How Could You Leave Us?
“Come on guys, don’t stop now! Keep up the good work! Just a few more seconds, almost there!”
“Alright, Connor you got it!“, Opal continued to cheer for the children as they paddled on the water.
It was nice day at the beach of Amnesty Bay; the sun was shining with not a cloud in sight. A perfect day for a surfing lesson and that’s exactly what Opal was doing. At the moment they were in the water, trying to locate a wave on the calming sea.
Opal continue to spout motivations as she held her own board close. “See I knew you guys could-“, her praising was cut short by a powerful gust of wind blew across her face. She couldn’t help but smile as her dark hair draped across her eyes. The sting of salt water on her face made a shiver rack up her spine. God she missed this. She closed her eyes, basking in the serenity that was the open sea.
“All good, Opal?”
Opal snapped out her trance, “Huh?“, she muttered before turning to see the kids mother Meredith standing at the shore; worry knitted in her brow even at this distance. “U- uh yes I’m fine”, she answered with hardly a pinch of convincing as her attention was once again brought back to the sea at the dark clouds in the distance.
She tore her gaze away from the overlapping waves and forced a smile at the two preteens near her, “I think we should shut it down for the day”, she decided, earning a trio of whines from the kids.
“Oh come on, Opal, just five more minutes? We just got in the water.”
Opal shook her head at the brooding boy, “Just look at it this way, next time we can get right in the water if you guys continue to practice like I told you to”, she told them, sure to point at Jacob. He thought that he could just hop in the water and “be one with the waves”. Too many surfer movies would do that to you.
“Don’t worry Opal, I’ll make sure they do”, Meredith assured her as they made their way to the shore, “Come on, let’s get you guys dried off and head home.”
Opal watched as she held open towels for eachother of her children, placing kisses to their wet foreheads as she helped dry them off. She couldn’t help but feel envious of her beautiful family. Meredith had a great husband who worked on the pier and three children to show for their love.
“You got any plans for the rest of the day, Opal?“, Meredith asked her.
Opal just shrugged, lugging her board up out of the water and onto the beach. She propped her board up in the sand, thinking it over for a moment before shrugging, “Gonna go check on the lighthouse, then probably heading home.” Today had been a busy one for her and her body screamed for a nap.
“Well tell Thomas we said hi and thanks again for the lessons”, the kids chanted in aggreance.
Opal waved it off with a smile, “Don’t mention it, y’all just head home, take advantage of the rain for some family time”, she forced a smile, not wanting to worry the woman.
She ignored the look the woman sent her, wanting to say something, but not wanting to cross any lines. Opal hoped she continued to do that; her stare was enough.
They soon vacated the beach, wanting to beat the possible storm until they were back at home. Opal packed up her board and equipment in sweet silence, still moving slow and cautious as the winds howled behind her.
‘There’s a storm coming.’
She laughed at her own joke, pushing her long dark hair out of her face as she slipped on a long flora skirt over her wet swimsuit. She’d gotten in her car and drove to the old lighthouse for her daily visit to ye old lighthouse keeper. She couldn’t deny how her chest tightened as she stepped in the house.
“Thomas!“, she called out, scanning the room for the older man, but not finding him. She hoped he hadn’t been in the lighthouse; last time he’d fallen and almost gave her a heart attack.
“In here, kiddo!”
Opal let out a relieved breath, “Thank God”, she murmured under her breath before following his voice into the kitchen.
Thomas continued to move back and forth in the kitchen as he prepared what she believed was her tea. She smiled; he always knew when she’d be coming over and he always had something for her. “Heard you were out on the water today?”
Opal shifted awkwardly at the line of questioning. She didn’t know why she was surprised; ofcourse he would’ve find out. Amnesty Bay was a small town and no doubt word would spread about the woman who practically lived in the water returning after not stepping anywhere near it for months.
“Guilty”, she answered softly, taking the mug, “was working with Meredith’s kids; private surf lesson”, she told him as they moved back into the living room, sitting down beside him on the large comfy couch infront of the TV. Her comfort couch.
