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Chapter 28: Happy Birthday
Merrick yawned as he walked out of Adam’s bedroom, having slept in several hours after Adam has gone to work. As he walked the hall, he looked and giggled as he saw Nick on Jamal’s bed, buck-naked and hugging a pillow. He walked in, and hopped onto the sleeping Latino.
“Wake up, Nick! It’s going on noon!” He said playfully. Nick groaned as he fumbled for the bedsheets.
“Day off… Need sleep… Go’way…” Merrick laughed as he tugged at the pillow.
“What’re you talking about? The day’s not off, it’s on! Lookit, the sun’s shining, right now!” Nicholas growled irritably as he pulled a pillow over his head, “Come on, even Jamal’s up and about!”
“Good for him,” Nick said flatly, “Give’em a medal, man.”
“Okie, be like that~” Merrick said as he gave Nick’s naked, jiggly butt a few hard spanks. The Hispanic guy curved his back and cooed.
“Oh ghod, don’t do that, that ain’t fair…” He groaned as he could already feel a hard-on coming on.
“Hehe, maybe on a red moon!”
“Yeah yeah, whatever, red moon…” Nick groaned as he pressed a pillow over his head, “Wake me up when it’s… Later…” He said muffled.
“Heh heh heh!” Jamal chuckled as he played with Lavi as the built-in sprinkler showered upon the little pond he built. Over the past month and a half, he’s been building this koifish pond on the side of the house so he could give his pet a small habitat to live in, with an installed water pump and filter, and a large mudpie right next to the mini pool. He has a fence built in so Lavi won’t wonder off, and no pests can get in, other than insects, but it certainly prevents Roxas from getting any funny ideas.
There is a small container full of fishing lures with the hooks removed so they could be used as toys. Jamal moved a toy fishing rod with one of the shiny, disarmed lures to tease the small, otter-like dog in the clear water. The gold-colored lavellen looped and swam in the water with the mini school of live goldfish, attempting to catch the bright ruby red lure. According to Merrick, lavellen eat small freshwater fish such as guppies, goldfish, and beta fish, or insects such as mealworms or crickets. It’s just cheaper to buy goldfish by the school, so Lavi could eat anytime she wants.
Merrick walked around the house, and smiled as he saw Jamal in the fenced area, seeing a lilypad twirl on the water’s surface. “It’s amazing how you humans can create such things.” Merrick said with a smile as he entered into the habitat. The dark man turned his head and smiled at the merman coming in.
“This is nuthin. You should see when we make a huge-ass dam!” He said as Merrick sat next to him, “How bout you though? You feelin aight?” He asked. Merrick shrugged and nodded.
“Yeah, I’m fine. Why do you ask?”
“Well, it’s been a couple of months since…” He cleared his throat and paused, “You know…” Merrick looked down, and nodded, “And you haven’t been in the ocean since then. You not feelin sick or nothing, are ya? That’s a long time fo a fish to be outta water.”
“Actually… I feel fine,” Merrick said, “Other than the fact that I miss my pod and the ocean, I haven’t been feeling anything bad from staying out of it. I guess it was just a misconception…” Merrick said, “Like almost everything else merfolk think about the land…”
“What chu mean?” Jamal asked.
“Well, you know how we merfolk can turn human when we come on land, right?”
“But that alone can’t keep us on land forever. Supposedly, we shouldn’t be able to last more than 14 suns on dry land…” He snirked and shrugged, “I guess we were wrong.”
“Yeah, or maybe you last longa cause you been fuckin Adam,” Jamal said with a grin. Merrick giggled and blushed.
“Merrrriiiick!” Called Yuri, “Can you come in here, please??”
“Hang on, I’ll be right back,” Merrick then stood up and walked out of the fenced pond, and back into the house. There, he found Yuri at the kitchen table, with a strange, long object in a longer box, “Ooh, is that one of those fishing rods?? The tools humans use to hunt fish?”
“Sure is!” She said eagerly, “This one is built to shoot the lure up to half a mile away, has a power lock onto the mechanism, and has 10 times the strength an average fishing rod!”
Merrick blinked as he crossed his arms, “Right, I’m just gonna pretend I know what you’re talking about.” Yuri laughed as she rolled out some brightly colored paper.
“I just need your help wrapping it,” She said as she put the box onto the whiteside of the paper.
“Wrap it?” Merrick came over, and held one side of the paper while Yuri tapped it down, “Wouldn’t you want to use it instead?”
“It’s a present for Adam,” She said, “It’s his birthday next week.”
“… His birth-day?” Merrick asked as he tilted his head curiously.
“Yeah, his birthday. The day he was born?” She said. Merrick blinked curiously, having no idea what she’s saying, “Don’t merfolk celebrate birthdays?”
