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!

A/N: Please Read & Review and please no flames. Looks like not too many people liked the last chapter. Please let me know what I can do to make my writing better or if you have any ideas for my story. Anyways I hope this chapter makes up for the last. I am trying to keep the crew in character but there will be times some of them will be OOC. I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

Continued from the previous chapter…

Blackout

Luffy had just finished his drink and left the bar. The crew was still in disbelief from what they just saw. They could not believe that was their captain up on stage who just sang his heart in addition to the revelation of Luffy's feelings for Nami.

Usopp, Chopper and Franky walked up to the bar where Robin and Zoro were sitting.

Zoro and Robin turned and looked at the three crewmates as they approached and saw Franky rubbing his eyes.

"I wasn't crying baka!" Franky yelling at Zoro and Robin.

Robin then started to chuckle.

"Where's he going?" asked Usopp.

"He wanted to take a walk and be alone." replied Zoro.

"Are you sure that's a good idea?" Usopp questioned.

"He just wants to forget about the pain in his heart." Zoro answered.

"What?!" yelled a concerned Chopper. "His heart! Is he okay? I told him to take his medicine everyday!"

The crew turned and stared at Chopper and wondered what he meant by that.

"Medicine?" asked Robin a bit surprised.

"Umm, you know v-v-vitamins! Hehe! Chopper stuttered trying to cover up what he just said.

"You're lying Chopper! I know a lie when I hear one!" yelled Usopp.

The little reindeer's face froze with fear for a moment.

"You better tell us what you know Chopper! yelled Usopp.

"But he told me to keep it a secret!" Chopper said, yelling back with tears in his eyes.

"He's our captain and our nakama Chopper, we all want to help him if we can. Even Luffy knows he can't do everything by himself!" replied Usopp.

"Okay, okay!" Chopper said. "I'll tell you."

"Wait!" Zoro yelled. "I don't want to know."

"Why not?" asked Usopp.

"Luffy didn't want to tell us so I will respect our Captain's request." replied Zoro as he started to get up.

"But Zoro," Usopp replied.

"You guys do what you want. I'm going back to the ship." Zoro said as he got up and left the bar.

"Fine! I'll just tell you later!" scoffed Usopp as he turned his attention back to the little reindeer. "Okay Chopper, spill it!" he yelled.

Reluctantly, Chopper told them about Luffy's condition.

"He didn't want any of you to worry about him. He was afraid you guys would treat him differently." Chopper started.

"I was suspicious something was wrong after his fight with Lucci of CP9. He had numerous impact injuries and lacerations, any normal person would've died from the injuries he sustained. But what was even more surprising than that was his blood pressure and his heart. His blood pressure was extremely high and his heart was beating so fast and hard even for Luffy's standards."

The crew fell silent as they continued to listen Chopper explain.

"After his fight with the Shichibukai Gecko Moria only confirmed my fears." Chopper continued.

"What do you mean?" asked a concerned Usopp.

"The new technique Luffy developed damages his body internally, especially his heart," replied Chopper.

Usopp, Franky and Robin were shocked and couldn't believe what they had just heard.

That technique I saw Strawhat using at Enies Lobby is slowly killing him? Franky thought to himself, recalling the fight between Luffy and Lucci.

He looked like he was giving off steam and all of a sudden his speed and strength increased. It didn't even occur to me that it could actually be hurting him.

Robin was the most hard hit by the doctor's last statement.

Luffy…I hadn't realized how much you actually sacrificed to get me back…She said to herself trying very hard to fight back her tears.

Robin started having flashbacks of the events that transpired at Enies Lobby and all the hardships they endured.

I promise you I will do everything I can to see that you become the Pirate King! she said to herself.

Chopper continued his explanation, "I confronted Luffy about it and asked him to tell me about the technique. At first he didn't want to tell me but then I told him I may be able to find away to reverse or at least reduce the effects if he told me about the technique. He told me he'd tell me if I kept it a secret from the rest of you because he didn't want you guys to worry. So, I agreed to keep it a secret."

"So you were able to create a medicine for him?" asked Robin.

"Sort of, " Chopper replied, "I don't know if it really works yet only time will tell."

"What do you mean sort of?!" yelled Usopp.

"Luffy doesn't tell me anything about how he's feeling, he just smiles!" Chopper yelled back. "and that's not even the worst of it…" Chopper said with a look of worry.

"What do you mean?" asked a concerned Robin.

"I also think its shortening his life as well." replied a solemn Chopper.

Then there was an uneasy silence that fell among them as they tried to comprehend the implications of the doctor's last statement..

"Well now that we know, we can't lead on that we know." Usopp said, breaking the silence.

The rest of the crew nodded in agreement.

"We should get back to the ship then, I don't know about you guys I just want to get back and rest after all the excitement from this evening." continued Usopp.

Everyone agreed, paid their bill, left the bar and returned back to the ship.

Now, Luffy had stumbled out of the bar after seeing Nami had witnessed his performance. He went down the street looking for a shop to buy more alcohol to help wash away his sorrows. He found a shop that was still open and bought two more bottles of alcohol. He finished off the first bottle as soon as stepped out side the store and then proceeded down the street.

What am I doing? he thought to himself.

That wasn't exactly how I wanted to tell her…

Now the whole crew knows… I bet Sanji is gonna wanna kick my ass and she probably hates me, as he took a swig from the bottle.

He made his way to clearing just outside of town and found a tree to lean on and sat down and continued to drink.

I don't know what I was thinking, I should've never got up on stage, thinking back.

It is just so hard seeing the two of them together, I told myself I wouldn't get in the way, taking another shp form the bottle.

I sure blew that one didn't I? I really gotta get her outta my head, as he started banging his head against the tree.

He knew that was easier said than done. He kept his feelings for her hidden for so long it was too difficult for him to let go of them now. Suddenly a familiar pain started creeping up his left arm, only this time with greater intensity.

Damn it! I forgot take my medicine again…he thought, as he started searching through his pockets.

I must have left it on the ship! as the pain increased and his breathing started to become labored.

This is worse that the other times!, as his chest started to tighten, I gotta get back to the ship and find Chopper!

Luffy tried to get back on his feet but another wave of pain forced him down on onto one knee.

I have to make it through this! They are all counting on me! he was saying to himself.

Luffy could feel his heart straining to beat and he started to get light-headed. He then collapsed to the ground grasping his chest.

I can't believe its gonna end like this, breathing quicker now, I'm sorry everyone! I guess I wasn't strong enough! as he was struggling to stay conscious.

I love you Nami…were his last thoughts as he faded into unconsciousness.

Later, three figures appeared in the clearing where the young rubber captain had been in.

"Hey what's that over there?" one of the men said.

"What?" replied the second.

The two men approached Luffy's position.

"Well what do you know?" the first man said.

"Huh?" the second man replied. "Oh, I see what you mean. Oi Captain! Look what we found!"

The third man walked up to them and said, "Is he alive?"

"Aye Captain." replied the first man.

"Good, pick him and bring him back to the ship." the third man stated.

"Aye Captain." Replied the first man again."

"Won't his crew look for him?" the second man asked.

"We'll deal with them if the need arises." replied the third man.

The first man picked up the unconscious captain, carried him back into the direction from which they came and they all disappeared into the night.

To be continued.

A/N: Please review. Please let me know what you liked and didn't like so I can make my story better. It may be awhile before my next update, depending on the feedback I get. I hope I haven't lost any of you. Anyway thanks for reading and as always thanks to those of you who have left reviews and if you haven't please leave one. Again thanks to everyone for reading my story.