A/N: Hi! So I decided to write this story because there aren't enough Robin stories around and I just like the couple. I hope everyone enjoys!
With Life, There Are Decisions
I watched the king and straw hat disappear in the distance, collapsed on the ground. How could he have done that, with the fact I wanted to die in mind? I had nothing left, not now. Normally I would have information of another poneglyph in mind by the time I escaped from the person I had been using but I didn't even have that. All my hopes were gone with that and on top of everything else this land was swarming with marines.
For I moment, I considered just letting them take me, to end it all before I discarded the idea. I wouldn't let it end like that. There had to be another way. First things first, however, I had to get out of the area. I doubted there would be a soul in this country who wouldn't turn me in if I was found.
I pushed myself up and started to walk, my body aching at the process. I was healing just fine but it would take a few days to recover. My gaze went to the collapsed area where the tombs had been. It was a pity all the history that had been lost on the country when it collapsed. I simply hoped that some of it remained, if someone cared to bury it out. The straw hat had ruined my chance to be buried with it, to buried with the goal that had dried up.
It was truly his fault that I was in this situation, not knowing what to do. Normally I would be searching for someone to help me but the plot with Crocodile had left a bad taste in my mouth, something that was odd. I didn't usually feel this way when I betrayed people. Maybe it had been watching the people hurt in this particular plot, the country almost falling and watching straw hat and his crew dragged into this mess because they cared about a companion.
I smiled bitterly, my feet dragging in the sand. The crew was lucky in more than one way, having someone else to depend on, someone who trusted and supported them. It was something I knew I couldn't have, not with the world government after me. I attracted two types of people in my life: people who wanted to use my knowledge to destroy or rule the world and those who's caring ended upon finding out who I was. I couldn't help but wonder which category the straw hats would fit into.
It didn't really matter but I was curious. Straw Hat seemed to have helped me because he cared, not listening to my protests until even my matter on it was clouded. In a way, I hated him for intervening. But then looking back on it, he seemed to have actually cared for everyone around him. He treated almost everyone as a friend, except for those who had hurt his friends. With that type of attitude, he probably had a good chance of achieving his dream to be the pirate king.
I couldn't help but let my mood be lifted at the thought of it. It was hard to understand how someone could possibly stay so good mood even when things were so bad. I wasn't strong enough to do something like that. In way, his attitude reminded me of Saul and his advice to laugh when things were the worst.
A thought occurred to me. If he was trying to become the pirate king, he would have to travel to the end of Grand Line and that meant going to every island on the way. Islands that very well might have a poneglyph located on them, one of them having in the Rio Poneglyph. If I joined his crew, I would have a better chance of finding them and hopefully people I could depend on.
The only issue with it was what they would do when the World Government came after me. I hated bringing misery onto those who were just trying to help me. But then again, they were pirates that the Marines were already chasing after, that would be pursued even more because Straw Hat had defeated Crocodile. Would they even notice the difference?
I made my decision quickly, although I knew it to be selfish. It was hardly a new emotion to judge with because I knew that I had to carry on the work Ohara had been destroyed for. I would achieve my dream, no matter how many people it hurt. That was simply how my life went.
I found the Straw Hat's ship three days later, taking a slow and easy pace to reach the river I knew it to be in. Rumors had told me that the crew was still in the capital, recovering from their injuries and that suited me just fine. I wanted to learn more about them before I actually met them officially and joined the crew. I doubted anyone but Straw Hat himself would accept me and that was the flaw in my plan. I wanted to earn their trust quickly as it made things so much easier. And the quickest way to do that was to learn their weaknesses and manipulate them with it.
The ship bobbed in the river slowly, the front of it beaming with happiness. I smiled at it and boarded, walking over to it. It was such a happy figure, fitting Straw hat himself perfectly. I ran my hand across it, feeling the wood slowly, the small nicks and scraps that marred the wood. It must have been through a lot. My gaze drifted to the rest of the ship, taking in every detail. Someone in the crew liked orange trees for they took over part of the upper deck.
I walked up to them, inhaling the smell, curious. It was quite a good idea to have such things on ship, for it made sure everyone was healthy and not getting scurvy. I couldn't help but wonder who they belonged to. My sources pointed to the navigator of the crew but it was hard to be sure. It was a mystery that I would have to solve later.
