Luffy's Clothes: Normal red vest and blue shorts with white fur hemmed at the bottom.
Zoro's Clothes: His normal plain white shirt with three undone buttons at the collar and black trousers.
Nami's Clothes: A long-sleeved, cream-colored shirt with a brown mini skirt with white rings on the side and high-heeled light brown gladiator sandals from the end of the Alabasta Arc.
Usopp's Clothes: Normal brown overalls with a white sash and no shirt underneath.
Sanji's Clothes: Normal black, double-breasted suit with a black tie and pants and a long-sleeved, buttoned light blue shirt underneath.
Chopper's Clothes: Normal maroon shorts.
Robin's Clothes: A lavender shirt, dark purple tight leather pants and shoes from the end of the Alabasta Arc.
Franky's Clothes: Purple shirt with green palm trees pattern from his first appearance the in Water Seven Arc.
Brook's Clothes: Normal black suit with a dark blue cravat tie and his black top hat.
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ~ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ
"You should more grateful to Robin." – Episode 199
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ~ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ
Another sigh escaped Robin's lips as she lazily swung back and forth on the swing, her gaze rooted to the steaming hot cup of coffee held in her lap. It was nighttime when the crew anchored their ship somewhere in the ocean and dined in the galley for supper. It's been...what? Two days since their escape from the Marine base at the previous island?
Two days since Robin lost her resolve to profess her love to Zoro.
I'm such a coward, she thought bitterly, her grip around the mug tightening. She had a chance to tell him how she felt, but she chose not to. After what happened with Tashigi and the revelation of the swordsman's thoughts on her, doubts haunted Robin. She hasn't spent much time for Zoro for the last two days, and a part of was relieved because of that. I love him. I love him so, so much, but I...can't face him. Not now, not when I'm like this.
In that moment, Robin wished that she was a physic or had eaten a Devil Fruit to peek into someone's mind and read their thoughts. She needed to know if her theories were true. Absurd as it may seem, it was not entirely impossible. That Marine woman looked like Zoro's childhood friend, who he still loves to this very day. Could he love the former as he did the latter?
Kuina was a taboo topic. The only time Zoro mentioned her when he explained his past to her. After that, she was never mentioned. Robin knew that, so she respected his unspoken wish to talk about her to Zoro. In retrospect, Robin recalled the desire to discuss Kuina to Zoro out of curiosity, but decided against it. It wasn't a bad thing to learn about everything her lover, but his deceased rival and friend was certainly the single part of his life he wanted to keep under wraps. Away from the world—and away from her.
Kuina was obviously a dear person in Zoro's life and she still is. But what does this mean for me? Am I...just a replacement for Kuina? When the notion crossed her, Robin gasped loudly from the shock of it. A mirror wasn't necessary to know that the corners of her eyes creased in despair and her lovely visage distorted.
It would make sense, wouldn't it? Kuina was the sole part of his past that Zoro closed off to her. He could never share their past with anyone, and having him to do so was evidently a difficult task for him. That fact spoke volumes of how much he cherished her. Kuina could possibly be the number one person in his heart. Not Robin, his lover.
Probably never her.
The raven-haired beauty swallowed the lump that was stuck in her throat and bit her bottom lip so harshly that she tasted blood. She resisted the urge to get up, climb up to the crow's nest, and talk to Zoro about her musings. But he was there with Luffy right now, being forced to play a card game with him. Moreover, she feared what could follow after such a conversation.
She'd been so happy—and it frightened her. Scared her to the depths of her. She never knew such happiness and to have it snatch right in front of her by the only man she ever loved terrified her to the core.
If I confront him about Kuina, I could lose him... I don't want that. Hot beads of liquid rolled down her cheeks and dripped into her coffee. In that moment, she was glad that she was the only on the deck.
She couldn't bear it to have the others see her tears.
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ~ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ
"So, have you told him?" Nami asked the next afternoon as she snipped dead leaves off her tangerine trees with a pair of scissors.
Moving the watering can over her flowerbed, Robin replied, "No. Not yet."
"Oh..." The thief's voice faltered when she heard the detachedness in her roommate's tone. Something's still bothering her.
