AN: So here's the second chapter. If you use your imagination I'm sure it could be extended but I really did try hard to keep it short. xD Thanks again to Pikinanou for this idea. :)
I don't own One Piece.
To Nami's extreme enjoyment, and Paulie's frustration, their chase lasted for one hour and twenty four minutes…Ending thirty six minutes before the deadline.
At 5:12 p.m. Nami allowed herself to drop from the roof top she had been sprinting across…Her lungs were starting to burn like crazy but she still had time…And if Paulie thought he could beat her he was going to be very disappointed.
The shallow canal was like a water slide, and though she wasn't crazy about the idea of getting all wet, if he wanted to catch her he was going to have to do it too.
This was the part she hadn't been looking forward too…She hadn't been able to practice and she was only going to get one shot at it…Even as she shot down the slide the thief shifted her weight to the right…A little more…
Nami grunted in pain as she caught the nearly insignificant ledge she had been aiming for…It had damn near jerked her arm out of it's socket!! But she didn't have time for that right now. Gasping the petite woman hauled herself back out of the water and began sprinting again…She didn't have to look behind her to know that her pursuer had missed that small ledge and she grinned. Though…knowing him…
Yep, a rope had been thrown back up and latched on to something so the blond could continue the chase…making her grin widen. She might be soaking wet, out of breath, and nearing exhaustion, but when was the last time she had had this much fun?
Unfortunately for Nami the water that was now dripping down her legs put her game to an end. Unable to stop herself as her sandals slipped she tucked her arms against her body and rolled…but she had definitely done something to her ankle.
Swearing for the first time since she had begun the chase, the pirate forced herself to get back up and run…She had done worst things to herself and been fine…
She had lost eight precious seconds…Seconds that she had been counting on having after tricking him down the water slide, and now she wasn't going to be able to get them back…In addition to her ankle she had no more time gaining tricks to play on the carpenter. She crossed a stone bridge that arced across several buildings, giving the pedestrians on it a beautiful air view of the city. Only a few more feet and she'd make it…
Hearing the violent swearing behind her she realized she wasn't going to have time to reach the next part of her escape route…If she didn't act now he'd catch her.
Biting down on her lip the copper haired woman threw herself off the side, gasping in pain as she hit her ankle again, and barely catching the lamp post that had caught her attention…She knew there was the high probability that Paulie would catch her…but she'd make him work for it.
She slid down the pole to the next street, landing on her bad foot and nearly swearing again…Instead she kept it inside as she began running again…Unfortunately she didn't know where she was, and had no time to study her map…
She glanced backwards but the blond hadn't dropped to the street yet…
Okay…so he was angry that she had robbed him, (even though she had warned him in advanced) and he was angry that he had been forced to chase her literally halfway across the city, but now he was beyond angry…
Slowly but surely the shipwright had become impressed with the petite pirate's elaborate plan…She was always one step ahead, and if he started falling behind she would wait for him to catch up…He knew she must have been enjoying herself…
It had been on the last bridge, he had made it out of the water just in time to see her roll back to her feet, having slipped in the water that was dripping off her body. (Which was not something he wanted…well, should to be thinking about… ) And though she was running again immediately he could see the limp.
It was one thing to tease him mercilessly…It was something else to get herself hurt.
Snarling the blond had chased her across the bridge, catching her fleeting glance, and then watching in horror as she had jumped. He had reached the same spot only a few seconds later to see her biting her lip in pain as she landed on the street below.
Things had gone on for more than long enough…!
Cursing again he dropped his soaking wet cigar on the pavement.
She obviously had to ditch her plan…which gave him the advantage. Instead of descending as she had the carpenter sprinted the rest of the way down the stone bridge, watching the pirate as she ran one level below him. He saw her look back for him and smiled grimly.
Oh when he caught her…
Her unfamiliarity with the area, coupled with her hurt leg meant he pulled ahead of her…A few steps, then feet at a time…There was another lap post coming up and he steeled himself before jumping at it.
Allowing himself to slide, as he had seen her doing, and then hitting the street before her he didn't hesitate in charging forward. Nami's eyes widened as she saw him and she tried to skid to a halt, hampered by her sandals on the cobblestone, and slipped again. He was to her before she could get up again.
