Unfathomable - Complete

BY : Cold_Silence
Category: Kingdom Hearts > Slash/Yaoi - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 11314
Disclaimer: All of the Kingdom Hearts franchise is copyright to Tetsuya Nomura and Disney. No money is made whatsoever from this publication.

Author: Cold Silence

E-Mail: writer.coldsilence@gmail.com

Pairings: Riku x Sora, some Sora x Kairi

Warnings: AU, Yaoi, Het, Mpreg, mer/human sex. Does that count as bestiality?

Special Note: I swear to god that this is the very last time that I write a non-human fic with Kingdom Hearts. This story is purely a bodice ripper. I did it for the tentacle sex. And to do Mpreg at least once. God save us all.

 

Unfathomable

-Chapter One-

       Hundreds of fathoms below the sea, deep in the heart of the vast ocean, there exists the sprawling kingdom of Atlantica. Hidden away from sunlight and nestled among the walls of the abyss, it is a mythical place ruled by a sentient species of half-human, half-fish. They are known as the mer, and their existence was virtually unknown to the inhabitants of the surface world, except in fairytales and local lore.


       The mer lived peacefully in their world, and only occasionally had to defend Atlantica from natural enemies or outside kingdoms that wished to gain power and territory. Their monarch, King Triton, was a strong merman who protected his people fiercely. Without the king, Atlantica would be nothing more than an empty shell, for Triton was the only one who could wield the source of their world’s power: the Trident.


       It was feared that when King Triton passed away, there would be no one to control the Trident and protect the mer people. That fear, however, became alleviated with the birth of the king’s first son. After fifteen beautiful daughters, Triton had finally sired a male. This was an extraordinary event; male mers are extremely rare and considered to be a sign of good tidings. Males of the royal bloodline also had the capacity to control the Trident, which was a relief to the entire kingdom.

 

       The mer rejoiced at the announcement that there was now a prince among them. He was named Riku, and he was an exquisite creature, even by the standards of his own people. Most mers were born with vibrantly colored tails and hair, but the prince was blessed with pearlescent scales and translucent fins that mirrored any light that was cast upon them. His hair was as light as the purest white sand, and his eyes were oceanic mirrors that shifted through blues and greens like the water around him. Riku always stood out from his sisters because of his unusual coloring. When he swam among the glowing spires of the of his castle home, he appeared as if he were the source of all light itself.


       As a result of his royalty and uncanny beauty, Riku was adored and very spoiled. His needs and desires were granted immediately without question, and he was always the center of attention. King Triton foolishly relaxed the rules for his son, allowing him free reign that had not been granted to his sisters. What Riku lacked in discipline became a deep, insatiable hunger for worldly possessions. His heart grew selfish, and within the first few cycles of his life, he realized that there were not enough treasures in the kingdom to fill the void inside of him.


       This led to behaviors that were unbecoming of a prince. Riku broke the rules solely for the entertainment that it would bring him, and he lived for the thrill of escaping punishment. He became crafty; he deceived his family and subjects into believing that he was the very model of what royalty should be while performing devious acts in the shadows. It was his personal goal to break every rule at least once.


       That was why he decided to explore beyond the safe boundaries of Atlantica. There was a strict rule that mers were to never rise beyond the light of their kingdom, however Riku’s youthful brazenness compelled him to disobey his father’s wishes. When he was a mere four feet in length from head to fins, he plotted to find out for himself what waited in the unknown.


       Riku bided his time and gathered his courage before committing this terrible act. The power of his father’s Trident ensured that Atlantica was always illuminated, but beyond the castle spires the ocean was dark and foreboding. Stories of terrible creatures lurking outside of their safe kingdom prevented most mers from venturing to the world above. Riku, on the other hand, felt that he was entitled to know about the things that waited in the darkness. After all, he was a prince, and was therefore obligated to know the mysteries of the ocean by birthright.