"Hey, Nami!" Luffy used his Devil Fruit abilities to launch himself onto the third deck from the first deck. He landed beside his trusty navigator. "I'm hungry, can I have some of your tangerines?"
"No," she refused instantly.
"Don't pout, Luffy. We finished eating lunch thirty minutes ago."
"But that wasn't filling enough! Please, Nami, please?!" he begged her with a look that reminded her of a dejected puppy.
She relented and tossed him one of the smaller tangerines. "Okay, fine. Here, you get one and that's it."
"Thanks, Nami!" The captain flashed her a boyish grin.
A light blush dusted her cheeks and she flustered, "Y-Yeah, sure. Whatever, just...just don't bother me for more, okay?"
"Okay!" He galloped away and rejoined Usopp, Chopper, and Brook below.
Nami watched him go with a smile. "Geez, what a glutton..."
"You two are cute," Robin giggled subtly. "In spite of all of the arguing you guys do, your relationship is really wonderful. I'm a little envious."
"W-What do you m-mean?" The hue that colored the Nami's visage darkened considerably.
"You and Luffy are very vocal to each other. You tell each other everything," the archeologist clarified. "He's not afraid to tell you what he thinks and vice versa."
"Geez, Robin, you make us sound like a couple!" Huffing to hide her embarrassment, Nami excused herself and went into the kitchen.
If only I could be like you, Nami, then maybe I can have the courage to talk to Zoro, Robin perused sadly as she returned her attention to her flowerbed. But should I? It seems so silly. Just because that Marine girl looks like Kuina, it doesn't mean anything. But...he loved her so much and he saved that Marine girl, an enemy, because of her resemblance to Kuina. So...what is the depth of Zoro's feelings for her and for me?
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ~ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ
"You look a little down," Franky commented later that evening after dinner. Seated on the swing again, Robin snapped out of her trance and noticed that the shipwright was peering at her closely. "You all right?"
Robin forced a smile. "Oh, yes, I'm fine."
"Yeah, right." Franky plopped down on the lawn and opened his abdomen, revealing his stash of cola. He took two out and passed one to his female crewmate. "Here, have one. Maybe it'll cheer you up."
Not wanting to offend him, she accepted it. "Thank you."
"So, you wanna fess up?" he prodded. "You don't have to lie to me, you know. I'm a super listener! Tell your big bro what's on your mind, Nico Robin. I know it's got to do with Zoro-bro. Nami-sis told me that the two of you have been acting super weird."
"That sounds just like her," the historian muttered under her breath. Inhaling the crisp air, she began, "Franky, do you remember the time when Zoro mentioned someone by Kuina?"
"And freaked out about it? Yeah, what of it?"
"Well, when we became a couple, I found out this Kuina person was a very precious friend to him, who passed away long ago."
"Oh..." There was a hint of astonishment in his tone. "I see where this is going, but I still don't get it. It's natural for him to miss her, but does she have to do with you lovebirds right now?"
"We encountered a woman who looked exactly like her in the Marines and Zoro saved her from dying twice, disregarding the fact that she was an enemy. And I can't help but feel worry about it means for us. And somehow, my brain came to the conclusion that Zoro was using me as a replacement for Kuina. I want to talk to him about it, but I'm afraid that we might get angry if I mentioned her."
"A replacement, huh...?" the cyborg recited thoughtfully. "You know, Nico Robin, have it crossed your mind that you're jealous of this Kuina?"
Azure orbs narrowed at him. "Franky, what're you—"
"Hey, it's only normal you feel that way. He had this whole part of his life that he shuts off to everyone, even you. Then suddenly, an enemy swoops in and happens to look like this girl and he saved her. And now, you're radiating off dangerous, depressing vibes," he prowled on, not in the least bit intimidated by the glare that was sent his way. "But it's not a bad thing—jealousy, I mean. It just shows how serious you are about Zoro-bro, and it's nothing to be ashamed of. If you have all of these stupid fears, talk to the guy. I'm super sure that everything will turn out okay in the end."
"You make it sound easy," Robin sighed tiredly. "It's...complicated."
"You women always seem to make them that way," Franky muttered quietly.
"What was that?"
