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Shoganai

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1

 

She wished she could be as happy as the rest of her friends about how little the group had changed over the past two years. But as she sat there on the Sunny’s grassy deck she couldn’t help but worry. The group hadn’t changed, no, but the individuals had. For most of them these changes weren’t overly dramatic and if they were, then only in appearances, like their shipwright. The one who made her worry was their swordsman. All the guys were strong, the difference lay in the nature of that strength. Luffy undoubtedly was the strongest with his rubber-powers, but if he didn’t put any effort in it he was just dangly rubber. From what she understood about Franky’s body it was a rather fine-tuned construction that had to be switched to “battle mode”, no need to worry about accidents. The swordsman, on the other hand, got his strength purely from muscles and while before he had been a boy of lean muscle, he now was more muscle than man. No problem here either if it wasn’t for his short fuse when it came to Sanji or Nami. Sure, the cook could hold his own in their constant fights, but if their swordsman lost control with Nami he would crush her before even realizing. And as said before, their group had not changed and with that neither had the fights between those three.

She worried over nothing, of course. She knew that the fights between him and the cook were rather sparring sessions than actual fights and that meditation was an essential part in the swordsman's training. Who else should Nami use to vent her anger on? No one else on that ship would stand tall in front of her, even if he would eventually back down. Of course he knew that and didn’t take her fits very serious.

In the beginning Robin had actually thought they had a thing for each other. The constant bickering between the two and his reaction towards the cooks flirtations, it was like one of those love-triangles in the sappy books - she refrained to read those of course. But now she knew it was just how the crew worked. So of course there lay no danger in the swordsman's strength, at least not for the crew, but she liked to keep herself alert. She liked to be prepared, even for the oddest of cases.

Now you may be curious as to how she knew that there was nothing going on between the bulky man who just vanished through the hatch into the crow’s-nest and the still fuming redhead. Well, one could say that it had its perks being the quiet one watching from the sidelines. She knew everything about this crew and its members. Maybe even more than her comrades knew about themselves. She knew exactly, that the cook had no serious interest in Nami, just as he had no serious interest in the various prostitutes from the various harbours. He simply treated every woman with all the chivalry his wobbly body could muster as soon as it set eyes on a pretty female. When she’d first found out about him visiting these particular women she had expected to be disgusted by him, for she knew how it felt being sold and treated like a thing instead of a human with her own free will. But to her surprise she didn’t and to surprise her even more, he had opted to talk to her about it. She never asked him how he knew, but he told her he would always know if his actions caused her or any woman any sort of discomfort. He had asked her for forgiveness and not to look down on him, but that he thought most of those women deserved to be treated like a lady every once in a while and that other than the fair maidens in the cities they would know not to expect any more from him other than whatever they had agreed upon beforehand. After all, he wouldn’t want to break any hearts. He had been unusually serious that night. No wobbly extremities and no heart eyes. Although it had only taken her a reassuring smile, meaning it wouldn’t change anything between them, to bring him back to his old lovestruck self. It was a fond memory and in her lonely and dark nights, when her past caught up to her, she silently wished she would have met just one man like Sanji back in the days when the Devil-Child was handed around from one Pirate to the next.

Zoro was quite different. He seemed to have no interest in the other sex whatsoever, or his own for that matter. It made her really curious, not that she would show it, but she tended to have a special eye on him whenever they left the ship. For the most part he wouldn’t even realize that the women complimenting on his swords or his body or asking about that terrible incident that lost him his left eye were hitting on him. Instead, he would just bore them to death talking about his three blades even though there was one particular sword they would have been actually interested in. Robin blushed lightly at that thought and held her copy of “ the tale of the beginning: culture in the ancient world ” just a tad bit higher. She really needed to stop reading those romance novels. Still, though the innuendo was cheap, it was true. She always wondered if he did it intentionally because he was uncomfortable with the situation or if he was just stupid, which she knew for a fact he wasn’t.

She also knew that despite her flaunting all her goods, whenever a discount was in the air, that Nami never ever let any man come too close to her. She would be flirting and casually touching, but as soon as it was him who did the touching she would start the smacking or fleeing, or crying out for Luffy and the others, whichever suited the situation best. The only exceptions were the part of the crew that entered the grand line with her and Chopper (if you could count him). They could casually touch her, carry her, and hug her without having her flinching away. Robin could only assume that it had to do with her past amongst the Arlong-Pirates; they probably had gone through similar things. She envied her a bit.

It had been almost as long since she herself had gotten away from her version of Arlong, Crocodile, and she knew that the straw-hat crew was her family. They loved her just as fiercely as they loathed anybody who would try to hurt her or any other member; and yet she would still feel the slight discomfort whenever anybody came near her. Guilt tugged on her stomach. They had done so many things for her, risked their lives, even going as far as declaring war on the government for her and yet … It seemed Nami was just not as damaged as she was. She was happy for that because she too, loved every one of them.

She smiled in thanks at Sanji as he brought her Coffee and she continued to smile. She was happy here and in time she too wouldn’t flinch. She was on a good way actually. She wouldn’t awake whenever she fell asleep in the crow’s-nest and Zoro would cover her in that old blanked. Now that should be elaborated, because otherwise this could sound just strange enough to see something that wasn’t there.

Sometimes when the memories became too strong for her to even read, she would climb up to his sanctuary. She couldn’t say what made her do that in the first place. They had never really interacted, much less talked, seeing how neither of them was really talkative. It had just seemed right at the moment. It had been shortly after Water 7 and she knew that at first he was on edge about her presence, but he had never asked her to leave. Later he had told her he had thought it was because she just needed to “not be alone after all that happening” and that he didn’t mind her being there, she was very quiet after all. To her his heavy breathing and the rhythmical clinging of his barbells were soothing and after just pretending to read she would actually be able to do it. Sometimes those sounds would even lull her to sleep and then at some point he would cover her in said blanket. But there were times she wouldn’t fall asleep. Sometimes he then would sit down next to her after his workout and ask about her book.

He couldn’t understand how she could be so enthralled by mere words and most of the time he wasn’t really interested in the topic, but it would start a conversation. The first time it had happened it must have been surprising for both of them, a real conversation and a long one at that and yet they opted to repeat it. It was actually funny to think that the quietest persons on the ship could spend hours talking about nothing. She enjoyed those talks very much and even though his vocabulary was a tad bit limited and his view on the world simple – or rather uncomplicated, she had come to realize that this man was not just mosscovered brawn as a certain chef liked to call him. So no, it wasn’t stupidity that kept him from acting on women’s advances in the pubs. Maybe their swordsman really had no interest in things like that. Just like their captain. Yes, the answer lay probably there; he was so fixated on achieving his dream, that everything else was just unwanted distraction. Quite boring to be honest. What wasn’t boring were the hushed voices of the ships navigator and the ever lying sharp shooter. They had to be up to something so she spawned an eye and an ear on the other side of the lawn deck to see what it was all about. It was just in time to see Nami put her New World Log Pose inside a carved wooden box held by Usopp. Interesting.

“Now, that should keep him out”, said the sniper upon closing the box and coating it completely in green goo, which hardened the moment it had covered all of it. Interesting indeed.

“And you are sure it is foolproof? You know Luffy, he will try to find a way,” the navigator pressed.

To demonstrate he started grabbing the coat, only to have it go gooey again “You see? You can’t rip it and you can’t shatter it on the floor, it will just bounce back, just like him. There is no way he can destroy it!”, he stated proudly.

“I can cut it,” stated Zoro from behind the two, standing there as if he had been a part of the conversation all along. It scared them half to death. And after recovering, Namis fist connected with the green haired head as she screeched about doubling his debt if he even tried.

She laughed silently and dispersed her additional eye and ear. So Nami and Usopp were trying to keep Luffy from picking the most dangerous Island, interesting.

Chapter Text

The sweat burned in his eye, the bandana no longer enough to keep it at bay. His boots bit into the ground as his muscles screamed for relief. The fuck was this guy made of? Lats and pecs straining he pushed his enemy away, but the tiny man did not even think of giving him enough time for one of his special attacks. His observation Haki not nearly enough to see through the random movements, he cursed as one of the opposing blades cut deeply into his right leg’s quadriceps. Pain shot through his exhausted body, damn near blinding him for a moment. He grit his teeth, should have used Wado from the start, but who would have thought this little shit would turn out to be such a challenge? Broadening his stance he prepared for the next attack, nothing left than to hope for a chance to counter.

His right leg was being sluggish, more so than his exhaustion or even the wound would allow for. Fucking ankle biter had his blades poisoned. He better finish this off quickly. The impact came sooner than he had hoped, driving him back several feet. Fucker could jump. He pushed him back again, leg giving way under their joined weight. Rat laughed at him “Is my little present bothering you, young man? Don't stress yourself too much, look what it did to your leg, you wouldn't want it to do the same thing to your respiratory system now would you?” Bitch.

Breathe. Let him talk. He closed his eye, forced his frantic heart to calm, last thing he needed to do was spreading the shit quicker than necessary. He tuned out the pain in his muscles, the ache in his joints and the poison’s fire slowly traveling up his leg. Thing was useless now. Breathe. Guy laughed again. “Ah, by the way, before you get any bad ideas, if I were you I wouldn't even think about cutting your leg off. Now don't take it personally, it's just, I heard that you are prone to rash decisions. It might be that I mixed in some anticoagulant, by accident, of course.” Fucking cunt!

Breathe. “When did you become this weak? Should I search for another master?” He huffed tightening his right hand around Shūsui’s hilt. No, this half pint didn't stand a chance, fought dirty, that's all. Breathe. His heartbeat slowed. The enemy's chatter drowned out by Shūsui's stabs at his pride and Kitetsu’s cry for blood. What might have scared his predecessors was a calming song to him. Breathe. He felt the upturned soil beneath his knuckles, it's softness under his left knee; the humidity pressing down on his bare back. Breathe. He smelled the flowers nearby, soothing the burn in his lungs. Breathe. He heard the silence of the nature around them and the screaming of its voice. Breathe. He saw his enemy.

Small and wiry, unbelievably quick but sloppy. He smirked, this would be over in seconds; or as soon as he could stand up. One final calculated breath and his left leg pushed him up, not a single muscle protesting against the strain; his body, his fucking rules.

“Oh look at that, you can stand? I really thought you've bled out there,” the little man mused. He scoffed, “you’ll know when I'm done, dipshit.”

Intent, bright as day. He fell to the ground. Fingers tightening, arm flexing he set Kitetsu free. Blood showered him before he even hit the ground. Two halves of a body landed right behind him. Breathe. He pushed himself up, no time being weak after allowing the cursed blade such freedom. With a flick of his wrist he rid it from the blood, sheathing it and Shūsui in one smooth motion. With one big hand he wiped the foreign blood off his face, effectively spreading it to his green hair, and surveyed his surroundings. Nothing but grass and soil for miles, no trees, no bushes not even a goddamn rock. Where the fuck had the others run off to?

He scoffed, took Wado between his teeth, making a mental note to renew the tsuka-ito as soon as possible. Bending his working leg he drew the other blades. With a low grunt he propelled himself forward, performing the most sloppy Kokujo: Ō Tatsumaki since mastering the technique. The tornado ripped through the ground, catapulting chunks of the grassy earth into the air, tiny pebbles becoming deadly projectiles. There, that should get their attention. “Let them come to me”, he thought as he forced his unresponsive leg into seiza position. There was no fucking way he’d crawl back to the ship so the shit cook could ladle it over his head for the next five years. He draped his sheathed blades over his lap and closed his eye, might as well get some meditation in.

Chapter Text

2

He was safe, safe abroad the Sunny, in the infirmary and in Chopper’s experienced hands. He was even awake by now, after 10 hours of comatose sleep he had finally woken up. He was fine.


She wasn't, she was nervous. Never in her life had she been this nervous. Why? Because the mood was decidedly strange. Something had changed between them, something small and seemingly insignificant and yet big enough to have her giddy like some little schoolgirl. This was an utterly new emotion for her, one she didn’t understand or knew how to handle so, instead of working it out like an adult, she fled. She left the infirmary and a discombobulated swordsman behind her to hide in her and Nami’s room. Her heart beating frantically as she slid down the wooden door, cheeks tinted pink and her lower belly tingling warmly. How was this happening? After all those years she had thought herself incapable of something like that, had thought that her past encounters had robbed her of the natural drive, the natural interest in carnal desires. She had thought, but as it turned out, all it took was a look at her trusted Nakama in a more serious state of undress than usual. Just one look, it wasn’t even sexual, just his pants cut in exactly the wrong place. How was it possible that it flustered her like this? She had not even seen anything, just a tuft of green hair peeking over the destroyed hem of his pants. This was definitely less exposure than when she had grabbed Franky by his jewels, and yet it had her realise his attractiveness with such ferocity that it had knocked the air right out of her lungs.

Dread crept up her spine as she thought about the incident. This was one of the moments she cursed the fact that she had this much knowledge about her Nakama. In this particular instant the knowledge that Roronoa Zoro was an exceptionally observant man, the knowledge that he had seen how flustered she had been and what it entailed. How could they go back to their silent camaraderie when this stood between them? How would he react to her betrayal? After all, she had crossed a line not to be crossed between Nakama. He probably didn't care about her timing, even though, that was particularly bad seeing how he was on the brink of death only hours before she had turned on her heels with a puberlecent blush on her face. What worried her more was how he would act towards a woman, almost 10 years his senior, that got all hot and bothered by his still more than half covered body? He would not be petty. Of course not. Most probably he would just ignore it, like with all the other women that found him attractive. How would she act though? She was mortified. How could she ever look him in the eye again? Could she just forget about it? About the way her body had suddenly lit up, became alive? It had never occurred before, did she even want to forget about it? If he was the only man to ever entice such a terrifyingly intense reaction, did she want to walk away from it? Or should she rather pursue him, find out what else he could make her feel? He could very well be the only one capable. Maybe she would never be able to let anybody else close enough to achieve the same level of trust she shared with this man? Because, if it was trust and mutual respect, unconditional acceptance that was necessary for her to rise above utter frigidity, she knew she would only ever find it within this very crew and yes, maybe only with him.

She didn't know for how long she had been sitting on the floor wallowing in self pity and deep contemplation until Sanji eloquently yelled for the “shithead crew” to eat dinner, followed by the lightest knock and his highest chirps with which he asked if he should bring her meal to her room. Sanji, always the gentleman, if only he knew how close she had come to seeing his friendly rival’s private parts. Reluctantly she got up, her usual mask of nonchalance in place. None of her nakama was privy to the turbulent thoughts clouding her mind; except, of course, for Sanji who always knew when one of his lovely ladies were hurt in any way, and the swordsman who sat there, dressed in new, intact trousers, with his head so close to his plate she felt the need to warn him about suffocation. His head shot up, his eye finding hers in an instant, cheeks tainted with a rosy hue that looked oddly good with his green hair. She should not have said that.

Chapter Text

B

 

He closed the door to the infirmary firmly behind him, as Chopper should have done two weeks prior, and took off his pants for his hopefully final exam. “Don't give me that look Zoro, you know this would heal way better if you followed my advice of not training,” the little reindeer reprimanded him in an uncharacteristically stern voice.

He grunted in response, what else was there for him to do? It's not like he could meditate. Not without his thoughts doing whatever the fuck they wanted, which most of the time meant to tell his body to react however the fuck it wanted. Damn woman and her innocent rosy cheeks. What right did she have to look that innocent? It wasn't something their kind could afford, especially not if you were a girl alone under monsters by the age of eight. He shouldn't think like that, it wasn't like she had chosen her past. In fact, he hated that fate had been this hard on her. Hated it with the same passion he hated Nami’s past; no one should have to live through things like that.

“Don't look at me like that, it's your own fault, stupid.” Chopper interrupted his dark thoughts, “if you'd have kept from training with your stupid weights this would be healed by now, but you had to rip your stitches one hour after I let you go, one hour!” The little reindeer shouted. The fuck's going on? Had Chopper been talking this entire time? He had his back turned towards him, organizing some instruments on  his desk, his little form trembled, voice unsteady. Fuck. “Chopper, what is-”, his question died on his tongue as his little Nakama finally turned around, thick tears streaming down his face, bottom lip quivering. “Don't act like you care now stupid. You almost died in that field! You didn't care then! When you knew you were poisoned why would you launch such an attack?”

Oh fuck. He knew that his and Luffy’s fights were always stressful for the boy who had to stitch them back together again and again, but to see him lose it like that? That was new. He just sat there, dumb shit that he was, without a clue on how to calm his friend down. He reached for him but the sudden fury emitting from the small doctor had his hand drop right back on the bed. At a total loss he opted to just let him talk, it seemed to do the trick whenever Nami was upset so it couldn't be too bad of a decision. “You're such an idiot, you should have stopped the bleeding, you know how to do that, you're the one helping me in here all the time, why can't you use that information for yourself?” The boy ranted, jumping to him on the bed mid sentence. “Instead you, idiot, decided to start meditating. Are you insane? The man told you he had applied an anticoagulant to his poison, you stupid, stupid Zoro!” He continued, emphasizing his stupidity by poking his little hoove against his chest. “Do you have any idea how terrified we were when you just keeled over? I've never even heard Robin curse before!” And with that the reindeer's fury vanished; back was the boy who had been scared shitless that his friend might have died. Chopper sank back, crying his eyes out on his lap. He hadn't thought about that back then and he hadn't thought about it since he'd been back on the Sunny. Yes, he was an idiot, he had not meant to put his Nakama through that, so he reached again for the boy. This time crushing him against his chest instead of giving up halfway. He apologised for being reckless, even though he wasn't sure the apology reached the boy over his wailing sobs.

This was a mess and with Robin, too.They should probably talk about this situation. He wasn't good at talking. Sure in the crow's nest they sometimes talked for hours, but he was well aware that she was merely humouring him, using simple words he could understand. It was a far cry from the discussions she would have with Chopper or Brook, or Nami or Sanji for that matter. The shit cook’s insults didn't stem from nothing after all. In comparison he was indeed stupid, and in comparison with Robin he was probably dense as a rock. His awareness of his own shortcomings didn't keep him from enjoying their nightly talks. He was pretty sure if Robin minded she simply would not talk at all, just smile her damn smile and continue reading, or pretend to read as she often did.

Fuck this, why was he even worrying about this shit? It wasn't like he had flashed her or anything, what was her goddamn problem?! She couldn't even look at him anymore, wasn't acting like a grown ass woman either, more like one of the girls at port. And not the easy to ignore lusty bitch type, but the blushing maiden type he had no fucking idea how to deal with. For some reason he always felt bad around them. He had exactly 3 ways of dealing with things: 1. Ignore it, 2. Fight it, 3. Tell it to fuck the hell off. None of those things he could do with those girls, and none of those things he could do with Robin. Robin was Nakama, he could not risk hurting her in any way, she was family after all. To be protected at all costs.

“She must feel terrible!”, Chopper whimpered against his chest, cutting his thoughts short.

“Who?”

The little reindeer desperately wiped at his eyes and nose with his hooves, shaking his head before explaining: “Robin, of course, had she given you any sign that she had been watching, you would not have been so ...so hecking reckless and just waited for us to find you! You wouldn't have been half dead when we found you! She feels guilty!”

He almost smiled about the fact that ‘hecking’ was the worst word the boy could think of, but reality crushed his amusement in the bud. Fucking idiot, that's what he was. Of course she wasn't flustered, or shy or whatever the fuck his brain had fantasised. She felt guilty for not protecting him from his own stupidity, that's why she was acting so strange. Innocent his ass. Maybe she was ashamed because even though she always tried to think of every possible outcome, she had not accounted for his reckless behaviour. She should have seen that coming, really, she prided herself in knowing all of them better than they themselves did.

Fuck. It wasn't like he had anything to offer her. Not trying to sell himself short either, he knew well enough that his physique did draw attention of the opposite gender. Their landtime made that painfully obvious, as well as his social inability to handle that attraction, but Robin was something else entirely. For fuck's sake why was he even thinking about things like that? She was Nakama. Why couldn't the damn woman just have told him the moment she had burst into the infirmary two weeks ago, while he had been struggling to stand upright with one hand against the wall for support and one hand trying to keep his pants from slipping off completely? Just open her damn mouth and tell him sorry for not telling him she had watched instead of running like a little girl. Just tell him instead of planting thoughts in his brain that he wasn't supposed to have! Fuck. Maybe they didn’t have to talk, just sit it out, wait for the next landing, and get all that bullshit out of his system with one of the girls offering themselves. Would be for the best. No need to make a fool out of himself, babbling about moods and possible misunderstandings. Just a simple “don’t feel guilty, I’m alive”, a wave, and then off to the next best tavern to choose some woman with good enough built to withstand his strength. Yeah, that sounded like a plan.

Chapter Text

3

 

She was always thinking, overthinking even, always analyzing everything she laid her eyes upon, anything happening around her, but right now her mind was completely blank. She did not think of how he was walking contradiction, always asleep yet never missing anything happening in his surroundings; always gruff and harsh, yet caring for the younger members of the crew with a fatherly love that belied his youth; always fearless in battle yet driven by the trepidation of losing all of them; his body hard as steel, yet his touches soft like a butterfly’s wing. She just felt his lips on hers, the warmth of his hand hovering tentatively just inches above her hips. Considering how often in the last weeks she had thought about the possibility of this happening it took her entirely too long to respond, to move her lips against his, to wrap her arms around his strong neck and melt against him in a way she wanted to since the day she had fled the infirmary in abstract innocent fear.

It was over as suddenly as it had started, he pulled back, cheeks clearly pink even with the night's shadow shrouding them in comfortable darkness. His hand, that had been too shy to touch her, found its way behind his head in the same way it always did whenever he was unsure about something and tried to compensate for it with light humour or nonchalance. The “sorry,” he muttered was almost too quiet to pick up for her and yet it resonated loudly in her skull “shouldn't have done that”.

Of course he shouldn’t have, they should not, they were Nakama after all. That was a logical explanation, but the tiny voice in the back of her head screamed at her that she was too old for him. He could have anyone he wanted; why should he settle for an old lady? She smiled at him, since he had the decency not to just up and leave. She owed him at least that, “You're right, Zoro-san, if we let ourselves get distracted we might be crushed by the mast, since we wouldn't hear it break,” she said lightly, imitating her usual morbid sense of humour and hoping that he would buy it, or at least accept it for what it was; her try to find back to normalcy, to go back to how things had been before all this. “Nami would triple our debt for sure,” he laughed, strained, but a laugh nonetheless. She raised a fine brow, “Your debt, after all from the last 10 minutes it's you who is on duty, Zoro-san.” He grunted in response and made for the crow’s nest.

With a hand over her thundering heartbeat she surveyed the few people lingering in the harbour, hoping no one had witnessed their display. It wouldn’t do to have such a thing go public.

 

He had been on his way to town when he had seen her. He came over and told her that she should stop feeling guilty, since she was not responsible for his recklessness on the last island and that he hoped everything could get back to normal. God, he was so innocent! It had made her laugh, she had been so afraid of his observation skills that she had not taken into account how naive he seemed to be when it came to women. Getting comfortable in the lookout for her shift she had watched his retreating form getting lost on the main road to town, thinking whether or not she should let him know that the guilt she still felt about that incident was not the reason for her avoiding him. When he had returned to relief her from her duties around midnight, his gait sluggish and his breath heavy with alcohol she had welcomed him at the railing. Unimpressed by the scowl on his face, that had told her his evening had not proceeded as planned, she had decided to use his inebriated state to get rid of the emotional ballast she had carried about for the last weeks; hoping he would just chalk it up to some conversation he had witnessed in the bar or at the docks the next day. “I didn’t feel guilty, swordsman, I just liked what I saw”, she had said and regretted it the moment the words had left her mouth. The clouds had left his eye, his back straightened, all his senses had seemed to zero in on her in an instant and a moment later his lips had been on hers and all her thoughts had gone silent.

 

The next day everything was almost back to normal, apart from that twinge of regret she felt whenever she laid eyes upon him. The day after that she returned to the crow’s nest where she would read to his grunts and the barbells’ chimes, where she would eventually fall asleep and be covered by the rough old blanket when she awoke. Everything was back to normal except she wanted him. She wanted him in a way many men had wanted her in her past but never had she wanted any man in that way and it confused her beyond belief.

He was a boy, in age and experience, compared to her at least. How could she be interested in him? Oddly enough it was not his body that put the cover models of her guilty pleasures to shame, or his gruff persona that had the tavern girls swooning. She had known strong and gruff in her past and had not appreciated it at all, if anything, it should keep her on edge.

Savoring the soft chocolatey taste of her coffee on her tongue she concluded that it had to be that softness; the gentleness with which he held his swords whenever he wasn't fighting, the diligence with which he kept them in shape, protecting them from the corroding salt all around them like they protected him whenever he was surrounded by enemies. Protection. That was another of his qualities. The fierce aura he exudes, when faced with peril, had lesser men cowering in fear but kept his Nakama calm and confident. He calmed them. Be it fear or excitement he had a way of grounding all of them. Even his fights with their chef or navigator helped them to vent unneeded energy or agitation, calming them in the process. Didn't look like that at first glance. She turned a page of her copy of “Poxy Island: last mystery in the north blue” in an attempt to keep up the appearance of not being lost in thought. Of course the others were aware that she sometimes just sat and thought, but when her thoughts circled about her newly found libido she preferred them not knowing anything about it.

Chapter Text

C

 

Everything was normal. His heart pumped fast but steady, his breath puffing strong and heavy through his lungs, his muscles warm with exertion, his weights a heavy anchor to his straying mind. No thoughts whatsoever, just the unusually low numbers of a normally inhuman amount of reps: 78, 79, 80, 81, 82 “fufufufufu” Oh for fuck’s sake! 1, 2, 3, 4... A soft shuffling finally had him drop his weights, ripping a startled gasp from her throat. His back was turned to her but that didn't stop his mind from vividly imagining her long, creamy legs rubbing against each other to ease a discomfort she probably did not feel, but that his brain thought would make absolute sense, since she was surely watching every movement of his muscled form instead of reading her book. Fuck this! “Taking a shower”, he ground out before swinging himself through the latch and down the ropes. He ignored the stinging in his thigh as he jumped the last two meters to the deck and stomped towards the bath. Yes, fucking shower was exactly what he needed, a freezing one. “Oy, Zoro, you were supposed to clean the deck yesterday, care to explain why jack shit has been done?!”, their navigator screeched after him from the helm. “No”, he said without even missing a step, thankful for his wide pants.

What was going on in that woman's brain? How could she act as if nothing had happened? Did she think he had been too drunk to remember? Maybe she did not want to embarrass him by bringing it up? Or did she really not care, was it a joke to her? She wasn't cruel though. Ah fuck it. If she could ignore it he sure as hell could as well. He didn't train his mind for nothing after all. He should just train while meditating, not reach the meditative state by training. If he could manage to reach that state before she came up, he could probably ignore her soft laugh or the content sigh after a sip of coffee. He wouldn’t see her long, creamy legs exposed by her way too short skirts or her tits almost falling out of her way too tight tops… Oh for fuck’s sake!

The cold spray of the shower hit him full force, raising every hair on his body to the same attention a certain part of his anatomy stood already, and that wasn't exactly impressed by his attempt to calm it down. God damn it, maybe it wasn't the brain between his ears that needed training. With a sigh he leaned his forehead against the cool tiles. Was there even another option than to ignore it? They were Nakama, they were pirates, there was simply no room for complications in their lives, and exposing weaknesses with relationships wasn’t a good idea either. What the hell had he been thinking, kissing her out in the open like that? What if someone had seen? Damn, maybe he did have one too many. But fuck it, she had kissed him back, had she not? And she had been as sober as could be. Fuck, thinking about the softness of her lips and the startled mewl escaping them wasn’t helping his situation. Not at all. When had been the last time a woman had captivated his mind like this? Never! Well Kuina had a firm hold on him, but it wasn’t like this, it wasn’t sexual. Tashigi? No, back then she had been a nuisance, now after punk hazard there was mutual respect and even though yes, he had noticed that she had become quite attractive and yes, her way with Shigure certainly appealed to him, that was nowhere near to his current situation. All he had ever had before were flings that lasted weeks at the most and more often than not for only a night. This...this infatuation with Robin was uncharacteristic to say the least. Not that his body cared about that.

With another sigh he looked down on himself. When had been the last time he had even jerked off? This hadn’t been a fucking issue since he had become part of the crew, too much was going on, his goal too close to waste time and effort on anything but training, and now this. His dick, staring him in the eye, weeping tears of mockery at the mere thought of the damn woman! He gripped himself tightly, noticing for the first time, that his hand was way too rough to imitate anything even barely resembling the real deal. The way her skin looked it had to feel like petals, not like sandpaper. Could he even touch her without irritating her skin? Shit, how the fuck could he get rid of his persistent hardon when even now his thoughts were scattered? He had half a mind of going back up to his gym and taking her then and there, consequences be damned. Host her up against the wall, have her endless legs snug around his waist, thrusting himself between them. Her hot, wet cunt welcoming him with delicious tightness and her breathless gasps reassuring him that she wanted it just as much as he did. His right hand gripped the showerwall as his breathing grew more erratic with every stroke along his shaft. His head all the way in his neck, the muscles in his lower abdomen tightening as he almost felt her enormous tits pressing against his pecs. Almost. Almost there. His eyes clenched shut, her nails scratching along his back as she vanished in a sudden explosion that rocked the Sunny enough to throw him off his feet. Fucking shit! Cursing under his breath he scrambled to a standing position, the trampling of feet on deck and the sudden shouting told him that ignoring this situation was not an option. At least his cock shared that opinion. He didn’t bother with drying off, just pulled his pants over his hips and cursed again as he realized that his katana were still up in the crows nest.

Deck was crawling with marines, the fuck had they come from all of a sudden? A prickling sensation on his chest alerted him just in time to see a pale arm forming out of nothingness, his eye followed the pointing digit to see his swords leaning right next to the door to the bathhouse. Fucking love that woman for her foresight. He grabbed them, not pondering further about the thought that had just surfaced and threw himself right into chaos. Hell yeah, that was exactly what he had needed. His blades sang with excitement, Kitetsu purring with bloodlust while Shuusui hummed with superiority. Effortlessly they cut through steel and flesh, leaving tendons and bone intact with surgical precision. Nothing a good doctor couldn’t fix but enough to focus his mind and to appease his katana. His muscles flexed, his swords danced, his heartbeat thundered in his ears. His world stopped as a gunshot pierced the silence of his mind. Luffy went down, his rubber arm snapping back to his boneless body on the floor. Keiroseki. Fuck. Sanji was there, good. His haki swept over the ship, Chopper was with Nami, Robin had Franky and Brook was close to Usopp, even better. No devilfruit was alone, no one could be shot down without having someone to keep them safe and he was free. Kitetsu, drunk on the fear of their enemies, pushed him across deck, ridding the grass of those that didn’t belong here. His former care for the marines’ futures gone, Shuusui and Kitetsu no longer differentiating between flesh or bone. Vaguely he noticed that his Nakama had stopped fighting as he followed the last few marines left. Cowards, first shooting a man in the back and then jumping ship like that. With a flick of his wrists he cleaned his blades, Nami stood in front of him and he knew she wanted to reprimand him for skipping on watchduty, but she just stared him. Mouth slightly agape, eyes wide and if he didn’t know any better he’d have said she was afraid of him. “What’s up with you lately?”, she asked quietly instead. What’s up with him? He wanted to discard her question, tell her that nothing was wrong but as he looked across the lawn deck, across blood and guts, separated limbs and heads his answer got caught in his throat. “Fuck”, he said instead, searching for Chopper, this carnage wasn’t something for the boy to see.

On his left a match flicked to life, and after a long drag from the freshly lit cigarette Sanji enlightened him: “He’s with Luffy in his office. They used the chance when you started your rampage.” Another drag and the chef turned towards the kitchen. “Bet he’s hungry when he comes out of surgery, I’ll prepare something. In the meantime, get your shit together, Marimo, it’s not like you to just go along with your sword’s whims.” Shitcook was right. It wasn’t like him no matter if his captain was hurt, he was supposed to be in control of his blades, not the other way round. He had seriously fucked up. Nami’s sure hand on his shoulder made him turn “You better clean this mess up before Chopper is finished with the surgery,” she said and with a soft squeeze she added, “You know if you want to talk about something, we are all here.” With one last smile she followed Sanji, leaving him alone. Fuck. This crew was amazing. People feared him, called him a monster, and not without any basis as he had to admit looking at the slaughter he had presented, and what did they do? Tell him they were there for him and apparently - seeing how Franky just exited the supply closet - hand him the mop. He scoffed, Nami would get her will after all.

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She sighed as she wiped the cold sweat from her brow. Another dream. It had not been a nightmare per se, as she had at no point been afraid, it was just that the pictures were so gruesome they were unsettling, even for her. His fights were always of the bloody type but rarely did they entail guts splattered across the ground or severed limbs or heads. In fact, his fights were much cleaner than many of the others. Severing important muscle groups with a clean cut disabled his enemies instantly, but those injuries would also heal easily as opposed to heavy head trauma or crushed bone and nerves sustained through kicks and flying fists let alone the havoc electrocution would wreck upon a human body. She herself was prone to bringing her enemies to the brink of suffocation or dislocating joints and she was not naive enough to believe that none of her victims were suffering permanent damage. There was no other way to describe it, their swordsman had snapped that day, something had preoccupied his mind enough for his cursed blade to gain the upper hand and he knew it. In the two weeks since the incident his weights in the crow's nest had gathered dust, instead of exercising his body with an absurd amount of reps he would just sit cross-legged anywhere on the ship in deep meditation, the cursed blade either held in front of him or laying across his legs. He never reacted to anything but either Nami giving him chores or Sanji calling for meals. During mealtime he was even less vocal than before, if that was possible. Everybody noticed and everybody worried, so much so that their captain wouldn't even attempt to steal his food. She did not worry. She felt guilty.

In the weeks before the incident she had noticed a change in his demeanor, he was more skittish, his concentration during training would break easily and he was grumpier than usual. She knew why. She knew because their kiss had distracted her just as much as him, although she didn't let it show as much. What she didn't know was why it brought such a change in behaviour. Was it because he regretted kissing her, because he never would have had he not been severely impaired by an unhealthy amount of sake? Was it because he felt guilty for straining their relationship as Nakama? Was it because he had never intended for it to be her but some skimpy fangirl that would usually try to catch his attention whenever he went out? Maybe he just hadn't found one this time and redirected his interests to the next best thing? No, of course not. She knew as much as anyone else on the Sunny that he never showed even the slightest interest in those women. Why had he kissed her? Something like this was completely out of character for him. Was that why he was bothered by it so much? That he himself didn't know what had moved him to such an action, to stray from his set path in such a way? Maybe he just didn't know what to do now? Judging from the way he handled the girls in the taverns and bars this could very well have been his first kiss all together, maybe he just didn't know the protocol? Did she know the protocol? She didn't, because in a way it had been her first kiss. Shaking her head she got up, her erratic heartbeat should have calmed down by now, had it even been like this when she had woken up? Carefully she snuck out of the room, the last thing she wanted to do was to explain her troubles to Nami and was not surprised to see the reason for her sleepless night sitting on the lawndeck’s railing, the cursed blade tightly gripped in his left hand. She took a moment to appreciate his balance, knowing that every wave could toss him overboard or skewer him on his sword before she continued to the kitchen. Glass of water in front of her she knew that yes it had been her first kiss. The first that had not been a means to an end or unwanted attention if one was into euphemism.

Nice, she had not even thought it possible. It begged for another question though: was she satisfied with just her first kiss? She wasn't if her recent escapades with the showerhead were any indication. She had tried to go back to normal, she really had, however now that she had noticed how attractive their residing swordsman was, reading next to him during his workouts had become exceedingly difficult.

Black letters spread across paper seemed to pale against the bronzed skin stretching above taunt muscle; the colourful worlds the novelists had painted decades ago, lifeless in comparison to the vales and hills of his body. Her eyes would stop skimming the pages to follow the beads of sweat running, dripping from one ridge to the next. The ancient mysteries of the world would make room for the conundrum of whether or not he would taste the same way he smelled. God, she wanted to taste this delicious body, run her hands all over that chiseled physique and feast on him like he was one of Sanji’s devine meals and finally to know if he would make the very same delectable grunts between her legs as he did beneath his barbells. She shifted her legs to quell the ache between her thighs, much like she would in the crow's nest, trying to regain her focus and hoping that the skirt she had chosen would not betray the wetness of her arousal. Now it didn't matter, she was alone in the kitchen in the dead of night. No one would know if she were to make use of the hand that had subconsciously made its way into her black lace panties while she had been reminiscent of her hours in the crow's nest prior to the fateful incident. In just 4 hours they would be eating and laughing at this table never knowing that she would have been pleasuring herself shamelessly in this very spot mere hours ago. She'd have to be quiet though, because what if Zoro we're to hear her... She retracted her hand and with a shake of her head and got up to wash her hands, this was getting out of hand. It was bad enough that she seemingly couldn't go a day without touching herself lest she lost any and all concentration and sanity, she didn't need to add an exhibitionism kink to that. As she turned off the faucet to dry her hands another possibility came to her. If he had no interest in women because he was only interested in his dream, as was her working theory, did he even masturbate? Assuming, against all odds, that the kiss distracted him because he was unexpectedly, suddenly interested in more than only his dream and that he felt just as wound up about it as she did, did he masturbate to take the edge off? Or was such an act beneath him? Another distraction? No wonder he had lost it that day. She couldn't really picture him venting his frustration in a similar fashion as she had for the past weeks, maybe it had just been too much? Never mind, she conceded with a blush, she could very much picture the man standing under the shower, water caressing his strained muscles as his large hand pumped his even la- no. No. This could not go on like this. Taking a deep breath she left the kitchen. Her bare feet carried her swiftly down the stairs and over their grassy deck. She did not care that she wore only a flimsy nightgown when she stopped in front of him, because if he was interested he would see much more of her very soon and if he wasn't, well then he wasn't and consequently wouldn't care about her state of almost undress. He did not react to her, not even a change in his breathing, but she knew that he was aware of his surroundings at all times. It took her another four to nine deep breaths to finally say what she had come out to say, but when she did her voice was steady and sweet, taking an example of Nami whenever she wrapped some unexpectant merchant around her little finger. “So, Kenshi-san~, do you want to sleep with me?”

His eye opened, wide, the concentrated frown on his lips dissipated as they parted when his jaw went slack. For a moment he just stared at her, then he swallowed and stared some more. He closed his mouth and opened it only to close it again while the pale moonlight did nothing to hide the tremendous blush spreading over his cheeks and nose. He was adorable, but - knuckles white as her fingers tied with apprehension - she really wished he would start talking already, or acting. He did, both, just as she was about to scold herself for asking her Nakama such a stupid question and just as another wave hit the ship, he opened his mouth to a feral cry, his left hand releasing Kitetsu to clutter onto deck, as his right flailed unceremoniously grabbing at the air for support before falling backwards into the sea. Not quite the reaction she had hoped for.

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Just what the fuck was that woman's game? Blindsiding him like that. Had he been so obvious that she had felt the need to call him out? Before the incident, maybe, but now? He didn't even acknowledge her... Or was that what gave him away? He didn't acknowledge anyone, what the fuck? Maybe that was it, getting a rise out of him for not participating in the crews’ usual shenanigans. Even Luffy had accepted that though, why not her? He shook his head, no use wrecking his brain about it, that woman worked in mysterious ways. To this day he wasn't really sure why she put up with him in the crow's nest, explicitly finding him to spend time in his presence, to talk to him. It had started with nightmares but now  whenever she fell asleep up there she would sleep like a baby. He was strong, he calmed the weaker members of the crew, he knew that, if he didn't infuriate them that was. At least that was how it used to be. Wasn't sure how it was now.

Nami hadn't changed towards him, neither had Chopper...but that was probably because they had shielded him from what had happened. Usopp treaded carefully around him though. Shit, he really had fucked up that day. And not just with the crew; Kitetsu was all teenage brat, openly rebelling against his hold while old man Shuusui watched and mocked him for being just that. Fuck. Wado was the only one still on his side, its weight at his hip a constant reassurance. How could he have let it come this far? In his current state he had a mind of siding with the black blade, he was nothing but an impulsive, insecure brat. How could that woman have such a hold on him? How could she reduce him to a blushing, stammering mess with just a smile? Fuck, he had it bad. How had his former mistrust evolved to… to that? It was true, he really was impulsive but god damn it he seriously needed a plan to get out of this mess. Maybe he should try talking to her again? Bullshit, see how well that had played out...idiot had kissed her. She had returned it though, a teeny tiny voice added in his head. And she liked what she had seen...or was that just to tease him? Fucking shit! But if she really… they, or rather he could get it out of his system? A quick intermezzo (where had that come from?) In the crow's nest or town? Fuck he was getting hard already. She probably wasn't that kind of woman though. Just like Nami, flaunting tits and ass wherever they went and never caring what it did to those around them. Fucking bastard is what he was. He knew full well why they did what they did and why they kept men at arms length. Robin hadn't kept him away though, she had pulled him in. Gods, he was fucked. He put the oiled rag away scrutinising the shiny blade. Good thing he kept his kit well stocked, he wouldn't want another of his blades to rust away, damn saltwater. And damn that woman for making him lose balance in the first place.

Not that kind of woman… was he that kind of man? According to his past experiences, yes he was and yet thinking about it with Robin… he wouldn't be able to do that, not because she was Nakama either, but better not delve into that. Who knew what would be revealed then, probably something that would seriously fuck up life on the Sunny and the dynamic of the crew. Fuck it all, he needed a beer, he decided and put his cleaning utensils away. With all of his rebellious swords secured at his hip he stomped to Nami who was handing out their individual allowances for the evening. Fuck how much he hated it being treated like a kid with pocket money, though he had to admit that it might have happened that he and Luffy had burned all of their money in one night some time before. More than three years ago though, at a time when Arlong still had his clutches deep inside anything she had held even remotely dear. Yes, maybe it had been an asshole move to use all of the money she had needed so much for booze and meat but fuck her, the woman should have just told them about it! He stared at the oddly generous handout. “I don't need that much,” he grunted and handed half of it back. For fuck’s sake he was whipped…So much for hating her managing his money. She gave it back to him, cheeky grin etched into her features. “I think you do, treat yourself to a room or something, you need some serious relaxing.” He stared at her, mouth slightly agape. A blush creeping up his ears as he pondered whether or not the woman he deemed his little sister had just suggested he go fuck someone to cool off. She just stood there grinning, her eyes shining in a way that had him believe she knew more than she let on. It was his cue to leave, he would not stand there and be roped into a discussion about his feelings and to ultimately pay her billions of bery of hush money. No, he would go find a tavern and not search for a woman to fuck, because the last time he had attempted to do so he had ended up comparing each and every woman present with Robin and each and every woman he had found lacking. He wouldn’t go down that road again.

Speaking of road, he had not been aware that the island’s forrest stretched through the town, what an odd way to plan a settlement. When he finally found the elusive tavern - what’s with all the fancy words all of a sudden?- she was there, sitting in the far corner, fancy drink in front of her and ancient book in her hands. For fuck’s sake, why? And how had she arrived before him? She had still been reading on deck when he had left, damn those devil fruit powers. With a low grumbling he sat down at the raunchy bar and ordered a beer, ignoring the woman that somehow had become a friend and was now on the best way to become the bane of his existence altogether. Instead he focused on the stains millions of glasses had etched into the counter, with their contents swapping over it and softening the wooden surface, just like his own beer that lost about a third of its volume as it was smacked down in front of him. It tasted stale and empty, just as expected from this type of place, so what the fuck was she doing here?

He ordered a bottle of sake next, the whole one, seal intact, lest the tenant dare to dilute it as well. It was the good stuff, warm and smooth as it ran down his throat, just what he needed. Staring into the half blind mirror across from him he slowed down, he did have enough money to buy more bottles, but who knew how many this dump had in stock. Why did so many bars have mirrors behind the counter? As he watched the flimsy thing next to him rub up on the next tennant, clearly telling him all he wanted to hear as she quickly relieved him of even his last bery he concluded mirrors weren’t all bad and ordered another bottle. Just as it was sat down in front of him the girl spoke: “You sure can take a lot, big guy.” He scoffed in reply, “Don’t even think about stealing from me, girl.” For a quick moment her eyes widened, but he had to give her credit for hiding it just as quickly as it had come. “Who said I wanted to steal from you, maybe I'm in for something else?”, she pouted. Cute. “That ugly fuck’s beries in your pocket say that.” She grinned at that, reaching behind the counter to grab herself a glass and poured herself some of his sake. “Emphasis on the ‘ugly fuck’, you on the other hand aren’t ugly,” she said emptying the glass in one gulp before she added: “Though I wouldn’t mind the fuck.”

He laughed at that and poured her another glass, amusing little girl. “Unfortunately sake is the only thing you’ll get from me, you should get lost, before your ugly fuck comes to his senses and orders another glass of dishwater.” They clinked glass to bottle and she left surprisingly without trying to steal his pouch. It took just one more swig of his bottle before the seat next to him was occupied again and he didn’t have to look to know who it was, the earthy smell of coffee preceded her. “That one was cute,” she remarked before wrapping her lips around the thick straw of her drink and he watched her cheeks hollow as she sucked the clear liquid into her mouth. Fuck. Instead of clearing the counter and taking her then and there he nodded, “she was,” he answered, eye fixed on the mirror across from him. “I wonder what it takes for you to accept their offers,” she mused, “do you maybe prefer lighter hair? She was quite short do you like them taller?”

He scoffed at her questions. The girl had maybe been 16, if even that. “I prefer them well out of puberty is what I prefer, she was still a child, Robin. And probably like Nami didn’t have a choice in this life.” A soft “Oh” escaped her lips and for a moment she was silent, he chanced a glance towards her, at least she had stopped sucking on that damn straw. Instead her brow was creased in contemplation, probably mulling over her next words. When they came they weren’t what he had expected: “You know that Sanji visits brothels when we land? He says the women deserve to be treated like princesses now and again. Maybe that was what she had been searching in you, you are more attractive than that guy” So she had been eavesdropping, hadn’t she. Curious wench. “Well then she was shit out of luck, I’m not the damn ero cook”, he muttered and downed the rest of his sake. Of course Robin would prefer to be treated like that, deserved it too and he sure as hell wouldn’t be able to give it to her. The sooner he could rid himself from this fucking attachment the better, maybe he should have fucked the girl after all. The slurping with which she sucked the last drops of liquid from the glass pulled him out of his thoughts. “Since when are you drinking cocktails anyway? Pictured you more like the wine type."

She looked up at him, blue eyes wide and shining, cheeks a rosy hue - why was she blushing? - a shy smile on her lips. “Since I'll need a lot more courage than wine can provide me with.” A lot more courage, Hu? Just what the fuck was that woman's game? A grin tugged on his lips as one eyebrow rose in silent inquiry.

Chapter Text

There it was again, that adorable play of pink and green, she would never tire of this. She just wished it wasn't there, not now, in this very instant at least. In this moment she would have preferred the light grey of his eye darkened by the lust that had all but dissipated seconds ago. Now the callused hand that had evoked that delicious tingle between her legs was rubbing the back of his head, instead of her breast, as he stared at everything that wasn't her. “Are you alright?”, She asked him, eyes fixed on his frowning lips as she absent-mindedly pulled her vest back to cover her bare breasts, suddenly self conscious. He grunted in response, still very much interested in the busy streets outside the room's dull window. “Are you a virgin?” She asked with the same directness she was prone to exhibit in all the wrong situations. “No”. He did not look at her, and her insecurities came back to her tenfold. “I'm too old.” As his head snapped back in her direction she realised that the nagging voice of doubt that had nestled in the back of her head for weeks, had spoken aloud.

 

His good eye was wide, eyebrows raised, before he drew them down in a frown. “What the fuck, Robin?” The honesty of his outburst warmed her heart and yet it was not enough to assuage her fears. “Would you prefer me younger?”, she asked, voice as calm as always, expertly hiding how she broke on the inside as in a swirl of petals, a clone appeared. Every bit like her but 10 years her junior, lacking the tiny creases around her eyes, skin a tad more rosy, breasts a fraction firmer. It was the body that had drawn much unwanted attention in the past. If that was how he wanted her, how much different from all the others was he?

 

Her clone scooted over to him, kneading his strong shoulders with deft fingers, pressing her bust in his back. He was frozen in place, his eye wide as her clone swung one dainty leg over his lap, rubbing her center boldly against his, just like they had wanted her to all those years ago. She winced as she felt his hands on her clones waist. “That's it,” her clone breathed in his adorned ear, “I am her and she is I, whatever you make me feel she feels as well”.

 

With her arms around her knees she watched her young self gyrate on the man she wanted, the man that had become so dear to her that even though she did indeed feel the fabric of his rough trousers at her core and his gentle grip on her hips, she felt betrayed. Her clone smiled an encouraging smile at him while she sat there and fought the wetness of her eyes. Her clone’s hips stopped moving, and the pressure on her own hips told her it was him holding her just hard enough to keep her in place and when he turned to her any surprise or confusion she had enticed by her actions was gone. The look in his eye was stern, the line of his mouth drawn to a frown. “No, Robin.”  In an explosion of rose petals her young clone disappeared, letting his hands almost clap as the resistance between them vanished and her heart leap in relief.

 

“The fuck is wrong with you woman? Are you a virgin?” He asked, throwing her earlier question right back at her. An uncharacteristic scoff escaped her lips. Virgin, he knew about her past, surly he was not naive enough to think that it had left her virginity intact. He chuckled at her reaction, shaking his head he leaned back against the dark wood of the headboard. He was not flustered anymore instead strangely calm seeing what an utter failure their most recent encounter had turned out to be, much worse than him falling into the sea. He sighed, “Just what's with all that insecurity, Robin? You know, you're the one telling me you're too old for me, how about you act like a grown woman for a change?” For a second she lost control over her face. She had just been scolded like a child by the very man who was the reason for said insecurities. “Do you think I would have followed you here if I didn't want you?” He asked with that direct honesty she treasured in him, “and I mean you Robin, not a clone you altered beyond perfection,” he added almost as in an afterthought, probably not even realizing the compliment hidden in the statement. She didn't know what to say, this had been a bad idea from the start. Just what on earth had possessed her that she'd rent a room in the shady tavern he had chosen for this evening. She had wanted to talk, to tell him that she could not continue like this anymore, that she was dying everyday she saw him, without being able to actually be with him. It wasn't quite like that, of course, that was a passage from “ a passionate embrace ”, but god was she bad at feelings. He had called her out, of course, laughed at her for the overly flowery language: “from one of your romance books, hu?”  Until that moment she had not realised that he knew about them, but it should not have surprised her, he was perceptive after all.

 

She hugged her knees again. “Then why did you stop?” For the few minutes, after he had laughed at her, while he had devoured her mouth and all but thrown her on the possibly moldy mattress - likely to give them fleas - and before he had retreated to the far end of the bed she had been in heaven. Now they weren’t even back where they had started, she was on the one side, he on the other, she filled with apprehension, he with worry. The rosy tinge was back as well and the hand behind his head. However he did not turn away from her, he held her gaze when he spoke “I may not be a virgin but it's been a long time. I'm alot stronger now”

 

“How long?”, She asked, not even sure she wanted to know. He shrugged “don't know, a year? One and a half?”

