Disclaimer: I own nothing of One Piece.

TTT

The captain of the thousand sunny proudly sat on the railing of the bow, smiling broadly at the open sea, dreaming of what he'd find on the next island. What food lay waiting for him to taste, what adventure could he dig his eager teeth into, as well. Two of his crew members quietly snuck up behind him. One trying very hard not to let her wooden sandals hit the deck too hard, the other keeping a firm grip on his sheathed swords as he tread lightly with his rubber boots. When they were close enough, the two made eye contact, and the green head nodded. They leaped forward. The captain suddenly felt his arms grabbed and pulled back. They stretched out behind him, jerking him off the railing like two elastic bands before they snapped back. The captain's back hit the wooden deck – hard, and a sandal pressed into his chest.

"Oi Nami. Oi Zoro," he said with a frown. "What are you doing?" he asked, unhappily. The swordsman and the navigator hovered over his horizontal form, looking very intimidating. If it had been Usopp, the sniper probably would have passed out with fear.

"We just needed to get something straight with you, captain," Nami said, bending over him and making her threatening tone clear." After the little stunt you pulled yesterday and almost getting us caught, we need to make something clear." Luffy's eyes strayed to Zoro who only watched him in silence with his one eye. "We don't want any more taunting over loudspeakers," Nami said through clenched teeth. "No speaking out loud about what you saw, and no comments, giggling, teasing, hint throwing, or telling anyone what you saw," she stated, clearly. "Got that?" she asked and silently wondered if she covered everything.

Luffy considered his navigator's orders. "Okay, but Chopper also knows," he mentioned. Nami and Zoro made eye contact for a moment before turning their attention back to the captain lying on the floor. They'd forgotten about the little reindeer "We'll deal with him later," Nami hissed. "What's important is that we are clear on this matter, right captain?" she demanded.

"Don't worry," Luffy chuckled. "I won't say anything. Can I get up now?" They glared at him for another few seconds, then Nami sighed and removed her sandal from his chest. She walked away and Luffy rose from the floor, but then had his shirt grabbed by an angry fist. "Oi, Zoro, I already promised, you know?" he whined.

"Nami covered everything, but I want to make something else clear," The swordsman said. "If you see us together, even if there's no one else around, I don't want any eye contact and especially no comments. You just keep on walking," he added.

Luffy pouted. "Jeez, you two are uptight," he commented. "I thought people who are in love are supposed to be happy," he added.

Zoro's one good eye widened and his lip quivered. "Love? Who said anything about love?" he asked with horror. Then he pulled Luffy closer to make something else clearer. "If you ever use that word anywhere near me and Nami, you won't have anywhere to run, Luffy!" he yelled even though the captain's face was right there, just inches from his.

"Okay, okay, already!" Luffy agreed, weakly. "I haven't had breakfast yet and I don't have the strength for this. Can I go now? Seriously!" he protested. Zoro dropped him to his feet with a horrible scowl and turned to leave, but found Nami standing and watching. She gave him a faint smile and he went to join her as she left the stern.

"Sanji-kun will be up soon," she said as they reached the foremast. Zoro followed her quietly. They had risen a little earlier that morning, just to tackle their captain and force their will on him. "So this is the last...minutes we...have..." she trailed off. "I mean, few minutes we can talk...this way," she rolled her eyes at her awkwardness, keeping her back to him. Then she felt a rough hand slip into hers. Zoro came around and stood in front of her, turning to face her, still holding her hand. They were practically standing right in front of one of the doors leading to the men's quarters.

"We can talk however we want," he said. "We just have to find a place to do it, when we can," he said, moving closer to her. Nami looked up at him. She shyly touched his face with her hand, letting her thumb gently stroke his scarred eye. She brought her face closer to his. "Then find me...when you can, "she said with a cheeky grin against his skin. "If I don't find you first."

Zoro smirked and gently pulled her against him. They kissed for the first time since the afternoon before. Another gentle kiss with gentle caresses. Then the door to the women's quarters opened and the couple pulled apart, staring into each others eyes. Surprised that even that few minutes had been taken. "Would...you go find something to do, moron!" Nami forced herself to yell.

Zoro pursed his lips. "I have something to do, witch!" he yelled loud enough for Robin to hear as she peeped over the balcony railing. The swordsman made his way to the ropes of the crow's nest, deliberately choosing the ones on the farthest side just so he could walk past Nami and rub his clothed arm against her bare one. The navigator fought back a smile.

"So early in the morning, Nami-chan?" Robin asked with a chuckle.

"There's no time limit to when that moron can tick me off," Nami called back, turning around and watching him reach the railing and expertly climb the ropes with ease. She looked forward to finding him later, or to being found.

The door to the men's quarters opened, distracting her. "Hey Nami-sis," Franky greeted with a yawn as he came from the men's quarters.

