Great! I'm Half-Fish!

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Chapter 21

They bedded down just inside Itait. There was no place for them to stay so they were roughing it, according to Rakcigion. Basically, they just laid down on the sand and tried to sleep.

Sean laid back on the sand feeling exhausted. It had been a long day and he hadn’t been aware of how much it had tired him until he relaxed. He shifted his head, trying to make a comfortable little divot in the sand. It worked, a little. Next to him Rakcigion had his tail curled around his entire form and was hidden from view by silver scales and delicate looking tail fins. Sean thought it was kind of adorable. Not too far from them Jenaicra was stretched out to his full length on the sand. Fassleti was facing the community, lying on his side, eyes taking in every flicker of movement. Caniciat had gone off to hunt and Zacklani had gone with him. Gethain hadn’t come back yet. Cabrako was lying his stomach eyes closed already.

Sean wiggled a little more, put his hands behind his head and looked up at the surface of the water far above him. It was strange, watching the surface from below it. The moon was up, he could tell, because gentle silver light played over the ever-moving blanket of the ocean’s surface. Small shoals of fish swam between him and the surface, their shadows playing the sand and across the sleeping mers.

Sean watched the darting fish play, was reminded of the talking salmon and wondered if he’d ever eat fish again. Oh well, there was always chicken. The dark shape of a mer far above them crossed his line of sight swimming leisurely. At close inspection Sean realized it was Karlenae, the mer who’d greeted them when they’d first entered. Argan must be done with his report then. He wondered how Karlenae would take the death of Chantinal.

In all honesty the sheer difference between mers and humans stunned Sean a little. He should have expected it, he supposed. They were two different species after all. But his father had been so… normal, so similar, that he hadn’t thought about it. Maybe, Sean mused, the father-son bonding time was actually a good thing. He would, at least, get to decide if he wanted a place in this ocean world.

A few minutes later Argan appeared, gliding silently through the water. He drifted to a stop at the foot of the group and settled himself on the sand. He didn’t go to sleep though.

Sean let his eyes drift back to the surface of the water and wondered how his mother was. Was she regretting letting him leave? Was she lonely? He sincerely hoped she wouldn’t cry. He sincerely wished he wouldn’t cry. He missed her, suddenly, fiercely. His mom, at least, made sense. Hell, even his grandparents made sense.

“Go to sleep Shenaragle,” Rakcigion’s sleepy voice said next to him. Sean jumped a little and then peered at the cocoon that was his father.

“Aren’t you asleep?”

“Not yet,” Rakcigion replied. “Go to sleep.”

“I will,” Sean said. He paused. “It’s just…really strange, I guess. Like sleeping in a motel room.”

“Sing him a lullaby ’cigion,” Jenaicra called teasingly. Sean shifted on the sand so that he could kick Jenaicra’s tail.

The mer opened his eyes, bared his teeth in grin and apparently went back to sleep unbothered by Sean’s kick.

“Or tuck him in,” Caniciat said. There was a round of subvocal laughs.

“I hate you all,” Sean decided. Rakcigion opted to pitch a shell onto Caniciat’s head in retaliation and then promptly returned to being a cocoon. “Except you,” Sean amended. Rakcigion snorted with laughter and curled up tighter.

Sean huffed out a little laugh, settled back in his comfortable sand dent and closed his eyes.

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