a/n: hello lovelies! here's another chapter. it's kinda short, but i hope you like it!


"You and your household will sleep in these two rooms," Kougyoku tells him brightly. "My room is right down the hall. If anyone needs anything, please don't hesitate to ask!" She skips off merrily, as though her step-mother hadn't just been murdered by her own cousin. Morgiana had seen the way her eyes had looked, though, and she knows it was just a façade.

Alibaba looks distraught. Morgiana wonders what's bothering him now. Is it something new? She doesn't have time to ponder it deeper as Alibaba speaks up, carrying the same bright tone as Kougyoku. "You heard the princess!" His voice catches on the term. Only she notices. "Go on, we had a long few days of travel. We'll discuss things tomorrow." His household splits up, with most of them going into the room on the right. Actually, she notices, everyone except for herself and Alibaba go into that room.

"Wait, you guys can stay in here with us!" Alibaba protests, stopping Olba before he walks into the other room.

"Eh, most of us are pirates at heart," Olba shrugs. "We like to sleep in tight quarters." He lowers his voice so only Alibaba can hear the next part, and the prince in question turns a bright red. After a hearty laugh and a clap on the back, Olba slips away, leaving Alibaba and Morgiana in the hallway, dumbstruck.

"I wonder what that's about," she says, shouldering both her and Alibaba's belongings as she went into the room on the left. He stammers a bit, still blushing. She drags him into the room as well.

There's a large bed in the middle of the room, which she decides is why the other members of the household are more than content in the other room. She finds a corner of the room to set their stuff down in, and also tosses her prince on the bed. She stops mid-thought, though, because when did she start referring to Alibaba as exclusively hers? She mentally scolds herself. "Alibaba."

"Yeah?" He's sliding off his footwear as he answers. She always thought shoes and the like were ridiculous.

"Is there anything bothering you at the moment?" She leaves it up to him to disclose what he feels is pertinent for her to know.

Alibaba's voice is incredibly quiet. "Sinbad is using Kougyoku as a spy of sorts."

She feels her jaw drop in shock. "Why would she agree to that?"

"She didn't." His voice is dark. "He's using one of his djinns to use her as a recording device."

Morgiana sits down on the bed next to him. "That's horrible. Is he planning something?"

Alibaba shakes his head. "I don't know. But I do know that he's probably using Jafar too. And there's a third person he's using, but I'm not sure who that is or where they are." He grabs his hair in frustration. "There's so much going on and I don't know what to do!"

"One step at a time, remember?" She soothes, placing a hand on his shoulder. "Tomorrow, you'll debrief everyone. They'll be loyal to you no matter what. Then, we can go from there."

He drops his head on her shoulder. "You're right. Thank you, Mor."

"Someone has to keep your head on straight," she says drily, and he laughs into her neck. His breath is warm against her skin, and it does weird things to her stomach.

She lays down on her back, and he lays next to her, taking her hand but other than that keeping some space between them. She's ever thankful for the absence of mass pressed against her tonight. It has been odd recently, and she's trying to take it all in still.

She doesn't mind the hand holding, though.