The dense darkness enveloped Thousand Sunny like a blanket as the ship cruised effortlessly on the descending current. Nami saw tiny specks of light that seem to dance and float in the far distance. Fish, with their bioluminescent lure, flickered on and off in their search for food. Every now and then, she could make out the colossal mass of a sea king swimming by. She held her breath during those tense moments until they faded away into obscurity. At a depth of only 150-meter, sunlight ceased to penetrate the watery depth. At their current depth of around 1000-meter, it was abysmal black.

The cold seeped into her skin and Nami shivered in her wool overcoat. Perhaps she needed to reevaluate her choice of wardrobe before it got colder than it was now. She returned to her quarter that she shared with Robin and made a quiet search for warmer clothes. Just like her old thieving days, she had no trouble rummaging through the closets and dresser in the dark. And she did it all without making a single noise. She found a sweater and silk scarf. Silk was not necessarily the best thing to wear in the cold, but it was all she could find. She put them both on and slipped outside.

Sleep did not come easily to Nami like it did for Robin and others. The excitement did not die down and she felt compelled to explore if only to reacquaint herself with the ship she had not seen for two years. A trip to the library was her first order of business.

Nami neared the stairs when someone emerged from the men's quarter down below. The figure jogged his way across the lawn deck, climbed up the stairs to the second floor and then entered the dining room. It was not hard to identify the shadowy figure. His slender frame and light-colored hair gave him away.

After all the mess Luffy created was cleaned up, Sanji vanished into his kitchen for the rest of the day. Dinner was superb even by Sanji's standard. He really outdid himself. Luffy voiced how much he missed his cooking and took it upon himself to show it by taking three extra helpings before Zoro stopped him on his fourth. Only Usopp noticed Sanji's absent during the grand feast. Chopper stated he saw him leave, explaining he was feeling a little sluggish and was turning in early.

Under normal circumstances, Nami would have paid no attention to Sanji and left him alone. No doubt, he was on his way to prepare the crew's breakfast. Even though it was quite early by his schedule. After a short deliberation, she had a change of heart and concluded a quick visit couldn't hurt either one of them. Suddenly, she remembered his recent episodes of nosebleeds and halted in her tracks.

Then again, maybe it would hurt him.

She mused, tapping her chin. Maybe there was a way around it, and she quickly came up with a simple solution she could try. Of course if it didn't work, she would have to wake up Chopper in a hurry.

Quietly, she crept to the door of the dining room and cracked it open a sliver. In the dim light, she could see the table, chairs and the kitchen, but no sign of Sanji. Had she been mistaken? Did he use the ladder to disappear to the deck above instead? She headed to the ladder, intending to climb up when the door to the pantry swung wide open.

Sanji, showing off an amazing balancing act, came out carrying a barrel of wine, a crate of potato, two bags of flour and sugar, three jars of preserved fruits, a can of lard and five small bottles of unknown content. The provisions were stacked up so high in his hands that he didn't see her at all. So it should come to no surprise that he was literally knocked off his feet when he heard her sweet voice calling out his name.

He dropped everything and fell back and landed on his rear. "Nami-san?" He floundered. His eyes fixed solidly at her shoes.

"Sorry. I didn't mean to surprise you. Let me give you a hand."

"No, no, no. It's fine. You don't need to do anything. Did you want me to make you something? A snack? A drink? Coffee?" His voice sounded nervous, almost shaky. He collected his fallen items and hastened to put them away in the kitchen.

"Actually, I thought we could hang out and catch up for a bit."

His mouth hung open while he absorbed her words. "You want to hang out with me?"

"Yes, let's hang out," she spoke, enunciating each word slowly and clearly. Nami took a seat at the counter, crossed her legs at the knees, and smirked at him. It was actually quite amusing to see him like this. She had forgotten how easy it was to distract him. How a simple innocent little comment could fire him up.

Sanji swallowed unconsciously and with great effort, kept his eyes averted from her face. "I don't think that's a good idea right now," he replied ruefully.

Nami was stunned. Unbelievable. Was he turning her down? Sanji? The so-called love cook was refusing her company? What happened to him in the last two years on Momoiro Island? He had called it hell repeatedly. Big deal. So what if he had to hang out with a bunch of okamas. It was not like she was having a party on Weatheria with those stuffy wrinkly old men. She survived just fine.

Nami sighed at his pathetic sight and gave up. Sanji was Sanji. She would never understand men and their foolishness. "Close your eyes."

Confused, Sanji did what he was told. Nami jumped off her stool and moved around the counter to his side. Unwrapping the scarf from her neck, she slide it under his long fringe to cover his eyes. She gave the knot a sharp jerk that she ended up yanking his head back. She wanted to be absolutely sure it wouldn't come off. He didn't complain. Not that he ever complained to her.

