Umm... *hiding behind a tree*

Sorry for taking you guys so long. It's entering April and April it's such a busy month.

But, yes! I've reached chapter 7! \^o^/

For your info, this might be the last two chapters. So, enjoy the remaining! :)


Disclaimer: One Piece is the only thing I want to own in this world right now...


LYING THE KNOT

Chapter 7

-Raindrops Falling on My Head-


Nami tried to button her khaki shirt around her curvaceous body, fumbling with the knot. Ugh, what the hell is wrong with this shirt?! She frowned, comparing to the last time she wore it. She could feel her hair plastered to the back of her neck from sweat. Dammit! This isn't working! Her hands instinctively went up to plait it loosely, fingers shuttling back and forth.

"It's not going to work, Nami. Just change." Usopp gave a boring look as he commented from the kitchen bar area with one hand resting under his chin.

The navigator stopped mid-way, and rolled her eyes ignoring her friend's advice. "The last time I wore this was two months ago, and it fit perfectly."

"You gained weight." He blurted out.

"I AM NOT!" She barked and then went struggling again with the last button.

"You do look, umm, healthier." The long nose-kun nodded knowingly, pointing to the fatty area around the navigator's tummy. Her now super tight shirt was molding a tiny lump of fat just below her belly button.

"USOPP, THAT'S RUDE!" She barked again and smacked him on the head. She hated to admit, but most of her clothes were now seemed like a size smaller than her fitted size. What the hell happened? She had always been careful on her body image. Ok, what kind of things did I eat yesterday? She recollected the memory of her yesterday's meal. It was just a cup of tea, a cup of coffee, two slices of Sanji's chocolate cake, a small portion of fried calamari, and...

"She ate half of my chocolate pudding yesterday!" Luffy shouted from the dining table, putting a grumpy look on his face.

Nami froze at the statement, all the blood in her body collecting in her face. Yeah, how could I forget that... But she quickly yapped just to hide her embarrassment. "It's not your chocolate pudding, Luffy. It's everyone's chocolate pudding!"

"But you ate half of it!" The captain whined.

"You ate half of it too!"

"Girl, you drank a liter of my cola too yesterday." Franky cooed from his seat beside Luffy.

Oh yes, I missed that. Nami said to herself.

"And a sac of my taro-chip." Brook added.

And that.

The navigator folded her arms in front of her chest and cleared her throat. Making her own alibi, she spoke. "You see, Brook. I still don't get the idea of why you were saving a sac of taro chip under the wash sink considering you're a skeleton and have no digestive organs. You have to thank me for helping you out."

Usopp let out a sigh hearing the navigator's implausible statement. "Whatever excuses you have, Nami. No wonder you gained so much weight in a day."

"SHUT UP!" She barked again.

Sanji joined in to defend the orange haired beauty from the intrusion his crewmates had been making. "You guys are so pathetic for complaining over food that a beautiful woman was savoring. Nami-san can eat whatever she wants to eat and it's none of you guys' business and she will always be beautiful no matter what size she is. Here you go, my dear." He paused for a moment to serve a cup of english breakfast tea to Robin's table, but then his serious tone swiftly turned to a desperate singsong as he rolled back to the kitchen. "Subarashiiii~~! My heart beats like fireworks imagining Nami-swan's fuller bum. I can see a heavenly dream coming in my sleep tonight~~!"

Robin let out a small chuckle and lightly stated. "Sweets, chocolates and all that unhealthy stuffs are the best thing to mend a broken heart."

Nami grumbled as she went back fixing her button. "Yeah, rite. That's why I once made a pledge to myself to never let love interfere my way. But I guess I was wrong." Her last sentence dropped to a faint whisper. At first she wasn't even aware of the words that coming out from her mouth, but soon she realized her mistake after she felt the suspicious eyes coming from all of her crewmates. "Why are you guys staring at me like that? I'm not broken hearted."

"With certain young samurai, perhaps?" The raven haired woman asked playfully.

Nami let her hands drop to her side as soon as she finished tucking the button into its hole. She could feel her cheek blushing, and then quickly shouted in denial. "I AM NOT!"

"Nami, your shirt is too small." Luffy commented seeing the button popping out from its hole again.

"Argh, you guys are so annoying! I'll go change." She moaned in annoyance and started to undo what she had done with the last two buttons of her shirt, and now flashing her still slim but rather healthy bare tummy. She marched to the exit door and spoke. "Gotta go. Chopper is waiting for me at the sick bay. We promised to go shopping today."

