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I’ll Explain in the Morning

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Usopp woke to darkness. It was still night, why was someone trying to wake him up?

 

“Who’sit?” He slurred, still trying to figure out if he was awake or not.

 

“Move over, Usopp. Then you can go back to sleep.”

 

“Sanji? I thought Chopper was in here with me?”

 

“Yeah, well I am now.” The shadow of the chef replied, still trying to make Usopp move over in the single bed in the hotel room they were staying at overnight. Their ship was drydocked for repairs for a few days, so the entire crew had bunked in some hotel near the waterfront. Nami had refused to pay for single rooms, so everyone was sharing. 

 

Finally moving over enough for Sanji to crawl into the bed next to him, Usopp still couldn’t figure out the situation. “But where’s Chopper?”

 

“He’s staying with Nami and Robin.” Sanji groaned as his head hit the pillow.

 

“Are you ok? What’s going on?” Usopp’s overactive imagination was starting to run loose. 

 

“Just go to sleep. I’ll explain in the morning.” 

 

*****

 

When Usopp woke again the next morning, he fully expected Sanji to be awake and gone already. This was not the case. Instead, the curly-haired sniper was met with quite the sight. Sanji was lying on his side facing Usopp, with the blanket half fallen off. There were bruises and freshly scabbed cuts all up and down his showing arm, and Usopp could also see he had a black eye. Most alarming though were the marks around his neck. Sanji groaned as he flipped over and started to wake up.

 

“Sanji?”

 

“Yeah…”

 

“Why did you come here last night? Why didn’t you go back to your and Zoro’s room?”

 

“I didn’t want him to see this. It’s taken care of; he doesn’t need to get involved.”

 

“Yeah, but…”

 

“But what?” Sanji turned then to look at Usopp. “You think I should go running to him every time I get a little bruise? I am fine. Nothing happened to Nami, and now she’s safe. There isn’t any reason that Zoro should be involved with this.”

 

“Nami got hurt?”

 

“Not bad. But that’s why Chopper was with her last night.”

 

“Sanji, what happened? Zoro’s your boyfriend, he’s gonna be mad that you didn’t tell him you got hurt.”

 

“Usopp, just… don’t start. I’ll tell him. When I leave here. But last night, I was just too tired to get into a fight with him. I’m gonna head over to that little café across the street. You coming?”

 

*****

 

Five minutes later found the duo standing in front of another hotel door.

 

“Are you actually nervous? I didn’t know you COULD get nervous!”

 

“Shut up, Usopp. I’m not nervous.” He turned back to the door and shouted through it, “Oi, Mosshead! Get out here! We’re going to get breakfast at the café!”

 

The door opened to an irate Zoro. “Where have you… What the hell happened?!” He yanked Sanji inside the room by his arm and slammed the door. Usopp sighed, debating if he should wait or just go get breakfast alone.

 

*****

 

“Zoro, it’s ok. I’m fine.”

 

“Fine does not include being beaten up! What happened? And why didn’t you come back last night?”

 

“I was walking Nami back to the hotel after she cleaned a few guys out in a poker game. They weren’t all that happy about losing everything to her, and tried jumping her when we passed the last street light. Stuff happened, I won. We’re safe. That’s it.”

 

“But why didn’t you come back?”

 

“Because you would have tried to get involved when there was no reason to! I bunked with Usopp, because I was too tired to have this fight last night.”

 

“You’re ok?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Nami’s safe?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“…”

 

“…”

 

“Where’s breakfast?”

 

Sanji rolled his eyes and gave a wry chuckle. “Come on. We’re going to the café across the street.” He couldn’t help the blush that rose when Zoro pulled him into an embrace and gave him a chaste kiss before they left the room.