A/N: I'm back. My apologies and thanks to all of you who waited patiently. I've been studying for an important exam, so now that it's over I can finally update again. Thank you all for leaving a review on the last chapter. I read every single one of them, and I really appreciate it.
As always, please leave a review! (They encourage me to update sooner.)
One Piece belongs to Oda Echiiro.
Robin had experienced numerous emotions she had hoped she would never feel. For example, the beaten feeling when your mind would go blank and only the thought "Oh, shit" would drift across it. Robin had only felt that feeling once before. Which was when Law had raided a pet shop due to boredom and came home with twelve dogs and ten cats. Her encounter with this eccentric, black-dressed group is now officially the second time she experienced this feeling.
She did not need any killer instincts to know that an encounter with them would not bode well for her. Even the air around them smelled dangerous. There were too many of them, not to mention they were all extremely powerful. She had no chance against them if engaged in a fight.
The man who called himself Rob Lucci spoke up once more, "You know Trafalgar Law, don't you? The things we need to discuss have a great deal to do with him."
It was as if someone had poured a bucket of ice-cold water on her. Robin gave an un-controllable shudder as her body numbed from the thought of Law's body lying lifeless on the ground. He smiled unpleasantly, "We haven't done anything to him. Yet. Whether or not we take any forms of action towards him will depend solely on your answer to our request."
Cold dread coiled around Robin, a feeling she was still un-accustomed to. She had been the hunter for too long, and had forgotten what it felt like to be the prey...
Strangely enough, Robin found that the fear she was feeling was not for her own safety, but for Law's well-being. Before, she had never feared for anyone's safety but Nami's.
"What do you want?" To her own credit, Robin's voice sounded much steadier and fiercer than she was truly feeling. Years of experience as an assassin had made her a good actress.
Lucci's eye brows traveled sky-ward. He had not expected to see this brand of fierceness from a female human. She had now sparked his interest. Perhaps he would change his mind about killing her once she had served her purpose...
"Nothing much, really. We only request that you come with us. And you must tell him that you wish to never see him again."
Robin opened her mouth but Lucci cut her off before she could say anything.
"Before you decline, you should know that your dear friend Nami just might suffer a terrible fatal accident if you do." Robin's face paled. Lucci smiled, enjoying the impact his words had made. He added in an un-caring way, "Humans are such fragile creatures, Miss Nico. Surely you know that. And it's quite easy for them to die."
The scene of Nami bleeding out on the sacrificial table went on endless replay in Robin's mind. How Nami's screams had ripped through the air, the way her blood had painted the table a deep crimson...
"No! Don't hurt her!" Robin said frantically. She had made a promise to herself that she would never let something like that happen to Nami again. Ever.
"Oh, we won't hurt her. But only if you cooperate." The smile he had fixed on his face left no doubt that he was sure he had nailed her. And he did. He had targeted one of her greatest weaknesses. Her only friend.
Robin hung her head, feeling useless. She would not mind dying on Nami or Law's behalf. But it wasn't her life they were threatening, it was theirs.
Lucci smirked triumphantly, "We'll take you to the Demon World this afternoon. That is, if you take our deal."
Robin forced herself to look her adversary in the eye. And the look in them made it clear that he knew he had won this round. Robin loathed herself for giving them such an easy victory.
This is why I've never wanted to know more people, to make more friends, to love someone... They'd always end up hurt because of me...
"See you then." Lucci said as he and the rest of the CP9 scattered into flocks of crows and disappeared.
The wind suddenly seemed colder even though the sun was showing off its brightest glory in the morning sky.
Robin wrapped her arms around herself tightly and looked up at the sky. It was as if the sky was laughing at her for making the mistake of falling for someone with all its sunny happiness.
Robin sat in her small kitchen and considered her next step. Law wasn't back, yet. There was still time for her to prepare a cold mask of indifference for facing him. She left a voice mail for Nami, telling her to come to her house this afternoon. She had left a book on the table with a note addressed to her pressed between its pages. She simply couldn't just leave without leaving a farewell to Nami. Robin looked at the digital clock on the wall, the cold, lifeless numbers on the clock face showed that it was twelve-thirty. Normally, she would have wondered what was taking Law so long. But it no longer mattered now...
A knock from the front door brought her back to reality. She stood up numbly and answered the door, her mask of blankness falling in to place. She had expected it to be the very demon she would have to confront, instead, she found Ace standing in the doorway.
"Hey. Just checking to see if you're okay." He said with a puzzled look when he saw her distant expression.
"I'm fine." Robin scrambled to recompose herself. She couldn't afford to let Ace get suspicious.
"Shouldn't you be with him?" Ace asked casually, or at least, he tries to. There was a slight wistfulness in his otherwise casual tone.
"Law. Since you guys like each other."
Robin's eyes widened in shock. How did he-?!
"I may not be the smartest guy in the world, Robin. But I'm not blind. I've seen the way you guys look at each other. Even though you might not realize it yourselves." He said. A smile tinted with the faintest touch of sadness graced his face. It was so different from the smug look he usually wore on his face that Robin didn't know what to say.
"So... Take care, alright?" Ace said a bit awkwardly.
Robin got the feeling that Ace was bidding her farewell, due to his not wanting to come between her and Law.
"You're fine with me being with him?" Robin couldn't help but feel slightly curious.
"If you're happy with him, then that's good enough for me." He replied with a sheepish smile.
Despite all the things that were happening, Robin smiled. She stood on tip-toe and gently pecked him on the cheeks.
"Guess I'll see you around." Ace said with a grin and erupted into a column of flames before disappearing.
Moments after Ace had gone, Robin heard a pop and turned around to face Law who had materialized behind her. Robin felt as if the playful smirk on his face was slowly killing her inside. She steeled herself and spoke in the most distant and un-caring voice she could muster.
"I need to tell you something."
It was incredible how fast the playfulness on his face slipped and gave way to concern and puzzlement.
"I don't ever want to see you again. And I'm serious." Her voice suddenly seemed too loud in the confined space of her living room. The silence that followed was murderous. Robin could almost see her words bounce off the walls and impale themselves deep into both of them.
She knew Law's voice well enough to know what voice he uses when he was too miserable for tears and too hurt to argue. He stood rigid and un-blinking. And spoke in that voice, "Why?"
"Because you continue to put me and Nami in danger. Last night was a mistake, I realize that now. So don't you ever try to seek me out." Robin finished saying all that in one breath. For she was afraid if she paused, her mask of indifference would crack. Law didn't say anything. He just continued to stare at her with those enticing gray eyes of his. After a while, he finally broke the silence, "So this is it, isn't?"
"Yes. Also, I'm leaving for a while. I need to get away from... all this." Robin turned and swept out of the house before she could do anything rash. She just couldn't stand seeing the numb, hurt look on Law's face, and she wanted so desperately to make that look disappear.
Robin had always snorted at the sappy love songs that Nami seemed to adore so much. The lyrics just sounded foolish to her, they were always about how the heart of the singer felt as if it were torn to pieces at the sight of her/his lover's sad, miserable face. Robin had scoffed at this, she had thought the only way for someone to feel such pain is for them to drive a blade into their own heart and make mince meat out of it. But now she felt as though someone had plunged a hand into her chest and was wrenching her heart with all their might. The pain was so intense she nearly choked on it.
Robin did not look back as she stepped out of the house and slammed the door. She walked slowly to the place where the CP9 would pick her up.
This is why I should never have experienced love. This is why it's not worth it...
-To be continued-
A/N: Hope you all enjoyed this chapter! I'm terribly sorry for the long delay. I promise I won't drop this story. So please bear with me.