Hot Shot's girl: Yeah the idea came to me when I was thinking about my finished story 'The Demon Swordsman' and how I had no other ideas for One Piece stories. I was sad and happy at the same time, happy because it would give me time to finish the other One Piece stories that I NEED to finish, but sad because I can't think of another beloved One Piece fan fiction, so I ended up renting a book from the library called Faeries with lots of illustrations of them, which I'd love to draw sometime :) Well reading it, it gave me an idea about Faeries and perhaps a fanfic, of course with the ideas already from 'The Child Thief' that I had read earlier this year.
And so a new fanfic was born. I decided to already start typing this up because I wanted to give Zoro a fic for his birthday :D But my com is down and the library is closed so this will have to be belated a little, even though it started on Nov. 11th. Well I hope you all enjoy and I hope I can keep up my other fanfics, which I'm sure I can ;D
Summary: Zoro has just moved to Ireland with his foster father Mihawk. Living in a small town where folklores and legends bred it Zoro would think these people nothing but superstitious, but are they really? Or is a skeptical Zoro just out of his mind when he happens to see one of their 'Little People'?
Green . . . it was everywhere. The land, the moss-covered rocks, even the few trees that were dotted along the landscape. You'd think green wouldn't bother this teen since his eyes, even his hair, consisted of the color.
But it did.
Could it be that this land was too green? Or was it because this land was not like the land he had grown up in and once come to call home? That could be it.
They had moved around before so why was this move any different than the last dozen? The teen didn't understand yet understood at the same time. It was because their last move they had managed to stay in that land a good number of years, 9 to be exact. It was the longest they had ever lived in the same place, so moving . . . especially so far away from his friends was difficult . . . so very difficult.
"So what do you think of our new homeland Zoro?" the pale man driving asked, looking in the rearview mirror to see his foster son laying down in the backseat with his back against the window, occasionally turning to glance out toward the land.
"Hhh, it's too green," the teen groaned as he slug down in his seat and crossed his arms.
The teen's foster father sighed out at the boy's response. He had been like this the whole trip. He wouldn't blame him . . . Japan had been their homeland for a good 9 years, longer than any other land had been they lived at.
"I know it's nothing like Japan, but make the most of it alright," his foster father, Mihawk, had said, keeping his golden eyes on the road to watch out for sudden dips in the old dirt road.
"Whatever," Zoro sighed out, staring up at the land from the other window, nothing but rocks and green mulch everywhere.
After suddenly packing up your entire home, and then flying out to another island some great miles away from Japan only to rent a car and haul your belongings along the green lands to eventually find yourself out in the middle of nowhere could be quite tiresome and it was—for the both of them, but then with the teen's attitude the elder was soon coming down with a migraine and soon he wouldn't be able to take anymore of it.
He just wanted to arrive to their home soon, driving for hours could do that to you.
"Did you give your friend Saga your number so you can keep in touch?" Mihawk continued to try to lighten the teen's mood, but every time he glanced back at him he'd see the greenhead slouched down in his seat, looking over his cell-phone.
"Yeah, but it'd be great if we weren't moving out in the middle of nowhere where I didn't get no service!" Zoro growled, turning to show his useless cell-phone.
"Oh," Mihawk rolled his shoulders and turned his eyes back towards the road—he was never a technology man so he wouldn't understand this 'out of service' issue with those wireless phones, but it only dampened his foster child's moods and in turn gave him more of a headache from his sour attitude.
Another hard and frustrated sigh was heard from the back seat, which in turn made Mihawk sigh out. He leaned forward slightly, his eyelids dropping to cover half his eyes in annoyance.
"You knew we'd eventually have to move someday Zoro," he sighed out, keeping his eyes on the road that seemed to want to stretch on and on with nothing but rocks and grass to view. "You shouldn't have gotten so attached to Japan."
"I'm sorry if we happened to live there the longest in my life," Zoro muttered out, his emerald eyes glancing at his foster father in the front seat, driving towards their new home for who knows how many years . . . or months.
"Don't get snappy with me," Mihawk replied, gazing at the bitter teen from the rearview mirror with intense golden eyes. "When we moved to Japan I warned you we'd move again, apparently you didn't take that to heart."
"I'm 19 years old," Zoro grumbled, crossing his arms. "Why couldn't you have just left me at a college there or something?"
"Because we cannot stay in any place too long," Mihawk sighed out. "I knew it was a mistake, dwindling all those years in Japan. See what it's done to you."
"What?" Zoro asked, his tone higher as he came to sit up, his seat directly behind his foster father's. "How it's made me long for the friends I had to leave? How it's made me long to stay in one place and grow old? Is that it?"
"It's not for you to understand right now," Mihawk replied, hoping to end the conversation—at least with Zoro silent his headache didn't grow.
"Sure," Zoro scoffed, crossing his arms and slamming his back against the back seat roughly. "When will you learn I'm not like you Mihawk . . . I want to stay in one place."
With another sigh Mihawk decided to remain quiet. A slight shake of his head was all he made as he drove on in silence. Perhaps Zoro would get back into his moving attitude he once sported around the age of 10. Spending 9 years in Japan had taken its toll on the boy and so Mihawk swore he'd never stay in any place too long again . . . if that is what fate decided.
