SasuHina Month Prompt:

Mermaid AU

Also posted on Tumblr. delightfulharmonypoetry

It moved like silk, there was no sun to reflect off it's face, just the moonlight and the gray expanse before her, glaring with it's anger. She stood on the rocks and shivered despite the warmth of her jacket, her rubber boots useless. With the rain falling and the ocean raging the water had made it's way into their depth anyway, and her feet were numb enough that she wasn't sure they were still there, inside the dark material of her shoes.

She squinted through the darkness, inching forward towards the beach. Beneath her the rocks crowded into the coarse sand, cracking together like eggs as she slid along them, trying not to trip. There was so little light, in the vast expanse of the world just the moon seemed capable of brightening the black and she was hiding, nestled in her covers of soft gray cloud.

Pupils dilated partly from fear and partly from the shadows Hinata struggled through the shore, skipping over the rotting logs and sand blasted stone, stumbling over the crustacean covered rock, and the sea weed that threatened to tangle her feet until she felt it's breath on her face.

The sea, the salt and brine and cold slap of it's wildness staring out in a tossing angry tantrum panted at her, rustling her clothes, tearing at her body heat.

"Why are you so mad?" She whispered, and in the downpour with the whistle of the wind ripping her black hair around her face there was no way she was going to hear her own voice. She could hardly hear her own thoughts. Although she did wonder if maybe they would be smooth and shiny with the sandblasting they were receiving in this storm. Would she be able to rinse them in the cool calm of her bathroom to reveal bright colored glass that was once shards?

Probably not.

Her feet met the first wave as it tossed to the shore, encroaching on the land with dislike, biting it, trying to drag it and her along with into it's arms.

She pondered for a moment, if she would let it.

The water roared, a deep beastly growl as it flung itself forward again and she watched in fascination as the waves licked at her calves, then her knees in rapid succession, filling her boots, sucking hard on her limbs so that she staggered in an attempt to stay standing, feeling the pull of the sand as it dragged into the vast abyss of the rolling darkness.

Panic finally fluttered at her chest and she let out a cry, something between a strangled sob and a scream and felt herself slam to the sand, it's corrosion on her elbows, knees, shoulder and then face drawing out a hiss from her lips as she struggled to hold on to the land, to the place where by all rights she should belong.

Why was it tearing away at her then? A million knives biting her skin, taking it apart.

A sound, a boom so loud she was sure it was right above her ripped through the world and hardly a second after a flash lit the world in it's glory, just as the water was hitting her mouth, filling her nostrils, burning with the salt. In the lightening she stuttered, stupefied as the world exploded from black to light, hurting her eyes.

She could see the jagged shape of the rocks, and the shape of her home behind it, tall and empty and dark. The beach was void of life, just the emptiness of the decaying bodies of trees, green tendrils of seaweed and the shining reflective faces of millions of smooth sand battered stones.

And as she gasped, gripping the slipping dissolving sand in frantic fingers she turned and saw his face in the light. Half a second of brightness as his dark eyes penetrated into her. Eyes so black she had only seen that color blue in the depths, out on her father's boat, looking straight down into the endless unknown that was the ocean's heart.

When the water swirled above her and dragged her into an embrace that choked her of life she wondered if maybe she could be with him then, and was less worried, despite the pain.

Waking had never been quite this painful. Usually the pain came after. When she was thinking about the day, about dragging her body out of bed, facing her family, facing her empty studio, the faceless void canvases lined along the walls, the brushes dry, the paint cracking with age.

This time the pain was the first thing she knew, it shot through her chest, it burned her throat, it ate like acid at her nostrils as air was pushed hard into her unwilling bathing lungs.

She felt the lips that closed over hers, they were smooth, unnaturally so, so soft she wondered if they were actually lips, but then there was the voice that came with them.


She coughed, and the blinding pain intensified with each retch of her body, the water pumping out of places it should never have been. A sound like a dying creature escaped her as she rolled onto her knees and hacked, the liquid spilling between her lips. Wincing she looked up, in time to see the stunned look on his face.

They were on the shore and though the rain was still pouring the storm had passed, the lightening a distant scratch of light across the harbor, the clouds receding with it, allowing the moon to filter down her sight, lighting on him.

It happened in a mess of sparkles, the glitter began on the reflective surfaces of his scales, on the smooth glass-like fins where toes should have been and then brightened until she was blinded and had to gasp and cover her face.

He exploded, light and water and the smell of the wild wind and when it faded to just the soft moonbeams and glowing falling snowflakes she could see, just as he could, that where his tail had been, there were instead legs.

Her chest was burning, still aching from the salt water in her lungs but even if she had not nearly drowned she was sure the pain of her heart beat attempting to get out of her body would have hurt just as much.

