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Drops Of Salt Water

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Blue waves moved above him, the surface was right there, yet felt so far away. There was something exhilarating every time he did this. Swimming, the warmth of the sea, a gentle kiss against his cold flesh. The way she would wrap him up in blankets of smooth salt water, she had always been so kind to him, and yet others feared her. For him it was home, an escape when life got too much to handle, when he stepped into the deep blue expanse everything else but the feel of the sun on his dampening skin, and the refreshing water at his feet just slipped away. It was within these very droplets that many had loved, lost, and longed. How had he been so fortunate?

The thought drifted away when black hair finally broke the surface, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth following him. His skin was not very human like, but he himself was also not very human like. His eyes were honey brown, almost red in the right lightening. The colour expanded through the whole eye, the only white being in the middle where his pupil was. His skin had a green-grey tinge to it, helping to blend in with the natural beauty below the water. His ears could only be described as elven, looking like the wings of a bat in three dips before the lobe shape formed at the bottom. They had more of a blue hue to them at the top, blending into the colour of the rest of his skin as they drew closer to his face. His mouth was not red like a humans would be, but rather purplish, like he’d sat in the cold for far too long. Inside his teeth were sharp, ready for the hunt when the moment rises, the purple was deeper on the inside. Cold blooded would have been an easy way to describe the wonders of his funny coloured mouth, it was different for any Mer depending on their heritage.

His jaw was almost sharp, if not for the slight pudge that made him look so much younger then he was. Although that’s where the squishier features stopped, his torso was toned from the swimming, muscles hardened by the work out water gave. His fingers were slim and long, they webbed together making movement through water easier, at the end sharp nails, the easier to catch a fish or snag a potential threat with.

The most glorious sight about this creature, however, was not his skin colour, or the purple mouth, the sharp (just slightly) slanted eyes, or how he resembled everything wondrous about the deep unknown, it was his tail. The smooth scales along the tail pressed into some parts of his upper body too, along the sides of his face, coming in points just below his eyes. They sat at his shoulders and glittered his stomach. The back was beautifully adorned with small patches of scale kisses. These all shined in blue and blacks, some silver playing into the mix. It was nothing compared to how his tail beamed with those scales though. Looking like a Koi fish patten but where white would sit the blue took over, black in replacement for orange, and silver woven into it to give it extra gleam.

The tail and torso melded together at the hips, soon the scales dispersed through his upper body in unique patterns. Small light blue-green fins sat in ruffles on his sides, going down to where mid thigh would be on a humans leg. At the back where tail and torso meet the same coloured ruffled fin dragged all the way to the bottom, where the fin fanned out. Jagged edges, and a bigger dip towards the middle. It almost looked eerily ripped, and if someone hadn’t known better it would have looked like the end fin had been through a fight. But it only added to the creatures mysterious aesthetic.
••••

The Mer has been thirteen at the time, Yuuri Katsuki had always been small, too small for a Mer. If he had been born apart of a pod they would have abandoned him due to his small stature. His mother had promised he would grow, ‘give it time,’ she had always told him, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day.’ Yuuri would proceed to tell his mother how he clearly is much different from Rome. Still, he held onto her words and promised himself that he would grow soon.

He was brought from his thoughts by a small movement in the corner of his eye, finally a fish had passed by. People on a boat had scared them away about an hour back, they had been partying, drunk, shouting and dancing. Yuuri cursed that boat. There had been so many fish to choose from before then, now he was seriously thinking it would be seaweed for dinner. Of course if he went and asked his Mother would cook him up something warm. But Yuuri didn’t want something human, he was craving the taste of freshly killed fish, the smell of their blood around him. That pleased hum he would do once he’d caught the fish and took the first bite.

There it was again, it was small, Yuuri still had yet to learn the names of fish he caught. He knew some obvious ones, but he was still a bit rusty. When his mother cooked his findings she would tell him their names. His sister had once claimed he was like a cat, hunting and bringing gifts back to the people he loved. ‘A Mer thing’ his Father had said. ‘A Yuuri thing’ his sister had joked. Still he would stand at his Mothers side in the kitchen, wide eyed as she prepared his hunt. Unfortunately tonight he would not be bringing home enough fish to feed all five, five because he made sure to get Vicchan, his beloved toy poodle, his own fish. The puppy loved fish, especially those that Yuuri caught for him. Tonight the dog would have to settle for his own food from the cupboard.

Yuuri found himself hiding behind a rock, the fish had slowed its swimming to almost a stop, Yuuri wondered what was going through its head. Did it know it was about to be eaten? He cocked his head to the side watching the careful movements of the small silver fish. It was so tiny, how many years had this fish had of life? Maybe not even a year at all. He would have to ask his Mother one day. He counted in his head, three... two... one...

