Chester had ran off shortly after they docked at the hotel called "Homely Waters." When Pin Joker and Alice strode in, everyone assumed they were married. She walked in complete strides with her back straight and chin up, proud of the arm that was placed protectively at her hip. He was beside her, glancing at everyone that stared at Alice and laid his free hand on the handle of his sabre, finding that it scared these people too, like the Trump Pirates. He smirked with satisfaction as they came up to the desk.
"I would like a room for four nights, please," Pin Joker requested.
"Yes suh!" the man turned to the wall behind him and took a key off a nail, "Is it your honeymoon?" he asked them when he turned back around and laid the key on the desk.
"No, just a vacation," he blushed, a stripe of pink across his pale, white face. This was the second time someone had asked. Alice tried to hide her laughter behind her hand.
"Oh, well that'll be one-hundred sixty beri," the man smiled over the desk.
Pin Joker dug in his pouch and counted several coins before laying it in the man's greedy hand. Alice took the key and held it close to her chest as she and Pin Joker ascended to their room.
"Here's our room, sweetheart," Alice said sweetly as she came up to a door labeled, "Room 12."
Pin Joker rushed up beside her and took her hand as she set the key in and they turned it together, smiling lovingly at one another. The door clicked open and revealed a simple little room with a large bed, a night table with an oil lamp and a mirror on one wall. There was a window beside the night table but the curtains were closed. After a quick kiss on Pin Joker's cheek, Alice went over and pulled open the curtains to look out across the ocean.
"It's beautiful!" she whispered when she felt him come up behind her.
"Your family always loved the ocean," Pin Joker commented as he sat down on the bed.
Alice turned to him suddenly, "What was my family like?"
He gazed up at her, trying to remember what the Nereida family was like. It was so hard to remember as he stared at Alice. "They were a lot like you, since you inherited their traits. Your grandfather, Abraham, traveled a lot and that's how he met my family. My father always said he was so easy-going but in certain situations, he could be very stern. Like a roaring river. He knew more about the world than history books can tell us."
Alice sat beside him and stared up at the ceiling as a memory came to her. The room was suddenly warmer to her, instead of sending slight chills through her body with every movement. She had the sudden feeling that spring was coming, even though it was summer back on Clock Island.
"Grandpa!" she remembered shouting as she leaped up into the loving arms of Abraham Nereida.
"What is it, my little Alice? What excites you so?" he asked with a smile.
"The snow has melted! Spring is coming! Can you feel the rumbling under your feet, grandpa?" Alice crawled out of his embrace and stomped her barefeet on the ground, "The flowers are going to burst out of the ground soon!" she leaped up in the air, stretching her hands to the sky like a flower to the sun.
Her grandfather let out a booming laughter as his large belly shook. Alice could remember the lines in his face, like the bark of a tree. She remembered his scraggly white beard that descended down to his belt, the blue robe he always wore with the gold trim. She remembered the ancient stories he used to tell about cities lost under the water because of a terrible sin. To think he was telling the truth about Oceanthys.
"Your father was smart but he had no interest in the Nereida tradition, that is why he married a peasant and not another sea nymph or whatever your grandfather wanted him to marry. Your mother was extremely interested in your family's tradition; she was an archivist. Abraham never told her anything, he feared she would make their secrets known to the world. Your sister, Amy, was treated like Anna. She did not inherit the Nereida traits, therefore, all of the Nereida information was passed onto you from your grandfather," Pin Joker stopped and tried to remember all he could.
"I'm sorry, I remember so little about your family because I spent so much time with you," he finally said, holding his chin in his hands as he gazed out the window.
"That's okay, I will remember in due time," she patted him on the back with a smile, "In the meantime, will you take me around to explore?"
Pin Joker turned to her with a smirk. It had been years since he explored Water 7 with Alice.
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