Tangled in his grimy sheets, Nami watched ahead of her as the surgeon discarded his shirt and climbed on top.
He went for her lips but without knowing why, Nami turned away from him and squeaked when he had her neck instead, crying out when he bit her barely enough to bruise the skin and pulled her hair.
Law never liked his women quiet. No matter how much he touched and fondled her, she did not make a sound or give a reaction. Adding a little pinch in the mix did the trick but she still was not responding to him. Not in the way he wanted.
He tried kissing her again but she turned away once more much to his annoyance.
It took him a minute too long to recognize her shaking.
"Never done this before?"
"That's none of your business."
Law liked to make love to his women but this one wanted things the hard way.
"Fine," he said and tugged at her jeans.
Nami thought she was over it, she really did but she wasn't and the flashbacks had her gasping for air.
"What's wrong with you?" Law asked but didn't mean to offend the lady as she sprang up with a vengeance.
"There is nothing wrong with me."
Nami's eyes went wide and suddenly Luffy was all she could think about. She wished she didn't.
The sound of an unbuckled belt made her come to her senses.
Her heart quickened and her throat went dry but she eased herself back down.
She could do this.
Her virginity wasn't something she was saving for some special occasion or special someone. Since meeting Luffy, she was so caught up in his company that the act and lack thereof didn't bother her. Getting a boyfriend in college was just to be a part of the crowd. Some girls wanted their first time to be special. Nami thought it an utter nuisance.
Losing it would prove that her so-called love for Luffy was all in her head and a result of pesky hormones.
She didn't belong to him, she belonged to herself and she could do whatever she wanted with her body.
She had to do this.
But what would Luffy think of her?
Who gave a damn what he thought?
Nami flinched at her thoughts.
Law touched her hand and Nami pulled it away.
"You don't want this, do you?"
Law was disbelieving.
"Lose them, then."
He pointed at her white cotton underwear and Nami ready to prove him wrong reached for the skimpy fabric.
Then something snapped inside her.
Nami couldn't do it.
She couldn't do it. Not to herself. Not to Luffy. She wouldn't dare dream of disappointing him again and the thought broke her into a million pieces.
After leaving a very disappointed surgeon, Nami retreated to their room and showered away an almost mistake.
There was nothing wrong with her. She was deserving of good things and respect. Luffy helped her see that.
Nami didn't cry. Not anymore. What was the use? Sadness was behind her. Everything was so much clearer now. She had everything she needed in the world. Nothing was missing: A loving family, a good education, friends she can count on and a best friend who loved and accepted her completely.
She was living the life she prayed for all those years back so ruining it all with a silly mistake was not the way to go.
Nami respected herself more, loved herself more, and expected a lot more from herself. Living a life free of as little regret as possible was all she wanted.
And for the first time in a long time just as the day she met Luffy was lit the inert fire of hope. She smiled to herself and bordered her finished map, sticking her pencil behind her ear and carefully erased and dusted off the residue with careful fingers with the mind not to smudge it.
Her phone rang and Nami left the coffee table and sank into the couch.
It was Luffy.
"Hey," he said.
"Hey." Nami smiled, "How's your date going?"
"I only agreed with going with her because you asked me to. That wasn't a date."
Nami rolled her eyes.
"She likes you, you know."
"Did Carrot tell you that too?"
"She told me she liked me."
"Oh...And what did you say?"
"She meant the other kind of like, didn't she?"
Nami chewed on the inside of her bottom lip but reminded herself that everything was going to be okay. It was up to her now to look ahead and not back.
She said she would support him. She didn't mean it then but had to now.
"I told her that the only girl I ever liked is you, Nami. I don't want to hold hands with anyone else or do life with anyone else but you. I could try but I know I'd hate every second of it... It will always be you."
Nami's eyes burned. She did not want to misunderstand but her heart's gyrations were on overdrive.
"You can't say that, Luffy."
"Because I'd hate myself if I'm the reason why you miss out on being in a relationship with a nice girl who you can have a future with. Carrot is a nice girl."
"So why not her?"
"Because she's not you."
"She's not you."
"What are you saying?"
Nami wanted answers.
"I'm saying what it sounds like. Are you that dumb, Nami?"
Nami let the name-calling slide.
"Where are you?"
"In the 7-Eleven next door. Which reminds me, can I get you anything?"
"We separated over an hour ago."
"And what have you been doing all this time, Luffy?"
Luffy's earlier question went unanswered.
"What do you want?"
Luffy looked at his gathered collection of snacks and stared at the small line of customers ahead of him.
"I miss you."
A pang came in his chest and Luffy without second thought dropped the basket and made his way to the nearest exit.
"I want your arms around me and your smiles. Your kiss, your fingers in my hair... I want you, Luffy."
Nami's phone went dead and her heart dropped to the lowest floor in her chest.
Her face burned cherry red. She could not believe she said all that without a second thought. What was she thinking?
The door clicked open and Nami wanted so much to disappear.
She couldn't look her best friend in the eyes all while he approached.
"I didn't mean all that," she lied, "So just forget it."
