The Strawhats love to celebrate. Sometimes they don’t even need a reason. A simple meal can turn into a party all of a sudden. Complete with dancing and singing.
But if it is someone's birthday they celebrate the whole day.
Robin's birthday is no different. Except that every birthday is indeed different. This year she gets woken up by Nami who then leads the boys into the cabin, singing “ Happy birthday” and bringing her breakfast to bed.
Right there she gets her first present.
Nami had knitted her a sweater. Black, with a violet lining and embroidered flowers. A lovely piece.
The day continues. Sanji had baked an apple pie that is eaten with ice and whipped cream. It is delicious and goes perfectly with the fresh coffee.
They play games and sing some more. Brook serenades how beautiful and scary she is. In the evening Sanji barbecues one of the bigger fishes and brings out beer, sake and wine.
Luffy, Chopper and Usopp stage a play about an adventure of Sogeking.
Robin gives them standing ovations until a firework starts and everyone once again sings and cheers in joy.
After the firework Robin has to take a few steps back and looks out at the sea. She loves her friends but the day has been long and she isn’t used to so much attention. But one day she will be. She takes a deep breath, smelling the smoke, the meat and the sea.
“Step closer, Franky. What can I help you with?”
She didn’t even have to turn around to feel his presence.
“Happy Birthday, Nico Robin.”
“Thank you, Cutty Fram”
“Yeah, no. Don't.”
The archaeologist laughs silently under her breath.
“Did you make the firework?”
“Yes, with Usopp's help” suddenly he sounds unsure. “Did you like it?”
“Very much,” she smiles up to the taller man. “It was very beautiful.”
“Suuuper! I had you in mind while I made it.”
She gives him a side eye, smiling and waiting for how he will react to his own words.
And after a few seconds he starts to stutter and to explain himself:”I mean, not that I thought about you exploding or something while making it, but I tried to make it so that it would be beautiful. I mean that you would think that it will be beautiful. So I had to think of you while making it. Not that…”
She laughs loud and gives him a light hit on his arm:“It’s fine, Franky. It was beautiful and I greatly enjoyed it. Thank you. Let’s go to the others.”
She wants to move away from the side of the ship, figuring that the talk is over and a little more attention towards her can’t be bad.
“Wait, Nico Robin!”, she can feel his hand on her arm. It’s amazing how careful he can be with them, even though they are so big. She gives him a quizzical look and to her surprise he seems rather nervous and bashful. Different than before and that is something very unusual and she suddenly feels nervous herself. She waits for him to continue.
“I have another present for you…,” and he gives her a small package.
“O... Oh...," she is surprised. "I mean... thank you…?”
She feels the little package in her hand. It’s really small and the shape of a cylinder and she has no clue what it is supposed to be.
She smiles at him he because he is more excited than her. To be honest, that excitement is contagious. With fast hands she rips the paper away and finds a lipstick?
She opens it it has no colour.
“Yes! Chopper made it. It will make your lips really smooth,” she gives him an amused look that he does not see, too excited by this present. “But let me show you the most important part!”
The cyborg takes the lipstick back to put the lid back on and then continues to screw up the rear to reveal that it is hollow and inside are a couple of small lock-picking tools.
“You know, if, in any case, you have to break out from something again,” Frankys face shows pure excitement and he gives the tube back to Robin.
She carefully takes the tools in her hand and marvels them. They are well made and perfect for breaking in... or out.
“I do hope you never have to use it. I mean, everyone will always look out for you. I know I will. But you never know. You know? Maybe you can put something else in there. But yeah…”
“This is… thank you?” she still feels along the fine work.
“You don’t like it,” his voice sounds rather crestfallen and she is alarmed by that sudden change.
“No! I mean, I do like it. It’s amazing. Just unexpected. Thank you.”
“Oh,” he still seems confused by her lack of emotion and she looks up at him trying to figure out how to properly react. She finally chuckles and carefully puts the fine tools back into the tube:“It’s super!” and again a big grin shows on his face and he chuckles along.
They become silent again. Their friends are still celebrating, singing and dancing. Suddenly Robin feels a little awkward this whole situation is still new to her and she feels like something is changing between them.
“Now I need to think of a nice gift for you too.”
She can’t be sure but there seems to be a hint of red on his cheeks: “There is no need for that.”
“Robin!!! Come over! Let’s dance!” Luffy's voice can be heard and he runs towards her.
“Yes Robin-chwan!!! Dance with us!!”
“Come on, Robin! It’s your birthday after all!”
The archaeologist can’t help but laugh at the whole situation and the shipwright besides her laughs along. Brook starts another song, a fast rhythm. The captain grabs Robin's hand and together they run back to the party where they join Usopp, Nami and Chopper in a dance.
The night is still young and if there is a reason to celebrate the Strawhats will go with it.