Categories > Anime/Manga > One Piece

Cicadas Call

by Person 0 reviews

Usopp finds Nami on a warm summer night. Slight Usopp/Nami, set a few years in the future.

Category: One Piece - Rating: G - Genres: Romance - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2008-06-25 - Updated: 2008-06-26 - 1907 words - Complete

"Did you know that you have a mosquito on your forehead?"

"I don't care," Nami answered, not bothering to open her eyes or even move at all from where she was sprawled across one of the lounge chairs on the ship. Usually the thought of a future big itchy blotch on her face would make her swat the bug away in seconds, but now that the sun had set and the cooler night breeze had finally evaporated the sweat from her skin she didn't want to move at all, just in case the slightest exertion made her heat up again.

"Ah," he said in the tone that let her know he was thinking up his latest whopper. "Oh, course, I already knew that regular mosquitoes are nothing to worry about. Did I ever tell you about the time I fought the hundred-meter long--"

"Usopp, shh/," she cut him off. "This is the fourth summer island the log pose led us to in a row. I've been sweating since seven in the morning until twenty minutes ago. And now that I'm finally cooling off, a mosquito isn't going to ruin it." Of course, she /had had Sanji to fan her and provide icy drinks during the day, but that had hardly counted. Every time she'd almost felt comfortable he had felt the need to switch his attentions to Robin to keep his time fairly split between them.

There was a pause, and then she felt a fingertip press against her forehead. She thought that it might be trembling, though it was pulled away too quickly for her to be sure. "Hah! The brave Captain Usopp is more than a match for any insect! It's a good thing that I was the one to take care of it. That was no ordinary mosquito, it's blood was acid! It was only my incredible speed that let me get my finger away before I lost it!"

Nami wrinkled her nose at the mental picture he gave her, even more when she had the sinking suspicion that she felt something still on her head. "The brave Captain Usopp had better not have left a squashed mosquito on my forehead."

"Uh..." A second later his hand returned to her forehead again, swiping across it, and with the more prolonged touch she could tell that she was right about the trembling.

She couldn't hold back a smile, although she doubted he'd guess what it was over. They were all such boys/, her brave stupid guys with their brave stupid ways, and Usopp was the biggest boy of them all out of the ones who tried acting like they were men. It was there in his bluster, and the way he never quite knew when to stop a lie before it when from /maybe possible to completely unbelievable (or maybe that was the point of them; she was never quite sure). And it was there in his hand shaking at casually touching a girl when they'd already accidentally seen each other (and every other member of the crew, a consequence of sharing a small living space that only seemed to get worse once they had the larger Thousand Sunny and just assumed that they wouldn't need to worry about anyone invading their privacy) naked on a half dozen occasions at least.

She'd have thought he would have gotten accustomed to touching her after the thousandth time they ended up clinging to each other while watching Luffy, Sanji, or Zoro do something completely insane, but maybe it was different for him when they were alone in the dark. She could admit, if only in her own mind, that it was actually more flattering than Sanji's constant displays of affection, as quiet as it was and as much as he probably hoped she wouldn't notice it, if for no other reason than that he didn't act the same way towards everyone with a pair of breasts.

She opened her eyes at least to stare up at the stars, clear and bright above them. She automatically searched out the ones she'd use to navigate by if the Grand Line was anything like a normal sea, each as familiar and comforting as the face of an old friend, then slowly turned to her side to face him. She let her body settle just as limply as it had been when she'd been when she was on her back, not making the slightest effort to pose that she usually did if she was in the lounge chair during the day. Her eyes were drawn to the buckle of his overalls, where a firefly had settled, apparently without his knowledge and was blinking brightly on and off against his chest. "Why are you out here anyway?" she asked, watching its light slowly beginning to creep up towards his shoulder. "I thought everyone was staying at that hotel, since Luffy drove out that creep who was trashing the place and got us free rooms."

He squatted down on his heels beside her, but the movement didn't startle the bug away. "We noticed that you didn't show up for dinner, so of course it was up to the fearless Usopp to volunteer to brave the dark streets and find you."