“Well that’s good”, he huffed, putting down his drink and going for the blanket tossed over the back of the couch, “been a long time since you’ve been in the water”, he grunted casually, draping it over themselves.
Suddenly Opal’s throat had closed; as innocent as the statement was, the underlining context made her stomach turn. She claimed that she ceased as a precaution because of her pregnancy, but he could always see right through it. She swallowed back the bitter salt in her lungs, instead resting her head on Thomas’ shoulder as he had his arm around her shoulder, “Uh yeah.... I guess it has.”
She cherished times like this; just cuddled up inside with a warm blanket and listening to the sound of the strong waves against the rough shores. Although Thomas was no Arthur, he was the closest thing she had to a father and he a daughter. They bonded over their shared love for the estranged bastard heir to Atlantis and it only solidified when he found out she was pregnant with his grandchildren.
With Arthur God-only-knows-where, Thomas had stepped up to care for his growing family. However as much as Opal appreciated it -and she did- it still not compare to the yearning in her heart for Arthur to return home.
“Have you heard anything from Arthur?“, Thomas asked innocently in the comfortable silence.
Opal tensed under his arm, “Uh...no, I- I haven’t”, she hadn’t seen him since before his last adventure when she found out she was pregnant and that was more than four months ago. She didn’t even get to tell him; then again, even if she did he still would’ve left again. That was Arthur for you, a selfish man so busy looking for the wrong thing that he doesn’t see what he had all along.
“Well you know how Arthur is”, he made no further attempt to explain it, just shaking his head side to side.
Opal applauded Thomas for always seeing the best in his son no matter what he’d done. Apart of her was like that, but the other would probably never want to see him again even if she had the power to do so. “He better hurry back, doubt he’d wanna miss the arrival of Tic and Tac”, he said warmly, referring to his twin grandchildren in her belly. Just like that the tone had immediately lightened between, wiping away the dark cloud that was Arthur Curry.
Opal gave him a forced smile, her hand moving to cradle the swell of her belly.
* * * * * *
When Opal finally got home than early evening, she got in the shower to wash the stress of her day away. She dried off and motioned up before putting one half shirt with some comfy thin pants before getting in her bed.
As she was nestled under the pile of her warm sheets, she rolled onto her side as best she could with her rounding belly. She caressed her bump with her hands and smile stretching on her face as she looked out her window at the raging storm outside. It was really storming alright and she loved it. She always enjoyed thunderstorms since she was a kid. It certainly helped to calm her mind as she opened her arms to embrace sleep.
Her eyes suddenly shot open at the sound of a loud heavy thud outside. She shot up in her bed, hands immediately going to her belly. She snapped her head towards her window and in the distance she saw a large outline of a person on the dock.
Opal froze, mouth suddenly dry as cotton. She just blinked repeatedly; brain and body short circuiting at the sheer sight of the figure in the distance. In the blink of an eye, the broad frame went from the water to a good distance onto the shore.
It was him?
It couldn’t be him.
Realizing she wasn’t gonna get these answers sitting in her bed, Opal threw back her sheets with renewed determination, rest now at the very back of her mind. She got out of her bed and waddled out of her bedroom. By the time she made it into the main room there he was, all 6ft 4 of him with half the ocean dripping on her hardwood floor. She noted the heavy Atlantian Triton propped against the wall like some damn decorative coat rack.
She quickly took him in; he hadn’t changed one bit. His dark ombre curly hair falling passed his shoulders in tousled waves, his tattooed chest bare as he was only dressed in a pair of dark jeans -the jeans she had gotten him. She hated that she recognized that.
Opal shivered; she forgot how deep that voice was. How she would rest her head against his chest, listening to the rumbling in his chest as he laughed boisterously. Her heart ached at the thought. She willed herself to actually move closer, not hiding her shock at his presence with her eyes.
“I uh...used the spare”, he told her with a sideways grin, turning around to properly face her. She felt so small standing before him, his intense blue eyes too much for her to look at. Oh how she both hated and loved those eyes of his.
His eyes moved down to her stomach before they stopped at her torso; his face froze, “So the ocean was right”, it wasn’t a question, a clear statement made to the swell of her stomach left exposed by her half shirt.
Opal swallowed the lump in her throat, her hands coming up to cradle her belly, “I guess it was”, she really didn’t understand everything about the whole aquakinesis powers thing and all his abilities, but what she did know was that he had been gone so long as a result of it.
His gaze went back to her face, “Is...“, he gulped, enhaling deep through his nostrils, “Is it-”
“Don’t you fuckin’ dare“, Opal cut him off sharply. One thing he was not gonna do was assassinate her character ontop of everything else, “unlike yo ass, I was in a monogamous relationship”, she snapped at him angrily.
They had had one of their biggest fights in there 3 year relationship when Aurthur went to “fulfill his destiny” with that red haired bitch. Opal had known something was off when she met her, but when she heard that she had kissed him she damn near lost it. All Arthur could do was stand there like he had no way to stop it; like he wasn’t a Hawiian Thor Odinson. The fact that he let it happen hurt the most of all.
It was silent between them as she began to pace the floor, taking deep breathes to calm the beating of her heart. This stress wasn’t good for the babies so she would have to keep it together no matter how badly she wanted to tell the Native about himself. Said man was just standing there, eyes on the ground, too afraid to meet her gaze. She bit back a snort; the truth hurt. She hated that he was so quiet, meanwhile she was going through every single stage of Grief and all he had done was stand there.
Arthur just followed her frame with his iridescent green-blue eyes, “My father told me you had come by”, he started, bringing his hand up to wipe at his beard, “said I’d just missed you.”
“Seems like you’ve missed a lot around here”, she shot back sharply, stopping in her tracks.
Opal pressed her tongue to her cheek before making her way back over to him. “Our dusty little beach not enough for you? That why you left?“, she asked him, head titled to the side as she stared him down despite the height difference, “Don’t care about the people who cared for you? Loved you?“, her voice was raw with emotion. Did he know how much she loved him? How long she waited for him to accept her love? How long she waited for him only to realize he would never return?
“Five months Arthur! More than four fucking months I waited for you to come back after you left without so much as a goodbye!” She was done trying to spare his feelings when he clearly didn’t care the same for hers.
Arthur struggled to come up with what to say. He truly had fucked up big time; he seemed to only be good at hurting people and now he had gone and hurt the one person he cared for the most. “I- I was just so confused.”
Opal shook her head, “That isn’t an excuse, Arthur.”
He pressed his lips together in a thin line. She was right; it wasn’t a good excuse for what he’d done to her. “I thought I finally found somewhere I belonged, a place that wanted me-”
"I wanted you!“, she shot back.
“I know that now!“, he counter strongly in a voice so strong and unyielding that it made her flinch. Arthur cowered in on himself slightly at the outburst, “I...I know where I belong and it’s with you.” Opal hated how badly see ached to hear those words. To hear that she was wanted; that he loved her.
“That’s why I came back, but trust me, if I had known”, looked at her smooth belly, “I wouldn’t have allowed myself to be whisked off for so long. Hell I wouldn’t have left in the first place.”
It was difficult for Arthur to admit all of this, defenses stripped bare as he exposed himself to her. To put all his emotions out in the open or else he would lose her and he refused to do that. “I-...I’ve been a bastard all my life...not wanted by my mother and not fitting in on the mainland, but if it wasn’t for you and my old man I don’t know where or what I’d be doing right now.”
“The last thing I want is for my child to grow up without both their parents”, he choked up at the words and Opal could understand how hard it was to say. As much as he loved Thomas, he wanted nothing more than to have a mother and a father, “knowing that they belong in both worlds.”
Opal gulped, the proclamation to his unborn making her choke up. “Neither do I”, Opal choked, able to come to regain some of her composure, “that’s why they are both gonna know exactly where they came from; from Atlantis all the way to Amnesty Bay.” Arthur hadn’t truly known of his mother’s people and it had hurt for him to be forced to protect a kingdom that always made him feel unwanted or unworthy.
Arthur’s brows unfurrowed and then furrowed once again, “Wait...both?“, he questioned, big confused blue eyes.
Opal nodded, unable to fight back her smile at his confusion, “Yes Arthur, both”, she assured as she held up her fingers, “Two babies; uno dos.”
Arthur’s jaw opened and closed, mutiple emotions dancing over his face. Opal didn’t like that, she didn’t know how to read him properly; to see what he was thinking. “Oh woah”, he finally said, large hand reaching up to scratch and tugged at his hair. An anxious tick; he was most definitely out his element and she wouldn’t blame him.
Opal swallowed a lump that had appeared in her throat, “Just ”oh wow”?” That didn’t give her much to work with. Would he even want to deal with two babies? Her stomach turned at the pessimistic turn of her thoughts.
Arthur corrected his face, shaking his head at his own fuck-up. He smiled wider than the Joker behind his unruly beard and mustache, “It’s amazing Opal”, he corrected, stepping forward, “fucking insane...in a like good- no great way”, he further clarified before he reached out to cup her face in his hands. When she didn’t reject his touch, he bent over to press his forehead to hers.
Opal’s eyes closer as the focused on one another, the intimacy of the embrace resealing the bond that she once thought was broken.
When they parted, Opal was at a loss for words, only regaining when she felt a drop of liquid on her nose. She looked up to find Arthur silently crying above her, lips pressed in a line but trembling as water pooled in his bright Atlantian eyes. Opal wondered if they would have his eyes. She forced herself to keep it together, smiling up at him as she raised her thumbs to wipe away his tears.
The larger man leaned into her touch, basking in it. He missed it so much; Mera only cared for Aquaman, the rightful ruler of Atlantis and manipulated him into doing what she deemed right by a world that disregarded him whenever it wasn’t convenient for them. Opal didn’t do that; he was her Guppy, a fuck-up but a work in progress who was worth more than what blood ran in his veins. She allowed for him to feel vulnerable, to put his trust in someone who would not judge him but embrace him, flaws and all.
She smiled up at him before looking away, drawing back from him despite what her body wished. “We can talk in the morning, okay?“, she whispered to him, pushing her wild hair behind her ear. As much as she wanted to forgive him and let her back in, they would need to have a serious conversation and decide what they would do from here. “You can stay here if you want, but I know you probably wanna spend time with your dad.”
Arthur pressed his lip into a line, not disagreeing with her. He knew she was right; he needed to see his father. He was an old man and considering he was all he had, the last thing he wanted to do was take that time for granted. He pressed a long kiss to her forehead before kneeling to do the same to her belly. He whispered something against the taunt skin; she didn’t know what his said, too distracted by the tickle of his beard.
She guided him outside, waving at him from the door as he disappeared back into the calm sea. This time, there was no fear or heartbreak at the sight, because she knew this time that he would be back.
He had left his Triton after all.
* * * * * *
“Arthur Curry!“, Opal shrieked as she stormed onto the beach looking for the giant man near the shore.
“Yes, my dear?“, the large man said innocently, trying to hide his Triton behind his back. Opal snorted at the attempt at discretness; Arthur might have been a large guy but it was impossible to hide all of that Atlantian weaponry.
Opal was not smiling, her hands on her soft hips as she stared up at him, wedding ring glistening on her finger, “Don’t give me that shit, Arthur. Where the hell are my children?“, she growled impatiently. They were supposed to be down for a nap and yet when she had gone to check up on them their crib was empty and Thomas had told her Arthur had gone to check on them.
“No need to worry, they are right here. See?“, he pointed over to where the curly haired hybrids were sitting on a large blanket under an umbrella.
Thomas “Tommy” Curry, the firstborn, was trying to eat his foot while Timmothy “Timmy” Curry held an intense smolder much like his father’s with his eyes trained on the open sea. Grandpa Thomas liked to joke about how he seemingly inherited his father’s longing for the sea.
She sighed in relief at seeing her boys of perfect health; last time Arthur had taking them out, Tommy got sunburn and cried for days after. She returned her glare to the half Atlantian, “You better not have been out here trying to train them again; I told you they can’t even walk properly yet.” They had agreed that Arthur and Nuidis could start working with them when and if their powers came in and until then no training.
Arthur shrugged, bringing his Triton from behind his back, “Just wanted to show them some tricks. Promise. I didn’t even let them touch it”, he sworn wholeheartedly, “Isn’t that right boys?”
The mocha colored twins made unintelligible garbled sounds and squeals in response as they stared blankly at their father. A lot of people wouldn’t know it, but Arthur was extremely protective of his children. He was the definition of a helicopter parent which was an interesting combination considering how reckless he was. Nonetheless, Opal found “Dad Mode” Arthur enduring.
Opal shook her head, ”Sure you were”, her tone was not accusing, instead light and teasing as she approached her towering husband. She pressed the palms of her hand to his defined chests, eyes lingering there before meeting his gaze.
Arthur raised a suspicious eyebrow at the affection but didn’t complain, his left hand cupping her cheek and the other wrapping around her waist. Opal bit her lip as they stared lovingly at one another, “What would you say about showing me some of those tricks then?“, she purred, toying with the chord of his necklace under his tunic.
Arthur’s chest rumbled like thunder in response; he definitely wasn’t opposed to that. “Guppies, cover your eyes”, he told the boys who were now watching them intently with their matching Atlantian eyes, heads cocked to the side in adorable curiosity with floppy hair swinging. Opal rolled her eyes before reaching up to press her lips against his anyway. Arthur made a shocked sound but melted into the kiss before they parted, both with matching looks of pleasant contentment.
“God my life is great”, the lighthouse keeper murmured, taking in the moment with the love of his life in his arms and his family at his side.
Arthur suddenly tensed under her palms, feeling a presence behind him and turned to find none other than Superman hovering over the water in all his red and blue glory. Opal noticed Arthur’s back tense as he stood infront of her and was only slightly surprised at the sight of the familiar red cape.
Hearing his hero name was enough to know that he hadn’t just dropped by for a visit. He blew a long breath out of his mouth and nose, running a hand through his hair. Knowing the same, Opal stepped forward, moving around Arthur’s body to let her presence be known.
“Hello Opal, it is good to see you”, Superman greeted, nodding at her before landing on the sand.
“Wish I could say the same”, she huffed under her breath, not oblivious to the fact that he could hear her; if anything it motivated her the mutter more. She still held distain for the Justice League’s role in her abandonment; except for Victor and Barry ofcourse, it was impossible to hate them. She bent over to collect her kids from the sand from where they tried to climb the alien hero.
“Any idea when you’ll be back by?“, she asked the Kryptonian as she place a baby on each hip.
Superman shrugged, “Of that, I can not give you a definite answer, I am sorry”, he had offered sincerely, taking in the full sight of her. He and Lois hadn’t really talked about kids yet, but it hurt him to come drag Opal’s husband away while she took care of their children ontop of Amnesty Bay and the lighthouse. Women definitely were superheroes and the strongest one’s at that.
Opal shook her head dismissively, rolling her eyes at him, “Please don’t give me that ol’ apology for having to save the world crap to make me feel like an asshole.” It never ceased to amaze Arthur how gobsmacked Clark got about Opal’s potty mouth. It was something about how nice and soft she looked only to find the mouth of a sailor and all the bar-folk in town.
She turned her attention from the protector of Earth to her chubby cheeked boys. “Guppies, say bye to daddy”, she cooed to the obvious babies, offering them to there father, “He’s off to save the world again with his friends.”
Arthur kissed both their foreheads, nuzzling there curly hair in his big hands making them giggly. He then moved onto his wife, his arm going around her waist to press his forehead to hers for a long moment before drawing back, “I’ll be back in time for supper. Promise.“, he told all three of them before he pulled off his tunic to leave it in the sand and snatched up his Triton with practiced ease. He began to leave with is teammate, heading to the open water.
“Hey Aquaman!“, Opal called out to his back as the waves crested at his knees. He and Superman stopped, turning to see what she needed.
She smirked, her hair whipping against her face, “Go kick some ass for me.”
Arthur’s grin widened and he shot her a nod. “I do it all for you babe!“, he declared proudly, slapping his heavy hand over his heart. Opal’s heart swelled and with that, Arthur disappeared into the deep blue blue sea.