Thanks for all your comments! I'm sorry that it takes me so long between chapters but I am so busy you wouldn't believe it. I'm also involved in this writing club that I have to constantly keep up with. Please enjoy! I really enjoy writing them! Again, really sorry with how long it took! That was seriously pathetic!
H2O Just Add Water Season 4
"I've got a special power
That I'm not afraid to use.
So come on this is my adventure!
This is my fantasy!
It's all about living in the ocean being wide and free!
Cause I'm no ordinary girl!
I'm from the deep blue underworld!
Land or sea
I've got the power if I just believe!
Cause I'm no ordinary girl!
I'm from the deep blue underworld,
Land or sea
The world's my oyster I'm the pearl
No ordinary girl."
"Kim? Kim do you have my phone?" Cleo threw open her little sister's door and then slammed it again. Nobody was in there. "Ugh!" Did anyone else on the entire planet have a sister as annoying as hers?
Cleo raced down the stairs, still calling out her sister's name. What was with her? Kim had he own phone! Why did she have to steal Cleo's? "Dad? Dad, Kim's taken my phone!"
At the bottom of the stairs, she nearly ran into Sam, whose expression stopped her in her tracks. "What?"
"Cleo your sister isn't here." Sam said, looking at Cleo curiously. "Kim said that she told you."
"What? Where is she?" Where had she run off with Cleo's phone?
"Cleo," came her Dad's voice. He was looking over from the couch. There was something- different looking about him. His lips were pressed tightly together, and he kept squinting. "I thought… Kim told you."
It was silent, and then Sam raised her head. "Cleo your mother came and took Kim to come live with her."
For a second, all Cleo wanted to scream was, "Liar!" But as the words sunk in, she remembered the conversation she'd had with Kim yesterday. Instead, the only sound that escaped her was a small and feeble, "What?"
"Cleo," her dad said quietly. "If… you did want to go- to, I would be okay… you don't have to spare my feelings."
It took her a moment to get what he was saying. When she found her voice she managed to choke out, "No, Dad, I would never want to leave you and Sam. It's just, a bit of a shock."
"I know sweetheart," Sam murmured, pulling Cleo into a hug. Cleo could feel her eyes stinging, and blinked hard.
When she managed to detangle herself, Cleo wiped her eyes and murmured, "Did she want to go Dad?"
"Well I-" her father looked down and she could see how hard it was for him to talk. "I- yeah that's what it looked like. She- we said our goodbyes and then Kim left."
"Did- and she didn't stay to talk to me or…" Cleo found that she couldn't finish.
"Your mother didn't want to stay long I guess. I'm sorry you didn't know about this. Kim said…" Sam trailed off.
"No," Cleo muttered. "She did tell me, but I didn't believe her."
Why had her mother left without even saying hello? It had been almost two years since she'd seen her. Did I do something wrong? Why had her mother invited her little sister to live with her and not Cleo?
Oddly enough, Rikki didn't feel embarrassed when she sent out the forward to Cleo and Bella asking if they wanted to meet up at Mako Island. The argument that they'd all had yesterday had been pointless; plus, she was getting sick of just sitting around in her room. The day that all three of them hadn't been speaking to each other had been one of the most boring in her life. She didn't want to go to the café, she couldn't go to her friend's house, and the other two might have been at Mako Island, so Rikki couldn't go there either.
To her relief and partly to her surprise, both of them replied within ten minutes of her text message. Maybe they'd been just as bored this morning as Rikki had.
Once she got the word that they would go, Rikki texted back a challenge. Beat you there!
Immediately she ran out her front door, raced over to the pier, and dove into the ocean.
The water was clear and cool, refreshing her in a way that nothing else could as her tail grew out behind her. She didn't take time to savor the moment though, and instead beat her tail as fast as she could.
While paddling at top speed through the ocean, she made shapes and swirls in the water, looking back at the trail of bubbles that followed her. People always said that you couldn't run away from your problems, and they were right. But you could swim away from them; if you were a mermaid. Everything that she didn't want to have to think about faded away beautifully. This was what was good about being a mermaid. Despite all of the complications, it would always be the best thing that had ever happened to her.
When she surfaced into the Moon Pool water, she laughed. She'd gotten here first! What slowpokes!
Rikki swam over to the ledge, her heart pounding from her huge spurt of speed. That had probably been her personal record!
It took so long for Cleo and Bella to show up that she started to get nervous that they weren't coming, when suddenly both of them popped up out of the water.
