A/N: Ahhhh... the final chapter! Parting with Hideki and everyone, reunion with the straw-hats... AND a hugeeeeee twist at the end that paves the way for the next story in the series! Which will more than likely go back to the POV of Nami, so heads up on that. But there's a poll, so if you would all so kindly place your vote, I would be ever so happy XD
I hope this is just as satisfactory of an ending as any other story I've written.
Annnnd I hope you enjoy!
Chapter 15: The Final Chapter
"Are you sure it's alright to leave them all alone in the kitchen?" Zoro asked me, wrapping his arm around my shoulder as we sat on the bench in the crow's nest.
"I'm watching over them," I said, leaning into him. I closed my eyes and sighed, letting all my walls go down around him. "What a complicated day. I could use a nap."
"Feel free to sleep," He told me, bringing his hand up to my shoulder, pulling me closer, and caressing it gently. "It's been over twenty four hours since we've slept."
"I don't want to take chances with these log poses," I muttered, staring down at the two eternal poses in my hands. The one we needed most wasn't aligned properly, but we were dropping off Aiko, Seijo and everyone back to the pirate island from the story first. They'd start a new life there. Then we would be off to get Luffy and the others.
"I'll watch over it for you," he told me.
"You don't even know how to read one," I chuckled.
"Just make sure the red tip faces the helm, right?" He took it and looked at it carefully.
"Somehow I feel you'd mess that up," I tilted my head to look up at him.
"You have such confidence in me," He told me.
"I have confidence in you," I told him, lifting my hand to his face. "I have confidence in your loyalty, in your fighting ability… But, Zoro, your sense of direction sucks."
"I feel refreshed," Luffy said, standing at the window, peering through the blinds.
"Good," Nami said, folding the covers on the bed. She looked down at the Marines in the street across from them. "I wonder how Robin and Zoro are doing today."
He stretched, not saying anything for a moment before turning to me and saying, "I'm sure they're on their way back by now."
She smiled, "You're right…"
"Mm, of course! I'm the captain! I'm always right," he grinned.
"Well, sometimes," he looked down at the floor. He looked up suddenly and met her gaze, "But I know my crew! And they're doing just fine."
"You're so confident," Nami murmured, grabbing her bag. It was time to switch inns again.
"Well, it helps that you're here," he said.
She couldn't help but smile, up until the point where he spoke again.
"So can I beat up these Marines?"
Nami brought her fist down on his head before walking too and out the door.
"I've missed you so much," Aiko kissed Hikime head, holding him close. Hideki sat across from her, already having experienced the same treatment. Harumi sat on the sofa where Robin had sat during the coup de bust, sitting on the far side of it away from Tanaka-ojiisan. Seijo sat beside Aiko, his hand resting gently on her back.
"Hikime?" Seijo was unsure of himself.
"Dad," Hikime reached his hand out to the pirate. Hideki frowned and looked away, not sure what to do in this situation. He didn't feel needed. He didn't want to be there.
"I'm going to go and take a nap," He excused himself.
"Hideki," Aiko called out to him, but he kept going.
"Aniki?" Hikime said, rising.
"I'll go talk to him," Seijo said.
"You're probably the last person he wants to talk to," Tanaka-ojiisan said. "Just leave him be, he'll come around. These two haven't slept for the past two days. If you press to hard, they're just going to fight against you from being over tired."
Aiko nodded, and then looked down at Hikime. "You should probably go to sleep too."
"Will Aniki leave us?" he asked, looking up at his mother.
"Of course not," She said, embracing him once more.
"Will you still be here when I wake up?" Hikime asked, pulling away and holding his mother's hands.
"Of course I will," She said, squeezing his hands tightly and bringing them to her lips.
"Will dad still be here?" he asked, looking over.
"Mm," Seijo smiled. His eyes were watery when Hikime came and hugged him.
It wasn't until Hikime was out of the room that Seijo actually did cry.
"I have a son," he said, wiping his eyes as the tears came.
"Mm," Aiko slid closer to him, she hugged him. "I'm sorry."
Seijo's arm slid around her waist, "Don't be. I couldn't be happier right now."
