Disclaimer: As always I do not own One Piece. I'm merely borrowing the characters for my own sick twisted sense of enjoyment.
A/N: I'm actually writing this for my dear friend Anonymous Being. It's her birthday. And I figured it'd be a nice little surprise for her. Happy Birthday dear, I hope it's a great one! (Also I know this is a bit early… but I feared that I wouldn't be able to post it on time).
Nami's brow knitted in confusion as the resident sniper's panting finally subsided enough for him to speak coherently.
"Don't you understand Nami? He's been avoiding you. I don't know what you did but you should fix things with Zoro. You know how scary he can be," Usopp pressed. He doubled over, gulping at the air with over exaggerated desperation.
"He would never hurt me," Nami snapped, annoyed. She wiped her brow with the back of her glove. It was a rather hot day out, her trees needed extra tending in weather like this. She shielded her eyes and glanced up the gym, the faint shadow of Zoro lifting weights could be seen through the window.
"That's not what I'm saying!" Usopp sputtered. His arms flapped wildly as she side-stepped him and bent over to retrieve her sun hat. She spotted a weed sprouting near her favorite tree. She felt a vein throb in her forehead rather violently and her eye twitched as she rounded on her friend.
"Didn't I tell you to stay away from my trees with your freaking weeds and plants?" she hissed ripping up the plant violently and throwing it at the sniper. He squealed and quickly dodged, hiding behind the railing to put some space between them. His legs quaked.
Even after the two-year separation and her friend's recent shows of bravery, he reverted back to his old self when her old anger sparked. He was terrified of her anger, and that would probably never change… with all the Straw Hats.
"Yes. Sorry I won't forget again. But really Nami I think you should—"
She held up her hand stopping her friend. She let out an exasperated sigh before rolling her head back as if asking the sky for help.
"I wouldn't worry about it Usopp," she told him firmly smiling lightly staring at a passing cloud overhead. "Unless he flat out said he's been avoiding me I think it might only be a coincidence. Sunny is rather large and we all do our own things."
She wanted to wince. That excuse sounded lame even to her own ears, but Usopp didn't seem to catch it. She was telling half the truth after all. This ship was rather large, and there were a lot of things to do aboard. Besides it wasn't really Zoro avoiding her… it was more of Nami avoiding Zoro. And that was a discussion she didn't want to get into with her loud mouthed friend.
"But that's just it Nami! I heard him talking to Luffy about it. He said that…" the sniper trailed off because he realized how stupid this sounded or if he caught the look in her eye, she'll never know. She doesn't plan on asking.
He bid her a short goodbye, uttering some excuse about needing to find Franky and then there was nothing left but the warm sea breeze to whisper in her ear.
At least now she was alone with her trees. All she wanted was a few hours to get away from everyone. She wiped at the stubborn sweat that dripped into her eye.
She wasn't crying. She wasn't. That would be stupid. She is the one that told the swordsman to act like it was nothing, that they were nothing… so she shouldn't be upset over it.
It hurt a lot more than it should. That dumb aloof swordsman. What did she see in him anyways? Besides his kind heart that he tries to hide behind a cold demeanor, that gorgeous smile when he laughs at something, that damn smirk when he's being overly arrogant, his fierce loyalty to his friends, and his general lack of fear of death as long as he is protecting the crew and Luffy or reaching his dream, or how he always seemed to be the one that caught her when she fell. That list hardly even included the long list of physical attributes that she admired, and let's be honest, she is a rather big sucker for scars (on him at least). That list isn't very long and it isn't enough to make a girl melt. It isn't even that much of a list. Great, now she's starting to repeat herself.
She laughed under her breath as she dug out another root from a weed next to her trees. Digging and tugging, she finally freed her grove of the small infestation of weeds. She took a few moments to pat down the uprooted earth around the base of the trees, with a tenderness she rarely showed.
"So why the hell am I crying?" she asked herself letting her hand fall into the soft cool dirt. She sat there a moment, twirling the soft dirt in her hands; she enjoyed the feeling of the contrast it brought to her skin.
"You must be allergic to something," Sanji's voice startled her. She lurched forward, grasping her shears tightly she corrected herself just before stumbling into a tree. Taking a deep breath and straightening, she gave her friend a watery smile.
He was leaning on the rail smoking while casually holding out a delectable frozen treat for her to enjoy. Swirled high with a bendy straw sticking out of it, Nami could only guess it was a smoothie of some sort. It was one of her favorites.
"Yeah… I must be," she mumbled.
Rubbing her eyes she managed to take a few more deep breaths before sneezing. It was a fake sneeze, really it was a horrible excuse for one, but she would go along with the façade that Sanji was giving her. It was one of the many admirable traits about the cook. He knew when to leave her alone and he knew when to check on her, even if at times he could be overbearing.
Sanji didn't move, he took a long drag from his cigarette, before placing the smoothie on the railing. He turned, leaning his arms over the railing, his head fell back to gaze at her with a little more scrutiny.
"Isn't that stupid block head allergic to oranges?" Sanji questioned after a long moment of silence.
"So he claims, dumbass forgot that this is a tangerine grove," Nami hissed. Without exactly saying who, both knew the other was referring to the swordsman.
