Disclaimer: I own nothing but a really really strange muse... she scares me from time to time...
A/N: A One-shot again. This idea came to me one day and wouldn't let me go, so here you have it. I guess it could be seen as some kind of companion piece to "Teaching Luffy", but you really don't have to read the one to understand the other.
This fic is making a little bit fun of the ZoSan pairing but nothing bad or cruel, since I appreciate this pairing myself from time to time. And this from a ZoLu fan! This fic is rated rather high because of Nami. That girl got a potty mouth from time to time...
This story was beta'd by the DoublemintTwins11! Awesome job as always, despite the horrible stressful time before Christmas. Thanks a lot!
„A nickname is the hardest stone that the devil can throw at a man"
William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)
Luffy couldn't help but stare at the odd couple just a few feet away from him. The girl was leaning into the boy, and the boy was groping the girl and calling her many odd names. 'Honey' and 'Baby' and 'Sweetcheeks' and many others that sounded kinda dirty, although the rubber boy couldn't say why, since he'd never heard them before in his life.
He tilted his head and tried to figure out why the girl would have so many different names. And so many odd ones at that. Normally you only had one, or at most two, right? But this girl seemed to have so many more than that...
Well, Ace had always told him to ask if he didn't understand something.
The boy had barely enough time to take a step towards them when a slender hand grabbed his collar and dragged him to a stop.
"Where do you think you're going?" Nami growled as she hauled the rubber boy back to her side. She still hadn't seen all the shops this island had to offer, and she was growing more and more annoyed by her wandering captain. Usually she didn't take him with her, since he had the tendency to get bored and walk off on his own, but none of the other boys had been available to accompany her, not even Sanji, and she needed someone to carry her countless shopping bags back for her.
She had to admit that she actually enjoyed spending time with her captain, and she certainly appreciated the protection and sense of security his presence offered. But shopping with him was like walking with a little kid. He was always getting distracted, or stopping to stare into a display window, not caring whether she noticed that he was gone or not. With him by her side, she felt like a mother who had to take her kid by the hand so he wouldn't get lost. She hadn't gotten to that point yet, but it was certainly becoming a possibility.
Luffy smiled brightly and pointed to the kissing and groping couple. "Hey Nami, I just wanted to ask them something." The girl and boy looked over at them and Nami blushed a little bit before dragging her captain away from their suspicious eyes.
"W-What the hell would you want to ask them?" she whispered harshly, praying to god that he wasn't going to ask about the birds and the bees. She wondered if Robin would help her with that talk and groaned inwardly.
She really was a fucking mother, wasn't she?
"I wanted to know why the guy called her all those odd names." Luffy said and recited the many names he had heard while he'd waited for Nami in front of the shop. Some were quite sweet, while others made Nami's cheeks burn with embarrassment. Any boy that dared to call her those names would need a respirator for the rest of his life.
"Those are just nicknames, Luffy." she explained.
"Yeah." She finally stopped when she was sure that they were as far from those perverts as possible. Luffy stared at her with big questioning eyes and she knew that he needed a better explanation. "See, if two people love each other, or at least really like each other, they make up little nicknames for each other. They are a sign of endearment, you know."
Luffy still looked puzzled, but she hoped to God that her answer had been enough to satisfy his curiosity.
"Sooo, people make up stupid names for each other when they're in love?"
Nami nodded and wiped her brow, "Exactly."
Luffy nodded as well and gave her a dazzling smile. "I see. Thanks for explaining Nami."
The navigator smiled back; suddenly, her clueless captain didn't bother her near as much. It was rather nice to be able to share your knowledge with someone who truly appreciated it, no matter how minuscule that knowledge was.
She glanced at the Log Pose and sighed happily when she realized that there was enough time before the log set to raid all of the other shops they hadn't been to yet. When she looked up again, it was just in time to see a familiar boy with a red vest and a straw hat disappear into the crowd.
