Disclaimer: I do not own One Piece or any of its characters.
However, I DO own this plot and this story. This story was previously Dying Kiss, the name was obviously changed. :)
Summary: Nami has lost her memory and is land locked with a few people that call her a friend, only she can't remember them. She finds that the government is destroying the world and released a terrible drug that has turned half the world into Zombies. Yes, Zombies, flesh eating rotting corpses. And better yet she finds that she was turned into an Other - a half Zombie that doesn't lose its intelligence and hunts down loved ones. As her memory slowly returns she finds that she has the key to bring down the government once and for all. But do her friends trust her enough to actually help her? And why is it that she keeps catching Zoro giving her funny looks?
Now let me present~
It wasn't like I couldn't remember anything. No, I can remember things from my childhood and even my early years of a teenager. I can remember the last moment I had as a 'human' and I remember everything since they have brought me back here. Since they've 'woken' me up, as they like to call it, I'm considered 'human' again. The large gap in my memory makes me weary, it feels too surreal and the fact that they keep me locked up away from the devastation I can't be sure if they are telling the truth.
They tell me I was friends with them before it happened. One of them even knows my birthday and favorite color. But besides fact finding things about myself that no one but a good friend would know, they won't tell me too much, just make me take medicine every day and make sure I actually eat. For the most part I just sit in the corner and watch them wearily. It could all be a cruel joke. I could just be kidnapped or something bizarre and they are covering it up with the world ending. I try to think of a lot of things or situations, but the defeated looks and long hours that they disappear tell me differently.
It's more like a war. A war for humanity and from the one memory I do have left that tells me they might be losing. The terrifying heart stopping truth that I try not to think about, I wasn't considered human to them. I think some of them still don't trust me either, judging by the harsh words or the distrustful glances when I start muttering to myself. I have no idea for how long or even why but I am back now and trusted not to kill anyone in their sleep or leave this place randomly.
I'm starting to get restless. There's no way to tell what day or year it is, and when I ask I'm ignored or told that it 'doesn't fucking matter anymore'. I would start to go insane, or maybe I already am. For as long as I can remember I have a general dislike for children, but out of the small group there seems to be one, and that one kid has a super odd attachment to me. That should be the first point of insanity. The other's being small things like the horrible case of insomnia I seem to have developed and the vivid hallucinations and mutterings I do at times.
Back to the kid though, the little weirdo wears a freaking motorcycle helmet and only takes it off to sleep. I think it has the same calming effect a superhero would have. The mask would protect him in some small way. I'm not sure. I just ignore him, but he spends a large amount of his time camped out next to me and trying to coax me into playing card games with him. Again I'm not sure how long it's been, but I crack every now and then. At least I can't see the stupid puppy dog eyes I know that under that helmet and looking at me.
And I'll admit it to myself. Playing cards isn't bad, there's a soothing aspect to it that brings out some normality in the whole situation. I just don't want that kid to think we're best friends and try and cuddle me at night or something. Just because I'm the only girl in the group does not make me the freaking mother. I don't find picking boogers and eating them cute or crapping pants and drooling everywhere adorable. It's disgusting and I could never understand why girl's my age would sit there and play with dolls and just get ready to be mother's. It always felt like a trap to me, like it was a cycle I couldn't escape from. I hated it then, and I hate it now. As much as I starting to grow fond of the silent well behaved kid, whose face I never really see, that would just quietly ask me to play cards, but I didn't want him to become my responsibility.
And it was unofficially my responsibility. They never asked it of me but it was quiet obvious. They would leave, all four of them would leave, and it would just be me and helmet face for hours on end on some days.
Today is one of those days.
Another nice thing about the kid was he didn't talk. He didn't pressure me to talk. Every now and then he would rip me off at a poker game and I would protest loudly but he would just shrug and pocket his ration of extra food. Yes we used food to gamble. It was a typical end of the world thing for you. It is one of the few things that has planted doubt into my heart, makes me think they might actually be telling me the truth. It makes it real. The hunger pains when they fail to secure more food or the bitter cold when they fail to get more firewood for the fireplace makes it painfully real.
