There was a story that spread through the towns, from children's ears to adult's. According to many fishermen, there had been sightings of what many considered, a mermaid. At first they believed it to be just a large fish, until a man claimed that he had gotten close to it, and found that it had the torso of a human, and the tail that represented that of a fish. It was always quick to hide once it was spotted, though. It wasn't the type of hiding that one does when they're frightened. No, many have spoken the same words when it came to this creature. It wasn't hiding out of fear, but what seemed to be, shame. "It looked like it was running away. Like it was almost ashamed to be seen."

Many people had come and gone from the shore to see this being, and now it was this young boys turn. There was no holding back his curiosity, as Nitori was always interested in the things that couldn't be grasped by reality and rationality. He had been on the shore for a few hours now, and there was nothing. He had heard that the creature stopped showing itself after a harsh encounter with some town folks, but he wasn't going to stop his search. Even just the smallest of sights, and he would be satisfied, though, he knew that wouldn't last.

When sunlight began to disappear, he packed up his belongings and headed off, but it wasn't the end. Every day he showed up, his footprints endlessly trailing all along the edge of the water, until, finally, he spotted what he was starting to think he would never see. Of course, it wasn't the sight he had longed for. This sight before him brought a sickness so strong it made his knees weak. There, at the edge of the water, lay a beautiful creature, surrounded in it's own glistening blood. Someone had set traps within the water, and this magnificent being found it's way right into them.

Without thought or hesitation, Nitori was at this creature's, no, at his side. " is so much blood!" His hands were shaking, he wasn't prepared for something like this, but he acted quickly and wrapped those wounds in the very cloth he once wore as a shirt. There was no way he would let it end this way, not when he just found what he had been looking for. Even with the little amount of strength he had, Nitori managed to get the male to the water, hoping to see those eyes open. "Please..please open your eyes! Come on!"

It was silent and hopeless for what felt like an eternity but the other's pale chest began to slowly rise and fall, and after a moment, he coughed. Relief spread through the smaller males body, and he smiled wide, supporting the other's head to assist him in breathing. "It's okay, you're okay!" The reaction he recieved when the creature was coherent enough to unerstand the situation was something he was not expecting. He was shoved away, hissed at, and within moments, that beautiful being was gone from his sight.

Nitori sat in that very spot until the sun set and long after. So much was going through his mind. He was wondering what had happened, and if he had done something wrong. Didn't he save that creatures life? Didn't he help him? So how could he react so harshly to someone who saved him? The word he had heard countless people speak ran through his mind in that moment. Ashamed.

He was on his feet then and running back to his home. How could such a beautiful creature be ashamed of himself? Why? So many questions ran through his head, but he let them sit until the sun showed itself the next morning. It was the earliest he had gone to the ocean, and sure enough, no one was around. It was just what he was hoping for. No one had mentioned a name for the being, and he didn't care if he had one or not. Nitori had sat up all night researching, thinking, doubting, and believing all over again.

Standing with his toes curled in the sand, the water roughly brushing against his ankles, he cupped his hands around his mouth and leaned his body back for momentum. Leaning forward then, he let his voice out. "RIIIIIIIN!" He had come up with the name upon seeing those sharp, crimson eyes. Rin meant cold, and that's how he felt when he looked into those orbs, but, he didn't plan to let it stay that way. "RIIIIN!"

He screamed until his throat burned and there were tears in his eyes. When he finally stopped to breathe, he felt as if it were in vain, until he saw movement from within the water just a few feet away from him. "Who the fuck are you calling Rin?" He stayed those few feet away, those crimson eyes piercing right through Nitori. "All you humans are good for is gawking like morons! You stand there with your mouth hanging open like an idiot, and it pisses me off!"

Shaking his head, Nitori's mind was filled with such awe at the sight and sound of this boy that the insults went right over him. It didn't become obvious that he was annoying the other until he was woken by a nice splash of ocean water to the face. Shaking his head, he shivered at the coolness and looked right back up at 'Rin.' "That..that's not true!" Now he let the former comments sink in. " were hurt! I know it wasn't a lot..but I did what I could!"

"You think you deserve something for it? You really must be a dumbass. It would have been better if you let me die there. The vultures would have come for me after a while." The boy couldn't believe what he was hearing. Was 'Rin' serious? Nitori rushed forward, the water splashing furiously as he shook his head. "Stop that! What is wrong with you!? Why are you so...hateful!?" He was grabbed then, yanked so their faces were just inches apart. Now those sharp teeth were evident.

"Because! Why do I have to be stuck here all alone when you..ALL OF YOU..can be out there!?" He yelled, pointing to the sandy shores but meaning the world that lay outside of the water. "Why can't it be me!?" He demanded, shaking the small boy, who was now seeing that this creature was crying. Letting his body grow limp to the other's hold, he made sure their eyes met. "So, you're lonely? Do you hate what you are?"

Nitori wasn't expecting to be hit, but then again, did he really expect any of this? Hitting the ground, he whined but sat back, one hand rubbing his jaw while he looked up at Rin. "Look at me! Are you fucking blind!? I'm this..this..THING! This..creature! Monster! Whatever the hell you want to call it! Why can't I be like you!? Why can't I be.." More tears, and it was getting hard for him to speak now. "Human.."

There was such a strong tightness in Nitori's chest that it felt like he was going to burst. Here, in front of him, was such a beautiful creature, that hated himself. Hated everything he was from the very core of his being. An envious, lonely creature. Slowly, Nitori stood, swaying as he struggled to balance himself for a moment. Not moving from where he stood, he let those ocean blue eyes land on Rin. " are beautiful.." He moved forward then, only to be hit once more. "SHUT UP! DON'T FUCKING LIE TO ME!"

This time Nitori didn't fall, he caught himself and rushed forward, waist deep in the water, he grabbed a firm hold of the other. "YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL! YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL!" Claws dug into flesh but Nitori hung on, his breathing heavy as he fought back his own tears. "Your name is Rin..because you have such a cold stare..but you have a beating heart..and you feel..and even in this ice cold're warm. You..are beautiful!" Now those determined eyes looked into the other's, and the pain ceased. Seeing what he had done, a sob shook the human torso of this magnificent creature, and he hunched over the one who held so tightly onto him.

"You want to be human, Rin, but I want the opposite. I, who walks on land, wishes so strongly to be in the water..with you.." There was no quieting those sobs now but time was moving and Nitori, despite his wounds, managed to push himself back from the other. "I want to see you smile, Rin. I will come see you every day. I won't let you be lonely." He reasurred the other gently, almost lovingly, and Rin, who had managed to calm now, did in fact smile. "I'm trusting you, idiot. You better show up." Laughing now, Nitori made his way back to the shore, collecting his things. Turning back to see that Rin was waiting for him to go, he widely smiled. "My name isn't 'idiot', by the way! It's Ai!"

He waved then, and Rin let out a musical little chuckle. "Whatever! Hurry your ass back here, Ai!"