This takes place sometime in the current "post 2 year time skip" speculating that they gain no new crew members after Fishman Island.
For the record: I don't own One Piece.
OOC and Nightmares
It was just another day on the Sunny and in the life of the Mugiwara Crew. While traveling the waters of the New World, they had the unfortunate luck of coming across a small Navy fleet and were now engaged in battle.
As always the normal chaos ensued. There was a ton of cannon fire from the Navy ships, only to be met by retuning fire from Usopp and Franky. The marines that managed to make it on deck were met with the monstrous abilities of the rest of the crew, quickly being overwhelmed by the might of the Monster Trio with Chopper, Robin, Brook, and Nami as support. The battle was coming to a close fast.
But the mood quickly changed when a group of cowardly marines decided to turn their swords onto Nami, who was too busy conjuring lightning bolts from the second deck just outside the kitchen to notice. As they charged the navigator; she snapped to attention to prepare to defend herself only to have Zoro appear between her and her attackers with what could only be described as lightning speed.
The murderous intent in the Santoryu master's one good eye was unmistakable as he lashed out at anyone in the vicinity. Nami stood almost in shock as she witnessed Zoro bring down opponent after opponent with little ease but almost no mercy. One unfortunate bastard was able to get in a lucky slice to Zoro's upper right bicep, only grazing him, before Zoro unleashed a devastating attack which severed the man's sword arm.
The scream of pain from the pour marine brought the battle to a screeching halt. Both crews stood in a deathly silence after the man had stopped screaming, even the cannon fire had stopped.
The silence was only broken when the straw-hat wearing captain decided to speak. "Gather your injured, and get the hell off our ship." Luffy addressed the marines with a serious look on his face.
They were only too happy to comply as the ones that could still stand started to gather their beaten nakama and make their way back on to what ships of theirs were still floating. The men who moved towards Zoro to help his victims couldn't help but notice the dangerous glare the swordsman still possessed. One marine managed to look past Zoro to get a glimpse of the some-what scared look on the navigator's face, only to have his vision cut off by Zoro moving to block his line sight. The marine heard what sounded like a growl coming from the Santoryu wielder, which prompted him to quickly help his now one armed comrade to his feet and back to their ship as fast as possible.
Only when all marines were back on their ship and moving away from the Sunny did Zoro finally relax and sheath his swords.
"Oi, you shit-heads are just lucky that you only lost one arm and a couple of ships for trying to attack Nami-Swann," yelled out Sanji from the edge of the deck. "If I had got there first I would have killed all of you bastards!"
Shortly after all was settled down the crew was back to their normal activities. Sanji was in the kitchen cooking, Franky was in the bowels of the Sunny reloading his weapons, Robin was on the upper deck attending her flowers, Brook was on the forward deck playing his violin, while the three idiots (Luffy, Usopp, and Chopper) were playing a game on the lawn deck.
The only ones who weren't doing their usual was Zoro, who after a nagging Chopper insisted on bandaging the scratch on his arm, was put to work mopping the blood off the deck near the kitchen, and then there was Nami. Said navigator was currently stalking towards Zoro's back with a rather pissed off look in her eyes.
Without missing a beat in her stride, the fiery woman unleashed a powerful right hand to the top of Zoro's head, sending the man face first into the deck with a loud smash. As Zoro started to rise, a red mark on his forehead and a large bump on top of his head was clearly visible.
"What the hell is your problem woman?"
"I'm the one who should be asking you that baka!" The navigator quickly retorted. "What was that crap earlier during the fight?"
"What the hell are you talking about?" Zoro was now a little confused, but still too pissed to lower his voice.
"I'm talking about when you decided to go all psycho on those marines, you scared the shit out of me, I thought you had finally snapped and was going to kill everyone!"
All of the yelling had got the attention of the entire crew as they all came onto the second deck to see what all the commotion was about; even Franky emerged from his workshop with a very confused look on his face.
"In case you forgot, I was saving your ass Princess!" Now Zoro had quickly closed the gap between himself and Nami, almost to point where their foreheads were touching.
