Sunny was quiet this hour of the night. She always was. It was these hours that she had dreaded some time ago when the silence would scream in her ears, telling her she didn't belong; that her darkness was too much for such a kindhearted, innocent crew.
It had taken Enies Lobby for her to realize that just maybe she had underestimated them and a not entirely pleasant heart to heart with their swordsman. She had heard of him long before actually meeting him, had questioned Baroque Works on the idea to offer the boy from the weakest sea a position, and had laughed at how gloriously they had failed.
He had laughed at her loudly and in honest amusement, almost as carefree as their captain, in a way he rarely did these days, since his encounter with Kuma and their defeat at Saboady. He had told her that she wasn't the only one with demons in her eyes. That no matter how cute and naive they seemed, she was not the only one with blood on her hands, not the only one that tossed and turned at night because of the horrible things she had endured. Most importantly though, he had told her about why he hadn't wanted her on the crew. Because he knew that darkness people assigned her, was intimately familiar with it, both had blood on their hands in ways the rest of the crew didn't and also that it didn't matter now. Luffy had a way to tame monsters and she hadn't been one to begin with. Sometimes their harsh swordsman could be quite charming.
It certainly had made it easier to stay, to accept her newfound family. But still, the silent hours of the night had haunted her. Anxiety had driven her to become stronger in the two years apart. To learn more. To find ways to be useful to her family so she would never have to lose them again. She had known without a doubt that the others were doing the same. And upon return to Sunny, the screams of silence, screams of her past had been drowned out by the snores and sighs of her family all sleeping in one big heap, starved for each others' presence.
What truly menacing pirates they were.
With a smile, she turned the page of her novel, a spare arm pulling the dark green robe closer around her shoulders, while her real hand stroked the orange haired head resting on her lap.
He was like that. Always caring and never judging. Not them at least. Barging into the aquarium bar, clearly lost on his way to the galley for a midnight snack, his eye had been on her and her lover instantly and with a curse he'd shrugged out of his robe to drape it over her shoulders, very carefully, as to not wake the navigator. Mumbled something about Chopper and Curly skinning him if he let her freeze to death on his way out.
Nami shifted, the thin blanket slipping from her breasts, brown eyes slowly blinking awake, one hand reaching for the robe.
"Did he get lost again? After all these years," she mumbled but even sleep couldn't hide the mischievous glint in her eyes, "I should charge him for seeing you naked."
" Fufufufu, he'd never leave you," she said, fingers still playing with Nami's orange locks and Nami hummed in agreement, turning towards her. "I know," she amended, "none of them will."
"Should I be disappointed that you don't shackle me to you with outraging debt?"
Nami laughed, the sound alone strong enough to vanquish any demons that may still be lurking in the silence. "I shackle you with orgasms," she chuckled before nuzzling into her crotch, and just like that she heard her breathing evening out again as she drifted off to sleep.
She wasn't wrong about that. And not just Nami. One way or another every one of them had shackles on her but for once she did not mind them.
She put the book aside on the little table next to the empty cocktails Sanji had provided them with earlier this evening and pulled the blanket up to Nami's shoulders and with a deep breath she leaned back against the cushions of the aquarium bar's couch built by Franky. With one hand in her girlfriend's hair, she closed her eyes to the fish Luffy, Chopper, and Usopp had caught the past week. Replaying the melody Brook had played for them at sunset while Jinbei had let the waves dance to the notes she snuggled into the warm robe Zoro had draped around her shoulders minutes ago, still warm from his body heat.
Surrounded by the soft scent of tangerines she welcomed the tendrils of sleep reaching for her. Surrounded by her family, the silence wasn't all that loud anymore.