Sabo adjusted his cuffs thoughtfully, perched on the rail of his new ship.
He watched the trio of young men talking to Merry, who was holding little Kaya's hand. Her friend Usopp was standing feet apart and arms crossed next to her, his slingshot held white-knuckled, but he glared out towards where the battle with Kuro's crew had ended. Both children had come through this with exceptional bravery, considering they lived here and not… somewhere rather different.
Sabo shook his head to clear it of that burned-in memory of a skiff shot out of the water by a World Government ship.
He shifted the length of pipe where it rested in the crook of his arm and looked sidelong at Coby.
"D-do you really think…?" Coby turned to look at the three young men on the shore once again, chewed on his lower lip uncertainly, but then Sabo saw Coby's expression clear as he too decided, and he smiled to himself.
"I really do." He pointed his chin at Carrot. "Cook." At Onion. "Storyteller." At Pepper. "Builder."
Of course the fact that Pepper had a punch like a ton of bricks was notable too. Onion could paint up camouflage like he'd never seen, and Sabo hadn't met anyone who used a fishing rod as a weapon before, but Carrot had some frightening precision.
The three bent to offer goodbyes to the children. Kaya solemn and shiny-eyed, Usopp's face tear-streaked, and then they hefted their bags and made for the skiff.
"Not sure that'll get you very far," Sabo drawled out, leaning over to watch them pack. "I'll bet it sinks in no time."
Pepper's expression darkened, surly, Onion looked surprised and wounded. Carrot glowered up at Sabo directly. The jibe, after all they’d just been through, was perhaps a bit much. Indeed, Carrot exhaled with visible effort at calm speech, and bit back, "well there's no reason to be rude about it, is there?"
Sabo felt a not very forceful elbow in his ribs, and Coby leaned forward. "Wh-what he means is..." Coby began, trailed off, then just smiled and pointed his thumb over his shoulder at the Going Merry.
Sabo grinned. "Just get on!"