A/N: Hi! I'm back! I'm here! So guess what guys? H2o's back! Well back on TV that is. Season 3 is being premiered on Teen Nick for everyone on the US! YAY LOL! Anyways, idk what im gonna do with this story. I've been lacking inspiration because of reviews and personal reasons. I feel like it'll go in the same direction as normal h2o. SO idk if ill continue this, but if I do, I'll be updating more. Besides that, happy new year guys! Hope its awesome!

Chapter Twenty:

Expain

My head broke surface up against the moon pool after a long swim by myself. I didn't remember how long I was swimming for, and I didn't remember much. I guess I had just jumped in and swam to forget about all my problems—whatever they were. Swimming had worked on forgetting them all. Them being Stefan. The moment my head popped up a bright flash caught my attention. I opened my eyes and realized a crowd of people surrounded me. They were all staring at my tail. Then I noticed something, I knew these people. Stefan was crouching at the edge of the sand where it hit the Moon Pool. Then there were people I didn't know, but they looked like scientist in their white lab coats. My parents, Logan, Cameron, Kylie, Taylor, and Kendall were farther behind him. Cameron and Kendall were both holding professional cameras. They took pictures of me.

"Say cheese, Hayley." Stefan's voice echoed in the room. Another flash went off. I tried blocking my face. I took a few glimpses at the face my parents, they looked disgusted.

"How could you do this to us? Not telling us you're a fish?" They said with hatred in every word they spoke.

"See, I knew she was a freak! She's a mermaid for crying out loud." Cameron joined in.

"How did you even find me?" I cried.

"You could thank me later." Stefan said with a smile on his lips.

"You did this? Stefan, I thought you were okay with Kylie being one."

"Kylie being one?" Everyone looked at her and laughed, "Kylie's normal."

"Don't bring me into this fish-girl." Kylie looked at me like Cassie Bianichi would, like I was a disgusting piece of trash.

"What? You guys are bailing on me? I thought we were together in this." I furrowed my brows.

"They're right Hayley! You are a freak of nature! You mer-freak!" My brother spat. I never liked him.

"No! Guys! They're just like me!" I yelled, splashing water onto them.

"Ew!" They both squealed. Nothing happened. They kept their legs.

"Bu-wha-how! You changed with me." I stated. Stefan slid out his brand new iPhone from his pocket and snapped a picture of me and my trail.

"Well this is going on Facebook." He smirked.

"No, Stefan, please don't." I began to cry, letting down my guard.

"Thank you Mr. Montgomery, the money for your discovery will be available to you in the next few days." One of the scientists began jotting down notes onto a clipboard.

"Stefan how could you sell me out like this?"

"I never loved you and I never will. No one will with you being some mermaid freak. Your live is over. Your going into a lab." He shrugged like it was nothing.

"No, no, no, no." I shook my head.

"Come on Hayley, it's time to go to the lab." The scientists walked closer and closer to the moon pool. I began hearing a loud ringing noise that made me think I was going crazy.

"No, please, no—" I pleaded. I woke up with a close to silent gasp. My eyes shot open and so did my body; I could barely catch my breath. Confusion and fog were hazing my vision and thoughts. I felt out of it. Once my vision was in line, I noticed I wasn't in my bed or even in my house. I was at Bristol, sleeping on the dirt floors of the forest ground. I continued to hear that weird ringing noise that began at the conclusion of my dream. Realizing it was coming from my pocket, I slid my phone out of my shorts and looked at the screen. It was yet another call from Stefan. I pressed the ignore button for the 'x' time since late yesterday afternoon. God, how long have I been out? It was one in the afternoon? God, for sleeping on a hard and cold ground, I had slept for a while. Long story short, I never went home last night. Telling my parents that I was sleeping over Kylie's house was the brightest and most daring lie I've ever told besides the usual 'I'm fine' and the big hiding of my secret. I spent my night swimming around the outskirts of Bristol, wading in the Moon Pool, and walking around Bristol—which eventually led me to passing out from pure exhaustion in the spot I currently was sitting in. I looked through my phone seeing that I had eighteen missed calls and seven texts from Stefan. The voicemails from him all said the same, so I didn't bother listening. 'Where are you, I'm sorry, please talk to me, we've got to straighten this out, please call me back I need to know where you are' they all repeated. Looking at the texts from this morning from him, I saw one that got me startled. Then the next one, then the next one turned worse. 'I went to your house and your mom said you were at Kylie's, I'm going there. Don't leave,' One of them said. 'We can't find you anywhere, would you please call us?' the other one said. We? Us? Quickly pressing the back button, I saw three texts from the girls. 'We're coming to Bristol to get you. Stefan told us everything, it's fine, we understand, everything's okay. You've got to come home, we'll come get you,' a large message from Kylie said. They were coming here, so I had to get out. I didn't want anyone, especially the girls, to find me in a state like this. I picked myself off the ground and began walking towards the ocean.