A loud splash scared the fish off, Yuuri swam a little to try and catch it before realising his efforts were useless. If that party boat was back he swore to Poseidon he would sink the damn thing. He turned to see what had happened, the last thing he expected to see was a sinking body. Maybe they were a Mer trying to find their fins? Yuuri was sure they would change soon. And yet whoever it was kept sinking, going lower and lower, making no attempts to swim up to surface again. Now Yuuri thought about it all Mer knew not to wear clothes if they were shifting. This person was wearing light brown jeans with the cuff rolled at the ankle, and a white long sleeved top. Their hair was long and silver.

Yuuri reminded himself that not all humans could swim, with that in mind he raced to the person and caught them before they could get any further away. He pulled at their arm until the two were eye level. Then pushed the human back up to the surface, breaking free of the water to help them swim back to shore. Once on the sand Yuuri laid the person down and put his ear to their chest, there was no sign of their breathing. He watched the persons face, the boys face. He was still so young, maybe four or five years older then Yuuri. No sign of movement, in a panic Yuuri grabbed his shoulders and started to shake him, trying to wake the other up. Something must have worked because soon he was coughing up the salt water that filled his lungs.

At the rise and fall of his chest Yuuri sat back on the sand sighing. A tear slipped down his cheeks. He’d almost died, but there was no sign of anybody around who might have tried to save him. Why had he jumped in the water without knowing how to swim? The older boy next to him stirred and Yuuri watched him open his eyes for just a moment. Beautiful.. he thought. He was beautiful. Yuuri’s heart thumped in his chest. The boy gave him one last look before passing out again.

He decided to stay with him until somebody came, his clothes were on the other side of the beach, and suddenly Yuuri was glad he didn’t feel the cold that came from the sea. The other boy had started to shiver though, there was not much he could do about that.

The sun was starting to come up, and Yuuri knew he’d have to slip back into the ocean or risk being found naked next to an unconscious person. Even if he did say he’d saved him, everybody would laugh and ask him why he was naked. They would see him and Yuuri didn’t like the thought of that. Not at thirteen when so much was changing already. He didn’t have to wait much longer though, soon there was a happy bark of a dog, he looked like Vicchan but bigger. The dog tackled Yuuri who laughed when it licked his face, the he realised the sight of his presumably owner and started to sniff at him. “He’s okay, I made sure to stay with him all night.” Yuuri reassured the animal.

“Vitya!” A mans voice called. Yuuri spotted him before said man could see him. With one last pat to the poodle Yuuri had slipped back into the water, swimming away fast and letting the shift happen as he did. Once he was further away, Yuuri decided to come up to the surface. He could see much better now he’d shifted again. His mouth and nose stayed under water, but his eyes studied the scene before him. ‘Vitya’ had been helped up by a gruff looking round man with a fedora hat and long coat. He shed the coat and wrapped Vitya in it, hugging him while Vitya cried. The dog stayed by his owners side and nosed at his leg in reassurance. The humans exchanged a few words before leaving the beach, the mans hand never let go of Vitya’s shoulder.

That evening while he sat on the rocks and thought about Vitya, the boy who’d almost died. He had died though, he wasn’t breathing and Yuuri had shook him back awake. He was pretty sure that’s not how to bring someone back to life though. It confused him. The human. He’d saved his life... he’d given him his life back. Was that possible for a thirteen year old to do?

“You think too much.” Yuuri jumped at the sound a voice next to him. Remembering that all he had on was a top and some boxers, he was well under dressed and this person might question it. But he wasn’t cold. He never felt cold, or the heat for that matter, he just didn’t feel it. Surely that wasn’t normal either right? Now he was complaining a list of things that aren’t normal, and that’s not normal. He would have sighed in frustration of not for the person sitting beside him.

A women, she looked like a sea nymph of some form. Her hair was long and brown, her body slim and small. She wore a white dressed that was ripped and worn with age. No shoes, she was just as underdressed as he was. That almost brought him to laugh. “How old are you?” She asked.

Yuuri took a moment before answering, “thirteen.” He replied in a small voice.

“Just the right age it seems.” The women looked to him with her bright green eyes and smiled. “Welcome to the children of nature.” She whispered.
••••

“Vitya, please, you’ve been cooped up in that tiny little room for far too long. You promised we could go the beach!” A blonde man stood in the doorway to what could only be described as a pig stye of a room. The man in question was hunched over a drawing desk, papers around him either ripped or scrunched up with no attempted at hitting the overflown bin that sat next to his chair. A hand brushes through silver hair, before said person is turning around in his black seat.

“If I go, I’m taking my drawings. I need inspiration, and you claimed I would find some here.” He frowned at the accused, “I have not an ounce of inspiration in me. Everything that comes to mind had now been literally and metaphorically thrown into a bin. And I’m blaming you.” He slumps back into the chair.