"Franky," she said with a not so friendly tone. Why was it, this first morning she and Zoro had together, suddenly crew mates were getting up earlier than usual. She frowned. She was also still very suspicious about what the shipwright might or might not know about her and Zoro.

"Nami-swan!" Sanji ran out having heard Nami's name mentioned. "My sweet, you are up already!" he swooned, reaching her. "My Nami-san doesn't need a beauty sleep, does she!" he exclaimed, not needing any reply.

Nami exhaled with exasperation. Franky looked up to maybe see Robin leaving the women's quarters, but found her already on the balcony, watching him. "Morning, Franky," she said with a sneaky smile.

Their silent glances went unnoticed by other eyes and Franky had to break his momentary trance she was putting him in. "Robin," he greeted back. "Oi! Long-nose, let's get going already!" he called, still staring at the beautiful raven-head.

"Coming, Franky," Usopp emerged with droopy eyes, fastening his one shoulder-strap of his overalls.

"Yohohohohoho, a good morning to everyone, my dear crew mates." Brooke emerged after lowering his head to exit the room. "It is so pleasant to hear all your cheerful voices so early in the morning, even though I don't have ears, yohohohohoho!"

Sanji glanced at the skeleton with irritation. "Nami-san, where would you like to have breakfast?" he asked, eagerly, his two hands grasping hers. "I could set something up for you on the lawn deck, you did say it's going to be a beautiful day, right?"

"Oi, swirly, just fix the breakfast already," Franky commented. "You can decide that later." Usopp caught up with the shipwright and the two made their way across the lawn deck to go work in the engine room.

"Shut up, metal nose!" the cook threw back. "Well, Nami-san?" he asked, softly, but the navigator's attention was distracted by the last figure to emerge from the room — Chopper.

"I'll have breakfast where everyone else will, Sanji-kun," she answered. "Now, off you go to the galley, we both have things to do," she said, absent-mindedly waving him away.

"Hai, my sweet Nami-san!" he exclaimed. "Robin-chwan!" he spotted Robin coming down the stairs and immediately ran over to her to offer a hand and then escort her across the deck.

"Robin-san," Brooke sprinted over as well. "I was going to make an early brew of tea, I wonder if you'd like some," he offered.

"That would be lovely, Brooke," she accepted.

"Back off, shitty skeleton, I'll make her some," Sanji defended his assumed territory, escorting Robin past the skeleton who still followed.

"Sanjiii!" luffy's arm stretched out across the deck, his hand grasping the railing in front of the galley and the captain flew over his crews heads, landing on the balcony. "Food! Food! Food!" he exclaimed, running on one spot, while he waited for the moody cook.

The little reindeer was still rubbing the sleep from his eyes as Nami approached him. "Morning, Nami," he said, cheerfully.

"Um, Chopper, can I talk to you about something you saw yesterday?" she asked. The reindeer only looked at her, not knowing what she meant. "From the crow's nest," she added and went to sit on the seat by the foremast.

Chopper followed her. He bit his bottom lip with guilt written all over his little, hairy face. "I didn't mean to spy, Nami" he explained, sweetly, joining her.

Nami smiled back. "I know you weren't being naughty, like our captain was," she said, pulling a face. "But Chopper," she said and looked up at the crow's nest. "Zoro and I don't want anyone else to know, okay?" she said, gently, looking at him again. "So, can we pretend that nothing happened? It would make Zoro very happy."

"Okay, Nami," Chopper smiled broadly. "But..." he hesitated, shyly. "Are you and Zoro in love?" he giggled and his nose turned redder than it was.

"…" Nami looked at him, stunned. "We only like each other, Chopper, I think..." she trailed off.

Luffy and Chopper were now taken care of and Nami decided to let up on the cyborg as she believed that if he had seen anything, he would have made comments by now. The navigator and the swordsman were now free to 'find' each other as much as they liked without anyone prying into their business.

oOo

It was late morning and Zoro was in the crow's nest after a difficult breakfast and a not so satisfying workout. He had experienced the torture of having the navigator sit right beside him at the table, but had not been able to speak to her, touch her, or even look at her...much. The only opportunities he had was when she was speaking and everyone was listening. Those times he stole glances. It had been just as before he and Nami had admitted their feelings to one another, but this time he had the right to touch her, but still couldn't.

He eyed the activity on the decks with the telescope Luffy had conveniently placed to spy on his crew mates the previous day. Only Robin was around now. The crew wouldn't give him an opening all morning. He knew Nami was in the library, but getting to her was impossible with the crew spending most of the morning outside. Their finding each other was not starting out well. Was this how it would be from now on? The swordsman decided he'd risk it with Robin. If she found out then rather her than the rest of the immature idiots they called crew mates.

