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As I Be A Soul

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"Harry, I don't know, but he clearly isn't happy." Uma protested in hushed tones gesturing toward where Gil sat with some other crew members, drinking a glass of water through a straw. Gil had a blank expression on his face. "You need to talk to him. I've got to get this crap done so we can go." Harry nodded, pushing his hair away from his eyes. The thought flashed that Uma should be talking to Gil too, since she was the one who told Harry to kick him out, but he wasn't about to argue.

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Later, Gil sat at a table alone, sulking. It was long after shop closing by more than an hour, but he and Harry were waiting for Uma to finish up her chores. They used to help her get the chores done, but Ursula had chased them out of the kitchen consistently until they resigned to cleaning the shop front and then waiting for their Captain to finish in the back. Harry had been laying draped over the long side table that the crew usually occupied, but had sat up to talk across the eatery to talk to the other boy, "Gil… Gil look't me." He beckoned until he got the other's attention. When Gil raised his eyebrows he stood  and sauntered over to sit across from the other pirate. Harry took a deep breath. While he and Uma had always had a soft spot for Gil, they didn't always let it show. "I don't want you t'take it personally when I have t'defend Uma against you." Harry looked serious, making eye contact with Gil.

Gil considered this, then smiled in a distant way, "I try really hard to be a part of you guys."

"I know you do." Harry promised, "And Uma does too. But we can't let anyone else see that y'can get away with things that they can't."

"I just think sometimes that she's the captain and you're the first mate, and I'm not even a real member of the crew, I'm like… a stowaway."

"Gil…" Harry lamented, "You're not part of our crew, you're right. You're too important t'be part of everyone else." Harry softly admitted. Gil looked up and met Harry's eyes. "Rest o'the crew be drowned, we need you." Gil watched Harry speak and his grin spread, more toward his usual self, with a slight flush covering his neck and cheeks.

"Really?" Gil begged, his puppyishness radiating.

"As I am a soul, Gil." Harry smiled at him. He felt awkward, but his thankfulness for Gil's happiness was enough to persuade Harry into tenderness. Gil stood suddenly and rounded the table to stand against Harry's side, wrapping his arms around Harry's neck and resting his cheek on Harry's head.

"Thank you." Gil muttered, holding Harry. Harry held onto Gil's arms in a return of the embrace. He stayed quiet and Gil didn't retreat.

"You're okay?" Harry said after a long moment,

"Yeah," Gil admitted, "I'm just happy that I have you." He kissed Harry on the forehead.

"And me?" Uma spoke up; she was done her chores.

"Uma." Both boys spoke at once as she approached and put an arm around each of them at the same time, holding the three together.

"And of course you, Shrimpy." Harry goaded, earning a laugh From Gil and a playful shove from Uma. He kissed their captain fully and held Gil's hand. "We ride with the tide."