They should have held hands, after all.
Nami was still fuming by the time the straw hats gathered in the galley for a late lunch. It had taken her two hours to find her captain again, and that was kind of embarrassing on its own, because she should have known that he wouldn't be able to resist the allurement of a place called 'Heaven's Meat'.
And now they would have to leave pretty soon, and Nami hadn't seen all the neat little shops, with the neat, expensive clothes, and that made her a little bit, let's say, grumpy.
Not even the sight of Luffy's face, covered in black and blue bruises, and the nervous glances he shot her every few seconds, was able to lift her mood.
But it helped.
She loved this crew and her captain dearly, but sometimes she wondered what she was doing here. The boys were such idiots most of the time and being the only girl and halfway sane member of the crew had been more work than she would have liked. In some ways it had gotten easier since Robin became part of the crew, but most of the time the archeologist just sat back and watched the chaos with a smile. Although Robin was a good bit older than Nami, she still felt like the oldest of them all.
Like she said, a damn mother.
A low and menacing growl escaped her at the thought, but Luffy's minute flinch at the sound and the way he inched away from her just the tiniest bit, managed to raise a little smile. Maybe she was the mother, but at least she was a well-respected mother...
Or maybe she was just feared, but Nami wasn't going to split hairs.
A plate with a delicious looking dish appeared in her line of vision, followed by Sanji's latest confession of love. "Oh, Nami-swan," he sang and got down on one knee besides her. "Maybe the Gods of shopping didn't smile down on you today, but let my smile and food light up your day, oh my beautiful lady. Not even the finest silk could ever do justice to your ravishing beauty, anyway—"
"Why thank you, Sanji." she drawled back, although she'd stopped listening after 'Oh Nami-swan'. She had learned early on that once he started with his insane ramblings, it was better to just smile and nod.
"Ah don't mention it, oh beautiful princess. I only told the truth-"
A derisive snort from the other end of the room interrupted him and Nami discreetly rolled her eyes. She knew exactly what would be coming next. For all the craziness and chaos this crew wreaked, they could be amazingly predictable at times.
"The only princess here is you."
Sanji didn't stand up - yet - but simply turned his head to glare at the man who'd interrupted his flirting with the sweet Nami-swan. "What did you say, Marimo?"
Zoro raised an eyebrow, a clear challenge in his eyes. "You heard me, Curly-brow."
Everyone fell silent as Sanji got to his feet to take a menacing step towards the swordsman, a movement that was immediately mirrored by Zoro. "Yeah, well, I thought you said something, but how could a primitive shithead like you form any coherent words. You'd need a brain for that, after all."
"Is that so, Dart-Face? I wonder how coherent you are going to be when I'm done with you."
"You could try, Shitty-swordsman!"
"AH!" Luffy suddenly screamed in a high pitched voice, halting the two men and their argument. His eyes were wide and his mouth opened and closed like a fish. A few seconds passed before he jumped to his feet with another "AH!" staring at Zoro and Sanji and pointing an accusing finger at the two of them.
While the others seemed rather shocked and speechless by the outburst, Nami could barely contain the hysterical laughter that threatened to escape. Instead of watching the two fight like the others, she had opted to watch her Captain, intrigued by the way his eyes wandered back and forth between the cook and the swordsman with a confused and suspicious expression on his face. Nami didn't consider herself an expert in human nature, but one look at that face and she'd known exactly what her clueless and naive captain was thinking. She could interfere, of course. Stop this before it got too out of hand. But damn, who would? This was just hilarious!
Maybe it was going to be a good day after all.
Before anyone could recover from their shock, Luffy was already speaking again.
"Why didn't you tell me?" he asked, managing to sound both accusing and hurt. "I'm your Captain. I need to know such things. Or did you think I wouldn't support you?" Now he sounded only hurt and Zoro, being the good first mate that he was, looked torn between puzzled irritation and the overwhelming need to comfort his captain.
