Authors' Notes:

Con: All right, guys! :-D This one is another favorite chapter of mine, and I worked really hard on it. So, I hope you guys like it! :-D

Darth: Indeed.

Con: Indeed? o.o That's all you got. You read it, right? -.-

Darth: …yes. Yes I did. :P

Con: :-P Hehehe! Well, I had fun writing it. ^^ So, I think they will enjoy it. They had better review and tell me! D:

Darth: I have a swollen tastebud.

Con: Say, huh? o.o

Darth: It's annoying.

Con: I'm... sorry? o.o

Darth: Indeed.

Con: Hahaha! Well, we hope you enjoy this chapter! :-D Read on, minions!

Darth: Indeed.

P.S. from Con: All right so, a lot of this chapter was written by just me. When we RPed it, we just kind of rushed through it and it turned out really anti-climactic. So, I had to beef it up a bit. You know me, I love music, and so I shall share with you the song, which inspired the idea for what you're about to read. The song is, The Jezabels - Endless Summer. You're welcome to listen to it as you read. Anyways, enjoy. :)


Chapter 20: He Loses Control

Watching as the riders disappeared with Nami, Luffy scowled, his vision blurring in and out. Trying to push himself back up, he collapsed back to the ground and growled. Gritting his teeth, he managed to get off the ground to stand, but on wobbling legs. He took a step forward, but stumbled, and then he cried, "Nami!"

"Nami!" Nojiko cried and tried to run after her sister, but was blocked by Sanji.

"Stay here," Sanji said and ran after the kidnappers.

"Oh, no! Nami-san!" Vivi cried as the bandits all retreated after Zoro had taken down the large man, who'd attacked at Nami.

"Those people that took Nami. They weren't with these bandits," Zoro said, coming over towards Luffy, who looked as if he was about to collapse at any moment.

"Damn it!" Sanji cried and downed another bandit, but the other group had gotten away with Nami.

"What?" Luffy said and looked over to Zoro, but gasped as his knees buckled.

Zoro quickly reached out, catching the mage before he hit the ground. He was in no condition to go after the girl. Even if the horse had taken the brunt of the attack, which he was surprised the horse had used himself as a sacrifice to protect them, Luffy still took a lot of damage, especially with the horse crashing into him. "They looked completely different from this bunch," he said, nodding to the bandits and then frowning down at Luffy. "They had a different feel about them too. I think their target may have just been Nami."

"Nami," Luffy muttered and clamped his eyes closed. It was his fault...

"They were probably after her ability," Robin said, stepping over the downed body of a bandit. She walked up to Zoro, who was supporting Luffy.

"Her ability?" Vivi asked, turning to Robin.

"What do you mean her ability!?" Gen bellowed, coming up behind them, a bloody sword in hand. He glanced down at Luffy with a soft frown before looking back up at the woman.

"That was my thought too. Her ability is unique. I wouldn't be surprised if they'd been watching her for the past few days," Zoro said, frowning a bit deeper as he looked over at Robin.

"Those bastards," Sanji scoffed. "How do they even expect to use it if no one knows what it is?"

"Actually," Robin said, looking thoughtful, "that isn't entirely true."

"It's not!? What do you know!?" Gen said, very agitated and worried that Nami was taken from them twice already. "That poor girl has had enough happen to her in her short life. Couldn't it all just stop already!? What is it about her that they want!?" he continued, sighing deeply before dropping down to the ground on his knees, feeling old and tired as he brought his hands to his head. "First her mother... then Arlong... and now all of this!"

Luffy stared at the ground, refusing to meet anyone's gaze. All his fault... It was all his fault... She was suffering, and no one was to blame, except him.

Robin looked expressionless at Gen and explained, "When I was reading in the library, I came across several mentions of heart based magic. Incredibly powerful magic... and quite frightening. The Charmed Heart."

"Heart based? Charmed Heart?" Gen asked, looking up at her. "What do you mean? Frightening?"

"I'm not entirely sure how it works. It's extremely rare magic," Robin said and shrugged, "but from what I learned, it was originally meant to work as a protection enchantment. I also only know it's very old magic, near the beginning of all mages, even."

"Then how is it working to help me sleep?" Luffy asked, looking up at Robin intently.

"I don't know yet," Robin said and shook her head. "Both are old magic, so perhaps the one counteracts the other?"