She opened the door and was surprised too see a shirtless tall figure standing in front of the door. His chest was covered in sweat and his short damped green hair glistened from the morning sun.

"Ohayou." Zoro greeted with his sexy voice. Well, Nami had just realized how sexy his voice was.

"O-ohayou." Nami greeted back.

"Going out?" He asked.

Nami nodded. "Um! With Chopper."

"Want me to come with you?" Zoro asked in a tone neither could read.

"Well..." She was baffled at his questions. Ok, she had to admit, he was a hot guy, and the fact he was offering himself for a company, was a blow to her pride. And oh God, that flat abs...

"ACHOO~!" The swordsman suddenly sneezed.

"Zoro, daijoubu ka?" Nami arched her eyebrows.

He sniffed. "Yeah, just a bad weather and ACHOO~!" He sneezed again. "So?"

In a desperate attempt to break the barrier that her shyness had created, she gulped and touched his forehead. "You better take a rest. Go to bed."

Zoro's face heated up. He seemed genuinely touched by her sudden sense of concern. He felt like his face would soon turn into a roasted lobster. Man, this is awkward. He needed to do something that could end this awkwardness, so he decided to tease her a little. A grin crept over his face, eyes slanting evilly. That devilish smile... "Only if you go with me."

Nami's face was flaring again, she'd never admit to herself that that might seem like a good idea. Her dignity returned, with a vengeance. "Move, you pervert!" She shoved him out of her way and pushed him stepping into the kitchen and threw an insulted face at him. "It's not like you're the hottest guy in the planet, you over proud moron!" She slammed the door shut in his face, which was still smirking.

Now all eyes turned to Zoro.

"What?" The swordsman asked, and then turned away with a cool attitude. "She looks cute when she's angry."

Yes, things were definitely getting back to normal.


It was noon, but the sun was already hiding behind the gray clouds. Zoro spent the day lying on the grass deck, accompanied by Brook's gloomy lullaby that seemed to match the weather at that time. He looked at the sky and breathed in. This smell... It's raining soon. Did she even bring an umbrella?

"ACHOO~!" He sneezed. He hated flu, especially when it became a hindrance for his training session. He had only done a 30 minutes of work out this morning and he was already covered in sweat.

"Oi, Zoro. Aren't you better to stay in the room?" Luffy asked from the other corner of the ship. The captain was seen playing cards with Usopp, Franky, and Robin.

"Nah, it's cool in here." The swordsman shook his head. He surely was not going to tell them that he was actually waiting for her.

Zoro closed his eyes and tried to get some sleep, hoping that his flu would leave as soon as he woke up. He sniffed as he felt his nose stuffy. Where is she anyway? Oh yes- gone shopping with Chopper... hmm... yeah, I bet for some new clothes. He couldn't see why she needed some new clothes; he had peeked into her closet once when he slept in her room and it was filled with outfits. He shut his eyes tighter, desperate for at least a short daytime sleep. But a little voice in his head just wouldn't leave him alone. All he had in his head was her, the dark clouds, and the rain.

Between his wary thoughts, suddenly he heard sound of footsteps galloping into the ship's deck. Zoro opened his good eye and sat half way up so he was resting on his elbow. "What's wrong, Chopper?"

The little reindeer didn't answer; his mouth was forced shut as if afraid that his cry might burst soon. The swordsman began to sense something wrong.

"Where's Nami?" He asked instinctively.

Chopper replied between sobs. "A huge guy appeared in front of us and suddenly he-"

Zoro didn't need to hear the rest. He knew Nami was in trouble. He didn't wait long to run searching for her.

"Oi, Zoro!" Franky called out.

"It's alright, Franky." Luffy held the cyborg in his place. "Just let Zoro do the job."

"But will he ever find her?" His brow furrowed, feeling concern with the swordsman's sense of direction.

"Yeah, he will." The captain answered, grinning broadly. "Besides, this could be a chance for them to reconcile, shishishi..."

With a shrug, Franky adjusted his stack of cards. "That bro is actually a pretty good match for that girl, judging by their appearance. But once you get to know each of them you'll realize how unsimilar their characters are."