"You…!!" The blond was gasping…She had tried to get up after her second fall but he had reached her by then and she knew the chase was over…
Since she couldn't escape anymore Nami allowed herself to sink back to the cobblestones that had just tripped her up, shaking with exhaustion…That had been some chase…
Paulie was panting heavily, slumped on the street, with one hand on her arm to stop her from trying to get away…Like there was any hope of that now…
No, instead the thief allowed herself to fall against the carpenter's shoulder, and began laughing weakly. "That…." She gasped again for breath. "That was so much fun…"
Paulie glared at her, but he was too exhausted to begin yelling just yet. Smiling cheerfully Nami pulled the stolen goggles off of her head and handed them to him…Then giggled when he immediately put them back on, with a grumpy look on his face.
The thief leaned her head on her companion's shoulder, ignoring his small sputtering of embarrassment, as she also panted for air. Knowing it wasn't a wise idea, but unable to stop herself, she looked up at him through her coppery lashes and said coyly, "Still think I'm clumsy, Paulie?"
He began swearing again and she laughed breathlessly. Oh, he was just too much fun! But his anger, when he let it out, was not directed at the trouble she had just caused him.
"Yes you're damn clumsy!!" He snapped. "I saw you trip, and now you've done something to your ankle…" In spite of his furious words the carpenter's hands were gentle as he touched the injury, which had begun to swell. "And what the hell was with jumping off the bridge!! You could have been killed!"
Nami was finally able to take in a deep, relaxing breath. "It's okay…" She murmured but the blond began swearing again and cut her off.
"It is not fucking okay!! You're clumsy and reckless and…"
But she had also begun glaring. "I am not! If I was clumsy than how was I able to steal those, huh?" She rolled slightly so she was kneeling before him and pointed up at the goggles that had caused him so much trouble today. "You even knew it was coming and I still got them! I am not clumsy!!"
Paulie glared back at her, willing all his anger into it, with no apparent effect. "Damn it Nami!! You wouldn't have hurt yourself if you weren't always doing these reckless things…!"
Hands on her hips the copper haired woman leaned towards him, ignoring the shivers she got from the wind rushing over her cold, wet body.
"Recklessness is what Luffy does…If I had been reckless you would have caught me ages ago!!" Then she smirked. "I'll bet you don't even know when I stole them from you, huh?"
Not wanting to admit the point the blond glowered and grabbed her arm again. "You are…" But what she was he didn't end up saying. As he had begun chastising her again the petite woman had attempted to get up. Off balanced by his hand on her arm, and the slippery cobblestone under her feet she fell forward again, right onto the confused shipwright.
…Or more specifically onto his lips…
There's barely any chance at all that something like it could really happen…but barely any chance and no chance at all are two different things, so the poor man found himself on his back on the cold street, the pirate on top of him, her lips glued to his.
What is one suppose to do in a situation like that?
For a few second neither of them moved. But then the thief gave a tiny squeak of surprise and jumped off of him, her face a rosy red.
The blond rolled onto his feet, giving her a stunned look, while she avoided his gaze.
Hands shaking she tried again to get up, this time slipping back to fall on her butt, and she winced. "Er…" Since she couldn't get up…and even if she could she probably wouldn't have been able to walk…he did the only thing he could, reaching one hand down to her.
She took it, still carefully not looking into his eyes, and neither of them spoke for several moments. But finally, freezing cold and embarrassed beyond belief, Nami spoke. "Sorry…I, um…I tripped." Well obviously he knew that but she had to say something!
"Uh…yeah…It's no problem…"
There was another moment of awkward silence before the shipwright nodded at her. "I…I'll help you, so let's go back…"
Unable to do anything but agree she nodded, allowing him to pick her up, and take her back to the headquarters.
They didn't speak again as they made their way to dock no.1. It was 5:52 when they got there…Though the results of their bet was the furthest thing from their minds.
The Strawhat pirates, as well as the two other foremen, were in the shipyards when they returned. Sanji became fired up when he saw her ankle but she told them it was her fault, and that she had slipped.
Lulu looked back and forth between them. (He had set her on a table so their doctor could wrap her ankle) "I see you got your goggles back Paulie…" The older man said mildly, met by the shipwright's usual round of insults…Which seemed very forced.
