Aquata Cove

Chapter 33: Meet The Parents



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Merrick pushes the loud vacuum cleaner back and forth, brushing the carpet in lines, and leaving the aligned trails of clean paths left by the machine. Now that Adam, Yuri, and Jamal taught him how to use appliances, cleaning utensils, and other such tools, he has a lot more to do around the house.

After pushing the vacuum onto the last patch of carpet, he turned the vacuum off, and began to unplug and coil up the cord. The merman would loop the power cord onto vacuum, before he turned and smiled as Roxas approached him. He chuckled as he lowered himself down, and laid himself onto the floor.

His hand met with the cat's face as Roxas brushed off against his palm, and rolled onto the floor. Merrick giggled as he dug his hand into Roxas's fluffy belly fur, and rubbed playfully. The cat mewled in response, and started to lightly kick at Merrick's hand with his hindlegs. Merrick laughed as he ruffled his hand onto the cat, before it wrapped its front legs around his wrists, and started to nibble on him.

"Heh, having fun, Blondie?" Merrick turned his head and smirked as Nick stood against the doorframe, wearing only a smile and tight, green camouflage underroos. Merrick stopped teasing Roxas and rolled onto his back.

"Naw. Just playing with the cat." He replied as he pus his hands on the back of his head, making no big deal about being completely naked, as usual. Nick smirked as he walked over, and squat down to sit on Merrick's lap, "Heh, I have no idea how you hu- people - come up with ways to make clothing so... Strangely enticing~"

Nick rose a brow at that comment, "'You people'? And what's that mean, huh?" He asked as he pressed his clothed bum onto Merrick's soft equipment.

"I'm sure I have no idea." Merrick said with a flirty grin.

"You know, I'd usually dick with you and call you a racist, but I wouldn't say that exactly~" He said as he felt a fast-approaching stirring on Merrick's groin. Merrick simply blinked.

"What's a racist?"

"Nevermind~" Nick said as he pushed and ground his hips down onto Merrick's crotch. "When are you gonna come over and sign up to work at Lovers, huh?" He asked as held himself above Merrick, "Wouldn't mind seeing you round there."

"I thought about that. It'd certainly be something to do while everyone else is gone," Merrick replied casually, as if they were discussing this over coffee instead of naked on the floor, "But Adam said that I wouldn't qualify since I don't have any... What he called, 'Credentials'." He said, before smirking, "Besides, I wouldn't want him thinking that there was anything going on between you and I." Merrick said as he spanked Nick's rump.

"Ooh~" Nick wraggled his eyebrows playfully, "Now you givin me mixed signals~" He giggled before getting up, and helping Merrick up to his feet, "Seriously though, not that I would ever move in on you, it doesn't help wit-chu naked alla time, man." Nick said as he gave two play pats on Merrick's butt. He smirked as he saw Merrick's penis already semi-hard.

"Dammit, Nick!" Merrick said as he looked at his stirring member, "Gah, can you at least show me how to work with Adam's comp-"

*Knock knock knock*

"Ah, hold that thought," Merrick said as he turned around and approached the door.

"What- Ah, Merrick! Man, hold up!" Nick said as the naked blonde turned the doorknob. Nick gapped as Merrick opened the door, seeing a mid-aged couple standing at the doorway.

"Hello?" Merrick said. The man is clad in a yellow and blue Hawaiian shirt with faded khakis, with brass-framed glasses on his face. He has grey-brown hair in a frumpy fashion on his head, with a scruffy circle beard stubble on his mouth. Right next to him, his wife, a spry woman with mid-long auburn hair, a light pink blouse and black, curt trousers, both of them holding a suitcase.

"H-Hullo..." The man said as his eyes quickly looked over Merrick, feeling more awkward as he stood there, "Are we interrupting anything?" He asked.

"No, why do you ask?" Merrick asked.

"I-I-I'm sorry," The woman asked, trying VERY hard to keep her eyes from drifting down, "A-Are we at the- At the um... Bryant Residence?"