A few minutes later, Zoro had finally made it on to the upper-deck with his over-sized weights in one hand and his robe in the other. He quietly placed the dumbbells on the deck, close to the library. He moved to the railing. Luffy of all people was standing in for him in the crow's nest, but that was only because the captain was in on the secret. He could almost feel the childish idiot spying on him through the telescope, most likely. Zoro took a glance over the lawn deck, still only Robin. He would need to do a few lifts to keep up the pretence, but would she notice if the clanging of his weights suddenly stopped? He could live with it, if she did. She wouldn't go ratting them out if she found out. He was reasonably sure about that. The swordsman moved over to the library and draped his robe over the railing, close to the door. He also placed his swords on the floor. Then he turned to his massive dumbbells and smirked as he gripped them, his focus now on the library door. One or two lifts was all it would take — he believed. The weights clanged as the swordsman slowly raised them to his chest, watching the door. Nothing. Zoro lowered the dumbbells and slowly lifted again. Another clang, still nothing. 'Where is she?" he thought with frustration. A few seconds passed and another clang, then the swordsman heard a sound above his head and the windows to the bathhouse were opening up. He dropped the weights and an orange head popped out through the window. "What are you doing up there?" Zoro asked with a scowl.

"You took too long, so I had a relaxing bath while I waited," she said, resting her elbows on the window sill. Zoro noticed she was only wearing a towel. "Besides, I didn't know for sure if you were coming or not," she added.

"You could have waited a little longer," he whined. "And didn't you already have a bath? Do you know the waiting I had to do to get up here?"

"Zoro, you didn't think this would be easy, did you?" she asked, resting her cheek in her palm.

The swordsman felt like flinging something. "Whatever witch, get down here. You're wasting time," he ordered.

"Shouldn't you be lifting that thing to at least pretend you're not here for another reason?" she questioned with a cheeky grin.

"I am, so just get down here!" he growled.

Nami rolled her eyes with a smile and closed the windows again. Zoro lifted the weights again to keep the act up, shaking his head. A few minutes passed and finally the library door opened. Nami leaned against the doorpost. "Well, come in," she said awkwardly.

"Just a few more," he answered. Nami rested her head against the doorpost as well and folded her arms, eyeing him as he moved. Zoro tried to look away, but his eyes kept drifting to the waiting witch, her generous chest, her slender waist, her orange hair flowing over her delicate shoulders. He finally dropped the weights again and he grabbed his robe and put it on while he watched the navigator watch him. He lifted his swords from the floor and moved to the doorway. Nami retreated into the library and Zoro entered, closing the door behind him.

Inside the quiet room, the navigator bit on her lip. Zoro placed his swords on the circular couch and glanced around as if he had never used the library or even been there before. Nami turned to face him. They stood like strangers, not knowing what to say or do. They knew what they wanted to do, but neither felt confident enough to just do it. The navigator led the way and sat down on the couch. Zoro followed pursuit and moved, but went to a book-shelf instead and checked on the few books he owned. Nami sighed. He was there to see her and not his books. Then he moved over to her desk. A few sketches lay on the surface and he picked them up. "What is this?" he asked.

"Sabaody," Nami answered. "They're rough sketches that I still have to turn into a map."

"Oh," the swordsman said.

"Yeah," she added. "Zoro, you said we don't have much time, so..." His one eye focused on her and the swordsman came over and joined her on the couch. They sat facing each other. Zoro placed his hand on the back of the couch. Nami waited with anticipation, but he did nothing. "You can touch me, you know?" she reminded him.

That was what he'd wanted to do since he left her at the mast that morning, but didn't want to come off seeming too eager. This was still new to him, being involved with her. He partly felt she'd call him an eager moron or caveman if he just went at her. He wasn't that sure of himself around her yet. He placed his other hand on to hers which rested on her thigh. Nami was experiencing a creeped-out feeling. Zoro was staring at her with his one eye and had just grabbed her hand like some desperate pervert. She would expect something like that from Sanji. "Is that it?" she asked.

Zoro scowled at her. "What?" he asked. Nami returned his confused look. This wasn't what she had expected from their first real alone time. Where was the hot-blooded male she had fallen for? She turned away from him and sat herself properly on the couch. Her movement, forcing his hand off hers.

"Let's chat," she said.

"About what?" he asked with a scowl, surprised and taken aback by her pulling away from him.

"I don't know...if we're going to be involved we have to have conversations...also," she said.

"Ghah," he turned as well and sat side-by-side with her. "Fine."

"…" Nami stared at the book-shelves across the room from her and Zoro stared at her desk.

"When are you finishing the Sabaody map?" he asked.

Nami looked at him, pleasantly. "Less than a week," she said. He continued to look at her desk and her eyes strayed to his swords beside her. "So, you got to train under Mihawk," she stated. "I still have to see what this man looks like," she mentioned.

"Why would you wanna see what he looks like?" he asked.

