I blinked several times at the grey stone walls that took up my vision. It took my sight a while to adjust to the dim light and notice that the grey blurry lines were actually stone. My head pounded loudly in my ears making me wince but I refused to groan. Slowly my senses returned to me. I could feel cold heavy metal clamping my wrists together behind my back, I could feel something soft and sturdy pressed against my back and hands, and I could feel something wet on the ground beneath me.
Panic set in as I remembered the last few moments I had conscious, I tested my arms and legs for injuries, flexing my muscles to do so. I leaned back to look over my shoulder only to see an unconscious Chopper. I rubbed my hands against him the best I could, trying to wake him.
"Oi," I whispered frantically. "Oi Chopper."
His head drooped lazily to his side and for a moment I felt unbridled fear take over. I thought he was dead, until the soft snoring reached my ears.
"Thank god," I mumbled to myself letting my shoulders shag in relief.
I could barely make out a white bandage wrapped tightly around his small torso, it was stained red in a small spot and I felt my heart clench at the sight. This was my fault. I must have drawn the Others attention somehow when I went back to them. Groaning I leaned against the wall and stared up at the ceiling. It was the only thing in here that didn't seem to be made of stone. In fact it looked like a thatched roof covered in straw. I squinted trying to make out the light that seemed to dance through it. It had to be close to 3 or 4 in the afternoon now.
Think Nami, think.
We have to get out of here, Chopper has to get back to Franky and launch his drug into the air, and I have to fix this.
I kicked my legs out in frustration. Relieved I noticed that they were unbound, shimming I pressed my side to the wall, testing wearily to see if I was tied to Chopper or not. He slumped more at my movement but remained at the spot I had been. Gently I pushed up against the wall, using the leverage it offered to stand up. My legs shook underneath me but they didn't give out.
Good. This was a start.
Gingerly I squatted down, pressing my arms as hard as I could to the ground I took two timid steps backward over them so that my arms were now in front of me. Standing back up I stretched them over my head feeling a satisfying pop as I did so. We must've been in here for a while longer than I thought.
There was a large wooden door in the middle of the room. It had three slots, one on top, one in the middle, and one at the bottom. I tip toed over to it. At any moment some random person could come flying through and the way the hinges were ringed it would fall in towards me, but I couldn't let that thought stop me from approaching. There wasn't a handle or a way to open the door from this side, there was no lock to pick, but the slots were easy to move. Gently I cracked the middle one, bending slightly I peered out of the small peep-hole I had created.
There were two people with their backs faced to me outside the door. I could barely hear their conversation but it was nothing important. Just something about how they were currently trying to tell Luffy that they had two of his crewmates. That would mean they were setting up a trap.
Cursing I slid the slot closed and started pacing the floor.
If they got to Luffy he would run off after us, with Sanji hot on his heels, leaving only Brook and Franky. Franky would be on his own in the woods waiting for us, and he could be ambushed or possibly lose the machine. God only knows where the hell Zoro was, and Robin was hanging back to help protect the people back at the school. This whole situation was quickly becoming a huge headache and a nightmare.
I ran my hands through my hair, stopping just as they caught the bobby pins I had used to push back my bangs this morning. I pulled one out and expertly picked the locks on my hand cuffs before bending down and relieving my unconscious doctor of them as well.
Zoro… this place couldn't be far from the government house, he could be nearby. There was no way they would have been able to move us too far. At least that is what I hope. I can only cause a diversion once, and if it fails then my only choice is to sit tight and wait for those morons to find us. But we don't have time…
I didn't have my staff, it had been in my hand when we jumped and I highly doubt that whoever had captured us had returned it to my usual spot. Still I found my hands reaching into my cleavage…
I just had to pull the tab, if Zoro was close by then he could find us, and then we could get the hell out of here and help Franky. Eagerly I bent down next to Chopper.
"Wake up," I said shaking his shoulder gently. I noticed that the ground seemed to be covered in water and that his fur was slightly damp, as well as my clothes. It didn't bother me as I nudged the reindeer again. "Chopper," I said a little louder.