Zoro woke up from his 100th nap that day and looked out the window to actually find himself looking at old buildings instead of land. He rubbed his eyes, sat up with a yawn, and looked at the small ancient town they happened to pass through on their way to their new house.
"This is where we will be spending a lot of time at," Mihawk suddenly spoke up, noticing Zoro was awake and looking at the old town.
"This town looks ancient," Zoro muttered, seeing the old vine-covered stone buildings of the town, even the architecture looked ancient and Zoro wondered just how old this town really was.
"It is," Mihawk nodded, passing through the small town within a good 20 minutes. "Some thousands of years old."
"How many?" Zoro asked, turning in his seat to stare at his foster father.
"There is an Archeologist here, she owns the only bookstore. I'm sure if you ask her she can enlighten you," Mihawk replied, turning down yet another old dirt road.
"Are we the only ones with a car around here?" Zoro asked, watching a lengthy dark man, with the strangest looking afro, pass by bicycling on the road, carrying nothing but a violin under his arm.
"It seems that way," Mihawk answered. "Most I believe own bicycles to get around—even though many live quite a few miles away from town."
"Well," Zoro sighed out, placing his chin on his folded arms that rested next to the car window. "At least they're healthy."
Mihawk let off a small chuckle but once again the ride was quiet. They had been driving since last night and all morning. Noon was coming and both were beginning to feel the ache of their cramped muscles, longing to walk on dry land and stretch, but their home wasn't far from here.
Driving past a bundle of trees Mihawk made one last turn before the car tilted downward and into another old muddy dirt road. Zoro glanced around and scowled at the sight of sheep and a Shepard herding them across the road. The old Shepard waved friendly at the newcomers and once the last of his sheep were out of the way Mihawk returned the gesture and drove on.
"It's official . . . we live out in the middle of nowhere," Zoro sighed out, crossing his arms and laying back down in the backseat.
"Don't be like that Zoro," Mihawk said, every now and then glancing back at the boy in the mirror. "At least there's much more space than that crowded town we lived at in Japan."
"Well at least we had neighbors," Zoro groaned, his sour attitude still ever present.
"That's strange," Mihawk spoke up, a small smirk playing across his features. "I once recall you telling me how annoyed you were at the noisy neighbors next-door to us and that you wished we lived out in the middle of nowhere."
"Yeah—and how old was I?" Zoro asked in sarcasm knowing Mihawk always pulled this up about the time when he was 12 and had complained about their neighbors, that was before he had any friends so it was a different story now.
The teen wanted to be left alone and he made it clear with a grumble as he turned his back towards his foster father—presumably taking another nap that day. Mihawk only shook his head, sighed once more, and continued on with their rive—their house shouldn't be too far away from here now.
"Here we are," he said, pulling into the grassy driveway and up to the old blue house.
Zoro poked his head up and looked at the house. It was a decent sized two-story house; it almost resembled a cottage though.
"Get out here and help me unpack," Mihawk said, grabbing his suitcase and snatching the old keys from his pocket.
"Does that thing even need keys? I'm pretty sure it was made before the invention of those things," Zoro snickered out the small joke as he grabbed his suitcase from the back seat and shut the car door, but Mihawk showed his dislike for the unnecessary joke as he turned to give him a wary look before unlocking the house.
Kicking the jammed door open Mihawk looked into the dark house. He turned and picked up his suitcase before heading inside.
"Now I have to warn you this is an old house, built around the 1700s so it has no electricity," Mihawk said as he lugged his luggage inside the dark and dusty home, leaving Zoro to stand in the doorway with his jaw and luggage dropped.
Zoro quickly shook off the shock and took up his luggage, heading inside to look at a dusty and creaky old home. He turned and watched his foster father place his suitcase on a dusky old table, and coughing slightly as he wiped it off.
"So . . . it doesn't have plumbing either—does it?" Zoro asked, looking around to find only a few pieces of old furniture still resided in this house.
"No," Mihawk said, finishing wiping off the small table. "If you want to take a bath it's out back."
Zoro watched where Mihawk's thumb pointed and as he gazed out a back window he happened to see in the distance an old shack of some sort, near the lake out back.
You've got to be kidding me, Zoro groaned inwardly . . . it was like they were living back in the stone ages!
"The bathhouse is near the lake so it'd make it easier to draw in water," Mihawk answered all of Zoro's unspoken questions.
"How . . . convenient," Zoro managed out a hard smile, lips pulled so tightly over his teeth you could tell it was fake.
"Luckily the caretakers left some lamps for us," Mihawk said, taking a match and lighting up the lamps that brought a good amount of light to the dark room.
It wasn't long, after the house was lit in the places where the sun from the windows couldn't reach, that the two headed out to the Uhaul to unpack all their belongings. Mihawk went to take a box out and as he turned, looked to see Zoro holding out his arms to take it into the house.
"What are you doing?" Mihawk asked the green-haired teen.
"Helping . . . you," Zoro answered, looking around slightly like it was the most obvious reason.
"Today's your birthday Zoro," Mihawk replied, reaching in his back pocket to pull out a wad of bills before tossing it to Zoro. "Go get yourself something in town. I'll unpack."
"But . . ." Zoro started up, looking at the bills in his hand.
"Not 'but's, go out and enjoy yourself," Mihawk said, walking past the teen and back into the house with. "It's the least that you can do today."
Zoro sighed out and then turned to look at the dirt road they had come from. He turned back towards the house where Mihawk was tidying up things and asked—
"How am I supposed to make it to town?"
