Hi! Ive been working on this for months now, I got writers block halfway through and couldn't be bothered to do anything creative so took some time out to get the creative juices flowing again. In this time I also turned to the aid of many 'magical life juices' which include different flavours of tea and coffee.

But now I feel a bit more inspired and finished it all off! My idea was to make it a little like the original tale of 'the little mermaid' but add some of the bits from the Disney one in there too because I didn't want to make a complete doom and gloom story. I also added some of my own bits to give it my own flair.

It all gets a bit out of character probably more so as it goes on but to be honest I can't see how the characters could be themselves in the roles I have placed them in (well I can but I was too far in to change it at the point I realised.

Anyway, all done! I'm gonna spend some time finishing my other stories soon and then I can do more stories I was thinking some crossovers to do with the new Kingdom Hearts release but I'm not sure yet!

Well, I believe there will be a few mistakes (when is there not with my work?) but that's because…. I'm lazy and 31 microsoft word pages is too many to read when all you wanna do is sleep.

Anyway, one with the show!

Out in the ocean beside the Usami castle, waves rippled far out in the water. The waves were too far out into the sea for any sane man who could swim to make. The ripples seemed unnatural, but at the same time like a fish that was close to the surface... It never surprised anyone anymore when the odd ripples appeared, most of the time they all just looked and wondered what was beneath the surface to make those waves.

Just below the ocean's waves, a small merman by the name of Yukina was on his way back down to the palace after checking out what was happening on the surface world. When he reached the throne room if the king he bowed lowly and spoke quietly.

"Sir," he started looking up at the wise old king who lived with his wife and growing family. He had, Kisa: thirteen, Takahiro: eleven, Hiroki: nine, Onodera: seven, Chiaki: five and Shinobu: three months.

"Yukina," the king greeted in his gruff, aged voice. He showed the beginnings of a smile as he looked down at his small five year old messenger boy fondly. The king had picked Yukina for this job so young because he liked what he did. Why would anyone want to stop a boy who loved what he did?

"News from above is that they are having a ball in honour of the visiting baby princess Kaoruko. There will be a festival and it will last three days," Yukina paused and looked to the paper in his hand. "There is also news from your wife: I have been told to inform you of the birth of your seventh child. Congratulations of the new baby boy, sir!" Yukina told the king happily. The old man smiled and immediately swam to where his wife lay in her room to see his new son.

The baby was newly born and still in his mother's warm embrace. A warm smile took place on the mother's face as she looked at her new bundle of joy.

The king swam forward looking at his wife with a question in his eyes. The woman nodded and held the baby out for taking. The king nodded back in thanks before he gently took the baby into his arms with a small slow smile. "This boy is your son," the wife told him slowly and softly her voice was a whisper as she looked at the sight of father and son bonding. While the king was fussing their son and not looking at her, the queen's eyes slowly slipped closed in exhaustion.

The king looked at his wife when he heard nothing from where she sat and called as many people over as he could when he realised that she had passed out. He could see her shallow breaths and was causing panic in the room as he shouted at everyone while the queen seemed to slip away quietly in her sleep.

Over the years the small new born boy grew and although his mother died when he was born, he never seemed to be sad for long. As he grew up he didn't like to ask his servants for anything and he didn't like to have people wait on him or treat him any differently to other people. Misaki had grown into a kind and gentle young man by the time he reached age sixteen, but he was still a boy at heart.

The boy had been named Misaki by his father and everyone believed the name was fitting for him. He was small for his age and definitely not the strongest fish in the sea but he had the royal blood of the oceans in his veins so was loved by all. Misaki liked being the youngest brother, he had learned at a young age that being the youngest meant that there was no way he would ever have to take over the throne. He would gladly leave that job to his brother. Kisa, the eldest brother, was moody and short tempered and definitely not fit for the job but nobody wanted it and the duties of the oldest brother kicked in.

Their father was training Kisa right now along with his backup, Hiroki (who was also short tempered and had and attitude problem) Hiroki was only picked after Takahiro had told his father that he didn't want the throne, he would much rather just read books or look after his younger siblings. Their father accepted this much to the distaste of the other brothers over the fact Takahiro was the best choice for the task at hand.

Misaki's other siblings were Shinobu, Onodera and Chiaki. Each of the brothers had different personalities but still shared similar traits.

Misaki, Shinobu and Onodera shared the short fuse trait while both Chiaki and Shinobu where lazy and liked to just hang around while Misaki was always off exploring. This normally happened when the other brothers were being trained and Onodera was reading.

Each brother was around two years older than the last except for Shinobu and Misaki who were four years younger than their siblings.

This was due to them having two separate mothers; Misaki's mother was the king's wife while Shinobu's mother was a Mermaid who had slept with the king once. She had left him in her home giving birth to him and he had been taken in by his father when they figured out who he was. The whole thing had left Shinobu a bit sour about any women who came near him, and he had issues trusting people because of all the lies he had been subjected to over the years. But Shinobu got used to his life and like the other boys could never wait for his sixteenth birthday.

It was family tradition that each child went up to the surface to look when they reached sixteen, therefore the group were far behind on events when they went up to the surface.

At each of their sixteenth birthdays the boys went to the surface and came home again safely. As the youngest, Misaki and Shinobu had to listen to every story and some of the brothers had some fantastic sounding stories (at least to Misaki they sounded fantastic.)

Kisa had made his way to the beach and watched a male sit there and read a manga book. He said it was uninteresting and had eventually settled on a rock to get some of the warm air on his scales and skin. He said that the breeze made him feel amazing and that he would've loved to stay there forever with his tail dipped in the water and his skin taking in the sun's heat. (Kisa had a nice tan for three days after.)

Takahiro came back with a story that if merfolk are pulled out of water they can grow legs and that he had walked on land and met a nice man called Akihiko who was the same age as him at that time. Takahiro said he didn't tell Akihiko his secret, but he wished to see him soon because he seemed lonely.

Hiroki's turn came quickly after that. He told of a tale of a man with a broken heart who used Hiroki because of his love for the man and they did things that Hiroki regretted deeply. He wouldn't give away any names, but all of them could tell that the man was most likely the young prince they had heard lived in the castle by their surface beach.

Onodera had managed to swim straight to the beach and got himself stuck. He told of a helpful man who swooped down and helped him out while he was in trouble. The two chatted until the sun went down and promised to meet again. Misaki definitely liked Onodera's story best.

Chiaki was stupid on his turn. He called to a man on the surface and asked if he wanted to hang out on his rock. The man had smiled and jokingly asked how he was going to get there. Chiaki had given him an honest answer of 'swim there' and he had no choice but to make his way over.

Shinobu got onto the beach and found a man sunbathing there. He claimed their meeting was destiny and that the man would have to wait for him for a little while because he couldn't be on beach for long. He came back telling all the other mermen he had found his one true love and would frequently make visits to the surface to see him.

When it came to be Misaki's turn, most of the brothers were against it.

"He's too fragile,"

"Too gullible,"

"Too pure!"

That was what all the other brothers said. They didn't want him to go to the surface because they thought someone would find him and take advantage of their youngest, most innocent brother like they had with Hiroki.

Misaki hated these claims. He was just as manly as the rest of his brothers, they just all had spent their lives protecting him, and he hadn't gotten the same sense of adventure as the others because of that.

When the day finally came where he could make his way to the surface Takahiro stopped him. "Misaki, you can go next year, I think you're too young and too..." he searched for the word and didn't find the one he wanted. The younger brother pouted and swam away, shouting 'I'm going to take my turn on the surface!' as he went. All the brothers looked shocked at the younger man but took the announcement seriously and respected his wishes.

The night that Misaki surfaced a big celebration was happening for the birthday of the young princess. Princess Kaoruko was a visiting royal from another land. She was the cousin of Akihiko which gave her the right to have the celebration. They celebrated on a boat out on the sea and when Misaki first surfaced Akihiko, who was a young man of twenty six at the time, noticed the rippling waves that he caused.

Since Akihiko wasn't a party person he had been watching a group of dolphins as they played and was surprised when the young man who had just popped up in the water.

Akihiko made a noise of surprise causing the boy to look up to him with deep green eyes and blink for a second. Akihiko felt as of those eyes were boring into his soul and all he could do was stare back at the boy until he broke eye contact.

As soon as the contact was lost, the small male in the water turned to the dolphins and (in plain English) asked if he could play too. Each dolphin nodded causing Akihiko to stare, how could the boy speak to the creatures?

The icing on the cake was when the boy started playing. He swam beneath the waves for long amounts of time with the other mammals but only weaved through their patterns while they jumped. All of a sudden all playing seemed to stop and the two dolphins that were left started to make weird noises. The sounds almost sounded as if they were egging the boy on.

"Okay, okay!" the boy laughed as he popped his head out of the water. He pushed away an over affectionate dolphin as it tried to nuzzle his face with a small giggle. He didn't seem out of breath in any way which puzzled Akihiko because he had seen the boy go underwater for at least 5 minutes.

"I'll jump," the boy added with a large smile. The dolphins made more noise of approval causing the boy to once again smile before he dived beneath the waves and then back up again in a twisting jump.

Akihiko was speechless as he watched. The boy was not a boy at all, he was a fish!

The small brown haired boy's image painted itself in Akihiko's mind. The boy's jump was impressive. He had managed to jump up straight into the air so he was so much closer to Akihiko that the older could almost touch the other male. Now that the young man could see the boy's face he blinked in confusion.

