Sometimes, as often she has time and remembers to do so – which admittedly is not often at all – Nami writes letter to those back home. She has no way of knowing if the few letters who are actually sent whenever they find an island with a working postal service ever find their way into the hands of the intended – she is yet to receive a reply. She keeps writing though, mainly because she can't stand the thought of their close ones only ever hearing about them in the newspapers (especially since whatever coverage the Strawhat pirates might receive is not often of the favorable kind).
It doesn't always work though, obviously.
After Alabasta, she doesn't know how to tell Vivi about the new arrival in their crew, and in the end the letter that gets sent doesn't contain that particular bit of information. Then Skypiea happens, and later on Enies Lobby, and before she knows it the entire world is receiving word on their small – but apparently dangerous – crew, and before Nami has the chance to ease the news to Vivi, the desert princess will have found out that these days the Strawhats include one Nico Robin, one Miss All Sunday. Regardless of how brave and entirely reasonable Vivi is there's going to be an initial moment of confused hurt, as she tries to make sense of what that might mean. (As soon as Nami finds the time, after the parties and the getting accustomed to a new ship, she writes Vivi a heartfelt letter – just in case.)
One day, when she has put away her latest map in favor of penning down a new letter, Luffy stands next her, casting her world in shadow.
"Move Luffy, I can't see what I'm writing," she chastises him, gently pushing him away. He takes a step away so the sun can find her again and glances down on her papers, absently picking his nose.
"Hey Nami, what're you doing?" he asks, curious as ever.
"Writing a letter," she answers him, and slaps his hand away. During the days with her captain Nami has found that the easiest way to deal with him is to get straight to the point.
His eyes light up immediately - but then again her captain has always been of the kind that is easily excited. It is a burden and a blessing at the same time, but mostly just an annoyance.
"Oh, who's it for?" he asks and peers over her shoulder to read what she has penned down so far. Nami snaps the paper away and puts it down carefully on the small table next to her together with her pen.
"I'm writing to Vivi," she answers. She has to put a hand over her eyes too shield them from the sun as she looks up at him.
If possible – and then again it probably is if you take Luffy's rubber powers into the equation – his grin gets even wider.
"What a great idea! Are you telling her about our adventures!" he laughs as he starts rocking on the spot and Nami can't help laughing with him.
"Something like that, yeah. Do you want to send her a message? I'll write it down and say it was from you."
"Yeah!" he says and starts listing things rapidly, "Tell her that we miss her, and that dinner was extra delicious yesterday and that Franky joined the crew and that he's super! And that Sanji made this new mystery meat for me today, and that we went to the sky and found gold, and…"
Luffy asks her to tell Vivi a lot of things.
They spend the rest of that afternoon trying to compose Luffy's part of the letter together. Her captain keeps insisting on the importance of mentioning everything he has eaten since they last saw the princess – every single masterpiece Sanji has come up with meanwhile – while she argues no else but him cares about that part.
In the end they never finish the letter before it's time for dinner, and the dark has settled neatly around them. It's a clear night; like those she remembers from her time in Alabasta.
The next day, Luffy joins her on deck anew after breakfast, but this time he has a different plan.
"Give me a paper and a pen," he says "I want to write a letter of my own."
She lowers her sunglasses and gives him a surprised look, but it's with a smile she reaches through her stack and pulls out what he needs. Luffy settles on the deck just below her, resting his back against the side of her chair.
"Who is it for?" she asks, because she has the feeling he didn't come to her to continue quarreling about the content of his post scriptum on her letter.
He smiles up at her, bright and sunny and trademark Luffy.
"I don't really know, maybe Makino at the bar, or Ace, or gramps" he rubs his neck and his smile acquires a mischievous glint at the last mention.
Nami doesn't press further and instead goes back to her own letter meant for Vivi. She's almost finished now, there's only a little fine tuning left and the matter of making Luffy's part readable. She hums to herself as she sets to finishing her craft.
During her own writing, she glances towards Luffy's paper every now and then. He sits just beneath her and there's no trouble peering down on what he has written. He hasn't quite mastered the pen the way he has mastered his fists. His letters are big and round, and remind her of the way a child might write, but the message is entirely his own. She can read what he has written perfectly clear, but while she thinks he wouldn't mind she refrains from doing so. The few sentences she catches though, tell her that Luffy writes the same way he speaks; it's an adventure in itself to make sense of it all.