I didn't want the guards to hear us, but judging by how hard it had been for me to hear them I doubt that they could hear me. At least I hope they don't. We were only going to get one chance at this.
He groaned and rolled away from my touch. I felt my brow twitch in irritation but I didn't want to hit him to wake him up. I wasn't sure how grave his injuries were. Instead I crouched down so that I could speak a little louder into his ear.
"Get your ass up, you raccoon," I hissed.
"I'm a reindeer," he growled back sitting up and rubbing sleep out of his eyes. I smiled before patting him on the head and standing back up.
"I know that. You just needed to wake up."
"You're mean Nami," he grumbled.
I didn't answer and patiently waited for him to wake up and realize the situation. It took him several minutes but finally he let out a terrified squeak and jumped onto my leg.
"I was shot!"
I winced at his reaction as he studied his body. He did get shot, and he did it to protect me. I didn't want to be reminded of that just yet; I didn't want the guilt to set in. We need to get moving.
"If you weren't such an idiot and had just kept running then you wouldn't have been shot," I stressed. I tried to wave it off like it was his fault but I was never good at concealing my emotions with my friends. I was really worried about the wound hidden under that bandage. And I wanted him to check it to see how grave it really was, but we didn't have time. Surely the small doctor knew that as he lightly prodded around without removing the bandages, we would have to trust whoever wrapped him up.
"You would have been shot, he was aiming straight for you and in my human form I can take a hit better than you. You would have been killed," he huffed. I winced again.
"Thank you," I mumbled lowly. He nodded as he bent his head down to examine his neatly wrapped chest with a little more interest.
"Hang on… we aren't on the Sunny—"
"No but we haven't been on the Sunny in a while," I noted, trying to cut off the panic that was setting in his voice.
"We were captured. What if we can't—"
"Yes, but I have a plan," I interrupted his panicked realization with a calming hand resting on the top of his head. I gave him a gentle squeeze of reassurance.
"The roof is thatched," I said pointing up. "I can tell that this building has maybe four or five rooms, it's not very large, there's a short hallway out the door and a sharp turn left. I think my staff will more likely be in that room closest to the exit."
Chopper nodded following my logic.
"I'm going to light this flare up, between that gap in the roofing," I pointed to the small gap barely detectable, "Zoro should come—"
"Zoro?" Chopper asked skeptically cutting me off for the first time. I winced. Out of everyone he should doubt me; I was the one that got us into this mess.
"He gave me the flare. Anyways this is more of a diversion. We're going to set it off, hide on this side of the door and when the guards come in we'll tear out and lock them in here. If Zoro even gets here in time we'll be out before then. Sound good?"
The doctor nodded in response as I handed him the flare.
"You have better aim than I do," I told him meekly. I might have good accuracy and predicting skills but there was a difference with aiming and firing something that I wasn't familiar with. I could see the sweat drop on his brow before he nervously accepted the stick from me.
"On the count of—"
"How about now?" he said quickly, aiming for the hole and pulling on the tab before I could really register it. The flash exploded loudly in his hands. It made it through the hole but the tail of it had caught the thatched roofing on fire.
I grabbed him and we leaned against the wall, just as the door flung open.
Before the guards could even register what was going on, we had darted out the door and slammed it behind us the lock sliding into place at the force. Grinning evilly to each other for a job well done we took off down the hall way. As we rounded the hallway there was a door I had suspected but there were two guards in the way. The entrance was just behind them.
"Chopper," I yelled pointing to the door as I swung a wild kick and knocked out both of the men. He didn't acknowledge me but slammed his shoulder into the door, knocking it off the hinges. We both gaped at the sleeping Zoro inside.
"You fucking idiot!" I hissed leaping into the room and hitting him roughly upside the head.
"What the hell are you guys doing here?" he snapped. He blearily blinked a few times obviously fighting off sleep.
"We should ask you that?!" Chopper and I roared together.
