AN: Just got into One Piece again after a two-year absence, and still loving it. Set in the future, circa ten years. No particular spoilers for anything post 3D2Y, but takes into account everything up to the timeskip. Luffy/Nami for those who like it, and for those who don't...well, there's the sake, I guess.
Disclaimer: I do not own One Piece or its characters – Eichiiro Oda does.
by Miss Mungoe
She's getting married today.
She hums softly as she admires her reflection in the mirror. She's gorgeous, but then, she always knew she'd make a beautiful bride. Tucking the loose curls she's spent the morning creating into the bun at the back of her neck, Nami smiles.
"Like what you see?" comes the amused query, and she meets Robin's eyes in the mirror. She grins.
Cat-like eyes twinkle in the early morning light. "Are you wearing the crown?"
Her eyes shift to the circlet sitting innocently on her vanity, the delicate filigree twinkling in the slivers of light pouring in from the lone window of her cabin. Small, polished stones adorns the silver lacework, glinting prettily. It had been a gift – he'd all but thrown it into her hands after excitedly rifling through a particularly rich pile of booty, looking for that bronze statue he wouldn't shut up about. When she'd asked what the hell she was supposed to do with it, he'd grinned at her, and told her if she wanted to be queen she'd need a good crown.
That was years ago, and it had been in her dresser ever since. It should have gathered dust, but there was no hiding or denying the results of regular polishing. The playfully twinkling stones beckon her thieving hands, and she feels her fingers twitch in her lap as she regards the circlet with weary eyes. For years it has been a treasure – a pretty trinket in the drawer of her dresser. After today, that will change.
"Captain will like it," Robin tells her, and Nami raises a brow, although she doesn't take her eyes off the crown.
"He won't notice."
There's no arguing with that statement. Robin smiles, and Nami returns it, and her fingers reach for the headdress without another word. It's so light in her hands, and she is careful as she places it on her head, twining her hair around the silver latticework. It dips just below her hairline, and the sight of it renders her momentarily speechless. She looks like a queen.
The crown feels heavy, suddenly.
"You look beautiful, Nami-chan." Robin rises from her seat, and comes to stand behind her. A delicate hand tucks an errant lock of hair into the confines of the circlet, and Nami smiles at the gesture, and attempts to smooth away the frown before her companion takes notice.
"And as humble as always."
Nami grins, and this time it's genuine. She turns her head to check her hair. Perfect. The circlet gleams in the light, heavy on her head. She ignores it, and shifts her gaze to the face beneath.
There is a knock on the door, and a gruff voice drifts through the wood. "Old man's ready to get at the booze. If you want him sober you better come up now," Zoro announces, and Nami rolls her eyes.
"Of all the captains available on this sea and he's got to pick the least responsible," she grumbles, but there is good humour in her tone as she rises from her seat. Robin laughs.
"He would not have had it any other way," she reminds her, and Nami waves her off.
"Well, I guess it can't be helped. But if he's had so much as a shot before the ceremony I'll throw him overboard myself," she declares calmly, as she proceeds towards the door. Robin opens it for her, and on the other side Zoro is leaning against the wall, a bored look on his face that isn't fooling anyone. When he sees her, he gives her a swift once-over, before a smirk tugs at his lips.
"You clean up nice, witch," he remarks, the name fond after years of banter.
"And you couldn't be bothered to put on a suit," she retorts, but there is a smile in her eyes, and his grin widens as he hooks a finger into his atrocious waistband.
"Cook wouldn't lend me one," he lies with a shrug, and is answered by a snort from somewhere down the hallway. When she raises her eyes, Sanji is moving towards them, impeccably dressed and with a cigarette at his lips.
"Hell would freeze over before I'd let you touch my wardrobe, moss-head," he replies casually, before his eyes comes to land on Nami. "This is it," he says, and his down-to-business attitude is oddly comforting. She nods, and he sighs, a puff of smoke escaping his lips, before a warm smile stretches across his face.
"Well, I guess it can't be helped. Just know that if you were to change your mind, I'm on the front row," he says, reaching out a hand. She smiles, grateful, and links her own with his as he sweeps her towards the staircase leading up to the deck. Robin and Zoro follow at their heels, and she breathes deeply. The weight of the circlet seems to double with every step.
Stepping out onto the deck, the sunlight hits her full force, and she knows the white of her dress and the circlet makes her shine, because his eyes widen almost comically at the sight, and his jaw drops a little, and she can't keep the smug smile off her face as they stop on the lawn. The grass is soft and crisp against her bare feet, and her smile widens as she takes in the sight before her.