I think we're in a bunker. The fireplace is obviously handmade. It is dug into the side of the wall, and is one of the few 'weak points' of this place. The space is only direct way in or out of this place but only someone the size of helmet head could crawl in or out easily. There is one metal wall lined with a few beds and a few that stack above that. Ten beds in all, but seven people. Chopper, the boy that wears the helmet, sleeps in the bunker closest to mine and again I growl silently at the thought that he might come and try and sink into my little hovel. I refuse to take a bed, even though it was offered. I don't like being that close to them. There is a broken radio in another corner and a crap ton of stored food in front of that. In the one free corner there was a large spit that was used for make shift baths and a source of clean water. Then there is the void, where they all huddle and do small things like plan, or play card games, the space is empty now. The small pile of clean and dirty clothes is mixed together on one side of the beds. The small space is dimly lit by a few lanterns they've hung everywhere. And there is a curtain that separates a small corner away from everyone else. Behind the curtain is my sleeping bag, where I sulk and glare at everyone on most days. It gives me just enough privacy to change clothes if I want, or do whatever else in privacy but I don't give myself that luxury. I like knowing what my 'friends' are up to and to be honest I like being in the midst of things and making them uncomfortable with my presences.
There is a latrine 50 feet away from the bunker. An escort is always needed though just in case. I'm allowed out daily to go to the rest room, but always during dawn or dusk. Never during the day, and it is even unthinkable to ask to go at night.
I would never ask to go at night. Despite being underground the noises that the Other's make is enough to scare me. That first night they brought me here I was sure I was making as much noise as them. They had to gag me, and told me to shut the hell up or they'd kill me. I believe that they would have, but I had been tired and actually went to sleep. I think it was the medicine they give me that makes my body so weary. Either way, that second night I heard the soft moans. I shivered and quaked silently begging the noise to go away. It would get closer sometimes and then drift away. It wasn't really human sounding, and it always sounded like it was calling to me beckoning me back to it. It was enough to drive me to sit on the edge of someone's bed.
Zoro. But I call him Moss head silently to myself some days just to make the situation less dreary. No one has bothered to introduce themselves to me. They all know my name and use it on occasion and use each other's names. If I paid closer attention I could tell who was who but I don't really care. There's Luffy, Zoro, Usopp, Franky, Sanji and Chopper.
They are all close to my age, whatever that was; it was definitely in our late teens or early twenties. Besides Franky who looks old enough to be my dad and Chopper who is maybe 12 or 13. I can never tell how old a kid is. I just know small, medium and large. He's medium right now
Zoro and Luffy are the ones I feel the calmest with. Luffy just smiles so often and is carefree and lightens the situation immensely. He accepts me and trusts me fully and I can't help but feel the same way. Sanji I am okay with, he really just dotes on me too much. I get irritated and I blow him off but in a small way I'm glad that he is there and okay with me being there. Franky I get a big brother feeling with, but the cyborg seems to distance himself from me. We rarely talk and only when necessary. It's not that we don't like each other, well I don't dislike him, I can't really speak for him on that, but we don't have much in common. I don't trust Zoro but he is always helpful. He'll talk to me if I need it when I start mumbling to myself, or offer an extra piece of food when I stare blankly at the wall. He is the friend that knew my birthday and favorite color. I can't help but trust him a little more, even though he technically would be my captor if it wasn't the end of the world. Besides the freakish green hair, he would easily pass for some freaking model if the world wasn't ending. It was freaking typical but I couldn't really say much about my situation.
That second night though. The night I stopped counting how many days and nights it had been because those awful wailing noises above us. That unmistakable sound of footsteps and the heartbreaking screeches, it was enough to do me in and seek comfort. I couldn't cope with it. I stuffed my fist into my mouth but I knew I was letting out strangled cries. I crawled past Chopper's bed and sat on the edge of Zoro's. I don't know why. It felt like I was practically being pulled to him.
"Nami?" he had whispered calling out to me like he was unsure of what I would do. I had just tucked my legs up so I could burry my head in a classic weak fetal position and stayed on the edge of his bed.
He didn't say anything else after that. Just sat up and sat there next to me. Not close enough to touch but if I wanted I could have leaned on his shoulder. I think that was really what made him the supporter of the group. He was so stupidly unselfish it left a bitter taste in my mouth. I could give more examples of why he is unselfish but it really isn't needed. He's a good second in command and that's the end of that.
He stayed up for the whole night, just sitting next to me and offering silence as a companion, he never tries to make me talk and sometimes I don't say a single word. I just sit there lost in my own thoughts. It must be painfully awkward for him but he never complains. It doesn't happen very often, just on nights when those wailings and awful screeches are closer to the bunker than I feel comfortable with.
I'm not sure if everyone stays up because of the cries but if they do they don't say anything. I think it's an unspoken agreement not to talk to me about it.