"You're a..." she began, her voice wrecked by the salt, sand and water she had swallowed. The ocean was in her mouth, and it had demanded her voice. She cleared her throat painfully, and scrambled to remove her jacket.

He sat beside her on the sand and stared at his feet as though they were new because they were, behind his ears she was sure there had been sharp angled scales that now were just jagged lines of his black hair.

Handing him the fabric to use to cover himself she shook, her body freezing in the aftermath of the storm, her clothes plastered to her and heavy. "You're a..." she tried again, and found she could not finish the sentence. He finally turned to her, and his dark eyes were less than impressed, the force of his displeasure rankled her almost as much as nearly drowning.

"So this is why they say never to kiss those of The Shore." He hissed.

That's when she realized, as her fingers touched her mouth where he had breathed life back into her. She owed him big.

He could not go back into the sea, it would not want him as he wanted it, and reluctantly he had agreed to come with her. He was cold, probably a first for him, and the body shivers that were taking over her own limbs seemed to be transferring to him.

Thankful that she lived alone she stumbled up the steps, half dragging, half carrying him as the realization that he didn't know how to use his legs dawned on her.

The muscles were all there, but the idea of being vertical was probably new and together, clasping at each other they stumbled into the glass and metal and tile of her house sitting by the sea.

The door opened with a silent hinge and as soon as they were inside he crumbled to the solid cold tile floor, breathing hard as though he had run a long ways.

Panting a little herself she scrambled past him, trying not to step on him in the dark and shoved the door with a grunt to shut it, slamming it and filling the space between them with a silence that was unnatural after the screaming storm and the howling sea.

Windows, floor to ceiling spread from beside the door along the main sitting room where her guests sat before being brought into her studio. Before when she had actually worked they had been offered things like wine, cheese, champagne and caviar to munch on as they waited for her to be ready to allow them into her sacred space, the place where she painted.

However the room had been unused in so long she had nearly forgotten it was there, despite living in the house and thankful for the smooth white couch that lined one wall along the windows she reached down and took him by the arms, feeling the incredible smoothness of his skin beneath her fingers. "Here. Come sit here, it will be less c-cold than the floor." Heaving to get him to his feet she stumbled and they nearly fell but righted themselves at the last second, just in time to let him collapse onto the couch.

Somewhere behind them was the jacket she had offered him and he was naked, completely and utterly naked.

Usually this would have made her supremely uncomfortable but to her surprise she actually did have an ultimate level of discomfort and it had been breached, nothing could phase her at this point. Not after seeing fish tail turn to strong legs.

Swallowing hard she stood there face in her hands, breathing hard through her abused painful throat and lungs.

"'re a..." she tried again, and the words wouldn't come, they caught on her larynx, clinging to sanity for her in a way she felt she must have lost some time ago.

"We are called Sylph." He snapped, and his mood reflected outside as another string of lightening and thunder screamed across the harbor, making her jump and look past him through the window to the drifting storm.

"Sylph." She whispered, dragging her gaze from the tantruming nature outside and back down to him, jumping at the glare of his black eyes gazing back at her.

"Ah! I... clothes." she stated and turned, running and stumbling through her house and up the stairs that floated from the wall up to the landing in her chrome and glass world.

"Where is this place?" He shouted, and his shout was no less impressed than his quiet melodic voice. Panting and not from the run up the stairs Hinata ripped through her wardrobe, knowing there were some of her cousins old things around here somewhere.

"...I..." she stuttered, unsure of what he was saying. "My house. We're at my house."

Turning around she jumped, finding him in her bedroom, a shadow in the dark with only the moon and the stars outside finally recovering from the chaos to illuminate him.

Glad for once that she forgot to turn the lights on she breathed in sharply, realizing... there was a man.

A naked man.

In her room.

"Here." she threw the clothes at his feet and scampered into her en suite bathroom, turning the hot water on, keeping the lights off for both their sakes.

"You... you can shower... if you want... to get warm, and there's towels... and I... I... I will make us something warm, to drink..." she scrambled past him, ignoring his penetrating dark stare and down the stairs, before he could say anything else in the melodic voice she knew was going to haunt her dreams when she slept.

Alone, finally in her kitchen she realized, the lights wouldn't be coming on. The power was out. Swallowing hard she lit the gas stove and put the kettle on, realizing that the reason there was liquid all over the counters was that her wet clothes were dripping everywhere, coating her usually clean sterile world in the sand and salt and gritty water of the seashore.

Shivering in her damp mess she breathed in and moved towards the stairs, staring up at the mouth of the hall where her room was. Dry clothes would be nice... and a shower... but...

She could hear the pounding of the water in her bathroom, and steeling herself she moved forward slowly, breathing in through her nose to keep herself as calm as possible peering into the room to find it empty, and the clothes she had thrown at him still sitting on the floor, where she had last seen them.