And so he became the king –the blood and guilt of killing his evil half-brother washed away with the hopes and prayers of the citizens, all of whom had hoped for a more rightful ruler. The head of the dragon he had slain rested above the fireplace mantle, and the girl of his dreams remained forever by his side…
"The end," I closed the book and my eyes simultaneously.
"That's it?" Zoro asked me.
"Well, there's a sequel," I told him.
"A sequel, huh," He murmured.
"Want me to read you that one too?" I opened one eye to look at him.
"A sequel sounds kind of boring," He said.
"Well, I haven't read it yet, so I wouldn't be able to tell you," I turned into him, wrapping my arm around his waist. "I think it's about his son and two daughters though. One daughter gets kidnapped, the other is supposed to be married off, and the son has to prove that he has what it takes to be king –"
"Another dragon slaying?"
I chuckled, "I don't know. I told you, I haven't read it yet."
"Or we could start an entirely new book."
"It doesn't matter to me," Zoro's arms wrapped around me, caressing the skin exposed on my lower back. "I just like listening to your voice."
I smiled. "I love you."
"Mm," He said, "I love you too."
I looked up at him, kissing him gently on the lips. I began to pull away, but he placed his hand lightly on the back of my head. Slowly I increased the power of the kiss and brought my hands to the sides of his face. I straightened, leaning over him who had nearly slid down into a lying down position on the floor. He half-sat up to meet me in the middle, bringing his hand up to the hem of my shirt and pulling me down on top of him. He rolled the both of us over so that he was on top, pushing the dumbbells by my head out of the way with ease.
My shirt ripped, and he paused.
"Sorry," he murmured.
I chuckled, "It's fine. I'll wear yours."
He sat up above me, taking his shirt off carefully and throwing it aside. He reached down and slid the torn material off of me before continuing on with our kiss. His fingers trailed down to my pants, undoing the button and pushing them down over my hips. I sat up and slid my legs out the rest of the way.
I let him gaze at me, his eye drinking me in. I lifted my hand to his face and stroked his cheek, "What's wrong?"
"When we have children," he began, but then stopped.
"I won't leave you," I closed my eyes. "I promise, I won't leave you."
He let out a breath, and its heat fanned my face gently just before I felt his lips on my jawbone. I opened my eyes and looked at the ceiling, a smile playing upon my lips.
"Besides, without me you'd get lost."
"Aniki," Hikime entered the men's quarters and looked around.
"Go away," Hideki said from one of the bunk beds.
"Ouch," Hikime tripped over something.
"Are you okay?" Hideki got up and looked down at his brother.
"I'm fine," Hikime grinned.
"Then leave," He turned back to the wall.
"You're making mom sad," he climbed over to his brother's side.
"She deserves it," Hideki muttered.
"No," Hikime said angrily. "Mom doesn't. She's been through so much already. Don't you think eight years in jail is punishment enough?"
Hikime punched his brother's form on the bed. "Stop being like this!"
Hideki turned and pushed his brother down. "Don't tell me what to do! I've always been like this!"
"Why do you hate her?" Tears rose to his eyes.
"I –I…" Hideki looked at a loss. He avoided his brother's eyes. "You wouldn't understand. You're just a wimp."
"Why do you hate her?" Hikime persisted. "She would have been by our side if she could have been! Why do you hate her?"
"I don't hate her!" Hideki shouted at him. He pushed his brother down again when he stood up, walking to the opposite side of the room and sat at the sunken in table. He rested his hands in front of him at the table. "I don't hate her…"
Hikime inched closer, but didn't say anything. He didn't have to.
"I just don't know how to act around her… she's been gone for eight years… and I can't just forgive her. It was all preventable."
"But Sofu said that if mom hadn't gone through what she'd been through, I wouldn't be here," Hikime murmured, sitting beside his brother cautiously.
"You probably wouldn't be," Hideki agreed. He looked up at the ceiling.
"Would you be happy if I weren't here?"
"Maybe," Hideki said. He paused but when on after a short moment, "But I'm happy now, and you are here."
Hikime hugged his brother, "I love you, Aniki."
"Get off me," Hideki said pushing his brother away, hiding a small smile.