"You're wrong, Franky." Robin chuckled behind the cards she was holding and sighed. "Love is like magnet; it tends to search for the one that differ the most. Because like poles repel and unlike poles attract."


It was dark. Clouds covered the entire sky, and the sun was now completely hidden. Zoro ran searching for her. His eye looked straight ahead, only straight ahead. Although sometimes he wondered, was he heading the right way? His blunt sense of direction might lead him to reach her longer. And he cursed inside, having no idea where she was now. The swordsman looked up to the sky as he felt a small droplets of rain falling on his head. It was starting to rain.

Negative thoughts started to cross his mind. What if she fell? What if she got hurt? Zoro kept running, his steps accelerating. But slowly, his breath became hard, and he was starting to lose faith. There was no sign of her. Not any. In his moment of despair, he stopped, resting his hand on his knees, and gasping for some air. Where the hell are you, witch?

The heavy rain washed his body and started to soak through his clothes. Zoro shut his eyes tightly. His head was starting to get dizzy, and his vision blurred. But he was not even near with the idea of giving up. The street was empty and quiet. Only sounds of rain and his short breaths that filled the atmosphere. In those moments, he heard a faint sound coming from afar across the street, behind the buildings. His head jerked up. His mouth formed into a tiny smirk as he knew instantly. His confidence was back and quickly he dashed breaking through the rain.

With all the lack sense of direction he had, he was never a compass. But he had one. He always had one.

The one that always brought him closer to his fate.

Nami.

Nami was thrown to the wet street. The dirty mud mixed with the rain splashed against her body.

"Great." She muttered sarcastically. "Just exactly what I need."

"Give up, lady?" The 8 feet tall, 680 pounds, guy asked, putting his ugliest smirk. His frizzy brown hair was cut just below his shoulder, which was only making him even more frightening.

"No way in hell." Nami gave an angry glare, although deep inside she was beginning to feel worry about her safety. A frosty breeze was in the air, and the rain kept falling from the sky, landing in Nami's hair. Inwardly, she cursed herself for not wearing a hooded shirt. As if on cue, the wind began to pick up as well, and thunder was heard in the distance.

"You are one tough lady." The huge guy sneered, reaching closer to her frail figure.

Nami crawled backwards while the huge guy stepped closer towards her.

"Just give me the ring." His voice was ruthless.

"No," She whispered, staring in fear at the man. Her hair was wet and damp, sticking to her face, and her clothes were drenched, clinging to her body. Cold drops fell against her pale skin and long orange hair. The guy released a laughter that rang through the cold atmosphere. He raised his arm high up in the air, ready to break her into pieces. Nami closed her eyes, praying to whatever god was with her now.

CLANK!

But in mere seconds, just before that broad rugged hand landed on the navigator's face, a sound of steel came blocking the attack. The huge guy shifted backwards, pulling his barbed iron bat from his back.

"Zoro!" Nami gasped, watching the swordsman from behind. The Shusui was clutched in Zoro's right hand, shielding himself from any possible attack.

"I'm not letting that ring to you, and I'm not letting you touch her." The swordsman spoke in a cold tone, almost heroic.

"Why is that?" The huge guy eyes gleamed with fury.

"Because she's my wife."

The huge guy didn't waste his time. He hollered -thunder rumbling from behind- and immediately launched an attack towards Zoro. The swordsman jumped back, almost falling off from the slippery ground the rain had caused. Zoro let out a low grunt as he regained his composure. Frowning, the swordsman stepped into his fighting stance, positioning his sword so that they gleamed under the lightning.

The huge guy gave a mocking smile and launched another attack. Zoro ducked under as the barbed iron bat came toward his head, only the slight hesitation in the swing, allowing the swordsman to escape from the attack. Compensating immediately, the huge guy altered his attack, striking Zoro in the back with his elbow.

"Zoro, watch out!" Nami screamed in panic.

And thanks to her warning, the swordsman intuitively jumped away from another fast attacks. The rain was still falling from the sky and his dark green coat, by now, was utterly and completely soaked.

"Ok, I'm done playing." Zoro took a step forward. He converged all his energy while breathing heavily before posing for an attack.

"Ittoryu," He held Shusui horizontally above his shoulder of his sword arm. "Sanjuuroku Pondo Hou!" And in seconds, he performed a circular swing that launched the air and the rain, striking his enemy full across the chest. He huge guy was knocked backwards and off balance. He fell to the muddy floor, screaming soundlessly as the breath was forced from his body.