"What?" Merrick asked curiously, "What does that mean... And is there something wrong?" He asked, "You're looking as if-"

"Merrick, man!" Nick said as came in, and grabbed the doorknob, "Uno momento, porfavor!" With that, he shut the door closed on the couple.

"... Did we just get greeted by two naked young men?" The woman asked.

"Don't get any ideas, Donna." The man said with gritted teeth. The woman scoffed as she whacked her husband on the arm.

"I said the same thing about that damn shirt!" She said as she pulled at his sleeve.

~~~

"It ain't that bad, babe." Jamal said as Nick bumped his head repeatedly on the bar able. The club is currently fairly calm, as there is no shows happening at the moment, "Psh, you shoulda seen it when they first saw me."

"Jamal. He greeted them buck naked, man! And all I had on was my draws... Man..." Nick took a drink while Jamal snirked.

"When I first met them, I was gettin it on with this one chick. Bitch tricked me outta the house, RIGHT after we finished just to fuck wit me. Nekkid Hide-n-Seek she said it was," Jamal said as he tipped the bottle into his mouth. After a gulp, he continued, "Mah junk was still dripping with spunk at the time."

"God, now I can't come over for a while." Nick moaned as he clutched his head. Jamal shrugged and nudged him.

"It's cool. I'll just stay wit'chu fo while." He said with a grin.

"No se permiten mujeres." Nick said.

"Aw, c'mon, babe~ I gotta get pussy SOME time!" Jamal said playfully.

"Stay at THEIR places than, Senior Puto~" Nick said with a smirk.

"Awhhoo, gettin sassy on me, huh?" Jamal said as he turned Nick's stool to him.

"Yeah, I'm getting sassy~ What'chu gonna do about it?" Nick goaded.

"Ah may have ta spank yo spunky lil ass in fronna all these people~" Jamal teased with a grin.

"That a threat or a flirt~?" Nick smiled back as he leaned in and kissed Jamal, "Last guy I fucked was a total bitch," Nick mentioned as he put his hand onto that rod-shaped lump on Jamal's thigh. "I think I need my big black daddy to teach me whose boss~" He said as he rubbed the hard bulge.

"Dayum, boy~" Jamal said as they kissed sensually, "Lets go in my car before my break ends." He said before he and Nick got up, and left the back-way.

~~~

"So, you wanna tell me why your mother and I was greeted by a couple of naked fellas?" Luther said as he and Donna sat on the couch with his wife. Adam scratched the back of his neck.

"I am so sorry..." Adam apologized, his face heavy with heat, "I've sent you a picture of what Merrick and me, right?"

"He had clothes on!" Luther said, with a bit of a forced laugh, "Good lord, son, does this sort of thing happen here a lot?"

"I-I... Well-"

"You know, Adam," Donna said, "When your grandparents told you to take care of the house, and I told you not to worry about it..." She stifled a laugh, "This ISN'T what I had in mind! Hahaha!"

"I know, Mom, and it's not like I turned this place into an orgy house or something..." Adam said, chuckling nervously.

"But you weren't even home. And then there was that Mexican kid there too. I can't help but think that-"

"No, Dad, he's not fooling around behind my back. Nick comes over a lot since he and Jamal started going out, and Nick is... VERY causal."

"Wait wait wait," Luther said, "I thought Jamal was into women."

"Jamal's into a lot of things." Adam said, "... OK that came out wrong!" He said quickly as his parents laughed, "As for Merrick, he's... Ok, I didn't tell you guys before because I didn't want you to get the wrong idea..."

"Well, spit it out, boy!" Luther said.

"See... Merrick's a nudist..." Adam said, feeling a purge of reluctance from the statement, "And we don't make him wear clothes unless we're going out, and even then, he wears as little as possible."

"Is THAT all?" Donna said, "I think it was more dramatic when you wrote that he had social problems."

"Ok, so, you're alright with him?"