Sanji couldn't sit back and continue to listen to the way his precious Nami was being treated by the swordsmen. "Oi, shitty marimo…! You better watch your mouth when you talk to Nami-Swann, and back the hell off or I'm going to kick your ass!"
"You stay the hell out of this!" Both Nami and Zoro yelled in unison, causing the blonde cook to go into instant emo-mode, slumping down beside the wall and pulling his knees into his chest.
Deciding yelling wasn't getting them anywhere, Nami calmed her voice. "I never asked for your help, I'm not the same weakling I was two years ago, I grew stronger too."
Seeing her serious face, Zoro decided to calm his voice as well. "I never called you a weakling, but you were outnumbered and it was going to be close combat, you're fighting skills are better suited for support and long range, was I just supposed to sit back and let them attack you."
"No, but you didn't have to step in front of me either! I could still fight, did ever think about fighting alongside of me instead of always thinking you have to protect me?" The navigator was starting to lose her temper again, and of course Zoro not being one to back down from a fight was yelling once again as well.
"But then you might have got hurt, and I couldn't let that happen!"
"Of course not, you got hurt instead!"
"This is just a scratch! It won't even leave a scar!"
"That's not the point baka! Why are you always the one getting hurt for everyone else's sake? Let me do my own share!" yelled the seething navigator.
"Fine…! If that's what you want, the next time there is a battle, don't come crying to me asking for my help when you get overwhelmed!" Zoro nearly spat at her.
"That's right, because I will protect Nami-Swann from any danger." said Sanji excitedly jumping to his feet.
"I don't need anyone to protect me!" Nami reached to the top of her head with both arms, furiously scratching at her scalp "Arghh!" she exasperatedly threw her arms out in each direction and let them fall to her side before bringing one hand up to pinch the bridge of her nose. "I'm going to the women's quarters, no one better bother me for the rest of the day, is that understood." She said calmly looking at the entire crew with a death stare. All crew members except Zoro silently nodded their heads in a yes motion. Said swordsman scoffed and turned his head in the opposite direction.
Nami then made her way down the stairs, over the lawn deck, and up to the women's quarters with the rest of the crew watching in silence. Once she was inside with the doors closed all eyes went to Zoro.
"Someone else clean this mess up." Stated Zoro pointing down to the mop and blood spots still on the deck floor. "I'm going to go train to blow off some steam before I actually do end up killing someone." And with that being said, the swordsman disappeared into the crows-nest leaving a speechless crew to figure out how to go about the rest of their day.
Sometime later Zoro found himself on the forward deck standing on top of the figure head with his swords already drawn. All this confused him a little because the last thing he remembered was coming down to the lawn deck from the crows-nest when the sun started to go down, but the sun was out now, in fact; with the position the sun was in, he would say it was about noon.
The reason for him being there was soon made clear as he heard cannon fire and saw that he was surrounded by more marines. With a sadistic smile he jumped from the figure head into the group of pirates… 'Wait, pirates, weren't they marines a second ago? Like it really matters.' Zoro thought to himself as he started cutting them down.
The swordsman found these opponents really weak, almost as if they were too weak, but they were quite plentiful in numbers. Suddenly he heard a familiar scream from somewhere on the ship, "Zoro, help me!" It was Nami. 'I knew that wouldn't last long, but these guys are weak, and she said she can handle herself. Besides, if she gets into any real trouble someone else will help her.'
Almost as suddenly as the battle began, it stopped. Zoro looked around himself to see the piles of the dead marines and pirates at his feet. 'Why were marines working with pirates?' The situation was getting more and more confusing to the swordsman. Instead of worrying about it he decided to go check on the rest of the crew. He then found himself standing next to the navigator's mikan trees on the upper deck. 'When did I get up here?' he thought.
As he walked past the trees he saw the rest of the crew standing around in a circle looking down at something, but someone was missing. He approached the group only to have everyone give him a deathly stare as he neared them. Sanji was the first to act.
"Damn you shitty-swordsman! How could you let this happen!?" the cook yelled, clutching the front of said swordsman's yukata. Zoro only responded by giving him a confused look.
"Yeah Zoro, didn't you hear her calling for you?" This time it was Chopper with tears pouring down from his eyes.
