A/N: I do not own any rights to any of the DC comics/movies/stories/etc. I however, have ownership of my OC and all other invented characters.
Warning (1): Strong language throughout (entire story)
Warning (2): I will try to be as accurate as I can be with fishing jargon and that of the storylines of DC comics, however, this will be my first story that will take place in the DC universe so please be patient with me...
Warning (3): I am reserving the right to change/alter storylines or input my own to suit the needs of this story. Also, given that this is a fanfiction, I will try my best to keep characters in character but don't get mad if I use my writing judgement and make a character do something that is a little OOC to better fit the story line…
Warning (4): This story also features Aquaman from the 2017 Justice League Movie, not the blond Aquaman… So, you have been warned lol. Along this same line, I know that in the movie it looks like a Norwegian island that Bruce first goes to to talk to Arthur... however, I know about Alaska (fishing, islands, etc.) way more than I do with Scandinavian countries... so... yeah... Alaska...
"Old man Benny was stupid to hire you girl… You're going to curse our entire season…" The man spat at the blonde as he passed by her.
The blonde kept tying down the equipment, but responded to the comment nevertheless.
"Yeah? Well, why don't we have the numbers check for themselves? I don't think you'll be able to put your money where your mouth is."
"Is that right?" The man came to the starboard side of the ship, and the girl stopped tying her netting and dared him to step foot onto the vessel.
"Let's say a hundred bucks…"
"Yeah? Or do you think that you won't be able to come up with that much? Because I was thinking you were a man of two hundred…"
The man smirked at the girl and licked his chapped lips, enjoying this challenge.
"Two hundred it is girly…"
"Let's shake on it" The blonde retorted and held out her hand.
"Honey, that isn't how you do a real deal" the man scoffed but pulled back his hand, spat in it, and then extended it to her.
The girl rolled her eyes and spit on her own hand, clasping hers with his, feeling the warmth of their saliva mix together.
"Sanibel! Get your ass back to work!" old man Benny shouted.
The man dropped his hand from the girl's and looked at the older skipper who was barking out orders to the girl. Then, realization dawned on his face.
"Holy shit! You're Sanibel's kid?"
The blonde turned away and sighed, hoping that no one was going to recognize her last name in the cold artic waters of Alaska.
"Your old man would tell us about his kid with hair that was like a sun-bleached sand dollar… and as I can see, even if you are trying to hide it under that oversized black beanie—"
"Jack, go take your sorry ass back to the hell hole you came from and stop talking to my deckhand!" Benny slurred, tripping over his own feet as he approached the two, a half-empty whiskey bottle still in his hand.
The blonde sighed and was about to get back to work but heard Jack whisper something to her, but she didn't catch what he said so she turned back around.
"Did you say something to me?"
"Yeah… Be careful around Benny, he is a good skipper but sometimes the alcohol can get in the way… and good luck—granted, I don't think you'll need it if you have Sanibel's blood in you… even if you are a quarter of what that man was… you'll become a great fisherman yourself kid."
Jack punched the blonde's shoulder and started to walk away. The girl softly smiled, knowing that the bet she made was now not on the table. Maybe it was her father's way of saying to stay away with the dark tendencies fishermen had—like gambling and betting.
"Grace, what did I tell you?" Benny barked out again.
"Yeah, yeah… I got it old man…" Grace muttered.
"What was that?"
"That's what I thought. Now finish up tying those lines so we can cast off."
Grace nodded her head and adjusted her black hat before bending down and getting back to work.
Grace let the door slam behind her, as she rubbed her hands together. The winter weather was starting to pick up again as dusk approached on this. She knew that the setting of the sun marked the official open season on Alaskan pollock which started in early January, which they were in now, until the middle of April.
"You have no business making idiot deals with the likes of those bastards… Especially since you know they work on high end vessels that will outweigh what we can pull in. What they get in a day, we take a month to get."
"I'm not one to back down from a fight, Benny"
"And neither was your ol' man, but you got no real experience dealing with—"
"Dealing with what, Benny? Because you as sure as hell know I can fish… we both know that the reason why you are skipper right now and not me, is because no company would make a deal with us to bring back product… Because sailors are worse than… I don't know… they are petty and love to talk shit—even when something isn't true and that rubs off on fishing companies… So, heaven forbid if a woman ran a vessel with all that fucking crazed superstitions they go on and on about…"
"You ain't wrong with that, kid… it's just—"
"I know you are trying to take care of me Benny, for my father. But I hope you know that I am a grown ass woman and I can take care of myself. I know what I am getting myself into. Yes, this may only be my second season fishing on a vessel like this, but I'm not a damn greenhorn… I can hold my own."
