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Mornings aren’t so bad.

At least, Nami doesn’t think so. She usually gets up early, pours a cup of coffee, chows down on a lazy breakfast. Fruit, cereal, oatmeal, so on. She’d do more but honestly, every time she’s ever made pancakes or any sort of real breakfast, Luffy somehow shows up.

Which wouldn’t be so strange, if not for the fact that he lives three apartments down. And when he shows up, Sanji is sure to follow, hellbent on "saving" her from Luffy’s appetite. And then Chopper will make his way over to be sure Luffy doesn’t eat another poisonous substance (like a fork), and sooner or later, the tiny apartment is filled with everyone when all she wanted was some pancakes.

She still doesn’t know how it happens, but it’s rarely worth the chaos so early in the morning, so simple breakfasts it is. She reads the news, flicks through RSS feeds, checks her e-mail. Mornings are almost always a casual affair, very relaxed as she prepares for the day ahead.

Almost always, that is, except for when alarms pierce through the calm quiet, incessantly ringing and ringing and ringing. And Nami knows it’s not hers, oh no. Hers is always off at eight am on the dot, and her phone is clearly displaying eight fifteen. Usopp must have hit snooze.

Eight sixteen.

Sure, it’s not that strange for him to sleep in. Sometime she catches him up well past midnight, sketching a piece that wouldn’t let him sleep until it was done. But you’d think a person would turn their alarm off, right?

Eight seventeen.

At the very least, how much effort does it take to roll over and hit snooze!? He had to have already done it at eight, anyway!

Eight eighteen, and Nami has had enough. Her eye is twitching and she can already feel a headache forming, the blaring horn of his cheap alarm clock piercing her eardrums even through his closed bedroom door and it takes all her willpower not to kick it down, settling for throwing it open instead.

“Do you enjoy this sound!?” Nami demands, incredulous. She all but smashes the clock into oblivion, swinging her fist down harshly on the large SNOOZE button. “Don’t bother setting an alarm if you’re not going to get up when it goes off!”

Usopp barely shifts under the covers, burying his face further into his pillow. “Shhhh,” he mumbles, “More shleep…”

Oh, hell no. He might not have work until later but she does and she was going to enjoy her morning in peace and if she can’t, neither can he. “You can sleep when you’re dead,” Nami mutters, grinning cruelly. “Rise and shine, dear!”

Her hands grip the edge of the blankets in what seems like a brilliant plan. Her next course of action was going to be yanking the blinds open, and after that, maybe spraying water on him. She doesn’t have to be at work until ten– she could have even made pancakes, just so he’d be left behind to suffer the crowd.

Rather unfortunately for them both, her plans don’t even make it that far. Ripping the covers off reveals the rather startling truth of his pyjamas: they don’t exist. “You sleep nude!?” Nami shrieks, and then she’s dropping the covers like they’ve burned her, torn between staring and covering her eyes. There’s not enough bleach in their apartment to clean this image from her brain. There’s not enough alcohol.

The worst of it is how her eyes seem determined to take in the details, fingers spaced apart even when she goes to cover her eyes. He’s blessedly laying on his stomach, but even so, the curve of his ass isn’t hidden by clothes for once and damn, that’s…

“AhhHHHHHHHHH!!!” Usopp screams, the situation finally dawning on him as he wakes up. Nami had screamed and he’s suddenly cold and of all the horrifying scenarios his sleepy brain had imagined from that (yetis are real, he’s sure of it, what would he do if one was in his bedroom, attacking Nami and freezing him?), this has got to be even scarier.

He’s naked.

“W-w-w-where are my sheets !?” Usopp stammers, doing his best to more or less curl into a ball. Nami opens and closes her mouth wordlessly, unable to form a response, not trusting herself to move and pick the covers up. No no. If she opens her eyes, the sheets are the last thing she’s going to look at. This is not how she wanted her morning to go. This isn’t even exactly how she wanted her life to go– she moved in with Usopp because they were compatible, sure, but in a roommates sense.