"There's a bike in the shed," Mihawk responded from inside. "It's old but you can make due with it."
"Zoro grumbled to himself before slumping his shoulders and heading over to the shed that was some yards from the house's right.
Once he broke the rusted lock and opened it he groaned to see an old green bicycle—the thing looked at least 50 years old, but it was all he had. Back in Japan they lived near his school so he just walked there while others would ride bikes, he never needed one so never got one.
Heh, can't believe it was his birthday already, he could have sworn he had already turned 19 this year, but oh well.
"Happy birthday to me," Zoro mockingly said as he took the bike out and hopped on, trying his best to steer back through the dirt roads and towards the town.
Zoro didn't know how long he had been on that dirt road until the town came back into view, but the strange thing was, was when it had come into view, suddenly it vanished. Stopping on the side of the road Zoro looked around.
"Da- -, did that town move?" He asked himself, scratching his head and looking around.
With a sigh he pedaled on, but still, every time he'd glance towards the town he suddenly found himself on another dirt road or something because the town wasn't before him anymore.
"Hhh, maybe it's this da- - dirt road," Zoro groaned before looking back behind him and suddenly seeing the town. "How the he- - did it get behind me? !"
With a huff Zoro turned his bike around and road towards the town . . . again, it vanished. He groaned before leaning over his bike for a quick rest—it seemed he had been pedaling for hours . . . probably had thanks to that vanishing town.
With a deep inhale of crispy fresh air he pressed down on the old pedals to go again, only to have the chain snap off and nearly toss him off the bike.
"Gah! What now? !" Zoro groaned, getting off his bike and looking to see what happened. "Tchah! The da- - chain broke!"
"It looks like your chain snapped."
"Tell me about it!" Zoro groaned with a roll of his eyes. "This bike's probably 50 years old so it's expected!"
"Actually, it's 52 years old."
"Well—I was close enough," Zoro shook his head with a light snicker. "Wait . . ." Zoro suddenly noticed he wasn't alone, or talking to himself, and turned to see a strange looking young boy, bearing a straw hat.
You couldn't really see the boy's eyes for the straw hat, tied with a red ribbon, shadowed his eyes, only a large smile could be seen, and perhaps a strange crescent shaped scar on his left cheek. His clothes though looked quite out of place, white silk adorning all over his body, his shirt seemed a little loose like one of those old shirts worn by people from the 1700s, and his pants were of a silver hue, very out of place but Zoro just figured Irish people liked wearing such clothing and so shrugged it off.
"When did you get here?" the boy asked, a wide smile on his face.
"I should be asking you that," Zoro said, crossing his arms and staring at the strange boy who looked around 16 or perhaps 17. "How long have you been standing there?"
"Since your chain snapped," the smiling mystery boy answered with a smile. "I haven't seen you around before—are you new?"
"Yeah," Zoro sighed, standing up and wiping his greasy hands. "Me and my foster father just moved here. It's gonna be our new home I guess."
Zoro let out a sigh and turned his eyes back to the boy who only stood there, smiling. It was a tad bit chilly outside and yet the boy wasn't even wearing a sweater like Zoro was. Wasn't he cold?
"You look pretty strong," the boy suddenly spoke up. "Are you?"
"Uh . . . yeah . . . I guess so," Zoro said, it really wasn't up to one to say they were strong—but others who observed them.
"Nee, hee, no wonder why the chain broke," the boy suddenly let out a childish giggle—the giggle almost sounding as if it belonged to a five-year-old boy . . . strange.
"Yeah, guess so," Zoro groaned, some birthday this turned out to be.
"Might I ask—is today your birthday?" the young boy asked, Zoro blinked in confusion—what kind of a person would ask a complete stranger that . . . and how the heck did he guess so good?
"Yeah . . . why?" Zoro asked, looking quite leery at the boy.
"Then I shall grant you a single wish!" the boy with the large smile said, holding up his index finger to signal one. "Would you wish me to correct your chain?"
"Uh—S-Sure," Zoro said, moving out of the way and watching as the boy placed a hand on his hat, squatted down and examined the damaged.
Still watching on in confusion he watched as the boy took the snapped chain in his index finger and thumb, He rubbed them together some before placing the chain back. He hopped back up and spun towards the stunned teen.
"Wish granted!" the boy said, his pearly whites almost blinding the teen.
"O-Okay," Zoro stuttered slightly and looked at his bike to see it indeed was fixed—but how? "Well thank-you stranger, but . . . may I ask another favor?"
"No more wishes," the boy said, holding his arms out like an 'X'. "One is all."
"No, it's not a wish," Zoro said, shaking his head. "Do you happen to know how to get to the town?"
"Oh," the boy said before turning in a direction and pointing. "That way."
"Thanks," Zoro said, hopping on his bike and then pedaling . . . in the opposite direction that was pointed.
"Oi! Wrong way!" the boy called out and Zoro inwardly cursed before turning around and pedaling in the right direction.
"Thanks again," Zoro said as he passed the boy by with a wave, which the boy in turn waved back.
The last thing Zoro heard as he rode off was a call from the boy saying—
"I like your hair!"
Zoro turned back to look at the boy but found him gone. It was a little weird because where could the boy have gone? Nothing but grassy lands all over and the small forests were some distances away. It was as if he suddenly vanished into thin air, but no one could do that . . . right?