"Hey," said Rikki, long since dried off and standing up. "Took you guys long enough. I've been here for like… three minutes."
"Sorry," said Bella, sounding surprisingly cheerful. "I swam as fast as I could. I actually thought that I was gonna win until I ran into Cleo."
Rikki laughed, and shot a grin at Cleo, but the second that she did, the smile slid off of her face immediately. Cleo wasn't looking at her. She was staring down at the water and blinking hard.
"Cleo what's wrong?" She said immediately, startled. Cleo looked up at her. The moment that Rikki saw her face she felt her heart drop.
Cleo didn't look good. Even though she'd just been swimming, her eyes were red and puffy and she was trembling ever so slightly, as if recovering from a good cry.
"What happened?" Bella gasped, having just seen Cleo's face.
Rikki's best friend took a ragged breath, and for a moment Rikki worried that she wasn't willing to tell them, but the words that came out of her mouth were the last that Rikki expected to hear.
"My mother took Kim away to live with her."
The words were so blatant and so honest that Rikki felt an instant, sharp pang of sympathy. Cleo looked down again, and the tears that started to fall down her face looked more painful than Rikki had ever seen. "Oh my gosh Cleo; really?"
Instantly she realized that that had been a terrible thing to say. Cleo nodded her head, tears falling into the water. "I-I don't know what to think. Why now, and-and why so suddenly. She never even called, not once. And then I came downstairs this morning, and… Kim was gone. D-dad was devastated; I could see it in his face. How-How could Mom do that to him?" She hiccupped, and then wiped her eyes with the back of her soaking hand. "Sam was upset to, but she was sorry for me." She was breathing raggedly now, and Rikki could feel her throat hurting just listening to it. "Why did my mother only talk to Kim? Did I do something wrong?"
Misinterpreting the looks on their faces, Cleo quickly said, "Not that I would have left to live with her, b-but I would have wanted to see her. What did I do?"
It was quiet, and all that you could hear were Cleo's quiet sobs, echoing around the cave. "I'm just so confused right now; about Emma and Bella and-" she hiccupped again. "And the lockets and the crystals. And then we had that stupid, pointless fight yesterday."
Bella didn't look offended at Cleo's words. In fact, she put her arm around her friend's shoulder. "You didn't do anything wrong Cleo. I'm sorry I made things so hard."
Rikki dropped into the water as well. "Cleo, your mom loves you. Whatever happened didn't concern you at all." The absolute certainty in her voice surprised even Rikki. How could she be so sure about that? How could she promise a thing that she really had no idea about?
For a brief moment she remembered something distant; her dad saying those exact words to her. Yeah yeah, they always promised that the divorce had nothing to do with you, but what kid didn't wonder that maybe… just maybe if they'd been more obedient and easier to deal with than their parents might not have broken up.
Cleo took a deep breath. "No, guys, I shouldn't be blubbering about this to you. You guys came here to have fun and stop fighting. I'm sorry."
"Don't be sorry," Bella said quietly. "We want to know about things that trouble you. We want to help. A-And you know what? I'm going to help." Bella looked down. "I'm sorry that I've had such a problem with Emma. I was just sulking and making it worse for you guys and I shouldn't have done that. I'm sorry."
It went quiet again as Cleo raised her hand to pat Bella's arm, still sniffing. Rikki paused and then said hesitantly, "Guys I'm sorry for snapping at you yesterday. I've just been…" She trailed off. What? Confused and angry about watching Zane kiss Sophie? She'd moved on. It hadn't mattered to her and she didn't want it to. But why was it so hard to watch that he had finally moved on too? It shouldn't be, she told herself sternly. Forget about it.
"No Rikki, you don't have anything to apologize about," Cleo said.
"Yeah," Bella murmured. "You didn't do anything. In fact, I'd say that you're always the one to deal with things best."
Rikki grinned. "Well I am just like that aren't I? Kidding!"
Cleo gave her a watery smile and then she straightened up. "Okay, guys; can we make a pact? Let's promise that we won't let this kind of thing come between us. Emma is coming tomorrow and I'm really really happy about that. She's a part of this, just like you are Bella. We all need each other." She looked at Bella. "Are you sure you're gonna be okay with this?"
Bella sighed. "Yeah. I'm sorry guys. I was just frustrated and shocked and worried and-" She shook her head slowly. "Yeah I was being a jerk guys."
