a/n: Hi! Thanks to everyone who reviewed! I appreciated them so much! Also thank you to my awesome beta, Tare-chan! Hope everyone enjoys this chapter as much as the rest.
The Secret Garden
I skipped along in the grass, eyes searching for herbs that could be used for medicine. I was running low on several and with any luck, this island would have those particular herbs. I was worried that if I didn't have enough herbs, the crew would get sick and I could do nothing to save them. For a moment, panic overtook me as I thought about the situation, at my crewmates faces when they found out I couldn't save them. I shook my head quickly to get rid of the thoughts, telling myself that everything would be fine.
A soft tap on my shoulder made me jump into the air in shock, eyes frantically searching for an attack, heart pounding in my chest as I hoped I wasn't going to be killed. Robin's amused face stared down at me instead, backpack slung over her shoulders. My heart slowed down after a few moments as I stared up at the archeologist. She spoke first.
"Find anything interesting?" she inquired sweetly. I shook my head.
"I haven't seen any herbs I can use," I explained, an edge of fear in my voice that I heard clearly. She smiled sympathetically, her gaze going to the forest around us. She reached into her backpack and pulled out a book, shuffling through the pages. She looked like she was thinking for a while before she looked back at me.
"There's supposed to be an ancient civilization on this island whose people were excellent doctors," she informed me. I perked up at her words.
"Really?" I asked, excited. She nodded and looked back down at her book with a frown.
"The authors of this book say that they found anherb garden on this island, leftover from the civilization," she told me. My excitement rose.
"Where is it?" I asked her. She shook her head.
"I'm unsure," she replied. I slumped in disappointment. An herb garden from a group of doctors would be a good find for me. Robin smiled down at me. "But they drew a map that is supposed to lead to it. Would you like to help me try and find it?" she inquired.
I stared up at her in amazement. "Do you really think we can find it?" I bubbled. She tilted her head before nodding firmly.
"Of course," she assured me. "You're quite clever, after all," I felt a blush rise up on my cheeks at her compliment, my whole body moving around as I tried to hide my embarrassment at her comment.
"Saying something like that won't make me happy, you bastard," I told her. She didn't react beyond her smile growing bigger. She slowly sat down next to me and showed me the book page with the map on it. Her fingers pointed to a bunch of trees in the map before her eyes flicked to the trees around us.
"According to the map, we should be around here. I believe the landmark they called 'the devil's trees' are those trees up ahead," she commented. I followed her gaze and quickly leaped back at the sight of the creepy landmark which looked like it was ready to attack us. I felt safer when I felt her leg against my back, watching the trees carefully. Robin didn't seem to notice, just peered at the trees around us, eyes flicking to the map every now and then. Finally, she stood and pointed past the creepy tree.
"I think we need to go that way," she told me. I gulped as I looked at the tree and how it looked like it would grab us as we walked by it.
"A-are you sure?" I asked her. She smiled.
"Yes," she told me. I stared at the tree and moved closer to her. Her gaze followed me in amusement. "Don't worry, I'll protect you from anything," she assured me. I imagined what Zoro would say if he knew I was getting scared because of a tree and that helped me gather courage. Zoro wouldn't be afraid of a tree and if he were, he would face it. I took a deep breath and started to walk towards the tree. Robin followed silently.
We passed the tree without anything happening, to my relief, although my heart was still pounding in my chest. From there, I followed as Robin walked to the edge of a deep cliff, a frown appearing on her face. I stared at the edge of the cliff in terror, knowing that it would be a long way down if we fell. Robin glanced down at her book and back at the cliff. Her gaze went to me.
"We need to find a way to cross this canyon," she informed me. I stared at her in horror. She began to move again and I followed on shaky limbs. After a few hundred feet, a small bridge appeared over the canyon, shaking in the wind, pieces clearly missing from it. I expected Robin to ignore it but she went closer until we were standing in front of the dangerous thing. I gulped.
"We're not going to try and cross that, are we, Robin?" I asked in terror. She looked down at me in surprise.
"Of course we are," she replied. Her gaze went to the bridge scanning the entire thing. "Let's go," she told me before starting to walk across, attention on the planks she calmly walked across. I watched in terror, watching the pieces still intact tremble under her weight, threatening to break. She stepped on one and it quickly snapped, making her fall out of sight. My heart stopped in my chest.
