Title: True Colors (2): Curiosity
Author: Hakase <3
Series: Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger
Spoilers: Up to Episode 30 (At Least My Friend's Soul)
Summary: Marvelous and Doc need to set some things straight...not necessarily themselves.
Previous Parts: Suspicion (link
The tingle was still there, the feather's touch that lingered against Marvelous' lips as he carefully stalked through the galleon's halls. It had been unexpected, at least for him, and he'd never have guessed that the quiet engineer's interests had laid in his direction. But then again, he couldn't deny that he'd liked the kiss, which bothered him far more than he would have guessed.
Inwardly, he was torn. Part of him wanted to rip into Doc for catching him off-guard like that, for daring to make a mockery of what was supposed to be a very serious sort of interrogation. Marvelous did not appreciate being made a fool, and it was just Doc's luck that nobody had been there to witness it.
The other part of him was reveling in the tingle on his lips, remembering the shudder that rippled through the blond man's body as Marvelous had inadvertently pulled him closer, clinging to the memory of Doc's quick gasp as he'd pulled away. No matter how angry or embarrassed Marvelous was, he wanted to experience those feelings again. And often.
“Tch,” he muttered to himself, and turned smartly on his heel. His initial plan had been to try consulting Joe for advice – the former soldier had alluded to having this sort of a relationship in his past – but a burst of pride changed his direction. He wasn't just Marvelous – he was Captain Marvelous, and he could handle these sorts of things himself, or take the ship down trying.
Doc's room lay at the end of the hallway, right next to the secondary engine room and directly underneath the ship's galley. He'd chosen it for its location and the convenience it afforded him, even if that meant the room itself was slightly larger than the broom closet. Marvelous stood outside the door, remembering the room's interior after Doc had moved in. There would be a desk against the left wall, a chest of drawers at the back, and a single twin bed on the right.
The image of the bed solidified in Marvelous' mind, this time with the sheets mussed up and the blond bent over the edge, pleading in that voice of his to go easy, please be gentle-
He felt himself strain against the confines of his pants and twisted his eyes shut, groaning quietly. That was, he noted, more unexpected than usual. At the same time his determination rose and he knocked once, twice, three times with a single clenched fist.
There was a rustling sound inside, although of sheets or just general bustling Marvelous couldn't be sure. But it was followed by a quiet whimper, then silence.
The captain gritted his teeth. “Doc, we need to talk,” he said, trying to keep his voice loud enough to be heard through the door without being too audible down the hallway as well. “I don't want to wait on this.”
The rustling came again, this time closer to the door, and Marvelous saw in his mind's eye the terrified blond wrapped in bedsheets and huddling down next to the door. “Do we...do we really need to talk?” came Doc's voice, scared and muffled by the door. “It could have...you know....just not happened.”
The suggestion twisted something oddly close to the captain's heart, and he grimaced at the far wall. “Do you...want it to have not happened?” he asked as quietly and evenly as he could manage.
Silence followed, and stretched so long that he was worried the engineer had responded and he just hadn't heard. And then, as if just above a whisper, he heard it: “No.”
That something quickly untwisted, and Marvelous found himself filled with the urge to punch the wall with glee. But he caught hold of that urge as he realized it was far more likely to rattle Doc than encourage him, and instead sat on the floor and folded his legs underneath him. “Then open the door, and let's talk about this properly, yeah?”
“No, not yet,” Doc swiftly replied, panic tinting the edge of his voice, and the captain wondered if the blond had seen through his plan of skipping the talk and going straight to the bed. “If...if this is something I...I mean, we...are going to do, I don't...” His voice trailed off and he mumbled something incomprehensible, although Marvelous had a decent guess at what he'd said.
“You don't want it to change things, do you?” The engineer murmured his agreement and the captain sighed, tilting his head back to rest against the wooden door. “It can't work that way, Doc,” he said, toning down his exasperation as much as possible. “Things will always change.” He thought of the tingle on his lips, already so far gone that the ghost of it barely remained. “Things have already changed. Now we just get to decide how much.”