"Doesn't matter. Did you guys find my swords?" he questioned standing quickly. With a quick flex the rope that had bound him snapped and both of us stared at him in disbelief like he was some type of monster. And why the hell did they use rope on this superhuman and sea stone cuffs on Chopper and I? I thought angrily.
"It should be the next door back… I thought this would be the storage room," I answered meekly mumbling the last part to myself. I was slightly ashamed that I had been wrong but people aren't as predictable as the weather is.
Zoro grunted and made his way out into the hallway.
"Why the hell is this place on fire?" he asked dodging a falling piece of the flaming thatched roof. I ignored him, and sighing loudly I surged past him. I flung the door open with ease and quickly scooped up our weapons and Chopper's backpack that were lying haphazardly in the corner.
"Don't worry about that, idiot," I grumbled handing him his swords, "let's just get the hell out of here."
As we stumbled out of the now burning building and into the cover of the trees, I rounded on Zoro.
"How the hell did you managed to get captured?" I snapped.
I had been concerned that he would have been lost and on the opposite side of the country searching for the building, I hadn't even remembered that he had a horrible sense of direction and needed to be watched every damn second. That had completely escaped my mind in all the preparations, and although I was (slightly) glad to see the swordsman that meant the others had one less fighter helping subdue the Others. Everyone else needed him a lot more than I did at the moment.
"I was infiltrating obviously," he said waving his hand at me. His cheeks were tinted the faintest shade pink, making it clear that his annoyance was misplaced and he had just been lost yet again.
"You're such a moron sometimes," I hissed.
"Uh guys?" Chopper squeaked.
"At least I don't get captured so easily."
"You have got to be kidding me? You were dead asleep when we walked in!"
"GUYS!" Chopper snapped interrupting us. He stepped in between and gave us both a sharp look. "Why don't we go find the others and worry about this later?" he suggested. He didn't wither under my glare and gave me his own. He was right though, we did need to prioritize things.
With a huff I stole a glance around our surroundings.
"We need to head east," I said after a moment.
I could faintly hear the sounds of guns firing off but the forest made it impossible to tell in what direction it was coming from. It echoed oddly in the woods, but that gave me a hint as well. Since the sound was so distorted we were at least a mile away from the fighting, the other side of the now burning building we were in was backed by a large clearing in the forest where the sound didn't quiet reach. There was really only one way to go.
I started running, too mad at the two behind me to address them to follow me. I heard their footsteps either way as we dashed into the woods. I wasn't even sure why I felt so irritated. They both were just looking out for me, and they both have been since day one. But maybe that was my feelings of being so hopeless overwhelming me again, I need to push that aside. Of course they had to look out for me. Chopper because I am his patient and Zoro because that's just what he has always done.
We ran for a few minutes in tense silence before the sounds of gun shots and angry shouts grew louder. I distinctly heard something large crack, and then the roar of my captain. Someone had royally pissed him off, and I did not want to be the person who was on the receiving end of his anger. Finally we were on the outskirts of the battle. Luffy was a blur of motion, constantly pummeling someone (Arlong) into the ground. Usopp was in the mists of setting traps and rounding up Others away from the main fight so it would be less distracting. Sanji was in a heated battle with some government 'officials' that ran the facility, Brook was taking on several stronger looking Others who were having a hard time keeping track of him more than likely due to the fact that he had no blood, and Franky was on the outskirts firing at anyone who came too close guarding the machine. While rebels were randomly paired throughout the closed field fighting randomly with Others and the government alike. It was utter chaos. It wasn't clear which side was winning or losing. Although judging from the Straw Hats alone, I'd say we are kicking ass.
"Take this to Franky," Chopper said handing me his back pack. "I'm going to help everyone."
I grabbed his wrist firmly before he could take off.
"You're still hurt Chopper," I growled. He looked down like he was just seeing the bandage for the first time.
Zoro strode past us. A wicked gleam was dancing in his eye that only came with a promise of a good fight. I haven't seen that look in a long time, and it brought a light smile to my face as he turned to face us. He slipped off his bandana for a split second before taking a step closer to me as he drew his swords.