“No… What would be the point?” He asked.
“You mean you NEVER bahis firmaları had a birthday before?” Yuri asked as her eyes widened.
“No, I haven’t. I was born once, not every year.”
“Well, a Birthday is a holiday that all humans celebrate – it’s to mark the occasion of which we are born into this world!”
“Heh,” Merrick scoffed, “Why? Seems kinda pointless – we’re ALL born, aren’t we? I suppose you celebrate the birth of animals as well?”
“No… Just humans…”
“Ha,” Merrick held down the flap of the wrapping paper, “Typical.”
“Anyway, on a birthday, we buy gifts and cards for the person we’re celebrating, and we throw parties either at home, or somewhere else, and then we eat cake and ice cream! It’s fun!”
“If you say so…” Merrick replied.
“… So wait, you have NO idea when you were born?”
“Am I supposed to?” Merrick asked, “You know, Adam once told me of another human holiday once. He called it ‘Christmas’, and he and I gave each other a gift. Just how many holidays do humans have?”
“Hundreds!” Yuri said with a chuckle.
“WHAT?!” Merrick yelped in surprise, “Why do humans need to celebrate so much?! What’s to celebrate?!” Yuri laughed at the merman’s surprise.
“Well, it all depends on what nationality you are. In America, the most popular holidays are Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Valentine’s, St Patrick’s, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, New Year, and the list goes on.”
“And you all buy presents on each one???”
“Oh no, just a couple of them. You remember when we took you to that national park last month? And when it got dark, there was huge flashing lights in the sky?”
“You mean the fireworks? Yeah, Adam already told me about the 4th of July. But seriously, what’s the point about all these holidays?”
“It makes life interesting. And it marks the occasions of history of humanity. What do merfolk do to remember important events in history anyway?”
“The Razirah of the pod tells stories, that’s what. Some of them are true, and some of them are exaggerated. But we don’t make a big party about them.”
“Well anyway, this is what I’m getting for Adam for his Birthday. And Jamal is getting him a couple of games for the PS3. Are you gonna be getting him anything?”
“I suppose I should… But what do I get him?”
“Well, I could give you some money and take you to browse the shops.”
“Maybe… I need some time to figure it out…” He pondered.
The next day, Merrick is sitting at the cliff. It’s noon, and he is looking at the ocean, furrowing his brow as he thought. Jamal walks up behind him, and squats down, “Hey man, what chu thinkin bout?”
“There’s something I want to get for Adam’s… Birthday… And I don’t know if I should go and get it or not…”
“Wut do’ya mean? What is it?”
“I know he likes collecting shells, so I want to find an exotic shell for him, kinda like the octopus-slug shell I brought him once.”
“So? Why don’t you go out an git it?”
“I… I-I can’t…”
“Why? You scared?”
“Yes,” Merrick replied, “I don’t have a weapon anymore. Besides that, I don’t want to be out there… Alone… I don’t want any…” Merrick put his hand onto his heart-symbol on the back of his neck, “… Beasts to come and kill me…”
“…” Jamal paused, “Well, how bout I go wit you? Me n’ Yuri, we can barrow her dad’s boat, and we can go.”
“I still don’t have a weapon. I’m used to wielding my trident, but it’s long gone.”
“We got stuff you can use here. We got yo back, man!” Jamal said with an encouraging smile.
“Mmm…” Merrick turned back to the sea, “I guess… If I’m not alone, maybe it’ll stay away…” He mumbled.
“What do ya mean?”
“Never mind, it’s… Not important…” Merrick said, “Ok, let’s go ahead and do it…”
“How’s dis, huh?” Jamal asked as he held up a straight, wooden shaft with a gleaming kitchen knife tied tightly to it. All three of them are on Mr Umiyama’s motorboat, bobbing on the ocean.
“I suppose it’ll do,” Merrick said as he took the makeshift weapon.
“You owe us a new broom, Merrick,” Yuri said as she stood there in her bathing suit.
“Aight, les go,” Jamal said, wearing a snug red speedo with a white cross on the bulge – once in a while, he works part time as a lifeguard at the pier.
“Wait!” Merrick said, “Hang on,” He then turned to Yuri, and approached her, “This is only necessary…”
“Huh?” Before she could say anything, Merrick then pressed his lips onto her own, “Hmm?!” She blinked as he narrow eyes blinked in surprise. Almost as soon as he kissed her, Merrick pulled back, almost too quickly, “M-Merrick! What was THAT about?!”
“Yeah, dude! Why you- Ohhhh!” He said as he nodded and smirked, “Aw yeah, NOW I rememba.”
“Remember what?? Why did you kiss me?! I thought you were gay!”
