Disclaimer: I do not own One Piece or it's characters. They belong to Mr. Oda

Comforting Arms

Chapter One

It was just a dream, she told herself. Cold sweat drenched her body and she hugged the pillow to her chest with a little more force. She couldn't even remember the dream; the images were already slipping away. Still she knew it scared her, and she wouldn't be able to get back to sleep. She sighed feeling weary, but not really wanting to get out of bed. That was the third time this week a nightmare had woken her up. The last time she had gone to Chopper to ask for some time of sleeping aid and the little reindeer had freaked out on her. He told her to find something comforting, like a pillow, and curl up with it. Only her pillow wasn't offering much comfort. Maybe some fresh air would help?

She stretched, not really wanting to leave the warmth of her bed, but she didn't want to stay confined to it a moment longer.

She walked mindlessly on the deck and around the ship for a little while. She stopped suddenly finding her legs parked in front of a door.

"Luffy," she whispered. Her hand rested on the doorway to his room as she lightly knocked on the door before her. It had been two years. Two extremely hard, almost unbearable, years since she had last knocked on his door like this. Despite the hour she wanted to see him and if it was at all possible find comfort. Her captain may not look like it but he had a way with emotions and feelings unlike anyone else she knew.

She wasn't sure if she knocked hard enough to be heard. Half of her had wanted to knock as loudly as possible but the other half restrained her. She would feel awful if he had been asleep or resting, or busy… eating or whatever Luffy did in his free time this late at night… more than likely sleeping.

That was a lie. She wanted him to be awake and open the door to see her. Half of her wanted to throw the door open like she used to and just barge in. But two years had passed and although Luffy was the same… he was different and that made her pause with uncertainty. He was still Luffy, still the same happy go lucky kid, but often times she would catch him deep in thought while staring out into the ocean. Luffy wasn't one to have long heart filled talks about deep and meaningful things but the look on his face when he stared into the ocean wasn't a look of spacing out, it was a look of life changing thoughts. No one on the crew disturbed him then; it was like it was an unspoken rule. He would snap out of it and then rush to play with Chopper or Ussop but still, his eyes always retained a serious tone to them now.

The door opened and he stood there before her. He had grown a couple of inches, so he now had to look down slightly at her. His onyx eyes still burned whenever they met her eyes. There was something else different though, and she couldn't quite place her finger on it.

"Nami?" he whispered as he opened his door wider to let her in. She smiled and slipped in thankful to get out of view in case someone else was up at this hour. Highly unlikely but she still wouldn't appreciate being caught, she stopped her thoughts and backtracked, getting caught doing what exactly?

"What are you doing awake?" he asked when she didn't offer any words of her own. She could see that he had been asleep as he shook his head slightly and wiped the sleep from his eyes. He stifled a yawn as he waited for her answer.

"I …"

What? She couldn't sleep? It was the first time in months since they had been reunited and nothing crazy was going on and she actually had time to think. What was she supposed to say? That when her thoughts were left alone to reflect on things that she wound up thinking of him? Or when she tried to mindlessly wander around the ship late at night she wound up in front of his door? She was allowed to think of him, he was her Captain after all, but she knew she shouldn't be allowed the thoughts about him that she was having. About how muscular he had become in their absence and how much she missed his carefree ways. How she was a woman grown now and for once she just wanted to be wrapped up in his arms…

It was all very wrong. She shrugged. "I just couldn't sleep. I thought I saw your light on and you could use some company."

It was a lie. He could tell as he tilted his head to the side to study her.

"Why can't you sleep?" he asked quietly.

"I… was just feeling lonely," she mumbled. It was silly really. How could she be lonely when she was surrounded by her friends? It was just her bed felt so empty and so cold and those stupid haunting dreams taunted her every time she closed her eyes.

"You want to sleep with me?" he offered.

She was just about to punch him and go storming out of the room but the pure innocence in his eyes told her he didn't mean it in the way a normal adult man would say that phrase. Still there was an understanding in his voice he wouldn't have possessed two years ago. It was like he knew what it was like to be so lonely being surrounded by the friends you love. For the first time since being back on the Sunny she cursed its large size and ample amount of room for everyone to have their own room. Still her Captain's offer was inviting.

"You really are clueless," she mumbled.


She didn't want to wreck the moment and explain what his words really implied. She wanted the childish innocence he offered for the night. She wanted his warmth and comfort lying next to her. She just shook her head chuckling to herself as she crawled into his bed. Luffy jumped in after her and happily wrapped his arms around her pulling her close to his chest. He buried his face into her neck and mumbled something happily.

"What?" she asked, feeling a large blush stain her face.

"You're so warm," he repeated turning his face slightly so that he wasn't speaking into the pillow or her neck. His breath tickled her ear. Because you are making me, she thought to herself. How could he have such an instantaneous effect on her like that? It was all too easy, too natural. It was like he was expecting her to do this. Luffy looked at her with half closed eyes, a lazy smile on his face.

"Goodnight Nami," he said sleepy and then promptly passed out. Maybe he really did just want her to sleep with him as well. Maybe he had been feeling the same absence she had been feeling.

"Goodnight Luffy," she whispered back.

She thought she was going to stay awake with thoughts buzzing nonstop but his embrace was so inviting. In a matter of seconds she found herself dozing off to sleep and sighed contentedly. Luffy's familiar scent filled her lungs and she fell into a dreamless sleep.

She woke up alone hours later as the sun spilled on her eyes, calling her back from the realm of unconsciousness. She smiled lazily as she found that the bed was still warm next to her and snuggled into it for a moment longer.