"Would you do the honors?" he barked roughly.
He was teasing me, at a time like this. I was about to hit him upside the head when the soft cloth fell into my hands, and he turned his back to me. I felt something familiar with this. It was like I had done this for him before. Leaning up with shaking hands I tied the bandana around his head expertly and without much effort on my end. He grinned wolfishly over his shoulder but didn't turn around fully.
"Chopper," he said firmly calling the frowning doctor to attention. "You watch out for Nami. Get her to Franky and end this thing. You're the only one that will know what to do anyways."
Chopper grinned as he transformed into his Walking point next to me. He nodded in response and started leading me around the edge of the woods so we could race towards Franky.
That's it? No sweet tender kiss like the one we had shared earlier? No goodbye? No good luck?
I caught Zoro's eye over my shoulder as I dashed away with Chopper. He smirked once before sliding a sword into his mouth.
I found a smile touching my lips again. That's what the bandana had been for him. It had been all those things, and it was me wishing him luck as well. We couldn't risk a kiss in front of our enemy's that was plain stupid, because they would could only use that against us.
Before I knew it we were in front of Franky. Both of us leaning over and panting at our last sprint.
Chopper was digging around in his backpack next to the machine and Franky was standing guard over us as he fired rapidly at the zombies and Others that tried to make their way to us. It hit me then that I was being rather useless. I whipped out my staff and alongside Franky I started taking down anything that came to close to us.
"You guys made it! SUPPPER!" Franky smiled at me which I caught out of the corner of my eye.
"Yeah, just got a little side tracked," I answered back, bringing my staff around to smack the hell out of a zombie.
"Count down to drug release, and signal interference!" Chopper yelled excitedly.
The machine whirled to life behind me, a bunch of flashing lights and buttons caught nearly the entire field's attention. The lights reflected off the shadows in the trees and the hum of the machine told me it was working. I didn't need confirmation. Besides I didn't even have time to turn and look at it in awe. There were too many Others advancing on us now. Their moans filled the air, and I found myself growing frustrated with the lack of efficiency my thunder attacks seemed to have on them. I dodged an Other that was wielding a sword, just barely. There was a blur of green as Zoro cut it with ease. Fire erupted next to me as Sanji came out of nowhere and took care of an Other than had been about to hit me as well. I smiled at my two friends letting out a breath as I hurriedly took another shot at one with a Gusto Sword.
"7," Chopper shouted.
I had missed what number he had started at. My mind was too busy trying to keep up with everyone else around me. I fended off a blow, having to retreat a step as Sanji swooped over and finished my attacker. Quickly bending I took out the legs of someone who had been about to hit Zoro with a cheap shot. Franky stepped in front of me as a shot rang out and reflected off of him.
I leapt around Franky to hit another Other as it was about to sink it's teeth into the robot. I know that no harm would come from an Other's bite to Franky since he worked a little differently than the rest of us, but still it would be better not to chance it.
I didn't hear Chopper say 1 but I knew he did. I felt the rush of a giant wind behind me as orange and green smoke took to the air and mingled together causing the most beautiful shade of brown I have ever seen in my entire life. It seemed to shimmer in the light, like chocolate and gold mixed together it took to the field. Like everyone else I was frozen for a split second, in awe of the scene before me. We had actually done it.
With a whoop and renewed vigor I launched myself onto the nearest Other as it inhaled the smoke. It was coughing and gagging, and while everyone who hadn't been subdued it didn't affect them. My movement caused a loud shout as everyone followed my lead. My mind was a little clearer, I felt alive. The blood in veins felt warm and I knew without a doubt we were going to win this, as one by one the Others fell and zombies stumbled after inhaling the gas. It felt so good to be human.
There was another deafening crash behind me. I turned to see Luffy slam Arlong into the building, having it start to crash around them. I smiled at the familiar scene. A bubble of laughter escaped me. I was the only one that made a sound; everyone else had seemed to fall still in worry.