       The young mer made his move when he was sure that no one would know of his true whereabouts. He told the castle servants that he would be playing among the anemones with other younglings that were his age, and he made certain that everyone saw him leaving in that general direction. However, as soon as he was alone with no one to detect him, he diverted towards the darkness above him and swam directly towards it.


       His courage faltered when the brilliance of his scales dimmed with the distance from the light of Atlantica. Riku’s fast swim momentarily stalled with fear, but the thought of admitting that he was a coward galled him enough to push onwards and upwards. A boring palace life was waiting for him below and a new adventure waited for him above. He was not going to give up after coming so far. So he kept on, and after traveling some distance, the water around him grew brighter. Shafts of light penetrated down to the place that he swam, causing his scales to reflect a gentle gold. It was different from the glow of Atlantica, and Riku made a slow turn just to watch how the light played on his sinewy body.


       Was this the power of the Trident, or something else? Instead of fear, Riku was filled with excitement. Already, he had discovered something new and wonderful: Light beyond the fearful darkness. It made all the stories of terrible monsters seem like utter foolishness. Emboldened by those thoughts, Riku swam even higher.


       The light seemed to stretch on forever above him, and it moved with the currents. There were fish zipping by, and in the distance he could see that there was an end to the deep chasm that he had risen from. It formed a sandy shelf that stretched towards an unknown destination. Riku decided to follow where it led, smiling as he confirmed that the world away from his kingdom was also teeming with life.


       As he continued to swim, the shelf rose higher and higher, until Riku realized that he was nearing something that he had never seen before in his life: an end to the water. All mers had heard the legends of the water’s boundaries and few believed that the sea was not infinite. Now, faced with the reality of the ocean’s limits, Riku could barely move out of paralyzing excitement and fear. Whatever lied beyond the sparkling, moving mirror above could either lead to oblivion, or a whole new world.


       In the end, Riku’s insatiable curiosity won out. Cautiously, he flicked his fins to rise higher and stretched out one of his hands. His palm broke the surface and he felt wind against his skin for the first time. The new sensation made him quickly retract his arm. Riku clenched his fingers against his chest and waited several moments, expecting the worst to happen. When nothing did, he slowly lifted his hand again, and then the rest of him followed.


       He emerged into a whole other world. There was light everywhere, and something hot and bright burned high above him. His hair stuck to his face instead of floating, and the gill flaps at his neck fluttered to desperately filter water that was no longer there. Riku found that he had to rely on the reservoir of water in his tail in order to continue breathing. The ocean was more forceful at the surface; it pushed, shoved and crested as if it was in a rush to get somewhere.


       Animals that Riku had never seen before were swimming in an endless blue expanse above him and squawking in a strange language that he didn’t understand. The prince tried to approach them, but he found that he was firmly anchored to the ocean. This new heaviness that kept him from rising with the other creatures was frustrating. Riku attempted to call the animals down to him instead, but found that he was steadfastly ignored by the creatures. Annoyed, Riku decided to move on and explore something else.


       In the distance, he could see the sand rising out of the water and enormous green plants stretching upwards towards the light. He swam in that direction, and upon getting closer, he spied an entirely different sort of creature. There were strange, tailless beings roaming about. From the waist up, they could have passed as any ordinary mer, but instead of tails they had strange appendages that allowed them to move outside of the water. The closest thing that Riku could compare it to was the way that crabs moved along the seafloor.


       It was shocking to find a species that was so similar to his own and yet completely different. Riku decided that it was prudent not to be seen by them since there were many of those creatures in much larger sizes than his own. He ducked beneath the safety of the water and carefully resumed his explorations. Everywhere he looked; there was something new to see. Shiny objects, new creatures, sloping terrain; it was all different than the world that he was used to.