Luffy said nothing and reached for her hand. She stood all on her own and with initial reluctance, her arms were now locked around his waist.
"Can you say you missed me again, one more time?"
"Because it's embarrassing."
Luffy frowned like a child and Nami stuck her tongue out at him.
"But I really did though..."
Luffy smiled softly and his eyes caught the parchment.
"Is that the map you were talking about?" Luffy grinned in excitement.
Luffy reached for it to get a closer look but Nami smacked his hand away. He knew the rules. No touching her maps until they were framed. Mapping paper was expensive and the many hours it took to complete a map was time-consuming. Any tear or ruin to it would drain the life out of her. It wasn't that she didn't trust Luffy, she just didn't trust him... around her maps.
Luffy looked instead and smiled.
Nami fought the proud squaring of her shoulders and the triumphant act of sticking her nose in the air.
Luffy moved to release her but there was some resistance on Nami's end.
She dug a chin into his chest and closed her eyes at the kiss that came to her forehead and the fingers that disappeared in her hair. She hummed and pressed her face into his shoulder.
"You love me, don't you?"
Luffy shrugged and Nami having had enough of his stubbornness pushed him onto the chair and stood over him with folded arms and pursed lips, silently daring him to lie.
"I've always loved you," Luffy confessed.
"Did you mean it? All that you said on the phone?"
"Every word but-"
"There are no buts, Luffy. I love you too. No matter what life throws at us, I will always love you. There is no one else I rather do life with. No one is you and I am convinced that you are the only man out there for me so, please... Tell me I'm not dreaming right now."
Silent tears rattled out her eyes and Luffy reached for her so she could cry in his chest.
"I've never been in love before... What if I can't love you the way you want?"
He loved her as a friend. This other kind of love was fairly new but deep down he knew it was there all along.
"We'll learn together. How's that?"
Luffy smiled and straightened to look her in the eyes.
"I love you, Nami."
Said girl could only nod and smile. But what was it that had to change between them? Whatever it was had to start small.
Her eyes grew upon seeing that Luffy had gained closer and she blinked into his eyes and watched as he tilted her chin to meet his.
He didn't have to ask. If she was uncomfortable with it, all she had to say was stop but she didn't utter a word.
They kissed and Nami lost her mind.
"You're not dreaming," he said with a snicker. Nami had such a bewildered look on her face. He had to laugh.
"One more just to be sure."
And the second kiss was even more sweet. They were short but perfect and Nami couldn't help but grab the hand in her hair.
It was Nami who initiated this round and Luffy almost drowned at the intensity as her arms wrapped tight around his neck. Her lips were honeyed poison and he moaned surprising himself causing Nami to straighten and quickly pull away.
She wanted to do that for a long, long time. Couldn't help herself and blushed at his panting state. Forgot what it meant to start small.
Without notice, Luffy got up and left.
"Where are you going?"
"Care for company?"
Luffy did a double-take.
He blushed hard. Didn't know what to say.
"Kidding." His best friend pulled down an eyelid and Luffy scowled. "You should have seen your face."
Nami laughed and Luffy stared at her for a moment too long.
"Is something on my face?"
"We're still best friends, aren't we? Besides the kissing stuff."
Friendship was important to Luffy. Everyone knew that. It was important to her too.
Nothing drastic had to change. They acted like an old married couple, Nami hated to admit so now it was just a few kisses here and there and maybe, just maybe... something more.
Nami's face erupted in steam right after Luffy turned and left.
But she didn't mind waiting and that's how she knew it was more than infatuation or lust. It wasn't weird or awkward or made her feel out of place. It was love. The forever kind.
They had one more day to go and the night before was interesting, to say the least.
To say they spent the rest of the day as normal was telling. But Nami should have known. Luffy was a man, after all.
She half expected it but she found herself in bed alone. Luffy made a bed for himself on the floor. She stared disapproving at his pillow that filled his spot beside her.
"What are you doing, Luffy? Get up here."
"I don't think I can not kiss you."
"One kiss is fine."
"On the lips?"
Rules were meant to be broken.
"Don't wanna. One won't be enough and I don't think I'd be able to stop."
Nami's mouth unhinged from its jaw. She swallowed hard and cleared her throat.
"I trust you."
"I don't trust myself."
"Well, I guess both of us will be sleeping on the floor tonight."
Luffy jerked when he heard her move.
"Don't be stupid."
"That makes two of us."
Luffy puffed and gathered the spare blanket that draped across his shoulders like a cape.
"Fine," he said standing up and yelped like a pup when Nami grabbed him by the arm and pulled him under the covers.
Their friends went to pick them up from the airport. Sanji had borrowed his adopted father's van which was big enough to fit everyone and his state-of-the-art barbecue grill and equipment. The plan was to go out to celebrate the end of summer. The day of their arrival was the only day they all had free time so they decided to make the most of it.
Nami shined upon seeing all her friends again. Usopp and Chopper ran up to Luffy and glomped him with happy tears in their eyes. Luffy's laughter bellowed at the top of his lungs.
"Long time no see, guys!"