"Old magic?" Gen asked, looking confused. "How would Nami have gotten a hold of old magic? She didn't even know she could use magic."

"That I don't know either," Robin said with a soft sigh. "It's possible it was something she inherited." She looked at Nojiko, cocking an eyebrow at her.

Nojiko blinked, but then she said, "Oh, no... I wouldn't have inherited anything..."

Gen sighed softly and said, "Nami and Nojiko aren't really sisters. They were adopted by the same woman. As a matter of fact... Nami's real parents are a complete mystery. Bellemere... the woman who took them in, found them both in a village that was being burned to the ground by bandits. She was part of a brigade working to protect it. We have no idea who their real family is. There's a chance her real parents may have been mages then."

Robin nodded, looking more in thought, and then she said, "It's very possible, and they might even have been something else entirely..." She trailed off in thought. There was a mystery here; one she intended to solve.

"Anyways, the important thing to do is find out where they took her," Gen said, attempting to stand on his weary legs. "We don't know what they intend to do. However," he started, looking over at Luffy, "he can't really go in that condition."

"I'm fine," Luffy said, standing up on his own. "I just need-" He gasped and quickly looked around for Merry, but then spotted the horse's body. Tears instantly welled up in his eyes. "No," he whispered, staggering towards the horse. "No! No, no, no! Merry!" he cried, dropping to his knees beside the animal, and his eyes widened with horror. He reached out a hand, but retracted it as the large tears fell. "N-o," he whispered and dropped his head. "Merry..." he whispered and choked on the sobs that pushed to escape. He'd loved his horse, and they had been through so much together, since the moment Merry was given to him as a colt. He ground his teeth hard, feeling the anger as well as grief rising, and he began to growl deep in his throat from the pain, but then it exploded from him. "Merry!" he screamed tearfully, the pain of it causing his voice to quiver. "You stupid horse... Why'd you do that, huh?" he cried, but then he suddenly moved to the horse's head and pressed his own forehead to his. "Why'd you do that?" he whispered as more sobs escaped him.

Tears came to Nojiko's eyes as she watched the mage, his shoulders shaking with his clearly heard sobs. A few tears welled up in everyone's eyes to the heart broken mage. Sanji slowly took a puff of his cigarette and blew out the smoke, and then he sighed. He felt bad for the mage. He knew the horse was one of his closest friends, and he also knew the horse meant a great deal to Nami.

"Oh, Luffy-san," Vivi whispered and moved to kneel beside him. "I'm so sorry..." Reaching out, she pressed her hand to his back to try and offer some comfort.

Suddenly, Luffy pulled back and kissed the horse's forehead. "I'm so sorry, Merry... Good bye, my friend," he whispered with a sniffle, but then he staggered to his feet. "Have to get Nami back..."

Gen sighed deeply as he looked to the mage, and then he said, "I would only get in the way... We'll take care of your horse and make sure he gets back to the guild..."

Luffy nodded and looked to the man gratefully as he wiped away his tears. "Thank you. They'll know what to do with Merry," he said and stumbled back towards them.

"I would like to go back as well. I, too, would only get in the way. We can wait to get back home until Nami-san is found," Vivi said, looking over to Pell and Igaram, and both men nodded their agreement.

Nojiko nodded as well, and then looked at Luffy. "Bring my sister back, please. We'll take the best of care with Merry," she said and offered Luffy a sad smile.

Luffy nodded and said, "I will, I promise. Thank you."

Gen hummed into a rough growl as he closed his eyes, but then he nodded, knowing that Luffy would do as he said he would. Then he turned towards Merry and blinked. The palomino was suddenly there, as if appearing out of nowhere, and was nuzzling Merry's neck. After a moment, she raised her head, staring down at Merry for awhile longer, as if giving her moment of grief, and then she trotted over to Luffy, giving him a nudge.

Luffy reached up and patted the palomino on the nose. "Thank you..." he whispered to her and pressed his forehead to hers.

The palomino nodded her head and waited for him to mount. The orange haired girl was special to Merry, that she knew, and she would honor his sacrifice by helping to bring the girl back safely in any way she could. Luffy then moved around her and swung into her saddle with little trouble.

"I'm coming with you," Zoro said, already mounting his horse.

"I, as well, am coming," Sanji said and quickly made his way to his horse.