"Robin!" I screamed in horror. She appeared a few moments later, a line of hands pulled her up from the hole she had fallen through. She boosted herself back up with a light smile, sighing as she brushed off the wood splinters on her pants. Her gaze went to me.
"Are you coming, Chopper?" she inquired, not sounding scared in the least. I stared at the hole in the bridge and gulped, my whole body starting to tremble in fear. She smiled lightly at me. "I won't let anything happen to you," she assured me. I gulped before taking a look down at the winding river below that was only a line and looking at the archeologist waiting for me.
My heart pounded in my chest seconds before I ran across the distance without looking down. I waited for my body to begin falling and for me to die but it never happened and I was soon next to Robin. I jumped on her in a second, clutching her leg as I shivered with fear. I took a deep breath of relief before my gaze went down, my eyes practically jumping out of my skull with fear as I took in the distance.
The next thing I knew, Robin had picked me up with a smile and was walking to the other side of the bridge as it swayed back and forth dangerously. The second we reached ground, I breathed in relief. Robin set me down soon after with a proud smile.
"You did good, Chopper," she told me. "You're very brave," I blushed and squirmed around. Her gaze went to a crack in the rocks nearby and she quickly went towards the area. I watched her go before following. She ducked through the crack in the rock. I eyed the blackness within with a hint of fear before I rushed after here, making sure I stayed close to her. She reached down and took a hold of my hoof after a second or two.
We walked in the darkness for what seemed to be forever, fear pulsing through my body as I hoped that everything would be okay. I was relieved when I saw a halo of light in the distance. Robin seemed similarly relieved and she began to run, pulling me along for a moment before I started running as well.
We burst out into the blue looking light and my breath was quickly taken away by the neat garden of herbs that filled the area around us, a gap in the rocks above up us gave the plants light, filling the entire cave with a blow looking glow. Robin seemed more interested in the carvings on the walls around us and rushed to examine them. I went into the herb garden, amazed by all the different herbs within it. My gaze went around all the herbs and I was excited to find that every herb I needed was there, along with several I didn't recognize.
I put my pack down slowly before I began to pick off leaves from plants I need leaves from. Several of the herb's roots were needed and I dug those up as well, a smile on my face. After a while, Robin leaned down and joined in. Her face was thoughtful after a while.
"We might want to take some of these plants with us," she told me. "I could plant some in my garden and then you wouldn't need to search for them."
I grinned at her. "That's a really good idea!" I exclaimed. She laughed lightly before beginning to dig up some of the plants whose leaves I just needed and placing them in my bag.
We finished gathering herbs after what seemed to be forever. I collapsed against the ground, tired when we were done. Robin's gaze went to the fading light coming through the hole in the rock above us
"We should return to the ship," she suggested. I nodded, trying to keep myself from dozing off. Robin noticed and before I could protest, she had picked me up, cradling me in her arms.
"I can walk by myself, Robin!" I protested. She simply smiled at me.
"Just rest for now," she told me. "I'll be fine," I started to protest before she started to walk and I found myself drifting off quickly, too tired to argue.
Someone was shaking me lightly, a quiet voice suggesting I wake up. I woke up slowly, the world blurry around me until Robin's face sharpened. I was suddenly awake, worried that we were under attack or that something bad had happened. Robin's face was smiling.
"We're almost back to the ship," she informed me. I was suddenly embarrassed by the fact that she had carried me like that, knowing the other would think I was weak if they found out. Robin seemed to realize this and set me down. I scanned the area to make sure that no one else was around and thankfully, there wasn't. I noticed the sun was setting.
As we walked, I sniffed the air as I slowly recognized the smell of Sanji's cooking. My excitement rose when I recognized the smell of cookies. My pace quickened in response while Robin trailed behind. I slowed down with a blush, not wanting to make her feel like she had to hurry. We reached the ship pretty quickly, anyways.
Zoro leaned over the railing as we approached with a grin on his face. "Did you find lots of herbs?" he asked me. I nodded happily.
"Yeah. Look at all these!" I called back up to him, offering up my bag of herbs for his inspection. Usopp appeared next to him, his eyes widening as he caught sight of my bag.
"That's a lot of medicine!" he exclaimed. "How did you get so much?"
I smiled at him before catching sight of Robin, who was watching the exchange with a light smile. "I can't tell you," I replied. "Its Robin and I's secret!"
a/n: I hope everyone enjoyed the chapter and I would love to hear some feedback! ; )