She raised a brow response. “The ghost girl?” It was no secret after all that he would never have been able to return to Sabaody without the help of their former adversary from thriller bark. He grunted “Yeah, fucking disaster. Didn't find it cute at all that I lost control over my strength in the end.” And almost inaudible he grumbled: “had me wish for rebirth as a flea two weeks straight.”

She laughed at that, surprising the both of them. She would have thought her reaction to be bitter, him having chosen a woman that much younger than her, but his brutal honesty on the matter had her, for some reason, feel much lighter than she had since the situation had started to go askew. It was a genuine laugh, not her usual fufufu but an honest to , all out laugh, she laughed until her belly hurt, all the tension leaving her body as she slowly started to calm down, only to start again when she saw him pouting at her reaction. “I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I had to picture it,” she tried to appease him before straightening again. She leaned back, propping herself up with her arms. “All this then, because you were afraid to accidentally hurt me? I can deal with a little pain, you know?”

 

“I know you can, but you shouldn't have to.” he answered with a frown. Just how on earth was he this much better at this than she was? She countered it with a smile: ”You don't understand, I'm used to it and if it's someone I actually like for a change, I'm sure it wouldn't matter.” She should have known that this would not calm him down. His frown deepened, his muscles tensed and if she didn't know him as well as she did she would have fled the room by now. “I do understand and if you pointed me in the right direction I'd kill every last one of them,” he growled. “Fufufu, the right direction? You'd only kill innocent bystanders, kenshi-san,” she teased, expertly dispersing his anger and conjuring the rosy cheeks in one go. “Fuck you, Robin.” he grumbled, crossing this thick arms over his chest, pouting again. Fufufufufu

Chapter Text

What the fuck was he supposed to do now? Staring at the stained ceiling he concentrated on not reacting to the soft puffs of breath tickling his collarbone. He couldn't just leave like he had done with all the hook-ups, he'd meet her again in two to three hours on the ship - depending on how much the forest barrier would change his path… damn was he sick of enchanted Forests.

Also, they hadn't even really hooked up… maybe there was a different protocol here? He wouldn't know, this was the very first time he had actually just slept with a woman... in the sense of sleeping, side by side. Maybe he should buy her breakfast? This seemed more like a relationship kind of situation after all. Does one eat breakfast together after sleeping? Whatever, the fuck would be the big deal anyways, why was he worrying about breakfast? They ate breakfast together all the fucking time! This was different though, wasn’t it?

Hell it was way different. She wanted him, she'd showed him this much with renting the room, reciting that cheesy line, and bearing her glorious tits at him. She liked him too, had actually told him. Gods if he got a hold of one of those goddamn motherfuckers she had referred to, he'd rip them limb from limb and feed them their own fucking balls for what they had done to her! Deep breath, you don't want to crush her in fury, this woman is delicate . Wasn't that the only fucking reason he hadn't taken her up on her offer, that he was afraid to accidentally hurt her? Way to go, idiot, almost broke her ribs by crushing her against him. How had they ended up tangled like this anyways? And how the fuck had his refusing her - for damn good reasons he might add - ended in her drowning in insecurities? Robin, for fuck's sake, the woman was the fucking incarnation of a wet dream and she thought she was too old and unattractive… and for him of all people! If she wasn't so damn frail he would have fucked her through the walls of this shithole even if she were 30 years his senior instead of 10. Hopefully telling her about Perona had helped a bit with that issue… surely Robin knew that she was 4 years older than him, didn't she? The woman knew basically everything, she had to know Perona's age she had been an enemy after all, she had to have read up on her!

God damn it! He couldn't handle this sort of shit, that was all Sanji's domain. How had he gotten tangled up in this mess? Same way he had ended up tangled in Robin's endlessly long legs, he supposed. Should have worn a fucking shirt under his robe yesterday, but how the fuck could he have known that he would wake up with a pale, dainty hand caressing his rough chest?

Fuck, was she awake? He hadn't even figured out how to react! No, her steady breaths still puffed against his clavicle. Woman had a damn deep sleep for someone being terrorised by nightmares. Hadn't had nightmares for quite some time… maybe it was him? Yeah, ya wish. He really did. Could this even work? They were wanted criminals, the marines would jump on a weakness like this. Bullshit. With the crew, their friendship and love for each other had always made them stronger, not weaker. Why would it be different for another kind of love? Love… she had said she liked him and he was thinking love. Had she said it though? Did it count  as an admission if she said it like that? ‘Go ahead and hurt me since I don't hate you’? Just how fucking desperate was he if he took such a statement as an admission?

Of course she loved him as family. As a younger brother or even son, since she was so hung up on that ridiculous age gap. And of course she loved him as a friend. Maybe a friend she wanted to fuck? Maybe? Obviously! Why else would she have rented that damn room?

He didn't want her like that, he knew, and with her incredibly soft body pressing against him he could admit that it wasn't because she was Nakama and all that bullshit. Fuck peaceful life on the Sunny, he wanted her and he wanted her whole, he didn't do half assed. He was an all or nothing kind of man.

He was First mate of Monkey D Luffy, future king of the pirates, not prince or whatever came second to a king; He was Roronoa Zoro, who would defeat Dracule 'Hawkeye' Mihawk and become the world's greatest swordsman, not the second best; and he would have Nico Robin as his woman, not only as his friend. She probably needed time for that, she did have issues after all, but that was alright, all his goals were long term and he could be patient if the result was worth the wait and the woman stirring in his arms definitely was!

Fuck, she was stirring? Fucking fuck, what the hell was he supposed to do now? Dash? No… Breakfast? Maybe…? Probably should go with breakfast since, yes, it did seem like the relationship thing to do and he did want that, didn't he? Yes he did, probably. How do you treat a woman if you want a long term thing? You don't fuck right away, you treat a lady to dinner and what the fuck other things curly brow rambled off whenever he got in one of those moods. Good. That would give him plenty time to practice restraint. Now what should he say? Something nice, reassure her that he did find her attractive despite her age - no! No mention of age at all! Under no fucking circumstances! You fucking stupid ? Tell her that he would …. No, can't be too obvious, wouldn't want to scare her off… but being nice? He didn't do nice. He could try being pleasant? Was it too early to drink? He definitely needed a drink! Okay, be pleasant, tell her good morning and suggest to go for breakfast, that easy. Her lashes fluttered against his skin and she stilled. A soft gasp and her hand retreated from his chest, her legs untangled from his. Fuck, he missed her heat already.

“I'm sorry, I…,” she started, looking at him with her big blue eyes, even wider now, like a startled deer. “I didn't think you'd still be here, to be honest.” She smiled an adorably shy smile at him and he had no fucking idea how to react to that. What was it? Be breakfast? Shit, he'd like her to be his breakfast with that blush of hers. Not helping! He opened his mouth to say something, no fucking idea what, closed it again. Stared at her, her tangled hair; her eyes, puffy and smeared from a good night's sleep; the tiny wrinkles around them, proof of how much her life had improved since she had met them; she was beautiful. How could this woman not stand in front of a mirror and think of herself as a fucking goddess? Fuck you, you idiot, quit staring and say something! He opened his mouth again, closed it. How was it he always did the fucking fish with her?


“I'm glad you stayed, would you like to join me for breakfast,” she asked. How did she do that? Just talking like nothing happened? He very eloquently grunted an affirmative. Fucking idiot. Forget about practicing restraint, he needed to fucking learn to talk to the woman.

Chapter Text

“Fucking disaster”, is what he had called his encounter with the ghost Princess and while she usually refrained from such language it was what she herself called their own encounter on the last island they had visited. What on earth was wrong with her? She knew he was an honest man, brutally so, and still the first thing she had done was to question his integrity. Not for one moment thinking that maybe she was not the only one fighting demons. With three arms sprouting at the Sunny’s bow she hauled Chopper back on deck, one hand waving in response to his panicked words of gratitude as she sat down in the library. Smiling at the steaming cup awaiting her arrival she wondered if Sanji just planted coffee randomly around the ship or if she had really become this predictable. It was a thought that would have scared her to the core three years ago and it surprised her a little that it did not even bother her now. Her crew was her family, her safe haven, if they knew her needs and habits this well, then they did so to help and care and not to exploit and betray. She trusted them completely and unconditionally, but apparently not all of them equally or in all regards.

The velvety liquid on her tongue sharp and unbalanced, the perfect mirror to her feelings. The first time Sanji had prepared this particular roast for her he had apologised profusely, for how could he taint her perfect lips with such a vile concoction. He was right, years ago she would have turned it down after so much as sniffing at it, now however she, dare she say, enjoyed its imperfection. Closing her eyes she savored the sweetness of marshmallow and cola, the floral tobacco and acidic orange. She breathed in the stale rubber and astringent ash streaming from the almost black fluid. When it finally ran down her throat another kind of sweetness assaulted her senses, earthy but rotten. It disappeared as soon as it came and what lingered was a musky spice, cloves and licorice, mellow nutmeg and cutting ginger, soft cardamom and pungent white pepper all carefully aligned on a bed of moss and green tea.

After he had bought every high quality coffee he had been able to get his hands on in an attempt to atone for the grievous mistake that this coffee had been, their chef just could not comprehend how she preferred this blend over the others. She was not going to tell him. She was not going to tell him that the reason for her taking uncharacteristically long to finish her cup wasn't that she had to force herself to take another sip, but that she treasured the aftertaste too much to take another before it had not vanished from her tongue. To her this coffee was more than just a beverage, it's aromas childish yet serious, the taste of dangerous adventure and homely family. Nakama. Every single one of them represented in this black beverage. To her it did not taste disgusting or unconventional, it tasted like home and safety. It tasted like him, in a way none of the others would know because none of them had ever been close enough to explore what lay underneath the smell of steel and sake. Only her and that made the coffee even more enjoyable.

Not that she had known the significance of the aftertaste until after she had woken up on that last island, encompassed by the scent of green tea and spice. It took her even longer to empty that cup since then. The taste of his skin… She really did enjoy this blend even more now but good god what had she been thinking? What did he think? Sure breakfast had been pleasant, but the faint air of awkwardness hadn’t left them until they had met again on the Sunny after splitting to not draw any suspicion.

He had even paid for breakfast. Roronoa Zoro had bought her breakfast! She must have been the very picture of patheticness the night before, when she had heaped all her insecurities and trauma on the unsuspecting man, if he had felt compelled to pay. for. her. breakfast. She would have felt flattered, knowing that she had most certainly been the very first woman receiving such chivalry from him, had it not been for the disastrous night before.

She had put so much thought into it, had been sure that it had been exactly what she wanted. That she wanted him. And yet… the moment he had hesitated… She was sure he had wanted her just as much, just like he had said, he would have never accompanied her to that room if it hadn’t been the case. His enthusiasm as he had practically pounced her, pressed her against the door in her back, thrown her on the mattress all but devouring her with hungry lips. She got tingly just thinking about it, but then he had withdrawn and so had she.

The strong front she gave the world had crumbled and left her a weak, insecure girl in front of a man that was all about strength and will. Having seen her like that would he be as fervent if the situation arose a second time? Would there even be a second time? A second chance? He hadn’t tried to instigate anything after they had resolved their misunderstanding, but neither had she. They had talked like they always did when they were holed up together in the crow’s nest, soothingly familiar. Then they had fallen asleep, side by side and woken up entangled like a pair of lovers, complaisantly new.

But now what , she asked herself not for the first time since all this strangeness had started. Most definitely not conjuring a disembodied eye in the shower above, as tempting as it would be. She would have never guessed that her devil fruit ability would come with such moral predicaments until she had felt his stiffness pressed up against her thigh, his rough pants way too thick to allow her proper assessment.

She put down her cup and turned towards the bookcases taking up most of the room. Time to find a distraction lest temptation grew too big to resist. Her gaze lingered on the first print of “wandering forests” that seemed oddly read despite her having only read it once. Was there maybe someone on the ship trying to find an explanation for his miserable sense of direction? fufufufu, maybe she should compile him his own little library, was there a book on how to walk in a straight line?

She wandered along the shelf, trying to spot other books he might have read, ignoring the fact that stalking out his reading habits was only marginally better than peeking at him in the shower. Probably even worse, since she was quite sure that he didn’t much care for his own nudity, the fact that she had never actually seen him with a book or that he had not once mentioned reading one, however, spoke volumes on his uneasiness on that topic. They talked about her books all the time, exactly why had he never mentioned that he actually read? She had just assumed that he had different interests. Was he embarrassed by it? Did it not suit his understanding of himself?

There, another book. Dictionary. Oh no , had she embarrassed him by using words he didn't understand? She really tried keeping things simple, but whenever he would enquire about her books she couldn't help but getting lost in the descriptive worlds, illustrating them in all the elaborate words the authors had deemed fit. He wasn't stupid by any means, but she was well aware that he mostly lacked any formal education. Words didn't mean much to him whereas to her they meant the world. It had been worlds of black on white that had allowed her refuge from all the monsters in her childhood, how could she ever lose that affinity? A tentative smile crept upon her features for embarrassed or not, he did try to understand her, the well worn dictionary was proof of that. The embarrassment couldn’t be too severe either, after all he had not once ushered her out of the crow’s nest or turned down the opportunity to talk to her.

Or did he just feel pressured into humouring her since the initial reason for her being there had been night-terrors that had followed her from her past? She barely even had them anymore, blanketed by his delicious musk of cloves and ginger she mostly slept peacefully through the night.

‘Fleas and other vermin - how to keep your favourite pet’s fur clean and healthy’ She snorted a laugh, remembering when Usopp had bought this particular guidebook as a joke for Chopper’s birthday. Fleas… her gaze drifted to the folders where they kept all the wanted posters and other information about Pirates and their affiliates the newspaper provided them with. Since his revelation on the last island she had stared at them a lot, not daring to open the one labeled ‘Eu - Gh’ and search for ‘Ghost Princess’ Perona. Her hand hovered before it, what good would it do her? Should she just - Heavy boots thumping on the floor behind her startled her, she froze in place. She had many good reasons for taking this folder out, and all but one were completely unsuspicious. The man that had apparently just finished his shower had no reason whatsoever to suspect anything but serious, actual research. There was no way he could - “She’s 25, has a great pair of tits that are a bitch to free from her damn corsets and still is just an immature brat, if that's what you were wondering,” he grouched. Blood rose to her cheeks as she slowly lowered her hand and turned towards him. “I didn't. I … I … I mean…” since when did she even stutter? Has there ever been a more embarrassing situation? To be found out like that? Caught red handed?

His eye sparked with mischief, “sure, whatever you say, Robin,” he said, making for the door, knowing nothing about the heat that pooled between her legs at the way her name had rolled of his tongue.

Chapter Text

“Oy, Zoro Bro.”

He opened his good eye with a grunt, staring up to Franky and a scared looking Usopp hiding behind the cyborg's huge frame. An eyebrow rose at the unfamiliarly timid demeanor his crewmates were exuding. He was used to see it on Usopp but it was entirely new for Franky. “Well, spit it out,” he grouched as minutes had ticked by without either of them uttering even a syllable.

“Well, um…”

“I don't know how to tell you this, bro...I know you're suuper manly and strong, bro, but…”

“W- would you mind being a bit more...gentle to the Sunny when...you know…”

“Releasing your super manly urges? Ow, breaking the Sunny is not super at all!”

What the fuck? His eye widened as blood rose to his head. Fuck, yeah, there might have been some damage done to the tiles in the shower or the floor and railing, or his bunk. Aw fuck. The feel of the woman's glorious tits just wouldn't leave his mind. Fuck.

“That's not…” what the fuck was he supposed to say in his defense? Fuck it, just wing it. He stood, forcing down his furious blush, and Usopp shrinked back at his glare. “Holding back is not manly at all. For a woman, yes, they are frail compared to me, but your ship, I thought, was built to last,” and with that he left them standing, mouths agape, eyes wide. He heard Franky call after him that, Ow, yes it was super built to do that, followed by praise for his suuuper manly manliness and ignored Usopp's shaking suspicion that he might have made it up on the go. What could he say, he had done just that after all.

Damn, he'd been careless, he thought as he swung himself up the ropes of the crow's nest. Ever since their encounter, and his realisation on Karni-island, he'd started a training of a different kind; without much success, as evident by the intervention just now. Damn, he felt like a rapist. Ships had a soul, hadn't they? Fuck. He pulled himself up the latch, halting on the crow's nest's floor. He huffed... ridiculous…“sorry,” he grumbled, petting the planks, feeling stupid and guilty at the same time.

“Sorry for what, Zoro-san?”

Fuck! What was she doing here? She hadn't come up since that island. Why would she come up now of all times? Fuck it all, just add observation Haki to the list of things he had to improve.

“Nothing,” he answered fisting his short hair. Just let this damn day be over, please? “What are you doing here, Robin, you haven't been around the last couple of weeks?”

She started at that, oh fuck please don't take it the wrong way? She didn't, smiled instead, blushing. Damn, was she cute when she did that!

“To be honest, I've been avoiding you. I didn't know how to act around you after what had happened.” Her voice was soft, unsure.

“Now you do?”, He asked getting a strange feeling of foreboding. She seemed distant, her defenses up, was she afraid of how he'd react, had she already decided on something? What wouldn't he give for understanding this woman, damn it!

“I believe I do, yes. I told you that I like you and I showed you that I want you, but as you have seen I'm not quite ready to … let go. I'm not ready to be vulnerable in front of you and probably never will be, so I'd like for you to forget anything happened.” Her voice was firm now, her mind obviously made up. She had thought about this, obviously. Meant it, too, he just wasn't sure about her reason.

“Nothing happened,” he assured her, not missing the hurt in her azure gaze, before she managed to stifle it. “You didn't get jealous of that bimbo hitting on me, didn't rent a room for us and didn't invite me to stay the night. You didn't moan my name when I bit your nipple and you didn't fall asleep on my chest, didn't wrap your legs around me in your sleep. You didn't sleep through the night like you never do when I'm near. You fine with that?” The last one was a gamble, he knew, but her face, the cool facade torn by all the truths he had spoken, proved him right. She could sleep because of him.

She sighed, “you make it sound ridiculous.”

“Because it is, Robin,” He said rubbing his face. What was it she wanted to gain with this? What the fuck was her problem. Pacing like a caged beast he continued: “What do you want, you know I'm slow so spell it out. You want me to forget what happened in that room, fine, I can do that. Is it the affection part, or the part where you smothered me with your tits that you have a problem with? Want me to forget our talks here too, or is it enough to forget that you wanted to take it a step further?” He wasn't equipped to deal with two fucked up conversations in this short a time and fuck, he knew he shouldn't pressure her like that but god dammit, this was so frustrating! That he still wanted to fuck her brains out wasn't helping either.

“I'd like to say both, kenshi-san,” oh wasn't that just fucking grand? She was back to using his old nickname, distancing herself even further from him and their conversation, wasn't she, “I really would, but unfortunately I fear to become a liability for the crew like that.”

Fucking enigma that woman.

“Spit it out,” he pushed, a part of him celebrating the shame dancing over her features. She really didn't want to say what was coming next, that much was clear.

“Well... I've… since our encounter I've been somewhat preoccupied… with… certain thoughts about you. I'm not saying- I mean, I think I…” her blue eyes pleaded with him to relieve her, but no, let her swim. He'd been preoccupied for months now, imagining the taste of her lips, the feel of her skin, the heat of her touch, it was only fair if she too struggled a little now. “I think we should get rid of that problem. We are both adults and should be perfectly able to scratch that itch without any strings attached,” She blurted out, not like her at all, really.

He huffed, staring her right in the eye and just like Usopp before she shrank back. Damn him if he hadn't had enough of this bullshit for today. “You saying you want me to fuck you raw? Fuck you so you won't have to fantasize about me anymore? Fuck you so you are free of the chains I have on your mind? Fuck your body and free your soul?” His voice rougher than he intended, but the effect was quite satisfactory.

“Yes” Her answer a breathless whisper, her pupils wide as her nipples strained against her shirt. Fuck, she really wanted him, and damn if he didn't want to indulge her. She wanted him as her fuckbuddy? Hadn't taken her for that kind of girl, but fine she could try, wouldn't get her far though. She wanted to rid herself from the desire she felt for him by indulging just once? Tough luck, he'd become her fucking drug. She wished to strike a deal here, business proposal? She wanted it easy? Fuck no, he'd have her begging on her fucking knees! For ages she'd been playing her little mind games with him, now she'd learn just who she'd been playing with. Just two steps carried him right in front of her, personal space be damned.

“Well, then I'm fucking sorry,” he said, gripping her chin tightly in his calloused hand, forcing her to look up to his towering form, his gaze burning with an intensity that it almost seared him himself. Damn did he want her right now. “Because when I take you, Nico Robin, I'll take your everything. I'll have you bare before me, body and soul and I will keep both. When I fuck you, you will not be free of me, as you seem to wish. When I fuck you, I will be the only thing on your mind and you will scream my name loud enough that the whole world will know that you are mine.”

He released her with a peck on her forehead, relishing in the ensuing shiver and the soft whimper coming from her, knowing full well that those reactions did not stem from anxiety or even fear. He had seen that reaction often enough, even loudmouth “not cute” ghost girl had been an eager recipient of this other side of him...till a certain point that is...damn those hollows… realisation on what had just transpired, and the words he had husked, dawned when his boots thumped on deck. Damn, he sure had talked big up there… better put brushing up on female pleasure on that list, too, just to be safe.

Chapter Text

The light grey of his eye sensuously dark as he yanked her head back by her hair. Her arms lifting from the rough planks of the crow's nest as he pulled her back against his chest, before he devoured her needy mouth. “Scream, Nico Robin, scream for me,” he murmured against her swollen lips, thrusting his hard length into her with fervour, stretching her in the most delicious way. She didn't, couldn't, fearing they'd be caught; wanted to, just couldn't. His hand found her throat, the grip tight and unrelenting. “When I tell you to scream you better do so, Robin” and she did. The pressure on her throat leaving it a strangled mewl as she came, her back arching from the soft mattress of her bed, her fingers pumping relentlessly, trying to prolong her pleasure for as long as possible.

Two weeks, it's been two weeks since the incident in the crow's nest and it still had not left her. In fact if anything, things had become more intense with every day that had passed. Same for her fantasies as well. What had started innocent enough, with deep stares and gentle touches by rough hands had mutated into something she could neither place nor approve of. What gave her the desired release now was a far cry from what had before, a far cry from the sweet romance novels she loved so much and disturbingly similar to what had made up her nightmares not too long ago.

When her breathing calmed she got up to wash up, glad that Nami had opted to watch Luffy on his watch, lest he made true on his promise of a midnight Picnic. Knowing she wouldn't be able to fall asleep again, at least without waking up a dripping mess again, she decided to get ready for the day, dawn was just around the corner after all. She took her hairbrush in her shamefully wrinkled fingers and ignored the soreness of her scalp from where she had tugged her hair too roughly. This couldn't go on, at this rate she'd go bald or crazy in no time. Maybe both.

She disrobed in front of the floor length mirror, scrutinizing her body in a way she hadn't for quite some time. She did have good genes, she had to admit. Her huge breasts sagged just a little, with their weight they could have been hanging down between her kneecaps after all. She still had stretch marks, had had them since she'd been 15, when her body had decided that it didn't attract enough male attention as it was and all but exploded on her. She still loathed it for that. The angry pink had faded, by now only white jagged scars were left, barely discernible against the paleness of her skin. Zoro hadn't seemed to be bothered by them. In fact no man had ever been bothered, not enough to stop at least.

She pulled her panties over her toned legs, she had them going at least even though her butt wasn't as firm as it could be with all the running she did. She put on her bra, wincing as the material scraped over her agitated nipples. Maybe it wasn't all genetics, she hadn't had a new mark ever since she'd started wearing ‘Usopp's custom made reinforced awesome-bras’, that were nothing but heavy-duty sport-bras disguised as skimpy lingerie. It was their little secret even though he had vague plans to expand the business. Nami had even offered him a loan with moderate interest, and that said it all. When she had slipped on her thigh length woolly pullover she looked at what really made her look old; the dark circles under her eyes, skin that wasn't just pale but sallow and hair that had lost its shine. She really needed more sleep, better sleep, sleep undisturbed by green haired incubi.

What affected her so much? The way his rough fingers had dug into her soft cheeks, the dark timbre of his voice promising her pleasure like she had never experienced before, the soft affection of his lips on her forehead? With barely a touch she had come the moment the latch had closed after him. She shouldn't react like that. She should be terrified. Should pack her things and leave. She had heard such promises before and they had ended with her beaten, raped and chained up. Had left her Crocodile’s obedient little pet. What on earth made her even contemplate putting herself in such a situation again? And of her own free will at that! But...was that even Zoro's intention? He wasn't good with words, maybe it had just come out the wrong way? He had sounded uncharacteristically eloquent though, crass, yes, but the way his words had lulled her to acquiescence, the honey dripping promise… There hadn't been even an ounce of insecurity, of uncertainty, neither in his touch, nor his words. His voice had not wavered, his stare not let off. He had known what he had said, what he had implied; had not tried to lull her, but had spoken his mind without holding back for her sake.

He had said he wanted her bare before him but at this moment he had been the one bared for her to see. He would not be satisfied with just her body, in fact, she had probably insulted him with her proposal. Enough to snap; enough to stop trying to appease her or to keep up the appearance of friendly interest and to just outright tell her what he wanted and she had listened. He wanted a relationship, not meaningless sex. He wanted her and he would wait until he could have her, but once she was ready he would make her his. To him it was a matter of when, not if. At least that is what she had understood from his little outburst. That and that her body was more than ready to be his.

He wouldn't do such things to her, would he? Take her freedom and replace it with an illusion of it? Make her think that she was her own woman, that she served him of her own volition; that she sucked his revolting cock because she wanted to and not because it was ingrained in her mind that she would be whipped or starved if she didn't lap up even the last repugnant drop with a smile?

Bile rose in her throat, the memory of the pungent smell still vivid enough in her mind to make her gag. They had loved it when she gagged while they had their lengths shoved down her throat. Could punish her for it, after all an obedient little pet should cherish the attention of its master.

Deep breath, Robin, deep breath. Water. Glass of water. Breathe. Her chest grew tight as the soothing sound of the waves swelled to a screaming roar. Breathe. Her name in the distance. Breathe. Breathe. Touch on her shoulder. Please no! Breathe. Ohara. The earthy smell that always dominated in the tree of Knowledge. Breathe. The chocolatey smell of  old books, breathe. The feeling of worn leather covers in her hands. Breathe. Dereshishishishi , Saul laughing for her. Two hands on her shoulders, turning her. Breathe.

“Are you Okay, Robin? Look at me!”

She looked. Scared, brown eyes before her. Worry. Quiet waves, sea, not the desert. Light shining into the cabin, not a dungeon or a cell. Nami, not Crocodile or one of the others. Breathe.

“You’re shaking, Robin,” she said.

She smiled, safe. She was safe here on the Sunny, with her crew. Things like that would not repeat themselves and Zoro would never even think of treating her that way. One last deep breath. “Thank you Nami, I’m fine now.”

The woman did not buy that, her scrutinising gaze didn’t leave her, “I understand why you wouldn’t talk with Chopper about what you had to endure but I would listen,” she said. Robin knew she would, knew that Nami could understand her, she just couldn’t. Especially not now. Yes, Zoro would never treat her like that, but how could she… how could she want him to? Was she damaged beyond repair? Had she been nurtured into that role? She couldn’t possibly talk to Nami about this, so she changed the topic: “Where did you leave the captain?”

The navigator furrowed her brows in irritation, not used to people not doing her bidding, “After we saw your arms sprouting randomly across deck I tied him to the mast with his arms to keep him from rushing in to save you from your invisible evil twin.”

She smiled again, that did indeed sound like their captain, “Well, I better tell him that we managed to defeat her then.”

Nami huffed behind her, “You do that, but believe me, talking helps. Back then I would have gone mad if I hadn't had Nojiko. I know it's hard to open up, talk about your weakness now that you are strong. I know you want to forget all that has happened to you, I… I understand, Robin.”

She halted, her hand on the doorknob, Nami understood. Maybe she could talk to her. About what had happened to her, not about what was happening now. Fine. Instead of leaving she locked the door. “Fine,” she said, sat on her bed. She told her, everything. From Ohara’s destruction to Crocodile, omitting the gruesome details but providing the whole picture nonetheless and she felt nothing. No relief whatsoever. She had expected to feel lighter, now that she had unburdened herself, now that there was someone who knew and who had been through remotely the same, but nothing. So she really was damaged beyond repair, maybe she should just ask Zoro for a collar and be done with it.

“So, what changed? You’ve been fine for quite some time now, haven’t you? Not even nightmares and now …?” Nami asked after a long stretch of silence.

She should have known that Nami would ask further questions. Maybe she should remind Cat burglar Nami of the saying about cats and curiosity.

“Has it something to do with all the masturbating?”

Oh no.

“You know I kind of did notice that you seem to be changing your sheets quite excessively...”

Oh no. Of course she had noticed!

“...Really, it’s about time, I never understood how you could just talk for hours with that blockhead, honestly, does he even have any attention span if it’s not about swords or booze?”

Oh no!

She stared at her, mouth agape, eyes wide. Just what should she do now? How had she found out? Just-

“...Well I guess he wasn’t a complete idiot, after all he had used that extra money I gave him back on Karni-Island, I’m telling you, you two were so cute when you came back, thinking we wouldn’t notice just because you came separately...”

We?! Who else knew? All of them? And nobody had talked?

“...Didn’t stop him from fantasising about your panties though, after all, Zoro can’t kill him for it, yohohoho…

Brook then. Those gossips.

“...oh well, if Zoro keeps up with destroying the Sunny whenever he rubs one out Franky and Usopp will probably realise it, too...”

He what? This was humiliating. This was even worse than when Zoro had caught her in the library. She would never be able to escape now. Nami would squeeze even the last drop of information out of her to lord it over them for all eternity!

But then Nami stopped her rant, got up, stretching her arms like a cat after a satisfying nap. “Don’t worry, Robin, Zoro is a good guy, heart of gold, even though his head is just as dense, I guess. He will treat you right, cherish you and love you on a bed of roses. Tell him to get a manicure before, though, those hands are like sandpaper,” she said with a wink, making for the door.

“That’s not what I want, Nami.”

She stopped, mid stride, “What?”

She couldn’t look at her, ashamed of herself. “It’s not what I want, that’s the problem. When I pleasure myself I don’t think about gentle kisses and a soft caress on a bed of petals. I think about knees scraping over hard wood and his rough hand on my throat.” She didn’t look up to see Nami’s reaction, the shocked gasp she heard was enough. Nami had been through rape and slavery, but she was normal, dreaming of soft and gentle lovemaking, praying to never be in a situation even remotely similar to what had been done to her. Just like she herself should, but didn’t.

“Gods, Robin, you make me sick! Zoro is like a brother to me, I don’t need such details!” she exclaimed.

Really, that’s why? She chanced a glance up to her, still unsure and still ashamed. Nami smiled at her, encouraging, “I’m sorry, that was uncalled for, its just...really gross. Apart from that, who cares? Whatever gets you off.”

Just like that? “How can you be okay with that? How can I want back what happened to me? I wanted to die back then and now I want that back? What’s wrong with me?” How could she just stand there and condone this? She had experienced pain and violence, how could she be okay with someone not minding that?

“Nothing is wrong with you, Robin, because it’s not the same. If Zoro hits you, or chokes you or whatever you guys do up there - please don't tell me- he does it because you want him to. He doesn’t do it because he thinks less of you or thinks you deserve it because media called you the devil child, but because you trust each other. He does it because you allow him to. Honestly Robin, aren’t you old enough to grasp the concept of consent?”

Chapter Text

He watched their navigator with a certain unease as he cut the line as she had instructed. There couldn’t possibly come any good from that. Did she want the unspent money from Karni-Island back? Yeah, that had to be it.

“So go buy yourself something nice, Robin, yeah? Make sure it accentuates all the right stuff, if you know what I mean,” she sent Robin off before turning to him with agitation, “come on now Zoro we don’t have all day.”

“Witch, I don’t need your handout, I still got some from last time, you want that back or what is this about?”

She went white with something suspiciously close to horror before turning the brightest red humanly possible.

“You what?!” she screamed at him, all teeth and nails before he could even point out how her skin colour clashed with her hair, “I gave you that money for a purpose, you moron! How could you? You better go out there and find-” she stopped there, taking a calming breath before leaning right into his face to hiss her next words in a way that made him want to face all 4 yonkou by himself; if it got him out of this situation with his balls still attached to his body: “You better go after Robin and buy her whatever she fucking wishes for, you buffoon. Honestly how could you let her pay for the room? Haven’t you learned anything from Sanji?” Of fucking course she knew. He should have known the moment she had been generous… she might love him like a brother, but never would she hand him that much for his own amusement. Of. Fucking. Course. He sighed. “You better keep this between you and Brook, nothing happened, so there really is no reason to spread this among the crew.”

Another deep breath from her and she backed off, still glowering down at him from her elevated position on a crate, with the only purpose to make her taller than all of them so she could look the queen she wished to be. Shaking her head she called him an idiot while attempting to kick him off the ship. He left without any resistance. Of course she knew… nothing was a secret around her. Her and Brook, fuck those gossip tea parties, and Brook too for that matter; acting all sophisticated and then go around asking for panties and spreading rumors.

Wasn’t surprising either that Nami hadn’t used the knowledge to extort him yet, after all, this was about Robin. Robin hadn’t told her, he was sure, but with them living in the same room it was probably inevitable for Nami to notice that something was up. Did Robin know Nami knew? Maybe ask her. If he could find her. She had been just a few meters in front of him....

If Nami knew about them, did she know how badly he had fucked it up three weeks ago? Probably not, would have ripped him a new one...would have served him his balls for breakfast, if Sanji would allow such a thing in his kitchen… Thank the gods he didn’t. He probably deserved it though. Didn’t know what exactly Robin had been through in the past, she had never outright told him but… he wasn’t as oblivious as most of the crew, hadn’t grown up in blissful naivité.

Back then, when he had still been a bounty hunter, he had seen how scum treated people weaker than them, had met the girls they had left in their destroyed villages and had met those they had taken with them to keep for themselves. The broken husks, trying to please even him because it was all they still knew. All they could do without having to fear the wrath of their 'masters’, even after they were already dead. Treating people like that… disgusting. Sure that didn't happen to every woman coming across this type of vermin, but his encounter with the late Mr 7 had made it painstakingly clear that Robin had not been so fortunate. If he had worked hard enough for the organisation, he might have been allowed a go with Mr 0’s little pet. Not that he had known that said advertised pet had been Robin. Hadn't even known when she had first joined the crew, but when she had started to sleep around him… the terrified whimpers, the murmured pleas, the assurances that she'd be a good girl… And what had he done? Trampled all over it. Told her things she had probably heard a million times, manhandled her. Sure, she had reacted appropriately, but what if that's what she'd been trained to do? And not the good type of training. He could fucking kick himself! Of course she couldn't stand his presence anymore, couldn't look him in the eye. Fuck!

That was probably it then… no chance in hell she'd trust him now, was there? He should apologize to her… if she wouldn't duck out of sight the moment he came around the corner like she'd done the last weeks on the Sunny.

How did you even apologize for something like that? Sorry I treated you like your tormentors did, no hard feelings, right? Promise her that it would never happen again? He couldn't though, had meant every word he'd said to her, it was who he was after all. He halted at that.

For the first time ever he realised that they probably had no future, not even a chance at one. He stood there in the middle of the town, staring into the distance not even noticing the busy townsfolk hurrying past him. He had a firm grasp on his sexuality, knew what aroused him and now, in sudden revelation, knew that he couldn't possibly do that to Robin. Fuck. He should break this off. Would be the honourable thing to do, wouldn't it? She was already distancing herself from him so this was probably pure formality. Make her know that yes, she was free of him and  had no more transgressions to fear. He sighed, rubbing his head, he liked her, felt good with her around. Karni-island, waking up with her next to him, her weight on him, her breath against his skin… he could live with that, would like to in fact, but no, that would be selfish. Liked her too much for that, wouldn't ever want to see the lifeless expression in her eyes that he had seen in others. Wouldn't want her to be reminded of abuse when she was with him, and that was what would most likely happen. What probably had happened already.

He saw her. Stealing away from Chopper and making for an alley south of the town Square. The sun was in that direction so it had to be south, right? Alright, time to grow a pair.

He followed her, his Haki focused only on her energy, like he could count on the town to stay the way it was, no he knew better by now. He kept clear of her randomly sprouted eyes and ears checking her escape route. Could everyone using Haki feel them this easily or was it because they'd been so close to each other? He huffed, close to each other his ass, he wanted to apologize for being a creep and what does he do? Stalk her when she clearly wanted to be alone. He came to a stand in front of a door that looked just like the one on the next building and the next, the house looking exactly the same as the ones on each side. What could she possibly want here? How had she even known that this was where she wanted to be? It was in no way different from any of the other houses next to it, not even a tiny sign… He tried the handle, unlocked, he stepped in his muscles tense like they always were when he entered unknown territory.

No, following her here was more than enough, following her in? Couldn't intrude on her privacy like that, he turned, closed the door and leaned next to it. He'd just have to wait until she came back out. It took her longer than he'd expected, so he assumed that there was either very good coffee or very interesting books in this house behind him, if not both. When she finally came out she did so in a whirl. Not even seeing him right next to her she was that busy to get away from the place.

“Robin.”

She gasped, stared at him with wide eyes, her face flushed an adorable crimson, as the bag full of books fell from her grasp; it's numerous contents splaying across the alley. For a moment they just stared at each other before she jumped into action to dive for one book in particular, pressing it against her chest. She became solemn after that, staring him in the eye in a way that bordered on challenging. He accepted it, looked at the rest of magazines and books. ‘Psychology yesterday - trauma causes BDSM tendencies, amazing study with 3 participants!’, 'release your inner goddess, embrace your kinks’, 'psychology tomorrow - overactive libido, a case study’, EXIT- red flags in a relationship’, ‘bdsm for dummies’.

He looked up at her and the book pressed against her chest, the only one she seemed ashamed of. Looked like any other of her sappy romance novels. Not as sappy as he'd assumed, seeing the display on the ground. And maybe not as focused on romance as he had originally thought, either. Ha, Sanji's nosebleed would rocket him through the fucking roof if he found out that dear, sweet Robin-chwan read porn!

“You know, Robin, I came to apologize for last time but,” he took another look at her choice of books, “maybe we should talk for a change”

She smiled at him, nervous, “Yes, maybe we should,” she said while disembodied arms collected her research material, stacking it neatly before putting it back inside the bag, “I...inside they had a sign saying they had rooms, if you want.” Of course they had… charging a million an hour probably, well then he could at least invest his money like Nami had intended, he gave a quick nod and followed her in.

“Ah, you're back, my dear, decided ya needed the merch after all? I'm telling ya, I have that   one myself and it d-”, the overly enthusiastic babble of the old crone behind the counter stopped as her milky vision focused on him, damn, she had to be even older than Kuleha “My, my, now of course ya have no need for such hotchpotch with a hunk like that,” she continued, undeterred by Robbin’s attempts of cutting her off and the furious blush on his face, “I’d sure like to have a go at that myself, with so much on display a lady can only imagine what kind of pack-” the rest of her sentence was muffled by Robin’s hand having sprouted from the woman’s shoulder “We need a room!”, she said, before freeing the shopkeep’s mouth, who stared at the hand for a moment before grinning wickedly at them “Oh my, aren’t ya a kinky one? Of course ya two need a room; couch, bed, cross or swing? If ya want to lend props ‘n toys that’s an extra of 50 Beri and if ya want them clean it’s 500 Beri.” No wonder Robin had been fleeing this place, that hag…

“Chairs and a table will suffice, thank you, and maybe some coffee,” chancing a look back at him she added “sake, too please.”

“My, my, ya young folks sure know how to spoil the fun for an old lady like me, come on, follow up,” she said before waddling up the stairs to her right muttering about all the things she’d do to him if she were in Robin’s young and supple body. Maybe they should have asked for a shower, too, damn hag made his skin crawl. She showed them into a small room lined with tatami and a low table at the centre. Unexpectedly modest.

“Through this latch here you can get your order once the bell chimes, if you want more, there’s a menu on the table, fill out the form and place it in there,” she instructed. “Please enjoy your stay.” This had to be another woman, they must have switched sometime! Just like they had switched location, this was nowhere near the heady, dark bookstore they’d been in before and this old woman was a perfectly polite innkeeper instead of a lewd old hag! With a polite bow she pushed the paper door close behind her and left them to themselves. “What the fuck?”

“Yes she did seem strange when I bought the books and magazines,” Robin laughed, “I’m a bit surprised she didn’t try to chain us up in a dungeon.” She sat down on her knees, spreading the magazines on the small table after having disposed of said menu that screamed anything but modest restaurant. How about a steaming bowl of ramen? Here, take that cat on the side to spice things up!

“As you can see, I came here  to do some research,” she opened.

He huffed, picking ‘psychology yesterday’ scrutinizing the headline, bullshit!

“Oh, that one was unrelated, it has an article on how our morals and perceptions influence our findings in all possible fields, I can’t believe it only got two pages! And what for? For a study with three subjects, that’s not a study, it’s a disgrace! I really shouldn’t have bought it, I know that I really shouldn’t support this type of magazine but I really like the author of that article. knows what got into him to publish in th- ” She was rambling. Going on and on about that great mind that had somehow ended up publishing his findings in dubious magazines, completely ignoring the giant in the room. Just as well, really, it gave him time to think, and her too, probably. Neither had seen this talk coming, neither were prepared and neither really wanted to, probably. That was probably his new favourite word. Nothing was really sure with Robin, not even his intentions anymore. He had come here to break it off, to officially end what he had thought she had ended three weeks ago, instead he had found her researching kinks and healthy relationships. Did that mean that she wanted to try this or that she was searching for a way to cure him? Not that he needed a cure, wasn’t a disease after all… she knew that, right? Sure she did. She was Robin after all.

“What exactly did you research?” he interrupted, really not caring about how climate change had, according to some other researcher, lead to the existence of devil fruits. How had she even ended up at that topic?

She stared at him again with those big blue eyes. Yes she was cute as fuck when she did that, but he was getting sick and tired of that look. Honestly, he wasn’t going to eat her, no reason to be that scared… though he might have given her enough grounds for such a hytophesis .

Her mouth moved but no words came out, now that was nice for a change! Nico Robin didn’t know what to say instead of the other way round, maybe his studies had payed off! Her face became redder by every second ticking by and when she started fidgeting he had enough.

“You already showed me the books, Robin, just spit it out, how hard can that be?”, he asked, trying really hard not to sound as gruff as he usually did. Not all that successful in his opinion, but it seemed to do the trick.

She gasped before clearing her throat, then leveled her gaze on him, clear and sure. “Our last encounter left me… insecure, about myself. I… I reacted in a way that scared me, to be honest. And I think honesty is in order here, otherwise we’ll never sort this out. I expect the same courtesy from you.” Her voice was firm and he knew she hid behind the scientist, but he didn’t care much about that, whatever made her comfortable. He grunted an affirmative and she continued: “I didn’t deem it fit for me to react positively to the announcement you had made. You don’t know much of my past, but…” She wavered, didn’t want to tell him... was probably ashamed. Probably feared he’d think less of her if he knew, they mostly did, just like most he’d met thought it had been their own fault instead of the bastards’ really responsible.

“You were a slave,” he stated and this time it was honest surprise and fear that hushed over her features.

“How do you know?”

He scoffed. “I may be slow but I’m not stupid, despite curly brow’s opinion. I’m not ignorant of how this world works and you tend to speak during your nightmares. I can do the math.”

She nodded, sad, like she didn’t know what to make of this. “Do you know what kind of slave?”

“Yes.” keep it at that, no need to go into details .

She nodded again, her shoulders slumped. When she spoke again there was no security whatsoever in her voice, reminded him more of the whimper he’d hear while she cowered on the crow’s nest couch: “They told me similar things. Touched me with similar roughness. He gave me a collar and called me his little pet. He gave me to his officers and frontiers if they pleased him greatly, which didn’t happen often, and to his billions if I displeased him greatly.” That had probably happened more often but was left unsaid. “He displayed me on business meetings for everyone to see and touch and probe. Provided them with tools... When he thought he had broken me thoroughly he made me number two, after all, what was better suited at his side than an obedient little pet that would never even think of betraying its master?” she looked up at him, tears streaming freely down her red cheeks but her gaze held no trace of insecurity, sadness or anger, just as well, he was seething enough for the both of them, if he ever met Crocodile again, he’d be a dead man. When she continued she did not look away, instead, stared him right in the eye. “I should have been terrified that day, I should have run, but I didn’t because nothing had ever aroused me like that. I came the moment you left.”

He blinked. She what? What? That was not what he had been expecting. Really not.

Chapter Text

He looked at her like a little boy that had been given the most wonderful present he could imagine. Utter surprise and gleeful joy. Did he know that? Maybe, maybe he let her see for honesty’s sake, or maybe he wanted to prove to her that he didn’t pose a threat. Not to her at least. Her Haki was not as developed as the others’, couldn’t use it as casual as the rest of them could, had to put a conscious effort in, but even she had felt the murderous intent rolling off him in waves as she had told him about Crocodile. God, had she been afraid to tell him, of his reaction.

She had read enough on the topic to know that she shouldn’t feel responsible for the abuse, she just couldn’t help it. The guilt, the shame , they were always with her, even after so much time. Wherever she went, she expected to be judged if her past got out  After all, how could a strong woman like her let such things happen? How could she? How could she live with herself? The answer was simple; she couldn’t, not for a long time. It was the reason why she had given responsibility for her life to Luffy in the first place.

Zoro hadn’t judged her though, had even known before, and she had been oblivious to it because apparently he just didn’t care. He didn’t care that she had been weak. Didn’t care that she was damaged, that he wouldn’t be her first or even her 100th. Didn’t care about the things she had done, the things others had made her do or done to her. He just took her for who she was right now, and it felt absolutely exhilarating. All that she had missed after her talk with Nami crashed into her tenfold, because he accepted her for who she was. All of them would, and suddenly she felt guilty. Nami's assurances should have had the same effect, it was just… Nami had not cared because she was the same as her, wasn't she? She cried, not caring for how old her wrinkled face would make her look as she smiled at him like she hadn’t done for far too long.

He did nothing, waited patiently for her to calm down, again grumpily serious.

“I meant what I’ve said back then though. I’m not sure if I can let you close, emotionally, but with things as they are… I can’t concentrate. It's become even worse since then. I didn’t mean to insult you, I’m sorry,” she finally said, after drying her tears.

His brows furrowed, “I wanted to apologize for that, you know, knowing what you’ve been through, I shouldn’t have acted that way.”

“But I told you, I liked it. It’s alright.”

He huffed at her, crossing his arms, “It’s not, we have never spoken about this kind of thing.”

“And why should we? I didn’t want you to know!”

Another huff before he casually leaned back on his hands, “Not that, sex. Should have talked about it back on Karni-Island.”

She felt the heat prickle in her cheeks, unsure why that made her blush after she had shown him her purchases and told him of her shameful past. This was nothing really, and yet it had her insecure like a schoolgirl.

A bell chimed, and it took her a while to remember what it was about, but Zoro obviously hadn’t forgotten. He had gotten up the moment he’d heard to get their order, grunting as he laid eyes on it. “That damn hag,” he grouched, throwing a red package her way before carrying the tray with deliciously smelling coffee and a bottle of sake over.

A soft gasp escaped her, the package was no package at all, but the softest piece of rope she had ever held in her hands. Zoro handed her a card saying it all.

Way better than complementary water, it’s even cleaned!

followed by the shopkeeper’s hastily drawn counterfeit holding her hand up in a peace sign.

She looked up at him, intending to make a joke about the old woman spying on them and trying to spice things up, but her voice got struck in her throat. The way he stared intently at her fingers playing with the bloodred, smooth present had her blushing all over. Would he stare at her like that if the rope were wrapped around her wrists? Crossed between her breasts? Rubbed against her clitoris? Hoping he wouldn’t notice, she rubbed her thighs together, trying to alleviate the sudden ache she felt. No such luck of course; his grey eye darted to her lap and up to her face, and she was acutely aware that he saw her rapid pulse in her jugular and dilated pupils. They stared at one another before he sighed, rubbing his hand over his face and hair before sitting back down.

“Damn it, Robin, we really need to have this talk, or I’ll make good on my promise right fucking now.” God, she loved it when his voice dipped that octave lower, didn’t even try to suppress the shudder rushing over her skin.

“There is not much to talk about, I believe, I talked with Nami and- ”

You told her?” he interrupted her incredulous.

“No, I… I don’t know if you noticed, but I had a panic attack some time ago? Because, like I said, I felt guilty for feeling that way, reacting that way. I overthought and remembered. Had me sprouting arms all over, and she came to help. She offered to listen so I told her about my past. She asked me if it came up again because of you, so she already knew.” she explained.

“She knew before Karni, gave me extra money to ‘treat myself to a room’, treat myself my ass, should have heard her bitching today when she learned that I didn’t pay for the room back then… Today's on me, just so you know.”, he ranted, exasperation tangible, “I’m really sick of that Brook and Nami gossip club.”

Fufufufu , “Well it can’t be much longer, one of them is already dead, yohohoho

He clicked his tongue in response to her questionable skull joke before prodding her to continue with her story.

“Well, Nami put my fears to rest. You're not the same, and it’s not the same if it’s you, because I want you to, so…”

He looked up at her, fixing her under his stare, making her feel self conscious in a way only he could, making her feel hot like only he could.

“Because you want me to what, Robin?” he asked as she fidgeted under his predatory glare.

In every other situation she would have hesitated to answer that question, would have been unsure. This wasn’t every other situation though. This was her and him alone, this was her sitting in her damp panties in front of a man that burned her with just a look; this was her yearning for his touch. Not just now, but for weeks, maybe even months if she was being honest with herself. Hadn’t she asked him for honesty?  It was time for just that.

“I want you to fuck me raw,” she cited his own words back to him, surprised by the huskiness of her own voice. “I want you to make me scream and beg. All those things that have been done to me, I want to know they can feel good, not just fantasise about it.” Was that even a possibility? Yes, his behaviour had triggered certain… cravings in her, but that did not necessarily mean that he was interested in this kind of thing. Maybe she had misinterpreted his statement?

In fact, hadn't their last encounter gone terribly wrong because he had not wanted to hurt her? What was she even doing here? He hadn't seemed disturbed by her little collection though, had he? The way he had stared at her when she had played with the rope… he had liked that, had he not? Wasn't it too late to back out anyways? He still stared at her, one leg propped up, arm lazily leaning on his knee. He seemed relaxed, but she could clearly see the tension in his bulging frame like a tiger ready to pounce. Waiting for a moment of weakness. Waiting for her admission. “I want-” she smiled, taking a deep breath, she could do that. “I want to be yours,” she finished.

Chapter Text

There she sat in front of him, Nico fucking Robin, the perfect fucking picture of innocence, pleadingly staring at him with her big blue eyes. Holy mother of fuck, he had not been expecting that so soon. Or at all, really, since his revelation. But would you look at that; the traumatized devil child was actually a playful little kitten. Ah, you fucking asshole, don't get ahead of yourself. She might think all was well with her insight that, no shit, he wasn't like them, but that didn't mean that she wouldn't forget it midscene.

He grinned at her despite his worries, poured her a cup of sake and waited for her to do the same for him. With all the tatami might as well do it the traditional way. He lifted his cup at her before he drank, surprised that it was actually really good stuff.