With a shrug Zoro managed to find the town and upon entering it noticed some of the odd stares he was getting from the townspeople—especially from the elderly. He shook it off and came to place his bike in one of the racks; he didn't have a lock so if it got stolen it would end up getting stolen.
Looking around Zoro thought the town seemed dreary. Though the skies were overcast and a chill was in the air, did the town have to resemble the weather? Nothing but old stone buildings looking older than even his house. With a sigh he walked through the town and looked to see they had a fountain in the midst of the town, and it was actually working.
He sat down on it and watched a stray dog come up to it for a drink. He sat there for a while, even watching a few birds flock around a weird looking statue of a . . . was that a pixie? Suddenly, musical notes were caught in his ears, along with the laughter of many children. Zoro turned to see a bundle of children all laughing and squealing as they chased after a hopping musician who led them in circles around the fountain, and him.
Zoro recognized the musician as that man he had seen earlier, riding his bike towards the town. He watched the darker man fiddle and sing as the children clapped and cheered.
"One more song! One more song!" the children chanted and cheered.
"Ah, children, shall you run me out of songs?" the tall musician asked with a large smile, bending down to the youngsters.
"Yeah! Yeah!" they cheered.
"Ah, it looks like I'm outvoted, Yohoho," the musician chuckled before placing his violin against his chin ready to play again, but halted upon noticing the newcomer in town. "Oh my, look here children, we have a newcomer. What be your name fine gentleman?"
Gentleman? Zoro asked himself with a blink before smiling slightly.
"Roronoa Zoro," he answered.
"I am Humming Brooke," the tall lengthy musician said with a bow. "I am this town's musician."
"They actually have one of those?" Zoro asked with a blink.
"Yes, I am, though the only one I'm afraid, yohoho!" Brooke said with a laugh, raising his fiddle in the air. "Would you like a song young one?"
"Me?" Zoro asked, pointing to his chest. "You want me to pick?"
"Of course," Brooke said with a smile. "Any newcomer gets first pick of my songs. It's tradition."
"Yeah mister! Hurry up and play a song so Brooke can play his Faerie music!" the children said, turning to Zoro with anxious expressions.
"Faerie music?" Zoro asked, looking at the smiling musician.
"That's right," Brooke said with a nod. "This town was bred on many folklores of Faeries and Goblins. It is said that Faerie music is something so beautiful that once heard you will forever long for its melody once again. I aspire to play melodies just as excellent as they!"
"Sure," Zoro said, trying to keep his chuckles inside—for respect . . . these people here were crazy.
"So name your song Mr. Roronoa," Brooke said, placing his violin against his chin.
"Can you play any song?" Zoro asked, raising a brow.
"Try me," Brooke said, the hint of a dare in his tone and Zoro was going to meet that dare.
"Alright . . . play . . . Bink's Sake," Zoro said, a smirk crossing his features.
"Ah, I see you are from another island," Brooke said, a small giggle in his tone. "That is an old song from the Japanese people."
"Well, I'm impressed," Zoro said, leaning back slightly. "You know the song."
"I do," Brooke said with a nod. "And, like I promised, I shall play it for you."
Brooke struck his fiddle and suddenly the familiar tune struck Zoro's ears. He smiled and closed his eyes to just listen to it. A little bit of home is what he thought and right now . . . on this day especially, he was glad he could hear this old song again.
The children all cheered once the song was over; though Brooke had sung it in Japanese they still enjoyed it. He offered them to sing it in English and once they all agreed he began to play again.
"I'm gonna head off to get somethin' to eat," Zoro said, pointing towards the bakery as he made his way there. "Nice meeting you Brooke."
"You too Mr. Zoro!" Brooke waved at the greenhead as the children flocked around him to continue playing.
Zoro shook his head with a sigh before he headed off to the bakery and watched a blonde teen, perhaps around his age, setting out pastries for hungry oncomers. He came up to him and took out a few bills before setting it against the counter.
"I'd like a few of those cook," he said rather snobbishly and the blonde just didn't like his tone.
The blonde cook turned to him and crossed his arms, his bangs only covering one eye and a cigarette placed neatly between his pale thin lips.
"Oh you would?" he asked, narrowing his visible eye slightly. "And just where be you from stranger?"
"Just moved here so can I get something to eat?" Zoro asked. "I had to pedal a long way here on this crappy bicycle."
"Sorry, but you'll have to ask nicely," the blonde said, closing his eye and smiling wickedly sweet.
"What?" Zoro asked with a blink. "Look I'm paying you so you should just take it and give me some pastries, that's your job right?"
"Sorry—I don't listen to a- -holes," the cook said, taking the pastries and putting them in a woven basket.
"What the he- - is this? !" Zoro growled. "What kind of a cook are you? !"
"A shi- -y one by all that concerns you," the blonde answered, looking at the greenhead and noticing the odd coloring of hair.
"This is the only bakery in town! Where the he- - can I get other pastries? !" Zoro growled, slamming his fists down on the wooden counter, the blonde cook noticing the cracking but remaining completely undaunted by the teen's might.
"Well then you're shi- outta luck," the blonde said, about to turn and wave the jerkish teen off but a sudden peg leg came down upon his head quite hard.
"Gah!" he groaned out, rubbing his abused noggin.
