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Lucid Dreams

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Law comes to regret his alliance with the Straw Hats much sooner than he’d expected.

Sure, some measure of mischief and noisiness is to be expected; they’re pirates, after all, and as the captain of his own crew, Law is plenty familiar with the atmosphere.

Straw Hat, on the other hand, is in another league entirely.

He is so unbelievably rambunctious it almost makes Law dizzy sometimes. His crew just seems to feed off of him, too, which in turn just amps him up even more, and Law’s starting to worry that the upper limit on the rubbery captain’s penchant for chaos may not exist at all.

Another thing Law discovers rather quickly is that, despite the Sunny’s size, there is nowhere safe to hide.

Everywhere he goes, he runs into a pantsless cyborg, or a shirtless swordsman, or a tiny pink stress dragon, or a literal, actual skeleton. Even the damn storage closets aren’t safe, being as the ship’s (admittedly gifted) sniper uses all of them to hide his usually dangerous half-finished inventions.

The entire ship is booby-trapped. Law hates it.

Really, the only sane place he’s found on the Sunny so far has been the infirmary. The tiny Straw Hat doctor is still petrified of him, albeit not as much as he had been after finding Law treating the sick kids. That fear makes him jumpy and loud sometimes, but when no one else is around to rile him up, it’s usually easy for Law to calm him back down by asking about his research.

Tony’s smart, that’s for sure. He’s young, and also an actual reindeer, so Law had been skeptical, but it hadn’t taken long at all for him to show Law just how clever he is.

So, Law hangs out with a reindeer. Sane times on the Thousand Sunny, or whatever.

A day or so after leaving Punk Hazard, the weather shifts away from chilly nuclear winter to something warmer, more pleasant. It’s not quite Dressrosa’s climate, feeling much closer to spring than summer, with cool, breezy mornings and sporadic showers instead of the burning sunlight and puffy cotton clouds he’s read about. Law’s no navigator, but he’s pretty sure that means they’re not nearly as close as he’d thought they’d be by now, and that sets him on edge.

The lawn is bustling with activity even before breakfast, which only aggravates Law further. He doesn’t understand how Straw Hat can go from dead asleep to wrestling his cyborg shipwright at full power in less than a minute, but Law has to assume it’s some kind of curse.

Thoroughly irritated, Law picks up Kikoku and stomps up the stairs, intent on the galley. If he can somehow start breakfast early, then he can leave the room early too, and maybe save himself a few lost brain cells.

As expected, the galley is much quieter than the lawn. Even the lively sounds of Blackleg cooking aren’t nearly as agitating.

Before he can so much as lean Kikoku against the wall, the cook’s addressing him without turning away from the stove. “I don’t usually let people in here before I’m ready to serve breakfast, you know.”

Law raises an eyebrow at the back of that blonde head. “Noted,” he says dryly before turning toward the empty infirmary instead.

“If I let people hang around in here,” the cook continues, something in his tone stopping Law in his tracks. “Then Luffy starts thinking he can hang out too, and I’m sure you can imagine how that goes.”

God. Law hadn’t even thought about it. He purses his lips, then grumbles, “I’ll pass.”

The cook snickers at that. "Yeah, I thought so.” Law pauses awkwardly, subtly fiddling with Kikoku’s soft tassels, but fortunately, Blackleg helps him out. “Were Luffy and Franky still going at it when you came in?”

Law grimaces. “Yes.”

“Then I’ll make an exception for today. Coffee’s on the counter.”

Something like relief floods through Law, grateful for the cook’s understanding. He nods and leans Kikoku in her usual spot, then comes around the counter to help himself to the aforementioned coffee. Blackleg keeps right on cooking, apparently unconcerned about having his back turned to Law.

Rather than think about that, Law turns and moves to sit at the table, respectfully removing his hat as he does.

They linger in blessed silence for a while, the cook humming idly, Law drinking coffee and enjoying the break from the chaos outside. It seems that in his desperation to find at least one sane room on this ship, he’d completely overlooked the sanest one.

Well, sane outside of mealtimes.

He doesn’t have long to enjoy the peace, unfortunately. Blackleg’s just about done cooking breakfast, which means Straw Hat’s food senses must be tingling. Sure enough, the captain explodes through the galley door a moment later, already complaining about how hungry he is.

The rest of the crew follow shortly after, bringing their ruckus with them, but the good food distracts Law from the din well enough.

As everyone’s starting to finish up, Blackleg claps a hand on the counter and yells, “Okay, which one of you assholes is staying to help me do dishes? The ladies are exempt, of course.”

“That’s unfair,” the long-nosed sniper complains around a thick mouthful of fried potatoes.

“Yeah, I don’t care.”

Law’s already trying to think of a way to escape unnoticed when Straw Hat stretches his arm clear across the room to slap his shoulder. “Make Torao do it.”

Before Law can do much more than glower at him murderously, the cook gives his captain an exasperated sigh. “He’s a guest, dumbass.”

While that is true, Law quickly realizes that if he leaves, he’ll be subject once again to the chaos of Straw Hat and his crew, and honestly, fuck that.

Law stands quickly, gathering his own dishes and moving to the sink to get started. The cook gives him an alarmed look, but doesn’t stop him. Instead, he heads to the table to collect Straw Hat’s truly infuriating mountain of dishes, making sure to stop and flirt with the girls on his way back.

Once all the food’s gone, the crew start filtering out of the mess, helpfully piling their own dishes around Straw Hat’s as they go. Finally, Law and Blackleg are left alone again, and despite the amount of work Straw Hat had obnoxiously volunteered him for, Law finds himself already relaxing somewhat.

Having collected all the stray dishes, Blackleg lights a cigarette, then moves to start the drying.

Law does his best to ignore it, but the smell of cigarette smoke in his immediate proximity has always soothed him far more than it should for someone with his medical background.

“You know,” Blackleg hums, easily pulling Law out of that dangerous line of thought. “I think Luffy volunteered you so you’d use your powers.”

Law aims an irritated glance at the cook out of the corner of his eye. “That is not what they’re for.”

Blackleg actually laughs at that, clearly not intimidated in the least. “Hey, I honestly expected you to put him through a wall. Don’t get all cranky with me.”

Snorting softly, Law goes back to washing. “Hardly becoming of a guest.”

“And this is?”

Law scowls down at him, earning another crooked grin, that cigarette hanging precariously from the corner of his lips. Law huffs, hitching one sleeve further up his forearm before grumbling, “I figured this would be quieter.”

The cook just hums at that, then turns to take the first stacks of dishes back to their homes. Law tries not to stare at all the unexpected places Blackleg manages to pile said dishes on his body, but he’d be lying if he said it wasn’t genuinely impressive. He turns back around before the cook notices him staring, refocusing his attention on the washing.

They work in relative silence, with Law scrubbing and Blackleg smoking and drying, until finally there’s nothing left. He probably shouldn’t have spent the better part of the morning doing another crew’s chores, but honestly, the lack of a headache more than makes up for it.

As he’s going to leave, pulling down his sleeves and heading toward Kikoku and his hat, Blackleg says, “Like I said before, I don’t usually let people hang out.”

Law turns to frown at him. “Yeah, I got that.”

Blackleg hums, pausing to light another cigarette. He inhales deeply, then blows out a torrent of smoke as he grins widely and says, “So next time, do me a favor and come in the back door, instead of letting Luffy see you.”

Momentarily stunned, Law blinks at the man, hoping his expression is more neutral than it feels.

Rather than wait for a reply, the cook’s already heading out onto the deck, presumably breaking for fresh air before he has to start on lunch.

Law sighs to himself as he pulls his hat on.

Next time, huh?

--

As tempting as the idea of consistent peace and quiet is, Law doesn’t take Blackleg up on his offer right away. He’s still keeping an eye on Caesar, after all, and if they stay on the deck, Caesar’s one hundred percent more likely to be “accidentally” bludgeoned by random flying objects and/or animals, which is just fine by Law.

He does still retreat to the infirmary from time to time, though, mostly because Tony subscribes to many of the same journals as Law, and he has a neatly-organized bookshelf of all the back issues Law had missed during his time on Punk Hazard.

Every once in a while, Law’s thoughts will wander while he’s reading, and without knowing why, he’ll find his gaze coming to settle on the door to the dining room.

--

Law has had this dream before.

He’s no stranger to dreams that stink of smoke; nearly all of his do.

This is one of his less frequent dreams, but inarguably the most pleasant, given the relatively slim pickings he has to choose from.

In this dream, Law’s with Corazon. They’re on their shitty little dinghy, floating over choppy North Blue waters between islands, and Cora’s on fire again. He’s beating his stupid feathery coat with his bare hands, yelping and making an ass of himself, until Law finally stops silently judging him and has mercy.

Law watches his own hands dunk a bucket into the chilly waves surrounding them, his fingers tiny and bare of ink. He then watches himself dump the bucket right over Cora’s head, extinguishing the fire, his cigarette, and the man himself in one go. Cora groans and sprawls awkwardly at the bottom of the dinghy, a soaked arm flung over his face as he deals with the passing weakness from the seawater.

He should probably drown Law for this. He should at least yell at him, because being a crumpled mess on the floor of this tiny boat is hardly becoming of a gangster, or pirate overlord, or whatever the hell Cora’s supposed to be.

He doesn’t, though.

Instead, Cora just wheezes a relieved laugh, then grins widely and blinks up at Law. “You saved me,” Cora says, always so fucking dramatic.

Law rolls his eyes and turns away, his tiny hands now reaching for one of the many soaked medical texts taking up every spare inch of this boat. He settles down to read, trying to ignore how Cora’s still going on behind him.

Despite himself, despite all his hatred, his despair, Law finds himself smiling.

Before the dream can continue, Law senses that he’s not alone, and his eyes flash open.

Waking from a dream doesn’t really disorient Law much anymore. This time, though, he finds it harder to center himself, because the scent of cigarette smoke seems to have followed him.

Law blinks a few times, forcing the bleary dream cloud from his mind before glancing around.

It’s barely dawn, and he’s on the Sunny. He’d fallen asleep against the mast, as usual, and the presence that had woken him bears no ill intent. He’s safe, for some definition of the word.

Law looks up from under the brim of his hat and immediately finds both the presence and the source of that soothing smoke.

Blackleg stares right back at him, looking sleepy and perplexed, a lit cigarette dangling from his parted lips.

“Can I help you, Blackleg-ya?” Law sighs, easily shifting back to his usual grumpy demeanor.

“You were... smiling,” the cook says. His voice is still rough with sleep, quiet and almost disbelieving, like he’s incapable of processing his own words.

Law grumbles, holding Kikoku closer to his chest. “Most people do at some point.”

“Well, yeah...” Blackleg rubs the back of his head and purses his lips around his cigarette.

Just as Law is considering moving to another part of the ship, the cook takes his leave, humming to himself as he climbs the stairs to his kitchen.

Law doesn’t normally mind other people witnessing his rare flashes of emotion. He is human, after all, somewhere under all the trauma.

This, however...

For some reason, he feels simultaneously warm and exposed, and he has no idea what, if anything, to do about it.

Breakfast turns out to be piles and piles of rather extravagant waffles, which definitely count as bread in Law’s book. He turns to leave, but he doesn’t make it far before a firm hand comes to rest on his shoulder.