"Nothing!" The blue-haired man rose and started to tread to the Soldier Dock System. "Think about what I said, okay? Don't be afraid to talk to Zoro-bro about how you feel right now."
A mild smile graced her features. "Thank you, I will."
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ~ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ
"I'm so bored~!" Luffy whined, lying lupine on the circular bench installed around the crow's nest. He cast a sideways glance to his first mate, who was lifting a huge dumbbell back and forth in the air.
"If you're bored, then go play poker with Nami and the others," Zoro grunted out.
"But I always lose."
"Then you shouldn't believe Usopp's lies and fall for Nami's schemes."
"C'mon, Zoro! How long are you going to swing that thing around in here?"
"Luffy, go bother Sanji for food or something."
"He already locked the fridge for the night."
"Sucks to be you, then."
"That's mean!" The Devil Fruit user childishly stuck his tongue at him. "Please, can't we play?"
"Play what, exactly?"
"I don't know."
"Luffy, if you're just going to spend the rest of the night complaining to me, then get out."
"You're no fun at all," Luffy sighed as he sat up. Over his shoulder, he glimpsed out the window and spotted Robin all by her lonesome on deck. "Robin's been acting weird lately. I wonder why."
"Probably a girl thing."
"Yeah, that could be it." A pause and then the black-haired boy exclaimed, "Oh! I just remember something?"
"Does it involve you leaving me alone?"
"I wanted to ask you this a while ago, but I never got the chance." With a broad grin, Luffy propped his elbows on his knees and cupped his face in his palms. "I've noticed you've been really happy the last few weeks. How come?"
Taken aback, Zoro paused in the middle of his workout and fixed his shocked gaze on his best friend. "Luffy, what the hell are you talking about?"
"Aw, come on," he said teasingly. "You don't have to hide it. You've been smiling a lot more now. Usually, you have this grouchy scowl on your face and this deep crease on your brow, but now it's gone! So, I thought something really good might've happened to you to make them disappear."
Stunned, the ex-bounty hunter was at a loss for words. Who would've guessed that Luffy, of all people, would notice Zoro's change in behavior?
"Zoro?! Earth to Zoro!" Luffy waved his hand in front of him. "Hello~? Zoro!"
Snapped out of his stupor, the green-haired man shook his head and set his dumbbell down. "With all due respect, Captain, that question falls under the category of It's None of Your Damn Business."
"Don't be so stingy! Come on, tell me!"
"I swear I'll keep it a secret!"
"Not until you tell me!"
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ~ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ
Robin sauntered into the kitchen for a midnight cup of tea. Her brain hurt from contemplating on her conversation with Franky to sleep. Although he wasn't wrong about her feelings, the raven-haired beauty's emotions were still muddled. She didn't know what do about her jealousy. In addition, she found it to be ridiculous to be envious of someone who's been dead for years.
It is stupid, though? If Kuina were still alive today, would Zoro be with me? Rubbing her temple with her hand, she pressed the other on the door and opened it. The sweet aroma of Earl Grey tea wafted in the air, and a chuckling skeleton pleasantly greeted Robin.
"Yohoho! Good evening, Robin!" Brook smiled jollily from his seat at the table. "What brings you here at this late hour?"
"I couldn't fall asleep, so I came to get a drink of tea," she replied as she ambled to the stove where the pot of tea sat. Pouring herself a cup, she settled down at the table on Brook's left. "What about you? Aren't you supposed to be on guard duty tonight?"
"I'm taking a small break. It's quite boring at night, after all. " The musician took a small sip from his cup and looked at his crewmate's distressed expression. "Is something the matter, Robin? You seem rather glum."
"No, not really. I suppose you can say that I'm thinking too much."
"...Just something I read in a book, is all."
If Brook had eyelids, they would have flickered in bafflement. "Oh? Is that so?"
"Yes," Robin proceeded to lie with a straight pokerface. She was lucky that the fellow Devil Fruit user was gullible. "Stories are wonderful. They are imbued with thoughts, ideas, and insecurities of the human mind. They capture people and draw them into a different world. And yet, in some ways, you are able to relate and sympathize to such make believe characters."
"And you can also sympathize to a fictional character?"
