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The beach was dark, but warm. Summer on this island was in full swing, with clear skies and a full moon. A warm breeze made the palm trees scattered across the beach sway gently, the waves lapping at the shore. Shouts and laughter echoed out over the sand, marines and pirates alike rejoicing over a shared victory. Again. How the fuck did he always seem to find himself making friends with fucking pirates? 

He stood near the water, watching the tide come in, not wanting to join in the party. Mugiwara's laugh pissed him off too much. 

But the straw hat wearing idiot wasn't the real problem. As much as Smoker wished he was, oh no, that was someone else. The other pirate crew that his crew was currently celebrating with. The Heart Pirates. 

Law.

He pulled out a cigar from his jacket, noting that he only had one left, and winced as the motion pulled on the stitches in his shoulder. It had been about ten months to date since their three day quarantine. A lot can happen in ten months.

The first time they met again was three months after they parted ways. The G-5 was hunting down a bunch of smugglers dealing weapons and other contraband. He still wasn't sure how the Heart Pirates were involved but he'd ended up chasing a bunch of them down the street, only for Law to use his powers to swap them elsewhere. He'd stopped Law from vanishing himself though by grabbing onto him. 

They'd spent the next few minutes clashing sword against jitte, dodging and moving. Dancing around each other, Smoker trying to get Law to tell him how the fuck he was involved in arms dealing, and Law telling him it wasn't his concern. 

But Smoker was nothing if not smart, and managed to back Law into a corner, the tip of his jitte at Law's neck, his back against the wall, his sword arm pinned to it.

And then the world went still, just the two of them breathing. He could have, should have knocked Law out, taken him in, put him in cuffs. But their eyes met. And as many times as Smoker told himself that they were enemies again, to forget those three days, he found it nearly impossible to actually do. 

Amber to gold, black to white. In that moment, he recalled suddenly the way Law's fingers felt threaded through his own. Those few seconds cost him. Law shifted suddenly, Smoker losing contact with his jitte and then they were switched, now Smoker with a haki imbued sword against his neck. Law stared at him, a strange look in his eye. Something that made Smoker's heart clench. "You're too fucking soft Smoker-ya," he whispered, then vanished with his goddamn powers. 

For the next three months after that, Smoker hated pirates with an intensity he found alarming. Taking out his fury at not being able to put the past behind him out on any of the bastards he happened upon. And then they met again. He was hot on the trail of an arms dealing ring, routing out all the players, setting up fake trades and capturing as many of the fuckers involved as he could. 

But one of the hand-offs went wrong, devolving rapidly into a combat situation, steel on steel, bullets ricocheting off pavement. Smoker once again ended up chasing a bunch of idiots down, and lo and behold, who the fuck shows up but Law, now also running from Navy capture. 

But one of the idiots Smoker was chasing was packing one of the weapons they were smuggling. Guns that shot sea prism stone bullets. 

And he took one to the side.

He would have likely been fine, it hadn't hit anything major, and the place was being swarmed by his men. He'd have been found and treated by a medic. But he was in no condition to continue the chase. 

As the pirates he was chasing continued their flight, Law froze, staring at him as he dropped to his knees on the pavement, gritting his teeth against the pain. The sounds of battle faded away into the open air, and it was just them again. Slowly the idiot approached him, sword in hand. He stood over Smoker, and their eyes met once more. His heart did that stupid fucking goddamn thing again as he recalled the way the moonlight had splashed over Law's skin as they lay side by side, something so tenuous and fragile between them that he could barely stand to think of it.

Law cautiously slid to the ground next to him, eyes moving to the bullet wound, blood pooling on the cracked stone of the alleyway. Smoker was quiet as the idiot reached into his coat, pulling out a small first aid kit. Law could have, should have, left him there and kept running or took the opportunity to kill him. Instead, he put pressure on the wound, staunching the bleeding. Smoker made no move to stop him, though he'd cursed himself for it later. When Law was done, their eyes had met again, their faces barely a foot apart, Law's hand on his chest, close to his heart. 

"You're too fucking soft, Law," Smoker whispered. Law clenched his jaw, then vanished once again. 

Four months later, they were here.

Smoker took a deep drag on his cigar, breathing out slowly, watching the moonlight reflect off the surf. A sound behind him made Smoker turn his head. A figure approached through the beach grass, seeming to also be escaping the party. A familiar figure. 

Smoker’s heart gave a painful thump.

