As regards the title of this, I couldn't think of anything clever and was listening to "Fireflies" by the Owl City so... I know, I'm lame. Sorry.
Anyway, this is part of the LJ community '30 Pieces' prompt challenge. If you want to visit them, let me know by review or PM and I'll send you the link, it's really awesome and the other writers are amazingly good, you should really check it out. And this ended up being longer than I initially planned, not sure why... and I don't really like the end, but I couldn't think of anything else to put. I hope you like it anyways.
So, this author note up here has become really long. Let's get this started!
Title: Treasure Hunt
Theme: #9 Treasure
Warnings: Mild language (Hey, it's Zoro and Nami we're talking about!). Takes place before entering the Grand Line, but after Loguetown.
Disclaimer: I do not own One Piece. Just in case you confused me with the genius that Oda is.
"Why not?" Nami insisted, tapping her foot impatiently.
"Because I don't want to." Zoro replied bluntly. "Take the ero-cook with you, he'll be more than glad."
"He can't! He needs to stay so Luffy won't finish off what little supplies we have."
"Then why me?"
"Usopp's busy, you're the only option left. Don't feel so special."
"That's how you ask for a favour?"
"I don't care. I need you to come with me for protection, and that's what you're going to do."
"Yeah right. I'd like to see you try, witch."
"Come on!" the navigator yelled.
"I'm not helping you and that's it! If you want the damn treasure go find it yourself!"
"I hate you, stupid money-crazy witch." Zoro insulted.
"Oh that's so sweet! I love you too Zoro!" she teased, an evil smirk present on her face.
"So where are we going anyway?"
"Here we are. If you hadn't got lost, even through you were walking behind me, we would've arrived a long time ago."
"You want my help or not?"
After walking by the beach a long time, they had finally arrived to a cavern by the seashore, which Nami had found while she was making the island's map. She obviously thought there was some treasure inside, but he couldn't be less interested, even if he tried, yet it would be unwise for her to enter the place on her own. Plus, there was always that stupid debt he had...
"Ok, you go first." Nami ordered.
"Don't order me around! And why me first?"
"Long version or short version?"
"You owe me three hundred beri." she simplified.
"Yeah, yeah, I'm a horrible person, whatever. Let's go!"
Zoro sighed and entered the cave, followed closely by the orange-haired woman. So far, it all seemed normal, there was poor illumination, practically none but they managed to see their surroundings. The place was damp and creepy-looking, like every cave Nami had seen in her life. Which freaked her out.
"Just a stupid cave, just a stupid cave, huge treasure ahead, think of the treasure." Nami said, trying to reassure herself.
"Just how deep is this cave?" the swordsman sighed, thinking of the precious time he was losing instead of training or doing what he was doing before being assaulted by the navigator... sleeping.
Eventually they had to get somewhere. And they did. Or so they thought, because they got so far away from the entrance than there was no illumination at all, it was completely dark and none of them could see a thing, they couldn't even see each other.
"Oi, Nami, where are you?" he called out.
"Right beside you, moron!" she answered. "Ugh, I hate this, I can't even see what's in front of me!" she heard footsteps going further in. "Don't move! Last thing I need is you getting lost!"
"Then hold my hand."
"... Excuse me?"
"Hold my hand. That way we won't get separated." he said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"What were you thinking?"
"Nothing. Let's get this done, there's treasure waiting for me, I mean, us somewhere ahead."
He reached out his hand and Nami somehow found it in the dark and grabbed it. It was odd, she expected it to be rough and harsh, yet it felt strangely soft, tender, like his skin was made of velvet. She found it awkward, after all he was a rough man who kept training all day, but decided to pay no attention to the feeling, her mind was now focused on finding the damn treasure and get the hell out of the creepy cavern.
They advanced like this for a while. Nami walked with her other hand touching the wall, checking that they weren't going to fall off a cliff or that they would bump into a wall or something of the sort. With the crew she had, she had already gotten used to stuff like that happening.
Finally, her hand found an end to the wall, apparently they were tu turn right now since there was no wall in that direction. They did so, and there they found that their eyes were a bit more used to the darkness and were able to detect a few things. The wooden sticks at their feet, for example. Zoro picked up one.
"If we had fire, this could be useful." Zoro commented.
