Note: Part of "All the Lullabies". It follows up "Only a Pirate's Dreams", and Marvelous' POV of it is part of "Quite Up To Normal".

Choosing this Life
by Estirose
c 2011

Ahim handed Gai-san a cup of tea. Their newest member was in good shape, considering they’d just had to rescue him from his aunt. Fortunately, Marvelous-san tended to get really worried about his crew, and had made sure that he could find each one of them if needed, including Gai-san.

Marvelous-san was sitting in his chair, contemplating something, but she knew that he was also keeping watch on Gai-san. For all that they had all taken up the name of pirates, they were loyal to each other and loyal to Marvelous-san, and he was the same with them. She’d seen how pained he was after Basco had taken them captive, and how quick they’d all been to reassure him that everything was all right.

She really didn’t think that Gai-san’s aunt had meant any harm. She was merely protective, in the same way that Marvelous-san was, to a greater extreme. The woman had a good heart, and once Marvelous-san had calmed down, he would see that too. Would an evil woman have bandaged Gai-san’s wounded wrist?

Joe had remarked more than once that Gai-san reminded him strongly of Marvelous-san; it was obvious that it ran in Gai-san’s family as well. Protectors and fighters. The woman had known she was outclassed, outnumbered, but she was willing to fight.

They’d been lucky to get Gai-san, her nephew. Lucky that he’d gotten the device and come to them. She remembered his first, surprised reaction when he’d seen the wanted poster bearing his name, then exasperated, then pleased. He was the kind of person who really had the drive to save the universe, and obviously there had been a reason why he’d been chosen.

She could tell that he was chafing a little at Marvelous-san’s instructions to stay where he was. Gai-san didn’t stay still easily, and it said something about both him and his respect for Marvelous-san that he was actually staying put. She wondered how he would react to the fact that Marvelous-san needed to make sure his crew was safe, especially after the debacle with Basco, and tended to fall asleep in their beds with them to make sure that they didn’t go anywhere. Not that Marvelous-san was interested in any of them, sexually, and Ahim would be surprised if he had any interest in sex at all. He just needed reassurance that he wouldn’t lose them. But she didn’t want Gai-san to be shocked to find Marvelous-san sharing his bed.

Maybe she should have a word with Marvelous-san about that; who knew what taboos the people of Gai-san’s planet had? Maybe he would be happy just with Gai-san staying close for the next few days, and not venturing planetside alone. She should speak to Marvelous-san about moving the Galleon somewhere with wilderness, away from urban areas. Gai-san seemed to enjoy those, and so did she, and that should make them all happy. She herself wanted a picnic, and she was sure that Marvelous-san would be easy to persuade.

“Are you all right, Gai-san?” she asked.

“I’m fine,” he said, smiling up at her. But as she looked, he seemed rattled. Perhaps Marvelous-san was justified in keeping him close. “Tired.”

He was acting like he’d been drugged, too. Probably had been, from what she could see. He was anxious and full of energy as always, but that energy was starting to flag. “Then sleep. We’ll keep watch.” She held her hand out for the tea, knowing that Marvelous-san had stopped contemplating the decor and was now paying attention to them.

“Thanks.” He handed the tea off to her, and she put it down as his eyes closed and his body relaxed into a drugged sleep.

Marvelous-san was by her side shortly after that, and she knew from his expression that he was still upset, and she decided for Gai-san’s aunt’s sake to not mention the drugging to him. “He’ll be okay,” she told him softly. “Perhaps we should take him to his bed?” And by them, she meant him. “I think he would be more comfortable there. I’ll leave a note, to rejoin us when he wakes. I doubt he will want to go planetside without one of us for a while, in any case.”

“You’re right,” Marvelous-san said, gently picking Gai-san up from the sofa. He carried their teammate to his bedroom, Ahim snatching her stationery and following.

By the time she caught up with Marvelous-san, he’d already tucked Gai-san into his bed and was watching over him. “Are you all right, Marvelous-san?” she asked gently.

“Fine,” Marvelous-san said, his tone absentmindedly curt. He wanted to be their protector, all of them.

“You couldn’t have forseen this, Marvelous-san,” she told him, hand on his arm.

“I don’t want him hurt by those he trusts,” he growled, and she knew he was thinking of Basco, and what had happened between them.

“We know you’ll keep us safe,” she told him, “And we’ll do the same. Please don’t worry, Marvelous-san.” Yes, it had been terrifying, but she’d chosen this life. So had Gai-san. He’d chosen danger and excitement like the rest of them. And like her, he’d chosen to follow Marvelous-san. “Everything will be all right.”

She knew that everything would be okay, she knew it with her whole heart. In his heart, Marvelous-san knew it too, but it was harder for him. But she was patient, and so were the others. They’d make it, through this and through everything. “Let him sleep, Marvelous-san.” She hadn’t left her note, but she knew that Gai-san would come back to them. “He’ll need our reassurance and yours when he wakes, but he needs to rest.”

Marvelous-san looked once more at their teammate, and nodded slowly. He let her take his hand, guide him back to the living room, let her settle him down at his chair. She knew he would relax among his crew, see that everything was all right.

Because everything was.

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