He rolls his eyes, but begrudgingly lets Blackleg steer him past the table, removing his hat as he’s pushed into a seat at the counter between Nico and the cyborg. Blackleg strides back into the kitchen, aiming a grin at Law around an unlit cigarette as he sets a separate plate in front of him.

Grilled fish and rice. Law’s favorite. Simple and easy, not too heavy, not nightmarish to chew.

He blinks at the food, then up at the cook, but Blackleg’s already back in the dining room behind him, setting a veritable mountain of sausages in front of Straw Hat before he starts complaining about the lack of meat.

Fighting the urge to turn and look at him, Law picks up his chopsticks and starts eating quickly, all too aware of the soft chuckle Nico breathes into her coffee.

--

Law can’t focus on the journal lying open in front of him.

It’s fascinating material, genuinely. The sudden, drastic increase in medical research coming from the former Drum Kingdom in the last few years has put them very solidly back on the map, and everything the researchers there are doing piques Law’s interest.

Today, though, he just can’t make his eyes follow the words on the page.

With a sigh, Law slips the shred of paper he uses as a bookmark between the pages and sets the journal aside, then picks up Kikoku, intending to take a walk around the ship.

On a whim, he decides to cut through the galley. Just to get to the lawn faster.

When he opens the door, the faint smell of cigarette smoke washes over him, and despite himself, he immediately relaxes. Blackleg’s at the sink, still washing Straw Hat’s pile of dishes from breakfast, humming cheerfully and smoking. Law had intended to cut right through, but he finds himself stopping, watching the cook for a moment. “You didn’t find a volunteer?”

The cook shakes his head, seemingly unfazed by Law’s presence. “I only ask for one if I need extra time to make lunch, or if Luffy’s particularly cavernous.” Law watches Blackleg add another freshly-washed plate to a pile on the drying mat, then turn to grin at him. “Why, you offering?”

Not at all. And he really shouldn’t. It’s not a good look for a visiting captain, and also not the best use of his time.

Still, Law leans Kikoku against the counter, briefly considering removing his hat as well before deciding against it. He pushes his sleeves up to his elbows, then walks into the kitchen, easily budging Blackleg out of his way.

Without a word, Law takes over the washing, and without a word in return, Blackleg starts drying.

The one time Law looks out of the corner of his eye, he sees the corners of Blackleg’s lips curled up just slightly, pulling off his cigarette and blowing smoke out of his nose to keep his hands free.

Between the two of them, they finish the dishes quickly, and as Blackleg’s putting them away, Law sneaks out of the kitchen, feeling strangely embarrassed.

If his crew saw him like this, they’d laugh until they hurled.

The thought has him smiling again, but only for a moment.

--

Later that day, Nico’s calm voice echoes across the deck from the crow’s nest speaker to inform them of a small island off the starboard side.

Most of the crew piles against the railing, shoving and staring at the minuscule land mass. A brief glance at it is all Law needs to see that it isn’t their destination, so he crosses his arms over his sword and leans back against the mast.

Once he’s gotten over the disappointment of still not being there yet, Straw Hat turns to Nami and yells, “Let’s stop anyway! I bet there’s meat!”

Nami just gives him a disgusted look. “Do you ever think about anything else?”

From the foot of the stairs, near where Law’s sitting, he hears Blackleg mumble, “Probably not.” He glances at the man, noting the little smile hidden behind the hand holding his cigarette to his lips.

The cook prances closer to their fiery navigator, already fluttering his eyelashes at her. “It might be worth stopping just for an hour or two, my love. I’m running low on a few things.”

Having somehow heard them over Straw Hat and his sniper arguing about the probability of meat, Tony jumps up and down next to them. “I need to restock some herbs, too! Please, Nami?”

Blackleg ducks to pick Tony up, then turns him to face Nami and squishes their cheeks together, shamelessly leeching off Tony’s cuteness in the world’s strangest duo attack. Nami wrinkles her nose at them, but rolls her eyes in acquiescence when Tony starts literally sparkling.

“Fine!” She throws her hands up, then turns away, only to end up face-to-face with an overly excited Straw Hat. She knows better than to try and sway him away from disembarking, so she doesn’t bother. “You guys have two hours.” She turns and shoves two fingers into Blackleg’s face, who immediately nods, snorting an odd mix of smoke and steam.

Law stands quickly and strides over to them. He knows he’s going to lose this fight, but it’s still worth trying. He looks Nami in the eye and flatly states, “I’m against this. We’ve lost enough time as it is.”

Nami gives him a silent, long-suffering stare, gesturing behind herself at where her captain’s already diving down the trap door hidden in the lawn. As expected, then.

“I feel for you,” she says, clearly amused by the utter exasperation on Law’s face. “But it’s for the better. He has a lot of energy to work out.”

Law grumbles, but she’s right and they both know it. At least it’s only two hours.

Intent on returning to his seat, Law turns and finds Blackleg coming down the stairs from the galley, shrugging a bag over his shoulder and checking a hastily-scrawled list. The cook stops short when Zoro cuts in front of him, heading for the hatch until Blackleg reaches out and grabs the scruff of his loose robe.

“Where the hell do you think you’re going, moss?”

Zoro shakes him off and sneers, “Going for a walk.”

“Yeah, I think the fuck not.” The cook hip checks Zoro away from the hatch, then gets right in his face. “We only have two hours, and if you leave the ship, we’ll spend three times longer looking for your stupid ass.”

“Fuck off,” is the best Zoro can come up with, crossing his arms over his chest. “It’s not my fault you’re always getting lost.”

Law raises his eyebrows at that. Zoro’s level of denial about his sense of direction never ceases to impress him in the worst possible way.

Blackleg grinds his teeth on the filter of his cigarette and crams his list in his pocket, devoting his full attention to the fight boiling between them. “Run that by me again?”

“You heard me.”

“No, I heard a delusion. Has the moss started growing roots into your shitty lizard brain?”

Zoro finally reacts to that, snarling and stepping closer to butt his head against the cook’s, who to his credit, doesn’t flinch. “At least I have a brain, shit cook.”

“News to me, actually.”

Right as Zoro’s going to unsheathe one of his swords, Nami calls, “Clock’s ticking, boys.”

The cook immediately drops his offensive stance, turning instead to wave at Nami. “Yes, my sweet!”

Nami waves back, then sternly points at Zoro. “You are not going.” Zoro clicks his tongue irritably, but wanders away, one hand resting in his haramaki. Nami points at Law next, who immediately frowns. “But you are. They need an adult, or we’re not seeing them again until tomorrow.”

His first thought is that there are more than enough capable adults around to babysit, but when he scans through his options again, he finds them woefully limited. He takes a deep, steadying breath, swearing vengeance on the navigator as he jumps down the hatch to where Straw Hat’s bouncing impatiently in the docked Mini-Merry.

“Oh, Torao,” he chirps, already grinning widely. “You’re coming too?”

Law ignores him entirely, slumping into the backseat of the absurd vehicle and closing his eyes. Unfazed as always, Straw Hat continues bouncing, and Law continues ignoring him until the other half of their party finally joins them. Tony hops down into the driver’s seat, which has stopped surprising Law but will probably never stop confusing him, and Blackleg steps over Law’s cramped knees to take the last seat, a pleasant smile on his face.

--

The island isn’t exactly promising. They lose Straw Hat and Tony within the first three minutes, although if anyone were to ask, Law seriously doubts he could explain how. This is apparently normal for them, though, so he just adjusts Kikoku on his shoulder and follows Blackleg, not exactly keen on the idea of trying to track his babysitting targets all around the damn island.

He listens to the sound of Blackleg mumbling to himself as he looks around for edible vegetation more than the actual words he’s saying, given that half of them are in another language entirely. Surprisingly, it doesn’t bother Law as much as he thought it would.

They travel deeper into the forest that covers the entire island, Blackleg lost in his own little world, while Law tries very hard not to think about how much denser the trees get as they go. There’s never anything good in dark, dense forests in the middle of the summer ocean, even as small as this one is.

After a while, Law glances up and realizes that he can’t see the sky anymore, and what dim light is left seems to be reflecting off of something wispy shimmering between the branches caging them in.

Ah. Fuck.

Law whips a hand out and grabs the cook’s bicep, bringing them both to a sudden halt. Blackleg turns to raise his curly eyebrow at him, but it’s at that moment that Law looks forward and finally sees the black, faintly shining mass dangling heavily between two trees a few paces in front of them, blocking their way entirely. Whatever emotion crosses his face then is alarming enough to make Blackleg’s eye widen anxiously.

It’s a spider.

It is a fuck-off huge spider, each of its eyes the size of Law’s fist, and every one of them is trained directly on the two of them.

Blackleg turns, achingly slow, until the spider enters his field of vision.

It takes Law a second to realize that the shrill, piercing shriek that leaves his ears ringing is coming from the man beside him. He wants to stare at him, but Blackleg is already ducking behind him and physically climbing Law’s back, his hands gripping him frantically, his legs almost crushingly tight around his hips. Law wheezes, unable to break eye contact with the spider, who’s starting to react to all the noise the cook’s making.

He’s babbling in Law’s ear, squealing something like “Takeusbacktakeusbacktakeusback!” which is honestly an idea Law can get behind.

Without looking away from the spider, or its now-dripping, excessively large fangs, Law throws out a room, pushing it outward until he finds the beach. It’s not the direction that they came from, but he’s not entirely sure he gives a shit. He feels out the sand until he finds a large rock, then takes a deep breath and hopes Blackleg’s holding on tight.

Law gathers power in his legs before shoving off the ground and flying directly at the spider, to his passenger’s immense horror. Just before they make impact, Law switches the two of them for the rock, squeezing his eyes shut against the sudden, blinding sunlight.

The impact of the rock reverberates through the room, the sound of it echoing even through the dense trees, mingling with another high-pitched squealing noise.

Law’s heart skips a hard beat. His hand is already frantically moving over his own waist, and when he finds the cook’s legs still locked in a vise-grip around him, he breathes a relieved sigh.

“I understand what you did and appreciate your prompt and violent escape,” Blackleg says shakily after spending a moment gathering his sanity. He pauses to light a cigarette, politely leaning away so he doesn’t light Law on fire too, then wheezes, “But I hated every fucking second of it, and I will never forgive you.”

Rolling his eyes, Law collapses the room and shakes the cook off before standing to look around. A plume of cigarette smoke follows him up, but he doesn’t wave it away, choosing instead to survey their surroundings.

It’s not the section of beach they’d landed on, but that’s fine. They can just walk around. More importantly, there are enormous nests lining the brush just before the forest line, each loaded with huge eggs, which Law had seen on the cook’s list as they were driving out. He turns and looks down at Blackleg, who is currently having a contest with himself to see how much of his cigarette he can burn down in one drag. Law snorts, but nudges his leg against the man’s knee, waiting until he looks up to jut his chin toward the nests.

Blackleg raises an eyebrow and glances over, and when he sees the eggs, his eye widens with excitement. He hacks out most of a cigarette’s worth of smoke as he stands, the cloud nearly thick enough to obscure him, then trots right over to the nests, making quick work of identifying what’s inside, and if they’re edible.