"She's got to be here somewhere." I could hear Taylor's voice way behind me.

"She's not in the moon pool and she's no where on Bristol. She might have gone back home."

"Well we can't just call her parents and ask her if she's there because they think she's with us."

"I guess we should just keep looking. We'll trade with Stefan." Kylie sighed. Their voices were getting closer and closer. Stefan, I cringed at the sound of his name. He was the last person I wanted on my mind.

"Should we check the Moon Pool again?" Taylor asked.

"Sure." Kylie agreed as usual. I kept still and silent until I heard their footsteps go in the opposite direction of where I was headed. After their voices slowly disappeared, I quietly began jogging to the beach. Ever so often I'd turn my head around to make sure no one was there. But that was just me being careful so that I could continue to be my lonesome depressed self. Running into the ocean, I counted down the seconds in my head like the usual routine I do. Once I hit nine and a half, my body dove underneath the cool water and formed a tail. I still couldn't get used to that. I don't think I ever would be able to. I got myself to lower depths and began swimming freely. But I was being careful to look out for the girls so I stayed close to the bottom near the sand. And when I caught a glimpse of them coming out of the entrance to the Moon Pool, I hid myself inside one of the large arched coral structures. The girls looked at each other, shrugged, and began swimming off slowly. I watched them until thy became tiny dots in my vision and then they disappeared from my viewpoint. I let out a breath I was holding in and watched it come out as bubbles. I came out of my hiding spot and began swimming around aimlessly. I couldn't help but think how I wanted to stay down here forever. Spending my night out on Bristol forced me to think about how my life was going to change because I let something slip as easy as it did. The only reason I had moved from staying in the moon pool in the first place was because I knew Stefan would come looking for me, he'd probably force the girls into telling him where. For all I knew, for all I thought, Stefan was telling the world my secret right now. The only reason the girls were looking for me was so we could get out of the country so we weren't going to be dissected or anything like that. Ugh, I could barely think of the things Stefan was going around telling people. I was scared, really scared. The fact that I hadn't heard from my parents made me wonder if they were to disgusted to speak with me or they weren't told yet. Either way, it was bad.

Sitting with my back against the rock wall of the Moon pool, I kept one leg out and one leg bent. Using my pointer finger, I drew a heart in the sand. I looked at it for a second with a small bit of hope then smudged it with my hand, erasing everything. It was just a pile of sand now. I had been sitting in here for hours knowing the girls wouldn't come back here to look for me. My parents had even asked me when I was coming home, and I told them later tonight. I lied, again. I sighed, tilting my head back against the wall. What has my life come to? It's all lies. All of it. Things were going to have to change. Everything was going to have to be different. Maybe there was a way I could bribe Stefan into not telling everybody or telling scientists about me. He liked money; I could bribe him with something—money, jewelry, anything. Then something caught my attention. It sounded like a footstep. Snapping my head up, I found Stefan hesitantly standing at the 'on-foot' entrance of the Moon Pool.

"Hey." He awkwardly greeted like he could barely talk, "how are you?" he added.

"What's it to you?" I gave him a death glare and got up from my spot on the cold, hard, ground.

"Hayley, we've got to talk about this. It's important." He looked guilty. He had told someone hadn't he?

"Stefan, this is not the best time." I warned.

"Then when is? I went to your house, your parents said you were at Kylie's, she didn't know what the hell I was talking about. I looked for you, everywhere, just because I knew you were upset about this."

"That's an understatement." I gave him another glare, "listen, I don't know what you've told everyone about me. I don't know—"

"You think I told people about you?" He looked at me like I was an idiot.

"I don't know what you did, but I do know one thing. You need to stay away from me."

"What? No, Hayley, we've got to talk this out, I want to know about this whole thing."

"Stefan, leave. I don't even know how you found me here." I demanded.

"But Hale, we—" he continued. Alright, he was going to stay in my secluded secret spot, so I had to leave. Taking two steps in front of me, I walked towards the Moon Pool.

"Get lost Stefan." I said, slyly. I raised my arms above my head and dove into the pool. The water soaked every inch of me, but that feeling would soon go away. Even when I didn't have my tail, I kept on kicking with my feet. But soon enough, my legs and feet had morphed into an orange scaly tail. Back in the Moon Pool, a frustrated Stefan ran a hand through his hair and looked down to the and passed around it for a moment before he decided to do something that he wouldn't do for any other girl—go after her. Copying exactly what I did, he dove into the Moon Pool. He found it to be surprisingly deep even though it looked shallow. The water was perfectly clear but sine Stefan wasn't part fish, it was hard for him to see. It was like being in a pool, his vision was fuzzy, his eyes burned more. But he continued to swim and he soon caught sight of a brightly golden orange colored tail. His adrenaline kicked in and he began swimming faster. But I didn't know.

