Nami could barely contain her excitement as she herded Franky into the dining room. So far, this had been a perfect day. The morning had been spent shopping in a paradise of a port town, just her and Robin, with Franky as a pack mule. Peace and quiet and adorable clothes for hours! The weather was heavenly, and she had barely had to pay full price for anything she purchased since almost every shop keeper they had encountered was male, and her top was particularly cute today. Cute meaning low-cut.
And her good luck had only increased as they were all making their way back to the ship.
Franky, who had deposited Robin and Nami's shopping bags on the dining table alongside the orphaned wooden chest the navigator had adopted, now stepped aside so Nami could rush over and pop the padlock open.
Honestly, your day just couldn't get any better when treasure fell from the sky.
Er, well, more accurately when treasure was bounced out of a passing cart and none of the passengers of said cart even noticed.
Nami's eyes gleamed as the lock gave under her practiced hand and fell to the table with a metallic thud. She wasted no time, quickly flipping the lid open to examine the chest's contents.
Yes, it was as if a goddess of fortune had smiled on her this fine day, Nami decided as her gaze roamed over her prize. She had been expecting gold, but what she got was even better.
It was an entire two-foot-square chest full of jewelry. Diamonds and emeralds and rubies and sapphires and gold and silver and everything gleaming in the light in an absolutely perfect way. Nami's hands fluttered over the chest and she bit her lip as she tried to choose which object to pick up first.
By now, of course, most of the crew had gathered to see what the fuss was about. Only Zoro, Sanji and Chopper were missing, the swordsman most likely napping, the cook off making lunch for everyone and the doctor away in the infirmary.
Franky peered over Nami's shoulder and studied the treasure chest, giving the navigator a jolt when he said, "Do you have to try to be this lucky, or does it come natural?"
Nami grinned and started setting pieces out on the table around the chest, Luffy and Usopp leaning over the other side of the table to get a better look.
"Where'd it come from?" their captain asked as he surveyed each treasure Nami laid on the table.
"We happened across it while we were in town," the navigator said gleefully, and everyone exchanged knowing looks. The navigator ignored them. She could see a small black box buried beneath the loose jewelry in the chest, so she dug for it. Why was that in there?
"Bet all of this will fetch a pretty penny," Usopp commented as he rounded the table to lift a diamond bracelet Nami had discarded. "Glad we left before someone started looking for it," the sniper added with a nervous sort of laugh. Robin, who was standing next to Nami and studying a dark amethyst necklace, offered Usopp a reassuring smile.
"Not like it really mattered," Nami said absently as she continued digging, then was finally able to tug the black box free of the chains and gems. It was thin, maybe an inch and a half deep, and about seven by six inches across. "No one saw us pick it up, and even if they did, we were long gone before--" Her sentence ended abruptly on a sharp intake of breath when she lifted the lid off the box, her eyes widening.
Robin blinked and shifted to look at what had silenced the navigator, and she breathed an amazed sigh when she saw it. "Oh my.."
Nami had thought the loose jewelry was impressive, but she realized she had found the crown jewel of the collection. Settled on black satin and glittering in the light was a choker made of fine gold filigree and set with bright pink gemstones of varying sizes, all laid out in an artful arrangement with a large faceted oval stone at the front. Smaller teardrop-shaped gems fell along the bottom edge gracefully. Even the clasp was beautiful, a carefully-crafted series of hair-thin gold wires, it probably didn't even look like a clasp once it was shut.
Nami didn't even realize everyone else had gathered behind her to stare at the piece over her shoulders until Usopp bumped into her and snapped everyone out of it. The navigator blinked rapidly, jarred back to reality, and took a steadying breath.
"It's lovely," Robin commented as Nami set the box on the table
"Wow," Nami agreed.
"One of you should try it on," Brooke suggested as he stepped away from the group to regain some personal space, and Nami laughed lightly.
"No," the navigator said, shaking her head and gesturing absently as she looked around for the box's lid, "I'm just putting it up until we reach the next port, then-- Luffy!"
The captain flashed a wide grin at the navigator as he bolted for the exit, the delicate filigree masterpiece grasped tightly in one hand. "I'm gonna go show Zoro!" he tossed over his shoulder, and Nami turned murderous as she ran after him, leaving everyone else blinking in confusion.
Luffy made it outside and to the lawn without being caught, which was quite a feat since he had basically stolen treasure from Nami. But it wasn't just normal treasure, he thought excitedly as he ran around the lawn in search of the green-haired swordsman. This thing was totally cool!
Luffy found Zoro propped against the railing, minding his own business and seemingly asleep. The captain smiled and slowed to call to him, and that was when everything went to hell.
Nami caught up when Luffy slowed his pace, and since she hadn't expected the abrupt stop she crashed into Luffy's back and sent them both pitching forward, Luffy flailing for balance but still losing his feet. They both fell in a heap on top of Zoro, who grunted at the impact as Nami shrieked and Luffy yelped.