Benny smirked and took a swig of his whiskey, finishing the contents of the bottle. The man put the empty container on the dash, and took his place at the captain's seat, flipping switches, until the boat lurched forward, and the familiar sound of a running engine filled the cabin of the boat.
"Yah know, you are really like your ol' man—"
"So I've been told" Grace rolled her eyes, cutting off the skipper.
"Would you stop cutting me off? Goddamnit girl, I'm trying to actually say something nice to yah."
Grace crossed her arms in front of her and raised her eyebrows leaning against the console that controlled the ship indicating to Benny that he should finish what he was trying to say.
"I was about to tell yah… that even though you're like him… you're better than your father ever was—both in fishing ability and personality. Not only that, but you're a damn fine deckhand who, as much as I hate to say this, probably knows the interworking's of this ship better than I do—"
"Well, I did fix her up more than once…" the blonde trailed off when she saw Benny give her a dangerous look indicating that she had cut off his words again.
"But those men out there, they just want to see you fail… And I won't tolerate that on my ship."
Grace took a deep breath and smiled softly at Benny, knowing that even if the man was an alcoholic, he had her back. Ever since her father passed away, Benny showed up and decided to take her under his wing. She knew that Benny was t here the night the ocean took her father's life, but she and Benny never spoke of the incident. She knew all too well the horrors that sailors had to endure out in those frigid waters, but whatever happened that night, Benny took it upon himself to be there for her, even if he was under the influence most of the time.
"Thanks, old man." Grace chuckled and punched Benny's shoulder softly before making her way to the stairs in the cabin. She jumped down the first two and heard Benny call out after her.
"And cool it with all the fucking talking like a sailor, I don't want to hear that language on this damn—"
"I could say the same to you!" Grace shouted from the stairwell.
"Don't back talk me and get your ass back on board so we can cast off—"
"Are you sure you can handle it? Because your sight might be a little off with all that alcohol—"
"Don't make me fucking fire you, kid… don't tempt me because I'll fire you right here on the spot!"
"Sure, sure, Benny. I'll make sure to take note of that…" Grace shook her head and licked her lips knowing that Benny's threats were that of a bluff.
Grace leaned over the bow of the boat and watched as the waves broke for the metal. She always loved how the sea seemed to be a place of peace, even when the worst storms broke out. She checked the radar earlier, and the weather was supposed to pick up the further they went out to sea, but it wasn't anything they wouldn't be able to handle.
The blonde felt the cold wind chap her face and couldn't believe that she was back at it for a second season. It was crazy to think that last year, she was just learning everything she could from Benny to the point where she knew she had surpassed him with all things deckhand related. However, she could never read the sea like Benny could… but that came with age and living on the water for over thirty years.
However, as weird as it sounded, Grace felt at home on the open ocean—especially those of the colder variety. She knew that when she was born, she was born without a country. Her parents were trying to find land, but Grace had supposedly come early and instead, she was born on the open ocean on the ship she stood on now. Her mother had died in childbirth, leaving her father to raise her himself—leading her to be well versed in the world of fishing.
Fishing was the only thing her father knew how to do and would always tell Grace that she got her brains from her mother. Her father would always tell her that she never had a birth certificate until she was about three months old, because he couldn't part with the sea after it took her mother's life. Grace had always figured that was why the boat she sailed on was named Mary-Margret because her father knew that her mother wasn't coming back, but he could honor her.
"Grace! Get your ass in here!"
Grace whipped her head around, seeing Benny scream at her with the door wide open with his body half-way out. She was about to roll her eyes and take her time walking over to him, but the look of concern on his face placed unwanted anxiety in her chest. So, the girl jogged to the control room to see what Benny wanted.
Benny held the door open for Grace and let it slam behind the two of them. Usually, Benny was a laid-back skipper, but right now, she didn't think she had ever seen him more focused in her life. All the man did when the blonde entered the room was point at the radar. Grace meandered over to it, and at first glance she didn't see anything out of the ordinary.
"It looks the same as when we departed…" Grace furrowed her eyebrows and looked back at Benny.
"How can you not see…" Benny leaned over and looked at the radar again, this time using his finger to circle what he was seeing.
Grace looked at where Benny was indicating and all she could say was, "shit."
"Go man the nets, we need to get some of them casted off or else we are not going to make it through this storm with all this extra weight on this boat. Grab your fishing boots and gear and let's get to work. We can brave this storm, it's just going to be a bitch."
Grace nodded her head and ran downstairs suiting up in what she called her duck suit. Granted, it wasn't yellow but orange, but nevertheless, it was functional for what she had to do. Hopping around her room taking off the current boots she had on, she started to put on her waterproof, anti-slip boots that she knew were going to come in handy sooner, rather than later.
