still be hurt is if there was pressure. If you didn't bind, you did something and running into a door wasn't it."

"Can... can we not do this? Here? At least..." The tone of his voice was small, defeated, "Can we just... go back to me kissing you about the necklace?"

Law’s face softened.

"...Okay. I hear chefs are excellent with their tongues maybe if you distract me really well I'll forget the question," he proposed in an attempt to lighten the air.

"I certainly try to be." Sanji ghosted a smile and shifted carefully around the table to recapture Law's mouth.

Law let him lead, bringing his hand to his cheek where Sanji had put it earlier and breathing deeply of his scent as he parted his lips in invitation.

After a few minutes of memorizing the surgeon's flavor, the cook pulled back again, this time smiling and gloriously kiss-flushed. "We didn't quite make it that far last time, but... would you like to come back to my place for a drink or something?"

His question wasn't at all subtle, but he hoped that Law could read the undertone of 'yes, we can finish that conversation to a certain extent once we're in private'. He even allowed the curtain of his bangs to fall back so that both sapphire blue eyes could look up into gold hopefully.

The brunet rubbed their noses together with a soft little croon in the back of his throat. "Yes. Why don't we do that," he took his hand in his own and kissed him again, just a little peck. "Don't forget your coffee," he added as he picked up the box, still open, to hand to Sanji.

"Yes. Coffee. Right."

Sanji's thoughts collided a bit as he took the box and stood quickly. There was a moment's pause before he clasped the brilliant gold and sapphire S around his neck, just long enough that he could look down and see it where it rested on his shirt. Then he covered it with his hoodie, wrapped the scarf around his neck, and tucked the box into his pocket. Now that Law was aware of it, it was clear that all of the blond's movements were favoring his right side. Including the somewhat muted dance over to Koala for a refill on his mocha.

Law observed it carefully, and noted he might want to get a shorter chain. That one hung a tad low. Another note to add to the file as he waited patiently for Sanji's refill and ruefully accepted one of his own. As it was his mouth was probably still going to taste like coffee and chocolate when he woke up tomorrow.

The cook barely flirted with the pretty barista, causing her to glance worriedly at the doctor when Sanji turned his back, and as they made their way out of the cafe, Sabo looked up from his acoustic, never breaking song, to watch them go, also touched with worry. It was likely the two had different reasons, but then again, the vibrant gentle-cook had wormed his way into the middle of their group with the same sort of delicacy and grace as he'd displayed in his food. Though it wasn't yet obvious to him, the entire extended staff of the Thousand Sunny saw him as Nakama. Regardless that it had been less than a week since he'd joined them.

Law tried to signal to Sabo that it was alright, but he wasn't sure he managed it as he hurried to keep up with Sanji's quick stride. They had legs of comparable length, but Sanji was definitely much faster on his feet, so it took real concentration to keep up.

It took a couple of blocks before the cook realized, "Oh! Sorry." He slowed his pace a little and gave a little shrug, another sheepish smile, "Kitchens. You move fast or you get run over."

Law smiled back. "Indeed. Surgeons, on the other hand, have to be perfectly still; shifting at the wrong moment unconsciously can be lethal. But thank you for slowing."

"You should've said something sooner. I'm forever outpacing my friends, either by being taller or faster. I honestly don't notice I'm doing it anymore unless I'm specifically concentrating on keeping pace with them."

The brunet sipped on his mocha and shrugged.

"I'm used to running to keep up, actually. I'm used to following after people with much longer legs," he said a little carefully as he offered his hand to Sanji's, thumbs barely brushing.

Sanji gladly wove their fingers together, and brought the inked knuckles up to his lips to press a careful kiss to them. "Still. It's only considerate to walk with one's date." A twinkle of desire curled in the corner of his mouth over Law's hand, "Especially when inviting someone up for the first time."

"I wouldn't call it the first… well, perhaps it's more accurate, considering you brought me to my knees the last time we were out on a date," Law teased back, his own eyes having a low glitter of their own. "Though I admit I like you at my side much better."

"That was entirely your own fault, Mr. Sexy Voice! You give me that kind of serenade, even if you don't know how much of a romantic I am, and then expect me to just walk home?! That. Just. Wasn't. Fair." The blond leaned into his arm, using his shoulder to take pressure off of his ribs, "You can't blame me for needing to return the favor."

The other laughed gently. "Indeed. However I think I might have to return the favor to you, as well. I admit not having gotten such excellent… and surprising… rewards for my singing in a long time and I do desire to give you a similarly exciting experience."

"Hmm..." Sanji sounded coy. "We'll see." Then he danced away a little and up the three steps that was the front of his apartment building, "This is me, fourth floor. Still wanna come up?"

"I am no stranger to stairs, I promise," Law replied, not letting go of his hand as he skipped up the stairs after him.

"There is an elevator but it's been broken for so long I don't think anybody even remembers it's there half the time. Mostly we use it as a message board for the landlord." The cook laughed, gesturing to the poster-littered corner of the entranceway beyond the door leading to the basement and mounted the first flight up.

Part of him hoped the marimo was listening, since the hallway echoed and noise was always filtered down to the laundry room, but he didn't poke too hard at that feeling. It almost felt like he wanted the green-haired bastard to be jealous! But that was just ridiculous!! If anything, the pain in his ass should have been pissed off that he was happy! See, asshole? Trans people can have healthy dates with sexy doctors too! He didn't have to be a 'lady' to get laid! Or be worth someone's time!

And money!

His hand drifted over the necklace with a fond smile at Law. He really didn't want to admit how long it had been since someone had given him something like that. Well, someone outside of his family. Not since That Person had first started taking interest in him when he was nineteen! Almost... he did some quick mental math... seven years ago! It floored him a little, and on the final flight of stairs, he leaned into Law's shoulder again. He had no idea what they'd been talking about, but he was so, so, so grateful that the doctor had thought him worthy of presents.

Law leaned back on him and kissed his cheek, unaware of Sanji's thoughts but watching him touch the necklace made the ball in his guts feel fuzzy and happy. He'd made someone happy with a present!

He hummed as they reached the landing of the fourth floor and dropped another kiss on him with a little squeeze of his hand.

Unlocking the door revealed a neat, well-lived-in home. It was clear the cook had been living here for a while. The first room had two large, plush couches framing a decent, if second-hand, television set. A few shelves around it had movies on them, and the entire runs of Iron Chef, Good Eats, and Hell's Kitchen. Beyond that was an island, bar stools on one side, and the kitchen... oh the kitchen! Stainless steel appliances, spotless pale blue counters, honey-tone maple cabinets of every shape and size, and a walk-in pantry that looked like it used to be the coat closet from where it was positioned between the front door and the kitchen. That certainly explained the row of hooks on the other side. If Sanji had plastered over the original door to the closet so he could access it from the other side, he would have had to put up something to cover the change on the side next to the entrance of the apartment. Bookshelves lined the other wall between the kitchen and a door that Law could only assume was the bedroom, or possibly bathroom? It was hard to tell, but there was only one other door, so it had to be both somehow.

