Luffy made faces at himself in the glittering waters, not seeing the brilliant array of light across the surface of the ocean that stretched farther than the horizon. When he paused in the slightest in his little game, he blinked at his actual reflection, baffled by how plain he appeared compared to the other expressions. He could recall suddenly that other people had always commented on his crew's appearances, but trying to remember anything said about him brought up blanks.
Chopper was ridiculously cute, while Nami and Robin were both absolutely beautiful – something of which he was well aware. Luffy also took into account that young women had admired Zolo and Sanji's good looks. He was confused by this, but Usopp's thick mane and Franky's striking blue locks were well liked – though Usopp's nose always garnered the most attention.
Luffy was just Luffy though. He had never heard anyone compliment or mock him about his looks, but he came to realize that he had become curious.
His task in mind, he jumped down from his perch on Sunny's head, and ran down to the cabin in search of Nami. The others were still on shore, and Luffy had already bored himself on the island while Nami had finished her shopping. He knocked before barging right into her room regardless of waiting for any kind of answer.
She looked up with a raised brow, "Yes?"
"Nami, how do I look?"
Blinking, she inspected him a bit longer before she went back to her maps, adding another line, "You look fine, why?"
It took him a moment to figure out that she meant his well-being, "No, no, what do I look like?"
"You look like Luffy," she said, starting to frown. "Did you eat something off the beach again? I told you that it was dangerous, but you never listen."
"No," he said, and he sat across from her, watching as she set her pen down to give her complete attention to him. "I mean, am I handsome?"
"What?" She tinged pink, and he saw that her eyes began to linger on him in some areas before they settled on his eyes, gazing into them for a while. She always seemed to look into his eyes more often than she looked at anything else. He felt a smile twitch on his lips, and she must have seen it because Nami started to grin too, "I'll tell you for a thousand berries."
Pulling a face, he realized that he should have foreseen this, but he reached into his pocket and surprised Nami by slapping a bill down on the table, "So? What do I look like?"
Swiping it away, she said, "You're handsome, and your eyes …" She held out her hand in a gesture for more, and smiled brighter when another bill was placed there. "Your eyes are your best features. It's a shame that you" – she offered an empty hand again, and Luffy quickly put a bill in it – "have them hidden under your hat all the time, but …" Grinning prettily, her hand stuck out once more, and he put another bill into her clutches, "Your hat adds a lot of charm."
He leaned over the table as she pocketed the cash, "What else can I pay you to say?"
Laughing, she shrugged, and said, "I don't know. What do you want?"
Grinning widely, he slapped another bill down, and asked, "Will you kiss me today?" Giggling, she took the bill and nodded, unable to say anything as the question was apparently cute. When she didn't kiss him, he figured that she would and could kiss him later that day anyway, and put down another thousand-berry bill, "Am I going to try to raid Sanji's locked fridge tonight?"
She took the bill, but said, "Probably, but I'm not a fortune teller, Luffy. Don't ask about the future."
"Okay," he said, and he sat back against the chair, tilting it onto its back legs to balance there before he set down. Luffy pulled out another bill, and put it down before he said, "Do you love me?"
Lips parting, Nami stared at him before she glanced down at the thousand berries on the table. With a little smile, she slid it back toward him, and said, "Love is always free." As he smiled, she kissed her index finger before pressing it to his lips, "Luffy, I love you."
His lips stretched into a bigger grin, and he said, "Love you too!" Going under the table, he popped up to be in the chair beside her, laughing at her surprised jump. He waggled the bill in front of her, "One last question then."
"Ask away," she said, taking it with bright red invading her cheeks.
"Are you beautiful to me?"
Shocked, Nami burst into laughter, and then she situated herself onto his lap, wrapping her arms around his shoulders. She said after kissing his cheek, "I hope so."
His arms coiled around her, their foreheads tight to one another while he said, "Yup, yup, yup, yup …" Luffy's grin broke into laughter, feeling his elation bubble out into sound, and she joined him, making him laugh harder.
A few shared kisses and giggles later, Nami touched his cheek, the tips of her fingers tracing the scar. He closed his eyes at the light touch, and slouched in the chair, still keeping her firmly on his lap and in his arms, and just breathing. Fingers slipped into his hair, snug under his hat, and he swallowed nothing, beginning to sweat when he felt her lips on his neck. His mouth cracked open, but there was no resulting noise, and he swallowed again, his Adam's apple bobbing painfully as his throat was tightening.