"Oh, to see who the guy is who gave you that scar," she answered, referring to the large scar across his chest. "Also he's the one guy you can't beat, so..."

Zoro tensed. "I will beat him, one day," he said with a growl.

"Of course you will, one day," she said, deliberately teasing him.

"Yeah, and when will you finish your world map?" he asked.

"One...day," Nami answered, reluctantly. Zoro smirked and rose from the couch. Nami saw him walk back to her desk.

"Zoro," she went after him. "Be careful with my stuff," she said, defensively. No one ever touched her mapping tools, especially not any of the boys.

"I'm not gonna break anything, woman," he said, picking up her strange, flat, wooden tools. "What are these for?" he asked, studying them with his one good eye.

"For measuring and drawing straight lines." Nami watched him handling her things, still surprised that they were together and that she was letting him touch her precious mapping tools.

Zoro put them down and then picked up her quill pen. "Oh come on, Zoro, you know what a quill pen is," she teased with an amused expression.

"Just looking at what you spend your time with, everyday, witch," he answered, placing it back on the desk.

Then he lifted her ink jar.

"Be very careful with that, Zoro," she warned. "It's the best ink around, but it stains horribly."

He studied the contents. "Oh, is that why your fingers are always looking like you were working in the engine room or something," he teased her now.

Nami looked at her slightly stained fingers. "Oh shut up," she said. "But yeah," she confessed. Zoro put the bottle down again, looking her and slowly circled the desk and her chair to reach her. Nami watched his approach, still holding her hands up in front of her. Zoro gently took them in his hands and kissed the fingers on the one, and then the other, while looking her in the eye. Nami felt her fingers tingle.

"I don't want to chat any more," he said in a low growl.

Nami's breathing increased. Finally he was seducing her. "Then...what do you want to do?" she asked, looking him in the eye. Zoro pulled her fingers up to his neck and Nami moved closer and held on to him, like he wanted, stroking his skin. He then lowered his hands to her bare waist and stroked her skin with his rough palms and fingers. Nami's mouth hung open, ready for kissing and the swordsman claimed her soft mouth with a deep and sensual kiss. He then broke the kiss and moved to the couch, behind him, grasping her hand and pulling Nami after him. He sat down and looked up at her, still holding on. She playfully smiled down at him. "What?" she asked, cheekily and Zoro gave one jerk, pulling her into his lap. Nami lifted her leg as she fell, ensuring she'd end up in a sitting position on his lap. She found herself lying against his chest and held on to his shoulders as she swung her legs over his lap, letting her sandaled feet rest on the seat and making herself comfortable in his arms. Zoro supported her back with his one arm. He took her one hand with his free hand and slowly entwined his fingers with her fingers.

They watched as they gently stroked their fingers together. Then Nami let her eyes flow over his face with a vague grin. Zoro looked up at her, returning her glance. "Stop wasting time, witch," he said again, but in a quiet tone. Nami gasped and untangled her fingers from his. She then dug them into his short hair. Zoro waited with a gaping smirk. Nami smiled back as she brought her eager lips down to his. The swordsman and the navigator kissed passionately as they began their first private make-out session. The sounds of their breathing, kissing and movements, filled the silent room as they made full use of their little time together.

oOo

That night. "Where's Zoro?" Nami asked Usopp. The youth looked up at her with surprise, where he worked in his factory. Nami had come down to the engine room of all places, as well as Franky's workshop and now, Usopp's factory to 'find' the swordsman. The usual places had led her nowhere and she didn't believe he'd be in the library, but training somewhere.

"Uh, I don't know," Usopp looked at her surprised. "Why you looking for him?" he asked.

"I uh...have something to discuss with the lazy idiot." She uttered the words she had prepared, in case someone asked. And she made sure to do it in a regretful tone. As if the last thing she wanted was to speak to the green head.

"Oh, well, you can look up on the observation deck," Usopp suggested, returning to his work. "He trains up there, sometimes."

Nami blinked. She had forgotten about that spot. In the past, she had stared at him, endlessly, when all she could do was long for him. The completely giddy part of her could never stand it when all she could do was watch his body move up on the deck in the glow of the library lamps, but the sensible part of her also thought how cocky he looked at times when he'd take a break and look over the ocean, resting one sword on his naked shoulder. Nami made her way up to the second floor and then hustled her way past Sanji in the galley, before ending up on the upper-deck. And there he was, above her. Nami grinned. This time she wouldn't just have to stare, longingly.