"No you weren't," Rikki said. "We should have been more considerate about the way we told you."
Bella smiled back at her. They sat, floating in the water in silence until she said, "Okay, so who are we gonna ask to make our crystals into bracelets?"
Rikki and Cleo laughed. "Will of course," Cleo said happily. "He'll make them even better than before. So can we all promise to trust each other." She put her hand out and Bella placed her hand on top of Cleo's. They both turned to look expectantly at Rikki.
"Oh we're not gonna do that stupid cheering thing are we?" She groaned. They laughed and Rikki put her hand in.
"That is just, unbelievable," Rikki said in amazement, lifting up the small, black bracelets with the gem tied in the middle. "Wow, Will; it's amazing."
"Thanks Rikki," Will said, grinning as he fastened one of the bracelets on Bella's wrist.
Cleo smiled, glad to see everyone happy; it was happening less and less now.
"What time is Emma's plane arriving?" Rikki asked, looking over at her.
She felt her stomach do a small swooping sensation, and could barely get the words out. "At precisely 3:46," Cleo laughed. "She didn't specify."
Will grinned and took the crystal that Rikki used to wear, now made into a bracelet, off the desk. Cleo saw her look at it, and then hesitate.
"What?" said Bella in surprise, also watching her face.
"Um actually, I was wondering if I could keep the other one," Rikki admitted, her eyes flickering over to the bracelet that had just been found.
It went silent, but instead of blushing, Rikki glared around at them all defensively. The crystal that she was referring to looked different than the rest. Will had applied the same, small and black string to their new bracelets as he had the necklaces, but the other one had a thicker brown rope tied around the gem.
"Why does it matter?" asked Lewis, speaking for the first time and looking around at them all. "We can give the one Rikki used to wear to Emma."
Cleo winced; he was always the peacemaker. In truth, he might not even know why everyone was so tense. Didn't the fact that Zane had given Rikki the bracelet qualify for anything? Or was Rikki even thinking about that? But after their previous argument, Cleo was not eager to broach the subject again.
"Okay sure," said Will, picking up the other one and tying it around Rikki's wrist, who was still holding Cleo's gaze.
Realizing that Rikki wasn't going to admit anything, Cleo lowered her gaze to avoid a fight, though she could feel her curiosity burning. Why did Rikki have to be so difficult?
"Okay, done," Will said triumphantly. "You guys officially wear the crystals as bracelets now."
"Yeah," Cleo said, smiling, touching it and then her locket and taking a deep breath. "So you guys up for making Emma's homecoming party the best ever?"
Rikki and Lewis grinned. "Yeah!"
Bella smiled. "Oh man guys I'm nervous!"
Cleo sighed, "Don't be nervous Bella. Emma is awesome. I have a feeling you guys are gonna get on really well."
Bella was quiet, and then she smiled, "Yeah, maybe."
"So read the guest list out again," Rikki laughed, "I don't think we invited quite everyone in town."
"Maybe we missed one or two people," Will said. "You guys don't mind that Sophie will be there do you? She's coming with the Bennets."
"Well we couldn't really expect her to stay out of it when it involves you," Rikki muttered. "She's only one of the nosiest people in the world."
"She isn't someone you can really trust," Will admitted, looking away.
"Oh well, we'll have fun," Cleo said quickly. Suddenly she felt excitement swelling up in her. "Guys I'm so excited!"
Cleo saw Rikki's face mirror her own. "I know! It's been too long!"
The rest of the day couldn't pass quickly enough. The group left Will's shack and made their way over to Cleo's house. They wanted to make it a surprise party, so it was going to be taking place at Emma's home. Cleo's dad had a key to the Gilbert's house, so they were going over to get it from him and set the place up.
"Dad!" Cleo called as she opened her front door. Her father hadn't really improved from yesterday; no one had spoken at breakfast. Cleo was extremely grateful that Emma was coming home now, otherwise she would have had nothing to keep her mind off of the events from yesterday. It couldn't have been better timing.
"We're in here Cleo," replied Sam, her voice coming from the kitchen.
Cleo smiled and turned back to her friends. "I'll only be a sec." She closed the door and went into the kitchen. Both Sam and her dad were there, sitting at the table with cups of coffee. "Hey, Dad could I have the key to Emma's? She and her family are gonna be here in only a few hours. We wanna get her house all set up."
Her father stood up and reached into his jean pocket. "Don't mess the place up too much. I don't want them to come home to a disaster."