Once I had examined the top deck, I decided to climb up to the top of the mast, into the crows nest. The view made my heart lift as I reached the top of it. It was nice to be up here, I decided. I wondered what it would be like at night, the stars that much closer. I leaned against the mast, the soft desert breeze blowing across me, enjoying the view of the river and the desert behind it.
A few minutes later, I climbed down and began to scour the lower decks for clues. The first room I came to seemed to be a woman's, probably the navigator's. The bed looked so nice that I collapsed into it for a moment, my body wanting to rest. My clothes stiff with blood and sweat reminded me of my need for better clothes so I helped myself to her wardrobe, choosing a simple outfit. It felt good and clean. I would worry about showering later, once I found where it was on the ship. But right now, my priority was to find information.
My gaze swept across the navigator's room, taking in the details. She had several mapping tools that perked my interest and I walked over to examine them. A few rough sketches of maps were on the paper, along with lots of notes and drawings of islands. A stack of local maps from several areas didn't miss my gaze, as well as the sack of coins carefully hidden within the room. People very rarely hide money unless they had a reason to. That correlated with the information she had gathered that hinted the navigator was obsessed with wealth or very picky with it. I smiled; glad I had stopped at Crocodiles office before leaving, to take a few items of interest, one of them being his jewels. I had a feeling the navigator's trust could be bought with it, or at least put her in more liking mood of me.
The next room I came to was the men's, several hammocks hanging above each other inside it. It wasn't much bigger than the navigator's room, making me think the navigator controlled what she wanted, probably bullying the men into obeying her. Not much else was in the room, just a few weights and some medical books. I assumed that the books were the doctor's, and the weights the Pirate Hunter's. They didn't tell me anything that helped greatly, for they were things that I had guessed before. There was nothing atypical of the items.
I sighed as I walked out of the men's rooms and walked a little ways to what had to be the kitchen. Once again, nothing was too atypical in the room. I checked the fridge, hoping to find something interesting and found mostly an odd meat, like a lizard's but much too big to be one. I disregarded it as meat from a lizard on Little Garden. The fact that there was so much meat was quite interesting; however, making me think someone on the crew enjoyed it very much.
I began to go through the cupboards, hoping to find something. I found some coffee, a smile coming to my face at the sight of it. It had been a long time since I had enjoyed any as I hadn't been able to just relax and read for quite a while. I decided it wouldn't hurt to have any so I made myself a cup and continued my search, savoring the taste as I took a sip.
The rest of the rooms were slightly more interesting, with the crew's possessions scattered amongst them. I found more weights, these weighing much more than the previous ones and the doctor's office, where some little yellow balls sat upon the desk. I had picked them up, curious and found them to be some type of pill that must have helped the little reindeer change into his different forms. I also found a workshop that had half-made weapons on it which had to belong to the long-nosed sniper.
When I was done, I returned to the kitchen and refilled my coffee cup, helping myself to some food that was in the fridge and sitting down, relaxing in the room around me. I had learned some interesting things about the crew in my search, things that would likely help me out in the future. As for gaining their trust, it wouldn't be too troublesome, in all likelihood. I didn't need to worry about Straw Hat for he already trusted me. The navigator would feel better about my presence with the jewels and if the little doctor didn't trust me, I had a feeling that I would be able to sway him with a book on medicine that I had with me, something picked up on my time with Crocodile. I had a feeling by looking at the Long Nose's creations that he wouldn't be much trouble, either, if I entertained him and the Straw Hat by being silly with my devil's fruit ability. I didn't worry about the cook, remembering the last time meeting with him had showed me he was trusting of women.
I took a sip of my coffee. The only snag in my plan was the swordsman. I could try bribing him with something but looking at his personality only showed me that it would increase his distrust of me. In fact, I wasn't quite sure how to gain his trust at all, except by earning it. Still, a part of me warned that he would probably not be the best person to have as an enemy. It seemed like his loyalty to the crew was undisputed, however. He would follow his captain's wishes and that would keep me safe. I couldn't help but wonder if he did have a chink in his armor that would let me get his trust easier. If there was, I didn't know about it. The best plan I had was to flirt with him, to treat him as nice as I could so that perhaps his suspicion would slip away. The other possibility was that it would make him more suspicious of me, more wary around me. There was no other way I could think of, however, so I stuck to it.
