A/N: Well... I've been gone for an unusually long amount of time... sorry about that everyone.
First part of the chapter is written in Nami's perspective, then there is a divide and we're back to Zoro! (Couldn't help myself and helped get me back in the groove for writing)
Chapter 14- Doubts
I don't know why I kissed him. I had just been so relieved to get Cassie's evil slimy soul out of my body and elated that I guess I had just sort jumped to the closest comfort. I had been terrified for what felt like hours, battling the sudden witch that had jumped inside my head. She taunted me with images of Zoro holding her, Zoro kissing her, her and Zoro laughing together, she made me believe that they were real, and for a second a small part of me believed her. Once I doubted myself she was able to bat down my defenses and invaded my body within hours. I hate her.
My darkest hour had been when I woke up and I felt her stir inside me. She kept throwing these images at me when I would start to resist, reminding me that Zoro wasn't in full control of himself, and pointing out that he had no real interest in me before this whole mess started. It hurt. I was losing the battle for my soul, for my body, and we both knew it. Somehow I had managed to scale a tree and refused to move another inch towards her destination, in all reality I was prepared to jump, and as terrifying as it was I refuse to be controlled. I have freedom now, and I won't die anyone's slave, especially in my own body.
I was vaguely aware of the fear that stirred inside of me at the sight of him wasn't from me, as I was suddenly filled with hope. I was tired, worn down, I needed help. I needed fire. And my last few desperate thoughts were that for once I wasn't lucky enough to have Zoro save me, that I had to do this on my own, and I was just so tired… That was until Zoro kissed me after I sleepily called out his name. It was a plea, begging him to help me, and I saw something in his face right before he kissed me. He was pissed. And then I was pissed. How dare he just kiss me to wake me up? He wasn't in control, and this sure as hell wasn't the time or place. My hand went up to slap him away, but the witch jarringly tried to stop me. I hit him a lot harder than I expected.
The look in his eyes as I said words that I can barely remember now made it clear that he knew something was off, he was piecing together the pieces and he was going to help me, save me. That filled my heart with a strength that I had been missing before. I might have doubts about our relationship, I might not know what is ever going on his head to a full extent, but he still loves me. It might not be the kind of love I want from him, but he cares about me. I flashed my own images at Cassie, feeling Zoro's searing angry kisses assault my lips as I struggled to regain control of my body, it built a fire inside of me that I needed so desperately to win.
And then suddenly I had won. She couldn't handle the flood of emotions from us, in a foreign body that wasn't hers, and I leapt into action as soon as her ghost drifted out of my body.
After I pulled away from that kiss though, I knew that my feelings for the swordsman that I had been fighting so hard to not show were written all over my face. He smirked at me and I flushed in anger as I bopped him on the head. What was going to happen after this? Was he going to act like nothing had happened? What was I going to do when I didn't have this stupid spell of his to use as an excuse to kiss him? Or to get the best sleep I had ever gotten cuddling up in his arms? Or to simply spend time with him…
"We need to get moving and find Luffy," Zoro finally said breaking me from my thoughts. I nodded dumbly.
"So that means you have to get off me," he teased poking my ribs playfully.
"What, you don't like your girls on top?" I jeered before practically launching off of him.
His onyx eyes flashed for a second, darkening with perverted thoughts of me that made my smirk deepen. I might not be able to tell if it is the spell or not but it's somewhat invigorating being able to have an effect on someone like Zoro.
"I prefer being in control," he said easily with a shrug as he sat up.
With ease and power he leaned back and used his hands to push himself into a stand in an elegant flip. I swallowed lightly as he stalked over to me closing the small space I had placed between us. He leaned in slightly, "I wouldn't mind if it was you though."
"Focus you idiot," I snapped taking several steps back from him.
Protect yourself Nami, he'll only break your heart in the end, I had to remind myself at the sad look of hurt that flashed across his features. Remember what that witch told you, she hasn't been wrong so far.