"If we weren't we wouldn't have bothered." Luther said, "I never met anyone who was socially impaired, but we'll try not to come off as too pushy." He said, nodding.

"Ha! Speak for yourself!" Donna scoffed, "I've always had experience with shy people," She said proudly.

"Yes, I know," Luther rolled his eyes, "Your time with loonies..." He said. Donna slapped the back of his head, "Ow!"

"They're not LOONIES, Luther!" She glared, "Say that one more time, I'll yank half your hair out!"

"I'm just joking, love!" He said as he rubbed his head.

"At ANY rate," Adam said as he stood up, "I think I'll have Merrick join us now," He walked a few steps, before stopping and turning to them, "Just... Try not to ask too many questions, please? As I said, he's VERY shy."

"Of course, son," Donna said, "Go on, we're really eager to meet him."

Adam nodded, and went to the hallway. He huffed and sighed as he thought to himself, 'Here we go again...'.

He opened the door to his room, where Merrick is on the bed, pouting and squirming slightly in the clothes he's wearing - a simple blue and white polo shirt, and a pair of cargo shorts.

"Ungh, I hate these... These things," Merrick groaned as he plucked at his clothes, "How do humans get around, covering themselves up with all these sails on??"

"I know, babe," Adam said as he sat down on the bed, "I'm sorry, it won't be long, I promise."

"You know," Merrick started, "When you told me your Mother and Father are coming over for a while, I assumed you were going to prepare me for it."

"Their flight came in earlier than expected, my bad," Adam said, "It's only for a couple of weeks. Just... It's just gonna be like when you first met Jamal and Yuri."

Merrick grimaced, and sighed as he bowed his head, "I hate this..." He mumbled as he shook his head, "I feel like I'm always lying..." Adam frowned as he scooted right next to the merman.

"I know, sweetie..." He nudged and kissed Merrick's cheek, "I wish I didn't have to put you through this either..." Merrick stared at the floor with half-lidded eyes. He took a deep breath, and slowly exhaled.

"... It's fine..." Merrick responded, "I have to protect the secret of merfolk... Even if it means I have to be someone else..."

"Merrick..." Adam gently moved in and hugged his lover. Merrick nuzzled affectionately against him. He really wishes they didn't have to hide like this. It's almost like taking a step back into the closet. But Merrick feels keeping this secret is necessary, and so he has to do his part in keeping the secret as it is.

"Alright..." Adam said as he got up, "They're ready for you now." The blonde nodded as he too got up, and followed Adam into the living room.

---Several Hours Later---

"Hahhh..." Merrick sighed as he leaned on the bathroom sink. He irked as he yanked the shirt off of his body, before pushing his pants down, "Finally..." He turned on the water faucet, and put his hands under the small cascade of water. His hands gleamed as they instantly transformed into blue and silver. He rubbed some water onto his face, murring and groaning pleasantly as the cold water refreshed him.

He splashed his face and shook, huffing in relief from the clothes and the sprits of water on his face, "I guess it went well enough." He mumbled to himself. Donna and Luther seem like nice people - almost like with Jamal and Yuri, except for an obvious age difference. He still can't help but feel bewildered, however. They are Adam's parents, after all. He feels a more judgmental air about them - as if he was being subtly scrutinized.

After washing his face, Merrick buried his face into a towel, and dried his head, while also brushing his hands with it. His flesh slowly morphed back into human-type before he picked up the discarded clothes, and turned to enter Jamal's room - Adam decided to lend his room to his parents, so he and Merrick is sleeping in Jamal's room while he sleeps over at Nick's apartment for the time being.

"Well, hi there~" Said Adam as Merrick entered the room. Merrick looked, and grinned as he saw Adam on Jamal's bed, wearing a rather tight undershirt, and some snug tighty-whities. Merrick could already feel his member stirring as Adam laid there, stretched out with his legs spread, and his hands holding the back of his head. Merrick giggled as he tossed the clothes aside, and slowly crawled onto the bed.