"Can I offer you anything? Tea, coffee, something to eat? Wine?" Sanji pulled his hoodie off and tucked his shoes in the corner under the hook.

Law lifted his coffee. "No, unless you happen to have some chips or something else around, because you're favoring even more than you were and I would prefer you not stand too long so I can examine you… in the purely professional sense for the moment… and see what, exactly, you did to your ribs."

“Right…” The blond winced, and sighed, knowing he wasn't getting out of it. "I do. Give me a moment."

He stepped off to the kitchen, pulling a box of something out of his fridge. The way he moved in his element was no less graceful, but he was definitely favoring his right side. And he seemed to avoid one end of the island. He skirted it around the other side multiple times in his path back and forth warming up the snack. Though it only took five minutes exactly from Tupperware box to plate, he was obviously dreading the examination.

Setting the plate down on the table that had been hidden behind the back of the couch that faced the door, Sanji sighed again, "Just shirtless, or do you need to look me all over?"

Oh how he wished that question was actually as lewd as it sounded in his head.

"My main concern is your ribs, but if I find anything else there, I will need to give you an entire once over," Law replied as he nibbled at the snack between sips of his coffee.

He was perfectly willing to give Sanji all the time he needed to come to terms with his exam and even stall on getting undressed as much as he liked, but he definitely wasn't letting him wriggle out of it.

"Might as well start there then..."

A/N 2: Song: Vanessa Paradis and M - La Seine
Getting Used to It: Stay With Me - Chapter 6
A/N: Didn't want to sit on this until the weekend, so merry early Yule to you, minna!!! As usual, Silva-love, is here as Law, and Jenna returns as Ace. Beta-read by the wonderful Ember.

There's some implied stuff here, so folks who are a bit... squeamish about darker relationships should mind the tags as they come up in a couple of chapters.

Song: Vanessa Paradis and M - La Seine

Description: When he took the job at the dive bar just off Red Line Ave, Sanji Noir really didn't know what he was getting himself into. Life was hard growing up the second son of the most famous riverboat chef on the Four Blues, but surrounded by the craziest people he's ever met, he's found himself sucked into chaos, intrigue, and romance? Just what kind of bar is Luffy running here?

Warnings: Modern AU, yaoi, trans character, asexual character, polyamory

Pairings: Zoro/Sanji, Ace/Sabo/Luffy/Law, Sanji/Law

Disclaimer: One Piece belongs to Odacchi, I'm just borrowing them.

Chapter 1: [link]
Chapter 2: [link]
Chapter 3: [link]
Chapter 4: [link]
Chapter 5: [link]
Chapter 6: ~Here~
Dave's Year End Review - 2014 by beautifulrainboweyes
Dave's Year End Review - 2014

Inspired by :iconmah-blackberreh:​, I pulled my favorites from all of the art I've finished this year. I know I did a helluva lot more this year than last, and I'm kinda pumped about that! Helped a good friend with their school project, and really got comfy with my Wacom--which was a HUGE jump forward in tech for me.

Close Ups:

All of these guys are on my Redbubble.

Thanks so much for everybody's comments, and likes, and favorites, and all the love from everybody this year. It really helps me stay motivated to keep drawing.

Here's hoping 2015 is just as awesome!! Kanpai!!

The Siren's Call by beautifulrainboweyes
The Siren's Call
Redesign of Siren!Sanji, based on a Gulper Eel, deep-sea fish this time. ^_^

On Redbubble.
Mature Content Filter is On
(Contains: strong language)
A/N: Since it's after midnight here, technically I'm posting on time. X''D

I just wanna make a note about the swords in this chapter, traditionally, according to my research, a samurai's katana were always considered female, both in the same idea as ships in the West, and not, because they had different reasons for assigning that gender to them.

Silva is here as Nami and Zoro this time. And Tsuris was kind enough to Beta for me while Kouhai's on break. ^_^

Description: When he took the job at the dive bar just off Red Line Ave, Sanji Noir really didn't know what he was getting himself into. Life was hard growing up the second son of the most famous riverboat chef on the Four Blues, but surrounded by the craziest people he's ever met, he's found himself sucked into chaos, intrigue, and romance? Just what kind of bar is Luffy running here?

Warnings: Modern AU, yaoi, trans character, asexual character, polyamory

Pairings: Zoro/Sanji, Ace/Sabo/Luffy/Law, Sanji/Law

Disclaimer: One Piece belongs to Odacchi, I'm just borrowing them.

Seven hours, a scalding hot shower, and a dry piece of toast to help his morning meds stay down until he got to work, Sanji felt like himself again. Almost, because the memories of the night before played his in mind some, specifically the touch of Law’s hand on his chest. But at least by the time he was straightening his tie, and fussing over the way that the borrowed binder didn’t quite give him the long lines he preferred, he felt stable enough that he could pick up his phone and head out.

At least until he saw the message he’d received.

[Heys, heard you were in a scuffle. Need me to beat somebody up for you, Baby?]

That had been several minutes ago, when he was still in the shower, and the cold chills that ran down his spine as he realized there were more messages below that one only made him grip his phone tighter.


[You there?]

[Aw, come on, Baby, I haven’t been away that long. You know you’ve missed me.]

[Seriously, where are you? Why aren’t you answering?]

The last one had been seconds before Sanji picked up the device.

He was frozen, staring at it, trying to will himself to keep ignoring the text messages, but it was getting harder and harder to do so. The tension crawled up his back, hunching his shoulders, drawing him unconsciously tighter around himself.

It grew, and grew, and grew… and grew!



He nearly dropped the thing as it went off in his hand, and he fumbled with it to get the screen back on so he could read what he already knew was going to be there.

[Guess you just don’t have time for me anymore. I miss you, Baby. You’re the only one who ever really cared about me, but if you don’t even care anymore, then who do I have? No one. I love you, Baby. There’s no point in going on if you don’t love me back.]

“No! No, I’m here! I’m sorry! I was in the bathroom. I have work. I’m sorry. Please don’t go! I’m here!” Sanji texted with shaking thumbs.

[Baby! I knew you’d never leave me!]

[You have work?]

[Where you working?]

“That new place my neighbor told me about.”

[Downtown? Baby you know I don’t like going that far from the river.]

“I’m sorry. They wouldn’t let me wear my binder at the other place.”