Once he’s decided that they’re food, and once he’s done being distracted harvesting something growing under the suspiciously dark shade of the nearby trees, Blackleg stands and lights another cigarette. “Why the fuck are all the animals on this island so big? It was bad enough on the sky island, shit.”

Law blinks placidly, but recognizes a rhetorical question when he hears one. He turns instead toward the peaceful surf lapping at the sparkling sand, the scene interrupted only by a serrated, wheezing, bubbling crab roughly the size of a small house.

Before he can point it out to the cook, a massive sphere erupts from a nearby cluster of trees, emitting some kind of terrible, echoing battle cry.

Law tightens his grip on Kikoku, but relaxes again when the sphere lands directly on top of the crab and spits out the Straw Hat captain. The crab chitters anxiously, clearly trying to sprint away, but as Straw Hat wraps himself around the crab’s long legs, the sphere morphs into something smaller but only slightly less circular.

Seems they’ve found Tony as well.

Taking advantage of Straw Hat’s hold on its legs, Tony swaps form again, bringing his powerful hooves down on whatever face-adjacent features it is that crabs have with a sharp yell. He plows another hoof between its eye stalks for good measure, then flips away, landing in the sand already preparing another strike.

It isn’t necessary, though; the crab is definitely out cold, its bubbling intensifying, so Tony shrinks down again, then runs over to help untangle his captain.

“Oi, Chopper, Luffy,” Blackleg calls, striding over the sand toward them. Tony turns to look at him, a wide, happy smile spreading across his fuzzy face when he sees him.

“Sanji!” Tony leaves Straw Hat under the unconscious crab and scampers over to the cook, grinning up at him when he crouches to meet him. “I’m glad you guys are okay! Can you believe how huge the animals are here?”

The cook twitches, but continues smiling, albeit slightly strained. “It’s good news for us. Between these eggs and that crab you guys caught, we’ll be good for food until Dressrosa.”

While the two of them are comparing foraged plants, Law moves to kick the crab off Straw Hat’s body, begrudgingly impressed at the accuracy with which he’d managed to avoid those jagged, protective spikes. That feeling gives way to his usual exasperation when Straw Hat pulls his head out of the sand and grins up at him, very clearly pleased with himself.

“Did you guys hear all that screaming?” Straw Hat asks as he tries to untangle himself from the crab. “We tried to find it, Chopper thought you guys were getting eaten—”

“I did not!” Tony butts in, winging a massive, empty clam shell at his captain, who just laughs. “But seriously, did you hear it? It was so weird!”

“It came from an animal we fought,” Law says before he can stop himself, his face carefully neutral. He can feel Blackleg’s eye burning a hole in the back of his head, but he ignores it. “It was in our way.”

Straw Hat finally extricates himself and stands, already excitedly barging into Law’s personal space. “Was it edible?”

Law grimaces and leans back. “No.”

Behind him, Tony hums thoughtfully. “I thought I heard it saying something... maybe ‘take us back’?”

Law glances over his shoulder at the tiny doctor. “Just a weird vocal adaptation. I imagine a lot of sailors mistake this island for Dressrosa, that probably helps it lure its prey in.”

Tony and Straw Hat both accept this without hesitation, and Law carefully doesn’t look at Blackleg, who he knows is still staring at him. He doesn’t know why he’d covered for him, let alone how to explain it to his face, so he resolves to ignore it for the rest of time. Instead, he turns to pick up a few of the eggs, which are each roughly twice the size of a watermelon.

Before he can concern himself with the logistics of transporting all this extra-large food, the Sunny rounds the coast, clearly patrolling for them. Seems as though their two hours are up.

Leaving his party on the beach, Law shambles the food onto the ship, setting the eggs on the lawn next to the still-foaming crab before retiring to his usual spot against the mast.

That’s more than enough excitement for one day.

--

This is a dream Law’s had far, far too many times.

There’s smoke again, but this time it’s heavy, oppressive, the gunpowder stench of the catastrophic plumes billowing from the wreckage of his hometown.

He finds himself here so often. Stained with dirt and ash, the blood of his classmates, the blood of his parents, watching as the hospital he’d left Lami in burns to the poisoned earth.

In this dream, when he tries to scream, nothing ever comes out. It feels like being trapped in the treasure chest again, breathlessly listening to Corazon die, that spell of silence wrapped all around him, keeping him safe, hidden, but choking him all the same.

The hospital burns and burns. Flecks of ash sting his eyes, burn bitter on his tongue, fill his petrified lungs, and no matter how hard he tries, he can’t make a sound. He can’t scream for his parents, nor for his sister, not even for Cora. All he can do is cry, tears cutting hot streaks through the filthy smudges all over his face, dripping from his trembling chin to pool in his tiny, bloody, powerless hands.

Just before his despair can boil over into blind hate, Law’s blood roars in his ears, and in a rush of adrenaline, he bolts upright, gasping and sweating profusely.

The sweat drips from his forehead, stinging his eyes and rolling in fat drops down his cheeks, sending a shudder all through him. He grits his teeth and roughly scrubs at his face, trying to choke down the lingering stink of arson.

As he’s catching his breath, heart still pounding, Law looks around, reaching through the dark with his senses until he’s certain he’s safe, or as close as he can get. Kikoku is with him, which does wonders to ease his anxiety already.

If he’s not mistaken, this is the Sunny’s storage deck. It’s pitch black, which he supposes isn’t surprising.

Law curses under his breath and sits up straight, dragging a hand through his uncovered hair. Near as he can tell, he’s sprawled atop a massive pile of wood planks, the same powerful wood that the Sunny’s built out of. He frowns, swinging his legs over the edge, and waits for his eyes to adjust to the gloom.

It’s been years since he last sleep-shambled. He thought he’d trained himself out of it, seeing as sleep-shambling aboard a submarine is a real good way to wake up at the bottom of the sea, but apparently not.

Writing it off as a fluke, Law grips Kikoku and casts a room, soothed by the familiarity of his power, of creating a space that he and he alone can control. He closes his eyes and expands it, reaching up until he feels the crate he’d swapped with, out of place and half-resting on the lawn next to his abandoned hat, too wide for the bench Law had been sleeping on.

Law swaps himself with the crate again near effortlessly and immediately wrinkles his nose at the feeling of the cold, salty pre-dawn air cooling the sweat that had been running down his face, his neck.

As is normal after that particular dream, Law feels disgusting. The tacky, drying sweat is the most obvious offender, but under that, Law swears he can still feel ash and blood caked on his face, his hands, in his eyes, in his mouth—

Law stands abruptly, grinding his teeth. He leans down to grab his hat from the lawn, but instead of subjecting it to his filthy head, he turns and stomps up the stairs, heading for the baths.

--

Having to leave Kikoku next to the lockers outside the bath leaves Law feeling infinitely more naked than his actual nudity. The towel wrapped around his waist keeps him at least somewhat decent, but there’s no good balm for being disarmed.

Seeing as it’s still before dawn, Law had assumed he’d have the baths to himself. It’s a safe assumption, but an incorrect one.

Blackleg blinks up at him from where he’s washing his hair at the showers. Law blinks right back, then resolves to ignore him, growing desperate to boil that dream off of his clammy skin.

He sits at the furthest shower and turns it on, immediately leaning his head into the spray.

The cold water comes away clear, of course, but there are always a tense few seconds where Law stares down between his knees, expecting to see a flood of grey and crimson swirling into the drain.

Once that moment passes, and with it the initial weakness of contact with water, Law sets to scrubbing himself clean, staring resolutely at the wall in front of him. Blackleg doesn’t bother him, fortunately; he just finishes his own shower, then moves to sink into the steaming tub, breathing a long, quiet sigh as he does.

As he’s washing soap out of his hair, Law catches a sudden whiff of smoke.

Rather than setting him on edge, this smoke does wonders to calm him down. It’s cigarette smoke, still abrasive but infinitely more soothing than it should be, and before he can stop himself, Law glances over his shoulder.

Blackleg has his back to Law, his elbows draped over the edge of the tub, a faint, nearly invisible trail of smoke rising above his dripping hair.

Law forces himself to face forward again. He gets back to washing himself, but for some reason, the urge to scrub his skin raw is all but gone. He doesn’t question it, choosing instead to focus on finishing up faster.

Surprisingly, the cook doesn’t stay in the bath long. Once he’s stubbed out his cigarette in an ashtray Law hadn’t noticed, Blackleg stands and steps gracefully out of the tub, and without a word, he leaves the room. Law feels like he should be grateful, but at the same time, he has to wonder how much he must look like fried shit for the cook to give him so much personal space.

He turns off the shower once he’s sure he’s rinsed all the soap off, but he’s not one to enjoy soaking in a tub. Still, he doesn’t stand just yet, awkwardly waiting for the cook’s presence to move away.

With the water off and the bath silent, Law hears perfectly when Blackleg starts singing a hauntingly familiar song.

It’s a lullaby of sorts, the slow, steady lyrics speaking of shelter, of safety, of love. It’s a song that lives in Law’s bones for several terrible reasons, but even with all the loss he’s come to associate it with, the tune still briefly eases the lingering tension from his shoulders.

Corazon’s cheerful face floods Law’s vision, those painted, smiling lips parted around warbling, smoky verses, and he crosses to the door before he can even consider stopping himself.

Blackleg stares at him when he throws the door open, his voice faltering. Law stares right back, gripping the door frame tight as he croaks, “How do you know that song?”

Quirking an eyebrow at him, the cook starts buttoning his shirt, his fingers just as graceful as the rest of him.

“Every kid from the North Blue knows it,” he says calmly, lowering his gaze to the last few buttons. He’s not wrong, but before Law can end the conversation, Blackleg continues, nearly silent. “My mother used to sing it to me, before my father made her stop. He said it was making me weak.”

The bitterness in his voice doesn’t escape Law. Even after the spider incident from yesterday, he feels the swell of an ugly emotion in his gut at the mere idea that anyone could think of this man as weak.

“Stupid of him,” Law mumbles, averting his eyes. “It’s just a song.”

He moves to the locker holding his clothes and yanks it open, fully aware that the cook’s watching him.

“How do you know it?”

Law can’t help a slight smirk as he throws Blackleg's response right back at him. “Every kid from the North Blue knows it.” Blackleg snorts, but accepts that, going back to tucking his shirt into his unfastened pants.

For some reason, though, Law feels like the cook had given him some rare piece of personal information, a glimpse into a part of him people usually aren’t allowed. Normally Law would just file it away for blackmail, but this time, he feels a strange, insistent pull in his chest, in his throat, on his tongue.

“I don’t remember my parents singing it to me,” Law murmurs, his voice low and his heart pounding. “But... they sang it to my little sister every night when she was a baby.”

Cora’s grin floods his mind again, but he bites down on his words, already feeling flayed open and defenseless. He feels pain, too, bitter and burning like the embers he chokes on in his dreams, so he clears his throat and focuses on yanking his clothes on.

Neither of them say anything until they’re finished dressing, but for some reason, the atmosphere doesn’t weigh on Law the way it should. It’s as companionable as it is vulnerable, and he can’t quite figure out why he doesn’t hate it.

Once he’s checked his appearance in the mirror, the cook lights another cigarette and stares out the window with a long sigh, clearly stalling. Law raises an eyebrow at the back of his head, pulling his long sleeves up to his elbows. Finally, the cook slips his hands in his pockets and mumbles, “It’s raining.”

