Author: Santoryuu Soccer
Pairing: Zoro x Robin
Chapter words: 2,500 approx.
This story will be a pure romance but there will be action and adventure included to help along plot development and the overall fill of the story as an explanation to events that readers may not/have not read about. I changed/will change things and plots of the original to better suit my story, therefore the need of explanations. For this chapter, though, I've decided to slow down a bit and take time to wrap up some things that I think would be ideal for the real anime/manga and present it to you, readers, though they may not be very rational. My promise to you, the next chapter will move along much swifter and with a decent pace, very unlike this one.
For the sake of this story, we will assume that the island Robin has been sent to, Tequila Wolf, rather than residing in East Blue, will magically happen to be in the Grand Line where Zoro is, and that the Revolution army hadn't arrived at Tequila Wolf to free the slaves -as seen in the cover of Chapter 546- and she had only just yet made her escape -as seen in the cover of Chapter 545-. :D
Rated T for language because Zoro and Sanji swear like shit, and violence, blood, and death. If you're not comfortable with cussing, I suggest you not read this. All the following resources belong to their respective owners. I do not own any of these characters, places, and/or some parts of the plot.
My big thanks to Kaoden for helping me review this story and sharing tips with me ;D.
The enraged shriek of a banshee echoed from within the secluded castle, and the seemingly guilty figure in the shadows outside turned its back against the noise, an expressionless look on his face. His moss-green hair swayed silently to the rhythm of the wind, and his three dangling earrings clinked against one another. There was another reassuring crash from the building, and the swordsman smirked. "I finally got away from that crazy witch."
Roronoa Zoro had been stranded out on the island for more days than he had fingers, and, not once, until now, had he not been watched by the little witch or one of her ghosts. She had been lonely, as she had said, and longed servants, or a servant at the very least, but Zoro wasn't quite the type to raise his flag without a fight – even when she ran dozens of her negative ghost through him. In the end, he stubbornly agreed to her terms who made a simple but efficient deal with him that, in Zoro's eyes, actually ended up benefiting himself much more, but, at the same time, kept her happy.
He had to admit, though she was a freaking annoying brat, she had powers that complimented his, strangely enough, and he had learned something that he still couldn't quite understand, but knew on instinct that is was somehow going to be important, despite all the effort she went through to explain it to him. The thought of the Pacifista having sent him to her intentionally had even crossed his mind momentarily, but he didn't care for that, as long as he would get stronger because of it, he would be satisfied.
"I have to train," grunted Zoro, in reply to her demands, through the opening in the poorly wrapped bandages around his head.
"Wha- Excuse me?" she cried, her voice raising to an unnecessary level.
"I have to train," repeated Zoro the exact same way.
"Are you kidding with me? I don't know who you think you are, but to talk to me in that way-"
"Look, kid, I don't care about that. I'm going to train and then get the hell out of here and back to my ship as soon as I can," he said, cutting her short, "I don't care for you or what happens to you when I'm gone."
Just when she was about to protest to his rude manners, he turned his head toward her, and, without a warning, opened one eye abruptly - his demonic killing intent spilled out of him uncontrollably, and a strong blast of spiritual energy rammed the Gothic Lolita girl into the cracking wall, semi-unconscious, her legs buckled dangerously underneath her. She fought with her complete might to simply stay on the conscious level, much less trying to keep her composure. Her knees sunk slowly and finally contacted the ground with a soft thud.
"What... intense Haki," she gasped when it was all over.
She sat motionless, and possibly paralyzed, for several more minutes until she finally regained some of her composure.
Even though his Haki is levels beyond anything I've experience, it doesn't seem like this dumbass has the slightest idea on how to control it yet, after all, it doesn't take much to scare a simple girl like me, and yet, he went all out to do it.
"Horohorohoro, it seems like you're not just all talk. Though I despise disrespectful people like you, you may not be so bad after all. I'll make you a deal, I can help you with your Haki, but, in return, you must serve me to my every last word!" she said, more a command than a question, stretching the last three words unnecessarily.
