After the ordeal at Fishman Island is over and done with, the Strawhats have an opportunity to sit down and look at each other and the changes they've gone through, really look. Their giddy initial reconciliation didn't count, not really, because they were too wrapped up in their own exhilaration and pride and joy and excitement to care about anything other than the fact that they were finally back together again, back where they belonged. Two years apart was longer than they had ever spent together, but a month with Luffy was worth a lifetime with anyone else.

It wasn't as if any of them had gone a single day without thinking of the other. It didn't matter if they were secluded on an island populated with bugs shooting flesh scouring acid or traveling from island to island with legions of screaming fans, being a Strawhat just wasn't something you could forget about. They had all seen the newspapers and could only imagine the hell Luffy had gone through and what was yet to come, for they all knew the pain of loss too keenly not to recognize how it ached days, months, years later. For all of Luffy's irreverence and easy smiles, he was not the type to make the decision to part for such a long time lightly – it had hurt him as much as it hurt the rest of them.

And now they were together again, and everyone was the same but everyone was different. Oh, they came together like they always did. Luffy, Usopp and Chopper acted like idiots and Nami sighed and still hoarded all of their money and Franky still danced and Sanji and Zoro still fought and Brook still laughed and Robin still watched them with that implacable expression upon her face and it was as if a day had passed, not two years. But there were small things that were different. Zoro's familiar katas at the end of every day were fiercer than ever before, movements both insistent and gentle, and at the end of each routine he would look behind him as if waiting for appraisal that never came. Fishing with Franky was an altogether foreign experience, for the crew could no longer comfortably slouch into the warmth of his side, for no warmth was to be found, only sharp corners and cool metal. Sometimes, they caught Luffy sitting up on the deck, not sad, not exactly, but thoughtful in a way they had never seen before, casually trailing his fingers up and down that evil-looking scar of his.

It was the little things. But they would get to know each other again, one day at a time.