“I'll have you,” he said as he put the cup down again, ready for a refill.

She smiled again at him, gods was she cute when she did that , and put her cup down, not quite empty.

“So,” she asked insecure while pouring his sake, “what happens now?”

She was nervous, fingers immediately going back to fidgeting with the rope as soon as they left the bottle.

He leaned back, resisting the urge to empty the next cup just yet. “Now we talk.”

Incredulous suited her quite well, he had to say, not a look one saw often on her features. “We talk?” She didn’t even try to hide her surprise.

He huffed at her, “Well what the hell did you expect, woman, that I would tie you up right here, let you dangle from the ceiling and have my way with you?”

She blushed and didn’t have to vocalize, those adorably rosy cheeks spoke loud and clear: that was exactly what she had been expecting. Maybe she had even hoped for it. She hid herself behind her steaming mug of coffee, shuffling uncomfortably on her knees. He knew exactly why she was doing that, and his smirk and rising eyebrow told her as much. Ha, she couldn’t get much redder.

Her eyebrows furrowed for a moment as she recovered before she leveled him with a cool gaze, “And here we thought you were simply lost all that time while on land, turns out you of all people have been talking?”

His time to blush. He didn’t get lost, things just didn’t stay where they were! Grand Line, New World, all fucked up geography!

“Talk about what, then?” she asked, serious again.

“Limits, expectations.”

She hummed in response, clearly thinking and maybe a little bit uncomfortable. “Are you doing this with every Hookup? Talking about limits and expectations?”

“You ain’t a hookup and you know it, woman, but more or less, yeah. You can’t consent if you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into.”

She hummed again, smiling this time, before sipping from her coffee. “So this is about preferences? Vis-a-vis dos and don’ts? Considering all the… kinks I’ve read about down there I’d imagine it a rather tedious endeavour to find a compatible partner. Bearing in mind the relatively taboo nature of such proclivities, how have you ever found someone with the short docking times?”

Oh just fucking great, she’d gone full scientist on him again… social studies, he assumed, since she’d forgotten to dumb it down for him halfway through. It wasn’t that he hadn’t tried to learn her language, but he could only remember so many fancy words. At least she hadn't brought his… directional problems up again. Although, maybe she had...

“The bandana isn't black because it goes well with my hair, you know,” he answered tersely and her eyes lit up. “A code then?”

He could humour her if she looked at him like that, couldn’t he? “Yeah more or less. I guess people who stay in one place wouldn’t use it but it’s handy for travelers and those searching for someone new?”

“What does yours say?”, she asked, all curiosity and wonder, begging him to answer instead of brushing her off. No clue what gave her that idea, they had agreed on honesty, hadn’t they?

So he fixed her with his stare, relishing in the attention she gave him and not at all troubled by the rough edge to his voice when he answered:

“That I’ll hurt you if you let me.”

Her breath caught, the pupils of her wide eyes grew to a point where he almost had trouble seeing the striking blue of her irises. Her cheeks flushed as she bit her lower lip, shifting her legs under her. Fuck was he hard for her. Hard as she was wet, he assumed, had to be fucking dripping. Maybe he should've ordered that bowl of ramen after all, the red welts would look fucking delicious on her pale skin.

“Would you hurt me now?” her voice barely a whisper. Holy fuck, Yes!

“No.”

Her face fell, disappointment and hurt taking over. Damn woman was better not making it about her appearance again. They had talked about that, he had even told her Perona's age, hoping it would cease her worrying.

“Look, Robin, for honesty's sake, I'd really fucking love to right now, but… Seriously, woman, think. It's all you ever do normally, what's changed?”

She looked guilty now, confused. Probably didn't even recognize herself. If he'd go back to the Sunny now telling the rest that he was being the responsible one while Robin was acting on impulses, they'd call him crazy.

Fuck, he was ill equipped to handle this situation, he was used to his partners already knowing the ropes …ugh …fuck, the damn skeleton's lame sense of humour was rubbing off...

Usually actual negotiation would be over and done with in 10 minutes. No, even if Robin were equally experienced, this wouldn't be over quick, this wasn't just about a scene to relieve the stress from weeks of sailing amongst idiots. Fuck this was potentially long term. Hopefully. He had never even thought about something like that…

He sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose, “You need to be informed.”

She nodded, still looking a bit lost since his denial.

This fucking conversation was all fucked up, wasn't it usually her telling him and the crew that they didn't care enough about doing research before jumping head over heels into potential danger? No matter how futile she probably knew it to be; talking sense into them? “You need to know what it is you want and how far you want to go. You need to know what you definitely don't want and what you're willing to compromise on, and all of that you'll have to tell me. I can't respect your limits if I don't know where they are.”

She blushed again.

He took a huge gulp of sake right from the bottle. If he had to keep talking this much, Robin wouldn't even listen because she was busy filling that laughable cup for him. She stared at him again, some strange mixture between awe and trust, irritatingly similar to how Chopper would look at him. Damn he really didn't want to think about the kid right now. How could this woman be so fucking innocent? She really looked like he had just explained that no, babies weren't brought by a fucking stork. ‘Course she was innocent, nobody had ever given her the chance to explore. Should she really be starting with him, though? He was fairly confident in his abilities, but with her past… she wasn't ready for this, and by the looks of it, she didn't care about it. About her mental health. So no, he couldn't possibly… not yet. And the fact that he had found his bunk reinforced with steel a week after Usopp and Franky had that talk with him showed that maybe he himself wasn’t quite ready for her either.

“Look,” he said again when she kept silent, “I don't expect you to do this now. Take as much time as you need. If you have questions, look it up or ask. Let's just…” fuck, this is all backwards , “For now, what do you expect from this? What do you want from me?”

She didn't know. He could see it clear in her expressive eyes. Had they always been like that? Telling him everything her stony facade wouldn't? Her mind went 100 miles a minute, thinking -finally thinking !- everything over. Everything she had read, everything she felt or had felt, everything he had said, and hopefully not too much of what the crone had said. He knew what she'd say before she even opened her mouth.

“Don't be sorry,” he said getting up, bottle of sake in his left hand he stretched his right out for her, “Told you to take your time, I meant it.”

She stared at him, unmoving, just long enough for him to start feeling self-conscious, before she hastily stuffed her research material and the rope with the card into her bag to finally take his hand. For a moment, he just stared dumbly as she laced her fingers between his before he made for the door. That actually felt quite fucking nice.

Chapter Text

Everything was back to normal. Or as normal as it could be on the Sunny. It was nice after all this… turmoil, really. Just like before, he would work out in the crow’s nest, sweating and grunting and utterly undisturbed by her presence. Just like before, she would read on the couch lining the nest’s wall. What wasn’t like before was the content. What she held in her hands was no exalted literature, no romance novel, nor was it an ancient text about long lost civilisations. In fact, this was entirely different yet almost nothing had changed. He’d still occasionally enquire about her reading, and she’d still tell him whenever she found something particularly interesting.

What was different was that now it was usually her asking the questions and him trying to find the right words to explain. It was an interesting new dynamic, and at first she had assumed that he was uncomfortable with it, because while he did answer every question, he always insisted she read it up herself, sometimes more gruff than others.

She could have assumed that he deemed himself unfit to teach her anything. Even if it was something that she had no idea about, apart from her own cravings and fantasies. She was, after all, well aware that her intellect tended to intimidate people but quickly came to the conclusion that had to be nonsense in this situation. Teaching her things she did not know about would put him in a position of power over her, and wasn’t that what this was all about? It wasn’t, she knew now, one chapter further into the book. He didn’t want any power over her she wouldn’t freely give to him and not necessarily in every aspect of their life. That was all open to negotiations. She would have never imagined that this would really involve so much talking. Of course the only references she had up until recently were relationships that both he and the books she’d read so far called dysfunctional and abusive or actual slavery.

That also answered his behaviour, now that it was right in front of her, black on white under the caption of ‘Safety for beginners: Get more than one source of information. If your partner tries to isolate you from sources other than him or herself, you should be careful…’ hm, if only she had known that back then.

She closed the book, watching him instead. Who would have thought that this intimidating, gorgeous beast of a man was this… this what? Patient? Considerate? Protective? Discerning? Everyone, really. Everyone who'd ever had a chance to meet him, really meet him. She too, actually, she'd just never expected to be treated in such a way by someone who … wanted to get into her pants, as Nami would say. Hadn't expected to be treated with such respect.

After they had left the shop back on Ikori- island, both refusing any offer the old lady had made them, he had held her hand until they'd reached the main street. She’d known the imposing man to be quite sweet, too. The way he interacted with Chopper could be heartwarming, and she was sure that he had a sweet spot for children in general after she’d seen him in Water 7. Again, she just never would have expected such behaviour towards herself. She had still felt giddy about it when she'd gone to bed that evening. The next day, however, he had made unmistakably clear that he wouldn't even touch her until she had read every single purchase she had made, warned her not to rush into things - like she shamefully enough had tried to back on both Karni and Ikori.

He'd also told her to find out what she wanted and tell him. Hadn't she already? No, she had told him on a whim whatever plagued her steamy dreams lately; she hadn't made an educated decision. All in all, she could surmise that she wasn't behaving like her normal self, not at all. This really was becoming a problem. Maybe she should try a more scientific approach. Usually when confronted with an unknown culture - and that really was what this was, a huge culture with a probably infinite amount of subcultures - she'd watch first.

In this particular situation, it was not an option. Zoro was her only in, and even though she might not be entitled to it, her previous research had made her realise that she did not want to see him with a woman other than herself. Another problem surely was that, with limited time on an island, it would be nearly impossible to find such a secretive society and conduct research in a reputable and reliable way.

The next approach, immersing herself into the culture, again failed at Zoro. He would not allow her to, not without the insight she tried to gain by the experiment. She could, of course, tie a black bandana around her right arm and go on the cruise herself. But just like she did not wish to see Zoro engaged with anyone else, she definitely did not want to be touched by anyone but him. And he wouldn't want that either if his proclamation of intended ownership was anything to go by.

She needed more books. With minimal effort, she conjured a clone in the library, and with another disembodied arm, caught the inkpot Nami had knocked over in surprise just before its contents could spill all over the freshly drawn map.

“I didn't mean to startle you,” she apologized, barely concentrating on the irritated navigator as her real self watched her sweaty swordsman wipe down his exposed torso, almost overwhelmed with the urge to lick the salty beads off his bulging muscles.

“Goddamnit, Robin, with that far away look and blush on your face, I really don't want to even think about what you guys are doing up there right now!”

Blushing in an even darker shade of red she apologized again. “We're not doing anything. I just wanted to know about our next stop.”

Nami huffed, “Yeah right. You're probably just here to rub it in that you're getting some and I'm not. Well guess what, I don't want to get some!”

Oh my, she was looking quite petulant right now. Bad day, probably. She focused all her attention in her clone, ready to listen to whatever troubled her friend. It was the least she could do, after all. “Do you want to talk about it?”

“No.”

“As you wish. If it makes you feel better, contrary to your suspicion, I am not getting any . In fact, Zoro requested I do research instead,” she offered, with only a hint of indignation that maybe made her attempt at cheering Nami up even more successful. The navigator waited just long enough to find out whether or not she had been joking before she burst out laughing, nearly toppling over. “Wait,” she tried between wheezing laughs. “Wait, so you're-” she attempted again, this time trying a calming breath before she erupted in another fit of hysterical giggles.

“I strongly advise you to gain some control, navigator-san, if you die of an aneurysm, we'd get lost and starve at sea.”

Still wheezing, she answered. “Yeah, about that, you're telling me that Roronoa Zoro… I mean Roronoa 'cant walk a straight line without getting lost' Zoro, Roronoa ‘cut first, think later’ Zoro, told you to do research?”

She hummed an affirmative. “Told me to think, too,” she added, causing even more manic laughter.

She smiled to herself, having improved Nami’s mood. Although she was seriously concerned about the possible aneurysms. “Speaking of aneurysms, I should probably consult with Chopper, too,” she murmured only realising she'd said it out loud when the navigator's laughter was suddenly replaced by a mad glower and an excruciating shriek of “What?!”

“Oh, Nico Robin, you will do no such thing. Chopper is a kid, goddammit, you can't talk with him about such things!”

Instead of listening to Nami’s irrational objections to talking with a doctor about medical issues, she dissipated her clone and answered Zoro's silent enquiry about the loud bang with which Nami had pushed the observation deck door open and her ensuing yelling with an innocent smile and a shrug.

Chapter Text

It's been 6 days since they had left Daquil island behind; 6 days since Robin had come back from the bustling capital of the island with a shit ton of books, and 6 days since he or anyone else of the crew apart from Chopper had seen her.

It's been four days since Robin had thrown Chopper out of his office with nothing but his emergency bag and a thank you.

It's been 3 days since Nami had started getting on his back about it.

It's been 15 minutes since he became aware that Nami knew exactly what Robin had been researching recently, and more grating, why.

“Honestly, how can you be so careless? What if we were attacked by the marines now, or other pirates? I don't know what you've done to her, but it must be pretty fuckig bad if she won't even let Chopper help her!” She screamed at him and like the last 483 times this day didn't care about the spit she got in his face. He let out an exasperated sigh, trying for the umpteenth time to explain to her that he had nothing to do with Robin's decision to barricade herself in the infirmary.

“Not quite sure if you're calling me an idiot or a monster there, Nami, but I have nothing to do with this.”

She ignored his objection, steamrolling right ahead, “Oh really?! Then why hasn't she come out, and why the fuck is she in the infirmary of all places?”

“Fuck if I know; she hasn't told me shit. Robin's a grown ass woman, so let her be if she thinks she needs to be in there for whatever reason. She is eating the meals and drinking all the coffee Sanji sets aside for her, and I'm sure she'll hand Chopper anything he needs. Maybe she's writing a fucking encyclopedia or something. I. Don't. Know.” He was positively seething, bad enough that he was starting to worry even though he knew how engrossed the woman could become when reading something interesting. But Nami's constant screeching… He loved her dearly and would maim anyone even thinking about harming her, but if she wouldn't soon stop getting in his face like that he'd cut her fucking head off!

She stopped the screeching alright, glared at him instead. Fists balled, jaw tightly pressed together. “Oh really? Well, isn't it your fucking job to know as her fucking master or whatever the fuck you are to each other now?” She hissed, thankfully quiet enough so he could be sure the rest of the crew hadn't heard, but damn… he leaned back against the railing, all the fight knocked out of him as he stared blankly at the woman he thought his sister.

He hadn't stopped to think how this would affect her. This whole thing had to be… she was probably disgusted by both of them; him for wanting Robin like that and her for allowing it. Actually, he'd thought she understood, having been the one to tell Robin that her cravings were alright and that it wouldn't be the same, but… maybe she wasn't as sure about it as she'd let on… still… this utter contempt directed at him. Fuck, what kind of vermin did she take him for? She'd known him now for how long? It's not like he became a different person just because she now knew of preferences that had always been there, for fuck's sake.

“Fuck you, Nami.”

She gasped, and her brown eyes widened as she seemed to - for the first time - think about the words that had left her mouth. She looked away from him, shame evident on her features. “I'm sorry, Zoro, I… I shouldn't have…” she stammered before coming to stand to his right, staring out at the idle waves with an air of desperation. He didn't turn to face the sea with her, wanted her in his sight. Damn, these were about the only situations he actually missed his full sight. He huffed in hesitant acceptance. It's not like he was one to hold grudges, but damn, that had cut quite deep.

“I really am, Zoro. I know it's not the same, I know you won't go against her will, I know you respect her… it's just so hard to comprehend.” her voice was small, tiny even. She was sorry, didn't know how to deal with the situation and lashed out like she always did. Shit, maybe they should have been a bit more careful with her. But how the fuck could they if she'd been sticking her nose in their business before they had even known what their business was?

She sighed again. She'd been out of sorts for a while, now that he thought about it. Hadn't even noticed… too busy with his own shit.

“What's your problem?” He asked, glad that his lack of tact never seemed to be a problem on this ship. She knew exactly what he'd been trying to ask.

“I don't know, really, I guess… I guess now that you two have each other, I'm afraid to lose you?” She answered with a sad chuckle, belittling her own feelings.

Ah fuck. Of course. The horrible fear of losing her loved ones was deeply ingrained in her very being. In his own, too, if he was being honest. The thought of losing any of them as he had lost Kuina… debilitating. It had to be so much worse for her. He didn't think, just shifted slightly to tug the redhead against his chest. She stumbled a bit before fisting her tiny hands in his robe and bawling her eyes out like a little girl.

Should really have thought about this sooner. As tough as she was, one did not simply forget the years of fear and dread. He could only imagine how life under Arlong's thumb must have been for her. Her whole village held hostage, the only family she still had solely alive because she did not act up. Gods, the responsibility for a whole island on her shoulders when she'd been just a kid. Everytime coming back from a heist fearing that they'd be gone, fearing that she'd done something wrong, taken too long… fuck.

“Should've said something sooner, idiot.”

She huffed, voice quivering, “oh yeah, and what then? Knowing you, dumbass, you would have felt responsible, and god knows what you'd have done then. Robin deserves this. You do too, I guess”

She wiped her nose on his robe and he let her, the thing was already soaked anyways and gods forbid Nami would use her own clothes for that, would add it to his debt, most likely. Whole thing was already ridiculous; it wasn’t like anyone would ever be able to pay her back with her horrendous interest rates, and they wouldn’t dump her ass on a fucking island if she lifted their debt… hell, they wouldn’t even find an island without her. Not quite ready to let go, she shifted in his arms to lean against the dry side of his chest. Damn witch… he pat her head.

“Nothing will change, you know, even if we end up together. We're still nakama,” he offered after a stretch of silence.

She pushed away from him, looking up with a scrutinizing gaze, “even if? Isn't that uncharacteristically pessimistic of you?”

He scoffed as she settled against the railing again. “It isn't. It's realistic. She doesn't know if she's ready for a relationship, or if she ever will be, and I won't pressure her into anything she doesn't want.”

She hummed in agreement, “Well, she doesn't want emotionless sex, that's for sure… we've had enough of that to last a lifetime… more than one.”

He answered with a grunt, yeah, no shit.

“To be honest, I'm surprised. With all the tension between you two the last couple of months, I would have guessed you'd jump each others’ bones the moment you were alone,” she laughed punching his shoulder just hard enough to hurt herself.

“That obvious, hu?” Damn…

“Ya, not sure if the others have connected the dots yet, but they definitely know that something's up. Sanji's probably in denial though.”

He snorted a laugh, ha, damn cook! They stood there in companionable silence, her leaning over the rails, watching the sunset, and him with his back against them, watching her.

She too deserved happiness, and he wouldn't gain his own on her back. She was right - he tended to make rash decisions when it concerned the crew, fueled by his own fear of losing them. Sometimes those decisions were detrimental to himself, not caring about what his sacrifice would do to the rest of the crew, because he had decided that it would be best for them. Thriller bark was to forever remain a secret between himself and Sanji, because if Nami and the others thought him rash now, what would they think if they knew about that?

This did not only concern himself though. He had to think of Robin, too, but…

“Next time come to us sooner.” he repeated.

“I will.”

“We'll figure something out, but you won't lose us just because we may or may not be in a relationship,” he affirmed.

“If all else fails, we could always adopt you,” Robin chimed in from the outer door of the infirmary, huge tome pressed to her chest, teasing smile on her lips. Nami gasped and whirled around, glaring accusingly at the elusive archeologist.

“Don't you dare make fun of me, Robin, I've been sick with worry!” She seethed.

Robin apologized, had lost track of time. Had she even bathed in the past few days? Her black hair was a mess, hanging in greasy strands, dark circles under her eyes… had she slept at all?

“You look like shit, woman.”

She didn’t take it as an insult, no hurt tainting the proud smile she carried as she approached him. It seemed like they were finally over this shit. About fucking time, too, because even if she was smelling like a dying ferret right now and looking more like Brook than herself, the woman was still fucking gorgeous. “Here,” she offered him the book. Not a real book he now saw, just millions of pages stacked together, hastily glued at the back. “I've done my research, as you requested. I've added a list of my personal preferences and drafted a provisional contract, both of which are in the appendix. I'll go and have a bath now, then we can discuss any adjustments you'd like to make after I'm done,” she stated before sauntering off without another glance back.

He stared at her retreating form. Dumbstruck. He looked at the heavy thing in his hands, ignoring  the witch’s hysterical cackle at his expense.

Damn… she really had written a book.

Chapter Text

When she reached the bath, steam was already billowing through the room. “Mind if I join you, Chopper?” she asked, knowing that he was the only one not locking the door. He didn’t, so she tiredly undressed, wrinkling her nose at her own stench. There was no chance Zoro hadn’t noticed this odor. God this was embarrassing, although she had a hunch that he hadn’t really minded. He wouldn’t have called her out like that if he did, right? She hadn’t planned to go to him in her state, but she simply hadn’t been able to resist the situation. When she’d heard them talk outside the door… she really was sorry for worrying Nami so much. She hadn’t known how concerned she had been, not only about her withdrawal but about the possible ramifications of this relationship. Would it be a problem for the rest of the crew, too?

She sat down next to Chopper on one of the small stools in the shower.

“Do you want me to wash your back? Don't take this the wrong way, Robin, but you reek.” the little doctor offered. She had probably ruined his bath. “That would be nice, thank you, I’m sorry, this must be hard with your sense of smell.”

He squealed, called her an asshole for worrying about him like that; he was a doctor after all, he was used to unpleasant smells. For a moment, she relished in the slight scratches the sponge left on her back. Inhaled the faint fragrance of roses and black tea, felt her taut muscles relaxing even before she sunk herself in the hot bath.

“Thank you for letting me borrow your workspace,” she broke the silence.

“Hm, you're welcome, I know how parochial you humans can be with your sexuality, so of course you wouldn't want to work where everyone could walk through.” he answered and started massaging her back.

Parochial … Zoro hadn’t seemed to be narrow minded at all, seemed quite outspoken and open about this topic. Could one really talk about narrow minds in this crew? She wouldn’t know- before this thing with Zoro, she’d only ever talked with Chopper about this. Did the men talk amongst themselves about it, or did they too only ever confide in their doctor? Did they even do that? The way Nami had reacted some weeks ago, she doubted she’d talk to him about anything even remotely sexual. Zoro probably too, most of the time he viewed the reindeer as a kid. “Ne, Chopper, you do keep your emergency kit around, right? Should Zoro have a heart attack upon learning that you co authored,” she asked as she rubbed the grime of 6 days from her arms.

“Of course I do, Robin, but do you really expect him to read the whole thing?”

Fufufufu, “He better, he’s the one who told me to research.” It still stung, the fact that he had been acting all mature while she’d tried to rush into adventure. How had that happened?

“It’s good he did. He actually has experience with this stuff. You don’t,” he reprimanded her, as his tiny hooves pressed into the tight knit muscles of her upper back. She huffed, even the kid had had more knowledge than her. Now, that wasn’t fair. She did not even see him as a child most of the time but a scholar, just like her. He was her equal. “So, he actually talks with you about that?” she digged.

The boy giggled, “No, he never does, always thought he was too shy, but apparently that wasn’t the problem. I...” he fidgeted behind her, uncomfortable with how this conversation was turning out. He idolized Zoro greatly, she knew that, looked up to him, bordered on reverence.

“I’m telling you this as a friend, not as his doctor. I can’t tell you anything about that, so don’t even ask!” he squealed, “I could smell it on him sometimes, when he’d come back from land, or when he’d suddenly disappeared during some celebration and we all thought he’d gotten lost while sitting on a chair…”

It made sense. He got lost so often, he had more than enough time to hook up with somebody without her seeing. He’d probably just always been careful whenever the rest of the crew was around. She could understand. Luffy and Usopp would make fun of him or ask questions he didn’t have the patience to answer, Sanji would maybe try to protect the fair maidens from the uncouth gorilla and Nami… From the exchange she had witnessed earlier, she’d say he wanted to keep her away from these things altogether, protect his little sister. They were unbelievably cute like that, ripping their heads off more often than not, and then.. something like this…

She turned to Chopper, encouraging him with a smile to move on. He furrowed his brows in something similar to irritation. “It was.. strange, at first. I was familiar with the scent of sex or arousal, and the smell of blood, but… he used to smell like all of that. It wasn’t like he had gotten in a fight. Usually, when he came back from a fight, the blood on him wouldn’t be saturated with endorphins. It was different. I must admit that I don’t specialize in this area, I just assumed it had to be personal preference. Sanji never smelled of blood when he came back, he only smells of sex. But Sanji also only ever smells of women.” He rambled on, having seemingly forgotten that she was still in front of him, washing her hair and still very much listening to everything he said. Did that mean Zoro also smelled of men? Now wasn’t that an interesting turn of events? It would certainly explain all that tension between him and Sanji, fufufufu. Now, that was probably one of her guilty pleasures speaking. In all seriousness though, it did make sense, sexuality aside, with his sense of direction - or lack thereof - he surely couldn't be too picky, could he?

“I’m not sure what was up with that, though, it’s like he has never sex with them but doesn’t mind hurting them? This is so confusing! How is that even a thing? It would be so much easier if you'd only mate for procreation, like any other normal animal!” the little doctor ranted.

Fufufufu. “Now where would be the fun in that, Doctor-san?” she asked and plucked the reindeer boy from his stool to carry him with her into the bathtub, to the shallow end where they were submerged just enough to relax some muscle but not enough to render them completely immobile. He snuggled against her chest like he always did, normally preferring Nami, since she wouldn’t drown with him, but he obviously had to make due.

“Do you think Zoro will mind this, us bathing together like this?” he asked after some silence, a hint of sadness in his usually jovial voice.

So Chopper worried about their potential relationship as well… She scratched him between antler and ear, just like she knew he liked it, “I doubt it. In fact, I’d plead to take him with us, then we could bath in the deep end of the pool like grown ups.”

He giggled, mood immediately elevated, “Yeah, that would be nice, he never lets me drown for too long.”

She pat his fur, as it kept soaking up more and more water, draining his energy with every minute. Sometimes he really was just a boy, even if he was already 17. Maybe it was his devilfruit that had altered his lifespan so much that now he matched neither reindeer nor human. It was really easy to forget, since she could discuss things with him like she could've discussed with all the old archeologists back on Ohara. Had it  been the same for them? Had they too sometimes forgotten that she had been just a kid? She assumed not, they had always been way too adamant that there were things not suitable for her age. She had hated that, had wanted to know everything there had been to know. Maybe that was why she would talk with Chopper about everything. She saw herself in him…

“You shouldn’t worry about Zoro though. He’s a swordsman, I administer every vaccine and prophylaxis anyway no matter what he does in his spare time.” he muttered drowsily, at the very edge of consciousness.

She hummed in appreciation, not that she’d been worried about that, Chopper monitored their health tightly. Together with Law’s Heart Pirates they were most likely the healthiest crew to sail the seas. She closed her eyes.

“Hadn’t smelled of anybody since we’re back together. ‘Cept for you.”

Hm… that had a nice sound to it. Relaxed.

“I like how you smell together.”

Sweet. They’d have to talk another time.

Sleep claimed her.

Finally.

Chapter Text

Franky knew. He was quite sure about that. It had started with little things, like inconspicuous thumbs ups and suuupers he’d directed at him. At first, he’d simply chalked it up to the discussion they’d had. For the longest time, he had thought it was Franky still being hung up on his suuuper manliness. Now, he knew better, standing in the freshly soundproofed crow’s nest. Gods damn it. He should thank him… awkward as it would be... Though he’d probably just congratulate him and … who the fuck knew what that pervert would do? Gods this crew’s pervert-ratio was seriously fucked up, but damn if this new soundproofing didn’t take care of a few things he’d been worrying about. And right on time, too. He tucked Franky’s card that informed him of the suuuper new upgrade to his ‘gym’, as it was written on the card, in his haramaki. No need for Robin to know about that improvement just yet.

He undid his swords from his side and knelt down on the floor. Had at least another 15 minutes until Robin would come to join him on his shift, and his swords were in dire need of some care after their earlier run in with the marines. Carefully, he laid out the various utensils he would need, making a mental note to restock on choji oil during their next stop.

He held Shûsui up with two hands, giving it a slight bow. For all it's nagging and its insistence on him being just a brat, it served him well. Its heavy weight grounding. He drew it with his left hand, using his right to gently tap any debris from its black sheath. He was nervous. Uncharacteristically so. He'd barely ever been nervous before. Not even for his first time… not like this. Back then, he hadn't really cared, not about his performance and not about the girl either. Had been an itch to scratch for the both of them. But this? With Robin? It was more.

He used the point of the small brass hammer to remove the mekugi and carefully knocked the blade from its tsuka. This certainly would be easier if they didn't have to plan ahead, but they'd both agreed that, as pirates, they couldn't indulge whenever they wanted to. There had to be relative safety.

The Seppa and the ornate handguard were next. But damn this suspense . When he only held the naked steel in his hands, he wiped the blade down. Yes, according to the communication logs Nami had stolen from the marines that fleet they'd clashed with were the only vessels in the vicinity. Nobody there was left in fighting condition, and the only reinforcement were Smoker and Tashigi still 3 days away from their current position, which was ample time for both play and recuperation.

He removed residual oil and blood from the blade and what had soaked under the Seppa. In all honesty, Smoker might be the marine to walk Luffy to the gallows one day, but they didn't really pose a threat. Probably didn't want to pose a threat. If Tashigi were to walk in on them, she'd probably stutter and fall on her face, trying to get away from them .

Carefully, he dusted the blade with the uchiko ball. Ha, would be a nice change if she were the one not able to look him in the eye .

He wiped again. Still, even without the threat of marines, there were a hundred ways this could go to shit.

He scrutinized the bare blade, found it  devoid of any blemishes. Fuck, he wasn't even sure if she'd come up.

With a soaked oilcloth, he distributed a thin sheen along the black blade. And what if she did come up? Would she even enjoy herself? What if, even after hours of discussions, this turned out not to be what she wanted at all? What if he would just add to the scars? What if she panicked?

He reattached the handle, this time using the hammer's head to insert the mekugi. God damn it, so what if she panicked? So what if she'd put a premature stop to it? It wouldn't change a damn thing because he would still be helplessly lost in the enigma that was Nico Robin. Damn.

“You’ll be fine, boy.” He scoffed, resheathed the condescending blade. Bowed before it, boy his ass…

He took Kitetsu next and bowed. It was the real boy between the two of them. Insolent, too. And still, it kept him alive. Always. It would slaughter everything in their way, but it always kept him safe. Recently, it also understood that the rest of the crew was off limits, would drive him to protect them itself. He drew it. What even took her so long? He could only hope that she wouldn't fall asleep again, like she had two weeks ago after presenting him with the result of her 6 day seclusion. Nami had to pull her and Chopper out, while the shitcook had bled all over the fucking deck imagining himself saving his beautiful, naked Robin-chwan from drowning.

He removed the tsuka. Why did she insist on this elaborate beauty regimen? Tsuba and Seppa. Before and after!

He wiped the blade. Couldn’t be because of him. He would have even taken her back then, when she’d emerged from the infirmary, filthy as she’d been.

He dusted the blade. To her, it was important enough to put in writing.

Wiped again. Yet another thing from her past they’d have to work through.

He inspected the blade. No problem, whatever made her comfortable.

Oiled the blade. She should be comfortable .

Reattached the handle. With him.

“Pity we can’t kill her if she isn’t.” shut up. Idiot, mocking him like that. Snicker .

He took Wadô, bowed to it. His most treasured blade, it had stayed with him through all his struggles of the physical or emotional kind. It was his strength, his backbone, Kuina was.

Removed the tsuka. She would be comfortable.

Wiped the blade. They’d talked enough; everything was clear between them.

Dusted. He knew what to watch out for, when to stop.

Wiped, polished.

She arrived. Through the latch. Beautiful as always. Short dress. Hot damn, lacy black stockings… suspenders showing. Fucking hell, she was hot.

“You’re late,” he said, eye fixed on his blade, inspecting it, hiding both his interest in her attire and his fear of creaming his pants. “I am,” she admitted, knowing that there was no room for excuses, fidgeting.

“Undress,” he ordered, and he could hear her breath hitch. Still she obeyed, and he chanced a look her way. She reached behind her back to unzip the tight slip of nothing with rosy cheeks. Her fingers were shaking as she brushed the flimsy material off her shoulders, over her wide hips, down her legs. She revealed her impressive bust, barely contained in black silk. Fuck. Unclipped the bra at the front, let them spill, but shame got the better of her, hid them behind her arms.

Nervousness and insecurity oozed from her like blood from a cut. He raised his gaze to meet hers. Recognition hushed over her features. She remembered- he’d looked at her like that before, he’d seen her tits before, and he had fucking loved them. Her arm fell away, fucking perfect.

She shimmied out of her panties, revealing neatly trimmed black curls, lips shaved clean, already glistening from excitement. Fuck. When she reached to undo her garter belt, he stopped her, wanted her to leave that on, as much as it would test his control.

“Get the rope.” he ordered, concentrating back on Wadô, rubbing the drenched cloth along its length. She didn’t have it, hadn’t known to bring it. He clicked his tongue when he felt her arms sprouting in the women’s quarters. They dissipated. She got the hint, no abilities without explicit permission. She’d written that down herself. Was she testing him?

With one tap against his forearm, he put the blade back into its tsuka just as she attempted to put her dress back on, cute.

“I told you to get the rope, not to get dressed,” he said as he put the mekugi back in, looking at her. Her eyes were wide, hand still clasped around the flimsy thing she called clothing. She fidgeted again but didn’t budge.

“Robin.” No pet names. She’d been adamant about that. She looked at him. Doubt shining in her beautiful eyes. She worried her bottom lip, deep breaths. She let go of her dress, bowed her head to him, mumbled something.

He put Wadô back in its pure white sheath. “You gotta speak louder than that, Robin.”

“Hai, Zoro-sama.” Quiet, just loud enough. She was embarrassed. “may I leave?”

He grunted an affirmative, seemingly ignoring her as she climbed through the latch.

He bowed to his blade.

“It's alright” Yeah… it will be.

He put Wadô next to the others, concentrating on Robin's nervous energy slowly and quietly descending the ropes. The others were fast asleep, their tranquil energies right where they were supposed to be. He wouldn't send her out there in nothing but a pair of heels and stockings if it weren't safe. Not yet, anyway. She was halfway across the deck, nervousness quietly giving way to excitement. It was a dark night outside, the moon barely showing, hidden by thick clouds that, according to Nami, wouldn't cause more than a slightly wet ship. That would keep her from seeing Robin was pretty much naked even if she woke up while she was in the room.

He huffed. Her power again. Apparently Robin did not want to take that risk. He hadn't looked at her to see her crossed arms when he'd called her out on her powers before; she had to know that he was observing the ship. Still she disobeyed. He ignored the throbbing in his pants, like he'd done countless times that day. Every day since he'd read the few pages of her manifesto she'd pointed out to him, if he was being honest. The list had baffled him. All the things she wanted to try, things she'd even insist on… his imagination had run wild. Fuck. Concentrate. He was responsible for her, for her safety. Concentrate. The others were still sleeping, no ships in range of his Haki, no ships close enough to see her barely clad figure climbing up the ropes to the crow's nest. He got up, winced at the friction against his way too tight pants, and sat down on the couch.

When she pulled herself through the latch, she was flushed, and when she looked at him, she knew that he was aware of her unauthorized use of devil fruit ability. Her head bowed, “I apologize, Zoro-sama.”

He scoffed, “we both know that won't do.”

She knew, came to him on wobbly legs, unexpectedly compliant. The hesitation she had shown before was gone as she lay down across his lap, ass on his right, assuming he wanted it in sight. He did, but god fucking damnit, he missed his other eye. To see her ass, flawless back, and pale neck all at once… how was her back this … immaculate? With all she had told him, he would have expected it to be littered with ragged scars much worse than his own. Fuck, he wanted to leave his mark on her. Couldn't though, he wouldn't dare, even if she'd somehow want to try. Too dangerous. If she were ever to be caught by marines, the sick and twisted ones… They'd take his marks and turn them into something toxic, use them against her, torture her with them. He couldn't risk that. He knew her to be strong, she'd resist their mind games… but what if she didn't, if her mind was as deeply scarred as her body by all means should be? He wouldn't risk that.

He'd thought she'd hesitate again, but when he pushed her in the right position, ass in the air, cheeks parted, lower lips completely exposed, he knew. He gave her slit a gentle stroke, fingers barely touching, and she answered with the most delicious whimper, arching from his lap.

He held her down with his forearm on her back, elbow wedged between her shoulder blades, wouldn't do if she squirmed off.

Fuck, her ass was a fucking piece of art. Plump and lush, all the running did her good.

He kneaded one cheek, fitting his large hand just so. One experimental slap, another whimper.

“Now, now, be nice, Robin,” he scolded.

“Thank you”

Another slap, harder this time. “Thank you, Zoro-sama!” She called out as he watched the enticing jiggle of her cheeks. With every slap her body’sily reaction became more expressive. Thanking him with more vigor each time, pleading for more whenever he'd halt to caress her abused, bright red flesh. Fuck, next time he'd have to have her the other way round, right now he could only imagine the flush on her cheeks, the tears welling in her lust-filled gaze, the parted lips, pleading for more. Never heard something more enticing than her breathless whimpers. God damnit, had he ever been this hard? Felt like he'd burst any second. She didn't fare much better, she was fucking dripping, whole body quivering.

“Z- Zoro-sama, please.” Her voice nothing but a strangled mewl.

“Please, what?”

“Please, take me, Zoro-sama.” It was a petulant grumble, she didn't want to beg for that. He'd teach her. He pulled her up with a fistful of hair, her back arched, her perfect tits strutting out, lips parted in a surprised yelp. Gods, he wanted them around his dick, but no blowjobs even though she hadn't been sure about it in the beginning. She had wanted to stay on the safe side, had it in writing now.

“Not yet,” he husked in her ear, as he plunged two fingers in her tight, wet cunt, briefly wondering who the real masochist was between them, because right now, he wanted nothing more than to sheath himself to the hilt in her quivering flesh. “Don't you dare cum without permission, Robin.”

He worked her to the brink, pulling back when the trembling inside her became too much, whenever her body tensed up for too long. He relished in her protesting mewls, her desperate pleas for mercy, for relief. Her expression an alluring mixture between agony and lust. Holy fuck, he’d never thought to see such an expression on calm and collected Robin. Fuck, he wanted her. Not yet. He waited for her to relax again, to come down from her almost high, before he started again. Her scent hung thickly in the room, and he knew he wouldn’t be able to keep this up for much longer without going fucking insane. By the time he shoved her off him to flip her around and have her reposition herself against the back of the couch, she was a sobbing mess, more liquid than flesh and bone, and he was walking the very edge of sanity.

He fisted his wet hand in her hair, pushing her face in the cushions while finally freeing his painfully hard cock. With his left hand, he aligned her hips, fingers digging into the hollow of her hip as he finally - finally- shoved himself inside her with one hard jab. She came around him with a strangled cry, holy fuck, he wouldn’t last long like this. She tried to milk him for everything he had, as she shoved her tensing body against him, god fucking damn, so tight!

Just when he thought he couldn’t hold back any longer, it stopped. She went slack, hips tipping to the right where they weren’t held up by him. What the fuck? His dick slipped free when she fell, the air cold compared to her liquid heat. “Robin?” no response. What the fuck? He checked her breathing, then her pulse, elevated but steady. Fuck. He rolled her to the side, tilted her head back, pulled her arm from under her, and aligned her legs. Damn woman had fucking fainted on him. What the fuck?

Chapter Text

She woke up, cloaked in the calming smell of cloves and green tea, her body sore but not uncomfortably so like it had been in her past, her muscles permeated by a dull ache. There was a certain slickness between her legs that should alarm her but didn’t, the heavy green fabric draped over her naked body grounding her in a reality where she didn’t have to fear anything. Her eyes took more time to focus than she would have liked, but when they did, they landed on a shock of green hair and a heavily muscled back. Scars on the back are a swordsman’s shame . He did not feel shame for any of those scars, she knew. Most of them were from his deal with Kuma back on Thriller Bark. He had obtained each and every one of the numerous blemishes by protecting them, keeping them safe. He always did that. Just like he did now, keeping watch over them, over her. He was meditating, his three trusted swords before him. Sometimes she wondered if he could communicate with them; it was said that great swords had a soul after all.

For how long had she been out? It was still dark outside, just as dark as when she had tiptoed across the deck in nothing but stockings and a pair of heels that made entirely too much noise. She had tried to use her Haki, to assure herself that everyone was fast asleep, but the fear of getting caught had crushed her concentration to bits. What would they have thought of her? Walking around shamefully exposed? What would they think if they'd found out that the thrill had made her throb? How … how very lewd of her. What would they think of her if they'd known of her shameful begging for more abuse? Oh god, had they heard? Her throat burned, she must have been quite vocal, oh no, please… and still, as much as she feared the possibility, it had her tingling all over again. Oh, what would become of her? There was no going back now. She no longer had to fantasize how it could be to completely relinquish control to someone trusted. Now, she knew how utterly invigorating, how liberating it felt. Now, she knew that she wanted it again.

Someone trusted. That’s what it all came down to, really. She put her life in his hands, and she knew no harm would come to her. No matter what he would do to her, what he would make her do, he would keep her safe. When she had streaked across deck, she had not been alone; he had been with her every step of the way, keeping watch. She knew that, had known, and yet it had not made the experience any less exciting. It warmed her heart, made it throb in a way quite unfamiliar.

They had agreed on the middle ground between friends with benefits and relationship. They couldn't go on with their hormones running haywire, but at the same time, she was not ready for the commitment, the attachment, which was ridiculous seeing how they already were family. He hadn't ridiculed her for it, had accepted her inhibitions without even batting an eye, but had assured her with a wide grin that she'd be getting there. In this very moment, she honestly believed him. She should trust him with her feelings just as much as with her body, he had proven over and over again that he deserved her trust. In reality, she couldn't, couldn't risk feeling more for him than she already did. He wouldn't betray her, he was loyal to a fault but... at some point, he'd have to realise just how damaged she was. He'd been perfectly patient with her so far, but at some point he had to realise that she was more trouble than she was worth.

“You worried me there for a moment, passing out like that.” he interrupted her musings, the dark husk from before gone from his voice, replaced by a strain she couldn’t quite place.

She winced as she sat up, her bottom quite raw. She pulled his robe tight around her shoulders for unnecessary modesty or comfort, she didn’t know. “I’m sorry, it was… intense.” An understatement. Though her mind was foggy on the details, she was fairly certain that she had never felt anything even remotely similar nor had she ever thought it possible. Foggy? Actually, she had no memory whatsoever after her orgasm. She must have fainted then. That explained the strain, didn’t it, if he was anywhere near as pent up as she had been …

“You didn’t... finish, did you?”

“No.”

What now? Would they continue where they'd let off? Come to think of it, he hadn't allowed her release when it had overcome her, so, should she apologize? For all they had talked about this, neither had thought to discuss this particular outcome… She got up, wobbly legs almost giving out beneath her, to… to do what exactly? While he had obviously known well enough how to pleasure her, she had absolutely no idea how to return the favour. Well, she did have a general idea, but how to actually do it? Before, she would have just done whatever he signaled her to do, not worrying about her performance and how it would make her look. It was frightening really. In her past, fear alone had made her comply. She would do whatever disgusting things they expected of her because she had known her punishment to be infinitely worse. Sometimes they would punish her because she hadn't understood what they'd wanted from her, but with Zoro… As quiet as he usually was, his behaviour had been oddly communicative. With just a furrow of his  brows, he had made her forget her shame at her own nudity. The slightest inclination of his head had told her where and how to be; the dark rumble in his voice had turned her brain and all her reservations to mush. Terrifying, if she didn't trust him as much as she did.

Now the mood was gone, her mind back in working condition, and she stood there self-consciously and increasingly worried that she had disappointed him. She reached out, hesitant. It felt right going to him, but what would she do then?

“If you touch me now, woman, I'll pound you through the fucking floor.” The raw need in his voice reverberated all the way to the juncture of her legs, and for all the insecurity she had felt mere moments ago, she knew with absolute certainty that, “I wouldn't mind that.”

She wove her fingers into the short hair on the back of his head as she walked around him. He sighed, let his head roll back on his neck, his eye finding hers instantly, scrutinizing. She wasn't quite sure what he expected to see, what he was searching for—hesitation? He wouldn't be able to find that, no matter how hard he searched. He grinned at her with what she assumed to be genuine happiness, a look she had not been expecting. He didn't give her time to try and interpret it, or to get insecure again. He raised his arm towards her, and she could have seen it as an invitation to take his hand and let herself be led towards him, or she could have seen it as a request to help him up. Instead, she fell to her knees next to him, the exposed side of her neck resting against the calloused palm of his hand. Just when had she become this submissive? He hummed his approval, and she didn't resist when he pulled her towards him to crush his lips against hers. It was a searing kiss, a hungry one, all passion and teeth. When she felt the hard floor against her back, he let go of her, hand trailing over her collarbone before he opened his robe to lay her bare.

The grin was gone and the predatory glint back again. Briefly, she wondered if she would ever again be able to watch him fight without getting aroused. Had she ever been able to?

When he touched her between her legs this time, he didn't do it to tease or to make her beg but to assure himself that she was ready for him. His rough palm pressed against her clitoris as two fingers curled to part her labia. She broke her gaze away from his, looked down to where his hand emerged and felt her cheeks redden in embarrassment at the single translucent string still connecting his fingers to her core. She gasped, more in surprise than pain when his wet hand slapped her between the legs.

Her eyes snapped back to him; she wasn't supposed to look away like that. “Forgive me, Zoro-sama,” she breathed as his slick fingers left trails of her own wetness up her body to cool on the air.

“You seemed plenty interested, taste yourself.”

Her lips parted to let his fingers in, eyes furrowed in confusing irritation when they never came. One of his eyebrows rose, and she knew it wouldn't be that easy. She'd have to work for it. Lifting herself up on her elbows, she inched closer to his waiting hand. Warily, she darted her tongue out, giving an experimental lick before taking his digits into her mouth to suck her own tartness off them, eyes never leaving his hungry gaze.

She could see what he wanted her to do. What he didn't dare ask of her. She let his fingers plop free from her mouth. Could she? Could she without remembering, without conjuring? The stench, taste… wouldn't he taste the same? Roughly?

“May I taste you, now?” She wouldn't know unless she tried, right?

Again, he cocked his eyebrow at her

“May I suck your cock, Zoro-sama?”

His expression turned solemn after that. Had it not been what he'd wanted to hear? He wanted her to use the embarrassing language, didn't he?

His hand fell to rest against her hip, and when the pleasant darkness left his gaze, she saw that he wasn't put off by what she'd asked for but that worry kept him cautious.

“You sure about that, woman?”

When had he started calling her woman like that? It wasn't degrading, on the contrary, it seemed like an odd form of endearment coming from him. Skypia maybe. He wasn't the type to differentiate between men and women, and it had struck her as odd that he would condemn Enel's attack because she was just a woman. But if he'd seen her as his woman... quite pretentious of her, wasn't it? He had barely even tolerated her presence on the Merry back then... maybe she was reading too much into this, a good sign really; the spell he had on her momentarily broken, and while still aroused, she could actually think this through. Was it just the situation, the scene that had compelled her to overthrow her negotiated hard limit, or did she actually want to try?

She had always hated this practice in particular. Men shoving their unwashed members in her mouth, whipping her twice for every tooth they thought they felt… forcing her to drink their bitter semen from a bowl on the floor. Crocodile had been the worst, and she was sure that it was because of the cigars.

It’s not like she hadn’t thought about this. She had, a lot in fact, ever since they’d finalised their negotiations a week ago. It was odd really. Now that she’d had it in writing that it wouldn’t happen, she’d become peculiarly interested. Intrigued even. She stood firm with the pet names; even though she knew that he respected her no matter what he’d call her, the idea made her skin crawl with disgust. She was sure she wouldn’t budge on the whipping either. Some nights she could still feel her skin ripping from her back, hear the wet slap when the tight leather would make contact with bloodied flesh. No, that wouldn’t change. But this? Maybe she’d been a bit hasty declaring it a hard limit. Months ago, he had declared that he wanted all of her, and really it was the same for her. Wouldn’t she miss out if she didn’t actually try all of him? He wouldn’t force her to continue if she became overwhelmed, if it turned out to be too much, she could always tap out. He would probably stop her before she knew herself that she couldn’t go on.

“Yes. I can't promise anything, but I'd like to try.”

He was searching again, for cracks in her resolve, she was sure. For any sign that she was not clear-headed enough to make that decision. She could practically feel his Haki sweeping over her. It took him longer than she had expected, given his statement before, but eventually he nodded. He wouldn’t help her with this, guide her way like he had before, no, he would let her explore, leaning back on his hands in open invitation.

God, he was magnificent. Without the Haramaki she could see his narrow hips and the green trail of hair that had started all of this. She knelt between his legs, fingers trembling as she unbuttoned his pants. Of course she was nervous. She’d fainted before, and if her past got the better of her now, if she backed out of this, she’d leave him without release again. Would he tire of her? Probably not, he’d been nothing but patient with her so far. Rough hand on her cheek. She looked up at him with what she assumed was an amalgam of childish fear and uncertainty. His face was serious, but even with years of practicing that stony mask of his, he couldn't really hide the raw desire shining in his eye.

He didn't say anything, didn't have to, his face said it all. 'Stop if you're uncomfortable, but I need you, woman.’ and probably some  ‘fucks’ strewn in for good measure. She knew their age gap did not matter to him, but to have a young man like him want her with all her emotional baggage and inhibitions, put aside his own needs for her to grow… it charmed her, made her oddly emotional and quite sure.

She popped open the first button and her certainty must have shown in her smile, because when she tugged on his pants, he lifted his hips to help her effort. His penis sprang free, standing tall and proud like it's owner and every bit as magnificent. He smelled more intense down here, as she had expected, and it was with a bit of embarrassment that she noted he smelled just as good even though the allspice and nutmeg dominated over the cloves. She gripped him tightly, the tips or her long fingers just barely touching, pleased with the hiss her actions had elicited. Saliva gathered in her mouth, and she wasn't quite sure if it was due to former conditioning or if his unique, alluring scent had whet her appetite. She gave him a cautious, experimental lick, skin and salt and something mortifyingly close to what she had tasted on his fingers moments before. The tip though was all himself, salt and cashew.

She drew him into her mouth like she'd been taught to do all those years ago, but unlike before, her muscles didn't tremble in revulsion, throat didn't tighten in disgust and tears didn't fall in unwanted humiliation. Instead, she felt wetness grow between her thighs, belly tighten in excited anticipation. Her other hand rested on his leg, and she felt his muscles under the skin tremble with every suck and every swirl of her tongue. It was a strange mixture of exhilaration and disturbing, having 220 pounds of ripped male quiver from her touch, it gave her a sense of power that made her inherently uncomfortable. She should relish it, just didn't.

His hand came to rest on the back of her head, as if he'd felt her discomfort, easing it and leaving her with only the exhilaration. She took him in as far as she could, tears forming in her eyes and showing him her limit before she pressed his hand harder against the back of her head, allowing him to guide her speed, choose the depth. His answer was a strangled curse before he took full advantage of her offer.

She looked up at him, lips still firmly locked around his member, his chest heaving, gaze searing. In all her years of life, she had never seen a view more erotic than fearsome Roronoa Zoro in the throes of passion.