       However, those strange beings had piqued his curiosity. Against his better judgment, Riku swam as close to them as he could without being seen. The mer found that the best place to hide was in the shadows of a strange structure that stretched out over the shoreline. There were several finless beings there tossing shiny things into the water and gathering them back up. Riku didn’t know what they were doing, but what they were throwing looked sharp.


       He watched their strange behavior for a while and wondered at the significance of it. Just when he was starting to form an idea, something new plopped into the water: a hand. It had five fingers with blunted claws, and it was roughly sized as big as Riku’s own hand. Unable to help himself, the prince reached out to touch it.


       The moment that Riku felt the skin of the creature, the hand was quickly snatched back to the surface. Obviously, the mer had startled it. The prince retreated away from the overhang that the hand had come from, but kept his head above water so that he could listen to what the creatures were saying.


 

{{———————————————–}}

 

 

       “Something touched me!” exclaimed Sora. He went over to his father and showed him his hand, as if that would somehow add credence to his story.


       “You probably touched a fish,” answered his dad. He barely spared his son a glance as he continued to reel in his fishing line. “You won’t catch any with your hands you know. You need a hook.”


       “I don’t like fishing, it hurts the fish when they’re caught,” said Sora petulantly.


       “Sora, if we all had a bleeding heart like yours, then we’d never have anything to eat,” lamented his father. “If you’re not going to fish, then go back to the beach. This dock is already crowded.”


       Sora pouted at his dad, but he started walking towards the beach. His footsteps thumped hollowly on the wooden planks beneath his feet.


 

{{———————————————–}}

 

 

       Riku had no idea what the creatures were saying. He could hear the noises they made but did not understand them. Thankfully, they didn’t sound alarmed, so it was unlikely that they would discover his presence. The one that he had touched was now scampering off, so he dived underwater and swam along the shallows to try to keep up with him.



       Riku resurfaced when he found an outcropping of rocks to hide him from view. Then he searched the shoreline until he could spy the one that he was following. It was a youngling, judging by its size. Unlike the brightly colored mers, the creature had brown, dry hair and skin that was several tones darker than Riku. The youngling’s eyes, however, were as bright as the untouchable blue ocean that currently hung above the prince’s head.


       The mer was drawn to this particular creature because they were about the same size in length. Riku was still a youngling himself and he was naturally attracted to others that were about his age. Questions swirled in his mind as he observed the finless being’s actions. Was it male or female? What did it eat? Did it have a name? Does it play like the young mers from the ocean?


       His thoughts were interrupted by the clicking of a nearby animal. Riku whirled around, and his eyes went wide at the creatures that were approaching him.


       “Do my eyes deceive me?” clicked a circling dolphin. “It’s a mer! And a youngling at that! I have not heard of them surfacing for thousands of cycles.”


       “What are you?” demanded Riku. Unlike the language of the finless creatures, he could understand these strange fish. The mer clawed his hands, prepared to defend himself if these new interlopers decided to use him as food. “Stay back, I’ll fight you!”


       “Sweet kelp, haven’t you ever seen a dolphin before?” clicked a second dolphin. “What is King Triton teaching nowadays? Come now, we do not eat mers. We prefer the small fish. Sometimes a squid if the tides are not in our favor.”


       “Don’t you talk down about my father,” warned Riku. His gills flared to emit a soft hiss. “He will use his Trident to turn you all into guppies.”


       “Your father? King Triton?” returned the dolphin with an incredulous click. “Why that would make you a prince! Why would a prince of mers be swimming at the surface? You best be on your way to the palace before you are caught on a fish-eater’s hook.”


       “I can do anything I want,” sang Riku with a puff of his chest and a flare of his fins. “If you can be here at the surface, then why can’t I?”


       “Youngling, we have no choice but to live here at the boundary of the ocean world. We are air breathers,” the dolphin admonished. “Prince or not, you are truly lacking in worldly knowledge.”


       Riku felt embarrassed at the fact that these dolphins seemed to know more than he did. He hated to be one-upped by anyone, especially fish that he considered to be beneath him. “Then you will tell me about the surface world. By order of the royal prince,” he demanded.