The man had a Russian accent, although understandable, there was still a thickness that shown he could never really let go of where he was born. His eyes shone blue-green, the colour of fresh water tide pools. His skin was pale, and with the hot sun came very faint grey freckles along his nose. A pointed nose and sharp jaw line, only a look he could pull off. His hair was silver, and yet it only added to his youth. Many had speculated if he died his hair, but pictures would show he had always been platinum. He was tall, but not lanky. Filled out, but not bulky. A healthy medium of fitness and thinness. Abs to show hard work in his spare time, and muscles that told people he was strong.

“Fine, be boring. At least Makkachin will enjoy the sea.” The blond friend replied with a shrug. His hair faded from brunet at the roots to blond at the tips, scruff around his chin where he had not shaved close enough to the skin in order to make it smooth. His eyes were a beautiful lime green, with a hint of sneaking brown. His accent had a mix of languages that nobody had ever quiet figured out. He was slightly smaller then the Russian, but still looked just as athletically inclined.

Makkachin, a brown poodle perked up at the sound of her name being spoken. Her tail thumping rhythmically against the floor where she sat at her owners side.

The two left shortly after art supplies had been gathered up into a canvas bag. Along with a blanket and two flasks of water. The beach was beautiful as always, warm sand sunk between toes, the crashing waves soothed ears, and the sound of gulls drifted through the air while they passed. “See Viktor, I told you it would be nice to get out.” The blond Swiss man stated as a pink throw blanket was placed on the sand for them to sit on.

Viktor, an artists, a writer, and a very proud dog owner. His name Viktor Nikiforov was printed on some of the best selling Manga’s and comics alike. He had a few book illustrations with partnered works, and even his name in the credits of small cartoons that never made big pictures. He just hummed and shrugged, for a writer who saw so much beauty that he could draw it there should have been more intelligent ways of responding to his friend. Yet, the shrug and hum were all the other needed to hear to know the Russian was doubtful.

Christophe Giacometti, the manager of a popular bar- restaurant, flirty natures man, and best friends with said Nikiforov. He ignored the mans hum and the mans shrug, instead settling back and pulling a book from his bag. It was about two young lovers, seeking each other’s touch and too scared to ever feel. He loved this one, a hopeless romantic, Viktor had once called him. ‘Without romance the world would be a very dull place,’ he had stated back.

Viktor had never found the time for romance. Always moving, a new change of scenery almost as fast as the seasons changed. Never staying and always moving. There had been people of course, a lover or two with no strings attached. One person he had once thought to be a soul mate then turned sour by betrayal. No romance had never been a big thing in Victors life. So how was he suppose to write his manger based on love and loss, let alone draw it. The touches he felt had been just that, a touch. Never lingering or burning once the hand had left his skin. Although he had his dog, the world was pretty lonely when he could never find that lingering feeling. The one that made his stomach do flips, and made is brain go all crazy, that feeling that had his heart beating so fast his hands shook with the melody. His world was a very dull place indeed.

There were the sound of shouts from above, in the corner of Victors eye there had been a cliff, he thought nothing of it at first. It was just a cliff, some bit of earth that grew unnaturally tall. Like when a child grows bigger then their parents. However, upon a second glance he now noticed the figures that sat atop the cliff. Three to be exact. They were too far away to make out any features, but close enough for Viktor to see the movements being made by them.

They laughed, he thought, one shoved the other gently, then they started pointing to the cliffs edge. Victors heart gave a frightening throb, where they planning on jumping? Surely it was too high? Too much of a risk. They couldn’t. But as he continued to look at their interactions the sound of whoops came as he saw one member start to crouch then lift his arms. Presumably removing clothing. The other two followed suit. Surely not. Then it happened, so fast that Viktor almost convinced himself that there were only two figure and not three when he first checked. One on the cliff cheered when the sound of something hitting the water was heard.

Viktor grasped at his friends arm, “they’re jumping!” He claimed, then just before Christophe could look another had ran right off the edge. His friend turned to see, this time watching the last member. Was he really that stupid to follow? As if in slow motion the figure began to move, the sun behind him setting it up like a movie where only his shadow was seen. He looked graceful, as if this was the most natural thing in the world, to be jumping from a cliffs edge. He leapt off the earth and very neatly swan dove right into the water.

Next to him there was a chuckle, then Chris sat back with his book in hand again. “It’s fine Viktor, they do it all the time.” He shrugged. It was not an usual sight to see for locals. The three of them, who kept so out of the way of everyone else, but still made themselves known like this. Jumping off of cliffs apparently.

“Who are they?” He asked, wonderment dulling his mind at the crazy people who would dive from such a height for an adrenaline rush.

