The Boy Who Loved The Sea
There once was a boy who fell in love with the sea. The boy's name was Haruka, and more than anything, he wished the sea could love him back.
Haruka loved the water, more specifically, the sea.
Having lost his parents very young, he was taken in by his grandmother who lived only a stone's throw away from the beautiful cerulean and indigo depths.
He was a boy who valued his solitude, and so whenever he would leave her small home to venture to the sea, his grandmother, who was in her late years and had come to be very understanding, saw him off with a warm smile and a soft utterance to be safe.
It was one day very shortly after he had come to stay with her that his grandmother noticed a change in her grandson.
At first when she found him, facedown in the water, his ebony hair splayed out in the water like a clump of seaweed, she had rushed into the water, fearing for his life.
But when she had almost reached him, he slowly rose from the waves, small rivulets cascading down his face, and turned his gaze to her.
She was astonished to say the least.
The boy's eyes, of which had been a light, penetrating grey since his birth, were now a shade of blue so vibrant she hadn't even known it to be possible in an eye color.
She stared at the boy before her in awe, the very ocean reflected in his eyes, as he spoke four small words to her.
"I love the sea."
That day had been ten years ago, and now, as the kindly old woman lay on her bed of soft pillows and even softer blankets, she reached out her hand and weakly gripped that of her grandson with all that was left of her quickly failing strength.
She gazed proudly at the wonderful young man before her, who had grown to be quiet and somewhat anti-social, yes, but also caring, honest, and undyingly faithful.
The boy gently squeezed his grandmother's hand, tears dripping from his chin, and the old woman smiled, remembering the words he had spoken to her when he was barely eight years old.
"Haruka." She spoke his name and he met her gaze, oceanic blue and steely, tired grey. "You're a good boy, Haruka. Do you remember the day you told me you loved the sea?"
Haruka nodded and his grandmother smiled kindly at him, giving his hand a firm squeeze. "Do you still love the sea?"
Haruka's eyes persistently watered, but he nodded. "Yes."
His grandmother nodded. "Good. Because, Haruka, the sea will love you back. It will. Be good to it, take care of it, and take care of yourself. You're a capable young man, and you've made me proud, so proud, to call you my grandson. I love you Haruka."
Haruka didn't even bother to hide the shake in his voice. "I will, I love you too grandma."
The old woman nodded, fading fast. "Remember what I told you Haruka…don't forget…don't."
She gave his hand one final squeeze, and then she was gone.
Haruka stayed with her through the night, until the next day when they took her inland for the burial.
Despite the crushed feeling his grandmother's death had left him with, Haruka went on with his life as she requested.
Although now it was harder to keep himself safe, as he had no one to return home to.
That was precisely how he had gotten into the situation at hand. Haruka decided on a good, lengthy swim before breakfast, paying no heed to the blood-red dawn.
Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky at morning, sailor take warning.
He swam and swam and swam and swam, until he could barely make out the shore.
Clouds had been gathering for awhile now, and Haruka barely had time to realize his fatal error when lightning split the sky and thunder roared overhead, followed by rain being driven harshly by strong winds.
The waves whipped and crashed around him, and Haruka fought the ever-growing current underneath him, threatening to swallow him.
He couldn't believe how stupid he'd been, but there was nothing to be done now.
As the monstrous waves finally engulfed him, Haruka accepted his fate.
As he sank slowly in the thrashing torrent, he found himself looking around at the sea.
It was somewhat murkier than usual because of the storm, and a deep, enticing blue-green.
Haruka almost closed his eyes when the shape of a large creature swam past.
Haruka felt his blood turn to ice, because the creature's tail had the distinct side-to-side motion of a shark.
Drowning was one thing, but Haruka never counted on being torn apart by a shark instead of the current.
But then, everything he had previously thought vanished in an instant, rising to the surface like the bubbles that had just burst from his mouth, as he came face-to-face with the creature.
It wasn't a shark; well, not fully anyway.
The first color to catch Haruka's eye was red. Red hair, red eyes. His eyes traveled down a bare torso, but instead of legs below the hips, the creature, a male he presumed, possessed the tail of a shark.
But instead of coarse skin, the tail was covered in black and grey scales veined with white, and as the tail swished slowly back and forth in the water, Haruka saw them gleam with a reddish tint, almost like a raven's feathers.
