Disclaimer: Oda owns One Piece.
Warning: Unintended OOC-ness and minor grammatical errors.
Author's (Really Long) Note:
First of all, thank you for everyone who reads this fic. It's been so great, the feedback, the messages, just everything. As I've said before, I've been planning on rewriting this, making it better in a way, and I did just that. Basically, every chapter thorough read through and proper revisions.
Honestly, this was a very unplanned story. This was supposed to be a one shot, turned three part-er deal, basically something to bridge me while writing RomanceDawn(which is on hold right now in favor of this one), but you guys have just been so awesome, and I just had so many new ideas, that it became this.
I hope you guys don't mind these revisions, and the length of this note :)
Revisions made so no one needs to go back and reread the whole thing:
Corrected grammar and spelling errors (as good as I can, so apologies if I missed any)
Fixed run on sentences and general sentence structure and arrangement.
Also italicized inner thoughts of the characters.
Added the time frame to chapters that didn't have them
Major change: Changed the length of their separation from 18 to 16. It doesn't affect the story much, but does make everyone younger.
Chapter 1: Changed the POV from first person to third. Added more details to the All Blue scene and the wedding scenes.
Chapter 3: The strawhats didn't look for Robin at Tora, but at another island. In this flashback, they weren't able to find out where she lived.
Chapter 4: Changed Saul's age from seven to four when they first meet Kuzan at the train. Corrected "Ararara" to the proper "Arara".
Chapter 5: No major story changes, just wanted to say this is still my favorite chapter. So many ideas, like writing a spin off based on this chapter, kind of makes my process in writing a bit slower.
Chapter 8: Adjusted the timeline from three months from leaving Baratie to just two.
Chapter 9: Changed two weeks to one month regarding the length of time Saul mentioned for his research.
That's pretty much it :)
Flashbacks are still in italic and there's a bit of a note of thanks at the bottom!
Hours before leaving Baratie, at Syrup Village...
"Daddy, why are you hiding under there?"
Usopp's head collided with the sturdy wood of their marital bed. He fought the urge to utter a curse, something his wife definitely does not approve of. His daughter, the striking image of her mother, but with the curly hair of her father, was laying on her tummy, peeking under his current hiding place.
"Why are you hiding under the bed?" She asked again, kicking her legs playfully behind her.
"Well, you see, Chi-chi" Usopp's mind struggled to find an answer without stretching the truth too much. "I was attacked by the dangerous Crocodile! Remember, the shichubukai that I told you about?"
Chi-chi's eyes widened, "The sand-croc!" she exclaimed.
"Yes!" Usopp said, with much pride as he laughed heartily "He came up and attacked me, but I was able to blow him away! I had to hide under the bed to make sure none of his sandy particles stick to me!"
"Wow!" Chi-chi said, her eyes so bright and round "My dad is such an amazing liar!"
For the second time, Usopp's head collided with the bed, as Chi-chi ran out calling for her brother.
"Pedro!" He heard his daughter shout "I have a great story to tell you!"
Usopp sighed, massaging the slowly growing and ever so painful bump on his crown. He took a peek outside, ensuring that the room was empty, before crawling deeper under bed, pulling down the draped part of their sheets so the little space between the floor and the mattress was covered.
Syrup village was a small village, in a small island. Nothing too exciting happened there, even if a former (and sometimes occasional) pirate lives there. It was a peaceful island, where people got along really well.
Usopp has always loved his town. Even if they knew him as being such a liar, he still owed to them the life he had now. True, he missed the Strawhats dearly, but Luffy and Nami always try their best to visit, and Baratie would spend a whole season docked near the island. Franky would often send them video messages, and the occasional invention, and Chopper and Kaya were always in correspondence due to their shared passion. Even Brook would be an occasional visitor, being the Soul King and having the opportunity to go on grand tours.
The only two he never heard from were Robin and Zoro. He missed them too, that was for sure, but he knew the two of them were somewhat recluses from the start. The two of them were the most independent members of their nakama, although Zoro really needed a traveling companion because he was always getting lost.
Usopp couldn't help but chuckle to himself at all those memories, when such a powerful swordsman would always end up going the wrong direction, even in a straight line. After the amusing thought, and the darkness of being under the bed came upon him again, Usopp's mind wandered to what he had become.
He wasn't a coward anymore.
Not weak, but strong.
His nakama had helped him realize that.
