The Ties That Bind: Friendship, Trust…. and Love?

Disclaimer: I do not own One Piece.

Takes place after Enies Lobby and may contain spoilers so BEWARE!


The Straw Hat Pirates are on there way to their next adventure. They have been at sea for a couple of weeks since leaving Water 7 on their new ship the Thousand Sunny. Today the weather is calm and pleasant. The crew is relaxing after doing their daily duties and we find the Straw Hats off in their collective spots around the ship winding down and relaxing.

We find our favorite captain Monkey D. Luffy perched on top of the Lion's Head of the ship staring out into the ocean and at the horizon thinking…..

What great weather, the sky is so clear and I can see for miles….

Feeling the wind in his face he begins to remember his past adventures with his nakama.

It's amazing how far we all have come…the captain was thinking to himself.

All of you are important to me… you all have become like my family and I would do anything for you guys…..

Zoro…In the beginning it was just me and you. Now look at us…the nakama we have and all the adventures we have had. (Grinning) I know you will be the greatest swordsman in the world. I wouldn't expect anything less and as long as I am here I will see that your dream as well as the others comes true.

Chopper…I know I wanted to eat you when we first met and how scared you were…(chuckles) now look at you…I can't count how many times you've saved us, without a doubt you already are the greatest doctor in the world and none of us would be here if you weren't with us.

Usopp…my friend, you are a brave warrior and I;m glad you are back and I can't wait to see Elbaf. The ship wouldn't be the same without you. I understood how you felt about the Merry and when we fought that was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life. Thank you for being my friend…

Nami…(Smile begins to creep on his face) Whenever I see or think of you it always brings a smile to my face…(Remembering when he first met her) We've been through so much and as much as I want to, I don't want these feelings I have to ruin our friendship. But I have this overwhelming urge to tell you how I feel. I really want to tell you but, I don't think Sanji would like it too much…(Laughs)

At that moment a slight pain started up Luffy's left arm, his breathing quickened and he started to feel a slight pain in his chest.

What is this feeling? I can hardly breathe and I can feel my chest getting tighter…what is this pain in my chest…as he grasp the ground in front him to maintain his balance.

Luffy then recalled his battle with Lucci when he was using Gear Second. Lucci figured out how he was enhancing his body and told him that he was putting tremendous strain on his body and how stupid he was because it was shorting his lifespan. Luffy remembers what he had said to Lucci, "It's better than having everything taken away from me!... I'll do everything I can!"

Then as quickly as the pain came, the pain Luffy was experiencing soon subsided….

I didn't think it would affect me this soon… Luffy thought to himself.

I can't let this stop me…Everyone is counting on me… If I can't protect them who will? There are still a lot of adventures to have… And dreams still to be fulfilled…I am gonna be the Pirate King!

I can't tell anyone about this… they would just worry too much and wouldn't let me be me…

Suddenly Luffy came to the realization he had to tell Nami how he felt regardless of how it might affect their relationship or Sanji's feelings.

I live my life with no regrets and always for the promise of tomorrow… but now I know my tomorrows are limited, I have to at least tell her how I feel. He said to himself.

Luffy then turned and looked at the Tangerine grove on the ship and saw his navigator stretched out relaxing on the grass underneath one of the Mikan trees. Their eyes met momentarily and at that moment Luffy decided to tell her how he felt. But as he started to get down from the Lion's head he saw Sanji approach her and the two began to talk. Luffy watched the two of them for a moment then watched Nami get up and walk off with Sanji pulling her by the hand. The two crewmates then disappeared to another part of the ship.

Luffy's heart sank as he watched them disappear…and then he said to himself…As long as she is happy…

To be continued….

A/N: Please R&R. Please no flames. I have other chapters ready. I just want some feedback before I post more chapters. Thanks.