I love shifting POVs, and I figure that it was unlikely I'd see a remix/POV shift of these fics unless I did it myself. So, this is a Marvelous POV of those two stories. (I also planned to include the third story, "In The Polite Way", but it didn't quite happen, though elements remain. Oops.)

Quite Up To Normal
by Estirose
c 2011

"Marvelous-san?"

Ahim had closed her Mobirates with uncertain hands and looked over at him. He was paying attention, of course, when she'd answered it with an element of confusion, and had been quiet for a few moments.

There was a pit forming at the bottom of his stomach over Ahim's expression. He'd nearly lost members of his crew twice since they'd come to the planet - first Ahim herself, kidnapped by that damned Zangyack, and then most of his crew, by by Basco.

Quietly, he counted the members of his crew - Ahim herself, Joe, Luka, and Doc. Gai had gone to see some relative or another, and Marvelous hadn't worried because Gai knew how to handle himself, and he was sure that his newest crew member would call for help if he needed it.

He gave her a slight nod, hoping that she'd tell him what in the hell was going on.

"I just got a call. From a woman. She told me that Gai-san was no longer a member of the crew and to leave him alone, and where to find his Cellular."

Her voice was soft and gentle, as if she hadn't wanted to alarm him.

"Doc." He turned to face the ship's technician. He doubted that Gai had chosen to leave his service willingly, and there was no way he was going to let any of his crew be kidnapped. "Trace Gai."

Not only could they trace Gai's Cellular, but Marvelous had made sure that each of his crew wore jewelry with a tracer in it. He'd been sure to get one for Gai shortly after the other had joined his crew, and impressed upon him how important it was to wear it. The only time the tracers hadn't been of use was when Basco had grabbed his crew, but otherwise it was comforting to know that they had them.

He wasn't going to lose someone, ever again. It might take longer to trace the fainter signal of the jewelry, but he'd find his missing crew member, eventually. They'd find the Cellular first and then Gai, and whoever had taken his crew would pay.

Doc was working at the controls. Despite initial differences, Gai and Doc got along well, and Marvelous had no doubt that Doc would work hard to find Gai.
"I'm picking up the Cellular," Doc reported, and Marvelous watched as the screen lit up. "But it's going to take a while to find Gai if he's not with it...."

That was a disadvantage. They were low-powered as not to alert the authorities that his crew was in the area, yet strong enough to be found. An emergency measure only, it could take a while to find Gai.

For the kidnapper's sake, he hoped that Gai was unharmed. He had little tolerance for slavery, and if Gai had been made a slave, someone would pay, and pay dearly. He felt his fist clench. Gai was fairly innocent and vulnerable, despite being a fairly decent fighter, and he was under Marvelous' protection.

Even the Earthlings should know that, that you didn't kidnap one of his crew.

"I'm going down to pick up the Cellular," Marvelous decided. "Joe, Luka, you come with me. Ahim, Doc, keep looking for Gai."

In case it was a trap, he would be well-defended. In case it wasn't, at least Gai would have his device back when they found him.

Marvelous forced himself to think about just recovering the device, instead of the fact that he might have lost crew. Doc would find Gai; he was good at that. All Marvelous had to do was come to the rescue.

He would never give up until he found Gai, and he knew that Gai knew that too.

The location of Gai's Cellular was a park; Doc's coordinates led the three of them to a flower garden. Scanning for traps, and relying on Luka to spot any he didn't, he carefully made his way to retrieve the Cellular. To his surprise, there were no traps; it was as if Gai's kidnapper had cared nothing for the reward on Gai. Anybody seeking to get money from the Zangyack Empire would probably have the sense to take the Cellular with them. Or at least lay a trap for the others.

Unless, of course, Gai's kidnapper was from Earth, and had other motives. Ahim had mentioned about the kidnapper wanting them to get out of Gai's life. Marvelous scowled. Gai was an adult and had chosen to be part of Marvelous' crew, and Marvelous owed it to him to get him out of this, no matter what motives the kidnapper had.

Well, Marvelous had Gai's Cellular safely tucked away in a coat pocket, and when Doc located Gai, Marvelous would show them exactly why you did not kidnap his crew.