A quick glance out the window confirms it. It’s a light, summery drizzle, but rain nonetheless, not that Law really understands why he’d mentioned it.

Huffing a cloud of smoke, the cook continues, “You could go back to sitting on the lawn like a drenched rat, or...” He pauses, then aims a blinding grin at Law. “You could make yourself useful and help me with breakfast.”

Law snorts at that. Sanji doesn’t need help with anything, much less breakfast, so it’s easy for Law to see it for the offer of companionship that it is.

“I’m not your errand boy,” Law grouses anyway, wrapping one hand around Kikoku’s sheath, the other plucking his hat off the top of the lockers.

Sanji shrugs, then turns and hops down into the library, heading for the kitchen.

Despite Law’s brusqueness, Sanji doesn’t seem at all surprised when he trails after him into the galley, resting his hat and sword against the wall before taking a seat at the counter.

“I don’t get to use eggs very much,” the cook says conversationally from where he’s ass deep in the enormous fridge. “This thing is amazing, but it can only keep eggs for so long.”

Law raises an eyebrow, his chin leaned in his hand. “My cooks don’t bother with them.”

Sanji grunts, hauling two of the giant eggs out of the fridge before kicking it closed. “Powdered?” Law nods, and Sanji pulls a sour face. “Shit’s disgusting.”

“Yes, well.” Law smirks up at him around his hand. “Not all of us get to have cutting edge technology in our mess halls.”

Sanji gives him a flat look. “But you have a whole ass hospital on board?”

Law shrugs. “Priorities.”

“Uh huh.” Sanji turns to the stove and somehow turns the range on with only his hip, then sets the eggs on the counter. Law expects him to crack them open, but instead he heads back to the fridge and forages around some more. He comes back with his arms full again, this time with vegetables, which he makes quick work of washing and setting on a cutting board.

It’s surprisingly soothing to watch Sanji work. He moves so effortlessly, gracefully, like the entire kitchen and everything in it are just familiar extensions of his own body.

He wonders if Sanji feels as comfortable here as Law does in his rooms.

Before Law can read into this train of thought, Sanji dumps a pile of freshly-washed mushrooms on his cutting board. Law recoils slightly, but when the cook cheerfully pops one of the smaller ones into his mouth, Law seriously considers leaving the room altogether.

“Never took you for the snacking type,” he says dryly, trying not to look at the pile of fungus.

Sanji shrugs, still casually chewing his mushroom. “Gotta make sure they’re good before I feed them to my crew.” He pulls out a knife and gets to work slicing, the blade nearly a blur in his capable hands. “Besides, whatever made those critters so big might have affected the plant life, too. If they taste different, I have to adjust for that.”

Law blinks at him, but Sanji doesn’t expand on that thought. He just pops another piece of mushroom into his mouth, so Law wrinkles his nose and grumbles, “You picked the worst part to snack on.”

The cook gives him a critical stare. “The... mushrooms?”

Law nods. “They’re slimy.”

That critical look quickly turns almost bewildered. Sanji holds up one of the pale little fungi and blurts, “These? Slimy?”

“All mushrooms, but specifically those ones, yes.”

“Okay, no,” Sanji says, decisively slicing the rest of them before turning to the stove. “You’re eating these mushrooms.”

Law scowls deeply. “No.”

“No, you are, because someone in your life has done you a serious disservice.” The cook continues his affronted mumbling, but the sound of that damn fungus cooking renders him inaudible.

Before Law can make his escape, Sanji turns toward him again with a comically tiny plate, revealing a small pile of browned, sliced mushrooms sitting pleasantly atop a little bed of dark green leaves of some sort. Law leans away when Sanji puts the plate in front of him, squinting distrustfully as he cracks some fresh pepper over them.

With the sort of stare that tells Law he couldn’t even get out of this by dying in front of him, Sanji sets a pair of chopsticks beside the plate. He crosses his arms pointedly, and for once, Law feels himself giving in.

“If I hate this as much as I expect to, I will shamble you overboard.”

Sanji snorts derisively. “You’re just afraid you’re gonna like it. Shut up and put it in your damn mouth.”

Law’s not sure which part of that statement makes his hand twitch, but rather than dig into that, he picks up the chopsticks, his expression making his displeasure extremely clear.

Unfortunately, once he’s crammed one of the smaller slices into his mouth, he can’t quite maintain the glower.

God, challenging Sanji like this was such a mistake.

The stupid fucking mushroom is delicious.

It has a simple, earthy flavor, easier on his senses than most food, and even worse, it’s not slimy in the least. It’s just... tender, the tiniest bit crispy around the edges, and Law’s not certain what his face is doing exactly, but he knows it’s too late to try and hide it.

Sanji’s grinning widely, looking so genuinely happy it makes something in Law squirm, and not unpleasantly. “See?” the cook laughs, leaning closer. “Damn good, right?”

Law swallows carefully, then averts his eyes, because the look on Sanji’s face is almost overwhelming. Finally, face hot, he spits, “Fuck off,” which just confirms Sanji as the victor.

Sanji barks a laugh, but turns away and gets to work on breakfast, humming cheerfully to himself.

While his back is turned, Law stuffs the rest of the tiny pile of mushrooms into his mouth, irritated to find that it wasn’t just a fluke.

--

After breakfast, Law recuses himself to the aquarium, despite the fact that being so visibly surrounded by water unsettles the hell out of him.

Law likes to think of himself as a fairly flexible person. Given proper data, he’s willing to change his mind on most things, although he’s usually right to begin with. It’s always his own decision to change his own mind, too. People never change his mind for him.

Prior to this morning, the only exception to that rule had been the Straw Hat captain, not that Law could do much about that. Straw Hat’s an agent of chaos.

Now, though...

Now the Straw Hat cook has proudly changed his mind about something he’s been stubborn about for most of his life.

Law has to get the fuck off this boat. This crew is cursed.

--

Sanji’s still in high spirits at lunch. He isn’t bragging, which Law finds surprising, but he’s not about to complain. Instead, he quietly watches the cook twirl around the dining room, doting on Nami and Nico while fending off Straw Hat’s food-stealing hands and stoutly ignoring Zoro’s demands for alcohol.

It’s business as usual, with the exception of the noticeable bounce in the cook’s step.

Well, and the fact that Law keeps finding himself watching the man, and the fact that every time Sanji catches him staring, he outright beams at him, which usually ends with Law turning to talk to Tony, trying to ignore how hot his face feels.

Unfortunately, Law’s not even safe after lunch.

The dishes had been relatively sparse, so Sanji had finished them quickly, then apparently decided to spend his afternoon out on deck. This, predictably, ends with Sanji and Zoro butting heads on the lawn, which swiftly evolves into an all-out brawl. Law is fairly familiar with the fighting styles each of the Straw Hats use, but he rarely gets to see them up close like this.

At first, it’s interesting, but it very quickly becomes a rather severe problem for Law.

Sanji is, to put it mildly, extremely fucking flexible.

What starts out as a fighter’s admiration for the smoothness, the ease of Sanji’s body clashing with Zoro’s takes a sudden and alarming turn when his asshole brain decides to remind him that he knows what those absurdly powerful legs feel like around his hips.

The thought confuses him for only a blissfully ignorant moment. It’s about when Sanji does some incredibly complicated backflip over Zoro’s head, wraps his legs around the man’s neck, and with formidable control, twists his hips and uses their momentum to drive Zoro’s face into the lawn that the confusion falls away and Law remembers that he does, in fact, have a sex drive.

It’s something he forgets surprisingly frequently; after all, with the way Law lives his life, it very rarely rears its head.

It’s sure rearing its head right now, but he wishes very much that it would knock it the fuck off.

Zoro sits up and spits out a mouthful of grass, then stands again, squinting critically at Sanji. “Oi, cook, hang on a sec.” Sanji blinks at him, raising his eyebrow when Zoro sheathes his swords and stares at his legs. “How far up your leg are you putting your haki?” The cook’s expression melts into surprise before he gestures high on his thigh, almost to his hip. Zoro grunts thoughtfully, still staring. “You’re using too much energy doing that. Just stop at the knee. What do you need the extra for?”

“It’s more energy, sure, but there’s a reason I do it that high.” Zoro tilts his head and frowns curiously, so Sanji gestures for him to draw his sword again. “Swing at me about waist-height. Don’t even think about going easy, either, or I’ll shatter your fucking sword.”

“You can try,” Zoro spits, before drawing Shusui at a frankly alarming speed.

Sanji’s ready for it, though. He snaps his leg clear over his head, blocking the strike with the back of his thigh.

Before Zoro can pull away, Sanji grins viciously, then folds his shin back down, effectively pinning the blade with his haki-coated leg.

Using his opponent’s own strength against him, Sanji braces a hand against Zoro’s thick forearm and shifts his slight weight onto the sword, and in the same lightning-quick move swings his other leg up off the grass entirely.

He smashes his knee against the side of Zoro’s head, and when the swordsman doesn’t even flinch, he scowls deeply.

Without shifting Sanji’s weight in the least, Zoro moves one hand to rub his chin thoughtfully. Sanji still loses his balance, though, grabbing onto that green head for stability and shifting his knee to the man’s broad shoulder, very clearly grumpy about not downing Zoro again.

“That’s too specific,” Zoro finally decides.

In response, Sanji scoffs and brings an elbow down on the top of Zoro’s head. “It’s just an example, shithead. My legs are my weapons, but they’re still flesh and blood. I have to keep them safe somehow.”

“I guess.” Zoro jostles his shoulder, smirking at the way Sanji flails. “Can you get your dick out of my face now?”

Sanji clicks his tongue irritably, then releases his grip on the black blade and hops back onto the lawn, already going to light a fresh cigarette. He taps the toe of his boot against the grass, but Zoro seems satisfied with his technique, sheathing Shusui again as he turns to wander off.

Before he gets anywhere, Nami leans over the railing near the garden and calls, “Okay, but who won?”

Sanji and Zoro glance at each other, then turn in opposite directions, both answering simultaneously.

“Draw.”

Nami’s jaw drops, and Nico looks genuinely disgruntled. They both turn to Straw Hat, who’s sitting cross-legged on the railing, and wing a few coins each at his head. He catches them with a delighted laugh, but before he can pocket them, Nami wraps her hands around his throat and rattles him, demanding to know how he knew.

Law waits for the chaos and his blood pressure to go down before standing and taking the long way to the infirmary.

He has to get off this fucking boat before he loses what’s left of his mind.

--

Law can safely say this is a dream he’s never had before.

It’s certainly not one he’d ever expected to have, either; he didn’t exactly form this alliance in hopes of finding... whatever the hell this is.

The strong thighs sprawled over his lap are maddeningly familiar. Thick, muscular, more flexible than any one person has any business being, and right now, there’s nothing covering them at all, nor anything between them. Soft, deep gold hair dusts those legs, perfectly matching the curls trailing down a flat stomach, between defined hips.

Law’s not sure how he got here, but the heat pressed all against him is like a fucking siren’s call.

He reaches up and rests his shaking hands on those hips, the fairness of this warm skin making Law’s tattoos stand out even more. He brainlessly drags his thumbs down the soft joins of those thighs, unable to bite back a shivering sigh when the flushed, heavy cock arching toward him twitches at his attention.