"We have." she answered, taking from her pocket something. "I have Sanji-kun's matches."
"Why do you have them? More importantly, why the hell didn't you use them earlier?"
"I thought it would be better to save it for emergencies." she explained matter-of-factly.
"Emergencies? We were walking in the dark! Don't you think that qualifies?"
"Stop whining Zoro and let me light that stupid stick!"
"If you don't go to hell I'll take you there myself." he muttered under his breath.
Luckily, she didn't hear him. The navigator snatched the stick from his hands and inmediately lit it up. Their new source of light wasn't enough to illuminate the whole room, but at least they could now see each other and a bit of the surroundings.
Nami started advancing, without noticing the rocks on the ground, over which she tripped over. Cursing her clumsiness, she tried to stand up when she noticed the stick, which had fell out of her hands, had spread its fire on the ground. There was a long road made by some material that quickly caught on fire, like powder, but it didn't explode. Instead, the room was filled with light, the fire spreading around the edges and catching on quickly, illuminating the place but not burning it.
The two pirates looked at each other, shocked. The place looked like an ancient chamber, with a narrow path in the middle of the room that lead to a wider spot in the end, in which was a big pile of...
"Treasure!" Nami's eyes became beri signs and she ran towards the huge chest loaded with golden coins.
Zoro rested his right hand on the swords and followed the navigator, who was now admiring her treasure, her eyes literally glowing at the sight. He ran his fingers through his hair, confused.
"Isn't there supposed to be some kind of trap here?"
"What?" she got out of her enthusiasm to look up at him.
"The treasure isn't protected by anything. Don't you think it's strange there's nothing guarding it, like a trap or a monster?"
"Sure it is odd... but well, nothing good will come from complaining about it, right?"
The money clouding her good judgment, she took a few golden coins of the chest, starting to pack them up in her pocket.
That's when it all went wrong.
The ground started shaking. No, that's not correct. The spot and the narrow path of the chamber started trembling dangerously, and Nami stood up immediately, fear taking over her. Zoro looked around, searching for a source for the sudden tremor. Then it dawned at him.
"It's a trap!" he yelled at her. "The whole damn thing is going to fall!"
Noticing he was right, both of them started racing through the corridor and back to the entrance, where the ground wasn't trembling. He was quick enough to make it to safety, but Nami just had to stop before she got to the entrance and turned around.
"Wait! My treasure..."
It happened really fast, but for her it was in slow motion.
Nami started falling down. She hadn't noticed it before, but underneath the narrow rock path was nothing, just a big and empty nothing, complete darkness and -very probably- a terribly painful death. And that was where she was heading to, and she didn't have the time to react. She didn't even know how to react.
Luckily, he did know how to react.
Nami noticed she wasn't falling anymore. Her hand was stuck with something. She looked up to find out what it was and realized she wasn't stuck, she was being held by something. And that something was Zoro, who was stopping her from falling and cursing under his breath.
"Damn... money-loving... crazy... bitch..." he panted, trying to bring her upwards and not fall down with her in the process, since he wasn't holding onto anything.
Somehow, thanks to his sorprising strength, he was able to slowly pull up the still-shocked navigator. The strength of said action made him fall on his back to the ground once he did pull her up, and she fell inevitably on top of him. None of them even cared, remaining oblivious of their actual position, as both breathed in and out, panting and gasping for air, still agitated due to the near-death experience she just had, the run and the whole thing, actually. It was more tiring than he initially thought it would be.
Nami suddenly became aware of the position she was in. She was on top of the sowrdsman whole anatomy, quite literally. Flashing three different shades of red, she sat down next to him, looking on a different direction to hide her embarrassment. Zoro didn't notice it, or if he did he decided not to comment on it, which was probably the wisest thing to do.
"My treasure..." Nami sobbed, looking down towards the darkness.
"What's more important, the treasure or your life?" Zoro asked her, standing up.
Before meeting the straw hats, she wouldn't have been able to answer that question, not after what she had lived and was living with Arlong. Now, after all what had happened, she was able to turn around to him with an honest smile.
"My life, of course." Nami stood up and walked towards the exit. "Should we go back?"
"Best idea I've heard in the whole day." he smirked, following her towards the darkness that awaited them before getting to the cave's exit.