He was there again. Hand over hat over head, his gaze lingering in the distance. His face seemed to have that grin permanently etched there. That scar under his left eye suited him –always had, always will. As every day passed, he grew stronger, but never more aggressive. I liked that about him.
Actually, there wasn't really a thing that I hated about him. Sure, he could frustrate me –hell, I knew he'd frustrate me later today, if not sooner –and he could be a real idiot sometimes, but that was all a part of what made him Luffy.
As I thought all of this, I gazed past him at the vast sea. He remained a dark silhouette in the corner of my eye, right there atop the figure head we headed towards the sunset. It was a blinding orange light, but it was a warm feeling that wrapped around me snugly. It made me want to close my eyes and daydream; made me want to pause time so that the moment would never pass. If life were an eternal sunset, I think I could live with that.
"Nami-swa~an, Robin-chw~an," Sanji poked his head out of the dining room and greeted us with a smile. "The dining room would look perfect~ with two beauties such as yourselves~ at the table~."
"What's for dinner tonight?" I turned to him, dragging my hand across the railing.
"A luscious meal for two luscious ladies," His smile was so big; it kind of just wanted to make me smack him. But that was Sanji. Ladies man through and through.
"With the fish Franky and I caught today, it better be something good," Usopp said, walking up the steps. Franky laughed loudly, "That's because we're super!"
"Oi, Muscle brain! Luffy! Chopper! Brooke! Food's on!" Sanji called out to the rest of them. Zoro ignored him as he stretched and got up, his fingers on his right hand never straying too far from the sheaths of his three swords strapped there. He yawned as he leapt onto the upper deck to enter the dining room. Luffy grabbed the railing with one hand and flew across the ship with that silly grin on his face. Chopper came from the medical room and Brooke came from down below, humming to himself. Sometimes when I saw him at night, he really gave me the chills, but I knew he was a good guy.
The four of them hurried to the table, waiting as Sanji set out the dishes. There was fish, as Usopp had said, and what looked like the last of our bread, which was fine, since the next island wasn't too far away. Fast hands grabbed at the food, trying to eat before faster and longer hands could take it all –and Luffy would, if any of us would allow it. Sometimes I wondered if Luffy hadn't been made out of rubber if he would still eat as much.
"Nami, Nami, Nami," Luffy patted my arm multiple times to get my attention. He had a grin on his face as he turned away, and when he faced me he had the chopsticks up his nose. Chopper and Usopp followed his lead in a heartbeat.
"Don't you guys ever get sick of that?" I sloshed the sake in my cup around as I shook my head, the faintest of laughs escaping.
"No~" The three of them laughed together, throwing arms around each others shoulders. They began kicking their legs up in the air until they all tumbled together off the table.
"Ba-ka," Sanji said to the three of them as he picked up scattered dishes.
"Well, I'm going to turn in for the night," I said, standing up and handing my plate to Sanji. "It's been an exhausting day."
"She didn't do anything today," Zoro muttered underneath his breath. With a hand quicker than Luffy's I reached over the table and brought my fist down on his head. "You have no right to say that."
"Sleeping beauty," Sanji sneered as he walked over towards the kitchen.
"Oi!" Zoro leapt to his feet and grabbed the hilt of his sword, ready to draw.
Taking a deep breath, I massaged my neck as I went outside. In the twenty minutes it took to eat a meal, the air had cooled so much. The sun was gone completely. I checked the log pose before heading to my room. I closed the door and went to my desk. I sat down and picked up Nojiko's and Bellemere's picture, caressing the frame before placing it down once more. I had to finish the maps from the last island. I would hate it I fell behind.
As I finished, I yawned, setting down my pen. I laid the log pose down gently on the desk before I got changed and headed for bed. I curled up facing the wall, bringing the covers up to my chin. I heard the door open and close. Robin walked over to the bookshelf, then over to the desk. I heard the chair creak as she sat down. I exhaled slowly, and slowly allowed sleep to wash over me.
When I woke up, Robin was gone. I didn't know where she disappeared to so late at night. I never saw her sleep. I rolled my shoulders as I sat up and swung my legs out of bed. I got dressed and slipped the log pose back onto my wrist before heading out. I had the feeling Robin corrected our course throughout the night sometimes. It was never like the first day when we ended up having to do a 180 to get back on course. I would never ask her though. I liked to think I knew these seas well enough by this time in our journey on the Grand Line.
I left my room and headed up to check on the mikans. It was still dark out, but the sky was growing lighter. I tended to the trees, giving them water and the smallest of trims. I plucked one off of the branches and brought it up to my nose, taking a deep breath of the sweet smell. Then I saw him.
He was there again, atop of the figurehead, only not facing straight ahead, but towards the horizon where the sun was slowly peeking above its watery blanket. I hadn't seen him in the dark. I headed towards him. I leaned on the railing beside him, peeling the mikan and letting the skin fall into the ocean below. I watched as it made a light splash and disappeared under the waves splashing the bow.
"Morning," Luffy grinned, glancing at me.
"Morning," I replied. I shivered and rubbed my arms as a cold breeze swept over us, "This is why I prefer sunset to sunrise."
"Why?" Luffy didn't turn to face me, but his profile still contained his goofy grin.
"It's so cold in the mornings," I said.
"That's not a good reason," He laughed, leaning forward as he did so. "Sunrises are the best!"
"I prefer sunsets," I restated, slowly eating the mikan.
"Nah," He shook his head. The sun was higher now; it was rising so fast. "Sunrise."
"Why?" It was my turn to ask.
"Mm," He scratched his head, tipping his straw-hat too far, and I watched as it fell to rest on his back. "Ah!" He pounded his fist into his other hand. "It signifies a new beginning. A new adventure! A great adventure!"
I shoved the last piece of the mikan into his silly grin, and it's juice dripped down to my wrist. I walked away without saying anything.
"Oi! Oi, Nami!" He called after me. When I didn't reply, he called once more, "Thanks Nami!"
I walked up the stairs and glanced back at him. When he wasn't looking, I licked the juice from my wrist. I never did like Bellemere's mikans going to waste. I leaned on my arm and watched the sun rise. Slowly a smile played across my lips, and I covered my mouth with my hand before smirking and turning away.
A new adventure… a new adventure, indeed.