Nami sat in the crow's nest, curled up in a soft blue blanket that hung slack from her shoulders, silently thanking Franky for the hundredth time for a comfortable, warm spot to take the night watch. She was still staring pensively off into the distance when the door opened, and a furry head popped in.
"Nami," Chopper said, the cheeriness of his voice punctuated only by a faltering yawn. "I'm here to take my watch. You can go get some sleep now." He hopped up onto the chair beside Nami's.
"Ah, Chopper." Nami tore her gaze away from the sea in front of her to tap Chopper on his bare head affectionately. "Don't worry about it. The weather looks like it's acting up, so I'll stay on watch for a while longer."
"But Nami, you need your-"
"Sleep, I know. I'll have a nap when this has passed, so don't worry."
"Okay," Chopper said, appeased, then looked out to see the weather Nami was talking about. What greeted them was unlike any picture in any book that he had ever seen before. The sky gleamed a brilliant purple over the gently rolling sea, silver clouds hanging low in the distance like thin gauze to cushion the light of the stars. Wind whistled through the air with a sound as violent as the swish of a sword through the still air, cutting apart the larger clouds which parted like a curtain to reveal the different colours that swirled through the night sky, burnt orange, a dapple of pink, a brilliant green all drifting lazily through the sky like drops of paint dropped into water from a distance.
"This is dangerous weather?" Chopper gasped. "How? It's so... pretty."
"Sometimes the prettiest weather is the most dangerous," Nami said, the light in Chopper's eyes forcing her to readjust her vision from that of Nami the navigator to that of Nami the woman, who appreciated beauty no matter the form. "Remember? You did live on a winter island all that time."
"Yeah," Chopper admitted, pushing his nose against the glass. "But not like this."
"Of course not. Nothing outside of the New World can be anything like this," Nami said, gesturing at the sight that greeted them as if it explained everything - and of course to her, it did.
"The New World is kind of scary," Chopper murmured in a voice so low that Nami wasn't sure whether or not she was supposed to hear it until he snapped his head over to her and added on, "But nobody anywhere else gets to see this."
"That's right," Nami said, suddenly feeling a swell of pride for their crew, the one that nobody would have thought would come together, the one that passed the tests of strife and time. More than that, she felt a swell of pride that she was the navigator they relied on, and for good reason too - two years ago, she was a damn good navigator, but now she certainly felt as if she was among the best. "That's one of the reasons we're here, isn't it?"
"Right," Chopper said, then squirmed in his seat. "If it's going to be dangerous, should I wake the others up?"
Nami shook her head. "Don't bother. It might turn violent in five minutes, but it might take five hours and they'll need their sleep. Like you. Go on, Chopper."
He nodded and disappeared out the trap door, and Nami had resigned herself to standing the rest of the watch alone when he popped back in, a tray holding two mugs balanced precariously on his antlers, now so large and strong and unlike the baby reindeer Nami had first met shivering in a too-warm bed all that time ago.
"I thought you had gone back to bed."
"I don't feel like sleeping," Chopper retorted, handing her a mug. "I want to watch the sky."
The hot cocoa was thick and far too sweet for Nami's tastes, but she thanked Chopper anyway and sipped slowly at it. Chopper had his heart set on staying, and Nami couldn't blame him - this was the first time they had seen a weather pattern like this, and a part of her was glad to share it with another. She sent a glance his way, then wrapped her blanket around the both of them.
"Some of the other pirates called the first half of the Grand Line paradise after they came here," Chopper said.
Nami knew that they were probably right. She had done a lot of research on the weather patterns of the New World in hopes of securing her crew's safety from the elements, but had learned that there were very few patterns to learn - you had to rely on your own wits and skill half the time and get used to thinking on the spot. Her fingers played with the frayed ends of their blanket. "I heard. Think they were right?"
Chopper hesitated, then said, "I thought so for a little while. Do you know how many new diseases are out here, unique to every island?" His eyes followed the path of one cloud as a gust of wind blew it across the sky. "But this doesn't look like hell to me. What's going to happen?"
"Probably a wind-storm," Nami said. "There's definitely some lightning on the way too, depending on which way we end up going."
Chopper shivered a little, though Nami couldn't tell whether it was in fear or anticipation. He took a deep breath, as if summoning up his courage and then declared, "I'm glad we're here anyway."
"Me too," Nami smiled, then pointed into the distance. "Look! The sun's come up early."
In another hour, Sanji would rise to begin preparing breakfast. Brook would probably wake up next to rouse the ship with song, much to the chagrin of everyone else, and then the ship would burst into loud activity, but for now it was silent and beautiful.
Nami leaned against Chopper, and they watched the sun rise.