Author's note: Robin-chwan! I am like Sanji when it comes to her.
She hides it well, she thinks. Even after displaying her emotions so openly in Enies Lobby, the horrible truth and pain etched across her features, she still thinks she hides it well: smiling at the cook's exaggerated deeds for her, laughing at the antics of the crew, or holding an intellectual conversation with Ms. Navigator. But there was one person she knew would not fall for her smiles.
Mr. Swordsman still looks at her oddly, in the manner which makes her feel like he's staring deep into her, uncovering her every emotion, leaving no stone unturned. She feels exposed and naked in lieu of his piercing gaze and it unnerves her. Still, in some vain attempt, she puts on the same smile for him as she does the rest of her nakama.
She believes in her nakama now, more so than ever. She believes that they won't be the like the other groups she'd associated with; she believes that they won't cast her away because she is a burden, an unnecessary anchor holding their ship down. Nonetheless, she still holds the undeniable fear that, somehow, they will do all the things she believes they won't. She doesn't want to bear that fear, she knows for a fact that it's not true, and yet it still remains.
She wonders about Franky's words that day. It's never a sin just to exist, he said. She wonders. Ever since she could remember her existence, someone always told her she was a sin, a monster, a demon. She wants to tear her heart out just to prove to them that she's not. Even so, their taunts would not falter.
Currently, she sits in her deck chair, hiding behind a book she's read many times before. It served well as a secondary mask, so that Mr. Swordsman could not penetrate her façade, though he wasn't here right now. In fact, nobody was out right now; they were all tucked away in the impassable safety of their sleeping quarters.
She thinks of the safety she feels with her nakama. It is an amazing feeling at first; a feeling she could never ever hoped to have achieved after Saulo died in front of her. And then the feeling disintegrates as the events of 20 years previous have an astoundingly raw and painful memory inside her head. She can feel her body begin to tremble in a traumatic shuddering. Her fingers shake uncontrollably, and she could no longer hold the book properly. And the worst part is her nakama, who keep her steady, cannot protect her from this, from a place where they cannot get to, in her mind.
She pulls her legs up closer, and wraps her arms around them, the book loosely hanging from her fingers. The trembling continues unabated and her usually serene expression has cracked into tears and stifling sobs. Even if nobody is around, she doesn't want to betray her emotions away to the vastness of the sea.
And it seems the sky is crying with her too tonight. She feels the first drop hit her nose. And then the second gets her arm. At each touch, she jumps only the slightest, although to the untrained eye, it would be indistinguishable from her already convulsing body.
"Robin?" When she jumps now at the sound of her name, it is easily evident.
"Captain!" She says it quietly though, looking at his direction now, too shocked to wipe away the still flowing tears. He plops himself down on the floor, cross-legged, with one hand holding his head up. Aside, his straw hat, his attire was designed for slumber.
"Why are you crying this late at night? Aren't you tired?" He was always like that; an unconventional sort. She supposed that's what she liked about him; he was certainly different to any other captain she'd worked under. He was benevolent; as foolish as that may be for his occupation.
She bit her lip, withholding herself physically from answering. The tears would not cease, nor would she will them to. She was staring into her captain's eyes and he was staring right back, wide-eyed. She wondered then. Did he have the perception that Mr. Swordsman had?
He adjusted his hat so that his eyes went under its shade in the dimly lit ship.
"I know you're feeling sad, Robin. I don't know why, but when you feel sad, so do I. I don't like seeing my nakama unhappy." It was then which she saw it, and nearly gasped. On his visage, it reflected her tears perfectly. They streamed down his cheeks with an elegance she'd not witnessed before.
"Promise me one thing, Robin. Be happy." He yawned immediately after, a great big one at that and adjusted his hat, showing the now dry streaks on his face. He flashed a great big grin and waved her quite a loud goodnight. As he re-entered the male quarters, she could hear something being thrown at someone hard and she couldn't help but smile at his blatant silliness.
It was just like him to ask something like that; something so childish seeming, so naïve sounding. From any other person alive today, it would sound like the words of an idiot. Her tears had stopped sometime during the brief conversation.
Be happy. She wondered. Wasn't it enough that they had given her the right to live? Had he not done enough for her? The words echoed in her conscious. Did she even know what happiness was?
Her thoughts were interrupted abruptly when she heard a crash from the males' dorm, following by some cursing and whining. From what she heard, Luffy had jumped into Mr. Swordsman's hammock, rudely awakening him and others.
She giggled outside as all the men had awoken and were now arguing with each other. She decided that this was happiness.
Author's Note: What? You thought Zoro would come out and comfort her? Why ever would you think that? Robin-chwan!