"You should just tell mom. I think she thinks you hate her."
"But she's with that pirate."
"Dad loves mom, he came all this way for her."
"I don't know how to face them."
Hikime thought for a moment, "I think Robin-neechan would just tell you to take your time."
"And Zoro-niichan would tell me to grow a backbone," Hideki muttered.
The two boys looked at each other. Then they both cracked a smile.
I opened my eyes and looked up at the dark sky outside the window of the crow's nest. Still, I hadn't gotten any sleep. I felt uncomfortable with so many new people on board. One of which was a pirate, the other an ex-Marine, and a old man that had tried to drug me to make it easier to turn me in to the Marines.
Tanaka-ojiisan sat at the helm, Aiko sitting by his side and Seijo leaning against her legs as he took a nap. Hideki and Hikime came out of the men's quarters, having slept the day away, similar to how Zoro had right there beside me. Cautiously they approached the three adults on the upper deck. After a moment Aiko rushed to give Hideki a hug.
"Robin," Zoro said, getting my attention.
I looked at him.
He yawned before asking, "What are you thinking about?"
"That I need a drink," I told him, pushing myself up off the ground. "You can continue to sleep. We should almost be at the island."
"You don't want me to come with?" He asked, reaching up to take my hand.
"I'm sure I can be away from you for a moment," I ran a hand through his hair before slipping into his discarded shirt and putting my pants back on.
I opened the latch and crept back down to the deck. I slipped into the aquarium, only to see Harumi sitting there at the bar. I didn't pause in my approach and sat down next to him.
"Want something to drink?" he offered, automatically going into his bartender mode.
"Hold the poison," I murmured, leaning onto the counter.
"Thank you, for today," he said, pouring me a glass of wine.
"Mm," I said, taking the glass and smelling it before taking a sip.
"You have a nice ship," he said quietly. "Where do you plan on going after you get your nakama back?"
"To the next island," I said, swirling the liquid in the glass. I set it down and stared at the fish. "Then to the island after that. Then the next island… up until we reach the end of the Grand Line."
"How ambitious," he said.
"We have a captain that wants to be the next Pirate King."
"Ah," he turned his glass around in his hands.
"You can take away your charade," I told him after a moment.
"Of course I knew."
"Do you think your captain would take me along for a while?" Harumi asked, standing up. "I want to go back to my hometown, but it's pretty far to travel alone."
"What about Seijo?"
"He has better things to do. Not that you don't too, but if you follow the log pose between islands we'll reach my island eventually."
"We'll see," I told him, taking the drink and going to the door. There was a commotion above.
The door opened before I reached it. Zoro peeked in. "Island in sight."
"That's great," I smiled. "Drop the anchor and turn the channels so that we can ship them out on their fishing boat. Going right up to the island would be a waste of our time. We need to get back to everyone."
"Right," Zoro said, disappearing.
"Let's go say our goodbyes," I told the bartender.
"Thank you," Aiko and Tanaka-ojiisan told me as we stood below deck. The channel was open, and the waves slowly rocked the fishing boat back and forth.
"You're welcome," I said.
"You sure, Harumi?" Seijo asked, standing on the fishing boat already. "The Straw-hats are mostly –"
"I'll be fine," Harumi said.
"If you're sure," Seijo shrugged, throwing the things they'd brought with them into the small cabin of the fishing ship.
"I am," Harumi said firmly.
"Bye Robin-neechan," Hikime hugged me. "I hope your captain becomes the Pirate King."
"Thank you," I said, patting his head, and then helping him get onto the small boat.
"Robin," Hideki began.
"Yes?" I asked.
"Thank you," he murmured. He pressed his lips together before grabbing my shoulder and pulling me down to his height. He whispered something in my ear quickly, and then kissed my cheek before hopping into the boat and ducking away into the cabin.
"Hey!" Zoro's hand automatically went to his katana.
I was taken by surprise for a moment before I let out a chuckle.
"Maybe when you grow a little older," I called to him.
Seijo and Aiko laughed.
"You got some competition," the old man said, pushing the ship out of the channel dock.
"Like hell I do," Zoro tugged me closer to him.