She hummed in satisfaction when more of the cashew flavour seeped onto her tongue and cupped his tightly drawn testicles in her free hand with the sudden revelation that she wanted him to make her drink his essence. His reaction was instantaneous, his hand fisted her hair, pulling her mouth from him. “Robin… Fuck, woman, you don’t want… fuck.” Oh, but she did want. She looked up to him as he wanted her to, despite all she had read during her research, he explicitly demanded eye contact. “Please allow me to taste your cum, Zoro-sama.”

For a moment, he just stared at her, eye widened in surprise, then narrowed in comprehension. He reaffirmed his hold in her hair before he pushed her against his pulsing erection. He was rougher this time, shoving himself into her throat, always right to the point she had shown him and never beyond. He kept her there until she gagged before he pulled her off again, praising her for her efforts as she lapped up the thick saliva connecting them. She relished in his praise, by all means she should hate him for it, should be disgusted by her shameful display, and yet it felt so right, intoxicating almost.

“Don’t you dare spill any, Robin.” She didn’t intend to. When she could feel his semen bubble under her fingertips at the base of his shaft, she pulled back just enough so he cleared her throat. He allowed her and spurted his hot liquid right on her tongue. He was salty and nutty, with just a tinge of bitterness, and utterly delicious as he coated her tongue. He pulled back, and she held his gaze as she swallowed, showing off her tongue as proof. He nodded to the floor, “You missed some, Robin.” He was right, three tiny milky drops had spilled onto the planks of the crow's nest between his legs. She bowed low before him, eyes searching for his approving gaze before deliberately licking over the hardwood floor.

“Well done, Robin.”

Her eyes closed in bliss as his hand found the crown of her head, much gentler this time. He kissed her, not like before, more soft whisper than screaming roar, and pulled her towards him to rest on his chest as she had back on Karni island. She felt his muscles flex under her when he lifted his head to place chapped lips on her forehead, the gesture making her smile like a little girl.

“I'm still sorry for fainting,” she murmured, embarrassed by it now that her thoughts were coming through that haze of ecstasy again. He grunted in response, “mh, I'm sorry, should have been more careful… was your first time.”

She almost laughed at the phrase, even though she knew what he meant. First time of her own free will, first time with someone she trusted… First time she'd enjoyed herself, too. She hummed as his fingers drew little patterns on the small of her back. First time snuggling up afterwards as well… wanting to stay close, to be held like that… appreciated.

He had discarded his pants and boots at some point, and she only just realised that she hadn't even seen him completely naked until now. Fufufufu , with all the naiveté a 30 year old woman could have, she had always thought seeing each other naked would happen before sex, not after.

Just when she started to feel the cold, he draped his robe over them, obscuring her view of his now flaccid penis. He'd been nice to look at even though not all that different from the disgusting ones she'd seen before. Funny how much emotions could change perceptions, wasn’t it? For the longest time, she had been unnerved by the amount of male genitalia around the ship. She’d even gone as far as to confirm Franky’s state herself, just so she could not be caught unaware. Ridiculous… In water 7, she had already known that none of the crew meant her any harm, and though Franky’s frame was huge and bulky… She’d come a long way since then. When they reunited, she had been so happy, so relieved and content that she hadn’t even bat an eye to Luffy’s newfound and outspoken fascination with his private parts.

“Ne, Zoro, think our captain can blow up his chinchin with gear third?”

He groaned under her, ”For fuck's sake, woman, I'll never get those pictures out of my head again! You have no idea how bad he was when we met up again. He didn’t only talk about them, he showed off his kintama every chance he got… as if we don’t know what balls are. ”

Fufufufu , their captain’s time on Amazon Lilly must have been pretty interesting, if not a little unsettling for the ingenious boy. Oh, “He blows up his bones with Gear Third, doesn't he? In that case, there is no need to worry.”

He relaxed in something suspiciously close to relief, guard lowered.

“However, for his old Fusen technique, he doesn't need any bones in his Chinchin ,” she added with a laugh.

“Oh, fuck you, woman!”

Chapter Text

“Hi there, stranger.” Her voice was familiar although not quite the high pitch he remembered. He turned, greeted by blonde hair and teal eyes glinting mischief. Her hair had been red back then. Not like Nami's hair, more like Nami herself when she was really angry. Didn't dress quite as frilly back then, either… He nodded in recognition, offered the seat next to him. She took it, grinning. “So, what happened to your eye? Three swords maybe one too many?” she teased. He scoffed, “Brat.”

She laughed, “And fuck if you didn't like it, Zoro-sa~ma.” Her voice lifted at the end, playing cute.

He hummed an affirmative as the barkeeper sat down a glass of milk in front of her. He didn’t miss how the man’s bushy eyebrow lifted in suspicion at the dubious conversation between that sweet little girl and the big bad pirate… if only he knew…

“What are you doing here?” He changed the topic before they inadvertently added pedophilia to his list of crimes, just because the adult woman had decided to dress up like a little princess. What was it with grown women acting and dressing like little girls? Not that he minded in particular but fuck if it didn’t make life complicated for him. Apparently it was a great oddity for women not to dress and act their age, so whenever he was seen with them, he could practically feel the judgement bearing down on him. He really didn’t miss the errands Mihawk had made him and Perona do… Not that anybody had the guts to try to save the seemingly poor little girl from his evil clutches, but everybody sure had known how to make assumptions and make him feel like the bad kind of dirty pervert. Hadn’t helped that Perona had enjoyed it entirely too much, loudly complaining about his brute strength and lack of restraint ...as if her fucking hollows hadn’t been punishment enough. And now her, the cocky spitfire he'd been with shortly before joining Luffy. Was she mad that he hadn't met her at the inn in Shells Town? Had she known that he had been starving on that pole? She hadn’t worn frilly stuff like that back then. If she'd run around like that three years ago, he would have seriously questioned  his preferences when he'd gotten with Perona. No, back then she had been all leather and silk, metal and scars. Her eyes always dark, lips sinful red not innocent rose. In fact, she had looked older than him by several years, and had they ever visited busy streets, she would have been the one getting judgemental glances, not him.

“My family is here on business, saw your ship in the small eastern port and thought I might find you in one of the bars.”

Who was it that had said that nobody ever used the eastern port and the Sunny wouldn't draw attention there? Business with the family explained her frilly getup though, if he remembered correctly. There had been some fallouts between them because they expected their little girl to be more doll than human--no proper man would want a back-talking little brat for a wife, or something like that. True; he certainly wasn't proper, and neither had he wanted her as his wife. Judging by her clothing, that rebellious phase was over now. Then again, since she’d sought him out, maybe not.

“Business must be good then, if it brought you all the way to the New World.”

She huffed at him, “yeah yeah, wonderful. Business is why my family is on this island, not why I'm in this bar. I'm- “ she stopped, her mouth drawing to a pout when Robin returned from her bathroom break. Recognition hushed over her features, of course. She'd kept tabs on him, knew the flag he sailed under, so of course she'd know the rest of the crew, too. They weren't especially low key pirates, were they?

“Don't worry about her, she knows,” he assured the woman before turning to his woman.”Robin, that's, uh…” he trailed off with the introduction. She'd never told him her real name, had she?

It didn't seem to bother her. “Emilia,” she offered, mischievous grin on her lips, daring him to call her out on yet another alias. Didn't give a single fuck though, was her business after all. Robin's eyes however narrowed in suspicion as she offered the woman a fake smile. She was tense. She wasn't jealous, was she?

“Anyway, I'm here because of you. I still carry your mark, you know. It's fading.”

His eye drifted to her upper thigh, and Robin's gaze followed, frown on her face. She was jealous. Why? She knew he had a history…

“Just let it fade,” he ground out.

That pout again. Then realisation as she looked from Robin, to him, and smiled, head cocked to the right. “Pity, I'm up for sharing, if you're interested.”

“No, thank you,” answered Robin before Emilia had even closed her mouth. Oh yes, she was definitely jealous.

Emilia laughed, not condescending but in genuine amusement. “Sure, no problem, good luck you -”

The pub's door banged open. “Roronoa!”

“Oh, fuck.” He'd have to have a word with Nami about her definition of 'nobody’; the town had been quiet, so it wasn't like Luffy had given them away.

Emilia laughed again, looking at the seething marine captain scrutinizing the patrons in search for him. Had she entered every bar here like that? “Another former playmate of yours?” Emilia asked as he ducked out of sight to reach the exit in the back. Just barely, he could make out Robin's signature laugh as she explained that no, Tashigi was something else entirely. At least she seemed to be alright with Tashigi, because run-ins with her would happen a whole lot more often than some freak, chance meeting with an old acquaintance of his. Her jealousy was oddly flattering if he was being honest, although it was kind of worrisome to leave the two behind like that. If memory served him right, Emilia could be quite the handful, teasing and prodding… hopefully Emilia would get out of that conversation with all her bones in the right place. There'd be a conversation, he was sure, because the damn woman wasn't in a rush to get out. And why should she? Even without the noisy entrance, they both knew that Tashigi was there for him and him alone.

Had taken them long enough to catch up after their run in with that fleet a week ago. He'd expected them sooner.

He ran through town like a madman with Tashigi hot on his heels. There was nothing left of the terse yet easy camaraderie they had shared during both the battles and the celebrations on Punk Hazard, their old dynamic of running, chasing and shouting back in place. Had to admit though, she was infinitely easier to handle now that she didn't look like Kuina anymore. Easier, but not less dangerous. She'd become even better than on Punk Hazard, and he'd fucking love to check her progress with his own blades, but this was neither the time nor the place. Should plan a date just the two of them, and not the hordes of pesky marines set on sinking the Sunny and chopping off their heads. G-5 he could live with, actually, if they weren't so god damned attached to their captain that he'd have to fear they'd interfere every fucking second.

What the actual fuck?! He almost tripped over his own feet, barely caught himself in time to deflect a deadly strike of Shigure. She seethed at him, fire in her eyes as she pushed all her weight into the attack. He didn't care though, eye fixed on Usopp's ugly-ass, 5-foot high mug grinning down at him from the town hall's wall.

“Aren't you just about done finding new stretch marks every time you had to run a few meters in beautiful yet skimpy lingerie?”

She glared at him, face screaming fuckig murder. “What the hell did you just say, Roronoa?”

Oh shit! He hadn’t meant to read the ad out loud...

“How dare you speak to our captain-chan like that!”; “Yes, yes, they may be big but they are softer and perkier than a dirty pirate would deserve to see!”;”Neuter him!”

Her face turned bright red at hearing her goons defend her like that. She jumped back, screamed at them that they hadn't seen either, a truth they didn't care about because they were sure that their captain-chan was absolutely perfect underneath her clothes.

He studied the mural further. ‘ Put an end to that predicament with Usopp’s custom made reinforced awesome-bras !’ Paint was still wet, dripping down the bricks. ‘ Send in your measurements today and receive a free pair of panties for only 800Bs!’

What the fuck had that shithead been doing here? Hadn’t he been busy with a special errand for the weather witch? ‘ The strawhat ladies approve (And they have to run a lot!)’ Of fucking course, she was in this. Wherever you could get money, she sure as hell wouldn’t pass up that opportunity! Fuck!

The G-5 soldiers were still arguing with their captain-chan, and while he was very much aware that it was a seriously bad idea, he decided not to just quietly take his leave while they were preoccupied. Their meeting just didn't seem right if he wasn't chased off by her. “Yeah, about that,” he interrupted one of the soldiers reassuring Tashigi that it was absolutely no big deal if she had some, because they’d love her either way, “apparently I know a guy who could help you out with that,” he finished, jerking his thumb in the mural’s direction. He waited long enough for her to see, to get even redder, before he turned tail and made in the direction of the Sunny. At least he hoped it was in that direction.

“Rorona!” she bellowed after him as he rounded the next corner - or the one after that, who took count, really? - and sure enough, the Sunny was there with an exasperated redhead tapping her foot and dramatically lifting her arm to check the time on a watch she wasn’t wearing. Behind her, curly brow was waving like an idiot and the hearts in his eyes showed clearly that he wasn't the one addressed. Their captain too waved at his pursuer as he asked her to ‘say hi to Smokey’ for him. Damn shitheads should be happier to see him instead of their fucking enemy.

Chapter Text

Usually, when women hit on him in her presence, and probably when any other crew member was around for that matter, he'd either decline immediately, ignore them, or turn red and stumble excuses if they were the sweet and innocent type. None of this had happened in that bar on Mudki island.

It hadn't been him sharing his sake with a girl reminding him of Nami either; this had been different. Friendly, familiar. No protectiveness. The moment she had laid eyes on them, she'd known that they had a history together. Of course she had been aware that somewhere in this world people existed that he had been intimate with. She'd just never thought that she'd come across one.

Seeing that sweet, innocent woman talking freely with him, in her lacy brocade dress that stood out in that seedy bar like a corpse on a wedding... Seeing him talk relaxed and calm even though she was sweet and innocent...

She had been worried. First, because she reminded her of Perona, and second, because she looked way too young to be a fling of the past.

She had been jealous, and she had wanted to dislocate his every joint for the grin he'd carried once he'd come to the same conclusion. But… but, he could have dragged her with him when he'd fled from Tashigi. Instead, he had left her there with Emilia, knowing that she'd have some questions for her, not knowing how it would turn out. And somehow, she was sure that he wouldn't have dragged her along even if the two hadn't parted on good terms. He simply had nothing to hide. Not even her age. As it had turned out Emilia was, despite her childlike appearance, the same age as him.

The talk had been interesting to say the least. She hadn't pressed too much, and Emilia hadn't gone into too much detail about her relationship with the swordsman, who most definitely had been lost in the small town already, but it had been really nice talking to someone the same as her. All the reading had already helped to accept herself, and after her first time playing with Zoro, she had known without a doubt that this between them had absolutely nothing to do with what had happened to her in the past. This was nothing depraved she needed to be ashamed about, but after this little chat, she had felt more at peace with herself than ever before. Their talk had brought the abstract construct to reality; there weren't just books about people like her but actual people with the same cravings as her. People who had not experienced what she had to endure and were like her without having been conditioned. She wasn't like this because of her past but despite it, and after talking to that woman, it finally felt real.

When he'd returned to the Sunny - 50 minutes after he'd left the bar that was only 10 minutes away- she had thanked him. He'd brushed her off, only asked whether or not Emilia was still alive and if all her bones were still in their sockets.   

His worry had been completely unfounded. Emilia was a darling and had been genuinely happy for them. Their talk had really helped her to get to know herself better.

The two weeks since their escapade in the crow's nest, however, had taught her a lot about Zoro.

He was dedicated, tenacious, disciplined and determined, and she had come to resent all those wonderful qualities of his. Calling him a demon was an understatement. Roronoa Zoro was a cruel man.

He hadn't touched her once since back then, not in the way she wanted at least. What he had done was stop her on her way to the galley, come to her while she was sunbathing on deck or watering her flowers, to husk in her ear what he could do to her but wouldn't.

How he could drag the rope down her body and secure it between her legs… the dark threat that, for what he had planned for her, the 10 meters they had gotten from the ‘hag’ would not nearly be enough… He’d ask her, how would it feel to be bound, suspended, and not wanting to escape. Lord, she wanted that rope. Each time he’d give her another minuscule  piece of the puzzle, and each and every time, she could see in his glinting eye that he knew it was enough; that he knew it made her wet. How dare he use her vivid imagination against her? Just when had he become this… this eloquent, anyway?

When imagining his way of seduction, she would have expected a certain bluntness, an obvious approach, right in her face, take it or leave it, like he did everything else in life.

If that had been the case, she could have ignored it. Him running around shirtless? No problem; he'd done so in the past, she could steel herself against the sight. But instead, he'd taken to harmlessly roll up the sleeves of his robe, to innocently flex his arms just enough so she could see the muscles and veins jump under that delicious skin of his whenever her guard was lowered. Reminded her of how his thigh had jumped under her hand when she had choked on his magnificent erection. Just like him smacking his flat hand down on the table during mealtime arguments instead of his fist, like he'd done before, reminded her of how divine it had felt coming down hard on her bottom.

It worked every single time.

It was even worse than before they had indulged, because now she knew what wonderful things he could make her feel, that his words weren't empty.

On day three, she had taken matters into her own hands, and he had known. Had grinned at her and added another week to her sentence. On day 7, she had tried to seduce him, only to flop on the couch in frustration after he'd called her out on it and threatened another week. She'd even worn her garters!

The man was infuriating. It had been his fault anyway. He had been the one who had turned her brain to goo and shredded every ounce of self-control. He had been the one to make her come. And he'd been the one who hadn't given her permission.

On day 10, she'd been on her knees, begging shamefully for release. She had seen the hardness in his pants, and still he had refused her! He'd even had the gall to mock her for her weakness, with only four days remaining. Told her to show more discipline.

Day 14 or not, she would not give him the satisfaction and come crawling the moment the sun set. No, she would wait and have him come to her. The man might have an iron will, but he wanted her just as much as she wanted him, she knew that. She had watched him the past two weeks. He meditated more often and surprisingly drank less than usual. She would have expected his consumption to rise with the frustration, but the opposite had been the case. It made sense of course. The alcohol in his system could weaken his resolve after all.

Earlier at dinner, Nami had declared that marines were a safe distance away and that they still had 3 days till the next island. The sea was calm and showed no signs of sudden danger. The perfect time for her to take a long relaxing bath, dress up in her garters she knew he loved, and quietly make her way up the rigging to the crow's nest. She didn't.

He'd probably punish her for it. Her face grew hot as she realised that she wanted him to. As long as it didn't entail more denial, she really wanted to be punished. The memory of his rough hand coming down on her already reddened cheeks… Maybe she should go up, hope for the good kind of punishment… that wasn't really punishment... if she liked it, was it? She should go up, she wouldn't be able to stand another week without it.

God, she wanted him. Just thinking his name made her wet. She'd never expected herself to be this… this lewd. According to Emilia, he had that effect on his partners, even back then. Emilia…

Zoro had made it very clear that he would not leave any lasting marks on her body. Bruises being the most he would allow, and even those were to be covered at all times. To say she'd been intrigued when Emilia had mentioned his mark was an understatement. The young woman had been happy to show her, too. Ruffling up all three of her skirts right there at the bar in front of everyone, she had exposed her upper thigh. There, clearly visible in any swimwear, were three scars. Clean parallel lines, the middle one shorter than the ones above and beneath. San. As in Santōryū. As in Sanji. Surely he wouldn't have chosen that particular design after he'd met the man. Unknowingly, Emilia had answered her unasked question that she was indeed a fling of the past, and at the same time raised another bulk of questions.

She had not thought about it before, hadn't felt the need for something like that, not even when Chopper had mentioned the occasional, euphoric blood clinging to him. She had read about the act but hadn't seen the appeal, so when he had added it to the no-go list, she hadn't cared much. Now, however, she was wondering. If he didn't oppose the practice in general, if he had not just wounded partners in the past, but actually, deliberately marked them, why would he deny her? The rational part of her brain knew of course that visible marks could alert the marines or other enemies to their relationship, or the nature of the relationship. That infamous Impel Down prison guard surely would know what to do with it.. The emotional part, however, did not care much for logic. It wanted his mark, show it off to the world. The insecure part of her, even though that was mostly silenced since their talk on Ikori island, enquired if maybe he was ashamed of her.

Maybe it was time to come clean about that one secret she had kept from him back then...

“Shouldn't you be in the bath?”

To her shame, she jumped a little at his gruff voice. She hadn't noticed him enter the library.

“I don't think so, Kenshi-san,” she answered, challenge thick in her voice. She would not cave this easily.

He cocked an eyebrow at her before he came right to her, taking the long forgotten book from her hands and throwing her over his shoulder in one fluid movement. She didn't scream, just hoped he couldn't smell her arousal through her panties as he carried her up the ladder. Silently, she cursed his robe for obstructing her view of his chiseled rear, acutely aware that there was no such barrier to her. The short skirt she had chosen that morning rode up her hips, exposing her bare cheeks and barely clad lips. Upstairs in the little room before the bathhouse, he stilled, and her face reddened in humiliation when she realised that he had to be watching her backside in the small mirror hanging on the wall. Could he see the dampness of the fabric? Probably. The faint stubble of his beard scabbed over her cheek before the side of his nose pressed against her lower lips as he took a deep, audible breath. He could certainly smell her neediness. Dear lord, she wanted him to kiss her there, taste her, devour her… the thought alone made her belly tighten and her thighs rub together… He didn't do that, of course. Instead, he placed her back on her feet and mechanically started to undo the buttons of her blouse without making actual contact with her skin. He really was infuriating.

“You know I don't need you to shower before we have sex, right?” he asked as he brushed the silk from her shoulders, eye fixed on hers instead of her breasts spilling over the confines of her bra. This particular design had not been made to be worn hanging upside down, apparently.

“I know, I just feel more comfortable when I'm clean,” she answered, omitting the reason that he undoubtedly knew was lurking behind the strained, fake smile she gave him. She knew he wouldn't judge her for it, she just didn't want to burden him with the truth.

He huffed as he opened the zipper of her skirt, “it's a pity, I like the way you smell when you get all drenched.”

Of course he did. He would never keep her from cleaning herself and punish her for being a dirty sow, for day old cum and blood crusting her thighs, he would never - calloused hand on her cheek, deep concern swimming in a grey gaze. “You alright?” Worry softening the rough edge of his voice.

Pictures faded, smell evaporated, the cold that had seeped in her bones erased by gentle heat. She didn't have to force the smile on her face, it came all by itself and stayed for him. “I am, thank you.”

“Good, now shower and come upstairs,” he said, planting the sweetest kiss on her forehead and disappeared down the ladder. Even sweeter when she realised he had to go on tiptoes to do so.

Chapter Text

She came through the latch all dressed up for him, marines nowhere in sight, but she didn't seem to be here to play. She wanted something, he could see that clearly in her pleading eyes; in the way her long fingers fidgeted; how she worried her plump bottom lip. Gods was she cute.

“What is it, woman?”

She blushed, the innocent kind, didn't know how to speak her mind. The woman had licked his cum from the fucking floor and still blushed like a little girl. Fuck, he loved that.

She took a deep breath, her blue gaze meeting his, insecurity still very much present.

“Could, would you maybe, ah…” she halted, searching for the right words, “go down on me, Zoro-sama?”

Oh, so she did want to play. She could have that. He scoffed at her, putting Wadô aside after a quick bow. What a strange ritual ... she prepared by grooming herself, he prepared by grooming his blades… there sure was some poetic meaning in that, not that he had any idea where to look for it… He stood to his full height, which still was a few inches shorter than her even if she didn't wear those high heels. Gods was she hot.

“I won't bow down before you, Robin,” he declared, staring her down despite his lack of height. Her face fell in disappointment, before it lit with excitement when she got his meaning.

With a grin he nodded, “better prop yourself up and concentrate. I won't  catch you if you faint on me again.”

Her arms bloomed from the ceiling, dainty hands holding her shoulders up as more arms from the floor lifted her up at the calves. It took her less than a minute to secure herself in a net of limbs, waiting in its centre like a spider ready to devour him .

He fucking loved her ability.

She stared at him, waiting for a cue, for approval. And when he nodded his head, her arms pushed her up, bringing her horizontal before his face. Hands from the floor dissipated until she hung from the ceiling on a swing of arms. Her legs parted, skirt bunching up around her hips, revealing her naked and very much excited cunt right in front of him, ready to be devoured.

There was no shame this time, no twisted sense of modesty holding her back or tainting the anticipation in her aura. She hadn't done this before, hadn't been made to do it. This was entirely new for her, her first, and fuck if that didn't give him the anxiety she should feel.

Her scent was disappointing. There was barely any trace left from the addictive mixture that had engulfed him when he'd carried her up to the bath, that had clung to the crow's nest for days after their last encounter. That had made her blush whenever she’d stepped foot in the room. Or maybe it had been her plan to seduce him or to beg on her knees for release that had painted that blush on her cheeks, who knew. Now, all he could smell was the black tea and rose from her body wash, pomegranate from her lotion. Wouldn't last long. He'd make her want seep out of every single fucking pore of her divine body.

The skin of her thigh was unbelievably soft, probably even softer than he could feel as his eye followed the tiny white scratches his calloused hand left behind. Did she mind? The roughness of his hands? Her hitched breathing told him no, she didn't, not at all.

With his hands on her ass, he pulled her towards him, her arms giving without resistance. He had to take that back—up close she smelled just as intoxicating as he remembered. Last time, he hadn't really had the chance to look at her. It wasn't that she was shaven clean. It was more like hair just didn’t grow there at all apart from that trimmed patch. Waxed? Or maybe another perk of her ability? Her inner lips were a bit bigger than the outer ones, clit not huge but clearly visible, easy to find, hard to overlook… not that he was prone to do that… he knew his way around a female body, just…yeah, he wouldn't get lost here. Definitely not.

She squirmed, getting impatient as all she got from him were puffs of cooled breath while he contemplated his chances of getting lost between her legs, literally. Maybe make her wait a little longer. Make her beg for his tongue like she had for his cock four days ago. Should have begged for forgiveness along with it, and he might have been swayed.

No, there really was no reason for punishment here, she'd endured enough. It's not like he had ordered her to come up. He'd just assumed she'd come up by herself. He hadn't missed her episode in the bath either, the far away, haunted look she'd suddenly sported. He shouldn't be dominating her. Fuck, they shouldn't be playing, he should cherish her, take her mind as far from anything that could have happened to her in the past as possible. Not that he really could, since the damn woman insisted on dealing with her shit alone, not wanting to drag him in. That would cross her fucking line after all. The line she had insisted on, the thing that kept them from being in an actual relationship. Still, after all the talking and all the damn patience he'd shown her, she still insisted that he would have enough of her at some point. And if she grew too attached, she wouldn't be able to take it. Fucking ridiculous. She was everything he had on his mind even before they had agreed to this physical relationship, and if anything it, had become worse. That she trusted him enough to give her body and safety in his hands… well actually that was nothing new, was it?

He huffed, as different as it felt for him, they hadn't actually made any progress, had they? She'd trusted him with her body since fucking Skypia. Fuck. Maybe this really was just an arrangement to make sure they didn't become a liability for the crew…

She breathed a plea, oblivious to his doubts about all of this. Begged for his tongue. She shouldn't. Fucking asshole, doubting her like that. Of course she trusted him with her mind, her sanity even. Enough to let him do things to her that had hurt her in the past, enough to ask for things completely untainted by it. Would she stay with him afterwards, if it didn't involve the aftercare? If there were no bruises to be treated? No roles to be dropped? Would she come back up after her shower to sleep next to him, if they weren't so completely raw?

“Don't beg today, Robin.”

Her confusion was short-lived and quickly made way for excitement as soon as he put his lips on her. He fucking loved how reactive she was. Every lick and every probe, every nibble and every suck, every fucking breath of his made her keen and mewl, made her press her hips further against his mouth. So fucking delicious!

Her hand, her real hand, hovered over his hair way longer than it should take for her to gather the courage to ask her question. “May I touch you?”

He grunted an affirmative, hadn't realised how much he'd wanted her hands on him until her nails started digging into his scalp. Used to be fine with it, not being touched. Completely content with knowing that his partners wanted to, relishing in their frustration. Was different with Robin, not just now, this time didn't really count, but last time too. Maybe he had underestimated this whole situation. He was all in, and he was still convinced that she'd come around at some point; he’d just thought they were already further along.

She took two of his fingers without resistance but with a content moan. He could read her body without a doubt, the pulse in her main arteries, the sweat beading and the rose hue of her skin. Her changed breathing, the flutter of her cunt against his digits... If he looked into her eyes now, he'd find her pupils dilated, and in just a few more moments, her muscles would spasm under a strangled cry, her legs would close around his head as she'd ride out her pleasure for as long as possible. What he couldn't read were her emotions. Well, he could with Haki, but only … he honestly had no fucking idea what love would feel like. One emotion he definitely hadn't had directed at him since he'd learned to listen to the voice of things, use Haki. Not in that way at least. Gods damn this shit.

When her legs released him, he guided her back down on her feet. They stood close while her arms disappeared, her laboured breathing puffed against his face. Her eyes still shone with the high of her release. Gods, she was beautiful with those rosy cheeks of hers. Fucking hell, he was the damn love cook. A whining lovestruck fool, is what he was. Fucking damn. He stepped back from her.

She stood before him, lost. “This.. this was different from last time. Do you, I don't know, do you want me to…” she trailed off, hand vaguely gesturing towards his dick.

Shook his head. “Nah, woman, I'm good,” he declined her offer and sat down on the couch. Was a lie. He wasn't good. Just really not in the mood after his earlier thoughts.

She stood there, gnawing away on her bottom lip, hands fidgeting in front of her. He knew she wanted more, but in this situation… there really wasn't anything else he could give her. Not that he hadn't thought about all the things he could do to her after her penalty was over, but as distracted as he was, he really shouldn't risk it. Didn't want to either. The last time he'd been so scared that she might possibly remember, clam up, beg him to stop abusing her, he hadn't even had the mind to actually enjoy her. The next time he took her, he knew he had to do it right, and now it wouldn't be.

“What now?” She asked, and he shrugged his shoulders .

“Don't know, whatever you want, maybe take that shower of yours?”

She nodded, turned, and like last time, after that one blissful hour of just lying there together, he really wanted to follow her.

At the latch, she stopped. “Maybe, maybe I don't really need a shower.” Had she caught on to his feelings? Hadn't intended on guilt tripping her into staying… Fuck, this was so much easier when no emotions were involved.

She came to him, sat down next to him,  hesitated. There honestly wasn't anything he wanted more than to hug her to him and believe that she felt the same for him as he did for her. He couldn't. Wouldn't be the same as if she closed the distance herself, those few inches

She sat rigid, fuck, she was uncomfortable. Didn't want her to be uncomfortable around him. Maybe he'd been too harsh with her. Wasn't her fault after all; she'd told him from the beginning that she wasn't ready for a relationship. He had been ok with that. Fuck. Just why was she uncomfortable? Maybe she wasn't, maybe she was just mirroring himself, because he was a hell of a lot uncomfortable. He needed her in a way she couldn't be there for him just yet, and there was no way at all to speed that up. Did she know that? Was that why she stayed? To comfort him? That why she was uncomfortable? 'Cause this was even newer for her than for him? Cause she didn't know how to? He should hug her to him, take what he needed since she was offering a blanco, if that was what she was doing…. Fuck. Could he read her? He had no reservations about using his Haki to read her during sex, did so to ensure her pleasure and even more importantly her safety. Now, however… wouldn't it be a violation of her privacy?

She dropped against him. Head on his shoulder, and it felt like he could breathe for the first time since he'd started doubting everything they had.

“Would it be ok if we stayed like this a little?” She asked.

Good gods, yes, forever, please. He put his arm around her. So fucking right.

Chapter Text

She wasn't quite sure what was wrong with him, but she certainly could make an educated guess.

Since the last time they'd been together, he hadn't been his usual grumpy self, instead he seemed… vulnerable, or as vulnerable as a man like him could look. It was probably her fault. Her lack of commitment. She had warned him, hadn't she? Had told him that she could not let herself get emotionally involved. And yet it seemed that he had not heeded her advice. She loved him dearly, as much as she could, and seeing him suffer because of her broke her heart. She had tried to be there for him the last time, had felt deep down that his lack of enthusiasm had been because of her and tried to right this wrong. Apparently without much success. It wasn't that she was unfeeling per se, she just lacked the depth most of her crewmates seemed to reach.

She did love them. She would be devastated if anything were to happen to any of them. She would die for them. What she wouldn't do for them was tap into that well of feeling every child opened for their parents, that she had naively opened for Saul. She knew that the others were stronger because of their unconditional love for each other, but she just couldn't; not for them, and least of all for him. Because if she did, she would fall, tumble down the rabbit hole and never again be able to get out. When Saul had died protecting her, it had nearly destroyed her. If she allowed herself to feel for Zoro like she'd undoubtedly do… if he died, there would be no coming back. It would rip her to pieces, and she couldn't allow that to happen. Their captain couldn't lose two crew members at once, because the boy openly tapped that deep, deep well of emotions.

She had no doubts whatsoever that if one of her family were to die, it would be Zoro. Not by accident, but by choice. He had proven that on Thriller Bark, and she could not allow herself to love such a dedicated, selfless, and honourable man with all she had.

She should let him go. Their last encounter had shown that their arrangement was not as fulfilling for him as it was for her. She shouldn't string him along on the vague hope that maybe someday she would be confident enough to love him in the way he deserved. How could she have the audacity to be jealous of Emilia? She had no right whatsoever, had she? Demanding to be the only one for him while she herself refused to commit to him...

It wouldn't be long before he would tire of her, which kind of was what she wanted, wasn't it? It wasn't. The thought alone hurt enough to reassure her that actually falling for that man that made her feel so safe, so right, could not end well for her.

The way he had clung to her in the crow's nest… her thighs still slick from earlier excitement, uncomfortably drying in the cold air… she doubted she'd ever felt more content in her life. More wanted. More treasured. He didn't deserve that, being treated as a cuddly blanket whenever she felt like it, but she was selfish. Found herself up the crow's nest more often than not, with no books to keep her entertained. Just watching him work out, just basking in his presence, like a cat trying to catch the last rays of sun on a winter afternoon before the cold of the night seeped in through the cracks in the walls. The last of his warmth before he'd rightfully throw her out for playing with his heart. Trampling over it, more likely.

God, how could she do that to him, how could she be this selfish? That sweet man who had just interrupted his afternoon nap to appease the terror Brook's latest horror story had evoked in their resident doctor. Instead of grumpily turning the boy away as any outsider would expect, he let him crawl on his lap to explain to him that there surely were no monsters horrible enough that he couldn't cut them. Dear lord how utterly adorable. It made her stomach drop in the most unpleasant way.

How could she take advantage of such big a heart? She wasn't quite depraved enough to blame her past, where she had only survived by being egotistical. No one but herself was to blame for this.

He looked up, still scratching Chopper between antler and ear, his one eye meeting hers instantly. It wasn't the first time he'd caught her staring the last few days either, and like all the other times, she blushed under his grin while her throat clogged with guilt.

She loved that bright smile of his; for all his grumpiness and sinistry, when he smiled, he looked almost as innocent as Luffy. It hurt her, too. Made her realise how truly vile she really was. Like now, instead of leaving towards the library as she had intended before stumbling upon the scene, she sat her half eaten can of salted cashews on the railing and went down to sit at his side. Cat again. Basking again; in his warmth, his safety, his love probably. God, what a disgusting creature she was.

“Woman?”

She startled awake, her head jerking from his shoulder. Had someone seen them like this? Hopefully not. It was bad enough that she'd have to explain the coming end of their relationship to Nami, but she really didn't want to explain it to the rest of them. Maybe she should talk with Nami about it. No, the navigator would probably just blame Zoro…

“Are you alright?” he asked, and the concern made her stomach clench again.

She smiled even though she knew he'd see the fakeness of it. “I just dozed off, I'm sorry if I worried you.”

He scoffed in response. “Bullshit, you've been acting weird since last time. I know that you had hoped for something different and I'm not going to apologize for it, but it's definitely not your fault that I wasn't in the mood.”

She was a monster. He was worried for her wellbeing while she, in full consciousness, chose to parasitise him.

“I'll make it up to you next time,” he added with that sharkish grin of his that made her knees week, her cheeks red and lips wet.

“You shouldn't. No matter what you say, it is my fault. I know you want more than what I can give you… I… this was a mistake, Kenshi-san,” she declared, and even though she could feel her eyes water at the prospect of actually losing him then and there, it did lift a weight from her chest that had beared down on it for days.

He cursed under his breath, one hand gripping his hair before dragging it down his face with another curse. He turned to look at her, and it knocked the wind right out of her lungs. She'd sat down on his bad side; had she done so to avoid looking at him? Probably, because she almost crumbled under that grey stare of his. The regret she saw. Dear lord, this really was the end, and it put a whole other weight on her chest. He took a deep breath and so did she, steeling herself against the words that would undoubtedly follow.

“You're right, Robin, we're at different places in this-” God, this was the end. “- and I'm sorry I… fuck, I don't know what got into me that night. I knew from the start it would be like this. It's exactly what I signed up for, so don't you dare seek the fault in yourself, woman.”

So this wasn't the end? He took her face in his rough hands, brushed her tears away, and placed those chapped lips on her forehead again. She loved it when he did that. No matter how rough his hands were, how chapped his lips, the gesture soothed her every ailment.

“Not sure if you noticed, but I don't have short term goals, woman. I will wait ‘til you're ready,” he told her with a determination that made her almost believe him. Made her want to believe him. Made her smile, made her breathe.

He got up, one of his hands trailing through her hair almost tenderly. God, she didn't deserve that man, but if he didn't mind waiting for years, possibly… who was she to complain?

“I'm on watch tonight,” he stated. An utterly redundant piece of information. He was on watch almost every night, but she knew the meaning behind his words. Join me . Come and bask in my proximity. Come and allow yourself to fall for me.

Maybe. She contemplated them, every single one of his unvoiced propositions as she watched him climb up the rigging.

A match hissed to light behind her. “Well fuck me, the buffoon actually has a way with words.”

She knew the rivalry between the two of them was mostly for show, but the astonishment in the chef's voice was real. About the unsuspected eloquence, not the apparent relationship between them. For how long had he known? She would have expected him to be quite vocal and violent upon finding out, but as he leaned against the railing, one hand in his pocket, the other on his cigarette, he did seem at peace with the situation. He must have known for weeks!

“He has many hidden talents,” she smiled at him, trying her best to hide her earlier tears.

The corners of his mouth dropped, and he answered with an indignant huff, “yeah, I'd prefer to be left in blissful ignorance about those, if you don't mind.”

“What can I do for you, Sanji-kun,” she asked, seeing something akin to nervousness in his behaviour, more than the possible information about Zoro's sexual prowess allowed. Usually, the cigarette would just more or less comfortably lie between his lips after a few inhales, but he was already halfway through.

“You know I love you, Robin, so don't take this the wrong way. The damn mosshead is loyal to a fault, and he will wait for you indefinitely…,” he trailed off for another deep inhale of smoke, tapped the toe of his boot against the planks. He was obviously nervous and probably dreaded his next words just as much as she did.

“Please go on, Sanji-kun”

He flicked the butt in the sea, stalling.

“If you can't find it in your heart to love him, don't use him. Break it off. He will sulk and hurt, and probably follow that damn blade's whims again for a while, but he will come back the same he was before. He doesn't look it, but under all that brawn, he's a softie. Have you seen the guy with kids? It's almost ridiculous... What I'm trying to say is, don't destroy him.”

By the way the cook looked at her, it must have almost destroyed him to say those things, but he was right. It was a truth she knew deep down whenever she was alone, a truth that was pushed back into the far end of her consciousness whenever her grumpy swordsman was near.

High above her, she could see the light in the crow's nest. She should go up and end it.

She didn't want to, dear god she really didn't, but Sanji was right.

“Don't jump to conclusions, Robin, I'm not done. If all you need is time to accept that you do need him, that this thing between you is more than nakamaship and … sex… then spare the two of you the heartbreak and go up there to commit to that damn lucky bastard.”

“I'm afraid it's not that simple, Sanji-kun.”

It really wasn't. He lit another cigarette, god this really was eating away at him. How had she not realised that the chef was this worried about them, him? They had fought more than usually lately, hadn't they? This thing was breaking the crew apart. Oh, how would Chopper feel? During their bath all those weeks ago, she'd been so confident, the boy had seemed to like the idea of them together, would he be disappointed?

“Well what is it you're worried about? That he'll break your heart? No offense, but as it stands now, it'll more likely be the other way round,” he said, and she could hear the irritation in his voice.

She chuckled, tried to ease the tension with a bit of humour, “and here I thought you'd be on my side, cook-san.”

It didn't work. His gaze turned dark within the second, a look he hadn't even bestowed on her all those years ago when she'd still been an enemy.

“I am, Robin, trust me. If that Neanderthal leaves so much as a bruise on your delicate body, I'll filet him alive with a spoon, but right now, you don't seem to be the one needing protection,” he said in a tone much softer than the sinister look had made her expect. It wasn't the right situation for thoughts like that, and still she blushed at the mention of bruises. Hopefully the cook would never find out that she wished for far more than just bruises to adorn her body. Wasn't that commitment in a way? Carrying his mark? Could it be a middle ground? A promise that she'd come around in the future?

She smiled, happy almost. “Thank you, Sanji-kun, you helped me a lot,” she told him truthfully. And just like that, every ounce of seriousness disappeared from him as he pirouetted towards the galley, singing words of gratitude towards his sweet, sweet mellorine.

Chapter Text

Never assume anything, golden rule of BDSM. He had internalised it ages ago. Or rather, it had been beaten into him very early on in his journey. He was glad for it, even though he hadn't shown it to the woman back then, his pride way too wounded to see the merit in her actions and teachings…

Well, he rarely acted on assumptions in social interaction, but he did assume a great deal of things.

For example, he assumed that the shit cook was an idiot… scratch that, he knew he was an idiot, but he assumed that him fawning over everything with a pulse and a cunt between the legs was to compensate for something . After the 2 years, it had almost become palothogical .

He did assume that Nami used their debts to bind them to her, and that she liked him best because his debt was the highest. Well, his and Luffy's, but the boy was an idiot who had probably earned every single berry on his tab.

He also assumed that their captain wasn't as naïve as he seemed. He had spent two fucking years with the Kuja, after all. The empress seemed madly in love with him, and he had mentioned that they had shared a bath together at some point. There also was that Alabasta bath house incident. Just like the others, the boy had gotten a nosebleed at the sight. Fucking idiots should have expected Nami would react like that… maybe not her flashing them, but they should have definitely known that she would charge them. He had known. It was the reason he hadn't been up that wall with the other fools, not because he had gotten lost on his way or something, most definitely not!

He did assume that Chopper was aware of his occasional escapades, because he knew about his keen sense of smell, he just couldn't bring himself to actually admitting it, or think too hard about it because… Chopper was Chopper. The boy who would hide behind him or come snuggle against him whenever a dream from his rough past ripped him from his sleep. Or when the idiot skeleton told him a horror story before bedtime...

And as of late, he assumed that Robin loved him. No, he knew she loved him. He assumed that she was in love with him, even though she seemed to struggle with accepting it.

Even with marines or other ships nearby, she would come up to the crow's nest without a book to even pretend to read. He assumed it was just so she could fall asleep and wake up with him next to her.

Even when the others were around, he caught her watching him with a fond smile on her lips that made his heart swell with emotion. It was a strained smile sometimes, but he didn't care about that. It was like her to worry, after all.

For all the talking they had done, they had never talked emotions. Mainly because she had made clear from the beginning that she wasn't ready for it. Instead of dumping all his feelings on her, he waited for her to breach the subject - as hard as it was sometimes, shown in his latest fuck up. He just hoped she would do it soon, because the way she was acting around him, it didn't really take a genius to figure out. And he really wanted to get their story straight before getting cornered by the few of the crew still blissfully unaware.

He didn't mind that she took her time to evaluate. Was sure enough that things would turn out in favour for him, just like the freak meeting with Emilia. Things were clear for him, and there was nothing to hide, nothing that could sneak up and bite him in the ass. All he could do now was make her confident and comfortable enough to admit it to at least herself.

Just like he had ages ago. From the realisation in the bar that no other woman would do, the first kiss where he'd still been afraid to crush her, to the first stray thought of love right before going berserk on that flock of marines... When they'd first made out  on Karni, fuck, he hadn't even cared that she probably wasn't into the same things he was. Oh sweet, sweet surprise. If only he'd found her with such books sooner… he might still have a bed of warm wood instead of the cold steel one. Not that it mattered. He did spend most of his nights up here with Robin after all, play or not, they'd gotten used to sleeping with the other around. Felt wrong sleeping alone… he assumed it was the same for her.

It didn’t matter that she had tried to break it off just now. Feelings were complicated for her, and he knew he couldn’t change that. He’d just have to wait and hope that his luck would be enough to take on the demons holding her back. He leaned his swords against the couch, hand lingering on Kitetsu.

He had meant to ask Franky for a swordrack one of these days, but… over the past months the idea of a wooden rack had lost its appeal. Now, he preferred if he could finally test a more… organic one.

Damn, this was not the time to flee into fantasy, he should clear his mind. Had seen what it had done to her the last time he had slipped. How had that even happened? It was unlike him to question things, either they happened or they weren’t meant to happen. He could try his best to change them, but even then, there was no use in questioning the outcome, no use wrecking his mind over it. Or Robin’s. He took off his robe and haramaki, readied himself for a few hundred reps of weighted pushups. They usually got things in his head in order.

It really didn’t matter that she had tried to break it off, not to him, but what did matter was why. Did she really think she couldn’t love him? Or  was she afraid to love him ? First option didn’t bother him the slightest. She already did, so who cared if she realised it just yet? The second, however, was something else. If for whatever reason she wouldn’t allow herself to fall deeper for him, he’d have to tackle that problem, which he couldn’t since she wouldn’t tell him the reason. Fucking infuriating. Nami might know what her problem was, but he couldn’t ask her and neither would she tell him… What could be the reason? What did she fear would happen if she fell in love with him, consciously? For a woman like her it would probably make her feel vulnerable, but she should know that he wouldn’t hurt her. Did she still fear he would leave her? He had told her he wouldn’t, so that couldn’t be the reason. He already knew about her past, so she couldn’t be afraid he’d dislike her for whatever the fuck they had done to her. He didn’t know all of it of course, and not too many details, but again, he had told her that he didn’t care about that, wouldn’t think less of her because of it. Damn it.

He was on pushup 729 when she came through the latch, smiling and with an air of determination around her that had him feel like an idiot for searching the possible reasons for her denial. Right now, she didn’t seem to want to deny him anything.

“I have a proposition for you, once you’re done, Kenshi-san,” she announced with a huge smile that one rarely saw on the devil child Nico Robin. He grunted an affirmative before finishing his reps at 1500 while she made herself comfortable on the couch, no book in hand. If she called him by that stupid nickname, it really could go either way. But she did seem quite optimistic, so he assumed - again- this time it wasn't meant to distance herself.

When he righted himself to dry off with the nearby towel, she beat him to it, rubbing the rough fabric along his torso with a hunger in her eyes he had missed the last few weeks. She seemed like a new person. Whatever had happened between them talking on deck and her coming up here had made all the difference, and he hated the thought of it being the damn cook who had made her this… positive. His rival had been the only other one awake when he’d left her.

She walked around him, leaving one cool hand on his chest as she scrubbed his back dry with the other. He could get used to this. Her long fingers played with the scar Mihawk had left on his front, her nails scratching along the edges every now and then.

“You know, I don’t have any of those,” she said, dropping the towel to press herself against his back, “scars I mean. You must have noticed…”

He gave her a firm nod when she rested her head on his shoulder, her breath tickling through his earrings. Since their last encounter, she had taken to approaching him on his blind side more and more.

“With all I told you, did it make you wonder? Shouldn’t my body be littered with scars?”

He nodded again. “It should.”

“Until a year ago, it still was,” she said and buried herself in his neck. She didn’t want to talk about this, which maybe explained why she had chosen his blind side this time, too. Didn’t make sense though, scars did not disappear. And fuck, he sure as hell would have noticed scars on her even before they had become intimate. Wasn’t like her outfits had left much to the imagination… Had… she didn’t wear quite as revealing clothing as she had before, was that because of him? He honestly didn’t give a single fuck about what she wore in front of others as long as he was the only one who could bury his cock in her at the end of the day! He shook his head, not the time.

“How? Luffy’s dad have some mystery potion?”

She laughed, making his earrings chime against one another… wasn’t that funny… who knew what people came up with these days? He had no time to sulk though. His scar started tingling, and he jerked back into Robin when he saw it disappear before his eye. Holy fuck? That couldn’t- he had earned that, how could- no, it didn’t actually disappear. There was that tingling warmth that always came with her grown limbs, but it was around the scar, not on it. That bit of skin was still as numb as it had always been. It was still there, just hidden.

“It’s how I hid them. A sheen of tiny hands, artificial second skin, if you will.”

He let out a breath he had probably been holding since he’d thought his precious memento had just been healed out of existence. “And now?”

“Now you don’t have to worry about scarring me for life if you cut me, Zoro-sama.”

Fucking damn. Her words had run straight to his cock, and it took him every ounce of self control he had not to take her then and there. Fuck. She would look beautiful, but what the bloody hell was she thinking? He turned, put some steps between them and did an admittedly horrendous job at reining in his irritation. “Have you lost your fucking mind, woman? I can’t cut you!”

She raised one of her delicate eyebrows at him and crossed her arms under her chest, and he wasn’t quite sure if she was pouting or trying to persuade him by drawing attention to her glorious tits.

“And why not?” she asked. “You didn’t seem to have reservations when it came to Emilia, did you?”

Definitely pouting. And fuck him for thinking it a good idea to let the two talk. So much for nothing there to bite him in the ass. No, it had been a good idea, letting her talk to another sub… giving her a chance to ask questions he probably couldn’t answer. But fuck, this really wasn’t something he wanted to have to discuss with her. It had been so easy not to do it, not want to do it with her when she had shown no interest at all, but now… fuck. That wasn’t the safe or sane thing to do to begin with, but for them… They were pirates for fuck’s sake!

“Well, maybe that was because she wasn’t a fucking pirate that could be attacked any fucking second of the day? Damn it, woman, you should know that every wound we sustain could mean our death, and you want me to cut you? Are you crazy?” he tried to reason, knowing full well that he would never win a verbal fight against her even when he was right. This really was a waste of time, there was nothing he could say. She knew the dangers, knew that if she wanted a scar like Emilia -as he assumed , since she’d brought the woman up- she’d have to nurse an open wound for quite a while. He couldn’t even stall because she was uninformed. Hadn’t read the whole book she’d written, but he knew there was a risk assertion section for any form of play she’d covered, and cutting unfortunately was one of them. She had done her homework, and now she was standing before him fully aware of all the risks involved and still consenting, requesting. Fucking hell.

“You know I’m aware, Zoro,” she summed up his own thoughts for him.

“I know…” he admitted and sat down on the couch with one deep breath, “but for fuck’s sake, woman, I don’t want to be responsible for you getting killed or captured because you aren’t in top fighting condition. What if you get an infection, or I accidentally cut a nerve? That shit is dangerous.” But fuck, did he want to cut her. Carve his mark into her body for everyone to see, paint that pale skin red with her blood… Gods be damned, as much as he wanted to, he wouldn’t. Couldn’t.

“Ne, Zoro…” He froze, she didn't usually use that type of girlish speech, did she? And that high pitch? Oh the gods help him, the woman was going for the kill. The last time she had only put pictures in his mind, it had taken him weeks to get rid of… Luffy’s absolute lack of modesty really hadn’t helped the issue... This time, he wouldn't be that lucky. This time, she'd use a weapon he and the government alike feared way more than any devil fruit… logic and knowledge. He refused to acknowledge her, but she continued anyway. “Are you not becoming the world’s greatest swordsman? Have you not long since mastered the art of cutting everything and nothing? Don’t you prove that ability whenever you fight marines? I can’t possibly imagine a man of your proficiency to accidentally cut something important, and while yes, I could flinch into your blade… you could always immobilise me with that rope of ours.”