Nami wondered if she was going to die from lack of oxygen.
"Well I do!" Luffy exclaimed with thrust out chest and full blown pout. "You are my Nakama and when you are happy, I am happy."
"Now wait a minute!" Sanji bellowed "What the hell are you talking about, Luffy?"
"But Sanji," Luffy whined. "It's okay, really. And the others are okay with it too, aren't you?" he asked and turned towards the others.
Usopp and Chopper had retreated into a far corner of the room, freaked out by the odd behavior of their Captain, and Robin looked honestly confused, a look that was so alien on the wise woman's face that it almost pushed Nami over the edge.
"Okay with what, Captain-san?" The rubber boy scrunched up his nose, a clear sign that he was distressed by his Nakama's ignorance.
"Don't you see?" his hand made an odd movement towards Sanji and Zoro. "They are in love!"
Nami had barely the time to think 'Oh thank God, finally' before she released her breath, and with it the shrill laughter that she'd tried to keep inside for the past few minutes. Sanji's scream of outrage was just as shrill and that made her laugh even harder until she could feel tears in the corners of her eyes.
"How the hell did you come to that conclusion?!" Zoro raged with a decidedly deadly look on his face. Robin was snickering in obvious delight while Usopp looked ready to faint. The little reindeer was nowhere to be seen and Nami guessed that he'd probably taken flight. The little guy was way too jumpy.
"But you have nicknames for each other." Luffy was frowning now, "Nami told me that only lovers give each other nicknames…"
Zoro whirled towards Nami. "I should have known that you had something to do with this!" he spat. Nami wasn't the least bit intimidated though, so he turned his attention back to his captain. "Don't believe all the crap she tells you!" As an afterthought he added. "And as if I would opt for the shitty love cook, of all people. Please!"
Sanji, who'd been in some kind of daze the whole time, perked up at that. "What the hell? I'm way out of your league. You would be lucky to have me, bastard."
The navigator was openly crying now and gasping for breath. "Ro-Robin." she panted, "A-Are they... even listening to... to themselves?"
Robin's smile was wicked. "It sounds an awful lot like a lover's quarrel, doesn't it? Maybe Captain-san is right after all?"
The two men snarled and spoke at the exact same time: "HE'S NOT!"
Nami had to grab the table to keep herself from falling out of her seat. "Talking at the same time now? It's true love..."
Two voices at the same time: "IT'S NOT!"
Luffy had been listened the whole time and when Nami saw how lost and confused he was, she felt almost sorry for him. "But... are you making sex now, or not? That's what lovers do, don't they? Ace told me about it."
Nami suddenly remembered why she was still here, playing the mother, or at least older sister, of this bunch. Because moments like these made all the aggravation and headaches worth it.
So. goddamn. worth. it!
The soft thud was the only sound the sniper made as he dropped to the ground. There was only so much even the bravest warrior of the sea could take.
"No you moron, of course not! Oh my God, I get sick just thinking about it." Sanji made a fine show of shivering and gagging in disgust and for once Zoro didn't comment on it in favor of resolving this... situation, and just nodded in agreement.
"Really?" Luffy voice was full of doubt and, strangely enough, a little bit of sadness. Almost as if he'd looked forward to have two lovers on board.
'Or maybe' Nami mused, 'he'd already planned the wedding.'
The thought was too disturbing to pursue, so she settled for listening to Zoro's and Sanji's desperate attempts to explain to their captain that they were certainly, absolutely, and definitely not in love and that, no, they did not want a cabin of their own to spend some 'special time' together, whatever the hell that meant.
The navigator - aka sister, aka mother - amused herself with throwing in inappropriate comments that rendered their arguments void from time to time, earning herself heated yet oddly adoring glares from the cook and tense 'Shut up!'s from the swordsman.
Oh yeah, life was good.
A/N: Ending is a little abrupt but well... tell me what you think. I need my next dose of reviews. :)