"What trickery do humans make to have clothing look so... Enticing~?" He said as he put a hand onto Adam's package, and rubbed it around. Adam grinned as Merrick cupped his round bulge.

"It's an artform, babe. Sometimes, small amount of clothing can be incredibly sexy~"

"So I see~" Merrick said as Adam's bundle became firmer after a few seconds.

"Besides, since you're so used to nudity," Adam explained, "Lewd clothing like this gets to be a huge turn-on." He said as he saw Merrick's penis already erected.

"Mmm~" Merrick murred as he stopped fondling Adam's pouch, and crawled up onto him.

"C'mere..." Adam whispered as Merrick came up to him, and glued his lips onto his mouth. Merrick moaned lightly as he sat his naked butt onto Adam's fuzzy abdomen, and laid himself down onto his human as he felt his tongue push into his mouth.

Adam closed his eyes as Merrick meshed his lips with his as their tongues rolled and dug into one another. Merrick breathed deeply through his nose as he aggressively pushed his mouth against Adam's lips.

Merrick's hand dug under Adam's white undershirt, and pushed it up to feel onto Adam's happy trail.

Suddenly, the door opened "Hey Adam have you seen my- WHOA!" Luther said as his eyes boggled, seeing the naked blonde male straddled ontop of his son. Merrick yelped as he dismounted Adam.

"DAAAD!" Adam yelled as he covered his large dented underwear with the blanket.

"SORRY!" Luther yelped as he turned quickly and slammed the door, "Was wondering if you had any spare toothbrushes." He said behind the door.

"NO!" Adam replied.

"Alright! ... Goodnight and... Have fun!"

"Oh my God," Adam scowled as he took a pillow, and pushed it down his face, where he proceeded to growl and groan into it.

"... I WANT to continue, but I don't want to..." Merrick said, "Is this normal?"

"Mmm-hmmmfffff" Adam said muffled, while nodding his pillow up and down.

~~~

Luther walked into Adam's bedroom, where Donna is already in bed, reading her book. He walked to the other side, rather slowly, and sat down, looking like a stampede of wildebeests just stormed by.

Just then, he felt Donna's knuckles rap the back of his head three times. "Knocking. It goes like this." She knocked on his head three times again, "Ever heard of it?"

"Oh, come off it, woman," Luther grumbled as he flopped down onto the bed.

~~~ The Next Day ~~~

Luther grumbled as he shuffled through his suitcase, still wearing a worn out undershirt, and a pair of light khaki shorts. "Grrrr... That woman sometimes, I swear to God..." He riffled through the suitcase, confirming that there is nothing to find within. He turned around and checked the laundry basket and dug through it.

"Hello?" Came a voice. The man stood up and saw Adam's boyfriend standing there, wearing some shiny satin boxers.

"Hey, Merrick," He said as he continued to dig through the dirty clothes, "Gimme a sec, I'll be with you in a minute."

"... Is anything wrong? Can I help with something?" Merrick asked helpfully.

"Well, you know the shirt I was wearing when we first got here?"

"... The yellow one with the blue flower images on that?"

"Yes! Well, I had three other ones just like it, but I can't find them! I think Donna hid them, she thinks they're too damn tacky or something!"

"I disagree." He said while nodding, "I think it's colorful and bright."

"Exactly! Besides, they're comfortable and breezy to wear in this island heat." He scowled as he took off his glasses and rubbed his brows, "You know where she put them?"

"I think I remember her shoving something behind..." Merrick entered and patted the wooden dresser, "This big thing? I'm not sure what it's called."

"Really??" The man said as he then shuffled to the side. He edged it to the side, and scowled as he saw a cluster of vivid fabric stuffed between the wall and the back of the dresser, "That dang woman..." He grumbled as he yanked the shirts out of the tight nook, and put two of them into his open suitcase. He draped an orange and white one with leaf and flower designs around himself, and buttoned it up over his thick build.

"God bless ya, kid," He said.

"Wow, that's a bright design!" Merrick said.

