Author's Note: Welp, here it is. The finally chapter to this fic, to which I thought for a time, I would never get to. X( Sorry for that. X( Anyways, I hope you guys are satisfied with this ending for both. :P
The Vanity Princess
Chapter 15: New Dreams
Luffy sat as still as he possibly could upon one of the beds in Chopper's infirmary, as the little reindeer attempted to patch up his cuts. He even fixed up his stab wound much better. "All right, Luffy, let me see your eyes now," Chopper said as he set his things down and then shifted to his larger size. He then lifted up the ointment to rub over Luffy's eyes.
"I really hope this stuff works. I want my eyesight back," Luffy said, again trying to sit still, but he was feeling anxious.
"Me too," Chopper replied and sighed as he massaged the stuff into Luffy's eyes. "It has to work. It will just take some time."
"We just have to be patient," Nami said and smiled to their antsy captain.
Luffy seemed to calm and relax, and then he smiled. "Yeah, gotta be patient."
"All right, Luffy, I'm all done," Chopper said with a smile and popped back into his smaller form.
"Thanks, Chopper!" Luffy said as he slid off the bed and blindly searched for Nami.
Nami stood up and took his outstretched arm. "I gotcha," she said with a chuckle.
"Thanks, Nami. Will you continue reading to me?" he asked and grinned brightly as she led him out.
"I would love to. I still want to know how their meeting will go," Nami said and chuckled.
"Yeah! Me too! I hope it goes well. Maybe he will have patience too! Shishishi!" Luffy said with a snicker and a huge grin.
Chuckling again, Nami nodded and said, "Yeah, maybe he will." She led him to her room and sat him down onto her bed. "All right, here we go," she said, picking up the book and relaxing into the bed with him.
He moved to sit snug against her, and then she curled into him as she opened the book. "Okay, ready!" Luffy called, after he got comfortable.
"Me too," she said with a bright smile, and then she began to read.
Slow step after slow step, he inevitably came to the one door he wanted to avoid most in the world. Closing his eyes, Luffy stood outside that door for what seemed like all too short a time, even though possibly five minutes or more had past. Finally, he lifted a sluggish fist and knocked upon that dreaded door. It was not long before a handmaiden answered the knock and smiled brightly to Luffy.
"Lord Luffy," she called, and then she stepped aside for him to enter, only to become confused, when he did not step in right away. "Lord Luffy?" she called again, but in question.
"Yes," he finally replied with a hard nod, and then he took a step inside. He was not about to turn coward now.
Walking further into the room, he then turned to see the princess sitting at that damned window, staring off in the same direction. His jaw flexed, and then he made his way over to her to stand beside her. The sun was setting, mimicking the color of her vibrant orange hair, and in the far distance, over her kingdom, he could see his small village.
"You came," she whispered, gently stroking her long orange hair and gliding it through her fingers.
"Yes, I came," he said, staring out of the window, and his annoyance was starting to peek through.
"Thank you. It must have been hard," she whispered, but did not turn to look at him. It was almost as if she was afraid to.
"You're damn right, it was hard!" he said, far louder than he had meant to, but did not regret it.
Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath and said, "I appreciate it, Luffy. I really do. It means a lot to me."
"Yes, so Sanji told me," he replied curtly and folded his arms across his chest.
Her chest tightened to his cold words, and she felt the tears blurring her vision. "You don't want to be here... I'm so sorry, Luffy," she whispered and closed her eyes, causing those tears to fall.
"You're sorry," he stated and just nodded. "Of course you are."
"I am," she said and finally turned to look at him, her beautiful yellowish green eyes glimmering from her tears. "I have never been more sorry in all my life!"
Luffy scoffed and turned away from her. "You inherited an entire kingdom, and you're sorry. Right... You would never give this up," he said and then turned cold eyes to her.
"I can't!" she cried with feeling, and his eyes grew colder.
"Yeah, I know you can't. You don't want to. It's all a dream come true, isn't it? A poor homeless girl turned princess. It's quite the story," he said as he glared back at her.
"No! You don't understand! I would... I would give it up, but I can't!" she cried and turned to drop her legs from the window seal. "I'm so sorry, Luffy! Accepting this position has been the biggest regret of my life! I never would have accepted it, had I known it would have cost me you! But it was too late, after I accepted! I could not take it back and prove myself to be as fickle as I realized I was... and how you saw me to be... I... I had to prove to you... that I could do it, and that I could do it well... to at least... atone for what I'd done!" she cried with feeling, and then gasped as sobs raked her body. "That's the truth, okay! I feel sorry for even saying that, because I do love it here! And I love the people! They treat me so well here."
With a sniffle, she used her arm to wipe away her tears, which was very unladylike, but in his stunned state, it reminded him of when she was just a girl with short hair after she had been hurt from training. She had cried then, much like how she was crying now, and he had teased her for it. Even despite her pain, she had gotten right back up to continue her training and showing her stubborn side.
"I'm so sorry, Luffy," she whispered as she continued to cry. "I'm so sorry... I hate that you hate me... It hurts so much..."
His jaw flexed as he ground his teeth, listening to her words and her tears, and something within him snapped. Moving forward, he grabbed the back of her head and pressed her face within his chest. She gasped and went rigid in her surprise of his unexpected action. However, when realization finally hit her, her tears worsened, and she cried loudly as she clutched onto him tightly. She meant to never let him go again. She would not allow it.