She gasped, the words seemed to spark more unwanted water in her eyes, and she hurriedly snatched the smoothie from the railing and took a large gulp. Really the fight she had with the swordsman hadn't been about oranges verses tangerines but more of the swordsman's fear of actually taking a step forward with her. Instead of the secret dates when they made port, and late night kisses, to share something real and let their friends know about them was what Nami had suggested. Of course, her temper had gotten the best of her when he had questioned it, which led to her screaming and telling the swordsman that it was all over between them. Silence between the two the last week had everyone on the ship a little tense, and very clueless. Although, if Nami had to guess, she figured that several people on the ship had figured it out. Usopp might be the only one in the dark, and even he could have guess with their recent conversation. She would have said the same for Luffy but the way the Captain had avoided her after a rather harsh statement she had made to him this morning, and the fact that Usopp had told her that he and Zoro had talked, made her think otherwise. Luffy would always come and check on her when she was acting 'funny', it was part of the beauty of their friendship. But if he refrained that meant that Zoro probably had something to say to her first, and Luffy was scared to blow a big secret.
"Mmmm. Thanks Sanji, this hits the spot," she told the cook after downing about half of her treat in one go. Grinning at her friend she hoped to wave him off, but there was a deadly serious look to his eye. He looked like he was about to say something when a sharp cough interrupted him.
"Oi. Faggot, Luffy wants you," Zoro barked.
It had the instantaneous effect. One moment there was relative calm, the next the two men were at each other's throats.
"What did you call me?" Sanji shrieked.
"Faggot," Zoro answered calmly, "Since you smell like one."
Nami winced, and sighing turned back to her trees. Normally she would have punched both their lights out and told them to take it elsewhere, but now… she was using the opportunity to hide among her trees. Whose green leaves looked so healthy and wonderful with the bright sky light up behind them…
She didn't quiet catch what Sanji said, or what Zoro said after that, but soon there was an angry stomp as one left. She tensed and honestly hoped for a split second that Sanji had won that little match and that Zoro wouldn't be the one standing there. She knew that was farfetched though. Sanji never won when Zoro was serious about winning, even in a verbal sparring match. Besides, despite the fact that those two were always at each other's throats, they were friends. They might deny it, but they cared about each other, and they both respected each other enough to give the other room when needed.
And going on what Sanji said earlier, the cook knew exactly what was going on and was giving Zoro the chance to speak with her. Much to her frustration it seemed that everyone knew about them, and as of right now they weren't even together anymore.
"Did he upset you?" Zoro's gruff voice was much closer than she expected. But not close enough to make her turn around in surprise. He was at least a few feet away from her still.
"What? No! He just made me a smoothie," she huffed, without turning around she waved him off. Hoping that her voice wasn't wavering, she added, "And I'm just allergic to something in the air or something. So he was checking on me."
"You aren't allergic to anything expect maybe an empty vault."
Owch, that hurt. Well not really, she'd take that as a compliment coming from him.
"Yes, well at least I'm not allergic to women," she snapped. She snipped a branch a bit further than she wanted and angrily tossed it to the sea.
"I'm not!" he shot back before laughing, "would you stop this little hissy fit and—"
"Hissy fit?" she growled. Still refusing to turn around she threw her shears to the ground and stomped over to her watering can. Okay, maybe he had a small point there, but she wasn't about to drop this so easily.
"Yes hissy fit, like a—"
"Can we just agree that you're an immature self-centered pirate who can't handle a real woman and get along like we used to?" she asked cutting him off quickly.
There was dead silence for a moment, but even with her back facing him, Nami could feel his temper starting to climb.
"I'm the immature self-centered pirate?" he snapped, "I think you have it all wrong. If anyone is pirate like it'd be you Nami. You act all high and mighty, boss us all around like you own us, and you're heartless unless it comes to money. You complain about how distant I am, yet you give me even less. And then suddenly you want to tell everyone we're dating and you don't expect me to ask any questions about it? Or about what you're thinking?"
He sounded a lot closer, and Nami felt the familiar tingle that tainted the air when he was around. She could barely stand it. His scent seemed to engulf her as his hot hand caught her sweaty wrist. His words stung a lot more than he could ever know, and he was so right about her. She cringed at his touch but allowed him to turn her. She didn't have time to wipe away the tears that had collected unwillingly on her cheeks, but she angrily snorted back the runny nose.
"I just wanted to make sure it was what you really wanted… it didn't seem like you," he added lowly. His hand on her wrist started tracing soothing circles. "And no, we can't go back to how things used to be."
Zoro wasn't gentle, but he wasn't rough either. With his free hand he clumsily rubbed it along her cheek and rubbed the tears away. She would have pulled back, but despite herself she found that she was leaning into his touch. As more tears fell against her will. This sounded like a break up all over again.
"All I meant earlier was that I'm—"
He paused and chewed the inside of his lip for a moment before letting out a deep sigh.
"You know… maybe I'm allergic to words. I can never seem to get them right," he said softly. He stared at her for a long moment before letting go of her face and then her wrist, and took a step back away from her.