"I, too, will come," Robin said as she mounted hers.

Sanji climbed onto his horse. "I can probably track them-"

"I know where they're going," Luffy said, gazing out where they had gone and cutting off Sanji's words.

Robin glanced over at Luffy, smiling. Power of love, indeed.

"Eh? You do?" Zoro asked, quirking an interested brow at him.

Luffy nodded curtly. "Yeah," he whispered, and then he urged the palomino to go. "Let's hurry after them."

"Mm, okay. Right," Zoro said, blinking after Luffy before following him, and then the others followed as well.

x x x x

Nami struggled against her captors as they rode through the gates and into a courtyard of an old almost worn out castle on the edge of a cliff. "Stop! Let go of me!" she cried, but she was ignored.

"Hurry it up! I want to get this over with! They couldn't possibly find us, since the others took another path to throw them off, but I don't want to take any chances!" a woman said as she swung off her horse and threw back her cloak over her shoulder to reveal skin tight leather pants as well as a bodice, similar to Nami's only in black. However, she wore a crisp white and frilled shirt underneath the bodice and black leather high heeled boots to match.

"Of course, Alvida-sama!" the men said, pulling Nami from the horse and dragging her inside.

"Let go of me!" Nami screamed, still crying quite heavily. Each person was drenched from the sudden downpour that seemed to follow them the entire way, which had started a few minutes after they had left the camp. "Merry..." Nami whispered with a gasp. Her precious friend. He was gone...

"Let's go! Get her up those stairs!" Alvida continued to command as she threw a pair of double doors open into the castle and swept up the stairs.

"Yes, Alvida-sama!"

"Coby! Get my dagger and my book!" she yelled into the run down castle.

"Y-Yes, Alvida-sama!" a boy with pink hair cried as he scampered off, having been startled by their sudden return.

Walking briskly down a corridor with the railing on her other side to the first level below and her men dragging Nami behind them, Alvida stopped at another set of double doors and shoved them open. "Come on, get her onto that altar and lock her down!"

"Yes, Alvida-sama!" the men cried, dragging Nami along the marble floor.

"I said, let go of me!" Nami screamed, but she was again ignored as they dragged her up the few marble steps towards the altar. They then grabbed her, slamming her onto the altar and began shackling her wrists and ankles. "What are you doing!?"

Alvida sauntered over to her casually with a smile, her hips swaying as she walked. "Such a beautiful girl, you are," she said, running her sleek finger along Nami's cheek, but Nami turned her head away from her.

"Don't touch me!" she snapped and then turned a scowl to her through her tears. "What do you want with me?" she asked and glared at the equally beautiful woman.

"That should be obvious, my girl," Alvida said, but then she lifted her fingers and began muttering an incantation. Nami began to frown, when a spherical bubble began to form around them.

"Wha-What are you doing?" Nami asked, looking at the bubble grow, which covered a good part of the room around them, and then it suddenly vanished, or perhaps it was now just invisible.

"Ah, I've brought your book and the dagger, Alvida-sama!" Coby cried as he came running up to the barrier.

Once the barrier was complete, Alvida turned, heading to Coby and took the book, as well as the dagger from him. "Thank you, Coby. Such a loyal boy," she said and smiled to him, but then she turned back to Nami.

"Y-You're welcome, Alvida-sama," Coby said and laughed nervously, but then he frowned, once she turned her back. What was she going to do to that girl?

Alvida approached Nami and opened up the book to read. She then smiled with a chuckle as she again looked down at Nami. "It took a long time to finally find you, little girl. I've waited for this day for a long time," she whispered down to Nami, but then she held her hand over Nami, and began whispered more incantations.

Nami began to pant as her fear grew, and soon, she felt herself growing weaker. Tears came to her eyes as her head lulled to the side. "Luffy," she whispered, her heart panging painfully. Was this really it? Was she going to die?

"Such a strong heart," Alvida whispered, having felt the pang. "Yesss," she hissed and smiled wider. "This is perfect..."

"Please, what are you doing?" Nami whispered, feeling weaker and weaker.

Alvida chuckled and opened her eyes to look down at Nami. "I suppose I owe you that much, for what you're about to give me. You know nothing about your true power, do you?"

Blinking in confusion, Nami shook her head and whispered, "What are you talking about? What true power?"

