Title: Catch a Falling Star

Disclaimer: I don't own One Piece.

Summary: Seven-year-old Robin finds a rare moment of peace on a star-lit night in her hometown.


The night air was crisp and cool as silk on her skin as she slipped out. It enveloped her like the current of a deep river and washed away the last vestiges of sleepiness. But any remnant of her dreams (of long gone magnificent civilizations and glorious adventures found only in history books) had already been pushed aside by a more urgent feeling. Excitement.

Something good is going to happen tonight.

The words of her friends at the library had spoken to her still whispered in her ears, tugging at the corners of her mind with a light persistance (like a tiny fairy pulling at her, urging her on). She could still remember their broad smiles as they told her, mysteriously as if it were some sacred rite, or a wonderful secret that only they were privy to.

She closed the back door quietly behind her with some apprehension (she knew that she would be punished if they found out she had left the door unlocked and the house vulnerable to vagrants and thieves) but no regret. And soon there was only the light buzz of anticipation (intoxicating her with a million bubbles of light popping in her insides).

Go outside, somewhere high.

She would have chosen the Tree of Knowledge, as the researchers there affectionately dubbed their library and home (where they would surely be gathered by now), but there was not enough time for her short seven-year-old legs to run there in time to make it back by daybreak. Instead, she chose the perch on the tiles above her head.

A ladder leaned causally on the side of the wall, where she had propped it with no small amount of trouble the day before. Small hands and feet clambered clumsily up the rungs that were almost too far to reach. When she stumbled, just once, a pair of hands bloomed out of the ladder to steady her, before melting back into petals of light and evaporating like smoke.

Minutes later, she sat snugly on the flat tiles of the roof, oblivious to the cold seeping through the thin fabric of her nightgown(because what was the cold other than a tiny discomfort in the sea of her exhilaration?).

Go to a place where you can see the sky.

She leaned back until she was lying on her back, raven hair spread around her head like a dark halo, blue eyes like calm pools reflecting the black sky (and a million stars a million light-years away, a million dreams and mysteries and possibilities).

You'll see it. Something beautiful.

At first there was only a glimmer, imperceptible in the mantle of darkness, like the shining path of a teardrop down the side of the face of the night. She blinked, wondering if there had been something in her eyes.

Then it happened again. And the stars were falling like raindrops, trailing lines of light in the sky. Comets bright as blazing souls, seemingly within hand's reach, yet infinitely far away, miniature suns that burn with white flame as they descended from the high ether (rocks and dust had never been as breathtakingly, painstakingly beautiful as these falling stars were tonight when they burned in the atmosphere).

Eyes wide, she watched (mesmerized, enchanted, enthralled as the sky fell, the angels descended from the summit of heaven, pearls and diamonds rained onto the earth). If she laughed (which she did), she didn't remember (her laughter was taken in by the night's soft fabric and hidden away from her family-in-name that slept beneath her roof).

Tomorrow she would worry about her aunt and uncle and spoiled-brat cousin. Tomorrow she would wonder again if she might ever see the face of the woman who had borne her (whose face she had forgotten but whose honey voice she still remembered, crooning soft songs in her ear). Tomorrow, she would lose herself in books again and read herself into oblivion (from the fearful glances, from the hate-filled eyes).

Tonight, she only had eyes for the sky and falling angels.

Something good will happen tonight.

~End~

-Why do stars fall

-So that we can catch them.