Disclaimer: I don't own it.
Something felt different.
He had known it the moment they had docked on this island earlier this morning.
Something wasn't right.
The entire atmosphere surrounding the island was unnerving to him. It was like they weren't supposed to be here. Like something bad would come from anchoring on this harbour.
Although that feeling didn't necessarily have anything to do with the island itself, he just felt that it wasn't safe for his crew to be in this place. Or more like it wasn't save for a certain crew member to be here. How he could be so sure of it? He didn't know... but something was up, he just couldn't really put his finger on what exactly that something was.
So he just waited, sitting on Sunny's head like he always did. But rather than watching the horizon like usual, his gaze was locked upon port, ever since she had left the Thousand Sunny this morning. He hadn't moved since then, afraid that he would miss something if he were to avert his eyes off of it for just a second.
That unsettling feeling in his stomach, which had been haunting him all day, grew with every passing minute. It didn't sit well with him. It was like he was just sitting there waiting for something to happen. It was untypical for the pirate captain to not be able to act on his instincts. It made him anxious. And that feeling - he didn't like it one bit.
Yet, the day had started like any other. They had reached the cute little spring island by sunrise. After docking close to shore, they were told the lock pose wouldn't set for another day, so they hadn't really been in a hurry. Because of this most of the crew had gone into town to do something for their own entertainment.
Chopper had gone with Robin to the nearest bookstore, wanting to enlarge his medical knowledge while Robin just claimed to be interested in the islands history. Usopp and Franky had gone together, too, intending to buy some more Cola, in case the Thousand Sunny had to make a drastic exit, yet again, and to find some materials they needed for their newest toy. Whatever that was.
Luffy himself had been told to guard the ship and Zoro forced to babysit him. After their last encounter with the Marines on another island, the crew had deemed it best for their captain to stay aboard, so as to not cause any trouble. They had wanted to enjoy their stay for once.
So Luffy had found himself on board of the Thousand Sunny all day. Zoro had kept on dozing off in the crows nest. Brook, who hadn't wanted to accompany the others, had stayed as well, working on some songs of his.
Well, maybe it was the fact that he was a walking skeleton which had made the decision to stay on the ship a little bit easier. He hadn't wanted to scare off the citizens with his looks. It would have drawn too much attention to them anyway. And despite not really having a Marine base on this island, the Straw Hats just didn't want to take any risks.
Nami had been gone for a few hours now, wanting to buy new navigating tools and look for some other necessities the crew might need before they were to set out again. Sanji had accompanied her some of the way, swooning over her form like he always did. As the ships cook, he had also wanted to buy some ingredients and refill their food supply. And by having a captain with a seemingly endless appetite, that was no easy task.
All in all, that shouldn't really have bothered Luffy, were it not for the fact that by dawn most of the crew had returned to the ship, all but one member. Even Sanji had returned well before sundown, but to the captain's surprise, the cook had been alone. And Nami was, even hours after that, still nowhere in sight.
Normally, her staying past dark wasn't something to fret about. She sometimes would simply have some drinks in a bar trying to rid the other customers of as much of their money as possible. Never backing down from a challenge – especially not if it contained alcohol. And man, could she hold her liquor.
Nami was strong and smart, too. She wouldn't go down so easily should worst come to worst.
Why was he so worried then?
Luffy couldn't help but think back over the last conversation they'd had. Just couldn't shake the feeling that had overwhelmed him then...It had felt like she was slipping right through his fingers.
"Alright guys. We'll leave now. Don't do anything stupid for once!" Nami said, eyeing their captain intently. After all, it was him who often did reckless things, not once thinking about the consequences first.
The look he sent back at her, however, sent shivers down her spine.
It was a look she had only ever seen him with before an approaching battle. One of pure determination. He looked so serious, it nearly made her flinch when directed towards her.
It was rather strange of her captain, to gaze at her like that, too. Then again, he had been acting a little weird ever since landing on this island, so she didn't really dwell any further on the subject, stuffing it in the back of her mind instead.
Ready to finally get a move on and feeling a bit uncomfortable with his piercing gaze on her, she quickly spun around. "Sanji-kun let's ..." she started, however, the voice of her captain interrupted her, making her stop in her tracks once more.