"You said we need to find Luffy. What's going on?" I pressed when he still hadn't answered me.
Zoro grunted and rolled his shoulders so that he could scratch his head.
"He's fighting Crispy out in the mountains somewhere."
"He lost Ariel?!" I shrieked. This was bad, this was very bad. Half of my plan had depended on me getting the one up on that witch. If she reached that spot before me…
"I don't think that matters," Zoro said with a shrug. His cool composure had me bristling.
"OF COURSE IT MATTERS!"
"I think there is something else you have been lying to me about," Zoro muttered but I ignored him as I scooped his hand into mine and dashed into the woods.
I don't have time to explain, I would have said, but in the end I know Zoro doesn't care about a plan. He's just like our damn captain when it comes to that. Plus, despite his groaning I know he likes to hear how it all comes together in the end. He'll listen when I do talk.
I have my suspicions that when Nami had been possessed she was forced to speak the truth. I wasn't sure how to broach that topic though, as I cut through some under bush as we charged through the forest hand in hand. Occasionally Nami would stop me and point me in a different direction, but for the most part we had been in silence since we had left the little clearing. It isn't natural for the two of us to be so quiet together. It isn't that we don't know how to get along in silence it's just that I happen to like grinding her gears a bit too much and I know she lives to piss me off. At least that is how it normally is, she'll nag me, I'll tease her, we'll bicker and then awkward tense silence that doesn't have time to turn into sexual tension because someone will interrupt us.
So for the life of me I can't figure out why she lied to make me feel better. She isn't the type of woman to conceal things or fluff it up to make people feel better, she has tact sure, she knows when to exclude certain bits of information… but she's a terrible liar. At least she has always been a terrible liar to me. I've always been able to read her; I've always known when something is off. I think that's when it hit me that maybe this love spell was actually affecting me, it made things that were normally so crystal clear seem hazy and unclear. It made my thoughts on Nami weak.
It's kind of hard to explain, but now that I noticed that things were falling into place and making sense. I was under a love spell, I was being blinded, and I was being hindered. While I knew Nami had her faults I had been almost deliberately ignoring them and noticing things about her that aren't as important as the whole picture. Like her looks. I've always noticed them, always found her attractive, but that has never made me stop what I am doing and reach out and kiss her. I always keep my eye on her, but I always know what kind of mood she is in. I haven't been able to tell when she is lying to me, and for some reason that scares me. I trust her, but never once in the time have I known her have I stopped studying her. So the whole fact that I didn't notice that she lied to me or that she lied for my benefit suddenly hit me hard. I'm also not one to think so deeply about what is going on in Nami's head, because I trust her and know her so well I don't normally need an explanation.
Right now though, I feel like I need to hear what she is thinking, more because I want to be able to see if in this state if I can tell if she is lying to me still or not.
"Nami," I call out, stopping so that she is forced to stop as well. She turns and gave me a look that promises pain before her face contorts with some type of emotion.
"We don't have time for this Zoro. We need to keep moving," she told me calmly.
"I get that… but I need to clear some of the air between us. We'll get there in time," I reassured her. I have no clue where we are going, but I'm never too late for the action. She must sense my logic without me having to explain it as she rolls her eyes at me.
"This can really wait-"
"No it can't," I bark interrupting her.
She scowled, tapped her foot impatiently, but didn't continue to protest. After a few minutes of what I'm sure looked like me starting off into space her patience started to ebb away. She looked like she was about to start yelling but I gently held up my finger to show her that I needed a moment to gather my thoughts. Where exactly do I start with a topic as frail as this one? One where she thinks I am not in any amount of control of myself.
"If I had woken up normal and kissed you would you still be treating me this way?" I asked quietly.
