Luffy's Swim

He smiled, and held a finger to his lips when he caught Nami staring.

Tilting her head to the side, Nami crept closer, wondering why he wanted her to keep quiet. The crew had gone to sleep, holing themselves into their hammocks and beds to wait for another day.

She wondered if lying face-up towards the sky during dusking hours was normal behavior for him. Then she reassessed herself.

Luffy was anything but normal.

Patting the space of deck beside him, he said, "Lie down."

"What are you doing?"

The eternal grin he held on his lips became toothy, and he said, "I'll show you."

So after she gave him a disbelieving look, Nami lied down beside the pirate captain, her arms stretched out to either side of herself. When he held his arms out in the same way, their fingers didn't graze, but Nami could sense a sort of pull – a tug – in the bare space between them.

Looking at him, she saw that his eyes were closed, the eternal smile on his face relaxed and ethereal – he didn't seem to feel the gravity between their fingers.

She almost thought he was another man.

Following his example, she shut her own eyes, and for the longest time, all she could feel was his hand just out of reach.

"Do you feel it yet?"

Her fingers twitched, but she resisted reaching for him, "I think so …"

Hearing him move, she opened her eyes to see that his eyes were open and looking back at her. He said, "No. I don't think you do feel it yet."

Her brow quirked, but she shut her eyes again, and then wondered what she was doing.

"Do you feel it?"

Nami huffed, her bottom lip pushing up slightly.

"Do you feel it? Nami …"

She said with a snap of her teeth, "I'm trying to concentrate here."

"Don't."

Nami frowned, and then went still when their fingers touched.

The Going Merry heaved up.

They slowly drifted back down, riding the waves – anchored for the night, and waiting.

Luffy was smiling – she felt it through his fingertips.

Merry rose again, and her stomach levitated right along with the waves. In the undulating waters, the ship tossed, rose, and fell, swirling through a frothing sea. Her hand grasped for his, but then it was gone, and she spun down, sucked into a tempest.

Nami stopped up her mouth, holding her breath as she and Merry plunged into unknowns – pitched and thrown at the ocean's whim. She wondered if this was what the Grand Line was. Tumultuous and scouring her insides from without. Would she be a shell upon exiting this place?

"Do you feel it?"

"Yeah," she said, almost gasping for air as if she had forgotten to breathe – forgetting she had been holding her breath.

"Nice, huh?"

Opening, her eyes, she gaped at him, "Huh?"

Her stomach settled back down before it rose again with the waves, and her senses were abruptly open – very aware of Going Merry's movements and her swells and sways. The ocean was gentle once more as he said, "Sometimes, I think that this is what swimming must be like."

Luffy opened his eyes, but didn't look at her.

"Is it?"

His fingers grazed her knuckles, and she shut her eyes again, feeling the incredible tug and pull of the waves beneath them. Without this, she thought, without these ups and downs, would I be here with him?

"Yes."

!#$&()+

THE END

!#$&()+

Companion piece for Nami's Flight. Because you know it had to be done.

In any case, I have a pinched nerve which is in my neck. It's affecting my shoulder, all the way down my arm, and my thumb tingles sometimes. It's kind of painful, so that's why I've been putting out drabbles these past few weeks. I'm trying to get back into writing again though! First off, I must finish TIOM and then I can give TWWOO the love it needs.

!#$&()+