Note: Follows "Choosing this Life" in the "All the Lullabies" storyline.

In the Polite Way
by Estirose
c 2011

Gai sat down on the couch. He was well aware that Marvelous-san was watching him even though it didn't seem that his captain was doing just that. Which he would have minded more if he hadn't been rattled himself.

He found a certain comfort in the fact that Marvelous-san had insisted on Gai sharing his bed for the night, even if Gai had been nervous about what that entailed. But in the end, all that had happened was Marvelous-san pretty much plastered against him for a few hours, and Gai could deal with that. Sentai teams were close, he was part of a Sentai team, therefore if Marvelous-san wanted to cuddle, Gai would cuddle. Besides, Gai had felt protected, and even if that wasn't Marvelous-san's intent, he could live with it.

Sure, he hadn't been allowed offship for the last day or two, but he had to admit that he didn't mind it either. He was going with Don-san out to do the shopping, which would get him used to walking the streets of Earth again. Don-san wasn't the greatest fighter, but he was good at communications, and that's what counted. Gai tended to forget to alert the team, and alerting the team was the first thing Don did, so they fit well.

He just wished that he could forget his Aunt's actions. He knew that she had meant well, he'd said so to Marvelous-san, but they still made him uneasy. And he hadn't been really able to talk about it, even to Ahim-san, because he didn't want Marvelous-san to decide that his Aunt was a threat to him. Marvelous-san didn't have a problem when his teammates decided that they had to challenge an enemy alone, but abduct any of them and he wasn't very merciful.

It was good for Gai's continued existence, but not so good for his Aunt, to have a slightly mother-hennish Red.

Ahim-san came in from wherever she'd gone planetside, and settled down next to him, clutching her cup of tea. "I ran into your aunt," she said, and Gai looked over at her, wondering how she'd managed that feat. "I… talked with her."

Marvelous-san's chair creaked slightly, and Gai could tell without looking up that they had his attention.

"Gai-san's Aunt is very protective," she said, putting her cup down and folding her hands. "She reminds me of Marvelous-san in some ways. I talked to her, though, and she understands why you're important to us, Gai-san."

He pictured genteel Ahim-san quietly explaining to his aunt that no, this was not going to happen again if she valued her life, in Ahim-san's polite way.

"She hopes that you'll be willing to visit her again, so she can apologize herself," Ahim-san continued. "But understands it might be a while."

Gai tried to calm himself down, to not show his fear to Marvelous-san. Not that Marvelous-san would ever let Gai see his Aunt again without a teammate or three at hand, nor would Gai want to, but he also had his pride, and he would like to be trusted to walk planetside without escort sometime in the near future.

"I don't know if I can," he said.

"She betrayed our trust, too," Ahim-san said. "I explained that to her." They'd trusted Gai to judge wisely on who he went to see, and likewise, they'd trusted that his aunt wasn't going to do anything to him, and that trust had been broken for both. Which was probably why Gai was confined to ship. It was mostly a safety measure, but maybe a little punishment too. He was on a pirate ship, after all.

At least he wasn't confined to quarters.

"Thank you," he said, because Ahim-san always deserved to be thanked, and she had done what she could.

Ahim-san nodded. "Someday, it will be all right, Gai-san." She smiled and picked up her tea.

He gave her a small smile, because she had gone out of her way to make things better. But that was the way Ahim-san was. Ahim-san believed the best and did the best. And they were lucky to have her.

All of them, not just him.

And as Marvelous-san's chair creaked again, he felt better than he had before.


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