There was something about watching the fish that relaxed me. This here had to be my favourite place on the entire ship –and I'll admit that Franky built one amazing ship. But the aquarium… every time you looked at the tank, everything was different. The direction they swam in, the thing that appeared to grab their attention…
But while it calmed me –even made me tired –it also made me feel lonely.
And with that thought, I closed the book in my hand and exited to the lawn deck. I didn't want to go to the women's quarters. I didn't feel that I could fall asleep, as tired as I was, though I'll admit I was more at ease sleeping on the ship since Enies Lobby, when any doubt I had in my mind was cast overboard. There was no doubt now –these odd crew members were truly my nakama. And now I preferred to spend time with them instead of on my own.
With my devil's fruit power, I checked up on them all. Luffy, Usopp, Sanji, Chopper, Franky and Brooke were all asleep. Nami was in the library, working diligently on her maps. I heard her yawn and set down her pencil. I waited until she picked her pencil up once more before heading over to the ladder that led up to the crow's nest.
There was no reason to go up there –except for the fact that was where Zoro was. It wasn't like I needed anything of him; I wasn't even going up there to steal a kiss as I did on most nights, although it'd probably happen anyway. I just… wanted to be with him. There was no other reason at all.
When I reached the crow's nest, I paused, watching him as his gaze swung from out the window to my face. His usually hardened features softened when he saw me. I smiled, bringing myself up fully and going to the telescope. I peered through, looking at the stars and not saying a word to Zoro.
He stood up and crossed over to me, wrapping his arms around me from behind. I straightened up, lifting my hand up and touching his cheek as he nestled his nose in my neck. He didn't kiss me, or my neck, just enjoyed being there and holding me. I melted into his embrace. Twenty years on the run… and finally I'd ended up in a good place. A place I wouldn't trade for all the riches and knowledge in the world.
"Something wrong?" He asked after a while.
I turned in his arms, catching my wrists behind his neck and stared into his eyes, or perhaps just 'eye' since the other one had been damaged. I gave a small grin, "Nothing; just looking for some company."
"I can do that," He said, tilting his head and flashing a crooked smile. His expression softened again, "You look tired."
"Let me use you as a pillow then," I said, resting my head on his shoulder.
He led me like that to the surrounding bench, and took a seat. He brought my down beside him. At first I went back to leaning my head against his shoulder, but then I stretched out on the bench and placed my head on his thigh. Initially, he rested his hand on the curve of my body.
After a moment, I rolled onto my back to look up at his face. The night cast shadows on his face. They made him look angry, scary even. The image created was shattered when he leaned down though, and gently pressed his lips to mine. It was a simple, soft kiss. As he pulled away though, I pulled him back down, not caring for the moment if he was uncomfortable in his halved position. I kissed him, smiling underneath his lips as he kissed me back. Not that I expected anything less.
Afterwards, I let him sit up straight. I rolled over onto my side again, closing my eyes when his hand came to lie atop my head. His fingers shifted through the strands of my hair in a gentle caress. I could feel my body relax even further. My breathing slowed.
Picking up on this, he brushed the strands of hair out of my face. Once more he bent down, placing a kiss on my temple, thinking that I was sleeping.
"I… to you," he murmured quietly. He paused, and I imagined him shaking his head. He couldn't get the words he wanted to say out, and it frustrated him. "Robin, I …" Still, unable to say it.
"Mm," I responded, and felt him go stiff with surprise. I turned only my head to look at him. "I love you too."
He looked away to cover his blushing face. Still his hand stroked my scalp. And it was like that that I actually managed to fall asleep.
Perhaps, though, the only reason I ever needed for coming up here was Zoro.