Nami suspected that the 'we' meant 'him' and 'volunteer to find her' meant 'tell the others he's going out for awhile', because otherwise she was pretty sure she'd be able to hear Sanji calling for her from five blocks away, but she let it pass without saying anything. It would be good if he got the idea that people might actually believe more subtle lies anyway. "It's cooler out here on the water, so I thought I'd stay out until the night got cold enough to stand being indoors." Then she smiled, her eyes drifting shut again for a moment then opening again. "Besides, do you hear that?"

She could practically see him straining his ears, a thoughtful frown on his face, before he asked, "That fisherman's wife yelling at him for not bringing in a big enough catch?"

Nami didn't really want to know what train of thought lead to him thinking that's what she'd be listening to (although she did make a mental note of the types of fish the woman screamed about being useless for selling, just in case they were ever desperate enough to need to hawk the contents of their aquarium). "/The cicadas/. The last few islands didn't have them, even though they were summer too. I wanted to be able to listen to them for awhile." She slid an arm up to cushion her cheek, absently staring past him to the siblings of the firefly on his shoulder that were dancing in the air. "I remember that when Nojiko and I were little we'd search the orange grove for their shells every summer. Whenever we found some, Bellemere would line them up on display on the first shelf you saw when you came in the front door, like they were the treasures we thought they were instead of creepy old bug skins." She laughed at the memory, and after so long letting her heart heal up with Luffy and the rest of the crew it was almost entirely untinged by sadness as she focused on how happy they'd been back then instead.

"You and your sister are lucky you were able to steal their shells unharmed. Did I ever tell you about the time I fought the hundred-meter long--"

Nami buried her face in the crook of her elbow and snickered before he could get any further into the story. "You're just trying to change the insects in the 'hundred-meter long mosquito' lie into cicadas since I didn't give you a chance to tell the story, aren't you?" she asked, smiling at him with her eyes over the curve of her lower arm.

"'Lie'?" he repeated, drawing himself up with a not entirely terrible impression of dignity. "I'm telling you, Nami, some cicadas are /dangerous/. It's lucky for you that I'm here to protect you, in case one of them shows up."

The most ridiculous thing, Nami realized, was that in the Grand Line there probably were giant man-eating cicadas somewhere, although there was no chance that Usopp had ever actually met them and he probably didn't actually think they were real.

"All right, brave captain, you can stay here and 'protect' me. But try to stay quiet so I can listen to them chirp." She reached out to brush the firefly off of his shoulder strap before it could startle him by crawling onto the bare skin under his overalls, her smile widening slightly when she thought she caught a blush on his cheeks when her fingers swept across his shoulder, then she rolled back onto her back again.

If he wanted to speak again she wouldn't really mind, but for the moment she wanted to enjoy the balmy breeze, the bright stars with constellations that seemed to constantly change as fireflies blinked on and off high above adding their lights to the sky, and the soft cry of insects all around them.

- - -

The next morning, a few hours after she had finally dragged herself down to her bed in the ship instead of bothering to walk all the way back to the hotel and gone to sleep, she was woken up again by the sound of someone sneaking quietly into the room. In an instant her instincts, honed by her years as a member of Arlong's crew, had her wide awake, although she kept her breathing steady and her body perfectly still. She was ready to grab her Clima-Tact in an instant if needed, only to relax all at once when she recognized the long-nosed shadow that was being cast of the wall in front of her with help from the light through her door.

As quickly as it had woken her up, her mind told her that it wanted to go to sleep again once it knew that there was no threat, three hours of sleep not being nearly enough. She was able to hold it off mainly by telling herself that if she went back to sleep that easily she'd be sinking to Zoro and Luffy's level, and she didn't want that, did she? Apparently she was right in assuming that he subconscious would dislike the idea just as much as the rest of her.

She watched through slit shut eyes as he walked directly in front of her, stopping right in front of her treasure box, facing it. All at once she was just as ready to grab the Clima-Tract as she had been before, tensed and ready for it if he dared to open her chest. But after a moment he moved on again, walking back around the beds and out of the room again.

As soon as she heard the door click quietly shut behind him she sat up in her bed, leaning forward to see just what he'd done. Then her eyes went wide and her hand flew up to cover her heart.

Sitting on top of the trunk in exactly the spot that her eyes would have rested on right after opening them in the morning if she'd slept through his visit, still looking faintly damp although she couldn't know if it was from the dew outside or Usopp's sweaty palms, were two cicada shells.
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