Zoro's expression widened when he looked to the ground to find the lifeless navigator lying in a puddle of her own blood.
"Pour Nami-san, now I'll never get to ask to see her panties again."-Brook
"Not super swords-bro. Not super at all."-Franky
"Really kenshi-san…? All over a silly fight, and you used to say I couldn't be trusted."-Robin
"And to think, I used to look up to you."-Usopp
"Why Zoro…? Why didn't you protect her? She even called out to you." Luffy asked him with his hat shading his eyes. Zoro tried to respond, tried to explain, but the harder he tried talking nothing would come out. "If you won't even try to protect your nakama, then you have no business on my crew. Just get lost, and never show your face to me again."
Zoro opened his eye as he quickly snapped to a sitting position, he was breathing heavily, and in a cold sweat. He looked around to get his bearings, he was on the lawn deck, it was dark out, by the position of the moon he would say it was well after midnight. 'Was it a dream?' He had to be sure; he quickly jumped to his feet and grabbed his three swords that had been lying next to him, put them in place in his red-sash, and made his way to the forward deck.
'Baka, of course no one's up here, we made anchor for the night.' Zoro then made his way down the first set of stairs and opened the door to the women's quarters. He looked around first at Nami's bed, it was empty, and then at Robin's, it was empty too. Then he looked over by the wall and noticed Robin sitting next to the end table reading her book.
"Is something the matter kenshi-san?" Robin politely asked with a smile on her face.
Zoro didn't respond, he just closed the door and then proceeded down the second flight of stairs to the men's quarters. He slammed that door open causing everyone in the room to startle.
"Zoro…? What's going on?"-Luffy
"Zoro you scared me."-Chopper
"If you're looking for the toilet again swords-bro, it's under the stairs."-Franky
"Is something wrong Zoro-san? You look like you've seen a ghost. Though I have no eyes to see with! Skull joke! Yohohoho…!"-Brook
Being so late in the night the crew wasn't too keen on putting up with Brook's skull jokes at this hour, and showed their disapproval by bombarding him with an onslaught of pillows.
Zoro, not finding what he was looking for, slammed the door shut and proceeded up the forward mast ropes, then up the ladder, and poking his head through the hatch into the crow's-nest only to find a somewhat shocked Usopp looking at him.
Seeing the swordsman's confused face, "Zoro, it's my turn for the night watch," the long nose calmly said. "Are you looking for the bathroom again?"
Zoro didn't respond to Usopp either, instead he jumped all the way back down to the lawn deck, and made his way to the kitchen.
Barging into the kitchen, Zoro found Sanji sitting at the kitchen counter smoking a cigarette. "Oi, shitty marimo, if you're looking for the damn shitter again, it's either under the stairs next to the living quarters, or it's in the main bath above the library."
That's when it clicked. The library, that's where Zoro needed to look, he quickly crossed the dining room and climbed the ladder leading to the top deck, completely ignoring a chance to fight with the cook. "Seriously, as long as that guy has been on this ship, and he still can't find the toilet?" The cook shook his head, letting out a puff of smoke as he watched the swordsman disappear above deck.
On the top deck Zoro stood in front of the library door, staring at the light emitting from the cracks. His breathing was getting heavy again, his whole body started to shake as he reached for the door handle. He found himself thinking 'please be there' over and over again. With a deep breath he pushed the door open, a little too hard, and quickly scanned the room.
"Holy hell Zoro… Are you trying to give me a heart attack?" And there she was… the object of Zoro's frantic search, Nami. She was just sitting there across the room, at her map making desk in her pajamas, staring back at him with a very shocked expression on her beautiful face.
Nami noticed Zoro just standing in the doorway staring at her, breathing heavily. The fact that he had yet to say anything was starting to irritate her. "Well, what are you staring at; do you have a problem or something?" The mikan-head asked him as she got up from her chair.
With Nami now on her feet, Zoro crossed the room approaching her at a speed that startled her. She placed one foot behind her to get into a defensive position, only to have Zoro grab both of her shoulders. He then pulled her into him, wrapping his arms around her upper arms and interlocking them behind her back. Nami instinctively placed both her hands on the sides of his stomach to try and push him away, but he had too much strength.