They all ended up in an undignified tangle of limbs, all three of them momentarily stunned. Nami somehow ended up caught in the middle, one leg sticking up in the air and an arm pinned behind her own back, so even though she was the first one to recover her bearings she was the least capable of freeing herself.
"Luffy you are so dead! Give me back that necklace!" the navigator cried futilely from within the human knot.
"Ow! Ow! Stop hitting me!" Luffy grunted, muffled by someone's leg on his face.
"Will someone get their elbow out of my neck," came Zoro's equally-muffled voice from under Nami's shoulders.
It took quite a bit of work for the trio to get themselves together enough to disentangle, but once they were loose, Nami pounced on Luffy and shook him by the front of his vest. "Luffy I can't believe you! Give it back right now!"
"I-- don't-- have-- it--" Luffy said, his words jarred with each hard shake.
Nami blinked and paused in her attempt to rattle the life out of the rubber man. "What?"
"I think I dropped it," Luffy said, straightening his hat, which had been tossed around in the scuffle, and looking down to see if he could spot the necklace on the floor.
"Dropped it?" Nami parroted, brows drawn together as she too started scanning the lawn. "Well then where--"
"What the hell?" Zoro snarled, reminding the other two of his presence, and they both turned to look at the swordsman. He was still sitting on the lawn, now with his legs folded and both hands at his neck, looking thoroughly irritated, and not just from his rather rude awakening. "Stupid thing-- What is this?!"
Nami blinked once, then walked closer to Zoro and leaned down to peer at him, her tone disbelieving as she asked, "Is that my necklace?"
Well, it obviously was. The shimmery gold and pink gemstones were visible between Zoro's fingers as he seemed to be having a bit of difficulty figuring out how to get the thing off. It must have, by some freak act of physics, ended up around his neck in the scuffle.
"I don't know," Zoro growled, giving the thing a frustrated yank. "But it wont come off!"
"Don't pull it like that, you'll break it!" Nami said quickly as she knelt in front of him, earning herself a hard glare. She scowled and shoved his hands away. "Just hold still for two seconds," she instructed, her tone exasperated, and reached around Zoro's neck to feel for the choker's clasp.
Surprisingly, Zoro sat still, but after a few moments of fumbling from the navigator and no apparent progress his patience started to wear thin. "What's wrong?"
"It... wont open," Nami said, frowning deeply. She dropped her hands and crawled around to get behind the swordsman and Zoro eyed her over his shoulder.
"What do you mean it wont open?" Zoro said testily, and Nami felt around the choker a bit desperately.
"It wont open," the navigator repeated helpfully, prodding and tugging and poking at the choker where the clasp should have been at the back of Zoro's neck but where in reality there was only solid filigree. "The clasp is gone."
"What the hell is it?" Zoro said finally as he felt over the cool metal around his neck.
"This necklace Nami found. It's really cool," Luffy supplied excitedly as he knelt in front of the swordsman. Zoro just cocked a dubious brow at him.
"And probably worth a fortune," the navigator added, and after a moment she produced a small compact from her skirt pocket, flipped the lid open, and held the small mirror up for Zoro to look at.
Zoro snatched the compact from her and his mouth fell open as he stared at his reflection.
"It's pink!" He sounded just a little bit strangled.
"Would you calm down?" Nami griped as she went about her poking and prodding at the back of his neck again. "Let me get it off."
Zoro said something under his breath and pulled away from her, startling the navigator into nearly face-planting on the deck. Paying Nami no attention, Zoro reached for his swords and drew Sandai Kitetsu from its sheath. If the thing wouldn't come off by itself, then he'd just have to open it another way.
Nami didn't realize what he was doing until it was too late, and she lunged forward to try and stop him, but she wasn't quick enough. "Zoro, wait--!"
A little piece of jewelry really was no match for Zoro's sword. So it should have fallen open when the blade was drawn across the delicate filigree, but... nothing happened.
Nami stared. Luffy stared. Zoro looked momentarily taken aback, and then started trying to saw the thing off his neck again. Why the hell wasn't it breaking?!
"Oh, knock it off!" Nami rolled her eyes and moved to shove Zoro's hands aside, but the swordsman leaned back out of her reach and continued trying to cut through the choker.
"Why wont this thing--"
"Is there a reason the marimo is trying to saw his own head off? Not that I'm complaining," Sanji drawled as he strolled up to the trio currently having a pow-wow on the lawn.
Zoro almost dropped his sword in his haste to lock his hands around his neck and cover the choker. Fuck! Of all the times for the bastard cook to show up, he had to do it now?
"Nami-swan," the cook said abruptly, startled when he spotted her, but he was quickly at her side and offering her a hand to her feet, which she accepted, though she was pretty sure her skirt was grass-stained anyway.
