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Better to Have Loved

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Better to Have Loved (Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger)

By Haruka (haruka@ymail.com)

--

"You lost the bet, Doc!" Luka Milfy said triumphantly. "You have to do it!"

Don 'Doc' Dogoier made a face. "Can't we go double or nothing?"

"No!" his fellow pirate said gleefully. "A bet's a bet."

Ahim de Famille looked concern. "I'm not sure this is a good idea."

"I agree with her!" Don said emphatically. "I may not even survive this!"

Luka made a dismissive noise. "Of course you will, if you choose carefully."

Don's shoulders drooped and he began leaving the room. "Doc-san," Ahim followed for a few steps, "Are you sure you want to do this?"

Don looked back at her, then at Luka. "A bet's a bet," he repeated the other girl's words, then left.

"Luka-san," Ahim turned to her, her pretty face full of concern, "I know you said you knew what you were doing, but –"

Luka patted her shoulder. "It's okay, don't worry! Trust me, this is going to be good for him once it's all over."

Ahim smiled back at her, willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.

--

Don wondered how he got himself into this. He really should have known better than to make any kind of bet with Luka, but she'd been strangely insistent.

Now he was supposed to make a pass at one of the other boys on the Gokai Galleon.

His stomach curled up inside him as he thought about doing that to Captain Marvelous or Joe Gibken. Either one of them would no doubt react violently — more so if either saw him do it to the other, because he knew they were already involved.

That left Ikari Gai, and the idea of doing that to him made him feel even worse. Not only would the enthusiastic newcomer accept the advance just because he was too nice to punch him for it, but Don really did like Gai …'that' way. It made it harder to go through with this, as he cared what Gai thought of him. He'd wanted to tell him about the attraction for a while, but there never seemed to be a good time. Not to mention Don's own shyness getting in the way.

However, now there was no choice. Marvelous and Joe were impossible options – it had to be Gai. Maybe he could find a way to fulfill the terms of the bet without making a big deal of it or embarrassing himself.

A couple of hours went by, and Don knew that Luka was getting antsy about his not having gone through with his end of the bet. It was almost dinnertime, so he figured she'd be more distracted by her stomach for a while, but the reprieve wouldn't last long. He'd have to do something, and do it soon.

Well, he thought with a sigh as he wiped his hands on his apron, can't avoid it any longer. He brought the last dish out to the table.

"Come and get it!" he called, and went back to the galley to make sure he hadn't missed anything.

The pirates descended on the table like locusts, with the exception of ladylike Ahim, who seated herself daintily. As Don returned, he realized Gai was standing up, leaning over the table to look at a paper Marvelous was holding. Don's gaze went to the other boy's backside, which was conveniently positioned, providing the chance he needed — if he had the nerve to take it. Drawing a deep breath, he passed by, giving Gai's bottom a casual swat on the way.

That counted as a pass, right? It better, he thought, as he'd probably never be able to do anything like that again.

He realized then that Gai had looked back at him, startled, but thankfully didn't appear ready to beat his brains in.

After dinner, when everyone went back to their own activities, Don was starting to wash the dishes when he heard Gai say, "Don-san?"

Trying not to blush, Don managed an awkward smile. "Hey, Gai. I hope dinner was okay."

"Oh! Yes, it was really good, everyone liked it." He picked up one of the wet plates and began wiping it with a cloth. "Don-san," he began slowly, "could I ask you something?"

I'd really rather you didn't, Don thought nervously, but said, "Of course."

Gai kept wiping the plate, although it was already dry. "When we were about to eat, you … slapped me. Why?"

Oh boy. "Um, I was trying to get by and you were kind of in the way." As soon as he said it, he wished he hadn't, but he still couldn't tell him the truth. EITHER truth.

"Oh," Gai said in a small voice, "I'm sorry."

Don groaned inwardly. He couldn't leave things like this.

"That isn't the real reason," he admitted, giving him a guilty look. "I don't really want to tell you because you may not see me the same way afterwards."

Gai paused. " I can't see how anything you tell me could change how I look at you."

With a sigh, Don met his eyes. "There was a bet, and Luka said I had to make a pass at one of you guys."

"Oh," this time Gai's voice was even smaller. "And you chose me because I was a convenient target. Right place, right time."

"That was part of it, but the real convenience was that it was you who …." He took a deep breath. "Who I wanted to … do that with in the first place."

Gai looked confused. "You wanted to smack my butt?"

Don put his face in his hands. "No, not exactly. I mean …." He looked at him helplessly. " I find you … attractive. I wanted to let you know, but wasn't sure how."

"And you thought smacking my butt would tell me?"

"I'm going to go fall on my sword now." Don started to walk away.

"No, no, no!" Gai bounded in front of him, grinning. "Don-san, I like you too! And as weird as it sounds, I understand what you said. I'm glad you chose me to make a 'pass' at, because I'd have been jealous if you chose Marvelous or Joe."

"I'd also be dead," Don said, not even trying to hide his own wide grin. Feeling bold, he reached out and took Gai's hand. "Thanks for being so understanding, and for … being you."

Gai bounced in place, unable to contain his happiness. He leaned over and kissed Don, whose eyes widened in shock at first, then drifted closed as he gave himself over to it.

Luka strode into the kitchen. "Doc, I've been thinking, and I'm not sure that swat counts as a pass –" She stopped suddenly upon seeing them, and folded her arms. "But THAT does," she said with a smile. "Now I can go tell Ahim 'I told you so.'" She waved her hand and headed out the door. "I was never here, carry on."

The boys watched her go, then burst into laughter and embraced once more.

--

(2012)

Gokaigers belongs to Toei.

This fic is not to be reposted.