Nami hustled across the busy street and stood on the sidewalk to get her bearings.

"Stop sign, big tree, red bench..."

She spotted it and her heart leaped and stilled in her chest. At once her hands grew clammy and she bit her lip to stop the onset smile of excitement. Today was the day she was to meet her gaming friend IRL. It was all silly, really. She didn't even know his name... Or what he looked like.


"Ne, Niku..."

"Hm?"

"How about we do that?"

"Go to the town market and splurge all our money on a bunch of meat?"

"No, silly."

Nami rolled her eyes.

"Let's meet IRL."

She heard a gasp over the phone.

"Are you okay?"

"You mean it? Are you for real?"

"Why wouldn't I be? We've known each other for a year now and... I believe I can trust you enough to not kidnap me at least."

"I live in Tokyo. Where do you live?"

"Okinawa."

"Damn..."

"... I'll make the trip. To be honest, I'm considering a university in Tokyo after high school so I might move there in the near future... If things go well between us, perhaps maybe you can show me around..."

'Shishishishi' "Sure. I won't mind... I always thought you were the type that didn't like people."

"You're not far from the truth. If it wasn't for school and the like, I'd be a total shut-in. Not that I mind... I enjoy my own company."

Trust issues were developed at a young age ever since she met her mother's old boss but that's another story.

"You never want to meet my other friends."

He was talking about his other gamer friends. Day in and day out he asked her to join his larger party and she refused each time.

"Why when I have you? You're more than enough, Niku."

He was one of the strongest players she knew. He won many tournaments and his name was always high on the rank boards. She bagged herself a jackpot.

More people meant more problems. She had to put up with his reckless spending and spontaneous quest-taking from time to time but his daily check-ins and soothing voice were enough to make her day. He was a dear friend to her and she wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

On another day, they finally decided on a time and a place.

"What will you be wearing?"

"A red hoodie."

"We're in the middle of summer."

"Oh, right."

"Then I'll wear my straw hat. I take it everywhere with me. It's yellow with a red ribbon tied along the base... And I'll wear a red shirt. You wouldn't miss me."

"Okay."

"And you?"

Nami looked over her shoulder at her entire wardrobe dumped on her bed and back at her monitor. Her tongue stuck out in concentration since the boss at hand was a handful but they were close to victory. For the life of her, she couldn't decide what to wear. Now, that was the least of her worries.

"I'll come find you so make sure you're early. Just know my hair is orange."

"Like mikans?"

Nami smiled.

"Yup."

"Cool."

'NikuNinja' did a sudden combo that took the boss' life energy down to the very last grain.

"Mind finishing that up for me, Mikan?"

"I'm on it."

And soon victory was theirs.

This was their third time fighting this boss. It was a difficult one but with careful planning, they came up with a plan to take him down, and the rewards were in galore.

Nami couldn't believe the reward money. It was more than expected.

"Yatta!" she exclaimed and Luffy's signature laugh sounded out in her ears.

"Good work."

"Thanks, Captain."

Their group was just a 2-person party. She was a solo player but ever since meeting 'NikuNinja' one random game-play day, he didn't come across as a creep like most guys the moment they meet with female players. And his level was ten times hers so she stuck around and leveled up just as fast, gaining money, experience, and power-ups she never imagined possible. She was an opportunist, yes but as time would have it they became good friends.

"What do you think I'd look like?" Nami was curious, to say the least.

"Does it matter?"

"It matters to me." She wanted to know if he had high or low expectations of her.

"I don't even know if you're a girl. You could be a guy for all I care."

Saying that Nami was offended would be an understatement.

"We've been friends for a year, Niku."

He's never questioned her gender so why now?

"So?"

"I'm a girl. I'm 17 years old, a 3rd-year high school student whose hobbies are mikans, gaming, shopping, and studying maps. I aspire to be a game world developer when I'm through with my studies. It's my dream."

"Woah, really? That's amazing. It really is. That's an awesome dream, Mikan."

Nami blushed hard.

"... Thanks."

She had never told anyone that before. As an honours student, game development was the last thing anyone would expect from her so she kept it to herself.

"As for me, I'm definitely a guy. I turned 17 this month but I'm in my second year of high school so you're my senpai. My hobbies are meat, adventuring, spending time with my friends, eating, and gaming. I love games. My dream is to be one of the best game players ever. I heard you can get paid to play games nowadays so whatever games you help create, I'd love to be the first to play it."

Nami gulped. An image of him came into her mind but it was so obscure, she couldn't put her finger on it. She wanted to meet him as soon as possible. Her birthday was next month so Niku was definitely at most a year younger than her. His words always made her feel warm inside so he definitely had a kind face. And the way he spoke with such merriment made her believe that he smiled and shined all the time. She wanted to hug him and squeeze the life out of him cause truth be told, he was her dearest friend. He turned all her bad days around and she wished he knew how much he meant to her.

"I think that you'd be pretty. You have a pretty voice, especially when you're mad." 'Shishishishi' "And kind. You listen to me talk about the most random crap, like really listen so you're nice. I'm sure of it."

"..."

"You there, Mikan?"

"Uhuh." Nami warmed her hands on her cheeks. "How about another game?"


Nami tip-toed over the crowds of people. Tokyo was crowded. It was her second time there, the first being a shopping trip with her mum and sister so she was in a sense used to it.

Her eyes went wide upon spotting a hat made of straw and she hurried over, almost falling flat on her face. She fixed her hair and cleared her throat, hating how shy she was getting by the second with each step she took till she made it.