“Yuri Plisetsky, or we call him Yura as to not get confused with the other one Yuuri Katsuki, and Phichit Chulanont.” Chris answered easily. “They keep mostly to themselves, although Yura and Phichit go to social gatherings and are rather friendly, Yuuri isn’t so much. He’s very quiet, very private. But between you and me: my god is that man a work of art. You could write a book on the way he smiles.” Chris contemplated just that book, deciding that it was something he would read over and over again.

“So they just... jump off high places? And that’s normal?” Viktor asked.

Christophe shook his head, “they’re good swimmers, they know what they’re doing.” He told the man calmly. “If it were anyone else then we’d have a problem.” He half laughed at that.

Viktor continued to watch for a moment longer, there was no sign of them returning to the surface from what he could see on this side of the cliff. Although in his mind he reasoned that there was a whole other side to the cliff he couldn’t see. He turned back to his paper. The poodle beside him settled back down too.

The way he’d looked when jumping, the beautiful arch of his body and how it all came so natural to him. He seemed so at ease when diving from that height, into the cool waves. Viktor couldn’t stop seeing it. He was sure he’d dream of that sight for nights to come.
•••••

Everything knitted together as he crashed through the water, his body changing with the different environment. Gills traced his neck and side, scales adorning his once beautiful fair skin that was now turning green-grey within the depths of the sea. The water was home. He continued to swim a little further adjusting to the change only for a moment before it got deeper. Finding his fellow cliff jumpers waiting for him.

Phichit was the first he spotted, a bright orange tail was not something that went amiss in these area’s. A yellow hue started to go rise more towards his torso. A deeper more angrier orange towards the tails end. The fin at the bottom split completely in two, rising more toward the sides rather then below the tail. They were red, but almost looked like a hot pink. At mid tail there was two more smaller fins either side of him, and bigger ones towards the top, each wrapped around his hips before skin and scales met. The Mer’s whole back was covered in those orange, yellows, and small dots of red. No particular pattern, they gently started to break away at his torso sides before coming to his front that was completely bare of scales. The darkened skin was hard with abs from swimming, fingers webbed together with long sharp nails at the end: much like his fellow cliff diver.

His face was sharper then the other two, his chin more pointed, but his nose rounded. The darker skin still has a slight greyish hint to it under the water. His mouth adorned sharp teeth, burgundy coloured lips and a darker inside. His eyes were a dark chocolate brown where the white on a humans would be, then near the centre was a darker, richer brown that could be mistaken for black, surrounding the white pupil. His eyes like the other two also slanted down at the inner corners just slightly, and up towards the outer corners. His hair was thick in jet black locks, messy like a dark halo around his head.

The other Mer Yuri had very light skin, as if he’d not seen the sun in weeks. It greyed like the others under the water, with a more blue hue to it. Again his torso looked strong with muscles, toned. His fingers too were webbed with long sharp nails for hunting. His tail end looked like green and blue flames were dancing together, splitting in the middle just half way unlike Phichit’s who’s split all the way. The ends were a deep cyan while the middle was a lighter blue, towards the tail they turned green. He had more fins along his sides, matching the fire like dance of his end fin. Some came to where a humans knee would be and the last set were at his hips, looking almost like a very short skirt or belt as the fire tips reached downwards. The tail itself had a pattern that almost looked like tiger stripes. A lighter green covered the whole tails, however some scales turned to darker greens and lighter blues to form a tiger like pattern down it. Small glitters of yellow made it shine. Along his skin were more scales matched the stripe pattern on his tail.

His face had a softness to it that showed he was the youngest of the three. Still his solider like stare could have fooled people into believing he was older, if not for the height and childlike charm that came with his passive aggressive nature. His eyes were lime green, coming to a darker green to towards the middle before a white pupil. Like the other two his ears held a bat like shape - although he preferred to use the term dragon wing shape- dipping in three times and pointing up between the dips. They were a much darker blue at the top, but gently faded into his natural skins colour where it met his face. His lips were a soft turquoise, behind those lips were sharp teeth and a darker blue for the inside of his mouth. His hair was longer then the other two, in a bright blond.

Each had their own what humans might describe as magical abilities, it wasn’t much magic though, they were like gifts. Phichit had dreams about people, people he knew. It shown possible futures, not the exact future, but possibilities. Yuri could feel emotions, sometimes they got too strong for him to handle making him angry and frustrated, because they weren’t his emotions. And Yuuri was gifted with something amazing, only few had been given this particular gift. He was one with nature, he could help heal people, Plants seemed to bloom around him, and animals took a strong liking to him. Yuuri was also able to do something that shouldn’t be possible, only a child of nature could do. He could help the fertility with couples who struggled to conceive: however, this also meant he struggled with strong urges during breeding season, and he could make it so he would be able to carry. Although Yuuri would admit it was something he didn’t like the idea of.