Haruka slapped his hand to his mouth as water threatened to invade, but the shark suddenly swam forward and pried his hand away with his own hand.
Haruka noticed how incredibly smooth the skin was, almost slimy.
Haruka let it happen, seeing as he probably wasn't going to live through this anyway, but was the most surprised he'd ever been in his life when the shark pressed their lips together.
Haruka's eyes widened, so close to those of the shark's.
Deep red laced with scarlet looked back at him, and his jaw went slack with shock.
He almost didn't react when the shark breathed air into his mouth, actual oxygenated air, and cupped his face in his hands.
Once Haruka had a renewed air supply, the shark took him in his arms and swam towards the surface with Haruka holding on tight.
Once they reached the surface, Haruka caught a glimpse of a strand of beach out of the corner of his eye, but then everything went black.
Before Haruka even opened his eyes, he knew he was still in the sea.
He felt the water lapping at his legs, just above his knees, he heard the waves, smelled the salt.
He opened his eyes slowly, seeing that the sky was still covered with dark grey clouds, but the rain had stopped.
He shifted and suddenly heard a loud splash, the spray showering him with salty drops.
Despite his body's protests he quickly sat up, scanning the waves.
A flash of crimson alerted him to the creature in the water, and despite his earlier peril, he jumped right back into the water after it.
He knew it wouldn't be able to reach the open ocean now because of the sand bar about twenty feet from the beach.
During low tide when the waves swept in the sand bar was created, and it was closed off on all sides, effectively forming a pool that larger sea creatures couldn't escape from.
He knew this because he had assisted numerous dolphins and smaller whales make their getaway from the pool in the past.
This creature, whatever he was, wouldn't be able to get past the high expanse of sand on his own, especially with the tide rapidly receding. Haruka slowed his pace.
Since entering the water, the creature had stopped swimming to and fro looking frantically for an escape, and now stayed beneath the surface only a few feet away.
Haruka was suddenly apprehensive about whatever he was biting him, but he dismissed the idea quickly.
Why would he bite him after saving his life? And why bite?
Stopping now, Haruka submerged himself in the water, opening his eyes once he was under.
The creature was watching him, piercing red eyes locked onto his, and while he wasn't exactly on the offensive or defensive, he merely looked prepared to flee.
Haruka inched forward, watching to see if the creature would rush at him or stay put.
The redhead stood his ground, and when Haruka was mere inches from him, he held out his hand.
The creature looked back and forth, to his face and to his hand, and Haruka managed a small smile, extending his reach a little farther.
As the waves gently moved Haruka back and forth, the creature was completely still, no part of him moving aside from his hair, which resembled red seaweed.
After another short moment, the creature swam slowly forward and took Haruka's hand.
Haruka smiled, rising to the surface and taking a breath.
He was about to go back under when he noticed the other had come up with him, nothing but the top of his head and his eyes leaving the water.
Haruka noticed his eyebrows furrowed slightly, and he asked quietly. "What's wrong?"
He didn't even know if the redhead would answer him. He didn't even know if he understood a word he said.
But he was pleasantly surprised when the redhead brought the rest of his face out of the water and asked in a voice rough from sea water. "Are you alright?"
Haruka's eyes widened slightly, but he nodded nonetheless, sinking back into the water and relaxing into the soft sand of the sand bar and the warmth of the waves around him. "I'm fine, but, why did you save me?"
The redhead's nose and mouth sunk under the water again, but when he spoke, Haruka still somehow heard him. "Well…I grew up around here…I was here even before you were. I saw you a lot, and you really did love the sea…And it just didn't seem right to me that someone who loves the sea so much should have their life taken by it…"
Haruka only realized they were still holding hands when the other's grip tightened, and the raven made the decision to squeeze back. "What's your name?"
"Rin." It was barely a whisper.
Rin's eyes widened ever-so-slightly. "So that was what your grandmother called you."
At Haruka's confused expression, Rin elaborated. "I heard her calling you all the time, but I never understood any of what she was saying. I could understand you though. But where is she? I haven't seen her for a few days now."
For the slightest second Haruka looked as if he was in pain, and Rin was about to ask him if he was okay for the second time when Haruka spoke.