"The power of your heart, girl. The Charmed Heart. You don't understand it, and you don't know its potential," she said and smiled wider. "The power to control, girl. With your heart, I will have even more power."

Nami's eyes grew wider, and she gasped. "With my heart?" she whispered, feeling the fear rising, and then her eyes shifted to the dagger.

"That's right, girl. I'm going to take your heart," Alvida said and chuckled deeply within her throat.

"No," Nami whispered and shook her head. "No!" she cried, turning her head to look at the doors. "Luffy, please..."

x x x x

Luffy's group managed to make it to the castle, and Luffy sped up, making a straight line for the gates. Robin looked down at the wet grass, and the heavy rain clouds ahead. "Well," she said, "following them hasn't been very hard."

"Did they just not realize she was responsible for the rain, or maybe not care?" Zoro said, looking at all of the wet ground and clouds ahead.

"Most likely they did not care to realize," Robin said and looked up towards the large castle. "People with castles have a tendency to underestimate smaller enemies. Not to mention, they tried to confuse us with a second trail, since they did not realize she was responsible for the rain."

"Hmm... Well, either way, let's just get this started," Zoro said, dismounting from his horse.

A few men spotted the mages below and began hurling fireballs down at them. "Don't let them get inside!"

"Damn!" Zoro muttered viciously as he pulled out his swords to help deflect the fireballs.

Luffy bit into his thumb and inflated his arm to giant size. He smashed into the men on the parapets, and then pulled himself up onto them. Once on top, he inflated his leg and pulled it up. He smashed it down on the top of the gates, smashing the whole gates into the ground and making a large gap in the castle gate walls.

"Nice," Zoro said before mounting his horse again to keep heading inside towards the castle. Though the climb over the rubble wasn't easy.

Sanji whistled. Now he wasn't sure he even wanted to fight the grandson, let alone the guild master. Luffy really was powerful, and now that he was on a serious mission, even more so. Robin smiled, and led her horse through the rubble of the now open gates.

Alvida gasped, hearing the destruction of the gate as well as the cries that followed. It had caused the entire castle to rumble with the vibration. "No," she whispered, her eyes wide. How did they find them so quickly?

Nami turned her head to the sound of the destruction, and then she smiled weakly. "Luffy," she whispered, tears once again pooling in her eyes, and her heart panged. He really had come for her.

Luffy jumped down from the walls and started running deeper into the fortress. The palomino appeared beside him, running along with him. Without either stopping, Luffy grabbed the reins and swung into the saddle. He ignored the pang in his heart and urged the palomino to speed up. Nami... Please, let him make it in time.

There were several men standing ahead of them, but Luffy barreled into them, knocking many of them aside. However, those still standing lobbed their magic at him, fireballs, electricity and even ice. One of them managed to knock Luffy off the palomino. Luffy cried out as he flew through the air and landed on his back with a grunt. "Damn it!" he growled, struggling to stand up again. His eyes then began to glow the brilliant light blue as he brought up his palm. "Get out of my way!" he screamed and shot a beam towards his enemies.

Zoro slipped off his horse beside Luffy and removed his swords to help him to dispose of the mages that blocked their way in. Sanji also swung off his horse and immediately threw himself at the mages. Twirling on his leg, it caught on fire, and then he jump kicked a mage, setting the man on fire.

"Clutch!" Robin cried, doing her part to help out.

"I must hurry then," Alvida said and turned back to Nami. "You're almost ready. Our hearts are nearly linked..."

"No, please," Nami pleaded as tears streamed down her temple and nose.

After defeating all the mages outside, they then headed inside and began taking all of them out as well. Alvida growled, hearing the voices and cries now inside. She quickly turned to Nami and said, "No matter... These mages don't stand a chance against me, and they most certainly won't once I take your heart."

"C-Can't have... my heart..." Nami whispered, feeling even weaker and her vision was beginning to blur.

Once all the men were defeated inside, only one was left standing, or rather, he was cowering behind a tapestry. Luffy stormed up to the pink haired boy and grabbed the front of his shirt. "Nami! Where is she!?" he yelled and shook the frightened boy.

"Eee!" he squealed, throwing his arms over his face. "Y-You can't! A-Alvida-sama is strong! She would kill all of you!"

Luffy pulled him up to his face and seethed, threateningly, "And if you don't tell me where she is, I'm going to kill you! Now tell me! Where is she?"