He was a brave warrior of the sea now, a trusted companion of the pirate king, the greatest sniper in the world (maybe not as great as his dad yet, but they were on the same level when his dad was his age), the sniper of the Straw hat pirates.
He wasn't afraid, nor was he hiding.
He just didn't want Sanji to know where he was.
It had happened just two days ago.
Usopp, who has not seen Zoro for such a long time, was quite surprised when he saw the green haired swordsman. The king of snipers was just walking in the town with his ten year old daughter in tow, trying to find some scrap materials for a new invention, when he saw the tall stature with a mop of green hair, the same shade as a certain Aegagropila linnaei.
Usopp, who has been humming his theme song, stopped in his tracks, almost bumping into several other shoppers, while his daughter kept on walking with her own list in her hands, oblivious to her father's outburst.
"Zoro" he uttered, softly at first, staring intently at the green haired man, to make sure that he doesn't suddenly disappear.
To make sure this is real.
He ran up to the him, almost stumbling as he tried to regain some semblance of composure, reaching out a hand to grab his arm.
"Zoro!" He called louder, finally reaching the strong arm of his comrade. He pulled it sharply, which surprised his target, resulting in both of them falling down in a heap on the dusty ground.
The sniper winced automatically, waiting for the blow that was sure to follow, plus the sermon that he was being such a klutz and needed to be careful. However, the blow did not come, the snarling voice did not speak, and when Usopp opened his eyes, he was met with quite a surprising sight.
Zoro had not aged, and was staring at him with wide brown eyes, mouth agape, reminding him of a certain Bartolomeo they met back at Dressora.
"You!" Zoro managed to say, although Usopp was still wondering why in the world the man who was older than him looked so much younger.
Maybe Doctorine taught him a thing or two?
To his surprise, Zoro bowed low on the ground, a posture of utter respect, which frazzled Usopp even more.
"Hey, this isn't funny anymore Zoro!" Usopp said, trying to pull up the other man. People were staring now, and although the sniper knew that he was an awesome man, a god incarnate, but the swordsman was still a notch higher than him.
The green haired man looked up, brown eyes staring into Usopp's, and that's when the sniper noticed that he wasn't Zoro. True, he looked like Zoro, but Zoro was never without his swords.
"I'm sorry!" Usopp said, bowing lower "I thought you were my friend!"
He was apologizing profusely, when he realized that the stranger was doing the same.
"Oh my Oda, I'm so sorry!" He heard the stranger say, bowing so low that his nose touched the ground "I didn't mean to be such a klutz!"
Usopp, clearly taken aback, still bowed lower, so much so that his nose bent "I'm so sorry, I thought you were someone else!"
Usopp looked up at her daughter, trying to gather some composure and dignity, although his dirty and dusty face didn't really help in that department.
"Chi-chi" he said, dusting the tip of his nose "I was just apologizing to this young man!" He gestured to the green haired stranger, only to be once again surprised. For the stranger did not straighten up, and kept his head low in an act of absolute penance.
"Are you sure it's not the other way around daddy?" Chi-chi asked, whispering, "Maybe he knows you're the greatest sniper in the world?"
Usopp patted her daughter's head, but he was distracted.
The green hair. The brown eyes. But mostly the green hair.
"Hey" Usopp said "You should stand up now, it was my fault that we fell. I bumped into you."
Usopp could see the stranger's shoulders shuddering, and he was afraid that he did something wrong that caused convulsions or some form of disease. He was backing away slowly, dragging his daughter with him, when the stranger straightened up.
The sniper thought he resembled Chopper, with all those starry eyes and that agape mouth filled with wonder and awe. He had to physically stop himself from bursting into laughter, since Zoro certainly never did that.
"You're Usopp!" The stranger said loudly "Sogeking!" The Zoro doppelganger threw his hands up in the air, almost swaying in his enthusiasm, and held them tightly, eyes shining with utter admiration. "You're the greatest sniper in the world! I'm a big fan! My mother has told me all your stories! You're so amazing!"
Usopp, who was quite unsure of what to do next, tried to calm down the young man, mostly because it unnerved him to see Zoro, although he's not Zoro, act that way, and partly because other people were definitely taking notice of their encounter. "Hey" Usopp said, trying to get the stranger's attention from his outburst.
"Oh!" However, the stranger was able to compose himself "How rude, I haven't introduced myself."