To any passers by their sounds could have been heard as songs like the whales sung when communicating. Although their voices were a lot quieter and softer then a whales. No human could understand the beautiful melody of their voices. “Here he is, stupid piggy, always having to put on a show.” Their words when understood did not always sound like a beautiful melody, however. Yuri spoke as the final cliff diver approached.

“Well I think Yuuri looked amazing.” Phichit huffed while folding his arms. Yuuri blushed, his cheeks turning red, with a purple undertone.

“Are we going then?” Yuuri asked, changing the subject from his swan dive and back to why they had originally shifted in the first place. The other nodded and followed him as he lead the way into deeper waters. They swam fast through the ocean, their bodies slim and made for quick movements. Stopping occasionally to hide and scout the area for any dangers that could be lurking.

Under the water Yuuri had the best eyesight a Mer could ask for, spotting even the smallest of movements. He couldn’t say the same above water though, he was borderline blind without the help of glasses or contact lenses. His sight never fully adjusting to the shift. This could be the same for areas of his arms and torso where the faint white outline of his scales never fully disappeared. Skin replaced the scales, but the pattern and marks were still left behind. The other two Mer had never had this problem, their shifts were fluid, easily changing from one creature to the next.

They spotted what they’d come out so far to get a swarm of mackerel fish swam happily as one. They were fast, but the Mer knew they were faster. Smarter and a lot more stealthy then other undersea creatures. They waited, and waited, trying to time it just perfectly before going in for the hunt.

Their time came, each agreeing to take different parts of the swarm to get as many fish as they could. Phichit held up all five fingers as the signal to go. Each swam fast, the startled fish trying to desperately get away and save their own lives. The Mer has done this many times, it was not something they could fail at. Weak, small fish like these never put up a fight. They couldn’t, which made them such easy prey. Each Mer could carry around three in one hand and two in the mouth of they caught them tail end. To make it easier on getting more they had come up with a very human solution. All three has makeshift bags from fisher nets tied around their waist. As they caught a few they could easily stuff them into the net.

They caught their final victims before the swarm had completely vanished from them. Phichit was the first to make noise when he cheered at their success, throwing his hands in the air. Yuuri held one Mackerel in his hands, it squirmed under his touch... still alive and fighting. The Mer squeezed harder, and harder until the wriggling had almost completely stopped. Then sharp nails dig into the fishes flesh and red flowed from its wounds. Yuuri brought the now dead creature to his lips and took a bite, the taste flowing through his mouth while the food slid down his throat.

“Jesus, you’re acting like wild life.” Yuri scrunched his face up at the sight.

“You see little Yura, that is exactly what we are, wild life. Who happen to have lives as humans too.” Phichit poked fun at the youngest Mer. He took the offered fish from Yuuri and bit into the other side, humming at the taste. After his bite he passed the remaining bit to Yuri, who hesitated for a moment before also taking a bite. It did always taste best right after the kill.

The three of them made their way back to the shore, swimming until the water became shallow, then allowing their bodies to shift back into that of a humans. One by one each rose from the water, now supporting legs rather then a tail and fins.

Yuuri still had the same black hair and hardened muscles, he was the second shortest in their group, shortest because neither one could be deemed as tall. His eyes now matched that of a humans, yet the honey brown, almost red colour stayed. Ears now a normal human shape too. His skin was fair and a healthy human shade too. Yuri had the same blond hair that came to his shoulders when he existed the water, his ears and eyes turning human, keeping the green-yellow colour to his solider like stare. His skin was pale too. Phichit’s skin gave away from the grey hue now looking like a humans again, darker then his friends. His eyes and ears were normal, although his eyes looked black in darker lightings they were in fact a very deep brown.

Each one was completely naked. They untied the makeshift bags and dropped them into the sand, before going towards some rocks where they had hidden a bag with spare clothes, plus contact lenses so Yuuri could see. They dressed in jeans for both Phichit and Yuri. Each pair black, Yuuri had on black leggings. Phichit matched his with a black top and green jacket, Yuri opting for a black jumper with a tigers face on the front, and Yuuri had a brown knitted jumper. The Japanese man also dug around in the bag to pull out bandages to cover the scale marks on his arms, just in case his sleeves rose up, then also put the contacts in.

The three started to garb a few stones to make a fire pit, using some sticks by the cliffs walls in the middle. They also threw in some tissue they usually kept in the spare bag of clothes. Finally getting the fire started with a lighter. They emptied the bag of fish onto a nearby rock, seeing they had caught more then expected. Either way it would all be eaten, if not by them then by friends and family after they took uncooked ones home to make into dishes.