Nami had been studying the ground intently ever since he had set her on the table…She was really distracted by what had just happened but…There was something else she had to do before she could focus on anything else.
"Sanji-kun?" She motioned for the cook to move closer. "Can you do me a favor?" Happy to be of assistance he twirled towards her, shouting, "Of course Nami-san! Anything you want me to do I'd do for you!!"
The lovely thief motioned him closer again so she could whisper in his ear…The love struck smile on his face was replaced by a look of confusion but she fluttered her eyelashes and he agreed.
At 5:59 Chopper had finished wrapping her injury and was looking at her sympathetically. "Does it hurt Nami?" She gave him a distracted smile but her eyes drifted back to the carpenter who had just confused her so much…She tried to focus on the thought of him getting what he deserved, without much success.
Robin had sat next to her, watching the two try to watch each other without the other noticing. There was definitely something happening…
At the first chime of six Sanji leaned towards the carpenter. "Oi…can I borrow your lighter for a moment?" When the other blond looked at him the cook motioned to his unlit cigarette, and Paulie began searching his coat pockets.
At the fifth chime of six his face reflected his confusion…He couldn't find the damn thing anywhere!
And on the final chime of the hour Nami allowed a victorious little grin onto her face. "Oh Paulie…" She had been waiting for this for hours…
Not wanting to look at her again but knowing it would be suspicious if he didn't the blond managed to throw a glare over at her table, hoping the others didn't notice his anger wasn't genuine…then stopped, blinking in shock.
The copper haired woman was holding his lighter in between her two fingers. "Looking for this?" He stared at her, unable to understand what had just happened. "I never said your goggles were the item I was going to steal…" She fluttered her eyelashes, enjoying the absolute confusion on his face. "That's 500 beri I believe you owe me."
The shipwright's mouth dropped open and all he could do was stammer at her in a stunned way. Even the laughter of those around him couldn't make him look away from her.
"What…? How…? When…?"
She smiled then, a slow smile that made him shiver, and looked at him through her lashes in that extremely sexy way he liked… 'Argh! No, I don't like it…!'
"I think you know when." She purred…He couldn't help it, he began choking again, blushing a bright red, while the others glanced back and forth between them. The navigator's smile changed back to normal, to his great relief, and she looked at her companions.
"Can I have a minute guys?" Her nakama agreed, Sanji very reluctantly, and she turned to the two other carpenters. "Please?" She smiled at them flirtatiously and both men blushed slightly. "Uh…Sure thing Nami-san…" Lulu coughed in embarrassment and looked away. Grabbing the towering man with him they also left the two at the table, in the shadow of an incomplete ship.
She studied him for a moment before patting a spot on the table beside her. "Come sit down so I don't have to shout at you all the way over there…"
Reluctantly he did so, feeling the near perpetual blush that plagued him when Nami was around creeping up his neck.
"You know Paulie…" She pursed her lips and he looked down at the ground. Man, this was not good…
"You might not have believed me earlier when I said I was a thief but I think you've changed your mind by now, right?" She looked at him but he refused to take the bait. "What's your point?" He asked her in a grumpy voice.
He heard her little giggle before she continued. "A professional like me knows when to take advantage of a situation…"
Cautiously he looked at her. The copper haired woman was looking straight ahead, her own cheeks flushing, though he didn't know why. "You asked me how I got this…" She held up his lighter again but when he moved to take it she pulled it back out of his reach. "Just a second, I'm explaining something…" She sounded exasperated.
"You asked me how I got this…" She repeated. "Well…It might have been on accident but I know when to take advantage of a situation so…"
He grunted in annoyance. "Just say what the hell you mean!"
He heard her sigh. "Impatient…" She murmured. "Alright…this is the point."
Unprepared for her movement the shipwright suddenly found his lap full of the beautiful woman, who was smirking at him sexily. Before he could speak, before he could even move she leaned in so their noses were touching.
"I didn't create the situation…but I liked where it was going." Again she was practically purring at him and he gulped. Very slowly and deliberately he felt Nami's hand slid up against his chest…He wasn't sure why he didn't throw her off…maybe he was paralyzed by shock.