Zoro swung his swords around in the night air, lost in the peace of the moment, when he heard the hatch in the floor open. He groaned and stopped his workout. Which idiot could that be? He turned around and an orange head with long flowing hair sliding over her shoulders rose from the hatch, as she climbed on to the deck. Zoro watched her in silence, his swords still in his hands. He'd thought that maybe they'd 'find' each other later for a goodnight kiss, or something, but hadn't thought she would be up to 'finding' him all the way up there. Nami stood up. "Jeez, why did I have to have such a difficult task 'finding' you?" she asked, dropping the lid closed and putting her hands on her hips. Zoro smirked, still not able to look away from her. Nami noticed the obvious desire on his face. She bit her lip and moved over to him, her hands still on her hips. She stopped very close to him, smelling his sweat and feeling his rasps of breath on her face. So this was what It was like, being with him, up on the observation deck, during one of his workouts. They looked at each other, without making a move.

"I had to workout, witch," he said, in a flirtatious tone, stepping even closer to her. "I couldn't sit, waiting for when you decided to find me," he added in retaliation for how she hadn't waited for him, that morning.

Nami smirked. "Whatever," she said and placed her hands on to his sword-yielding ones. "I want your attention now," she said over his lips.

Zoro smiled and moved away from her, to sheath his swords. Nami waited by the railing, overlooking the ship. "Such a lovely evening and not one of them are outside," she commented. "It's almost as if they know and are giving us privacy."

Zoro flinched. He turned to her. "Do you really think they know?" he asked, rather hastily and with a raised voice.

Nami looked at him. "I just said, 'it's as if they know'," she responded. "Even though you and me 'finding' each other is fun, it wouldn't be such a bad thing if they found out. I know they can be idiots and – "

"I don't want anyone to know!" he demanded.

Nami looked at him with surprise.

"They'd just start teasing and making remarks. We'd never have any peace," he slipped the last sword into its sheath.

"I guess they would give us hell and we don't need that now, with things just...starting," she added, awkwardly, watching him place the sheathed sword on to the floor.

"It would have to end if they found out, I don't wanna deal with that kind of nonsense," he said, grasping the railing close to him and looking over the ocean.

Nami felt disappointment flow through her. She moved closer to him. "Just like that, it would be over?" she stated more than asked.

"Nami, I don't see any other way around it," he answered, not looking at her. "They'd just sit around, waiting for us to...do things," he said with distaste.

She stood, stunned. Finally they had taken steps to be together and now he was already talking about walking away, just because of pride. "That's stupid," she boldly said. The navigator expected a horrific reaction from the swordsman, but he only kept his back to her. Zoro knew that letting the crew have their fun should be a small price to pay, but it ate at him, not just because he hated being made fun of, but because he was still getting used to being with Nami of all people. He wasn't sure if he was willing to put himself through that, to keep her.

Nami slowly walked over to him and touched his back. The thought of not being able to approach him in that way, unsettled her. She realised she was in too deep, and even though his words made her angry, she couldn't walk away and give up what little they had. She wouldn't beg him to change his mind, either. She'd have to risk that day, if it ever came.

She started to lightly kiss the sweat from his back, slowly running her soft fingers over his skin and Zoro lost his grip on the railing. She wrapped her arms around his waist and stroked his chest with her eager hands, pulling his back into her chest. Zoro felt her softness against his back. She nuzzled his shoulder blade; his neck, with her lips and teeth and Zoro groaned, leaning his head back, turning his face closer to hers. Nami kissed his cheek and worked her lips to his mouth. Zoro turned his body as Nami kept her arms around him, searching for his lips with hers. They embraced and kissed, roughly, trying to feed their intense hunger, eventually dropping to their knees on the wooden floor, hands working to touch and caress skin, to untie flimsy barriers that kept their bodies apart. Finally, they melted into each other, for the first time, under the night sky. Zoro and Nami desperately took whatever pleasure they could, on the floor of the observation deck, to satisfy their unending need for each other, as if this was the moment, just before the crew would find out.

oOo

One week later:

The strawhats were preparing a barbeque for dinner, on the lawn deck of the sunny. Brooke played a cheerful tune on his violin while Usopp and Franky brought a grill over that they had built with their own hands. Robin chuckled at the antics of Chopper and Luffy who were jumping around, which was their version of dancing. Nami watched the two with a not so impressed look, but forgot all about them when she saw Zoro leave his sitting spot against the railing and move to the bow. Nami's face lit up. The navigator wasn't very good at masking her feelings these days. Since finding out that their relationship was on such shaky ground, she couldn't bear spending any time away from him.

Zoro glanced at her over his shoulder as he reached the stairs of the bow, carrying his swords in his hands.

Nami felt her heart leap in her chest. He wanted to be with her. She couldn't leave the group yet. She'd wait till it got darker before sneaking away. The swordsman reached the bow and found a spot to wait for Nami. He didn't like being near her and not being able to touch her, especially when the cook was around. So he rather came here and waited in peace. Zoro stared at the sky as he sat and rested his head against his hands. Things had changed since a week before. Nami had crept into his heart and he couldn't do much without finding himself thinking about her. Thinking about something she did or said, that made him laugh or something which ticked him off so much that he'd want to give one loud yell over the vast ocean. All of that was just in one week since they had started their relationship.

oOo

"Nami-swaan, Robin-chwaan, some drinks while you wait.," Sanji served the girls. Their surroundings were almost suitably dark for her to sneak away now.

