The Shy Babe
(I do not, nor will I EVER, own One Piece. This heartwarming series belongs to Ze Great Eiichiro Oda.)
November 2nd, and it was a very special day indeed.
The newest addition to the Roronoa/Nico family would be born.
At the moment, Robin was in the birthing room with Zoro at her side...and she was in a great deal of pain.
"'I want another baby', he says!" Robin shouted, gripping Zoro's hand. "'Let's have another baby', he says!! That is THE LAST TIME you and I have sex on the roof, Roronoa Zoro!!"
"It wasn't my fault!!" Zoro cried. "Sheesh!!"
"Just one more push!" exclaimed the doctor. "You can do it, Miss Nico!"
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!!" Robin screamed as she pushed one more time.
"GOOD GOD, MY HAND!!!" Zoro cried.
Not long after...the sound of a wailing infant filled the air.
"How is she...?" Robin asking, panting heavily. "How's our baby...?"
"She's beautiful, ma'am." answered the doctor, holding a tiny, crying babe. "A healthy baby girl."
Robin smiled, tears forming in her eyes while Zoro kissed her forehead.
"You did it again, Robin," he whispered, "Great job."
"May I hold her?" Robin asked.
"Of course," the doctor nodded, "just have to clean her up, first."
After doing just that, the doctor handed Robin a tiny baby girl, wrapped up in a pink blanket.
"Hello, Kuina," she whispered, "It's so nice to finally see you."
Kuina cooed softly as Robin held her close.
"I'm so happy...!" Robin whispered, tears falling form her eyes.
Kuina reached her tiny hand out to touch her mother's face, as if to wipe away her tears. That's when Hanako, their son, entered, followed by Luffy, Nami, and their daughter, Belle.
"Hey, Mom," Hanako greeted.
"Hello, Hanako," Robin spoke, softly, "come meet your little sister."
Hanako smiled as he got a good look at Kuina.
"Hi, little sis," he whispered, "I'm your big brother, Hanako."
Kuina glanced up at her older brother with great interest.
'This is my brother,' she thought, 'My big brother!'
"Hi, Kuina!" Belle greeted, getting in between Hanako and Kuina. "I'm Belle! Your cool cousin!"
Kuina gasped in fright, for she hid her face in her mother's bosom.
"Eh?" Belle muttered. "Why's she covering her face?"
"Umm, Belle?" Nami asked. "Maybe you shouldn't have jumped out like that."
"Oh," Belle realized, "sorry."
"Kuina, it's all right." Robin comforted her fearful child. "Belle didn't mean to scare you. She's just very excited to see you. Please come out."
'No!' Kuina thought. 'She's loud and scary!'
"Kuina, Belle's sorry for scaring you." Zoro told her. "C'mon, it's okay. You can look at her."
Kuina took one quick glance at Belle, and she returned to hiding her face in Robin's chest.
'I still think she's scary.' she thought.
Belle blinked, as if disappointed.
'Dang,' she thought, 'Something tells me I didn't make a good first impression.'
***Short timeskip brought to you by Yusuke's Shot Gun (A Yu Yu Hakusho reference)***
Three days subsequent to Kuina's birth, the Roronoa/Nico family brought the newborn and Robin home from the hospital.
"Here we are," Zoro smiled.
"This is our home, Kuina." Hanako spoke to his sister, who was in her car seat. "And now, it's yours, too."
Kuina looked up at her brother, and at her home.
'It's so pretty,' she thought, 'I wonder what the inside looks like.'
Kuina got her answer when Hanako took her out of her car seat, got her out of the car, and brought her inside. In her eyes, it was the biggest place she had ever seen.
"Wanna see your room?" Hanako asked.
Kuina cooed happily as Hanako held her.
"I'll take that as a yes." Hanako chuckled.
With that, he took her to Kuina's nursery, followed by Robin and Zoro.
"Here we are," Hanako spoke, entering a room that was painted lavender and had baby cranes on the wall, "hope you like it, Kuina."
'I love it!' Kuina smiled. 'I really love it!'
She squealed happily in Hanako's arms.
"She loves it." he noted.
"Clearly," Zoro smiled.
Kuina held her arms out to Robin.
"Aww, come here, baby," Robin cooed as she held her.
Kuina smiled up at her mother, who gently brushed her hair from her eyes. At that moment, the infant girl yawned.
"Are you tired?" Robin asked, and Kuina nodded. "Well, I know just the thing for that."
She placed Kuina in her new crib.
'I like this,' Kuina thought, 'I feel safe in here.'
"Sleep well, my little one." Robin whispered. "Sweet dreams."
Little Kuina slept soundly in her crib, with her family watching over her.
"She's so precious," Zoro whispered.
"Yes," Robin agreed, "I know she is."
Kuina sighed as she slept. Her family left her to her rest, but as they did, Zoro noticed a look of concern on Robin's face.
"What's up, Robin?" Zoro asked.
"Well...it's about what happened at the hospital," Robin answered, "when Kuina saw Belle."
"You mean when she got scared of her?" Zoro asked, and Robin nodded. "Oh."