There was silence for a while. Heavy and oppressive, and Sanji read his last text over and over, a growing pit of cold nausea in his stomach. He felt like he could count the seconds by the way his heart hammered in his chest.

He was in the process of typing out another, “I’m sorry”, when the DINGDONG came again.

[Well, as long as they treat you right. Maybe I’ll make an exception and come see you in action. Wear that little number I got you for your birthday. You know I love when you show off those legs of yours.]

Relief flooded him, and sagged back against the pillows on the bed, knees tucked up to support his hands while he typed.

“When are you coming in?”

[Sunday. Riding with your old man. He picked me up in Sabaody. I told him I’d mop the floor for him if I could hitch a ride to come see you. Think he knows how much I miss you.]

“He probably knows how much I miss you too.” He held onto that one for a while, hovering over the send button as he thought about the night before.

No, it was fair! Dr. Kaya said that he was allowed to date other people. They’d broken up when he left town. That meant he wasn’t at the other man’s beck and call anymore, and he had no right to be jealous. But no matter how many times he went over it in his head, Sanji still couldn’t make himself quite believe it.

So he sent the text, along with another one that said he couldn’t wait to see the other when he got there.

Then there was silence again. Not oppressive, but it felt like he was on hold. Waiting for a response. And somehow paralyzed into just sitting on his bed when he knew he needed to get up, get his stuff together and head to the Sunny. Nami and the others were waiting for him, and after yesterday’s fiasco with the Marimo, he didn’t want to be late.

But he couldn’t risk missing a text message either…

He wasted another ten minutes, biting his lip, constantly turning the screen of his phone back on, and staring at the clock before he finally gave a heavy sigh and wrote one more message in spite of the fact that his last two hadn’t been answered.

“I love you. I g2g or I’ll be late. See you soon. <3”

Arriving at the Sunny in record time, he was out of breath and overheated in the heavy afternoon sun. He still had a few hours before the bar itself opened, but he needed to open the kitchen and get something on to feed the crew before then. So he’d run most of the way, forgoing even his typical ‘walk to work’ cigarette in favor of taking shortcuts through back lots and down alleys to make up the time he spent waiting for his phone to ring.

So, it came as no surprise to him that his hand was shaking as he reached for the door to the club. He glared at it, willing it to stop, along with the urge to just grab a smoke before walking in. He couldn’t. He didn’t have time! He had to clock in and get started! Nicotine could WAIT DAMNIT!

He shoved the craving aside, ripping the door open with more force than necessary, and immediately blushed heavily as it drew the attention of… what were their names again? Franky and U—something… He couldn’t remember. He was shit at that sort of thing. He always had been ever since he was fresh out of high school; it was like all of his short term memory just poofed! Anyway, he waved at them sheepishly, and they, obviously able to recognize him better than he was able to recognize them, just waved back, going back to whatever they were doing with the lighting and boom mic on the stage.

The cook escaped further encounters by ducking into the kitchen, intent on making something both hearty and filling, since he doubted any of them had gotten much better sleep than he had after the nonsense with Zoro—funny, he could remember his name just fine now. The thought made him pull the flour and eggs from the cabinet and fridge respectively. Bread. That was always good for working out tension, and he had a quick-rise secret the Old Man taught him that cut hours off the time it took to make it without sacrificing taste or nutrition.

He was just ready to punch it down for the second time when the one person who could undo all of his precious relaxation strolled, more like ambled ungracefully, into his kitchen. He sneered, still not having had the chance to grab his first cigarette of the day.

“What do you want, Marimo?”

“Tch. What crawled up your nose and died, shit cook?”

The bouncer, in all of his surly grace, snagged a mug from the top shelf of the dish rack, above where the customers could see into the kitchen proper, and plunked it down in front of the coffee maker. Like the man himself, the mug spoke of hard work, long nights, and a certain endurance, most prominently displayed by the three mended cracks around the outside. It had been dropped at least twice and glued back together then shellacked to reinforce the mending.

And Zoro wrapped his meaty hand around it with hard fondness that just ticked the cook off more.

“Nothing!” He growled, punching the dough harder than he needed to.

There was a scoff, and he snarled at the Marimo, daring him to speak his thoughts aloud. In return, green eyebrows rose as Zoro lifted the mug to his lips, sipping gingerly at the steaming black drink. They seemed to be in a standoff for a few moments, the energy heavy and anticipatory all around them. Neither willing to back down while the other was watching them.

The dough remained unkneaded, the coffee undrunk.

Then a soft voice cleared its throat in the doorway, “Excuse me, Zoro. I’d like some coffee before the bar opens, if you don’t mind.”

“Eh, sorry, Vivi.” The bouncer shifted to the side, around the edge of the counter and out of Sanji’s personal area.

In his wake stood the most fetchingly familiar woman with powder blue hair the cook had ever seen. He blinked a couple of times and a slow smile curled the corner of his mouth.

“You’re the gorgeous nurse from the ER last night!”

She grinned, “Guilty as charged, I’m afraid.”

Today she was dressed as Robin had been the day before, a simple tee-shirt with the bar’s logo and a pair of jean shorts, rolled up to above mid-thigh over stockings that pretended to be fishnets but really weren’t. Her earrings were bright green and cyan peacock feathers dangling from polished turquoise stones, and her long hair was pulled up into a smart ponytail that gave her that ‘just out of high school’ look that was sure to bring her plenty of tips.

“So,” the cook began, turning back to his bread while the waitress reached down her own mug, “is this your day job, or is that your hobby?”

Her laughter was musical when he waggled his eyebrows at her, pulling the dough out onto the floured counter to begin kneading it in earnest. She poured her wake-up call like a pro, sprinkling just a touch of sugar, and a dash of cream.

“I’m actually something of a volunteer over there. They do pay me, but only for half of my time. It’s a sort of… trade off for something I did when I was younger.”

Sanji glanced at her, the frustration from dealing with everything evaporated like the morning dew. “I’ve had a couple of those. My first job in fact. The Old Man caught me into something I shouldn’t have been, and the rest of that month was spent peeling potatoes. And my thumb, but that’s sort of beside the point.”

Vivi laughed again, and nodded. “Mine wasn’t quite so bold as that. I just got tangled up with the wrong crowd for a while. Things are better now.”

“That’s good to hear. You’re too pretty to wear orange.”

“Don’t let my girlfriend hear you say that.”

The cook’s visible eyebrow shot up. “Oh!”

“See you later, Sanji,” the Arabic woman laughed some more as she made her way back out of the kitchen.

Now relaxed, it took until the rolls were in the oven and timing before his nicotine craving hit him again, and by then it was less a niggling at his mind and more a punch to the gut. So he slipped out with the timer in his pocket to lean against the back wall of the club, contemplating his morning and what that meant as far as working at the Sunny went. His phone was silent, as he’d expected it to be, but he couldn’t help the pang of disappointment when he checked.

