It's not uncommon for the Straw Hat's resident archaeologist to be up at the strangest hours of the night. Her sleeping patterns were irregular, if not existent; it was rare to find the woman asleep, as she rarely slept. The thought once came to her, while she secretly watched the swordsman snoozed away, that perhaps he slept away all the hours she did not.

Time could not be wasted away sleeping. There were things to discover and only a limited amount of time in which to learn about them. Nighttime, in particular, was one oft he best time for her to study. While chaos reigned on the Going Merry during the daytime, it was rare to find it during these strange hours.

Robin's ability was useful for a number of assignments, but lookout was the job she preferred the most. It was not only the simplicity of the task that she enjoyed; it was also the location. The crow's nest, no matter what crew she belonged to, seemed like its very own world. The excitement that so often plagued the deck of the ships where she lived rarely reached the crow's nest. She could be at peace with her own thoughts and she would not be bothered, because she was at watch.

She sits in the crow's nest, a lamp at her side and a book in her lap. She flips through another page of the text, mentally filing the knowledge away for future reference. Though she absorbs the information easily, she finds it more and more difficult to focus on the words. It's not that she's tired; she had slept for more hours than she liked after she was defeated.

Her thoughts were simply elsewhere.

The common door room opens with a loud creek, and the woman sets the book aside. A moment later, she's on her feet, peering down from her perch to find a certain green-haired swordsman below.


He looks from side to side and spotting nothing, turns his gaze skyward. His eyes light up with recognition, and he opens his mouth to shout. "Oi! You! What are you doing up there?!"

"It's my watch, is it not?"

"Tch!" he grunts, scratching the back of his head. And before Robin can react, the swordsman scrambles up the ladder, and heaves himself over the railing, into the crow's nest. Brows knotted, he frowns down at the woman disapprovingly. "Get back to bed, stupid."

Surprise lights up Robin's eyes, and for a moment, she is rendered completely speechless. Stupid? Her eyes twinkle furiously as she struggles to control her expression. The effort fails; the ends of her lips curl into a smile, and soft laughter follows suit.

A tense frown sprawls across his face as a knot of frustration pops on his head. "What's so funny?!" he snaps, and the woman finally regains her composure, though the smile fails to fade away.

"Are you worried about me, Kenshi-san?" she asks, voice etched with amusement. Though their relationship had changed substantially since Skypiea, she had never anticipated she'd be the recipient of sympathy from Roronoa Zoro; he simply didn't seem like the sort of man.

Zoro's frown shifts into a scowl. "Of course not," he barks back, though Robin knows otherwise. "We had to change shifts today." He yawns loudly and turns a lethargic eye to the sea.

She is suddenly curious. "And you offered to take my shift?" she asks, turning to face the swordsman.

Her question is met with silence.

"My shift began half an hour ago," she says pointedly.

Silence, and then a grumble.

"You slept through it, didn't you?"

Her lips tug into an amused smile as a blush draws itself across the swordsman's face. Robin draws closer to the man, dangerously close, and the man's blush deepens.

"Kenshi-san?" Her voice is soft.

"What?!" Zoro makes no effort to hide his irritation.

"Thank you."

"Hn." A snort of acknowledgment.

And as she passes the swordsman on her way down from the crow's nest, she pauses.

For the second time that night, Nico Robin smiles.

"Good night, Kenshi-san."

His eyebrow twitches upwards and he opens his mouth to snap at her, to tell her to just get to bed already--that it's late and he just wants to finish this shift and be done with it.

He is interrupted by her kiss.