"I noticed that, too," Hanako chimed in, "I know Belle meant well, but she's a little...umm..."
"Hyperactive?" Robin asked.
"Right," Hanako answered, "Thanks, Mom."
"She gets that from Luffy." Zoro added.
"Zoro, I'm worried," Robin spoke up, "what if she and Belle never get along?"
"Oh, I wouldn't worry about that," Zoro assured, "We were afraid Hanako wouldn't get along with Belle, and look at them!"
"That's true," Robin noted, "but Kuina's not Belle."
"Well, I guess we'll see," spoke Zoro.
***Short timeskip brought to you by Hiei becoming the Dragon of the Darkness Flame (A Yu Yu Hakusho reference)***
Days went by and more of Kuina's personality began to show.
She was shown to be rather timid, always hiding behind Robin or Hanako, and she would get frightened very easily, especially around loud noises.
She was also quiet, sometimes. She would hardly cry, which Zoro and Robin were grateful for when they needed a good night's sleep.
Though, they would often worry about whether or not she had been eating enough, given how frail she was. But somehow, she managed.
Be that as it may, the one problem with Kuina was her relationship with Belle. Whenever she came to visit, Kuina would always start crying when she so much as looked at her.
"Kuina, it's all right!" Robin tried to calm her down. "It's just Belle, she won't hurt you!"
"Yeah, look!" Belle added as she grinned...though Kuina only cried even more. "Dang, I thought for sure that would make her smile."
'Make her go away, Mama!' Kuina thought as she wailed. 'Make her go away!'
"Is there anything you can do to make her stop crying?" Luffy asked, covering his ears.
"I can only think of one," Zoro answered, "Belle, I hate to do this, but...you have to go out!"
"But Uncle Zoro--" Belle started.
"You can stay in Hanako's room for right now," Zoro interjected.
"Okay." Belle complied, dismally. She walked upstairs to Hanako's room and Kuina immediately ceasing her crying.
"...Holy s***, it worked!" Luffy said.
"Luffy, don't curse in front of Kuina." Robin scolded.
"Sorry," Luffy replied.
"...Is this really how Kuina's gonna see Belle?" Nami asked.
"Unfortunately." Robin sighed. "As much as we hate it, we have to do what's best for her."
"But Belle's about as scary as a bunny rabbit!" Luffy argued. "She wouldn't hurt Kuina!"
"That's not the problem," Zoro explained, "Belle's way too high-strung and hyperactive."
"And Kuina frightens easily," Hanako added. "Belle traumatized her the moment she was born, so it's possible Kuina will never get used to her."
"But she didn't mean to scare her." Nami explained. "She was just excited to meet her."
"Too excited," Zoro pointed out, "she gets that from Luffy."
"Hey!" Luffy snapped.
"At any rate," Zoro added, ignoring Luffy, "this is probably for the best."
Luffy and Nami glanced up the stairs, worriedly.
"Poor Belle," Nami spoke. 'She just wants to be friends with Kuina.' she added in thought. 'If only she'd just give her a chance.'
***Short timeskip brought to you by Yahiko fighting with Kaoru (A Rurouni Kenshin reference)***
Hanako was left to watch Kuina while Zoro and Robin went out. The infant was lying nearby on her mat, playing with her toys, and Hanako was on the couch, playing Angry Birds on his tablet.
"Who could that be?" Hanako asked as he got up to answer the door.
He opened the it, and there was Belle.
"Belle?" Hanako inquired. "What're you doing here?"
"Mom and Daddy are out," Belle answered, "so they said I could hang with you and Kuina until they get back."
"Uh...Belle, that's not really a good idea," Hanako replied.
"Hey, that's what I tried to tell them!" Belle explained. "But it's not like they can leave me at home on my own!"
"That's true." Hanako sighed. "Fine, you can come in, but don't let Kuina see you."
"Got it," Belle answered. She stepped inside the Roronoa/Nico residence, making sure to avoid being seen by Kuina.
Kuina was too busy playing with her toys to even notice her, thank goodness.
'I really hate this,' Belle lamented, 'I just wanna be friends with her!'
As Kuina played with her toys, she suddenly looked up, as if sensing something.
'Something's not right,' Kuina thought, 'It's like there's something that shouldn't be here.'
Kuina looked around, but found nothing.
'Huh.' she muttered. 'Guess it was just my imagination.'
Hanako sighed in relief while Belle hid behind the wall. "That was close."
Belle only looked down at the floor, holding her in arm in remorse. She felt terrible for scaring Kuina, but she wanted so badly to be friends with her. 'What can I do to make her see that I'm not a threat?'
Kuina continued playing with her toys, unaware of Belle's presence. Suddenly, the ball she was playing with rolled away, right into the backyard. Hanako had forgotten to close the sliding glass door earlier.
'My ball!' Kuina cried as she crawled after it.
At that instant, Hanako and Belle came into the living room, only to gasp upon seeing that Kuina wasn't there.
"Where'd she go?!" Belle asked.
"Oh, crap!!" Hanako cursed as he spotted the open sliding door. "The door to the backyard's open!!"
"Why didn't you close it!?" Belle questioned, blitzing past him and went outside.