A deep, familiar chuckle breaks him out of his reverie. He glances up finally, his eyes dragging over that narrow waist, that strong chest, those wide shoulders, over the neatly-trimmed hair lining a strong jaw, until finally Law meets one dark, amused blue eye.

“Like what you see?” Sanji asks, his voice soft and distant, slightly muffled. He leans back in Law’s lap as if to give him a better view, which very effectively distracts him again.

Law can’t quite respond, but Sanji doesn’t seem like he’s expecting him to.

Instead, the cook lights a cigarette with a low hum, the brief spark from his lighter shining golden on his long, pale eyelashes. He exhales a cloud of smoke right in Law’s face, but he honestly couldn’t be less bothered by it, far too busy trying to decide what he wants to look at the most.

Sanji laughs again, the sound smoky and so, so aroused, the rumble of it going straight to Law’s cock. It makes his heart pound, sends heat through him in jolts, leaves his hips arching, his hands gripping Sanji’s thighs tight to anchor himself.

Sanji takes another drag off his cigarette as he looks Law over, clearly taking in how affected he is. He lets the smoke drip from his thin lips in silky waves, briefly obscuring his face before Law’s heavy sigh blows it away. Sanji just grins at him, the same crooked, challenging smile he has when he’s trying to start a fight, and holy shit, Law’s certain he’s never been this hard in his life.

It only gets worse when the cook rolls those damn hips, grinding into Law’s lap like he owns it. Slow, leisurely, powerfully suggestive, and Law realizes with jarring abruptness that he’s still wearing his pants.

He’s already desperate just from this much, his zipper straining to contain his arousal, but no matter how badly he wants to bury himself even deeper between these deadly thighs, he can’t pull his hands away from Sanji’s skin.

Sensing his dilemma, Sanji’s grin widens almost menacingly. He exhales a steady stream of smoke, and as he does, he trails the tips of his fingers down Law’s thankfully bare chest. He rocks his hips again, though, setting an excruciatingly slow pace as he traces Law’s tattoos with curious fingers.

The feeling is driving Law insane with need. He’s so high-strung, so tense, his breath already panting out of him, but even arching his hips up for more doesn’t encourage Sanji to get a move on.

Those warm fingers finish tracing his chest tattoo and move on to one of his arms, curling over his tense bicep with a low, appreciative hum, his teeth finding his lip when he squeezes tight. It’s hot, too goddamn hot with his pants still on, with Sanji’s body heat fueling his own, but Sanji has no mercy for him.

He just keeps rocking slow and easy, unconcerned for the chafe of denim against his bare skin, filling the air around them with smoke, and just as Law’s opening his mouth to outright beg, pride be damned, a distant but booming crash has his eyes snapping open.

Before he can stop himself, Law’s hips flex up again, searching desperately for a weight, a heat that was never there to begin with.

He settles down quickly, forcing his body still as he checks his surroundings.

The lawn is empty. It’s the middle of the night. Caesar’s snoring away in his corner, and a brief glance up to the crow’s nest reminds him that tonight is Zoro’s watch. The crash must have been him dropping one of his absurd weights.

Everything else is still and quiet. Law’s in the same position he’d fallen asleep in, thankfully, leaned against the mast, legs crossed, arms crossed, Kikoku held tight to his body. All normal.

The only abnormality is the fact that Law’s dick is about to rip right through his pants.

He grinds his teeth and tries briefly to will it away, but that dream keeps popping insistently into his head, shouting over everything else.

Before he has a chance to overthink it, Law kicks open the trap door nearby and drops into the cool, dark depths of the Sunny. His issue isn’t going away on its own, and Law sure as fuck isn’t about to sit around in the open with a hard-on that could break rocks.

Once his eyes have adjusted to the dim light, Law looks around at the gates surrounding him. It’s hardly optimal, but pirate ships aren’t known for having an abundance of privacy, so he’ll take what he can get.

He turns toward the door painted with an enormous number four and pulls the shutter up just enough to slip underneath. There isn’t the most room, and the sound of water lapping gently against the dock makes him somewhat anxious, but at least this dock is empty, so he won’t have to make eye contact with any of the weirdly anthropomorphic vehicles the Straw Hats store down here.

With an aggravated sigh, Law closes the shutter behind himself. He came all the way down here, may as well commit.

He sets Kikoku against the wall, then collapses beside her, dragging a hand down his face.

It’s dark down here, and he’s well and truly alone, so his breath comes just a little easier. Unfortunately, the heated afterimages of his absurd lapse in willpower come back to him just as easily, leaving him throbbing in his pants.

Law glares at his dick, as if that’s going to do anything.

He’s so turned on it hurts. His desire hadn’t waned in the least on the way down here, still burning in his veins, still desperately craving the cruel weight his traitor brain had dreamed up for him.

Before he can talk himself out of this, Law reaches down and grips the hard outline of his cock, huffing quietly and arching into the feeling. At least this won’t take long.

Law shifts his hips so he can unfasten his pants, pushing them down just enough that his aching arousal can bounce out into the cool, still air. His pierced, hooded cock is flushed dark and heavy, dripping onto the sliver of exposed skin between his shirt and his pants. In interest of keeping things at least slightly neat, Law fists one hand in his shirt and drags it up his chest, just to keep it out of his own way.

He only questions his sanity for a moment before finally wrapping his other hand around his cock.

The spark of arousal that jolts through his body makes his eyelids flutter. He manages to bite down the low, breathy noise that threatens to rumble up out of his chest, but just barely.

As much as Law wants to make this quick, when he starts moving his hand, he finds himself mimicking the agonizingly slow pace from his dream. He’d had enough of it, he’d thought, but as he drags his hand along his cock in long, languid strokes, Law finds himself craving it.

His eyes roll closed, and immediately, the dream comes back in full force.

That warm skin, that teasing smile half-hidden in smoke, the hand trailing down his chest...

The image of Sanji’s thighs spread wide over his lap rises to the forefront of his mind, and every part of him shivers, his head falling back against the wall with a dull thump.

Law grits his teeth to muffle his low groan, bringing his fistful of his shirt to his mouth for something to bite into. He’s already so fucking close, has been since before the dream ended, so he can’t help the way he digs his heels into the dock, fucking desperately into his own grip. His brow furrows as he moves, his thighs shaking, cock dripping, until something in him has mercy and lets him fall.

He curses raggedly and somehow manages to stroke himself through his orgasm, despite his entire mind going completely blank under the overwhelming flood of pleasure.

Once the rush fades, Law collapses back against the wall, doing his best to catch his breath. He pulls his hand off his dick and grimaces down at the mess he’d made of his stomach, but he doesn’t quite have the energy for his usual levels of disgust.

Eager to move on with his life, Law makes quick but careful work of washing his hand off in the water beside the dock, cleaning his stomach off as best he can. When he's done, he gathers himself and his sword, then heads back up to the deck, relieved to see nothing has changed in his brief absence.

Even though it’s the middle of the night, Law passes by his seat at the mast and makes for the infirmary. He’s sure as shit not going back to sleep after all that.

Law settles down on the infirmary floor and opens the journal he’s been skimming, trying very hard not to think about the fact that they’re only a day or so out from Dressrosa, and the fact that tonight’s dream will probably be the last one he ever has.

--

To be fair, Law does not spend most of the next day avoiding Sanji.

He has several good reasons to, as far as he’s concerned, but that’s not what he’s doing.

Law spends most of the day avoiding everyone.

As they draw closer to Dressrosa, Law grows more and more restless. He’s anxious and fidgety, feeling uncomfortably volatile, almost dizzy from turning all his plans over in his mind so many times, searching for holes and planning contingencies.

Suffice to say, he’s not in a great mood, so he does the smart thing and makes himself scarce.

He bullies the sniper out of his afternoon watch, then holes himself up in the crow’s nest, where he can stare at the horizon and be agitated in relative peace.

Nico tries to relieve him for evening watch, but he turns her away, and he does it again when Zoro tries to take night watch. He keeps himself closed off, staying perfectly still as he drives them away, but each time that hatch closes, he finds his leg bouncing again. Even after the sun has set and the last vestiges of daylight have faded away, Law continues staring out the window into the dark, searching for the silhouette of Dressrosa in the moonlight scattered across the waves.

He’s in the middle of planning for yet another statistical improbability, just in case, when he senses someone climbing up to the lookout again.

A moment later, the hatch opens, and to Law’s great confusion, the first thing that comes through is a tray with two mugs on it. He finds quickly enough that the tray is resting on a familiar blonde head, so he immediately turns back to the window, the urge to bounce his leg burning in his joints.

Seemingly unconcerned for Law’s mood, Sanji pulls himself up into the crow’s nest, then sweeps the tray off of his head and onto the windowsill next to Law.

He’s expecting the cook to say something, to ask him why he’s being avoidant or order him to get some sleep, but he doesn’t. He just collapses onto the couch next to him, idly lighting a cigarette before swiping one of the mugs for himself.

Law glances into the mug left for him, somewhat surprised to see plain black coffee. It’s a simple enough gesture, but it fills him with a wave of complicated feelings he doesn’t have the time or energy to sort through.

In an effort to distract himself, Law slips his hand around the mug and brings it to his lips.

Just plain old coffee. Not even spiked in some lame effort to make him sleep.

Law sighs quietly, then pulls his hat off, running his free hand through his messy hair. Sanji continues to not comment, content to just keep him company, his presence far more soothing than it has any right to be.

After they’ve both finished their coffee, Sanji puts the tray aside and stretches lazily, apparently set on hanging out. Law should really chase him away, should tell him to fuck off so he can be alone, but it’s hard to gather the words when it’s this easy to breathe around him.

He opens his mouth, but none of the things he expects come out.

“Thanks,” he finds himself mumbling, gratitude warm and embarrassing on the tip of his tongue.

Sanji hums casually, his fingers laced over the back of his neck, long legs stretching out in front of him.

Law snaps his gaze forward again, frowning at his own face in the window. He sees the reflection of the clock above his head, though, and turns to double-check it.

“Aren’t you normally asleep by now?” he asks, raising an eyebrow at the cook.

“Aren’t you?” Sanji replies almost playfully, sliding a fresh cigarette between his lips. “You’re not the only one too worked up to sleep, you know.”

Law frowns harder at that. “I’m not worked up.”

“Yeah, okay,” Sanji snorts. He lights his cigarette, then finally makes eye contact as he blows smoke toward the ceiling. “So you’ve just been lurking up here all damn day ‘cause you like the view?”

Grumbling to himself, Law turns to stare out the window again, irritated by his own apparent transparency.

A while passes where neither of them speak, but frustratingly, Law still can’t bring himself to kick the cook out. He’d wanted so badly to be alone, and especially to avoid Sanji at all costs. He should be feeling especially prickly since Sanji can apparently read him like a fucking book, but he just... isn’t.

Being alone with Sanji now is just as soothing as it’s been this entire trip, and Law has no idea what that means.

“Well, if you’re not worked up, I guess that changes the reason I came up here,” Sanji hums after a while. Law turns to give him a questioning look, but freezes when he sees Sanji slowly, purposefully loosening his tie.