'What the hell, is Zoro hugging me?' Nami couldn't help but think as she continued to struggle to put space between them. And that's when she realized 'Wait, he's not hugging me, he's clutching me. He's shaking, and I can feel his heartbeat, it's beating really fast. Something's wrong.'
That's when she decided to quit fighting their closeness. Removing her hands from his sides; she wrapped her arms around his waist instead, and buried her head into his chest, giving him the most reassuring hug she could muster.
Zoro felt her arms wrap around him, he could also smell her hair, that familiar scent of mikans which he couldn't help but associate her with. He finally started to calm, his breathing steadied, and his heart stopped racing. 'She's still here, she's alright, and she's safe.' These were the only thoughts running through his mind, and they were very reassuring to him.
They stood there for several moments in silence, just enjoying each other's embrace. But Nami knew the silence would have to end. Reluctantly Nami removed her head from Zoro's chest, which see found strangely comfortable, to look up at his face and into his still closed eye.
"Not that I'm complaining, but what is this all about?" She regretfully asked.
Zoro finally opened his eye to look down at her, realizing the position he was in, a red tint made its way to his face and he quickly unlocked his arms. Looking down at the mikan-head, he was at a complete loss for words; the only sounds that were coming out of his mouth were stuttered "ah"s and "uh"s .
Getting irritated by the swordsman's silence, Nami unlocked her arms as well. Taking a step back, Nami crossed her arms over her chest, and glared at Zoro waiting for a response.
"It's uh… well you see…"
"Well, out with it."
Zoro took a deep breath and finally said "It's nothing."
Nami wasn't satisfied with the answer, but knew it was probably all she was going to get. So she turned around, and started heading back to her desk "Well I hope you got what you wanted out of it, because I'm adding it onto your debt." She said playfully, slapping her hand into the air with a smug smile on her face.
"What? I… uh…" Zoro hung his head in defeat; he knew there was no arguing with the woman when it came to money. With a slight smirk on his face, he replied "I wouldn't have it any other way witch."
"Whatever baka." And as if the whole incident hadn't even happened, Nami went back to her maps, and Zoro made his way to the exit.
Before reaching the exit Zoro stopped. "You know…" he paused, "you know I'll always protect you right?"
Nami looked at him confused, and then it clicked. "Wait Zoro" She jogged across the room to the exit, she closed the door, and then stood in between him and the door, blocking off his only means of escape. "How bad was it?" The swordsman looked at her confused. "How bad was the dream?" She calmly elaborated.
"I…" Zoro closed his eye, remembering the details of the dream. He stood there for several moments in thought, when he opened his eye again he found the navigator had closed the gap between them, and was now within an arm's length of him.
Nami had a visible scowl as she waited for the swordsman to answer her "Well, how bad?"
Realizing he wasn't getting out of there without of an explanation, he gave a consensual sigh and started to tell her the events of the dream. "There was another battle, you called for my help, and I ignored you. You were killed…" closing his eye, Zoro took a heavy breath before continuing, "the entire crew blamed me, and Luffy was the most upset… It just felt so damn real."
"And so when you woke up, you came looking to make sure I was still here?" He simply nodded his head in a silent answer. "You really are a baka, you know that right?" Zoro opened his eye and snapped his head to attention to look at her. "You just don't get it." she continued "I'm stronger that I was two years ago, you don't always have to protect me."
Zoro tried to speak, but he was quickly cut off. "You think you're the only one who's had a dream where one of us dies? Did you ever stop to think that maybe I've had a similar dream about you?" The man's eye opened wide with confusion on his face. "One that you died protecting me. How do you think that made me feel?" Once again Zoro tried to speak, only to be cut off yet another time. "You don't even realize how weak that made me feel."
Nami stood silent for a moment; the expression on her face was sad, almost as sad as Zoro's. "But… If I'm not needed to protect anyone anymore, then all I'm good for is hurting people."
Looking up at Zoro, Nami had an epiphany. "That's what this is all about? You're afraid that all you're good for is to hurt people?" She couldn't help but smile at the new found revelation. "You really are a baka." This time there was no question in her statement.
