The next day was a perfect day to go to Shibuya and explore the city. With Sabo back in town, it was a good excuse to go sightseeing or shopping, in Vivi's case. Even Ace and Nojiko tagged along with the group. As always, the place was busy as usual, and because they were out in public, paparazzi immediately found them and wanted to ask them questions and take their photos. Like any celebrity would do, they just ignored them and walked away. Thankfully, the amount of people and shoppers in Shibuya were over the roof. They lost the paparazzi easily.
"It never occurred to me how much popularity you guys have here," said Sabo. "What exactly did you do to earn this fame? Please, tell me your secrets. I must know."
Ace chuckled. "Pick up a magazine or something if you want to know so badly."
"You don't know what happened to Luffy-san? Don't you guys talk over the phone?" asked Vivi.
"Due to Sabo traveling everywhere, we would never know where he'd be," explained Luffy. "He could be in Egypt and we wouldn't know. It costs a lot of money to just make an international call."
"Why were you exploring?" asked Nami. Sabo rubbed the back of his head as he thought about it. He seemed embarrassed.
"You could say, I was searching for freedom."
"Have you found it?"
"I'll let you know when I do." Sabo winked.
Luffy eyed the sudden closeness between the two. They were suddenly walking close together. So close to where their arms would bump on accident. Nami may not have realized it, but Sabo surely did. The sparkle in his eyes showed it all. Luffy squeezed himself in between them and placed his arms around their shoulders.
"So! Where should we go first? Shopping? Eating?"
"Beats me. Where would you like to go, Nami?" Sabo leaned his head forward just to look at her. Luffy found it annoying.
"I don't really mind."
"Let's go eat!" Usopp suggested.
"We just ate breakfast over an hour ago and you're still hungry?" said Sanji.
"I'm starting to get a bit hungry too," said Sabo.
Zoro chuckled. "You haven't changed a bit. You brothers are exactly alike."
"I see you finally got a girl. She's not bad to look at either. Nice one, Zoro."
Zoro cleared his throat then looked away to avoid feeling embarrassed. "N-No need to point that out."
"We could eat at that one restaurant we ate at last week," Franky suggested.
"We'd have to take a train to get there," said Vivi.
"You mean that one restaurant with those awesome burgers?! Let's go!" exclaimed Usopp.
"Why not just go somewhere closer? It'll save us the time," said Zoro.
"All in favor of going?"
Due to majority vote, everyone against Zoro, the crew decided to go for the restaurant. The only problem was the train. Because it was only the morning, it was jam packed with people. By that, it means the Straw Hats could hardly maneuver through. Although everyone tried to their best to stay together, they were all separated into various areas on the train.
Fortunately for Luffy, he got held up with Nami. In spite of that, Sabo was also with them.
"Almost forgot how crowded Japan was. It's like a japanese lunch time rush!" said Sabo.
"Like we didn't have our own lunch time rush with Ace and Jii-chan," replied Luffy.
"Ha! You always lost all the meat and always ate the left overs."
"Bet I can take you on now!"
Nami, being the shortest out of the three, was having the most difficultly maintaining her personal bubble. Armpits were right in front of her face, and it definitely wasn't a pleasant smell. She felt some hands on the most inappropriate places and because she couldn't move, she couldn't do anything about it.
Luffy noticed her whimpering. He placed a hand on the door, right beside Nami's head, and used all his strength to push himself back, allowing Nami some space. Sabo, who stood on the other side of his arm, was still being crushed by the crowd.
"Ugh, is it me or did the amount of people increase?" Sabo murmured. Nami couldn't help but noticed his pain. For living in Japan her whole life, she was used to it.
"Sabo, are you okay?" Now that she thought about it, she wasn't in pain anymore. When she turned to look at Sabo, she noticed Luffy's arm between them, making her realize the distance between him and her. Luffy was covering her.
"I wonder when do you think we'll get there. I hope the others know when to get off," Luffy wondered. In other words, he was trying to make conversation.
"Just try not to spend all our money when we get there."
"Shishishi, I don't even have any money on me."
"Wha-then who's-" Nami was cut off by Luffy's sudden scream. She turned her head and saw Sabo biting Luffy's arm. "Uhh.."
"What are you doing?!" Luffy raised his sleeve to reveal Sabo's teeth marks on his arm.
"I did it without realizing?" Sabo said innocently. "By the way, its not fair you're only protecting Nami. Cover me too!"
Nami chuckled when Luffy moved away from her and moved onto Sabo. There faces were a feet apart, yet both of Luffy's arms were on each side of Sabo's head, completely covering him from the crowd.
"Luffy, I love ya and all, but I don't like this."
"It's even worse for me." Sabo sneaked under Luffy's arm and placed his arm beside Nami's head to protect her.