Law swallows heavily and rips his gaze away from the tempting peek he’d gotten of Sanji’s collarbone, hating how hot his face feels. Desperate to get back on track, he subtly clears his throat and asks, “What is that supposed to mean?”

Breathing a soft laugh, Sanji shrugs and closes his eyes, lacing his fingers behind his head again. “You seemed like you needed a distraction, so I thought I’d offer you one.”

The low, intimate tone of his voice gets right under Law’s skin. It makes him grit his teeth, makes his heart flutter, makes him an entirely different sort of restless, but there’s absolutely no way the cook’s actually saying what Law thinks he’s saying.

“I don’t follow,” he croaks, doing his best to sound as neutral as possible.

Whether it works or not, Law has no idea. He’s pretty distracted by the way Sanji’s looking at him, and by what that dark gaze is already doing to him. Restlessness growing, he forces himself to look out the window, idly chewing on what’s left of his pinky nail.

The hand that comes to rest on Law’s wrist is surprisingly warm. It gives him enough pause that it’s easy for Sanji to guide his hand away from his mouth, but even when his hand is resting on the windowsill, those warm fingers don’t move away. Instead, Sanji gently wraps them around Law’s wrist, his thumb rubbing over the tattoo on the back of his hand, and suddenly Law is incredibly anxious.

“Don’t run away,” Sanji breathes, his grip just barely tightening. Law blinks at him, then belatedly realizes that he’d already started detaching himself, withdrawing, going cold the way he knows gets people to leave him alone. It doesn’t seem to have worked on Sanji, though, and he doesn't know how to feel about that.

He swallows and closes his hand into a fist, still feeling flighty, but much more in control.

Sanji loosens his grip, but doesn’t remove his hand. He turns toward Law, his eye lowered to their hands, long eyelashes brushing his cheek.

“If I’m pissing you off,” the cook says quietly, “If I read this all wrong, don’t run away. Stay here and fight me.” Law raises his eyebrows at that, no longer sure he has any idea what’s going on. Sanji looks up at him again, though, the same look from before, his eye so, so dark, his face coming closer. “You can try to kick my ass if you want. It’ll have the same effect, more or less.”

Finally, Law manages to find his words. He unclenches his teeth, unable to look away from Sanji, and murmurs, “I don’t want to fight you.”

“You say that now,” Sanji chuckles, his teeth finding his lip. “Look, I felt how you were looking at me yesterday.” Law feels the color drain from his face, nervousness curling sharp between his ribs, but Sanji just snorts at him. “Yeah, that’s why I offered to fight you.”

Still thoroughly confused, and now terrified that he’s been so easily found out, Law wheezes, “What do you want?”

Sanji hums thoughtfully, once again glancing down to where his thumb is lightly tracing over Law’s bony wrist. “Like I said, to offer you a distraction. And if I turned out to be wrong, then you’d have another distraction available to you.”

“How selfless of you.”

“Oh, it’s definitely not.” Sanji leans away finally, lifting the spell he’d cast on Law in favor of lighting another cigarette. “In fact, I’d argue that it’s entirely selfish, considering I came up here hoping we could fuck.”

Despite not having any coffee left, nor anything else to drink, Law chokes.

Sanji outright laughs at him, even when smoke catches in his throat and makes him cough. Once he’s caught his breath, still chuckling, he grins at Law and says, “You’re actually pretty fun, Torao.”

“Shut up,” Law mumbles, raking a hand through his hair.

Sanji hums agreeably, taking a long pull off his cigarette before speaking again. “I was gonna win that fight yesterday,” he states, like it’s an objective fact. “But when I realized you were watching me like you wanted to eat me...” He pauses to scratch his cheek, looking almost bashful for the first time. “Well, you weren’t the only one getting worked up.”

Knowing that he’s not the only one embarrassed helps a little, but Law’s still fairly certain that his face is going to catch fire. He’s so far out of his element, unused to this sort of openness and definitely not used to being called out so plainly, let alone having his unexpected desires reciprocated. It does make it a little easier to cut right to the chase, though, which he supposes he appreciates.

“So you want to fuck me?”

The cook wheezes, then shrugs, glancing at him out of the corner of his eye. “The other way around, unless you prefer otherwise, but... yeah. I do.”

The idea has Law swallowing heavily, chewing on the inside of his lip. He’s been propositioned before, obviously, and has accepted a handful of times, but this is the first time he’s felt so damn naked even just considering it.

“I don’t know how to react to you,” Law finally admits, because it’s the truth. It’s the absolute truth about everyone on this damn ship, but it’s especially true right now, with the space between himself and Sanji dwindling further by the second.

Undeterred by Law’s hopelessness, Sanji laughs again, but this time he turns to him, and before Law can figure out what he’s doing, Sanji’s slinging one long thigh over Law’s lap.

Law just stares up at him, hands gripping the couch beneath him, desperately trying not to think about his dream. Seemingly emboldened by the fact that Law hasn’t thrown him yet, Sanji settles into his lap like he belongs there, then rests his arms around Law’s neck, leaning into him in a way that makes all coherent thought melt right out of his ears. Sanji ducks close enough that Law can feel his breath on his lips, his own hitching in his chest. He doesn’t make contact yet, though, beyond one hand coming to comb through Law’s hair as he whispers, “Last chance. Start swinging, or I’m going to kiss you.”

Before he gets the chance, Law’s brain breaks.

He leans up and closes the distance between their lips, trying and failing to not melt when Sanji breathes a low sigh and kisses him back, allowing Law to be as eager as he wants.

Law’s fingers tingle slightly when he finally manages to unfist them from the now-mangled couch cushion under him. He hesitates for a moment, then carefully rests his hands on Sanji’s narrow waist, shivering at the warmth of his skin even through his shirt. Sanji seems to appreciate the touch, based on the way he sighs hot, then insistently deepens the kiss, coaxing Law’s tongue between his lips so easily it makes him dizzy.

Before Law starts feeling desperate for more, Sanji reaches between them and pulls his tie loose, then tosses it aside and starts unbuttoning his shirt, all without giving Law an inch.

The urge to look is too much to resist, even with how much Law’s enjoying kissing him. He flicks his tongue between Sanji’s lips, then pulls away, slipping one hand into his open shirt. He drags his hand down Sanji’s chest, down his stomach, groaning quietly when he sees the trail of hair that had haunted his dream. Sanji untucks his shirt and shrugs out of it, revealing once again that as much as the dream Sanji had turned him on, the real Sanji is infinitely better.

Law pulls him close again, this time dragging his lips down his long, slender throat, humming softly when he feels those skilled fingers tugging encouragingly on his hair. He laves his tongue over Sanji’s collarbone, then leans up to nip at his ear, his hands slowly, firmly slipping down the curve of Sanji’s spine.

A thought occurs to him, though, so he braces his hands on Sanji’s waist again, then murmurs, “Didn’t think I was your type.”

“Mm, and what were you expecting my type to be?” Law pauses to consider that, but before he can put his answer to words, Sanji laughs, "Let me guess. Literally every woman ever, right?"

Law flushes and gives him a tight nod, which naturally only amuses Sanji more.

Instead of laughing at him more, though, Sanji hums sagely. “And then some.” For lack of a better response, Law just nods again. The cook grins at him, leaning away just to ruffle Law’s hair, which really should piss him off but doesn’t. “Don’t worry, Torao. You’re my type.” Law grumbles at the teasing tone of his voice, but before he can complain, Sanji leans into his ear and slips his tongue between his piercings, then breathes, “At least, that’s what I figured when I fucked myself thinking of you last night.”

Law really hopes the low, animal whine he’s hearing isn’t coming from him, but he doubts he’d be so lucky.

Those words are blatantly unfair, and based on the warm, low laugh Sanji breathes against the turn of his jaw, the bastard cook knows it.

He growls and sinks his teeth into Sanji’s shoulder, wrapping his arms around his waist so he can grind his hips up between those spread thighs. “Maybe I should just fight you,” he grouses when he finally finds the words.

The laugh Sanji breathes at that is low and raspy, clearly affected by how much Law wants him.

Fortunately, Sanji doesn’t tease him. He spreads his long thighs over Law’s lap, rocking down into him and sighing at the feeling, one hand coming to grip Law’s bicep tight. It reminds him briefly of his dream, but the real thing takes all of his attention easily enough, especially when Sanji shifts his weight slightly, then grinds his own aching arousal right against Law’s.

With a rough groan, Law slips one hand to Sanji’s jaw, guiding him into another deep, languid kiss. He rocks up into the next slow grind, eagerly swallowing down the rough sigh Sanji breathes into him.

Far too soon, Sanji pulls away from his lips, and Law does his best not to pout. Sanji grins, likely reading him again, before asking, “You know where the lockers are in the men’s cabin?” Law squints at him, his confusion briefly returning when Sanji pulls out his crumpled shopping list and presses it into Law’s hand. “Third one from the left has lube in it.”

Law stares at the list, then at Sanji. “This is also not what my powers are for.”

Sanji tilts his head playfully, a teasing, crooked grin crossing his face. “Would you rather I get off your lap and get it myself? And here I thought you were enjoying this.”

He goes to stand, but Law grabs his hip before he can. Sanji’s grin widens, and Law should probably be pissed that he’s playing into this man’s games like this, but he really, really is enjoying himself. He gives Sanji a dirty look, but still casts a room around them, feeling around until he finds the lockers.

Once he’s found what he’s looking for, only briefly distracted by the way Sanji tongues his piercings again, he swaps the list for the small, half-empty jar, then collapses the room.

“You’re a peach,” Sanji snickers, plucking the jar from Law’s hand and ignoring his deep scowl. “Take your shirt off.”

“Don’t order me around,” Law grumbles, but he takes it off anyway, just because it’s starting to bug him. He leans back into the couch and tosses his shirt aside, but before he can continue complaining, the absolute hunger on Sanji’s face distracts him.

“Fuck, you’re so hot,” Sanji breathes, dragging one hand down Law’s chest with a heated sigh. Law flushes slightly, not exactly used to accepting these kinds of compliments. Thankfully, Sanji distracts them both with another intense kiss, the hand on his chest trailing down before coming to palm at the tent Law’s pitching in his jeans. He groans against his lips when he feels how hard he is, and Law sighs at the feeling, arching into his hand, his own restlessly pawing at Sanji’s thighs.

Apparently eager for more, Sanji drops the jar on the windowsill, then wrestles Law’s pants open, ignoring the amused huff Law breathes between them. Sanji nips at his lips again before sitting back as he finally manages to tug Law’s cock out of his pants, then glances down to see what he’s working with.

Law doesn’t generally have an opinion on his own dick, but he still feels a pleased thrill run through him at the way Sanji’s eye goes dark, the way his lips part. That thrill only grows sharper when Sanji trails the pad of his thumb over the slick, hooded head, drawing a tight little circle between the studs of his piercing, his touch gentle, appreciative even as he wraps his fingers around him.

“Shit,” Sanji sighs roughly, his teeth finding his lip again. “This is nice.”

Law has no idea what to say to that, so instead he pulls Sanji back to his lips, then sets to work returning the favor.