A playful nudge from the redhead beside him snaps him out of his stare, and he blinks, before a grin spreads across his face. The man beside him shakes his head, but the smile on his face is fond, and the eyes are warm beneath the scars marring them. Pride is evident even from where she is standing, and her heart warms at the sight. Sanji squeezes her hand where it's tucked into his elbow, and she doesn't need to look at him to feel his reassurance. She nods.
And then they walk.
There's more people aboard than there's ever been in a situation outside a battle, and they're all either seated or standing around the deck, their eyes following her as she passes through the makeshift aisle. She knows she looks stunning – knows it without the awed whispers and the blatant stares, but those don't hurt. The sun is bright above them on an endless backdrop of blue, the horizon barely distinguishable from the skyline, and she can hear the soft waves as they lap lazily against the hull. All around her is the call of the gulls and the waves of the sea, and she breathes in the smell of her home as she takes the last few steps towards her future.
Robin moves to stand beside the two captains, and Nami laments for a brief second her sister's absence. But tough-as-nails as she is, the New World is no place for Nojiko, and they couldn't very well bring the entirety of the world's most wanted criminals to the East Blue for a wedding – Headquarters would have a collective hernia at the mere notion. So the ceremony will be where it is, beyond the prying eyes of the world and the government. She knows there'll be a party on Cocoyashi later, and the thought makes her happy.
It is short-lived, however, as her gaze drifts to the empty spot beside her captain, reserved eternally for a big brother that should by rights be standing there. With Robin waiting on the right, it creates a lopsided effect that only serves to underline that someone is missing, and her heart hurts at the sight.
He grins then – the childlike, elated stretch of the lips that make him looks years younger than he really is, and her momentary grief evaporates like steam. The cape slung around his shoulders is new, she notes with surprise, and though she laments not being able to talk him into wearing a suit, she doesn't really mind. This is who he is, and she wouldn't be where she was if she was looking for something else. The hat in on his head, as always – a crown fit for a King; the words given to him on the day of his unofficial coronation by the very man about to secure their union.
When Sanji hands her over, it's not without a twinge of reluctance, but she barely notices as a warm hand grasps hers and tugs her forward the last step. She stumbles, and the redhead rolls his eyes, but Luffy is smiling and smiling and she wonders if perhaps the circlet isn't catching the sheer light coming off him.
"Eager, aren't you?" she chides fondly, and he laughs. She smiles, but the clearing of a throat drags her eyes from her captain and to the one giving them a playfully indignant look.
"If the lady is ready," he teases, and she purses her lips, but her spirits are too high for them to be dampened by his jokes, and so she merely nods.
And so, surrounded on all sides by the most wanted men on the Grand Line, Nami finds herself married. It's a casual ceremony, filled with laughter and the occasional cat-call, and the sun shines down from above and the sea rolls gently beneath, and in the matter of a few minutes she is no longer just a navigator, and the circlet adorning her hair is no longer just an accessory. It's a crown, and she is Queen, and the weight of the two is almost staggering when the realization finally settles. It is a promise made years before, when he had only one scar on his face and she had trouble seeing past their next voyage. It had been a joke, too – she'd been certain of this at the time. But the promise of a title and first right to any new loot had been a song to her pilfering soul, and so she'd accepted without much thought. It had been a singularly selfish decision, but undoubtedly one of the better she's made since first setting out to sea with the man before her.
And the King holding her hands is grinning even more than the day of his accession to his intangible throne, and she is once again reminded of the true reason for her decision, because being the Queen of this man exceeds just about anything. And being the centre of those mischievous eyes, she finds, is worth tying herself down, because she doesn't even think he's looked at meat with that much ardour before.
"Kiss your girl, kiddo," is the redhead's verbal mutilation of the much-anticipated and traditional phrase, but she doesn't care to roll her eyes as she meets her King's grin with her own, and it's she who tugs him forward for the kiss that will adorn every front-page of every newspaper across the four blues and the Grand Line for the next year. Cheers erupt around them, and she laughs against his mouth.
"SAKE ALL AROUND!" Red-Haired Shanks announces then in a merry bellow, and the chorus that has broken out rises in volume to the point that she's certain the sound will travel for miles. But they won't be fearing Marines today. A slew of them are already gathered, anyways, standing behind the pirates. The momentary truce does not remove the weariness, but Garp looks oddly emotional, and Toby is outright crying. The few Shichibukai gathered on the opposite side look decidedly more comfortable, but the danger thrumming in the air is an inevitability they knew they would have to deal with. But Nami doesn't mind, so long as they keep to their end of the bargain. But there is enough sake aboard to erase whatever lines exist between their respective sides, and if they aren't all nakama by the end of the night, she'll be surprised.