"You denying customers again Sanji? !" came a ragged voice, the head chef looking at the younger with narrowed eyes. "I don't think so!"
"B-But old man!" Sanji muttered out an excuse. "He was—"
"I don't give a da- - if he spit in your face! You serve anyone who comes here! You hear me? !" The older blonde said, looking quite weak to be standing up.
"Alright," Sanji sighed out. "But get back in bed old man. I can take care of things."
"Heh, well it seems I can't trust you to do that if you keep harassing our customers!" the older chef said, looking rather pale from sickness, but managing to hold on to the last strength he had.
"Just get your da- - a- - in bed!" Sanji nearly shouted. "You're sick and I can't have you coughing all over the food. I can handle getting harassed."
With a grumble the older chef turned and began hopping back up the stairs he came down from. The younger, Sanji, immediately ran off to help him back in bed but managed a last hard glare at the newcomer.
"I'll be back to deal with you," he said before turning and helping his old man back to bed.
Zoro only groaned. He tried waiting for a little while, but he was never a patient man and so he tossed a good number of bills down, took two pastries and went off eating them. He looked around the town for any other places to perhaps visit.
There wasn't much but something caught his eye. It was a bookstore—probably the only one. It said 'Nico's Books' and it was then he realized that Mihawk had said an Archeologist owned the place and could probably tell him how old this town was. With a shrug Zoro went off and into the store. The sound of the doorbell caught the owner's attention as she sat in a large chair, reading a few books.
"Welcome to my book store," the tanned woman with raven hair said with a smile. "Please tell me if you're looking for anything."
"Not really," Zoro admitted, licking his fingers from the left over crème. "I'm new here and—"
"Oh, you must be Dracule's boy he talks so much about," the woman said as he placed her book down in her lap and stared at him with kind blue eyes.
"You met my foster father before?" Zoro asked with a blink.
"Some years ago," the woman said, standing up with a nod. "We were once old acquaintances. We met some time before you were born and before I lived here. I'm Nico Robin," the woman held out her hand in greeting.
"Roronoa Zoro," Zoro said, taking her hand in a firm handshake.
"What can I do you for Mr. Roronoa?" Robin asked, sitting back down in her chair.
"Well . . . Mihawk said this town was real old—do you know how old?" Zoro asked, looking at the smart woman.
"Well let me think," she said with a smile, placing her index finger on her lips in thought. "It's actually hard to say because these buildings don't necessarily explain how old this town really is."
"What do you mean?" Zoro asked, raising his brow.
"How should I say this . . ." Robin pondered on her words and looked at the teen wondering if he would be able to get something like this. "These buildings are over 100s of years old, but the town itself is thousands. Before stone buildings there were straw, if you get my meaning."
"Yeah, I get it," Zoro nodded. "So you're saying there were settlers here before a town with buildings were made."
"Precisely," Robin nodded with a smile. "They created a town here so to keep peace with the Little Ones."
"The Little Ones?" Zoro asked with a confused blink. "You mean . . . that Faerie crap?"
"Oh, it's not crap here Mr. Roronoa," Robin said, shaking her head. "People here still believe that they exist, their folklores taken from real life experiences. That is one of the reasons why I had come to live here . . . all their legends and lores, they fascinate me so."
"Uh-huh," Zoro said, even this woman seemed like the others . . . crazy.
"There are even people here that have come to see them," Robin said. "It doesn't happen often, but there are still cases coming out of the blue. I myself must admit I have seen one."
"One what?" Zoro asked. "A 'Little One'?"
Robin was about to reply but the door opened and in came a panting Brooke. He looked to see the Archeologist and the newcomer speaking amongst each other. He sighed out with a smile before coming up to the bookkeeper.
"Hah, Ms. Nico, I'm so sorry to intrude, but I must escape from the lads and lasses. They shall drain me of my music," he said with a weary smile.
"Been singing for hours again?" Robin asked with a kind smile.
"Yes I have," Brooke nodded, fixing his black clothing and adjusting his round glasses. "Earlier I rode to Rika's, the poor girl had come ill and her mother wished me to play a cheerful tune for her to ward off evil spirits and to help her recover faster."
"I see," Robin said with a nod. "Well . . . I do hope she becomes well again."
"Aye, I do too," Brooke said with a nod and then noticed Zoro staring at him rather oddly. "Oh I'm sorry, were you two conversing?"
"I was just about to tell Mr. Roronoa about the young Faerie who comes into my bookshop late a night to hear the stories I read," Robin said, glancing towards the skeptical looking greenhead.
"Oh, him," Brooke said, clasping his hands together in delight. "That wonderful spirited young Faerie boy you are always talking about?"
"Aye," Robin chuckled slightly and gave the tall man a nod.
"I myself have never seen a Faerie before," Brooke said, looking at the unbelieving greenhead. "But others around have. You can ask others accounts if you wish."
"Eh, t-that's alright," Zoro said, waving him off. "I'm fine."
Sheesh, everyone's crazy here, Zoro inwardly thought as he looked at the two who seemed to continue to believe about these 'Little People'.
"He's a kind child," Robin nodded and then pushed her hand down to below her knee. "He reaches bout here to me, but sometimes he's no bigger than my thumb. When I ask him why he keeps changing sizes he continues to tell me how he needs to to sneak into my bookshop without being seen by the others."