"How about this, I guard Nami, so you protect me! Okay, Nami?" He looked down, but didn't realize how close they were. He got a closer look at her big brown eyes. They were hypnotizing. Other than that, she had the cutest baby face he's ever seen.
"I'm fine. I'll be okay even if you don't guard me."
Sabo looked away. He couldn't find the words to say anything. He felt like he just got punched a million times in the jaw. Nami noticed his face turning red. He'd avoid her eyes and look down. To the side, Luffy was giving him an odd look. Of course, Sabo has never acted like this before, but he knew the reason for it.
"Sabo, are you okay?" asked Nami.
"Ugh, I can't do it. I'm getting off at the next station." Sabo clutched his throbbing chest.
"Sabo, are you okay?"
When the doors opened, Sabo was the first to leave. Luffy turned to Nami. "For the time being, I'll go with Sabo. Go on ahead of us."
"Eh? I'll come too-" Before she could finish, the doors closed on her, with Luffy and Sabo on the other side.
"You okay, bro?" asked Luffy. He offered him a can of soda to cool him down. He looked warm. It couldn't have been the weather because it was just spring.
"Thanks. Jeez, what's wrong with me?"
"You tell me."
"I think these feelings for Nami are growing."
"Its so weird. I've never felt this way for a girl before. I mean, I've seen a lot through my years, but damn."
"Then why Nami?" asked Luffy. Truth be told, that question has been on his mind since the night before.
"Hm..she's everything I look for in a girl." Luffy yelped. Sabo noticed his reaction. "What's wrong?"
"Uh, nothing nothing."
Luffy sat down next to him on the bench. He tilted his head down to hide his face with his straw hat. When they first started dating two years ago, that was exactly how he described Nami in his mind. She was perfect in his eyes. Never did he think Sabo would come along and have these same feelings. Never did he think that he would get caught in a little love triangle with his brother and the girl he's in love with.
When Nami got to the restaurant, everyone was already there, everyone beside Luffy and Sabo, of course.
"Hm? Wasn't Luffy and Sabo with you?" asked Ace.
"Um, Sabo was feeling overwhelmed. He and Luffy stayed back for a while."
After about twenty minutes, Luffy and Sabo finally arrived. Sabo didn't look any different. In fact, he looked like he was in a really good mood.
While around the table, Luffy took Nami's side. Unfortunately for Sabo, Nojiko took her other side. Sadly, the only other available spot was next to her other brother which was three seats away from Nami.
"How's Sabo? Is he okay?" Nami asked Luffy.
"Yeah. He was fine after some fresh air."
"I see. I was so surprised! He suddenly looked like he was in pain."
"Hm, he's probably overworked himself while traveling. Jumping into different countries all the time could ruin his body."
"Huh? Really? It doesn't seem like it."
"Maybe, but Sabo's now.." Nami's eyed widened when Luffy covered his eyes and looked away. "I'm sorry."
Nami covered her mouth in shock. She didn't realize she touched on something painful for him. She saw Sabo from her corner of her eye. He was having a normal conversation with Ace. Indeed he looked fine, but that could've all been an act. It never occurred to her that Sabo was dying.
"I-I'm sorry I made you tell me something painful. I understand now.." Nami got up from her seat.
"Sorry, anyway, Sabo's completely fine now-eh?" After scratching his eye, Luffy turned back to Nami, but she was gone. "Nojiko, where's Nami?"
"Oh, she went to the bathroom."
Nami peeked from the bathroom and closely watched Sabo. Normally, she'd think he'd be as buff as Ace and Luffy, but Sabo was the skinniest one. It was probably due to traveling so much. She jumped when he and Ace got up off their seats and started heading for the bathroom-where she currently is. Nami closed the door to the women's bathroom, yet kept her back to the wall.
"What's up with you? You've been yawning a lot since you got here." Nami recognized it to be Ace's voice.
"Didn't get much sleep again. My body's as weak and tired as ever."
"That's your fault you know."
Then, Nami heard a door close. They must've went into the men's restroom. She looked up and saw herself in the mirror. Sabo was dying. Poor Luffy and Ace. That must've been why he came back. He came back out of the blue so there must've been a reason. She didn't think it would be something as big as this. She felt terrible.
Nami sighed. All she can do now is be there for Luffy.
Little did she know, when the door closed to the men's bathroom, she didn't actually listen to the full conversation between the two brothers.
"You come home after a long flight and play video games for four hours straight. Who the hell does that?" said Ace.
"I've gone a whole day without sleep. I blame you."
"You managed to beat my highest score from before I left. I needed to take that title back!"
Did you see my Kuroko no Basket reference? lol I'm obsessed with that manga. xP
Anyway, sorry for my late updates. I've been juggling four stories at once and its not easy. Followed by school work and writer's block, I'm stressing out.