Luffy tugs her forward then, and a cup is pushed into her hands, and the smile on her face is hard to remove as she drinks, and for a moment she forgets about the weight on her head. Her fingers are linked with his, and though they are pulled in different directions, they never let go, and she laughs at the sheer possibility and he grins at her from across the deck, giving her fingers a squeeze. The party is unlike any they have ever hosted, to the point where even the Marines present let their guard down, and sake flows as freely as laughter. Brook's violin barely gets a break, creating a constant musical backdrop to Usopp's tall tales, and as the sun dips down beyond the horizon Nami wonders at her new kingdom, stretching from the core of their laughter and to the very edges of the ocean surrounding them on all sides.
The stars are out when the party moves to the galley, leaving the deck a silent haven for the monarchs of the sea. They're on the figurehead, which is oddly fitting, because she knows that if he were to have a tangible throne, it would be there, where he can gaze at the stars and the sea without lifting his head.
"Good party," he says.
She smiles, tilting her head as she sips from her cup. There's a skewer of meat in his hand, and she marvels at his ability to hide food on his person without it falling out of his pockets. She's sure it's his tenth skewer, and he hasn't been inside to get new ones since Sanji first handed them out. It's but one of the many things that fascinate her about him, this strange man that is now her husband.
The circlet presses against her skull, but she ignores it.
"You got your way," she retorts in stead, her smile teasing.
He grins, and nudges the skewer towards her, and for some ridiculous reason the offering screams volumes of her new position. She accepts it numbly, and has to shake her head when he doesn't even pout. Instead, he shrugs. "Ya were always gonna be the queen, Nami," he tells her as-a-matter-of-factly, as though this shouldn't be a surprise.
She rolls her eyes. "Took you ten years," she reminds him, and he grins.
"Couldn't make ya queen before I was king," he reasons, and she shakes her head. She can't argue with that logic, and she won't, because a decade doesn't really matter when your husband shares his meat with you.
They are silent for a few more moments, and she looks up from her snack to find him gazing out across the ocean. His brow is creased, and his mouth is set into a thoughtful line as he surveys his kingdom.
"Those look like awfully deep thoughts," she teases, and he startles, dark eyes meeting hers for a brief glance, and she is momentarily staggered by the severity of his gaze. It's always filled with so much laughter, it never fails to throw her off when he shows her this side of himself.
If her surprise unnerves him, he doesn't show it, but his mouth doesn't quirk into a smile as he turns his eyes back to the sea. "I was just thinkin'...if things woulda been different for Roger if he'd taken her with him back then. Ace's ma," he says, before turning his gaze back to the darkening sea. "Ace'd be a prince," he ads, almost as an afterthought.
Nami says nothing, but her gaze softens. "He would probably still have made the choices he did," she says then. "But...yeah, maybe you're right. Maybe things would have been different." But he wouldn't have been your brother, she wants to ad, but doesn't. The scar is an old one, but not one she wishes to bring up today, on their day.
He shrugs, and suddenly, his smile is back. "I want kids," he declares then, and she rolls her eyes.
"Slow down there, your majesty – that ain't happening just yet."
He grins, ignoring her. "You'll be fat."
She slaps him with the skewer, and he laughs. "Don't worry, Nami – I'll still think you're pretty," he promises, and she only shakes her head at him, and at her inability to find any kind of frustration at his teasing.
"Well that's something, at least," she muses, and another round of silence settles between them where she considers the sheer impact of his words. They haven't discussed this, but the implications have been a weight on their shoulders for years. She knows he's visited the island where his brother was born, to place flowers on the grave of the uncrowned queen of the former king. Her predecessor, Nami realizes, and for a second fear grips her at the fate that awaits her. The circlet presses against her head, matching the weight of her heart in her chest. And the thoughts she has been pushing back all day come crawling into her mind – the near suffocating uncertainty if she has the strength required to meet the demands of her new situation. For the crown on her head isn't just a trinket anymore – it's also a target. A justification to end her life, and the life of any offspring she's ever entertained any ideas of having.
A warm hand on hers pull her thoughts from the dark and into the light, and when she submerges she recognizes the grin on his face as the one that has earned him his title, and there's a promise in that smile that leaves no room for argument. "It'll be different this time," he says then, to emphasise his silent vow. I'll make it different, is what he doesn't say, but what she can hear as clear as the waves lapping against the ship.
And Nami believes him.
"I'll take your word for it," she says then, and she does, because they are the crew that has changed history, and not even the traitorous tides of the New World have been able to withstand the sheer force of their will, especially not the will of the captain leading them. Not yet, and not ever, if the man beside her has anything to say about it. Luffy grins, and turns his eyes back on the liquid darkness stretching into the far horizon. Just a sliver of the kingdom under his reign. His reign, and hers, now.
And for the first time since putting it on, the weight of her crown is a comfortable one.
AN: 'Cause romance fuels my heart, and I am nothing if not an enormous shipper. Feedback is appreciated!