Doing his best to ignore how good Sanji’s warm hand feels stroking him lazily, Law unbuckles Sanji’s belt and pulls it out of the loops, groaning roughly when his wrist brushes past Sanji’s barely-restrained cock. He unfastens his pants and yanks them down, earning himself another one of those teasing chuckles. Law’s past the point of caring, though; he’s so hard it hurts, and Sanji’s in his lap, touching him almost appreciatively, and if this is some sort of cruel fever dream, Law sort of hopes it kills him.

One he’s managed to pull Sanji’s too-tight pants down, Law shoves his hand into his underwear and wraps his fingers around his cock, breathing a ragged sigh when it twitches in his hand.

Sanji reaches down with his free hand and pulls down the waistband of his own underwear, then glances down and hums at the way Law’s fingers feel around him. He arches into the feeling, that dark, pretty eye sliding closed, but he remembers himself quickly enough.

Law watches Sanji squirm in his lap, confused for a moment until he hears the thud of Sanji’s boots hitting the floor. His confusion melts right into disappointment, though, when Sanji scoots out of his lap and stands between his spread knees. Law would complain, but he’s completely mesmerized by the lines of Sanji’s hips, by his flushed, heavy arousal, and before he can get himself under control, his mouth is watering.

The urge to put his mouth all over Sanji wins out fairly easily. While Sanji’s distracted pushing his pants down his thighs, Law moves to sit on the edge of his seat. He catches Sanji’s narrow wrists and pulls him closer, then leans in to drag hot, appreciative kisses down that muscular stomach, humming warmly when Sanji curses under his breath and arches into the attention.

Sanji wiggles his hands free easily, then buries one of them in mussed black hair, tugging encouragingly. Law nips at his bony hip, but he lets him be pushy, wrapping a hand around him and stroking as he makes his way down.

When he wraps his lips around him, Sanji makes this low, rumbling sound that goes straight to Law’s cock. In an effort to focus himself, Law laves his tongue over him, taking his sweet time learning the taste, the feel of him in his mouth, the weight of him on his tongue.

As he bobs his head deeper, he sucks insistently, earning another one of those low groans. He hums in reply, then huffs a laugh when Sanji pulls his hair again, bucking into the feeling.

Curious as to what kind of face Sanji’s making, Law pulls back to circle his tongue over the head again, glancing up as he does.

To his delight, Sanji does not disappoint.

The cook’s face is flushed dark, and his thin lips are swollen both from kissing and from him biting them. His hand tightens in Law’s hair when they make eye contact, but what really gets his attention is the way Sanji’s cock twitches on his tongue, so openly, honestly aroused Law can’t help but feel smug.

He smirks around his mouthful, but before he can get back into it, Sanji huffs and pulls him off his dick, then climbs right back into his lap and reaches past him for the lube.

Law tries to grab the jar, but Sanji pops it open and digs his own fingers into the slick oil first, clearly intent on handling himself. Law frowns at that, his hands coming to rest on Sanji’s hips instead. “You’re not gonna let me do that?”

Sanji arches an eyebrow at him. “You’ll fucking bully me, and I really wanna ride your brains out, so no.”

Law can’t really argue with that. He just grunts in reply, then shifts back onto the cushion properly, dragging Sanji with him.

Once they’re settled, Sanji leans up onto his knees and reaches behind himself, handing the jar of oil off so he can rest his hand on Law’s shoulder. As much as Law wants to be the one working Sanji open with his fingers, he settles for watching, using the oil to slick his palm before setting it back on the windowsill.

Without looking away, Law wraps his hand around his own cock, sighing hot at the wet slide as he gives himself a few lazy strokes. Sanji stares between them, watching Law touch himself and biting his lip, his breath starting to pick up as he works.

Law drags his free hand up Sanji’s thigh, over his hip, along his ribs while he waits, openly admiring his strong body. Sanji squirms under his attention, his cock twitching as his fingers move, as Law brushes his hand over sensitive skin, which really doesn’t do much to encourage Law to be patient. Still, he keeps his cool, squeezing his own soaked cock in the meantime.

“Pull—pull your pants down more,” Sanji breathes, lifting himself onto his knees. Law huffs at the brief loss of his body heat, but obliges him, arching up to shove his pants and boxers down his thighs. He pulls Sanji back into his lap once he’s done, craving the feeling of skin on soft, bare skin.

Squeezing the base of his cock, Law drags his other hand down Sanji’s back, his fingers curling firmly around the cook’s ass. Law huffs a low moan, enjoying the feeling probably a little too much, but before he can do much more, Sanji arches against him with a ragged, tempting groan. His eye flutters closed, too, pleasure written all over his face, so pretty it sets a blazing fire in Law.

“Okay, okay, fuck,” Sanji finally wheezes, pulling his fingers out of himself and collapsing into Law’s lap.

His own impatience showing, Sanji budges Law’s hand off his cock, then leans right up and sits on it, and god, there is nothing Law could have done to prepare himself for how fucking incredible Sanji feels around him.

Sanji works himself down into Law’s lap with a few needy rolls of his hips, his head falling back, thighs trembling, and all Law can really do is hold onto him, fingers gripping Sanji’s hips hard. He pants heavily, doing his best to ignore the urge to snap up into that tight, wet heat, focusing instead on how unbelievably hot Sanji is.

“Fuck, you feel good,” he manages, and the way Sanji squeezes around him in response is far from lost on him.

“Not so bad yourself,” Sanji laughs. The sound is ragged, though, betraying just how affected he is. He threads the fingers of one hand into Law’s hair, dragging his nails behind his ear almost affectionately before using his grip to tug his head back.

He leans in and kisses Law almost desperately, humming into him when Law groans and rocks his hips up. With that encouragement, Sanji braces his knees, then starts moving.

If Law thought that the way this man’s body flows when he’s fighting was tempting, this is in another league entirely.

The way Sanji rolls his hips is smooth and purposeful, even as he’s huffing soft, pleased sounds against Law’s lips, his control so flawless Law’s almost tempted to sit back and let him do all the work. The urge to touch him is much, much stronger, though, so he lets his hands wander all over that smooth, pale skin, his attention laser-focused on the way Sanji reacts to him.

When his hands land on those strong hips, he lets out a shivering sigh and drags the pads of his thumbs along the lines of his hip bones, avoiding Sanji’s dripping, twitching cock for now. Sanji pulls away from his lips and leans his head back with a hitched, breathy little sound, so Law drags his teeth down Sanji’s throat, unable to help the way he rolls his hips into the next slow, easy thrust of Sanji’s hips.

He isn’t sure what, but something he just did wrings a stuttering, raspy whimper out of Sanji, and that sound just about robs Law of all rational thought.

Sanji freezes in his lap, one hand coming to slap over his mouth, but it’s way too late for that.

If Law thought he’d been hungry earlier, that whimper has him fucking ravenous.

He pulls back just enough to look up at Sanji, taking maybe a little too much enjoyment from how flustered the man looks. Sanji shivers, his voice muffled as he asks, “There’s no way you didn’t hear that, is there.” Law shakes his head slowly, his grip tightening on Sanji’s hips. “O-oi, you’re giving me that look again—”

Law knows. He can feel his mean streak bubbling up the way it always does when he wants something, and right now he wants to hear every little sound Sanji’s capable of making.

“More,” he breathes, his voice raspy.

Sanji swallows heavily as he finally pulls his hand away from his mouth. “What?”

“Let me hear more.” Law leans in closer, stubbornly refusing to break eye contact. He knows he can be an intense person, and he knows it’s not a trait most people find attractive. Sanji isn’t recoiling from him, though, despite the burning heat of Law’s eyes on him, and despite the neediness apparent in the way he’s holding Sanji against himself.

Hell, if anything, Sanji just seems even more turned on by Law’s intensity.

Sanji licks his lips slowly, then tightens his grip on Law’s hair and pulls him back to his lips. Law kisses him almost desperately, drinking in as much of him as he can before Sanji shifts to nudge his nose against the turn of Law’s jaw.

As he’s nipping at Law’s piercings, dragging his tongue between them, Sanji starts moving his hips again. His breath hitches at the way Law feels inside him, and the soft, near-silent little hum pressed right against Law’s ear almost feels like a challenge.

Just as Law’s about to rise to that challenge, Sanji laughs breathlessly, then whispers, “Make me.”

Law has to take a quick moment to unscramble his... well, his everything.

Hearing Sanji’s voice like this, daring him to earn those perfect sounds of his lights a blazing wildfire in Law, and leaves him with a craving that takes up every spare inch of his conscious mind.

A low, rumbling growl comes from somewhere inside him as he wraps his arms tight around Sanji’s waist, then shoves them forward, all but tackling Sanji onto the padded floor of the crow’s nest. Far from minding the rough treatment, Sanji moans raggedly and bucks his hips, grinding his soaked cock against Law’s stomach, already pulling him close again with trembling hands.

His cock had slipped out on the way down, but he’s quick to fix that, ducking to kiss Sanji deeply, greedily as he settles between his powerful thighs again, then guides himself back into him. He huffs a low moan as he bucks his hips deep, briefly stunned by how perfect Sanji feels spread open around him, but he’s just as quickly distracted by the way Sanji throws his head back and gasps, his eye rolling closed as he arches into Law’s lap. Law bites his lip and grinds deeper, kissing the breathless sounds off those pretty lips as he slips his hands down Sanji’s thighs, coaxing him into wrapping them around him.

“Fuck, Trafalgar, c’mon,” Sanji wheezes, fisting one hand in Law’s hair, the other dragging down his ribs. “I didn’t let you crawl on top of me so you could—fuck!”

“Oh? My mistake.” Law knows he’s grinning, the same mean, crooked grin that sends most people running, but Sanji just moans for him, his spine arching tight when Law gives him another quick, rough thrust.

“You’re such an asshole,” Sanji manages, shooting him a look from under his eyelashes that would be intimidating if it wasn’t so incredibly arousing.

Law can’t argue with that, but he’s not enough of an asshole to ignore Sanji’s thinly-veiled pleas. Not with such a tempting prize on the line, anyway.

Before either of them can get any more impatient, Law sits up and leans back onto his heels, easily pulling Sanji’s hips into his lap. Sanji arches under him, his tongue wetting his lips as he wraps his legs more securely around Law’s hips, giving Law the freedom to move his hands, which he’s more than happy to take advantage of.

Sanji’s body is fucking incredible. Not that Law had expected much else, of course, but his expectations had been so damn flimsy compared to the real thing. He’s so responsive, too, squirming eagerly when Law wraps his hands around his hips, those soft lips parting around a sigh when Law drags his thumbs along the lines of his hip bones again. The way he tightens around him breaks Law out of his brief daze, reminding him that he has a challenge to meet.

As he’s pulling his hips back, Law can already tell that he’s not going to be able to handle this position for long, not with the way Sanji moves under him.

Sanji feels so damn good around him, but the angle is clearly working for him too, based on the way he jumps when Law thrusts back into him, muscles tensing, eyelid fluttering. His lips part soundlessly, all but begging to be kissed, but the way he’s rocking into Law’s measured thrusts keeps him steady for now.

He’s familiar with the shape of his own body, so even though he hadn’t been able to learn where Sanji’s the most sensitive before they’d started, he knows well enough that the hard upward curve of his cock is doing them both some favors. Every time he rocks his hips deep, Sanji’s thigh twitches and his breath catches in his chest, a pretty shiver running through him.

