Sanji shot up in bed, face bathed in cold sweat. He scrambled towards the bathroom vomiting as soon as he got to the toilet. His body shivered in revulsion feeling the memory of ghost touches that the nightmare had reawakened. Sanji cursed himself for this weakness, nightmares of things that did not and never would happen. It has been months but still Sanji’s sleep was disturbed at least once a week by the nightmares. He wanted to flambé that damn wolf again and again for doing this to him.
“Such a pretty omega. Maybe I can convince them to let me keep you once your crew is dead.”
The memory of that twisted, lecherous smirk made Sanji retch again. An omega could only bond willingly. However, there were ways, illegal though they were, to bind an omega to an alpha against their will. It wasn’t a true mating bond and the unwilling party would slowly succumb to insanity. Sanji had no doubt that the marines would’ve swept it under the rug.
He would never bond to someone like Jabura willingly. The man barely qualified as an alpha, had probably gained that status only after eating the devil fruit. He was much too weak to bond with an omega prime like Sanji. Still the ghost of his touches as they fought and the what ifs haunted Sanji. His nightmares saw him back in a cold, dark cell, his only purpose pleasing someone he was revolted by.
A warm hand on the back of his neck startled him out of his thoughts. He stiffened until he smelled the familiar scent. Zoro. Sanji relaxed and slowly sat up, his body shaking. Wordlessly Zoro helped him to his feet to wash his face. The omega leaned against the sink and met Zoro’s gaze. He saw nothing but concern and warmth in those grey eyes.
“H-hold me.” Sanji’s voice was shaky reflecting the tremors still wrecking his body and barely above a whisper. Zoro hesitated which the blonde could understand. He didn’t know what made him say those words. It was somewhat inappropriate since they weren’t bonded. They weren’t even courting. Still the swordsman hesitated for only a few seconds before guiding the cook into an embrace.
Sanji’s head was tucked against the alpha’s neck, nose buried against his scent gland. To the omega in Sanji, Zoro smelled divine. His power smelled like the ozone of a lightning storm – heady and dangerous befitting Zoro’s alpha prime status. Underneath was the smell that was uniquely Zoro – the scent of forests, wood and something musky.
Sanji slowly became boneless and relaxed, Zoro’s body the only thing keeping him upright. Strong hands were rubbing soothing circles on the omega’s back and his brain was somewhat fuzzy around the edges. Zoro had never comforted him before though Luffy as their pack alpha had done it a few times in the past. It was significantly different.
He’d always known how compatible the two of them were. It was clear in the way they sometimes communicated with glances alone, the way Zoro could touch Sanji without the blonde flinching, the way they moved around each other in a fight and the way Sanji could pick up Zoro’s scent among hundreds. His omega had been testing the alpha since they met though unconsciously for Sanji at first. In the beginning he had just thought that they rubbed each other the wrong way, but over time it became clear that they were testing each other.
“What was your nightmare about?”, Zoro asked cutting through the haze in Sanji’s head. He stopped purring, how long had he been doing that?, and stiffened. The swordsman moved one of his hands to massage the base of the omega’s skull to which the blonde relaxed again slightly.
Sanji sighed, resigned. “You remember Jabura? From the CP9?” Zoro hummed thoughtfully. “That was the wolf guy, right? You kicked his ass.” Sanji smiled slightly. “Yeah, but before… before he said, he would keep me… keep me as his omega once you are all dead.”
The blonde’s voice was barely above a whisper and he shuddered. Zoro’s arms tightened around him and a growl erupted from the alpha’s chest startling Sanji. “That upstart wolf better pray he never crosses my path again. You’re too good to be his omega. He doesn’t even deserve to breathe the same air as you,” the swordsman snarled. Sanji shivered again, not in revulsion this time but from the sheer possessiveness in Zoro’s voice.
The omega could feign ignorance to what was happening. An alpha was promising to kill his enemy just because his memory bothered Sanji – and he would too. Zoro never made empty promises. They’d been dancing around this moment since they met. From what he could tell Zoro’s alpha already considered Sanji his.
The blonde tried to imagine what it would be like to have Zoro as his alpha. He would be possessive, but he would never deny Sanji his freedom. He would be faithful and supportive. Of course, they would fight but they could always handle each other at their worst.
Sanji knew that his omega had already tested and approved of Zoro. He was strong and protective and would rather die than let his family be hurt. Family… he didn’t think he’d ever want a family but with Zoro the thought pleased him. Seemed like a decision had been made.
Pulling away from the embrace, the blonde searched the alpha’s face. It was full of concern and protectiveness. Sanji thought about what he was about to do now less distracted through skin-on-skin contact. His decision remained the same.
He didn’t need to bond, could live for the rest of his life under the protection of his pack alpha and his friends. He didn’t need to bond, but he wanted to. At his heart Sanji was a romantic and as soon as he’d presented, he knew that bonding with a woman would be nigh on impossible. Zoro was the only alpha he could imagine spending his life with. They weren’t in love, not yet, but they could be – easily.
Slowly and deliberately, Sanji tilted his head to the side exposing his neck. His blue eyes locked onto Zoro’s glinting with a challenge – come and get me. The alpha’s eyes widened before narrowing in thought. “Are you sure? You were only just in distress.”
If Sanji had any lingering doubts, they vanished at that comment. “I’m sure,” the omega stated never averting his eyes. Zoro held his gaze for a few moments before inclining his head in acceptance. Promptly the alpha fell to his knees looking up at the blonde though never breaking eye contact.
Sanji’s eyes widened in surprise and his heart skipped a beat at the incredibly symbolic gesture. For an alpha to place themselves physically under their partner – it spoke of devotion, of placing their lives below that of their partner. Maybe he had to rethink the whole not-being-in-love-yet thing, at least on Zoro’s part.
The swordsman pulled out a medium sized, wooden box from… somewhere and presented it to the omega. Sanji felt his heart beating in his throat as he reached towards the box placing his hand on it, but he didn’t take it.
“You probably had this for a while.” He searched Zoro’s face. “Why didn’t you try sooner?” The alpha huffed and a small blush appeared on his cheeks. It was oddly endearing. “I’ve never… never done this before. I thought if I didn’t do it right, if you weren’t done testing me, you’d reject me out of spite alone.”
Sanji cocked his head in thought, a smile quirking his lips. “I might have.” With those words he took the box from Zoro and opened it carefully. Nestled inside was a sturdy cuff bracelet. It was silver and wound around in two circles. Small diamond-shaped gold plates embellished it on either end.
Sanji let his fingers ghost over the cold metal. “It’s beautiful”, he admitted with a smile. Slowly he lifted it out of the box to admire it from all angles. “I had it made in Water Seven after… after. It has steel and gold from Yubashiri in it.” Zoro’s voice was matter of fact, but Sanji was absolutely gobsmacked at the gesture.
He hadn’t expected Zoro to like him this much already. His swords were his everything. He had basically handed Sanji a piece of his heart. He vowed to never betray that trust as he slipped the bracelet on his left wrist showing he was in an exclusive courtship. It fit Sanji perfectly and he wondered if Zoro somehow managed to measure his wrist.
He offered the alpha his left hand to help him up and didn’t let go once Zoro was on his feet. Together they went back to the sleeping quarters and with the heat of the moment over, exhaustion hit Sanji like a cannon ball.
He didn’t protest when Zoro manoeuvred them into a hammock together. Right, they could do this now. After a bit of shifting, Sanji settled on Zoro’s chest inhaling the alpha’s scent. Within minutes he was asleep and remained undisturbed by anymore nightmares.