"Oh, no," the historian declined politely. "I wouldn't want to—"
"It's not a bother. I don't mind listening," he insisted with a smile.
Perhaps getting advice from someone uninvolved from the situation might be helpful, even if it is from Brook, the logical part of brain encouraged. "I'm reading a romance novel where the main heroine is in a currently facing...an issue with her love interest, who she feels that does not love her back for several reasons. She wants to talk to him, but she terrified what will what happen if she does. If I were in her shoes, I wouldn't know how to handle such a predicament. As a woman, I can sympathize with such a character if I were in the same situation."
"Hmm..." Brook hummed melodiously, almost all-knowing. "The more one loves, the more cowardly and greedy that person becomes. Is the heroine of the story afraid that her love will hate her if she were to ask?"
"Yes, she's absolutely scared to death about being pushed away." Her voice sounded hoarse and woeful. "She doesn't to force or pressure him to talk to her about it, but he's so silent and distant. She never loved someone so strongly before, so she's scared that if she talks to him, the bond they share will be broken."
"Ah, romance is never easy!" Brook swooned dramatically, eliciting a giggle from his companion. "Although I never experienced it for myself, I can relate to the young woman's feelings and turmoil. So, tell me, is the heroine's relationship with her lover a stable one?"
"Yes, but she feels...inferior to the girl her lover had feelings for in the past. In her mind, she cannot comprehend why such a man would fall for someone like the heroine. There are alike in some ways, but very different in others. It's difficult, and she's struggling on how deal with her fears."
He cocked his head to the side. "Is the girl he loves previously vying for his affections?"
For a split second, Robin hesitated. "Oh, um... No. That person passed away long ago in an accident."
"I see. So, the heroine's lover cannot move on from the past," the skeleton responded wisely. "Trauma tends to linger even in the strongest of men, after all. Physical damage can heal in time with medicine. However, emotional damage is something that most people can never recover from. In a way, I could understand that—the loss of a loved one."
"...Are you thinking about your old crew?" she inquired with empathy, referring to the Rumbar Pirates that Brook had been a part of before joining the Straw Hats.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to—"
"Yohoho!" he chortled jovially with a dismissive wave. "Think nothing of it. It's all right. I still miss them dearly, but it's been years and I've made peace with it. It would be disgraceful to my comrades' memories and goals if I continue to dwell in the past and not look forward to the future, would it not?"
The archeologist looked at him with awe and admiration. "Brook, you..."
"As for the main heroine of your story, if she was sitting right beside me this very moment, I would tell her not to fret and to take action. It's natural to be scared, but don't let that stop her." With that, Brook rose from his seat and tipped his top hat in cordial manner. Perverted as he might be, Brook does know to act like a gentleman. "I should return to guard duty. Good night."
"Good night, Brook," Robin bid him farewell with an appreciative smile, leaving her alone to reflect on his words. Moving on, huh...
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ~ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ
"Where's Robin?" Luffy quizzed as he skipped merrily to the kitchen for lunch the next day.
"She said she wasn't hungry," Nami answered as she took the seat next to Usopp. "I saw her heading into our room, so I think she's taking a nap."
"No surprise there," Sanji commented idly as he set the pot of vegetables stew in the center of the table. "When I came to make breakfast this morning, I found her sleeping on the table."
"Hmm..." Luffy did notice that she looked unwell this morning when they were eating breakfast.
"If you ask me, it looks like Robin has something on her mind these last few days," Usopp chimed in. "I mean, she's always been quiet, but it looks like something is bothering her."
"Or maybe it's because she's trying to avoid someone," Franky mumbled under his breath, casting a meaningful stare at the green-haired man in the room. It was subtle movement of the eyes, but amazingly enough, Luffy witnessed this. Staring at a concerned Zoro with shrewd expression, a light bulb lit up in his brain.
"I'm okay to check on her," the captain announced boldly. Before anyone could open their mouths to protest, he speeded out the galley and to the women's quarters. He knocked on the door twice and waited to hear Robin's voice. He never got a response, so after taking in a deep breath, he exhaled and poked his head through the door.
As expected, he spotted a sleeping Robin in her bed, the blanket drawn over her entire figure. He knew what he was about to do was silly, but he didn't care. He may never get a chance to say it to her if she was awake. He finally fitted the pieces together, and there was no way he was going to back out now. It was just something he needed to get off his chest.