The boy had brown hair that spiked at his shoulders, a style that must be hard to keep if he liked to swim as it seemed. He had large green eyes which at the moment seemed excited and full of determination. His mouth formed a toothy grin at his accomplishment and his skin was so smooth and creamy coloured that his face seemed like perfection.

The small boy's body however, was -as earlier mentioned- very small. He was slim enough to almost say he was starving and he wasn't very muscular at all which made him seem thinner.

The one thing that caught Akihiko's eyes the most though, was the large scaly tail that followed the boy out of the water.

At first the tail frightened Akihiko, he had never seen a half fish half boy before.

But, he thought, the tail is beautiful. When Akihiko looked, it seemed to be the right colour and shape for the small boy. A very light lavender colour and it seemed to shimmer and have a mirror type effect like lots of sparkly sequins on a dress the women wore on the boat Akihiko stood on. The bottom of the tail looked like it was made from a thin silky material. It was a darker purple colour and seemed to just hang from the tail in long streams like it was there more for look than it was for any type of design.

The only other thing on the boy apart from his skin and scales was a small arm binding which was a seaweed wrap that tied around his arm with other colourful plants hanging off it. Akihiko didn't know it, but that was a sign of Misaki's royalty.

The image only lasted a few seconds but it had imprinted itself into the brain of Akihiko Usami who watched the sea for most of the night looking for the mesmerising boy. However, the boy did not surface again that night because he had been dragged down by his brother's loyal friends who knew he needed to come back now. Misaki was annoyed but accepted his fate and followed the puffer fish back to the palace where all of his brothers were waiting. They all scolded him for his rash decision but listened as Misaki told his story.

He told them in the short time he had been there he had seen a man, one so lonely Misaki wanted to hug him. He then started to tell his brothers about the dolphins he was playing with and how he won the jumping contest. Each of the brothers smiled affectionately at their younger sibling. They were glad that the boat had been out, Hiroki had told the older brothers - after he had gotten the younger ones away- all about what really happened on his own trip to the surface and how the young prince had been pining for another but Hiroki had fallen in love with him from a far and wanted to help.

Hiroki, of course, acted the whole thing up by telling the brothers that he had been rejected almost immediately after he had 'helped' and how cruel the prince had been in the end.

The brothers had no doubt that the lonely man Misaki had seen was the young prince. And they knew that it was the young prince who was still sulking over his lost love from before Hiroki had been to the surface. All the brothers were worried for Misaki. If he wanted to see the prince again they were sure the man would eventually take advantage of the kind hearted nature of their youngest brother.

Just as all the brothers feared, Misaki started making regular trips to the surface. He would often disappear for hours at a time to go and sit on a rock to watch the young prince or princess on the beach.

As time went on prince Akihiko noticed that the boy that bobbed in the waves. Akihiko loved to sit and watch the abnormal sight because he knew that the boy was special, he always seemed to pop up in the same area, too far out for a sane person to reach and that to Akihiko seemed like someone who was either not there or someone who had some kind of special powers.

Akihiko had summarised in his head that the boy was a ghost. He knew from his family history that a boat belonging to the Usami family had crashed on these rocks once and it had lost almost all of its crew. It was inevitable that a young man would've been on the ship, and that is what Akihiko thought the boy was.

The silver haired male had forgotten all about the time on the boat when he had seen the Merman playing with the dolphins. He still had dreams at night of the boy's image but he had completely forgotten about the tail, he only really remembered the face. That was the reason that if anyone told him the boy was part fish he would've laughed and if he knew any better, be shocked. The boy was not a ghost, but a small merman. When Akihiko saw his top half he couldn't see the long blue mirror-like scales shining under the water. Misaki always kept them hidden because he knew if the prince saw them he would remember and not look out for him but be disgusted by his appearance.

A few months after Misaki started the trips to the surface Akihiko's mother grew ill and passed away. The young prince grew more and more frustrated when there was no longer anyone to comfort him and almost as soon as his mother was gone, his father had a new wife and Akihiko had a new brother. The thought of his mother's replacement angered Akihiko so much that one day he tossed an old family amulet his new step-mother had given him into the sea in hopes that she would realise he didn't want her 'loving gestures' just as he didn't want her around to screw up his life.

As soon as the amulet touched the water Akihiko knew it was a bad idea to throw it in there. He was sure that he would he slapped and punished for the disappearance of the amulet and his father would look on him disapprovingly for a long time for being so cruel to his new stepmother.

With that thought the young prince dove head first into the water and swam out to the spot he had seen the amulet fall. Misaki was swimming nearby when he heard the splash of the amulet. He watched as it fell and the prince dove after it. With a sigh Misaki followed the prince's body as he disappeared between the waves. The amulet could still be seen, it had somehow ended up stuck to a rock not too far under the surface. Almost as soon as the prince reached the rock he managed to bash his head and knock himself out. He floated, his body was trying to get to the surface but his clothing was stuck on the rock.

"Idiot..." Misaki muttered. He didn't know what could be so important that the prince would dive under the water to save the thing.

Misaki grabbed at the prince and pulled him up to the surface. After saving the prince he dove back down for the amulet. The stupid thing was still stuck and it didn't take much for Misaki to pull it off the rock. The only downside to the quick removal was that the chain broke and the charm started to fall. Misaki made a small annoyed noise before following it.

By the time he got back to the surface the prince was stuttering out small amounts of water. Misaki banged on his chest and all of a sudden the older male joined the world of living.

"You idiot! The rocks around here are too sharp for that! You're lucky I was there or you would be dead!" Misaki ranted. He was angry that the Prince even got the idea to dive down there in the first place.

Suddenly hazy purple eyes snapped up to the sight of the boy before him. Akihiko took in the deep green of the eyes before he registered the angry downturn of the boy's lips.

"Well I'm not dead," he affirmed quietly. Akihiko's throat was raw from the salt water he had choked up the moment before. He lifted a hand and ran it along Misaki's face. Misaki was shocked that the prince was touching him and after a few seconds of thought processing he slapped the hand away angrily.

"Don't touch me!" he growled. Akihiko could tell he was just angry but he listened, mostly because he didn't want to scare the boy away.

"You're such a beautiful ghost..." Akihiko whispered to him with a smile. The boy looked puzzled for a second before he blushed deep red at what had been said. "Thank you for saving my life," Akihiko added with a sigh as he tried to touch the boy's face again.

"I'm not a ghost, I'm-" Misaki stopped speaking when he heard quiet call from a little further down the pure white sanded beach.

Almost immediately a black haired man came into view.

Misaki looked to the sea and quickly closed the prince's hand around the amulet he had picked from the water before turning and diving into the water leaving Akihiko alone on the beach.

The older prince sat up, all his strength seemed to return at once but the man who had called out to him (a servant from his castle asking him to come inside to play with the young princess) had scared away his saviour and Akihiko sulked all the way home because of it.

Misaki was sitting on a rock not far from the shore. He was watching the prince with a frown and a deep blush on his face. He couldn't believe he had spoken to the prince. And the prince had complimented him! His face flushed a deeper red and he looked down before diving away into the water.

He knew from what his brothers said that he couldn't really stay on the surface to see the prince again- even though he wanted to, (as much as he hated to admit it) - he knew he would need help if he wanted to go to the surface.

"I would love to see what land looks like, but I can't keep legs for more than 20 minutes, I wouldn't even be able to get into the village," he sighed and hung his head lower as he began to make his way home.

Just a few meters from Misaki two jellyfish bobbed along.

"Heh we can take him to Sumi," one of them croaked

"He could help this poor boy," the other snickered. He put on a stupid voice for emphasis on the 'poor boy' before looking at his friend and snickering evilly. The nodded to each other and started to bob towards the slow moving merman.

"Kid! Kid! Yo, merkid!" one of the jellyfish called as he moved forward. Misaki turned around in curious confusion to see the two pink things that moved towards him.

"Who are you?" the young boy asked the jellyfish snickered to themselves again before turning to the boy with innocently believable faces.

"Mark…."

"And Clarke!"

"We want to help your problems!" they both said at the same time. Evil grins worked their way onto their faces as the watched the prince become wary.

"W-What problems?" the prince asked with furrowed eyebrows and a false laugh. The two jellyfish could tell that he was a bad liar.

"You wish to go to the surface,"

"And meet the prince!"

"Let him know who saved him,"

"And let him know your deep feelings for him,"

"WHAT?!" Misaki cut in. The 'deep feelings' must be too deep for him to even sample them, because he didn't have a clue what these 'feelings' where.

The two jellyfish snickered again, they had realised what the smiles and blushes meant... But it looked like the younger prince did not.

"I... I do want to go to the surface..." Misaki said quietly. He looked over to the jellyfish who back at him with seemingly triumphant stares.

"We can take you to Sumi," the one snickered.

"He will definitely help,"

"For a price..." they both snickered quietly. Misaki didn't hear them so followed blindly. What Misaki didn't know was that his brother Shinobu was watching him. Shinobu was couched behind a large pile of rock that had been deposited at the bottom of the sea years ago. He was glad for its presence so the fish and his brother couldn't see him. He recognised the two jellyfish who had taken Misaki as the two slaves of the evil sea witch, Sumi Keiichi. They were originally mermen but had been changed for more inconspicuous kidnappings. With a widening of his eyes and a gasp of horror Shinobu swam back to their castle as fast as possible; there was no way he could let his brother make a contract with the evil man!

