A crew that had once been well known was swept under the rug once the Straw Hat Pirates became infamous. Feeling this defeat of being forgotten the crew heads back to the East Blue to come up with a tactic on how to regain the notoriety. While stopped at an island to resupply, they overhear a few villagers talking about one of the Straw Hats and how they had come from that village. Upon further digging they find out that the owner of the Tangerine Grove on the island is related to Nami of the Straw Hats.
Soon they devise a plan on how to become infamous again. That plan? Kidnap Nami's sister Nojiko, the owner of the Tangerine Grove, and use her to draw the Straw Hats out. Initially they planned to ransom Nojiko, then they chose to ransom her and challenge them. Once they kidnap her they return to the Grand Line and make their way towards the last known location of the Straw Hat Pirates.
However, the ship's begins to question his captain's motives. Soon he begin to notice that his captain has become exceedingly arrogant and power hungry. His concern for Nojiko's safety becomes apparent when he offers to help her in getting away. But the night they had chosen to escape there is a storm and Nojiko gets thrown overboard, the captain laughing and saying to let her meet her fate at the bottom of the ocean.
dives in after her, thinking a watery grave is too cruel for an innocent life. The storm passes soon after and the two wash up on shore of what appears to be a deserted island. Now they need to find a way to survive until someone stumbles across the island and hopefully, saves them. After several weeks, they soon realize that the island is not deserted, rather, the inhabitants have taken to living underground for safety reasons and only come above ground if they absolutely have to.
"That isn't true," Nanashi replied, "When you're still in a daze, trying to go back to sleep, I hold you." As they continued to sway, he looked out and the sea, a seemingly sad look like his eye. "I keep remembering that day, when Net coincided you that this was all a lie. She knows how to work people and, I couldn't look at your, not with how my eyes were. If I had, maybe things would be different and you wouldn't have been hurt."
Nojiko smiled softly. "I know... Its all just bad dreams and all." She sighed as a small smile crossed her lips. "This feels nice... It's the first time you've held me in quite a while..." After realizing what she had just said her face turned red. "A-Ah... Sorry."
Nanashi pulled Nojiko closer after she told him and he placed one hand on the back of her head. "I won't leave. No matter what happens, I'll be with you. If he takes you again, I will find you." He didn't like knowing that the nightmares were both about him and her father. He could understand her father, the man was an asshole, but he wasn't sure why he was included. The two continued to say, the only sounds around then was the won't, seagulls and the sea cramming against the shore and Sunny.
"You think they'll be okay on their own," Nami asked as she glanced back in the direction of the Sunny. "Maybe I should head back, Nojiko seems stressed lately."
Robin placed a hand on the navigator's arm to keep her from turning around. "You worry too much Nami. She'll be fine, Nanashi won't let anything happen to get."
"But he isn't 100% either," Nami pointed out, "He looks more sleep deprived than she does."
"Nami," Robin smiled, "They will be fine."
Nojiko smiled sadly and took his hand gently. She placed her hand on his shoulder and felt comfort in the warmth of his body. "My father... But that's not the main part of this reoccuring nightmare that's been haunting me..." She looked up into his eyes. "It's you... I've been having the same nightmare every night... Where I'm falling and on one side i see my father and that Celestial Pervert... And the other side i see you. I reach out to you every time only to have you put your hand in your pocket and grin before waving watching me fall. And after falling for a bit in air that feels like I'm suffocating i look down only to see my father holding a sword and then he $trikes it down and everything goes red then i jolt awake.."
"You need cheering up," Nanashi replied as he did a small bow and held out his hand. "I'm not blind, I can tell something has been bothering you." He straightened up again but still held his hand out to her. [I I can feel your movements when you're asleep,] he thought, "Tell me what keeps haunting you."
Days had passed since the nightmare Nojiko had and the dream stayed with her. Deep inside her she knew that Nanashi would never abandon her but having that dream almost every night was taking it's toll.
Once everyone departed Nojiko was taking care of the tangerine trees because it calmed her. But then She heard Nanashi speak. She turned to him and saw his serious expression and chuckled. "What brought this on all of a sudden?" she smiled as she took off her work gloves.
"Don't lie to me Nojiko," Nanashi replied as he pulled her closer, "It was more than just a bad dream." He stroked her hair in silence for a bit before closing his eyes, "I want fully asleep so don't worry about it. Tell me what is bothering you."
A few days later, the crew had noticed that Nanashi had been a little distant from Nojiko. Of course, things had been getting better, but someone was still going on between them. The tension was so thick between the two that you could cut it with a knife, but no one said a word.
"Hey Nojiko," Nanashi started once he realizes the rest of the crew had departed from the ship. There was a brief silence before he started up again while walking towards her. "Dance with me."
Nojiko gently grasped Nanashi's hand and held it in her own. She tried to steady her breathing as she held his hand shakily. "S-Sorry... I didn't mean to wake you..." She spoke softly before giving him her best smile. "I'm okay. Just a bad dream."
Nanashi felt Nojiko shifting in her sleep and woke up, "Noj?" Moments later he saw her wake up and frowned when he saw the tears. Gently wiping then away and brushing have from her face he spoke, "You okay?" He could practically hear her heart racing and it only bothered him more. "Breathe."
Nojiko felt like she was falling she looked around and in one direction stood her father and the Celestial Dragon, the other stood the one man whom she truly loved. She reached out her hand hoping he would grab her only to see him smirk and shove one hand in his pocket while waving with the other.
Nojiko screamed as she felt herself falling into what felt like stagnant air it was suffocating her. Then she heard a sword draw and when she turned she saw her father holding the blade.
Nojiko jolted awake breathing heavily and in a cold sweat. [i Why me...] She felt her eyes begin tearing up. [i Why does he have to haunt me...]
Nanaahi continued to read for about another hour until his eyes began to bother him. [I I later longer this time,] he thought as he marked his spot and closed the book. He looked at Nojiko's sleeping form then laid down on the blankets and wrapped one arm around her before closing his eyes. "I'm sorry," he whispered before sleeping sleep to take him.
"Looks like there is still some tension between them," Robin admitted as she and Nami entered their room.
"He probably still blames himself," Nami signed as she began undoing her hair.
Nojiko sighed softly then nodded. "I understand." She rolled over facing the wall and covered herself up. [i But I wonder if things will ever go back to where they were... ]
After a bit Nojiko's racing mind finally let her rest.
"You'll have to give me a little more time to adjust to you being you again." Nanashi opened the book where his bookmark was and started reading. "It's nothing personal Noj but seeing you like that, with lifeless eyes and just being mindless, it's haunting. The others never felt what it was like to be in the same room as you, just strong and waiting for an order. You weren't my Nojiko you just looked like her."
When he gently pushed her towards the bed Nojiko frowned. "What you can't even lay with me anymore? You know I always sleep better when I've got your arms wrapped around me." She batted her eyes a bit before sighing. "Fine... I'll rest some more."
"We can talk about this once you have your strength back," Nanash replied as he walked his arms around Nojiko. "Get some rest." He released her then turned her around and pushed her gently towards the bed. Sitting down in his usual chair he pulled out a book, "I'm not going anywhere."
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