"NikuNinja?"

Said guy spun around, gaped, and rubbed his eyes. He eyed her hair.

He lifted his straw hat off his back and planted it firmly on his head of wiry, thick, raven hair and stood straight.

"MikanCrush80?"

"That's me."

Nami smiled and summoned teeth and soon Niku was tripping over air. It all

happened so fast, his shoulder bag hit the ground and his ice cream scoop fell off its cone.

Nami bent to help him but instead, he bowed with his hand sticking out. She took a sudden step back and bowed herself and placed her hand in his.

"It's nice to finally meet you, Mikan."

The ice cream cone disappeared in thin air and his bag, he scrambled back on his lean shoulder.

"Likewise, Captain."

He hadn't let her hand go as yet and he lead them to sit on the red bench. It was a lot quieter than the busy streets and Nami now knew why he picked that spot. It was nice. A cherry blossom tree bloomed up above.

"Why didn't you tell me you were cute? You almost gave me a heart attack."

Nami snorted and told herself what he said was merely a jest but quieted when he looked serious. There wasn't a smile in sight. And for that reason, she flustered like crazy.

She had forgotten about their hands which were now intertwined between them.

Nami didn't think she overdressed. Just some light make-up, a ponytail, a crop top, and some jeans and combat boots. She wasn't 'high-maintenance' so to speak and hated to make the first impression of herself, something she was not.

"I do not know what to say... I didn't think I would be this nervous."

Niku was boyishly handsome. Not your super-model kind of handsome but he was pretty close, at least to her. She expected a much younger-looking kohai but he was her height, if not a little taller. His big eyes were endearing and when she dared to look at him again, it was like a thunderclap brought her back to reality because his smile was adorable and bright, like a child's and Nami could no longer control herself.

"Can I-?" But before she could finish her request, her body was way ahead of her and she enveloped him in a bear hug.

"Please don't think I'm weird or anything. I wanted to do this for a long time."

His laughter echoed in her ears and Nami crumpled with joy.

It was him. It was really him.

It didn't take long for Niku to relax into the hug and when he brought her even closer by the waist, completeness filled Nami's entire being. She was so happy she could cry.

"Ne..." Niku asked, "What's your name?"

Names. Of course.

"Nami."

"Nami," he smiled a gentle smile after feeling her name escape his lips and Nami reluctantly pulled herself away to fix invisible creases in her jeans.

"Yours?"

"It's Luffy. Monkey D. Luffy."

"Luffy. Finally... Wait-did you say Monkey D.?"

The Monkey D.'s were famous. Monkey D. Dragon was a big name all over the globe in world politics. Don't get her started on Monkey D. Garp. He was a war hero.

"I'm just me, okay?"

Luffy's mood changed altogether and he was now pursing lips.

"Of course."

"As you can imagine, I'm a disappointment to both my dad and gramps but they have their dreams and I have mine. I'm not meant to follow in anyone's footsteps. I create my own."

Nami always thought Luffy was cool in the game but IRL was a different kind of cool. She had fallen and didn't want to get up.

"I like you for you, Luffy."

"Thanks. That means a lot. What's your story?"

They spoke over lunch at a buffet which was expected of a guy who loved his food. He wasn't lying. He ate food by the truck-fulls.

Luffy knew all the great places. She never grew tired of his company and the day turned out better than she imagined.

At the end of it, Nami didn't want to go home. They exchanged numbers and stood outside the airport and gave each other a final hug.

Nami made sure to bag all her souvenirs and carefully slip the photo-booth pictures they took at the back of her phone case. Today was the greatest day of her life.

"This isn't goodbye is it?"

Luffy sulked but brightened when Nami shook her head wearing one of her smiles. He could watch her smile all day. He was right about her being pretty.

"Of course not. I'd love for us to meet again."

Luffy could not control his joy. He brought her in for another hug and Nami gladly welcomed it.

"Perhaps next time, you can meet my friends."

Nami lost her smile and stared at the floor.

"...Or not." Luffy bashfully rubbed the back of his head.

"I'd love to," she said at length and basked in the light of his joy.

He took both her hands in his and gave them a light squeeze. She squeezed back and stared back into his eyes as if he was the only guy in the room and it had him feeling all kinds of ways.

Nami was special. Very different from any girl he'd ever met and he liked her company way better than he thought he would. Sure, they argued a few times but still. It was no different than how they were in the game. His friends would love her.

"What about tomorrow?"

Nami scoffed. Plane tickets were expensive but the offer was tempting.

"Not possible."

She used all her savings from her after-school job to make the trip. Had she known she would have enjoyed herself this much made her regret not purchasing a one-way ticket and booking a place to stay but decisions like that were for the future.

"Bye for now then, I had fun."

Luffy's eyes hooded, a small smile played on his lips, and released her hands to watch her go like a dandelion in the wind but she stuck around.

He checked his watch. Her flight was set to leave at 5:45. It was now 5:30. Nami didn't seem like the type that took pleasure in being late.

"Before I go, I want you to answer me this seriously and honestly, Luffy."

"What's that?"

"Do you have a girlfriend?"

- End-


A/N

Thanks for reading! And Happy New Year. This was due to a surge of random inspiration so I had to write it and post it same day. Let me know if you enjoyed it as much as I did writing it in the review section, pretty PLEASE!

Till next time.

-Awsme Grl

Disclaimer: This whole scenario is a result of a friendship built on trust after knowing each other for a year.

However, I do not recommend anyone - especially minors- doing this with strangers they barely know on the internet. Stay safe and live wisely.