Muteo cradled the slumbering infant lovingly in her slender arms, watching the currents of the underwater kingdom stir the strands of her halfling daughter's light black hair in little circles. The red half-circles above the child's closed dark eyes noted her sea heritage, as did the shades of her skin; yet the color of her eyes and hair whispered of his blood. "Ha Ya Mi," she sang quietly to her infant, "Ha Ya Mi is your…father…" Opening one dark eye and sneezing, little bubbles drifting up lazily to the distant surface, she stretched her chubby arms up to touch her mother's pretty, elfin face. A wetness much like the sea water surrounding them touched Muteo's eyes and she closed her eyes, smiling sweetly down at the child. "I am taking you," she sang, "to Ha Ya Mi…he will…accept you easier…than my people will…"

Swift, powerful thrusts of her slim legs brought both females closer to the one area of land that rivaled the size of a continent. One coastline, a certain stretch of beach, was where he had taken up living. Her heart, for an instant, ached painfully. Rejection, she feared he would reject their daughter…conceived in the ocean he had called 'Pacific,' on the wreckage…

Finally, she kicked her leg and felt sand brush the tips of her black toes. Muteo shot up, head breaking the surface, crystal droplets of sea-water spraying about in a soft fall of pretend rain. Her daughter inhaled her first lungful of air and coughed softly, unused to the purity of it. "Oh, oh," Muteo cooed, and then she whispered a quick song she had learned from the Musaka, hushing her daughter and glancing up anxiously to see the quaint house built on a large solid rock face. In one window moved a tall, broad-shouldered shadow, nursing a mug of some steaming liquid.

She switched her daughter from the crook of her arm to her hands and she lifted the baby girl up, hands firmly wrapped around her tiny ribs. Infinite sadness filled Muteo's eyes and she kissed the girl, softly, in a final good-bye. "Be free…little ocean," was the last song the child heard.

And then, padding swiftly, quietly up the sand to the steps leading to the door, she stared at the wooden contraption set on brass hinges. Hoisting her daughter up to her shoulder and creeping silently up the steps, she moved to the door, rapping her knuckles against the wood surface, setting her and his daughter on the planks a safe distance from both the steps and the door.

In a flash, Muteo hid herself under the deck, spreading herself flat along the smooth rock surface. Above her, the door creaked open and Hayami's muffled, tired voice asked, "Who's there?"

An answering wail resounded from the pleading, naked infant girl. Muteo heard him drop the mug of steaming drink, sending it pouring between the planks before her. Moments passed, pressing and anxiety filled, until he crouched and clumsily lifted his unknown daughter. The door swung shut after another moment and sadly, Muteo lifted her fingers up in an unseen wave, opening her mouth and crying the mournful song of the seagulls.

She retreated to the ocean.


Tetsu Umi didn't want to listen to her father's explanations any more. "You can't marry Kino!" the five-year old cried, balling her pitch black hands into fists, tears stinging her dark, naturally red-rimmed eyes painfully. "She isn't my mother!" Kino turned away, stung by the sharp words, though her shoulder-length auburn hair blocked her hurt face. Hayami opened his mouth to try and calm his daughter, but she ducked under his arm, bolting out the door, along the boardwalk and past the other families' houses, ignoring the occasional jeer at her unusual appearance as she vanished into the coastline fog, instinctively running to the ocean.

Reaching the shoreline, Umi knelt, rocking back on the balls of her heels, wrists covering her eyes, arms guarding her tear-streaked face as her thin shoulders shook under her flannel shirt, racked by painful sobs. "It isn't fair!" she wailed with all the logic of an angry child. "I don't want Kino t'be my mother!"

Soft shuffling sounds reached her elongated, pointed ears and she opened her eyes, squinting out at the fog-covered ocean. "Who's there?" she sniffled, rubbing at the drying traces of tears.

A questioning, lilting alto hum replied as a lithe figure crept forward, moving calmly through the water, little splashes chiming here and there. It was a woman, Umi realized, one of the lovely maidens of the sea her father told her bedtime stories of. This one's face leapt at her as she stood up, moving forward to meet the sea-woman halfway.

She didn't look exactly like a woman, more like a girl verging on womanhood. Her red eyes were rimmed by red on her eyelids, skin soft and white, though it merged into yellow at times, which, in turn, melted into black. Silver-grey locks framed a slim face and an unsure smile tugged at the being's lips, revealing tiny fangs as pointed as her long, sharp ears.

Umi gasped, watching with wide brown eyes as the sea-girl-woman crouched before her, smiling.

"Ha Ya Mi's…daughter," she sang to Umi and Umi, wonderingly, stretched out her chubby fingertips to touch the eerily beautiful face lightly. "My…daughter…"

"You're my mother?" Umi asked, believing already. This ethereal being clearly resembled herself and the sincere love behind the words convinced the young child completely.

"Muteo," she smiled. "I…am Muteo…you are…?"

"Umi," she beamed, then she wrinkled her wisping eyebrows together in concentration. "Could you teach me how to sing?"

Muteo smiled again, eyes shining happily. Suddenly, she grasped Umi's stomach with both hands, swinging the frightened girl out into the deeper water. To Umi's surprise, she felt immediately at home. Hayami had always kept her under close rein, as if he didn't want her to get lost in the ocean, and the children at school had said there were evil things that would drag a different child like her to her doom.

Under the surface, in the salty water, Umi kept her eyes open and it didn't burn, like they all said it would.

A cloud of bubbles told her that Muteo, the one who was her mother, came up beside her. Glancing over at the dainty woman, she saw her open her mouth and suck in water, exhaling. Umi copied the movement and found this, too, felt natural. There was no inflammation feeling in her lungs, only a feeling of freedom.

"I will teach now," Muteo sang gently. "I will teach my little ocean how to sing…"


That's the prologue! Okay, 'Umi' is a Japanese girl's name meaning ocean. So, yeah, there were some puns in this part of the fic. *^.&* Did you like it? I'm sort of unsure whether or not anyone will enjoy this, much less read it. *Please* tell me what you think!


Blue Submarine No. 6 and all characters - disregarding Tetsu Umi - are © to Bandai, Toonami, Cartoon Network, WB!, AOL, etc.
Lyrics to "Motto Suteki na Asa ga Kuru yo" were obtained from and are © to all affiliates of Takeuchi Naoko's KODANSHA series "Bishoujo Senshi Sera Mun," including TOEI Animation and DiC. Both versions of the song are from the Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Opening Theme CD Single, played in episode 178.
"Mother" in its entirety, all situations and plot devices thus far, is © to myself, referred to on-line as PallaPlease or Purple Mongoose/PallaPlease.