The swordsman just watched the guy until he was completely lifeless.

Now, it was just him and Nami. And the heavy rain.

"Zoro..." Nami silently whispered. She was still kneeling on the wet street, with both hands on the ground to support her weight. It was always him. Always him. He was always the one who was there to save her. A bright blush slithered over the navigator's face, only now realizing this. She felt her face heat up, but was soon smothered by the cold drops.

Zoro turned his gaze to meet hers. He could see drops of rain washing her pale figure. He walked towards her, silently, without a word. Then he went down on his knees just in front of her, cupped her face in his palms and kissed her, under the rain. It was a shock for Nami at first, but she stayed quiet and decided not to pull back. Instead, she placed her hands on his cheeks and returned the kiss. She even closed her eyes as she felt her tears falling down. They kissed for long moment, satisfying the need and hunger. The rain kept pouring down. And Zoro couldn't tell if it were tears or raindrops running down her face.

Moments later, he broke the kiss and without hesitation he pulled her to his embrace. Nami, too, wrapped her arms around him. They hugged while the rain was still washing their body. His hold on her so tight she could barely move. Her cry broke and he let her muffled in his shoulder, before finally raising her head to look at him. Zoro saw that eyes. That eyes of her, glowing soft and amber.

And by the time their eyes met, the dizziness and headache had returned, his limbs feeling vaguely disconnected.

He leaned on to her and succumbed to his feeling of exhaustion.


"Is he ok, Chopper?" Nami asked without leaving Zoro's face. The swordsman was now lying unconsciously at Chopper's sick bay. There was no blood, but she could spot few bruises in his arms; must be from the effect of using his powerful attack.

"It's only minor exhaustion. He will be fine, Nami." Chopper reassured. The little reindeer was seen in his desk mixing his potion. His eyes were still focused to the glass pipe as he continued. "No wonder. With the flu, the rain, and the fighting he collapsed immediately after he reached The Sunny." He paused to pour its filling into the other glass pipe, and then smiled. "But again, his stamina was impressive as always."

"Baka..." Nami whispered.

When the potion was fully mixed, Chopper put it into capsules. The reindeer hopped down and went to the swordsman to check his pulse with a stethoscope. A smile of relief was formed on the little reindeer mouth as he found out that the swordsman was in good condition. Then his eyes shifted to Nami suggesting her to leave the place and take a rest, but Nami shook her head, signaling that she wanted to stay beside the swordsman. Chopper nodded knowingly, then left the navigator alone with Zoro.

Now it was only her and him in the room. Nami stared at his sleeping figure. She remembered the kiss. Why was he kissing her? And why did she care so much over him? Was she going insane over him?

It was almost nighttime, and her eyelids were starting to get heavy. She was exhausted. The stress and the heavy rain had drained all of her energy. She really wanted to stay awake and watched him sleeping, but her eyes could not compromise. Nami put his arms on the side of the bed, and laid her head on them. Then she lapsed into blackness.

She awoke the next morning, finding to her surprise that she might be the first one up. It was still a very early morning and the sky was still dark. No sound was heard in The Sunny yet. Luffy and the rest of the guys were probably still snoring in the men's quarter. Robin could still be sleeping too, or perhaps she could be up by now, but already busy with her journals. And Zoro...

She looked at the swordsman and saw him whimpered.

"Zoro!" Nami gasped and immediately turned around to take a glass and a pitcher of water. Zoro watched as she poured some water into the glass. She took the medicine and walked to him. The glass was in her left hand, while the other hand helped him with the medicine. It was a small act in a short moment. But it meant big for both pirates. The tip of her delicate finger brushed his lips lightly, making their cheeks blushed sheepishly. Zoro drank, and then swallowed.

"I knew it was you." A small laugh escaped Zoro's mouth. Nami was startled to hear the words, so Zoro laugh again. "This isn't the first time I woke up after a bad fight and found you the next day sitting beside my bed."

Another blush crept over Nami's face. She placed the pitcher and the glass on the table beside the bed. Then she sat down next to his bed.

"I never even thought about it before." He said again. His voice was still hoarse, rough, and raspy.

"Zoro…" she began uncertainly, not knowing how to go on.

The swordsman waited. His good eye was fixed to her.