She fucking had him, and she knew it. Showed him with that hungry glint in her eyes and barely restrained triumphant smile on her face. It wasn’t like catering to his strength and abilities particularly swayed him, that would be so, so weak of him, but it really was the only part they didn’t have to worry about. Even back with Emilia, when he hadn’t even known it possible for people to want to get cut, and he hadn’t known how to not cut, his mastery over the blade had not been the issue. He knew anatomy, too, Koshiro had made it a point to sit him down and study. After all, one could not master the blade without knowing where to cut. The actual problem was the wound. He didn’t mind sending her to Chopper with random cuts here and there, surely she could come up with some excuse, but if she wanted his mark, there was no way in any hell that he would let the kid get involved. They could probably wait for Law to stay with them for a while and then do it? At least for the initial care, to make sure everything was fine? He did know how to dress a wound himself of course, but with their life as pirates, it was better safe than sorry.

“About Emilia…” It felt so weird addressing her like that, knowing it wasn’t her real name. “She already had scars by the time I met her. She knew what she was doing and what she was asking, so don’t expect me to just carve you up like that.”

She looked surprised. She really shouldn't be; it should have been obvious to her that even if he consented they wouldn't rush into things just like that.

“She was already scarred? How? I thought she was your age?” she asked.

That explained her confusion. He scoffed. “Right, she was 21 back then, and I have a feeling she will be for a while.”

She huffed, probably irritated that she'd been fooled like that. Then she took a deep breath. “Doesn’t matter, it doesn't change anything, I still want you to cut me and I want you to leave a mark. I won't show it to anybody but you, and I can heal it should I get captured. I'm aware that we will work our way up, and I know about the risks involved. The wounds may have to be reopened to ensure the proper scarring thus prolonging the healing process, but that shouldn't be an issue. Your wounds never get infected, and you don't even try to heed Chopper’s warnings. I'm sure he can provide care for an extended amount of time without it being too much of an inconvenience.”

Had he heard that right? Chopper? She truly was out of her mind if she thought about going to the kid. She must have seen his thoughts on his face because he could swear he saw her eyes roll before several arms of her bloomed into existence, opening one of the compartments under the couch.

“You really don't give him enough credit. He's a doctor,” she said while her arms passed her manuscript over to him. Before he could even think to ask her what this was about, another arm opened it to reveal the cover page.

A guide for the negotiation of non-normative sexual practices: Exhaustive terms and conditions for consensual transfer of power and risks therein.

By Nico Robin and Tony ...Tony ...Chop...

Chapter Text

“I didn't want him to faint again, so I didn't ask him if he'd use scalpels or his own blades, but if he uses his swords I'd recommend he also uses haki, because no matter how good he takes care of them, they aren't sterile. Also, just in case, I did put some disposable scalpels in the box… just tell him you bought it on the last island or something, I don't want him distracted when you guys do stuff like that.” That's what Chopper had told her when he'd given her the box five days ago, after she'd heaved the unconscious swordsman down to the infirmary and explained the situation. She did not like lying to Zoro. They had settled for brutal honesty about everything kink related, but in light of recent events, she agreed with their doctor, so she followed his advice and told the lie.

The swordsman's eyebrow rose in reaction. “Pretty sure you got it from Chopper,” he sighed in that fatalistic way that gave her hope that he might have made peace with the fact that Chopper was her doctor and always would be. Rather unimpressed, he packed all the sterile packs of gauze and compresses and the bottle of disinfectant back into the box, quite haphazardly she might add, before shoving it into the compartment under the couch. “Well, we won’t be needing that anytime soon anyway,” he explained, grey eye on her.

“We won’t?” she asked. Hadn’t they talked about this? After she had assured him over and over again that she had never been cut before - hit and whipped, burned, yes, but never cut - he had agreed to at least ease her into knife play before they got serious. So wouldn’t it be practical to keep it out?

He scoffed. “No, Robin,” he said, as if it were obvious while he continued to rummage through the small storage. God, she loved how her name sounded from his tongue. Should she be ashamed that it was enough to get her excited? Enough for her lower belly to tighten and for her lips to wet? He rarely used her name in their everyday life recently, but when they were here, up high in the crow’s nest all alone, he wouldn’t call her anything but. Him using her name made her shudder in memory of the wonderful things he had done to her and quiver in excitement for all the things to come. The satisfaction dancing in the grey eye that still hadn’t left her told her that he knew exactly what effect it had on her and that it was very much welcome.

“Then what are you planning?” It clicked when he finally found what he had been searching for: three packs of rope, one of them the smooth red rope they had gotten from the old woman, and two other packages more than twice the size.

He got up, throwing the red one on the couch and undoing the other two. “You said it yourself, Robin. It won’t do for you to flinch into the blade, so before you can even hope to feel the bite of my sword, you’ll have to get used to the tooth of the rope. Undress.”

She did without hesitation, blushing despite his feigned disinterest as he linked the two ropes in the middle. Maybe it was more for the excitement surging through her body from him ordering her around, or the pictures running through her head. Pictures of what she would look like once he was done with her.

“You will tell me if the ropes are too tight or you feel pain,” he said as he put the looped ropes over her head, link hanging low on her neck.

“Yes,” she answered. She would tell him, would speak up if something was wrong, because she knew he wouldn't punish her for justified complaint. He wouldn't whip her because her limbs had dared going numb. He wouldn't charr her skin black, because her limbs had dared turning blue. With the firm grip of one callused hand around her jaw, he ripped her from her dreadful past and lead her back to her delightful present, fire and doubt warring for dominance in his grey eye.

“I will, Zoro-sama,” she affirmed, and the fire won.

His knuckles brushed against her skin as he tied the four strands of rope into a loose twist above her chest, and her breathing hitched as one of the loose tails whipped against her thigh. Lord, this was a lot of rope, how could he possibly need all of it? Another twist below her chest, and her skin erupted in goosebumps when the back of his hands brushed against the underside of her breasts.

He kept his gaze on her face as he tied another further down her body, without a doubt drinking in even her most miniscule reaction. She did not dare look down. As curious as she was, she did not for fear that he would stop. In fact, she was terrified, even though somewhere in the back of her head a teeny tiny voice told her that it should be him continuing to tie her up that scared her. She should try to escape before it was too late, before she would be completely at his mercy, but she did not want to. She delighted in the thrill of what was to come. Her body relished in the way his stare made her feel so small and vulnerable, the way the rope brushed over her skin.

She jumped into his hand when he tied another twist right above her tiny pearl, no doubt deliberately touching her. He reprimanded her with a click of his tongue. “What did I tell you about discipline? Stay still.”

Her reaction was instantaneous and maybe worrisome in its extent. Her heart sped up at his words and a wave of dread washed over her, because the last time he had chided her lack of discipline was still very present in her mind. He could not deny her again after such a short time, could he?

“Forgive me, Zoro-sama,” she sobbed, and her eyes grew wide when she realised she was actually crying. It didn't seem to bother him, in fact he seemed awfully smug about it as he nodded his head in approval before tapping the inside of her right thigh.

Unexplained happiness surged through her as she spread her legs for him to pull the ropes between her thighs. He scoffed as he brushed against her labia, “Fucking drippin’ already, are we, Robin? Arms.”

Lifting her arms in the air, the best she could do was a rather pathetic whimper. She hadn't realised just how sensitive she had become under the constant caress of the rope until the rough fabric of his robe pressed against her breasts as he reached behind her to loop the tails through the bit of rope hanging down between her shoulder blades. He brought the lengths back to her front and spread apart the first loop between her breasts by twisting the loose tails through each side right below the first twist. Just barely she repressed the shudder running through her as the ends caught on her nipples before he crossed them behind her back.

When he pulled them to the front again to twist through the same loop but beneath her chest, he pulled his gaze away from hers for the first time since he had started, looking at the impressively neat hexagon between her mounds. For but a second, she contemplated just how often he must have done this to work this precise without even looking, then he yanked her forward with the ropes. “Focus,” he chastised, and she whimpered as the lowest knot bit into her clitoris.

She did focus, though, as he continued drawing out hexagon after hexagon. She focused solely on him - the brush of his hands, the friction of his rope, the press of his body against hers. Everything else just… fell away. The Sunny, the danger of getting caught, the constant threat to their lives, her past. Everything was gone except for the two of them. Every feeling of dread and anxiety, every hurt from the past, none of it mattered as he clad her in a dress of hemp to hold her together so she didn't have to herself.

How long had it been? She couldn't tell, minutes or hours, it all seemed the same. But it took only the blink of an eye to rip her from her meditative cocoon of weightlessness, for bottomless desperation and boundless desire to crash back into her. All it had taken was for him to break their gaze, to leave her line of sight, and her knees nearly buckled from the weight of the loss. He held her up though, with a sure grip around the ropes over the small of her back, giving her back the sense of security but nearly ripping away her control as the rope pushed up against her most sensitive parts.

“So, Robin, there anything you want?” He asked just suggestive enough to tell her he knew exactly what she wanted. Knew that her body was on fire, craved his touch; that it wasn't just what she wanted, but needed; that her core was throbbing for his erection. How had this happened? It was just rope and yet she felt like she was on one of the aphrodisiacs Crocodile would give her for his parties. How was she not frightened? She had always been terrified when she had felt this way before, the need to fight, to flee thrumming through her veins just as much as his drugs did. Yet, here she stood, over a puddle of her own secretions wanting more. Feeling free like she never had before because she felt pleasure of her own choosing. He had asked her before if she could imagine how it would be to be tied up without the wish to escape, and she couldn't have even imagined just how exhilarating it was. All her life, she had fled and fought, and now she finally knew what it was like to not having to do any of those things; what it was like to stay and submit.

She refocused on him, after the flat of his calloused hand made contact with her cheek for the second time.

“Wasn't a rhetorical question, Robin.” He urged, and it took her a bit to get enough of her bearing to remember his question.

She knew exactly what she wanted, could now even admit it to herself. Even though she had effectively tried to distance herself from all the lewd and disgusting things they had made her do and say… had even sworn herself to never allow such deranged situations to arise again, she now knew that there was nothing disgusting or deranged about it when it happened between him and her. And yet, saying it out loud still scared her. She was truly glad that she was flushed enough already so he wouldn't notice her embarrassment.

He sighed, fingers digging under the highest twist to pull her towards him. “Fine, Robin, I can see you're a bit overwhelmed. Let me help you,” he suggested, his hot breath against her ear making her shudder in delight while his too generous tone made her tingle with dread.

“You want my cock,” he stated as a matter of fact, catching her earlobe between his teeth for emphasis, biting harder than necessary and just hard enough to send another spark down to her nether regions.

He chuckled when she jumped, right into his waiting hand, deft fingers immediately circling her wet entrance. God, she was so close already, had been for a while.

“Only question is where,” he finished, and one slick finger brushing her rear entrance made her yelp in surprise. No, she didn't want that, not now, not yet, and she could read on his smug face that he knew. It shouldn't be a problem, telling him that she wanted him in her femininity, but that wasn't what he wanted to hear, was it?

His face fell in disappointment. She didn't know if it was real or an act, but she still felt the burn of regret bubbling up her tearducts. She didn't want to disappoint him. She could say it, she would, she would tell him that she wanted him to bury his cock in her cunt. She could do it! But when she opened her mouth to speak through the tears streaming down her face, he cut her off, drew away from her, leaving her cold and guilty. Why did everything affect her so much?

“When I ask you a question, you answer it right away and not whenever it seems right to you, Robin. You know that,” he said.

She knew. Lord, yes she knew, but it was so difficult, and she didn't even know why. She bowed her head. “Please forgive me, Zoro-sama.”

He grunted in response and turned away from her. “Well, since you obviously can't ask for it, I'll just have to make you work for it,” he said as he took the remaining rope. “Arms up so you can use your power.”

Her heart skipped a beat as she obeyed. That meant he forgave her, didn't it? That he wasn't too disappointed in her? God, she didn't want to disappoint him! She wanted to make him happy any way she could! She didn't pay attention as he bound her arms in position; she wouldn't dare defy him again, so she concentrated with all she had to keep her body from reacting to the way the red harness around her forearms would scratch against her nipples with each breath she took. And she was sure it would only be half as hard if it weren't for the twist of rope doing the same with her clitoris.

When he was done, he laid his hand on her head, just enough pressure in the touch to let her sink down on her knees, just enough to help her keep her balance now that her hands were tied. Just enough so she wouldn't slip. His hand fisted in her hair the moment she had safely settled before him, tilted her head up to look at him. She wasn't even embarrassed about the now cooled liquid against her shins as she looked up, drinking in his glower. Dear lord, that gaze alone made her want to rub her thighs together no matter how unsatisfactory anything but him would be for her. But she didn't dare. No matter how much she throbbed and dripped, she would wait her turn. Wouldn't disappoint him again.

He just stared at her for a while, and the oddest sensation washed over her as she once again felt tears run down her face. It wasn't anticipation or dread - she was positively giddy. How did he intend to make her work for it? Would he let her taste him again? Oh please, god, yes! That velvet skin, the soft nutty flavour… she barely suppressed a whimper, it had been so long! Had he noticed that she'd taken to snack cashews recently? He would let her if she asked him, wouldn't he? If she begged with all the obscene words he wanted to hear?

He let go of her, and as neglectable as the contact had been, so dire was the loss of it. With the warmth of his hand, he took her hope and reason, leaving only dreadful longing just like before when he had left her sight to tie the ropes up the small of her back.

Then he grinned at her, that huge grin that made his enemies tremble in fear but made her heart surge in unexplained happiness.

“You'll be quite useful to me now, Robin,” he declared, and joyous tears replaced the sad and terrified ones from just a moment ago.

She was a complete emotional mess, and dear god please don't ever let it end.

Chapter Text

She was different this time. He knew that the rope tended to draw out sides of the recipients they themselves sometimes didn’t know, but holy fuck, he hadn’t expected her to be this receptive; to let go like that. She was a crying, emotional mess, and he fucking loved every second of it. Felt foolish for having doubted her. Sure, one could let go like that without any grand feelings of love, but Nico Robin sure as fuck wouldn’t allow herself to get lost like that if she didn’t have those… if she didn’t accept them on some level at least.

Pretty sure it would take more than just calling her ‘woman’ to snap her out of it this time.

He would have almost given in to his throbbing cock then, when she'd looked up at him from the floor; tears running down her cheeks, eyes filled with such desperation and worship... It filled his insides with the liquid heat he had been so intimately familiar with up to two years ago and that he’d missed ever since. Yeah, this really was different from their first time together: this was right . He wasn’t scared shitless that he might accidentally hit a trigger, shattering all the trust she put in him in an instant. No, he knew he could spank her across the room, and she would beg for more. No fucking way he'd cave just yet. He'd draw this out for as long as he could ... but then he noticed the sheen of sweat covering her from head to toe, acknowledged the puddle of her own sticky fluid she was kneeling in, the tears dripping on her tits, and it had ripped him right back to his senses.

If she fainted again this time, it would be like last time from pleasure frying her brain, not because he'd been too caught up in his fantasy to keep her hydrated. So instead of his swords, he grabbed a bottle of ‘Dr. Chopper's’ and held it to her lips. She didn't even question it, just obeyed. Fucking hell, she was completely gone, completely at his mercy. She'd given herself to him without restraint, all of her carefully constructed walls down… It would be so fucking easy to destroy her. Would be fucking terrifying if he didn’t know what he was doing. But he did.

She wouldn’t even realise if something was wrong. That was his responsibility now. His judgement was the only thing standing between pleasure and pain, pain and mutilation; the only thing protecting her sanity. Because as she was right now, she couldn't take responsibility for any of that. She entrusted her body and mind to him in a way she hadn't done before and which was infinitely more satisfying. As she was now, could she even feel her own body? He broke their gaze and looked her over. Her hands still held the same healthy colour as before, reacted to his touch, but they did feel a bit cold. All of her did, actually. He'd need to wrap this up sooner than he'd hoped. Just a quick wipe then, and if they got along, if Kitetsu behaved, he could always try another time. When he grabbed his swords, their energies practically thrummed against his senses.

He held Shuusui out next to her and relished for just a few moments in her desperate confusion before saving her from her tangible fear of disappointing him. Just when had that become her motivation instead of curiosity and her own pleasure? Had she even noticed it herself? That her pleas for forgiveness had stopped being just recited words they had agreed upon and had started to come alive with honest desperation and a wish to please?

“Six for him.” He ordered, and as soon as the words left him, six arms bloomed into existence below to meet the black sheath. With a nod of approval, he moved to her other side, holding out Kitetsu for her to take while at the same time willing the mad blade to behave.

“Two,” he ordered, thoroughly ignoring the sword's wicked cackle.

A shiver wrecked her frame as soon as the cursed sword made contact with her hands, and she instantly apologized for the surprised yelp she’d given. He gave her a low hum to show that he didn’t mind. In fact, he was rather ecstatic that his good luck charm seemed to get along so nicely with his woman.

When he laid Wadô in her hands, her actual hands, her eyes widened in joyous surprise.

“You wanted to get familiar with her, didn’t you, Robin?” he asked.

It took her a short moment to comprehend. Compared to her usual self, she was becoming quite slow, but then she donned the happiest smile he had ever seen on any person and thanked him, as if holding his sword was the greatest honour of all. In any other situation, he probably would have felt mocked. In this one, however, where he knew her mind far beyond the capacity to lie to him, it made not jumping her so much harder.

He knelt down before her, extending a hand for Shuusui, and she gave it to him without any hesitation. Seemingly ignoring the bound woman before him, he bowed to the blade, drew it and wiped it. Performing the same ritualised tasks he always did, but his Haki was solely trained on Robin.

When he opened the bottle of choji oil, something in her changed, and confused frustration rolled off of her in waves. Oh, it had to be so frustrating for a woman of her intellect to be abandoned by her own brain. One final bow towards the black blade, and he gave it back to her, demanding Kitetsu next.

His swords were heavy, he knew and Robin started to notice it too if the tremor in her arms was an indication.

He gave Kitetsu back, taking Wadô in return, and he just barely had time to unsheathe it when her head dropped from the exertion. Now, that wouldn't do. Willing his treasure not to cut her, he pushed her head up by the chin. Tears ran freely again from her clenched eyes, over her set jaw down to the tip of his blade pressing into the soft skin of her chin. She was beautiful!

“Look at me, Robin, I want to see the agony and despair in your eyes.”

Her blue eyes met his, her brow drawn in concentration and dread. So fucking beautiful.

“Good, now pull yourself together, you wouldn't want to disrespect my swords by letting them fall, would you, Robin?”

She gave a whine like some kicked dog in the streets before profusely agreeing that, no, she didn't want that, would never dare, and would do anything to please him. Fucking hell.

He drew the blade over her cheek in soft caress, rewarding her, and she didn't flinch. No, the goddess before him didn't flinch from his blade - she fucking leaned into it, her face a mask of pure fucking bliss. He was glad he didn't cut her face, but damn if the gesture didn't nearly make him explode in his fucking pants.

By the time he was done with Wadô, she had pretty much reached her limit. Just as well; he wouldn't last long anyway. After the final bow towards his trusted blade, he got up and laid it back into her waiting hands, pat her head for a job well done, not daring to use his sword again with his attention waning. Woman was fucking unpredictable. She smiled again, as if he was the fucking center of her world, before opening her mouth for him. Waiting. Wanting. So fucking tempting! Ah, fuck it all.

Cursing first his sash, then his robe, and finally his pants, he freed his throbbing cock, sighing in relief at the sensation. Fucking finally. Another whine from her drew his attention. Fist in her hair, he plunged himself into her waiting mouth, and it was fucking heaven. Her tongue dragging over his head, teeth scraping along his sides, throat constricting around him as she gagged. Took every fucking ounce of his willpower to focus his hazy mind enough not to push past her limit. Or what he thought he remembered to be her limit. Fuck.

Balls tight, feet tingling, abdominals tense, damn. Pulled out.

“Mouth or cunt, Robin,” he asked, but he only got a glazed gaze in return. Slapped her across the cheek. Not hard enough to bruise, but certainly hard enough to let him know that she didn't keep any balance on her own. Only thing keeping her upright was her hair in his fist, and he hadn't even noticed. Woman weighed fucking nothing. Did the trick.

“Mouth or cunt,” he repeated when she finally seemed to focus on him again, face all scrunched up as if it was the hardest thing she'd done in her life.

“Well?”

She clenched her eyes shut, turned away as much as his iron grip allowed. Gods, make up your fucking mind woman!

“Cunt!” She cried out. “Please fuck my cunt, Zoro-sama.”

Lead her down, just barely conscious enough to make sure Wadô didn't cut off her air supply as she lay on it. Pushed in, glad for the ropes’ added friction, because her cunt was absolutely soaked. She moaned and sobbed with every thrust, cunt clenching around him. Gripped her hips tighter. Balls tingling again. Heat spreading from his lower back. So fucking close.

“Cum, may… Please?”

Desperate as he was, that wouldn't do. Pulled her up against him by her hair. “What was that?”  So fucking hard, almost painful.

“Please, I… may I please cum, Zoro-sama?”

Better. Hummed his approval. “Do it.”

She did. Fucking heaven. Her cunt gripping him so tight, he lost it almost instantly. Barely saw the burst of petals; heard the clutter of his swords. Not important. Didn't care. Pure bliss.

Last few pumps inside of her. Throbbing. Fuck.

She was still convulsing around him. Few more thrusts to help her through. Pulled out when she went slack, not caring for his cum dripping out of her and on the floor. Whole room was a fucking mess. Took Wadô from her grasp. Laid her on the floor as gentle as he could. Could see his fingers imprinted on her left hip, some chafing of the rope. She wouldn't mind, and fuck if he didn't like the sight.

He leaned the white sword against the wall, she’d dropped the other two. He’d make her answer for that later, still scared him a bit when she fainted like that. He spread the blanket on the couch; he'd need to get a new one, a softer one. Couldn't fucking believe how weak his legs were. Grabbed some towels and wiped her down, got her dry. She started to stir when he picked her up, mumbled something against his chest. They’d really have to work on that, maybe ask Law, too… couldn’t be healthy to always faint like this, could it? He sat her on the couch, her head rolling back on the cushions, and undid the rope around her arms.

He looked at the red marks left from her thrashing against the rope, immediately squashing the thought that she did not deserve such rough treatment after what she'd already been through. Of course she deserved it. She wanted it, enjoyed it, and she damn well deserved to enjoy herself. Fuck his conscience for trying to destroy this for him, because it had been fucking amazing for both of them end of story.

A wave of horror washed over him, and Robin tensed. Took him longer than he'd like to admit to realise that it hadn't been his own emotion, especially since he was so fucking close to dropping. She sobbed and cried, and he just barely stopped himself from ordering her to shut up. Instead, he took her face in his hands, tried to focus her gaze on him, not at what she was staring at behind him.

“What's wrong?”

She sobbed some more, apologized over and over again before finally telling him why she was apologizing. “I didn't mean to drop your swords, Zoro-sama.”

Ah, she had, hadn’t she? He hushed her. “It's alright for now,” he assured her, tried to anyway. Hadn't planned for this, hadn't thought she'd let go like this. Took him ten fucking minutes to calm her down, ten damn minutes of soft words and kisses ‘til she was clear enough to understand that she’d have to answer for the disrespect, just not right now.

Took ten minutes for his regret to take root and fester, too. Fuck. How could he put her through this? How could he make her suffer like that? Because it's what both of them wanted. Did they though? She was new to this, he had introduced her. What if she just let herself be strung along? How the fuck was he better than Crocodile or any of the other sick fucks she had been with before? Deep breath. He wasn't like them. They had talked things through. He hadn't done anything she had not signed off on. Everything was fucking fine.

Didn't feel fine though.

Soft hands on his cheeks. Gods, how could her hands be so soft? She smiled at him, gaze tired but completely focused.

“Thank you,” she said before she kissed him. A chaste kiss but filled with so much love he could almost taste it. Did she know that? Was she aware? Didn't matter. She wouldn't kiss him like that, wouldn't smile at him like that if he had fucked up, if he had overdone it, if he was anything close to her tormentors.

Everything was fine.

Chapter Text

She didn't know how long it had taken for her to resurface, for him to bring her back. Apparently time didn't really matter when one thought their Dom had abandoned them. She had disrespected him in such a blatant way, and he didn't even deem her worthy of punishment. With everything she had endured in her life, she'd never felt more lost. When she had finally come to understand that she would have to answer for her crime, the unbridled happiness that had surged through her hadn't even surprised her. She hadn't second guessed it this time, not spent even a thought about how she should worry about it. When they were up here, in calm waters and with no imminent threats, then she wanted to serve him in whatever way he deemed fit. He was her world, and anything he would do to her was infinitely better than being cast aside, given up.

Through her joy, clarity returned, and she saw him again. Him , Pirate Hunter Zoro, First Mate of the future pirate king and the world's greatest swordsman to be, not her Zoro-sama. The man kneeling before her, staring right through her, quite obviously battling his own thoughts. He looked miserable, regret clearly visible in his creased brow. Why? He should have enjoyed himself, right? This was what he did, wasn’t it? He had been open enough about his past experiences, from what her groggy mind could piece together of the earlier scene, nothing out of the ordinary had happened. Was it because of her? She couldn't help but wonder if he wouldn't enjoy normal sex more, if he wouldn't like her more if she were normal, if it wouldn’t be infinitely easier for him to indulge in her without all her ballast.

She had been quite selfish, hadn't she? She had monitored her own mental health quite closely; she owed it to herself, the crew, and him to make sure she didn't do this for the wrong reasons. That she didn't slip and become the empty husk that she had once been, that she enjoyed herself. She had not once spared a thought to his mental health, because this was his domain, because he was the one making the decisions.

In that very moment, the realisation that he wasn't the only one with responsibility in this arrangement hit her quite a bit harder than he had. Even though her cheek still stung a bit.

She laid her hands on his cheeks, and his eye cleared, focusing on her instantly. “Thank you,” she said with a smile and placed a chase kiss on his lips. He beamed up at her like a little boy getting his long awaited birthday present.

It wasn't that he hadn't enjoyed himself. She had read about this, of course. She had read pretty much everything there was to read about the topic.

“Thank you, Zoro, I really enjoyed that.”

He grabbed her by the back of her neck and placed his lips on her forehead, murmuring his own thanks before hugging her and burying his face between her breasts as he undid the knot over the small of her back. Step by step, he untied her while the love she felt in his caress almost suffocated her. It felt unfair, but she was convinced she would feel better once he granted her his mark, because that was the only way she could commit to him, for now at least. Without any conscious thought, her fingers found their way into his green hair. He wore it longer than before their hiatus. It suited him, and she had to admit that she loved how it felt. Strong but incredibly soft to the touch. A mirror to himself almost.

When he was done with the rope and started to massage her lotion into the abused skin, another wave of guilt hit her. She knew that he was doing it for himself just as much as for her, but still… if only she could be normal and love him how he deserved.

He hadn't outright told her how he felt, presumably because he didn't want to pressure her, but it was quite obvious in the way he looked at her, the way he touched her. In this moment, more than ever, even though he had told her he'd do that for every sub. Dry them, cuddle them, treat their wounds no matter how miniscule they were... It was part of his process. His way to ground himself, to show his subs appreciation for the trust they put in him.

She felt it. The appreciation. In fact, she'd never felt more appreciated than in this moment of soft caress and kisses. Did he make all his partners feel that way? Like they were the the center of his world, his anchor? The thought made her insides burn in hypocritical jealousy. It should have been a relief to think that she wasn't special to him, because in all honesty, she still couldn't guarantee that she could fall in love with him. But it wasn’t. It made her burn, made her want to ask questions she wasn’t entitled to ask. She pressed his head to her chest, for a moment not even caring if she’d suffocate him. She had to be on her way to love, right? Otherwise, how could she be jealous of things she maybe only made up in her mind?.

For but a moment, he was irritated, frozen in place, still kneeling between her legs on the floor, before he wrapped his arms around her middle, laying his lotion covered hands over her sides. Lord, how small she felt in his arms. She would never tire of this. It felt like home, like it was right where she was supposed to be, and in this moment, her body weak, her mind exhausted, she didn’t even fight it. For one moment, she forgot that she didn’t deserve it and just basked in the bliss his embrace would grant her.  

Chapter Text

He woke up exactly three hours after he had fallen asleep with Robin in his arms, knew because he always woke up after three hours if there were no emergencies. He didn't need much sleep during the night; he didn't nap all day for nothing, after all. While mornings weren't exactly his favourite time of the day - or any part of the day when he'd just woken up - he used to wake rather quickly. His instincts never really rested They'd snap to full attention instantly even if his body tended to slug behind a few minutes, until he had a good stretch and a more or less noisy yawn. That had changed since he was with Robin. Whenever he woke up with her negligible weight against him, his instincts wouldn't fan out towards his crew or to possible dangers. No, when he woke with her at his side, all of him would be completely focused on her. Her quiet breaths, the content sighs when he tightened his grip around her waist, the scent of her. Not the heady musk of sex, but her own unique scent. Was it stupid to have expected her to smell of roses, just because of her devil fruit? Probably. She did smell like flowers, but not like roses. He was glad, really, he couldn't stand the smell of them. And earthy, maybe because of the unhealthy amount of coffee she drank?

He liked those tranquil mornings with her. Usually, she'd start stirring shortly after him, but if their last playtime was any indication, she'd sleep til noon again. He should get her down into her own bed before the rest woke up. So far, the only other strawhat awake was Sanji who was already busy in the kitchen. He wouldn't notice.

Damn was he glad that Franky had beefed up the Sunny's surveillance system and that most of them had learned to use Haki. That way it wasn’t necessary for two of them to be awake at all times. Things would be so much more complicated if they had to hide during the night.

Fuck. Sudden realisation hit him like a fucking brick. Fucking fuck, Haki! It was no secret that Robin sometimes read in the crow's nest, up and away from the ruckus of the crew, not even that sometimes she fell asleep even if he was up there with her making a ruckus with his weights. But holy fucking fuck, everyone using observation Haki could know what they were up to in the later hours of the night! He used it to monitor Robin's feelings, and if he could do that, then…. He was fucked.

The shit cook's observation Haki had been superior to his own when they had met back up. Of course he had trained it since then, wouldn’t do to be second to the damn dartbrow. And then he’d practiced even more for the explicit purpose of keeping Robin safe, but…. Yep, utterly fucked. There was no fucking way curly brow didn't know about this … affair? Maybe not the exact nature of the relationship, but like hell he didn't know they were fucking. Why hadn't he mentioned it? Made him uneasy, his hairs stand on end. Did he wait for the right time? Since when had he known? Had he already made elaborate plans to skin him with a spoon or something? Gods fucking damn, he was so fucking dead.

Should he try talking to the cook about it? Yeah, and then? Then, it would be out in the open, and the idiot would have to act. Or maybe he really didn't know, because he valued their privacy enough not to snoop about as soon as he woke up… yeah, fat chance, He knew that he scanned the ship for irregularities before getting started on breakfast. How the fuck could he forget about that?

Didn't matter now… he needed a plan of action. How could he find out if the cook knew without asking? Had he been different the last few weeks? No, not really, they had fought a lot during his little crisis, but he himself had instigated those fights… His meals were delicious as always, even if he would rather die than admit it out loud, hadn’t been poisoned.

Maybe he could test him somehow. Preferably without the risk of immediately getting flambeed. Was that even possible? The moment he’d suspect something was going on between him and Robin, the cook would murder him. Gods, this was complicated… there was a fucking reason he wasn’t responsible for formulating plans on the ship. He should just fucking go into the kitchen and tell curly brow to go fuck himself if he had an issue with their relationship… He would definitely do that if he knew for certain that the cook knew… but he fucking didn’t.

He gripped at his hair in frustration. If only Robin would finally come to terms with the fact that she was in fucking love with him, then they could tell the rest and be done with it. He would survive the death threats and the other reactions they would most definitely voice as soon as they were allowed to talk about it. There definitely would be death threats, and a threat to increase his debt. Didn’t matter that Nami had been the first to know, or the fact that she was happy for the both of them. She would announce her animosity to the whole crew the moment she was allowed, he was sure of it.

Yeah… he couldn’t announce shit yet, so he couldn’t deal with all of them at once and couldn’t count on Luffy’s protection once darts brow made his move. Damn, should he have told Luffy? Probably, he was the captain, this was very much his business… he wouldn’t mind though… would probably not even know what it meant… or ask when the baby would be due. Oh gods, please no. He definitely wouldn’t have that talk with Luffy without Robin at his side to expertly avert the captain’s ridiculous questions.

Didn’t help his predicament though… what about the cook? He should probably start with observing him… see if there was anything out of the ordinary. So far, he had been fucking normal. In fact, nothing in his behaviour had changed, there was no reason whatsoever to suspect he knew, apart of course from the fact that he fucking should. He wasn’t big on logic, but even he knew that Curly brow should know something was going on between him and Robin.

Maybe he needed bait.

He huffed. Bait he could do; Robin still needed punishment for dropping his swords, after all.

Chapter Text

It was fine, she could do it. Nobody could see, she was perfectly safe.

“My sweet Robin-chwan, could you come here for a moment and help me choose the wine?”

No. No no no no. She couldn't possibly get up! Her swordsman had kept her on the very edge since lunch! If she got up now, with the rope tied over her clitoris, she wouldn't be able to handle it. Would it be too obvious if she sent a clone? No, but she wasn't allowed to use her ability that way. She could feel his grey stare on her, clear amusement dancing in his eye, could practically hear his rough voice in her ear— what's it going to be, Robin?

She knew the price; she'd gladly pay it if it meant she could stay right where she was.

“Are you alright, Robin? You look kind of pale,” Nami asked right next to her. Oh god, please don't…”You think? Seems rather flushed to me. Do you think you might be coming down with a fever?” Usopp asked, and she felt the sudden urge to snap his neck. How could he call her out like that?

“Oh no, we'll need a doctor. We need a doctor!” Had she ever been more grateful for the physician's bashful personality? She used the distraction to send the most pleading and desperate look to the utterly smug man next to her. Forget Usopp, it was his neck she wanted to snap, his fault! He grinned at her, and her eyes widened when he held up three fingers, seemingly uncaring about who would see.

No, she hadn't known the price. Only the currency. She held his gaze as she summoned a stray arm on her inner thigh, hoping that her skirt was loose enough to hide the wayward appendage. With a barely audible whimper, she plunged 3 fingers in her wet opening. Her head dropped in shame and humiliation as all attention focused back on her.

“Just the weather,” she mumbled not quite sure if they could even hear her. Nami heard. “The weather? There are no chang-”

“Robin-chwan?” Sanji called again from the hold, unknowingly cutting off the navigator's silent musing. The chair to her left scratched noisily over the floor as the devil himself got up lazily, sending a wave of pleasure through her body. “Stay, Robin,” he ordered, and she was sure to the others it sounded just like his normal grouchiness. It did to Sanji, because he entered the kitchen flaming foot first, berating the dodging swordsman for talking to sweet Robin-chwan like the uncultured brute he was. Nami was a different story. “Oh, for fuck's sake, you’ve got to be kidding me,” she breathed, and Robin sincerely hoped that it was just the same exasperation she always voiced when the two started their sparring. Her friend couldn't possibly know what was going on, could she? Why her whole body was drawn tight while the swordsman moved way too much.

“What would a barbarian like you even know about exquisite wine suitable for Robin-chwan’s delicate palette? You'd drink from a fucking sewer if I told you there was booze in it!”

“Oh yeah, fuckface? Wh-”

Nami's fists connecting with the tabletop effectively halted the argument, and Robin allowed herself a sigh of relief, relaxing just a bit when the swordsman finally stopped moving. “That's it! If I hear one more foul word from either of you fucking morons in front of the boys, I'll have you on toilet duty for a month!”

Zoro sheathed his sword but didn't budge otherwise, while Sanji swooned, both pouting in their own way about how the navigator apparently was allowed to talk however she wanted around the boys , but neither brave enough to call her for it. Like always.

The awkward silence was just long enough for her to regain her bearings before Zoro broke it. “What's her dinner?”

“Smoked seacow tartar for the first course, and Alabasta lamb chops for the main course. Try your luck, marimo.”

Zoro scoffed in response, undid Kitetsu from his belt, and leaned it against his chair, letting all of them know that he didn't think he'd need any luck for this task.

“Honestly, only a marimo grade idiot could keep a cursed sword as a good luck charm. Where are the other two anyway?” Their cook sighed while she fastened her grip around their sheaths up in the crow’s nest, and Usopp started to sweat.

“You guys think it's dangerous to leave a cursed sword behind like that?” their sharpshooter asked, trembling.

She bit her tongue. She couldn't tell them to behave lest the sword feast on their animosity and turn them against each other. Couldn't risk getting their attention again. Not when half of her rubbed against rough, scarred skin in the most deliciously agonizing way.

“Say, Robin, are those stories about it really true?”

Both. She wanted to snap both pirates’ necks.

“I don't know, Nose-kun, would you like to try it?” She asked him with a smile, fighting back a moan at the sudden pressure against her disembodied nub.

Usopp did nothing to hide his terror from his face. It wasn't like there was anything to worry about even if their brave warrior of the seas was inclined to accept her suggestion. It wasn't hers to offer, after all. Everyone on the crew knew how protective their swordsman was of his blades. Maybe she understood that now better than ever; they seemed to have character. And she could attest that the Sandai Kitetsu was no blade just anyone could handle. It hadn't been threatening per se, but she couldn't deny the chill it had sent through her body. An almost cruel yearning for her blood, she had felt in an instant that if it was this blade's decision, he'd have cut her even before she'd made the suggestion. She respected Zoro immensely for being strong enough to stand up to it. No wonder it had taken control all those months ago, with his lack of sleep and overall lack of concentration. That wasn't quite true though, was it? During his slow recovery after Thriller Bark, he hadn't been in the best set of mind either, had he? No, he had been broken almost. His hope of ever finding his way back to strength had hung on by the thinnest thread imaginable. For the longest time, he had been but a husk of the confident boy he was before Kuma’s devil fruit had ripped his body to pieces. The only thing keeping him from giving up had been his captain's unwavering faith in him and their doctor. And yet, he had not gone berserk. Had the sword been lenient due to his injuries? If even half the stories she'd heard about it were true, it would have jumped at the opportunity instead of cutting him slack. According to the sources in the grand library of Alabasta, all the Kitetsu fed from blood and carnage and did not shy away from driving their wielders insane to achieve it. Had he found a way to appease the blade outside of battle? Chopper had told her that he used to smell of blood when he returned from his playdates and that he didn't anymore. That would be an explanation, and it fit perfectly to the alleged curse.

“No, I think they are true,” she retracted her earlier statement, cursing herself for getting so lost in thought that she had completely forgotten her predicament. Now though, it all came back with a vengeance.

The slickness of her thighs; the three fingers wedged between them that were just a very disappointing replacement for what she really wanted; the rope that seemed to hug and caress every single inch of her body; the cursed knot above her pearl; the friction against her nipples at his every movement, and the sudden flick of his wet tongue against her nub… She had not hesitated for a second when he had ordered her to bloom some of her most sensitive parts in his robe, but she had never suspected that he would carry them around with the rest of the crew in immediate vicinity. She had almost buckled when he had climbed down from the crow's nest and all her senses had suddenly been assaulted with the most delicious friction.

She bit her lip in a desperate attempt to keep quiet. In her wildest dreams, she had not imagined him being this adept with his tongue even though in hindsight it shouldn’t have surprised her that a man capable of clearly articulating with a  sword in his mouth had some seriously wicked tongue game. Would he make her cum with the others around? She had dropped his swords, but that was too much, wasn’t it? He wouldn’t risk that, would he? She clenched her every muscle, trying her best to fight down the pulsing heat between her legs. Her arms hurt, the few up in the crow’s nest quivering from the exertion. Digging her toes into her sandals under the table, she fought the urge to rock her hips in a vain attempt to bring her core closer to his mouth that wasn’t even in the same room with her. With terror, she realised that she didn’t have the will to stop, to suppress her orgasm. After he had denied her again and again, she didn’t care if the others saw, would gladly have them watch as she withered in pleasure if only he finally let her cum!

He didn’t. She was almost there, insides coiled like a spring, the tickling pressure in her clitoris, the heat enveloping her body, all there promising, beckoning. Just a little more, and she would burst and cry and faint and moan, but his lips and tongue vanished, leaving nothing but a vague wetness on her instead of a mind-splitting orgasm; the cold hardness of disappointment instead of allconsuming liquid heat by which she would gladly been swallowed. She breathed, unclenched her fists, and slowly raised her head to see the rest of the crew in agitated conversation, only every now and then sparing her a frightened or bewildered glance. Had they noticed? Or was that about the sword’s curse?

"Are you sure you're alright, Robin?" Nami asked in a whisper next to her, right before a small hand laid itself on her back. Robin froze. Nami gasped, drawing back her hand as if burned. Chancing a careful glance at her friend, she was surprised. She had expected her to be horrified or disgusted, but all she could read on her face was enlightened realisation, her lips drawn to form an "o."

"So that's why his rigging was all fucked up when we started sailing," she muttered as if all her questions had finally been answered.

Before she could even think how to react to that, Zoro entered with an opened bottle of sake in one hand and two closed wines in the other, prompting Sanji to jump to his feet from his lazy recline against the cupboard. “Why you lazy fu- forest head, of course it took you ages. Did you get lost, or is that the second bottle of sake?”

After a deliberately slow sip, the swordsman scoffed, “Shut up.” Hiding the two bottles behind his back, he grinned at the cook. “What do you wager?”

“Ha, everything, you uncultured buffoon. I'll even pay your fu-, fine debt. There's no way you got that right!”

He grinned, his stare fixing on Nami next to her. “You know what, cook, I'm quite fucking fine with my debt,” he said, and Nami yelped, face turning red in an odd mixture of embarrassment and happiness. If she didn't know that he saw her as his sister, if she were prone to jealousy… “You clean the toilets for me,” he finished.

“Fine, if you lose, no alcohol for a month.”

When Zoro easily consented to the terms, she was sure she saw a slither of doubt in their cook's features, and when the swordsman revealed the two bottles from behind his back, his mouth fell open in utter befuddlement.

“But… how?”” Sanji asked as he took the bottles from the swordsman in utter defeat, while the latter fell back into his seat next to her, bottle of sake in hand. The boys started to hoot and holler.

“Suck it up, shitcook.”

“I will not. Explain yourself, Marimo! How do you know anything about wine?”

“Just accept defeat and quit whining,” the swordsman quipped, and Sanji let go, took a deep breath, and started to open the first bottle. “Alright, alright, you’ve won fair and square… Still, can’t believe a man like Mihawk let an uncultured barbarian like you stay with him for two years. Bet he taught you so you didn’t empty his wine cellar in one evening. He’s said to have quite the coll-” The cook was the first to laugh at the suddenly frozen and bright red swordsman, followed by Franky who spit his coke right across the table, drenching Chopper’s fur in sugary liquid. “Are you serious?” the cook asked between bouts of laughter while the rest seemed rather confused by the revelation.

“Are you fuckin serious?” Sanji repeated. “What, did he teach you how to waltz, too?” he asked further, and even though it shouldn’t be possible, the fighter turned even redder, grumbling something about footwork.

“What’s a waltz? Is that a fighting technique?” Luffy asked, suddenly very interested in the discussion before succumbing to laughter after Brook explained it to him. “Shishishishi, that’s so lame, Zoro!”

Chapter Text

Did anything ever go according to plan? Not quite, not for him. He should just stop planning altogether - leaving things to luck worked way better for him anyways. His idea had been great, he decided. Having Robin suffer dinner had been a good idea. Definitely. Unfortunately, it hadn’t agitated the shit cook, but the navigator. Damn, his ears were still ringing from when she’d chewed him out for putting Robin in that position, and Robin for allowing it. Maybe Franky had noticed, too. That thumbs up he'd given him had been entirely too suspicious, even without the guy stumbling over how manly dancing skills were. Aside from them, nobody had noticed, all way too hung up on the damn dancing. Fucking cook.

Didn’t matter now. They’d probably find out soon enough. Carefully, he put Kitetsu back in its sheath. It was thrumming with energy, and he rolled his good eye in response. Brat would be absolutely insufferable the coming weeks. He just hoped that they’d run across some filthy vermin soon to satiate its thirst. Cutting some marine muscle wouldn’t do, he knew. It wanted Robin, positively lusted for her, and denying it became harder with every fucking day. It had never been this pronounced, and he wasn’t quite sure if it was his own cravings amplified by the blade or the other way round. It would scare him if he planned to cut her with the cursed blade, but it wouldn’t go anywhere near her today. Or any day for that matter. Fucking needed an all out battle against some thugs nobody would miss.

Getting lost in blood and guts is what they needed, because if he denied it for much longer, the artistic swipe of the blade to paint a willing body deliciously crimson would not pacify the sword. He'd seen that months ago. Fucking carnage.

It had been perfectly happy with the baboons on Kuraigana Island, but ever since this thing with Robin had started, and he hadn’t satiated their common desire… It had been a mistake to make her hold it. It had latched on instantly.

He sighed as he took Wadô. He’d have to talk to Robin about it. He didn’t personally think that he needed this particular kink in his life regularly, but… he couldn’t deny that Kitetsu had been infinitely easier to handle with regular playdates. He wouldn’t use it on her and in general didn’t plan on continuing this with her after she got his blasted mark. He indulged her now because he couldn’t fucking argue with the damn woman’s logic, but he would not fucking budge on that. He would not be responsible for any more open wounds. No matter what she said, they did pose a risk. And if she didn’t want him to satiate the blade’s thirst with someone else, he’d just have to keep growing stronger than the cursed sword. He would not use it on her. Period. No problem.

He looked at the immaculate blade before him, freshly cleaned. It would taste her blood. She wanted it on her shoulder blade. Didn’t care about such details, would carve it along her jugular if she so desired. He knew the general safety recommendations, of course, knew that under no circumstance was he to cut anywhere near there. But he had no need for such rules. With his trusted sword in hand, he would not cut anything he did not intend to cut. Still, he would tie her to the floor, because if he gave her his mark, it would be fucking perfect.

Stone was ready, clicked it in place just as Robin entered the crow's nest. He nodded in the direction of the weight plates he'd placed beforehand. "Clean it, Robin"

She looked confused for a moment, probably hadn't thought he'd get to the point like that, then opened the compartment with the cleaners. Usually, they cleaned up after sessions together… damn what he had missed! Her perfect ass in the air as she scrubbed the floor, cleaning on her knees, garters cutting into her cheeks in just the right way, bearing her naked cunt to him. Damn, she'd really climbed up without underwear. As mouth-watering as the sight was, he had shit to do.

Took the small leather case. No way he'd ever admit it out loud, but curly brow was a fucking artist when it came to knives. Was a fucking shame he didn't use them in battle. He picked one up, shortly marvelled at the blade just as beautiful as his own. It was probably their only common ground; both knew how to appreciate a blade. Out of all the things that pissed him off about the cook, his knives were probably the one thing he could appreciate. Didn't mind he had been tasked to polish them, not at all, especially not now. In fact, it was entirely satisfying to know that the blond would have a fucking heart attack if he knew that he used his precious utensils as sex props.

With the first grainy shing as the short blade slid over the stone, Robin froze. She had seen the stone, had heard the sound many times before, but this time was different, wasn’t it?

“Keep going. You don’t want to get an infection, do you, Robin?” he asked and accentuated his meaning with another clirring drag over the stone, and she shuddered in response, hurrying her pace. She fucking enjoyed it. He’d have her dripping in no time.

She was done with the floor the moment he put away the first knife. “Undress,” he ordered as he wiped his hands. He didn't have to look to see that she eagerly complied while he got their ropes. With a hand on her shoulder, he pushed her to the floor, her neck slender enough for his thumb to reach her pulse on the other side, the gesture alone earning him a breathy moan. A little more pressure, and he had her on her back. Woman was like clay in his hands, reacting to even his tiniest gestures… He'd never been with anyone that submissive, always had to fight for the right to put them in their place in some way or other. That may just be because this was a recommendation-only type of thing, subs recommending him to like-minded subs. After all, no-one in their right mind would approach a wanted pirate just because he may or may not have coincidentally tied a black bandana on his left. Didn't mind either way. Didn't make the experience any less enjoyable. In fact, battle and sex were so similar, his body reacting to both roughly the same… He definitely didn't mind some resistance, made his win all the more gratifying when they finally succumbed. Now, none of that mattered anymore, because with Robin, everything was different.

Robin's unconditional submission had his blood surging in ways he hadn't experienced before. Despite her past, he knew she didn't do it because she was conditioned that way but because she accepted him. Not because she feared he'd harm her in a way she had experienced before, but because she trusted him not to do that.

It made his dominance over her even sweeter. Even more right.

Tied her wrists together first, the short red rope imitating images that were just three strokes away. He’d make her wait for those though.

Took another rope for her ankles before suspending them against her upper thighs. Three wraps around, up to her knees. Just like last time, she gasped with every flick of the tails. Hitched his way down one side and then up the other, making sure she wouldn't squirm out of it. Pulled her up to kneel with the red Tails and tied them off through the hole of the weight plate with just a quick fix, nothing to go around a limb but his weight plate didn't mind that. It was quick to tie, and if she panicked or they were attacked or gods forbid curly brow made to get his knives, he'd have her free with just a pull. Did the same with the rope around her legs.

"Get up."

He saw her muscles straining, but once her elbows were straight, she didn't move an inch, her hands flat against the iron, the rope not giving her any way. Those were some of his lighter weights.

"Down."

Forearms resting on the plate, her tits squished against the floor. Perfect. He pulled her up with her hair before loading all of it over her left shoulder. So fucking beautiful. The slender column of her pale neck, the completely unblemished back… oh, he'd change that. She shuddered when his rough fingers traced the line of her shoulder blade, giving her just the barest of a taste of what was to come. Fuck, she wanted him to stain that skin that she had probably gone to great lengths to heal. Stain it permanently. Or as permanent as a scar would be for her.

He untied his bandana. When this between them had started, and he'd had just a vague idea of what she had endured, he had thought any form of psychological play impossible. Couldn't possibly put her in a situation where she could experience fear. Probably had enough of it for a lifetime. Now, he did not hesitate to tie the black cloth over her eyes. She had proven to be quite stable now that she didn't fear her preferences anymore, and she had been quite reactive to his voice. There was nothing to fear in this game, not for him. He just couldn't stop talking, not for too long at least.

Chapter Text

Hard, unforgiving metal under her palms, slowly adjusting to her own body heat. Small raises and welts under her fingertips indicating the no doubt ridiculously large amount of weight it packed. Weight that, with all her might, she hadn't moved even a fraction of an inch but that he had easily picked up with one hand to loop the ends of rope through. If that rope were to give just a little, she was sure she would somewhere find their shipwright's jolly Roger engraved, because no normal weight could be this heavy.

Gentle roughness of the rope biting into her wrists and ankles, thighs and shins. The heat of the air around her. The sharp smell of sweat and salt that should disgust her but did exactly the opposite. She could remember a time when she had wrinkled her nose at the guys' general lack of hygiene, but this… this was him. Sweat and blood and seasalt, utter blackness before her eyes, a taste of what probably lurked behind that light grey eye of his. This was him, and now she was a part of that.