"How's that? Good? Now we can hang out."

Sanji gingerly touched his eyes and gave Nami the thumbs-up. "What a marvelous brilliant idea, Nami-san!"

Nami could tell he wasn't so confident about it, but at least he wasn't as jittery as before. He lit up a cigarette and took a long drag from it, which relaxed him a bit more. If he was anxious to start breakfast, he didn't show it.

They talked mainly about the journey to Fisherman Island though she did most of talking. She was surprised to discovered he had caught her brief explanation of the ocean currents, despite his seemingly unconscious blood loss state. Brook and Franky were the only males on the ship that had any understanding of undersea travel. The other male crewmates, to her great annoyance, just played off their ignorance. When she tried to educate them on the main concept, they only found something else to obsess over. What idiots. Some people never change.

Sanji, on the other hand, always seemed to be interested in what she had to say, remembered every word she uttered and never made her feel ignored or inadequate. A gentleman through and through. It was too bad he had such a lecherous side to him. The sight of any pretty girl sent him flying like a madman.

The topic had somehow switched over to All Blue, one of his favorite things to talk about besides women and food. He was excited over the prospect of meeting the denizens of Fisherman Island and was hopeful he could glean any tidbit of information from them about the legendary ocean. Nami noticed that whenever he talked about All Blue, he had a little sparkle in his eyes. It was almost endearing. She allowed herself a little smile in those rare moments.

Nami took the time to study his new appearance. His moustache was something she would have to get use to. She hadn't decided if she liked it or not. It was certainly a different look for him. His tie was loose, his collar left unbuttoned and he still wore his trademark black suit. That hadn't changed. And his hair. There was definitely something different about his hair, but she couldn't put her finger on what it was.

Suddenly an inappropriate image of him shirtless flashed in her head, which snapped her out of her trance. She would never admit it to anyone, but she had those irritating moments when she stared too hard at the cook. Of course she always made sure he never saw her looking at him. She didn't want to give him any silly ideas.

Not that he could tell that she was ogling him right now. He still went on and on about All Blue even though she was only half-listening to him at that point. Nami had to admit, he had filled out nicely. Despite wearing a jacket and a long coat, she could tell his upper body had gotten a little more muscular since the last time she saw him.

Maybe it was the low oxygen level that caused a temporary lapse in judgment. She never did figure out how the air quality was maintained inside a coated ship, especially with somebody smoking cigarettes and burning wood for cooking almost all the time. Or maybe it was the lack of sleep catching up to her. Whatever the case, she could not resist the idea of testing Sanji's limit and having a little fun with him.

Quietly Nami left her seat and made her way to where Sanji stood. He continued chatting in the direction where she was before, unaware of any changes. And ever so carefully she leaned over and blew gently across his cheek. His voice faltered in mid-sentence, his mouth parted open.

Sanji shook his head and laughed it off. "Did you feel that, Nami-san? Is the ship suppose to feel- breezy?"

"You mean like this?" she whispered in a sultry voice. She blew again just under his jawline. Realizing she was next to him, he pulled away but she caught his wrist and held onto him. "What's the matter, Sanji-kun? Feeling all right?"

"Nami-san! Everything is fine," he lied, almost choking on each word. His other hand covered his nose like he was about to sneeze. All he needed was a white handkerchief to complete the look.

Nami smirked to herself. Her fingers stroke the back of his neck, sending shivers down his skin. And just as carefully, her lips kissed the back of his hand. Yes, that's right. The back of his hand. It's not like she could have kissed his lips. His hand was covering his nose, blocking the way. Not that she wanted to kiss his lips. Oh no. The thought never crossed her mind at all. Never. Never. Never.

Nami stepped back to see what would happen next and... Nothing happened.

Not that it wasn't a bad thing, all things considered. It was good that nothing happened because if she really thought about it, did she really want Sanji to pass out from a nosebleed? She would be covered in his blood, ruining her nice clothes, which she would never forgive him for. Then she would have to wake Chopper, which in turn would wake everyone else. They would see her drenched in blood and think she murdered Sanji, which wasn't out the realm of possibility. And when the confusion and chaos finally died down and everything was sorted out, there would be the unavoidable, embarrassing questions. Why was Sanji blindfolded and collapsed on the floor? What were they doing alone together? What caused his latest episode of nosebleed? Chopper, no doubt, would be very angry at her, reciting caution and care around Sanji because of his delicate condition like he was a pregnant woman.

Yes, Nami should consider herself very lucky nothing happened. But there was still that awkward, silent moment with her holding his hand to contend with. She needed to get away. Pronto. Better to laugh it off as a big joke and run off to bed before things got weird.