       The dolphins laughed at Riku. Their peals resonated in the water and their swimming became more excited. “Did you hear that? By order of the prince!”


       “I think that the first thing that we should teach the prince is some manners,” answered the other dolphin coyly.


       Both dolphins lined up in front of Riku and beat their tails at him. This caused a strong rush of current that made the prince flip upside down. They laughed as they swam away while Riku struggled to upright himself.


       “Wait!” Riku sang after them. “I want to know more!”


       Unfortunately, the dolphins were too far away to hear him. Riku grit his teeth, and then he swam to the surface again. The finless being that he had been watching was walking off with two full grown ones. He guessed that those were the youngling’s sires. They vanished into the distance, and Riku felt himself fill with disappointment.


       Eventually, Riku swam home, but that was not the last time that he visited the surface world. He returned many times in secret to continue his explorations. The dolphins were always there to tease him, but every now and then they would give him bits of knowledge about the world above the water. Riku learned about air, the sun, and the countless creatures that lived outside of the ocean. The dolphins told him about humans and how they ventured out into the water on the husks of what must have been great beasts.


       The more that Riku learned, the more that he wanted to know. He began to see the surface world as his own personal playground, one that belonged to him and no one else. Although the dolphins were a nuisance, he tolerated them since they occasionally educated him on things that he could never ask his father.


       He became an avid collector of human things. Riku would gather trinkets and hide them in a watery cave that he found along the beach. The prince also followed the humans in secret. The youngling that he had touched continued to interest him, and one day he tailed him to a distant part of the beach. There, he found several enormous beasts floating in the water. Upon spotting them, Riku hugged close to the underwater sand to prevent any of them from seeing him.


       “Silly mer, are you afraid of the boats?” clicked a passing dolphin. This one was called Splash by the members of her pod.


       Riku gave the dolphin a dour look. “Aren’t you afraid that it will eat you?” he asked.


       “Of course not!” answered Splash. “Boats do not have life. They are another creation of the humans, just like those things that you collect. Humans ride them when they are tired of swimming.”


       “They ride those things?” sang Riku in awe. Then realization struck him. “That youngling came here. He must be going to ride a boat!” Riku flicked his fins and darted through the water, rushing to the surface so that he could see the wonder of humans riding a boat. Once he broke the water’s surface, he shoved his hair from his eyes and searched for the small human he had been following. Sure enough, he witnessed him climbing into one of the boats, just as the dolphin said.


       “Are you this excited already?” clicked Splash with amusement. “We haven’t even gotten to the best part yet.”


        Riku didn’t know what the dolphin was talking about, but he soon found out. The boat that the youngling had entered emitted a loud rumble, and then it moved towards the ocean waters. Several dolphins began to gather behind the moving vessel, all of them clicking and singing excitedly.


       “Hurry Riku, or you will miss it!” exclaimed Splash. The dolphin began swimming at a breakneck pace to catch up with the departing boat. “Swim as fast as you can!”


       Riku didn’t know what was going on and he was too curious to stay behind. So he beat his tail and easily caught up with the school of dolphins that were chasing the boat. At first, he didn’t understand what was going on, but the answer soon became clear: the dolphins angled themselves towards the surface and rode the currents caused by the boat upwards until they shot into the air like silver bullets. Their peals of joy echoed in the water.


       It looked dangerous and wild, and Riku couldn’t wait to try it. He had never felt a current like this before, it hit him like a brick wall the closer that he got to the ship. If he angled himself the wrong way, it would rip at his scales like a sharp claw. However, when he pointed himself diagonally towards the surface, the currents rolled under his stomach and tail and shot him into the sky.


       Riku broke through the surface in a flash of silver and disappeared in the wake of the boat just as quickly. His gills flapped open as he breathed wildly out of exhilaration. Again, he pushed against the wall of the ship, and soon he was surfing the waves as expertly as the dolphins around him.