Zoro scratched his head, a slight frown on his face – something animate clawed as his boots, and he stepped on it without a glance. Within five minutes of being out of the castle, he had already gotten himself lost in the woods, cutting through everything he saw in hope of finding something, not exactly having a plan in mind.
The thought to escape while the little witch was desperately trying to find her stuffed animal was too enticing for him to simply let go, so he acted on moment's notice and jumped out the window with his swords in hand. He had wandered away from the castle for as far as he could, had come across this forest, and now he was here. Here. In the middle of nowhere. Stranded and guided only by his horrible sense of direction. Here, separated from his Nakama.
Mah, I wonder if they're alright. How the hell am I supposed to find them again anyway?
He craned his neck slightly toward the left, a scowl masking his face, where he heard the movement of leaves, to see a green snake protruding towards Zoro, but that was beyond the point - behind the snake stood a large clearing amidst the thick forest, a vertical drop, and then a view of the entire island at sunset.
He didn't particularly care for the sight itself, which would have knocked out anyone else from its sheer beauty, but he had spotted something small, floating atop the crashing waves of the sea, within the reach of shore. It was a boat. From where he stood, it looked barely large enough to hold 2 people on at the same time, but it was only him that was going to be traveling on it, and frankly, he didn't care if it was as large as a warship, or as small as a dinghy - as long as it worked.
He walked toward the clearing and stopped directly before the drop. He peered down and scratched his head. The drop was at the very least... well... high. Zoro didn't know his metric systems, or math at all to be frank, but he hadn't needed it, until now, as a swordsman.
His gaze fell upon the safe cushion of trees below, and without hesitation, he leaped into the vast ocean of air, the wind pushing fiercely against his decision to do so. His clothes pressed tightly to his fore body, and an open smile, unlike his usual smug smirk, slowly crawled onto his face, taking in the scenery for the first time. His hands wandered to the hilts of his swords at his side, feeling a unusual flow of satisfying energy from Wadou Ichimonji.
When was the last time his blade had given off that feeling? The memory was still a fresh scar in his memory. It was the last battle with Kuina, the night his dream sprouted, the day where the shadow of death fell upon her – that was the only other time, though it wasn't in his hands yet then, he had felt its radiating energy even meters away from it – from her.
As he suddenly began his rapid drop, he peered down into the trees in search of something he could grab hold of, but couldn't distinguish anything aside from green beyond the clouds of leaves. He plunged through the canopy of the trees, branches clawing and cutting unmercifully into his body. Only, when he was basically already at the ground, did he see a thick branch in the way of his drop. He reached out with his left arm and took a firm hold on it.
The sudden stop of motion nearly ripped Zoro's own arm off as he dangled in the air, the branch bending dangerously under his weight. A slight crack was heard from the rear of the branch, and without a second to waste, using only his left arm, he hurled himself above and beyond the unstable branch, airborne once again. Tarzan-like he began his way toward the shore, swinging from tree to tree, but then he stopped abruptly.
Which way was it again?
Meanwhile, somewhere else in the Grand Line, a ruckus irrupts in the Country of Labour...
"Where did Nico- prisoner 3926 go?" shouted a guard down the long empty hallway of the domiciles when he found the cell empty and the door creaking open.
"Ah, that woman? She stole the keys of the guard on duty before yours, and escaped long ago," replied the man in the cell opposite of the empty one, casually. "You're a bit late, they've already sent half the troops in this place in search of her. Apparently she had appeared out of nowhere and was sent here for no reason, that's why they are so desperate to find her again, am I right, Mr. Guard?"
The guard shot the beat-down man a look of annoyance, but there was a slight smile on his face, as if to thank the prisoner in secret, and then took off down the hall, hands at his gun holster.
"Looks like not all prisoners and guards here are cold-hearted," laughed the man to himself, and turned around on his bed to face the wall. "Looks like some have crazy personalities along with that."
Zoro splashed through the shallow waters toward the slowly drifting sailboat. From afar it had seemed small, but upon a closer look, it was actually quite a fair bit larger; but nonetheless still only just enough for 2 people at maximum.