"Are you ever going to go?" Chopper asked, his voice echoing oddly in the helmet but it was obvious he was annoyed. I growled and studied my cards again I had been lost in thought for who knows how long and this little punk just sits there and lets me wallow. I hate wallowing. I hate being stuck in this bunker. I want out and I want to know what the group is doing.
"Any five's?" I ask instead. I don't rant with Chopper. Hell, I don't rant with anyone. I think that is why they all are weary of me. If they were truly my friend's from 'before' they would know that I hate sitting still, that I hate being locked up and utterly useless.
"Go fish," Chopper said calmly.
Sighing I reached down to the pile and picked up another card. He hadn't told me but it was obvious that it was his favorite with how he would suggest it in a discreet shy way. I made him play poker a few times when I would get sick of it, or Old Maid, or my favorite War.
He must've asked more than once or he was still annoyed from my last zone out because he snapped the words impatiently.
I quietly handed him the eight of hearts that had been in my hand and watched as he shuffled around his cards and placed the pair down. He was thoroughly kicking my ass, I only had two pairs. He had several that he stacked up neatly in a small pile so as not to discourage me.
"Any … ummmm… Jacks?" he asked.
"Go Fish," I said smugly and if that stupid helmet didn't have such a drastic tint to it I would swear he was glaring at me. He had it cracked just enough so that his lips were showing but other than that his face was hidden. Every now and then he would frown or shyly smile but it was rare to see either, and I didn't pay enough attention to him to notice.
There was a loud bang and both Chopper and I jumped. I dropped my cards and tensed as I looked at the door expectantly. Chopper had stood up and walked to go get his knife. It was under his pillow where he normally kept it. I wasn't given a weapon. I wasn't allowed near their technology either. All that stuff was hidden under a large mat in the middle of the room half buried but with a thick piece of plastic sheet that made if safe to walk over. I stiffened at another bang, somewhere further than it had been and an angry cry filled the air.
"Chopper," I whispered nervously calling out to him. I was polite when it suited me and times when I was unsure I found myself addressing them. "Chopper, come here," I said sternly. His helmet turned in my direction and I could tell he was deciding if it was wise to listen to me or not. Another bang rang out, closer than the last one but further away than the first one rang out.
Chopper ignored me and settled near the door; knife gripped in his hand as he crouched tensed, and waited to strike out.
I hissed under my breath and started rummaging the other beds, hoping that someone might have left a stupid measly knife behind so I wouldn't feel so defenseless. If they gave Chopper one and not me that said something about their trust for me and it was really infuriating. I could easily disarm the kid if I wanted but I didn't know what was going on. If they caught me with a knife and if Chopper said anything they might go back to tying me up when they left. I refuse to let whatever barged through that door get me defenseless. I wasn't going back to the 'Others'.
My frantic search came to a stop as I looked over at a broomstick that was propped against the wall. It was there simply to keep the dirt from reaching the technology they had stored under that plastic. Usopp was very particular about it. Giving up in my search for a knife which I knew was futile I reached over and grabbed the broom.
Another boom rang out, much closer than all the other ones. Cursing under my breath I snapped the broom over my leg and tossed smaller end to the corner. Chopper eyed me wearily but didn't say anything.
Then the distinct shouts of Luffy could be heard and there was silence. Dead silence. There were no frantic footfalls or bangs or anything. Chopper and I sat by the door for hours in silence. Just staring at the door and willing for the distinctive knock to be heard.
By nightfall I feared the worst. I was too scared to stick my head out and try to figure out if it was safe or not. Despite the situation and my bitterness I didn't want anything to happen to my friends. I still cared for them and as far as I knew we were all what was left of people. I knew that was stupid, they told me there were several outlets of people in this city alone but having never seen anyone else I found it hard to believe. Our small group of seven is one of the largest gatherings. The other two that beat us seemed ridiculous. One group had fifty, another twenty-three, the rest were simple groups of four or less.
I wasn't sure what protocol was in this situation but I just wanted to sit tight and wait. I could tell by Chopper's fidgeting that he was debating on telling me something and I was sure he would want to leave. I gritted my teeth together and waited. The fireplace told me that the sun was starting to sink. The sky was getting darker and to conserve energy I switched off a few of the lanterns.
"We'll have to leave in the morning," Chopper said taking off his helmet and abandoning his spot by the door. He didn't look at all phased when I didn't respond and continued glaring at the door for everything it was worth. He just clambered into bed and promptly fell asleep.