Law stopped in his tracks, their eyes meeting. Smoker’s eyes darted to Law’s suddenly clenched fist then back to his face as the man approached. His black feather coat made the untattooed portion of his skin stand out in the starlight. Smoker turned back to the ocean, the stars reflecting off the water like sparks.

The slighter man came to a stop next to him and stared out at the seeming endless expanse of water. Smoker wasn’t sure what to say, wasn’t sure what Law wanted, why he had sought him out. Awkwardness settled around their heads amidst the sound of the wind and waves, and the muffled noise of the party behind them. Until the peace was shattered by Mugiwara’s distinctive laugh booming out over the beach. “God I hate that guy,” Law muttered, but there was a thread of fondness under it. “Agreed,” Smoker muttered, pretending that the same thread of fondness didn’t run under his own. 

Quiet settled over them, side by side, but less awkward than before. Smoker was suddenly struck by the thought that he wanted to ask Law how he was. But he wasn’t sure how. It was hard enough to ask when they were quarantined together, but this was the real world. They shouldn’t even be on speaking terms. He shouldn’t be here, making alliances with pirates. He shouldn’t be standing next to Law, he shouldn’t be recalling the way his lips felt against his. But he was. 

“How is it that we keep ending up like this?” Law’s voice floated up above the sound of the waves. Smoker snorted. "Beats me, it's never my intention to ally with pirates," he grumbled. A strange look flashed across Law’s face as he turned his head to look up at the moon making its slow descent across the sky. Then he turned back to meet Smoker’s eye before he motioned down the beach with a tilt of his head then turned and began to walk away. An invitation. Smoker could refuse, should refuse. But he wasn’t a coward. Smoker followed after him, just a step behind Law, shoving his hands into his pockets. They followed the coastline, an almost companionable silence between them, leaving the celebrations behind. 

“...Saw that they’ve found an effective treatment for Blood Rush,” Law said, breaking the silence as the coast met up with the boardwalk of the beach side town that they'd just liberated. Smoker nodded at him, “We found the source of the bacteria about a month ago.” “And?” Law had his own hands in his pockets, his shoulders hunching. They followed the boardwalk as it left the water, turning into a street lined with homes and businesses. It was empty, the vast majority of people were back celebrating with their crews. “Man-made, created in a lab in the South Blue,” Smoker said, keeping his voice low despite the emptiness of the street. “You destroy it?” Law was looking at him intently. “What do you think, Law?” 

Law made a face at him, but Smoker watched his shoulders relax. Law turned off the street and made for a dark building on their right. There were stairs going up to the second floor on the side. Smoker glanced at the sign that hung above the front door. The building was apparently a bar named Decisions if the artistic rendering of a tankard was anything to go by. “This where you were hiding out on the island before the Straw Hats showed up?” Smoker asked as he rolled his eyes at the name while following Law up the stairs. “Hard to get information when you’re in a submarine,” Law said blandly as they reached the landing, fumbling with a key in his pocket. 

Law got the door open and entered the room, not bothering to turn on any lights, moonlight streaming through balcony doors on the other side providing enough to see by. Smoker froze at the threshold, a voice in the back of his head was telling him this was a mistake, that he should walk the fuck away. He grit his teeth as he stepped over the threshold and shut the door behind them as Law opened the balcony doors and stepped out onto it. 

Smoker joined him as Law leaned on the railing, gazing out at the dark ocean. “So...with the lab destroyed, then we should be the last victims,” Law murmured. The words floated out into the open air. Smoker nodded, reaching into his pocket to pull out his last cigar. 

The air was heavy with something between them. "Hey...Smoker-ya," Law wasn't looking at him but down at the water slowly brushing against the rocks and sand below them. "If I asked...would you still be honest with me?" 

Smoker stilled. "Does that go both ways?" He asked softly, turning to gaze down at the shorter man, his heart rate suddenly picking up. Law turned to face him. The moment before he answered seemed to stretch on for a lifetime. "I may be a pirate, but I can play fair." And then Smoker knew what he wanted to ask him. 

“...Are we pirates and marines right now, Law?” the fragility of his words surprised even him. The man before him had asked him those exact words months ago, the question launching them backwards in time. Law stared at him, then breathed out, “...Do you want to be, Smoker-ya?” A few moments passed, Smoker’s cigar burning down. The answer sat inside of him, hot and vulnerable. He breathed out a cloud of smoke, letting it fill his vision, before the truth left his mouth and changed things. "No," he said gently. Their eyes met, as Law reached out and took the cigar from Smoker’s mouth, bringing it to his own. 