Luffy's tension drained all at once when she sat up straight, no longer teasing him. She said, "Got my answer."
Huffing, he said, "That was cheap."
With a dazzling smile, she said, "Ha! I bet you liked it." Nami poked his chest, and then quieted a bit, tilting her head as she examined him, "Hey, Luffy, where'd you get that money? Were you saving it for something?"
"It was for you," he said. "I've been saving it up to pay you back."
"Huh? Pay me back for what?"
Snickering, he said, "I thought you wouldn't ever forget about someone owing you a hundred thousand berries." Her eyes lit up, and he laughed, "I was trying to pay you back for the Happiness Punch."
"Why you …" she said, pulling on his nose before releasing it with a snapping sound. "You cheeky little bastard … How much do you have now?"
"I'm totally broke now. That's why that was my last question."
She closed her mouth after a moment, pursing her lips before she shrugged, "You know, I think you pretty much paid me back with that three hundred million we took from Sky Island."
Drooping, Luffy said, "Really? … I don't owe you anything anymore?"
"Exactly," she said, "you're off the hook." He sighed, putting his elbow on the table, and rested his chin in the palm of his hand. "What's wrong? You don't owe me any money now, Luffy. Isn't that why you were saving it all up? You wanted to pay me back, right?"
"But I spent it all on asking you silly questions," he said. "I liked being in debt to you."
This time, she opened her mouth, but he didn't hear any sound. He smiled when it moved voicelessly while she appeared to search for words to use before she finally whispered, "Why would you want to be in debt?"
"I was in your debt," Luffy said. "That's why." Grinning once more, he scratched his cheek, "And I was in debt for the Happiness Punch. I'd give anything to still be in debt to that."
"Oh, I bet you would!" Crossing her arms, Nami got out of his lap, and he pouted as her warmth left him. She said, "I think I'm going to start taking payment up front for the Happiness Punch from now on. No more freeloading for you, Monkey D. Luffy."
Eyes wide, he quickly said, "I thought love was free."
"Flashing isn't free!" She cuffed the top of his head, sending him to the floor. Preening her hair when he sat up, Nami said, "I'm an expensive girl as you know very well."
He abruptly grabbed her waist, pulling her down to sit in his lap, and he said, "Okay, I get it now." The grin returned, and he kissed her, drawing her against the long frame of his body, and reveling the sudden heat of her cheeks and lips. When they parted for air, he said to her lips, "Love is free, but flashing isn't, and …" Luffy almost dared to let his hands drop completely, but he stopped at a few centimeters, allowing her to get the message. Evaluating her blushing face and nervous, shaking form, he put his arms around her shoulders so she could relax, and said, "Nami … is love free because it's already paid in full?"
Taking several long breaths, and glaring accusingly at him in silence for a good measure, she said while smoothing out her red cheeks, "That's right."
Rubbing noses with her, he laughed when her bright pink cheeks came back, and he said, "Okay then, since I just asked you a question, that means I have to pay you a thousand berries now, right?"
Nami smiled through her flushing face, touching a cheek as if to obscure the colors, "Yeah."
Kissing her, he said, "Then I owe you."
Getting to his feet, he pulled her up with him, and tipped his hat up a bit so his eyes were more visible. She shot him a confused look before she laughed. Luffy headed to the door, opening it to exit, but he turned around in bewilderment when she said, "Three hundred million."
His rubber jaw nearly dropped to the floor. Covering his gushing nose, he smiled at her, nodding hard, and then left the room to run onto the deck. Leaning over the side of the rail, he wiped up the blood, snickering to himself, and mightily pleased. He managed to clean himself off long before the crew returned, but his smile never let up.
Zolo frowned at the captain's jovial mood, and said, "What're you so happy about?"
"I owe Nami three hundred million and a thousand berries."
… XP I know, it's still not the sequel I've been promising, but they're getting to be really fun to write for. I decided to wait for the end – or near to the end – of the Thriller Bark arc anyway, so you can just think of these one-shots as moments before they reach Thriller Bark and after A Log Pose to Nami, okay? Review if you want to see more one-shots! I've got another one to primp and play with somewhere …