The smell of dust and old paper hitting Chopper's nostrils as they entered the book store told him that this was one where Robin was probably going to have a field day. The books all looked really old, faded titles on leather bound backs filling the rows of shelves stacked so closely that he didn't dare transforming into heavy point for fear of knocking something over.
The archaeologist's eyes lit up as they entered and she paused a moment looking around the store before she started browsing the title's in earnest. Chopper really liked seeing how excited she got, even though he knew he wasn't all that likely to find a book for himself here.
Because while old books were perfect for finding out about history they were often lacking when it came to medicine, because it was a fast moving science with loads of new findings in a short amount of time, and well… some of the things found in old medical texts were just plain stupid. Like the amount of bodily fluid's determining one's personality, or the idea that the heart produced the blood which then seeped into all the other tissues and then just sort of vanished there, so the heart constantly had to produce more. Not all old books were useless, but above a certain age it wasn't particularly likely to be helpful anymore.
But even if he found absolutely no book for himself, he absolutely didn't mind spending all the time in the world in the store if Robin found something that caught her interest. He loved going to book stores with her. The way the usually so reserved archaeologist got exited around books always made Chopper happy. And it made him feel special that he was the one who got to see it.
Robin very rarely looked for social contact herself. She was usually on the deck, always available for people to spend time with her, but she usually didn't start interactions on her own. So hearing her say: "Doctor-san, would you care to accompany me to the local book store?" with that little smile on her face made Chopper feel all warm inside.
Maybe there were some newer books further into the store. Chopper decided to check around there, while Robin was still captivated by the shelf nearest to the door.
"Hey! You can't take that in here!", the store owner suddenly yelled, and pointed at Chopper.
The little doctor looked up, confused. Maybe it was about the back pack? Some stores didn't like you carrying large bags, because they were scared of someone taking something, but Chopper's backpack was really small, and filled to the brim with medical supplies, anyway, so he couldn't take anything even if he wanted to.
"Take what in here?", Robin asked, also looking up from her browsing.
"That dog thing there! Didn't you read the sign? No pets allowed!", the owner said, now pointing at the sign above his head, and Chopper felt like a lead weight had been dropped down his stomach.
"He's not a pet", Robin said in a tone icy enough for Aokiji to ride a bike on.
"I don't care what you call it, this is a book store, not an animal shelter." The elderly man stared down his bespectacled nose with a look of absolute disgust that made Chopper flinch despite himself.
"He is not a pet, he is our crew's Doctor, and I assure you that he will not damage anything. He's a Zoan type devil's fruit user, which is what might've confused you about his appearance. Also he is not a dog, he is a reindeer", Robin explained frostily.
"I don't care what it is, if you want to be in my store that thing waits outside", the shopkeeper said sternly.
Chopper sniffled, but did his best not to let the tears that were gathering on the corners of his eyes fall. He wasn't going to cry about this, dammit. He could even understand the shop keeper's reasoning, just having animals running around his precious books, potentially ruining them probably was a really bad idea, and accepting someone who looked like a reindeer as a person was probably difficult when you weren't around devil's fruit users a lot.
But understanding didn't make him feel any less alienated, didn't make it hurt any less that he was being thrown out of one of his favorite kind of places to be.
"It's okay, Robin", he mumbled, trying not to sound as sad as he felt. "I'll just go outside, it's no big deal."
"Ventriloquism isn't going to change my mind", the shop keeper helpfully supplied.
"No, it is most certainly not okay, doctor-san", Robin said sternly. "We're leaving." A hand appeared on his shoulder, and for a moment Chopper was surprised when he realized that Robin herself was attached to it.
"But, these books, don't you wanna…? I really don't mind if you want to stay, I'll just…", Chopper said. Finding books this old wasn't an opportunity they had every day, what if one of them contained a hint to the void century or something? Chopper's feelings getting hurt wasn't worth missing out on that.
"It's no use looking at them, I wouldn't want to pay money to this man, anyway, and sadly my skills at burglary are not quite as advanced as navigator-san's", Robin said, and led Chopper out of the book store's door, ignoring the shopkeeper's outraged shout as she mentioned the word burglary.
"Are you sure about this? There could be a really important book in there, don't you want to go back in?", Chopper said as soon as the door had closed behind them.
"Quite sure, Doctor-san", Robin confirmed. "No matter how important any of those books may be, some things are even more important." She smiled down at him and Chopper blinked for a moment, not quite sure what she was talking about, but feeling the sudden urge to insult her and tell her whatever she was trying to say didn't make him happy.
"Now, how about we find a place that sells cotton candy, instead?", Robin added. And all Chopper could think to do was grin and nod enthusiastically.