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Tears and Sympathy

This is the way they are two days of the year.

The day is normal, just the same as any other.

At night she sits with her legs drawn up against her and watches the ocean swelling and ebbing away into forever as the ship bobs gently up and down and cuts through the water. Sometimes she hunkers down and buries her nose against her arms. Her eyes brim over with tears.

They say nothing but he pours her a cup of sake, and as she takes it he brushes the tears from her eyes.

When dawn stretches gingerly across the waves, she has her head against his shoulder. His arm encircles her thin shoulders.


The other day is normal too. He sleeps and she yells but maybe she glances at him from time to time and nicks a jug of sake while Sanji isn't looking.

And at night she pours him a cup while they sit in silence. She is a little cold but doesn't mind it. He sits cross-legged, the white katana across his lap, and drinks the sake slowly, dry-eyed.

When the stars have faded he is lying with his head in her lap, the katana clutched tightly in his hands. She bends over him with a tenderness she would never show in waking hours and watches him sleep. If the fingers she touches to his face come away damp, she never tells.

Together like this, they can go on living.