It wasn't exactly the act of addressing her, though, but the way he did it, which caught her a little of guard.
Those two words were spoken with an underlying tone of barely suppressed desperation and she wondered briefly what had caused this change in Luffy all of a sudden. With an annoyed sigh and her hand on her hip, Nami turned back to face him again. The scowl that was slowly imbedding itself on her features showing her growing impatience. Silently indicating for him to continue, she awaited his response.
Luffy was a little surprised that she had, in fact, stopped, not having expected her to actually listen to him. That was why he kept silent at first, searching for the right words to say. But they just wouldn't come. The tapping of feet was causing him to shift nervously from one foot to the other, and the intimidating glare Nami sent back at him, wasn't exactly helping.
Deciding that actions spoke louder than words and considering he wasn't good with them anyway, he took a few steps towards her, effectively bridging the distance between them, before he lay both his hands on her shoulders. He locked eyes with her, hers wide in wonder but also a little in confusion, while he tried to convey everything he didn't know how to say.
The look in his eyes made her gasp inaudibly. They were so full of emotions, emotions she had yet to place. She could feel them. Those unspoken words. They were almost palpable. She seemed to lose herself in him, not even realizing that they were still in the middle of the deck.
A sudden cough let her mind slip back to reality and the moment was lost. Then she realized the position they were both in: Luffy was standing much closer to her now, his one hand having wandered to her neck, while the other rested on her upper arm. Feeling a little awkward for some reason, she attempted to wiggle free of his hold but Luffy just wouldn't budge. If not, it only tightened his grip more. It irritated her to no end.
As to not further complicate the situation and seeing that they were being stared at with confused and in Sanji's case angry gazes, she did the only thing that would bring back normalcy.
"Luffy..." she growled menacingly, her low tone implying nothing good. Clueless as he was Luffy only tilted his head with a slight "mhm", a frown adorning his face.
"No" came prompt his stubborn reply.
"Luffy, I want you to let me go. NOW!" The threat in her voice almost unmistakable now. In response, her captain only entangled her even further in his grip, all the while mumbling something inaudible under his breath which sounded suspiciously like a childish wail.
"What the hell is wrong with you, Luffy? Let go of me already!" the navigator barked at him while trying to disentangle his limbs from her body.
"But Nami" said captain kept on whining, still not losing his hold on her. "Can't you just stay here for once? We don't need new clothes' and Sanji can buy the other stuff on his own."
For some reason or the other Luffy didn't want her to go into town. That much was clear to her, by now. She just didn't know where his sudden need came from.
"At least, let me go with you." His soft breath tickled her ear as he spoke.
Her hands were pushing against his chest, now, trying to get him off, but Luffy being who he was didn't budge. Still she kept trying. "No Luffy. I won't take you with me. Why are you so adamant to go along with me, anyway? Is it so you don't have to guard the ship? If it is, I can tell you right away that you won't get out of this no matter what you say."
Heaving a slightly defeated sigh he slowly loosened his grip without breaking eye contact. "That's not it at all. Please."
"Well, what's it then. Tell me Luffy. Cause I absolutely don't get you." Putting her hands back on her hips, once he had fully let go of her, the navigator fixed him with the most penetrating stare she could muster.
Luffy averted his eyes at that. He was reluctant to tell her the reason. 'How could I tell her, if I don't even know it myself?' All he knew was that he had to make sure that she didn't leave his side.
"I don't know. It's just a feeling that something bad will happen to you if you go now."
That made her huff at him in annoyance. What could possibly happen to her? She could take care of her herself just fine, thank you very much.
"Luffy, do you trust me?" It was a trick question and she knew it. She just wanted him to give up already.
"Why are you asking me this, Nami. Of course I do. I trust all my Nakama" Luffy answered seemingly a little astonished why she even had to pose a question like that.
"Then you have to trust me on this, captain. Nothing will happen. And I've got Sanji with me, as well. He'll make sure I'll return to the ship safe and sound, got it?" the navigator said, hoping that it would calm him down somewhat so that she could finally leave and get her errands done.
He seemed to contemplate this for a second, before shaking his head in refusal. "No. I still won't let you. You'll be much safer when I am with you."
"Can't you just give it a rest already?" the navigator exclaimed in irritation, gesticulating wildly with her hands while staring intently at her stubborn captain.