"Want some! Want some!" Luffy hurried over.

"Here, captain!" Sanji hissed and went to serve the rest of the crew. "Where's that marimo?" he asked, irritated.

"I think he went up on the bow," Usopp answered. Nami worried someone might go get him.

"Dumb-ass can get his own drink," Sanji said and dropped the tray with Zoro's drink on to a barrel. The cook went to start on the barbeque Usopp and Franky had prepared.

"I'll take it to – " Luffy tried to offer, but got one warning glare shot at him from the navigator and he hurriedly backed off. "Brooke, more music, more music!" He cheered.

Nami quickly finished her drink and went to put her glass on the tray. She daringly took Zoro's glass. "I'll just take the moron his drink," she announced, making sure she didn't sound as excited as she really was, at that moment. "I have to go...check the wind anyway," she added and hurried off, drink in hand.

"The wind?" Usopp asked. "But we're anchored at the moment. He shrugged and then noticed the dancing that was happening without him. He ran over to join in. Robin, who was in on the secret – as Franky had already told her what he had witnessed, caught his eye, and the cyborg only grinned and shook his head. He then joined Luffy, Chopper and also Usopp now in their jumping dance.

"Yohohohohoooo!" Brooke cheered as he happily played his violin, supplying the heart of the party.

oOo

Nami heard the music and the laughter disappear into the background as she moved closer to where Zoro was. There was no moonlight and the bow was dark and quiet as the ship creaked. "Zoro," she said, seeing something in the dark that she believed was him. She then saw him stand up. Nami smiled and hurried into his arms. Zoro wrapped his arms around her and they kissed eagerly. The umbrella in his drink shook in the glass with their movements as they caressed and kissed one another. He gripped her face, kissing her cheeks, her nose, her neck. "I brought your drink," she managed to say.

Zoro stopped and looked at it. He groaned and took it from her. He then put it on the floor and grabbed her again. "We don't have time for frilly drinks," he said, kissing her wherever he could.

"We can't now," she said. "It would look strange if I stayed away too long." she protested, but Zoro kept the groping going. She wasn't getting through to him. Nami felt irritation grow inside her. He didn't want to admit he felt something for her to the crew and so they had to sneak around and have moments like these where they had to be sensible and pull apart. "If you weren't so stubborn, you could be with me any time you wanted," she suddenly said. Zoro stopped his actions and looked at her. She was right and he didn't have any valid defence for why he hesitated...any more. Nami unfortunately, didn't know how much he cared for her, and still believed that he wasn't serious about her. She waited before she pulled herself from his arms. "Don' t forget your drink," she said and walked away.

"Nami," he said and went after her. Zoro grabbed her arm and turned her to him. She looked at him, it was completely dark and she couldn't make out his features. A softer tune began to play in the distance and Zoro gently wrapped her up in a hug. She snuggled her face into his neck, slipping her arms around him. She didn't know exactly what he was saying with the hug, but him holding on to her meant everything in that few minutes they had.

"Zoro, the drink," she reminded him. Nami pulled out of his arms and went to find the drink, but it was so dark on the deck. Zoro helped search and then they heard a glass fall over. "Zoro," Nami said in a regrettable tone. The swordsman picked the glass up that he had just kicked over, by accident.

"Well, that takes care of that," he said and grabbed her waist with one hand. Nami laughed and they had one last kiss.

oOo

The couple returned to the lawn deck, shortly after. Zoro walking a few steps behind Nami, his empty glass in one hand, swords in the other. Luffy happened by and made eye-contact with them, but immediately continued on his path, behaving himself very well. "Nami-swaan, finally you're here, my sweet," Sanji came over and gently took her hand.

Zoro gritted his teeth. That was probably the worst thing out of keeping their relationship a secret, the dartboard's constant touching of Nami, and all Zoro could do was shut up and watch.

"Come, let me serve you, my dear," Sanji said, then looked over his shoulder at Zoro. "You can wait, you lazy marimo," he spat.

"Whatever, ero-cook, the food better be an improvement over that crappy concoction, you call a drink," Zoro responded, dropping the glass on to the tray.

"If it's so bad, then why did you drink it?" Sanji hissed.

"Maybe I threw it over board," Zoro answered, lazily and planted himself on a crate beside Franky, who was seated next to Robin.

Nami wanted to giggle. "Sanji-kun, my food?" she pulled the cook's attention to her, with a smile.

