Dizzee shakes his head, astonished. Napoleon has been perfectly human a couple seconds ago, but now he’s turned into a merman! Merfolk existing at all is hard enough to swallow, but this? Dizzee gives up being shocked at the absurdity of what their life has become and just laughs at it all.
Thor, who has been treading water at his side, turns to look at him, that love struck smile on his face. Dizzee can’t help but blush; Thor’s attention is rather overwhelming. In fact, the feelings he’s having for Thor are extremely overwhelming.
Dizzee has always been weird, so maybe this was just meant to be. Maybe the hole he felt in his life has finally been filled, and by a handsome mythical creature at that!
He decides that the most appropriate response is simply not to think about it for the moment. Besides, they have bigger things to think about---like surviving--- in their current situation. He raises his voice, almost yelling to make sure everyone can hear him:
“Not to be ungrateful for your help getting us off the ship, but where do we go from here?”
His voice shakes as he speaks because his teeth are chattering so hard. The ocean is much colder than he expected, and he doesn’t know how long they’re going to have to be submerged in it. His brothers are all looking to him now, and he can see them shivering as they bob in the waves.
The mermaid with the brown tail, who is keeping Boo afloat, speaks up first:
“There’s an island a few minutes from here.”
Thor reaches out to take Dizzee’s hand, swimming into position to help him stay afloat, freeing up the mermaid who had been helping him before. Dizzee feels safer with Thor’s strong hold on his hand and a gentle arm around his waist. As he smiles at him, Thor continues:
“You’ll be safe there. There is a spring for water and we can bring you food until we figure out what to do next.”
Dizzee can’t help himself, he reaches out to brush a wet strand of hair hanging in Thor’s face back behind his ear, overly aware of the brush of his fingers against Thor’s cheek. Thor beams at him, cheeks turning a soft pink.
“Thank you, Thor.”
The moment is broken as Boo snorts next to him, snarking:
“He should be thanking us. We risked our butts to save him.”
Dizzee is suddenly reminded that they aren’t alone, and that his brothers are watching them. He feels a slight bit of shame curling in his stomach, which only makes him feel angry. He doesn’t want to have to feel ashamed of what he feels for Thor.
Thor takes the jab well, bowing his head graciously and responding politely to Boo:
“Thank you all for rescuing me. I am endlessly grateful.”
Shao swims closer, the disturbance making Dizzee tread water a little harder to stay above the waves.
“I’m just glad we got a chance to fuck Annie over. Hopefully this means she won’t be hurting any other merfolk.”
The mermaid with the orange tail swims over to him, her eyes subtly scanning him for wounds.
“It was risky, but at least she will not be able to hurt any of our school. We will warn them about the trawl ships upon our return.”
Ra speaks up, always curious:
“You mean there’s more of you?”
The orange mermaid smiles at him, almost looking fond of him:
“Yes, many more. But we cannot let them know of you existence or that we have helped you. We are banned from helping humans in normal circumstances, and others in our school may not be as welcoming as we have been to you.”
Ra’s face drops, excitement turns to fear:
“Oh. Okay. Stay out of sight, then?”
The orange mermaid nods, her long hair falling over her shoulder with the movement.
“Indeed. We should make for the island now.”
The merfolk all grab a human, powering through the waves with strong strokes of their large tails. The weight of the humans slows them down slightly, as do Thor’s wounds, but they make good time to the island. It’s large, but obviously has nothing of value on it, mostly plains of grass and not much else. Even so, it will be a sufficient home for now.
The merfolk drag them through the waves until the water is shallow enough for them to walk on their own. Dizzee stumbles through the choppy water, the sand shifting under his feet and knocking him off balance, but he makes it to the beach. Once he’s far enough up that the waves can no longer reach him he collapses into the warm sand, all the exhaustion hitting him at once.
Boo and Ra stumble past him, heading for the dubious shade of a single palm tree that’s a few feet past where he’s come to rest. Zeke lies down in the sun a little bit away, waving at Dizzee to make sure he knows he’s there.
The merfolk rest in the shallow water, making slow circles as the humans catch their breath. Napoleon does flips as he learns how to work his new tail, his brother watching him in amazement. The Merfolk’s tails shine gloriously in the sunlight, scattering multi colored bits of light across the beach, making it look like a stained glass window.
Dizzee watches Thor makes a thorough inspection of his tail, running his fingers over the missing scales and scars where the knives had cut him. Dizzee can see the same sort of scars on Shaolin’s tail and it makes his heart ache for the merman.
Once he’s done, Thor swims over to Dizzee, his elegant tail dragging awkwardly as he makes it to the sand. His fins flutter, kicking up a faint spray of sand as he settles down next to Dizzee. He reaches out a hand, not expectant but offering contact if Dizzee wants it. Dizzee gladly takes his hand, careful not to cut himself on Thor’s claws.
Thor sighs, dropping his head to hide behind a veil of his golden hair, evidently uncomfortable. Finally he speaks, his voice low.
Dizzee shakes his head, trying to process. Like last time, he feels like Thor is thanking him for much more than just helping get him off the ship.
Thor laughs, blushing a soft pink.
“For everything. For being you. For being willing to come with us. Being willing to leave your whole world behind to be with me.”
Dizzee laughs too, slightly uncomfortable with someone being so happy with him just being himself. It’s a new feeling, but not necessarily a bad one.
“Oh. Well, if there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s being myself.”
Thor smiles fondly at him, squeezing his hand a bit tighter.
“That is all I could ever want from you.”
Dizzee coughs, trying to think of something to say that isn’t “I think I’m in love with you” or “you’re so beautiful I feel like I can’t breath” or just overwhelmed gibberish.
“Are you going to stay here with us?”
Thor nods, his eyes slipping shut as he basks in the warm sun.
“The others will have to return to our pack, but I would like to stay with you, if that’s alright.”
Dizzee grins, bringing a hand up to press against Thor’s waist, right at the line where human skin turns to fish scales. He rubs his thumb in small circles, want to memorize how Thor feels.