"I said I was sorry."
"Shut up, Luffy."
They not too long escaped the angry townspeople and Nami was livid about Luffy leaving half her stash at the dock. That money was hard to come by and Luffy had no right to do what he did. She thought she was over it but it was a huge loss. Luffy may have caught her sighing one too many times.
"But you're still mad. Buggy wrecked that town so I thought-"
Without warning, the navigator plucked his hat off his head. From her bag, she unearthed a thread and needle.
"I promised to fix it for you so I figured that now is the time if you don't mind."
"Mm. That's fine."
Nami examined the gashes. The straw-hat was old but putting the damage aside, she could tell that Luffy kept it in good condition.
'Shishishishi' "I knew you were a good person."
Luffy wore the biggest smile he could muster knowing the search for a navigator was long over. He was lucky he was able to find one so soon.
Nami turned away to focus more on the stitching. One thing she needed Luffy to get straight was that they were working partners. Her reason for joining them was so they could earn her a lot of money; not because she liked them. That was farfetched. But Luffy's wide smile and his acceptance of her made her lose the tension in her shoulders and she was able to relax around him. But she never joined them officially. Never had and never will.
They helped save her life on multiple occasions so the least she could do was stick around long enough for them to be safe on their feet with a proper ship and supplies because their little boat will not last an entire minute in the Grand Line. It was sad really. Sad that they were too stupid to realize that for themselves.
"Thanks for coming along with us, Nami."
Nami blinked and regarded Luffy with a cocked brow. Pirates didn't say thank you but this one did and Nami could not deny the calm his words placed on her spirit.
There is a lot she learned from this stranger. His name was one thing and his personality was another. How wrong she had been about him and that was telling. Nami was rarely wrong.
She didn't want to get too attached. He already made her feel like she belonged; like she was his friend but Nami already had a home and she didn't want any friends. Friends were a distraction from her goal. She was a thief, a liar and a cheat. Nobody wanted people like that around them and soon, Luffy would one day see that.
"You'll find someone else to be your navigator. I'm not the only one in the world."
Luffy frowned. "But you said you're the best."
Nami bit the inside of her cheek and swore under her breath. Her pride like always was ahead of her. She should have lied, convinced him otherwise but something told her that it was too late."
"My dream is to become a great pirate."
"Because of the promise you made with the man who gave you this hat?"
Nami saw Luffy smile. He was impressed she remembered. He protected the hat with his life and looked like he could kill if someone threatened to touch it. Of course she would remember. It was his treasure, according to him. It was not worth gold or silver but it was precious to him which she understood. She had a treasure like that. A treasure she wanted to protect with all her heart.
"That's right. And to be a great pirate, I must have only the best of the best on my crew."
Nami hummed thinking it wise to go back to ignoring him but what he said after made her hold her breath.
"I don't want anyone else but you, Nami." He rested his head on his arm, leaned on the taffrail and looked her directly in the eyes. "Only you."
Then came that undeniable warmness in Nami's cheeks. After some time, she cleared her throat and stabbed her needle in the hat, pulling the dishevelled straw back into place.
"I'm almost done."
All sounds were more apparent than before. Zoro's loud snoring, the choppy water and waves beneath them, the crying seagulls passing above and the occasional creaking of the sails. That was all Nami needed at the moment, a distraction, but she could not keep her mouth shut much to her dismay.
"I'm sorry about all those bad things I said about you. I even threatened to take your life. I'm very sorry about that. You're not like other pirates. You're different... in a good way."
"Don't worry about it."
To be continued...