Coming Home
Chapter 1 - Arrival

Notes: The movie "The Thirteenth Year" belongs solely to Disney, as far as I know. I do not pretend to own it (heck, apart from the money, I don't even know if I'd want to), and am making no profit from using it. This story contains slash, and it's entirely your decision whether to read it or not, so don't blame me for the content.

They hadn't been entirely sure, at first, when to go down to the beach.

Cody had said that he would be home before school started, but that wasn't exactly a precise time. So his parents had sat at home and waited and worried, until exactly one week before school was to begin.

That night, Mr. and Mrs. McGrath were plagued by strange dreams of their son, willing them to come join him down on the beach. In their dreams they saw themselves, early in the morning, walking along the coast until they came to the place where the beach hit the rock shelf. And there was Cody, lying on the sand with his tail flipping idly back and forth. He looked at them, and smiled.

After comparing notes the following morning, Mr. and Mrs. McGrath immediately followed their intuition and headed down to the beach. The morning was cold and gray with a light fog, but the brisk breeze promised a brighter day once the sun really got into the swing of things. Nevertheless, they both wore jackets against the chill.

Reaching the sand, they were only mildly surprised to see Jess and Sam waiting there as well.

"Hello Mr. and Mrs. McGrath," said Sam politely.

"Dreams?" asked Jess, without preamble and with a rather knowing look. "Us too." He indicated Sam. "If the timing is exact to what he sent, he should be here any minute."

As one, the four of them turned to watch the water. Suddenly, as if waiting for that signal, a tail appeared above the waves, showing briefly before disappearing back under. It rose again, closer this time. The third time it was shallow enough that Cody's head peaked above the waves. He was grinning.

Jess and Mr. McGrath waded into the water and helped to pull him ashore. He sat above the tideline, smiling happily at the lot of them. "Did you miss me?" he asked with a chuckle.

Mrs. McGrath knelt down and hugged him tightly. He had grown a bit over the summer, she thought. "You know we did," she said, through what sounded suspicously like tears.

Mr. McGrath hugged him next, followed by Jess. Sam stooped down last, and looked into his eyes. "I really missed you Cody," she said, and leaned in to kiss him gently.

He didn't respond.

Slightly uncertain, Sam pulled back, recovering quickly and plastering on a bright smile.

"I missed you all too," Cody said, turning to look at his parents. They smiled happily, a bit giddy at having their son back.

Cody looked down at the fins on his forearms. "My mother gave me this spell," he commented, ignoring the widening eyes of the others. "It should make it so that when I dry off, my Undersea half disappears. I can't completely submerge myself underwater though, or it will reappear again immediately, and I'll have to dry off again. Which means no swim team." He frowned slightly. "Of course, that shouldn't matter, I think I got enough swimming in Undersea."

"If you just need to dry off, then this might help," commented his father, handing him a towel that they had brought along.

Cody accepted it gratefully and went to work sponging the moisture off of his scales. As the water left them, the shimmering blue patches shrank and receded, leaving behind skin that was pale, and very much human.

Cody was very quickly human again, and wrapped the towel around his waist to preserve his modesty. Mr. McGrath gave him a hand, and he stood up.

"Whoah!" Immediately he wobbled unsteadily, and almost fell over. His father caught him though, and steadied him until he regained his footing.

Cody laughed sheepishly. "I guess I've gotten unused to walking." Nevertheless, he tried a few tentative steps, and managed them without too much difficulty. He smiled happily, and together with his family and friends, walked home.

- Next Chapter -

Please sir, I'd like some more.
Take a risk and feed the tiger.