Bonjour, Corsair

Woo, new story, new story! I promise I'll get back to work on Vendetta! soon but I just had to get this out here. This idea's been floating around in my head for a while now and now it's started. Yay! Chaptered fic. I hope you enjoy.

"Mei, oh we love you Mei!"

"Can, I have your autograph, please?"

"Mei, over here!"

Mei smiled wanly at the photographers nearby as she signed one of her fan's autographs. Honestly, Mei wasn't that keen on being bugged as she shopped, but she could never turn down a fan…or a photo for that matter. Better she be smiling straight into camera instead of being snapped looking 'moody' as the press would no doubt pin it.

"Mei, is your relationship with D'jok on the rocks?" Yelled one reporter.

Mei's face dropped immediately. "No." She snapped.

He'd hit a nerve and he knew it.

"Are you sure? Insiders have claimed you two look very distant recently!"

"And what insiders would they b-" Mei was cut off when a commotion began behind the crowd surrounding her. Suddenly the crowd parted and a man came hurtling through them, running past Mei. Mei watched him go, stunned and then turned around just in time to see a technoid robot hurtling straight for her. Technoid robots were not small, but they weren't slow either.

Mei stared at the oncoming threat, eyes wide and then she braced herself for the pain; the robot was upon her. Then the girl felt herself being yanked away by a firm hand on her elbow. When she next opened her eyes, she was in a shielded alcove with a man in front of her.

"Well that was a near miss." An accented voice spoke up.

The man in front of her was very good looking. He was taller than Mei, perhaps just over six foot, with high cheekbones and a pale complexion. His icy blue eyes were gazing at her in a friendly way. From his eyebrows, Mei could tell he was blond. However, his hair was covered by a red beanie hat. He had an eyebrow piercing and a friendly smile. The Snowkid's defender pinkened slightly.

"Um, yeah," she agreed. "Thank you for that. That robot was definitely going to hit me."

"I was talking about the reporter." Replied the stranger, before grinning.

"Oh," Mei mumbled. "Oh yeah, right."

"Those guys can be pretty shitty," continued the man. "But I know you can handle them. I was just passing by and thought to myself 'well…why should she have to handle them?'"

"Oh," Mei managed again, her eyes widening. She smiled gratefully at him. "Well thank you. I do appreciate it. Pity I'll have to meet them again when I go back out there though."

"Well…" the stranger looked thoughtful before he turned a smile upon her. "I know this place pretty well. If you are wanting to get back to your hotel, I could get you back a secret way?"

Mei felt herself stiffen slightly. "Uh…No, sorry. I don't exactly want to go walking off with some stranger. I hope you understand," she smiled imploringly at the man before her. "I really do appreciate you helping me out back there though."

"Mei, I am not going to hurt you," replied the man. "We do actually know each other, despite what you think."

Mei gave him an incredulous look. "What?" She questioned, bobbing her head forwards slightly.

"Well, we've never actually spoken, but…" the man itched the back of his neck. "It's Stevens? Of the Pirates? We have met…"

Mei's jaw dropped. Stevens? Of the Pirates? Mei had never seen him out of his mask and goggles before.

"I…uh…" Mei stared at him. "I'm sorry. I've just never seen you out of your…your uniform before and um…" she looked him up and down. "I didn't know that you looked like…"

Stevens smiled and raised his hand to wave. "Hi." He chuckled.

"Oh…my God," Mei blushed with embarrassment now. "I'm so sorry Stevens! I…I…"

"Hey, it is ok," Stevens cocked his head and smiled warmly. "People do not usually see me out of my uniform, I get it."

"Why are you out of your uniform?" Mei questioned. The girl had to admit, she found the Pirates rather interesting. Maybe because D'jok's father was one, but also because they were just so…romantic to her. Fighting for justice even if it went against the status quo. Yes, Mei was not afraid to admit she'd had quite a few dreams about joining the Pirates. Though…maybe she wouldn't admit that in front of Stevens.