While Shinobu moved as fast as he could to the castle, Misaki was looking up at a tall half man half shark. The man's tail scared Misaki a bit, he remembered his father telling him that evil creatures had evil tails and he was pretty sure sharks were evil. (Not that he had ever met one to ask seeing as they tended to stay away from the castle... But from what he understood they weren't nice.)

"This is Sumi," one of the jellyfish announced (Misaki wasn't even keeping track of who was who, he even forgot the names of the jellyfish, he was still looking at the smirking merman before him.)

"H-hi…" Misaki said with a blush. He didn't want to be caught staring but this man was so peculiar, he didn't know what to think…

He had seen enough to be able to put together a profile of the man in his head, Sumi was a tall fish and he had the tail of a shark and grey hair to match his scales. He wore an odd binding around his wrist that looked to be made out of seaweed that had rotted a long time ago. His eyes were narrower than expected giving his face a distrustful expression, coupled with the smirk anyone could see his as suspicious.

Sumi swam down to Misaki's level and came very close pushing the boundaries of personal space to look into Misaki's eyes. Misaki looked a little panicked and Sumi, sensing this alarm, moved backwards tapping his chin.

"What an ordinary boy," he muttered to his Jellyfish. "Why bring me this kid?" he asked. The jellyfish looked at each other as if the other had the answer but nothing left either's mouth.

"T-the boy is the son of the king," One of the creatures stammered. He looked to his buddy for reassurance who instantly started nodding.

"Yeah, yeah. He told us he needed help to get his dream!" the other added hoping that with a little push their master wouldn't be too mad at them.

"Ah, the youngest prince, eh? I'm Sumi, how can I help you?" the man took Misaki's hand and shook it, Misaki was so surprised he didn't know what to do or say.

"I.. want to go to the surface to.. Um… meet the prince again…" Misaki murmured. He looked down and didn't even attempt to look at the man who was most likely glaring at him and his impossible wish.

"That's easy, let me just draw up a contract," The half shark said causing Misaki to look around in wonder, he wasn't sure if the so called 'witch' would help him but now he was certain he was going to get what he wanted for once.

"Okay," Sumi sighed as he pulled some paper off a desk and showed it to Misaki, he had already written on it and turned it around to read. "This contract says 'I hereby ask Sumi Keiichi to help me by turning me human for a week, in this time I will need to earn the love of the prince and hear it voiced to me. If I succeed I will get my voice returned and will be able to be human, however if I do not earn the prince's love by the last day I shall return to the waters and belong to Sumi.'" Misaki looked up in horror at the ending but the whole thing didn't seem that bad. Well, that was what he thought before he saw a wicked smirk cross the older man's face. "The extra clause to this is that the one who signs the contract has to give up their ability to speak for those days, it will be kept with me until the time is up," the older shark-man chuckled which caused Misaki to look down and really start to think about what he was doing.

"Wait, why do I have to earn the princes love?" Misaki asked in a surprised tone. He didn't want to fall in love with the prince! They were both guys!

"Well, you should know by now that magic only ever works when love is involved," Sumi pointed out with a smirk and a small giggle. Misaki let out a small growl of frustration before he began to think the idea through.

If he did this, he could see the prince, which is what he really wanted to do. He also wanted to see the land and how those people lived. He wanted to see if being up there was better than down here and if the beautiful scenes described in the elder's tales actually existed or if they were works of fiction.

On the other hand, he would lose his voice and, if he failed to get close to the prince, all freedom he had. He didn't like this half shark- half man and he didn't want to stick around to see what would happen to him if he stayed.

But to be able to walk on the sand he had seen from the water he swam in and be able to eat the food and meet locals seemed like an almost unbearable opportunity to pass up on. Misaki made his decision and took the pen from the hands of the other male.

"All you need to do is sign on the dotted line... It's that simple," Sumi said almost mockingly. As Misaki signed he felt regret but it was too late, with his name on the paper and his own destiny sealed he could now see the evil slightly demented smirk seem to grow even larger.

"Pleasure doing business with you," Sumi announced before slashing at Misaki's throat with a blunt object and pulling a shining golden orb like thing out of Misaki and placing it into a jar. Misaki looked at his hands to see no blood but he suddenly felt like he couldn't breathe. With one last gasp he looked at Sumi who just smirked and pointed to the surface hoping Misaki got the idea, he did and started swimming as fast as he could to the surface.

While Misaki swam up he couldn't see the worried and disappointed faces of the three brothers who had swam with Shinobu to find and stop their brother. The all looked up and signed.

"Too late. We were too late..." Shinobu whispered as he saw Misaki's figure disappear above the surface.'

Misaki didn't realise until he could breathe that he no longer had a tail, but two …things where his tail used to be. He looked down to see he had legs and then used them to propel himself to a nearby beach. It was a good thing Sumi's lair was close to the shore, Misaki didn't feel like he could swim for long.

As soon as Misaki reached the beach he collapsed and fell into a deep sleep.

Akihiko was walking along the beach lazily. He was looking down and thinking while he kicked a rock that rolled around the beach. Lately he had been sad because he couldn't find the boy who had yelled at him.

He loved the fact someone could stand up to him. Being almost always around his servants he never got told off for anything and it was starting to get annoying for Akihiko that people would jump off buildings if he asked them to.

The next time the prince's foot made contact with the stone, it soared through the sky and landed next to something small and still.

Akihiko noticed that it was a boy quickly and sucked in a breath as he ran to see if the smaller male was alive. When he had rolled the boy over and made sure he was breathing, Akihiko catalogued what the boy looked like.

The boy must be young, that was the first thought Akihiko had. He was sure that he was only fourteen or fifteen, he was small for his age too. The peacefully closed eyes hid their colour and Ahihiko couldn't find it in himself to wake the boy, he looked so peaceful, like an angel in his sleep.

Akihiko brushed a hand through the shoulder-length hair in front of him. The messy brown hair that covered his head was not in an uncared for way, it just appeared messy because it was wet. When Akihiko looked the boy up and down he noticed that the only piece of clothing on him was an a bracelet type thing on his arm. Misaki was still wearing his colourful arm binding of seaweed but it didn't have the same effect as it did when underwater. The wet strands stuck to Misaki's arm and gathered wet sand that also stuck to them.

Akihiko looked the boy up and down one more time before he placed a hand on his cheek. He was surprise to see that the boy's face fit perfectly into his hand causing the boy to lean into the touch.

Akihiko looked the boy up and down one more time before he placed a hand on his cheek. He was surprise to see that the boy's face fit perfectly into his hand causing the boy to lean into the touch.

The boy's mouth opened but noting came out causing him to snap to reality. He tried again to say something but nothing could be heard but a small squeak. Tears welled up in the brunette's eyes but he wiped them away quickly as he realized he was looking up at the face of the prince.

Misaki was sure that the contract had worked, his throat hurt as if he had swallowed a whole beach and he couldn't feel his tail on the sand like he usually would be able to.

'I came here to...' he tried to say but no sound came out of his throat. Misaki tried a few more times before he gave up, once again, the tears sprang forth because he couldn't even do such a simple thing as talk. Misaki sniffed before looking back up to see the prince looking down at him confused.

"You can't speak?" the prince asked Misaki shook his head sadly and looked down. He noticed the legs and became alarmed when he also noticed he had no clothes (he knew the covering fabrics humans wore were to hide their bodies and he learned later in the week that they were called clothes and where worn at all times). Misaki tried to curl up but the older prince realised what he was doing and pulled his shirt off to cover the smaller male.

'You don't have to...' Misaki tried to say, but no voice came out. The prince noticed he was trying to struggle out of his arms and away from his shirt but he still pulled the smaller boy close and wrapped the shirt around him.

"Now you won't be cold," the prince announced proudly he thought he had worked out exactly why the kid was scared and worried but Misaki was screaming in his head.

"Can you write?" the prince asked suddenly not noticing the alarm that was still on Misaki's face. The boy half nodded, forgetting his frustration for a small while, before picking up a stick and shakily writing out the letters he knew spelt his name in the language the prince spoke.

"M-i-s-a-k-i," the prince sounded out. "Misaki? Is that your name?" the boy nodded at the question and smiled a little.

"Can you write anything else, Misaki?" the prince asked in surprise at the boy's smile. He realised he liked the way the name sounded on his tongue and that he wanted to keep this boy close for a little while. Akihiko smiled to himself but his smile was replaced with a frown when Misaki dropped the stick and frowned. Misaki started shaking his head in answer, his father had never got around to teaching him how to write.

"That's a shame," the older of the two sighed. "Well, my name is Akihiko Usami. Most people just call me by my second name but I guess it doesn't matter because you can't talk," Misaki looked down sadly at the comment it felt more like an insult to the former merman.

"Come on, I'll take you to the castle. We can get you some food and some clothes there," Akihiko murmured softly. He heard a whimper from the boy but he carried on to the castle anyway.

'I can't believe he's carrying me, this is so embarrassing...' Misaki thought as he blushed a deep shade of red. Akihiko looked down with a soft smile. He liked this boy, he seemed to be quiet (obviously) and kind. He wondered of the boy would like to stay with him for a while because he could tell he would like the quiet, ghosting company that Misaki gave.

Misaki was taken into a room ladled 'the bear room'. When he had opened the door about 30 stuffed bears fell on him causing Misaki to open his mouth to cry out. The bears had fallen on him but the prince had dug him out of the pile while he laughed.