Sanji's heart eye popped out. "Anything for you, Nami-san," he drooled and Zoro watched him lead her all the way to a crate next to Robin. Franky and Robin silently noticed everything. The cook continued to hold her hand, as she sat down and Nami eyed Zoro with a faint smile. The swordsman jealously folded his arms, eyeing her back.

"Oi Zoro," Franky deliberately elbowed his arm. "One day we should put our muscle together and give swirly a little fling over board, frilly drinks and all," he joked quietly, understanding very well what the swordsman was going through. Zoro smirked, his mood improving and he eyed Nami with such an intense look that made her want to scream for having to sit so far from him.

oOo

Another week later:

"Stop fussing, woman," Zoro insisted as the navigator rubbed a wet rag over his fingers. "I can do it myself."

"No, you can't," she muttered, trying to avoid his other hand which was stroking the back of her neck. "Dammit, it's not coming off!" she said, rubbing harder with irritation.

They were in the library and Zoro had just spilled some of Nami's black ink during some heated kissing by her desk. "I told you to be careful around the desk and look what we have to deal with now," she scolded.

Zoro had tracked her down in the library for a secret make-out session – they were still 'finding' each other on a regular bases. He had pulled her from her work and smothered her protests with his lips. He had also lifted the little jar from the desk to appease Nami as she had feared it would somehow be knocked over because he hadn't given her time to close it with his embracing and kissing of her, but during the passionate kiss, Zoro had unintentionally tilted the jar, spilling ink over his fingers and soaking some of Nami's precious paper.

"It's not such a big deal," Zoro said as they stood next to the desk which had thankfully only a few of Nami's precious blank paper stained with black ink.

"What did you say?" Nami said, grabbing his robe in her angry fist. "Not only did you spill most of the ink in that jar," she pointed at the black stained little jar standing on her soiled pages. "But you cost me some precious paper which I should charge you for," she said with a hiss.

"Add it to my debt," he said, unconcerned, trying to kiss her to start a second kissing session.

Nami shoved her hand over his mouth. "Did you even think about what everyone else is going to think when they see my ink smeared on your fingers?" she drilled into his head. "They're going to know something's going on."

Zoro removed her hand from his mouth and considered her words. "You made your point," he said, defeated. "Get it off."

Nami pursed her lips. "I don't think that's possible," she said, aggressively. "We can try soap and warm water. Come on," she moved to the ladder leading up to the wash room, and a reluctant Zoro followed.

oOo

"Dammit!" Nami yelled again, in the confined space by the basin as she soaked Zoro's hand in warm water after giving it a good wash with soap.

"Jeez, woman, this isn't working," Zoro whined.

"I can see that!" she yelled again. "This is all so unnecessary!" she added, sarcastically.

"Will you get over it?!" Zoro raised his voice as well now. "It's spilled, It's done. If they notice it and ask about it, we'll just make something up!"

Nami frowned. "Well, good luck with that cause I can't think of any excuse," she threw back.

Zoro thought for a few seconds. "We could say we were arguing about something and you knocked the jar over and I caught it, but unfortunately got ink all over my fingers," he suggested.

Nami considered it. "No, that wouldn't work. You'd have to have some on your palm as well, I think. Plus the library floor might also have to be stained."

Zoro groaned, thinking again.

"Why don't we just spill some on your palm to make it convincing," Nami said. "And...on the library floor," she added with a pained expression.

Zoro scowled. "Why the hell would I want to walk around with my whole hand covered in black ink?!"

"Cause you don't want the crew to know!" Nami spelled it out aggressively. "Remember? You don't want to have to deal with their nonsense," she said looking him in the eye. "Those were your words," she added, quietly and lowered her eyes to his strong hand, which rested in her delicate one. "You'd end things," she added in a lower tone, running her wet fingers over his, over the colour of her ink temporarily marking his skin.

Zoro watched her fingers move softly over his; noticed the wounded tone in her voice. "I like what we have now," he said, over her orange head. "It's simple, uncomplicated." He carried a frown as he spoke. Zoro knew his feelings towards her had changed. He knew he no longer felt the same as he did when he spoke those words on the observation deck, but he still wasn't eager to let the crew in on their secret.

Nami sighed and dropped his hand. "Let's go spill some more ink," she said, glumly.

oOo

At dinner, the crew ravaged their meal, some eating like savages, some eating like rabbits. Zoro had forgotten about his black stained palm and fingers and was feasting with the rest of the savages. Next to him, Nami nibbled on her food. A basket of rolls stood between them on the table. She flinched each time Zoro's stained hand came her way and grabbed a roll that he tossed into his plate. She kept expecting the next roll he grabbed to be the last, but no. He'd wolf it down and then the stained hand would show up again. She was ready to burst. How many rolls did he need?! If anyone found out about her and Zoro, that would mean the end of her and Zoro. He didn't want to deal with the prying eyes of the crew. Nami glanced at the rest of the crew, especially Franky, whom she'd been suspicious of since that first day. They were consumed with their meal and she hoped she could get Zoro out of the room before anyone started making conversation.