"I'm sorry." She finally said and quickly hid her face so that he couldn't see all the emotion she had in her eyes. She felt her tears starting to form and quickly shut her eyes tightly, afraid that it might fall down. "I've caused you trouble. A LOT of trouble." The voice of her was shaking. And she was still avoiding his eyes. "It's up to you now. Whatever things you want to do to me...it's up to you."

He could hear the sadness in her voice. The swordsman let out a sigh. He shifted a little so that he was able to hold her by the wrist and pulled her closer to him. Then his hands cupped the back of her neck, massaging the tense muscles, and he whispered lowly to her. "I know you're hurt. This hurt me too, like hell. But you're not losing anything, Nami. I swear you're not."

She looked up at him, surprised. She certainly had not expected words like that from Zoro. Then, she asked that question again, for the second time. "Do you think our thing was real?"

"Yes." He affirmed without doubt. "And I never regret for what we did."

She smiled, though her eyes were still wet from tears.

"It's not that bad with being married." He said with a smile. "Being married with you, I mean."

"I..." She didn't finish. She couldn't finish. Was this really the same arrogant Zoro she had known? This was too sweet, too honest, too...

"A—choo~!" He sneezed.

Nami wiped the tears away and stood up again. "Do I need to get you something? Water? Tea?"

He grinned and folded his arm under his head and smugly said. "See? It's actually nice to have a wife. Besides, who's gonna buy me a new swords for free, hm?"

Nami's lips twitched into a scowl. "I might be your wife, but that doesn't mean I'm gonna lend you something for free."

He chuckled. Yes, some things never changed, and he liked that. He called her. "Just come here."

The navigator was startled for a few seconds.

"C'mon. Just come here." He called again. Nami moved closer to him. Then the swordsman stretched out his hand and grabbed her fingers securely around his. He sighed contentedly. "Just what I need."

"Just this?" She asked shyly.

"Yeah." He grinned and closed his eyes.

"You sure?" She asked again.

"Yeah. I'd like to feel what it's like holding you as my wife." He told her, grinning with the typical Zoro grin. Before the navigator could control herself, she felt herself blush at his straightforwardness. Then the edge of his thumb came brushing her three stone ring. "You like this ring, don't you?"

It took a little longer before she nodded her head.

"Past, present, and future." He whispered lowly before raising his voice a bit. "Well, let's see what out future got."

And she smiled. A genuine smile.


-End of Chapter 7-


Translation:

Ohayou: Good morning

Subarashi: Wonderful

Daijoubu ka?: Are you ok?

Ittoryu: one sword technique

Baka: dummy; stupid; moron


Note:

Shusui: Zoro's black sword

Sanjuuroku Pondo Hou (36 Pound Cannon): A one sword technique where Zoro fires his energy at the opponent.


Miaw! Soaking wet Zoro under the rain?! Actually, it's one of my fantasy. Yummm...! :9

Regarding previous chapter (especially for dear Constanza Rose)... Oh no! I didn't know that dog hates chocolates. I never own a pet, except fish, crab, turtles and anything else that stays in the water. My mistake for not doing some research before. Really sorry...especially for dog lovers. Can we just assume that the puppy is a special puppy that loves chocolate? :(

Also, in case any of you've been wondering, yes...english is not my first language. It's not even my second one I guess, since my second one is...what do you call it, a language you're using with your parents or family; the place where your parents were born at...local language? Yes, something like that. I rarely use english on my daily basis, unless I'm in a meeting with foreign clients, but you know conversation is different from written one. I fully understand that this story isn't free from mistake. That's why...I really want to say thank you for everybody in here who's still willing to read and support this story. I know, I must be reckless, but I still hope I can deliver you some good ZoNa story. If there's anything I can do to make things better, please do tell me. Thank you Trunksmybaby, Forever Free Evergreen (this was Carefree Luminary before, right? :)), and Goku's Daughter for the reminder.

Thank you fmdevil (oh, I've read yours and gonna review it soon ;)), KimuraMinami, KEIMegumi (I never read FTAK before, but gonna put it on my list :p), ul-him, Raikiri80, and Perfect Beauty for your support for ZoNa :D

Next chapter will be updated a bit late (again?! *says Luffy*). I'll be in Hongkong stalking Kimura. Haha, just kidding. But yes, I'll be there for a short business trip. Hopefully, I'll catch up a few inspiration there ;)

See ya!

XOXO, Mushroom Pizza