"I should've warned you," the prince chuckled.

Yeah, it would've been nice… Misaki grumped in his head as the prince picked him up off the floor.

"Hey, you have one of these so you don't get lonely and I can get someone to move the rest," Akihiko said as he patted Misaki on the head. Misaki just nodded causing Akihiko to be shocked that the boy wasn't looking at him weird for having a room full of bears.

As soon as the room was bear- free (apart from one Misaki had kept that Akihiko had announced was named Suzuki-san) Misaki was dressed in some big clothes and had had a nice bath, Akihiko insisted on taking him around the castle for a three hour tour that ended in the kitchen where the pair then ate. Akihiko promised to take Misaki to the tailor the next day to get him some new clothes. The older prince didn't give Misaki any chance to protest.

In the days that followed Akihiko showed Misaki all the kindness he could. He always thought of the boy first because Misaki had a bad habit of not telling anyone if he was hungry or needed to use the bathroom or even if he was thirsty. Sometimes, Akihiko thought of Misaki as if he was a kitten, he was too helpless to be let out on his own but Akihiko found that he always wanted to give him independence. Misaki didn't mind the fact there was someone always with him but he enjoyed the time he spent with the young prince the most and as crazy as it seemed to him, Misaki blushed as he began to realise the truth: slowly Misaki had let himself fall in love with the silver haired prince.

But Misaki was sure that it was wrong for a boy to fall in love with a man. It couldn't be right, it wasn't normal. All his brothers liked girls (or so they told him) and how could he have an heir to their throne if he was with a guy.

Misaki argued with his head often over the subject. While his head told him that it was wrong and that it was against nature to like another guy Misaki found that his heart beat faster every time he was in a room with the older prince.

Misaki soon drove his thoughts in circles but they all lead to the fact that he loved the prince. Misaki also realised while he was thinking that his mission to gain the prince's love may be a bit more challenging that he had thought if he was so wanting of the prince's happiness.

On a few occasions over the week, the prince took Misaki out to a place in the sea in a small wooden boat. Each time would be the same: The prince would look fondly at Misaki before looking back out to the water. While Misaki looked at the prince with a question in his eyes and when the prince looked back he let a small smile creep onto his face.

The conversation was almost always the same until one night where Akihiko told Misaki why they were there.

"Do you know why we come out here, Misaki?" Akihiko asked as he stopped rowing and let the boat just drift. Misaki shook his head politely and waited for the prince to continue

"I come out here to look for the ghost," the prince said as he looked below the waves. "And I bring you out here with me for company," he added as he looked to the sky. Misaki sat still and just looked at the prince as he explained.

"Once a week I sit on the beach and look out to this spot. This is a place that more than once, I have seen the ghost of a boy bobbing between the waves. I used to be able to come out here and see him swimming under the surface sometimes." the prince paused to look at Misaki and saw that the boy was blushing. Misaki had started blushing when he realised the prince was talking about him. "But for the last few days I couldn't find him and I was hoping if I came here, I could see him," the prince sighed as he looked back inside the boat with a disappointed look. "He isn't here," Akihiko sighed before he suddenly decided enough was enough and started to row his boat.

Misaki looked down at the waves and saw the faces of his brothers staring back at him. Each one looked too disappointed for Misaki to keep looking at them.

It was a warm evening, prince Akihiko was sitting on the beach looking up at the windows on the side of the castle nearest to him. In the only lit window he saw Misaki. He was staring out the window as he did every night he was here. Misaki's face showed signs of sadness and he always seemed to be whispering to himself.

Akihiko couldn't take his eyes off the boy in the window. He knew Misaki was a lot younger than himself because of the boys tiny body size. He didn't know many people that thin, but he estimated Misaki was young. He just wasn't sure how young.

While Akihiko was thinking about the younger male he didn't notice a blob exit the sea water a little way down the beach and crawl behind a rock.

The blob was Sumi who had transformed himself into a blob to make it easier to move to the shore. Once there, Sumi changed into the form of a handsome young man, one who was more beautiful than anyone in the land and who had every chance of stealing away the prince from the hopeful merman that the sea witch had a bargain with.

To finish off the look, Sumi strapped a chocker-like leather binding around his neck with a sharks tooth attached by chord. The tooth glowed magically because of the voice that was kept inside. Sumi knew, even if the prince had the face of Misaki his eyes had been hazy and he had not seen well so he didn't remember Misaki but the sea creature had the merman's voice, which was much more memorable than his face.

"Ugh, this voice goes right through you..." the male complained. He spoke with Misaki's voice and smirked. He cleared his throat and ran out onto the beach and towards the prince.

"Hey! Help me! Please..." he called in a pathetic version of Misaki's voice. He knew he got the prince's attention straight away from the way the prince's head turned like an obedient dog who had been called by its master.

The prince ran towards the cries to find Sumi lying in the sand trying to look tragic. The prince couldn't help but feel as if he was under a spell as he picked up the unconscious body and took it into his castle to look after.

On Misaki's last day ashore everything was different. When he pulled himself out of bed and went down the stairs into the kitchen, all the staff were running around like headless chickens.

He tried to grab someone's attention to see if they could tell him what's going on and in the end could only catch the arm of the scatter brained Aikawa who was trying to give orders while she ran around the room with a piece of paper.

She stopped when she felt a tug on her sleeve and looked around to find the small mute boy looking at her questioningly.

"Oh! Little Misaki-kun! Today is a special day!" she said as she pulled him out of the kitchen so they could talk in a quieter environment. Misaki looked up at the woman puzzled as she looked like she was going to burst.

"Prince Akihiko is going to marry his new lover today!" the woman screeched in excitement. Misaki paled and took a step back Aikawa was worried about his shocked expression and moved closer towards the boy to try and find out what was wrong.

"Misaki? Is everything...?" Aikawa was surprised as Misaki stumbled back a little more and his eyes filled with tears.

"Hey! Aikawa! What are you saying to Misaki?" a voice called from just beyond their spot in the hall. Misaki recognised it as the prince and felt his tears spill over onto his cheeks as he decided he couldn't take it and ran out of the room in the direction of the beach. He could hear running footsteps behind him and his name being called by the prince but he just kept running

Just before Misaki reached the castle doors he hid behind a plant next to a partially open door to try and throw the prince off his trail. What he didn't realise was that it was the door that belonged to the room of the prince's fiancé. Misaki only dared come out of his hiding spot when the prince ran past but before going to the beach like he planned he peaked into the room to see what kind of person the prince would want to marry.

"I'm going to rule the whole of Atlantica," Misaki's voice whispered from inside. When Misaki peaked in he saw a man talking to a butterfly. He held the creature on his palm and chuckled.

"Check in on our little Mer-prince Clarke... We need to make sure he is very unhappy," the evil man said with an evil chuckle. Misaki felt the tears again as he backed up and placed his hands over his mouth in shock. He realised almost immediately that this must be Sumi, the witch, because that was Misaki's voice!

The prince's fiancé was the sea witch?! Misaki was too upset to even think about how this had happened...

After once again whipping tears out of his eyes, Misaki ran to the beach where he had surfaced and found a cool shady spot to sit in.

Misaki pulled his legs up to his chest and wrapped his arms around them as he buried his face in his knees. The silent sobs could be heard by no one as he wallowed in his misery and self-pity. At that moment, three heads bobbed out of the waves and three pairs of eyes fixed themselves to Misaki's shaking form.

Takahiro, Shinobu and Chiaki all surfaced and after looking at their heartbroken brother, all looked around at each other.

"He's sad," Shinobu announced as he looked at his brothers.

"More like heartbroken" Chiaki added with a frown as he watched his brother's shoulders shake.

"We should give our gift to him," Takahiro added a he made his way to the edge of the water. With a wave of his hand the black haired male's tail disappeared and legs grew in their place. He walked slowly hoping not to startle the younger boy.

"Misaki," a voice called softly from above the boy. Misaki looked up to see his brother leaning over him with his hand outstretched as if trying to calm a wild animal. Misaki just looked up at his brother with teary eyes. He knew he couldn't talk and he knew not to try anymore.

"Misaki…" Chiaki sighed. He looked away from his brother to the ground in sadness before looking back up at the tear stained eyes.

"We came to give you a gift," Shinobu said. He was the only one of the brothers who didn't look sad. He was scowling at his younger brother in a very Shinobu-like way. "Not that you deserve it you idiot," he muttered as he handed a sea-weed bundle with the gift inside.

Takahiro glared at Shinobu for his comment but said nothing in fear of hurting the feelings of their youngest brother. Takahiro was definitely the kindest out of all the brothers and was also Misaki's favourite brother because he was the only one who was always there when he had a problem.

Takahiro would be a better choice for the next king… Misaki thought to himself as he weighed the package he had been given in his hands. It was quite heavy for the small package that it was and when Misaki unwrapped the parcel, he found a knife inside with a shining golden handle and a blade with blue shining stones embedded into the blade along the middle. Misaki looked up to his brother's with wide open eyes which seemed to say 'I couldn't kill anyone…'

"I know, it's a lot to ask but if this blade pierces the heart of the witch then all his evil doings will be undone and everything can return to the way it was," Chiaki said as he moved forward and placed a hand on Misaki's shoulder in what he hoped to be a comforting gesture.

Misaki looked from brother to brother but found no comfort in their too sweet smiles.