The sun is high on the sky, and she is fairly sure lunch is less than an hour away when Usopp strolls up to them, no doubt curious to know how the navigator has made Luffy shut up for so long.
"Hey, what are you up to?" he asks and looks at them.
"Writing letters," Luffy exclaims without looking up from his paper. He has his tongue stuck out between his teeth in a gesture of concentration.
Usopp's expression changes and opens up.
"Can I join you guys?" he says eagerly and before he has ended the sentence, Nami has handed him a blank paper.
"I know you have a pen of your own, and if you want a new paper that'll be five hundred beli," she warns him but Usopp just nods and smiles and walks away to sit against the railing on the lower deck, a little way apart from them. Nami doesn't have to ask to know that his letter will be addressed to the blonde girl from home – it's been a while since he told Kaya one of his stories.
The next one to start penning a letter of his own is Chopper.
He has been sitting in the infirmary preparing a new salve when at the end of his session he notices how quiet it is; that he hasn't been interrupted by loud bangs and screaming, and high pitched laughter. He rushes out onto deck dead set on them all having drowned (or left him) because he wasn't paying attention.
Instead he finds both Luffy and Usopp lost in their own writing. He doesn't even need to ask before Nami has given him his own paper to write on and he snuggles up next to Luffy, the grassy deck of the Sunny tickling under his hooves and the wind carrying the scent of salt.
During lunch, Robin is the first to speak up regarding the uncharacteristically calm morning.
"Is it just me, or have the three of you been suspiciously quiet today?" she smiles suggestively at the three youngest crewmembers as Sanji runs around the kitchen; trying to keep up with wishes of the crew and the insatiable hole that he calls his captain.
"Robin!" Usopp exclaims offended, they are fully capable of being calm without it being related to some kind of prank, thank you very much.
"Yeah," Zoro adds and rubs his chin "You guys have been real quiet actually, did you fall off the ship or something?"
Luffy makes to answer excitedly but they all tune him out since it's impossible to understand a single thing he's trying to say when his mouth is filled with food. Sanji shoots him a disgusted look and threatens to kick him off the ship if he doesn't shut up and swallow.
"We were writing letters!" Chopper exclaims instead and Zoro raises a surprised eyebrow at that.
"Really?" he says softly and glances over at Nami. She smiles back at him and sticks her tongue out. That stupid swordsman probably thought she was using those three for one of her wicked plans.
"Yeah," the small doctor nods excitedly "My letter is to Doctrine. I told her that I haven't seen any snow since we left, and I asked her if she's ever tasted cotton candy before."
Zoro grins and spread chuckles are heard around the dining table as the small doctor continues to tell them of his letter and lunch carries on.
Afterwards – since the sail is smooth and the weather is clear – the trend catches quickly with the rest of the crew. Zoro joins Chopper on the grassy deck, and they've moved away from Nami now; following the path of the sun and its warm rays.
Zoro stares long at his paper – playing with the handle of his white katana – before he writes anything and when Usopp asks him who he's writing to the swordsman just grunts and waves him away.
It's late afternoon when Sanji finally reemerges from the galley and by then both Luffy and Chopper have fallen asleep. Luffy against Nami's chair - and she finds himself patting his head absently every now and then - while Chopper's head is resting on Zoro's lap.
The cook has his own paper with him, and bothers Usopp for a while until he gets a pen. He sits down next to the long-nose and leans against the railing; muttering to himself the entire time, while he composes his own letter.
Robin joins Franky at one of the tables he has set out on the lower deck. He glances at her from underneath his sunglasses, and she supposes she shouldn't be surprised by the pen in his hand.
"Huh? You're not joining in on this?" he asks her when he notices her empty lap and the absence of paper, clearly surprised.
She smiles, and shakes her head softly. While she thinks it's an excellent idea – and has spent the most of the day regarding her crew mates lost in their own separate moments of reflection – she has no one to address a letter of her own to. Robin doesn't tell Franky that much, but she thinks he reaches that conclusion on his own, given the slight drop of his expression.
"Let's put it like this, all the people I would have sent a letter to are already on this ship." she says, and really; she sees nothing bad in that.
It takes them a while to find a way to send the letters and they have no idea if they ever reach their intended destinations, but that's not really the part that matters.