Zoro looked at her waiting for an explanation. "When people around the world hear stories of the Demon Roronoa Zoro, that might be what they think, but they don't know you. No one on this ship, or anyone who has ever got to actually know you, thinks that way." She had Zoro's full attention now. "Yes, your arms have the strength to destroy entire buildings. Yes, you have the skills to kill hundreds of people on the battle field. And yes, with your swords you could cut through people like they were pieces of paper." Nami reached out to Zoro with both of her hands, grabbing both of his, and facing the palms up so they could both see them. "What those people don't know, is the restraint you put behind your swords to not cut." She slid her hands up to his elbows, "They don't know that for everyman you have killed, you have saved thousands," she slid them up to his shoulders, "and despite how strong your arms are; they are still gentle enough to hold." and she slid her hands all the way up to behind his neck, just letting the tips of her fingers touch together. "If you want, I'll let you prove it."
Zoro cocked his head to the side, raising his eyebrow 'there has to be a catch.' "Yeah, and what's it going to cost me?" He asked skeptically.
Nami smiled, and then looked to the ceiling while thinking of a number to charge, "one hundred."
"What, one hundred thousand beli?"
"Nope, just one hundred beli," said the mikan-head with a smile.
"Why so cheap?"
"I'm feeling generous right now, but it is a onetime limited offer, expires soon."
"Well, you always did tell us to make sure to take a deal if we came across one."
Zoro stepped in towards Nami and wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her into his embrace. Without warning he then proceeded to lift her from the ground, causing her to wrap her legs around his waist for stability as she giggled uncontrollably. Hearing her warm laughter Zoro couldn't help but chuckle himself.
They stood there for several moments, even after the laughter had died down. Zoro then made his way to one of the benches surrounding the library and sat down, never letting his hold on Nami go for even a second.
Finally, while she rested her head on Zoro's shoulder, Nami decided to speak. "Now that you've proved that you can hold me without crushing me, you can let me go."
"Don't feel like it."
"If you don't let me go, I'm going to add to your debt."
"That wasn't part of the deal; you never put a time limit on it. You're not going back on our business transaction are you?"
Zoro had her there. "Fine, but you'll have to let me go eventually." She said matter of fact like, after all, she knew he'd fall asleep before too long.
"Want to bet?" He asked; giving her a cocky smirk.
"Alright, you're on." Nami could never resist a wager. "If you hold out till breakfast time, I'll buy drinks for a month. If you lose, you'll buy drinks for a year."
Sometime during the morning; Nami awoke to find that she was resting on Zoro's chest, with his arms still around her waist. They were still on the bench, and must have switched positions some time during the night, because they were now both lying flat with Nami laid out over Zoro with their heads facing the back of the bench. 'Did I fall asleep first, how the hell did that happen?' She mused to herself as she tried to recall the events from last night. 'Well, I guess I better wake him before anyone finds us.'
Nami turned her head so that her chin was resting on Zoro's chest, she lifted her hand that was previously hanging over the edge of the bench up to Zoro's head so she could lightly tap his face, "Wakee, wakee, time to get up sleepy head."
Zoro started to stir underneath her. "Ehh…" was his only dignified response to let her know he was awake.
"You should be happy. You won the bet. You kept it up all night long, even in your sleep." She said as she turned her head back towards the back of the bench, to rest it on his chest again.
"You should have never underestimated my stamina." He said in a very smug tone. Never letting go of her and closing his eye once again.
"Are you guys going to get up soon? Sanji said he won't serve breakfast until Nami comes to the table, and I'm hungry."
Nami and Zoro's eyes snapped open, as horrified expressions took over their faces. As they both turned their heads towards the entrance of the library, their fears were met by the variety of expressions on Luffy and the rest of the crew's faces, all except Sanji who had gone into full blown emo-mode and was now rocking back and forth on the floor.
'Oh shit!' was the only thoughts running through both Nami's and Zoro's minds as they realized that today was not going to be just another day on the Sunny with the Mugiwara Crew.
Thank you all so much for taking the time to read, and please review to tell me what you think.