I'm having a nervous break down.

Blinking owlishly in the dim light she moved forward, expecting the bathroom to be empty. She had gone down to the shoreline with little intention of returning so surely, this was the follow up to that disaster. Maybe she had hit her head, when the wave had tried to eat her? Maybe she had gone mad living alone in her glass and metal house by herself for months?

Swallowing hard she peered into the bathroom, the tiles reflecting the broken light from the window above the claw foot bathtub and the shower head that was pounding water down, startled to see through the curtain his shape in the darkness.

She blinked, hard, painfully hard, trying to dispel the image, but opening her eyes did nothing. He was still there, head bowed, face in his hands, just breathing.

Slowly she pulled back, into her room, swallowing the knot that seemed determined to make a home in her throat.

This can't be happening.

Slowly, with trembling pale fingers that she had not noticed were turning a little blue she pulled a pair of dry pants and a baggy long sleeved black shirt from her closet, shutting herself up in the darkness of the walk-in to change, fumbling with her bra and panties, stuck on to her body by the wetness of the sea.

Her breathing was shaky, she could hear it in the stillness and shuddering she pulled on her clothes, her skin sticky with cold and salt.

"...girl." His voice made her freeze and then panicked she yanked on her shirt, pulling it down just as he peered into the closet. He stared, studying her intently.

"You have new skin." His statement was so unbelievable she just stared, and then slowly lowered her eyes to herself.

"They... they're clothes." she whispered, and jumped as he entered the closet, which was big, but not exactly for sharing. His eyes traveled over her shape, and to her shock moved to pull on the hem of her shirt, tugging on it. "Not skin." His gaze lifted and in the dimness she couldn't decipher his expression as he studied her, taking her chin in one of his hands, almost able to envelope her small features in his grip. "This is skin." he muttered, almost to himself, uncaring of the panic widening her pale gray eyes.

Aware that he was probably still naked in this moment Hinata felt the old resurgence of her blush coming back, heating her face. Startled he jumped back.

"Your skin burns." He studied her again, the same way, she realized, she was studying him, with barely contained terror.

"Sorry." She whispered. "You... you have to put the clothes on. They're over... out... out there." Her hand lifted to point and he took it, pulling her. "Show me."

"Ack!" her gasp escaped her as she was propelled into her bedroom, and eyes down she grabbed the clothes, showing him with her gaze firmly fixed on the material in her trembling hands. "This... is the shirt. This is... this is the pants- top and bottom." she stretched them out to him and without a word he took them.

"Bare skin disturbs your kind." It was a statement, more than a question.

She swallowed, more awkward now that he seemed to realize her discomfort. "Yes."

Slowly, as he seemed to be trying to figure it out he pulled the pants on beside her, and then fiddled with the shirt until his frustration came out in a "Tch." of displeasure.

"Here." she mumbled, taking it and untangling the knot he had made of it. Hands shaking she helped him get his head and arms into it, stepping back as he pulled the white shirt down.

Able now to look at him she stepped back, feeling the light headedness she had been ignoring filter through her body.

"What... what did you say you were?" She breathed in, and he looked at her with the same eyes she had seen in the flash of the lightening at the shore, almost in a different life. The same dark agonized blue that was closer to black.

"Sylph." the word had the same familiarity on his mouth that "girl" or "human" had on Hinata's and she swallowed hard, feeling the frame of the door way hit her shoulder. Slowly she leaned on it, staring at him.

"I really...I really messed up."

His eyes did all the talking. Yes. You did.

She struggled to sleep, tossing and turning, knowing that he was downstairs, wondering if when she woke he would be gone.

He did not want to talk. He did not have questions. He was mad. Angry that his fins and his scales and his freedom had been taken. He glared at her with a venom she found hard to match, and despite her thanks for his saving her life he remained unmoved.

It was her fault, and therefore, he wanted her to figure out how to make him... Sylph again.

Merman. He's a merman. Her head was pounding, and no amount of water, or closing her eyes or painkillers seemed willing to get rid of the pain, not until she finally fell asleep, with a worry that she would wake and he would still be there, on the couch downstairs in her house.

Or worse, that he would be gone.

She still had not decided which was worse when she jolted awake to the feel of someone grabbing her wrist and pinning her hard to her bed, the blast of the sun ripped through her eyes and made her wince, her curtains were open and like most of the house a whole wall was made of glass, letting her stare out to the sea she loved so much she had thought to let it drown her.

"Ah!" she gasped, and felt her heart stutter as she turned to look up at him. He was more broad shouldered and muscled than she had realized in the dark of the night and his skin glowed in the brightness of the sun, porcelain was not the correct way to describe it.

