Zoro couldn't keep a straight face every time he looked at her. He would just grin stupidly and shake his head in disbelief. Usopp swore he heard the whole thing and was giving rather grotesque details to Brook and Franky after he collected some money from them (undoubtedly from a bet). Robin offered her some of her makeup to cover it up. Sanji cried. Chopper freaked out for a good hour asking her if she hurt anywhere. Luffy was in the background of Usopp's story telling laughing and 'correcting' him at certain parts. As for Nami?
She felt normal. Completely normal. She sunbathed on the deck with Robin and read a few news articles, making sure to keep her eye out for dangerous weather patterns and on occasion threatening Zoro that if he didn't stop snickering she would raise his debt seven hundred percent. She couldn't do much about Usopp since he made sure to keep far away from her. Brook she clobbered several times already because he said it was unfair that Luffy got to see her panties and more. Franky just laughed and said he was officially welcoming Luffy to the pervert side of the crew. In fact by dinner almost everyone had recovered and moved on.
The exception being, Chopper who was trying to place a few ointments on her neck and Sanji. It became clearer with Chopper's knowing smile that he knew she was fine. His words from a few weeks ago reached her. She had found something at night to help her sleep. As she walked back to her study to work on a few maps she wasn't at all surprised to hear Chopper talking sternly to Luffy.
"I won't hurt her Chopper," her captain assured the young doctor.
"You better not Luffy. You'll have to deal with me if you do," he said seriously. She wasn't all that surprised. Chopper was extremely protective of all of them.
"I won't ever," he promised. "If I do you better kick my ass," he assured Chopper. She expected the conversation to end there but it continued in a lower tone.
"I will. This emotion isn't something you mess with Luffy. It isn't a game."
"I know Chopper," he said quietly. "I feel the same way about her."
She blushed and rushed towards her study not caring if her footsteps were a bit louder than she intended. It wasn't a game to Luffy. Luffy acting mature, Luffy promising to never hurt her, she knew what it all meant. She grinned to herself feeling a bit more light hearted than she had earlier.
It was lunch time and Sanji was moping around the kitchen as he busily prepared food for them all.0020
"I placed my tears in your food so you can taste the sadness in my heart Nami-swann."
She could practically hear him saying that, and at the moment she eyed him suspiciously to make sure he wasn't actually doing so. She chuckled to herself as her thoughts continued to make up conversations pieces for Sanji's sadness. Not that she normally enjoyed the cook's pain but right now it just seemed childish to her. Despite the fact that he had been moping all day, he was still taking it better than she thought he would.
She did not expect him to confront her at the end of the day. His eyes were almost wild as he pulled her aside.
"Why him?" he demanded.
Had anyone else asked her that question she would have been pissed. No one had the right to question her choices, her decisions. But it was Sanji and they had always had a flirtatious odd type of bond. She felt like he deserved some type of closure of his made up relationship with her. She couldn't find the words, she struggled, her mouth hung open like a dying fish but she couldn't give him an explanation. Finally she managed to settle with a half assed answer.
"I need him," she said quietly. They both knew it wasn't the whole truth but Sanji nodded and smiled at her gently. He knew and the pretense of being upset was just a pretense… for the most part.
"Did he at least get you?"
Such a perverted personal question but at the moment she was really beyond caring. She blushed before nodding. She wasn't going to tell him it was the most mind blowing sex she had ever had in her life and that Luffy learned so quickly and had such natural instinct had made it all the better. She wasn't going to go into detail, at least not with the biggest pervert on the ship.
"If he ever screws up…" he trailed off looking at her thoughtfully.
"You'll be the first one I tell," she promised. And she surprised herself by pulling him into a hug. She heard Sanji sigh before chuckling.
"I can't be mad at you Nami-Swannnn… not when your lovely brea–"
"Enough," she growled shoving him off. He laughed and patted her on the head making her feel like a child. He was grinning at her with a knowing smirk, like he knew a secret and he was just dying to tell.
Just like when the crew found out she had been sleeping in his bed (without doing anything) now they got over it fairly quickly. Jokes and jabs quickly were adjusted to everyday life and things moved on.