Smoker stared at him, heart pounding in his ears as Law took a long last drag on it, then tossed it into the water below. They both eyed the waves for a moment as Law turned his gaze back on Smoker before he stepped close, hand reaching out to grasp Smoker's chin, and pulled him down to press his lips to his. 

All the air left Smoker’s lungs as he sunk his fingers into Law’s coat pulling him closer. Law moved against him with an urgency that called to him, and he opened his mouth wider, deepening the kiss, as Law’s fingers dug into his scalp. Law pulled back, panting. Their eyes locked, Law’s pupils dilated in the dark. Slowly, Law stepped back from him, and towards the door, beckoning him to follow. 

But if he did, Smoker knew that he would cross the line. Because this was the real world. He would be choosing to do this, to be with the man before him, a pirate, The Surgeon of Death. 

He stared at Law, who looked back at him. A moment passed and Law let out a breath, looking down and away. The warm breeze ruffled Law’s hair before he looked up at Smoker once more, an unfamiliar openness on his face. "It's just me," he whispered. 

Smoker gazed at him, taking in a slow breath. 

"And it's just you," Law held out his hand. 

And in that moment, it was like the last ten months apart hadn't existed. They were back to that last night, where he'd wanted to kiss Law, where they held hands in the dark knowing that reality would come crashing down upon their tenuous grasp on one another. Where there had no longer been a line to keep them apart. 

But if he took Law's hand, there would be a line keeping them together.

The sea brushed against the coastline, the moon continued its slow forever path across the sky, and Smoker took Law's hand. 

---

Smoker’s hand was warm in his own, the callouses from countless hours of practice with his jitte rough against his palm. Their lips met again as Law sighed against Smoker’s lips. It wasn’t surprising to Law that Smoker kissed him back, more… a relief. A relief that he wasn’t crazy for wanting this. A relief that he wasn’t alone in his conflicted feelings. A gasp slipped from his throat as Smoker dragged his lips down his jaw, grazing his teeth against Law’s jugular as he backed up the few feet towards the bed before Smoker pushed him onto it. 

The first few months after they’d gone their separate ways, Law had found himself nearly obsessed with hunting for news about the drug, denying that he was looking for news on Smoker. He found himself wondering how he was, if he thought about him too, and spent too many nights wondering if he was insane. 

Because they had returned to their normal lives, and shouldn’t he want to forget it had ever happened? Forget that he’d bared his soul to Smoker, and Smoker...Smoker had let him in, had understood him. But in the real fucking shit reality they lived in, Smoker was supposed to hunt him down and bring him to justice, and Law...well it wasn’t like he liked the Navy, the instruments of the World Government. 

So he chalked up the thoughts as remnants of the effects of the bacteria. After all, that much oxytocin pumping through his blood had to have had an effect. It was natural that his brain would have associated Smoker with positive feelings. Time and distance would fix it, he’d hoped. 

And in those months apart, he found himself the target of many of Doflamingo’s former underground partners out for revenge. And that’s how he’d wound up running into Smoker. Or rather, running away from him. And as their eyes met, and Smoker hesitated taking him out, Law found himself furious. Why couldn’t they just be awkward?! Why couldn’t Smoker just hate him after it?! He’d expected either of those! That was what he had aimed for himself! But instead… instead, seeing the stupid fucking idiot made Law’s heart clench. And he knew that returning to normal was going to be much harder than he thought. 

He gasped as Smoker turned to smoke, his clothing dropping to the floor, yanking Law’s coat off his shoulders, fingers fumbling with Law’s jeans as he arched against him. He sank his fingers into Smoker’s hair and yanked him upwards, crushing his lips to his, bruising in his intensity. A groan tore from Smoker’s throat, as Law ground his erection against his bare hips. He reveled in the feeling, a manic smile gracing his lips. 

The second time they had run into each other had left Law shaking. Watching the idiot sink to the ground after taking a bullet made the air leave his lungs. In that moment all Law had seen was Cora on that goddamned winter island. Heard the sounds of bullets riddling flesh. Terror filled him and instead of running, instead of doing the sane thing, he sank to the ground beside Smoker, his hands steady as he worked on the bullet wound. Finding his heart racing as their eyes met, their last night together flashing through his mind. The way Smoker’s hand felt entwined with his own.

And Law had known that he was utterly fucked. After all, how could he not be after that? Hadn’t he said when they were discussing their terms of engagement that he was already going to be a mess when it was over? 

He just hadn’t expected it to be like this.