It was Sanji's turn to startle Nami. He pulled her to him and found her chin and kissed her full on the mouth like it was the most natural thing to do in the world. She should have smacked him away like she usually did when he got too clingy with her, but his lips were so warm and insistent against hers. It was very intoxicating. Without really thinking, her arms went around his neck as his arms wrapped around her waist. Gone were the uncertainty and anxiety in his action. In its place was something untamed and unpredictable.

Nami couldn't recall how they left the kitchen and ended up on the sofa on the other side of the dining room. She supposed it was all her doing. Not that it mattered. Sanji's mouth was too distracting and frantic, sucking all over her neck and back to her mouth like a starving man. His hands found their way under her sweater, rubbing her abdomen and her sides. It took all her concentration not to moan out loud. It was happening all too quickly.

Somewhere between now and then, she lost her overcoat and sweater. Nami didn't know where they went, but she didn't need them. The room suddenly got a hundred times hotter. Sanji became bolder and his fingers moved upward to her breasts and freed them from her bikini. His mouth found her breast, suckling it while his hand kneaded the other. Her fingers raked through his hair, pressing his head to her chest. She bit her lower lip, trying very hard to remain quiet as his tongue circled and tasted every part of her. Lower and lower he moved until he reached her pants.

Then Sanji stopped and sat up. Panting, she stared at him in shock.

Even with the scarf hiding his eyes, she could tell he had a guilty look on his face like a little boy caught with his hand in the cookie jar. "I'm sorry, Nami-san. You are so beautiful and I- I lost control."

Sorry? He was sorry? He decided now was a good time to act chivalrous. Was he insane? Couldn't he tell she was enjoying every minute of it? She growled in frustration. Sanji could be so stupid sometimes. Well she wasn't going to put up with his chivalry. Sure, it had its charming moments, but now wasn't the time. Nami pushed him roughly onto his back and glared at him. He had way too much clothes on. She was already half-naked, but he still had on everything. She needed to fix that right away.

Nervous, her heart sped up as she undressed him. His long coat was easy enough to remove, but she lost her confidence and began to waiver after that. Stripping him in her mind and actually doing it for real were two different things. A few times her mind blank out and she panicked, but she firmly reminded herself that she was only doing it to even out the playing field. His jacket for her coat, his shirt for her sweater and so on. His tie could stay. She was feeling generous and let him keep that.

After almost ripping off his shirt, she pressed her body to his as tightly as she could. Flesh against flesh, the feeling was incredible. Any lingering guilt he had vanished as soon as she hungrily sought out his mouth to kiss him. She felt his growing arousal against her thigh through the last of their remaining clothes and she giggled at a thought. His nosebleed shouldn't be a problem with his blood flowing somewhere else.

Both of his hands ran through her hair and then flowed down her back until it came to rest on her rear. She shuddered as his hand pushed in between her legs. It seemed he was eager to start where he left off. He unbuttoned her pants and lowered his hand inside. Nami shifted a bit to give him a better access and he took it as good sign to proceed. Oh the things he could do with his hands. Oh la la.

When Nami decided to seek him out, she had no idea it would turn into a late night fling. A tiny voice in her head was asking her how far should she go. They were almost to the point of no return. But even before she could make up her mind, she was playing with the belt of his pants. The darn thing was uncomfortable, digging into her abdomen. Better to get it off and out of the way.

Ah whatever. Who was she fooling? She wanted him now and two years was a long time for anyone to endure. She got rid of their pants in a hurry. Sorely, she noticed Sanji was of no help to her. He seemed to have gone catatonic, making her do all the work. She straddled him, putting her knees at his sides and slipping her feet under his legs for anchorage.

She held her breath. Now or never. Carefully, she guided him into her, slowly dropping down to the hilt.

It was then that Sanji came back to life and gasped for air. "Nami-swan!"

"Be quiet," she hissed and punched him for good measure. He had better not be screaming her name for everyone to hear. She would kill him if he did. She adjusted her position, trying to find a good angle to begin.

Nami started with short bounces just to see how that went. That seemed okay and so she left it at that rhythm. Sanji tried grabbing her hips, but she slapped his hands off and chided him again. He had to settle for rubbing her legs instead. She shut her eyes closed to focus on feeling of his hard shaft rubbing against her. She could hear Sanji's whimpering trying to get her to move faster, but she ignored him. Her limit fast approaching, she decided to pick up the pace. She leaned forward, letting her long hair cascade down and brush against his chest.

And to make a long story short, the earth moved, lightning struck, volcanoes erupted, waves crashed and all those other natural phenomena people say when reached their climax, peak, plateau, or whatever. To put it simply in layman's terms, the sex was great.

Exhausted, Nami snuggled up against his chest and pulled his long coat over them. His face flushed and breathing laboriously, Sanji had on the biggest smile she had ever seen. She chuckled and kissed his neck.

Silly cook.