For the first week they kept at it so often she wondered if anyone else could hear them. The shower, her bed, his bed, her desk, no place was safe from their newly discovered passion. They even had to make two pit stops at towns they would have never stopped at to stock up on protection. After that things slowed down and their nights became tranquil again. Even the sex slowed down. It wasn't boring, it just wasn't as rushed, and there was still loads of passion behind it all. And the months went by.
Luffy was frowning at her. Not the pout he used when he wanted her to climb into bed with him, or the frown that said he didn't understand something. This frown was a frown that said he was upset, and she hadn't seen it on his face for a long time. Feeling self-conscious she hurriedly brushed her teeth and slipped into a comfortable pair of pajamas. It had been a long day and she was more in the mood for cuddling than having a round with Luffy. His frown didn't disappear as she joined him under the covers.
"What's up Luffy?" she finally asked when it seemed clear he wasn't going to say something.
He sighed, before shrugging.
"I don't know," he told her. That was a lie and she knew it, it was her turn to frown at him.
Luffy wasn't the best at starting conversations or expressing what he felt when he felt something. It was a problem she was starting to have to address and as much as it irritated her she tolerated it enough to try and fix it most times. However, this wasn't one of those times. She could tell something was on his mind and he could easily explain it, but the frown on his lips wouldn't go away as he looked at her. She waited patiently, rubbing his arms reassuringly and giving him a small smile.
"I was jealous today," he blurted out. His frown deepened as he shook his head as if trying to clear his thoughts.
She would have laughed, but she knew the seriousness and ugliness jealousy could bring out in people. She waited patiently again, looking at him with wide eyes. She couldn't remember doing anything that would cause him to be jealous.
"It isn't your fault…" he groaned and leaned his head back against the head board. A small 'thunking' noise told her that he let it fall a little harder than normal. "That stupid guy kept looking at you like you were a piece of meat he wanted to eat…" he growled at the memory.
Oh. He was talking about when they were at the bar on that island today. She knew exactly who he was talking about. When they had landed on the island and went to the town to refresh, this guy in particular had caught her eye. It wasn't like she was sexually attracted to him and that had scarred her and led her to stare at him a little bit more than she normally would have. He was tall, dark hair, dark eyes, muscular, just a typical guy. All the other girls were drooling and she had the odd sensation that she should be too but she just didn't. He was handsome yes, but there was nothing there to attract her to him. She had even (as a test) tried to picture him naked and still being attractive but nothing could come up. She just wasn't interested. And she was curious as to why she wasn't interested.
Now that wasn't the odd part. The odd part was that every time she did look at the man, all she could think about was Luffy. She compared everything about them. Every single physical detail and Luffy was the one that came out on top. She even remembered wondering if that guy could be as pure hearted as her captain and how he could never compare as a human being and blushing. It was a warning bell, but warning bells have been going off for a while. She refused to address the emotions that were stirring. Things were fine the way they were now. It was a pirate's life for her and she should just be happy that she was able to sail around with her friends like she was. She could push past the butterflies and see things clearly. There wasn't much she could do about it.
"Guys stare at girls Luffy," she said calmly.
"I know but you're my girl," he growled.
He bit his lip hard looking at her with a sudden nervousness. They hadn't said in so many words that they were together and times like this, when they still fumbled over their words even a year later, it made her blush and feel like they had just started this odd relationship. It wasn't like Luffy wasn't already possessive. He called her his navigator all the time, but he did that along with the crew. Calling her 'his girl' was much more personal, much more intimate. If anyone else had tried to possess her like that, she would have beat the hell out of them and told them no way. It was Luffy though, and it was to be expected. Of course he saw her as his, she is his. He wouldn't see it any other way because he was cut and dry when it came to things like that. He thankfully had grown up a little bit and cared about what she thought and felt so he tried to tone it down for her. And by tone down he hadn't exactly expressed it very often that he saw them as exclusive because when he expressed things he was embarrassingly straight forward. Or it might have been the fact that she would threaten to beat the crap out of him when he talked about it because he was so straight forward and it embarrassed her. He just assumed, and that must've been why he was so bothered by that guy earlier. She couldn't help but giggle.
"It's not funny," he growled, his frown deepening as he glared at her.
"I didn't even talk to him," she said still chuckling. Luffy darkly muttered something under his breath that sounded a lot like 'looked like you wanted to'.