       “What do you know, Riku may be half dolphin after all,” laughed Splash.


       “I bet I can jump higher than you!” challenged Riku.


       “You’re on!” answered Splash.


       Their game of leaping through the wake waters of the moving ship continued far into the ocean. The beach became a distant speck in the horizon, and the water churned in a way that Riku was more familiar with. Eventually, the boat came to a stop, and the dolphins dispersed so that they could search the area for food.


       Riku was tired after all of that swimming, so he floated lazily beneath the boat. He wondered why the humans would come so far out into the ocean and what that youngling was doing right now. Riku would have liked to surface and see for himself, but it had been dangerous enough to risk being seen while he was fooling around with the dolphins.


       Just when Riku was about to doze off; he heard something odd. A ghostly voice permeated the water, singing “here, here” at regular intervals. Riku spun around to see if he could determine the source, and to his surprise, it seemed to be coming from the boat. Slowly, he began to swim towards it in an attempt to find the source of the strange song.


       “Where are you going Riku?” asked Splash. She had been foraging nearby until she noticed Riku’s movement towards the ship. Although the dolphins spent a lot of time teasing the young mer, they also kept an eye on him as if he was one of their pod, even if the youngling was too proud to admit that he needed protection.


       “Don’t you hear that?” questioned Riku. “A voice, calling ‘here.’ It’s coming from the boat.”


       “Ah yes, the voice,” clicked the dolphin sagely. “The humans come here and call to us from their boat, but we dare not answer.”


       “Why not?” asked Riku. “If they are trying to talk to us, then we should talk back to them.”


       “They are not a part of our world, Riku,” clicked Splash somberly. “In their ignorance, they dirty our water and trap our kind when they hunt. Many pods have suffered loss at the hands of the humans.”


       “Maybe they don’t mean to do it,” sang Riku. He didn’t want to believe that beings that could create such wonderful things were evil. “If we just talked to them, maybe they’d change their ways.”


       “Riku, you once said that your father spoke of monsters in the darkness. That is why none of the other mers have risen to the surface world. The truth is, the humans are the monsters in the darkness. Heed my warning that no good will come of it,” warned Splash.


       “I don’t believe it,” clicked Riku stubbornly. “Those were all just lies to keep us from seeing the surface world. If humans are so bad, then why do you know so much about them?”


       “I have been alive for many cycles, and I have swam alongside many boats in that time. I have even let humans touch me,” answered Splash. “Of course, I was young and stubborn back then, just like you.”


       Riku looked at Splash in awe. “What was it like when a human touched you?”


       “I think that he was as curious about me as I was as of him,” clicked Splash with amusement. “He would not stop saying, mother mother, I touched a dolphin.”


       “You can understand them?” sang Riku with disbelief. “How is that possible?”


       “When you live close to the border of our world, you learn many things. Perhaps in time, you will learn to understand what they say as well, Riku,” clicked Splash.


        It was this conversation that prompted Riku to decide that he wanted to meet a human and see for himself what they were like. He chose the human youngling to speak to since they were similar in length and therefore more equal.


        Several cycles passed before he found a good opportunity to approach the human without arousing the suspicion of the others. His chance came on a day when the sun was setting below the horizon. The human was searching the shoreline for a bright, round object, something that the dolphins called a ball. It was a human toy, and Riku had witnessed it being spirited away by the ocean’s waves. When the youngling finally spied it bobbing far from the shoreline, he rushed into the waters to chase it.


       Riku knew that the human would not be able to swim fast enough to catch the ball. He had watched the youngling play in the shallows before, and he knew that he lacked the skill to swim against strong currents in deep waters. So he took it upon himself to swim to the toy and fetch it. The prince surfaced to reveal himself, but chose to keep his tail hidden in the darkening waters. He carefully swam back to where the youngling was and offered to return the ball.