Returning to the Galleon, he looked towards Doc, who shook his head. Doc was looking his hardest, though, and Marvelous felt a surge of pride that his crew would, like him, save one anothers' lives. Marvelous decided not to distract him, instead looking over at Ahim. "Lunchtime."

He knew the others wouldn't ask why he was thinking of his stomach. They had confidence, after all, in Doc and in Gai. He himself was using it to distract himself until he had a location. Once he found out who had his crew member, then he could swing into action.

Until then, it would do Doc no good to be disturbed. He could have lunch if he wanted, but Marvelous expected that he wouldn't even think about it until they picked up a trace of Gai. Ahim would probably feed Doc, of course. That's how she worked.

No, he wasn't worried about his crew for the most part. And there would be at least some excitement when he got to go down and find out what happened to Gai.

It was three hours later when Doc turned around with a smile on his face, and Marvelous knew that he'd found their missing crew member. "Where is he?" Marvelous asked, grinning back. Finally, something to be done!

Doc indicated a spot on the map that meant nothing to Marvelous, but Doc was tapping keys again. "It's not very far...."

Just as long as they got Gai out of there, Marvelous didn't care.

The five of them left the Galleon in a suburb, with Doc taking them down the street, stopping finally in front of a house. There was a doghouse in the front yard, but to Marvelous' relief, it was empty. He'd take a guard down if he had to, but only if he had to. "He's in there, somewhere," Don said, indicating the house with his scanner.

"Let's go!" Marvelous said. The gate opened quietly, and they were soon at the front door. Marvelous doubted it was unlocked, so he took out his pistol and shot up and down, the door exploding inwards in showers of wood. He snorted, expecting more out of Gai's kidnapper.

It seemed to be a standard gathering-room, from what he could see, and he looked around, figuring where Gai might best be. As he considered it, a middle-aged woman with short, puffy hair ran downstairs.

"Where's Gai?" he demanded, not really caring who she was as long as she didn't interfere. She grabbed, of all things, a coatstand, and from the way she held it, she had no clue on how to fight. A civilian, fighting intruders with what she had.

But for a civilian, she certainly didn't intend to cooperate, looking at him with resistance in her eyes. "You can't have him." Well, that told him that she knew who Gai was and most likely where he was; all Marvelous had to do was persuade her to tell him, by any means necessary. He spotted a fancy clock to one side, and raised his pistol to shoot it.

"Up here, Marvelous-san!" Gai. Marvelous half-smiled, knowing that Gai was just waiting for rescue. This woman had to have him tied up somewhere upstairs, and the sooner that he was freed, the better.

"Listen," the woman said, and she would have looked more dangerous if she wasn't trying to heft a heavy coatstand and the clock behind her was starting to sound the hour with a deep bong,  "Gai doesn't belong with you and your life. He's an ordinary boy. I'm his aunt, I should know this." Marvelous thought he remembered something about Gai going to visit a relative, but quickly dismissed it out of mind.

"He's one of my crew," Marvelous pointed out, figuring she'd figure it out shortly enough that one did not interfere with his crew, even with the best of intentions. He figured having a gun pointed at her was enough to remind her why one didn't mess with a pirate crew. It was turning out to be far less exciting than he planned, but at least his crew would be safe; perhaps that was enough.

"Marvelous-san, perhaps this is the aunt that he was going to visit?" Oh, yes. Things snapped into place. Gai had been invited by an aunt to have lunch, and Gai had accepted, announcing that he was going to visit his favorite aunt and he'd be back after lunch. Marvelous had to wonder if she'd had the whole thing planned out, and if she was just an overprotective relative or that there was something far more sinister going on.

And as much as he would love to shoot out the irritatingly bonging clock, he restrained himself, focusing on the important thing, which was getting Gai out of there. "Doc, Luka. Go upstairs. Find Gai."

The two of them headed upstairs, and a few minutes too many, Gai came rushing down, obviously thrilled to be free. Luka and Doc were following behind, alert to danger.

"Any reason I shouldn't shoot her?" Marvelous asked. He wanted to ask if Gai was truly okay, but that could hold until they were out of danger, as remote as that danger seemed. Despite the fact she didn't seem to know how to fight, she seemed to have the kidnapping thing down, and Marvelous didn't mistake lack of fighting skills for harmless.

