“I hate you. So much.”
The statement lacked bite, sitting in the Thousand Sunny’s kitchen in her tattered wedding gown, drinking the blackest, bitterest, most delicious tea she’d ever tasted, but not saying it felt too much like she was conceding… something. Pudding couldn’t put her finger on what.
“You’re a pervert. And a moron. And—will you stop giving me food?!”
Sanji paused, plate in hand. “I’m sorry. You don’t like pasties?”
“Why are you being nice to me?” She snatched a pasty off the plate, shaking it in his face. “I tried to kill you!”
“That happens a lot,” Sanji said, casually enough that Pudding knew it was true. “Besides, you helped us get out.”
Pudding scowled; she couldn’t explain to herself anymore than she could to the Strawhats why she’d guided them out of Totto Land, or why she hadn’t disembarked when they’d passed Cacao Island. Once they’d passed the last Tarte, Luffy had just stared at her, nodded, and declared her third eye “soooo coooooool” before demanding meat, and that was that.
It felt way too easy.
“I don’t want your pity,” she said.
Sanji blinked. “You never had it.”
It was so simple, so earnest, and Pudding panicked and shoved the whole pasty in her mouth so she wouldn’t have to respond. Sanji flushed, his face taking on what she recognized as his ‘You are the cutest, most wonderful woman in the world’ expression, before he shook himself and gestured to the tray he’d been arranging.
“I’m going to give Nami-swan, Carrot-chan, and those other assholes their snacks. Let me know if there’s anything you’d like.” And he was out of the kitchen, his steps maybe a touch more hurried than usual.
Pudding sank into a chair at the dining table, her heart fluttering. Somehow, knowing that he knew what she was and was still completely sincere… she didn’t know how to handle him anymore.
I want you to go away and stop making me feel things.