Two hot-tempered people don't just take steps away from each other, and let things slide under the table so smoothly. It felt like something snapped inside her, seeing Zoro trying so hard to fix it. To fix what was just a simple misunderstanding. But even if she felt better, there were still some things that needed to be said, she had to make him feel better too. And she still wasn't sure where exactly they stood.
Wiping the tears away she grinned at him. Things were better now simply because he came to her, and it surprised her. She wasn't expecting him to actually care, and that was all she needed to know. Maybe she'd leave the serious talks with him until they were a bit more stable in their relationship.
Her fist connected to the back of his head.
"Oi!" he yelped, rubbing the back of his head he glared at her.
"That's for not telling me all this the other night," she haughtily challenged her arms over her chest.
Her fist connected with his chest, a little softer this time, but with a good amount of force to knock him into a tree. His glare was turning murderous at this point.
"That's for talking to Luffy without me," she added. Holding up her fingers to show him how many points she had made. His face turned a little red at the mention of Luffy.
"I'm allowed to talk to my Captain without you, freaking control freak," he snapped, rubbing his chest and then his head he braced himself for what seemed to be a barrage of hits coming his way.
"It's not very nice to call your girlfriend names, you jack ass," Nami added studying her nails. A vein on Zoro's forehead could literally be seen throbbing. Half of it was a stupid test, just to see if he would dispute that she called herself his girlfriend. It made her blush, and feel so stupid for bringing it up this way, but honestly this was the first time the word 'girlfriend' had been spoken out loud.
"Oh I'm sorry, I thought you could handle it," he said sarcastically. He rolled his eyes as he took a step towards her. He was close enough to touch again. She gave a fake sob and hid her face into her palm. He was playing along so far, so why not push him?
"Don't start with the fake sob story. Faggot-tron* isn't here to come to your rescue," Zoro growled. There was an indigent shout from somewhere on deck but it was quickly muffled. Smirking Nami took a step closer, letting her chest fall into Zoro's. His face lit up in a blush as he quickly took a step back.
"Still allergic to girls I see," she teased. His eye caught a dark look as he pulled her close again.
"Fine, whatever you win," he hissed into her ear.
"Oi, Zoro," Nami started, her face lighting up in a blush to match his. "I was just teasing. We're in public you know… you don't' like that."
It was Zoro's turn to grin mischievously as his lips traveled down to her throat where he nipped her playfully.
"Like I give a damn. This all started because of your little hissy fit about this… and … since I like you," he added the last part lowly as his lips traveled up her neck. "You know since you're my girlfriend," he whispered this part into her ear, nipping her ear lobe in the process. Goosebumps erupted throughout her body, as she unwittingly let out a small gasp. "I'll let this whole fight slide this time."
God damn him, when did he learn her seduction tactics? Or maybe a week away from him, away from his touch had her on fire. Everywhere he touched seemed to be alight with feeling, and it filled her head to the point where she felt like she was about to burst. She could barely hear a word he was saying.
"So we're good?" she managed to pant out.
Zoro chuckled lowly, as if her statement challenged him. He let his hand slip by and brush her side, somehow managing to pin her against a tree. His actions seemed to answer her question and she couldn't help but smile as his lips found hers in a feverish way.
"Zoro would you answer the ques—"
"Shut up and stop giving me orders," Zoro growled, with surprising force kissed her until her breath was ragged. It was several long minutes before they pulled apart.
"Of course, we're good. You were the one that had the allergies," he smirked as he helped her right herself.
"Oh god. Please don't use such corny lines ever again," she snapped.
"What? You were the one going on and on about how I'm allergic to women and how there must be something in the air and that's why you were cryi—"
Nami smacked the swordsman roughly upside the head.
"YOU HAVE NO TACT!"
It was silent between the two for a tense moment before they burst into a fit of laughter. The fight between them eased in each other's company that they had both been too prideful to admit they missed for a full week.
This all took place in front of the crew that was standing there on the deck, looking up at them with all their jaws dropped to the floor. Expect Luffy who was laughing loudly at the pair lost in their own world, and Robin who smiled at the scene.
"You knew Captain?" Robin chuckled next to the raven haired boy.
"Zoro came and asked me the other night about what he should do about their relationship. He was worried about telling everyone or how I would take it… or something like that," Luffy grinned and laughed. "I told him to go for it," he added, his smile widening as he gave the archeologist a thumbs up.
"SANJI MEAT!" he screeched just as the cook seemed to fall into a deep depressed coma.
A/N: First *Faggot-tron - is probably my favorite comeback that I use on most of my male friends when they manage to take the teasing a bit too far. :p. I couldn't help but use it because although it's an insult it's also a term of endearment for my friends and I. To see Zoro and Sanji fighting all the time yet still caring about each other reminds me of my friendship with some of my friends. Their 'nick names' that they use for each other get a little old. So I threw this one in here.
Second. If any of you follow any of my stories and my writing you know I've been on a small unannounced break. I apologize for that, but hey, life gets in the way. I'll be updating a bit more during the summer, and hopefully finish up a few projects I had started. Also keep your eyes peeled for updates in some of my unfinished multi-chapters. They'll be up soon hopefully.