Like dew, translucent.

Her cheeks blazed red and she stared up at him in half admiration half terror. "You need to figure out how to get me back home." He snapped. "Enough sleeping."

Mouth agape she stared some more. "Back... back- how am I supposed to know how to-"

"You're the one that changed me into this." He gave her a shake that made her gasp although it lacked force against her mattress. "Why did you lure me into the sands?"

"L-lure-?" the brightness of the morning was dazzling her tired confused brain. He was dazzling. The whole situation was a sparkly frightening mess. "I didn't lure- what?" Her confusion in turn confused him and with a slow uneasy breath he searched her face, as though looking for a clue as to her plans.

"What were you doing in the water?" There was no room for arguing, his tone was deadly and straight, like the edge of a blade, his grip on her wrist tightened and she felt the weight of his new legs along her thighs, threatening.

"...I... I don't know.."

"Don't lie."

She blinked, thinking back. What had she been doing?

There was the storm, the flash of thunder in the distance across the water. There was the pelting of the rain, the drag of the wind.

There was the pain, eating her alive in her chest. The hollow nothingness. Her pills untouched in her nightstand table.

She shivered beneath him, and he wondered for a moment how someone could have eyes that were like the clouds, things he had only seen once or twice in his life, pale gray and white. They were pure. Like the light that filtered from her world to his.

"I...think I was...planning to die."

Her words made his mouth, soft and delicate looking, like the smoothness of a new born's lips part.

"That's..." He breathed slowly, releasing her wrists and sitting back on his brand new heels, shoulders loosening in defeat.

"That's what I was trying to do."

They stayed still, eyeing each other with mirrored confusion and wariness, Hinata's cheeks still blazing red, although her breath had finally slowed to a steady rhythm.

"I'm... my name is Hinata." She whispered. He lifted his gaze again to her, and the light stroked through the iris, setting the black into a dazzling show of blues and greens. Light, passing through the ocean. She sucked in air hard, trying to dispel the feeling of drowning that washed over her.

"I'm Sasuke."

Slowly, delicately, she pushed herself up to her elbows, swallowing the knot that had made camp in her throat again. "We should... I... let me make you breakfast?" It was almost a question, and he stared at her for a moment again, unflinching in his gaze, uncaring of her discomfort beneath it's touch.


" you were..." She paused, rubbing her still gritty, salty forearm over her forehead for a moment, her hand occupied with a flipper that was stirring eggs around in a pan less carefully than she usually would, seeing as there was a distracting merman sitting on her bar stool at the island.

A merman.

I've gone crazy. I've gone completely off the rails crazy.

"You think that we...that people- me, girls... that go into storms are luring you- your people to their death." She stared at the counter, trying to equate that.

"You're called the Sufines." He frowned at her. "We are told not to kiss you, or we die."

Her pale gray eyes lifted upwards to him and if only for a moment held his dark stare, an ache that was unfamiliar wriggled in her chest. An ache that was not for her, but for him.

"I... I don't kill people." she whispered softly, turning back to the eggs on the stove. "We call you mermaids...or men, depending... and... some of you drown us."

"We do not." He sounded offended, and she raised her shoulders nearly to her ears in defense, refusing to turn around.

"Well... I'm sorry but I..." she sucked in air again hard. The feeling of drowning was coming and going like the tide. "I barely decided to let myself go and so, I'm not going to kill you." I could barely decide that for myself.

"No." His tone had changed, just a bit and she glanced over her shoulder at him. He sounded tired.

"I don't know how... to fix it." she whispered.

His eyes held hers, the same impassive disinterest there in her discomfort looking back. When he didn't say anything she turned back around, and began to dish out the eggs, slicing the avocados and tomatoes to go along with it, hands shaking slightly.

"Why did you?" He finally asked and she stiffened, wishing that he had not asked the question she had been dreading. She didn't know the answer herself. She didn't know why letting the ocean have her had even been an entertained thought. In a show of force, like a kicked dog on the street she turned, pushing the plate of food towards him, jaw tight.

"Why...did you?" She looked up at him as she cracked pepper onto his omelette.

Everything about him Soft and delicate, despite the masculinity in his structured jaw, his cheek bones and elegant nose. Everything looked, glossy... fresh. She studied her chapped hands and wondered if she looked raggedy to him.

"Maybe I'm dead already." He muttered, frowning a little at her. " did kill me."

Hinata looked up, surprised by his reply. "...maybe there's no way back." She whispered it, as she realized. "Maybe that's why...your people think we kill you."

His gaze held the sickening truth, the acknowledgement of her words. Because even as she voiced it she knew. That's what it was.

They never went home. None of them. So then...

I have... a permanent merman...

first time participating in the sasuhina month prompts. :) this is fun.

its part one of two.