Disclaimer: I don't own One Piece or any of the characters.
Spoiler: Brook has joined the crew. When you don't read the manga, then it is a spoiler.
Prolog: The story takes place after Thriller Park. What would happen with Zoro when you take the most important thing for a swordsman away? Zoro has to win a fight against himself.
Author's note: Got the idea while watching the One Piece movie 5. There Saga said what is the most important for a swordsman. As I like drama the story is sad at the beginning and some characters have to suffer. But as I can say the end is always good. WARNING: I think that the characters are out of characters because they have not been in such situation.
It is a ZoroxRobin story, more moments in the future chapters. Some hints for LuffyxNami, but the main pairing is ZxR.
1. Not knowing doesn't mean that there isn't something dangerous waiting
Nami was lying in her chair, sun bathing. The water was "SUPA" as Franky would say. Nami couldn't wish for anything better; it was so great to relax. After the Thriller Park incident, Nami decided that they needed a break before they set out for Mermaid Island. They weren't sure when they would have a chance to relax again, which was why Nami wanted to use their chance now. The island they reached today was perfect for it.
When they had arrived at it, Nami just said that they were going to stay there for some days and the others agreed. Actually, Nami didn't ask permission for her decision. They just had to do what she said. They couldn't sail on without her, because she refused to go. How could they set sail if she didn't show them the direction? Luffy certainly doesn't understand navigation. Only Robin might be able to handle it, but she wouldn't leave Nami behind, would she?
In truth, the others needed time off too. They all needed a rest before the New World. It was decided that they spend some days on the beach. Of course, this didn't mean total rest for some of them. Sanji was busy grilling and taking care of Nami. This wasn't a hard job for Sanji. The short vacation was having some bad influence on Franky, Usopp and Chopper though. They were acting more childish than usual, building sandcastles which Sanji found extremely stupid, but they were enjoying it and were more or less quiet. Even Luffy had found a better activity, at least Sanji thought so. Actually, Sanji had found him the better activity.
Luffy was fishing and it was not of his own accord. Sanji had forced him. He watched the others with a sad face. He wanted so badly to build sandcastles too! He couldn't, because then he would have to go to bed with an empty stomach. Sanji could have forced Zoro to fish instead of Luffy, but the cook wanted to punish Luffy. He had stolen Nami's snack and that made Sanji angry. It was his own fault that he couldn't build sandcastles. Why should a grown-up play with sand at all?! Sanji did have to admit that Franky had built a great sandcastle though.
Brook was lying next to Nami on the sand, sunbathing too. He didn't have any skin to sunbath, but he didn't care. He was just enjoying the sun. This time he wasn't even joking over him being as a skeleton. He was just sleeping in the sun and Nami was wondering how he didn't get sunstroke because he was wearing black. She didn't say anything because she didn't want to ruin Brook's first sunbath after so many years.
Robin was busy packing her rucksack. She was not in the mood to sunbath. She had a lot of time to do it on the ship, because she didn't have an official job on the ship. At the moment she was more interested in the island. It was rare that she had a chance to investigate a new place. The island was uninhabited like Nami had said. She had to use her chance to get information about the island. What could be more interesting for an archeologist than a new place to explore?
"Robin-chan! You aren't going to the forest alone!" Robin swears to herself when Sanji notices her. "The island is too big, let me protect you!" Sanji's eyes were hearts. Of course he wanted to spend time with her.
"You don't have to." Robin smiled and Sanji almost melted. She wanted to go alone so she could spend as much time as she wanted. She had nothing against Sanji, but he would only disturb her.
"You have to cook," mumbled Nami from her chair. She was trying to rescue Robin from her predicament, with the hope that Robin wouldn't leave her here alone if Luffy asks her to sail on with the ship.
Sanji's hearts disappeared. Nami was right. He couldn't trust anyone near his food. He also couldn't let Robin go alone into the forest. He looked around to choose whom he would send with her. The two idiots who were building sandcastles he couldn't send. Chopper had work too at the moment. Brook had somehow gotten sunstroke and Chopper was taking care of him. Luffy hadn't caught any fish yet, so they didn't have anything for dinner. Finally Sanji's gaze ended up on the sleeping swordsman. He was the last guy he wanted to send, but the only one free, so he had no choice.
"Marimo! You are going with Robin. Since you will already be in the forest, bring back some fruits too."
"No way," muttered Zoro and opened his eyes, like he had been waiting for someone to try to command him. It had not been possible for him to enjoy free time before, at least not until he had joined this pirate team. What's more, he wasn't in the mood to go with that woman into the forest.