"Misaki, this is the only way you can break your deal with the Witch. Forget doing whatever he told you to do; it's hopeless. Just try and do this one task for us and you can come home," Takahiro told his brother softly. Takahiro signalled to the other two brothers suddenly and all three moved down to the waterline.

Misaki followed his brothers with a panicked expression and a million unanswered questions on his lips that he couldn't say:

Will I turn back into a merman? Will my other brothers welcome me home? Do you still think I'm worthy of being a prince? Are you disappointed in me?

…Am I a burden to you?

The questions circled in Misaki's head as he sat and admired the shimmering knife in the sunlight. He knew that he had to at least try and kill Sumi, for his family. He knew that they would be angry if he didn't come home and sad too because they would have lost their brother.

At that thought Misaki grew more determined. With furrowed eyebrows and a mixed look of determination and fear, he tucked the Knife into his belt and walked up towards the castle again.

At the castle, Prince Akihiko and princess Kaoruko were talking in the great hall room. It was a giant room that was being decorated for the after party of the prince's wedding. The actual ceremony would happen on a boat out at sea at the request of the prince's lover. It seemed like a strange request to Kaoruko, why have a wedding on a ship when the beach that was right next to the castle had beautiful white beaches and crystal clean waves that washed up here making a perfect image?

The younger princess could not even imagine why the male would want to have a wedding at sea. She knew that a storm was coming and it just meant that the whole of the wedding party was going to get soaked. Plus, it was always windy out in the ocean and Kaoruko knew lots of guests that hated wind when it got into their hair.

"Nii-sama, why are you even marrying this guy? If you ask me-" the prince stopped his cousin before she could give her opinion with his own.

"I didn't ask you," he clarified before he continued "and also, I think that Sumi is a wonderful person, I remember him saving me once when I threw something into the ocean and had to go and retrieve it," he told her. The tone Akihiko used made it seem like that was the end of the discussion but the princess wasn't going to be told that the conversation was over when she had opinions to share.

"I don't see why you don't marry that other boy… Misaki? He was nice enough and he wasn't as hair brained as this guy is," she said as she hung up some of the black sea flowers that had been requested by the absent male. She thought he had really bad taste in flowers and she knew that she wasn't going to like his personality much just from the way he had acted before.

"Misaki is really nice and I do care about him… but I love Sumi, he is the one I want. He is always thinking of me and what I want and he is just so helpless at times he needs my help just to get around…" the prince started to list good things about his new 'bride' while the princess grumbled to herself.

"He sounds pathetic…" she muttered before she was surprised to find a beautiful blue flower in the pile of black. "Eh? Nii-sama? What is this doing here?" she asked as she pulled the flower into her palms and sniffed its beautiful scent.

"Huh?" Akihiko asked as he looked over from what he was doing. When he saw the small blue flower he smiled. The smile reminded Kaoruko of a way her mother used to smile. It was a smile that seemed to always be filled with happy memories with special people. "That one is Misaki's favourite flower," he told her the princess felt confused as to why the prince had placed that flower here so the prince continued his explanation.

"Misaki has seemed pretty sad today and I wanted to make him happy, I thought maybe if I gave him a flower he would cheer up," the prince paused as he walked over to grab the flower from his cousin. "I want him to be happy, I hope he is…" he sighed and started stroking the flower petals longingly. The younger princess really wanted to hit her brother over the head. Why was he so dense that he couldn't even see that he was in love with Misaki? Kaoruko could see it and she hadn't spent time around them before.

Soon, the princess couldn't take standing in the same room as her brother while she knew that he was making such a big mistake. She stormed out of the room and towards the room she was staying in. Kaoruko stopped halfway there though; she suddenly had a plan that would show Akihiko he was making a mistake. She went out to the beach and started to pick the beautiful blue flowers Misaki loved.

As soon as she was gone Sumi poked his head into the room. "Akihiko? Are you free?" he asked from his place at the door. In his head the witch knew he didn't really love the prince and also that he had cast a mild spell on the prince to give the fake feeling of love. Minor stuff… the male told himself maliciously. He wanted Misaki to feel his heart crumble so he was no longer a free spirit. A broken spirit was much easier to tame than a free one.

"I'm not doing much… why?" the prince said with a smile. The potion that Sumi had used was good. it allowed someone's love of one person to be transferred to loving him.

"I just wanted to know if you had time to spend with me," Sumi said in his most in innocent voice. The voice sounded sickly sweet to him. It was too cute to be his own voice and it was starting to annoy him that he had to sound like that brat all the time.

"I always have time to spend with you, I love you," the prince said as he leaned down and kissed Sumi softly. Sumi kissed back to put on a show. He was sure Misaki was somewhere around and if he peaked into the door then Sumi wanted to see him suffering.

When they broke apart the prince kept his fiancé in his arms while he rested his head on top of the smaller males head.

"I can't wait until we can finally be married," the prince sighed. "Maybe then my parents will get off my back about this kind of thing," the prince rubbed his temples but stopped as he felt an outspread hand on his chest.

"Maybe..." the witch whispered as he leaned in again for a kiss.

Misaki was standing outside the hall watching. He had followed Sumi here with the intent of getting him alone so he could try to stab him but almost as soon as the witch had fallen into the arms of the young silver haired prince Misaki's will to kill had faded into nothing. He knew at heart he could've never done it but if the prince, the one he soon realised he loved, was happy, how could Misaki even think about taking away that happiness?

With a small broken sigh, Misaki turned away towards his room where, for the second time that day, he burst into his heartbroken sobs for someone who could never love him.

The day soon turned into evening and just before the sun was due to set, the boat that Sumi had asked for was ready to depart. Misaki had decided when he had followed the others to the boat that he should go to the wedding to show his support for the man he was in love with.

It was a hard decision for Misaki because he knew that sometime during the wedding he would change back into a merman like Sumi had promised. Misaki didn't really want to be near Sumi at this point in time and being on the boat would just send him straight into the sea creatures clutches when it was all over.

With a sigh Missaki shook his head and boarded the boat regardless. The ceremony was due to happen a little after sunset and Misaki wasn't sure what would happen after that point but he knew he would cause a big ruckus on the boat when it did happen. He imagined that the minute the sun went down a tail would pop up and that was what scared him the most.

As guests mingled around him, Misaki took a seat in one of the white wooden chairs that had been painted and decorated with blue and black flowers and ribbons. A small, sad smile crossed his lips as Misaki realised that the blue flowers where the ones he had seen out in the beautiful garden when he was with the prince. The sight bought a tear to Misaki's eye as he looked up to see the prince walking towards him. The prince wore a soft smile on his face and what seemed to be his best formal clothes.

The prince came and sat next to Misaki. He sat heavily in his chair so he was slouching quite a bit. He looked like he was slouching even more than he was thanks to Misaki's uptight posture. Like a dog, the prince's head lolled over to look at Misaki. He frowned when he saw how tense the young boy was.

"Lighten up," Akihiko told the younger of the two. To add effect he ruffled Misaki's hair and a smile brightened both their faces as he did. Akihiko wouldn't say, but somewhere deep down in his heart, even further than he could think to reach, he wished that Misaki was the one he was marrying.

At that moment the sun finally started to set. Akihiko noticed it first and placed an arm around Misaki cautiously to point it out to him.

"It's sunset," he announced as he looked down at the smaller male he was holding on to. He noticed small tears running down Misaki's cheeks as he watched the sun.

They watched together in silence while tears rolled down Misaki's face. As soon as the sun had disappeared between the waves Misaki felt a throbbing feeling in his throat and he knew that his voice was back.

"I'm sorry…" he whispered to Akihiko. The older male's eyes widened as he looked at the smaller prince.

"Did you just…?" Akihiko was lost for words as he looked at Misaki's tear stained face.

"I'm sorry I have to ruin your wedding," Misaki added in an even quieter whisper. Misaki's throat was raw from not having talked for a week and it hurt to talk even a little bit. But the prince needed to hear what he had to say.

Misaki had curled in on himself but attempted to keep talking, much to Akihiko's disbelief. "If you're happy with Sumi, then I guess I'm happy for you too, but I hope that you learned the full truth about him before you agreed to the marriage," Misaki said as he looked up at the prince. He sniffled a little bit before wiping his face on the back of his sleeve. The tears Misaki cried where a purple colour which the prince knew wasn't normal for any human.

"Misaki, what are you?" the prince asked in a shocked voice. Misaki looked away from the prince as he felt a magical pull from the sea.

"Don't worry," Misaki assured him "I'm not bad…" he added as he looked out to the sea where he could see Takahiro and Onodera looking up at him sadly. He waved at his brothers slowly and soon they both dived back beneath the waves. Misaki looked down at his lap as he realised the prince was waiting for him to say more.

"My name is Misaki, I'm the seventh son of the king of the seas and the seventh prince in line for the throne," He told the older prince calmly. He was a little embarrassed for telling the prince all this but he realised that it had to be done if he wanted to feel free when he was enslaved.

"Prince of the sea?" Akihiko asked as he leant closer to Misaki. Misaki now looked up at Akihiko with a small sad smile on his face. He knew that Sumi would soon find him and turn him back into his former self.

"We have met before you found me, don't you remember? You watched me from the beach, and before that, you watched me from the boat… I remember and I had seen you from a far many times after I first saw you," Misaki told Akihiko. Suddenly the fire returned to him and his face showed only his determination. "I saved you from drowning, and when I shouted at you, you brushed me off. It was too annoying for me to comprehend I had to meet you and talk to you at least once!" Misaki stopped and sighed. "So I made a deal with a sea witch and he took my voice in order for me to stay on the surface for a week. Now, I have to become his servant because I didn't accomplish the task I was set," Misaki didn't even get to finish what he was saying as the sea witch turned the corner.

