Nami was going to go insane.
She rolled over and folded her pillow in half around her ears, groaning in frustration. Maybe if she understood what the feelings meant she would feel a little less crazy. But life couldn't be that easy, could it? Of course not, which is why the navigator of the Strawhat Pirates was in bed, late at night, with her knees drawn up to her chest and her eyes wide open, frantically trying not to remember Kalifa.
Kalifa. The Galley-La secretary. The CP9 fighter. The lady made of soap. The woman who was so madly, infuriatingly, undeniably sexy.
Nami couldn't stop remembering. She thought she might possibly be out of her mind. She hoped she was out of her mind, because that would mean that the feelings didn't mean anything and that she would not have to think about them anymore. But they did mean something; Nami knew they did, because Nami was a smart girl.
She let herself remember. Kalifa was tall and blonde with very nice legs and fishnet and a short dress that was very, very low-cut…and glasses. Nami had always liked glasses. But not on women…because Nami didn't like women.
Right. She didn't like women; not even very attractive busty women who winked at her while bathing and flaunted and pouted and rubbed their hands all up and down her legs and midsection and…everywhere…and told her that they would like to play with her.
She did not like women like that. Nor did she like women with dark skin and lush lips and thick, curly hair, who swung their hips when they walked and wore positively sinful leather outfits and pinned her to a wall with their faces very close. No, she did not like women like that, either.
She didn't like women who were strong and determined and kind to everyone, even people who didn't really deserve it, and who lead countries with compassion and confidence and had wonderful silky hair and creamy pale skin and who washed her back for her in the bathhouse. No, she did not.
She didn't like women who were tall and dark and mysterious with beautiful eyes and sad, sweet smiles who wore boots up to their thighs and were wonderfully clever, and had hands, lots and lots of hands, and who called her a bad girl in what she almost dared to think of as a sultry voice. No, she certainly did not like women like that.
Because she did not like women.
Nami burrowed under the covers, bit her pillow, and screamed. This done, she fretted for another half hour and then fell asleep.
The next morning, it became clear that this…thing was going to be problem. Nami accidentally walked in on Robin in the bathroom as she was getting out of the shower, and though she was covered by a towel when Nami intruded, the shade of her face rivaled that of her hair as she hurried back out. At breakfast, Robin seemed entirely at ease, asking Nami how she slept and if she could please pass the jam, which really only served to confuse the navigator further.
To ease her mind and also to convince herself that she was simply experiencing a mild form of post-traumatic stress disorder and that everything would be back to normal within a week or so, Nami concentrated as hard as she could on boys. Hell, she was surrounded by them, it couldn't be that hard. Sanji! Sanji was right there, cooking breakfast. She would start with him.
Well, he was sweet an obedient and made excellent food and never expected anything of her. That was good. Also, he was tall and blonde and had nice legs and wore a lot of black and reminded her very strongly of someone else– no, focus! Focus. Okay, well, Sanji was out, then. What about…Zoro.
Zoro was outside training, shirtless and muscled and bronzed, with a thin sheen of sweat glistening in the morning sun…Zoro was the manly protector type. There was something to be said for that. Vivi had had a little crush on him, after all. Nami could trust the judgment of someone as rational and clear-headed as Vivi. Someone as sweet as Vivi…as pretty as– no, wait. Okay, so not Zoro, then. Usopp?
Usopp was funny. He was loyal and devoted, he had a good heart…he was an artist, that was nice. Plus, he had dark-tanned skin and full lips and thick, wavy hair, all of which was suspiciously familiar in some way…oh, drat. Well, not Usopp, either. Who did that leave? Luffy…
Well, Luffy was not necessarily bright, but he did have sort of a childlike wisdom. He was goofy and silly in a cute way, his laugh was contagious, and he was into adventure and discovery. Also he was really rather good-looking in his own way, she supposed, and every once in a while he had one of those moments of quiet intensity, like the kind Robin had all the…time…all right, no, not Luffy.
That left Chopper and Franky. Now, Chopper was lovable and adorable and sugar-sweet, but well, he was a little young for Nami, and also had a bit too much fur for her taste. Franky was…interesting, that was for sure, but he was quite distinctly not Nami's type. She sighed forlornly, excused herself from the breakfast table, and went out on the deck for some air.