"Hey, Robin, sorry to bother you while you're sleeping," Luffy grinned as he stalked to the side of the bed and sat down on the floor, his back resting on the side. "This won't take long, okay? I just wanted to say something to you."
Behind him, he heard rustling. Robin was stirring, but judging from her calm breathing, she was still asleep.
"You know, I've noticed that you and Zoro were acting really happy for a few weeks. It's kinda weird, too. Zoro always had such a grumpy face all the time, but lately, I saw him smiling a lot more. And I guess you can say that the look in his eyes is different, too. I can't put into words, but I know it's a good change. I think I have you to thank for that," he continued in a hushed, serene tone. "Although, you guys seem a bit down, and I think it's because you guys are having a fight or something. Well, I don't know what it's about and I won't butt in, but I hope you two will make up. I think you're a good influence on Zoro, so I'm really grateful for that. He's my best friend, after all! Ah, but don't worry, I love you like family, too, Robin! Shishishi!"
Pausing for a second, Luffy gazed his crewmate's slumbering face. There was a smile on her visage. The fellow Devil Fruit user brightened and his grin grew. When he came in, that smile wasn't there before.
"Robin, thanks. I'm glad you care for Zoro." Adjusting his straw hat on his crown, he stood and placed his palms firmly on his hips. "If you weren't here, I don't know what I would've done if Zoro becomes all dreary and distant like last time. You've made him smile and reverted him back to the old Zoro. I kind of knew that you had something to do with that. Well, that was my instinct was telling me, anyway. Good luck with everything, and I'll see you at dinner, all right? We're having fried pork tonight! See ya!"
Sparing one last look at her, he trotted out in high spirits.
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ~ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ
Late in the evening after supper that day, Zoro paced back and forth in front of the women's chambers with a deep crease on his brow, a firm line upon his lips, and arms folded against his torso.
It didn't take a genius to figure out that he was conflicted inside.
I should talk to her, he thought assertively, but then quickly discarded the notion with a shake of the head. But if I do that, who knows what'll happen. She's been acting weird lately, and I know it's gotta do something with me. She's been avoiding me, and it's pissing me off!
"You're causing a rut to form."
"Wah!" Taken aback up the abrupt remark, Zoro jumped and whipped his head to the owner of the feminine but monotone voice.
Robin gazed at with a tiny smile, hardly noticeable. Her beautiful features were soft and sad, judging from the red-rimmed eyes, she's been crying. "You've been out here for the last twenty minutes, you know. I've been waiting for you to come in."
"Uh, right... Sorry," he sputtered out awkwardly, not knowing what else to say.
She gestured for him to enter and he did in a hesitant manner. It's been a while since they were completely alone, and the conversation was about to ensue is only make things weirder for the both of them.
Too late to turn back now. Clearing his throat with a faked, dry cough, Zoro opened his mouth at the same as Robin, "I need to talk to you."
Perfect unison, and the action brought a slight grin to the couple's miens.
"You go first," the raven-haired beauty prompted, taking at seat on her bed and patted the spot next to her.
Zoro joined her on the edge of the mattress, careful to put some distance between them. "You've been dodging me for the past few days. Is everything okay between us?"
Instead of an answer, Robin averted her gaze to the floor and bit her bottom lip.
A grave sigh accompanied by a slow shake of the head. "Robin, if I'd done something to piss you off, then just come out and say it. Didn't we agree to be honest with each other?"
"Then do you have feelings for her?" she blurted out suddenly.
Nearly toppling off the bed, Zoro gaped with bafflement. "Feelings for who?"
"For that Marine woman, the one by the name of Tashigi?"
"Do you or don't you?" she prodded with a hard glare.
"Woman, what on the Grand freaking Line made you think I have a thing for the enemy?" he countered, flailing his arms in the air for emphasis. "Wait, that's why you've been avoiding me? Because of something that stupid?"
A pillow smashed into his face and landed on his lap. "It's not stupid, Zoro. Not to me."