"Technoid do not know what I look like," Stevens shrugged. "If they were so inclined I suppose they could run their data checkers over me- that way they'd be able to identify me as a pirate due to my prison ID tag, but I just make sure to lay low and keep quiet."

"Wow," Mei breathed. "So you just…walk around?"

Stevens laughed. It was a happy, warming sound and it pleased Mei, she smiled.

"Yeah, like normal people do," Stevens agreed. "Sometimes I even buy things from shops. Crazy right?"

Mei giggled coyly before catching hold of herself and coughing.

"So…want to get back to your hotel?" The Pirate in front of her questioned.

"What?" A thrill ran up Mei's spine and she blushed red.

Stevens' eyes widened. "I meant would you like me to guide you back to your hotel?" He amended.

"Oh," Mei tried to stop herself sagging. At the same time she also began mentally berating herself for both making a fool of herself and for even considering the 'other' option. "Um, yeah. If you wouldn't mind? That'd be awesome."

Stevens smiled at her again. "Of course I do not mind. Come on." He gestured for her to follow and then began leading her out of the alcove. Quickly, he ducked into a button shop. Mei followed, feeling bemused.

The clerk at the counter looked up expectantly. Stevens ignored him and walked towards one of the aisles. He pushed down hard on one of the shelves and a door suddenly appeared near the end of the shop.

"Hey!" The clerk yelped, looking confused and alarmed. "What the-?"

Stevens, without blinking, raised his wrist and clicked at his metal bracelet. There was a white flash and then the clerk fainted. Stevens turned and smiled at Mei before motioning for her to go first. He followed behind her.

"Memory wiping devices. Very helpful in a tight spot." He said, tapping his bracelet lightly.

"I'd quite like one of those." Mei replied and Stevens laughed again. Mei felt a buzz of happiness.

"Maybe I'll get you one," he replied, smiling down at her.

They were walking side by side down a well-lit metal corridor. The door behind them had closed and Mei felt every inch the pirate. The pair walked in amiable silence (Mei didn't feel the need to fill the silence with words. For some reason she felt very safe with Stevens and with this came the idea that she didn't need to pretend.) until they arrived at a section where the metal corridor split off into many different lanes.

"Where are you staying?" The Pirate enquired.

"Um, The Grand Genesis Hotel," Mei answered, she looked around at all the pathways. "You guys can't possibly know which corridor is which, surely? It must be impossible to memorise this."

"There is only one way to find out." Stevens replied before grinning at her and nodding in the direction of one of the tunnels.

Mei gave him a smirk and then headed off towards the tunnel. The corridor they were in was a very short walk. The pair walked for perhaps a minute before they reached a door. Mei pushed on it and it gave way easily. It was revealed that they were in another shop. A shop called 'Madame's Wears' that Mei knew for a fact was just opposite her hotel. She gasped.

Stevens casually tapped his bracelet so the clerk at the counter fainted and then he smiled down at Mei.

"That's amazing." Mei stated, staring out at her hotel.

"They can be handy," Stevens agreed. "In a pinch."

Mei turned to him. "Thank you so much Stevens. I really appreciate it."

Stevens smiled again and then gave her a two fingered salute. "No worries lover," he quipped, backing away towards the door they'd just come through. "Say hi to the rest of the Snowkids from me…though I doubt they'll believe you. Hopefully I will see you around."

"Hopefully." Mei returned her tone quite husky.

Stevens raised his eyebrows and smirked at her and then he was gone, the door shutting behind him. Mei managed then to start breathing again. At this point, the shop clerk woke up again.

"You alright love?" She questioned. "You look like you've seen a ghost."

Mei ripped her eyes away from the -now flat- wall where the door had been and looked to the woman. She smiled.

"I'm great." She replied before waving and exiting the store. Her heart still beating a mile a minute.