That was it. Sanji had fought with Luffy for two hours and was in no mood to repeat it with Zoro. He was very angry with the swordsman, what did he mean by not following Sanji words? Sanji wouldn't allow it. He found a stone from the sand, and aiming for Zoro's head, propelled the stone with force using his right leg, scoring a direct hit against Zoro's head. Angrily Zoro jumped up. He wanted so badly to kick his ass, but he knew that he couldn't fight against it.
It was just so wonderful to sleep here in the shadows and enjoy his free time, but now he had to walk through the forest because their archeologist wanted to. Now he had to suffer the heat in the forest, as if he didn't have something better to do!
"Kenshi-san, follow me, so you don't get lost," said Robin and grabbed her bag. She was sure that Zoro wouldn't disturb her as much as Sanji.
"Follow me, so you don't get lost," mimicked Zoro,"As if I can't walk alone!" Zoro followed after her annoyed.
Sanji watched Zoro and Robin disappear into the forest. He really hoped that he didn't make a mistake sending Zoro. The swordsman was so good at causing trouble and he got lost so easily. Sanji wanted to go after him, but when he heard Nami call for him, he totally forgot about Robin.
Zoro was nervous. It was hot and he didn't want to walk along with the woman. Furthermore, Robin stopped by almost every tree or stone. She looked at it carefully and tried to find something. This lengthened the walk considerably and Zoro didn't like it at all. Of course, he didn't have anything else to do really. He had already gathered the fruits that Sanji wanted, so now he just followed Robin.
Of course, he still didn't understand why she was stopping all the time. He had already seen from far that these stones were not important. He almost wanted to stop by a tree and fall asleep. Robin would definitely wake him up when she was ready to go, right? It was too risky to do it and if something happened to Robin, Sanji would kill him. Why didn't Robin come alone anyway? She was really strong, for a woman, Zoro had to admit. All in all, Zoro didn't find anything good in the walk.
"You can go if you want. I can handle this on my own," remarked Robin as she examined a stone, as if she had read Zoro's thoughts.
Zoro didn't react at all. He was sure that Robin was mocking him, because Robin should know that Zoro couldn't get out from the forest. He didn't want to admit it, but he had noticed that his orientation isn't as good as he had thought. In the forest it was more difficult than in a town, because there were at least houses to distinguish, not only the same looking trees. So Zoro ignored her, continuing to follow her on and investigate her doings.
For him the stones were only useless stones. If there had been words written or signs on them then he would have understood Robin's interest. Robin definitely was looking for something like that, but Zoro was sure that there wasn't anything because Nami had said that the island was uninhabited. Why shouldn't be Nami right? It was impossible to find something here. They were here in the present, digging up clues into the past, why wake any sleeping dogs?
Suddenly Zoro lumbered over something and lost his train of thought. Zoro looked down to see what had tripped him and swore when he saw what it was.
"Dammit! Robin was right!" How he hated to say it!
"Did you say something Kenshi-san?" Robin even didn't raise her eyes from a tree. If Zoro found something important he would definitely tell her.
"I think I found something." Zoro didn't want to confess, but he had found something that would definitely be interesting to Robin. He found a stone table. Written on it were words, but he couldn't read them. This was however a sign that here had been other life here and that he had been wrong.
Robin walked over to Zoro, smiled at him and began to investigate the table. She cleaned off the table to better read the letters. Of course, she could read the words. Robin forgot Zoro completely and took her time to read it carefully. Zoro just stood there, feeling so useless and stupid. He hated the feeling. He felt such feelings often when being with Robin.
"You who have been lost here," began Robin, reading aloud for Zoro, "not knowing doesn't mean that there isn't something dangerous waiting here." Nothing else had been written there. What it meant, she wasn't sure. Did someone want to warn them? This stone was at least 100 years old though; could there still be danger here? Robin was sure now that this island was actually inhabited.
Zoro shrugged his shoulders. The tabled seemed very old so the warning must be old too. Why should they take it seriously? Maybe if it had been recent he would have taken it seriously, but he wasn't so sure. Why should he be afraid? He is the best swordsman(almost).
Robin stood up. She was lost in her thoughts. Why was the table here in the forest? There were no ruins so there couldn't have been a town here. It also isn't normal to put a table here, why warn them at all? Or was it a trap? There were too many questions that Robin couldn't answer. She needed to look around more.
"Are we going back?" More an order than a request, Zoro didn't see why they should stay here any more.
"Did you hear that?" Robin didn't listen for Zoro's answer. She thought that she had heard something, but she wasn't sure. Could it be other people? Robin knew now that there had been some form of life here so could it be possible that people still lived here?