The storm was in full force as Grace tried to man the deck. Every so often, Benny would come over the loud speaker and yell at her, but his words were whisked away by the strong winds and the waves that crashed onto the deck. She only had to tie down the rest of the gear before going inside. Holding onto the railing of the boat, she crouched down trying to take away some of the impact of the wave crashing down on top of her, soaking her to the bone.
She was freezing at this point, but there was nothing she could do about it now, so she gritted her teeth and pushed herself up when she felt the bow of the boat go up. The blonde knew that she had to make a run for it, because once the bow leveled off again and dipped, there was going to be another wave crashing over her. So, in the split second she pumped her arms and ran to the nets.
However, as fate would have it, Grace slipped and fell, sliding to the side of the boat instead, just as a wave came crashing down overhead. When the water cleared, the girl rolled over onto all fours, coughing up seawater. She had to try again, because she wasn't going to be like everyone said. She was a damn fine fisherman and she was going to prove it to the world.
So, without waiting for the boat this time, Grace launched herself to the rope coiler and latched onto the hard plastic. She couldn't feel how hard she was gripping the plastic, because she had lost all feeling in her hands thirty minutes ago. Grace fought against the winds that pushed her back, but moved to the area where the bait was stored.
Hoping that the refrigerator wouldn't fly forward at any moment and release its contents, Grace used the cord that was next to it and made sure to tie it up. As more water crashed down on top of her, she couldn't seem to get the knot in place. Her hands were frozen, even though her gloves, and she messed up the knot twice.
On the third time, the knot almost slipped through, but a sturdier, bigger set of hands grabbed the rope just in time. The knot was then completed and the pair moved onto the other side of the refrigerator given that the machine couldn't be held back by only one rope.
"What the hell are you doing out here?" screamed Grace over the roar of the wind.
"I should say the same damn thing to you kid! I called you back in numerous of times—"
"I had to save the ship!"
Benny grabbed Grace by the collar and pulled her close to him, looking at her with an intense glare. He couldn't believe what he was hearing.
"Your life is more important than this fucking ship, Grace!"
"Then why are you out here—"
"To save your sorry ass! Now get inside or else I am turning this vessel around and you're staying on shore!"
"No fucking buts! I'm not joking this time either—"
"You have no other deckhands—"
"I'll find someone else… now let's go!"
Benny dragged Grace by the collar, but she wasn't having any of it and pried his fingers from the fabric. Grace shook her head at Benny as she moved back to the machine, to finish what she started. However, before she could reach the machine, she heard the distant sound of a rope splitting. Grace whipped her head around and saw Benny in the direct path to one of the cranes, that had seemed to come lose.
Without thinking, Grace ran towards Benny and pushed him down as the crane came over and swung towards her. She didn't have enough time to dodge it, so, she braced for impact and tried to hold onto the metal when it contacted her. She timed it so the crane just bumped her, but she misjudged how slippery the crane was going to be.
The blonde tried to adjust her grip on the cold, wet metal, but her hands couldn't support her body weight, so, she fell. Grace felt the wind whip her face and her stomach go to her throat. Then, she felt her back hit the frigid water like it was concrete. She hit the water with such force that she could feel her breath being knocked out of her.
Grace started sinking, but she couldn't move her body with the lack of air, nor with her body shutting down from the cold without having her safety wet suit on. The blonde coughed, but only inhaled water. She felt her lungs start to burn not only from the lack of oxygen, but do to the cold.
Reaching her hand up, she tried to reach towards the light that was coming from the boat up above. However, Grace could see her vision start to get blurry as the world around her became silent. She didn't feel cold anymore, and instead, with her lungs burning, she didn't feel anything else besides being at peace with herself.
She figured that if anyone was to pass away on this voyage, it should be her and not Benny. She didn't want to have to deal with anyone else she considered family passing away. Not only that, but, she was born on the sea, so it was only fitting if she died by it as well. The water gave her life, and she realized, that it could take life just as easily.
As Grace sank and the light from the ship grew darker and darker, she felt something grip around her waist, starting to pull herself up to the surface. When she came closer to the surface, the figure that was next to her started to lighten up and she could see long brown hair, complemented by stunning blue eyes. Blue eyes in a way she had never seen before, almost as if they weren't real and were contacts.
As she was being pulled up, it was if the water around her was telling her to hang on, that the surface was just within reach. But to Grace's mind, she just chalked it up to the lack of oxygen flowing to her brain because what was happening couldn't be real—she knew mermen didn't exist in this world and they only existed in fairy tales… not in artic waters.