"Morning Nami," Luffy said popping his head out of the bathroom. He laughed as she sat up bolt right and blushed. His body dripping from the shower he had just taken, but hid the lower half behind the towel strapped around his waist. He bustled around his room grabbing the clothes he had discarded this morning and she was mildly surprised he knew what a shower was and that he had one in his room. It didn't seem like Luffy to participate in daily grooming rituals like showers.

"Morning," she said tiredly.

And then it hit her. She had to get the hell out of his room and fast. If anyone caught her here with him it would be awful. Sanji's reaction was the first one that came to mind. The cook would throw a shit fit that she sought out Luffy's bed for comfort in the middle of the night, and quite frankly she didn't want to have to defend herself and Luffy from the man's jealous rage. It was purely innocent. Nothing had happened. She had just slept next to him. She bolted out of bed.

"See you at breakfast," she said as she flung the door open and charged out of there as quickly as possible.

Stupid! Her mind roared as she made a mad dash for her room. Idiot! It continued as she flung open her own door and slammed it loudly behind her to lean against it. Half the ship had probably heard her loud thundering footsteps to make it to her room and heard her slam her door.

"Nami?" she heard someone call. She swallowed and tried to compose herself as she stuck her head out the door to see who was calling and who she would have to lie to.

"You look well rested," Chopper remarked and smiled up at her. He eyed her slightly suspiciously as if she had stolen a sleeping pill or two.

"I feel well rested," she told him returning a genuine smile.

"I'm glad you found some peace. Did you sleep out on deck or something? I thought I heard you running and your door slam," he asked innocently.

Dammit here it comes, she told herself.

"Uh no. I was just checking the coordinates making sure we were on track," she told him.

"I thought we anchored the ship last night?" Chopper said.

"Well I'm going to take a shower. See you at breakfast Chopper," she said closing the door quickly and dismissing her friend from further interrogating her. She let out a deep breath and turned quickly to make good on her word with a long shower.

Never again, she promised herself. Even if it is completely innocent… they wouldn't understand. It could destroy the crew. Romance isn't something that we are all looking for. We have dreams. Focus on our dreams.

ROMACNE?! Her mind screamed at her as she turned on the shower. She stripped quickly and plunged herself into the cold water. Shaking her out of her thoughts as her mind contemplated the cold water splashing her body.

Better, she told herself. It would just be interpreted as romance. We can't have that. It's a distraction. It would be awkward.

After a nice long shower Nami finally pulled herself out of the water. She dried her body and pulled her hair into a pony tail, grabbed the nearest swimsuit top she had, and flung on a pair of pants. Honestly if the rest of her crew was going to run around half naked she might as well too. It was more comfortable this way anyways. Her skin could breathe better, and she could feel the wind better and anticipate the weather with more accuracy.

"Oy wench," Zoro called knocking loudly on her door. She could feel a vein throbbing in her temple. For whatever reason Zoro liked to start off his day with a sharp punch to the head as he normally did this every morning to call her down to breakfast. She ripped her door open to glare at him.

"Luffy's looking for you," he said in a bored tone. He propped his arm against the door frame and sent her a questioning look. She swallowed. Besides Sanji, Zoro was the other person on the crew she did not want to find out about this weakness. Sure he was her nakama, and she loved him like a brother but they had enough leverage on each other already. Two years separated and things could be forgotten, she didn't need him to find out this…

"I slept with Luffy last night," she whispered in a hushed tone. His jaw dropped.

"What the fu-"

"Not what you think!" she hissed pulling him into her room and closing the door firmly behind him.

"You slept with him? I could have sworn he was asexual," Zoro muttered.

"I told you not what you think. I just slept in the same bed with him," she muttered trying to fight the childish whining tone from winning over in her voice. Zoro had a habit of bringing it out of her.

"So why tell me?"

"It's not a big deal is it?" she asked. Because if one person could give her a straight blunt answer it was Zoro, and even if they did have a love hate relationship he was still her friend. Besides he liked giving Sanji a harder time than her, and she had stopped teasing him about his debt. He wouldn't be cruel and hold this over her head; at least he wouldn't be able to with Sanji around. He would be able to see into all of this in the simplest way. He would know.

"If love cook finds out he might explode," Zoro said chuckling. "That might be amusing to see…"

So she was right. Her only real worry would be Sanji. She sighed.

"Hmmm… I might not tell him if a certain debt was lifted," he continued smirking at her. He leaned back against her door and she scowled at him.

"If you so much as even think about using that as a bargaining tool with me I will triple your debt every day for the next three years," she hissed.

Zoro just raised his eye brow and smirked.

"I'll cut it in half if you don't say a word," she muttered darkly.

"Shake on it, and Robin as a witness," Zoro said almost happily but his face remained composed and serious.

She cursed. There really wasn't a way to get out of this without half the crew knowing but really the only response she needed to worry about was Sanji. Another reason why this was such a hazard. The serious fight this could cause within the crew, she should be being punished by Zoro right now. He was the first mate. He should be lecturing her. Well he was sort of punishing her wasn't he? He was taking away some of his debt and he was calling for a witness. She sighed.

"Alright, but no one else can know. I just…"

Zoro silenced her with his own sigh. She shut up feeling a large blush stain her face. She didn't need to explain herself to Zoro of all people. He would understand, which is why she had blurted it out to him. She rubbed the back of her head sheepishly.

"Better go see Luffy before breakfast," he muttered opening her door and smirked over his shoulder as he exited.

Nami sighed for the millionth time this morning. Already Zoro knew and then Robin would more than likely pry around until she found out, Chopper was close to busting her, and who knew how long she could keep this under wraps. She wanted nothing more than to jump back into the shower all of a sudden feeling very weary, but Zoro was right. She should go see Luffy before breakfast. Just to clear a few things through that idiot's head before they saw the cook.