"She's the aunt I went to see, and she meant well, Marvelous-san," Gai said, holding out a hand, letting him know that despite everything, Gai apparently had some fondness for the woman, his aunt. "Don't hurt her."

Marvelous broke out in a grin. Gai needed the grin, and he had to admit that while Gai's aunt currently couldn't fight, Gai obviously got the courage and the craziness from her. "I see it runs in the family." But the bandage on Gai's wrist - one that hadn't been there when Gai left earlier in the day, dampened his mood somewhat. Crazy could work in more ways than one, as he well knew.

"Gai, I still don't want you doing this." The woman pleaded. Obviously, whatever she'd done to Gai she couldn't do here, and was reduced to begging. But Marvelous had no desire to let her have the satisfaction of taking his crew away from him, and he doubted Gai wanted to leave. "You're a good boy, you don't belong with them."

He couldn't help but laugh a little at the pathetic look on her face as she realized she was outmatched. "He's chosen to be part of my crew." But he still brushed Gai behind him, just in case, trusting that the others would protect his back and Gai. "I don't think I could have ever stopped him from choosing this life, even though I discouraged him too." He had tried, but he had to admit that Gai intrigued him, and at least this kept Gai out of too much trouble. Plus, Gai had more than proven his worth as a crew member, both aboard ship and during battle, even if his enthusiasm about meeting past sentai members with great powers sometimes made Marvelous wince. But he put up with it because at least Gai knew what he was talking about.

"You should have discouraged him harder," the woman said simply, and Marvelous knew that getting Gai out of there was a good idea. Who knew what tricks the woman had planned?

He slung an arm over Gai's shoulders, ready to grab him if he needed to be supported. "You hurt?" he asked.

"Just a little bruised," Gai told him. The expression on his face said that he wanted out of there, and Marvelous was only too happy to oblige.

"We're leaving then," Marvelous replied. He nodded at Joe and Luka, who guarded his back as he got Gai out of there, not bothering to turn his back until the six of them were out of there.

They were soon back to the ship, and Doc mumbled something about getting Gai a proper dinner while Ahim went to get some tea - a remedy that usually worked well with Gai, or at least Gai was too polite to say no to her, ever.

Marvelous sat Gai down on the couch, taking the stool across from him. "What happened?" he asked. He knew that Gai wouldn't be stupid and lie about things to him, no matter how he felt about his aunt. If he was to keep Gai safe, he had to know what had happened. He wouldn't lose Gai to well-meaning relatives ever again.

"I went to see my aunt," Gai said, "And I was telling her all about my adventures! She was upset at first, but then she got me a drink and it must have been drugged or something because I fell asleep. I woke up in her spare bedroom, all tied up. I couldn't get her to let me go, but I knew that you'd find me, Marvelous-san, so I wasn't too worried." He lifted his bandana to reveal the tracker in the shape of a thick anchor, about three centimeters long. "I knew that you'd find me using this."

Well, at least he was sharp enough to realize why he had that particular piece of jewelry, that fit so well under his bandana.

"Just as long as you're all right," Marvelous told him. Gai would probably rebound shortly, and everything would be fine, and Marvelous was sure that Gai's aunt wouldn't be stupid enough to try it again - and even then, Gai probably didn't want anything to do with her.

Gai's smile dipped a little bit, soon replaced by his full grin, but enough to tell Marvelous that something wasn't all right with his newest crew member. But fishing things out of people in a delicate was wasn't his strong point - he preferred problems that let him come in, guns blazing. Better to ask Ahim or Doc, both of whom Gai was close to.

"You're staying on board the next few days," he told Gai, and he was even more disturbed that Gai brightened at the words. It was mostly a measure to keep Gai safe and close by, to soothe the part of him that told him that he wasn't good enough to keep them all.

A part of him that had become louder ever since Basco had shown up again.

"Of course, Marvelous-san," as if it had never occurred to Gai to argue with Marvelous' orders. Marvelous knew that normally Gai would be bouncing off the walls after a day or two of being on board the Galleon, but he somehow thought that Gai wasn't quite up to normal.