Both before his cigarette, and after.

Deciding he needed a second smoke to deal with the bundle of nerves in his stomach, the blond cast his gaze out across the vacant lot where he’d kicked the Marimo’s ass yesterday. He was surprised to see the proprietor of the Sunny rolling and bouncing against an unseen opponent.

The Rubberman flung himself from the chain link fence to the ground, his arm out in a clothesline, only to tuck and roll at the last minute back up onto his feet where he spun, throwing a punch at the air hard enough to send the sweat flying from his skin, and making his muscles stand out in stark relief for a few seconds. The intake of breath was all the longer he held the stance before pulling back and lashing out with a foot instead, dropping to a crouch as though to sweep his opponent’s feet out from under him. That turned into a back hand spring, and a ricochet off the solid brick wall of the club.

He was barefoot, but for a supportive wrapping around the arch of each foot and up to his ankles. His hands were similar; wrapping between the fingers and around the knuckles to protect from splitting, then around the wrist to support the tiny bones. His hoodie was sleeveless and hung open, revealing a nasty X-shaped scar that took Sanji several minutes of staring to catch entirely thanks to the way the brunet bounced around the lot. A two pendant necklace hung to the bottom of the top two points like a pair of dogtags, but instead of an identical metal tag the second looked to be a thick green stone cut through with red. Both sported big + signs in the middle of them, though the stone was a natural pattern between the colors and the metal had a hole cut out of it. And the shorts he wore were tattered blue jeans that, judging by the edges, had been torn off at the knees rather than bought that way.

Just as the cook was about to call out to his boss, another door, further down the wall, opened for a tall brunet in a mini-skirt, torn stockings, high-heeled sneakers, and a cropped button-up tied at his ribs. He said something, but Sanji couldn’t make it out, and Luffy stopped mid-stance to bend all the way backwards to see the other man. A grin lit up his face unlike any other expression the blond had seen so far, and with a back somersault, the Rubberman flung himself into the taller brunet’s arms.

The sounds of a kiss filtered through the afternoon city noises, and Sanji took that, plus the end of his second cigarette, as his cue to return to his kitchen. He gave a chuckle as he walked back inside, shaking his head at the pair’s blatant affection.

His good mood was almost immediately ruined by the sound of the Marimo’s voice though. He glared heavily, which really wasn’t fair. All the man was doing was helping Usopp and Franky haul a lighting boom back up to the ceiling. Sanji assumed they’d had to replace the bulbs or some other technical thing about it. He didn’t know stage work. At the moment all he cared about was the fact that the goddamn green-haired bastard’s voice was just loud enough that he could hear it over the sounds of Brook improvising on his keyboard, and Vivi and Robin laughing over something the dark haired woman had just said. Even listening to Usopp’s nervous complaining or the clacking of Chopper’s computer keys would have been better than the fucking mosshead’s stupid, rumbling, idiotic tones!

It just made his skin crawl!!

Thankfully, just then a flash of orange caught his eye.

“Ah, Ms. Nami dear, uhh…” Sanji forced his attention away from the shitty bouncer and found himself having to actually chase after the brilliant manager slightly.

She never looked at him, but hummed in acknowledgement, giving a slight tilt to her head to indicate she was listening. She had a huge file of papers in her arm and was leafing through them while she walked.

Following her into her office, the cook paused at the door then pushed it around so that no one else could hear their conversation. The last thing he needed was for certain bastards to pick up on things. Especially when he was expecting That Person back in town.

“What is it, Sanji?”

Nami broke through his thoughts, and he realized he’d been watching the green-haired idiot through the crack in the door as though the mere thought of him would summon his stupid ass back into Sanji’s personal space. With something of a jolt, he ripped himself away from the opening and noodled a little to cross the space up to Nami’s desk.

“My most beautiful, brilliant, generous, thrifty manager! No one can balance books and sort out schedules like you can. It is a gift truly marveled by your—“

“Yes, I get the point. What is it you want, Sanji?” There was a note of irritation in her voice that called him up short.

He folded his hands in front of him and looked down at the desk, “I need a few days off.”


The cook winced; he didn’t need to look up at her to know her bright, amber eyes were wide with shock. He’d only been working there a couple of days. He really didn’t have enough clout to even ask for this, but what else could he do? He absolutely couldn’t have That Person around the bigoted asshole. Someone would wind up dead! Most likely the Marimo! Not to mention Nami’s whole ‘no fighting inside’ rule. Things would definitely get broken.

He had to have the time off. Spend it with That Person, and then when He left, Sanji would go back to work like nothing had ever happened. The crew of the Sunny didn’t need to know what was going on, and He wouldn’t be upset by how Sanji dressed. It wasn’t as though He approved of the suits and ties and trousers and… he was getting off topic, and not paying attention again.

Nami was regarding him with some concern when he looked up. “Is this because of Zoro? Because I told the musclehead to apologize for whatever it was he said that pissed you off the other day.”

“No. Well, he hasn’t apologized, but he isn’t why I need the time.” Sanji was quick to assure her, and he paled under her gaze as the thought that part of him wished it actually was the Marimo crossed his mind.

“Are you okay? You seem different from yesterday.”

“Ha ha ha, no! I’m fine! See?” He grinned, albeit wanly. “My father’s ship is coming in next week. I just was hoping to have a few days off to spend with him is all.”

It wasn’t entirely a lie.

She narrowed her eyes at him, like she could tell he wasn’t saying everything, but slowly, she nodded. “Alright. Which days?”

“Really? Um, the Baratie’s due to dock on Sunday.”

Already the manager was sitting down and pulling out her scheduling book. She flipped the pages open, and looked back up at him. “Yes, really. I’ll just call in a favor from a friend of mine. Do you need the whole week, or are three days enough?”

“Three days is plenty! Thank you! You really are the most wonderful, kind, gener—“

“Save it.” She leveled him with an exasperated look, though there was warmth in her eyes and a hint of smile around her mouth. “Just enjoy your time with your dad. We’ll see you again on Wednesday.”

He thanked her again, backing out of the office, with flowering praise for her until he was beyond her line of sight. Then he whipped out his phone, nimbly stepping around the tables and some debris Luffy had left in the middle of the open space in front of the stage.

“Eh, what’s with him?” Usopp frowned down his nose at the cook’s preoccupation.

Zoro shrugged, “Who knows. He’s had a stick up his ass all morning. I went to grab a cup of coffee and he damn near bit my head off.”

“Have you apologized yet?”