Not in a “hey, actually it turns out I like your ass a lot” sense.

She manages to say something along the lines of “floor, sheets, they’re on” and then she makes her way out of the room before she says anything mortifying, as if it isn’t bad enough already. She trips over something and bumps into the wall before she has the sense to remove her hands from her eyes and honestly, she changes her mind.

Mornings suck.

 


 

“I’m sorry!” Usopp apologizes, nearly stammering in his haste. He’d all but thrown the door open as soon as he was dressed, deciding to just get it over with so as to not prolong their embarrassment.

Nami feels herself staring but she can’t help it. Even though he’s clothed now he wasn’t then and that image isn’t getting out of her head any time soon, no sir. Still, confusion settles in when his words process. “What do you have to be sorry for?”

“If I’d gotten up… or properly turned the alarm off…” he laments, wringing his hands together. “I know how much you enjoy your quiet mornings, I’m sorry for messing that up.”

“I barged into your room and ripped the covers off your fine ass and you apologize to me?” Nami says, disbelief evident in her voice. Disbelief is evident in every fibre of her being after that– did she really just say that? Did she really just say he has a fine ass out loud?

Alright.

Alright. That’s it. She’s done. There’s no going on from this. Would Luffy take her in? He’s always a pushover when it comes to helping friends, he probably would. Not that she really wants to move in with Luffy and Zoro, but it’s better than, say, Sanji. He’s sweet, but overbearing, and–

“Wha… What was that? Sorry, I must have heard you wrong.” Usopp forces the most painfully fake laugh and even he cringes at it, but it doesn’t stop his terrible act. “Still half asleep, I guess! Or maybe my hearing hasn’t quite recovered from last night, when I was helping to build the most incredible firework for the festival–”

“Stop.” Nami shakes her head, holding a hand up. “You don’t have to make up some story just to cover for me. I said what I said… It’s too late to take it back now…”

“Y-you can!” Usopp insists. “I’ll just pretend I never heard! It’s not even true, anyway!”

Nami has never dug graves before, but if she had to guess, she’s digging hers six feet deep right about now. “It’s completely true,” Nami insists right back. She wants to shut up now (she wants to have shut up before she’d ever said anything at all) but it’s a cosmic crime to not tell him. There are some things you just have to know. She has a beautiful figure, Sanji has astonishingly good hair, Luffy’s voice is actually really soothing in a weird way, and Usopp? Usopp has a nice ass.

She may have noticed that last one in a less-than-platonic fashion, but that doesn’t make it less true.

“I–” Usopp looks speechless, torn somewhere between disbelief and the instinctive urge to just run with it. She can almost imagine what he’d say– heh, but of course I do! Why, this ass has been admired by people all around the globe… “Really?”

Oh.

Well.

She wasn’t quite prepared for him to seriously ask that. “Y-yeah?” No no no bad bad wrong, don’t stutter, he’s doubting it now. “Oh my God, I can’t believe I’m having this conversation,” Nami mumbles, dragging a hand over her face tiredly. “Yes, Usopp. You have a very nice ass. Scout’s honor.”

“You were never a Girl Scout,” Usopp accuses.

“Haven’t got any honor either,” Nami snorts. “So you’ll just have to take my word. You really think I’d be lying at…” A quick glance at her phone. “...8:45 in the morning? The only kind of lying I want to be doing is in bed.”

That gets a laugh out of him, the first happy response she’s gotten all morning and she counts it as a huge success. “I always believe you,” he says, and the honesty catches them both off guard. He’s blushing again, or maybe she is. Was he blushing earlier? She doesn’t know, barely got a look at his face from where he was buried in the pillow and then curled up in himself, body curving rather nicely and-

She was definitely blushing earlier and she’s definitely blushing now and she definitely wants her body to stop that this instant. “T-thank you?” An incredibly unwise decision, she wants to say. She lies through her teeth on a daily basis.