I sighed, setting down my cup of coffee. I had left all my possessions on the shore, just in case. Before I relaxed, I needed to retrieve them. My only motivation was that my books were in the bag and I felt like reading to relax a little. As I walked off the ship to pick up my discarded bags, I couldn't help but look at the ship's deck with longing, the folded lounge chair calling to me. But I had decided to stay hidden until we were out at sea, where they couldn't drop me off on land, until they had no choice but to accept me.
I snagged my bag and walked backed to the ship, ignoring the sunny deck to go back into the shady cabin, into the kitchen. This would be as good of a place as any to wait for them. I doubted any of the crew members would come below deck when they arrived, especially because the Marines would very likely be at their tail and they would have to take care of the situation before they could relax.
A small book sitting on the edge of the counter caught my attention, something I had missed before, disregarding it completely to be a cookbook of some sort. It might be interesting to read, seeing as I was stuck waiting for the Straw Hats to return. Perhaps it would have an interesting recipe that I could try, as long as I had the ingredients and it didn't require cooking, which would attract attention.
I walked over and picked it up, flipping to the first page. A surprise greeted me, the page handwritten and very obviously not a recipe of any sort. I realized it was, in fact, the ship's journal. A smile came across my lips as I sat back down and relaxed, beginning to read it, intoxicated by the words.
I had just finished the journal when the ship began to move, making me look up at the deck in surprise. It was the middle of the night! Had the Straw Hats really come back at such a time? Or was it someone else, perhaps the Marines trying to seize the ship. My lips tightened. I hoped it wasn't the Marines. If it was, I couldn't simply just let them take the ship. I would need to fight them off and then try to steer the ship out of danger until I could get a note to the crew to let them know. I had a feeling that such a thing wouldn't go over very well.
I used my devil's fruit ability to grow an eye on the ship's mast, my eyes closing to see what was going on. Someone was indeed on the ship but it didn't appear to be the crew. Surprise crossed my mind as I recognized Mr. 2 dancing around the deck, the moonlight lighting up his face. But then I smiled my fears of the Marines gone. I had no issue with him taking the ship to the Straw Hats as long as he didn't realize I was on it.
I devoured the words on the book in front of me, leaning on the kitchen table, hands at my cheeks. It was a book from the library of Alabasta which I had taken, entitled Birds of Grand Line. It had seemed appropriate at the time and I thought the knowledge would be useful in the future. Many ancient people admired the birds that filled their islands and those birds sometimes lead to a history unknown. Birds often didn't change their nesting places over all these years and sometimes the nesting lands were upon old ruins, filled with history.
The ship had moved on and off for the last few hours, but thankfully not a soul had come below decks to look. I had finally been able to take my bath, cleaning off all the dirt from my fight, if it could be called that, with Crocodile. As far as I knew, Mr. 2 was on his way to the crew or the crew was coming to him. Currently, the ship wasn't moving much, just swaying with the tides.
A loud noise perked my interest, a noise that could be no other than the crew returning. Straw Hat's voice was unmistakable, yelling something. A stomping sound followed, Mr. 2 yelling something. I ignored it, turning back to my book. It didn't concern me, at least not yet.
Within minutes, I fell the ship begin to start sailing again and relaxed. The yelling from Straw Hat grew louder and then even it was drowned out by the sound of cannon fire. The ship began to jerk soon after that, as if it was getting hit by something. I heard someone run down stairs, making me look up before my attention drifted back to my book. An attack from the marines had to be the cause of all this noise. I didn't need to worry about being seen. The crew would be much too enthralled in the fight to even notice me, too worried about the danger.
Someone began to bang on the ship, probably patching up holes that the Marines were causing. I wasn't too worried about sinking. If we did, that was it. I would drown and my new hopes would have been for naught but the result wasn't very concerning. I had almost been killed by Crocodile, anyways. A cannon fired from above deck before things quieted down for a little bit, the cannon shots growing farther away. But I had a feeling it wasn't over quite yet.
Sure enough, the cannon fire grew close to the ship once again, never seeming to hit anything. I wondered if the Straw Hat was using his body to bounce them back. When they quieted, I heard the Princess's voice saying something but I ignored it. It didn't matter to me what was going on between them. The speed of the ship began to increase when it was over, the sound of the cannons growing silent. I soon felt the familiar sensation of being on the open sea.