He took hold of the thin gunwale of the boat and dragged it to shore with himself before it got out of reach, the waves forcefully crashing onto its hull. With one last forceful pull, he dragged it onto the arid sand, preventing it from washing away, and sank down beside it. He untied his sweat-soaked bandana from his head and shoved it into his muddy pants - his hand slightly brushed something inside his pocket. He drew out the thin object slowly and stared at it in disbelief.
Shit. Why didn't I think of this before?
It was the vivre card the old man Rayleigh had given each of the Strawhats in case they got separated and couldn't find their ship again after the coating.
"I'm a wanted man myself, you know. I think I'll be taking your ship somewhere else to work on it," said the old man, and produced a piece of paper from his pocket.
"That's... a vivre card," stated Robin.
"Oh, you know about them? That makes things quicker," replied Rayleigh. He ripped the large sheet into 9 different pieces, and presented one to each of the members.
"So, yeah, Zoro, here's how you use the card..." began Chopper, holding up his vivre card.
"I know how to use it! Shaddap!" snapped Zoro, his face flushing red in, what he hoped at least was, anger.
Zoro scowled and a vein popped on his forehead. He had absolutely no idea how to use it. He held it up to the sinking sun and felt a familiar tingling movement between his fingers. He had seen Nami use it with Lola's mother's card in Thriller Bark, but he had been standing too far away at the time to see any details, and, to be honest, he didn't give a shit about it either, at the time.
Zoro mimicked her and placed it on his palm, immediately feeling the shuffling sensation in his palm again. Upon a closer look, he saw that the paper was trying to move, but his rough and worn hands made it difficult for it to climb across his scars and callouses.
"All I have to do is follow this thing, eh?" he guessed and ran his free hand through his short hair. "Even I won't get lost with this."
He could almost hear Usopp in his mind, "are you trying to jinx yourself?!".
"I hope everyone thought of this," he muttered as Luffy's stupid grin filled his head. He peered over the horizon to where the card was shuffling, the sun nearly completely sunken.
"Yosh. Let's go." Zoro pushed the boat onto the water.
He laid his three katanas toward the front of the vessel, and stepped into it with his left leg – the boat wobbled unsteadily under his weight. Zoro hesitated slightly before stepping into the boat with his other leg while pushing off the shore simultaneously. The little sailboat rocked dangerously in response, and just about threw Zoro back into the shallow water, but the swordsman had a firm grip on the sides. He slightly guided the vessel into the direction the vivre card was moving with the beaten down oars of the ship, and then sat back and leaned on the hull, leaving the rest to the wind.
Drowsiness overcame him quickly and he found himself beginning to doze off unknowingly. Before long the familiar innocent feeling came over him and his own snoring could be heard, but gradually became further and more distance.
The wind picked up suddenly and the first drop of rain was heard with a slight plit as it contacted the young swordsman's forehead and unavoidably split into million different crystals. The beginning of the storm was near, the single drop turning into a drizzle, the drizzle turning into a shower, and Zoro still completely unawarely drifting into a bottomless dream. There was a flash so bright it illuminated heaven itself, followed by the deafening crash of a God casting his judgment upon the sinful world in which they lived.
Some and certain phrases from Robin, but mostly Zoro, are taken directly from the anime/manga translation and should not sound OOC, though both Zoro, most of the time actually, to be completely honest, and Robin have a playful side of them, so please do keep that in mind while reading Zoro and/or Robin fanfics :D.
Pace is very slow, and I'm sorry for that. Since Oda hasn't brought any of the Strawhats back, I thought that if I didn't explain this to you, the readers, you wouldn't quite understand what would be going on in later chapters. I also realize that there's quite a bit of OOC actually, and this was written quite a long time ago as well (started during the time I was still writing Breath of All Things) so the next chapter might be a bit different than this one, since I change styles to experiment quite a bit. I didn't feel like uploading it immediately after writing it, for reasons you shall not know ;D, but now that I have the second chapter done too, I might just as well do it. I'm looking forward to hearing what you guys think, because I guess I'm still wondering if I should write chapter 3, since I'm sort of interested in ANOTHER project that I'm working on right now too, haha.
None yet, feel free to submit questions via e-mail, PM, or review. :D