Except.

Except she can’t remember the last time she lied to Usopp, not even about something silly like being out of food (to Luffy) or having a date (to Sanji) or even just not wanting to hang out. Because she always does. Want to. With him. Even when it was just binging Disney movies and handing him tissues when he cried over the happy endings.

Oh, fuck. Nami’s smart enough to realize when she’s in deep– she just can’t believe it’d all become so domestic without her even noticing. “Shit,” she mutters under her breath. Usopp’s eyes widen in concern and he’s clearly taken it the wrong way, mouth open and hands raised to backtrack and she raises a hand to stop him. “What’s my favorite food?”

“...Hah?”

“My favorite food,” she repeats.

Usopp’s brow knits in confusion, but the answer comes easily. “You love mikans in general but you love eating cheeseburgers most of all and you threatened to kill me if I ever told anyone,” Usopp’s voice gets rather small, “sopleasedon’tkillmerightnow.”

He’s right. On all accounts. “What’s my favorite color?”

“You don’t have one..?” Usopp scratches his neck. “You always say gold but you wear silver jewellery and you always lean towards orange but you never admit it.”

Does she? Shit. Shit. She didn’t even… “And you love granola,” Nami says. “You never admit it because you think that’s boring but you have like seven boxes of granola bars in your room. I tripped over them.”

He looks a little sheepish, but she just keeps going, steamrolling into this revelation because she doesn’t know how else to say it. “And your favorite color is a rainbow even though that’s not even a proper answer, and you… You’re not fair, you’re dorky and cute and your ass is too nice.”

“My… ass is too nice,” Usopp echoes, completely lost. He can’t even tell if she’s insulting him at this point and she’s not entirely sure what she’s doing. Ruining things, maybe.

“Yes! So, it’s all your fault.” Nami nods as if that makes perfect sense. “And now I have to go to work, so you can’t even make it up to me right now…”

There’s a moment’s pause in which they both consider her words, and Usopp nearly apologizes even if he’s still completely lost. It’s just so much in his nature to accept the strange blame being placed on him. But she interrupts before he can, holding up a single finger. “So! Tonight, you can take me on a date. Six thirty. Your treat, of course.”

And right about there is where her courage has run out, so she makes a beeline for her coat and her purse and chirps a speedy goodbye as the front door clicks shut behind her. She leans against it afterwards, heaving a huge sigh and hoping (praying, wishing) she didn’t mess everything up. She hadn’t really intended to ask him out, not ever, not even when her feelings began to stray horribly outside the realm of friendship, because she loves their friendship.

Really, they’re the only normal two of the bunch. Normal habits, normal jobs, normal hobbies. Meanwhile, Luffy and Zoro are nothing but meatheads, instructors at the same gym. Franky is a genius inventor, but half of his stuff blows up and the fire department is exhausted. Brook’s a fine musician, but his obsession with the occult (so many skeletons ) makes the guy seem creepier than he is, while Robin knows far too much for a simple librarian; Nami is certain she’s got blackmail on the mayor if not people even higher.

Chopper is such a young genius– only seventeen and already in college– but his shyness around new people is near-crippling and the kid loves wearing fur way too much. And Sanji… Well, Nami isn’t even going to get started on that weird chef. He’s got a job at a fancy restaurant, but also at least seventeen restraining orders to his name.

Her and Usopp have always been the normal ones, the sane ones, the one person she can always come home to and not ever feel exhausted by and...

Well, maybe that's why it'll work, she thinks, a smile tugging at her lips despite herself. Everything could go wrong but maybe she's just as crazy as the rest of her friends after all; she can't help but think it'll be okay, somehow.

"Take me out for cheeseburgers," Nami mumbles outside the front door with a quiet laugh. "And don't you dare tell anyone."

Inside the apartment, Usopp leans against the door and smiles.

"Yes ma'am."