I placed my book on the table, folding the page slightly so I would be able to keep my spot and rose to my feet, walking to the entrance to the deck. Voices came through the door, sad then upset, with one rather calm throughout. I smiled and pushed open the door. The swordsman was walking away, slowly.
"At last we're out to sea…good work," I complemented as all hell broke loose on the deck as the crew recognized who I was.
I smiled at the stars above me, as I relaxed inside the crow's nest. Everything had gone as planned. I had most of the crew on my side, mostly by entertaining them with my abilities. Already I was feeling more relaxed, at home in the place. For a moment, I had thought I lost the long nose's trust as he plotted with swordsman but I had to thank Straw Hat for clearing that up.
My gaze went down to the deck, where the steady sound of clinking rang out in the night air, the only thing disturbing the silence. The swordsman was training on the deck, completely focused on it and very pointedly ignoring me. As expected, he was the only crew member who didn't care for me in the least. I had taken the night watch to make sure I was indeed trusted. None of the crewmembers had protested against it. The cook had even made me some coffee to keep me warm. The swordsman, however, hadn't left the deck since I had begun my watch, passing of his observation of me as training.
It was just fine with me that he was doing so. It made the night less lonely with his presence and it made it easier to earn his trust faster. He looked up at me, pausing lifting to look up me, as if he knew what my thoughts were on. His gaze was intense, suspicious. I smiled at him.
"It's a lovely night," I commented to him. "And here I was hoping that the ship was just as lively at night as in the day," He scowled at me, not answering as he returned to his weights. I laughed under my breath at his reaction. He didn't seem in the mood to even pretend that he trusted me.
Silence once again filled the night; expect of course the sound of him training. I continued to stare at him with the knowledge that it bothered him and well as from curiosity. I considered using my devil's fruit abilities to toy with him but decided it wasn't the best idea as I didn't know how he would take it. So I climbed out of the crow's nest instead, walking down the ladder to lean against the railing. I noticed he tensed up as I walked past, not saying anything.
I continued to watch him train for a few minutes, a smile on my lips and my cheek on my hand, enjoying watching him squirm silently. Finally I spoke, making him pause slightly. "Do you not trust me enough to keep guard?" I inquired playfully. "Or are you so committed to your goal that you don't sleep?"
He grunted in reply, as if he was trying his best to ignore me. I felt a tad bit disappointed at his reaction. He had been slightly more…cooperative… earlier in the day. As it was, I might as well have been trying to talk to a stone.
"What are your intentions?" he suddenly asked, putting down his weights to look me in the eye. I smiled at him coyly.
"I seek the lost history," I replied simply. His expression told me that he didn't like my answer in the least. "And what of you, what are your goals?"
"You don't need to know," he replied before walking away, climbing into the crow's nest. I frowned at his back. I had a feeling this was going to be a rather difficult situation to overcome.
"Sanji, meat!" Luffy demanded as he bounded into the kitchen, ready for dinner. I watched him in amusement, sitting down next to Nami. The last week had passed peaceful and I had been able to get through my book while tanning on the deck. Zoro had continued his constant surveillance of me throughout the time, acting as if I was out of his sight, I would destroy the ship or something silly like that. I had been able to get away to the kitchens with Nami, however, escaping his eyes, if only for a little bit.
The cook was dancing around the kitchen, delighted that Nami and I were there to visit him. Upon hearing Luffy's voice he abruptly became serious, focusing on the food he was cooking.
"It will be done in a few minutes," he said sternly. Luffy sat down diagonally from me, grinning widely as Chopper walked in. The little doctor was practically bouncing with happiness. I had lent him my book on medicine earlier, which seemed to have made his day. He sat down next to Luffy, who was beginning to chant about food in excitement. Within seconds, Chopper was joining him. Usopp walked in next, grinning to himself as he sat at a table end.
"Where's Marimo?" Sanji asked as he began to set the food on the table, putting it in front of us first as usual. Luffy stopped chanting, his arm stretching to grab the food. Nami smacked it down.
"Wait until everyone is here, Luffy," she chided at him loudly. He recoiled his hand quickly.