“It’s a trick merfolk can do,” Merrick explained, “We’re able to give humans the ability to stay underwater without drowning for as long as they need to, just by kissing them. Trust me,” Merrick said as he rubbed his lips with his kaçak iddaa hand, “I wouldn’t do that unless it was absolutely necessary.”
“But… How does that work??” Yuri said, “Just one kiss, and I don’t drown? That doesn’t make any sense.”
“Neither does having infinite holidays to celebrate,” Merrick said.
“Well, s’long as we goin undawater,” Jamal said with a grin, “Wanna make sure I don’t drown?” Merrick giggled at that.
“One kiss is enough, but… Just cause you’re sexy…” Merrick then came over to the big, muscular black man, and tenderly kissed those thick lips. After lapping his lips with Jamal’s Merrick can’t help but feel a sense of satisfaction from it, like the feeling of washing your hands.
“Ok, lets get on with it,” Yuri said, “I’m starting to feel a little left out here,” She said as she put her goggles on.
“Heh, git a bo, gurl,” Jamal said as he put his goggles on, “You’ll feel betta.
Jamal and Yuri looked as Merrick’s body transformed from his fair-skinned human form, to the blue and silver true form. They watched in awe as the merman loomed around them, holding the spear Jamal strung together. He moved downward, along with the two humans.
Merrick felt his tailfin get tugged, and he turned to see Yuri’s hand plucking at him. He looped around, purring a curious rumple at her, and saw her pointing her finger at general direction. Merrick turned his head, and smiled as he spotted a distant pod of dolphins. He then undulated his tail to swim forward, and sent out a squeaking signal over to the dolphins.
The sea mammals turned from their original track, and swam towards the merman. The dolphins squealed and clicked as they swam at Merrick, before the blue merman swam in between them, and brought them to Jamal and Yuri.
Jamal laughed as a dolphin came up and rub against him as it swam, while Yuri felt at a dolphin’s head, at the tight rubber. Another dolphin playfully nipped at the back of Jamal’s speedo, making him turn around, and make the dolphin back off. Merrick giggled as his two friends pet and played with the dolphins. He rang out a few instructive clicks to the dolphins, and they moved down deeper, while Jamal and Yuri casually grabbed onto their dorsal fins, and drift along the water.
They went to a mound of reef on the sandy bottom. The dolphins started to click at the sand, and dig their snouts into it for any prey that might be hiding within. The two humans watched as Merrick loomed around the reef, his gills fluttering as he made strange noises at the rocky fortress. The merman drifted along, until he suddenly stabbed his spear down onto something!
His fishy blue tail disappeared behind the reef, and came back seconds later with a bleeding shell. The knife had stabbed into a large Ancyloceratina hermit crab, inhabiting a 2ft tall spiral shell with short spikes along the ridge – it almost resembles an upside-down tornado. He signaled left, and right, and then swam over to a particularly bumpy patch of sand. He gurgled a rumbling sound, and Jamal jumbled as he saw the patch of sand suddenly lurch up, and put its gangly tentacles onto the end of the spring-shaped shell. Merrick withdrew his weapon as the sandy octopus yanked out the hermit crab, and devoured it, leaving Merrick with a hollow, black and red shell.
Merrick swam over to Jamal and Yuri to show them the shell. They both nodded in approval, while Jamal gave it a thumbs up.
Suddenly, they noticed the dolphins all swimming way, rather quickly. While Jamal and Yuri looked around curiously Merrick sent a few signals for anything that might have scared away the dolphins.
He then gasped as his blue eyes widened. The two humans looked as Merrick let out a terrified call at them, before the merman tugged them up, and swimming quickly back up to the surface.
Yuri narrowed her eyes as she could make out some distinct outline of an aquatic creature, but she’d have to get closer to really see it, but it seems to be disappearing. She felt her arm get tugged at by Jamal, and the two swam back up to the boat.
Jamal is the first to climb out of the boat, and saw that silver and blue fish boy shuddering and curled up on the boat, “Yo, what’s wit chu?” Merrick didn’t answer as Yuri climbed out of the water.
“Merrick, what’s happened? You just took off like a bat out of hell. Was there something you should have warned us about?” The merman shook his head.
“Wut, was a Great White comin over? Or some other something?”
“No… A Great White, I can handle…”
“Then what was it?” Yuri asked, “It could’ve gotten to us, you know.”
“No…” Merrick then looked up to the two humans, “It doesn’t want you…”
“We don’t even know what IT is,” Yuri said as she crouched down to Merrick, “Is something wrong?”
“…” Merrick paused and shook his head, “We got what we came for, let’s just go…” He said.
“Merrick, what aren’t you telling us?” Yuri asked.
“I’d rather not say, alright??” Merrick said, “Please, lets just move!” He said, clutching onto the shell he just collected.