However...Kuina was nowhere to be found. The only thing Belle saw was a loose board in the fence.
"She couldn't have crawled through there, could she?" she asked herself. "It looks small enough."
Belle looked over the fence to see if she could spot Kuina.
"Do you see her?" Hanako asked. "Is she okay?"
"Uhh...oh! There she is!" Belle exclaimed, having spotted Kuina in a corner of the yard. "Aww, she's playing with her ball."
That's when she also noticed a doghouse nearby. "Uh-oh..."
"What's the 'Uh-oh' for?"
"Umm...there's a doghouse back here."
"I don't see the dog...!"
Just then, Belle heard a growling noise...coming from the doghouse, and soon after, she saw it: a vicious-looking Bulldog, a chain linked to his collar, stalking the unsuspecting Kuina.
"Now the dog's after Kuina!" Belle cried, jumping over the fence.
"Wait, Belle!!" Hanako cried.
His cries fell on deaf ears, for Belle was already over the fence.
Kuina was playing with her ball, oblivious to the danger behind her. That's when the bulldog barked and charged at her.
"Eh?" Kuina muttered, prior she looked over her shoulder and gasped.
The bulldog growled as he got closer and closer, causing Kuina to scream in fear.
*WHACK!!* Out of nowhere, Belle appears and hit the bulldog in the mouth a stick! *YIPE!!!* The canine yelped.
Kuina gaped in awe at what Belle had done.
'Belle saved me...? I don't believe it...!'
"You okay?" Belle asked, picking up Kuina.
A pause...until Kuina cooed happily.
'Thank you, Belle!' she thought.
"Belle!!" Hanako called. "Hurry up!! That dog's getting his second wind!!!"
"Crud!" Belle exclaimed as she ran with Kuina in her arms.
The bulldog growled before giving chase. Belle climbed on top of the fence, while holding Kuina, and Hanako grabbed her hand.
Hanako quickly pulled Belle over the fence, the bulldog just narrowly missing her foot.
*WOOF! WOOF! RRR-OOF!!!*
"Ha!!" Belle laughed. "Missed me!!"
She blew a raspberry at the dog before making her escape.
"Here you go," Belle handed Kuina back to Hanako, "Safe and sound."
But then, Kuina cried out, reaching for Belle.
"I think she wants to go back to you." Hanako noted.
"Really?" Belle asked. "But I thought that she didn't like me."
"Beh!" Kuina exclaimed. "Beh!"
"She does, now." Hanako spoke.
Belle gasped in surprise...but then she beamed.
"I never thought that this day would come...!" she squeaked. At that point, she took Kuina into her arms, causing her to squeal happily. "I'm...I'm holding her," Belle started, "and she's laughing...!"
"Remember, don't be too excited," reminded Hanako.
"Right, got it." Belle nodded.
"Beh!" Kuina repeated, patting Belle's cheek.
"Shishishi!" Belle giggled. "Aww...you're so cute, Kuina."
Soon, Hanako heard the sound of a car pulling up.
"Mom and Dad are home," he spoke.
"Think we should tell them what happened?" Belle inquired.
"They're probably gonna ask anyway," Hanako answered.
"We're home!" Robin called. "Hanako? Kuina?"
"We're back here, Mom!" called Hanako.
Robin and Zoro met their children and Belle in the backyard. The both of them were surprised to see Belle holding Kuina.
"...Am I dreaming?" Zoro asked.
"It's no dream, Uncle Zoro!" Belle answered. "Kuina and I are friends, now!"
Kuina squealed happily, hugging Belle.
"...All right, what happened?" Zoro asked.
"Kuina crawled off into the neighbor's yard," Hanako answered.
"WHAT?!" Robin questioned. "WHY!?"
"Uhh...I may have accidentally left the backdoor open," Hanako answered.
"Hanako, we've told you many times to close that door after you go out into the backyard," Robin chided, "Do I need to remind you of the last time you left it open?"
"You let a skunk in the house," Zoro added. "the whole place stunk for weeks."
"Ahem!" Hanako cleared his throat. "Anyway, Kuina crawled into the neighbors' yard and she was almost attacked by their bulldog, but then Belle jumped over the fence and saved her!"
"She did?" Zoro asked.
"Yep!" Belle grinned. "Now we're best friends!"
Kuina squealed happily at this.
"That's wonderful," Robin smiled, "I'm so happy for the both of you."
"Me, too, Aunt Robin!" Belle grinned.
Kuina giggled happily as she hugged Belle and kissed her face.
"Shishishi!" Belle laughed. "I love you, too, Kuina."
From that day forth, Belle and Kuina were inseparable. It was like Belle had gotten the little sister she never had.
"Yay!" Belle cheered. "At last!!"
Kuina laughed as Belle held her, and Hanako only smiled.
'Nice to see them getting along,' he thought, 'For a moment, I thought we'd have to get a restraining order on Belle.'
Good thing you didn't, huh?
"Yeah," Hanako grinned.
"Hanako, who're you talking to?" Zoro asked.
"Err, nobody Dad!" Hanako answered.
"Shishishishi!" Belle giggled while Kuina cooed.