Said boy just kept on gazing back at her with a hard stare, trying to make her understand that he certainly wouldn't give up anytime soon. And to make matters worse, he was about to pull the captain card on her, she was sure of it.
Still, she was absolutely reluctant to give up on that matter now. She only hoped that she could make his resolve crumbling. He was desperate... to order her to stay on board would be the only way to make her admit defeat. Then again, he couldn't even give a reasonable explanation, so maybe there was a way for her to get around it.
Luffy knew that such an order would make her probably even angrier at him. Their tempers had been rising already and it wouldn't take long for one of them to explode. And if Nami was sure of one thing, it was that Luffy didn't want to be faced with her wrath.
The Captain on the other hand, would do pretty much anything by now if it just guaranteed her safety. Fearing for her to disappear, he made a final attempt to stop her intentions of going into town. It was his last straw.
"Nami, as your captain I order you to stay."
"I can't believe this!" the young woman groaned in exasperation and then added with an accusing finger: "You don't even have a reason!"
"I do! You just won't listen to me!" he threw back at her, getting a little agitated himself.
The remaining crew members just kept looking back and forth between their captain and their navigator, all wearing bemused expressions. They had no idea what this was about anymore.
"Oi, witch. Just give in already. All this fuss is disturbing my nap" the green haired male finally decided to interfere from where he was sitting against the mast. Their yelling was beginning to get on his nerves and successfully keeping him from his afternoon snooze.
"What did you call Nami-San you shitty Marimo?" Sanji shouted in his face.
"Get the fuck out of my face curly-brows!" Zoro bickered back at him, shoving one of his hands straight in the cooks face.
While the two of them started their own fight, neither of them noticed Nami, as she was making her way to the rail of the Sunny, ready to depart. Neither except Luffy, who had been eyeing his navigator intently during the little ordeal.
"Oi Nami! I wasn't finished!" the young captain yelled at her. It sounded distraught, but at that moment she didn't really care. She was pretty close to strangle him at this point.
"Too bad because I was. This whole conversation is pointless anyway" the navigator answered without a break in her step, but Luffy was hot on her heels now. He grabbed her wrist just as she was about to climb over the railing.
"Nami, please. Don't make me beg."
It was this tone again, which made her stop a second time that day. Taking a deep breath to calm her raging nerves, she climbed back down and turned to face him. Her eyes softened as soon as she took in his pleading eyes and his shaken appearance. He was clearly upset and seemed desperate, and for a second she even thought him trembling. But as soon as it came it was gone already.
One of her hands encircled the one holding onto her wrist. She squeezed it gently before loosening his grip slowly, never taking her eyes off of him.
She heaved a heavy sigh before putting on the most reassuring face she could muster at that moment.
"Luffy, there is no way Sanji would let anything happen to me and you know that. There is no need for you to worry. We'll be back before you even know it. Now, please let me go."
And he did, even though there was this strange pain in his chest as he watched her leave.
He had really asked her to stay. Practically begged her just so she wouldn't leave his side. At least not today. Not when his instincts were screaming at him like crazy. Screaming at him not to let her go. That something was definitely not feeling right.
She'd refused, being the strong willed and (mostly) independent woman she was. So he couldn't do anything but watch as she had made her way down the ladder and into the towns centre; all the while watching her every move as she got farther and farther away from him until she disappeared from his sight completely.
"It's alright captain." Sanji had said, after Nami had walked off, leaving only him and the cook behind. "I'll protect Nami-san with my life." He had hurried off then, to follow their navigator into the city.
And even though Sanji had promised to keep her out of harm's way, the mystery feeling had returned tenfold. Alarm bells ringing in his head. He hadn't quite known why, heck, he still didn't know but he was certain that something was entirely wrong.
And that it was concerning his navigator.
He hadn't moved since this morning. Hadn't even twitched once.
The Straw-Hat captain just kept gazing off into town. It was slightly irritating for the green haired male.
After being told to watch the rubber-man, Zoro had thought it best to withdraw into the crow's nest for some much needed training, all the while expecting his captain to come bother him with some pointless idea to pass the time.
What he hadn't expected, though, was the lack thereof.