"Oh really," Zoro said, about ready to laugh at the two, but refrained from respect for their weird and strange culture. "And are—there any more of these 'Wee Folk'?"
"We call them 'Little People' Mr. Roronoa," Robin said, with a kind smile, making sure he said it right less he offend the other townspeople and even them. "But yes, there are more. They reside in the grassy hills, the forests, and even lakes. Legend says they can help you when in trouble."
"There was an old account about a farmer who needed to reap an entire field before sunrise 'less others claim his farm," Brooke spoke up, remembering the old tales. "It is said that a Faerie came to assist him and his farm was saved. The Faerie was never thanked because he vanished long before the farmer could."
"Yes," Robin said, remembering it. "Many legends here date back to Faerie lores. Like when you make a wish and blow out your candles on your birthday. It is said that a Faerie is responsible for granting that wish if they feel the child deserves it."
"So everyone . . . still believes all this . . . Faerie stuff?" Zoro asked, wondering if every single being here believed such nonsense.
Before either two could reply though the door nearly slammed open, the bell nearly falling off as a crude being entered.
"That da- - mosshead!" the curse came out of a familiar mouth. "Hey!"
"Wah!" Brooke squeaked as he darted behind the strong looking greenhead—the blonde cook had always frightened him . . . both of them, they were always so . . . harsh. "It's Mr. Blackleg!"
"What? You scared of this pansy?" Zoro asked, shoving his thumb in the cook's direction.
"You!" Sanji growled, stomping up to him, in his fist was the bills Zoro so generously left him for the taken pastries. "Who the HE- - said you could just drop off your money and take my pastries? !"
"Hey, your old man said to listen to your customers," Zoro said, rubbing his ear with his pinky, looking undaunted at the threatening cook. "I paid you didn't I?"
"Like he- - I care you shi- -y newcomer!" Sanji growled, pointing at the slightly taller teen that was probably around his age.
"You're not a friendly one are you?" Zoro asked, noticing how odd this one's attitude was.
"Hello Mr. Sanji," Robin said, making herself known to the blonde.
"Oh! Robin my love~!" the blonde suddenly hopped towards her feet and swooned over her. "I'm sorry you had to hear such awful curses from my mouth."
"What is with him?" Zoro asked, his brow rising at the odd behavior of the cook.
"He's like this," Brooke spoke up, coming out from behind Zoro and rolling his shoulders. "Towards women."
"Of course I am!" Sanji spat, standing back up to his feet and looking at the tall musician. "It's not my fault that there is hardly a beautiful maiden here that I can indulge in! So my lovely Ms. Nico is all I have, isn't that right dear~"
Robin giggled before she nodded and said—
"Mr. Sanji is among the very few who do not believe in such beings."
"Wait, are you talking about Faeries," Sanji asked, pointing towards everyone, after a few nods were received he chuckled before saying, "You seriously don't believe that shi- do you? ! Ha!"
"Aren't you afraid you'll offend the townspeople with the way you talk about their beliefs?" Zoro asked, noticing how uncaring the blonde was.
"Like I give a shi- for anyone here," the blonde said, taking out a cigarette and placing it in his mouth for something to chew on. "Everyone believes that hocus-pocus here. I haven't met a da- - soul that doesn't."
"What about you leaving out food and wine at night for the Little Ones?" Brooke asked.
"That's for the old man," Sanji said, digging the toe of his shoe into the store's red carpet. "He continues to believe they exist. Said he's even seen one once in his youth."
"Did you come from a place believing in such lores Mr. Roronoa?" Robin asked, looking at the quiet newcomer.
"Eh, no," Zoro answered without hesitation. "Back in Japan me and my foster father lived in a large town well modernized so none of any strange lores was ever heard."
"I see," Robin nodded before leaning back in her chair and glancing at her books. "Many of these books were written by real-life witnesses who had seen the Little People. It's very much like history here."
"Uh-huh," Zoro nodded before licking the inside of his bottom lip.
Zoro sighed out and looked around. There sure were a lot of old looking books and noticed the one right next to Robin's arm. It had very bold letters saying 'FAERIE' on the cover. No doubt had every single folklore this town had.
"Well . . . how much is that book right there?" Zoro asked, scratching the back of his head and pointing towards the book by Robin's arm.
"Oh? This?" She asked, taking it up.
"Y-Yeah," Zoro sighed out, this was rather awkward—trying to get something that read about things he did not believe in one bit.
"Are you going to buy a book—about Faeries?" Sanji asked, a slight shock written over his features before he burst out laughing. "Ha! Ha! I thought you said you didn't believe in that crap and yet here you are trying to buy a book about them! Ha!"
Zoro's face was turning red out of frustration, but most of all—embarrassment. He bit his bottom lip hard and shook his fists at his sides. He was coming THIS close to landing one right in that blonde's ugly mocking face!
"It's not that!" Zoro growled out. "It's just I have to buy something for my birthday or I'll get scolded from my foster father!"
"Oh, it's your birthday?" Brooke asked with a blink.
"Yeah," Zoro sighed out, rubbing the back of his neck. "I-It's nothing much—"
"Why of course it is Mr. Roronoa," Robin said, standing up before him. "It's the day you blessed this world with your birth."
"I wouldn't say that," Zoro mumbled off to the side.
"How old are you now?" Robin asked.
"19," Zoro answered.
"Ha, he's younger than me," Sanji continued to taunt.
