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Worthy of Love

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They lied in silence, back to back under the thick covers of darkness, thinking of what they had just done. This wasn’t supposed to happen, they shouldn’t have done that. They were crew mates. This was wrong.

But it felt so right.

She shook her head. She couldn’t allow herself to think this way. It was an accident, it didn’t mean anything. The only reason it happened in the first place was probably because they were both desperate and needed some temporary relief, that’s all.

Yes, that was it. It was a temporary thing and nothing more.

She felt the mattress shift and an arm snaking itself around her waist, pulling her flush against the muscular chest of the man next to her. “Zoro?”

“Robin.”

It was Nami’s turn to be on watch that night, which meant Robin had the room all to herself. Zoro was making his way back to the men’s quarters from the kitchen when he got lost and accidentally walked in on her wearing nothing but dark purple lacy panties while she was changing after her bath. She wasn’t completely sure what happened afterwards, but she was pretty sure they both fell into some sort of trance and before she knew it, he was on her, kissing her and laying her on her bed and touching her in ways that made her mind go blank and moans flow past her swelling lips.

The strangest part was, she didn’t push him away but rather welcomed his advances with the same eagerness and passion. And it scared her, more than she was willing to admit.

“I can hear your brain working. What’s up?”

“You should head back to your room before someone will notice your absence.”

“No, I don’t. You’re avoiding the question.”

She turned her head to meet his stern gaze, his dark eye boring into her own blue ones, demanding answers she didn’t want to provide.

“Do you regret what we did?”

Yes.

No.

She couldn’t decide which one was worse.

She turned her head away, refusing to answer. She felt his hold on her waist tighten and before she realized what happened she was flipped over, her body now trapped beneath his. “Is that a yes?”

She turned her head sideways, The look in his eye was too much for her. He grasped her chin roughly, forcing her to look at him. “Answer me damnit!”

His mouth came crashing down on hers, aggressive and desperate. He sucked on her lower lip while his tongue invaded her mouth, as if begging for a reaction out of her. It took all her willpower not to give in to him.

releasing her lips, he looked down at her flushed face, without letting go of her face, keeping her gaze on him. “Look me in the eye Robin, and tell me you don’t want this. Just say the word, and I’ll leave you alone.”

Her mouth opened, but no sound came out. She wanted to deny it. She really, really, did. But despite her better judgement, she just couldn’t bring herself to push him away. This was wrong. No matter how fond she was of the young man, they were crew mates, crew mates with a nine-years age gap at that. She should be the reasonable adult here, she knew how impractical a relationship on a pirate ship was. Besides, Zoro was a young, healthy man, it would be foolish of her to think that what they did had meant anything substantial. He acted purely on impulse and that was it. “We can’t.”

She said the words so quietly she was surprised he even heard them. Still, his features softened somewhat, as did his grip on her jaw. He sighed. “Should have known. You’re thinking about everyone else and the consequences this will have on the rest on our journey aren’t you?”

His lips met hers again, only this time for a slow, gentle kiss. He pulled back and pressed their foreheads together. “Makes sense I guess. That’s why I love you after all.”

That made her push him away. She sat up, doing little to cover her exposed breasts, looking at him with wide eyes.

She opened her mouth again in an attempt to deny his claim, to tell him that he was being foolish, but he silenced her with another kiss, much shorter than the previous two. “Don’t try to correct me. I know what I said and I damn well meant it. I love you, and there’s nothing you can do to change my mind.”

She finally looked at him, a certain coldness creeped into her usually calm cerulean eyes. “Don’t say that.”

His expression changed again, this time into an unreadable one. “Excuse me?”

The coldness in her eyes leaked into her voice. “You heard me. Don’t say that.”

He frowned. “Why the hell not?! I love you, I love you I love you!”

A sharp crack noise broke through the quiet night air, and it took Zoro a moment to register the stinging pain in his cheek. Did she seriously just slap him?

Feeling the sting of rare tears, she looked away again. “I told you not to say it…”

Her voice came out a lot weaker than she hoped, and she could feel her cheeks flame in embarrassment. Panicking, Zoro did the only thing the could think of; pulling her into his arms and engulfing her in a tight hug. He cupped her face tenderly, stroking her cheekbone with his thumb and wiping away her tears. He tucked a strand of raven hair behind her ear, running his fingers through her silky locks and cradling the back of her head. rocking her back and forth in his arms in an attempt to calm her down. “I’m sorry. Please don’t cry. I’m sorry for doing this to you. I shouldn’t have forced my feelings on you like that. I was selfish. I shouldn’t have… I’m sorry… But I love you, so fucking much…”

This time, it was her turn to silence him with a kiss. It was both sweet and salty, tender passion mixed with bitter tears. “Don’t apologize. You didn’t force anything on me. It’s just… Why?”

He pulled away slightly to look at her better. “Why what?”

She looked away, again, and Zoro felt himself growing somewhat frustrated. “Why love me?”

Oh.

Oh.

Of course.

He slipped his hand from her hair back to her jaw, turning her face towards his again, but this time, much more gently. She winced slightly and Zoro felt a pang of guilt. He should have figured how rough he was being earlier, he wouldn’t be surprised if the places he gripped would turn blue by tomorrow. “Does it still bother you? your past?”

She gave a small, hesitant nod. “All this love you all give me, do I truly deserve it?”

“For someone so smart, you sure as hell can be stupid sometime you know that?”

“What do you-“

“Of course you deserve love! What kind of question even is that?! I can’t believe you still think that after everything that happened! Everyone on this crew loves the shit out of you Robin, no exception, if something ever happens to you, we wouldn’t be able to go on.”

“Zoro…”

“Remember this; nothing that happened in your past is your fault. No matter how many people you betrayed or how many have you killed. You were forced to live that way because of the world government, not because you had a choice. And all those people who told you you don’t deserve to live and unworthy of love? Fuck those guys!”

“But why? Why love me?” This fucking woman… She made him want to pull his hair out of frustration.

“Oh I don’t know! Maybe because you’re the most kind and thoughtful person I know?! And because you were prepared to sacrifice yourself and the whole stinkin’ world along with you so you could save us?! And you’re gorgeous, you’re so fucking goddamn gorgeous and you’re the only person I ever felt physically attracted to. And you’re-“

He was cut off by her lips again, so soft and intoxicating against his own. She wrapped her arms against his neck and lied back down so he was on top on her again.

That was all the answer he needed.

The answer they both needed.