"Don't worry Dad, I've got it taken care of." Cleo smiled, gave him a hug, and raced back outside.
"Okay guys we got it. Lewis you have the stuff for the party right?"
"No I completely forgot."
Cleo stared at him blankly.
"I'm kidding, it's all over at my house. I'll meet you guys over at Emma's."
She rolled her eyes, "Okay then."
Lewis left to his house, and the rest of them continued to the Gilbert's, talking about nonchalant things before Bella asked, "What does Emma look like? I want to know her when I see her."
Rikki answered first, "Uh… she's got light blonde, kind of longer hair and really pale skin. She's annoyingly responsible and a total smart-alek. Kind of a worry wart too."
"Thanks for that lovely introduction Rikki," Cleo muttered. "She's one of the nicest people you will ever meet and really fun to have around. Her boyfriend's name is Ash; he went with them on the tour. He actually used to own The Juicenet Café- I mean, Rikki's and he and Emma ran it. But Rikki and Emma fought all of the time."
"It was all friendly," Rikki smiled. "She was such a stress head. I miss her so much!"
Emma's house was cold and dusty. Their furniture and other things were all still there, but the place made Cleo feel down. There were so many memories here. "Rikki, do you remember that time we faked we were sick so we could stay out of the rain?"
Rikki laughed, the sound carrying cheerily throughout the house. "How could I forget? We hadn't been mermaids for very long and it was raining outside one school morning, so we pretended like we were sick and it got waaaay out of hand," she explained to Bella. "It was a close call."
"Yeah I can remember plenty of those," Bella laughed. "So should we get this place partied up?"
"Let's go," Cleo grinned.
Lewis wasn't back yet, so they took the liberty of cleaning off some of the dust and dirt that had collected around the place. Cleo thought that she remembered Emma saying something about paying someone to clean it; and the house hadn't been totally neglected. But there was still quite a bit around. She and Bella took the kitchen and Rikki and will did the front room. Cleo started coughing after a while; the dust was really thick in some places.
Once Lewis came they decided to ditch the cleanup and instead decorated the place up. They hung streamers and blew up balloons, making the place entirely multicolored. Cleo set up snacks in the kitchen; easy to clean packages.
She had to say that when they were finished at last the place looked terrific, and they only had about a half hour of time to kill. Cleo started having to restrain herself from jumping up and down.
The other guests invited weren't scheduled to come until after the Gilberts arrived, but some people started showing up anyways. Mostly just friends that had known Emma for a long time; like her swim team friends. They all sat around, chatting animatedly and waiting. Then a call came out, "They just pulled up in the driveway."
Cleo looked up from her spot on the couch to see the girl who'd been watching out the window jump up and race over. "Everybody hide!"
It was quite a scandal as Rikki snapped off the lights and everyone jumped behind the couches and into dark corners. Everyone was giggling.
It seemed to Cleo that it took a very long time for the front door to open, but when it happened she could barely suppress a squeal of excitement, watching for her friend.
The Gilberts were all carrying large bags and big smiles. Cleo felt a huge smile come to her face as she saw Emma coming in with Ash behind her. They looked so much older!
Just as the lights went on everyone jumped up and shouted, "Surprise!"
Emma's family couldn't have been more surprised. Elliot dropped his bags and his parents jumped about three feet in the air. Suddenly it just seemed like an explosion of noise as everyone cheered and began their reunion.
Cleo was thrilled to see that out of the many faces, Emma was straining to find her and Rikki. When her eyes finally landed on them her face lit up and she set her bags on the floor and raced over.
When the three of them embraced, it knocked the wind out of Cleo for a moment and small tears sprang to her eyes. Over the noise of everyone else, it was hard to see what Emma was saying, but a lot of unsaid things went into the hug.
"You've been gone forever!" Rikki said, talking loudly.
"I know!" The sound of hearing Emma's voice made Cleo's tears spill over. "I missed you guys so much! I have so much to tell you."
Rikki and Cleo looked at each other, and agreed simultaneously. "I'll bet we have a lot more."
"Ash hi!" Cleo called, seeing him and giving him a hug as well. "How are you?"
"Great," he said, grinning more widely than her. "What's been going on here?"
"By the sound of things, a lot," Emma said, brushing back her hair. Her skin was as pale as ever, but she still seemed so far away, like a long lost dream. "Oh. Who's this?"
She had just spotted Bella.