Neither of the two saw the witch so Sumi watched on for a minute and selfishly chose now to get rid of the love potion he had placed on Akihiko. The older prince's eyes unclouded and almost immediately he leapt forward and hugged Misaki. The smaller boy didn't know what was happening so he just tried to push Akihiko away.

"U-usa-gi-san!" Misaki whined. He didn't realise he had said the prince's name wrong. The prince realised and let out a small chuckle.

"Misaki, you're very cute like this," the prince announced as he kissed the boy's cheek causing Misaki to let out an angry huff but soon calmed down to look at Akihiko with a blush on his confused face.

"But... I thought you loved Sumi, why are you doing this to me?" he asked as he once again tried to push away. Akihiko held Misaki tighter causing him to stop struggling as he saw that resistance was futile.

"No. I realise now that… Misaki, I love you…" Akihiko breathed into the younger prince's ear. Misaki turned a deep shade of red but smiled at the same time. He didn't think it would count but the prince did love Misaki and he had done his part to stay human.

But Misaki knew that he was already out of time and that soon Sumi would find him and he would never see the prince again. With that thought on his mind, Misaki frowned and suddenly his mood dropped so low it his face looked like he was going to cry.

"You realise I have to go back right? I failed my mission, the witch will come for me and I will never see you again so you may as well just leave now," Misaki sighed as he finally managed to push away from the prince.

"No! I don't want you to leave, I can protect you! I want to protect you from the person who is going to take you away!" Akihiko said as he wound his arms around Misaki's waist again but from behind so that Misaki could see the small group that had formed around them. He looked at some of the faces who were confused and smiled his small sad smile.

"Usagi-san… I have to go…" Misaki said as he tried to pry the arms from around him.

"No!" the prince refused as he childishly hugged the boy tighter.

"How touching," a new, sinister voice added to the conversation. The whole crowd turned to see Sumi. He was leaning against a wall, balanced on his shoulder with his arms crossed and one leg crossed over the other.

Misaki just looked at the sea which while a protective glare came from Akihiko which seemed to shoot daggers at the other man. Sumi pushed himself off the wall with his arm and sauntered over to the pair with an outstretched hand.

"Don't touch him," the older prince growled as he saw the intent to take his loved one in Sumi's eyes.

"Ah, Prince Akihiko! Sorry to bother you but I need to take my new slave from you. We need to leave," Sumi said in a slow and irritating voice.

"No!" the prince growled pulling Misaki slightly behind him causing the smaller to whimper.

Misaki was worried Akihiko would get hurt because of him, and he really didn't want that at all!

"You do know you're just making this worse for him right?" Sumi chuckled as he looked at Akihiko who was still glaring daggers at the evil male.

"No!" was all the prince could growl back. He was acting childishly and nobody thought it was possible to break the prince out of this state.

"Fine, I'll take him by force," Sumi said as he snapped his fingers. Immediately after the click Akihiko thought that nothing had happened but then Misaki fell onto the floor, crying in pain.

"Misaki!" Akihiko shouted as he reached out a hand to the boy behind him but Misaki's form faded and reappeared next to Sumi. The prince reached out again but was stopped by some kind of force.

"I'm sorry," Misaki sobbed from where he now lay crumpled on the floor. Sumi was playing the part of a villain well and laughing while Misaki could be heard crying in pain. The noise bought almost all of Misaki's brothers to the surface and eventually each one of them managed to make their way onto the boat using their 'emergency legs'.

"Misaki!" Onodera called as he ran and tried to get close to his brother.

"Don't!" Shinobu called after him. Shinobu had had many run ins with the witch in the past and knew how powerful his magic was, but Onodera didn't listen and ran face first into a barrier type thing. All the brothers gathered at the barrier and started to try and break it down.

"It's hopeless!" Chiaki sighed as he gave up.

"No! Misaki! Misaki!" Akihiko shouted as he tried to get through the wall.

"Save your strength…" Hiroki deadpanned he was standing with his arms crossed. "Nobody can get through there, we will just have to wait," everyone tried to calm down at Hiroki's suggestion but everyone seemed to be buzzing with anticipation as to what would happen next.

"Well, if he's going to be my slave, he won't need this!" Sumi said as he pulled a knife out of his pocket and slipped it up Misaki's arm. Misaki shuddered and all the brothers gasped in shock as they saw the blood start to trickle down Misaki's arm. The knife then flipped causing Misaki to yell out because it had slid further into his skin as it did.

With the sharp end of the blade Sumi cut the royal seaweed wrapping off Misaki's arm. The moment almost happened in slow motion as all the brothers gasped in shock at the sight. Misaki seemed to fly backwards with the impact and the binding seemed to float down to the deck like a feather before Sumi stepped on it and crushed it into the floor.

Almost too suddenly after Misaki had recovered from the shock, he chocked and started to struggle to breathe over the black smog that started to engulf him almost in an instant. Every single prince on the boat cried out for Misaki but they could soon see him again. Almost as suddenly as the fog had arrived, it left, leaving only the boy sitting on the deck in its wake.

The first thing that Akihiko noticed was that Misaki was no longer wearing clothes. His eyes grew wide as he took in the part of the boy's body he had never seen. He smiled at Misaki to try and reassure him it was okay but Misaki seemed to be crying. He looked up at his brothers and muttered 'I'm sorry'. When all the brothers seemed to gasp in shock Akihiko's eyes instinctively travelled further down the boy's body.

That's when he noticed the tail.

A frown formed on Akihiko's face as he realised Misaki was still in pain. The tears welling in the small merman's eyes where enough to tell Akihiko that it hurt more than he could imagine. Misaki looked devastated by what had happened to his tail and along with the pain he was feeling Akihiko knew that nobody could ever know what that felt like.

The place where it hurt Misaki the most was the end of his tail. On the small silk like part of the tail rips had formed like ones on a torn butterfly's wing. Chunks of tail were missing and Misaki was in pain because of it.

"I...I can never swim again..." he whispered in a painful voice. Misaki knew form the elder's tales that the end of his tail was important for his swimming and that the last person who lost theirs couldn't swim and died soon after. New tears ran down the boy's face as he kept running the thought 'I'm going to die' around in his head.

"Misaki, please don't think like that!" Takahiro called to his brother. Misaki looked up with unseeing, pain clouded eyes which scared Takahiro. His brother must be in so much pain... He noticed the knife that Misaki had kept concealed in his belt was still there but he winced when he realised that it was stuck in-between some of Misaki's scales. Blood poured from the wound but all the princes seemed to believe that Misaki didn't even feel it.

All of a sudden, Prince Akihiko got his strength back and charged at Sumi. "You Bastard!" he shouted angrily as he ran forward with his fist raised ready to punch the witch who had hurt his Misaki.

Sumi didn't move, he let out a noise of amusement and stopped Akihiko in his tracks with a spell that seemingly paralysed him.

"NO! Usagi-san!" Misaki cried. He didn't feel his pain for the moment; he could only hear the grunt of pain from the fallen prince and feel his own anger.

Sumi leant down to Misaki's level mockingly. He knelt down and smirked as he pushed his face closer to Misaki's.

"Does it hurt?" Sumi asked cruelly he picked up the end of Misaki's tail in his outstretched hand causing the boy's expression to go from anger to fear. "Hm, I wonder if it hurts as much as this…" Sumi said as he pulled at a hanging piece of tail while it ripped away down the middle of Misaki's tail. Misaki made a noise which sounded like a cross between a strangled cry and a scream of pain. The noises he started making didn't seem like noises that should come from the boy; they were too animalistic and rough for the sweet child Misaki was.

When Sumi was done had had ripped off a strand of Misaki's tail. Misaki was panting from the pain making him lose his breath as he looked up at the man holding him captive with a scowl.

Sumi didn't even look at Misaki as he balled up the bleeding bit of fin and turned it into a butterfly of the same purple colour. The butterfly was a beautiful purple and black mix and Misaki watched as the piece of his tail crawled around in the evil man's hand.

"At least one part of you is beautiful," Sumi sneered mockingly. He snickered as he crushed the butterfly between his fingers before it had chance to go anywhere. The animal's battered wings looked much like Misaki's tail and it struck fear into his heart that Sumi could do something so heartless as to create life, just to take it away…

"Oh well, now all of you has become an ugly, useless, mess!" Sumi said with another noise of amusement as he got closer into face Misaki. "Isn't that great?" he breathed into the helpless boy's face.

But Misaki proved to be not as helpless as he seemed to the villain. In a move that stunned almost everyone on the boat, Misaki pulled the knife out of his scales and plunged it into Sumi's chest and straight into his heart.

Sumi let out a noise like a 'huurk!' as he stumbled backwards coughing up blood as he crumpled to the floor. Misaki had stabbed Sumi straight through his black but beating heart and to finish off the evil which Misaki leaned forward and gave the knife a small twist before pulling it back out again.

Almost immediately the light left the eyes of the evil man. He looked at Misaki with dead eyes and in a strangled voice asked 'Why…?'

Before Misaki would answer, Sumi was dead. In death all of Sumi's transformed victims were meant to go back to how they looked before, but Misaki realised with dread that his tail stayed the way it was.