"Good to see a man of taste," Luther said as he and Merrick left Adam's room. "Sooo... What do ya do, Merrick?"

"... Huh?" The merman asked curiously.

"I mean, Adam already said you're a male model, but you do anything else on the side?"

"I don't understand." Merrick said.

"I mean, do you have a part-time job or something?"

"No... But I have been thinking about going somewhere else to spend time while Adam is gone."

"Oook?" Luther said, shrugging, "Do you like any sports?"

"Uhh... Sports?" Merrick asked as he blinked awkwardly.

"You know, baseball? Football? Soccer? Tennis? Basketball?" Luther listed. Merrick paused before shaking his head.

"Nnnno, I don't think so..." He said.

"Right..." Luther said, "Uh... Any hobbies?"

"Hobbies?"

"Things you like to do in your spare time? Do you draw? Write? Collect stamps? Fishing? Hunt-"

"Oh, yes! I know how to hunt!" Merrick piped up.

"Oh, ok! What kind of rifle you use?" Luther asked.

"... What's a rifle?" Merrick asked.

"Ahhh," Luther sighed, "I'm going about this the wrong way... What do you hunt?"

"Fish, mostly," Merrick said, "Sometimes crabs or squid, and the like."

"Oh, you mean you go fishing?"

"Not really... I uh..." Merrick fumbled for the right words, "I don't use any of the items Adam uses to hunt fish - rods or nets. I'm more adept at using a trid- spear, I mean..." He said.

"I see..." Luther said. Nice boy, but a bit of an enigma.

The blonde stood awkwardly as he has no idea what to say next. This man is very inquisitive, and he does not have any answers that feel right to use.

"So um... Adam says you grew up in a Nudist Community? What's that like?"

"Er..." Merrick winced, as once again, has no viable answer, "Well... It's been a long time since I last been where I'm from..."

"Ah, I see..."

"... I'm sorry..." Merrick said as he looked to the side, "My life is... Complicated."

"I hear ya... Sort of..." Luther said.

"I... I think I'll just walk to the pier and wander..." Merrick said as he turned and went to Adam's room to get dressed.

"Ok then... Maybe I'll meet up with you later when Donna comes back?"

"Umm... Sure..." Merrick said casually as he walked away. Luther sighed as he scratched the back of his head.

