Henry walked up as Aaron was showing the Judge workings of the Sea Cove. “We’ve been friends for twenty years plus, and you thought you’d just go out on your own.” The Judge looked at the display, “I thought it was best, you were there that night.”
“Yes I was, and I was there the night after the fire, and every night of the recovery.” Aaron climbed into the Sea Swallow, “Headed out for patrol.” The two men watched as he headed out. That’s when they heard the anger behind them.
“He’s faced chain wielding thugs, machine guns, even the one woman with the harpoon. He’s never backed out of a fight, and the two of you push him away in two minutes. Henry, I get your anger, Eric, I get your reasoning. I think you’re both were right, and equally as wrong. We’ve all made mistakes, but that man out there can’t afford this one.”
Carla continued, “He’s lost everything. His parents, the woman he loves, even his face. He’s had to switch identities just to survive. We are his only family, and it’s supposed to be Thanksgiving. Let’s get it together, or do you two want to kill another piece of that boy out there who had to grow up to soon?”
When Aaron came back, an hour later, Henry and the Judge were playing chess. “I’ll take the winner.” Aaron said. The two men acted as one, repeating a gesture that was almost one nature. Henry and Eric each pointed a thumb to themselves. The Sea Horse smiled like he hadn’t in years, removed his mask, and walked toward the galley.
After he left Henry looked at Eric. “After that smile, I have expected to see his old face under that hood.” “Me too, it was creepy. Is there any of that boy left?”, Eric asked. “His heart is still there, but there’s so many layers of walls surrounding it, it scares me.”
“Aunt Carla, can I help with anything?” “You can stir the dressing. How are they?” “It’s tricky, but they seem to be getting along. What did you say to themselves?” “I simply reminded them that we are all family, even if we’re not blood.” Aaron hugged his adopted Aunt, before the tears started. “No crying on Thanksgiving, you’ll get the dressing soggy.”
She laughed, until she heard another voice. “Don’t forget the broccoli casserole.” She spun around to see her son Webb walk through the doors. Aaron smiled, “I brought a hitchhiker along with me.”
Webb was over six feet two, dark hair, and had his Mother’s green eyes. He had his father’s frame, but his Mother’s features. Webb, the former college football hero, was now a science professor at M.I.T. He had always acted as an older brother for Aaron, even now.
Webb helped Aaron streamline the technology he used in the Sea Cove, and the Sea Swallow. Laughter filled an unusual Thanksgiving location, but they didn’t care how strange their location. It was Thanksgiving, and family can celebrate in a cave, or a diner, or anywhere they find themselves.
Tomorrow, The Sea Horse would face High Society, almost get blown up, and suffer two broken ribs. He didn’t know it, but it wouldn’t have mattered if he had. His family was here, and it was time to laugh, to smile, and to give Thanks.