Usually Luffy would have been bored by now and blessed the swordsman with his presence. But nothing. It actually made Zoro worry about the teen a little bit.
So he had started to servile the boy in question, checking up on him every once in a while. What he saw just made him crease his brows in concern, the frown only deepening with the passing hour.
His usually hyperactive captain had yet to change his position on top of the figure head. It was so out-of-character for Luffy, that Zoro seriously considered confronting the straw hat about the whole ideal. Knowing Luffy and his nearly non-existent patience something was definitely bothering him.
Even the others, who had all since gotten back from their individual tasks, had confusedly gazed towards the unmoving straw hat boy upon arrival. However, not wanting to disturb him in his seemingly thoughtful state they had disembarked to either go to their quarters or do some work. Then the strange incident of this morning penetrated his memory. Sure enough, something had been off about the pirate captain.
He had gotten in quite the argument with their red-headed navigator about something he couldn't quite decipher anymore. All he knew was that the witch had kept on fighting off any attempt Luffy had made to stop her from leaving.
There had been such desperation in the young teen's eyes; he nearly thought he had imagined it. It wasn't a look Luffy wore often, if not at all.
Was that the reason why he still kept on sitting on the Lions head? Because he was waiting for the navigator to return? Well, whatever the reason, he would keep an eye on his captain and stand by his side if the need arose.
With that, Zoro closed his tired eyes and decided to take a short nap. Sooner or later he would find out what was wrong with Luffy.
Though he wasn't actually known for it, Luffy could be quite perceptive if he wanted to be.
He had felt the slight chill in the breeze, as it swept past his face, dishevelling his dark locks even more. It was like the wind was calling out for him as it tugged impatiently at the straw hat resting on his back.
It made him feel uneasy.
The wind was trying to make him do something. Urging him to move, to stop whatever was happening from happening. If only he knew what he was supposed to do. He'd do it in a heartbeat.
He had been on edge all day, ready to jump into action. The moment he'd seen Sanji returning without her, despite the cook's promise to keep her safe, all he had wanted to do was rush out into town, sweep her up in his arms and carry her back to their ship. There, no one would've dared to hurt her.
The rubber boy hadn't even bothered asking Sanji why Nami hadn't been in his company. He could clearly see how she had manipulated the love-cook to bend to her will. And even though it earned Luffy some very confused glances and frowns from his friends, especially from Sanji, he had just turned back to the direction the orange-haired girl had left in this morning.
For a long while now, Luffy had known that the feelings he had for his navigator differed from those he had for his other Nakama. It wasn't necessarily that he loved her more than the others.
He just loved her differently.
Still, the affection he held for her ran deeper than anything he had ever felt before, which caused him to worry about Nami whenever she was not by his side. And it wasn't like he didn't trust her abilities, either. Luffy knew that she could fend for herself. Nami had done it for many years before their paths had crossed, after all. But there was always that nagging feeling inside of him... like now. This incredible need to protect her at all costs. Not that he wouldn't do that for his other Nakama as well.
But that need was different, too. It was almost like a primal instinct. And he would make sure that no one would ever lay a finger on her, not when he could help it.
Up until now, he had done a pretty good job in hiding those feeling by burying them deep inside of him. But today, all that he'd tried to suppress came crashing down on him. Breaking upon him like a wave. In the end, it didn't matter how much he tried to conceal it, how much he wanted to preserve the relationship they already had. Cause his heart craved for her. And he wouldn't want to have it any other way.
The wind swept past his face again, still freezing cold, causing a shutter to leave his body. It was gentler now, though, like the calm before the storm and inwardly he was already preparing for what was about to come.
Luffy was sure that there was a deeper meaning behind her disappearance than just running late or being held up in a bar. There was just more to it... therefore he needed to be ready. His mind was already set.
He wouldn't lose her, not today. Not ever. And if a fight was needed to insure that, than it was a fight they would get.
He would bring her back, of that he was certain.
This was wrong. Terribly wrong.
The evening definitely wasn't supposed to turn out like this.
She had just wanted to enjoy some drinks in a small nice bar after seemingly endless hours of walking and grocery shopping. And even though Sanji had accompanied her and carried most of the bags, it had still been tiring her out. Being with a crew that held seven crazy men 24/7 could do that to you.