The poor boy paled of all color and looked almost sick with his terror. "P-Please... I... I don't even want to be here," he said, stuttering in his fear. "I'll show you," he said, his eyes shifting to the exit. Maybe he could make a run for it after they go for the girl.

Luffy set him on the ground and said, "Show me!"

"O-Okay! Th-This way!" Coby cried, turning and running deeper into the castle and up the stairs.

"Yes," Alvida suddenly whispered, "I can feel it ... The enchantment of the Charmed Heart! I never thought I would come to this point! This enchantment is so rare... I consider myself lucky to have found you, girl," she said, smirking down at Nami.

Luffy ran after the pink haired boy up the stairs. "How much further?" he yelled impatiently.

"Not too far! It's just up here!" he said, coming up to the landing and turning again. "Through those doors way at the other end!" he said, pointing down a long corridor. "You better hurry! She intends on killing her!"

"All I have to do... is carve out your heart with this enchanted dagger, which preserves every last bit of the magic within your heart, and your power is all mine. Just a few more things I would need to do. I would just need to transfer the power from your heart into a small item... and then I'll wear it, like a necklace," Alvida said, chuckling deeply as she lowered the dagger over Nami's chest. "So close..."

Luffy ran down the hall, Zoro, Robin and Sanji following closely behind. He burst through the doors, barreling into the room. As soon as they burst through, an onslaught of men came running at them. "Don't let them disturb Alvida-sama's ritual!" one of them cried as they threw all sorts of magic at them.

Seeing Luffy and the others burst through the door made more tears form and fall down Nami's temple in her relief. "Luffy," she whispered, wanting to reach out for him, but she could not.

Alvida turned to scowl, surprised they had made it so far so quickly. These were no ordinary mages. "Get them! Don't let them through! I'm so close!" she cried, before turning back to Nami. She muttered a few more words before raising the dagger just over Nami's heart once again.

Seeing this, Luffy jumped high, over the attacking mages, before splatting against an invisible force field, and sliding to the ground. "What the hell are you doing?" Sanji yelled at him.

"There's a shield around them!" Zoro yelled with a scowl, seeing that the woman was about to end Nami's life already. How the hell were they supposed to save her?

Nami's eyes followed Luffy, only being able to move her fingers towards him, since her wrists were bound. "Luffy..."

Luffy stood up, his aura seeping out ominously. Without looking up, he grabbed the force field and pulled it like fabric, which started ripping open.

Gasping, Alvida quickly turned to him and cried, "Impossible! This shield is invincible! No one is supposed to break through it! It's old and powerful magic!"

Nami's lips slowly and barely curved into a smile as she watched him, feeling her heart swelling, and though it hurt, it still felt good. "Luffy," she called again, a bit louder, still holding her fingers out towards him.

Luffy looked up at Nami and smiled, feeling the change in her heart within his own. He stepped through the force field, and it closed right behind him. He strode up to the altar Nami was bound to, glaring at the black haired woman and yelled, "Let her go!"

"Not so fast, boy," Alvida said and held up her hand.

Luffy gasped and halted immediately. A sweat instantly formed over his brow, and then he grunted with a growl. "Ngh!" he exclaimed and fell to his knees, breathing heavily and deeply.

"No, Luffy," Nami whispered, looking very worried as she continued to try reaching out to him.

"Oooh, such a heart," Alvida whispered as she slowly approached Luffy. She then knelt down before him and pressed her hand into his hard chest. "What have we here?" she whispered and smiled up at him.

"Ngh-Aaah!" Luffy cried and threw his head back to the intense pain in his chest.

"Luffy!" Zoro cried and ran towards the barrier after the other mages were dealt with.

"Oi, Luffy! What are you doing?" Sanji exclaimed as he slammed his palms into the barrier.

Alvida clicked her tongue and shook her hand. "So much... pain... anguish... sadness... and torment... So much agony... So much guilt... Why does your heart hurt so, boy? Why is your heart so... weak?" she said, much louder for everyone to hear.

Nami's face fell, and tears began to fall. Pain, anguish, sadness...? Was that what Luffy was really feeling? "Luffy," she called with a gasp as her tears worsened.

