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Swept Away

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"H-Hey! Be careful with that!"

Mahiru has hardly gotten a second of rest since they'd arrived at the warm, glistening waters along the coast of Japan. Her little siblings have been so excited to finally be done with all the traveling for the next few months of summer, so they've been darting all over the place and touching everything and anything.

Presently, Mahiru has one sibling under each arm and is chiding her youngest sister not to poke her fingers at an eel.

"Seriously," Mahiru frowns. "You'll get bit!"

Don't worry," a chuckling voice says. "I've got her."

Mahiru sighs in relief as Claudine swims overhead, her pink scales glittering in the clear blue waters. Claudine swims to the tiniest mermaid of the bunch and gently coaxes her away from the disgruntled eel in his coral. Mahiru gives her other siblings a gentle scolding before releasing them, and they all swim off together to play a game. Claudine joins her now with a helpless smile and gives her a kiss on the cheek.

"I don't know how you do it."

Mahiru chuckles.

"I'm so glad I've got you to help me now, Kuro-chan."

For a moment, they lean against one another and fondly watch the littler mermaids playing together. It isn't only Mahiru's siblings and family here, but several other groups of mermaids as well. They always migrate here for the summers and stay for several months before moving on.

It's a place Mahiru knows well from her childhood, but it's the first time Claudine has ever seen it.

And she absolutely loves it. Particularly because she gets to experience it with the love of her life.

They've been living and traveling together for a whole year now. After Claudine had been changed, she and Mahiru had swam out into the ocean to meet up with Mahiru's family as she'd promised them she would. They'd all been so overjoyed to see she'd brought a girlfriend along, though Mahiru and Claudine never told them she used to be human. That much was their own little secret.

Her siblings had immediately latched onto and loved Claudine, and she'd loved them back twice as much.

And so Mahiru had gotten to swim the many waters of the world together with her, showing Claudine all of her favorite places.

She'd shown her the secret treasure troves she'd hidden in years past.

She'd shown her how to swim with the dolphins and ride the whales.

She'd shown her how to jump high out of the water and do spins and twirls.

She'd shown her how the water changed colors at different times of day at different angles from different parts of the planet.

And with each passing day of new experiences and fun, and each passing night where they would curl up together in their soft sea grass bed, they just kept falling more and more deeply in love with one another.

Even now, after a whole year, that love has never done anything but grow ever stronger.

Over their time together, Mahiru has fashioned several accessories and pieces for jewelry for Claudine, including a pink pearl necklace and several skirts and bobbles to decorate her tail.

And very soon, she hopes to give her one more thing.

Only a few weeks ago, the group had swam past that little cove beside the misty seaside down. Claudine and Mahiru had spent a few nights there alone together for the sake of memories, and caught up with the others later to continue on to here.

But while they were there, Mahiru had made sure to revisit her secret treasure trove and take out one thing in particular. It's something she'd found a very long time ago and had taken with her simply for the sake of collecting her treasures. She'd found it long before she'd ever met Claudine, but now it will surely come in handy like she never thought it could.

She's kept it tucked away in the folds of her skirt all this time to Japan, waiting for the right moment. By now, her heart has been racing so hard for so many days, she's certain she won't be able to last any longer.

It's a miracle she even makes it through supper tonight, it being a plethora of different grasses - which Claudine has acquired a very enthusiastic taste for.

It's when the sun begins to set when Mahiru finally taps Claudine gently on the shoulder and beckons her away from the others. Claudine smiles and tilts her head curiously, but doesn't say a thing as she accepts her hand and follows along.

Mahiru leads her out into a clear, open spot where no one else is around. The rays of the sunset are filtering down, surrounding them in pinks and yellows through the water. Mahiru hasn't let go of Claudine's hand all the while, even after they've come to a halt. Claudine inclines her head again and gives her hand a squeeze.


"E-Eh?" She snaps out of the fuzziness that's been clouding her head, and looks up at her girlfriend sharply. "Ah, s-sorry."

"It's all right. I'm just a little worried. You've seemed a bit distracted lately." Claudine moves a bit closer to her and cups her cheek before pressing a kiss to the bridge of her nose. "Are you all right? Can I help in any way?"

"I-I'm fine!" Mahiru blushes. "I'm fantastic, actually! B-But there is… one thing you could do… i-if you want to, that is."

Claudine smiles sweetly.

"Anything for you, Mahiru."

Mahiru gulps and slowly reaches down into her skirts. Her fingers curl around the little diamond ring and pull it out at last.

"Th-Then would you… marry me…?"

A gasp bubbles up from Claudine's lips as she brings both hands to her mouth. Her eyes widen and fill with tears as Mahiru presents her with the beautiful silver ring. She blinks, feeling an incomparable warmth beginning to blossom through her chest. Her heart pounds so hard it causes little ripples in the water, and her whole body begins to tremble.

Mahiru waits nervously, and her heart is beating probably just as fast as Claudine's is, if not faster. She can feel her face getting hotter and hotter until finally she can't bear it any longer.



"E-Eh-?" Mahiru is suddenly bowled over backwards into a full flip as Claudine throws herself at her in a tight, affectionate hug. They tumble through the water, and when they finally right themselves Claudine wastes no time in kissing her full on the lips. Mahiru finds herself more dizzy from the kiss than from the flipping. She folds her arms around Claudine's shoulders, her trembling fingers combing through her hair. When they part, Claudine's eyes and smile are beaming more brightly than the sunlight.

"Yes! Yes, I'll marry you, Mahiru!"

Mahiru half-laughs and half-sobs, too overjoyed to do anything more than kiss her again. Their hearts flutter as the warmth of their love fills every inch of them, pooling particularly sweetly at their lips.

They drift together for a while as the sun goes down, and eventually part long enough for Mahiru to slip the ring onto Claudine's finger.

"I love you."

"I love you, too."

And so their new journey shall begin.

The tale of a girl who had been swept away by the sea does not always end in tragedy.

Sometimes, all it takes is the spark of an unyielding passion to face any dangers life may throw your way, the flame of a warm, tender, unparalleled love, and a dash of magic to prove that wishes really can come true.