"…She actually passed away…"
Rin's mouth was slightly parted, and Haruka caught a glimpse of sharp teeth.
The redhead's expression was surprisingly pained. "She did…? I'm sorry Haruka, she was a good woman."
Haruka tiled his head. "Did you know her?"
Rin lifted a shoulder slightly. "Sort of. She saw me a lot. She would try talking to me, but even if I couldn't understand her, her tone said what her words couldn't. And every time she saw me, she would always call you, because you would come out and ask what she needed. I always swam away though. I don't really know why. I didn't know if you were supposed to see me or not…"
Haruka frowned a bit. "Really? I wish you would've let me see you. Maybe we could've become friends earlier."
Rin's eyes widened. "You consider me your friend?"
Haruka quirked a brow. "Give me a reason why I shouldn't."
Both of Rin's eyebrows went up. "No, I just…well…I always wished I could be your friend…"
Haruka smiled, and Rin smiled back.
They were silent for awhile, each just watching the other.
But the silence was broken when Haruka's stomach started to protest being empty for so long.
Rin chuckled, and the sound alone made Haruka's smile a little bigger.
"You should eat, then rest a bit. I don't think even you are accustomed to almost dying."
Haruka nodded. "But how will you get back into the ocean?"
"I'll jump." Haruka's eyes widened and Rin smiled. "Get back to shore and then I'll jump."
Haruka nodded, and once he made it to shore he turned around, seeing Rin's head disappear underneath the water.
A few seconds later he reappeared, flying gracefully over the sand bar to land with a splash into the ocean past it.
Haruka was about to turn around when Rin appeared one last time. "And Haruka! If you ever want to see me, just call my name underwater. I will hear it."
Haruka smiled and nodded, waving goodbye to his new friend.
The redhead returned the wave, albeit a little awkwardly, and then dove beneath the waves.
Haruka smiled to himself, and for the first time since his grandmother's death, his world seemed to get a tad brighter.
After that, there wasn't a day that went by where the two didn't see each other.
They usually met during the afternoon, once Haruka had finished anything that needed to be done around the house.
More than anything, the two just swam together.
They spoke as well, but there was nothing quite like simply swimming alongside one another.
The days turned into nights, where the two would relax in the water and stare up into the sky, making pictures in the stars and watching the moon pass overhead.
More often than not, their hands would end up entwined, merely for the purpose of not drifting apart they justified.
It was the nights that Haruka lived for. Just him, Rin and the ocean, the redhead swimming lazy circles around him, gently brushing up against him from the side or below.
They were doing just that this particular night, Haruka swimming slowly along with Rin gracefully gliding through the water around him.
Haruka submerged suddenly, coming face-to-face with the redhead underwater.
For a long moment, they just stared at one another.
And then Haruka's hands slowly came to rest on Rin's shoulders.
In return, Rin placed his hands on Haruka's hips, and the two began to twirl in the water.
They swayed from side to side, they spun slowly, they dipped, they rose.
Haruka barely remembered to breathe until Rin brought him to the surface, and even then, they continued to glide through the deep indigo with the stars reflected on the surface, deep crimson locked with ocean blue.
They hadn't noticed exactly when they began to think of each other as more than simply friends, but at that moment each boy's mind was completely filled with the other.
As they spun gently one last time, Haruka's arms wound around Rin's neck, and the redhead hugged his torso, bringing their bodies flush together.
They both leaned in together, and when their lips met, they sank below the surface.
At first, their kiss was nothing more than close-lipped, but as they rose above the water once more, Rin angled his head and licked gently at Haruka's lips.
The raven opened his mouth in response, his hand threading through the hair at the nape of Rin's neck.
The kiss was becoming more intimate by the second, but not frenzied.
Rin's tongue was memorizing every bit of Haruka's mouth, and Haruka was memorizing the redhead's taste.
Haruka suddenly felt sand underneath him and was aware that they had washed up on the beach, close to his home.
As they washed up onto dry sand, Rin suddenly broke away and looked down in amazement.
He no longer had a tail, in it's place, a pair of legs. "I didn't even know this was possible." He said in wonder.
Haruka just smiled and stood up, offering him his hand.