"Bye!" Hikime waved vigorously. "Come visit sometime!"
"Bye!" The three of us waved.
Once they were out of the channel, we went back to the deck and turned the channel back to the paddles. Seijo released the sail and the wind gently carried through the sail, pulling them towards the island. Zoro pulled up our anchor. Harumi waved as they grew further and further away, both ships heading in opposite directions.
And then they were out of sight.
And our adventure with the five of them ended.
And the ship was quiet.
But it wouldn't be for long.
"Damn it, Luffy," Nami shouted over her shoulder as they ran through the town. "Why did you do that?"
"They were –"
"I don't care!"
"But nothing! Because of you we're being chased all over this island!"
"Shishishi," Luffy laughed.
"Don't you dare laugh… We can't even get off this island," Nami muttered, jumping over a branch as they entered the forest along side the cliff. Everyone else was up ahead; the first to get away after Luffy caused such a commotion.
"How about on our ship?" Luffy said.
"If you haven't noticed, we're kind of lacking in that department," Nami said.
"But it's right there," Luffy said, pointing to the ocean's horizon.
The seven of them skidded to a halt.
"What?" They all looked.
"It is! It's the Thousand Sunny!" Franky called out.
"We can't wait for them to get here," Nami said. She turned to Luffy, but he was already grinning. He pulled Nami out of the way while the others were still looking at the ship, and brought his hands far back behind him.
"Gomu gomu no~" He began, and everyone turned.
Nami watched as the five of them went flying towards the ships, shouting curse words the entire time.
"Now time for us," Luffy said, grabbing Nami with on hand, and running inland. His right hand stretched behind him, and he turned, and let his arm snap him towards the ship while holding Nami close to him.
"They're coming," Zoro said, leaping down from the crow's nest.
"Who?" I asked, sitting up on the chair on the lawn deck.
"Marines, Luffy, and the others," He said, going to the railing. There were five splashes, and water sprayed over the edge of the ship. Zoro jumped over, diving in to save our nakama with Devil fruit abilities.
"What's going on?" Harumi asked, coming out of the kitchen.
"Our nakama," I said, catching Chopper as Zoro threw him onto the ship. Sanji and Franky climbed aboard themselves. Zoro had to go around the ship to find Brooke, who had been sent flying the furthest due to his light weight.
"Who's this?" Sanji glared at Harumi.
"Robin!" Luffy greeted, grabbing the mast and coming down on the ship. The others glared at him.
"This is Harumi," I told them. "A bartender that needs a ride home."
"A bartender!" Luffy said, adjusting his hat on his head. "Want to join our crew?"
Sanji kicked Luffy into the wall of the ship. "We don't need more guys! This crew is turning out like most of the other crews on this sea –a sausage fest!"
"Eh? Sausages?" Luffy jumped back to his feet, unfazed. "Are we having that for lunch?"
"Not what he meant, Luffy," Nami rolled her eyes. She walked over to Harumi, who had shrunken back a little bit.
"Look! He's a wimp too! We don't need wimps on our ship!" Sanji said angrily. "It's bad enough we have Usopp and Chopper!"
"Oi!" The two shouted.
"No need to worry," I said, walking over to Harumi, "Because Harumi's special."
"I see," Nami said, grinning. "I think we could use a bartender on board."
"Nami-swan, you have me!" Sanji said.
"Why is she dressed like a boy?" Luffy asked.
"What?" Usopp, Franky, Zoro and Sanji all turned to him. "Luffy, He's clearly a boy!"
"Eh? Really?" Luffy exclaimed.
"No, Luffy's right," I said.
"Eh?" Their heads swung to face me.
"Harumi's a girl."
A/N: And I leave it on a cliff hanger XD Like I said, paving the way to a new story XD
Though I don't actually know when I'll start it, because I want to start a story that's not really part of my One-Piece mini-series... Actually, the number of stories that I want to write have suddenly piled up high. Here's to hoping i get them coming to you soon! Once more, I direct you to the polls in my profile page... Thank you! :)
Once again, to DeathbyManga, thank you for the idea of the bartender XD
Thanks for reading!