Whatever that woman had done to Gai, he would find out. Aunt or no, his bounciest crewmember was obviously traumatized, and something had happened that Gai wasn't willing to talk about to Marvelous. Marvelous would find out and then he'd make sure that she wasn't a threat to his crew.

As Ahim came with a cup of tea for Gai, Marvelous withdrew to his chair. As much as he hated to sit back and let others deal with the issue, Gai might say something to Ahim while she was there.

And then he'd decide what to do, plain and simple.

He watched as Ahim handed Gai his tea, and gently asked, "Are you all right, Gai-san?"

"I’m fine," he said, smiling up at her. "Just tired."

Marvelous took a quick look and cursed himself for not realizing that something was wrong with Gai. Not only was there something that had gone wrong, but Gai had been drugged, obviously, like he had before.

Ahim didn't seem to notice at all. "Then sleep. We’ll keep watch." She held her hand out for the tea, seemingly unaware that Marvelous was watching Gai's reactions closely.

"Thanks." At Ahim's gentle urgings, Gai was soon asleep, and Marvelous let him nod off. Gai had been through enough for one day.

He moved to Ahim's side, intending to rearrange Gai comfortably on the couch and maybe find a blanket for him.  "He’ll be okay," she told him softly. "Perhaps we should take him to his bed? I think he would be more comfortable there, and then he can rejoin us...."

"You’re right." Gai would feel more comfortable in his bed than on the couch. And it would be impossible to get to him without going through the rest of them anyway. He picked Gai up easily - their Silver was lighter than he expected - and carried him to his bedroom, settling him down on his bed and tucking him in.

"Are you all right, Marvelous-san?" Ahim asked gently, hand on his arm.

"Fine," he said, absorbed in watching Gai sleep. He'd have to insist that Gai share his bed that night; that was the only way he could make sure Gai was safe. He'd share Gai's, but Gai's bed was tiny and wouldn't fit both of them.

"You couldn’t have forseen this, Marvelous-san," Ahim told him as they watched Gai sleep.

"I don’t want him hurt by those he trusts," he growled. Basco had betrayed him, and Ahim and the others had nearly paid the price. Gai was learning the hard way that you couldn't always trust, either. Just as long as he trusted his teammates, that was okay. If a rough lesson to learn, and one Marvelous hadn't wanted him to learn.

"We know you’ll keep us safe, and we’ll do the same. Please don’t worry, Marvelous-san. Everything will be all right." Ahim was trying to soothe him, and he was almost soothed. But there were things to be done, and crew members to protect, and he couldn't let things rest, no matter what she said.

"Why didn't you tell me he was drugged?" Marvelous asked. He still didn't want to move from Gai's side. Besides, he'd sat enough while Doc was still tracking down Gai's tracer.

Ahim folded her hands, which was a bad sign. "You shouldn't go after Gai-san's aunt," she said. "I think, that she, too, wanted to protect Gai-san from what she thought was a danger to him."

"His own team?" Marvelous asked, though he dearly wanted to ask Gai's aunt. "Do you know what she did to him?"

"No," Ahim told him, looking up at him. "Do you?"

That's what he wanted to know himself. "I intend to find out. Ahim - when Gai wakes up, talk to him. Find out what he's hiding and what she did to him, exactly."

Her entire expression said how uncomfortable with the idea she was. There wasn't anything he could do about it; he needed to find out, otherwise he was down a valuable crew member. "Marvelous-san?" she asked.

"Just find out." He didn't need to add that it was an order. He'd tell Doc the same thing, because Gai was likely to open to one of them. And on the off chance that he was wrong and all Gai needed was a day or two of rest aboard ship, then he'd deal with that.

But he had a suspicion it wasn't.

So, he mentioned it to Doc, who had given him a nervous nod, and went back to his chair. He ate the dinner that Doc prepared, then stared at the screen for a bit, and finally found himself throwing darts. By the time Gai noisily reemerged, he'd headed back into the kitchen to find an evening snack.

Doc entered and  gave him a brief nod, then grabbed a tray full of food - Gai's portion of dinner. He made a motion for Marvelous to keep quiet.

Marvelous didn't need to be told twice. He let Doc leave with the food and stayed in the kitchen, hoping that Doc could keep Gai out.

"Here you go," Doc said. "You missed dinner."

