I haven't written on here in so long... oops...

Okay, anyways XD another Zoro x Nami with a few subtle hints of more than friendship 3 It's a little rushed as the idea hit me when I was washing the dishes, and I tried to leave it as unedited as possible to get the original feel.
As you can tell, it's set during the Arabastan civil war. I know the idea's been over-used by zoro x nami shippers everywhere, but - like them - I just couldn't help myself. -ashamed-
Again, only scraping the surface with issues and character personalities (most of this is pretty OOC) but if I ever make a multi-chapter (haha, like that's ever gonna happen...) I'll expand on them.

Now, on with the story!


Something was wrong. Very wrong.

She wasn't talking about not knowing whether her nakama but one were alive or not. She wasn't talking about the Marines out to get them. Hell, she wasn't even talking about the downright civil war raging around them.

He wasn't saying anything.

No complaint or biting retort to her demanding a piggyback ride when she had finally located him. No acknowledgment she'd beaten Miss Doublefinger. No expression at the sight of her punctured foot.

Nothing. Nothing but furious silence.

Nami wasn't used to getting the cold shoulder from the swordsman; damn, she even considered their daily spats healthy. In some twisted way, it made her feel at like everything was okay between them. Like everything was normal. This was not normal.

She had tried to irk him into at least some form of insult, but the only indication he had heard was the tightening of his muscles, and she still couldn't quite tell if that was because he was ignoring her and getting more and more pissed – or because he was struggling with the effort of carrying her in his already handicapped state and getting more and more tired. If only she could see his face, she would be able to tell. Staring at the back of his head couldn't tell her anything; who knows why she was still doing it? She suddenly felt extremely tired.

What made her finally feel the weight of the situation was when she noticed the blood that kept staining her front again and again was not hers.

Having a change of heart, she tried a new tactic.

"Zoro," the redhead tried in as gentle a voice as she could muster – which was hard, considering she needed to make sure he heard her above the sounds of cannon-fire and clashing swords, "Zoro, why are you angry with me?"

Again with the tightening of the muscles, again his taut arms hitched her up more securely.

He's covering up, she realised. There's something he doesn't want me to know. Something about me.

As his nakama, his friend, Nami couldn't deny that that hurt. Frowning, she decided she wasn't going to take no for an answer.

Pressing herself closer against him by shaking arms around his neck, she placed her mouth close to his ear, now all but pleading.

"Please?"

She didn't even have time to blink.

oOo

Next thing she knew, she was firmly seated on an abandoned stall and face-to-face with an extremely annoyed Roronoa Zoro.

"Don't ever, do that again." He was so close their noses were almost touching. Though his face and voice were laced with warning, his eyes revealed something akin to panic.

Like she had done something she shouldn't have. Something no-one should ever know.

Curious brown eyes stared back.

"Do what?"

He blinked, confusion flitting across his features that went as quickly as it came.

Pulling back, he sighed. "Never mind. Get back on."

"No." Zoro raised an eyebrow.

"Why are you annoyed? You wouldn't even argue with me when I asked for a ride! And I meant that as a joke!"

He had the audacity to look slightly embarrassed and mumbled something under his breath. Now it was her turn to raise an eyebrow.

"What was that?"

"I said-" He halted, then, seeing her expectant expression, sighed and caved. "I said, I would've carried you anyways."

And Nami didn't quite know what to say to that.

"…Oh. Um, thanks."

"No problem."

Silence.

"So really, why did you ignore me? What did I do?" She dimly realised how pathetic she sounded, but the thought of having Zoro furious at her wasn't one she liked having. Surprisingly, she realised that it wasn't because of his reputation.

All she wanted out of this was to regain his trust.

"…You… really could've gotten hurt." He looked so uncomfortable she fought the urge to smile. "I mean," he raked a hand through his hair, "We were partners. I was supposed to protect you. What would have happened if you… you…" He squeezed his eyes shut, unable to say it.

She almost found it ironically amusing that the man who had killed without a backward glance was suddenly having so much trouble speaking the end product of his trade, but shoved that thought to the back of her mind as her annoyance rose.

"You think I couldn't have beaten Miss Doublefinger?"

"I don't know!" He was back to his usual frown, confusion now clear on his face. "That's the thing. And also…"

"Also?" She prompted when he didn't speak.

Zoro looked up, looked her straight in the eye. "If I let you die, not only can I never forgive myself… Luffy could never forgive me either."

The way his voice almost cracked in the middle touched something in her heart. Up until that moment, Nami hadn't realised just how much faith, how much hope, how much trust the stoic young man had put into their boy-Captain.

But still…

"I can fight my own battles, you know."

He smirked. "I know you can, bu-"

"No, you don't. I don't want to be the damsel in distress. I'm tired of being saved. I did this to prove I can be more than just the cute navigator," The bitterness in her words surprised them both.

The redhead didn't even realise she was shaking until he placed his hands on her shoulders. They were calloused and hardened but warm and solid. It gave her strength.

"You did good," he conceded. "But if you die, I'll personally drag your expensive ass from Hell so I can send it back myself. Got it?" His tone was serious but his eyes were smirking at the familiar territory they were back into.

Smiling, she let him help her stand, get on his back: "Got it."

Things were back to normal.


So, hope you liked it :)

Also, I've created a livejournal site earlier this year and I've posted all my non-fanfiction stories as well as Points of View and Modern World, both of which were written while I had it. It also has a random spot of art here and there (but I never said it was good). To visit (please do!) go back to my site and click the 'Homepage' button. It should navigate you directly to my journal.

Thankyou for reading!

'Til next time,

-cherrichik