Those pricks had left me with a kid. I was going to have to make sure we both survived this. It was my responsibility to make sure nothing happened to him now. My thoughts grew darker and darker as Chopper's soft snores filled the silent room. I had never been more aware of noise in my entire life. I clutched my broom handle and remained fixed by the door.
In the distance I could hear a few shots and booms. I realized now that was the sound of some type of cannon or gun and cringed. I almost missed it but there was a quiet knock on the door. A swift tap tap followed by the third one after a brief pause. I shot a nervous look to Chopper but he didn't seem to notice. I glared hard at the door, wondering if it was another one of my hallucinations but I heard it again.
Quickly debating with myself I pulled the lock and flung the door open. My broom handle ready to pierce whatever was on the other side.
I strangled a gasp as Zoro stood there holding Luffy. Both looked incredibly bloody. I took a step forward dropping my broom as I grabbed Luffy and hulled him in. Zoro paused for a moment and I heard the sound of scuffling before Usopp and Franky fell in as well. I swallowed the lump in my throat but I didn't ask what had happened to Sanji. The defeat atmosphere was enough to tell me.
Busily I took off Luffy's shirt and started probing his wounds. Franky and Usopp looked dazed but looked well enough to fend for themselves.
"Ambush," Zoro growled as he sat next to me and flipped Luffy on his back. He didn't need to tell me that but I figured he liked to let me know what was going on. I winced as I looked over Luffy's stomach. A large gash throbbed and pulsed so that more blood fell onto the floor. I fought the urge to gag.
"Supplies?" I asked.
Zoro shook his head. He looked like he wanted to punch something and I was half tempted to tell him to leave. No one needed to see him breakdown. It was hard enough as it was. The rock in the group couldn't lose it. Or maybe that was me being selfish and feeling powerless.
"Bitten? Or shot?" I asked.
Zoro looked a little relieved at this and shook his head no. He opened a bottle and silently beckoned me to hold Luffy's body down. I barely had enough time to pin him firmly to the ground when he doused Luffy with the liquid. I knew it was some type of cleanser as the flesh turned white and started to bubble. Luffy just groaned.
Quickly Zoro began to stitch his wound closed and then with my help we both wrapped it closed. We sat there panting and I fought the urge to puke. The scent of blood was heavy in the air.
"You're wounded Zoro," Chopper said from the bed.
His eyes flickered to the younger boy and he sighed. He turned to me imploringly and I wondered just how much I would have to do tonight. Thankfully I saw Usopp climbing into bed out of the corner of my eye as he and Franky where done tending to each other.
"Go to sleep, Chopper. It's nothing," he said quietly as he gestured me to help pick up Luffy. With a little effort we managed to half carry and drag him to his cot. Placing him carefully on his stomach, I was suddenly thankful that he had been unconscious through most of that.
"But your head…"
"I'll take care of it," I told Chopper when Zoro shot him a dirty look. Zoro was never this short, but then again losing a friend could do that to people.
I grabbed a clean cloth and pressed it to the shallow cut that seemed to be bleeding the most. Chopper looked relaxed and turned to face the wall and pretend to sleep. The only one I knew that was out cold was Luffy, but still I felt the need to actually talk, and I didn't mind that the rest of them would hear me.
"Are you hurt anywhere else?"
Zoro snorted and rolled his eyes. Under his vest I could see a lot of blood but I wasn't sure if it was from Luffy or not. He noticed my eyes had shot down to the area and growled.
"I'll be fine…" he said softly. A bit too softly and I felt a sudden flash of anger towards him.
"Don't you dare try to fucking get-"
"Nami… I know you don't like the sight of blood. I'll take care of it," he said sternly. "Just wrap up my head and I'll get it when you go to sleep."
Oh right, he 'knew' me. I hated when people called me Nami in that soft tender voice, but I didn't protest this time. I was too interested and I felt sorry for them. I also felt a pang of loss, not seeing Sanji and the grief that hung in the air was hurting me. And I was furious with myself for once again not being able to remember. I want to know them, I want to understand what's going on but I couldn't.
Scoffing I quickly cleaned out his head wound and wrapped it. I didn't jump off his cot though and turned my body to face the wall while pointedly handing him the supplies. If the situation had been any different I'm sure he would have laughed at my antics.
"What were you guys trying to get this time?" I asked.
I was still very vague on the details but their last mission had been for a raid of cleaning supplies. Tooth brushes, soap, small things so that they could clean up a bit. I liked the extra sense of normality it brought but I couldn't quiet bring myself to support stupid missions that risked lives for a bar of soap. Not that I cared, I don't even know what is going on outside.
