Well here it is, the last chapter. Thank you all for sticking with it. I appreciate all the readers and reviews
Blossoms – Love Will Keep Us Alive
A lone seagull let out a mournful caw over the calm ocean as it flew by the large ship. The sun was high in the sky and partially covered by thick clouds with the hints of grey. Indication of a storm to come in the close future.
"Ne, I'm bored." The captain of the ship whined.
He was draped over the lion's head at the front of the ship, standard straw-hat settled low on his messy black locks. Equally unenthusiastic, the majority of the crew were lounging across the deck, the furry doctor and long-nosed sharpshooter offering up grunts of agreement.
"If you're so bored why don't you do something useful, the ship could use a clean."
The orange-haired navigator's words seemed to light a fire under the lounging boys for suddenly they were disappearing below decks with rushed excuses of forgotten projects trailing behind them. The archaeologist chuckled as the navigator fumed slightly to her side.
"At least they are being quiet Navigator-san."
"I suppose, but I bet that won't last long."
Sure enough a few minutes later a loud cry went up from the new games room. Robin's stomach twisted slightly as she thought of the room, the latest addition to the amusements on the ship. The room was filled with games that the boys took pleasure in playing but not that long ago it had hosted an intricate crib and the other fixings of a perfect nursery. Gone was the rocking chair and the lullaby painted across the walls. The peaceful images lovingly painted across the smooth walls were replaced with a depiction of a carnival. The atmosphere of the room drastically altered, the nursery nothing more than a painful memory of what should have been.
Her azure eyes glazed over as memories rushed in on her, the too small baby and all the pain that had accompanied her. She let herself soak in the memories for a moment before pulling herself out. These forays into herself were becoming less frequent, the memories easier to deal with and easier to extract herself from. Gone were the days of darkness, lost to the void that the numbness provided. Robin was firmly back among the living.
She was invaded by the smell of sweat and steel as a shadow fell over her lap. A tanned, muscled arm reached over her and grabbed the glass of water she had on the table in front of her. She looked over her shoulder to see the swordsman, dripping with sweat and taking a long pull of water from her glass. She raised an eyebrow at him and he replied with a smirk as he set the now-empty glass back down. His jade eyes sparkled with mischief and she fought the urge to laugh instead offering of a mock frown of disapproval.
"Ew Zoro, go shower." Nami cut into the moment.
"Shut it lady."
"You're sweaty and gross Zoro and if you don't go shower now I will fine you for fouling the air."
Zoro rolled his eyes and barely held-in a retort that would do nothing but cost him money. He leaned down to press a quick kiss against Robin's cheek, who wrinkled her nose in feigned disgust. As he walked off to the showers he couldn't keep one last comment from passing his lips, just quiet enough that Nami wasn't sure she had actually heard it.
"You don't seem to mind when it's Luffy sweating over you."
Robin caught the comment and held back another laugh as rage, embarrassment and uncertainty crossed the navigator's face. Her cheeks were tinged pink and she sat staring after the swordsman for a second before letting out a huff and returning to the magazine in her hand.
Robin's mind drifted to Zoro and the image he presented after having been training. Nami might not like the sweat but Robin saw it as a part of who he was and Zoro just wouldn't be Zoro without the musk of sweat and steel. Once again her stomach was twisting, this time for altogether different reasons as she shifted awkwardly in her seat.
"Oh go on. You'll at least make sure he's clean."
Nami's voice was filled with exasperation but Robin could detect the lacings of amusement. Ever since their relationship had been revealed Nami had been steadily chipping away at the puzzle of how it had all started. Over the months she had wormed out of Robin the secret meetings below deck during the day. Secret meeting that Robin was pretty sure the navigator was now re-enacting with a certain bouncy captain.
"I don't know what you mean Navigator-san" Robin said smoothly, the look of perfect innocence on her face. "However I am feeling a bit tired, perhaps I'll go lie down for awhile."
Nami laughed as Robin stood up and followed after the swordsman, feigning a yawn as she did.
"Enjoy your nap." Nami called out cheerfully.
When she got below deck the shower was already running and with a smile she let herself into the bathroom. Zoro's pants and boxers were in a pile on the floor and there was a large yellow towel on the floor beside them. Robin picked up the towel and draped it over the door handle. By this point she figured Zoro must know that she was in there so she took her time getting undressed.
Zoro stood without moving under the harsh spray of the shower, letting it pound into his sore muscles. He had heard the door open and assumed it was Robin. When the door was quietly closed and he could hear soft movements he knew for sure it was the archaeologist. Even with the shower running he could pick out her soft scent and an anticipatory smirk crossed his lips. He stayed under the spray waiting for the curtain to be pulled back, revealing the older woman. Instead the soft movements continued and the curtain stayed where it was.
Zoro could practically hear her silent laughter as she took her time, no doubt intent on driving him crazy. Just thinking about what was to come was making him half-hard and he fought with himself to remain quiet and not go out and drag her in himself. By the time the curtain was finally pulled back Zoro was almost shaking with the effort it took to remain where he was.
"Nami wants me to make sure you get clean." Robin said with a smile.
"I'm in the shower aren't I?" he grumbled.
Sometimes the navigator was just too much. Getting on his case about every little thing from napping in inconvenient spots at inconvenient times to the way he dressed and talked. He was pulled out of his grumblings by Robin pressing up against him, his cock twitching at the contact. Robin reached for something behind him, her lips brushing across his jaw line. She drew back with the bar of soap in her hand.
"Now let's get you clean."
Zoro stretched and shifted into a more comfortable position on the padded bench. The crow's nest was definitely more comfortable than on the Merry even if some of the other additions weren't strictly necessary. The night was pretty calm if you discounted the wind that was making the ocean choppy and restless. The swordsman cast a critical eye out over the waters looking for any impending danger, another ship had passed close by not too long ago but it had been no more than a merchant ship. No trouble, no threat.
He was just about to let his eyes drift shut again when he heard a familiar tread working it's way across the deck. Soft and graceful her approach was almost soundless, in fact most people wouldn't have picked the light noise out but Zoro always could. He was always listening for it, waiting for it when she wasn't there. He could picture her as clear as if he's borrowed her power. The moonlight shining off of her pale skin, making the ebony hair seem even darker. Her lithe movements as she gracefully climbed the ladder that led to him. Then there she was, in all her beauty, a soft smile on teasing lips and a subtle sway of her alluring hips.
He grunted in acknowledgment at her presence but didn't move from his spot. The words weren't necessary for either of them and she moved over to where he sat. Robin settled into a comfortable position, stretched across the bench with her head in his lap. His hand automatically reached down to tangle with hers as they sat in a comfortable silence. There relationship had never been one full of talk and that was always fine with Zoro. Then tragedy had struck and the silence had changed, it was no longer the comfortable silence, gone where the silent conversations replaced with anxiety and fear. It was a relief to be back to the reassuring quiet and soft touches. All of the wounds weren't fully healed and some scars would never disappear but they were working past them. Together.