Suddenly. "Oi Zoro," Franky said, breaking the silent marathon. Nami immediately stopped trying to eat. Fear creeping up inside her. "Is that ink on your hand?" Franky asked. "Or did your swords do that?" he joked. The whole crew looked at Zoro.

The swordsman revealed his left palm and eyebrows were raised at the unusual stain which covered the inside of his hand. Luffy watched while munching. Chopper, and Usopp, who sat next to the reindeer, craned to get a better look.

"Doesn't look like grease," Usopp commented. "Could be ink.

"Black ink," Chopper added.

"Yes, it is. I can see it is black ink, even though I don't have eyes to see with, yohohohohoho," Brooke chimed in.

"It does look like black coloured ink," Robin commented. Nami stopped breathing. "It looks like your ink, Nami-chan." The room went quiet and the navigator could feel everyone's eyes on her.

"I believe the ink on your fingers after working on your maps look exactly like that," Robin continued, thinking aloud. "Are there not, by any chance, some on your fingers now?" she pushed.

"Marimo, what were you doing messing with Nami-san's precious ink?" Sanji demanded. "Can't you keep your hands to yourself?"

Franky snorted, wanting to laugh. Robin kept a chuckle back and smiled instead at the silent couple. Luffy and Chopper glanced at each other.

Zoro glimpsed at Nami with a silent frown. She was looking down at her plate. It was time to give an explanation. Nami waited for Zoro to tell the lie he had come up with – to try and save what they had together...

"It's none of your business," he said, eyeing the crew.

"What, the hell?" Sanji spat.

Nami's eyes shot to Zoro's face in disbelief. He wasn't even trying. Their crew mates began to make eye contact, spreading suspicions around, silently. A knowing Luffy and Chopper snuck each other some sneaky grins.

Just then, the oven-timer dinged, and Sanji pulled himself away to get the pudding they'd have for desert. "I'll want an answer from you, marimo," he demanded, pointing a finger.

Zoro looked at Nami again and saw her tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear, trying to cover up her disappointment as she stared at her plate again. The rest of the crew continued to eye them, while pretending to eat, except for Luffy, of course, who gnawed away on a piece of meat, while he waited to see what would happen next.

Then, in the corner of her eye, Nami saw Zoro remove his stained hand from the table and he let it hover between them. She turned her head and looked at it. Zoro was holding it out to her. She looked at his face and saw his serious expression, as he waited. The crew were now just touching their plates with forks, not even grabbing any food any longer, even Luffy had stopped gnawing and was chewing slowly.

Nami frowned. Then her breath came out in gasps as she realised what he was doing. She couldn't stop a smile that spread over her lips. She looked back at his palm and fingers, stained with her ink, which she used with so much love to create her beloved maps, and she eagerly slipped her hand into their rough, black grasp. They looked at each other, ignoring the prying eyes. Then Nami couldn't hold back her happiness. She leaned over to Zoro and grabbed on to his robe, tugging at it. Eyebrows were raised again and the crew threw silent glances in the cook's direction, who was luckily too occupied with desert to notice what his Nami-san and the marimo were doing.

Nami waited, and Zoro hesitated. He glared at her waiting lips, which carried a slight smirk. The cheeky witch just had to push things a little bit further after he had just taken such a big step in their relationship. He realised that that had been the second big step he had taken. He had taken all the big steps, which had brought them to this moment which he had never expected to reach so soon, if ever. Nami really was a part of him now and he wasn't willing to give her up. Zoro accepted her cheeky move, because he knew that being with her would never be easy, then again, nothing with her ever was. He would never shy away from her 'tricks'. That was one of the things that kept him drawn to her. Maybe made him love her? He didn't know about that yet. He'd deal with that step when he'd have to. Zoro boldly leaned over as well, joining their lips together in a tender, but confident kiss.

Franky and Robin looked into each other's eyes, thinking that soon they'd reveal their secret as well; Brooke's gaping eye sockets seemed to stare at the kissing as he thought of what Zoro might get to see or had already seen; Chopper giggled, his nose turning redder; Usopp awkwardly plastered his attention back on his food to avoid looking at the kissing couple, and the well-behaving captain...?

"Hoohoohooo!," Luffy teased aloud, his teasing reaching every ear in the galley.

It abruptly, was interrupted though, by the sudden clanging of spoons, as well as the crashing of falling pudding bowls, hitting the kitchen floor in the background and everyone knew that a certain someone had finally noticed what the happy couple was doing and continued doing.

The End.

TTT

A/N: Shoo, I'm a little under the weather at the mo and I hope I looked this through properly, but yay, I remembered Brooke! Sorry for the length, I'm not well, you know? Hehe

B'Bye now. :)