Luffy continued to scream in the pain he was feeling, the screams themselves, agonizing to hear. Soon, the screams stopped, but it turned to grunts and growls, and he panted heavily and loudly. However, soon, those stopped as well, and his head lulled forward. "That's a good boy," Alvida whispered and leaned in to kiss his cheek. "Now... stand up," she said to his ear, and then she stood up to back away from him.

Very slowly, one foot after the other, Luffy stood up, but did not move from his spot. "What the... fuck?" Zoro whispered, his brows dipping deeply, but his eyes widening.

"O-Oi... L-Luffy," Sanji called, also frowning deeply.

"Oh dear," Robin said beside them and pressed a hand to her cheek.

"What? What's going on?" Zoro asked, now frowning to the woman.

"I do believe... she's taken control of him," Robin said, though she looked curiously at the woman.

"What!?" Sanji exclaimed and began to scowl. He then looked in at Luffy and yelled, "Oi! You stupid rubber loser! How could you let yourself get taken over!?"

"Why, it was quite easy," Alvida said in reply for him and chuckled as she stepped up to Luffy, who's eyes were closed. "His heart was in such disarray... weakened by his pain. Such a handsome boy, too. Was it this girl, who caused you so much pain? I'll protect you from her. No more, will you ever feel that pain. No more, will you ever suffer. I promise, I will take such good care of you... forever." Alvida moved to Luffy's other side, pressing herself into him, and then she said, "Look at her, my love."

Very slowly, Luffy opened his eyes, and both were shining the bright, brilliant light blue color. He then blinked his eyes slowly and trailed them over to Nami.

"Luffy," Nami whispered, the tears never ending, though her face wrenched with pain.

"O-Oi!" Zoro called and slammed his fist into the barrier.

"Snap out of it, you rubber idiot!" Sanji yelled, also slamming his fist into the barrier.

"Just look at her... She caused you this pain... this anguish... It's all her fault. Together, we will put an end to her, and then you and I will be happy together. Together... you and I will take over this world. Such a strong power you have. You are my most successful catch. Did you know that? Those other mages were nothing compared to you. You are magnificent," Alvida whispered, trailing her fingers along his jaw and to the other side. Leaning towards him, she then pressed her lips to his cheek, letting them linger there.

"S-Stop," Nami whispered weakly, feeling a heat coursing through her as she stared into his dull, yet bright eyes. "Please... Luffy..."

"You'll stay with me forever, won't you my love?" Alvida whispered to his ear, and very slowly, Luffy nodded his head.

"No!" Nami cried more forcefully, even if weakly. "Luffy... don't!"

"That's my good boy," Alvida said and smiled as she chuckled deeply. "Let's end her together..." Again, he slowly nodded. She then slowly guided him up the steps towards the altar.

"No!" Nami cried, the sobs beginning to wrench through her body.

Lifting the hand holding the dagger, Alvida looked up at Luffy and said, "Take my hand, my love." Slowly, Luffy reached up to cover her hand with his, and then Alvida directed the blade towards Nami's heart.

"No, stop!" Nami cried as she gasped through her tears.

"Oi, you shitty rubber mage!" Sanji yelled as he and Zoro began slamming their fists harder into the barrier.

Zoro then grabbed his swords, muttering incantations under his breath, and then he yelled, "Move!" Before Sanji was barely clear, he began slashing at the barrier, trying to cut through it.

Alvida hissed and turned quickly towards the other troublesome mages. Pulling the knife away, she turned to them and said, "First things first... Get rid of them for me, my love, and then you and I shall take her heart together!"

Luffy slowly turned towards the three, his eyes glowing brighter, and his aura ignited. He then took slow steps towards them, at first, but then he slowly broke into a run towards them.

"Shit!" Zoro exclaimed as they all jumped away from the barrier as Luffy leapt out of it at them.

Muttering incantations in a monotone voice, Luffy's skin began to shine red, and then he suddenly disappeared. When he appeared again, he was in front of Zoro, and then he slammed his fists into Zoro's chest, sending him straight through a wall.

Zoro cried out as he flew through the wall, over Coby's head, who screamed, and straight over the rail to the first floor below. "Oi, moss head!" Sanji cried, but then scowled as he faced Luffy again. "You son of a bitch," he growled, but then twirled on his leg, which caught on fire. He then leapt towards Luffy and threw a kick, but the rubber mage brought up his arms to block it, the flames seeming to not even affect him. Grabbing Sanji's leg, Luffy twirled around and threw the blonde away from him.