Phichit pulled out three skewers from the bag, it was normal for them to eat their catch together after a hunt. Something the three enjoyed to do. Yuri chipped off a sharp edge from a rock and used that to cut a few of the fish open to remove their insides. They each took one and put it on a skewer, then placing it over the fire. Relaxing in the silence that filled the air around them. Very few people came to the beach at this time of day, when the sun started to go down and the breeze picked up a little. Early evening had arrived. The peace and quiet was blissful.

That was until somebody ruined it, or something. A bark was heard, then the padding of paws started to get closer and closer. Soon a brown poodle had charged right into Yuuri, knocking him to the side, he’d almost dropped the fish he’d been cooking, but managed to save it last minuet. What a waste that would have been. The dog in question kept sniffing him, occasionally liking at his face. Yuuri giggle and tried his best to push the poodle back. “Makka, no, bad girl!” A voice called, two figures came chasing after the poodle. Once the dog spotted the two she let up and moved towards the silver haired man, presumably the owner. “I’m so sorry, she can get a bit too excited.” He apologised.

Yuuri sat up and looked up at the man, his heart skipping a beat because he recognised this man. He wore jean shorts that stopped at the knee, and a white top. He had a brown canvas bag on one shoulder. Yuuri never though in all his life he would be knocked down by the famous poodle of Viktor Nikiforov. His favourite manga artist and writer. But it wasn’t just his favourite manga artists, he’d saved this man, the same blue eyes and silver hair, yet now aged and filled out more. He still had child like curiosity in his eyes and a secret sad smile.

The other man Yuuri had known for about four years now after he’d moved into town. Blonde hair and green eyes. Christophe, a close friend for all three, although Yura would most defiantly deny it. “Oi, keep your friend and his mutt chained up next time.” Yura spat. Despite the fact he pretended not to care, he cared an awful lot.

“Yura, always a pleasure.” Christophe laughed. He patted Viktor on the back. “This is my friend Viktor Nikiforov. Viktor that’s Yuri, or Yura, Yurio, moody pants-“

“Stuff it.” Yuri said holding up the middle finger.

Chris just laughed, “and that’s Phichit, and that cutie there who your dog knocked over his Yuuri.” He said pointing each member out as he did. “Pod, meet Viktor.” He said.

“Pod?” Viktor questioned. Yuuri couldn’t stop watching the man, it was impossible to say anything in that moment, in fear of spilling it all. Does he remember? He doesn’t seem to.

“It’s what everyone refers to them as, easier then saying all three names.” Christophe shrugged.

“You know that’s not the real reason why, you ass.” Yura growled again.

Pod meaning their family. Like a wolf pack, but for undersea creatures. The name had stuck for all in town after they’d heard a few call them that. Although only very limited amount of people knew about their shifting abilities. It was a makeshift pod that the three of them had put together, Originally just Yuuri, then along came Phichit and finally Yuri. “I’m winding you up.” Christophe rolled his eyes.

“It’s nice to meet you Viktor,” Phichit interrupted the two. “You’re puppy is very cute.” He cooed.

“She’s not a puppy anymore, Makkachin here is getting rather old.” Viktor patted the dogs head.

“Once a puppy, always a puppy.” Phichit said in a rather determined voice. Viktor decided not to point out the lack of logic behind those words. “Wouldn’t you agree Yuuri?” The Thai man asked his pod member, trying to get him to speak even just a little. Yuuri just nodded and turned back to cooking his fish.

“What a lovely catch, what dish shall I be expecting at my door later in the week?” Christophe asked, Licking his lips to show he was eager to eat anything they cooked.

“A bowl of poison at this rate.” Yuri sneered.

“You wound me.” Chris joked. “Any how, we have to leave. I promised Mari I would help out with setting up the party, because her brother-“ he glanced at Yuuri for a moment, who blushed, “had claimed he wanted no part in such a social event.” With that the two men and a dog left.

“Can you slow your damn heart rate down Romeo! I can’t think.” Yuri pouted, taking the fish from his skewer and putting the middle in his mouth. Phichit just snorted and Yuuri blushed a deep red. Sometimes he felt like slapping his friends.

Chapter Text

Mid summer was hot, the sand was too hot to walk on without shoes. Yuuri although not being able to feel the intense heat, still liked to enjoy the sun. He lay on his front, arms folded in front of him while he lay his face on them. His tail was half in and half out of the water, the tide rising and ticking him around the waist. There was soft music playing on his phone, nothing too loud to attract attention. He knew nobody would come this far on the beach anyway, most of the younger people were still in school, adults had jobs, so for now the beach was free. A few people walking dogs were on the other side of the beach, but it was also too hot to let the animals run around for too long.

The Mer sighed contently as he felt the gentle waves coming up to his waist. The blue water soaked his stomach and even reached his arms with a stronger current. His top half was still completely human, only a few scales littering his skin until it reached his tail.

