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Owen puffed out her cheeks as she turned to her husband. "Come over here and show me again then. You keep telling me it's off but I can't see where I'm messing it up."
Sanji smiled softly and walked over to the sink and saw the pot and spoon in the sink. "Did own make breakfast today?" He asked curiously.
Hime looked out and saw an island in the distance. [i Will he really leave me?]
Ava was about to say something to Hime when she heard Sanji's voice. The amused look on her face quickly transitioned to one of delight at the sight of the flowers. "Sanji," she set her cup down and reached for the flowers before withdrawing, "I'm sorry I pushed you out of bed this morning and for being insufferable the last few months."
When he said he loved her, she let out a slight chuckle and finally took the flowers. She brought the bouquet up to her nose and inhaled slightly, her gaze traveling to his face. "I love you too."
Zoro set his weights down and looked at Owen, watching her form as she trained. "Your footing is off."
Hime still wasn't processing what was going on but she watched Puffy leave the room with Minny on his shoulders giggling.
As Luffy went to go look for Sanji, Sanji came to the top deck with something behind his back. "Do you guys know where Ava is?"
Robin smiled. "She's in the kitchen with Hime."
"Saaaanji I'm hungry."
Sanji rolled his eyes before heading to the kitchen. He knocked before entering and smiled. "Av, you in here?" When he saw his wife he smiled softly and walked over to her and kissed her forehead. "Sorry to intrude, but i know you haven't been feeling the best lately so I wanted to surprise you." He pulled the small bouquet from behind his back and smiled. "I love you Avalon."
Hime smiled softly and stood up. "I'll go check on the view. Thanks for worrying Ava. I'm alright though." She walked out the door and up to the crows nest to check on how far until the next island.
Ava's mouth twitched a bit at the realization that Raea had tried to force Hime and Nanashi to admit how they felt. She had to look down at her cup to hide the amusement. "See, nothing to worry about. If Luffy says he can stay then don't worry about admitting how you feel just yet."
"Hey Ava," Luffy popped up next to the brunette, "Where's Sanji? I'm hungry."
"Below deck with Frank and Raea."
Hime took the cup of tea into her hands and carefully swisher it around before looking up at Ava. "Raea said Captains orders..."
As if on queue Luffy walked in and heard what Hime said. "Hmm? Captain's orders? What did I order?"
Hime frowned and looked at the man with the straw hat. "You said Nanashi had to leave on the next island."
Luffy tilted his head to the side. "I did? I don't remember saying that... He's free to stay with us as long as he wants... He was only required to stay here until we got Owen back."
"Don't take him pushing you away as a bad thing. Considering neither of you have told the other how you feel, maybe he didn't want the connection to be meaningless if it did happen." Once the kettle started to whistle, Ava grabbed two cups and the lemon verbena tea leaves then went to the stove. "On the other hand, you being so nervous is definitely not something to be ashamed of."
She poured the tea then turned off the stove before returning to the table where Hime sat. Placing a cup in front of the younger girl, she took a seat across from her. "I imagine the same thing happened with Owen and Zoro." She knew what happened, but it wasn't her story to share so she kept quiet. "Besides, if Nanashi does reject you and breaks your heart," she brought the cup to her lips and smiled, "He'll never see the light of day again."
After a few sips, she lowered her cup and frowned, "Who said he has to get off at the next island?"
Hime sighed softly. "Nanashi... He has to leave the next island. Part of me... I want to tell him how I feel but... When i try... My body freezes up... Like I can't speak... We missed that one time and when it started to get heated he pushed me away. So I think... I'm afraid to hear his answer." She untied her hair and let it down as it draped over her shoulders. "I just... If I tell him... And he does feel the same... I don't know how hard it will be to part ways once we leave the next town."
At the lie Ava raised her brow only for Hime to accept her offer on tea. Once they were both in the kitchen she filled the pot with water and put it on the stove. "So what happened? Did Nanashi do something to hurt you?" Before she took a seat she took Minny's helmet pot and whatever kitchen utensils, and placed them in the sink to be rewashed.