Sanji landed in a crouch and slid across the slick marble. Once he came to a stop, he ran at Luffy again to attack him. However, Luffy leapt up and dealt his own quick kick, his leg stretching to do so. His leg slammed into Sanji, but kept pushing until Sanji finally went flying to the side. He landed hard on his side and went rolling across the floor.

Robin muttered under her breath, and limbs grew out of Luffy, grabbing him. "Clutch!" she cried, and bent the young mage backwards. However, his body only stretched out.

Head snapping over to the woman, the glow in his eyes once again intensified, and he broke out of her hold. He then slowly made his way to her, and Robin took steps back away from him with a gasp. He then broke into a run, and then vanished, causing her to gasp much louder.

Luffy appeared before her and threw a punch, but a body was suddenly before her. The backs of three swords came up just in time to block the rubber mage's attack against Robin. Zoro's eyes were intense as he stared up into the dull glowing eyes, and he gave a growl as he tried to hold the swords in place, but the sharp edges of the blades were straining towards his own face. The mage's attacks were nothing to joke about. They were powerful, and Zoro knew he had more up his sleeve. What was worse, was that the boy was injured. He was grateful they did not have to go up against him at full strength. Either way, they would use his weakened state to their advantage, and hopefully, they could take him down without severely hurting him.

"Snap... the fuck... out of it already... you son of a bitch..." Zoro growled between the handle of his sword between his teeth. "Don't let... that bitch... win..."

"Isn't this beautiful, girl?" Alvida said as she watched Luffy, and her tongue came out to flick across her lower plump lip. The boy was absolutely delicious, and she could not wait to taste that power.

"Please... don't do this... to him..." Nami whispered, feeling her heart beginning to shatter further, and the tears were now soaking her hair. Outside, dark clouds circulated above and thunder rumbled. Droplets began to tap on the windows, and soon a torrential rain began to fall with strong winds blowing.

"You did this to him, girl. It's your fault," Alvida said and chuckled as she turned to face Nami. She then made her way over to her and said, "You caused his suffering."

Nami slowly shook her head and whispered, "No... I... I didn't... His own... damn... fault..."

Alvida threw her head back with laughter and said, "You stupid, stubborn girl! You don't deserve a boy like him, but don't worry. I will take such good care of him for you."

Nami ground her teeth together, and outside, a flash of lightning cracked across the window, causing a loud boom of thunder soon after. "How... How have you done this?"

Alvida chuckled as she leaned over Nami, pressing her palms on either side of her head, her black wavy hair falling around them like a curtain, and then she said, "Isn't it obvious, girl?" Her lips curved into a wide smirk, and then she whispered, "I have the same exact power as you."

Nami's eyes pulsed and then widened. "What?" she whispered, looking shocked to hear this.

"That's right... The Charmed Heart... passed down through generations of women... So few have it... but I discovered I had it years ago. I learned of its great power and the wonderful potential of it. I soon realized what I could do. I could control men to do my bidding. I could make them do anything, and they were willing to do anything for me. My power grew, and soon, I was even able to control mages. It was so easy. With your heart, I will be able to control the most powerful mages in the world, and then it will all be mine," Alvida whispered, and then she broke into chuckles, which soon turned to laughter. "I can't wait!"

Both Zoro and Sanji panted heavily as they faced off with the young rubber mage. Both were bloodied and beaten, and yet they had barely laid a hand on him. Luffy slowly approached them, his dull eyes intent on them, and bent on taking them down.

"Damn it... this is looking bad," Zoro panted beside the blonde.

"You think? That rubber bastard is toying with us," Sanji replied and then spit blood to the side, which had been pooling in his mouth. "I hate to say this... but we have to work together if we hope to take him down."

"Agreed..." Zoro replied and glared back at Luffy. "Here he comes..."

Sanji nodded as he prepared for the attack as well as his own. However, Luffy again disappeared, and this time, when he appeared, his stretched arms were wide apart. Before either could react, they were slammed together, their heads ramming into each other, and they both crumpled to the ground like ragdolls.

"Wonderful, my love!" Alvida cried with a wide smirk, and then she sauntered over towards the barrier. "Come, my love. Let us carve out the girl's heart together. I will end your pain and suffering," she said and held her hand out of the barrier to him.