The bouncer squirmed, but scowled at his friend and co-worker, sending the darker man scrabbling back behind Franky wailing about how he was going to die at the hands of the green-haired man, and how his thousands of fans would get revenge for him, but could they please not hurt his face, he wanted his precious Kaya to be able to recognize his body when they fished it out of the sewers later!!!

Chopper gasped, tears in his eyes, “WAHH!!! ZORO!! YOU’RE NOT REALLY GONNA KILL USOPP ARE YOU!?”

Zoro and Franky rolled their eyes at the same time, and turned back to wrapping the ropes that kept the stage beams aloft. Robin chuckled behind her hand, while Chopper clung to Usopp and both of them cried at the tops of their lungs.

“At least if he listens to you, Usopp, once you’re deceased, you’ll be part of the Grateful Dead. Yo ho ho ho ho!” Brook chortled from his corner of the stage.

The long-nosed man jumped to his feet with an affronted, if unsupported, growl, “THAT’S NOT EVEN FUNNY, OLD MAN!! I COULD REALLY DIE!”

“Perhaps you’ll drive your blood pressure high enough to make the vein in your neck explode. That should kill you quicker than Zoro could.”

The entire group winced as one, and Franky leaned over his girlfriend with a nervous waver in his voice, “Babe, do you have to be so morbid?”

The Asian woman merely smiled, continuing to wrap silverware in paper napkins while next to her Vivi snorted into her hand.

Ah, it was good to be at the Sunny!

Sunday morning, which was really more like two o'clock in the afternoon, came warm but breezy; it was a perfect day for moving large heavy objects and furniture. When they'd discussed it Friday night, after what the crew of the Thousand Sunny was calling Sanji's Welcoming Party, Brook was only too happy to help his Nakama get out from under his current landlord.

There were advantages to leasing month to month, including being able to move out whenever one wanted, but when the owner of the building was someone as skeevy as Flint Bluejam, it also meant that unless one paid one's rent in advance, nothing would ever get repaired or improved. Plus there were the added bonuses of Brook having a car and living closer to the Sunny.

So, since the bar was closed on Sundays, it was only natural that he, Franky, Zoro, and Usopp would move the green-haired bouncer from one apartment to the other as soon as all four were awake and available that day.

The older musician didn't have much room, but he did have his old practice room and the 'storage' room that was his part of the building's basement. There was even already a bed set up down there from when Franky had busted his legs and couldn't manage steps too well. Since the rest of the tenants of his building only ever went down there to use the on-site Laundromat, it meant that Zoro would virtually have the entire floor to himself. He'd have to come up to Brook's apartment proper for showers, but there was a small water closet next to the laundry room. So, really it was perfect.

A fact which had pleased the would-be swordsman immensely.

Naturally, once he'd put his mind to DO it, it didn't take long to actually get done. It helped he owned only a few truckloads of stuff in all, three boxes and minimal furniture; his armoire, which had been the only piece of furniture he'd ever bought since coming to work at the Sunny; and his sword stand.

The wardrobe was an artisan’s work, made of real cherry wood and every inch of it hand-carved beauty. He'd gotten that with the idea of passing it on in mind, something to really LAST. It took up the entire bed of Usopp’s truck when he and Franky had hauled it out of his old place.

Of course, getting back out of the truck and into Brook’s spare room was something else again.

“Oi! Watch it, Franky! I need those fingers, you know!” Zoro groused, rubbing the back of his left hand.

The massive clothes container was wedged half in and half out of the front hall leading into Brook’s apartment. The tight turn from one door to the other made it next to impossible to get anything wider than the door itself in from the outside. As such, the two bouncers had attempted to take the turn as sharply as possible in the hopes that the blanket protecting the armoire’s finish would protect it when—not if, when—it scraped on the doorjams.

“Yo ho ho ho ho. It seems we’ve something of a—“

“Don’t you dare, you old bag of bones!”

“—stiff situation here.” The middle-aged stoner finished his corpse pun in spite of Zoro’s growl.

“Ugh! That was worse than the last one.” Usopp groaned, leaning his head against the wall like he was physically injured by the bad joke.

“Would you say I killed you, Usopp-san? Yo ho ho ho ho!”

“Somebody shut him up!” Zoro grumbled a third time, to the sound of Franky laughing. “Why did I agree to move in here again? Was I brain damaged at the time?” His eyes cut to Usopp, “Don’t answer that!”

The darker man just covered his mouth, not at all hiding the grin behind his hand.

“C’mon, bros, let’s get this thing inside. Some of us have dates later. One… Two… Three… SUPER!!!”

They all heaved with all of their might, which considering the size of both bouncers really was quite a significant amount of raw strength. But physics was always more powerful, and the wardrobe simply wouldn’t budge.

“Okay… okay… new plan… Somebody just…”

“Just what?”

“I don’t know!” Usopp wailed, “I’m in too much pain to think!”

“What if we tried backing it out again and getting a different angle?” Franky leaned against the side, his thick forearm visible from where Zoro and Usopp were draped against the front.


“Hmm.” The green haired man merely grunted, thinking.

A five minute break, counted out by the number of songs Brook was able to pluck out on a rubber band he’d found in his pocket, refreshed both bouncers enough that Zoro kicked Usopp back to his feet. Together the four of them shifted so that Franky and Brook were pushing from within, and Zoro and Usopp were pulling from without. Opposite of the way they’d been working at the wardrobe for an hour.

Naturally, according to the long-nosed man, their progress getting the armoire out took less time than all of their attempts at getting it in, and for that he just cursed Murphy’s Law with yet another wail of pseudo-exhaustion. So, once the thing was back out onto the sidewalk, balanced carefully on the steps thanks to the way Zoro leaned against it, Franky and Usopp set about re-measuring—for the third time—the dimensions of the hallway, both doors, and the wardrobe. The blunette seemed content with what he found, but the darker man was grumbling about everything that could possibly go wrong.

“Hey.” Zoro raised the eyebrow over his good eye, “at least it’s not raining.”

“SHHHHHH!!!!” Usopp batted his hands at the other. “Don’t say that! It will!!”

“All I know is the sun don't shine, and the rain refused to fall. And you don't seem to hear me when I call.” Brook’s soft tenor filtered through the echo in the hallway.

Franky grinned at Zoro, and both of them supplied the next line, “Wind inside and the wind outside, tangled in the window blind.

“Tell me why you treat me so unkind!” Usopp joined the others with a laugh, the song a bit more upbeat than normal, “Down where the sun don't shine, lonely and I call your name. No place left to go, ain't that a shame?”

The music broke the tension and drained the stress of the last couple of hours, and they laughed together for a bit at just how fitting the lyrics were to the current situation.

“C’mon, let’s get this fucker moved in! Ow!” Franky clapped his wrists together, capitalizing on the renewed energy.