Sighing deeply, he closed his eyes and just allowed for his arms to encircle around her, holding her tight while she cried. His comfort was all she ever wanted and needed, and it was not long before she calmed down, but she refused to let him go. He handed her a handkerchief, and she accepted it, but she still kept an arm around him. She was afraid, that if she let him go, he would be gone again. After cleaning her face, her other arm again went around him, and that was when he realized, he was not going anywhere... ever.
"I'm sorry, Luffy," she whispered against him. "I'm so sorry... Please, please forgive me..." She nuzzled her face into his hard chest, and then she whispered, "I love you, Luffy."
Swallowing down hard, he felt as if she had gone and punched him in the stomach. Oh wait, she had. He gave a grunt as he looked down at her, looking up at him. "What the hell was that for, damn it?" he asked and frowned.
"Because..." she said, but then she just slammed her face back into his chest. "Please don't ever leave me again..." she whispered and sniffled again. "I'm begging you, Luffy."
Taking in a deep breath and closing his eyes, he was silent for a long while, but then he said, "I can't... You won't let me go..."
"Damn right... I won't ever let you go..." she whispered and sniffled again. "Stay with me here, please... I know I ruined everything, and I have no right to ask this, but please..."
"You ruined those plans the moment I set eyes on you and allowed you to travel with us," he muttered, looking irritated again.
"Yes, I know..." she replied, nuzzling her face into him again. "Stay with me please... and be my king... be our king?"
Shaking his head and again closing his eyes, he then just lowered his face within her hair as his thoughts wrestled within his mind. This had not been the life he wanted, but his fate had changed the moment he met her. Somehow, he had known that, and yet he could not bring himself to say no, when she had asked to travel with him. The life of a mercenary was no life for a woman, and definitely not one at the tender age of seventeen. He could not tell her no, and he could not tell her no now.
Taking in a slow breath, he opened his lips and whispered, "All right..."
Pulling back quickly, she gaped up at him, having not expected that answer... ever. Her eyes once again filled with tears, but then they softened as they gazed back at him. She had grown far more beautiful within that decade, and he was losing himself within her eyes. He was tired, and he was done fighting... with her. He just did not want to do it anymore. Leaning down slowly, he pressed his lips to hers, feeling her intake of breath, but then her strong lips soon pressed harder to his.
"Shishishi! I knew it," Luffy said with a massive grin, which forced his eyes closed.
Nami chuckled softly and said, "Yeah, you were right."
"I'm glad. I'm glad they were able to fix it, and I'm glad he's staying with her," Luffy said as his smile grew smaller, and he opened his eyes.
"Me too. I'm really glad too. I guess he's not such a bad guy, huh?" Nami replied with a giggle as she looked down at the book. It was pretty much already the end of the book. It was not meant to be long.
"Yeah," Luffy whispered, but the word was drawn out, which drew her attention.
Tilting her head back, she looked up at him, and he was looking directly down into her eyes. "Luffy?" she whispered, possibly because he had.
Slowly, Luffy's lips drew up into a smile, and then he whispered, "I see you."
Her smile also curved up, and she whispered, "Am I glowing?"
Slowly, he shook his head as his smile grew, and then he whispered, "No... I see you." He then chuckled and said, "It's blurring, and still dark, but I can see you."
Losing her smile, she gaped up at him, but then she suddenly gave a cry and sat up to hug him. "Oh Luffy!" she cried, but then she finally began to smile, even laugh, and then she said, "You can see!"
"I can see!" he replied as he laughed with her.
"This means you're going to get your vision back!" she cried, still laughing.
Slowly, she lost that smile, and then she pulled back to look at him. If his vision returned, then their dreams would continue. Of course, not to say it was not what she wanted! However, would it change things between them? It would seem her short time with him changed her dreams a bit. As if sensing her change, though he still could not see her face clearly, he then smiled to her softly and whispered, "Maybe we don't have to abandon our dreams and live somewhere together any longer, but I still want to stay with you, Nami. I want to stay with you here as we continue our journey to the end. We will fulfill our dreams, and then we will find new dreams to fulfill."
Looking up into his dark eyes, she sought the truth of those words within them, and then she smiled with a nod. "Yes, we will find new dreams. I've already found new dreams," she whispered in return to him.
"Me too," he whispered in turn, and then he snickered quietly, "Shishishi!"
Her smile softened, and then she whispered, "I love you, Luffy."
His smile softened as well as he nodded slowly and whispered, "I love you too, Nami." Leaning forward, he nuzzled her nose before going in to kiss her, but he whispered first, "You are my new dream."
Author's Note: Bahahaahahaha! That's it folks! The End! I realized I forgot my signature, "To Be Continued..." at the end of each chapter, LOL! Ooooops! Oh well. xD I thought I had, at least, better put my "The End" up in there. XP Anyways, I hope you all enjoyed both endings, though I suppose the book didn't really end. I just ended off in a satisfactory spot. You know he was going to remain with the princess and become her king. xD I think that's satisfying enough to know, lol! It probably would have just ended off with some stupid lemon. Who wants that, right? o,o *SNORT* Yeah, I'm totally teasing you guys. I'm also hoping you guys are satisfied to know Luffy would eventually get his sight back, hahaha! xD Anyways, not sure if I will have the time or motivation to finish off some of the others. I can't even promise I will try, but if I do, well... then I do... We're super close to publishing our book, so at the very least, look forward to that. :) I will definitely make an announcement here for you guys, when we do publish. And hey, I might even consider turning this book, The Vanity Princess, into a book. xD Hahahaha! Thanks so very much for all of your support over the years for all of my fics. It has meant so much to me. :) You guys have really motivated me. I couldn't have done it with you. ;u; Well, until next time, you guys. :)