"We found another one," he said quietly.
Luffy had tried to explain things to me several times. I liked to try and remain arrogantly bliss about it. Maybe that was more of the problem. I didn't want to accept the situation. When Zoro said it so soft like that, when he said they found another one. He meant they found someone like me. I swallowed the rising lump in my throat and chanced to look at him. He had lifted his shirt slightly and was looking down at the wound that covered his side. It was a shallow wound, mostly like Luffy's only it was longer in length. He was busy dabbing it with a cloth and cleaning it out to notice my staring.
"There are more?"
He looked up then, pausing to press the cloth against his skin. The look he gave me was rather peculiar, like he was trying to decide what he should or shouldn't say. Finally he sighed and nodded.
"There are loads more. We took a special interest in you since… you were one of us for a while."
The words stung when I knew they shouldn't. I wasn't one of them anymore. I was like a feral dog they were trying to tame, pushing the limits to see what I could and couldn't handle. It was rather pointless. I was rather pointless, and practically useless. I was just another mouth to feed. But I had been one of them at one point; I had been a trusted member of the little odd group I was now growing so fond of. It was oddly comforting and distressing to know I had somewhere I belonged but didn't anymore.
I scooted forward and grabbed the cloth from him careful to avoid his searching gaze as I started to stitch him up. I kept my face blank, trying to hide my distress. They lost Sanji because they were trying to save someone like me. How many did they lose when they got me?
"Was he …" I tried to ask the right question but I knew I couldn't say it. Was he killed or was he turned? It would be better if he was just lost from us. Better that we couldn't fight to get him back and wear our resources out trying to save him. It might be selfish but if he died that also meant one less they had to worry about.
"He's at the other base for the night. He's injuries were too bad for us to treat."
I stopped in my work and let out a huge sigh of relief. Sanji might be annoyingly over protective of me and dote too much but I still considered him a friend. A wave of relief washed over me. I would hate for him to die or be turned, I wouldn't wish that on anyone. Zoro gently brushed my hands away and resumed tending to himself.
"We might have to move. Usopp nearly gave away our position."
I nodded grimly.
"I think we are safe. Chopper and I didn't hear much after you guys disappeared."
Zoro sighed at me. Whether it was because I was trying to be hopeful and I didn't want to leave this place I was starting to get accustomed to or the fact that he was annoyed that I was refuting him I don't know.
"It's safer if we leave and change bases for now. We'll give it to someone else with a strong hold and we'll move to a safer area."
I didn't say anything this time. It was obvious that it wasn't my place to argue, but being in here made it possible to argue with myself that it wasn't all real. Being in here made it a choice to not accept. If I was forced to move, forced to participate in what they were telling me that was taking away my choice.
"Help me wrap this?" he asked breaking my quick reprieve of melancholy.
I shifted and took the bandage. He used one hand to hold it down as I circled his body once with it. Then both of his hands shot up in the air. I continued wrapping ignoring him for the most part until I felt his arms rest on my shoulders. I flinched, instinctively not being used to actual human contact. It was the first time any of them had willing touched me and without reason. But it wasn't uncomfortable and I had a sneaking suspicion it had to do with Chopper's 'detox' that he was trying to get me to do. I would have said he had alterative motives but there wasn't a blush on his cheeks when I glared at him, nor did he look embarrassed. Although either of those looks would have just been odd on him. He wasn't the type to get phased over small things like that. It must've just been annoying to hold his arms up so I shrugged it off and finished wrapping him stomach. His arms left my shoulders and it was odd but I kind of liked the weight of them there.
"You should get to bed," he told me. It was the first time he had ever kicked me out of his cot and again I tried not to feel hurt at his words. I could see the storm brewing in his eyes, the fault and blame he was carrying for a failed mission. It wasn't like I was in the mood to stay up all night and glare at the wall anyways. His silent company wasn't needed tonight and I could only imagine what Usopp had said to him in a temper tantrum. So I complied, hopping swiftly off the bed and towards my sleeping bag. I was surprised at how easily I was able to fall asleep.
A/N: Just a few things... First, this is pretty dark but I'm going to keep the rating T unless forced to move it up. One Piece has mildly strong language and I'll be following suit. There will be a few 'f' bombs here and there but nothing too much, in fact at the most 4 or 5 times throughout the whole story. Second, there is A LOT of gore later on but not descriptive and there is a character that has been tortured. So please… I don't want a bunch of reviews asking me to change that when I get there. This story is going to be darker than my usual but I'll keep it pg13 :). So enjoy!