After that it was a breeze. The armoire slid into the hallway straight on perfectly, and turning from the opposite direction, with Zoro and Brook inside the apartment and Usopp and Franky outside, proved to be the key to getting the expensive wardrobe into place.

While Zoro looked it over, Brook and Franky went back for the last of the green-head’s boxes, and Usopp carried what was left of the odds and ends in his truck down to the basement where Zoro would be sleeping.

A few seconds later he poked his head around the corner, “Hey, where do you want your—oh, something wrong?”

The bouncer was crouched down, peering at the door handle on the front of the chest, and running his hand over something. He grunted.

“Yeah. Found why it wouldn’t move.”


“Look.” Zoro pointed, standing up.

The latch of the handle was skewed, bent and scratched along the wood so that it sat at an angle to how it was supposed to go. Usopp sucked his breath through his teeth and darted forward.

“Oh shit!”


“I can’t fix it right now, but Franky’s got a sander back at the Sunny. That handle’s gonna have to go though.” The darker man dropped down in between his friend and the furniture, opening the door to check the extent of the damage, “I could probably get one like it at the swap shop, but it’s touch and go as far as what Paulie’s got in stock. I’m heading out there tomorrow. Once I get it, it shouldn’t be… Zoro?”

He was staring at him a little shocked, “You can fix it?”

“Well… yeah. Probably. I mean it won’t be perfect, but it’ll be good as.”

Usopp raised an eyebrow as the tension drained from Zoro’s shoulders. He clapped the sharpshooter on the shoulder with a relieved laugh.

“What did you think? That you’d have to jury-rig it? Fuck, man, you know me and Franky wouldn’t leave you hanging like that!”

“Yeah. Yeah, you’re right. Just not used to being part of a team yet, I guess. Takes a bit.”

Popping back up to his feet with a grin that was a dead giveaway for the next words out of his mouth, Usopp leaned into the other’s arm, “Well, naturally not everyone can have ten thousand followers all depending on you to be there to get them out of any scrape they could ever get into! Have I ever told you about the time I rebuilt the entire city? By hand! I did! It was after the Agua Luna when I was five…”

It was a short time later when the other two guys came back with the last van-load of boxes and junk. The pinnacle of that was the ornate sword stand—the only other piece of furniture the bouncer simply couldn’t bear to leave. It held his single most precious possessions: a set of three, authentic, Japanese katana. He had four, technically, but the last was not put on display. Ever. To do so would insult the White Lady in the worst way imaginable.

Zoro spent the better part of another hour inspecting them to insure all four were safe and intact. He trusted Franky, and especially Brook, who had his own passion for sword work, but these were his children, his partners, an extension of his body. Even if he couldn’t wear them all the time in public, or use them in competition, it didn’t change the fact that Zoro alone held the title of Master of the Santoryu Style; handed down from his sensei just before the man had returned to Tibet a year ago.

Satisfied that they’d been transported safely, he ran through a short kata series with each of them, starting with Yubashiri. The oldest blade in his set, her tsuba was loose, and her edge was long past the point of being able to be sharpened. Her wrapping was newer than her blade, and the ebony of her hilt could only be polished to a dull glow, instead of the regal black it had once been. She could no longer handle cutting anything except air, but that was fine. Zoro took her out regularly to let her breathe and feel the power of his art, even if she would never taste the sweet thrill of victory ever again. She had been both the first blade given to him by Sensei Mihawk, and the last. Her steady spirit, tempered by centuries of experience, was a perfect teaching tool for a young, over-enthusiastic, swordsman, and her retirement had been his reward when, after nearly a decade of study under the raptor-like man, Zoro had finally defeated him.

Next came Sandai Kitetsu, his problem child. The sword was cursed, the merchant had said, but he and she had an understanding. They had flabbergasted the sword-seller in their first meeting—Zoro having thrown her into the air, daring her to cut him. Never in their time together had the Crimson Valkyrie ever tasted his blood, but for once, when he had given it to her freely. In exchange, she was only made to defer to her older sister, as the Ebony Matron had seen more battle and earned her respect. As such, the merchant hadn’t been comfortable taking money for her. Secretly, they both believed he was as happy to be rid of her as she was to have found a master that would match her wild ambition. The flames along the second daughter’s edge still burned bright and true as the day she’d been forged, and her strike was swift and deadly through the air in the swordsman’s hand. With her kata were a dance, hard and fierce, demanding the attention of all who would watch, the blade herself drawing people in with an ethereal song as her steel vibrated with the remembered thrill of violence.

It took longer to change to Shusui, because her elder sister’s thirst for blood insisted on full stance and follow through. But the Flower Princess, with the peace symbols on her scabbard, was patient and understanding, in spite of the heavy, foreboding attitude her dark-steel blade implied. She was happy to jump to her master’s hand when he drew her from her sheath. She flowed like water over rounded stones, an extension of his arm rivaled only by the White Lady. Where the middle child was hard and cold, the youngest sister was sweet and warm. She followed her master’s design with absolute confidence that he knew what he was doing. She had been a gift from Sensei Ryuma before his death, bequeathed to Zoro on the condition that he surpass Sensei Mihawk before the hard man returned to Tibet, as he had been planning when Ryuma fell ill. It had been a hard time for the teenaged swordsman, but he had succeeded. And he credited most of his emotional stability to the pacifist sword.

Finally, because she was owed the most of his time, his soul mate, the one who had been with him since he was a child himself swinging bokkan around like a maniac in his sensei’s garden, Wado Ichimonji. The White Lady. She had belonged to the only person he considered family beyond his sensei. More like a sister than any other person ever had been, Kuina was Zoro’s rival, his inspiration, his drive for perfection, his goal, and he believed with every ounce of his heart that she lived on in the ivory blade. Sensei Koshiro, her father, had been the first stable adult in Zoro’s young life, and the green-head took their separation the hardest.

When Kuina died, Koshiro could no longer bear to continue living in Four Blues City. Knowing how difficult it was going to be for Zoro, he gave the young boy Kuina’s sword, which had been handed down through the sensei’s family for generations, never aging, never dull, and never weakened. It was as good as saying that Koshiro had adopted him. But he still left, he had to, and it broke Zoro’s heart far more than even Kuina’s death itself. Abandoned and lost, the foster child didn’t touch his swords for four years, and in the end, it had been Sensei Ryuma, Sensei Mihawk’s partner, that had challenged him to stand up! Move forward!

To this day Zoro could still hear the elderly man’s words, reverberating in his ears, "Abandon your fear. Look forward. Move forward and never stop. You'll age if you pull back. You'll die if you hesitate."