Old memories resurfaced, memories Marvelous had tried a million times to shove down and out of existence, but they always managed to pop back up again whenever he least wanted them. For a moment his poker face twisted into a pained sneer, until he shut his eyes and thudded his head lightly against the door to drive the thoughts away.
“I've...never done this, you know, sort of thing before,” Doc continued quietly, not even noticing the sound of Marvelous' head against the wood. “I don't think I'll...exactly know what I'm doing.”
The memories shot up again, and the captain nearly growled as he forced them back down and locked them away in the dark corners of his mind. “You'll learn,” he replied, forcing calm into his voice. “You're the smartest person I know.”
He thought he heard the engineer puff up a bit at that, and he commended himself on finding what was obviously the right answer to that bit of insecurity. “So, the door...?”
“The others,” Doc said at the same time, apparently pouring out all his fears at once. “How...do you think they'd feel?”
Marvelous covered his face with one hand, moving it just enough out of the way to respond properly. “They don't have to know. Not if you don't want them to.” He pulled his hand away and frowned at the floor as he thought of something. “But I won't lie to my crew.” The memories made a valiant effort against the lock, but it held, and Marvelous was able to keep his cool. “And you shouldn't either.”
Silence fell and held for another long moment, letting the gentle murmur of the ship's engines fill the quiet air around them. Marvelous could feel the slight vibrations in the floor and the wooden door, and he found himself smiling lightly at the thought that the shy engineer had to be sharing that same experience, however insignificant it may be.
Then, without any sort of fanfare, he heard rustling on the other side of the door and it opened, creaking slowly on its hinges, to reveal a flustered Doc wrapped in green plaid bedsheets. The blond's eyes were cast towards the floor, but he lifted them as high as Marvelous' pendant to say, “I'm not ready to tell them. Not yet.”
“Then we won't,” the captain said without hesitation, and took the opportunity to get his shoulder inside the doorway. His body was nearly flush with Doc's, and he felt his breath catch as the blond lifted his eyes to look at his in surprise. For a brief second he worried that he'd moved too quickly, that his presence was unwelcome – but then he realized that the engineer was staunchly not moving away, and in fact, he could feel the light brush of Doc's fingers against his hip.
The wide eyes fluttered away, then back, but only rising as far as the captain's chin this time. “Will you...” he said quietly, in a voice that reminded Marvelous of all those hours desperately trying to teach the engineer how to fight, how to defend himself, only to see him leave himself open and vulnerable each time. “...come in?”
A different sort of smirk spread across the captain's lips. “Of course,” he murmured, and closed the door behind them.
The sun had nearly risen, and it had taken all of Marvelous' willpower to pry himself out of the bed and tug his boots back onto his feet. He knew if he made a fuss, he'd find it even more difficult to leave, so he grabbed his coat and cast one last look back towards the blond sleeping soundly on the bed. Then, as quietly as possible, he opened the door and stepped back into the galleon's hallway.
Light was beginning to seep in through the porthole windows, but the ship remained as quiet as it ought to be, and Marvelous took a moment to stretch thoroughly before sliding his coat back onto his arms. He felt the weight of leadership rest itself on his shoulders along with the heavy fabric, and he was almost ready to go back to being captain when he noticed a shape at the other end of the hall. He turned to look and froze in place at the sight.
Joe stood, not even twenty feet away, at the door of his own cabin room. He'd apparently been in the middle of closing his own door when the captain's entrance had unintentionally interrupted, and he was staring at Marvelous with a mixed look of guilt and disbelief. For a very long moment, the two friends maintained eye contact while each figured out how to react.
Finally, Joe looked away and lifted one hand to hold his forehead. “Must've been my imagination,” he said, and headed down the hallway towards the common room, likely for his morning exercises.
The captain relaxed, straightening the lapels of his coat and walking down the hallway, somewhat calmed by the smirk that had tugged at the corner of Joe's mouth as the young man had walked away.
Secrets didn't last long on a pirate ship, anyway