Sumi, however turned back into his half shark body and everyone gasped as they saw the face of the man the prince was about to marry. His face turned bony and sharp as his body seemed to rapidly age, Misaki remembered the tales that said that the sea which was over 1000 years old and had kept himself young by magic, from what was happening now, everyone could only think that the myth was true.

Misaki sat on the floor and looked at his tail. It was still ruined and it showed no chance of getting better. the squashed butterfly had turned back into a strand of silky tail material and as soon as Sumi's body turned to ash from growing so old, Misaki gave up hope altogether. Fresh tears welled in his eyes as he pulled his now numb tail up to his chest.

In the time when Sumi was aging rapidly the prince had found that he could move again. With slow, steady movements he stood and looked over to the small merman on the floor.

"Misaki…" he whispered as he got closer to the heap of boy on the deck. The prince fell to his knees next to the boy and pulled him into a strong hug.

"I'm sorry," the prince whispered into Misaki's ear. The boy didn't know what to do, the prince was hugging him tightly and trying to calm him down but all Misaki could think of was his tail. In the end Misaki wrapped him arms around the prince and held onto him like he was the last hope. "I promised I'd protect you, and I didn't… I'm so sorry, Misaki…" the prince said as he squeezed the boy even tighter. Misaki felt water falling onto his shoulder and realised that the few drops that had fallen on his shoulder had been the prince's tears.

"Don't be sad," Misaki told the older prince. He also hugged tighter in hopes or reassuring the other man that he was fine. "It's not your fault, this isn't something you could protect me from," he added as he stroked the princes hair softly. The onlookers felt as if they were watching a very private moment and all seemed to move away into groups on the deck while someone went to tell the captain to go back to the port.

The Mermen on the boat all decided their time was up and that there was nothing they could do for their brother at the minute. They each dived into the water but stayed near to the boat where they could see if Misaki needed them. Misaki didn't notice his brother's leave; he was too absorbed in what he was doing.

Misaki stroked the prince's hair as if he was trying to soothe the man who was trying to soothe him. Akihiko pulled back to look at Misaki with newly dry eyes. Misaki was puzzled, he was sure that Akihiko had been crying a minute ago…

"Misaki, I love you. I don't want to lose you…" Akihiko announced as he looked Misaki in the eyes. He bought a hand up to caress Misaki's cheek and just like before, he was shock that the boy's face fit perfectly into his hand.

"I love you too…" Misaki told the older man quietly and shyly as he started to cry again. A small smile formed on Akihiko's face.

"Come on, you have to stop crying," he told Misaki softly as he wiped some of the tears away with his thumb.

"I can't help it" Misaki whined. "Once I start crying, I just can't stop!" Akihiko bought his other hand up to wipe away Misaki's tears before leaning in close to the others face.

"Is that so?" he asked as he leaned in closer before pressing his lips against those of the crying boy.

The kiss was short but filled with emotion. Misaki could feel the older prince's hands on his cheeks as he wrapped his arms around Akihiko's neck to pull him a little closer. When they broke apart Misaki tried to keep his love close and his wish was granted when Akihiko moved back but pulled Misaki with him to sit the boy in his lap so he could cradle his head next to his heart

Misaki could hear Akihiko's heartbeat and feel his own in sync with it. He let out a small gasp as a smile spread across his face for a minute before he remembered what he had to do and frowned again. "You know I'm going to have to leave right? And I'm most likely going to die," he said as he looked up briefly. The look on the older prince's face made it seem as if he didn't want to listen.

"No! I'm going to take you back with me and build a big pool and then you can live in there!" the stubborn prince announced.

"I'd die anyway if I was cut off from the sea," Misaki told him with a sigh "Usagi-san, where's my fairy tale?" he asked looking up at the puzzled older man. When he didn't answer he continued. "You always hear of these types of stories, but they always have happy endings where the prince would find his true love and when they kiss, everything would be fine again…" Misaki looked up at a stunned Akihiko. The truth was the male had no idea what to say to comfort the boy right now.

Misaki sighed as he continued again. Normally he wouldn't be this chatty, but with what he felt were his last minutes fast approaching, he had to get his feelings across to Akihiko. He placed a hand on the prince's hand and smiled softly. "we met, we fell in love, we kissed but now nothing happens to make it all okay…" Misaki sighed he stopped talking now and joined his hands together in the middle of his chest as if in prayer.

"Misaki…" Akihiko managed to choke out as he looked down at the boy who seemed to have decided that this was his fate. He almost could feel his heart breaking at the words Misaki was saying.

"I wish there was a way to change this… I wish there was a way that I could turn human again!" Misaki looked down at his tail for a second before looking back up to Akihiko. "But it's not as simple as wishing-" he started to say but was cut off as he tail began to glow.

"Wha-?" Misaki asked as he was suddenly blinded by a bright light coming from his tail. By the time the light was dim enough for Misaki to look, any pain he had felt in his tail was gone and he could feel his tail again as if it was fixed.

Akihiko was the first one to see what was happening and smiled as he hugged Misaki close. "You spoke too soon, this is your fairy tale…" the older prince whispered. He was overjoyed at what he could see and noticed others coming closer to see what all the commotion was about.

Soon, the light faded and everyone gasped and smiled at what they could see. When Misaki looked down he felt more tears well up in his eyes, but this time tears of joy. Misaki suddenly had legs, the exact same ones he had had for the past week covered in some black trousers that looked ripped like some kind of pirates clothing. He pulled them up to his chest to check they could bend properly before, with Akihiko's help, he climbed to his feet to stand up.

Misaki gave an experimental step and then an experimental jump before he let out a manic laugh of happiness. He hugged Akihiko tightly which surprised the man before he ran over to the edge of the boat and called out to his brothers.

"I can walk!" he called over the edge of the boat where he could see his brothers swimming. "Hiroki! Chiaki! Onodera! Shinobu! Takahiro! I can walk!" the young prince shouted again causing all the brothers to look at each other with amusement and affection for their youngest brother written on their faces..

"Oh yeah? Well how's your swimming with legs then, you chibi!" Shinobu teased up at his brother. Misaki jumped into the water without a second thought. He had spent almost all of his life swimming and he didn't plan on giving up now. The older prince shouted after him but Misaki didn't care. He was always such a strong and fast swimmer and he could see the shore from here anyway!

When Misaki hit the water something felt different. His legs turned into a tail and much to his horror the tail was broken and disfigured just as Sumi had left it.

"HELP! Misaki screamed to his brothers as he began to sink. His tail wasn't strong enough to let him swim through water and the salt water stung the open cuts on his side and even the ones on his tail.

Two brothers were already chasing after Misaki's falling form as soon as he hit the water. Misaki was already panting hard from the burning sting of the salt water.

"Let's take him to the shore, quickly!" Onodera said to Takahiro as each of them caught an arm.

"Okay! Hiroki, go and get the family healer!" Takahiro shouted back before he and Onodera sped towards the sand.

When they got to the beach Misaki was unconscious. His head lolled to one side as his eyes looked at noting. The brothers thought this may be a good time to check the damage on Misaki's tail more thoroughly.

Almost at once, all of them noticed that one of the two thin bones in the end of his tail had been broken in the middle so that some of the bone was missing. The bone had also taken away a good portion of the surrounding fin material almost like a cloth sail where the mast had been blown down. There were large across his fins there were so severe it was hard to see any part of the tail what was in good shape. Some of the tears started from the bottom of the fins while others just looked as if something sharp had poked into the fins and cut it. The brothers were all in shock due to the extent of the injuries the sea witch had given their younger brother.

When the healer managed to get to the sand he stood on the beach with his emergency legs. He bowed quickly to the royalty on the beach before muttering out 'my name is Kusama Nowaki, I'll look after him," and going to work.

"Place his hand in the water so that he won't turn back human," he commanded softly before he went to work on the tail.

The healer bought out of the water a bowl made out of a large shell. The bowl had a green paste inside that made all the brothers wonder about the ways of the healer.

"This is healing salve, it will help to stop the sea water burning his tail and at the same time it can heal up some of the smaller rips in the tail," the healer explained as he started to apply it to the tiny tears and the edges of Misaki's tail.

Next, he pulled out some kind of pinkish-purple seaweed. "This will help with bone regeneration," He told them as he applied it to the snapped bone in the tail.

The healer pulled many different things out of the sea with him. He had a flower which he crushed and made Misaki drink for the shock of what had happened, and the yellow paste in the coral bowl which applied to Misaki's cut to stop infection before it was wrapped with seaweed. Next, the healer sewed the parts of Misaki's tail together before he stepped back.

"I'm done," he sighed wiping his forehead before he walked over to stand with Hiroki. "Mermaids and mermen are notoriously good at healing quickly," he admitted before pointing at Takahiro and giving him instructions. "in thirty minutes, take all these wrappings off and if he isn't healed by then get someone to come and get me," after ending his speech the healer looked at Hiroki and smiled slightly but shyly. Hiroki blushed as he looked at the man and his smile. He was definitely a nice looking human but Hiroki wasn't looking for anyone at the minute. He dove back into the water much to the surprise of the healer.

Shinobu snickered as he looked up at the healer. "if you want him, you're gonna have to catch him," he snickered watching as the healer blushed, rubbed the back of his head and blushed before he dove into the water and swam away after the story brunette.