"Luffy…" she trailed off searching for the right words to put him at ease. She had vowed to herself that she wouldn't spill out her guts like a stupid hormonal girl. It was stupid really, he didn't know her feelings but she couldn't be the first one to lay down her heart. It was too dangerous, too risky. What if he laughed? Or took it as a joke? Or even worse… what if he said he didn't feel the same? The situations went on and on and most got more horrifying down the list. She would vaguely recall the conversation he had with Chopper but that hadn't been meant for her ears. His feelings could've changed by then. So she refused to tell him, and she was wondering if he would even understand what she was trying so desperately to ignore.
She blushed still struggling to find something to tell him.
"I wasn't interested in him. In fact all I could do was compare him to you and wonder why I wasn't interested…" she wondered if he would get that.
Of course not.
"I'm not really attracted to other guys," she said blushing. It wasn't that she didn't notice them, today was a case and point though. She saw them, noticed them, but she had no desire for them. And when she really thought about it she hadn't had desire for anyone else in her life but Luffy. Her thoughts made her turn crimson.
"What about –"
"Just you," she said cutting off the stupid question she could see posed at his lips. His frown disappeared but his face remained alarmingly blank as he chewed over her words. Didn't he get what she was saying? She had just broken that vow. She basically told him what she was feeling. She felt like she couldn't face him anymore, she started to roll away but Luffy caught her and held her in place.
Suddenly he grabbed her wrists and threw them over her head. He pushed her down on the bed as he climbed over her, his knee going in between her legs and forcing them apart. She leaned forward, trying to kiss him but he kept his grip on her arms secure and made sure to stay out of her reach. He laid down using one elbow to prop himself up so that their faces were even. His eyes were smoldering with emotions and he took a deep breath.
He shivered. He leaned forward and ever so gently gave her a light kiss on the lips. For once instead of trying to deepen it she enjoyed the feeling of his warm lips pressed against hers.
"Just you too," he whispered after a moment. His lips were still hovering against hers waiting to recapture them. His face was covered in a blush.
She didn't miss the meaning behind his words, or his actions. She felt her heart hammer against her chest so loudly it seemed to shake the very core of her soul. She could feel her soul; it was expanding, warming her, making her mind hazy with some type of relief. She wasn't sure what she was feeling to be honest. It was some kind of experience that she was sure she would never get to feel again, and she wasn't sure if it was something everyone went through. It wasn't unpleasant though, she was kind of enjoying it. She smiled at him and then ever so slightly closed the distance between their lips.
She knew Luffy was feeling it to, and that made the experience all the better.
If she talked to Robin or maybe pondered on what she was feeling she would later tell you it was Love, but whatever she had with Luffy was so deep and earth shattering Love seemed like a weak word in comparison. The best part was that she didn't even have to say it. Luffy knew, and hell he even said it back. They didn't need to gush and swoon over each other because neither one of them were like that. In the end it didn't matter, because in the end it came down to simplicity. She needed him. She needed him to sleep, to talk to (even when he didn't understand), she needed his reassurance, and she needed his love. She was so bound to him that had it been anyone else but Luffy she would have been worried about herself, but Luffy never made her unhappy. Luffy always came to save the day. She believed in him so thoroughly that if the sun didn't rise the next day she wouldn't care as long as he was by her side.
So they never did tell each other that what they felt was love. Both saw the words as awkward, and it couldn't describe what they were feeling so deeply. To Nami, feeling Luffy squeeze her to his chest when waking up from a nightmare was enough to chase away the bad thoughts, was more expressive than the superficial words. To Luffy, having Nami offer him one of her precious tangerines, and knowing full well that it was the ripest one and one she had had her eye on for several weeks, was a bigger expression of love that could ever be said.
And times, when the world was coming at them from all angles, all the reassurance they needed was to look into each other's eyes and mouth the words 'Just you'. Because that, to them, had taken on many promises and meanings and was their own way of saying 'I love you.'
A/N: Corny ending? I think so xD. Anways I just wanted to thank everyone for the amazing support this story has gotten. You guys rock :D. Thank you so much for every review, hit, follow, and favorite. It means a lot to this writer.