Zoro only glared at the blue-eyed-blonde before the tall musician raised his violin and exclaimed.
"Yohoho! Then shall we sing you a song? !" he smiled largely as he placed the fiddle under his chin, ready to play.
"Eh, no, no," Zoro said, shaking his hands—he was never big on parties or singing and all that crap so—
"Let's sing with Brooke, Sanji," Robin said, turning to the blonde who quickly obeyed.
"YES MA'AM!" he exclaimed with raised his fists.
Brooke tapped his foot and then began to play the cheerful familiar tune of 'Happy Birthday'. Zoro groaned, slumping over. This was unexpected for his first day here—but hey . . . he's made some friends right? . . . some.
Zoro was groaning even more once Robin suggested a cake for him. Zoro resisted but when Robin mentioned only a small cake that stupid love cook immediately ran off to do her bidding and actually came back with in 30 minutes with a small very well decorated cake . . . that was fast. Once again they sang him happy birthday and then Robin had give him the book as his present, Sanji said that cake was all he was getting from him, and Brooke asked if his songs were good enough for a present since it was all he had at the moment.
Zoro couldn't help but smile at the three. This had actually been a nice birthday—despite moving from his home and friends he had known for 9 years. Perhaps this move wouldn't be so bad after all.
Since he still had a sizeable amount of bills in his pocket he decided to give it all to the three. He split it up evenly, he gave the bookkeeper some for her stories, the cook for his overly decorated cake, and the musician for his wonderful songs that seemed to strike Zoro at the heart . . . of course he gave a little more to Brooke because he enjoyed the songs so much.
"Good-bye guys," Zoro said, waving them all off as he carried the left over cake and his book in bags on his way out. "I enjoyed your company."
"Well I didn't," Sanji said, sticking his chin in the air.
"Sanji," Robin warned lightly, she nudged the blonde on the shoulder who immediately changed attitudes.
"That was a lie! I enjoyed because Robin-love was here!" the cook said.
Zoro only sighed out with him and shook his head.
"Be careful Mr. Zoro," Brooke spoke up, stepping forward. "It's become quite dark and evil spirits like to lurk around the roads at this time of night."
"Alright," Zoro chuckled before leaving with another wave.
Well that birthday wasn't all too unpleasant, Zoro inwardly admitted with a roll of his shoulders.
With a small smile placed on his lips he returned to the ancient bike to find it was still there. With a shrug he hopped on and placed the bags full of leftover cake and his book on the handlebars. He pushed off and road down the dark dirt road.
The night had gotten chillier, but he didn't mind. Japan got pretty cold around November as well so he was used to this weather. What he wasn't used to as much was the clear nights where the moon was bright and the stars were easily seen with all their constellations.
Looking up Zoro could see them all, all of them he had learned in his years at school. How time flies when you move around . . . living in Japan seemed to go by so slow and he was glad it had, he enjoyed living there. As a matter of fact this day had went by slowly as well . . . at first he cursed the time, but then again he was glad it did slow down—for a little while, that birthday party those three threw was very nice, very nice indeed.
His ride was very peaceful, no evil spirits in sight. Zoro chuckled to himself and actually wondered if something like that would ever happen. What would he do? Zoro looked down at his right side and saw none of his katana. He'd definitely need those if he was going to defend himself from those evil spirits.
"Well," Zoro said to himself, as he pedaled a little faster to return home. "Thank goodness those things don't exist, heh."
It wasn't long until his thoughts were interrupted by something flying right out of the trees to his right and hitting him across the head, knocking him clear off his back.
"Gah! What the he- -? !" Zoro growled as he quickly got back up, a bump protruding from his hair, and looked around only to find the thing that hit him was . . . a leather ball? "What the he- - is this?" Zoro asked as he picked it up and looked at it over, it was nothing but an old leather ball . . . just how old were things around here?
"OOOIII! !" came a shout from where the ball was tossed, kicked, spiked, whatever.
Zoro turned to see a boy come out of the bushes and towards him and speak of the devil it was that same weird kid he had met earlier before . . . when his chain had broke.
"You again," Zoro said, looking at the straw-hating-wearing-lad, who always seemed to want to cover his eyes, even in the darkness of night.
"Sorry about that," he said, looking at the ball in his hands. "Just playing Hurling with my brothers."
"Oi! Luffy! Where's that ball? !" came a few more shouts, soon two others exited from behind the trees, two much older than the younger boy.
One look at Zoro and the two halted, each of them holding a Hurling stick in their hands, the sticks awfully resembling hockey sticks. Zoro blinked in confusion at the sight of them. Each one had a hat, just like the younger, one was wearing an orange cowboy-looking hat with goggles around it, his eyes covered, but not his freckles that were splattered all over his face, and the other was wearing what looked like a top hat, his eyes covered as well, but goggles adored his hat just like the other's.
So these were the little guy's brothers.
"Oh . . . I see you found another player Luffy," the one in the orange hat said, his grin widening just like his little brother's.
"Luffy? Is that your name?" Zoro asked, looking down at the boy who was standing in front of him, just a bit shorter.
"Perhaps," the boy giggled like a child once more.
"This will even things up," the one with the top hat said, stepping forward, his grin wide as well but seemingly more mature than the other two who were smiling like they were still children. "Oi, stranger, do you want to play Hurling?"