Something had to be done.
Something had to be done soon.
Nami convinced herself of this, with a firm nod and her mouth set in a line of harsh determination. Whichever male crewmate approached her next was going to assist her in a little experiment.
"Hey, Nami?" Usopp said cautiously, tapping her shoulder. "Are you okay? You seem kinda–" But poor Usopp never got to finish his sentence, for that was roughly the point at which Nami whirled around, grabbed him by the straps of his overalls, and yanked him toward her so fast that they both crashed back against the railing with enough force to bruise Nami's back. She didn't care; she was far too occupied with kissing the daylights out of her victim.
After a long moment, she released him and stared into his face with grim scrutiny as though searching for answers. All she saw was a stunned and perhaps a little more than mildly horrified young man, gaping back at her as if she had just declared National Free Mikan Day.
"I didn't feel anything," Nami said bleakly, pouting at Usopp as though it were all his fault. He worked his jaw for a moment, and then made a helpless sort of whimpering noise. "Oh, you're no help at all! I'll have to find someone else." She stormed away, leaving a suddenly panicked Usopp in her wake.
"Nami just kissed me," he was saying. "Nami just kissed me and I didn't even do anything for her, does she have a disease? Do I have a disease? What if she had it and I caught it, oh God I'm gonna die, or the world is coming to an end, maybe that's it! And then I'll die anyway, oh God we're all gonna die because Nami just kissed me."
Nami rounded a corner and Usopp's distressed babbling (as well as Luffy's hysterical laughter and Zoro's grumbles of "Trying to get some sleep, idiots") faded away behind her. Nothing had happened. Absolutely nothing. She was fuming, at herself and the world in general, and just upset that she didn't know what was wrong with her or what was going on. So she went and sat among her mikan trees to pout.
"Navigator-san?" said a soft voice from off to her left. Startled, Nami looked up to see Robin standing over her with a book, smiling slightly. "May I join you?"
A lump formed in Nami's throat and she was sure that there was a small blush staining her cheeks. She quashed both of these reactions violently and smiled her brightest, sunniest smile. "Sure, Robin."
The older woman's smile widened, just a little, and she sat down in the shade next to Nami. She was wearing a dress that hugged every curve, baring the perfect, sculpted ridge of her collar bones and just the tops of her smooth, pale thighs that disappeared into black leather boots. Nami's mouth went dry. She shook her head and turned away, plucking a blade of grass and pulling it apart.
"Is something wrong?" Robin asked, tilting her head toward Nami, who made the grave mistake of looking up, directly into bottomless, achingly beautiful blue eyes.
"Uh…no, nothing, nothing's wrong." She smiled again, nervously. "I'm fine!"
"You haven't seemed quite yourself lately," Robin said gently. She was being careful not to press the matter, Nami knew.
"Well, I…I've been thinking a lot." She pulled up several more blades and tore at them, mostly to steady her hands. "I think…maybe…I kind of…" She stopped, swallowed, and looked away. "IthinkmaybeIsortoflikegirls."
"Really?" Robin said casually. She licked her thumb, flipped a page in her book. "That's nice."
"Er, no," Nami said. Did Robin not understand what she meant? That didn't seem right; Robin understood everything. "I mean, I like girls. You know. Instead of boys."
Robin looked up at Nami, smiling, giving her a look that meant Yes, I got that the first time. "Mm-hmm." And she went back to reading her book.
"Robin…do you think I'm…weird?" Nami asked, tentatively, after a long moment of silence. "Am I…is it like, not right?"
"I wouldn't say that," Robin said mildly, turning another page. "I do try not to be hypocritical, after all."
"Oh," Nami said, relieved, looking out at the ocean, and then whipped back around to face Robin. "You mean…"
"I like women too, Navigator-san," said Robin, with a smile that Nami decided was not anywhere near innocent.
"Oh. I…oh." Nami hoped she wasn't blushing and knew it was a futile wish. Some of her hair slipped from the clip that was holding it, and to Nami's shock, one of Robin's hands came up to brush it back. She looked over at Robin, and Robin looked back at her, and winked.
Oh yes, Nami thought. The coming months of their voyage would be interesting.