Missing The Merry

Sometimes Sanji missed the Going Merry.  She'd been a fine ship, a small caravel with a big heart.  He liked the Thousand Sunny - the galley was state of the art and fantastic - but she lacked the intimacy of the Merry.  The Sunny was enormous, a brig sloop made to withstand the harsher waters of the open seas.  The design gave the growing crew plenty of space so they weren't always on top of one another like they'd been on the Merry.

On the downside, Sanji was more cut off from the others on the Sunny, ensconced in the galley preparing meals, cleaning up afterward, and making menus and cataloging supplies.  The Adam Wood used to build the ship cut down on the noise from his nakama horsing around on deck, making him feel more isolated.  The portholes weren't set anywhere he could easily see outside, while cooking or doing the dishes, like they had been on the Merry.

The crew didn't congregate in the galley, either, except at mealtimes.  Some wandered in and out during the day, seeking food and drink, but not to sit and visit, or work on projects, or plot their course.  The others hung out in Aquarium Bar, library, the survey room, and workrooms when they weren't on deck.  There was no need to gather in one place when a storm hit or it was too cold to be outside.  In fact, a lot of the time, they'd sit in the Aquarium Bar and Sanji would serve food and drink via the dumbwaiter while he remained in the galley.

It was during these times that Sanji missed the Merry the most.  He remembered, before Franky and Brook, how the seven of them would crowd into the galley lounge on the Merry during bad weather.  Nami and Robin would sit across from each other at the bench table, with Chopper and Luffy at their sides, talking and playing games.  Usopp would be on the floor working on a ridiculous contraption.  Zoro would lean against the supplies and nap.  Warmth would fill the room from the stove, and Sanji would whip up treats and hot drinks while conversation flowed around him.

But even when the weather had been nice, one of them would inevitably sit with him in the galley.  Nami had used the table to work on her charts when it was getting close to time to restock the Merry.  Usopp might have had a bigger project going on that couldn't be moved, and he'd remained with Sanji for days, chatting and working.  The galley had doubled as an infirmary, and Chopper had tended to whomever was hurt in there.  While Sanji had constantly kicked out Luffy, Robin had come in often simply to sit and talk with him while she had a cup of tea.  Even Zoro had occasionally sat inside to clean his katanas and ask Sanji when they would be having that chicken with the red stuff or that fish dish with the oranges in it again - Zoro's way of telling Sanji that he'd liked the meal.

The Thousand Sunny was a grand ship, strong and befitting the crew of the future Pirate King.  But sometimes Sanji missed the Going Merry and what that really meant to him. 

Sometimes he missed his friends.