Seeing her hurt and melancholy expression, he hung his head and apologized. "I'm sorry. But I don't understand, I told you why I saved her, so—"
"Because she looked like Kuina, and you loved her so much," Robin interjected matter-of-factly. "As insane as it may seem, it was a possibility that I had to consider. It seem ridiculous that I'm competing with a deceased person, but I've been agonizing about this the whole time, and I just..."
So that's the reason. Zoro sighed raked a hand through his mossy hair. This was all about Kuina again. Not a very easy topic to talk about, but discussing her with Robin could quell her worries, then that was all that mattered to him. "So, this isn't about that Marine girl, it's about her."
A nod. "Yes... I'm sorry."
The apology was heartfelt and meaningful, and it clawed at Zoro's heart. "Don't apologize. I get it, I'm the one who should be apologizing to you."
"I don't know what you really feel towards me. You've never said it out loud, and sometimes...your words and actions contradict with each other. You said that you don't have feelings for that woman, but I can't bring myself to believe that. Kuina was precious to you, and after what happened on the island, I find myself wondering if you're really okay with being with me." As she spoke, her volume dropped until the words were barely audible. This was uncomfortable for her as it was for him, but at least her heart will feel lighter with the secret out in the open now. "You don't speak of Kuina a lot, but I know for certain that she and I are completely different from each other. When I think about that, it makes me feel like I'm not the one that's supposed to be by your side."
A prolonged silence ensued, and an indiscernible and stolid mask settled on Zoro's mien. After processing her admission, Zoro's deep voice reverberated around the room. "Robin, I want you in my life. But I can see that response isn't enough for you, is it?"
No, it isn't. Robin shook her head slowly. "It's selfish of me, I know, but..."
"I only told you about Kuina once, right? If you want to know something about her, just ask me, especially if not knowing about her is bothering you."
The sound of her name caused Robin to shudder. Coming from lover's lips, the sound of her name was imbued with such reverence and softness that it nearly brought tears to her eyes. "I didn't want to force you to talk about her. I know it's hard for you to."
"Because it wasn't fair to you or to her. She's gone now, and that fact won't change. If I talk about her to you, I thought it'd make you feel sad or weird, since you think she and I had a thing in the past. And I told you that we didn't, we were just kids, after all. Nothing else but my dream was on my mind back then. She was the same. We were like cats and dogs, always arguing and fighting with each other. I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't frustrated in the gap of our strength."
Robin noted his gaze was not on her. It was on the clenched fists resting in his lap. A part of her wanted to spare him from this conversation, but she kept quiet and let him continue.
"She was my dream, my goal. Catching up to her was everything to me. I was irritated with her and myself, but when I saw her crying the night on our duel, she got to me. I realized the tough front of hers was capable of breaking—that when it comes right down to it, she was just an ordinary girl and more importantly, she was just like me. For the first time, we connected not only as a rivals but friends."
"She was such a manly person, wasn't she?"
This elicited a fond laugh from the swordsman. "Yeah, she was. Determined and unyielding, which is probably why I never won a single match with her. She said that when girls matured, their bodies grow physically weaker. I thought that was total crap, so I told her off. Then the next day, she...you know. It was hard and painful time in my life, so it's only natural for me to keep quiet about it. But I'm sorry if me keeping my memories of Kuina to myself was hurting you, Robin."
"Zoro, I want you to be able to entrust me the memories of you and Kuina together," Robin professed gently. "She's a part of you, isn't she?"
His fingers curled around the pure-white sheath of the sword that was a memento and the embodiment of Kuina. Zoro's smile was warm and affectionate. "Yeah, she is. I'm not denying the past I had with her. It thanks to her that I'm the man I am today. I will always care for her, but she can't be my side anymore and it's no use pondering of the what-ifs in life, right? We can't change reality, no matter how much we wish it. You're my partner now, Robin. I never thought of you as replacement for her or anyone else and you're different people, so I never expected you to have anything in common with her, either. But listen, I can't forget about her, even it that means that it brings you pain."
"What?!" He thought she wanted him to forget about Kuina? Swiftly, she cleared the misunderstanding. "No, Zoro, that isn't I want. I understand what you're saying about your past and Kuina, because it's how I feel with mine. To forget about her would be dishonoring her and the promise you two made, and I never wanted that from you."