There was a slight kick to his side, Yuuri groaned, he was almost asleep. He liked napping in the sun, it was almost as good as swimming. There was another nudge to his side and Yuuri sighed, growling while he lifted his head and looked up. Christophe was stood there, just smiling at him. Like he hadn’t just woke Yuuri up. He rolled his eyes and put his head back down.

“So napping, don’t you have work?” Christophe laughed, taking a seat beside Yuuri on a rock. The other just gave a grunt in reply. Christophe laughed at him.

Yuuri lifted his head again now, “don’t you have someone else to torment?” He asked with a small pout.

“Unfortunately no, Yuri told me to piss off, and I can’t find Phichit-“ he started to rattle on a list of people he had tried and failed at annoying.

“He’s in the sea, taking a nap, I should of listened and done the same.” Yuuri glared at Christophe. All the blonde could think was how cute Yuuri looked when he was angry. The cute Mermaid (or man as Yuri would of corrected him) trying to act like he was a wrath to be feared.

“Well you might want to change back little mermaid.” Christophe smiled at him.

“You know I don’t get that reference.” Yuuri narrowed his eyes.

“I’m just saying,” Chris looked down at Yuuri again. “Viktor is coming this way with his mutt.” He nodded in the direction of Viktor.

Yuuris eyes widened. “Shoot.” He pushed himself back until the water surrounded him completely. The swimming further in. Christophe just laughed as he went, waiting for when Yuuri would emerge with legs again.

Viktor strolled up towards Chris. Makkachin making it first on her faster legs. She went completely past Chris though, and into the sea. As if her owner had given silent permission for her to do so now he was closer. He had to hand it to his Russian friend though, that dog was trained well. Viktor like most people was wearing shorts and a t-shirt along with some black sliders. Chris was also in shorts and a tee, but decided to risk the burn on his feet and walk barefoot. It wasn’t as bad when he was near the water anyway.

The two started to converse before a splash of water sounded behind Chris. Viktor frowned and looked, but nothing had come of it. As he stepped closer he almost stood on a small black rectangular object. Crouching down he picked up the phone and showed it to Christophe. Chris just shrugged and laughed. Knowing full well it belong to Yuuri, but he’d prefer Viktor to find that out for himself. When Yuuri came out of the water fully nude that was. Some might call him evil, he thought it was hilarious.

There was more ruckus behind them. Finally the two humans watched as Yuuri’s head emerged from the water. He gave a glare to Christophe before swimming further forward. Not caring about the lack of clothes really. Technically his human form was just a costume for him, he was more Mer then human. It didn’t matter if they saw anything. It’s just how it was. Mer-folk weren’t hung up on the whole seeing everyone’s sex organs or whatever people wanted to call them. It wasn’t like female Mer went around wearing a bra.

He was standing now, coming from the water. Christophe looked back to Viktor and saw the moment his friend realised Yuuri was naked. He laughed. Chris noticed Yuuri’s bag next to the rock he had sat on, digging in he found a towel and held it out for Yuuri as he left the water. Yuuri accepted it, or rather snatched it before running it through his wet hair first. Then wrapping the material around his waist. He stood watching Viktor expectantly.

The Russian wasn’t too sure what to do. He had just seen this guy he hardly knew fully naked on a public beach, Chris was laughing and being no help at all. To top it off said guy was just watching him, what did he even want? Yuuri pointed to the phone in his hand, holding his palm out for it. It registered then that phone was his. Stupid Chris knew what he was doing. “Oh sorry.” Viktor blushed, handing the phone over.

“See something you like?” Christophe laughed. Both Viktor and Yuuri shot him a look that dared him to say anymore on the matter.

“So this is just normal then? You jump off cliffs and go skinny dipping in broad daylight?” Viktor questioned. “Swimming costumes were made for a reason.”

“Don’t get all shy Vitya.” Chris smiled at the man.

“This is our natural form is it not?” Yuuri said watching him. “Why feel the need to cover it? It’s dirty minded people like you that find it as a means of asking for sex.” Yuuri tutted. Christophe just watched him shocked. Yuuri never spoke to people like that... damn had Viktor done something to him in the short interaction the two had? Viktor looked just as shocked.

“I-i don’t think you’re asking for sex...” Viktor pouted.

Yuuri crosses his arms not believing him. Chris felt like he was interrupting something here. “What’s the problem then?” He asked.

“N-nothing-“ Viktor said. “I was just saying, some people don’t want to be greeted by the sight of...” he gestured wildly towards Yuuri.

Christophe flinched. Knowing that would defiantly of flipped a switch in Yuuri’s mind. Like that man didn’t have body issues anyway, now his idol had basically said he didn’t want to see any part of him. The Swiss man felt like he should have a bucket of popcorn and a comfy chair to relax in while Yuuri went crazy on him. Seriously he would pay to watch Yuuri lay into someone, with actual money. And now he’d get to see it for free, and happening to his best friend no less.