Shinobu snickered to himself quietly but was surprised when all his brothers started running towards the boat that had just docked. "I'll stay with Misaki then…" he muttered as he folded his arms and fell to sit next to his brother. Shinobu dipped one of his feet into the water and let out a sigh of happiness as his legs turned into his long orange stripy tail again.

Shinobu liked his tail. it was different from his brothers because he had extra side-fins which made him faster in the water but also an outcast in the kingdom because he was the only one who had them. He sighed before he saw Takahiro running back over to where he was with prince Akihiko frantically running after him.

"Misaki!" the prince breathed happily as he pulled the boy's head into his lap as he sat down on the sand. Akihiko stroked Misaki's hair as a comforting gesture as he looked up at Takahiro. "I can look after him," he said to the prince who was most likely the same age as him. Takahiro wore an unreadable expression. His lips where pressed into a hard line as he looked at the man stroking his brother's hair.

"I am Takahiro, the second prince of the seas and I have met you before Usami-san," he said crouching so he was at the same level as the other male. Akihiko was puzzled until he looked into the eyes of the man before him more closely.

"You… I met you on the beach…" Akihiko thought back. He remembered being sixteen and falling in love with a boy he had met on the beach. "Eleven years ago…" he sighed to himself. Takahiro was surprised that the prince remembered.

"You also met my brother, Hiroki, the third prince of the seas," Takahiro stated. Akihiko tried to remember and in his minds eyes he could see the brunette, age sixteen who was willing to sleep with him to help him get over his lost love. He and Hiroki had stopped seeing each other when Akihiko had expressed his guilt after what happened, it seemed to him that Hiroki couldn't take being thrown away. "All I'm asking," Takahiro continued "is that you take care of my brother. I don't want him to try and return home and to be hurt along the way." Takahiro looked at Akihiko with a serious expression. "We may be able to partially heal Misaki's fins but we cannot replace the damaged nerves or the scar tissue that will be there. These wounds won't just affect his tail, they may affect his legs too," Takahiro warned "he may not be able to walk very well and it may hurt him so make sure you are considerate of him," Takahiro's expression softened as he moved to run a hand through his younger brothers hair.

"Believe me," Akihiko started. Takahiro looked up with an open mind. He wanted to hear what the man had to say. "I would never hurt Misaki. I love him, he is too sweet and innocent to leave on his own anyway," the prince smiled and Takahiro smiled back.

"Fine, I'll leave him in your keep but first I have to take these off him," Takahiro motioned to the bandages and Akihiko nodded as he tried to slip the one off Misaki's arm. When the seaweed wrap did come off Akihiko was stunned to see that the skin was healed underneath.

"It's gone!" he said in surprise looking down at Takahiro who was using a coral bowl to wash the paste off Misaki's tail with the seawater.

"Mercreatures are fast healers," Takahiro stated before putting down the bowl and looking at the stiches while Akihiko pulled off the other seaweed wrap. "He should be fine," Takahiro summarised for Akihiko before standing up. "He should wake up in an hour or so, tell him we said he should be happy with you," Akihiko nodded and smiled down affectionately at Misaki he finally pulled the younger prince completely into his arms and cradled him close to his heart. As soon as Misaki's hand left the water his legs came back. Akihiko could see scars as they edges up his legs and under the cover of the ripped trousers Misaki was wearing.

"I will come and check on you, Misaki can have a telepathic link with us in the sea and I can tell him when I want to come and visit so be on your guard," Takahiro warned before smiling and kissing Misaki's forehead as I also stood with Misaki in my arms. "Be safe, brother," he whispered before walking to the water's edge and wading in to swim out.

This was the first time that Akihiko was glad things would now be calm.

It was almost a year after that incident now. Misaki had woken up a little after Akihiko had got him into his room at the castle. The prince had no time to prepare himself before Misaki had jumped him. He had cried for a little while before Akihiko realised that the only way to stop the young prince from crying was to kiss him.

So he did. And he didn't stop at one.

Eventually, after a day of the two staying in the bedroom (with the door locked so nobody could get in and disturb them) Akihiko proposed to Misaki and they got married five days later on the beach where the mermen could sit on the sand and the Usami family could watch as well.

Today was special for the two. Misaki was expecting a visit from a few of his brothers. Misaki had discovered shortly after the incident that he how had almost all of Sumi's powers and he could use them for good instead of the evil Sumi did. This meant that all Misaki's brothers had to do was telepathically link to him and he could send them magic. A few days ago, Shinobu had contacted Misaki and asked him to take the time restrictions off his legs so he could stay in the village with someone he had met, Takahiro had asked the same thing a few days prior while Misaki was just plain puzzled.

The brothers who were coming to see Misaki were: Takahiro, Onodera and Hiroki. When they called to ask for their magic, Hiroki asked Misaki to include another male in the transport.

Hiroki had bought his lover, the healer Nowaki, to meet his brother. Another new adition to the family was a young woman that Takahiro had bought through to the castle from the village with him. He said her name was Manami and that he wanted to marry her. Manami had agreed to the proposal and had also agreed to go live in the underwater kingdom so Misaki made it possible for her.

The last new member of the family had come from Misaki. As a royal requirement he knew that the Usami family would need a child to pass the crown down to. Misaki used his magic to make himself able to have a child and after three weeks Misaki announced that he was going to have a baby. Nobody was happier than Akihiko.

Now, the two stood on the beach waiting for Misaki's brothers to surface. Manami was there too because Misaki's magic was refuelling and he wouldn't be able to make her into a mermaid for at least another week.

Misaki stood beside Akihiko while they held each other's hands tightly. Akihiko had gotten protective in the last few days seeing as Misaki had suddenly developed a baby bump within the last few days and he didn't want anyone harming his love or his child. Between where Misaki and Manami stood was a pile of clothes they always bought for the brothers to throw on when they arrives seeing as most of them would just walk around naked otherwise.

All too suddenly the four men surfaced.

"Hey Misaki!" Onodera called as he walked over to his brother. Takahiro walked straight to Manami and Hiroki and Nowaki stood off to the side a little. Onodera pulled his smallest brother into a hug but pulled back sharply when he felt a small bump where Misaki's stomach was.

"Hey, Misaki have you gotten fat?" Onodera asked in a very puzzled voice. Misaki was confused and placed a hand on his stomach before realising what his brother had felt and starting to laugh.

"It's nothing," he said with a small blush on his face. He felt Akihiko squeeze his fingers and Misaki felt his blush darken. Onodera shrugged and went to talk to the older prince about how each of the lands were.

Nowaki came over and bowed to the young prince. "Hello, Misaki. I'm Nowaki I treated your wounds after the accident with the sea witch," the male said. Nowaki was still bowing so Misaki told him to get up. He was quite embarrassed because nobody used to do that for him, not even down in their underwater palace.

"You don't have to bow to him Nowaki," Hiroki growled causing Misaki to giggle a bit. Hiroki reluctantly walked over and gave his brother a hug but felt the bump same as Onodera did. "Misaki, you have a bump were your stomach should be…" Hiroki stated in a monotonous voice. Misaki growled under his breath as Akihiko snickered.

"I. Am. Not. FAT!" Misaki shouted angrily to everyone around him. He heard murmurs of 'if you say so' and 'never said you were' which caused him to blush because he felt stupid and look down.

Akihiko let out a slight chuckle at Misaki's mood swings before pulling him closer.

"Shall we all go up and have some food at the castle?" Misaki asked slowly looking at each of his now clothed brothers. Misaki noticed how they all seemed thinner recently but that was to do with the time of the year and how the fish acted around now.

"If you want to Misaki," Onodera smiled. He looked over to one side of the beach and saw a man who looked vaguely familiar. In his now twenty two year old brain, Onodera remembered the other male from his day on the beach when he was sixteen. The older male must've remembered at the same time because he sent a flirtatious wink in Onodera's direction as he started walking to the castle.

Misaki had run off ahead and Akihiko had ran after him seeing the running boy as a challenge. Like a rabbit that wanted to be caught. Manami and Takahiro were just a little way ahead of me while Nowaki and Hiroki where nowhere to be seen and had obviously also gone ahead.

Their giggles and shrieks where heard for miles and all the brothers (on land or in sea) could hear the sounds of their youngest brother's happiness.

They all sighed happily (the telepathic link enabled them to see and hear everything.) as they thought about the event of the year.

If Misaki hadn't been so stubborn then they would all still be swimming beneath the sea with a fear of the surface but now everything had changed

Takahiro had even given in to their father and became the second choice for the throne because of his wife.

A year after Misaki had been able to transform Manami into a mermaid, Misaki and Akihiko's child, Ren was born. She had large green eyes like Misaki but she had the silver hair and love of teddy bears from her father. She also loved to swim and as soon as Misaki put her in the bath her legs would become an exotic purple with silver stripes. After learning his daughter could grow a tail Akihiko had a large pool built for her enjoyment while Misaki yelled at him for spending money.

With the large pool built Misaki's brothers visited more frequently. The water had been taken from the ocean so they could sleep in there if they wished. Even Misaki's father visited once to meet his granddaughter!

Also, almost every single brother had recently found a lover. Whether it was someone they were reluctant to be with before or someone they had met on shore everyone had someone and was happy.

And it was a happily ever after, like a fairy tale, just like Misaki wanted.

Honestly, I thought the ending really dragged so I just wanted to cut it off when I had the chance. I know the ending sucks but I really needed to get this off my very long to do list.

Anyway, I hope you liked it, sorry about the ending… and I'm done.

^.^