Passionate dark orbs penetrated the core of her being, and Robin's body stiffened from the shock of it. "Then what do you want from me, Robin, truly?"
"I want..." she started with a rasp, her voice strained. Her frame trembled from the surge of emotions within her and tears rolled down her cheeks and plopped down onto the mattress. "More than anyone else, I want to be the number one person in your heart. You don't have to forget how you loved her before, but at the same time, I don't want to compete against her. To be the most important woman to you, that's what I want."
"Robin." Instantly, a pair of arms snaked behind her shoulders and pulled her into an embrace. "You don't have to feel like you have to compete with Kuina. Come on, you're the smart one in this crazy crew, right? If you knew about what happened in Thriller Bark, then you must know that she or even my dream of becoming the greatest swordsman isn't number one to me. It's this crew and above all, you. So quit the waterworks and listen up: You're my number one, okay? The one I love the most is you."
Did he just say...? Gasping, the historian drew back to stare at Zoro's features. His handsome face was flushed a light pink and he looked a bit embarrassed from the confession, but he also looked...happy. The words she yearned to hear all this time...
"Hey, stop crying!" Zoro panicked when he saw more beads of liquid poured forth from her eyes. "Don't tell me you're still unsatisfied—"
She meshed their lips together in a hot and thorough kiss, efficiently shutting him. When she withdrew, the hue of crimson streaked across his cheeks darkened. She beamed at him as she wiped away her tears of joy. "I love you, too. The crew has given me so much since I joined: my life and my dreams. But you, Zoro, you gave me back the heart I thought I had lost long ago. Thank you."
He offered her a smirk as a reply. It was more than enough for them both to move on now. "So...uh, what now? Should we tell Luffy and the others?"
"We're going to have to, anyway, sooner or later. We can't hide it from them forever, we still a long voyage ahead, don't we?" Robin simpered and grasped his left hand with her right one, giving it a little squeeze. "And I hope our little voyage will go on once all achieved our dreams together."
Zoro nodded and grinned broadly. "Of course it is, so don't think otherwise, got it?"
"Right." Immense bliss awash her and blushed as she leaned in to peck her lover's mouth with a kiss. "Zoro..."
"Thank you for loving me."
He reciprocated her kiss with a kiss own his own, only his was much more ardent and lengthy. "Same here."
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ~ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ
"They picked up the life I gave up on, returned the heart I lost, and continued the dreams I no longer believed in." – Episode 251
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ~ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ
A/N: Kind of anti-climactic, but I'd always planned to end the story with our lovebirds confessing their love to one another. Plus, I had to rearrange the original plotline a bit. It probably felt a bit rushed and I might've made everyone OOC, but still, I hoped all of you guys enjoyed it! :) It's been ten months, and I'm finally done with my first One Piece story! Thank you all for your support and reviews! I'll admit that I never expected it to do so well, considering I wrote this story out of a whim and boredom (mostly boredom).
I've always wanted to do a story for Zoro and Robin, but since the ideas popped around school time, I spent most of free time in school writing it down on paper. Eventually, I started typing it out as a personal story I was going to keep to myself, but I got fed up with people giving up on their fics that I decided that I'll step up to the plate and show that are authors like me can continue their fics no matter what. Although it's probably because of the fact that I made this to be a story that was never going to get published is why there were so many mistakes in it.
As I stated previously, I will not be writing a sequel on this story. With the way I ended it, I know it's possible to write a sequel to the story, especially since I made it take place before the timeskip. However, I will not have time or the energy to do it. That being said, I also have some good news I would like to announce: I got accepted into a university college! I'll be majoring in English, although I have no idea what I want to do with it. I'm already signed up for my six classes and will be starting the first semester on August 26. Wish me luck, guys! :)
Hmm... I don't really know what else to say to wrap up this story, besides thanking everyone again for their support and reviews and to remember to support the One Piece series by buying the DVDs and by watching episodes on OnePieceOfficial, Neon Alley,or Toonami. You can keep up with the latest releases on One Piece by checking frequently on FUNimation's main website, the One Piece Wikia, or RightStuf. :) All right, everyone, goodbye!