       The response from the human was immediate. He curled his arms around the toy and gave Riku a bright smile. “Thank you, I thought I was going to lose it forever. It’s my favorite ball,” he said to the mer.


       Sadly, the prince could not understand what the human was saying. He could only surmise from the tone of the youngling’s voice that he was being thanked. The mer answered primly, “You would have caught up with it if you were a better swimmer, or if you at least had a tail.”


       The human gave Riku an odd look. He heard a series of clicks and swooping noises come from the mer’s mouth, none of which he could understand. “What language is that?” he questioned curiously. “You sound like a dolphin.”


       Riku felt himself growing frustrated at the situation. It annoyed him that the dolphins could understand human speech, but he could not. He pressed on, convinced that if only he kept speaking to the youngling then he would be understood. “My name is Prince Riku of Atlantica. I have watched you and your people for many cycles. You should be honored to be speaking to me.”


       The human squinted his eyes at Riku, obviously not comprehending a thing. He answered awkwardly, “I’m really sorry, I don’t understand you. Thank you for giving me my ball, I owe you one.” An uncomfortable smile accompanied those words, and then the human begin swimming back to the shoreline with his toy.


       Riku’s frustration quickly turned into annoyance. Why was this human swimming away from him? He was being addressed by the one and only prince of Atlantica. The mer called after the youngling in a sneer, “Do all humans have the brains of seaweeds, or just you? I wasn’t done talking to you!”


       Unfortunately, Sora could not answer. He was suddenly sucked down into a rip tide, causing him to go into a panic. The ball escaped his grasp as he flailed his arms and legs in an attempt to claw his way back to the surface, to no avail.


       Riku did not understand the purpose of the youngling’s actions. He swam underwear to where the human was spinning aimlessly and sang with amusement, “You call that swimming? No wonder you humans live on the surface; I’ve seen sponges turn water better than you.”


       A superior look colored Riku’s face as he watched the youngling flounder. Bubbles spilled from the human’s mouth, and over time, his thrashing grew weak. “Giving up already?” taunted the mer as he swam circles around the human. It was at that point that the youngling’s body became completely lax and hung in the water like dead seaweed. Riku poked the human, and became alarmed at the complete lack of response.


       “Human?” inquired Riku. He frowned, and then remembered the bubbles that had drifted to the surface. The dolphins had told him that humans were air breathers, but it never occurred to him that they could not live in the water. “Are you dying?” he asked again in urgency. Riku’s fast-beating heart seized with the realization that he might be witnessing a human youngling’s death. He quickly grabbed the human by its waist and rose to the surface with him in tow. It was his hope that another human would know what to do as soon as they saw the situation.


       To Riku’s surprise, the human spewed water from its mouth the moment that they reached the surface and began coughing loudly. He swam towards the shoreline with the youngling in tow, and left him on the breakers. The prince could hear distant voices shouting, so he quickly returned to the water before he could be seen. Thankfully, the surface world was currently dark enough to hide him from view.


       The youngling was quickly surrounded by several humans. There were cries of alarm and muted joy, followed by what sounded like scolding. Riku was relieved when the youngling proved to be strong enough to stand up and walk away with his pod.


       Riku learned an important thing about humans that day. They could only live in the air and would be killed if they stayed beneath the water too long. That caused him a great deal of sadness. He had plans of pulling the youngling underwater to show him his kingdom. They could have played among the anemones and secretly stored trinkets in the hidden caves along the shoreline. He was sure that the youngling would have been awed by all that Riku could have showed him.


       Their worlds were truly separate. Riku realized this when he tried to take the floating toy that the youngling had been chasing back to the palace. It kept slipping out of his claws and shooting towards the surface every time that he dived. Even when he attempted to push it against the currents with his weight, it yanked Riku back to the water’s boundary as if bound by some magic.


       “Even this doesn’t want to leave your world,” sang Riku as he played with the youngling’s ball. “It’s not fair.”