Something grabbed onto my fin. I gasped, sucking a bit of water into my mouth. Turning around, I excepted to see a large fish or shark, but instead I found Stefan with his hand on my fin. And it looked like he wouldn't let go. He pointed upwards, motioning for me to go up. I had forgotten he couldn't hold his breath forever. I sighed, my breath coming out as bubbles, then nodded my head and immediately. He kicked up with his legs and I flicked my tail. Granted, he got there before me because he weighed less. My tail weighted a lot.

"You can't run and hide forever." He said, his hair sticking to the front of his face.

"I don't want to talk about this with you. I saw how you treated me after you found out about Kylie. You were obsessed. I can't trust you with this."

"Why? You think I'll tell someone? You think I'm going to hate you? I'm not going to judge you."

"Your you Stefan. People don't change. The old you would grab a hold of something like that so they could get a million dollars, you wouldn't even think about how it would affect the person. You can't sell me out."

"I'm not going to! I don't need money, I don't need fame, and I don't need any of that. I don't care about this. None this this changes a thing.

"I wish I could believe you." My voice cracked.

"It doesn't change who you are. I still like you. Tail or no tail." I thought about it for a minute.

"Fine. I'm getting rid of every standard I've ever given myself for trusting people like you."

"I'm taking that as a yes and that we're continuing our very strange but perfect relationship." He smirked. I nodded and he kissed me.

"Come on, we can't stay out here forever." Stefan said, "well, I mean you could but you know I can't exactly—" he added.

"Yeah, yeah, I get it. Let's go."

"Would you mind explaining this all to me? It's all kind of new and really confusing because everything I ever thought about there not being magic is out the window."

"How did you do that?" Stefan looked at me speechless. I had just finished drying myself off and I grew my legs back.

"I've got powers. We all do—heat, ice, and water control."

"You can do all three of those?" he looked at me wide eyed.

"Hold still." I demanded. I outstretched my arm and balled my fist and dried Stefan off after fifteen seconds.

"To answer your question, no. I only have heat. Kylie's got water and Taylor's got ice."

"That's incredible."

"Next question."

"How did you get your…" he looked at my legs.

"Tail." I plainly said. "It was right here. And it was the day we stole your boat. We got stranded since the engine burned up and we paddled here. We went exploring, we fell down that hole, and we sat here for a while then got the guts to go in. When we did it started bubbling and the next day we woke up it happened."

"This is just…wow."

"It takes some getting used to," I paused, "It's not everyday when you touch water and ten seconds later your sprout a tail."

"You could have just told me."

"No, I couldn't." I sighed, pushing my back up against the wall then sliding down it and sitting on the sand again.

"I understand it was a big secret. Moving on." He sat down next to me. "Is it weird? I don't get how you can go to the beach and see people going into the ocean."

"I don't know why, but I always do that to myself. I put myself in so much torture and watch these normal girls in amazement because they can go out in public and they don't have to worry about getting water on them."

"Isn't it all worth it?"

"At times I think so. Then there's some moments where I kind of wish I could be normal again."

"Come on, it's got to be fun."

"It is. We have perfect vision underwater, we can swim faster than dolphins, and I've seen the most incredible sights that no one could ever seen, well besides the girls and me…and divers. But we can hold our breath for more than fifteen minutes so we don't have to keep going up for air. It's amazing, I can barely describe it. But then there's the times where I regret it like when the full moon rolls around. If we look at it, we become under this weird influence and we're totally captivated by it and do crazy things."

"Are there stories that comes with these swimming adventures?" He smirked.

"There's the time that I totally beat up Kendall because of the full moon, during Homecoming, which was also a full moon, Kylie looked at it and got all crazy,"

"That's why you were there and in a hurry."

"I once swam around with a dolphin for a few hours, and then there's the time I saved you from a fifteen foot shark." I smirked.

"That was you?" His mouth dropped.

"What, you think water just happened to heat up and bubble by itself?"

"Oh my God, that was you." He said, astonished.

"You can thank me later." I bit my lip and laughed.

"No wonder you believed me. You were the one who did it."

"Hey, at least I was there when I was." I put my head on his shoulder.

"I can't believe that was you. Thank you." He smiled and kissed my cheek. Aww, he's adorable, I said to myself.

"Believe it. Come on; let's get out of here. I have some explaining to do with the girls."