"How does one . . . play it?" Zoro asked, looking at the leather ball in his hands and then at the sticks in the brothers' hands.
"Heh, you must be new to this land," the one in the orange hat chuckled before he turned to his brothers. "What do you say we teach him brothers?"
"Yeah!" the other two cheered.
"Alright," the one with the freckles said, turning back to the greenhead. "Here's what you gotta do . . ."
The two older took the newcomer off to the side and explained to him the rules of the game. Zoro, every now and then, glanced back to see the youngest of the brothers propping his bike up on its stand and even peeking inside his bags—he once caught sight of the little devil taking a finger to take some icing off his leftover cake and taste it, the smile on his face signaling he greatly liked it.
"Got it?" the one with the orange hat asked and after he received a nod from the greenhead he clapped his hands. "Alright! Luffy! Stop eating the man's food!"
"Sorry," he said, sticking his hands behind his back and turning his face away.
"I have a question," Zoro spoke up, the two older looking at him, even the one known as Luffy turned to look.
"What is it?" the one with the top hat asked.
"Those sticks . . ." Zoro motioned to the Hurling sticks in each of their hands.
"What about them?" the one with the top hat asked, holding up his stick.
"Can I—by any chance . . . use three?" Zoro asked.
Everyone's faces were blank at first. Even if Zoro couldn't see their eyes, their slightly dropping jaws were enough to know that they had never heard of such a thing before, but the strangest thing happened. Zoro happened to see their slowly growing smiles and once their cheeks puffed all the way up to their unseen eyes Zoro knew his answer.
"Let's get him three sticks!" the one in the orange hat shouted while the other two rose theirs and cheered it on.
Once Zoro got his three sticks all watched in wonder as he took one and placed it in his mouth and then held the other two in each of his hands. They all seemed pretty excited to play with this guy and so quickly took the ball and backed up. There were two teams now, the older brothers on one, and the younger with the newcomer.
They went off the road towards the rolling hills before standing some yards from the other.
"READY? !" they called from across the grassy hill.
"AAAYYYEEE! !" the younger shouted, his voice sounding so young Zoro wondered if he really was as old as he looked.
"Alright!" the one in the orange hat said as he tossed the ball in the air and hit it, quite hard as well.
Unbelievable! Zoro gasped at the might it was hit, he often wondered if he had a conclusion if he was hit by a ball traveling at that speed.
With another gasp Zoro watched his younger partner in the straw hat next to him take out his stick, actually catch the ball, and hurl it back. This was no time to be impressed though. He was going to show these brothers what he could do and that is exactly what he did.
When the one in the orange hat went to toss the ball at the one in the top hat Zoro quickly countered and snatched the ball away. He hit it to Luffy and Luffy hit it passed where their goal was designated.
"He's not bad," the one with the top hat said to his brother as the both of them stared at the strange newcomer.
"You're telling me," the one in the orange hat chuckled, holding his belly. "I've never had this much fun with one! This game will surely go on forever!"
"Maybe it will," the one in the top hat said, looking on at the partner of his little brother.
Well the game seemed to last for only minutes, so Zoro thought. When he had come to realize it though the sky was turning a lighter blue, the sun was getting ready to rise and both sides were tied.
"I guess we call this a draw," the one in the orange hat said. "I am sorry newcomer, but we cannot stay any longer."
"Shame," Zoro said with a shrug of his shoulders and he threw his sticks to the ground, he was tired beyond reason from that game. "And here I was about to beat your sorry a- -es."
The two older threw their heads back and laughed. They liked this stranger's spirit and wished to play with him again sometime. It was fun.
"I'm hungry," the younger of the brothers whined, coming up to the two and hanging off them like he was going to die.
"We'll eat when we get home Luffy," the one in the orange hat said, patting his back.
"If you guys want, you can have my left over cake," Zoro said with a roll of his shoulders.
"Really? You'd give us that?" the one in the top hat asked, turning to the greenhead.
"Sure, I'm not too big on sweets so you can have it," Zoro said, waving it off.
"Thanks," the one in the orange hat said as he and the younger went over to the propped up bike and took the bag with the leftover cake. "We'll take this home. Thanks again, for the game and cake!"
"Sure," Zoro said, waving them off.
"We'll be seeing you around," the one in the top hat said, with a light flick of his hat rim before he turned and headed off back into the trees with his other brothers.
"Heh, and I don't even know most of their names," Zoro chuckled to himself before getting back on his bike and pedaling home.
He somehow managed to make it before the sun rose. He entered his home to find it all dark—save for the living room where a fire was going, and his foster father sat, reading a book and warming himself. Zoro shut the door as quietly as he could but he was heard; now feeling golden eyes upon him.
"Where have you been?" his foster father asked, turning to see him enter and place a bag down on the dusted table and then turned back to the book he had been reading.
"Places," Zoro replied, it was too long of a story to explain and right now . . . he could use a good long nap.
"Did you manage to enjoy a bit of the day you were born?" Mihawk asked, turning a page in the book he was reading.
"Yeah . . . I guess so," Zoro said with a roll of his shoulders, but he couldn't help let a smile come across his lips . . . a smile unseen by his foster father.
Hot Shot's girl: Updates may be slow so I can start typing on the other stories, but then again it may be fast. Just letting you guys know. Tell me what you think! :D
Happy Be-lated Birthday Zoro! !