Disclaimer: One Piece is the property of Eiichiro Oda (happy birthday to him!).

Robin was never hesitant in admitting to herself that she was into the "bad boy" type. Ever since she broke up with her first boyfriend in the tenth grade, she knew what her type was. In all of her relationships, her endeavours, she leaned towards a certain type of guy, and that type of guy was always the rebel with a cause. They weren't much unlike herself, she figured. Unafraid to break the rules for the greater good... or for the hell of it, really. With that similarity as the basis for a relationship, there was no telling how much fun they could have. Because that's what romance was for Robin: fun.

Robin had always searched for a bad boy, yes, but deeper requirements still needed to be met before she indulged in a relationship. The hypothetical man must exude an air of longing, a longing to change or be changed. He needed to be rough around the edges, with wit and intelligence. And, as a bonus, he would never steal even the smallest glance at another woman; Robin must be his one and only. At the same time, he wouldn't ever make her feel trapped. He would let her have her space, even if she needed to fight tooth and nail to achieve it.

Nico Robin was lucky enough to find those qualities in Roronoa Zoro.

"You're staring again."

"I'm pensive."

Zoro smirked. "What about?"

Robin pressed her body into his, the springs of the mattress groaning in reply. Her head remained on his smooth, bare chest, her hands playing with his hair and earrings. Her azure eyes studied every scar that littered... no, tattooed his golden brown skin, rippling with defined muscle. Her gentle, womanly caresses contrasted heavily with his ruggedness, and it made something stir in the pit of her stomach when she thought about how much it showed when they got intimate with one another. She stroked his cheek, acknowledging his loving and curious stare as she dreamt silently of how he handled her when things got hot and heavy. When his lust for control and dominance and his need to claim her body as his own met with one another and matched each other, there was only one result: pure, unadulterated passion. And that was what she loved about Roronoa Zoro: his passion. His passion in love, his passion for the art of swordsmanship, his passion in all his endeavours - Zoro possessed an unimpeachable kind of intensity for the things he held dear. Robin couldn't begin to explain how lucky she felt to be part of that list.

She replied, "You. I'm pensive about you."

Zoro gave the slightest of nods at Robin's confession, reaching out to push a strand of hair out of her face. "I could say the same thing."

Robin moved to cross her torso with his, laying on top of him. Her left hand rested on his cheek, her thumb stroking the stubbly skin there. "Rather... I'm curious about you."

"Well..." With another smirk, Zoro placed a hand on her lower back, giving her skin a comforting stroke. "What do you want to know?"

"I want to know what's on your mind. Right now." Robin proposed, hoping that, for once, this man would open up to her; not necessarily emotionally, but to let her know of just what went through the brain of a swordsman - her swordsman.

He pursed his lips, racking his brain as if he had to think twice about it. Unable to come up with a proper fib, Zoro muttered, "Us."

"Oh. Well... is everything okay? With us?" Robin mumbled, refusing to admit the pang of fear that struck her at his single word.

The male sighed, looking away. "Yeah. Well... I have to tell you something."

Withdrawing from him, Robin settled for a straddle on his waist. She pushed her hair back and out of her face. "Go ahead."

He licked his lips and sat up, holding her hips gently. He stated, "We've been dating... four months now, right?"

Robin smiled and kissed his forehead. "Four months."

Zoro nodded as if to digest this fact. "That's really good. For my standards, at least. And we've been friends longer than that."

"Yeah..." Robin coaxed. "Is something on your mind?"

"Kind of... yeah. Yeah, there is." Zoro was blushing now, even before he spoke. "I have to let you know... I think you're really great. Really. You're funny and pretty and smart - you're really fucking smart. And you're weird, too. But I like you, you know? I really like you. A lot... God, I sound like a fucking idiot."

"Zoro?" Robin giggled.


For what felt like the thousandth time that night, Robin held Zoro's face in her hands. "I love you, too."

Avoiding Robin's eyes, Zoro blushed furiously. "I never said that."

"As curious as I am about you, I still know you." The archaeologist lifted Zoro's chin, meeting his single-eyed gaze. "And I've known you for long enough to recognize the meaning of the look on your face."

The swordsman furrowed his eyebrows. He inquired softly, "What's it mean, then?"

Robin smiled gently. "It's love, you idiot. And I feel the same way."

With an excited kiss, Zoro grinned against Robin's still-smiling lips. "Yes. That's what I was aiming for. I love you, Robin."

"I know, Zoro." She laid her head on his chest. "Now, shut up. It's getting too mushy."

"It just feels good to finally be able to say it out loud after so long, you know? I love you, you love me."

Robin blushed and slammed a fist onto Zoro's pecs. "Shut up or I'll take it back."

"Alright, alright..." Zoro reached around Robin's head, stroking her hair affectionately. He whispered, more to himself than her, "You love me."

Recognizing that Zoro had truly been waiting for this, especially after hiding and living with such feelings for ages, Robin left it alone that time. And in that night, she realized that her type had changed. She liked a bad boy, yes, but there was something to be said about a bad boy who had no problem admitting that he was in love. She gave him a gentle kiss and replied, "And don't you ever forget it."

Happy new year, readers!

A few things I need to let you guys know:

- I decided to have this chapter take place pre-engagement for the sake of simpler times, and because I'm sort of losing the will to continue with this storyline. Not necessarily the drabble collection itself, but just the story involving Tashigi and baby Scott and Nami's affair and everything. It's like this: you know when you write something, you look at it, and you just know that it's one of those things you're going to look back on in a few years and be embarrassed about it? I'm getting that vibe from it so far. Don't worry; this storyline might pop up a few times in the future, but I want to experiment with Earth AUs and perhaps a genderbend. I suppose we'll see in the future.

- I've also re-written the first chapter (titled "beginning"). It was cringe-worthy and super out-of-character, so I re-wrote it to my liking.

- What I realized with this chapter is that it could easily lead to smut. Therefore, I'm writing a smutty version of this chapter. It will be posted on my One Piece blog, naturally (condoria-no . tumblr . com).

Thanks again! See you all next chapter. :')