"Strange kid..." He mumbled.

~~~

Donna stretches as she feels the sunlight in her sweats. Just before she inserts her headphones into her ears, her eyes glance to the side. Over by the old cliff, is Merrick, sitting on the edge - wearing just some boxers, from the looks of it.

Curious, she jogged on over to him, and walked up behind him, "Not thinking of jumping, are you?" She asked. Merrick turned around, and looked up at her. The way his eyes looked... He looks as if he was expecting her.

"No..." He said as he turned back to the sea, "Just... Remembering, I guess..."

"Ah, ok..." Donna glanced at his neck, her eyes locking onto a tribal heart symbol on his flesh, "That's a neat tattoo you got there." Merrick's fingers tensed on the rock, "I think it's pretty."

Merrick put his hand on the back of his neck, "It's..." He paused for a moment, "It's more of a grim reminder to me. Thanks though." He said as he lowered his hand.

"Oh, I see..." The woman couldn't help but notice a sense of melancholy from the blonde man. His voice carries a hint of longing as he gazes over the ocean, "Something on your mind?"

"A lot, really..." He responded.

"Need to talk? I'm a psychologist." Donna offered.

"What does that mean?" Merrick asked, his voice giving off just a hint of subtle aggression, as if he doesn't really want to talk.

"It's someone who is trained to talk to people about their problems. Talk them through their troubles, make them feel better."

"Maybe, but chances are..." Merrick said, "You won't understand me..."

"Well, maybe not, but it helps to talk at least. I can't tell you how many of my patients have told me that."

"That just means they're trying to cope with their pain. Would bringing it up REALLY help with dealing with it."

"That's exactly what psychologists are for," Donna said as she sat down next to the young male, "It's not always easy, but talking people through there problems and resolving their conflicts is what we specialize," She patted his shoulder, "Come on, Merrick. Let's talk."

After a short pause, Merrick bowed his head, "... I miss my p..." He stopped briefly before continuing, "... My family..."

"Ah, I see." She said, "When was the last time you talked to them?"

"Almost 2 years now, I believe..." He said.

"You have a big family?" Donna asked.

"... You could say that..." Merrick answered, "We were always traveling... We never stayed in one place for too long..."

"Who do you miss most?"

"... I miss my best friend... He had a big dream... And now I can't see where he will go with it now that I'm gone..."

"What was his dream?"

"He..." Merrick bit his lips as his fist clenched, "He wanted to be the best at hunting fish..."

"Wow, that sounds neat," Donna said as she nodded, keeping her eyes on Merrick's face. Something's off about the way he's acting, "Anyone else?"

"My Sister..." Merrick told her, "When I was..." Merrick paused again, holding back a tear, "She begged me not to leave... She didn't understand that I had no choice...

"... My Father..." He said, his hand harshly gripping his arm, "He was strict, stern, and always seemed to be kinder to my Sister than to me - or to anyone else for that matter...

"... And I feel like I let my Mother down most of all..." He said, his stomach heavy with grief, "When all was said and done, she still did not resent me..." Merrick started to tremble as his form tensed up.

"Listen, Merrick..." Donna said as she put her hand onto Merrick's hand, "They may have kicked you out for being who you are... But that is their fault, not yours..." Merrick's teeth gritted as he sat there, shaking with rage "You are who you are, and they shouldn't have done this to you..." Donna said softly, "Someday, they will understand you-"

"NO!" Merrick suddenly blurted out as he stood up. Donna scrambled around, and looked up at him, "YOU don't understand me!" He said as his eyes watered, "You don't understand a single thing about me!

"M-Merrick, calm down," Donna said she stood up, "This is natural for you to feel angry-"

"Is THIS what psychologists do?!" He demanded, "How is forcing me to talk about my pain supposed to help?! My family is gone, and I can NEVER see them again!! How is thinking about that supposed to make me feel better?!" He shouted.

"Because keeping it bottled up inside of you isn't healthy!" Donna responded, "What we do is try to get everything out in the open, and understand the deep meaning about how and why we feel about such things..." Donna sighed as she rubbed her fingers on her temples, "Alright, look, I'm sorry I brought it up, I was only trying to help-"

"I KNOW how I feel! I understand EVERYTHING that's happened to me! My pain runs deeper than you can ever understand!" He seethed as a tear ran down his cheek, "How dare you invoke the wounds of my heart?! If THIS is what a psychologist does to people, then-"

"Merrick?" Came a voice. Merrick and Donna turned their heads to see Yuri in her morning kimono, "What's going on here? Why are you yelling?"

Merrick sighed forcefully, and turned to walk in her direction, "Nothing." He snarled as he strode past her. Yuri watched after him a few seconds, and turned to the mid-aged woman.

"I have... Never seen him this angry," Yuri said as she shook her head and slowly approached Donna, "What happened?"

"It's my fault," Donna said as she shook her head tossed her hands up, "I tried to help him get over his problems, and he just blew up."

"... Listen," Yuri said, "Merrick has... A very complicated past. A lot's happened that he holds himself responsible for, and talking about it just makes it worse."

"Yes, I know that NOW." Donna said, rather aggravatingly, "Adam already told be his parents kicked him out when he came out of the closet. But there was no reason for him to snap at me."

"I know, and I'm sorry for him, but..." Yuri sighed, "Like I said, it's... Very complicated."

~~~

The next day, Luther and Donna are walking along the forest path.

"Ugh, I thought to point of coming here was to visit Adam," Luther complained, "Why are hiking out here alone??"

"The kids are out for their own thing," Donna said, "Besides, I'm still mad at that Merrick for he yelling at me. All day yesterday after that, he didn't even look at me!"