“C’mon, kaçak bahis Yuri,” Jamal said as he put his hand on her shoulder, “Leave’em alone. It’s none of our bidness.”
“It is our business if whatever it is comes for us!” Yuri retorted.
“I told you, it doesn’t want you!” Merrick said, “It wants me, ok?!” He said, “Please… I don’t want to think about it…” Yuri sighed as she nodded.
“Alright, Merrick, I’ll leave it there…”
Merrick is walking along the beach, over towards the pier, wearing his fishnet tanktop-short jersey shorts combo. The merman looked at the sea, making sure to keep as far away from the shore as he can.
He’s not too thrilled about coming to the part of the pier, but he feels his has to.
The merman then saw her, playing with a few shards of a broken mirror. Belinda then looked up at him, and stood up, looking at him a seriously as Merrick is looking at her.
He walked up to her, and held out an envelope, “I’m sure you already know, but here’s the formal invitation.” He said as he held out an envelope. The Holsien took it from him.
“I thought you were living with your human.”
“I am… He is werking…” She said shortly, “Dis is my spot…”
“Hmph… A Sea Spot…” He said.
“A… What?” Belinda ask.
“Never mind. Just an inside joke,” Merrick then walked past her, and paused, “By the way… Thank you for saving Adam…” He said. Belinda turned around, and looked at the back of him with surprise – shocked, even, that he’s talking to her besides yelling at her like the first time they met. Then, her purple eyes darted to the tribal heart design on the back of his neck.
“You… Dat symbol-“
“My Sister,” Merrick said, without turning around, “Thought that if she killed Adam, then I could come back to the pod…” He said as he put a hand over the symbol, “That’s why I called you… He said he’s done a lot for you, I figured you could help…”
“Hmph,” Belinda said, “Even eef I am Latolcus?” Merrick sighed aggravatingly before he turned around.
“My Father…” He said as he glared at Belinda, “Was particularly hateful towards merfolk who stray from what he called the ‘Proper Guidance’,” He said, “I once saw him bellow at an Amnien meryin who happened to be Coshiton…” He said as he looked directly at her, “I really don’t like what I take after of him.” Belinda sneered at Merrick.
“Den you must hate yourrsalf in dat tought.” Merrick narrowed his eyes.
“You have no idea, how long and how much I hate myself, Blood Thief.” He retorted. Belinda’s expression softened; that was only a joke, “So I guess that would make two of us who can’t forgive what we’ve done.” Belinda blinked in surprise at the merman.
“I may not be a Noita, but it’s in your eyes…” Merrick said, “I’ve seen that guilt and shame in MY eyes every time I see my reflection.
“See you at the party.” He said as he turned around, and walked off.
“…Wait, hold on,” Merrick said as he turned around, “I have to ask you something.” Merrick said as he turned back around, and went to Belinda. She looked curiously at him, rather taken aback from this less-hostile attitude of his.
“You know about Capricorns, right?”
“Yees. I hab only seen one in my life, dough.” Belinda replied.
“What did it do to you? I mean, did it… Touch you?”
“Well…” Belinda thought for a moment, “All eet deed was nuzzle my shoulda,” She put her hand onto the curvy symbol on her left shoulder, “And den eet just… Vaneeshed…”
“… Just like that? It never came back?”
“No. I been in deh sea many time, and eet nevrr seen one again.”
“When was this?” Merrick asked, almost urgently.
“Many, many moons ago,” She answered, “Long time before I eben met my love in teh ret moon,” She then looked at Merrick, “Why do you ask? Ees dis about deh Capricorn dat came to you dat time ago?”
“Yes…” Merrick said as he rubbed the back of his neck again, “It’s been 2 moons since I last went into the ocean, and a few days ago, when I went to go get a shell for Adam and…” He paused, before looking aside.
Belinda stared at him, tilting her head at him, “What?”
“… Never mind,” Merrick said as he turned around, and walked away.
Adam sighed as he clocked out, and stepped into the garage.
“Oh- Omf!” Adam smiled as he hugged his boyfriend, “Hey baby!” He kissed him lovingly, and looked at him, “You ready to go?”
“Uh-huh!” Merrick said as they held hands and walked over to his motorcycle. He put on his leather jacket and helmet, and gave Merrick a white helmet with a blue design of a fish. After Merrick has his head covered, they mounted his motorbike, and rode off along the pier.
They’re just going to hang out the aquarium, and then go home for cake and presents. He’s a little nervous about bringing Merrick to a place like an aquarium; being a merman, he might be able to tell whether or not the animals there are content being there. Then again, it probably wouldn’t be as bad if he ever took him to Sea World; from what he hears, the whales and dolphins there are mistreated. If that’s true, then he does NOT want Merrick to have an episode like he did with Mermaids: The Body Found.
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