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Chapter 55: Together Again
Adam and Merrick stand at the railing, staring up into the night sky. Merrick nuzzled up to Adam lovingly as their hands interlaced with each other, and Adam’s other arm wrapped around Merrick.
“I love you so much.” Adam said as he kissed Merrick’s head, “I’m so sorry for everything…”
“Adam…” Merrick said, “…I’m sorry too…”
“For what, babe?” He asked, “I was the one who fucked up. I swear, I’ll never touch another drink in my life.” Merrick chuckled as he rubbed his leg with Adam’s.
“No, that’s okay, Adam, you don’t have to stop drinking.”
“Good, because I love Cosmos, and I’ve been wanting to try one of those Fizzy Pixies.” Merrick laughed at that.
“No, no, what I meant is…” Merrick held on tighter, “After everything else, I still couldn’t figure out how to be your mate, your lover…”
“What are you talking about, Merrick? You’re ev-“
“I don’t talk about things, Adam,” Merrick interrupted, “And when I do, I go to Yuri, and that’s only with…” Merrick hesitated, and sighed as he bows his head, “Everything…”
The merman straighten back up, and continued, “Growing up, my Father taught me that I must cast off many of my personal burdens for the greater good, to keep my focus for the sake of the pod and the future. That means that anything that may be hurting me, I have to deal with on my own…” He shook his head, “Usually, I don’t like to talk about these things to you because you’re my boyfriend, so you shouldn’t have to deal with it, nor am I supposed to show that kind of weakness. I often talk to Yuri about these sorts of things because for some reason, it feels more freeing to go to her.”
“Merrick, why wouldn’t you want to talk to me?” Adam stroked his cheek. “That’s what boyfriends are for.”
“So I’ve heard,” Merrick said, “But… It’s the same old problems with me… I miss the sea, my pod, my old life… It should be obvious-” He hesitated, “I mean… I thought it was… And after a while, I get sick of reporting to you about the same old problems. So eventually, I learned to stop trusting you…” Merrick sniffled a little, “A-And I was wrong… When I said I lost everything because of you…”
“No you weren’t, Merrick…” Adam sighed, “You had your whole life set before you, and it all fell apart when you found me. It’s my fault-” Merrick turned his head and kissed him. Adam blinked awkwardly as he stood there, as his merman lapped and licked softly at his lips.
“I told you before, Adam…” Merrick kissed Adam a little more passionately, “If saving you from that Siren was a mistake… I’m glad I made it…” He nudged Adam’s cheek affectionately, “And among everything else, I didn’t lose you… And I never will…” Merrick muttered as he rubbed Adam’s chest. Adam hugged him tightly as they turned back to the dark ocean surface as the ship sailed along push and pull of the water. “And… Adam, I need to confess something…”
“Go on,” Adam said.
“I know I say a lot of bad things about humans… How they destroy, ruin, consume everything.” Merrick cast his eyes down for a moment. “But in truth…” He turned his head back around to look his lover in the eyes, “I’m vastly jealous of humanity.” Adam blinked.
“Yes…” Merrick looked up at the moon. “You humans… You may destroy a lot of things, but you create as much as you’re able to…” Merrick continued, “Even when a building is destroyed, eventually someone will rebuild what was lost, maybe even better. Even when it comes to courtship, you said it yourself – humans can love and fuck over and over again.”
“Baby…” Adam shook his head, regretting that he ever said such a thing.
“But us merfolk? We can never do what humans do on a regular basis. We can never go back as you can… None of us are capable of having a second love… All we can do is survive and carry what we can.”
“Okay, now,” Adam turned Merrick’s chin to face him. “You listen to me, sweetie.” He kissed those sweet, pink lips. “There is nothing wrong with the merfolk’s way of life.”
“But that night, you said-“
“I was drunk,” Adam interrupted, “And I never get drunk. And when people get drunk, they get stupid, and I was a complete dumbass.” Adam next kissed Merrick’s nose, “Now I said some stupid shit, but some people would actually prefer merfolk living rather than living with humans – a lot of humans would rather live like that.”
“Adam, you don’t have to-“
“Merrick I mean it! My Aunt Dolli, my Dad’s sister, she lives out in the middle of nowhere in the desert, away from other people, and she prefers to live like that.” Merrick blinked.
“Are you serious? I’ve always heard that deserts are dry, desolate places.”
“Yes, but she happens to prefer that sort of place to live. Not all humans need to keep together in crowded places.” Merrick chuckled.