Even if the goosebumps on her skin might tell another story, she loved it. Becoming a part of his world. Hairs rising in thrilling anticipation of what was to come. Her breath hitched with every drag of metal against the wet stone. She had heard the sound many times. Had watched him whenever he sharpened their chef’s knives, and in the past, she had even watched him polish his swords. It has been a long time; she couldn’t recall seeing him doing it ever since they all got back together again. Her analytic mind might theorise that it probably was because with haki his blades took much less damage than they had before, but that part of her was unusually quiet whenever she was up here. Whenever she walked into his world. Whenever she allowed herself to just feel, to shed the everyday fear of life, the troubles of piracy, the awareness of all the possible dangers awaiting her, lurking in every shadow. They had become less, considerably less.

The drags were short. Did he still sharpen the knives? He wouldn’t use Sanji’s knives on her, would he? That would be... cruel. Impersonal.

Splashing of water. He was done with that one. Would he use it on her now? Test its sharpness? Her head shook before she even realised. “No”

Dark chuckle. “What was that?”

"Please don't use his knives, Zoro-sama," she begged, and just like that, she was sobbing again. He couldn't do that to her could he?

He laughed, a sound of velvet sin. "What makes you think that I would allow any of his anywhere near you, Robin? You're lucky I let you eat his food." Words of biting threat.

The familiar click she always heard, when he loosened the blade from its sheath, the first inch of resistance before he’d draw it with his left hand. She knew she should fear the sound like every other person. Instead, her lower belly tightened and her heart sped in anticipation. He drew it, made it sing the song she had heard a thousand times before, but this time it was just for her, an overture for the play to follow. Water splashing. Was is not sharp enough?

Would she even feel the cut if the blade was this sharp? The cuts? He had not told her what he had in mind, and she hadn’t pressed, trusted him with this decision, knew that he wouldn’t mark her with anything demeaning. It would be personal and distinct, it would be everything she wanted. No matter what he decided for her, she would wear it with pride. Carry it as a medal because she had won. Conquered her past; vanquished her fears. It didn’t matter that it would make her a slave in the eyes of other. Both of them knew what it really meant. Freedom. It would mean freedom from everything that had held her down in the past.

She only realised that her breathing had synchronised with the sound of the blade gliding over the whetstone when it stopped and her breath hitched in her throat. Was he done? Did he deem it sharp enough to carve into her skin like he intended? Water splashing. He cleaned the blade, and she had seen him often enough to imagine the look of undivided focus on his most precious treasure, scrutinising its form and edge.  

He got up with a sigh, the tip of the trusted sword scratching over the hardwood floor, heavy boots thrumping, sending tiny vibrations into the wood under her bare knees. Dear lord, this should fill her with so much dread, not with barely contained happiness. Her body should grow cold with fear, not hot with desire. He came to a halt next to her, she could feel him, his stare on her naked, bound body. Feel his own lust washing over her like liquid heat.

She gasped in surprise when instead liquid ice rushed down her her back, the sharp scent of alcohol burning her eyes and nose, momentarily dispersing the thick musk of his bandana over her eyes.

The blade’s tip traveled up her arm, not even scratching the surface of her skin, tickling. He let it rest flat on her shoulder, edge against her throat, and even if he were to press, or if she were to lean in, she knew the blade that had felled thousands, the sharpness that was feared around the world, would not cut her. As the hairthin edge rested against her pulse, it was dull as a butter knife, and still her breathing hitched. Her heart sped, and it took for her thighs to wetten to make her realise that all those reactions did not stem from fear. This was no play on fears. This was all about anticipation, because even if he wanted to, he would never scare her. She knew that if he wanted, he could have skinned her before she even registered the pain; if he wanted, he could have taken her arms and legs before she even had the chance to draw the breath for protest. That sword against her throat was a horrible weapon, she knew, but none of that mattered because she was thoroughly ablaze at the awe-inspiring mastery of his weapon.

“You have doubts, Robin?” He asked, his voice sure and unwavering, eager determination seeping from his very being.

“No.” That he even had to ask—he monitored her, didn’t he? He should know what the cold steel against her again heated skin did to her. She gasped when the sword bit into her throat, probably not enough to draw blood but enough to get his point across.

“No, Zoro-sama,” she corrected and was immediately rewarded by the blade’s soft caress. Loving almost, as it lazily drew back over her shoulder, down her shoulder blade to where she knew the cuts would be. She readied herself for the warm blood that would be oozing down her back but ducked against the weightplate when instead another wave of liquid cold crashed over her. The flat of the blade slapped her hard against the cheek as the scent of alcohol clouded her mind.

“Please forgive me, Zoro-sama,” she begged while the blade lingered on her cheek.

“Up," he ordered with cool detachment. He always was like this, cold and aloof. And she knew that she probably couldn't be doing this with him if he showed her the same sadistic glee others had. His blade left, and she raised herself as best she could. Straining against the restraints.

"Beg for it."

"Please cut me, Zoro-sama."

He laughed. "Just cut you, Robin? I already did." The rough fabric of his pants scraped against her hips as he stood above her, one large hand fisted in her hair, pulling her head down to her shoulder. Tickling skin pulled away from skin, nerve endings coming alive at the burn of residual disinfectant as he forced open the shallow cut on her throat she hadn’t realised was there. Hot breath against her ear, damp through the cloth of the bandana. "You mean to tell me you're satisfied with that? Should I leave you alone to relish in the tickle from this scratch ?"

“No!” She called out in sudden panic. How did he do that to her? Make her want like that? She had wanted that mark as a promise to him and as proof for her. How was it that now her whole body came to life with the overwhelming fear that he might not grant her wish? Fear because she couldn’t fathom anything that would be worse than being denied this honour of carrying his mark on her skin. Fear that he might not deem her worthy to be… his property, because she seemed satisfied with little more than a scratch. She hissed when he brushed a cold, wet finger against the tiny wound, hot burn.

“You need to work on your manners, Robin. You have already done much better than this.”

She had been wrong. This was a play of fear, and she was indeed terrified. Terrified he’d leave her, terrified she couldn’t please him. “Please forgive me, Zoro-sama, please don’t leave,” she wept, over and over again, cherishing the burn of the wound, grateful for his disinfectant covered digit still aggravating it because it meant she still had a chance, worth.

He hummed his approval, and her heart surged in happiness and relief.

“Good, now try again. And make it count, Robin, because I will leave you here if you fuck up again,” he threatened, his voice sweeter than it should be, making her insides quiver in dread. He would definitely leave her here, naked and bound, to sulk and think about her failure as his sub if she didn’t please him as she should. It terrified her, and more tears seeped into the fabric over her eyes.

She bowed her head as low as she could with the restraining rope and took a deep, steadying breath, not entirely sure if he would forgive any uncertainty in her voice. She did not ponder her words, thoroughly convinced that no arrangement of syllables would be enough to convey just how desperately she wanted his mark, his blade in her skin. She trusted her voice though, her voice and tears easily showed the utter despair warring within her, overwriting sanity in a matter of seconds as she begged and wept and plead with everything she had.

Another approving hum, and he pushed her head back up with the flat of the blade. It soothed her fears instantly. When he retreated, her heart didn’t speed in fear but anticipation. Her ears strained for his suddenly quiet steps, two backwards, and her hips felt cold with the sudden lack of friction. Did he like the way she looked beneath him? A lamb ready for sacrifice? Were there many cultures where the one performing the sacrifice was also the recipient?

There was only the rustle of his robe to tell of his movement. No whoosh of the blade, no pain on her back. She waited, counting the seconds, and just as she was ready to accept that he still made her wait, needles prickled her skin. The wound slowly giving way to the tension of her skin, only then did the actual pain register in her brain, a hoarse cry wrangling from her lips. Pain instantly pacified by the thick, hot caress of her own blood seeping down her back. Surprise. Somehow she hadn’t thought he’d go through with it.

“Thank you, Zoro-sama,” she breathed through the pain as she imagined the liquid ribbons on her back. Beautiful.

He came close again. This time, he put the blade against her skin, let her feel its coldness, its unyielding hardness against the slickness of her blood, and this time, she felt the pain immediately. A slow, deep burn as he slowly dragged the blade downward. To her shame, a whimper escaped her as she fought against her instincts to duck away from the pain, to stay. It didn’t make him stop though. Instead, he slowed the cut even more.

Dear lord. Dripping against the floor, she heard it cleary but couldn’t place the sound, did it come from the cuts on her shoulder or her core? It didn’t matter. God, why did he stop?

“Thank you, Zoro-sama!”

“Last one, Robin, quick or slow?”

She didn’t have to think, couldn’t, really. “Slow! Please make it last, Zoro-sama!”

He chuckled as he placed the blade against her skin again. He had known all along.

Chapter Text

Gods fuck, his woman was fucking perfect! Flicking his wrist, he cleaned Wadô of her blood, knowing he'd have to do a more thorough job soon. While he didn't particularly mind the idea of something of her marking the blade he had used to mark her, he knew he couldn't risk the blood corroding his weapon of choice.

Kitetsu had known they'd do it again after the first cut, had rested its protest in favour of grudging anticipation. He had known after the second. She hadn't just succumbed to him, resigned herself to receive his mark of ownership that both of them knew to be so much more than that. With a clear head, she knew that too, despite the words of her shameless begging. No, she hadn't just accepted, she had fucking thrived on the pain, on the sensation of skin giving way to steel. He could relate to that, enjoyed the bite himself, even though more often than not the blades tended to not stop at just his skin. It was better this way, too. He would have lost many battles if he were afraid of getting cut. Was different for her though. In extension of his profession, his dream, every cut and every wound was in a way received by choice. She had never been given a choice when pain was involved, and still, she had loved every inch of tearing skin. She had started to shiver in delight at the last cut, enough for him to steady her with his free hand.

He let her enjoy a bit longer, took one last lingering look at the beauty that was her bloody back before he washed his hands in the little sink Franky had provided.

With nothing but a tug, he loosened the rope tying her legs from the Weightplate so he could undo the knots. She didn't even seem to realise, gone somewhere far away in a land of bliss. It was time to get her back. He unbound her arms from the other plate, but kept the red rope tied around her wrists. She mewled when he pulled her slack body up and he was glad for his decision to keep the hands bound. Pulled them over his head and lifted her up at her thighs before sitting them down on the couch next to the kit he had prepared before, not caring that her cunt thoroughly drenched his robe now that she sat on his lap.

He leathered up some antibacterial soap of Chopper's in his hands, doing his hardest not to think about the kid doctor while Robin started to squirm over his trapped cock.

"Hold still."

She obeyed with a whine, slumped against him as her bound arms involuntarily hugged his neck. He could see the cuts perfectly over her shoulder, worked the foam over the wounds while he tried to steady her at the hip with the other hand. She keened at the burn, leaned back into his hands and pushed her perfect tits right in his face. He bit the offering in reprimand harder than he should have, he realised, when her hips started gyrating against his bulging cock. Fucking hells, how was he supposed to take care of her wounds if all he wanted to do was nail her to the fucking floor? Dug his fingers into her hip to steady her, grip as tight as it could be with soap and blood covering right about everything, and angled her face down to him with a bloody hand around her jaw. Fucking hells, she was beautiful. She stilled instantly; even if it was just subconsciously, she understood the gravity of his stare.

“You want me to fuck you, Robin, is that what you’re trying to tell me?” he asked when some semblance of clarity returned to her gaze. He wasn’t a patient man by any means, but fuck! Watching this genius woman taking literal minutes to figure out a simple yes or no question? Wouldn’t tire of that any time soon. Never mind that she was hot as fuck, or even the fact that she gave her mind and body, her sanity in his hands to do as he pleased because she knew that he knew what was best for her… As much as it pleased him, as much as it would soothe the raging burn inside of him, fuck all that. Not that he needed the validation, but there was something so infinitely gratifying seeing her like that, showing that he indeed knew…

On a daily basis, she used all those fancy words that he couldn’t even look up in a dictionary because he didn’t even begin to comprehend their spelling…Fuck, the woman had roped him into cutting before he had even realised what it would mean for them. Good thing he wasn’t new to this and actually into it. Didn’t even want to imagine what she’d do to an equally slow but less stubborn partner... And now look at her, eyes slipping focus, mouth gaping, desperate to try and articulate a simple ‘yes’.

“Come on, Robin, yes or no,” he pressed, knowing full well that he wasn’t helping her with that. She proved that with the pathetic whimper that followed. Frustration settled on her face, brows drawn and lower lip trembling like a fucking toddler. This grown woman whose brain intimidated even the world government, reduced to a quivering, pouting mess and slave to her basest instincts, by him who couldn’t even understand her half of the time.

Finally, she managed a “yes, please”, adding his honorific just in time to not deserve reprimand.

“Then quit moving and maybe you get my cock as a reward,” he suggested and led her head down to rest against his right shoulder. While he finished cleaning the wounds and taped the cling film over them, she didn’t move an inch, barely even breathed.

Whole room was a fucking mess, blood and sweat everywhere. And now that he had cleaned her wound, she didn’t look much better, the blood that had already started to dry on her skin again wet from the water he’d used to wash off the soap. Fuck, he probably enjoyed the sight more than he should.

“There, all done, woman,” he said and pushed her arm’s length away. She smiled at him, clarity back in her gaze.

“Does that mean I can get that cock now, Zoro-sa~ma?” Her voice held a teasing edge that she wouldn’t dare to utilize if he hadn’t just broken the scene. Made him chuckle; she hadn’t even needed any prompting for that foul word. Maybe he was rubbing of on her, his effort at educating her finally taking root.

“Damn right it does,” he said as he undid the red rope around her wrists. Even for his tastes, there was enough red on her without it.

As soon as her hands were free, she tugged off his sash and undressed him. Just how the fuck was she this patient to not just jump him as he was? When she made to get up to push down his pants he stopped her, held her in place with her uninjured shoulder, but she wriggled free.

“No,” she said, looking at him with so much certainty that he was sure lesser men would quiver before her feet. “I will see all of you this time.”

She sat down next to him, not even trying to continue undressing him, just waiting, expecting him to do it himself. Holy fucking hells. He didn’t usually allow his subs to order him around like that, but fuck, he did want to know where this was going.

“Careful, woman,” he warned her even as he bowed to untie his boots. But she just smiled at him with that all knowing, cheeky smile of hers, hands gripping the edge of the bench as she leaned forward, eyes devouring every inch of skin he revealed while pulling down his pants.

He sat down on the bench, refusing to come to her. He was humoring her, yes, but he wouldn’t come begging just because his cock was probably hard enough to rival his swords. She would come, could see the hunger and the need clear in her eyes, as he slumped back into the cushions. Waiting. They both appreciated the view for a few more moments before she finally caved and straddled him. His cock slid into her cunt without any resistance, only wet, hot, delicious friction. Her pace was agonizingly slow, and he probably deserved that for a few moments before he would inevitably take over.

On top of him she was moaning without shame, sweating, dancing. He dragged one bloody hand over her side, up to her perfect tit. Fucking hells, she was beautiful. Looked like some ancient goddess of war and wisdom, fuck.

Her nails dug into his shoulders as her cunt quivered around him. “I’m going to cum now,” she told him. Didn’t ask for permission, just informed him of the inevitable. He could follow if he wanted to, but she wouldn’t wait for him. Fucking hells.

Grabbed her hips, bruising probably, drove himself into her, balls tight against his body. Abdominals clenching, feet straining against the floor. Fucking bliss, her cunt squeezing, milking as he emptied himself inside her. Gods, too fucking much.

She slumped down against him, panting, quivering. His cock softened inside of her, hot cum tickling down his balls. Hugged her to him, quiet. Gods her hair smelled good...

“How did you know?” She asked, and he wasn't quite sure if he'd nodded off for a moment or if it was one of her stray thoughts that had somehow evolved into elaborate theory that now needed confirmation.

“Know what?”

She pushed herself off his chest to look at him, her usually calm and all-knowing eyes sparkling with childlike wonder. “That this is what you're into? Did you just know or did you have some pivotal experience?”

He shrugged. Probably always been there, but if he had to pinpoint the moment… “I don't know, kind of stumbled into it by accident?”

She laughed, loud and unashamed. He had a feeling he should take offense that she laughed at him like that but found that in his post orgasmic haze he really couldn't care less…. She would tell him soon enough.

Once her laughter had died down.

“Stumbling into your own sexual identity really sounds like you, Kenshi-san.”

“Well, you wanna hear it or not, ms archeologist,” he countered with the roll of his eye… should have fucking known...

Chapter Text

Lord, the man was exceptionally cute when he pouted. “I’m sorry, please continue.”

He told her how he had been in need of a ship, because his companions Johnny and Yosaku had gotten lost with theirs, and she was really glad for the fact that he couldn’t see her barely holding on as her face was buried in his chest. Of course it had been his friends that had gotten lost, not him, never him. He hesitated when he continued, talking about a woman and her younger companion. She knew he desperately wanted to avoid the word slave even though they both should know that she was capable of making the distinction.

“Well it was a 24/7 kind of deal, but she really could have opted out at any time? The lady didn’t treat her bad either, you know?” He was stumbling, reaching, trying.

She pushed herself off his chest to look him in the eye, one inquisitive brow raised in question. “So you mean to tell me that you stumbled into BDSM because a Dominatrix allowed you to train on her young, susceptible slave?”

He panicked; his breath caught, eye widened, and she knew she shouldn’t enjoy flustering him like that when he was being mindful of her past… It was just too much fun. She could understand why Nami enjoyed teasing him so much.

“I wouldn’t - She was older than me! Both of them! If anything they- fuck”

She laughed, watched as his expression merged from panic to confusion to exasperation. Brows drew together and a vein ticked on his forehead.

“I’m sorry, Zoro, I know the difference, that this has nothing to do with the slavery I experienced. And I know there are black sheep in the community, but with how you treat me, I can see that you had a good teacher.”

“Yeah… whatever,” he grumbled even as he blushed at the compliment, and she knew he wouldn’t disclose anymore of this part of his past, not right now. He wasn’t mad at her either, not really, at least. For the future, he’d know though. He didn’t have to carefully tip toe around her, and she was really and truly done with her past, in part thanks to him. She didn’t want him to feel bad discussing any topic with her.

He understood, tightened his arms around her waist. “Didn’t mean to coddle you,” he mumbled into her hair.

“Thank you,” she said as she snuggled back against him. Now that the pain induced euphoria lifted, the safety of his embrace beckoned her to close her eyes and drift asleep. She was exhausted. Limbs like lead but buzzing with the burn of exercise.

He stretched under her, sat up with her, and she gave a very uncharacteristic disapproving grunt that he didn't just let her fall asleep.

Only when he handed her a bottle of Dr Chopper's and a bar of "Curly nutrition" did she realise just how famished she was, and thirsty. Her mouth suddenly felt dryer than the Alabasta desert.

After having downed the whole bottle and scarfing down two bars, she started to register the soft rumble of his chuckle and looked up at him, cheeks still puffed with food, most likely resembling a squirrel.

“You look like Luffy,” he said, humour twinkling in his eye, and she could feel the blood rushing to her face. She swallowed the last mouthful of delicious cashew flavour that Sanji had added to his repertoire just for her - a gesture she greatly appreciated while praying he would never find out just where her sudden penchant for the nutty goodness came from.

“I was hungry,” she pouted, knowing even while she said it that it didn’t help her case at all. The opposite, in fact, He started laughing, wheezing almost, when he tried to tell her that she now also sounded like their Captain.

She couldn’t blame him, could see the similarities, but didn’t find it in her to care about them. Instead, she rested her cheek against his quaking shoulder, patiently waiting for his amusement to die down again.

It definitely took him longer than she would have liked, but as soon as he turned with her on the couch to actually lie down, as soon as he draped the soft and fluffy blanket over her and closed his arms around her again, she was out like a light.

Everytime she woke up in his arms, it surprised her just how at peace she could be with the world, with the scent of cloves and spice, green tea and forest floor doing their best to keep her there, in that cocoon of safety and tranquility. Rough hands stroking her sides or hair with a gentleness nobody would ever associate with the grumpy menace under her. If only she could enjoy that without the ever-present guilt in the back of her mind. It was considerably quieter now, she noticed. With the promise on her back, a promise she still didn’t know the shape of, that nagging voice finally hushed.

She hummed in content at the soft massage he gave her head even though she knew that she couldn’t stay. He wouldn’t just wake her up for nothing..

“I know you don’t insist on your after play shower anymore, but maybe you should get cleaned up before the cook gets up,” he suggested after a few more lazy strokes through her hair.

“Don’t worry about him, he’s known for quite a while,” she answered but left his cozy embrace anyway.

He scoffed at the reveal. “Fucking knew it! So what’s his plan? Low dose heavy metal poisoning or something? I haven’t noticed any difference in his behaviour or my meals, it’s driving me nuts!”

“Fufufufufu, actually, I think he’s fine with it,” she laughed as she made her way to the latch in the floor, just barely catching his robe when he threw it her way. The cuts on her back tugged at the movement, she had almost forgotten about them again. The bandage would need to be changed soon, too.

“Not if he sees you running around like this, he won’t. Cover yourself. Fucker will gouge my eye out if he sees what I did to his poor Robin-chwan,” he grumbled, stretching while frowning at the utter mess the crow’s nest had become. Fufufufufu, good thing it was his duty to clean the crow’s nest anyway.

Chapter Text

Kitetsu and Shuusui were drenched in blood as pirates and marines alike fell to their hunger for flesh and bones, their thirst for blood. Kitetsu especially was driving him further and further into the mayhem, lusting for the gore it should have been gifted weeks ago. Would be a fucking bitch to clean afterwards. Maybe he could use Robin for a swordrack again… Fucking focus, damn it! Damn pesky soldiers just couldn't mind their own fucking business, could they? The moment they had heard of the pirates, everyone had known that Luffy would want to get rid of them. It was just what they did, the usual Strawhat heroism, no matter how much the boy protested about the word. And they had been perfectly fine taking out the scumbag pirate crew that had terrorised the fucking town for years . And now that they were taking care of the problem, it was suddenly important enough for not one, but two marine ships to show up. Granted, Tashigi and Smoker had been following them already, but they weren't the fucking problem. In fact, he found ragged G-5 soldiers to be standing conveniently between the other marines and him more often than not. Keeping them away so he could get rid of the pirates. Could you even call G-5 marines? They seemed to be more on their side than anything else.

When the first gunshot of the battle rang, he instantly focused on Luffy. Those pirates might have been scumbags, but they weren't particularly stupid. In an all out brawl like this, they wouldn't risk decimating their own numbers by using guns. The only kind of guns that would be fired in a fight like this were ones loaded with keiroseki, because with their twisted sense of justice the marines didn’t give a single fuck about killing off their own if only they took a nasty pirate with them. The only one the marines would waste the priceless thing on was his captain.

He could see the shock on the boy’s face. The pain and weakness were missing though. Cutting down another pirate he let his Haki go. Guilt. It was guilt that had his easygoing captain paralyzed on the spot. Didn't have to follow the boy's line of sight to know just which devilfruit user had been hit by the stray bullet probably meant for Luffy; a gut wrenching cry and a furious wave of murderous intent like he had never felt coming from the petite G-5 captain before told him. He met his captain's gaze. Like always, he was the first one Luffy came to in distress, and it didn't matter that the boy didn't have time to cry out, to give him an order, before he was tackled to the ground by a bunch of pirates. It was perfectly clear what was expected of him, and unlike back in Alabasta, he was not opposed to the idea anymore.  

He sprinted up the slope, straight for Tashigi's radiating Aura. She stood over her commanding officer, Shigure raised to defend against any threat coming their way. Fucking impossible; with the deep abyss at their backs, there was nowhere to run, and with  Smoker at her feet, she couldn't go all out. The only way out was down the steep cliffs into the rocky sea.

Like a school of piranhas, the pirates  flocked around her in a matter of seconds, but they made way for him, overwhelmed by the fear of being caught in a fight between the two menacing auras. Fucking cowards.

When he jumped to attack, her face screamed betrayal and disgust.

“Shut up,” he hissed when they locked swords, before she got the chance to voice her disappointment in him. “I got this. You just worry about getting the damn marines off our backs.”

It was almost sickening how her eyes widened in gratitude before she gave way, seemingly buckling beneath his force. Evading his swords at the last second and letting them bite deep into the cliff's overhang, the rock crumbled. She watched him with an expression of horror and disbelief as he let himself fall down towards the spiky rocks jutting out of the angry sea at least 30 meters beneath them. Her face would have been hilarious if he didn't have to attend to more pressing matters. He didn't intend to fish Smoker's remains from the water, had to hurry up to catch him before that, and before he got his swords wet, too. Cut the air in front of him, reducing its resistance. Reached him just in time, yanked him up by his arm and pushed them up towards the cliff from the piece of rock he'd cut off before. With one strike of Shuusui, the rock before him crumbled and burst, cutting a cave in stone that had stood strong for centuries. 

He barely reached the edge with his hand and hurled the motionless marine in with less care than his condition probably demanded before pulling himself up.

He popped the vice admiral's shoulder back in and cut his white coat to bind the bleeding wound on his arm. Bullet had gone straight through to lodge itself somewhere in his torso. Couldn't do anything about that. 

Felt like fucking hours ‘til the man started to groan awake, “Damn pirates.”

“Ya know, for me being a damn pirate, I have to save your ass an awful lot.” 

Smoker grunted as he righted himself against the cave’s wall. “Never asked you to; in fact I’d appreciate it if you didn’t. Doesn’t look particularly good to have a notorious pirate captain order his first mate to save a goddamn vice admiral.”

“Guess he wants to keep you around to accompany him to the scaffold one day.” 

The marine coughed a wet laugh. “Yeah, I guess a man like him deserves that much.”

They fell silent after that, apart from Smoker’s occasional groans. Fuck, this was uncomfortable. Couldn’t even meditate, the adrenaline of the fight still raging through his veins. Damn. “You guys should have just let us do our thing, you know. You would have had a whole fucking pirate crew ready for capture instead of this fucking mess.”

Smoker laughed again, wheezing this time. Damn, things really didn’t look too good for the marine. “Let you do your thing? Are you fucking crazy? What type of marines would we be if we left justice in pirates’ hands? Damn it, boy, you and your crew are constantly trying my sense of justice, but let you do our job? Fuck no.”

He scoffed,“Yeah, right, as if it hadn’t happened before. Alabasta ring a bell?” He only got a grunt for an answer.  

Smoker was always kind of pale, wasn’t he? Pale, yes. Ashen? A bit maybe, but this? No, not really… Fuck. The man’s eyes seemed to lack focus, too… He might be able to dress a wound and set a bone, but this was something else. Fucking shit.

He felt her presence before he saw her face appearing on the stony wall. Her eyes scanned him over, satisfied with his lack of injuries before she looked at the probably dying marine hunched in the corner.

“My my, you don’t look too healthy, Smoker-san,” she stated before disappearing again.

Dying maybe, but not too weak to run his mouth. “So, the Demon of the East Blue and the Devil Child of Ohara. Now if that doesn’t make a cute couple,” he scoffed.

Fuck. How the fuck… When… They hadn’t even interacted in that damn battle; how in all the fucking hells had he found out? 

“With the reports, I would have pictured you more the one night kind of guy if only because you wouldn’t find your damn way back to bed after taking a midnight piss. Good thing you live on the same ship, ain’t it?”

Fucking bastard. If not for his already battered state, he’d have carved him right up for that bullshit. Should maybe anyway, what if he decided to tell the whole fucking world? Fuck! 

“Don’t burst a vein, Roronoa. Your woman should be more careful with her attire. Was ripped during battle. Why the fuck else would a woman like her carry a wound saying ‘blade?’ Not very creative, I might add.”

This was exactly what he had been worried about, fuck, he shouldn’t have let her talk him into this! Fucking damn it! And not creative his ass, he had to change his signature because of the damn shitcook!

“Don’t worry, boy, I’m quite relieved. Don’t have to worry about you and my Captain eloping anymore.”

Ha, he’d seriously been worrying about that? “She’d never do that.”

“That’s what you think. That woman would follow you to the edge of the world if you just so much as hinted to the possibility of letting her hold that sword of yours,” he grunted.

“She wouldn’t,” he stated as a matter of fact. He was fairly certain she had a thing for Smoker, and no matter how obsessed she was with his blades, she wouldn't leave Smoker behind for them.

More silence, more wheezing breaths and wet coughs. Robin better hurry the fuck up getting Chopper down here.

Another coughed laugh. “Damn, wouldn't have expected a woman with her past to allow another mark on her.”

“She's been marked before?” he asked before he could stop himself.

Smoker scoffed again. “She's been a slave, of course she had. Always figured you on the more rational end of the spectrum in that crew… What, she let you cut your prepubescent graffiti in her skin but won't let you see her naked?”

It was meant to get a rise out of him, probably to keep himself from becoming too friendly with a pirate. Wouldn't humour him. The man was dying, no need to start a fight. And wasn’t it a good sign? That he didn’t seem to know about her ability to heal the scars?

He might just live. She was here again, his time carrying Chopper from one pair of arms to the next until she set him down in their little cave with his bag in hoof.

He gripped one of her hands before it could disappear again, and she answered by growing an ear on her palm. “Cover your shoulder. Smoker saw.”

Her hand gave him a thumbs up before it disappeared like the others in a flurry of petals. Rationally, he knew that there was still a battle going on above them and that she didn't have time to treat this situation with the severity it demanded, but fuck if the casualness she brushed it of with didn't enrage him. 

Behind him, Smoker chuckled as he was prodded by tiny hooves. “Trouble in paradise?”

“Shut up,” he and Chopper quipped back, although probably for different reasons.

Chapter Text

It couldn't be helped. Smoker knew. It wasn't ideal, but they couldn't change it, so what was it that had him this furious? It wasn't like she had stripped in front of a flock of marines to flaunt his mark. It had been an accident that wasn't likely to repeat itself. She usually fought from a distance, with just her arms really making enemy contact. They should be glad it happened like this, that it had been Smoker who had found out and not some hot headed upstart soldier. With Smoker, she was fairly sure their secret was safe and not just because he was comatose in their infirmary. He was an honest man and one of the few marines whose sense of justice hadn't been corrupted. Given that right now Chopper was doing his best to compensate for the blood loss while their captain was pacing incessantly, eating away his fingernails hoping for him to please wake up again, keeping their secret was the least Smoker could do, should he wake up again. If he even remembered.

As she saw it, there was no need to scream at her or demand she heal the 'fucking wound'. She had refused, and he had refused to continue talking to 'a damn stubborn woman'.

What would it change if she did? It had been seen. There was nothing they could do to change that. Absolutely nothing. She had promised to heal it should she get caught; why wasn't that enough? She could understand his reasoning for that, even if she would prefer to keep it as an anchor, to remember. She'd been through more than enough torture on her own that it would be nice to have someone with her the next time, but she understood his fear. It was rational. This, however, wasn't. This was him ‘losing his shit’ over nothing.

It wasn't even like she could heal it just like that. Not that he needed to know that… He would probably drown himself in sake and guilt if she were to tell him that in order to heal it flawlessly she'd have to cut out the existing scar tissue first. She was prepared to do so at a moment's notice, carried one of Chopper's scalpels with her for that explicit reason, because she had promised. The pain would be nothing compared to the agony she had endured in her past. The agony she had felt in those two months with the revolutionary army, when they had reopened every scar on her body so she could at least begin to free herself from the shackles of her past. The burns had been the worst, huge areas of formerly dead skin coming alive with thousands of raw nerves. 

She huffed with a sip of wine. She really shouldn't have been so surprised by her sexual desires. She was, after all, intimately familiar with the concept of pleasure through pain. First during hours of torture where it was her body’s only way of keeping her sane, then when she healed herself from the evidence engraved in her body a year ago. She hadn't even noticed how she'd gone from dreading it to accepting it as a necessary evil and then to finally actively seeking it out. 

She emptied another glass and reached for the bottle, the second of the evening, but came up empty. She looked up to sharp yellow eyes studying the label before pouring her a glass fuller than seemly and not quite full enough for her mood.

“You have good taste, Nico Robin.”

She offered him the seat opposite from her. She wasn't in the mood for talking, the Shichibukai must have seen it, but since he had decided to ignore it, what else could she do? She wouldn't risk a fight in her state. It was the only reason she'd come to this high class restaurant, didn't want to come across anybody looking for a fight. Look at how that had turned out. Not her day. She scrunched up her nose when she realised just what wine she had chosen, but gave him a fake smile anyway. “And I believe I have you to thank for it. Your pupil recommended it some time ago.”

He laughed, “He hated that, even more than the dancing.”

“I still can't believe you made him dance,” she answered, her smile genuine this time.

He waved a waiter over, who nearly tripped over himself to give him a glass. “In all honesty, I only wanted to see his dedication. You should be glad to have a man with this type of loyalty,” he explained, and she blushed before realising that he had been talking about her as an extension of her crew and not of her, herself. Too late. Would you look at that, she didn't need to show off his mark to blurt out their secret. A bottle of rich red wine was enough.

He poured himself a glass, all-knowing hawkeyes on her. “So that's how it is. Poor Perona will be devastated.”

She would be? Had there been more to it than what he had told her? Two years was a long time…

“I was joking I'm sure she couldn't care less. She reacquired that stuffed bear of hers, much cuter than your swordsman, she says.”

What was wrong with her? Even if it had been more, it didn't matter now. Just one fight and she got all insecure again… A fight over her safety… Must have been the wine. 

She smiled again. “Would you thank her for us, for taking care of him?”

He gave her a nod as he savoured his first sip of the velvety liquid. “I will, although I doubt that moron would have needed it. With the sense of direction he displayed every day, I wouldn't be surprised to learn he was immortal. If only for the fact that he would get lost on his way towards the light.”

She laughed. Laughed in a way she wouldn't have expected two hours earlier when she had decided to treat herself to dinner. Also in a way she hadn't expected five minutes ago when Dracule Mihawk had interrupted her musings. Who would have guessed that this fearsome Shichibukai could be such good company? Zoro hadn’t told her much about his time with him, and even though he might not be the best to rate anybody’s pretentiousness, the fact alone that the hawkeyed man insisted on swapping his given and surname had provided her with a drastically different expectation.

“So, Nico Robin, what brought you here? It can hardly be the food as I recall you have the best chef in all the seas on board. I heard your crew had made quite the ruckus the next town over, shouldn't  you be celebrating?”

The best chef in all- he couldn't possibly have said that about Sanji in other people's presence, could he?

“Im here for the quiet.” She answered truthfully. Not that there was a celebration anyway, with Smoker hovering somewhere between life and death. 

He didn't pry, just studied the menu with his all-knowing eyes. Even on a good day, without a bottle of wine in her system, she wouldn't have been able to hide from this man. Maybe that's where Zoro got it from, reading her with just a glance. Or had he done that before the two year hiatus? She should go, leave before she said something that would harm them later. He was an enemy, lapdog of the government, no matter that he had trained Zoro for two years. She should leave.

Instead, she signaled the waiter to order the chef's recommendation of the day and a large bottle of water. 

“So, what brings you to this island?” She asked, nursing her glass of water, hoping it would sober her a bit at least.

He took another sip of wine before he answered with a hint of amusement in his voice, “I’m just passing through. World government called, good little lapdog I am, I answer.”

He couldn't read minds, could he? It was impossible. People generally called them such, it had to … he was testing her. She schooled her features into the cool facade she had practiced for years. 

“I'd be careful if I were you. Word is that they want to get rid of the Shichibukai as an institution,” she cautioned, while the poor, terrified boy responsible for their table laid out their first courses.

“They offered us this status because they were afraid of us. Do you really think the world's greatest swordsman is unable to protect himself?” he asked before taking the first bite.

Now wasn't that awfully vain of him, flaunting his title like that. “Generally I don't, but as I understand it, you're carrying this title on borrowed time. Would be a shame if you died before passing it on to a worthy successor,” she taunted before enjoying the buttery taste of thinly cut raw beef.

He chuckled before wiping his mouth and taking another sip of wine. No wonder Zoro's eating habits had improved so much over the two years apart…

“No need to remind me, Nico Robin, When the time comes, I will gladly accept defeat by the hands of your boyfriend.” He meant it, she could see. Boyfriend.. he wasn't really her boyfriend, was he? They had established that they liked each other, but she had made very clear that she was not ready for the emotional overhead. 

He was though, and she knew that she’d just have to say the words, and he would gladly let everybody else know. Not that there were many left who weren’t already aware… Franky, Usopp and their captain if at all, it was quite possible that they had talked to Zoro about it like Sanji had with her. 

She had insisted on the mark because it had been her unvoiced promise to him that she would come around eventually, and yet, nothing between them had changed since then. She did feel less guilty when lying in his arms, but nothing grave had changed. It should have. The affection of his cuts, even now his order to heal it… shouldn’t those things change something for her? Shouldn’t it affect her in some way? Why didn’t it? Was she emotionally this stunted? Was there truly no hope left, even now that she knew he would rather give up his claim on her than to see her endangered? How could such a gesture not make her heart swell and pine for his proximity? Such gestures of sacrifice always worked in the books, just why couldn’t it work for her? 

The clank of dishes ripped her from her doubts, making her acutely aware of the golden eyes that bored into hers from across the table. Their waiter had visibly calmed, but even though he seemed resigned to his fate, he was no less clumsy as he cleared out their dishes from the first course.

“You truly are an exceptional woman, Nico Robin. I’m afraid I will never comprehend how this moron could maintain your interest long enough for you to fall in love.” her company stated, and she shivered under his golden stare, revelation suddenly washing over her. Why was she so upset that she wasn’t moved by the gesture? She really shouldn’t be. After all, she hadn’t wanted to feel for him, had been afraid of it. 

How stupid of her, she’d been feeling all along. She was upset, because it had made her believe that he didn’t want, didn’t feel. What a fool she had been!

She smiled at the man, a genuine and happy smile. “He can be quite tenacious, Mihawk-san, you should know.”

He nodded, took another sip of his wine, eyes trained on hers. Lord those eyes were irritating. 

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The Shichibukai’s cloak hung loosely around her slim shoulders as she made her way back to the Sunny. It really had been quite reckless of her to just wander off without preparing for the cool night air. She had to say, Dracule was quite the gentlemanly warlord. She was sure that her cheeks were still red from their parting. The way his lips had properly hovered above the back of her hand. What an oddly entertaining and stimulating evening this had been. It had been so long since she had discussed world politics, climate change, the latest medical achievements, and the simple pleasure of an exquisite bottle of wine with just one person. To the nervous wreck that had been their waiter, it had probably seemed like a date, which it wasn’t, of course. Dracule knew she was with Zoro. He surely wouldn’t deem this a date. Not in a romantic way at least. She hadn’t missed the affection in his tone, despite the demeaning way he had talked about his future successor. All in all, she would say that Dracule was approving of their relationship. 

How truly odd… She just couldn’t shake this feeling that she had just been vetted for eligibility.

Chapter Text

OK, so maybe he had overreacted. Maybe he shouldn't have ordered her up to the crow's nest the moment they'd dumped Smoker in the infirmary. And maybe, just maybe, he should have asked her to heal the scarring wounds instead of demanding it. But gods fucking damn him, how in all the hells could this woman be so unfazed by this situation? He'd been fucking terrified of the possible consequences, had been sitting there next to Chopper and Smoker, and the only thing he'd been thinking of had been worst case scenarios of Robin captured with his mark, providing all the leverage pirates or marines could dream of. And she'd just given him a fucking thumbs up, for fuck’s sake!

“Roronoa, we've been here like four times already. If you don't fight me soon,  I'll stab you in the back!” Tashigi threatened from behind him.

“No you wouldn't,” he quipped back, but even to himself, his voice sounded too far away. She stopped, and so did he, turned around.

“What's wrong with you, Roronoa?”, she pushed with a degree of concern a marine really shouldn't feel for a pirate.

“Nothing, just get us somewhere to fight.”

Her eyes grew wide, her mouth went slack. “Are you… are you admitting you're lost?”

For fuck’s sake! “Yes, gods damn it! Now get moving!” he bellowed, but she didn't budge. Confusion and suspicion had her rooted to the spot… fucking woman should work on her pokerface.

When she spoke up, her voice was low, careful and laced with disbelief: “Did you, by any chance, drag me out here to talk?”

“No!” he defended instantly, only to realise that… “I don't know, maybe.”

He hadn't originally. When he'd asked her for a fight, he had wanted to vent his anger and frustration on someone who wouldn't immediately blame him for everything and at the same time wouldn't ask stupid questions. He'd figured with Smoker still in a coma, she might need the distraction, too.

Now that she'd said it though, talking sounded pretty fucking good… “If you don't mind.” 

Irritation creased her brow before her features softened, looking away from him she nodded. “Yeah, I think I could use some talking, too,” she admitted. 

“We should get booze.” 

She agreed, told him to stay put while she got some… As if he was a dog that would run off to gods knew where. 

When she returned with a clinking bag thrown over her shoulder, she grabbed his hand and dragged him after her.

“Oi, Oi, Glasses! I'm not some lost puppy!” He protested but followed regardless.

“Right, a puppy knows its way around a straight road. Honestly, I didn't believe the reports, but first Punk Hazard. and now this. You're really hopeless.”

“Yeah, yeah, shut up,” he grumbled, didn't have the energy to fight her on this, wasn't like anyone ever listened to his arguments about the topic anyway...

When she finally stopped, the town was nowhere in sight. Instead, there were trees and a small creek, sun setting in the distance. Robin would have loved the view. Tashigi sat in the grass, patted the spot next to her, and he followed. Like a fucking puppy. She handed him a bottle of sake and took one for herself. After clinking their bottles together, they drank and stayed silent long enough for the sun to completely set. 

“Do you… think he'll wake up,” she finally broke the silence, her voice was soft, insecure.

“Chopper is doing his best,” he said, knowing full well that it wasn't the answer she'd hoped for, even though this was the answer that should instantly cease her worries. If there was any possible way for the vice admiral to survive, Chopper would find it. If Chopper couldn’t save him, it just couldn’t be helped. No other doctor would have been able to, and he doubted bringing up Law’s proximity would calm her down. Quite the contrary probably. Their relationship with the ex- shichibukai wasn’t the same as with them.

“Thank you for protecting him earlier. I know you did it for your captain, but… thank you anyway.”

He took a huge gulp from his bottle, not sure if he should admit out loud that he would have done it for her as well. He knew he shouldn’t. They were enemies by default, but on the other hand, they shouldn’t be drinking together either. “Would have done it for you, too.”

She choked on her sake, sputtered some indiscernible words before falling into a coughing fit that had him fearing she’d suffocate. He hit her back to help her through, but she ducked away from him. Odd. Wheezing, she jabbed one accusatory finger his way before stuttering some more: “Y- you.. you you you you… you are not confessing to me, Roronoa, are you?!”

This time he choked on his drink, though with much more refinement than her, in his opinion. “Fuck no, Glasses.”

Instant relief filled her features, and she settled back down next to him. “Besides, I’m pretty sure you got the hots for your boss,” he added and relished a bit at the yelp she gave at his observation.

She hung her head in defeat. “Being in love with my superior is just as bad as drinking with a pirate,” she grumbled.

“Great, you’re on a run, then.”

She didn’t respond to his tease. Just as well. Took her awhile to speak up again. “So why would you have done it for me then? Is this because of that friend of yours?”

Kuina? He shook his head. “No, you outgrew her in the last two years. Maybe because of your hair, or because you actually got some tits now…” She boxed his arm. “Pig.”

“Yeah yeah, anyway, I don’t know… it’s weird… like you’re Nakama,” he continued, and she didn’t protest or go on a tirade of how she’d never stoop so low as to bullshit bullshit. He took it as a good sign, chose to believe that it meant she felt the same about him. 

“So,” she asked, “what had you so riled up that you didn’t even want to fight? And why couldn’t you talk with your actual Nakama about it?”

Ah fuck, couldn’t they just keep drinking in silence? He took another huge gulp only to realise that his bottle was already empty. She handed him another before he could even ask.

“I fucked up, that’s why. Pretty sure the others would see me as the bad guy and her as the poor victim. Not like she can’t fight for herself, for fuck’s sake, but they’d instantly come to her defense.”

Her ?”

“Not gonna tell you, Glasses. That’s classified. If she locks herself up and refuses to talk it's automatically my fault. If she’s in a bad mood, my fault. I get that they don’t see me as the emotional type, which actually might be my fault, but none of them seem to care what this whole thing does with me. All they tell me is to get my shit together. or ‘oh boy look at the marimo, he’s more grumpy than usual.’” He stopped his rant. That had sounded harsher than he had intended. Wasn’t like they didn’t care. He’d just never really given them reason to care about his emotional state. “During battle, something happened that shouldn’t have happened. Smoker saw, told me in the cave if anyone else had seen, our relationship would be out in the open, and I’m sure you can imagine what such information means to our enemies.”

She’d patiently listened to him, nodded at all the right moments, but now she seemed confused. And buzzed.

“And how have you fucked it up? You could have prevented this from happening?”

He gave a nod. “If I hadn’t given her a … sign of our relationship, it couldn’t have been seen, and it would definitely still be a secret. Told her to get rid of it, and apparently that’s what I shouldn’t have done”

Her eyebrows drew tighter together. “We’re talking about a ring or something? Why get rid of it. She could hide it on the ship if she wants the reminder. I mean if people find it on the ship, it's too late anyway.”

Yeah, if it were a ring that would be a great solution, wouldn’t it? He downed the rest of his bottle. Should have fucking known that talking with her wouldn’t do shit. He felt just as fucking miserable as before. There was just nothing he could do to make himself feel any better. The wound was on Robin’s body, and if she didn’t want to heal it, he couldn’t force her, as much as he fucking wanted to right now. Fucking powerless is what he felt. He should come to terms with the fact that eventually the woman he was in love with would be tortured and killed because she insisted on keeping his damn sign carved in her body. The sign of a relationship she didn’t even accept to be a relationship. Fucking ‘arrangement’ is what she called it. Fuck. The woman was fucking brilliant; how could she be this fucking stupid? Gods fuck. A pathetic sniffle next to him reminded him that he wasn’t alone. Wasn’t the only one feeling helpless.

“What the fuck are we even doing here, Glasses, we should be trying to kill each other,” he grunted, vaguely aware that his speech really wasn't as clear as it should be when he intended to use his swords.

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.

.

His eye blinked into focus, Gods his head was killing him. A huge grin hovered above him. Shishishishi.” Fucking shit, why did it have to be his captain to find him? “Shishishishi.” Fucking high pitched laugh of his. A groan somewhere above his head. Feminine. Fucking shit, got plastered with Tashigi. Sat up. Didn't wear his robe, had taken it off before fighting… probably. Yeah, tripped over it when getting up, so he'd taken it off. Maybe. How the fuck had he thought a swordfight was a good idea when he couldn't even walk in his own fucking clothes? Fuck. Shallow cuts all over his chest and arms. Haramaki in tatters holding on to the bits and pieces still left from his pants. Fucking hells, it was a wonder he still had all his limbs attached. Fuck, Glasses, he turned around too quick for the hangover he was nursing. She was on all fours. Good, so he hadn't severed any body parts. Couldn't say the same about her clothes though. Fuck. She lifted her head to look at him, did a double take. Her red eyes looked him up and down, and he was pretty sure he could read a silent curse on her lips before she gave up and slumped back to the ground. With a grunt she rolled herself on her back. “You should seriously work on your defense, Roronoa, you're two cuts away, from being naked,” she scoffed.

“Right back at you, Glasses.”

She propped herself up to look down on herself. “Fucking shit,” she murmured, before flopping back down. “And stop calling me Glasses, pirate.”

“Shishishishi,” Fuck, he'd almost forgotten about him, but him being so carefree and happy at least meant that Smoker was stable.

“This is funny,” his captain laughed with one finger up his nose. “I thought you only did the naked fighting with Robin.”

Tashigi gasped behind him, and he plopped back to the ground. Just fucking great, now Tashigi knew.

“Are you serious? This was about Nico? I was convinced you only used feminine pronouns as a ruse! I was sure it was about Black Leg!” She called out.

What the fuck? How the fuck? He’d literally fuck anybody else before the shitcook. For fuck’s sake, he’d fuck Franky, and there was a veritable chance that the guy had a trash compactor up his ass. He’d rather get fucked by Akainu’s transformed lava dick than go to bed with fucking curly brow! 

He glared at her. “You could have done so many things, Glasses. You could have stolen my sword, could have taken me in for my execution, could have achieved my title… but this… I will not ever forgive you for this assumption. Ever.”

She just laughed at him. What the fuck was it with women not taking him seriously?

Chapter Text

She had not been surprised when she’d returned shortly after midnight to hear that the others had asked for Law to join them on Sunny - just in case - and that Zoro was out with sweet Tashigi-chan and that Sanji would barbeque the moss-for-brains upon return for disrespecting both of them in such a blatant way. What had surprised her was to see the two - under their respective coats presumably naked - swordsmen sluggishly trail after a very happy and bouncy rubber captain the following morning. The two of them looked terrible, and while Zoro played it off with a grumpy face and boots thumping down as secure and loud as his hangover probably allowed, the marine looked like she wished for Fujitora to come and open the ground for her to disappear. Who would have guessed that ‘walk of shame’ didn’t only apply to one night stands but also to very reckless, drunken sword-fighting. 

With one giant hand, she plucked Sanji from the air mid-jump and sat him on the planks next to her. “I believe your energy would be put to better use if you could whip up some hangover breakfast for the marine, don’t you think? I’ll have a word with Zoro if you don’t mind,” she asked and as expected the cook flew to whisk an alarmingly greenish woman towards the kitchen.

Zoro stood, staring at her, doubt and regret clear on his face while Luffy babbled on about how he’d found them and that Usopp should build him some cool armour with whatever he’d used for Tashigi’s underwear. 

Eventually, he let his head hang and swayed towards the library. He seemed miserable. Maybe she should let him sleep it off for a few more hours before talking about their arrangement. Their relationship?

“I did not fuck Tashigi,” he sputtered as soon as she closed the door behind her. "Whatever Luffy thinks he has seen or knows, I did not." She giggled, “I did not believe you did, Kenshi-san, or would you jump to the conclusion that I had sex with Dracule if I told you that I had dinner with him yesterday?”

He froze at that, stared at her, mouth agape. “Dra- Drac-, Mihawk? What is he doing here? Oh thank fuck he was with you. I can’t even imagine what he’d think…”

She hummed in agreement, understood that he wouldn’t want his idol to see him at his lowest. “I think he just wanted to check up on you, and I happened to cross his path. He seemed to approve of us, I think,” she explained and sat down on the plush sofa, but it only elicited more gasping from her swordsman. “You told him about us,” he asked, vexed even as he took the seat next to her, visibly shrinking as he slumped into the pillows. No, not his proudest moment.

“I don’t think either of us can reprimand the other for what they did yesterday after at least one bottle of alcohol.” She hadn’t meant for it to sound like a pout, but no, yesterday neither of them had been at their best. He grunted his agreement, shoved his hand through his tousled hair with a sigh.

“I’m sorry, Robin, I shouldn’t have demanded like that. I was worried,” he grumbled after a while of silence, and she used the chance of his still raised arm to snuggle against his chest, and for a moment, she worried before he laid his hand on her hip. God she had missed his warmth last night. 

“I know you were. I’m sorry I was stubborn. If you really want me to I’ll heal it, I’ll-”

“Keep it,” he interrupted her. “If you get captured, we’ll just have to save you from your own idiocy and stubbornness, again .”

Oh wasn’t that rich, coming from him? But she wasn’t here to argue, and she knew it was his way to grudgingly pretend that he didn’t like seeing the wound on her shoulder; that he didn’t try to picture it when he touched himself. Lord, she’d like to see that sometime.

“I’m counting on you,” she amended instead of reprimanding. His grip on her tightened as he pulled her harder against his chest.