When he finished, the swordsman-turned-bouncer sheathed Wado, and tucked her under their new bed, safe and secure where he could reach her should anyone enter their home unbidden. He gave the whole area a once over, nodding in acceptance of the energies in the place. Then he climbed the stairs two at a time to return to where the others were milling about in the hallway outside of Brook’s door.

His reappearance sparked a discussion about the possibility of getting food delivered when the front door to the building opened with a grunt and a bang. Standing, framed in bright sunlight like some kind of Heavenly being, was the Sunny's brand new cook, his hair fluffed up from the wind, and his cheeks rosy with exertion. He had a full armload of grocery bags, two paper tucked into his chest and at least three plastic hanging from each elbow. For a second he looked stunned to see them. Then his face clouded as his eyes landed on Zoro under his fringe.

"Oh no. No no no. You are not. Brook, tell me he's not. It's bad enough I gotta stare at your ugly mug all day at work, I'm not putting up with running into it in the laundry room when I'm off!" He glanced pleadingly at the eldest of them.

The older man smiled and shrugged. "Sorry, Sanji, but I'm afraid so, yohohoho!"

Zoro snorted. "Hardly. Y'all know where I spend my time when at home and it certainly isn't doing laundry." He migrated to the side of the hall, as the others were doing, to clear a path, then after a second (and three very pointed looks) he paused and swallowed. "Uhm. Want me to carry some of those bags? You oughta have at least one hand free to hold the stair rail."

The offer was awkward as hell, but hey, he tried!

Sanji glared at them all, making Usopp shiver and wince. Making his way past them, he sniffed. The very idea of letting the mossbrain help him made his skin crawl. What did he think? That Sanji was too weak to handle groceries?! Didn't he have any clue?! The cook had grown up with this sort of hauling. First on the Baratie and then with his brother when he'd first moved away from home! And walking up a gangplank with armloads of precious groceries was a hell of a lot more dangerous than a few flights of stairs! The steps weren't moving!!

He even had the dexterity to 'accidentally' press Zoro into the wall was he started to climb. He called back, tone dripping with how ridiculous the idea sounded.

"If I'd wanted my meat bruised I'd have bought it that way, shitty Marimo."

"Fine! Just fuckin’ excu—“

He was elbowed sharply by the sniper, right in the healing stitches, and had to gasp a second before glaring back at them. He got three hands pointing him upstairs and the demand was clear: APOLOGIZE. NOW. He bared his teeth, but turned and started climbing the stairs after him.

"Wait the fu—wait up, cook!"

Great, now Zoro was following him. The grasshead would know which apartment was his! Well, he supposed it couldn't be helped if the asshole was living there now. He just didn't have the time to deal with his bullshit at the moment. He had a dinner to fix! He was expecting someone!! So he didn't answer, just kept climbing. Four flights up, the second apartment on the fourth floor, and the only one in the entire building that still had the original crown molding around the frame.

Juggling his keys was a difficult task but one that he managed well enough. He was just shutting the door when the Marimo ascended the last steps.

"I said wait a goddamn second you idiot cook!" Frustrated from the climb, and being ignored, Zoro lunged forward to hold the door open. "How the fuck am I supposed to apologize properly if you won't stand still for two goddamn seconds?!"

"You know how to apologize? That's rich." Sanji scowled, but didn't push on the door, merely holding it so the bouncer couldn't get it any further open. He didn't want him to see inside, "I'd like to see you attempt, but I don't have time right now. Save it."

"Honestly? You don't have time for 'I'm sorry for being an ass and I don't know what I said but I'm sorry'? Really!?" Teeth flashed and green brows furrowed. Was this just a way to keep from accepting his apology? He didn't even know for sure what he had said!

Just as the blond opened his mouth to retort, a sound came from inside his apartment. The distinctive two-toned ring of a doorbell—DINGDONG!—and the cook froze, his knuckles white on the door. Whatever easy sarcasm he'd had on his tongue died. He glanced quickly around, first over his shoulder, presumably at his phone, and then around the hall beyond Zoro like he was looking for something.

Or someone.

Fixing his gaze back on the Marimo, he shook his head, harder than necessary, his hair flopping. "No. I don't. You need to go. I'm busy."

Zoro's good eye flicked across Sanji's features; tight cornered mouth, white knuckles, back up to the eyes where there was suddenly an emotion he didn't want to acknowledge lurking. He nodded stiffly, teeth digging into his bottom lip to halt the immediate reaction. Forcing himself to nod again, he spoke—though not the words he wanted to say.

"Alright. Another time."

The words themselves were clipped, though it took several more seconds before he removed his hand from the door and took a single step back. He knew that sort of look. From guarded to tense in an instant, like Sanji knew danger was coming. Whatever was going on was not right here. It wasn't his business, he told himself; he wasn't going to stick around to make it his business. It was clear enough that the blond wanted to keep it to himself, and as much as he wanted to bang on the door with one fist he was going to stick to that. He was not going to make it his business. He was not!

Even IF the insistence on it and painfully clenched jaw was all that kept him moving towards the stairs instead of going back for the door.

It slammed shut like the reverberation of a gunshot, final and absolute. Whatever was going on with the cook, he was intent on keeping everyone else out. And it was clearly loud enough to be heard all the way down the stairwell if Usopp's confusion was any indication.

He looked up to Zoro as the green-head made his way down the last flight. "That didn't sound like it went well."

The bouncer shook his head. "No... there's something else. He's... I dunno. Not my business, but whatever it was made him slam the door so hard, wasn't me," he said tense and unsettled, looking back up the stairs. "...I'm goin' to bed."

With that abrupt statement, he slipped down the basement steps, taking them two at a time as his hand tightened around an invisible hilt.

"Told you there was something going on yesterday." The sharp-eyed man crossed his arms over his chest and frowned up the stairs, "And I don't like it."

"Ain't our problem, bro. Cook-bro's got a right to his privacy just the same as the rest of us. Anybody what can fight with Zor-bro like that's got a past he don't like sharin'. And you know it." Franky looked down at the others over his sunglasses, the message to think about their own sordid issues clear in his long-lashed eyes.

In the basement, there came the sound of something being hit, repeatedly and hard. Good thing Franky had used his strongest chain to hoist the heavy bag from the ceiling. Still, the sound was loud and angry as it echoed in his ears and up the steps.

Those eyes... the look in them... Zoro knew they were going to haunt him, he knew it down deep in his gut, which churned with rage and sadness for the man he barely knew. But that LOOK... He slammed his knuckles in harder and bared his teeth.

Brook winced as he felt the floor beneath them shudder, "Perhaps we should give Zoro-san some privacy. Grab some food to bring back instead."

"And supports for the building." Franky muttered; his eyebrows climbed nearly to his electric blue hair.