 

{{———————————————–}}

 

 

        It had been several days since Sora nearly drowned in the ocean. His parents were reluctant to let him return to the beach, but he insisted that he had learned his lesson to never swim when the tide was in. The only reason that he was allowed to return to the shoreline was that he would be under his father’s supervision from now on.


       That was fine, because Sora didn’t have any desire to swim. What he truly wanted was to find the boy that had saved him. When he was pulled from the breakers, he hoarsely asked the people around him about the silver haired boy that was still in the water. They told him that there was no one out there, just him.


       The adults insisted that Sora must have imagined it. If there was a lost child on the beach, then naturally he would have parents that were frantically searching for him. They believed that Sora must have been seeing things because of his near death experience. Sora would have accepted the explanation, but he distinctly remembered having a conversation with the boy before he was caught in a rip tide. Surely he couldn’t have started hallucinating before he nearly drowned.


       His father reluctantly allowed him to accompany him to the beach, as long as Sora remained under his watchful eye. They spent most of their time on a research vessel in the early mornings. Sora’s father was a marine biologist that was studying the communication of dolphins. Every other day, his dad sailed out into the ocean and used sensitive equipment to record the echolocations of those creatures. Lately, he tried replaying a recording to see if he got any response, but so far he hadn’t had any luck.


       While his father went about his work, Sora leaned against the railing of the boat and looked out into the ocean. He kept his eyes peeled for a sign of his savior, and sometimes he thought he caught a flash of white in the water, but it always turned out to be a cresting wave. This went on for several days, and at the end of every sunset, he would lower his head with disappointment. He began to believe that the silver-haired boy had been a dream after all.


       “Sora!”


       At the sound of his name, Sora looked over in his father’s direction. “Dad?” he inquired.


       Currently, his father had a pair of large headphones over his ears and was peering intently at the radar. He didn’t so much as blink when his son called his name. Frowning, Sora walked over and touched his father’s shirt.


       The man finally noticed his son, and he lifted one of his earpieces so that he could hear him. “Did you want something?” he asked.


       “Didn’t you just call me?” inquired Sora.


       “No, I didn’t call you. Although it would be nice if you helped me with all of this equipment instead of watching the water all day,” said his dad dryly.


       Sora frowned and left his father’s side. They were the only two people on the boat, so it was odd that his father wasn’t the one that called his name. That meant that the sound could only have come from the water. He looked out into the ocean, and then he spotted something that he never expected to see.


       “Dad, Dad, look!” said Sora excitedly. “It’s my ball, the one that I was looking for that day that I went swimming in high tide!”


       “What?” his father asked distractedly. He took off his headphones again and looked in the direction that Sora was frantically pointing. His eyebrows raised in understanding. “That’s your ball from home isn’t it? You’re a lucky boy, that ball should have floated halfway to Australia by now with these currents.”


       Sora’s father put aside his headphones and fetched a net. He used it to rescue Sora’s ball out of the water, which was then handed back to his son. “Take better care of it next time,” he said to Sora. Now that his son had something to occupy himself with, he returned to his work.


       Sora hugged the ball to himself. If it was true that his ball would have floated very far away, then maybe someone had brought it back, as impossible as that seemed. The boy whispered a heartfelt “thanks” to the ocean water, and believed with all his heart that there was someone out there who was thinking of him.


 

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       Underwater, beneath the hull of the ship, Riku was swimming in circles with a thrill. He had been practicing saying human words, and he figured out that he needed to suck in air through his gills to make the right noises.



       “Sora,” he said again, allowing the bubbles to escape his lips and rise to the surface. He had heard those sounds uttered towards the youngling before, and he deduced that it was the human’s name. It sounded muffled underwater, but there was no mistaking the distinct sound.


       “Just you wait,” Riku sang in his own language. “Someday, I’ll know you and your world.”





To be continued.



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