Feeling the pirate's warm breath against his mouth he felt his hands shaking. "Are you paying attention Paulie?" She murmured and he almost groaned.
He was sure she had noticed that he was paying attention!!
Then there was a sudden pressure against the top right pocket in his jacket and she pulled back, smirking smugly. "And now you have your lighter back."
He blinked…She had not done all that just to…just to…The shipwright found himself gulping again but this time he was a little angry.
Nami was still giving him a smug look. "Well?" She asked in a teasing voice. "Nothing to say…?" She fluttered her eyelashes at him, her hands now resting on his forearms.
"You…!" He wasn't sure what to say. "That's it…!" He muttered.
Before she could react he had grabbed her around the waist with one hand, the other slipping into her hair so he could pull her down. "That is it!!" He said again before kissing her firmly.
She responded easily and they kissed for a few moments before he let her go, feeling dazed.
"Well, there's the reaction I was looking for…"
He hated how smug she sounded but there wasn't much he could do about it at the moment and she knew it. She leaned into him again, ignoring the burning blush on his face. "Paulie…"
He gulped…Damn it! She shouldn't sound so sexy!!
"You still owe me 500 beri."
Laughing cheekily at his frustration she pulled herself off of his lap, using his arm to balance herself. "I might consider lowering your debt…But I'll warn you…It'll cost you much more in the long run." She winked at him while he tried to regain some semblance of dignity.
"Why would I do that then?!" Feeling grumpy at her, well…mostly at her teasing…the shipwright stood so he could look down at the pirate. Nami smiled up at him again and then lifted her arms in a "You have to carry me because I still can't walk" motion. Annoyed he picked her up again, gentle despite his frustration.
"Well instead of paying me 500 beri…you could give me triple that in kisses." She laughed as he choked again. "Or we could go double to nothing tomorrow…"
He carried her towards the building, shaking his head but refusing to answer. "Oh, I thought you liked gambling?" She asked innocently.
"I will drop you…" He threatened, though she knew he wouldn't really. They entered the building and he took her to the Strawhat's apartment, where her nakama had returned to.
Before he could put her back down and escape she called out to them. "Hey guys! Don't you think Paulie and I should run double to nothing tomorrow?" She bat her lashes and Sanji agreed immediately. "Whatever you want Nami-san!!"
Luffy shrugged with a grin. "Do it Paulie! You might be able to win!" Then he laughed carelessly. Robin had also smiled. "I agree, you have a better chance at winning tomorrow than you did today…"
Chopper pumped his fist into the air. "Nami'll still beat you!!" He cheered. Zoro didn't comment and the shipwright shook his head. It was probably a good thing that they didn't understand what she had meant by that.
He set her at the Strawhat's table and tried to stand again but she caught his jacket. "Hey! You owe me!" She grinned up at him. "So which is it gonna be Paulie?"
Clenching his teeth as his face reddened again he glared at her...Nami was really asking for it…The shipwright forced his embarrassment away and leaned down again until he was next to her ear.
"I'll pay you triple but Nami…I'm going to make you regret this."
He had the satisfaction of hearing her startled gasp and seeing her wide eyes before he made it to the door. Grinning now he waved goodbye to them all and left the apartment whistling.
"What did he say to you Nami-san?" The navigator looked over at the cook who was glaring at the closed door. "Do you need me to kick his ass?"
"No, no, Sanji-kun. It's okay. Paulie's just being a sore loser."
Feeling immensely pleased with herself the copper haired woman gave them all a bright smile as she stood up.
"Eh? Nami-san…You're foot…?"
She shrugged easily at the blond's confusion. "I never said I couldn't walk Sanji-kun…"
She heard Robin's low chuckle and winked at the dark haired woman before making an excuse to go into their shared room. She had plans to make, and a shipwright to catch. Still smiling privately the pirate sat down to calculate an "interest rate" for him…She couldn't wait to see his face tomorrow…
AN: See what I mean? It could keep going on so I had to cut it off somewhere, lol. Again, I hope you guys enjoyed this one, it was pretty fun to write. And thanks to Pikinanou for the plot. (Can you tell I liked the idea? No? I really liked the idea. :P) Please review and let me know what you think!