Usopp nodded, following the older two out onto the street again with just another look over his shoulder. Something was going on. Something Zoro understood, at least insofar as it had made him back off from confronting Sanji. And the cook? True, they didn't really know him, but there was just an off quality to the way he'd reacted just now. The part-time sharpshooter couldn't put his finger on it, but he had a crawling sensation like the feeling of a scope on the back of his neck.

A/N 2: Song: So Many Roads by Grateful Dead

Extra kudos to anybody that gets to reference I made with Ryuma's advice for Zoro. ^_^
Getting Used to It: Stay With Me - Chapter 5
A/N: Since it's after midnight here, technically I'm posting on time. X''D

I just wanna make a note about the swords in this chapter, traditionally, according to my research, a samurai's katana were always considered female, both in the same idea as ships in the West, and not, because they had different reasons for assigning that gender to them.

Silva is here as Nami and Zoro this time. And Tsuris was kind enough to Beta for me while Kouhai's on break. ^_^

Song: So Many Roads by Grateful Dead

Extra kudos to anybody that gets to reference I made with Ryuma's advice for Zoro. ^_^

Description: When he took the job at the dive bar just off Red Line Ave, Sanji Noir really didn't know what he was getting himself into. Life was hard growing up the second son of the most famous riverboat chef on the Four Blues, but surrounded by the craziest people he's ever met, he's found himself sucked into chaos, intrigue, and romance? Just what kind of bar is Luffy running here?

Warnings: Modern AU, yaoi, trans character, asexual character, polyamory

Pairings: Zoro/Sanji, Ace/Sabo/Luffy/Law, Sanji/Law

Disclaimer: One Piece belongs to Odacchi, I'm just borrowing them.

Chapter 1: [link]
Chapter 2: [link]
Chapter 3: [link]
Chapter 4: [link]
Chapter 5: ~Here~
Chapter 6: [link]

I still suck at Journals

Journal Entry: Sat Sep 6, 2014, 1:54 AM

Be Proud!

So recently I got into Stamp - Deadman Wonderland by Suxinn and starting thinking how awesome the world is and how great it would be to see people in it that weren't in canon. So my Three became Deadmen, :iconinsanepsychohafbreed: made an OC, :iconkayah-d-horse-maiden: made an OC, and then we started shoving OTHER canon characters into it.

As you can see here:
Kiwi by beautifulrainboweyes and Macaw by beautifulrainboweyes

So I've sorta got this thing going where if you reply here, or PM me, with a character, no matter what series or fandom, and a theme song I'll draw them as a Deadman. ((Note: If I'm not in the fandom they come from I'll need a reference.))

So yeah!

Come ask for stuff!! ^_^

CSS code for this journal dervied from stock CSS code provided by kuschelirmel-stock
Journal graphics created by kproductions
Made originally for LGBT-on-dA
  • Mood: Awestruck
  • Listening to: The sound of the Great Knife
  • Reading: Deadman Wonderland
  • Watching: Shingeki no Kyojin
  • Playing: in my dreams

My Stamps

Writer. by alyssinelysiumI heart Demons stamp by slifertheskydragonHell by trinitylastJar of Dirt Stamp by hatenaki-yumeNight Person Stamp by ClearBlueSkysDoujinshi stamp by walaoeeeeMore time... by prosaixSo Many Books by LaPurrFantasy is my Reality stamp by purgatoriMusic by mistymoongrlI Support All Art - Stamp by bladebandit+Stamp+ Time for Love not Hate by TenshiNoFuuPirate Stamp by phantomEnemies ::stamp:: by Shiritsupluto:STAMP: by XxdarknayruxXMy Memory Sucks by renatalmarWinter Stamp by Kezzi-RoseI cried.... by solfeggioninjaSanji Stamp by SirCrocodileAce Stamp by Ibu-kiSabo Flag by eve-shMonkey D. Luffy - Stamp by KaorulovZoro Stamp by KobatsuClub submition: Grimmjow Stamp by Grimmjow-FCIchigo stamp 1 by Ichigo--samaHichi stamp by GogelmogelRenji Stamp by foxfanartGil Hair Flick 8D by Bayleef-Cheshire Cat Fan Stamp by xxxsulaxxxBreak stamp 2 by Neji-x-HyuugaKuroshitsuji, Black Butler Season I Stamp by AiselnePNStamp - Zuko by NyfalineThe Legendary Night Fury by azianwolfdollQuadrants by YukinoTenshi23Free! Stamp 5 by wow1076Androgyny support by Suika-SohmaPride :Stamp: by Circe-BakaWiccan Rede Stamp by TheWiccanWayWitch Stamp by MikkyIrish Heritage Stamp by QuetzalLeo

The Best Animation of the Best Webcomic

Mambostuck Feferi by YukinoTenshi23Mambostuck Eridan by YukinoTenshi23Mambostuck Gamzee by YukinoTenshi23Mambostuck Equius by YukinoTenshi23Mambostuck Vriska by YukinoTenshi23Mambostuck Terezi by YukinoTenshi23Mambostuck Kanaya by YukinoTenshi23Mambostuck Nepeta by YukinoTenshi23Mambostuck Sollux by YukinoTenshi23Mambostuck Tavros by YukinoTenshi23Mambostuck Aradia by YukinoTenshi23Mambostuck Karkat by YukinoTenshi23Mambostuck John by YukinoTenshi23Mambostuck Rose by YukinoTenshi23Mambostuck Jade by YukinoTenshi23Mambostuck Dave by YukinoTenshi23Mambostuck Alpha Kids by YukinoTenshi23Mambostuck The Midnight Crew and Snowman by YukinoTenshi23Mambostuck Beta Guardians by YukinoTenshi23


Add a Comment:
gagakuma Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for the fave~
WheelJackson Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2014   General Artist
Hi. ^^
JiaRoyale Featured By Owner Edited Aug 18, 2014  Student General Artist
Thank you for the favourite on this year's RoyEd day devation!…

You might enjoy last year's submission:…

Or from Valentine's day:… 

Or just a bit of exploration into the fandom:…

Thank you again, for the favourite and your time!
Drimr Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for faving my Hitsugaya and Hyourinmaru painting! :love:
WheelJackson Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2013   General Artist
So, how are things? :)
n0hav0cyet Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Bappy Hirthday!
beautifulrainboweyes Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013  Professional General Artist
thank you
MiscInk Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
This is a bit early, but Happy Birthday! Hope you have a good one :)
beautifulrainboweyes Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013  Professional General Artist
thank you
be-a-sin Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the :+fav: on Renji! :)

I have a new website, wanna visit it =>
You can also go to my Facebook page !!! It would be appreciate

You can glance at my Manga (or more preciselly the Naruto Fan art), Portrait, Animal & Creature or Anthro charac galleries if you want ! Or follow me on Twitter
Add a Comment: