A Blessing and a Warning
The second day passed by in a pleasant blur for the most part. Marcelina and Emilio spent time in and out of the cave system, either exploring the caves and each other's bodies or dozing. Around dusk, they woke from a nap with a sense of urgency. They were both aware of their quickly dwindling time below and the trials that awaited them above. Marcelina rose from the lounge pile, stretching and undoing her braid. "Emilio, wake up, we have something important to do," she urged, leaning over to kiss his ear.
Emilio smiled and got up slowly, stretching. Marcelina swam behind him, content to undo his braid as well, running her fingers through it with a soft sigh. She had a strong love for his well-treated hair, with its waves and small errant locks. "There is an old, deep cave, made by my father for my mother. She said when I was mated, I could go inside," Marcelina explained, smiling. Emilio felt every bit of her excitement, doubling it with his. He smiled back once Marcelina finished with his braid and turned around, kissing her cheek and gathering her up close. "I look forward to anything with you involved, dear." He nuzzled the top of her head, inhaling the allure of salt and flowery essence that surrounded Marcelina.
In this new existence with her, Emilio had access to so many new aspects of her, aspects none but him would know. It felt like getting a priceless treasure, this second person underneath the one he already loved, one that only he would enjoy. It went both ways, of course, hence why Marcelina had a sudden love for his hair. It was the easiest way to enjoy the subtle earth on him. They'd never tire of it. Marcelina let him indulge for a while before pulling away to lead him out. She had to slow down occasionally (often) for Emilio's sake. While their time out exploring had helped his speed, she still naturally worried for him. Emilio wasn't a natural, he didn't have a century to learn the sea. If Marcelina was to cut loose, he'd lose her in half a second.
They reached the cave at sunset. The mouth of it was absolutely huge, leading into nothing but darkness. It seemed intimidating, but Marcelina just smiled like it was a present. "This is it. My parents used this when they finalized their converging, they got Poseidon's blessing in it, and now it's our turn," she sighed softly, looking at it with reverence. Marcelina gave Emilio a shy sort of smile, making him blush. His eyes went wide once he truly understood the implications of this place. he didn't know everything about nereid culture, but a blessing from, for all intents and purposes, their father and God, would mean more than any simple priest's blessing. He followed her inside quietly, lightly holding her hand.
The cave was rather plain looking, based on what he could see, which wasn't a lot, to begin with. As they went deeper, the light completely left, leaving Emilio solely dependent on Marcelina. Emilio didn't know how long or how deeply they swam into the cave system, it was only the odd, dream-like feel of Marcelina's touch and water moving over his body, blindly swimming on. Suddenly, the inky dark was chased out by a light source. It lit the walls in a gentle white light that was familiar. "Sea lights," he said, earning a small squeeze from Marcelina.
"There is a mass nest of sea lights in this cave, they're good luck in caves like these," she answered in a whisper, then, added, "we're close." Emilio felt his heart jump and lightly squeezed her hand in response, excited and nervous. A span of minutes went by, and the light in the caves grew brighter with the rising amount of sea lights. The clusters would separate from the wall and actually attach themselves onto Marcelina's tail and body. For the most part, she ignored them, except to gently brush them away from her face.
Finally, they came to a room with an altar in it. It was simple in making, almost dull. However, as Emilio positioned himself on one side and Marcelina on the other, he saw detailed engravings in archaic Latin. "Put your hand here," she whispered, pointing to an engraved hand marking. Emilio obeyed and she followed suit. Then she took a deep breath and started chanting, reading the Latin on the altar. She spoke so fast Emilio had no hope of catching anything, so he waited quietly. Power began to hum through the room, tickling his hands and making his hair undulate. When she finished the chant, Marcelina reared her head back and sang a wordless song. It was haunting but daunting, calling out to a great being.
The sea lights began to move erratically as if possessed, swarming on them from all directions. They began to coalesce in time with Marcelina's song pitch change, forming into a figure, tall and regal. Emilio had to use every form of self-control to refrain from moving away. The power in the cave was almost electric, making every hair stand on end and jump on his skin. When Marcelina finished her singing on a shrieking high note, the sea lights glowed as brightly as Emilio could stand and ceased their wild movements. They moved as one, mimicking breaths and body parts. Deep black eyes filled with endless mystery stared at them, filled with authority as well as tenderness. Poseidon had joined them.
"It is good to see a successful convergence. I'm proud of my child for her strength, her acceptance, and her boldness. To take a mate is a stressful process, especially for the Gemini." Poseidon put his large hand on Marcelina's head, making her shiver from the weight and surge of heat. "And I'm proud of you, Geminius, for your patience and strong devotion and pure heart. I shall see you both blessed and cherish by the other for all your days." He put his second hand atop of Emilio. He felt like collapsing under it, but also wrapping that power around him like a shroud. For a moment, it healed all the hurt he ever felt, made his soul fly and find peace. "However, I must first install instruction and a warning upon you. There is much adversity in store for you. It is unavoidable, so be wary once you return. This bond must be stronger than all others, for it will be tested, handicapped. Most of all, trust and build on and with each other. Find any moment for affection and communication, trust few, but trust them well. Am I clear?"
Poseidon gave them a stoic, but strong look, deadly serious. "Yes, Father," Marcelina responded and Emilio followed in kind. Poseidon let out a pleased rumble, releasing their heads to tilt up their chins. "Be adventurous, be amorous, and be forever enthralled by each other. Be friends and lovers, kindred spirits, forever drawn to the other and together. That is my blessing," he recited, a visible wave of warm power following down his arm into them, momentarily blocking all air. They went rigid as the blessing inserted itself into them, taking over their beings and then settling. Poseidon released them and suddenly vanished from the sea lights, letting them tumble over the couple. Back to their mindless wandering, the sparkled in the cave as they did before.
Marcelina was shaking, panting hard, but managed to take Emilio's hand and lead him out of the cave. He held on, but barely. It was taking all his effort just to stay conscious, let alone move. Marcelina looked the same but managed to bring them back to their cave, practically sleep swimming. Emilio was the one to cradle her close and drape them over the lounge pile. They slept through the night deeply and dreamless.