She had cast off earlier in the evening before the rowdiness of New Year's eve began. The harbour was always packed full of partiers beginning their revelry early while waiting for midnight's approach. The market transforms when the sun sets; from places to buy fresh sea fare and vegetables to booths filled with all sorts of loud, colourful fireworks and booze that flowed freely all night long. Some years she even set up a spot herself, making a killing selling her trademark Rapture Rum and enticing customers with various drinking contests that got the gold out of their pockets and into hers.
But the carefree, social mood just didn't seem to find her tonight. So, after shooing her crew out of her ship, she sailed away from the cheers rolling through the harbour and out into the chilly night, setting down anchor a ways from shore. Moving onto the main deck and leaning against the side railing, Fortune watches a few clouds drift across the sky and admires the way the crescent moon hangs low amongst the twinkling stars.
Bilgewater's harbour was well-lit with lanterns, giving it a soft orange glow when viewed from this distance. She could hear the muffled roars of merriment from the crowd as a small group broke off from the main section and worked their way further down the shore. This group were the few in charge of the midnight firework show and were on their way to set up for it.
Her ship dips gently and a voice calls out over the sudden sound of rushing water.
"I'm not too late, am I? The clouds were thicker earlier so using the moon as a gauge of time was a bit difficult." Nami had used small jet of water to elevate her enough to grab the railing on the ship and slip over the side. She shakes some of the water off and looks up at Fortune, smiling.
"No worries, you're a bit early." Fortune says as she pushes off from the railing and watches Nami glide onto her ship. "They've already begun setting up for the main show but you arrived with plenty of time to get settled." She calls out as she makes her way into the cabin, emerging a few moments later with a towel and two thick, soft cushions. Handing Nami the towel, Fortune moves over to the centre of her main deck and sets down the cushions, fluffing them up as Nami approaches.
"These are for us. Make yourself comfortable and I'll be back with a little somethin' for us." The bounty hunter nods towards their seats and reaches out to take the towel from Nami before heading back into her rooms.
Nami lowers herself and stretches out her lower half, flopping her fin against the boards of the main deck.
"I'm pretty excited to see the fireworks in the way landstriders do. I've passed by underwater plenty of times and they illuminate the sea in such a fascinating way, almost as if the stars are falling from the sky and sinking into the water."
"The way the colours flash on the ocean's surface, especially when the water is smooth and undisturbed, is quite amazing. I can almost imagine what it must look like from underneath, too, how the bursts of light brighten the water with blues and greens and then gently simmer out. Must be somethin', that's for sure." Fortune remarks as she carefully settles onto her cushion, holding two tumblers filled with a dusty orange liquid. She hands one to Nami. "Don't worry, it's nothing strong - I picked this out especially for tonight because I thought it had a nice festive feel to it."
Nami takes the glass and her eyes widen as she takes a sip. "What is this? It's got such flavour."
Fortune chuckles. "It's hot apple cider, a drink I haven't had in a long time. I figured I'd let all those partiers back on shore enjoy the warmth brought on by rum and get us something a little different to celebrate the new year." She takes a sip herself and enjoys the various spices blending together and warming her.
Nami takes a few more sips, mulling over the flavour for a moment before speaking. "The taste reminds me of swimming through the waters in the south during summer. Invigorating, in a way."
A bright firework goes off and the tidecaller jumps, spilling a little of the cider onto the cushion and eliciting a laugh from the bounty hunter.
They both turn towards shore and watching as another shoots high into the sky, exploding into a bright sphere of twinkling green. "Does this mean it's midnight now?" asks Nami as she leans closer to Fortune and watches the multicoloured array burst over the shore.
"Yes, we are now officially celebrating the new year." Fortune raises her drink. "Goodbye to the old and welcome to the new." She tilts her glass towards an explosion of blues and purples that take the shape of a flower. Nami lifts her glass and mimics Fortune's gesture. They clink their glasses together and take another sip of the still warm cider.
"You were right, all of these fireworks look wonderful reflected on the surface of the sea. It's so much clearer up here." Nami says after they place their glasses down. Fortune looks over at Nami as yet another explosion lights up the sky, the reflection of which shimmers in the tidecaller's large, dark eyes.
Eyes that turn and catch Fortune's, glowing with excitement.
Their hands fumble across the soft cushions and find one another, the cool scales of Nami's fingers entwining with Fortune's own warm ones.
Happy New Year.