“Fuck, woman, you have no idea how fucking terrified I was in that damn cave. And it was just been Smoker...” She could barely hear him as he mumbled against her hair, but she got the sentiment either way, tightened her own hold around him.  

“Ah, by the way… Luffy knows, and idiot that he is he told Tashigi, so… ah fuck that list is growing.”

She hummed in agreement. There really wasn’t any reason to keep their not so secret relationship a secret anymore, was there? “I think it’s time we make it official, don’t you, Zoro?”

He huffed under her, “The fuck I do. We won’t tell them shit unless you are committed.”

He didn’t sound hurt by the idea that she still wasn’t where he was. Was it irony that he had come to terms with that just before she had accepted her feelings? She pushed herself up to look him in the eye, pleased to see him much more relaxed than he had been on his arrival. 

“Well in that case,” she started, “during my dinner with Dracul-”

“Would you fucking stop it with the first name, woman? I lived with him for two fucking years, and he didn’t offer that degree of familiarity.”

She giggled at his outburst - just when had she started doing that? - and continued unperturbed. “I had some epiphanies.”

He cocked an eyebrow at her with a grunt, and she could feel the blush rising in her cheeks. There really was no reason for her to blush, was there? So she drew a deep breath, not struggling one bit to find the courage to admit her weakness in front of him.

“I’m in love with you, Kenshi-san, have been for a while, I think,” she said, awaiting his answer with bated breath. He would say it back, right? That’s how these situations went, wasn’t it? In her books it was… His grey eye scanned her for the truth for just a moment before he barked out a laugh, making her flinch back in response. That… that was not what she had been expecting…

He didn’t let her wait for long, his rough hand caught her in the back of her neck, forcing her head down so he could place chapped lips on her forehead. “Great. Took you long enough,” he said and simultaneously slung her over his shoulder, ripping a surprised gasp from her throat.

“You know, I had an epiphany of my own,” he chimed as he climbed up the ladder to the bathhouse. “If we’re in a hurry, which we are, because we have announcements to make, I don’t have to go through the hassle of tying you up to immobilize you. I can just dump you in the water.”

“You can't possibly intend to-” Even while protesting, she knew that the thrill that always accompanied every thought about submerging herself in water would never be quite the same again. In fact, being helpless and weak in any body of water didn’t at all sound worrisome anymore. 

“No, I don't intend to play. I’m still drunk,” he amended as he let her down in front of the door. “But I've wanted you against that shower wall since for-fucking-ever.”

Well, that was probably second best. They undressed together, and she couldn’t suppress the chuckle when she saw that he indeed was almost naked under that robe of his. The hem of his pants literally hanging on by a thread and his left pant leg was gone apart from a pitiful remains hanging out of his boots. His underwear wasn’t far off. In fact, she was pretty sure if she tilted her head just right… Maybe she should put that thought to the test, she was a scientist after all.

Knowing she had his full, grumpy attention thanks to her amusement, she reached behind her to unclasp her bra before slowly brushing it of her chest, deliberately letting the strap catch on her hard nipple. Brushing her hair to the side so it wouldn’t obstruct his view of the mark, she dragged her panties down her legs, bringing her face closer to his crotch, aware of the imagery it would provoke in his mind. 

She burst out laughing when his erect manhood wiggled from the tattered underwear and the last thread keeping his pants up finally snapped to let them pool around his ankles. 

“Insufferable wench,” he grumbled, letting her have her laugh while he stepped out of his boots and went ahead into the bath. 

He wasn’t really mad, she knew. He was in an exceptionally good mood, actually, or as good as his hangover allowed. 

She watched him from the entrance, light green hair dark with water, strong muscles shining with its drops. Lord, her man was absolute perfection, like some ancient god of battle and virility, come down to tempt the fair maidens’ resolve for chastity. Fufufufufu , now wasn’t that incredibly far off the mark? Her man was no god. He was a demon thriving on the chaos that was a battlefield. An incubi that, without even trying, had awakened a sensuality she had never thought in her reach… No, he was neither, was he? And both. And for her, so much more.

She stepped closer, knowing he was aware, even though he chose to ignore her with an immature pout for finding amusement in his little predicament. It didn’t matter, was more of a game anyway. She leathered up some of his soap and worked her hands over the taunt muscles of his back without a word. It was a scene of odd tranquility that didn’t even change when she reached around to clean that glorious erection of his. He had rested his forehead against the cool tile of the shower, docile, low hum in his chest that resembled more a purr than a moan. When his balls tightened in her hands, it changed. In an instant, the kitten was gone, and she came face to face with the ferocious tiger. He’d spun her around before she’d even realized, tile in her back, one of his hands on her neck providing enough of a buffer so her wounds wouldn’t be pressed against the cold. His lips on hers, hot and hungry, his tongue demanding and expecting. His other hand squeezing her butt, while his hips pressed his cock against her belly. 

It felt wrong. The hand in her neck held a certain possessiveness, but apart from that, he was gentle. Needy yes, but incredibly soft, and if she concentrated just enough, she could feel that he was holding back. This was their first time since she admitted her feelings for him, shouldn’t this represent their relationship just a bit more? Sure, this wasn’t their usual situation, and of course nothing stated that you couldn’t have cuddly sex every once in a while, but this wasn’t what they did. They were cuddly, gentle, loving even… even her, now that she looked back at it, but only after… always after. 

She pushed him away, and the fact that it was that easy was proof enough that he was indeed keeping himself in check. There was no hurt in his gaze, only confusion.

She smiled at him before she turned around, one hand braced against the tiles. She reached around to spread herself before him, hoping to give him a nice view of her wet, slick cunt. Looking over her marked shoulder, she smiled at him again, just in time to see his gaze traveling back up from her sex. 

“Please don’t be gentle with me, Zoro,” she said, surprising even herself with the amount of need that dripped from her tone.

It took him two seconds of open mouthed staring, before he gripped her hips in his iron hands and buried himself to the hilt inside of her with a curse. She cried out despite herself. Oh, she had needed that, the delicious stretch, his weight crushing into her backside. His fingers digging in the hollow of her hips, making her insides quiver in delight. God, he knew exactly what to do with her. She didn’t care about the noise their bodies made under the hot spray of the shower, the bathhouse was a considerate distance from the rest of the ship, and even if it wasn’t; even if she didn’t know that Franky had designed the room soundproof, because it legitimately was the only place of actual privacy, she didn’t care. So what if they could hear them? No, in fact, let them hear, let the whole world hear that they were together, that they enjoyed themselves. Let them hear that Devil Child Nico Robin was finally what she was supposed to be. That she was free. 

She hadn’t even noticed how far she’d drifted off until a calloused hand closed around her throat, pulling her back against a chiseled chest.

“You better pay attention, Robin, I won’t wait for you,” he rumbled in her ear, grip tightening. She knew it was payback for her self-indulgence after the initial marking, but good lord, had it aroused him as much as it did her? 

Her body trembled as the tickle inside her lower body coiled tight, her pulse thrummed against his unrelenting fingers, vision receding to make way for sensation. She was so close! Her head rested against his shoulder, hand on her throat keeping her in place as his pace quickened. His jaw clenched right as his cock started to pulse, pumping his wastefully delicious cum inside. She almost feared she wouldn’t be able to make the jump in time, that he would just leave her behind like he had threatened, when his hand tightened around her throat. “Cum, Robin.”

Her body exploded in an instant, as if it had just been waiting for the order. She trembled and cried and slumped against his hold, not for a second doubting that he would keep her from dropping to the tiles.

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.

“Alright, let’s get going then,” he said with childlike enthusiasm after he’d dabbed the freshly scabfree wound with the irritating antiseptic, renewed her bandages, and pulled on the pants she’d brought him with her powers. She went ahead, admitting to herself that yes, she too was quite giddy to finally make this thing official. 

When they entered the galley together, the crew was already gathered. Including the captain of the Heart pirates who didn’t seem entirely happy about the presence of an awkward marine captain, coat buttoned right up to her chin, queasily eating one spoon of soup at a time while trying not to catch anybody’s eye. 

It took the crew about two minutes to calm their excited chatter about their pirate alliance friendship plans, completely ignoring the marine in their midst, and focusing on them. Sure, they had to have a reason not to just join in but stood there, waiting… 

After Luffy was silenced with one of Nami’s fists and all eyes and attention lay finally on the,m she smiled. “Zoro and I are in love,” she said, chuckling at her swordsman for choking on his spit at her straightforward declaration. Apart from his hacking cough, the rest was silent. A silence that before them she had welcomed, but with the eternal chaos that was as much part of the crew as she herself or Sunny, this silence made her uneasy. Were they against a relationship? She knew she had Nami and Chopper on their side, and probably Sanji too, now that all was sorted out. But what about the rest?

“So,” started Luffy, just as oddly serious as he always got before battle. That couldn’t be good, could it? “Robin, Zoro, you are married now,” he finished and was followed with even more silence. She smiled at him, attempting to explain to the boy that one didn’t just automatically get married just because one was in love but stopped herself when she realised that, while it didn’t just happen like that, one did get married when your pirate captain declared you married… Oh boy. She looked at Zoro, a rare look of insecurity on his features. They could just ignore it, couldn’t they? Luffy said a great many things that weren’t really-

The hollow clank of fists meeting a rubbery head broke the silence and interrupted her thoughts.

“Well now they are, you idiot!” Nami barked while Sanji grabbed the boy by the scruff of his neck, shaking him. 

“How could you do this to poor Robin-chwan? For all eternity, stuck with this barbarian,” the chef cried despite the angry words. 

“Shishishishishi, my bad,” the boy laughed, grinning head dangling from his shoulders, not looking apologetic at all. 

Sanji gave up shaking sense into him, instead turned towards Zoro. “I hope you are aware what a huge honour it is you’ve been given. If you hurt her, I will feed you to the fish,” the chef threatened, far enough in the swordsman’s face that he couldn’t hear Nami specifying the argument to ‘hurt her in a way she didn’t want.’

“Oww, hurting a girl would be suuuper not manly! Zoro-bro wouldn’t do that,” Franky interjected, followed by Brook: “Now now, Sanji-san, let the poor man be,” the skeleton said, pushing their chef a few inches away from Zoro to move right in front of him. Before he continued, one bony hand raised to hide his mouth. “Now tell me, what colour are her panties?”

Fufufufufu, this really did go better than expected. 

Luffy’s serious face sneaked into her view, obstructing the beating their musician was receiving from Nami. “So, since you’re already married, you'll have kids, right? Right?” He ended up excited, despite his best effort to remain serious and not give away that he had done it on purpose. Fufufufu , how cute that the man feared in all oceans thought marriage equaled children.

“Ugh, Luffy you idiot, don’t go around making assumptions!” Nami roared, while Luffy just laughed at her.

“You see, Robin? This crew has wayyyy too many adults that think they can tell their captain what to do, shishishishishi.”

Adorable. She looked at Zoro, who had resolved to grab himself a bottle of sake in defeat and take a seat between Law and Tashigi, but peaked up at the mention of their future children.

“Guys, we said we’re a couple, and now we’re supposed to be married and have children? Give us a break, will ya?”

He was thoroughly ignored.

“Oww,” the shipwright cleared the table from any remaining dishes left over from breakfast to spread a big blueprint. “I’ve already been working on a crib! It’s a transformer to protect the little rascal.”

Oh, so Franky also had known for a while. In fact, was there anyone who had not been aware? 

“Oi oi, we’re not actually-” he tried again but was interrupted by Chopper's wailing. “Oh god, we’ll need a doctor, we’ll need a doctor! Law, we-”

The Heart pirate just waved him off. “Leave me out of this madness,” he told the doctor while sparing a sympathetic glance towards his fellow swordsman.

Fufufufufu, this scene was utterly adorable, and actually, Franky was doing them a favour, having drawn the captain’s attention with the crib’s laser defence system, which also caught Chopper’s interest, now that he’d calmed down.

Zoro met her gaze and sighed. “We won’t even be thinking about having children anytime soon, will we, woman?” he asked her.

She shook her head, smiling. “If ever,” she answered, well aware that they couldn’t just go and start a family, and her man visibly relaxed.

“That’s good to hear. We still have Dressrosa ahead of us,” Law said with just the slightest hint of exasperation. She couldn’t blame him, strawhat madness did take some time getting used to.

“Yeah Law-kun, don’t count on it, anything rarely really goes according to plan around here,” Nami interjected, “By the way, babysitting will cost you 100B an hour if it comes after Robin and 500B if it turns out to be a mini Marimo.”

She laughed, while Zoro smacked his head against the table and Luffy finally tore his eyes of the amazingly amazing blueprint he couldn’t read anyway.

“Shouldn’t you be happy, Zoro? Oh, right! Yosh, Glasses, get  your men, we have a wedding to celebrate!”

Fufufufufufufu.

Chapter Text

The old woman sent the girl to lead his way with the vague tone of disapproval she always held when she saw him. She was never rude, of course - he provided for Robin’s clothes after all - though he knew it drove the hag insane not knowing how a filthy ronin such as himself could  have the money to provide for a geisha. He followed the child to Robin’s room. Wasn’t cheap by any means, but what did he care, wasn’t really his money after all. The child slid open the doors in a bow. Didn't matter if Nami put all of his expenses on his tab later. Fucking hells was it worth it, seeing Robin like that, in a lavish Kimono with her hair tied up in an equally elaborate hairdo, elegant white neck exposed as she bowed low before him with only her fingertips touching the tatami. Fuck, he'd probably pay for that even if he hadn't gotten a hefty allowance for the explicit reason to provide for her lifestyle. Shit, could they keep all that stuff?

The paper door slid shut behind him. Fucking hell, he knew he couldn't touch her; it was already late in the day. Actual customers would be coming soon, requesting her presence to spill all their dirty little secrets. She wouldn't be able to put on all that makeup again in time if he smeared it; wouldn't be able to redress in all the layers and all the obi. He didn't even want to think about the cost of her hairdo. He'd made that mistake before and had not eaten for a week as a consequence…. But fucking hells did he want to ravish her.

"Play me the shamisen," he said instead. He wasn’t a man of culture or the finer arts, but he could definitely understand how men could bankrupt themselves for this kind of entertainment. This dream. He'd been just shy from ripping off Law's head when he'd suggested Robin go undercover as a geisha. Like hell he'd allow something like that weeks after Luffy had renounced responsibility for her life… How the fuck dared he to ask her to do what Crocodile and the likes had made her do? And she’d been entirely too fucking calm about it! To the point he’d felt like a fucking idiot to get so worked up by it. Wasn't like that, she told him, wasn't her body she sold here, was a dream, an illusion. Men didn't want her body, but her company, at least that was all they were going to get. Wanted her to be whatever it was they needed at the moment, while she’d sit there with a smile on her lips, filing away all the information they’d unknowingly give her. Usual spy work she’d said, work that she excelled at, so it made absolute sense to put her in that disguise. Fucking way she’d said that, with that calm smile that promised certain and painful death… Fuck, she was a spy alright, smile reminded him why he’d been so fucking weary of her when she’d first joined. Could kick himself that it had taken him ‘til Enel to finally realize that she was just a woman, just a human, and no fucking monster like Enel or even he himself or Luffy…. So yeah, that smile had shut him right up, was her own woman, and old enough, healed enough to know what she could do in that regard and what she couldn’t. All he could do was play along, get her the job and keep her safe, while she’d pretend to be everything a random wealthy stranger needed. Fucking shame she couldn't be what he needed right now...

He listened to a few tunes before he started to quietly recount the recent developments in their plans. Soft petal lips kissed his neck when he was done, immediately after they whispered the latest gossip of the capital in his ear. Boring shit he didn't give a single fuck about, but still made sure to remember word for word. Not that it was easy with her breath fanning over his skin when he knew he couldn't just pin her to the ground and have his way with her. Well, not yet he couldn't. He'd have to wait patiently at the bar until other men had their fill of her. Wasn’t like he was jealous or anything, not in general at least, but fuck if he didn’t want her right fucking now. 

He left her when the little girl came back to tell them that her first customers were there and took his usual seat in the darkest corner at the bar. The sake was already there. They’ve all gotten used to him by now, apart from the old lady of course. But still, even while shooting daggers at him, she stayed true to the deal they had. Through bit teeth, she recounted all the little transgressions Robin had made since the last time he’d visited, all the little transgressions that she’d punish all the other girls and women for. But he wouldn’t have any of that. Going incognito was all very well, but fuck if he’d let anybody else punish his woman. And especially not if it wasn't the fun kind of punishment, but the oppressing kind. They all had learned that this seemed to be normal in the land of Wano, or at least not frowned upon, and if Luffy was here, there was no fucking way that they'd just settle in like that. Fuck their mission; this kind of abuse made all their hackles rise, and he could imagine Robin's most of all. Luffy wasn't here though. Who was here was the more rational, practical part of the crew. The bit more patient part. They'd bide their time, because they knew this country would be getting a thorough makeover once they were done with it. In the meantime, they'd turn a blind eye to all the small and big injustices and not hold the old hag’s nitpicking sadism against her. Fuck, if they forgot about the other women under her thumb, it even came in handy for them. Sure as fuck gave them a great excuse for a little playtime every now and again. 

He was well in his second bottle when her first visitor left, and from experience, he knew that it wouldn't be her last… It was all according to their plan really, was perfect for gathering information, but fuck… He'd had no problem waiting for her to accept her feelings, would still be happily waiting, but gods fuck this shit. She was already his! His wife even. She really was. Sure, Luffy said a lot of bullshit all day and everyone was happy to ignore his inane babble unless it was an actually emphasised captain's order… fuck, even then, if Nami put her foot down the captain's order wouldn't go through. That was exactly the point though. Nobody would have given two shits about him declaring them married, except for the cook of course. What really had married them, ironically enough, was Nami accepting the proclamation by furiously reprimanding the boy. Funny how everyone thought he was second in command… Fuck yes, maybe he was second in command if Nami was the captain and Luffy just the thing generating random ideas.

He didn't really mind though, didn't have any plans to fuck this up and let her go anyways, didn't matter what tag anyone gave their relationship. She was his and would be until she got sick of him. 

Maybe his treatment of Robin was also something that didn't suite the owner of the place. While she didn't hesitate to slap her girls across the face herself, she apparently couldn't understand how Robin was still so devoted to him when he did the same. Or maybe she was just jealous that she wasn't rewarded with a breathy thank you everytime she disciplined her employees. Hadn't been easy to convince the boss lady to let him handle the punishment, had taken a lot of threatening and sweet talking alike, and it had baffled him how the woman could be so protective of her girls against men while not seeing any problem in beating them up herself. He'd made it a point to keep play with Robin as transparent and obvious to everyone in the house as possible. Partly to infuriate the hag, and partly to show all of them that something was wrong with how things worked around here. Didn't do shit though..

It had surprised him a bit that Robin had gone along with it, proved that it was a very reasonable plan with no better, easier or more enjoyable alternative. Sure, this whole punishment thing kinda was his expertise but no fucking way would she agree otherwise and no fucking way would he have been able to convince her on his own. Maybe it was because they weren’t themselves here, maybe because whatever happened in Wano would stay in Wano with their isolationist policy, but neither of them really cared that there were rumors about the beautiful new geisha and her abusive danna. Certainly not Robin, who never tired of telling him how many offers to free her from his oppressing hands that she had gotten during his absence. 

 

When he returned to her, she'd already stripped down to the last layer of the kimono. The same pure white as her face and the sudden urge to paint it red almost took his breath. Couldn't do that here.

She bowed low at his feet, just like before, the ornaments in her hair just giving the faintest of sounds, the pale back if her neck exposed. Fuck, did he want her.

"You had fun, O-Robi?" He asked her through grit teeth.

She even had the audacity to smile at him, fuck. "Why yes, Zorojûro-sama, I've grown quite fond of the attention."

The hot darkness in his guts coiled tight at her teasing words. Well, she had his attention now. That should satiate her for awhile. 

“Undress,” he ordered, and she did. Standing up, she let the white silk fall from her shoulders to reveal her naked glory. Made him chuckle. Eager, wasn’t she? Hadn’t undressed herself for him before, had redressed, because all the layers of binds trying to keep her tits in check were gone, only thing left of those were the red welts where the fabric had cut into her skin. Fucking delicious. Maybe they should talk about the whips again sometime. She’d come a long way since they had started this. 

With Wado still sheathed, he tapped the insides of her thighs, prompting her widen her stance.

“Hands on your ankles, Robi.” He had felt her intent to do so almost before he’d even said it. She’d known it would come, course she had; it’s become a ritual of a sort over the last few weeks. 

“How many,” he asked her while admiring that plump rear of hers, exposed and waiting for his attention. They both knew very well that this wasn’t about her transgressions against the hag, never had been.

“27.”

Fucking hells. "I want you to count them, Robi."

"Hai, Zorojûro-sama."

He'd considered having her hands on her knees, just to give him more meat to work with, but had come to the conclusion that he quite liked the way she had to expose herself like that, that bit more vulnerability she showed in this position.

He caressed her left cheek, pulled taunt over her bones avoiding her wet lips as best he could. Warmed her up, get the blood flowing, couldn't just start spanking her like that. Not in this position with so little leeway, and not with his lack of depth perception coming from his missing eye. If he didn't want to bruise her bones he needed impeccable aim.

He started slow, soft almost, experimenting, just enough to make her voice quiver and her body sway just a little bit.

"One."

 Adjusted his stance.

"Two."

He'd have to steady her soon.

"Three."

He halted at seven, feeling her drifting away as her voice started to break. Caressed that angry red glaring up at him. Wouldn’t do for her to go into subspace, they needed to stay alert, both of them. This wasn’t the safety of Sunny. Fuck, she got there way too easy and way too quick… Fucking miracle considering that she had trouble with haki because she just couldn’t let go of her rationality, while she threw away every ounce of sanity as soon as she was at his mercy. Fucking enigma the woman. 

Turned to the other cheek, still pale and unblemished. He’d change that.

“Eight,” she cried out as his calloused hand met the flesh for the first time.

“Nine.”

Fuck, he’d never tire of that voice of hers, usually so calm and controlled and now calling out, crying, sobbing. He gave her another break once they reached 14, changed the side again.

“15,” she cried, and he could feel the audience outside. They heard the slaps and her strained voice, he knew, worried about their poor sister because while they could hear the tears in her voice they couldn’t hear the steady drip from her cunt soaking into the tatami. 

“16.”

Just like their Kaasan, they seemed to think that it was normal for her to hit them, but not for him.

“17.”

Such twisted morals…

At 21 he switched sides again, aware that she needed the breaks to keep her rooted to the tatami instead of flying off to the gods knew where she went.

“22,” she sobbed. He knew that sound; she was close to losing it. Needed more time to calm her down, kneaded her cheeks instead.

“Can you hear how they pity you, Robi,” he asked, knowing full well how loud those gossipy whispers were screaming in her ears, and all he got was a weak whimper for an answer.

“Speak up, Robi.”

“Yes, I can hear them, Zoro-sama,” she cried, confirming his suspicion that she was too far gone for the larger play they were playing.

“What was that, O-Robi,” he asked, stressing her alias, purposely using the honorific as well, and he felt the change it brought in her.

“Yes, I can hear them, Zorojûro-sama,” she corrected, and he hummed his approval. Much better. Playing on her shame worked way better when she was lucid anyway. Pulled her up at the neck, pushed her ‘til she had to hollow her back, ‘til he could look into her tear smeared face with the white paint all over the place

“Think we should let them in and see for themselves? How much you enjoy being punished like that?”

Despair. Delicious, magnificent despair in her eyes. Pleading. 

"What would they think of you if they saw you wet like that?"

She shook her head. "Please don't, Zorojûro-sama!"

"And why not?"

"They'll see me for the punishment hungry slut I am," she sobbed, and he was momentarily taken aback by hearing those words from her. He'd never prompted her to say anything like that, strictly abiding to her rule of no pet-names whatsoever. Her energy was calm though, no more worked up than any other time they played.

"Damn right you are, hands back on your ankles." They'd talk later, right now there was still punishment to be dealt.

"23," she sobbed simultaneously as outside one of the geisha gasped; they had thought it was over.

"24."

At least she had calmed enough again, and the last few spanks, despite being fairly hard, weren't enough to make her drift again.

"27," she breathed, treading the fine line between disappointment and relief. 

"Thank you, Zorojûro-sama." Fuck yeah, hopefully the old hag had a good set of ears on her. He pulled her up by the neck again.

“How long since your last orgasm,” he asked, knowing full well how long it had been as did probably everyone else of the Pirate Alliance Friendship who’d been on Wano at the time. 

“Five weeks,” she sobbed, whole body trembling. He hummed, “Right, and why’s that, Robi?”

“Because I’m treating other man as I should only treat Zorojûro-sama!”

“Will you stop doing it?” he asked and felt her indecision as if it was his own. Knew that she couldn’t stop because otherwise she’d never gain access to Orochi’s castle, but she sure as fuck wanted to throw it all away right now. What a spy she was. 

“I can’t,” she cried out, desperation palpable.

“No cock for you then,” he closed and let go of her. She sank to her knees in front of him with a pout and a mewl, and for a moment, he considered jerking off on her, but... that’d just be the second best thing for her, wouldn’t it?

Just like the last few times, he got the soft cloth and the washing lotion. She sure was pretty with her makeup, but honestly, it could be anybody under that. She wore it like an armour of anonymity here, or any time she and Nami dressed up. Didn’t want her to hide like that in front of him.

“I prefer you naked, woman,” he declared after having wiped her face.

“Fufufufu, I also love you for who you are, Kenshi-san.”

Chapter Text

Admittedly, there weren’t many things that could shock her. She had seen things, done things, endured things that were more horrible than most people could even imagine. For something to petrify her like that, to root her to the spot, to make her blood freeze without Aokiji close… it had to be something big. She clutched her hand to her face in absolute horror, just how was this possible? He’d been doing so good, six weeks undercover, visiting one inn after the other, sampling all the different sakes they had to offer. He had seemed almost content when visiting her, and now? Now he’d, quite frankly, fucked up, the adorable idiot. 

The wanted poster in front of her shouldn’t really come as a surprise. She had felt the massive amount of destructive energy he had released even before the ground started to shake. Of course he couldn’t just let himself be killed like that, but to blow his cover to this magnitude? The execution site had been closed off; apart from the few officials and guards, nobody had been there. He could have taken them out easily, destroyed the evidence and chan- she stopped herself right there. Her man was many things, but he definitely wasn't a spy. He just didn't do stealth and subtlety.

It was a good thing people thought her to be oppressed by him, forced by him, that her affection stemmed from conditioning and not actual love, because if that wasn’t the case, he would have jeopardised her mission just as much as his own. 

“Is something the matter?” her Okaasan asked behind her, and she shook her head. All she could do now was to incorporate it into her role, pretend to be relieved to be free, but maybe somewhat terrified that the fiend would come for her at some point. They’d need to get a hold of that wanted poster though. They’d caught him quite nicely there. Would be a nice addition to their poster wall. 

What actually worried her about this whole situation though, was the fact that if her observation haki was correct, he hadn’t left the capital since the incident. She knew that he didn’t value his life as much as he should when it came to the crew, and after what she had pulled in Water 7, she really was the last person that could ‘ give him shit’ about the decision he had made on Thriller bark. But this right now? This was foolishness with nothing at all gained. Well, maybe not exactly foolishness, right? More like … there really was no nice way to put it, was there? Her ingenuous man was lost, wasn’t he? She had tracked his erratic movements all across the city the last few days, and there really was no other explanation. 

They turned from the crowded mainstreeton their way to meet the fabled oiran Komurasaki, it would bring her one step closer to actually getting into the shogun's castle. Now with fewer auras to interfere, she could feel him closely, although she had noticed no matter how little she concentrated, he always seemed to be there somewhere in her periphery. This time though it was like a beacon of light beckoning her to come closer. Could he do that on purpose? She readied herself, called upon her power, and instead of a startled gasp, she released a perfectly cloned version of herself onto the streets when a calloused hand closed over her mouth and another pulled her backwards into an alley. 

He looked irritated, and she knew that he didn’t want to ask for her help with the directions, but after three days of aimlessly wandering about, he probably didn’t see another way. For a moment, she just held his gaze, waiting for him to cave but when she saw the honest desperation in the scowl that sent others cowering, she took mercy on him. 

“Good to see you’re alive, Kenshi-san. If I recall correctly, you do still owe me a few orgasms,” she voiced with her usual casual indifference.

He scoffed at her, but his fists unclenched and his shoulders relaxed. “You spend way too much fucking time with Nami if you start lording debt over me.”

“Fufufufu, just making sure you return in one piece.”

“Fuck you, I always come back. I was the first at Sabaody, if you recall,” he retorted with that adorable grouch of his. 

Yes, of course he always returned, but he was also the one of them most likely to not return in one piece . She trusted in his abilities just as much as all the others, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t worry about him like all the others, right? Well, not Luffy of course, but as much as she loved her captain, the boy was a naive idiot most of the time with no inkling of consequences whatsoever.

He sighed and let his head hang, hand rubbing through his hair, and like recently, tangling in the topknot at the back of his head. The tint of pink around his ears told her that he had finally caught on. 

"I'll be careful, Robin."

She hummed. That was all she could hope for in that regard. "Any chance I can get a down payment on your debt?" She asked more as a joke than anything else.

He barked a laugh before placing his lips on hers in an uncharacteristically meek and loving gesture.

"Just get me out of this fucking maze, and I'll pay you back in full when all this is over," he said with that cocky grin of his. 

She should have known that it wouldn't be that easy. Should have also figured that their captain wasn't the only strawhat with irrational, boundless optimism.

Chapter Text

“Did you think you could bail on your debt, Kenshi-san?” she asked as soon as he entered the little hut her disembodied arms had lead him to. 

He laughed, “Wouldn’t dream of it.” Fuck, it’s been all he’d been thinking about, even before Chopper had cleared him for leaving the infirmary. Pesky little doctor.

He put his bottle of sake aside, just about ready to slip into role, but something was off about her, wasn’t there? She seemed nervous, not excited as usual. “You alright?” he asked while kneeling down next to her on the laid out futon. Her blue eyes looked him over. She smiled, reserved. 

“I don’t know. You tell me, Kenshi-san.”

He narrowed his eye at her, what was her game? Damn woman knew that he couldn’t follow those fucking mindgames of hers… She got up, a contemplative pointer finger tipping at the edge of her lips.

“I have accidentally overheard,” she started in that way that clearly said she’d been eavesdropping again, “Brook muttering some interesting information. Do you have any idea what that could be?”

Brook had information? She had been the one gathering information… and what information concerning him could Brook have? When had they even seen each other? On the battlefield, at Yasuie’s execution, and when he’d met them after Hiyori had treated his wound. What of those things could possibly be of any interest to her?

“You know, if you had wanted a threesome you could have just said so,” she revealed, and to his shame, he jumped a little at her clone blinking into existence and snuggling up to him from behind. Hadn’t they already gone through this? He had no interest in a clone tha- no. The clone kissed his neck, elegant hand splaying over his chest before she rounded on him to grind on his lap. This clone really was just that, not like the last time. Not 10 years younger, but just the very mirror image of Robin as she was now. What the fuck was going on here? And what the fuck did it have to do with Brook?

“We could have talked about this, you know, Zoro-kun? We could have had fun like that. But you chose to go behind my back with that, didn’t you?”

He steadied her clone on his lap, focus. Gone behind her back? With fucking what? “Would you stop that shit, Robin? What’s going on?”

Her clone exploded just like fucking last time, gods damn it.

“Wasn’t the woman you wanted, was it,” she asked, and slowly his eye widened. Fucking hells, Hiyori? He’d just been sleeping for fuck’s sake. Weren’t they over this whole insecurity shit?

“Being this unfaithful with his chosen woman. What a disgrace. I believe the ronin needs punishment for that,” Hiyori quipped as she entered, definitely back in her role as Komurasaki although wearing considerably less clothing.

Oh, the balls on that woman. If anyone did something behind someone’s back, it had been her, taking advantage of his weakness and getting all cuddly. Probably had to thank Toko for her presence.

He looked at Robin, calm smile on her lips. Right, they were indeed way over the insecurity shit. Fuck, this wasn't Robin reverting back. This was Robin trying on a new role.

“We’re going to punish you, if that’s alright with you?” 

He’d heard her ask similar questions plenty of times, horrifyingly calm smile on her face asking enemies if they were ready to get their backs broken. It was different now though, the tone was different. This wasn’t the same rhetorical question. Che, asking for consent wasn’t she?

He scoffed. If anyone needed punishment, it was Hiyori. The gall to talk like that after he had saved her ass so many times and especially after she was the one who couldn’t respect his privacy and not the other way round. Soft hands clenched around his wrists, and he only had a second to see them turn black before they twisted his arms behind his back. No matter the fact that he probably was neck deep in trouble when he looked at the cheeky smirk on his woman’s face, he couldn’t help his chest puffing up with pride for her. Armament Haki, hu? 

He flexed against her arms, demonstrating clearly that they couldn’t hope to keep him subdued if he didn’t allow them to, even with the haki. “Do your worst,” he challenged, eye drifting to Hiyori, because fuck, they’d see who’d be begging for forgiveness at the end of the night. 

"Fufufufu, we will, Zoro-kun," Robin laughed, and he could see the mirth in her eyes. The nuance of her smile changed, honest amusement. He wouldn't like what would come next, could fucking feel it in his bones. He trusted her unconditionally, and still he couldn't help his shoulders squaring up, muscles tensing, his body physically preparing for attack.

"So, Zoro-kun, we're going to use a safeword. I will tell you now, and you will repeat it, do you understand?"

Oh, she had it out for him, didn't she? Uh, fuck, he grit his teeth as one of her sneaky fingers prodded at the edges of the freshly res utured wound in his side.

"Do you understand, Zoro-kun?" She repeated, and he could feel a well-hidden shred of insecurity. 

"Yes," he answered, not missing the reassuring nod Robin got from Hiyori, who looked much in her element. There was no doubt that she'd take the lead once the ground rules were laid out.

A disembodied arm grew from his wound, rather sickening to feel foreign flesh form where his own should be growing. Her hand clasped around his jaw and turned his face back on her. Her blue eyes were almost glowing. Oh, he really wouldn't like what was coming.

"Marimo," she said with the irritating calm of an executioner. The force of his teeth pressing together would probably snap Wadô's hilt in three. Fucking hell. 

"Bitch," he cursed, but all it got him was two women laughing in his face and a well earned, haki-covered slap across it.

Fucking fine. "Marimo," he pressed through grit teeth. Couldn't have eased him in, could they? Had to fucking start with the humiliation.

Robin smirked… For fucks sake. "What was that? You have to speak louder than that, Zoro-kun," she demanded, using the same words, fuck, even the same tone he had used on her countless of times. 

"Marimo," he said again, articulating every syllable, staring her down from below, Haki crackling just under his skin. There. He'd given her what she wanted, and now they had to get fucking creative because while he did want to give her the opportunity to explore, he sure as fuck wouldn't just roll over. From here on, they'd have to fucking work for his submission. One wrong move, and he'd have them groveling at his fe-

"My, my, it seems as if this wild beast takes some effort to tame," Hiyori's sing song voice cut through his musings. She stepped up to him, lifting his gaze to her with one finger under his chin. Comfortable with the role indeed, the woman before him was a far cry from sweet, innocent Hiyori.

"Don't worry, tiger, I've tamed my fare share of beasts before," she said in a breathy whisper, brushing her thumb over his clenched lips. “From now on, you will refer to me as Komurasaki-sama, is that clear?”

He scoffed. “Aye.” Her eyes narrowed instantly at him, and even if they hadn’t, he knew she didn’t like the answer just because he sure as fuck wouldn’t let his own subs get away with that sloppiness. 

She sighed and knelt down before him, brushing his yukata from his shoulders, nuzzling in his neck, and Robin was fucking fine with it, watching with dilated pupils and parted lips as the other woman caressed his bare skin and trailed disturbingly soft kisses down his neck. What the fuck was she even doing, rewarding him like that?

With a hiss, he doubled over when a tiny fist buried itself in his injured side, in the less severe wound. Seemed like they had spent ample time preparing this behind his back. Komurasaki sat back on her haunches, and he settled his gaze back on her just after he had seen the sliver of shock and worry run across Robin's face.

“I’m afraid we won’t get anywhere with pain, will we, swordsman?” Komurasaki sung again, hand reaching to carass one of the shallow cuts on his other side, “A man like you thrives on it, lives for it…”

With one fluid motion, she got back on her feet and turned Robin's head towards herself with her slightly bloody hand. “Undress, my love, will you?” she asked, the other hand tugging on the obi tied in Robin’s back.

They kissed, hard and deep, tongue and teeth and fuck if it didn’t make his cock jump in appreciation. Robin’s fingers hooked into Komurasaki’s obi while she brushed the yukata from Robin’s shoulders. Like last time, she didn’t wear anything under it, revealing what he hadn’t seen or touched for weeks. Fuck, this would be a lot harder than he had anticipated. 

His hands twitched when she tried to cup Robin's tits with her tiny hands, completely hopeless. His hands were much better suited for that job. Her head turned to him, letting Robin suck and kiss under her ear. “Are you getting impatient, Ronin? You should calm down. You wouldn't want to break her actual arms, would you?" she asked, bending down to catch one of Robin’s nipples between those soft lips of hers, eyes still on him. Fuck, was that still a thing? He gave a grunt in understanding, wouldn’t risk it, relaxed in the steely black hold. Komurasaki hummed, rounding Robin and resting her chin on her shoulder, eyes never leaving his as she reached around to again cup both of Robin’s tits in her hands. “That’s a good boy. I knew you had it in you, Ronin,” she sang, one hand slipping between Robin’s thighs while the other reached for her shoulder to press her to the floor. Fuck.

They sat down in front of him, just out of reach, Robin between Komurasaki’s legs, her own spread wide for him to see. Thank the gods they didn’t wear restraining pants around here. 

Tiny hand rubbed between Robin’s libs, parting them, granting him an eyeful of that sweet little cunt of hers, already so fucking wet that it could only be from days of anticipation. He looked up to her, want as thick in her eyes as the clear challenge. Then, her eyes widened for but a second before they closed in bliss, her mouth falling open for a soft moan, and his eye zeroed back between her legs where three fingers disappeared inside.

“You better pay attention, Ronin,” Komurasaki chuckled from over Robin’s shoulder. He shot her a look of warning, one that made his enemies quiver with fear, it but seemed like she felt fucking invincible behind Robin, inside Robin… only gave him a condescending smile and fucking hells she was right, he should have paid attention. Might have spared him of the embarrassing little jump he made when a clone materialized right on his lap, grinding on his cock that was already throbbing with its need for attention. The clone smiled at him as both she and her original moaned at the friction before she lowered her back on the tatami between his knees. Hips still grinding against his, she reached one hand over her head to… fucking hells, there was no fucking way he’d win this. Komurasaki, too, seemed surprised when she gasped at the sight, while he did his damndest to bite back any treacherous moan wanting to bubble in his throat, his muscles tensing to keep the shiver down. She regained control quickly though as she stroked Robin’s hair with her free hand. “Look at what a good little slut you are, taking six fingers just like that,” she murmured her praise. It didn’t matter just how fucking horny he was, every single one of senses, his whole being immediately seized to solely focus on Robin. She had used the word herself before, but they hadn’t had time to really talk this over, in depth. But she didn’t even flinch, just angled her hips to give her clone better access, flush face nodding her agreement with the statement. 

That was good, good in so many ways. Granted him some time to breathe, refocus. 

“He must be packing quite a bit if you stretch so easily for our fingers. Let’s take a look, shall we, my dear,” Komurasaki addressed the clone still grinding against him and still pleasuring her maker. She pulled her hand back, fingers wet and glistening, dripping, and arms sprouted from the floor to push her upright on him. She offered her hand to him, and he accepted without even thinking, straining, tugging against the restraining hands in his back, but they still were just out of reach. Gave the clone a glare, but she only smiled at him, caressing his hair with the other hand and bent down to nibble at his pierced ear. 

“I’m afraid you’ll have to be more polite than that, Zoro-kun,” she breathed against his neck. Fucking- …  “Bitch,” he cursed, and she clicked her tongue, just like he would in her place. “Pity,” she said, trailing the tangy goodness down his chest. “I just hope you’ll be a bit more cooperative next time.”

She opened his yukata, an appreciating smile on her lips when she saw him naked underneath. Wano underwear was just too bothersome. “Packing indeed,” Komurasaki commented, and he might have been flattered if he wasn’t so fucking distracted by her fingers vanishing inside his woman. The clone wrapped her long fingers around his cock, making him hiss in relief even though he fucking knew that this wasn’t where this was going. She stroked him slow but firm, his breathing hitched despite his best efforts, and his teeth grit with the strain of keeping his hips from thrusting into her fist. Fucking hells he didn’t fucking meditate for hours a day to lose to them this easily.

Her bright blue eyes burned into his, and if it wasn’t for her slightly weaker energy, he might have taken her for the real deal. The same tiny creases around her eyes, the same admiring sparkle in them, captivating him just as much. Took him quite some effort to turn to her creator who was locked in a searing kiss with Komurasaki that made his lips feel dry in neglect. Her tits stuck out as she was bent slightly back to accommodate the oiran’s demanding mouth bearing down on her. Hand on his cock tightened, demanding his attention.

“Wouldn’t you like to be in her place,” she asked, hand moving even fucking slower. “To kiss me like that,” she pressed, giving his jaw a little bite that made his hips jerk. “Stuff me like that?” she suggested, smacking her fist down his cock in a way that made him shiver against her because, fucking hells, he was so damn close already. 

“My my, aren’t you pretty, Ronin? Red and twitchy suits you well.”

Robin was close, too. The shivers rippling through her clone made it obvious. She gripped him tighter, pumped him faster, trying to compensate, no doubt. A last ditch effort to make him struggle. For a moment, he saw stars, a strained goran rumbling in his chest as his cock pulsed and his lower body tingled, shivers wrecking his body as he grit his teeth hard enough to hurt. Hells no, he wouldn’t cum like this, all over himself. He’d give sweet fucking Hiyori-chan a mouthful. 

Robin’s real hand gripped tight in the fabric of Komurasaki’s robe, tried to still her hands’ movements, murmured words, probably trying to tell her to stop. But she didn’t, fingers fucked her even faster while the other hand flicked relentlessly over her clit.

“Cum all over my hand, my love. Let him see how much pleasure I can give you,” she demanded, eyes shackling Robin’s gaze to hers.

No fucking way. His woman whimpered, desperate as her legs wanted to close in near ecstasy but were spread apart by Komurasaki’s. She wanted to cum, just couldn’t, he could see it in her eyes, the desperation, pleading for just a little more. The little more Komurasaki apparently  just couldn’t give her. Now wasn’t that just fucking bad luck for them?

“Robin,” he called out, and her eyes were immediately on him. “Cum.”

She did, and it was glorious. Back straining, flushed body convulsing, pushing against her momentary keeper, strangled mewl from her lips. Glorious, but not his main attraction right now. Komurasaki’s lips were drawn to a pout as she glared at him, readying herself to put him in his place.

He scoffed. Wouldn’t let it come to that. “Now, Hiyori-chan, how about you pick a safeword,” he drawled just as Robin’s clones burst into petals.

Chapter Text

When the post-orgasmic haze lifted, Hiyori was already on her knees in front of him. It didn't surprise her per se. After all, she had said that she'd adopted her domme persona mainly because she despised the men visiting her, had told her that she didn't mind subbing out to someone worthy. What definitely did surprise her was how quickly it had happened. 

What happened to he had to earn the privilege? She didn't have much time to ponder though, as his eye zeroed in on her, his fist tightly buried in teal hair, erection standing just as proud and tall, as red and throbbing as before her orgasm. He raised an eyebrow in question, and the fact that he asked for her approval even though she'd been the one to instigate this whole thing made her heart flutter while the image of his throbbing cock so close to Hiyori's impossibly soft lips gave her insides a flutter of a whole different kind. She nodded her head while one hand settled between her legs. 

He looked down at the woman in front of him.

"Hand on my thigh, two taps," he ordered, and her hand twitched with the need to obey, her lips parted wanting to affirm. Hiyori however just gave the tiniest nod and reluctantly followed the order.

She saw his muscles flex, and Hiyori gave a strangled gasp when his grip in her hair tightened.

"Gonna need more than that, Hiyori-chan," he pressed, and she could hear the smugness dripping from his words. When she answered, it was but a mumble immediately followed by another gasp.

"Speak up."

"Hai Zoro-sama," she said, still quiet but clear enough. He narrowed his eye at her, letting her know without a word that by the end of the night she'd do better than that.

He turned them slightly, without a doubt to give her a better view before just ramming himself down the woman's throat, burying her nose in his pubes until her eyes bulged and her body heaved. He pulled back unprompted, giving Hiyori just a moment to cough and groan before shoving in to the hilt again.

He'd never done this with her. Probably never would if she didn't explicitly ask for it. It was almost amusing how much of an issue it had been for her compared to now. Back then, she  had loathed the very thought of having a man's penis anywhere near her mouth, and now, she was sitting here wondering, imagining, wishing… she watched a woman being used in a way she had been used, and she envied her for the attention, touched herself to the picture, to the gurgling desperate groans coming from a woman that had foolishly believed she could dominate a man like him. 

They could have known from the start that their endeavour was doomed to fail. Gloriously so, just not that quickly. She didn't mind, not at all, felt better here under him. 

He pulled out again, and for a moment, there was nothing she wanted more than to get a taste herself, thick and throbbing, slick and one string of thick saliva still connecting him to Hiyori's opened lips. But she knew she wouldn't get that. After earlier, there sure was punishment waiting for her, and in fact, she was surprised he even let her touch herself. Or was he maybe overwhelmed with the two of them? Couldn't focus on both of them?

He bent down to grip Hiyori's jaw, covered in at least as much spit as his cock, and the woman whimpered in response. His grip was always tight, deliciously so. 

"There, don't you think this position suits you much better Hiyori-chan?" His voice carried that sweet condescending edge to it. He'd won this round.

"Fuck you," she spat, but even to her it sounded weak, and when he spun her around with a reprimanding click of his tongue so she was on her hands and knees, she definitely heard her moan.

He pulled her back against his chest by her hair, and she wished she could feel his pulsing heat against her bottom like Hiyori no doubt could.

"You know, there's nothing else expected from us filthy pirates, but aren't you the daughter of a Shogun? Where the fuck are your manners, Hiyori-chan," he rumbled in her ear just loud enough so she could hear, too. "If you want me to fuck you, you ask nicely."

Even from the side, she could see how her lips pressed together and her body tensed for a moment before her head fell.

"Please fuck me, Zoro-sama," she said, loud and clear, and her lower belly fluttered at his success right before twisting in jealousy when Hiyori was filled with a gasp while she was still sitting there with her pitifully insufficient fingers. 

She only realised her whine when his gaze settled on her, grin on his lips. "You enjoying yourself, Robin?" he asked, fingers digging into Hiyori's hips with bruising force… the way she enjoyed and wouldn't be allowed to enjoy any time soon. They weren't too much for him; he hadn't forgotten about her. This was her punishment.

"No, Zoro-sama," she admitted, well aware that she could put a stop to this situation if she wanted to and also, that she didn't want it to stop. She wanted it to end, to skip ahead of her punishment, to get what Hiyori got, and she knew she would if she could endure. Knew his punishment to be just.

"And why's that, Robin," he asked, not missing a thrust even though his voice betrayed nothing of his movement. Those lazy thrusts weren't enough to exert him, but she knew how mind numbingly delicious they felt, how infuriatingly close to orgasm they could bring you. Hiyori knew too if the drawn brows and fists were an indication. She could see her body shiver in frustration.

"Because I need to learn my place again."

She knew the other woman's pain. Had been on the receiving end often enough ,and still, she wanted to be in her place. Anything would be better than this! Being taunted with what she really wanted just out of reach.

“Fucking right you do. Come here,” he said, one hand leaving Hiyori’s hips to point in front of them. She followed, and when she sat down in front of the other woman, she could see why he insisted on eye contact. Hiyori had always been beautiful of course, her reputation was on point, but the pleasure and desperation he made her feel made her just so much more radiant. Ethereal even. Eyes teary, brows drawn, lips bit, cheeks flushed.

Then he pulled Hiyori back to him, teeth grazing her ear, the hand not in her hair reaching around to her clit. So beautiful. And again, she just sat there with her hands, not daring to use her powers without permission even as she knew she was just a brush away from release. His thrusts came harder, faster, making Hiyori moan against his hair, her body tensing ready to burst, but then his hand stilled and his hips drew back all the way, making Hiyori mewl a frustrated sound that she was sure nobody else had ever heard from her soft lips.

He bit down on her ear again, a lot harder than the last time, judging by the cry answering.

“Thought I’d make it that easy for you, after what you tried to pull earlier? You gotta earn your worth first, Hiyori-chan,” he rumbled, and if she could, Hiyori would probably have stomped her foot along with the frustrated scream. 

She could see the amusement twinkle in his eye when he looked at her over Hiyori’s shoulder, nuzzling her skin like she wished he’d do with her.

“Spread your legs for her, Robin. She gotta work for her pardon, and you’re still some orgasms short, aren't you?”

For a moment, she was confused, not quite sure where he was going with it. So he wouldn’t punish her? Letting her cum just like that? Or was it that it wouldn’t be him giving them to her?

With a firm hand on her head and one arm around her waist, he pushed Hiyori down, keeping balance for the both of them as he shoved her face first against her clit, and she gasped at the sensation of finally feeling more than just her own hand. She could almost imagine it was him as he stayed down between her legs with Hiyori.

“Hands together, six fingers was her choice, I think,” he instructed Hiyori before getting up again, his eye fixed on her as her lips parted with Hiyori’s soft breaths puffing against her, feathery lips closing around her, trembling fingertips against her soaking entrance.

He shoved into her, hard and unforgiving, making Hiyori gasp around her clit, and the fingers push into her, filling her, stretching her like she’d thought only he could. 

“Cum, Robin,” he said, and she did without hesitation, without delay. Clenched down on the fingers inside of her, her hips shoving up against the soft lips and wet tongue, thighs closing around the head of the pitifully whimpering oiran that desperately wanted some for herself. She had never truly realised how much her orgasms were tied to him. Could she even cum on her own? Didn’t matter, wasn’t like he’d ever leave her. Her body went limp, and she sighed in relief when Hiyori pulled back from her clit, even while her fingers still pumped into her with every thrust of Zoro’s hips.The cold of the room a welcome change compared to the post-orgasmic overstimulation. 

The slap sounded instantly, and Hiyori cried out in sudden pain. “Didn’t tell you to stop, did I? If you wanna earn your orgasm, you better stop thinking and start obeying, Hiyori-chan,” he said, pulling out of her completely and shoving her head back between her legs. She gasped, too much!

“Now start sucking that clit and moving those fingers, and maybe you get my cock back.”

Hiyori obeyed, and her body immediately started to thrash, flail, tried to get away from what was entirely too much, but a calloused palm pressed down on her hip, forcing her to still, to endure while her insides coiled again.

“You wanted orgasms didn’t you, Robin? Now be grateful and cum again.”

Like last time, she did without delay, crying out, body tensing, shivering, and trying despite herself to get away from the soft lips. 

"Thank you, Zoro-sama," she articulated between clenched teeth and wheezing breaths.