Nami had told Sanji to go on without her, as she had wanted some much needed alone time, before she went back to the port. And after some persuading on her part he had finally left, though she had to promise several times that she would be fine on her own.
That's why, after the cook had left, the navigator had decided to stop at that nice looking bar on the other side of the small island town they had landed in. For once it hadn't been mainly occupied by pirates.
Quite the contrary, actually. The customers had all seemed to be some kind of higher-ups, business-men; most of them either wearing suits or some other very expensive looking clothes. The place had seemed flashy, too. It was nicely decorated; the furniture mostly consisted of black leather chairs and dark wooden tables; on the ceiling hung some kind of chandelier. It definitely wasn't a place where you expected a pirate crew to be.
While going straight to the counter, she'd noticed something else that was different from the antics she was usually greeted with.
There hadn't been those hungry stares she often got from the male audience when walking into a room. No, this time it'd been more like mild curiosity for a newcomer, granting a welcomed change.
So without having to worry about unwanted attention, she'd just gotten into a comfy looking seat a little to the right site of the bar and ordered a nice glass of wine. The bartender had greeted her with a warm smile before he quickly complied with her demand.
The wine was quite tasty, but just as she had decided to order another one a gentleman to her left had beat her to it, ordering it for her instead.
"This one is on me." He'd turned to her, a polite smile on his lips that showed the outline of his perfectly white teeth.
At first, she'd thought that he had ulterior intentions, having experienced this exact situation many times before but he'd seemed to notice the calculating look in her eyes and quickly explained himself.
"Pardon me, but I couldn't pass up the chance to do a lovely lady such as you the pleasure. I'd be honoured to have this drink with you." And to make it even clearer, he'd added: "It's just a glass of wine, no obligations."
Still a tiny bit unsure but also flattered, she gratefully took the glass in her hand bumping it with his, offering a smile of her own in return.
Taking a sip, she'd taken the time to take a closer look at him. He was quite tall and well-built, as far as she could tell from their sitting positions. Clad in a light-blue dress shirt and an expensive looking matching black suit. For some reason he wore black leather gloves, but she guessed they were just some accessories. The most penetrating features, however, where his sizzling green eyes. They were a beautiful shade of light green with golden sparks, matching his light brown hair. It was cut rather short but helped emphasizing his high cheekbones. All in all he was a very handsome man and Nami guessed him to be in his late 20's.
Then, her eyes caught onto something not really fitting his attire. A petite silver whistle hung leisurely around his neck; all around high-carat diamonds sparkled in the light of the bar's chandelier.
The thief in her had danced in delight. Normally, the guy would've been done for by then, lacking the desired object, but just that time she'd decided to let it slide. After all, she'd kind of promised Luffy to not get herself in any dangerous situation. The young woman had to suppress a giggle at the irony of it all, for normally it was her who would lecture the silly captain.
Apparently she'd been staring at the sparkling thing for a little too long, because he'd cleared his throat making her attention snap back to his person.
Feeling the need to clear some things up, he'd told her: "It's beautiful isn't it?" taking the object into his palm he'd continued while openly admiring the silver thing. "I always had a weakness for rare things, and this whistle is no exception. I found it while I was on a business trip in South Blue. When you blow it, it makes a beautiful sound. I guess its echo might even reach the other side of this island." Letting the whistle fall from his open hand he'd send another dazzling smile in her direction.
After that, they'd had quite the nice conversation until she'd decided that she should head back to Sunny. The others were probably worried about her already, especially Luffy, considering the way he had been acting this morning.
She'd greeted him goodbye, thanking him for the nice company. But as she had turned to leave, she'd noticed that something was amiss. Her monitory skills seemed a little off, but as she'd thought back on all the wine she'd had she deemed it as nothing unusual. She was just a bit tipsy, that was all there was to it.
But then her vision had started to blur and she had some difficulties with holding herself upright. She had to prop herself up several times before she even reached the bar doors. It wasn't until she felt the tingling sensation in her legs, that she'd realized what exactly was happening.
The bastards had drugged her. They had fucking drugged her!
When had this happened? She hadn't let the drinks out of her sight for even a second.
The barkeeper had to be in on this, too, then. There was no other way. He had been the one who had handed her the drink. And the only one who had had the opportunity to do so.