Usopp eyed him curiously as he bowed, bending at the waist, straight and a bit rigid "My name is Saul, I'm Nico Robin's son." He added the last part in a whisper, with a slight mischievous smile.
That did it.
Usopp started laughing, while his daughter and the stranger both looked at him incredulously.
"You're Robin's son?" he managed to say in between fits of laughter "You're hilarious! You look so much like Zoro, but you say your Robin's son? That would mean that-"
Robin and Zoro made a baby.
The scream that erupted from Usopp's mouth almost matched that time back at the Smile Factory, although this one had a bit more spice in it.
Usopp snickered at the memory. He tried to muffle it by covering his mouth with his hands, but it was just too entertaining. The thought that Zoro and Robin's son would be such a fan was a bit too much, and although he reveled in the attention the young Saul gave him, he still felt it was a bit too unfounded.
No, a brave warrior of the seas.
He sighed a little bit too loudly, but caught it before the sound echoed, and he lay there in the darkness. It was something to be afraid of fighting strong men who wanted to kill you, it was another deal to be awaiting the wrath of a friend.
He took a deep breath, before peering out from the covers. "Hey" he said sheepishly, his wife crouched down to look at him.
She, ever patient, just smiled at him and patted his head "Would you like some cookies? Merry made a fresh batch."
Usopp laughed nervously, blushing at how she could just let his antics pass like that. He is truly blessed to have married such a wonderful woman.
"A couple would be nice" he said, with a definite nod.
"Okay then, and a glass of milk." She blew him a kiss before heading out, while he returned to his hiding.
He smiled to himself, feeling positively lucky. Of all the things that has come his way, Kaya was certainly one of the best things. So caring, and sweet, so patient and loving. And she never got mad at his stories. He loved her so much, the only person who can ground him, and remind him who he was, especially in times when he doubts himself.
Usopp, a brave warrior of the sea.
Sometimes, he tends to compare Kaya to Nami. It was an unfair comparison, since Nami was certainly no Kaya, but they are the women he was closest to, for both of them were ones he considered as some of his best and trusted friends.
Of course, there was Robin, but Robin was different.
Usopp has a great memory. He tends to remember things, which was very useful when his mother got sick. It was an effort to remember all the tiny details that made life worth it, to remember his mother. Her smile, her laugh, how she taught him how to draw.
He remembers his mother.
And he remembers Robin.
It was before Brook, just a bit after their departure from Water 7.
Although Usopp was an expert with fake ailments, he was still human. About 99 times out of a hundred that he claimed to be sick was a fabrication, but there comes the odd one where he would actually be sick.
This was one of those odd times.
In a calmer part of the Grand Line, Usopp has been hastily confined to bed rest and quarantine for chicken pox. Red and itchy spots plagued his body, and since most of the straw hat pirates hasn't had chicken pox, he was left in a spare room to avoid infecting the others.
The boredom, coupled by the fact that he could hear everyone else having fun on the deck, made him miserable. Plus the cream that Chopper had rubbed on him had a very musky smell, and all he wanted to do was wash the sticky substance off.
He sighed loudly, laying back down on the spare bed. It was comfortable enough, but the sheets were just burlap.
Damn Nami, he thought, for the navigator insisted that they don't use the linen sheets on him. He knew that she wanted to burn the sheets he had used, to avoid infecting others, but she had also made him use the burlap because they were cheap. Very uncomfortable burlap.
The door opened, much to his surprise, since it had a bolt lock to prevent Luffy from coming in. He was much more surprised when Robin came in, a thick book in hand.
She smiled at him "Hello."
Although Usopp has grown to be comfortable around their archaeologist, even being paired with her in some of their adventures, he still found it awkward that she would be there. Mostly because they never really interacted that way when in the ship. Not because they avoided each other, but because he usually hanged out with Luffy, Chopper, or Franky, while she spent her time with Nami or in the library.
"Hello" Usopp said, sitting up.
Robin pulled up a chair by the bed, and sat down "I thought you could use some company."
Usopp sheepishly scratched the back of his neck "Won't you get the chicken pox?"
"I already had it, so I won't be getting it again."
"Oh yeah, Chopper did say you can only get it once."
"Yeah, and once you have it, you won't ever get it again, but that means that you can get the shingles."
Robin nodded "It's caused by the same virus that causes the chicken pox. Shingles are very painful rashes that happens when the chicken pox virus reactivates, years after you had it."
"Stop!" Usopp said, feeling a bit queasy and the thought of something painful.
Robin chuckled "It's not fatal."
"Well thanks for that" he said, a bit sarcastically, earning him another chuckle.
Robin smiled at him, that innocent sort of smile that she just started using after Ennis Lobby. Usopp never tells this to anyone, but it's one of his proudest accomplishments.
"So would you like me to read you a book?" She said, showing him the thick tome she had brought with her.
Usopp looked at the title, and then gagged. "As much as I would like to hear about the, uhm" he coughed "Sawney Bean, The Complete Account of his Murders and Cannibalism during the 15th century" he shuddered visibly "I would rather not."
He looked imploringly at Robin, his eyes begging her not to continue that morbid tale, and he was so glad when she understood with a nod. "I could grab another book if you want?"
"Or we could just talk?" He had blurted it out without really thinking, for all he could imagine was what other gory book Robin would be able to produce.
"Okay." Robin said, setting the book aside.
Usopp felt the awkwardness reach an immense level, and wishing that somehow someone else would come in. To his relief, the door opened again. To his surprise, it was another Robin with a gallon of ice cream and two bowls and spoons.
"I got the chicken pox when I was twelve." The Robin beside him said, with a smile, as the other Robin set the tray on the table, and disappeared into pink petals. "I found that ice cream was always a good treat to have."
Usopp smiled widely, for he knew that only Robin and Nami could get a whole gallon of ice cream from the fridge, without having to face the wrath of Sanji.
"Awesome!" he said, sitting up straighter. Robin laughed as she scooped him a bowl. After that, the awkwardness disappeared, and they spent the afternoon talking about everything they could think about.
And to Usopp's relief, Robin never skewed the conversation to anything morbid.
He knew Robin had a caring side, and sometimes he couldn't help but compare her to his mother. Or rather, he couldn't help but remember his mother whenever he saw Robin with Chopper.
Usopp never voiced it out, but he had always known Robin would be a great mother. Morbid sense of humor aside, she always had that nurturing aura around her, something Usopp, and everyone else in the crew, found comfort in. He remembers the time when he and Nami would lay on her lap, during the lazy days of their sailing, basking under the sun, while she read from her book**.
He smiled at the memory, even if Sanji would berate him about taking his precious Robin-chwan's lap space.
He sighed loudly, leaning on his arms, blowing out the dust bunnies. He still can't believe that Robin is actually a mother, and that Zoro is a father. He was an expert story-teller (liar), but he found it hard to imagine people believing this tale.
'Even if there is that time when-'
Usopp's train of thoughts were stopped abruptly, when he heard his daughter shout "Daddy! We have a visitor!"
The color from his face drained, as he slunk as deep as he can under the bed. The door opened, and he could hear boots walking towards the bed, accompanied by the smell of cigarettes.
End Part 10.
**Headcanon read on tumblr. I tried looking for it in my likes section, but I liked too many things and it got really buried. I'm still trying to find the source for that head canon, but if anyone else remembers it, it would be very much appreciated.
Also, I'm pretty glad I extended this chapter, because I can use the latest manga chapters on the next one. All hail god-Sop!
Thank you everyone for the wonderful reviews!
Seis Fleur Much Perona because she is awesome! Also, right now, Taka no Me is currently leading in the polls :)
Guest Flashback Robin is going to be present in several chapters, so I hope that tides you over :) I also like your name suggestions, but I hope you don't mind I count your vote for Les Fleur de Robin, since voters have also taken a shine to that.
Majin no tamashi Counted your vote for the name :)
someone I do apologize for so many delays . Sana nga maka upload ako more often pero dyahe sa school. Salamat talaga ha, at promise, once exams are over, mas madalas na yung mga updates :)
Donquixote Mango I really love your username lol Thank you so much for your support and amazingly kind words, I hope to be updating faster as soon as exams are over, and just, oh my gosh, thank you thank you thank you!
Tare-chan Thank you for that correction lol, it was just in time for me when I was doing the revisions :) So coincidentally awesome! Thank you for being understanding about the OOC-ness, I really do try to avoid it, but I appreciate when readers point it out so I can fix it :)
You guys are all so awesome, those who left reviews, messages, Favorited, followed, just read, just all awesome :)
*Humble bow* Much appreciation and thanks!