"No, I didn't. Let's go," responded Zoro, a little angrier than before. Now Robin was beginning to talk rubbish too. He only wanted to get away from here, to relax and have a beer. It was supposed to be a vocation, not a punishment.
Robin was smart enough to see that it was useless to argue with Zoro. When she had told him to go, she knew that he would definitely get lost and maybe run into the mysterious beings of the island, and Robin didn't want that at all. She just followed him and forgot completely that he had no idea how to get out of here. Robin's thoughts were focused on the sentence 'Not knowing doesn't mean that there isn't something dangerous waiting.'
Robin didn't notice that Zoro had stopped and collided with him, hitting her nose on his back. She stepped back and away from him and felt embarrassed. She rubbed her nose and felt her cheeks warm.
"I just wanted to say that maybe you should go ahead. You know the way out." Zoro felt embarrassment too because he had to confess to Robin that he didn't know how to get back to the others.
Robin just nodded and hastened her steps. She couldn't understand why she felt so awful and she wanted to forget it fast. The only positive thing was that she forgot about the table completely.
She wasn't so clumsy usually, but now she made the effort to step carefully, so as to not fall down or something. How embarrassing would that be? With that thought Robin felt herself lose the ground under her feet. She had lumbered and was falling, almost landing on her face, if not for a warm arm catching her from behind.
"Did the stone table shock you so much that your feet are weak?" Zoro helped Robin up. Robin heard how Zoro was laughing.
"The heat," said Robin, who only wanted to forget it, and fast.
"I can't carry you. I have to follow you if I want to get out of this forest." Zoro grinned, but it quickly disappeared. Did I just say it?!
Luckily Robin only smiled and walked on. It seemed that the embarrassing moments for the day were over.
Zoro sighed when the reached the edge of the forest. He could smell the aroma of food and wanted so badly to have lunch. He was so hungry and that's why he quickly passed by Robin. Robin walked more slowly. She dropped her bag on the ground and walked to the table where the others sat. Robin was too much in her thoughts to really notice anyone, but she wasn't thinking of the stone table any more.
"Zoro, go and bring my jacket from the ship," Nami commanded when she saw Zoro. Sanji was busy asking Robin if she was hurt or not. He was sure that Zoro had done something, because Robin was acting weird and had a red nose too. Robin only smiled and asked for food, which of course Sanji ran to bring for her.
"Go by yourself!" Zoro wanted to rest. The fruit bag he had put next to his seat. He felt like a slave. A bad vacation it was turning out to be he had to admit.
"Debt," was all Nami said and Zoro was up, heading towards the ship.
He didn't have money to pay the current debt and it would be better not to raise it. So, he had no choice, he had to go. The worst thing was that he knew that Luffy would have eaten all the food before he got back.
This day couldn't get any worse! At the beginning, he had to walk through the hot forest, then Robin started acting weird and now Nami is using him as a slave and there was the possibility he wouldn't get any lunch now. It was so awful!
"Oi marimo, bring my jacket too!" joked Sanji
"Go to hell!" Zoro was wrong, the day just turned worse. He raised his left hand to show Sanji a rude gesture when he felt an extremely strong pain in his hand.
After that Zoro saw everything in slow motion. He saw his hand, which was still up, and noticed that an arrow had punctured his wrist. A small thing for a man like him, it was just an arrow after all. When he knew that they were under attack he pulled his sword out to help like always. Only, now he couldn't pull out his sword. His left hand was hurt, probably broken. Then came the horrible discover…
Zoro didn't see that a tribe was attacking them. They were probably the people who wrote the stone table, or that the table warned about. They were coming at them with a loud screaming and with drums pounding. Robin had heard the drum before in the forest, but she hadn't recognized it for what it was.
The others had grabbed their things and were running towards him. They were not afraid of the tribe, but they saw that Zoro was in trouble. He hadn't moved or gave any sign that he was okay.
"Zoro!" Robin was the first to reach him.
"My hand…" Robin saw an unknown look in Zoro's eyes, fear.
"Does it hurt much?" Robin grabbed Zoro's hand and saw the arrow. The blood was flowing without pause. Robin was not so sure what to do. She wanted to call Chopper, when she felt that Zoro grabbed her with his right hand.
"I don't feel my hand any more."
Zoro was sitting in a dark room. The words he had said to Robin were haunting his thoughts. They were the last words he had spoken to anyone; he didn't want to see or to speak with any of the crew. At the moment, he only wanted to die. He looked at his hand, it didn't move…
So good to be back after a break:D Please review, gives power to write on ;D
Happy birthday Roronoa Zoro! Sorry that you present is coming later, but you will like it:D