The Mers eyes narrowed down on Viktor. “Baka.” He sighed. Christophe’s excited form deflated when he realised Yuuri wasn’t going to fight back. And his day was going so well.

“Excuse me?” Viktor asked in slight confusion.

Yuuri had started to get dressed under the towel. Now stood in black leggings, but with no top on. Holding the white material in his hands while he turned to face Viktor again. “I called you an idiot, if you’re going to live to a foreign country, try and learn the damn language.” He shoved his top back on. Turning to Christophe. His eyes never softened. “If You see Peach and Yura tell them to stay away, my heats early.” He half growled in french as he spoke to Chris.

It clicked for Christophe now as to why Yuuri was being such a grouchy little thing. Pre-heat Yuuri was not a Yuuri you wanted to rattle up. He was moody, and so very unpleasant to be around. That’s if you didn’t know him well though. To his friends Pre-heat Yuuri was funny to be around because it was the only time you could annoy to no end and get a reaction out of. Still he nodded in understanding. He’d once witness Yuuri in heat when his parents had gone on holiday and he’d been the only one able to go in the room and not be effected by what was happening.

Viktir frowned at Chris once Yuuri had left. “What’s was his problem?” He asked.

Chris just shrugged. Standing and putting an arm around Viktor. “I guess not everyone likes your charm, my friend.” He laughed.
••••

Chris had told Yuri and Phichit that their other little Mer was in heat. The two seemed to sulk at that. They hated swimming and hunting without Yuuri. Chris was pretty sure at this point the two saw Yuuri as their pod leader. Omega or not, he was still technically the most powerful out of all three of them. He could talk to plants... at at least something along those lines, Christophe Thought.

He was in work for most of the evening. The occasional customer would waltz through, there was a table of people getting nicely drunk, Chris hoped not too drunk that he would have to throw them out though. It had happened once or twice before. He co-owned the bar with a women named Minako, who was also a ballet instructor. She had taught Yuuri from a young age, and the two seemed to have this strange brother sister vibe going on. However, Christophe was sure at some point Yuuri had thought her to be attractive. It was like how he was around his friend Yuuko: the two were close, but there was defiantly a history there.

The Swiss man remembered the disappointment he felt when he thought Yuuri was straight and dating Yuuko, although he soon realised that wasn’t the case and the women was married to someone else. He got all excited like a little kid. Then he began to get closer to Yuuri, despite the fact he pushed him away a lot. He was persistent though. And soon he was flirting and teasing with Yuuri, he was sure the other hadn’t known what he was doing at first. But somewhere along the way Yuuri noticed. He pushed Christophe away again though. After a night of way too many drinks Chris thought it be best to confront Yuuri. He had marched up to the Onsen where he lived, knocked on the door and waited.

It was opened by a man, someone Christophe didn’t recognise though. He was around the same height as him, black hair and darker brown eyes. His skin was fair too. He’d glared at Chris, looking so very angry. When Chris asked to see Yuuri he was met with a harsh no, that sounded more like a growl. Christophe had glared the man down, unsure of what to think. Then he had heard a small whimper from the other side of the door. He managed to peer over the man and saw Yuuri on the floor. He didn’t look good.

Suddenly the alcohol he had consumed didn’t cloud his mind anymore. He had grabbed the man and demanded to know what he was doing in Yuuri’s house. He had stuttered a lot then, Christophe had almost laughed at how easy it was to scare the guy. He’d promptly pushed him out the front door and threatened him to never come back. He had gone to Yuuri then

Looking at Yuuri he could see there were some cuts and bruises along his skin, they looked like claw marks scratching down his bare chest. It hadn’t registered at first, but then Chris had glanced down the rest of the guys body expecting to find other marks, instead he found something else. Rather then two legs, there was once large tail. He really looked at Yuuri now who still seemed human on top, but the bottom half with scales said otherwise. Yuuri had turned away from him when Chris had tried to cup his cheeks.

Eventually Yuuri had come around, explaining to Chris that the guy had forced him to shift. He had wanted Yuuri to give him and his wife a baby, but when the fertility drink hadn’t worked he had come to do the job himself. He’d forced Yuuri to shift, saying that it would give them more chance at having a miracle child. Yuuri had been defenceless against him, Chris had quite literally saved him by knocking on the door. The guy had got off Yuuri, done up his pants to answer the door. Even once Yuuri had shifted back to legs he had held him and rocked him in his arms while he cried. He’d gone into a painful heat two days later, and Chris had promised to stay with him the whole time.

His feeling for Yuuri had never changed, they lessened somewhat, but he knew if Yuuri asked he would jump at the chance of getting a date. He sighed.