1. Look Over HereDisclaimer:
One Piece belongs to Eiichiro Oda, not me.
Nico Robin was intelligent.
She was easily the brightest person in their crew, and Zoro knew this. He had seen how easily the woman had manipulated the Straw Hat Pirates. And while her polite smiles and amused laughter had coaxed the others into accepting her as nakama, he was not easily fooled. Someone aboard their ship had to have some sense. Robin was a former member of Baroque Works. And if that was not enough to make Zoro less-than-reluctant to trust the historian, then surely her powerful devil's fruit power did the trick.
He made it his task to know the woman's whereabouts at all times. There was no telling what such a calculating mind was up to. Surely, she was simply using them for her own means. She simply was looking out for her own interests; she was pursuing her own dreams.
Most of the time, the historian would sit in a folding chair on the deck, long slender fingers flipping through seemingly endless pages of text. Occasionally, she would look up from her reading to observe her crewmates' never-ending antics and regard them with her ever-amused smile.
But when the swordsman was unable to find her onboard the deck, she was standing at the stern, ebony locks trailing into an exquisitely carved face. She always wore a smile as she gazed out at the sea, but her eyes were glazed over with a distant sadness. What had happened to her? he wondered. She always seemed like such a strong person from a distance, but the more he watched her, the more fragile the woman seemed.
And that was where she stood when he found her, eyes cast at the skies overhead. He took a few steps towards her, his lips drawn in a frown. She heard his footsteps, but she didn't flinch. A small, almond-shaped eye sprouted from the deck behind him, watching his movements carefully.
A smile fell upon her lips.
Robin wasn't stupid. She knew the man was watching her; he did it quite often. She had been accepted into countless crews before for a variety of different reasons. Sometimes, they wanted her for her devil fruit power or for her intelligence; other times, they wanted her because she was a pretty face. Pirates often got lonesome at sea without a woman aboard their ship. But never once did they trust her. She was accustomed to dealing with pirates like Zoro, those who would not be so easily tricked by her womanly wiles.
But unlike those endless pirates, the swordsman did not seek to use her. He was simply ensuring the safety of the nakama he loved so much.
Robin had never met a crew quite like the Straw Hat Pirates.
"Look over here," she said, suddenly. Robin turned her finger skyward.
"Hm?" Zoro looked up, but he saw nothing. The sky was the same as always, blanketed with the same old moon and the same old stars. Zoro's brows furrowed for only an instant; he took another step forward, legs carrying him closer to the archaeologist. "Where?"
"There," she repeated, finger still resting on the brightest star in the night sky. "That is Polaris, the North Star."
He frowned and turned to look at her. What was she talking about?
"It is 300 light years away. It will take 300 years for that light to finally reach us," she declares, turning her eyes to the swordsman at her side. "In 300 years, the light that is shining from that star right now will finally reach this planet, guiding future generations of pirates through the Grand Line."
Zoro's dark eyes settled on the star overhead. He was never one for stargazing; there were always other more important things to do. One could not become the world's strongest swordsman by sprawling across the deck, staring at the night sky.
She smiled. "That star that is here today, might not be here tomorrow. But..." Her eyes shifted to the swordsman. "...it is important to appreciate that light while it still exists." A lesson she had learned twenty years ago, in Ohara.
Zoro turned around and sighed heavily. She always managed to surprise him, either through words or actions. He had seen her fight to protect his nakama. He had heard stories of her journeys on the Grand Line. The more he acquainted himself with the historian, the less she seemed like a cold-blooded assassin, and the more she seemed as human as he or Usopp.
He didn't like it. Killing was easy when he knew his opponent was a monster. If he allowed himself to become attached to the woman, he would not only be putting himself in danger, but also his own ever-oblivious crew.
"Tch." Zoro folded his arms over his chest, indignance rising in his voice. Heavy footsteps carried the swordsman away from the woman and her stars and back to the common room.
He would not allow himself to be deceived.