Zoro was trying to figure out how to gather his scattered swords and stand up without dropping his hands and revealing the excruciatingly pink choker locked around his neck, but it was proving quite a challenge and he shot a glare at Luffy when the captain started snickering at him.
"Did one of these idiots trip you?" Sanji asked with an acid glance at the other two men.
"No, we, er..." Nami bit her lower lip, caught in a brief moment of indecision. Sure this situation was amusing, but telling Sanji what had actually happened and showing him the necklace Zoro sported would no doubt spark a session of ridicule and then a brawl, and that would waste time better spent figuring out how to get the choker off the swordsman and back into Nami's hands. So finally the navigator offered Sanji a pretty smile and said, "It was a total accident! No need to get worked up about it."
Zoro sent her a look caught somewhere between gratitude and suspicion, which was impressive. But then Luffy ruined everything by saying in a rush, "Sanji you wont believe it, it's the coolest thing ever and look!" and flinging himself on the swordsman to dislodge Zoro's hands from blocking the choker, despite the first mate's vehement objections. And profuse cursing.
A moment of silence passed between the four people standing on the lawn. Zoro had a frozen expression of dread as Sanji stared at the pink-and-gold thing around his neck, and it took so long for the cook to speak that Zoro wondered if he even would.
But of course he did. "What is that?" Sanji asked, so obviously biting back laughter it was disgusting.
Luffy grinned widely, still holding onto Zoro's wrists. "It's this necklace Nami found, and it ended up on Zoro when we tripped and now it wont come off."
Sanji seemed to consider that, biting his lower lip and regarding the swordsman before exhaling a measured breath.
"This... is quite possibly the greatest moment of my life. It's like a wonderful gift," Sanji said wistfully, and Zoro's shoulders tensed as the blond continued with, "and it's not even my birthday."
Luffy yelped when Zoro snarled and jerked away from him abruptly to lunge at the cook, not even fetching his swords for the attack. He just tried to beat the blond's face in.
Nami edged over to Luffy as the swordsman chased Sanji across the lawn, the cook throwing a stream of gleeful insults over his shoulder. The navigator could've sword she heard the word 'princess' over the sound of Zoro's threats, but she didn't dwell on it, instead sighing a martyred sigh and shaking her head.
With the commotion, it didn't take long for the rest of the crew to gather on the lawn. Sanji changed directions to run over to everyone else with an evil grin and Zoro skidded to a stop when he saw everyone standing there.
Usopp and Franky looked sort of stunned when they noticed Zoro, so Sanji sauntered over to them happily. "The marimo's had a change of fashion," the blond explained, and really that was all the trigger the other two needed.
"That's a, uh, super necklace you got there, Zoro," Franky supplied, and cleared his throat.
Usopp bit his lip as he snickered, "The color really suits you." Then the trio broke out into hysterical laughter and Zoro stiffened, his face coloring lightly.
"And the best part?" Sanji gasped, leaning on Franky's arm for support, "The best part is- he can't get it off!" This sent the group into fresh peels of mirth and Usopp ended up on the floor.
Zoro glared daggers. "You bastards, don't think you can--"
"It's not so bad," Brooke said, earning a sharp look from the irate first mate. The musician quickly added, "It could be worse?"
Zoro stared at him hard, his hands fisting, and then Sanji shouted "No it couldn't!" and howled with laughter and Zoro tried to charge over to throttle him, but a combination of Nami, Luffy and Chopper in his larger form managed to stop him.
"I'll kill you, you bastards!" Zoro roared, but it didn't put a dent in the noise level from the cackling troupe rolling on the lawn.
"Swordsman-san, try to ignore them," Robin said mildly as she nudged Zoro back toward the dining room.
"Come on, I'll keep trying to get it off," Nami said as she applied slightly-more-forceful measures to dislodge the enraged swordsman from his spot, and they all turned to head below.
"It's really not so bad!" Luffy said brightly, and Zoro sent him a withering look which totally failed to effect the rubber man. Luffy just grinned widely and said, "I mean, at least it's not... um..."
Zoro stared at his captain, sort of hoping Luffy could come up with a circumstance that was so horrible an alternative that this seemed tolerable.
Luffy looked thoughtful and finally said, "You know, I actually think Sanji's right. It's pretty bad."
! ~ ;3 ~ !
You know what? :'D I was gonna try to explain myself, but... I don't deserve the chance. XD
This was supposed to be a one-shot, but it evolved, sort of like a Pokemon, and will now prolly have a few chapters. XD Ohdearlord.
Don't worry, I'm working on Streets of Rosen, for all of you who care. This just, uhm, jumped up and bit me and for some reason it had to be done.
Wtf is wrong with me. XDDDD
Thanks to Lolo for beta-ing! 8D She got on just long enough to read it over for me. :3
P.S. MY TENTH STORY! Yeehaw! -joy-