Law pushed at Smoker’s muscular shoulders, flipping them over and straddling Smoker’s hips. He reached down, taking Smoker’s cock in his hand, pumping him slowly. He leaned down, an almost frightening energy running under his skin as he trailed hot kisses up the man’s chest, a hiss escaping his throat as Smoker dug his fingers into Law’s hips, grinding up against him, hooking into his belt loops, sliding his jeans off of him. God Law wanted to make him writhe beneath him, make him gasp, teeth clenching as pleasure tore through him. 

Wanted him to feel like he did, insane like lightning surged under his skin, like the grin on his face that wouldn’t go away as their lips met again. A moan pulling from his chest as Smoker pulled him up for another bruising kiss, sinking his teeth into Law's bottom lip. He hissed, gripping Smoker’s cock tighter, pressing his thumb against the tip, grinning as Smoker groaned into his mouth.

But Law didn't want to go slow, he felt consumed by the fire under his skin, wanted Smoker to understand that this was his choice. That it was him, not drugs addling his system that was choosing this. Choosing to fall with him. 

He backed Smoker up against the headboard, kissing him hungrily before breaking apart and going for the bedside drawer. He pulled out a bottle of lube, catching Smoker's eye before capturing his lips again. He uncapped the bottle and spread the slightly cool liquid across his hand before taking Smoker’s member in hand once again. Smoker let out a curse against his lips at the sensation, making a bolt of heat race down Law’s spine. 

Law lifted himself up onto his knees. He wasn’t fully ready, but the blood pounded through his veins so fast he didn’t care. Law bit his lip as he positioned himself and slowly, achingly, took Smoker’s cock inside him, a moan pulling from his lips. Smoker gazed up at him, his eyes half lidded in pleasure as he set the pace, Law’s legs wrapping around his waist, hands clinging to his broader shoulders. 

He tucked his face into the crook of Smoker’s shoulder as they rocked against each other, need coiling inside him, the friction between their bodies making him tremble. Law leaned in, pressing himself against Smoker’s chest, Smoker grunting below him as he changed the angle, allowing him in deeper. 

Smoker’s flesh was warm beneath his tongue as he sank his teeth into his shoulder, letting out a cry as Smoker bucked his hips up sharply, wrapping his arms tightly around Law’s back, thrusting into him faster, panting raggedly into his ear. Molten liquid flowed through Law’s veins, clawing up his spine as he shifted his hips forward, his cock pressed between them, pressure coiling tighter and tighter inside him. 

“Oh fuck I’m gonna cum,” Smoker’s lips ghosted brokenly over Law’s throat. Heat surged through Law’s bloodstream, sparking behind his eyelids as he tilted Smoker’s chin up, wanting to watch the moment he gave in. Their eyes locked as Law leaned down and gently, almost reverently met his lips, and whispered “Let go.” Something flashed through Smoker’s eyes as he dragged a hand up Law’s back to tangle in his hair, crushing his lips to his as he lost his rhythm, his hips stuttering, a groan tearing from his throat as Law watched him succumb. 

The sight shot right through him, the world focusing down to only the feeling of Smoker pressed against him, inside him, the way he dug his fingers into Law’s skin, clinging to him like he was the only thing that tethered him to the Earth. A sob ripped from his chest as chemicals ignited in his veins, serotonin, oxytocin, slamming through him, and flinging him over the edge.

The world went quiet as Smoker slowly brought his hand to Law’s cheek, just looking at him. Something too warm twinged in his chest, as Law brought his hand up to cover his. Slowly, Smoker pulled out of him, and Law rolled off of him before hesitantly settling against his side, not pushing Law away as he lay his head tentatively on Smoker’s chest.

The world slowly blurred out, until all Law heard was Smoker’s heartbeat steady beneath him. 

---

It was early morning when Smoker opened his eyes, taking in the hotel room in its gray hues. He was alone, he could tell by the stillness of the air in the room before he even bothered looking. He sat up slowly, rubbing a hand over his face, as something caught his eye on the bedside table. A pack of cigarettes. Smoker stared at it for a moment before reaching over and grabbing it. Not as good as a cigar, but it would do. A small piece of white paper fluttered down from under the pack and Smoker grabbed it more as a reflex than anything. 

He stared, knowing by the feel what it was. He turned it over gently, Law’s name written in neat evenly spaced script. A goddamn vivre card. He eyed it and shook his head. “Idiot,” he mumbled, but found a small smile affixing itself to his face as he pulled out a cigarette, and lit it.