“You’re just saying that-“
“No, I’m not, Merrick.” Adam shook his head. bahis firmaları “You’ve seen me, babe, I’m not a good liar.”
“Hehehe,” Merrick smiled as Adam hugs him closer.
“Besides, think about it – in an average human house, you always have to think about your job, your rent, endless bills, going from place to place in your car, having to worry about the car itself, the insurance – it’s all just one, big, complicated mess. But in a pod of merfolk, you don’t have to worry about that. Everyone has a place, everyone has a simple task to follow, you stick together, you don’t need so many complications,” Adam said, “A lot of humans would kill for that kind of life.”
Merrick smiles with contentment, and kissed Adam on the cheek. “Here…” Merrick tucked his hand into his pocket, and drew out a strange looking shell – it has several holes lined along it, with various shell parts inserted and constructed upon it.
“Wow.” Adam accepted the strange shell, noting that part of it turned halfway like a knob. As fascinating as it was, he couldn’t really tell what it’s supposed to be, “… What is it?”
Merrick chuckled as he took the shell. “It’s an Ocalen.” He turned the side of the shell a few times and tapped the small holes a little. “You know that mermen can’t sing, right?”
“Well, some mermen still have a sense of music, though we still can’t sing. So we find various materials to try to make objects that can make melodic sounds – what you humans call Instruments, we call Ocalens.” Merrick smiled as he turned the shell’s side knob. “My Father has one of these, every time he and Mother went to the surface for a romantic moment…” He blushed and giggled. “As the Adra Triton, Father charged me to watch over the Pod while he and Mother went away, but every once in a while, when everyone was resting, I snuck around, and saw them. Father would serenade Mother with his Ocalen, and once, they were even in a duet of sorts.”
Merrick brought his Ocalen up, moving the pointed mouthpiece to his lips, and blew. Fiddling his fingers with the holes, and also turning the knob, he started to play a strangely pleasant tune from the shell. Adam grinned and chuckles as he could make out the melody as Merrick played ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’.
“Wow, Merrick!” Adam accepted the shell back after Merrick’s little tune, though he doesn’t really want to learn how to play this thing… It looks complicated to how Merrick was playing it. “This is so neat! But…” He hesitated, “What’s the occasion? Is it because we made up?”
“No…” Merrick turned to the moon up in the sky, half shrouded in thin clouds. “See… Tonight is the night that you and I fell in love for the first time.” Adam looked up at the moon as well, as if trying to find some way how the moon may be looking different than usual.
“Wow, really? How do you know? It’s not even a Lunar Eclipse right now.”
“I just do,” Merrick answered, “It’s a merfolk thing.” He snuggled up to Adam. “It’s been 8 years tonight since you and I first saw into each other’s eyes, and became bonded…” Merrick blushed a little, “And I wanted to give you a gift for it just to… You know…”
“…You know, humans have a name for that: Anniversary – it’s another holiday.”
Merrick scoffed and smirked, “Finally, a practical festival.”
“It’s not really a festival, you little blonde twat.” Adam nudged Merrick playfully, “An Anniversary is the celebration of a sentimental event or a memorable commitment. Like, how a married couple celebrate a 13th Anniversary for being married for 13 years.”
“I think I get it,” Merrick half-rolled his eyes, “Like a birthday for important stuff.”
“Hmmm…” Adam pondered, “… As long as it’s our 8th Anniversary…”
“Huh?” Merrick looked at him curiously.
“Wait here, I’ll be right back.” Adam said before giving the Ocalen back to Merrick, and then running off. He giggled as he adjusted himself, and straightened up his silver Graceful Gogo medal.
Adam returned almost 5 minutes later, panting as he came up to him. After catching his breath, he straightened up, and offered a small silver box, “Here, sweetie. Happy Anniversary.”
Merrick recognizes the emblem on the box – it’s the logo from the jewelry shop at the shopping center. He smiled with intrigue as he opens the box, and delicately moved the silk veils aside. The merman gasped as he saw it: The platinum, angelic, filigree key pendant. The Siberian Jeremejevite jewel in the middle curvy heart image glittered in the moonlight, with two C-shapes on the lower part of the heart, and a silver curve for the key teeth.
“O-Oh my g-” Merrick covered his mouth as his eyes watered up, completely stunned. “A-Ad- Ohmm!” He squealed a little as he took rapid breaths. Adam smiled and chuckled.
“A-Adam!” Merrick quaked with emotion as his hands shook, feeling Adam’s hands slip in and hold him steady. “Th-The woman there said an older couple already b-bought it!”