Law’s entranced by him, by how good he looks, flushed and open in his arousal. He’s spellbound by the fact that he’s even here, that Sanji’s letting him do this, that Sanji wants him like this, and very quickly he finds old, disused instincts coming back to the surface.

He wants to wreck Sanji, to leave him shaking and molten with pleasure, and just like that, Law’s own pleasure becomes entirely secondary to the urge to fuck him brainless.

Adjusting his grip on Sanji’s hips, Law picks up his pace quickly, fucking into him intently until he finds the angle that wrings a shocked, adorable little squeak from the man.

Sanji glances up at him, his face flushing dark again, but he doesn’t cover his mouth this time. He must know Law’s enjoying himself, anyway; he can feel his own intensity in the way he’s staring at Sanji, in the way he’s holding onto him, but if anything, he’s just flustering Sanji more with his interest.

Rather than tease him further, Law shifts his knees slightly, then picks up his pace, making good use of the sparse knowledge he’s gained so far.

Fucking him at this angle has Sanji outright writhing under him, his head thrown back, breathless little sounds slipping between parted lips. His unabashed honesty does so damn much for Law, encouraging and emboldening him. He pulls Sanji’s hips into every deep thrust, shamelessly manhandling him, distantly grateful that Sanji just seems to get off on it.

“’S good right there,” Sanji murmurs, licking his lips as he glances up at Law, eye dark, heated with arousal. Law breathes a rumbling, appreciative hum and grinds into him, huffing brainlessly when that blue eye rolls closed again, when those strong hips flex up into the attention, taking him deeper with a desperate little sound. “Fuck,” he gasps, his hands flying to grip Law’s wrists. He’s not pushing him away, more clinging to him than anything else, so Law keeps moving, unable to look away.

As occupied as Law’s been with his desire to wring Sanji dry, he’s somehow managed to forget who he’s dealing with.

Sanji bites his lip and leans his head back, arching eagerly into Law’s lap. He meets every thrust perfectly, though, even as Law picks up the pace, those powerful hips and their flawless control leaving him speechless, but desperate for more.

Picking up on how much he’s getting to Law, Sanji somehow manages to find the brain cells to grin at him, crooked and teasing and so, so damn sexy. He licks his lips, then rocks up against Law and squeezes around him, and all Law can do is bury himself deep and curl over him with a breathless moan, his grip tightening on pale skin. His hips stutter, but Law somehow manages to keep his pace mostly steady, trying his best to focus on the man sprawled under him.

Hah, c’mon,” Sanji gasps, one trembling hand brushing along Law’s cheek. Law leans into the feeling, but before he can do much more than that, Sanji moans raggedly, openly, and if that sound wasn’t enough to break Law, his words would be.

“C’mon, fuck me harder—god, Law—

If he had a single coherent thought left, Law would have to admit to himself that when it comes to Sanji, he is a weak, weak man.

As it is, all he can do is choke out a trembling groan, burying himself deep so he doesn’t come right then. He swallows heavily and ducks his head, panting to clear his head, to get himself under control. All he allows himself is a brief moment, though; driven by the man beneath him, by the urge to prove himself, Law shakes his head, then succumbs to Sanji entirely.

He shifts his knees apart and leans over Sanji, resting his weight on his forearms so he can catch those teasing lips in a desperate, messy kiss, the heat of Sanji’s body pressed all along his leaving him dizzy. Sanji moans and leans into his kisses, curling his tongue against Law’s encouragingly, those precious hands of his tangling in Law’s hair, gripping his shoulder, pulling him closer, and god, Law should’ve known he’d be in over his head.

When he starts moving his hips again, Law gives up any illusion of self-control.

He fucks into Sanji roughly, desperately, fueled entirely by the breathless sounds Sanji’s letting out between kisses. He’s lost all his calculation, but Sanji doesn’t seem to mind; with every messy thrust, those pretty little sounds grow louder, shakier, until finally Sanji pulls away from his lips and leans his head back with a sweet, stuttering cry.

Law groans raggedly, then shifts his attention to the long column of Sanji’s pale throat. His lips had been perfect, but Law wants to hear him now, wants to hear those incredible sounds, so he sates the desperate urge to put his mouth on something by dragging hot, biting kisses along Sanji’s pulse. The attention has Sanji’s short nails scraping down Law’s shoulder, but that just makes him harder, leaves him moaning against the pink marks left by his teeth.

Sanji squirms under him, then hitches one of his thighs higher up Law’s side, easily grabbing his attention. Law nips at his collarbone as he winds his arm under Sanji’s knee, hooking his leg over his shoulder and easily bending him in half, and fuck, if he thought Sanji felt good before, this is something else entirely.

This angle has Sanji tightening around him, body tensing, his noises growing louder, more breathless, his hands scrabbling for purchase on Law’s skin as he cries out for more, and fuck, Law’s never going to be able to forget the way Sanji’s voice wavers as he draws tight under him.

Cursing desperately, Law slips a hand between them and wraps his fingers around Sanji’s soaked cock, groaning at how hard he is, how hot he feels in his hand. Sanji’s breath catches briefly, but as Law strokes him, quick and tight and almost pleading, he finds his voice again.

Law hadn’t expected the sound of his own name on those flushed lips to get to him so badly, so when Sanji gasps for him again, then again and again, it nearly knocks him sideways. He sinks his teeth into Sanji’s shoulder and moans breathlessly, just barely keeping himself under control, every desperate little sound leaving his cock twitching inside him. He strokes Sanji harder, but rather than melt under him, one of Sanji’s hands flies down and catches his wrist firmly, holding him still.

Before Law can do more than wheeze out a muffled, curious sound, Sanji starts moving his hips again, fucking greedily into Law’s grip, his shallow breath panting out faster and faster until he finally, finally can’t take any more.

Law knows Sanji’s coming already, just from the way he freezes under him, and the way he tightens around him so damn exquisitely, but the sound he makes catches Law entirely off guard.

It’s this choked, brainless little whine, perfect on its own, but when Law realizes that it’s his name again, his name on those pretty lips as Sanji comes for him, Law loses his cool entirely.

He’s coming before he can even try to stop himself. Sanji’s trembling under him, his come slick on Law’s fingers, his voice quiet but overwhelming pressed right against Law’s ear, and all Law can do is moan for him as he fucks his come into him. He’s driven higher by the tight, wet heat around him, clenching eagerly when he grinds deeper, the burn of short nails clawing down his back dragging another desperate, shaky sound from him.

By the time he finally starts coming down, Law’s ears are still ringing, light-headed from the intensity of the rush. He’d sunk his teeth into Sanji’s shoulder again, so he drags his tongue over the bruised skin apologetically, shifting his hand from Sanji’s cock to his hip and squeezing.

Luckily, Sanji seems just as out of it. His thighs are draped loosely over Law’s hips, shaking slightly, and he’s still panting for breath. His palms soothe over Law’s shoulders, down his ribs, warm fingers trailing over what Law can only assume are some pretty impressive scratches, based on the enjoyable sting.

Once he’s got at least some of his brain function back, Law nudges his nose against Sanji’s ear and mumbles, “Sorry I came inside you.”

Sanji laughs at that, short and breathless and so damn tempting. “Don’t be. I like it.” Law can’t really think of a good way to reply to that, so he just groans and buries his face against Sanji’s throat. He shifts his hips just enough to pull out, his nose wrinkling at the feeling even as Sanji purrs.

As much as he’s enjoying this closeness, Law’s arms are about to give out on him, so he rolls to the side and collapses beside Sanji, slinging an arm over his eyes.

He feels Sanji stretching next to him, some joints popping. There’s a rustling sound, too, but that mystery is solved easily enough by the click of a lighter, then the smell of cigarette smoke. “Ahh, I needed that,” Sanji finally sighs, his voice rough from overuse, but so pleased, so sated Law can’t help but feel a little smug. “Good work, Torao.”

Law just snorts and shakes his head.

The knowledge that the crow’s nest is still a common area gets Law moving more quickly than he’d prefer, if he has to be honest with himself. He hauls himself to his feet, pulling his pants up as he does, looking around until he finds a small, disheveled pile of hand towels. They seem relatively clean, at least, so he grabs one for himself and tosses one back toward Sanji, who makes a sound somewhere between surprised and disgruntled.

Once he’s made himself at least somewhat decent, Law settles himself on the bench again and glances out the window, just to make sure the horizon is still clear. He’s easily distracted by Sanji’s reflection, though, watching the man lazily pulling himself together, smoking and smiling and so at ease Law almost feels envious.

Despite all the stress relief he’d just engaged in, Law’s still tense, still agitated. Not nearly as much, and probably not so much that he needs to keep avoiding everyone, but he’s definitely not going to be able to sleep before they land.

Seeming to sense this, Sanji comes and collapses next to him, delicately folding his tie up and putting it in his pocket. He leaves his shirt half-unbuttoned, his body all lithe ease, and the emotion Law feels this time is decidedly not envy.

Clearing his throat, Law turns his gaze out the window again, ready to resume his quiet vigil.

“Luffy’s not going to let you die, you know,” Sanji says after a while, blowing lazy smoke rings toward the ceiling.

The audacity of that statement, both from the man saying it and the man he’s referring to, actually stuns Law for a moment. “He has no say in the matter.”

Sanji actually laughs at him, loud and sudden, which leaves Law scowling. “Oh, man,” Sanji sighs, running a hand through his mussed hair. “You really don’t realize how fucked you are, do you?”

Law’s frown deepens, but he fights the urge to close himself off entirely. “Enlighten me.”

The cook continues chuckling, then glances at Law out of the corner of his eye, his lips turned up in a wide, crooked smile around his cigarette. “Once Luffy decides that he wants to have a say in something, there’s absolutely nothing that can stop him. He likes you enough to consider you a friend. You’re stuck with him forever now.” Law scoffs, but Sanji just continues smiling peacefully, blowing out a slow plume of smoke before speaking again. “Come to think of it, you’re stuck with all of us. You poor bastard.”

“And where’s my say?”

Sanji hums thoughtfully, pondering that for a long moment. “Did you read about the whole Enies Lobby shitshow in the papers?” Law nods, remembering all too well the weeks of articles about it while the World Government reeled. “All that was because of Robin, you know? She was being stubborn and decided she was ready to die for a purpose. But deep down, she still wanted so badly to live, and Luffy knew that. So, we went to go get her back.”

Taking another long drag off his cigarette, Sanji turns to look Law in the eye, almost startlingly serious compared to his laid-back attitude until now. “Luffy has decided that he’s done seeing the people he cares about die, especially if he knows they still dream. And if I were you, I wouldn’t underestimate my captain’s ability to fuck around in the strings of fate.”

Law purses his lips and looks back out the window, resting his chin in his hand. Sanji’s point is hard to argue, because just based on what little he knows of the Straw Hat captain, he’s dangerously close to being right. Besides, the last thing he really feels like doing right now is getting in a fight, especially over something as stupid as which captain is more stubborn.

“We’ll play it by ear,” he murmurs eventually, hoping to close the discussion for now. Sanji hums agreeably, which does more to relax Law than it probably should.

They sit in comfortable silence then, just as easy as it’s always been to be around Sanji, until blood-red dawn finally cracks the sky and brings with it the distant, craggy cliffs caging in Doflamingo’s misbegotten kingdom.