No one pointed out it had only been a week.
Nami shared souvenirs. Even those that didn't ask got something. Chopper was the happiest of them all with his new snow globe.
"So?" asked Zoro and everyone turned to him.
"So what?" Nami acted oblivious and absentmindedly fanned herself with her left hand.
"Was Tokyo always this hot?" she said.
Everyone saw it and Nami grinned hard at their reactions. Their mouths were mopping the floor. Even Robin's.
"Cool ring, Nami." Chopper was the only one who didn't get it right away.
On close inspection, Luffy had one too which could only mean...
"We're married now. Right, Luffy?"
"Yup," he said absentmindedly while putting one of Nami's very heavy suitcases in the trunk. She ended up buying and stuffing two more.
"When did this happen?"
Sanji could not believe his eyes or his ears. None of them could.
"It's a prank! You guys really got us," Usopp laughed it off but Luffy came forward, pulled Nami against him and kissed her smack on the lips proving Usopp dead wrong. It took every muscle in Nami's body to restrain herself.
"Yesterday," he said. And everyone watched in silence as he casually strolled back over to load the trunk.
It was amazing what the media taught young people to believe. You had to have an extravagant, expensive wedding with beautiful clothing and all your loved ones with weeks and sometimes even years of planning with mixed feelings and doubts but all you needed were rings, witnesses (Shakky and their room service guy did the trick. His name was Bon-chan and Luffy and he became great friends. He always left the best towel arrangements), a government official and papers. With both of them being consenting adults, they needed no one's permission.
Luffy was entrusted with his dad's credit card for the duration of the trip. It was what he used to cover whatever expenses. Hospital bills, taxis, food... wedding rings. He had no idea of the numbers so he had a lot of owning up to do. He just had to pay him back which he would surely do... someday.
Robin hugged Nami close.
Nami never in a million years believed she could be this happy. And having her friends' support was a blessing.
She saw her husband some distance away being lectured by Sanji. She could only shake her head with a smile.
"Whose idea was it?"
Nami turned to Zoro.
"It was Luffy's, of course. As if I would ask a man to marry me."
Nami stuck her nose in the air reminding everyone present she had pride.
"I don't know what trick you used, but it sure as hell worked. Congratulations to you both. I'm happy for you."
Nami blushed and hoped the others missed it.
Zoro went to nap in the van, glad he was worrying over nothing. Usopp and Chopper went over to where Sanji was holding Luffy captive.
Leaving Robin to interrogate her like a convicted criminal.
"How is he?"
Nami's head snapped and she looked at Robin, eyes agape.
"You know exactly what I'm talking about."
Nami stammered. Her face matched the red bracelet she got for Robin from the onsen shop.
"We haven't made it that far... Not yet."
But Luffy was a great kisser. She recalled the kisses reserved behind closed doors and they made Nami fluster like a bun fresh out the oven. Even the way he touched her was something to note, but she was telling the truth.
"We want to take things slow."
"Getting married on a whim isn't taking things slow, Nami."
"I know but I couldn't say no. It's Luffy we're talking about."
She didn't marry him because of stubborn persistence.
It was a casual, "Do you wanna get married?" And all that was said without a moment's hesitation in response was, "Yes."
Nami didn't expect it to be so soon but could not find reason to wait any longer. Her willingness to go along with his idea meant only one thing. She was serious about him and couldn't imagine herself with anyone else who would guarantee her happiness and emotional security like Luffy did.
It would have been foolish to deny him a day or even years when he was all she wanted.
The type of rings didn't matter. They were still young adults so both decided on simple gold rings from a local jeweller. It wasn't elaborate but it would last them for years to come and Nami couldn't imagine wanting things any different.
She loved her best friend and that was all that mattered.
She glanced over at Luffy and he had these pleading eyes directed her way that made her laugh so she went to save him.
"Sanji-kun. It's high time you left my husband alone."
It felt great to say that and she went and stood beside the love of her life giving him a kiss on the cheek and grabbing hold of his hand because there was no place she would rather be. Forever and ever by his side.
She had one of the best love stories ever told- how many people can fully admit they married their best friend?
Nami had the whole package.
I've risen! Surprised to see not only one update but TWO and that this story is COMPLETED? That makes 2 of us because when a story demands to be born, it nags you with a passion so this is my baby. LOL! She is perfect with all 10 fingers and toes so I hope you find her as beautiful as I do because I thoroughly enjoyed writing this. It was different and fun.
I wanted to read up on some friendship to lovers romance stories to find inspiration but I wanted this to be original and not based off of any one's ideas. I am still on my hiatusn(reason can be found on my profile for those that did not know I had taken one) but decided to return briefly to complete this story. I have no regrets. Looking forward to reading what you guys think. If you disliked the ending or how things turned out then welp. It has always been my story to begin with. This is how I wanted it to end and I love how it turned out.
Thanks for reading! Till next time!
P.S Dear wolfgang04, thank you. Hope these updates were to your satisfaction. Dreams do come true, don't they? Stay safe. You and of course all my dear readers are appreciated.