“That’s kaçak iddaa what I told her to say if you went back there to see it,” Adam said, smiling uncontrollably. “I wanted to save it for a special occasion, but now seems as good as time as any, seeing as it’s our Anniversary.”
“B-But-” Merrick sniffled and quickly wiped his tears, “Y-You said you couldn’t afford it!” He whimpered, trying to find a reason to deny the fact that it was now here, in his hand, instead of in the shop, “T-That it would’ve taken two paychecks to pay for it-“
“That jewelry company has been around for decades. My Gramma has a very long-signed membership with them, and I was able to get an amazing discount, plus I signed up for a Payment Plan to pay it off so I won’t go broke for it.”
“A-Adam… I…” Merrick sniffled as Adam took the small box, and plucked it up from the smooth white fabric. Adam then removed the Gogo medal, and replaced it with the dainty necklace.
“I love you, Merrick. And I just couldn’t stand to leave the cruise without getting you something that reminded you of your mother.”
“Adam… This… This is too much,” Merrick wept as he plucked up the necklace, seeing it glisten in the low light, knowing that this beautiful, shiny, valuable, now priceless pendant was now his.
Adam brought Merrick’s chin up, before moving in to kiss his lips. Merrick pushed his mouth in firmly as he put his hands onto Adam’s sides. His eyes closed as Adam tilted his head a little to push in a little further. He rolled his jaw around as he brushed his tongue along the roof of Merrick’s mouth.
“~I know that you’re hiding things ~Using gentle words to shelter meee~” A singer hymned as she stood in a beautiful songstress ensemble as she held a beautifully curvy microphone in her hand, “~Your words were like a dream… ~But dreams could never fool me~ …Not that easily~”
What seemed like moments later from the railing, Adam and Merrick part their lips as they circled in a waltz, like a cluster of other couples.
“~I acted so distant then ~Didn’t say goodbye before you leeeft~” The songstress was accompanied by a small orchestra to augment her singing. “~But I was listening ~You’ll fight your battles far from me ~Far too easily~”
The area on deck has been decorated in a formal style to give it a prom-night theme, while the dancers here were dressed in formal attire. “~”Save your tears ’cause I’ll come back” ~I could hear that you whispered as you walked through that door ~But still I swore~ To hide the pain, when I turn back the pages ~Shouting might have been the answer ~What if I cried my eyes out and begged you not to depart
But now I’m not afraid to say what’s iiinnn myyy heeeeaaaarrrrt~”
“You humans have such a way with lyrics…” Merrick muttered as his head his pressed against Adam’s fine tailored tribal polo shirt, equipped with smooth black slacks, while Merrick wears a shimmering blue tunic/toga in a royal fashion, similar to that of what he wore on Valentine’s night.
“Yeah…” Adam and Merrick turned slowly in the waltz, “Sometimes, the best song just has the right words.”
The songstress sang on with the next dramatic part of the song “~Though a thousand words ~Have never been spoken ~They’ll fly to you ~Crossing over the time ~And distance holding yooouuu!~ Suspended on silver wiiinnnngggs!~”
The dance sped up a little with the couples dancing, “~And a thousand words ~One thousand confessions ~Will cradle you ~Making all of the pain, you feel seem far awaaay! ~They’ll hold you foreeeeeeveeeerrrr~!”
The piano and harp of the small band played a rapid tempo for a set amount of seconds as the couples twirled and spun in sync with the song. The music calmed down, as Merrick turned so his back brushes with Adam’s front as he put his around his merman, and holding his hands.
“~The dream isn’t over yeet ~Though I often say, I can’t forget~” The songstress closes her eyes, as if the song makes her both dreary but longing to continue, “~I still relive that day ~You’ve been there with me all the way ~I still hear you say~”
“~”Wait for me, I’ll write you letters” ~I could see how you stammered, with your eyes to the floor ~But still I swore ~To hide the doubt when I turrrn back the pages~” Adam and Merrick waltzed in turn and motion with the other couples, switching from place to place while gracefully moving,
“~Anger might have been the answer ~What if I’d hung my head and said that I couldn’t wait? ~But now I’m strong enough to know it’s not toooo laaaate~”
A few subtle people look and survey the deck as the fancy affair, nodding and looking to the handful of happy couples as they hear the songstress as she comes to the climax of the song.
“~Cause a thousand words ~Call out through the ages ~They’ll fly to you ~Even though I can’t see ~I know they’re reaching yoouu ~Suspended on silver wiiiinnnngggs!~” Adam and Merrick twirl and circle in the middle, holding onto kaçak bahis each other’s hand as Merrick’s formal robe shimmers a brilliant in the white light.