"That hurt, Nami," he whined. But he recovered quickly because he was suddenly opening the door, shouting, "Zoro! Food!"
He waited a few minutes, but the swordsman didn't appear. I frowned. I knew he wasn't as food motivated as his captain but he usually was one of the first ready to eat. He was probably sleeping around the ship somewhere.
"I'll go find him," I volunteered, rising to my feet.
"Can we start eating yet, Nami?" Luffy begged. Nami shot him a glare as I walked out the door. The sky outside was beginning to grow dark, the air going much colder. My gaze went to the place Zoro was normally found, leaning against the top rail but he wasn't there. The next place to check was my favorite place, the crow's nest. In the least, if I climbed up there I would have a view of the entire ship and would be able to see him if he was on deck.
It didn't take me long to climb up. A smile came to my face as I looked inside it. Zoro was fast asleep, one hand touching the hilt of his katana.
"Mr. Swordsman," I called softly. "It's time for dinner," he didn't respond. He was always rather peaceful when sleeping on deck but it was easy to tell he wasn't completely relaxed, still focused on what was going on around him. This was different, he was completely relaxed. I reached over and touched his shoulder with my hand, shaking him gently. It didn't truly surprise me that he was so tired, I had done watch the last two nights and he had stayed awake throughout my entire watch and for most of the day as well.
His eyes snapped open, half-drawing out his blade before he realized what was going on. "Don't touch me!" he growled. I pulled back, startled at how annoyed he looked, such a stark comparison to his peacefulness only a few moments ago. My movement made my balance unsteady and I felt myself fall from the mast. Instincts kicked in instantly as I used my devil's fruit abilities to catch myself as I fell to the deck, making a net of arms that caught me swiftly.
Zoro jumped to the deck seconds after me, not even to bothering to say anything as he walked into the kitchen. I let my arms disappear, falling to the ground softly. That could have gone better in so many ways. The man could be such a child sometimes, I thought as I stood up and followed him into the kitchen where Luffy was already digging into the food, ignoring Sanji and Nami's protests.
I sat down in my seat, a smile on my lips. To my surprise, Zoro was across the table from me, ignoring me as he dug into his food. The tired emotion was still in his eyes, however, if carefully hidden. I remembered that he had watch tonight.
"Mr. Swordsman, I don't think you should take the watch tonight," I suggested. His gaze was emotionless. "You should catch up on your sleep,"
"I'll be fine," he told me snidely, his expression almost a glare. It made my smile deepen. The man was mature for his age, that was sure but right now, it felt like I was dealing with a stubborn little kid. I wondered how I should treat it without sounding too motherly, for I knew it would only make things worse. I had a feeling yelling wouldn't work, not that it was my style. For a moment I considered going to the doctor, asking him for help. And yet, if I did that, I had a feeling his distrust of me would grow. No, I would need to handle this my way, with some simple manipulation.
I looked over at Sanji, my mind whirling. If there was thing I knew men similar to the swordsman liked, it was heavy alcohol. The only one who I could think of possessing such a thing, it would be the cook. I ignored Zoro as I turned my attention to the cook, my flirting smile coming to my face.
"Mr. Cook," I purred. He turned his attention to me, eyes hearts.
"What is it, Robin-swaaaannnn?" he cooed. I laughed slightly.
"Would you happen to have any rum lying around?" I inquired. "I have a feeling I'll have a hard time getting to sleep tonight and it would help relax me,"
"Of course, anything for you!" he replied happily, getting up and rummaging in the cabinets before pulling out a bottle and placing it before me. I smiled at him again.
"Thank you," I purred before turning my gaze from him, ignoring his love declarations and such, amused. I began to finish my meal, taking my sweet time with it. When I shot a glance at Zoro, he was staring at me with suspicion in his eyes.
"Are you okay?" Nami asked me slowly. I smiled at her.
"Of course," I assured her. "Just a few memories that I want to suppress," She still seemed worried but didn't say anything.
"Hey, Luffy, that's mine," Chopper suddenly complained, an arm stretched across the table. Nami's attention was abruptly jerked away from me as she began to yell at Luffy. I sighed softly, grabbed the rum and left, feeling Zoro's gaze probing into my back.
a/N: I hoped every like the chapter!