The only question was: Why?
Had they been planning this all along? From the moment she had been walking into the seemingly pleasant local? Or had it been well before then? Had they been watching her for some time now? Who where they? And what were they aiming for?
All those questions, while still nagging at her, were in vain considering her situation. She had more important stuff to think about. For example finding a way to escape this predicament she'd suddenly found herself in.
So, she pushed them back in her mind for now. But just as she was about to do just that another image flashed right before her. It was that of her captain.
Luffy's restless face, she remembered now, could see it clearly in her mind's eye.
He had known. In a very surprising and disturbing way, he had known that something like this would happen. Okay, maybe not exactly this but he had definitely felt something was up.
She should have known better than to doubt his instincts when they had been so obvious then. But she was stubborn and had thought it was just a way to get back at her for not being allowed into town.
Oh, how wrong she had been.
She cursed herself for her stupidity. Once again her temper had won over her rational thought. She should have realized that Luffy wasn't just trying to annoy her.
But it was too late now.
She couldn't even bring herself to fight anymore. The drugs were already taking effect on her, making her nearly unable to move. She needed to support herself more often than not and she realized that she probably wouldn't make it very far before they caught up to her.
And without help her chances to get out of this were non-existent.
She barely reached the corner of the little bar. Then even her strength to support herself on the brick wall all but left her, making her fall over, before a rough, gloved hand grabbed her upper arm and lifted her seemingly effortless into his arms.
She was pressed roughly against a hard chest, faintly feeling the scratchy material of a coat against her cheek. A lone silver whistle was dangling in front of her eyes.
So he wasn't a gentleman after all.
Nami tried to look up, wanting to speak, to struggle against the hold he had on her, but her voice was hoarse and her vision blurred. Her movements grew slower and weaker until they subsided completely. All that was left for her was darkness as her body succumbed to its fate.
"So, did you get her?" a tall figure asked out of the shadows, footsteps echoing from the walls of the empty alleyway as the person slowly got closer to its target.
"Of course, Sir. All went as planned" the man crouching down in front of him replied, while he got back on his feet, in his arms the unconscious body of a young woman. The other man smirked upon laying his eyes on her.
Cat thief Nami of the Strawhat Pirates.
It really was their lucky day, today. Some months had passed since they had last had such a pretty girl to offer their customers, not to mention a famous one as her. And she had more or less walked straight into their arms.
He had noticed her as soon as she had come strolling into town with that pretty blonde lapdog of hers, as she was making her way into different shops. Truly a beautiful woman with her shining orange hair, cute face and a body many women would kill for. Of course, he hadn't wanted to see such a great opportunity going to waste so he had started to follow her around. Always keeping out of sight but still close enough to not lose sight of her in the crowd. And then she'd pretty much presented herself on the silver platter when she had sent the man of.
The perfect opportunity to strike.
She had walked right into Lue's Bar, so all that was left to do was for one of his man to get her something to drink and Lue to play his part. The rest played itself out on its own. Just a little bribery here and there and nobody would dare to notice any of their doings. He knew this place far too well, to let something as simple as that stop him. And money opened up the world, after all.
All they needed to do now was get her to their hideout and make sure to get her off this island as soon as possible. It wouldn't take long for her crew to notice her absence, so they needed to pull this off quickly. Once she was off this island, the Strawhats would be unable to follow after them without their navigator and even if they could it would be far too late for them to rescue her. By then she would already be in the hands of one of his very rich customers. And this woman was sure to make a pretty high price.
He could practically see all the bellies the crowd would throw their way, or more precisely his, when presenting them the orange-haired navigator.
"Good job. Well then, let's get out of here" he said with a satisfied nod before abruptly turning and heading towards the harbour, his henchman following close behind.
It was their lucky day, indeed.
AN: So, I've had this on my computer for almost a year now and finally decided to post it. Had to split it into two parts, though, otherwise it would have been way to long for a OS. Also, this probably doesn't make a lot of sense. I just got back into the plot and had no idea what I wanted to do with it exactly...
Please notice that English isn't my mother tongue, so there are bound to be some mistakes. Though I read over it multiple times to avoid it. You can point them out to me if you want and I'll try to fix them.
I'll put the second part up when I feel people want to read more of it.
Til next time