"You dote on her entirely too much," Raea chuckled
Home watched as Ava got up and smiled softly. "Ava you don't have to worry about me. I'm fine." After a few seconds Home realized Ava wasn't going to buy that crappy lie and sighed softly. "Tea sounds good. Thank you."
After a bit of Hori's help Sanji had made a small bouquet with the leftover flowers and smiled. "I hope she likes it."
Raea watched Hime leave and turned to Nanashi, "You're worse than Luffy at this."
"What do you mean," Nanashi asked, finally tearing his gaze from the door.
"A smart man would run after her." There were a few other bits of advice she was going to give him but decided against it. With a shrug Raea left the room and returned to Franky, Sanji and Hori.
Ava frowned when she spotted Hori and the look on her face, followed by how she held Minny. "I'll be back," she said as she struggled to get up, only for Robin to help her, "Thanks." Once she was on her feet she walked over to Hime, "Want to talk about it? I'll make us some tea."
Hime sighed softly and felt a tightness in her chest. She glanced at Nanashi before looking down at her feet once more. [i He has to go on the next island... He probably wouldn't want to do a long distance thing.] She felt her chest get slightly tighter and frowned. "Excuse me." She spoke in almost a whisper. She walked out of the room to the top deck and was surprised to see Minny walking around with a pot on her head. "Min, I need some snuggles." She spoke to the toddler making the toddler grin before waltzing over to Hime to hug her.
Nanashi tensed at what Raea had said and went to say something but immediately closed his mouth. This happened several more times before he hung his head in defeat, "I'm no good at this stuff."
"Admitting how you feel is never easy," Raea replied.
"I'm going to take these to Sanji," Hori smiled before quickly leaving the room.
Raea watched her go before getting an idea, a while creeping on her lips. [I I wonder if a candle light dinner would get them to confess.] With a sigh she shook her head, "Captain's orders, he goes next island."
Hime was sitting on the edge of her bed playing with her hair while Nanashi sat on the other side of the room rubbing his arm awkwardly.
[i What do I say?] They both thought.
Raea entered the room without hesitation and sighed. "Alright you two. Stand up."
Hattori walked over to the storage shelving and found a few more extra flowers and nodded. "Looks like we still had a few daisies and lilies left over."
Hime looked confused. "Raea whats wrong?"
Raea shrugged. "We're kicking Nanashi off the ship the next island."
Hime's eyes widened. "W-What?! Y-You guys can't do that! Not Yet!" After realizing what she blurted out her face went red and she covered her mouth.
Raea chuckled then turned to Nanashi. "Best both confess how you're feeling now because you're both making the rest of us want to hurl with how obvious it is."
"Are you sure this is a good idea brother," Franky asked as he looked over what he and Raea had been helping Sanji with. "This might put her over the edge."
"She'll love it regardless," Raea rolled her eyes, "I'll go talk to them."
Hori pursed her lips together slightly, trying to remember if there were any flowers left. "I think so," she looked at Raea, "I'll go with you! That way I can double check." Before the two women set off she turned to Sanji, "If there are any I'll bring them to you."
"We'll help you keep an eye on her," Ava gave a small smile, "But don't tell Sanji she stole his cookware."
Nami came back with Minny's sweater and sighed when she saw her walking around with a pot on her head. "Luffy I asked you to watch her."
Luffy pouted not taking his eyes off the toddler. "I am watching her. I haven't taken my eyes off her since you told me to watch her."
Nami sighed. "You idiot..."
"Sorry Sanji, the twins have the rest of the flowers. I'm not sure what's left."
As if right on queue Hattori walked in with a groan. "Raea... Nanashi and Hime are being awkward again... Can't we just get them drunk at this rate... Watching them is painful."
Raea laughed. "Hori, you're starting to sound like your sister."
Sanji looked at Hattori and clasped his hands together. "Hattori do you have any flowers left?!"
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