“~Oh a thousand words ~One thousand embraces ~Will cradle you ~Making all of your weary days seem far away ~They’ll hold you foreeeeeeveeerrrr!~” Adam glides alongside his lover as he guides the movements of their procession in the music.
The white lights of the dance floor seem to revolve around them as the violin and piano move in the air like a river around the two men. The way Adam and Merrick move shows the world just how inseparable they need to be. How much their own life and souls rely on each other’s resonance and wavelengths. Their very moves in the dance speak out across understanding how one half is unable to be without the other, how two stars that once crossed before were always meant to cross again, no matter how far the distance or the pain of the trails that pushes them away from each other. Merrick moves away from Adam as their hands slip over their arms, as if being pulled apart by fate itself. The leap of the music gives an almost tragic note, before Adam turned his hand, and pulled Merrick back to him to embrace him before he could be lost, just as the songstress reach the next verse.
“Oh a thousand words!~” The songstress sang in a dramatic elevation, “~Have never been spoken!~ They’ll fly to you!~ They’ll carry you home, and back into my aaaarrrms!~” The songstress held out her hand as she performed, ~Suspended on silver wiiiinnnngggs!~ Ohhooohhhh~!”
The lovers become lost in the romantic twist and turn as the end of the song approached.
“~And a thousand words! ~Call out through the ages! ~They’ll cradle you! ~Making all of the lonely years to only daaaayyyys~
“~They’ll hold you foreeeeeeeeveeeeerrrrrr!~” The dance floor slowed down, and so Adam and Merrick are holding each other close, not noticing that they seemed to have inspired quite a stirring of heartstrings amoung their peers.
“~Ohhhh a thoooouuusaaaaannnnd woooorrrrrds~” The songstress finished.
Syrinx stands by at the far end, watching the romantic dance of another Waltz Night for those who want to feel a little fancy for an evening – Kevin’s so sick of those, as Syrinx has been dragging him wearing a tux almost every night since the cruise.
She sees the very strange merman in a regal-looking robe with a silvery rope, holding that human’s hand… It’s so strange. How can a merman or mermaid be attracted to the same sex? Nothing like that has ever been known, has it? There have been times when some merfolk have never been seen with a mate, and eventually, their lives end alone. Could that be the case? Mating with the same gender is another one of the Sacred Laws.
And then there’s this merman’s very peculiar ability to remain in human form, despite being wet with water. Is this one even a merman at all? No one has ever been able to forgo the change of water. She’s CERTAIN that this blonde guy is a merman, but for some reason, when he was doused with bottled water, or when she saw him splashing about on the beach of the island, not once did he change. It really bothers her that he can do that…
Such a trait can only point to a mutation of the Black Sun. That sort of metamorphosis is extremely volatile and unpredictable – for all anyone knows, a Black Sun could’ve really made it so he’s unable to change into his true form. The last time Syrinx heard of a Black Sun mutation was when a handful of Sirens were turned from fish species to bird-like creatures. So if this merman is a product of the Land Father’s slumber, then shouldn’t he look more grotesque than this?
And something’s different about this merman too. The dance floor on deck broke off as the couples walked away, and Syrinx can see the light reflected in Merrick’s eyes again. The unstable malevolence has become deluded from the first few times she saw him. The threatening spark, the thin line of sanity, or the very fragile structure of his emotions seems a lot different.
He can’t be a Coshiton either – not once has she even spotted a single black symbol anywhere on his body. So what exactly IS he?? She still feels very uneasy about even coming near him, but his eyes show a different light. He looks as if he’s… Healing.
Back into some casual clothing, Adam sits down at big cushion in the Dance Lobby. Merrick just sits on his lap like a petit doll, before he leans and, and Adam holds him close and kisses his cheek.
“Hey, man,” Jamal said as it seems that he’s right next to him, with Nick by his side, still wearing his golden Gogo medal.
“So how many awards are there?” Nick asked.
“Not sure, man.” Jamal said, “Queen Jizzelle says that they’s hiding judges here and there alla round the cruise, judging people for outstanding stuff or something.”
“Yeah, kinda like who had more sex than others,” Adam said, “Who danced the most, who played the most, it’s kinda complicated.”
“I thought you had to sign up for those.” Merrick said.
“Naw naw, those were the contests. These’re the Notable Awards – like, when people git noticed for certain things they do best round the ship.”
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