Turning back over to Alvida, Luffy then slowly made his way over to her, and just as slowly, raised his hand to her. Taking his hand, she then pulled him through the barrier and guided him back to Nami.

Robin ran over to both men and dropped to her knees beside them. "Sanji-san... Zoro-san," she called, giving both a shake, "you must wake up," she whispered and looked up towards Luffy and Alvida, who were making their way towards Nami.

"Fuck," Zoro growled, his eyes rolling around and then clenching shut to the horrible pain in his head. "That... stupid... son of a bitch..."

Sanji growled out as he turned to his side and attempted to push himself up. "I'm going to kill that idiot..."

Both men looked up, just as Luffy and Alvida made it to Nami. "Shit... come on," Zoro said, also rolling over to stand. Both staggered to their feet and then stumbled over to the barrier.

"Let Nami-san go, damn it!" Sanji called tiredly and weakly slammed his fist into the barrier.

Ignoring them, Alvida once again offered Luffy her hand, which held the dagger, and Luffy once again covered his hand over hers. Then slowly, Alvida raised their hands together, as well as the dagger, which was aimed right at Nami's heart.

"Don't you dare, you shitty bastard!" Sanji yelled, slamming his fist as hard as he could into the barrier.

"Oi, Luffy! Don't do it!" Zoro yelled, once again trying to cut the barrier.

"No... Luffy... don't..." Nami whispered and shook her head as the dagger was fully raised.

Alvida smirked widely as she chuckled, their arms raised as far as they could go. "Together!" she hissed with a smirk, and then their hands stabbed downward towards Nami.

Outside, lightning cracked and thunder boomed. Nami gasped with a cry as a downpour of tears drenched her cheeks, and her heart gave a painful wrench.

"No! Luffy!"

To Be Continued...

Authors' Notes:

Con: Gotta love those cliffhangers. X)

Darth: Bah. I hate them with all my soul, when I'm the one being subjected to them.

Con: Of course you do. :) Who doesn't? But when you're the one making them? X) It's delicious~!

Darth: Indeed. Now if only we could make the wait last longer somehow...

Con: *Plugs nose* I could just not post for a few days... o.,o

Darth: Excellent.

Con: Excellent, indeed. X) Well, until next time... which won't be for a long time. X) Come on! Bring it!

Darth: Not if I can help it.

Con: Mwahahaha~~! XD

Darth: Mwaha.

P.S. from Con: Haha, I remember getting a review a while back of someone predicting it was heart magic, and thinking it lame and cliché. Well, sorry to disappoint, but that's exactly what it was. xD I also received a review for last chapter, which mentioned the fic was rushed, and the reason for the melodrama was lacking. I shall explain. First of all, I think the reasons and reactions were perfectly acceptable. When people are already emotional, and with the rift that was still between them as well as their rocky relationship, I do believe their reactions were reasonable. Besides, when have emotions that harsh ever been rational? People want to think rationally about emotions, when they're not currently experiencing them, but that logical thinking to me, when emotions are involved, are just not practical. It does not apply. You also have to consider the other factors, which stemmed Nami's harsh reaction. Ten years under Arlong's thumb, just to be enslaved all over again? Hell yeah, it's perfectly acceptable for her to be pissed, and what better person to be pissed at, than the person responsible? O.o

Secondly, about it being rushed... well, you'd be correct. It was rushed. I apologize for this, but I'm afraid I couldn't extend it more for you guys. As it was, I wasn't even sure I would have been able to finish this fic. Had I attempted to extend it, I may have been forced to abandon it again. I just wanted to get it done, before I had to abandon it again. Again, I apologize, but there wasn't much I could do about that. I'm pretty much doing this alone. Dart only helps me with the authors' notes, because he's busy with his own things and life. I did, however, try and beef up this chapter for you guys. So, I at least hope you guys appreciate that. :)

Also, during the part where Luffy got taken control if, is the idea I got from the song I listed above, and actually, the part of the song that gave me the idea, is when she sings, "Yeah, I get low... black witches hold my hand... Yeah, I get low... feel no one understands..." Just the way the song slows down and the way it sounds, as well as her words, an idea like this popped into my head, but I had no idea where or how to use it. xD Well, this fic gave me the perfect opportunity to use this idea. :) I hope you guys liked it! Also, sorry for the big cliffy! ;)