Faintly, she heard Hiyori gasp and moan, her mind somehow piecing together that he had to be touching her, bringing her up to the brink again, while she dutifully and relentlessly sucked on her.

Her fingers tightened in teal hair, nails digging into scarred, muscled flesh, eyes rolling back, body heaving, straining as she came again and again, sobbing her thanks. Heart surging with every hum of his approval and clenching with every murmured praise towards Hiyori. She had to do better. Earn his praise in kind, but she couldn't, her body burning and weak and possibly past a few blackouts she only assumed because of rough hands suddenly slapping her across the face. Neurons firing, overwhelmed, and as Hiyori started to beg for his cock, an orgasm of her own she chimed in, throat raw from screaming and crying she begged for his mercy. Assured she'd learned her lesson, would never ever again dare to even think she could dominate him or to lord a debt over him. Would be always grateful for whatever treatment he deemed her worthy of, if only he allowed her a minute to breathe, to rest. Just mercy. 

Torturous lips and fingers were pulled from her, and she sobbed in gratitude.

"It's a pity we don't have a mirror for you to see what a mess you are, Robin."

Such a mess, his mess, his obedient, devoted mess. And yet, it wasn't her that he turned to with his throbbing hard cock. 

Hiyori gasped when he rammed inside her, still begging, hips moving as her hands dug into the tatami, face scraping against it with every powerful thrust of his.

"Cum," he ordered her, and while Hiyori tensed and cried, she shuddered in desperation,  because while she was still burning lust, she was unable to comply. She hung her head in shame as Hiyori crumbled to the floor as soon as his grip on her hips loosened.

"You want some more Robin?" he asked, and she could see that he wasn't done yet.

"Yes please, Zoro-sama," she answered, weak as she was.

"Mouth or cunt?"

Like Hiyori, but she knew she was too weak to keep her hips up, and she knew he wouldn't do it for her, knew she'd have to work for it like Hiyori had.

"Cunt, please, Zoro-sama."

He didn't come to her, didn't reach for her, just sat down and raised an eyebrow. She rolled on her belly, crawled towards him in such desperate need of his attention, his approval, that it didn't matter that she scraped her skin and that her whole body trembled in exertion. Her muscles begged to stop. 

When her elbows bumped into his thigh, he pulled her up, back against his chest and sight towards heavily breathing Hiyori, lying there in a crumpled heap before them. Both hands under her thighs, he lifted her up on his cock. She immediately shuddered at his heat against her, vaguely remembering that she had reached her limit about 4 orgasms ago.

He lowered her down on him with a hiss, and her head lulled back against his shoulder, knowing without a doubt that his cock was so much better than Hiyori's soft and gentle hands. 

"You cum when I do, Robin."

"Yes, Zoro-sama."

He pumped into her with rare ferocity, the long wait no doubt having taken a toll on his control. With grit teeth she waited, pain of overstimulation turning into mind numbing pleasure because of his proximity alone.

He came with a groan, teeth clamping down on her shoulder as his cock pumped and pulsed inside of her, filling her up with what he hadn't granted Hiyori as she clenched around him, straining against him in a last shudder as she fought the blackness creeping into her vision. Odd feeling of serenity along with boundless gratitude and worthiness.

"Thank you," she drowsily breathed against his neck as he caressed her sides and planted soft kisses along her abused shoulder.

"Rest, woman, you did well," he murmured, and her eyes met Hiyori's, a look of equal satisfaction on her beautiful face, the same gratitude shining in her eyes. The message clear on the young woman’s face. This had been everything the she had hoped for. A welcome relief, not being the one to guide, to follow instead. She had wanted to be grounded after years of aloof superiority... She felt him nod behind her, but right now, she really really couldn't even think about possible intentions as her eyes closed and her body's demand for rest became harder to ignore. She felt utterly weightless as he lay back on the futon, thoroughly safe in his loving embrace. And when one hand left her side to allow room for a much softer, smaller hand to reach around her, for soft breasts to press against her side, a smooth leg to entangle with hers, she sighed in content. She didn't have to think in situations like this. He knew best.

Chapter Text

Gods, he hated these meetings. No, he dreaded them. Nothing good ever came from the witch gathering all of them together. They met in the library, which usually meant a strategic meeting and not one of the intervention meetings where someone could potentially smash the place. Those were held in the kitchen in hopes that even the most aggravated pirate would remember that it was a very very important, holy place for all of them. Glancing at Usopp, he snorted a laugh. Poor bastard still couldn’t really look him in the eye. He would have thought that it would trouble Robin more that their secret with Hiyori wasn’t all that secret, that the crew knew they were probably a tad more adventurous than most, but no… and he really should have known better. It had taken Robin a week to deduce that Usopp probably had seen something he shouldn’t have and immediately held him back with a haki-clad arm and amusement in her eyes when he attempted to clear things up. There were relatively calm seas ahead; wouldn’t it be infinitely more interesting if they had Usopp’s suffering to watch? Of course, his genius woman had been right, from hushed discussions with Brook that left the sharpshooter disturbed more often than not to exchanged glances with their shipwright… Yes, it had been amusing. It just didn’t sit well with him that they had dragged Chopper into it. Or that Chopper had known in general. What the fuck did she talk with the kid about? He really had no business knowing things like that. According to Robin, Chopper had slunked up to them right after knocking Luffy unconscious to profusely apologize for not keeping their secret, and he had to console him for the better part of an hour after overcoming his initial shock that he had even known. 

Fun as it had been, it didn’t help him in this situation. This was obviously one of those meetings that usually were only attended by Nami, Robin, Sanji and Chopper, who would then tell the crew what to do. This was something else. 

He sought his woman's gaze, but all he got from her was a soft smile even though the amusement in her eyes told him loud and clear that she knew exactly what was going on. 

Damn woman had been so worried about their age gap, should have just eaten more. Ever since Sanji came back, he'd been spoiling his lovely ladies rotten, and while she still had a body others would murder for, the tiny creases around her eyes were mostly gone now.

The door slammed shut behind the navigator. “Great to see you’re all here,” she said with more happiness than was probably due for the situation as she stormed to the table. Not that he actually knew the situation… None of them did if the blank stares and questioning looks were anything to go by.

“So,” she started, leaning over the table, and any open chattering mouths were shut in an instant. “Wano really put a dent in our savings.”

Fuck. They were fucked. Utterly and thoroughly fucked.

“It’s nobody’s fault, I’m sure. Going undercover does need some investment. It was inevitable,” she continued, and he allowed himself to relax a bit, just as her brown gaze pierced right through him, freezing him mid-breath. “Although, I’m sure a certain undercover geisha could have done with a tad less expensive decór… and less frequent visits from her danna ,” she added through gritted teeth.

Correction, he was fucked. Utterly and thoroughly fucked.

Her focus shifted, this time to their nose picking captain, and after overcoming her initial disgust at just how excessive a nosepicking could get if you were out of rubber, she slammed a fist on the table. “Pay attention, Rubberbrain! It’s your fault we’re not proper, pillaging pirates!” 

But he only laughed at her with a huge grin and an almost equally large booger on his pinky. Damn rubber bastard was only this happy because the witch couldn’t fucking electrocute him. 

“Anyway. We need to make more money. Franky, your household gadgets sell like a charm, the heavy weight training line is doing reasonably good as well. Brook, you're still plenty in the plus with your royalties. Usopp, your bras still sell great, and I do have to compliment the idea of employing the Tontatta for the sewing. With that outsourced, your chores around here don’t have to suffer,” she praised, and he could see the sharpshooter’s chest puff out and the tension leave his shoulders.

“Dr. Chopper’s is still produced on Fishman island, which is great because it’s relatively safe there. But I really think you should reconsider the diet segment. There are huge amounts of beris there.”

Again? Did she honestly think she could get Chopper to exploit people like that? 

“Dr. Chopper’s is bad enough, Nami. It’s really just electrolytes and stuff. You know I wouldn’t be comfortable taking money for something that doesn’t work,” the reindeer said, and Nami sighed.

“But that’s the whole point of the industry, Chopper. You sell gullible and desperate people a product that doesn’t work but is cheap to produce... god damn it, you guys and your conscience. You really suck at this pirate thing,” she grumbled, and their doctor's eyes started to well up.

“Not true. We’re plenty piraty, right, Chopper?” Luffy asked and ruffled the doctor’s cap, which instantly cheered up the deflated kid-pirate.

Nami didn’t linger with them too long, by now she knew a battle lost.

“Well, Sanji-kun, I’m quite happy with the ‘Curly Nutrition’,” she declared, ignoring the cook's grumbling at his brand’s name and the dirty looks he shot his way for coming up with it. “Although producing them in Big Mom’s territory is risky, you should keep working on that cookbook of yours.”

“Oh of course, my sweet Nami-swan,” the shitcook sung, all heart eyed like a complete fucking idiot. He scoffed at the sight but nearly choked on it when the weather witch’s eyes stopped at him again.

“Now, everyone is pulling their weight around here but you, mossbrain. You spent the most money in Wano, and you’re not earning shit. So either get two coherent sentences for a workout guide together, or I’ll be selling your nudes to some magazine for desperate housewives!” she snarled.

Fuck, it wasn’t exactly like his workout was safe for normal people, was it? Felt the heat in his cheeks even before he heard Luffy cackling next to him, but Nami wouldn’t have any of that, smacked the rubber boy over the head with an expertly thrown paperweight.

“You’re not making any money either, shithead. Now that I think of it, I’ll let you pose together and make this a boys’ love thing. With the amount of fangirls that should sell nicely... Damn, I think the only thing that would sell better would be Mosshead and Sanji, but... we want to make money and not spend twice of our earnings on repairs, because you two dickheads can't keep yourselves in check," she lamented while Shitcook swooned he'd do anything for sweet Nami-swan, since the implications had no doubt gone way over his head just because the witch had given him attention. The rest awkwardly chuckled, not sure if he'd slice them up for laughing at that. The idea of him and Luffy posing together... Fucking idiots, joke was on Nami, because he'd bet his balls that their captain had absolutely no fucking idea what she was talking about.

"Yosh, Zoro, let's make Nakama Pictures!"

Chapter Text

She dried her tears and washed her face in hopes of disguising her puffy red eyes. Deep breath. She’d have to talk with Law about this. Of course she didn’t see Chopper as a child, but even she couldn’t ask this of the boy… It was the best for all of them, but she knew she could not make this decision without Zoro, not without letting him know at least. She would need him, and she would go up there and tell him. One last calming breath, one final look in the mirror. She looked terrible, but it wouldn’t change no matter how long she continued to stall…

Usually when she came up without clearance from Nami about marines or possible storms, he’d just continue his ridiculous amount of reps while she settled on the couch to read. This time, he stopped the moment she’d sat down, and she cursed how in tune to her emotions he was. She would have liked a few more moments to steel herself. He put his weights away and sat down next to her, concern creasing his brow as his eye took in her face.

“What’s wrong?”

What was wrong? Everything! Everything was so very wrong, and she would love nothing more than to throw herself at this rock of a man and cry her eyes out instead of having this actual conversation with him. How on earth could she tell him? He probably wanted children, if his behaviour around Chopper or the kids on Water 7 was an indication. Didn’t matter what he’d said after Luffy had married them, she was sure… “Do you want to have children?” she asked, face impassive, not betraying any of the inner turmoil.

His brows creased in confusion before he leaned back eying her warily. It had to seem like such an odd question to him. He sighed. “Well, not particularly,” he said carefully. “I mean sure, it would be nice to settle down after all this and have some, but I really don’t think it’s possible for pirates like us…Damn marines would have executed Ace even if he hadn’t become a pirate.”

Oh dear lord… Ace… there really was no other way. Pirates’ children were doomed from the day they were conceived. Doomed to be hunted like she had been.

“Robin?”

Deep breath. “I’m pregnant.” 

Confusion, realisation, shock. All those emotions she could see on his face disappearing as quickly as they had appeared, and in the end, he settled for acceptance. Of course he did. Couldn’t be helped; what was done was done.

“Well fuck,” he grunted. Right, fuck indeed. “How… When?”

“Wano, I think. When Kaido blasted the castle, my injection was burnt along with everything else. We had to improvise,” she explained, knowing that he wouldn’t hold it against her. Wouldn’t tell her that he should have known about that; that she had been irresponsible sleeping with him knowing her birth control might be compromised. He wouldn’t hate her for it, she knew that beyond any doubt, which was a good thing. Because even if she’d already been on her usual meds when they’d finally found each other again after the chaos of battle, there was not a moment since she found out that she didn’t curse herself for her irrational acting. Victory Celebrations, raging hormones, and a rather long dry spell; none of that excused her behaviour! She should have known, that was her thing, knowing things, and now...

“Well, it can’t be helped, we’ll manage somehow,” he said, ripping her from her downwards spiral and reaching for her, trying to tug her against his chest.

Of course… can’t be helped, had he even heard what he had said before? She brushed him off. “Nami said we’ll meet Law in about a month or two. I will ask him to terminate the pregnancy. I just thought you should know,” she stated matter of factly, nails digging into her palms in an attempt to keep herself from crying all over again. He stared at her, shock prevailed this time.

“You what?” he bellowed, and she really tried to not take it personally. “Wano, that’s like what 3 months ago? If we meet him in two months that’s… that has to be more than half a kid already!”

She decided not to tell him that wasn’t how gestation worked, because in a way, he was very much right. By then, their child would almost be able to survive under intensive care. 

“Look, Robin, I’m not going to tell you what to do with your body, but there has to be a less… final way. That can’t be healthy for you either?”

Oh this sweet, kind, stupid man. She broke, a sob ripped free from her throat, and her apathetic facade crumbled as she screamed at him, “Oh really, and what would that be? Don’t you think I’d rather sit on a porch and watch you teach our children kata? Don’t you think I’d rather hold them in my arms and protect them from every evil they could encounter?” 

He held her, let her drench him in tears, her sweet comforting man.

“I just can’t, Zoro, and neither can you. You said it yourself, they would have killed Ace either way. I can’t give birth to a child to have it ripped away from me, I can’t… How can I bring a child in a world that wants to kill it just for who its parents are? I know how it is to be alone and on the run, and I’d rather kill it myself before it can start to love and lose.”

“All right,” he sighed, and she was grateful that he didn't fight her on it. Her resolve was hanging on the thinnest thread imaginable. Saying it out loud had made things oddly real. It was the responsible thing to do. Bringing a child into a world that would detest it for just being alive… would be cruel. Not only would it be executed sooner or later, they themselves probably would and then what? It would love them unconditionally and would have to watch them hang. Would have to lose everyone it ever held dear…. She had never regretted following Luffy, but right now… right now she wanted nothing more than to open her eyes and be in a small bedroom instead of the crow's nest. And when she'd leave her sleeping husband behind, she'd go to the kitchen of their little house to prepare breakfast for him and the child that was right now growing under her heart. If it were a girl, she would have her intimidating father wrapped around her little finger, if it-

“There might be another way,” he unknowingly interrupted her daydream. 

If only there was…

He continued, “If the kid comes after you… then… we could ask Tashigi, maybe.”

She looked up at him, but he just stared at the ceiling. It was impossible. Ace had been-

“She could say it was her child. You could send out clones when your pregnancy starts showing. Nobody would know you're pregnant. Tashigi could take a leave and come back with our child.”

He was actually making a valid point. God, she wanted to believe in this, but… she knew he and the marine captain had a certain relationship, but this? This was too much. They couldn't possibly ask such a thing from her. 

He was quiet, just stroked her hair with one hand and held her tight with the other, let her think on his idea. The sun set outside as she just lay there on his broad chest, listening to his steady heartbeat. 

If Tashigi would agree to something like this… She could teach their child to fight, provide the best education, and probably raise it with a solid set of morals that both of them would agree with. 

“Do you really think she would do that for you?” She asked, not quite ready to allow herself to hope, and still, her heart broke a little when he hesitated.

“I honestly don't know,” he sighed. “What I know is that both she and Smoker don't agree with the government about their policy concerning pirates’ kids, so… maybe she'd do it for the kid.”

If Tashigi did that… she could raise it to- “What if she agrees but raises our child to become a marine?” she asked, pushing herself up from his chest to look into his eye. Was it really better to give birth only to later fight it themselves? She wouldn't be able to do it. Would he hate their child if it killed her? Terrify it to the core when he'd ascend on it with murder in his eye like he did with all his enemies? Wouldn't that be even crueler than to have it branded as a criminal from birth but with both of them at its side?

His reaction started as a low rumble in his chest and evolved into an all out laugh. “Are you serious, woman? You want to terminate because it would have a bounty on its head from day one, and now, we find another possible solution where it can be whatever the fuck it wants to be and you're worried about that?”

Her breath hitched, and she hung her head in shame. He was right of course, quite hypocritical of her. He took her face into his big hands, thumbs wiping away new tears she hadn't known she'd shed, amusement still dancing in his eye.

“If she agrees, and if she raises our kid to become a marine, then it can't be helped, but at least we'll know that it'll be the good kind of marine. The kind of marine this world needs more of.”

Chapter Text

The tiny slip of land was coming closer, and the Marine ship anchored at the shore seemed overbearing in comparison. 

“So, what are we doing here? Nami said I can't play with Smokey, and that island seems boring,” their captain called from Sunny's figure head, and before he got a chance to answer, Nami cut in. “Apparently your first mate has a meeting with captain Tashigi.” Her irritation about the whole thing radiated from her like pain from an infected wound. This conversation couldn't possibly end well for him.

“I swear to god, you lunkhead, if you got that marine pregnant while being with Robin, I'm gonna rip your fucking head off,” she hissed, and he was pretty sure she meant it, and not just his head either.

“Why the fuck would you think that?” He blurted out way too quick if her narrowing eyes were any indication. Fucking shit, Tashigi having his child was just way too close to the truth. “I'm no expert in medicine, but I think I'd have to fuck her bef-” he tried to bring her on another track, but his words got stuck in his throat as his captain's head craned between the two of them, upside down. The boy's brows were drawn in contemplation, and he knew without a doubt that whatever was going on in that rubbery brain of his would make this situation even worse. The head rotated in thought, further than necessary to be right side up, until the captain's eyes shone bright with realisation. His muscles tensed as he steeled himself. The sound of one rubbery fist smacking down upon an open palm on the figurehead almost made him jump.

“So, this is about the time you did the naked fighting with Tashigi?”

Oh gods have mercy. The head snapped away, and he had barely enough time to dodge both Nami's fist and the shit cook's burning foot. For fucks sake, why couldn't they mind his own fucking business? And it wasn’t like they had just now learned about the incident either. They had been ready to flay him alive back then if Robin hadn’t directed him in the library and later announced their relationship. He drew his sword, ready to defend himself against two furious crewmates when their movements were halted by dozens of arms. Thank fuck that his woman was on his side on this.

“I'm sure there is an explanation for that. They are both fighting with swords; they could easily tear clothes in a fight. This meeting is probably harmless. Based on their previous interactions, I'd wager it's about either a revanche for that aforementioned drunk squabble, or she finally wants that sword of his,” she mused, releasing the two from her hold. “If it would appease your worries, I can accompany him. I'm sure neither of them would mind.”

Fucking bullshit, on his side, bitch had set him up, more likely. Granted, this probably was the easiest way to get them off their backs, without having to answer questions they didn’t yet have the answers to, but still… He grunted in consent, and she countered his angry glare with that radiant smile of hers that was only ever directed at him. Gods be fucking damned, he was totally whipped. 

The two of them entered Mini Merry together, and he could feel her nerves as if they were his own. Fuck, they probably were. This was their only chance. If Tashigi turned them down, there was nowhere else to go but Law. Not like they hadn't talked about other options; they just didn't exist. Dragon? Hadn't even raised his own kid. Revolutionary army was just as bad as being pirates. Mihawk? He was just a pirate now. Yeah, that was pretty much the end of their own personal acquaintances, and he sure as fuck wouldn't leave his kid with the mom from Water 7. Everyone else was friends with the crew as a whole and quite openly so. Vivi might have been possible, could take it in after finding it abandoned in the streets, nobody would question that. Would be totally in character for her…. But with Robin's involvement in the Alabasta crisis… yeah couldn't ask that of her.

He held her hand until dock 2 opened to reveal them to the waiting marines; squeezed it, to comfort her or himself he didn't know. Didn't want to. He'd be strong for her. She tried not to let it show, but he could clearly see that it troubled her every second of the day. No matter what their future would bring, what Tashigi would say, he'd be there with her. Fucking shit. He didn't condemn her decision in itself. Understood where she was coming from. What she feared for their kid, she had gone through that. It was a fate she didn't wish on anyone, much less on her own child… but fuck. He was a selfish fucking asshole, and he wanted that child. Wanted her to keep it, to raise it, train it, watch it grow, scare off the boys and girls hitting on them… yeah them, gods damn him he wanted a whole fucking litter of kids. With a last squeeze to her hand, he let go, crossed his arms in front of his chest, and stared ahead with the same impassive glare as her.

Tashigi was already waiting and so was Smoker, sitting a few meters behind Tashigi on a rock, smoking two of his cigars as usual. Fucking hell.

“What are you doing here?” He asked, ignoring Tashigi in front of him.

The marine grinned at him. “If you two lovebirds want a private meeting with my captain, I'm pretty fucking sure it's gonna be interesting. We also don't want her to be hanged for colluding with pirates, do we?”

Fuck, he was right… what they'd be asking of her was dangerous for her. Hadn't thought about that. He looked at Robin. She was uneasy, doubting their plan as much as he did right now.

“So, Roronoa, what's this urgent business you have with me?” Tashigi asked, posture stiff, obviously wary of his intentions. Rightfully so. Fuck, this was a lot harder than he'd imagined it to be. He looked around, saw the bunch of g-5 crowding the railing trying to get a grasp of what was happening, and he didn't have to look back to know that their own Nakama were no better.

“Can we uh… go a bit further away from our crews, maybe?” Robin asked next to him, and the insecurity in her voice did not only put him on edge but visibly raised the suspicion in their company.

Smoker got up and strutted further away from the two ships anchored on the coast. “Sounding more and more like collusion to me. Good thing I came along.” He called back to them as they followed. Stopped behind one of the many slopes making up the coastal line of the island. 

“So, out with it,” the marine bellowed, and he was pretty sure he saw Tashigi flinch at the tone.

He looked at Tashigi, who was just as uneasy with the situation as them despite not yet knowing what the situation was. Robin's hands were knitted tightly together in front of her. Lacking eloquence be damned, he'd be the one having to do the talking. Fuck.

How on earth could he break this news? Ask her to put her own career on the line, her life? 

He sighed. No nice way to put it. Not for him. Just out with it. “Robin is pregnant.”

Chapter Text

When Law poked his head through the latch of the men's quarters, he undoubtedly knew what was going on. She assumed he had probably known the moment he'd set foot on Sunny. The ritual was always the same. After the kids had spent all their energy playing catch with Law's crew, Luffy would order Law in the men's room for 'important captain business,’ where about an hour was solely spent by the strawhat excitedly telling the surgeon all his latest adventures with Usopp and Chopper providing sound effects and different voices so the story would be more exciting. After the kids fell asleep, the heart captain would come up again to find the rest of the strawhats waiting for medical advice or treatment they did not want to burden their kid doctor with. 

The exasperation was clear on his face as he looked around, momentarily halting on her since she had never before come to him when Chopper was available.

He shook his head and pulled himself up. “You guys are aware that Chopper-ya is perfectly capable to treat your itchy crotches, right?”

Nami crossed her arms in defiance and huffed, “He is still a child, I will not taint him with stuff like that.”

That made the surgeon chuckle. “Now, you really don't have to worry about that, Nami-ya. You only take the meds to regulate your cycle. What is the harm in him knowing that?” he asked as he made for the galley, motioning for their navigator to follow.

Now, she could be wrong, but even in the darkness, she thought she saw the redhead blush. Was there possibly another reason for her to want the surgeon’s attention? For him to know she was on birth control? Fufufufu , maybe she'd have to investigate that some time. 

Sanji stood up when they returned, but Law held up a hand and shook his head. “Unless you have some amazingly complex, metastasizing tumour on your spine or something, you can sit right back down. I will not take another look at your dick. Ever. Don't stick it anywhere dubious, and use condoms. Then you don't have to come running to me every time you find an inflamed follicle!”

Sanji attempted to protest, but Law cut him off instantly. “If you don't grasp the concept of safe sex, ask the 'uncouth gorilla.’ He seems to know.”

Fufufufu, how ironic, but poor Sanji didn't know that, did he? The moment the words had left the surgeon's mouth, the blond started stuttering. She knew that safe sex wasn’t the problem. The cook was just very self-conscious about his body doing things he couldn’t control. She wouldn’t go as far as calling him a hypochondriac, but he was probably on the right track.

Uncouth as he was, Zoro did not let the opportunity go to waste, of course, offering their cook to teach him a few things after a hearty guffaw. Both put him on the receiving end of inflamed black boots.

Law scoffed, “Children”

Fufufufu. “They aren’t that bad,” she offered as she continued to watch the heated spar while Law took Franky to the galley. 

When she’d first seen the two fight, she had been worried about the cook despite not yet having developed the affection towards the crew she had now. She had not understood how he could so carelessly stomp on the deadly blades, blindly trusting that his seeming archenemy would not use the sharp edge, not in malicious intent nor in error. 

After travelling for so long with them, she knew Zoro would never intentionally injure the cook. And after she’d been on the receiving end of his blades, she also knew beyond a doubt that he did not ever err with his blades in hand. It had been genuinely fascinating how vocal each and every cut from him was. Addicting.

Watching him fight now, she could see the affection in his slashes, the teasing glint in every dull sided block. This man’s heart was endless, his strength without bounds. As long as he was with her, she would be able to do everything. She could survive without their child. A child both of them wanted but knew they couldn’t have. 

“Robin-ya?”

Dread washed over her, and but a fraction of a second later, the fight that had somehow ended up on the rigging to the crow's nest came to a sudden halt as heavy boots landed on deck right next to her, leaving their chef up in the ropes spitting vitriol. She did not take the words to heart, no matter how much he expressed his pity for her to have such a neanderthal at her side. She knew he respected their relationship. Maybe he even approved of it, but that would never be vocalised.

Law raised an eyebrow at Zoro's sudden appearance but did not comment. Instead, he lead them to the galley like he had the other strawhats before. Felt more like the gallows if she was being honest with herself. No-one but Chopper knew of her condition so far. On the crew that is. Tashigi and Smoker knew, of course. 

She hadn't planned to run across Law this shortly after meeting the two. One week was not enough to make such a grave decision, and as of yet the mini den den mushi tucked away in Zoro's robe had stayed silent. She did not have much hope. Smoker had been rather vehement in his decline. How dare they to ask her to put her reputation on the line, and that was without anybody finding out that it was their child. Just the fact that a decorated marine captain got herself knocked up by some presumed mongrel somewhere. And if the truth were ever to come out, her reputation would be the least of her worries. They'd had a few run-ins with the pair, and not once had she seen the man so fiercely protective of anything. He had gone so far as to pull rank on her, ordering her to decline. 

She'd think about it, she had said, would like to help. 

They sat down, and Law patiently waited for them to talk, apparently aware of the situation’s severity.

She drew a shaky breath, grateful that Zoro let her do this no matter how long it took for her to find the words. He'd handled Tashigi and Smoker, had done his best to make sure she would decide in their favour. Now, it was her turn to ensure that when Tashigi turned them down, at least the procedure would be as stress-free and painless for their child as possible. God, she didn't want this… either option.

She wanted to cry and shout, to scream and beg. She wanted to gauge out the eyes of life and fate and demand for a better future, a better life. 

His large, calloused hand gently came to rest on the back of her head. She tore her teary eyes from the table to look at him. The grouchy swordsman. Her first mate. Her man.

She didn't want a better life or a better future. She wanted a better world. There was no way she'd get that anytime soon. Had to get this over with.

Turning to Law, she did her best to hold her tears. “I am pregnant, and I can't keep it.”

Chapter Text

Law had been great. Professional, calm, and realistic. Hadn’t tried to sweet talk the situation. He loved Chopper to death, but he couldn’t have dealt with his go-to reactions that time. Although… He had known of the pregnancy before him, and he hadn’t seen him panic once, only concerned glances their way, but nothing like the … ah fuck, Robin was right. He didn’t give Chopper enough credit. The reindeer was just as professional as Law was. The only difference was their attitude towards life in general, and in this situation, he most certainly preferred Law. Also professional he might be, he couldn’t possibly ask him to kill their kid. He never even killed his enemies, and the one time he had killed someone innocent… it still gave him night terrors. Fuck… what had that idiot Hiriluk been thinking? Eating something he had known to be poisonous, just to traumatize a little kid for life? What the fuck kind of lesson was that? Ah fuck, he was one to talk. He could only beg every possible deity to get Tashigi to take care of their kid because he was pretty fucking sure he’d be a shitty father. 

Didn’t matter that kids just seemed to flock around him for no gods-damned reason. He had no clue whatsoever how to interact with them, always just went with his gut, but that surely wouldn’t be enough to actually raise a kid, right? What did one even do with an infant? You just carry them around? Did they even have any interests apart from shitting and screaming for food? Fuck. Robin was much better equipped to deal with that… she could just read to it, or mother it like she did Chopper from time to time. What could he do? Teach it how to fight? Yeah, and what was he supposed to do for the first year of its life? Was pretty sure that Nami would electrocute his ass if he got his swords even close - fuck, they’d have to childproof Sunny! She was a fucking security nightmare! Poisonous plants, explosives, lasers, and just way too many fucking stairs!

“Oi, shithead, what’s up with you turning all white and terrified?”

He just gaped at the shitcook. What the fuck was he supposed to say to that? Law had told them to wait a little longer for Tashigi, since his powers allowed him to perform the procedure either way. Pregnancy was still a secret, well hidden under wide sweaters. He was just about to draw his swords to give the ero-cook a more physical answer when Robin’s laugh chimed over the lawn deck.

“Fufufufufu, if that hectic eye movement all over the ship is an indication, I’d say he just noticed how much work it would be to childproof Sunny.”

Oh well, that settled at least that question…

Dartbrow furrowed in confusion before his one visible eye widened, cigarette falling from his open mouth, to be thoroughly stomped before he swirled towards Robin’s chair.

“My sweet Robin-chwaaaaan, can you ever forgive me for smoking in your radiant presence?”

“What?! Why would you childproof Sunny? I haven’t broken anything recently,” their captain whined and was promptly whacked over the head by Nami.

“You idiot, Robin is pregnant,” she scolded before positively flying towards her friend, all sparkles and enthusiasm. “Next Island, we’re going shopping; the cutest little dresses and only the best!” 

“Fufufufu, we don’t even know if it’ll be a girl.”

“I don’t care, I’m buying dresses,” she insisted before being pushed back by a craning rubber head snaking right in front of Robin’s face.

“Does that mean you’re making me a new Nakama?”

When Robin agreed, telling all of them that she was five months along already, his head snapped back to his body, eyebrows drawn into an angry scowl. Fuck. 

“So you’re saying there’s been a new Nakama for five months, and you haven’t told me?”

Fuck. He sighed standing up, Luffy’s limited attention all focused on him. “Sorry captain, it’s just… complicated. We’re wanted, it’s not like we can keep-”

“I don’t care about any of this. Do you know how many welcome parties we could have had in five months? Like a ton! Sanji, party, now!”

He groaned. Fuck, of course that was the only thing his captain was worried about. Luffy’s smile was larger than his face, not at all worried about his first mate’s glare, and still there was that knowing twinkle in his eyes that told him the boy was not as oblivious and carefree as he looked. He chuckled, nodding to his captain in thanks which made the grin impossibly wider. Maybe a party really would do them some good.

It took them all of five minutes to get started. Fuck, by now, they might be just as ready to party at a moment’s notice as they were ready to fight. 

“So, have you guys thought of names yet?” Nami asked. “Or rather, have you decided whether the first name should be Kuina or Olivia? Don't know about Kuina, but if it's a boy, you could easily adapt to Oliver.”

Why would- he chanced a glance at Robin, who had an equally confused look on her face.

“Why would we name our child like them?” he asked and immediately regretted it when the lump formed on his head. Should have let Robin ask, damn it.

“Why the fuck do you think? In memory? To honour them?” Nami barked, and even though he should have known better, he scoffed.

“What would they gain from that? We’re carrying their dreams, aren’t we? Completing their life’s work. What importance is a name compared to that?” he asked, and gave Robin a grateful nod when she bloomed a hand to stop the fucking climatact.

“I’m afraid I’m with him on this, and if the name is an honour, I believe we should let Tashigi decide if she takes care of it.”

"Tashi? What does Tashi have to do with it?" Luffy asked, as always oddly alert when it came to anything related to Smoker.

"It's why we met with her. We are wanted, our child will be wanted. We hope Tashigi can raise our child as her own. No one would ever have to know it's a descendant of criminals," Robin calmly explained.

Oh yes, that dampened the mood a bit, didn’t it? They were furious, petulant. Insisted that they could definitely keep the kid safe, even if it meant backtracking their journey to the beginning of the grand line, which would be fun because they could explore different islands and visit old friends and fuck, it sounded really fucking good. Especially since the kid could sleep through any and all dangers safe and sound in Franky’s transformer crib, that by the way, was already in testing, had been just a matter of time after all. He glanced at Robin, and her gaze said it all. The decision that they didn’t need Law had been made with the mention of the pregnancy to the crew, but with this reaction… They wouldn’t need Tashigi either. With their Nakama, there was absolutely nothing they couldn't do, and just how fucking hard could it be to raise a kid with 9 parents?

“So,” Usopp started, and he could almost see the beer swimming in his eyes. Fuck, the guy was drunk… and plotting. He'd been kinda eyeing him all night, hadn't he? Fuck, for weeks. No, ever since Chopper had appeased his suspicions... Was he still hung up about that threesome? "Zoro, do you take steroids?" the liar asked, suppressing a giggle.

Eh? What the fuck? They fuckig saw him working for his muscles every fucking day! How the fuck could he hope to achieve his dream if his only strength came from some drug? "The fuck's that supposed to mean?" he spat back, smacking his sake bottle on the table, vaguely aware that he too might have gone a bit overboard with the drinking. The really weird thing though was that Usopp hadn't shrunk back at his growl. Just looked in the air with that mock innocence.

"Oh nothing, honest. Just heard they are really good for muscles but not too good for other things ."

He was still trying to make sense of his words. There had to be more to them than the outright jab at his honour, right? Usopp knew as much as everyone else how important it was to him. His strength, and accomplishing it on his own. Especially with how weak he'd been after Thriller Bark.

But the sharpshooter sighed before he could reach any conclusion.

"Ah, poor Robin…."

He was just about to ask when the shitcook spat his expensive wine all the way across the table before doubling over in laughter. Just what the fuck?

"Bahaha, I fucking knew it! Three swords, that had to be compensation!"

Compensation? Compens- oh fuckig hells! "I'll fucking show you compensation you orally fixated dartboard," he seethed, drawing one sword to lunge at the fucking cook right before a chair clattered to the deck to his left, right. Wasn’t about dartboard this time! Turned towards a pitifully stumbling sharpshooter trying to somehow hide behind Chopper in his Brain Point. Heard Robin laughing at his side. Oh she thought this was funny? Of fucking course she did! Not that she had ever complained… Just how freakishly huge did the fucking coward have to be to make fun of him ? According to his cowering behind Chopper, his balls had to be raisins though. 

He ignored the cook's taunts from the other side of the table as he circled the pair. Felt a bit bad for Chopper, who trembled almost as much as Usopp now that he’d sobered a bit. Stumbled excuses, hadn’t meant it like that. Hadn’t meant it his ass!

“I swear to god, if any of you whip your dicks out to compare, I’ll use it as a fucking lightning rod,” Nami roared in between, making Chopper jump in his already agitated state.

“No no noooo! Nobody is whipping anything without explicit consent,” the boy cried out, and he really didn’t want to dwell on where he’d picked that up. Damn woman and her fucking encycolpidia

He lunged forward, ready to attack, only to stop it when the terrified little reindeer was shoved right in the path of the attack. 

“How about you turn into Heavy Point and just leave the coward to fend for himself,” he suggested after having to stop his next attack short as well. 

Took him seven more swings until the sharpshooter’s arms grew heavy from heaving the doctor around. Fucking nothing would keep the bastard safe now! 

His blood ran cold mid attack when he heard his woman’s laugh. It had that special quality to it that promised a slow and agonizing death.

“Don't you think it's ironic how you only came in Hiyori-chan's mouth because you explicitly didn't trust Wano birth-control? I wonder how to best tell the child that it was conceived during a threesome,” she mused, and he immediately lost his footing in the wet grass of the deck to fall face first in the dirt, blade falling from his grasp. How the fuck did she think that would be of any fucking interest to the kid? Who would tell their child something like that?

Somewhere back at the table, a dull bang resounded, probably the shitcook fainting over sweet Hiyori-chan being defiled by the likes of him. If only he knew that she would have used him as a footrest for the rest of his days if he’d tried to approach her with that reasoning. Ha, she probably would have made him apologize to him! Brownish boots settled in front of his face, and his cocky grin turned into a frown. Fucking coward came for the killing blow, didn’t he? Hands fisted in his hips, stance broad, he stood before him, grinning down at him when he rolled himself on his back, pretty much fucking done with this whole thing.

“You know, for Robin’s sake, I really hope you can keep your other sword up longer than that.”

Fucking knew it.

Chapter Text

They still hadn't heard back from Tashigi, and she knew she should be worried; she just couldn't bring herself to… how could she worry after seeing the utter joy the news of her pregnancy had brought to the crew? Usopp had creased his brow in thought at hearing it, but it had taken him just a few seconds until he'd shrugged his shoulders and followed their captain's lead. How could she worry when her family immediately had bombarded her with suggestions for both names and ways to keep the child safe if Tashigi couldn't help? Within minutes, they had managed to lull even her into optimism. 

She hadn't been this carefree and daring since the big celebration on Wano. And hadn't she been daring?

There had been a time when she had been very much convinced that she didn't want to see Zoro with anyone but herself, but when she had heard Brook's muttering…She had known without a doubt that it had been a misunderstanding, that Hiyori wasn't a threat to her relationship. And since she didn't have to worry, her mind had been free to wander, to explore the possibilities. She had heard from her okasan that the oiran Komurasaki catered to particular tastes, remembered the way she had treated the three men interrupting her parade. Late in the first night of celebrating, she had questioned the woman about the incident Brook had witnessed and about the time she had spent with Zoro after Yasuie's execution. Asked the young woman for ulterior motives. And soon, drink in hand, they had started talking about experiences in general. On the second night of celebration, they had realised that the idea had stuck in both their minds, hadn't just been a drunken 'what if.' They talked about their expectations and possible compromises, and on the third night, Zoro had finally been cleared by Chopper. It had been fun, and even though they hadn't managed to keep Zoro on his knees, they hadn't really stopped until the 4th night begun and even had one more round of goodbye sex before they left. They had worked perfectly together, seamlessly, even though Hiyori pouted every once in a while when she lost the battle for dominance again and again. 

He hadn't even needed his superior strength. It had been his will alone that had made them submit. It had always been like that with her, and she had assumed it was just her disposition, but he hadn't seemed to have much trouble with Hiyori either. Maybe it was Haki. Like when Luffy brought thousands to their knees in an instant without even touching them. Maybe he was just a natural.

Would it be the same if his partner was equally powerful? Maybe even stronger? Did his ero-haki only work on women or was it universal? There was no reason why it shouldn't be, was there? He never actually needed it though, right? Going with the bandana, people sought him out because he'd be dominant. He probably wouldn't be able to answer her, so unless they'd have a threesome with another man, she'd never find out. Wasn't it basic courtesy to give her another man after she had presented Hiyori to him? 

"Do you think it's fair that you got another woman while I only ever have you, Kenshi-san?" she asked, hoping to at least get a similar reaction to the one from their future child's preemptive welcome party.

He didn't falter in his push ups, didn't even flinch. She knew of course that the possessiveness he had shown on Wano wasn't really what he felt, but this utter lack of hilarity was a bit disappointing. 

"If I remember correctly, you were pretty fucking happy with Hiyori yourself," he laughed. "Could always ask Law if you want, though" he said instead of sputtering nonsense. He'd said it quick enough to be kind of instinctive, but he'd said it like he said a great many things. Like when he said that Luffy would be pirate king, that he’d be the world’s greatest swordsman, Sunny was their nakama. She was pregnant, and they’d deal with it. In that way that told a universal truth. He'd said it as if Law was the only sensible choice. 

She herself hadn't even thought this far, had only wanted a reaction out of him like last time she had brought up the threesome. This answer made her think though. Did she even want sex with any man but Zoro? Not necessarily, not really. Until months ago, she hadn't even thought she had any interest in sex in general... Half a lifetime.

 Law was attractive. 

"Why Law?" She asked, intrigued by his reasoning.

He stopped his workout, looking at her as if she was stupid, as if it was obvious.

"We trust him, and he's convenient, dropping in regularly," he explained like he explained things to Luffy, and she let an arm sprout to smack his discarded sweaty towel in his face when she saw the amusement twinkle in his eye.

"Do you think he's attractive?" she asked, wondering if that was just for her. He scoffed at her, and if it were anybody else, she might have assumed to have insulted his manly masculine pride, but after her very informative bath with Chopper, she just took it as a 'Well, why the fuck else would I have suggested him?'

They had never actually talked about this. She had just assumed that he didn't mind either way. Maybe they should though, if only to satiate her own curiosity. 

"I don't give a fuck," he said, wiping the sweat of his face. It didn't surprise her that he knew the question burning on her tongue. "Do you?" 

Fufufufu, of course he had picked up on that. "I have tried my luck with women since I didn't want any man close for quite a while. Never did too much for me though."

"Hiyori seemed to do plenty?"

She had. "Might have just been because of you. We'd have to test this." She mused, and he laughed.

"Aren't you awfully adventurous for an old pregnant, lady?" He asked while picking up his weight for his next workout.

Fufufufu. "Why don't you put those barbells down and let this old lady show you just how adventurous she is, Zoro-kun?" she asked, blooming a clone right against him and a few extra hands inside his sweaty pants for emphasis.

His change was instant, and it wasn't to reluctantly obedient Zoro-kun. His hand slipped from the iron bar, letting it clutter loudly to the floor to instead wrap around her clone's thin neck, pulling her in front of him, pushing her down so she had to look up at him.

"Nami hasn't cleared us, Robin. Next island is just a day away," he grouched while Haki covered his privates, dissolving her teasing fingers immediately. Spoil-sport.

"A quicky, then?" She asked, her panties wet from just his rough hand around her phantom throat.

He shook his head with a laugh, calloused thumb caressing her clone's neck. "You're fucking insatiable lately. Is that the pregnancy hormones trying to battle menopause?"

"Fufufufu, are you complaining, Kenshi-san? If you can't keep up, I'm sure Sanji-kun would be more than happy to -"

The tiniest flare of Haki was the only warning she got before he slammed her clone against the wall. Right, he wasn't possessive, but when it came to their chef, everything turned competitive. Not that she minded using this against him if it served her deliciously juicy punishment. 

He had three fingers up her clone, foregoing any and all preparation. This was going to be rough. She slipped off her panties from under her skirt, running her fingers over her folds despite already feeling his hand against them. 

At first she had expected him to discard her clone like he had done before, but instead he embraced her with the same firey passion he did herself. For the shortest while, she had thought he might be disgusted by her power in general, but he had readily incorporated it into their play. This theory had been debunked fairly easily, so she had assumed it was just a dislike of her full-grown clones. She was rather disappointed in herself that it took her until Wano to realise that he'd come to expect her clones to be younger versions of her, which was tempting but also the only issue he had with them. 

She hadn't even realised that she had stopped caring about their age gap until their captain had pointed it out during the pregnancy party. How he had thought old women couldn't get children… the poor boy had whined all night over the lumps Nami and Sanji had adorned him with.

Things were better like this. It didn't matter that her clone lacked the bump. She knew he found her attractive either way. The only difference was that he could fuck her not pregnant clone against the wall without having to worry about the baby, could take her just as roughly as both of them enjoyed. After their adventure with Hiyori, he knew he didn't have to hold back, couldn't actually injure her by damaging her clone. That time was long gone.

He pulled his fingers from her clone, both of them sighed at the sudden loss, and her clone sagged down the wall when he loosened his grip around her throat.

"Since we've talked about preferences, you liked watching Hiyori choke on my cock. Does that mean you like to watch in general?" he asked, gaze fixated on her actual eyes.

Oh, yes it did, apparently. The picture had ingrained itself in her brain. The menacing monster thoroughly dominating, using the sweet, innocent angel. Corrupting her beyond repair. No wonder Usopp had been so distraught at the sight. Not that any of them needed corrupting. She laughed, pulling her sweater over her head. "I don't know. I think this theory is worth testing though."

He answered with a chuckle, and a sharp tug on her clone's hair made it gasp and her moan at the diluted sense of pain while he freed his erection from his pants.

"Mouth or cunt?" he asked and raised an eyebrow when her clone immediately answered for both of them.

"Cunt." She was right of course. They didn't have much time after all, but it seemed he still wasn't used to her high autonomy clones. They really were just a necessity; if they were out with the crew and got attacked, they had to make decisions quickly and thus on their own.

The clone used his surprised stupor to shove his pants down his legs, and both of them rejoiced in their success to get him naked again. Such a rare treat to see all of him since he usually opted to stay clothed during their playtimes. It wasn’t really play though, not nearly enough time for that. 

He grunted in acceptance, stepping out of the fabric and kicking it off to the far end before sitting down against the wall. Now this was pleasantly familiar, wasn’t it? Just like he'd taken her during their first bout with Hiyori. He pulled her clone on his lap, spreading her legs with his to give her a full view of their privates. His skin against her clone's back was wet with perspiration, but even after one hour of working out, he lifted her up effortlessly to hover over his cock, thoroughly unimpressed by the needy squirming of her clone. 

He locked eyes with her, biting down on her clone’s shoulder, giving both of them the clear warning that the impatience wouldn’t do. Her clone stilled, but he only angled his hips up after she’d whispered a ‘please.’

She watched as his glorious cock parted her clone’s lalbia, rubbed up against her. She could feel her frustration and the soft heat against herself. He pushed in slowly, making sure she felt every inch he put inside her clone while she was still pitifully empty. It was a weird dissonance she was used to by now, pushed three fingers in to at least attempt to fill the emptiness, while his gaze burned her to the core and she watched him stretch her clone. He pulled out, and her fingers followed, shoving back in when he filled her clone again with a sharp snap of his hips that made both of them cry out but only wrought a low grunt from his lips. She stared as he pulled out again, cock wet, veins bulging as her clone’s juices dripped down his balls. Watched as her clone stretched around him in the most satisfying way, as his impressive size all but vanished inside of her over and over again, not once missing a beat with her own hand. 

Saw her quiver around him right as she could feel the first flutters against her fingers. Felt foreign muscles contract, seize, trying to close their legs but losing the fight against unforgiving muscled thighs. Her own body tensed as her clone, always a few beats before her, strained against  him, cried out, begged for just that tiny bit of more , clawed at the scarred arms that made her meet his hips without showing even the faintest trace of exhaustion. She felt his lips on hers, devouring her clone in a demanding and possessive kiss that really had no business being this dominating when he had to strain to reach up to her. Felt his teeth pull at her bottom lip and the pre-orgasmic chill rush down her arms as everything focused on the growing heat between her legs. Her muscles tensed just like her clone’s, and her lips parted to join her pleas for more.

“Then cum,” he chuckled in her clone’s ear, and her senses were bombarded with two orgasms of frightening intensity. Both her and her clone a trembling shivering mess completely at his mercy as he prolonged their pleasure with steady thrusts.

“Where do you want it?” he asked while they recovered from their orgasms.

She stood on shaky legs and let it disperse, showering him in petals when the last wave dimmed, and he grinned, knowing full well that by now she could keep them alive during orgasm.

She took a moment to appreciate the sight, big hand wrapped tightly around his throbbing red cock, pumping to keep the stimulation going, face and chest flushed. Dear lord her man was beautiful, and she'd definitely buy that magazine Nami had been talking about, although he probably wouldn’t want to hear that. Demon in human skin indeed. She waited just long enough to make sure he’d seen the appreciation in her gaze before sinking down between his legs, lips open, hovering just before her delicious prize, looking up for a permission he was sure to grant. He put his hand in her hair, pressed her down. Funny how this was pretty much the same situation as the first time she had sucked him off in almost innocent curiosity, just… he wouldn’t hold back this time.

She sucked him in, tasted herself on him as she welcomed him with a few sucks and swirls of her tongue before she relaxed her jaw and throat to allow him all the way in. He held her down, just long enough to have her throat constrict around him, her lower belly clenching again as he started to pump his hips up in steady rhythm. His balls were drawn tight in her hand, his breathing hitched and his muscles clenched and when his thrusts came quicker and harder, she realized that this would be over sooner than she had hoped. Even if it had already taken them longer than it should, considering the next island's proximity. Curse on his lips, he pulled her from his cock, cleared her throat to press against her tongue as he came, making sure she got a taste of him, and she hummed in gratitude when the salty cashew flavour coated her mouth. 

She cleaned him up, swallowed everything he had offered her and curled up on his chest. 

“Thank you,” she murmured, and he answered with a soft kiss against her hair, one hand caressing the scars on her shoulder. Considering his wet cat reaction when she had originally suggested it, he sure had taken a liking to his mark on her

"How did you get started with the cutting?" she asked, a bit disbelieving that it had taken her so long to ask the question. "Did it start with the two you told me about?"

"No, actually that was Emilia. Had singled me out for that purpose, thought as a swordsman I wouldn't have any qualms about breaking skin, which seems to be a hindrance for many," he answered immediately, planting a soft kiss on her scarred shoulder.

"Did you like it?"

"I didn't mind . Actually enjoying it came later, and when I got Kitetsu, there really wasn't much of a choice anymore. Acquired  taste, probably.”

"Is it still demanding?" She chuckled, amused at how foreign the word sounded from his mouth.

He hummed in thought, searching for words. "They all do, apparently. Family trait. Nidai was almost overwhelming. She had sung with joy and anticipation when Luffy had carried her out into the world, and she'd been furious when she found out that he was a fucking idiot that just went and hit people with her," he chuckled, and she was sure she heard a certain fondness for both the idiot captain and the bloodthirsty blade. "It was good we met her, helped me a lot with sandai just knowing that it's their way and nothing I needed to fix or something, but... Let's just say I better not lose control anytime soon. Meeting siblings riled them up, battle of Wano raised expectations. And to be perfectly honest, Enma isn't much better."

She laughed. It was cute how he addressed them, ever respectful of each blade's personality. Sometimes she wondered if he respected swords more than people. "I imagine confining your blades to their sheathes isn't exactly humane?" 

He scoffed, "Well they'll just have to fucking deal with it unless we come across some thugs, won’t they?"

She hummed, "Well they don't have to, we-"

"No fucking way, Robin. I told you before, was a one time thing, and even if not, not while you're pregnant," he bristled while resting one hand on her swollen belly.

Fufufufu "That's not what I was suggesting. After all, our earlier experiment clearly concluded that I like to watch, didn't it?"

He gaped down at her, his gaze having this disbelieving quality to it. It felt like minutes before he smacked his lips on hers in a chaste innocent peck as if they hadn't just discussed cutting people for pleasure, and drew her even closer against him. As close as their growing child allowed. 

"You're fucking perfect, woman," he mumbled into her hair.