"LUFFY!" I shouted as loudly as I could into the dead silence. Everyone was so worried about our captain. There was no need to be. The rumble shifted and there he stood, like he had all those years before, panting, covered in blood, but very much alive. "YOU'RE MY FRIEND!" I screamed loudly wiping the tears as they slipped from my eyes. It felt so good to scream it back, to know that while we both understood that friendship he should be reminded of why he had this fight, because I sure as hell didn't need reminding. Not anymore.
"YOSH!" he shouted before he fell over, probably to sleep it off.
The rest of the fight was a blur. We won; it was so easy after that.
We returned to the school, we celebrated. I waited patiently for Luffy to wake up and we hugged, both of us glad that this was behind us.
"Hey Nami," Luffy started excitedly as he began stuffing his face with all sorts of food. That kid could be quiet ridiculous when it came to eating. He could probably eat enough in one day to feed a small country. "Let's sneak out to sea in the morning," he stated, giggling slightly as he took another ridiculously sized bite out of his food.
I would have sighed at his antics but the thought of finally heading out to sea, of finally being on the ocean, to have the waves' rock me to sleep at night and the warm sun on my back during the day. It was all too exciting, I nodded in agreement.
I spent the night socializing. I out drank several rebels. I laughed with Robin as we commented on how cute Franky and Zoro were bickering over something trivial. I swapped stories of how I was captured with Usopp who had thought he had seen Kaya only to be mistaken and in a moment of sheer panic had almost been bitten. I let Chopper lean on me as he quietly sipped his orange juice, one hand held his ribs as he watched everyone with a smile on his face, and occasionally he would get up to play with Luffy and Usopp. Franky sang a song for Robin who smiled obviously happy, while I clapped for them and Brook offered to play some tunes on the piano. Sanji hardly left my side, and instead of being annoyed I found that I really enjoyed his company. Brook asked if he could see my panties a few times, and he of course would ask Robin when I turned him down. I couldn't bring myself to hit the perverted skeleton tonight. I was just so relieved, that we were all together, all alive.
And after a while, everyone began to fall asleep. Usopp and Chopper being the first to do so, next about 90 percent of the rebels (who weren't used to hard partying obviously), then Franky and Robin disappeared. Brook stopped playing music and curled up next to Luffy as the two began to talk idly to one another before they too fell asleep. Sanji eventually stopped cooking and doting on me, but he actually retired to their room instead of falling asleep out here with the rest of us. The rest of the rebels bid us goodnight, well me goodnight seeing as I was the last Straw Hat that was actually coherent and awake. I glanced to left.
Zoro was sitting on the edge of the bench next to me. His head was resting on his chest with a small smile. His eyes were closed as he pretended to sleep as the last rebel yawned and made his way to bed. I scooted closer to him, letting my head fall unto his shoulder.
"You know we never did get to kiss so hard that Sanji threw up again," he said after a few quiet moments spaced out between us. I chuckled.
"You still owe me for that one," I grumbled remembering that I had actually done it to help Zoro torture the poor cook and to get some type of confirmation that I was in fact Zoro's girlfriend.
"How about I repay you right now?" he asked huskily. He cracked open his good eye to give me a small smirk.
I smirked back.
Yes, it feels so very good to be alive.
A/N: Wow wow wow! You guys! I'm so happy I finished this story. I know I've said this a few times about random pieces of my work but this really truly has been my favorite story to write. Ever. From start to finish I had a blast with this and I hope you guys all see it and get enjoyment too. This is my last author's note for this story. I'm actually getting really sentimental about this XD. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't tearing up now. This story has been my baby... and although it has taken some twist and turns, a lot of sweat and yes even blood (that, my friends, is a really long story xD), it has been totally worth it. I would write a super freaking long rant, but I just can't bring myself to do so. Thank you to everyone who has given this story a chance, who has read it, who has favorited it, and who has reviewed. You guys helped fuel this story, so thank you for the support. Until next time,