The redhead took it, and when he was helped up off the sand he stood with surprisingly little difficulty.
He grinned at Haruka and the raven pressed a light kiss to his lips, leading him to his home.
As soon as he closed the door, Rin was upon him, kissing his neck, his shoulders, his collarbone, his chest, anywhere he could reach.
By the time they made it to the back of the house and fell into Haruka's bed, the raven, like Rin, was wearing nothing.
The redhead pressed a sweet, gentle kiss to his lips and whispered against them. "I don't want you to do anything you'll regret."
Haruka smiled and gazed into Rin's deep red eyes, so in love that he couldn't even describe it.
He conveyed his feelings with a simple look, while cupping Rin's face in his hands and kissing his lips. "How could I ever regret anything with you?"
Rin smiled back, and Haruka could feel how much he loved him with every caress, every kiss, and every look directed into his eyes.
The redhead leaned forward, pressing their foreheads together, and looked directly into Haruka's oceanic eyes.
Haruka could barely breathe. Happiness had filled him up to the top, and he felt as if his heart would burst.
Then Rin murmured lowly. "Haruka, I have a serious question to ask you."
Haruka, suddenly coherent, nodded. "What is it?"
Rin caressed his cheek, and Haruka unconsciously leaned into it. "I want you to become my mate."
Haruka's eyes widened, his joy apparent, before it was slightly muted. "But how? Is it even possible? I want to Rin, but can I?"
Rin nodded. "Yes, it's possible. We just need to…uh…"
Rin gestured to their whole situation. Haruka nodded. "I see. That's it?"
"You have to want it."
Haruka smiled, his arms winding around the redhead's neck. "I want it, Rin, I want you."
He delivered a quick kiss to the redhead's lips, who then tugged his body closer and gave him a proper kiss, and Haruka felt his smile against his own.
When they joined, Haruka felt no pain.
He wrapped his arms around Rin's shoulder's, the skin slightly sweaty, and pressed his lips to his temple, whispering to him. "I love you Rin, I love you."
"Haruka." Rin breathed. "Haruka."
He moved slowly, his actions not driven by lust, and lightly caressed Haruka's face with his lips. "I love you Haruka, you never knew, but I always have."
Haruka gasped at the confession, connecting their lips in a kiss, letting his emotions flow into it, into Rin.
It was then that it occurred to Haruka; merpeople didn't simply mate, they made love.
The next morning, Rin walked with Haruka to edge of the water.
Rin went in first, and after a small, soft red glow, his legs were once again a tail.
The redhead held out his hand to the raven, much like Haruka had the first time they met, a tender smile on his face.
Haruka smiled and took the hand offered to him, wading into the water.
The water around Haruka's legs began to glow a soft blue, and they both shared a smile before their lips met.
Grandma, I'm not sure if I'm entirely correct on my assumption, but if you did indeed pick Rin to be the one to look after me…
A quick glance at the wide smile on Rin's face, and feeling the water swish so perfectly around his new tail as the dolphin-like appendage moved steadily up and down, Haruka allowed himself to relax into the arms of the one who loved him, resting his head on his shoulder and closing his eyes.
There once was a boy who fell in love with the sea. The boy's name was Haruka, and more than anything, he wished the sea could love him back.
What he hadn't known, was that it always had.
Well, I'm rather proud of this one for a few reasons. First off, it's FREE. COME ON. Second, MERPEOPLE. MY CURRENT OBSESSION FOR THE PAST LIKE, THREE MONTHS. Then there's also the fact that I think it flows BEAUTIFULLY. It isn't very often, ESPECIALLY when it's my first time writing for a new fandom, that I think I wrote it so well. My wording makes me smile :3 and it's just...pretty. am i the only one with a fantastic mental picture here? And tell me, were they a lot of feels at the beginning or was it just me? Cause I kinda broke my own heart there...but yeah, I LIKE THIS ONE. Comments, concerns? You know where to find me. *salutes* Enjoi
(Also, the reason this is even here is because there was a Beach Episode in The Anime of My Life the other day, so thank New Buffalo, MI with it's mysterious waters for this gem ;) And I know that was totally lame. Bear with me. )
characters © Whichever lucky bastard owns 'Free'
story © MarluxiaSutcliff116