My question seemed to draw a thicker silence around us. It felt like even the forest was holding its breath and waiting for her response. She knew I meant with all the back and forth with how she had been the past few days. How one minute she lost herself in blissful happiness with me and the next she was tense and keeping her distance. I squinted as I studied her, hoping that if she did decide to lie that I might be able to pick up the truth now. Nami didn't flinch at my gaze, but drew her shoulders back as she stared at me dead on. She looked like she was bracing herself, her eyes were distant as she studied me back.
"No," she said easily with a shrug of her shoulders.
I studied her face for several moments before I broke out into a grin.
"You're unsure of yourself," I stated, my smile turning into a deep chuckle as her face darkened and she pouted.
"Well after years of discrete flirting and dropped hints it takes a love spell for you to actually show any interest in me? Whose confidence wouldn't be shaken?" she growled, admitting to me what must have really been eating her up at least part of the time. I couldn't help but chuckle, she was too used to every guy swooning for her.
"Yours," I said easily with a shrug, "Seeing as after all this time I've only barely been able to resist making the first move anyways."
Her face darkened before moved to stand before me, her arms crossed dangerously over her chest as she glared at me. I blinked in surprise. What? I just told her to be confident. It isn't like I normally get all flustered with a girl.
"And how would I know that?"
This time it was my turn to glare at her.
"Like you haven't noticed that I'm already at your side when you decide to use me as a shield? Or how I follow your stupid orders anyways even though you aren't my captain? Or—"
"That has nothing to do with you resisting making the first move," she growled. "You don't … you've never seemed interested … before all of this… I don't think you will be afterwards," she admitted quietly.
"Then you're an idiot," I said easily.
I was done with this conversation. I got the answer I wanted and there was really no further point to it. Our little stop could be written off now. I decided then to grab her hand as I stepped around her to start trekking through the woods again. She balked and threw her weight into the ground, trying and failing to keep me from dragging her along.
"Zoro!" she yelled as she started to roughly hit my back with her fists. I glared at her and paused in mid-step.
"You're the idiot," she snarled, "and you owe me some bellis for all this stress. Freaking jack ass," she growled.
I grinned and scooped her up easily to throw her over my shoulder.
"Quit your bitchin and point me in the right direction," I teased.
"Ugh!" she growled. She was a bit too close to my ear which caused me to flinch.
"You have a very loud mouth you know," I told her with just a hint of sarcasm, "so if you use your indoor voice I'll be able to hear you just fine from the other side of the forest. You should use your whisper voice," I cooed as if talking to a child. She hit me roughly upside the head.
"Look here… If you don't want me to lead you into a snake pit then I suggest that you shut up and take orders," she snapped with a small blush. She stumbled looking for an insult, she knew it and I knew it. She wasn't used to me teasing her so easily again. She wasn't used to me being myself. My grin widened.
"Follow the sounds of that idiot laughing," she said after a moment when I had yet to move.
I kind of enjoyed feeling her arms settling in around my neck and her legs squeezing against my sides as my arms moved to adjust her into a more comfortable piggyback position. Her chin rested on my shoulder as she lazily pointed toward the giant cliff and volcano before us. We were both silent for a moment, listening for the sounds of far off fighting. Very quietly a crash could be heard on occasion coupled with our captain's infamous laughter. Things couldn't be going badly if he was enjoying himself… At least things weren't going badly for him, yet.
"Or head there. That dumbass can't be too far off," she hissed.
"Where else would our captain be?" I asked rhetorically.
"Well hopefully he isn't being tied up and sacrificed," Nami sighed, but there was little urgency in her voice. She knew I would save Luffy. She was worried, but she knew nothing would happen to that idiot. Not here, and not like this.
Either way I broke out into a light jog to make up for lost time. I was a bit too eager to set some things straight.
A/N: Missed you all! I can't promise I won't take such a long break again but just know that I never quit on a story (and if I do then I delete it and you should realize there is a reason why people say 'never say never') That little side note was totally unneeded becaaauuusse I know I won't give up on this story XD. And I rarely give up on stories. So Yeah... Hope you enjoyed the update!