Note: So, I never really enjoyed HM: DS, but it seems Leia is quite the popular mermaid. Fics about her are popping up everywhere, and so I thought, why not do a oneshot? So, I dedicate this to Awesome Rapidash, because he enjoys Leia fics. R & R!

Disclaimer: I don't own it, I don't own it, I don't own it!

Washed Ashore

Light.

From every facet of the crystal necklace in my hands, a rainbow of color shimmers in the dull glow of the fixtures overhead. It bounces off of the dreary walls and sparkles in the darkness, delighting my eyes with some sort of beauty to distract me from my thoughts.

But the distraction is merely temporary, and the joy fades away.

With a sigh, I lean back in the lukewarm water, flicking bubbles with my fin idly. There was only so much a mermaid could do in a bathtub. After being cast onto the shores of the land-dwellers, I had been brought to a pathetic, and practically helpless, state. I couldn't even hunt my own food; Daryll had to provide me with whatever meals he could conjure up. No…I had to rely on a land-dweller to keep me living.

But at least I was alive.

If it weren't for that odd, hunched over man, I could have been forced to suffocate on the sand, dying in the heat of the sun. If he hadn't discovered me…I don't know if I would have survived.

Not all land-dwellers were kind to my people, after all.

Legends had been passed down from generation to generation by my kind about the cruelties some humans had devised. They spoke of glass cages, where land-dwellers gathered to stare and point at the imprisoned mermaids for sport. Others whispered of knives that served up mermaids like fish, to be eaten by the elite of the humans.

But who could tell if that was all simply myth?

Now, living among the humans, I had begun to doubt our beliefs about the land-dwellers. If that were all true, then why did Daryll protect me in his own home? Why was he taking care of me, a mermaid? And why…

Why did Jack find it worth his time to see me?

Every day, he showered me in his gifts and treasured my smiles of gratitude. Even though he worked so hard every day, even though his schedule was filled to the brim with chores and duties, he still went out of his way to say hello and give me a present.

Strange…

In my homeland, gifts were a rarity. To bestow so many presents upon me, without any occasion, was bizarre and…confusing. Was this some land-dweller custom I had never heard of? Was I, too, supposed to give Jack presents?

Yet I…I had nothing to give. Surely he knew that.

Thinking now, I suppose he never cared about that. My squeals of delight and words of thanks had always satisfied him. A smile would spread across his sun-tanned face and he would murmur, "You're welcome."

It's selfish of me, but I wish he'd stay longer. It's so boring to lie about in a bathtub all day; Daryll is not much of a conversationalist and he's normally busy with his experiments. Mermaids are social creatures; we love to talk and laugh and smile.

In a bathtub, visitors are limited.

Jack's told me stories, though…stories of the land-dwellers that live outside of Daryll's abode. Sometimes he tells me about the talented Lumina who plays something called the "piano," which supposedly sounds beautiful. Other times, he jokes about a "drink" this girl Muffy made him, and how it completely knocked him out. I, however, found nothing funny about him falling unconscious. And then there's Celia, who farms just like Jack does, and the intelligent Flora, and many, many others.

Somehow, I am saddened when he speaks of them…these people I shall never meet.

And I wonder, does he tell these people about me as well? Do they wish they could meet me, too? Or are they glad they shall never have to speak with a creature such as me?

…I'm jealous of them.

Yes, I am jealous of the land-dwellers. They're able to live among their family and friends, to be able to walk and breathe on this soil…to be free. And I, Leia of the mermaids, am trapped and torn away from all those I love.

For now, at least. Until that day, when I can be released into the ocean and be reunited with my loved ones, I shall wait here in this bathtub.

And with a final glance at the jewelry in my hands, I drop it into the water, watching as light is reflected onto the bottom of the tub and vanishes under the canopy of bubbles.