"Thanks," Gai said, sounding as enthusiastic as he ever did. Marvelous presumed he was eating, and let him do just that - Gai needed the food, and food from a safe source.

After a few minutes of eating, Doc must have decided he'd given Gai enough time. "So, what happened down there?"

"Pretty much what I told Marvelous-san," Gai said, though it sounded like he was trying to eat and talk at the same time.

"It must have been scary," Doc said, and Marvelous had to grin. Doc was a better actor than most people gave him credit for. "You were handcuffed to the bed, after all."

Wondering why his team hadn't bothered to tell him things like that, he kept listening.

"Well, I guess my aunt was black ops support, or something like that," Gai said. "It would have been totally cool if it wasn't being used against me." There was a pause, presumably when Gai was eating. "I guess she got trapped in a flashback or something and decided she needed to save me from my own team!"

"Oh," Doc replied. "But you're all right?"

Gai's voice went down in volume, a feat that Marvelous hadn't thought possible. "I'm scared for her. I think she's stuck like that, and I want to get her help. But I don't want her to decide she needs to protect me. And I don't want Marvelous-san to decide to hurt her, either. She's nice, she's just delusional, and she's harmless."

"I think Marvelous is just worried," Doc said, as if confiding something. "He wants to make sure you're all right, that's all."

"I wouldn't mind staying on ship a day or two," Gai admitted. "But it's probably not good for me. I need to keep going is what I need to do! I need to not be afraid. I'm not going to encounter her in a dark alley, and I can get her help."

Oh, Gai was staying on ship, all right, no matter what he thought. It was a captain's prerogative, to say who went ashore and who stayed on ship, and for safety's sake, Gai was going to stay on ship. After a day or three, Marvelous would let him go down with someone else, at least until he was assured his crew member wouldn't be kidnapped by anybody else. Especially if he had any other delusional relatives that Marvelous didn't know about.

"I can't stay scared forever, not of her," Gai said. "I can overcome my fears!"

That brought a grin to Marvelous' face. Gai would face his fears, even if he couldn't right at the second. He shifted to get a better grip on the counter while Gai and Doc talked, and knocked into a pan.

"Hold on," Doc said, and then he entered the kitchen. He stared, as if outraged. "What are you doing in the kitchen, Marvelous?"

"I'm getting a snack," Marvelous said, amused by Doc's roleplay. Had he ever been this fun?

"You know that we're running low on food! If you keep eating out of my pantry, then I'm going to have to go shopping earlier than usual! I don't want to do that."

"It's all good," Marvelous told him. "So what if you have to do that? Doesn't matter to me."

"Marvelous, you're impossible," Don mock-huffed. "All right." He walked out of the room. Marvelous made sure to grab something to eat, a big grin on his face.

Gai was staring at him wide-eyed, as if he wasn't sure if Marvelous had heard everything or not. Marvelous sat down, giving Gai a huge grin, as if nothing had happened. "Eat, eat," Marvelous said, indicating Gai's own dinner.

"Sure!" That seemed to relieve Gai, who tucked into his meal, seemingly glad that Marvelous had 'missed' the entire conversation. As Gai finished, Marvelous nudged him.

"So, you're sleeping with me tonight." He gave Gai a grin, even though inside, he hoped that Gai didn't have any objections. Making sure Gai didn't go anywhere and would be there in the morning would ease his mind.

"Marvelous-san," Ahim said, coming to join them, "Shouldn't you make sure that there isn't some sort of taboo for... something like that?"

Marvelous wasn't sure why she was asking. It wasn't like he was asking Gai for sex, just to be there for him.

But before he could give her a retort, if a gentler one that he'd give someone else, Gai spoke up. "Yeah, kind of! But we're teammates, and none of you are from Earth, so it's okay! It's part of being on a sentai team."

The grin Gai gave him told him that Gai didn't mind at all. In fact, he had to wonder if Gai was attracted to him, and hoped he wouldn't be disappointed in the fact that Marvelous wasn't interested in him at all.

"If you're all right with it, then, Gai-san...." Ahim looked hesitant, but Marvelous was secretly relieved. Gai would be fine, give it a couple of days. And he didn't have to worry about anything at all.

-end


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