"Oh lord, is that what this is about??" Luther asked, "He didn't want to talk about his past, you dug into his business, and he got mad. It's not that hard!"

"That's not the point," Donna responded, "He just out right bellowed at me. He flagrantly disrespected me, and he hasn't even bothered to apologize. I doubt Adam even knows about it."

"Come on, Donna," Luther said as he put his arm around her.

"Get off me, Luther" Donna said as a smile forced its way onto her mouth, "You're heavier than brick wall."

"I can't, I'm using you as support."

"Oh, get off me, you old buzzard!" Donna laughed as she shrugged her husband off. Luther grunted as he put his arms around her, and stopped moving his legs, "Ah! Luther!"

"My legs! They're numb!" Luther jested as he dragged his feet as he held onto Donna.

"Stop it, you're gonna make me trip!" Donna said as she struggled to get the man off of her.

"We're gonna fall! Help meh, Love, help meh!"

"For God's sake, Luther! Ohhff!" With that, Donna fell to her hands onto the tree roots. She laughed as Luther scruffed and climbed onto her, and tightly wrapped his arms around hers. "Luther, stop it! Hahaha!" Luther cackled as he wrestled her along the fallen leaves, "Luther! I swear, I'm gonna kill yooouuu! HAHAHA!" Donna couldn't stop laughing as her husband rolled them in the mild dirt and twigs.

Luther laughed as he moved above her, with her back to the ground. She growled annoyingly as she gripped his hair with both hands, "Grrrrr! Heh heh heh!" She laughed as her goofy man kissed her, "In all my years in psychology, you're the only madman I can't figure out."

"Good!" Luther said, "The less you figure me out, the better!"

"Oh whatever! Help me up, I think you rearranged my insides!" Donna said as Luther got off of her, took her hand, and pulled her to her feet, "Come on, we're almost to the waterfall."

The old couple strolled further into the woods until they started to hear the familiar rush of water. "Are we there yet?"

"Oh for God's sake, Luther!" Donna retorted. They walked through the woods, until they can see the white cascade of water, and the familiar rainbow sheen from the sunlight.

As well, they hear voices.

"Aw dammit," Luther complained, "There's people here already."

"Oh, stop complaining already," Donna said as she swatted Luther's chest, "I'm sure they won't mind us dipping our feet in the water."

Luther and Donna continued on, until they could see the grotto, as well as make out the people hanging around the area.

"... Hey, wait," Luther said as he spotted a buff black man in a red speedo, pumping a brightly colored Super Soaker in his arms, "Isn't that one of Adam's roommates? Jamal, right?"

"Yes, I think..." Donna said, "And there's Yuri!" She pointed out as Yuri screamed and covered herself from a stream of water jetting upon her by a slender Latino guy with intricate black tribal tattoos on his right arm and left thigh, "Oh lord, and there's that other kid again," She said, rolling her eyes as she noted Nick wearing a green and white speedo - one more revealing than the one Jamal is sporting.

"Oh, come off it, Donna," Luther said as he nudged his wife, "We used to wear those kind of swimsuits when WE were that age, didn't we?"

"Not THOSE kind!" Donna said as Jamal came up behind Nick, and gave his partially exposed behind a surprise spank!

---

"AH! Whaaa- Ahhh!!" Nick lost balance, and fell into the grotto.

"Hahaha- AHLGGL!!" Jamal laughed, right before Yuri nailed him in the mouth with her own squirt gun.

"Eat that!" She shouted.

---

"Ha ha!" Donna silently cackled, "Nice shot on that one," She snickered as Jamal sputtered and coughed.

---

"Yo, Yuri! I ain't into watersports!" Jamal said as he shot another burst at her. Seconds later, Nick's head breaks out of the water, gasping for air. While he swam to the edge, Jamal looked down, and grinned, "Hey babe, where's yo swimsuit?"

"*Cough cough* It got pulled off me, man!" Nick blurted, "Freakin Merrick, man!"

"Good grief. Merrick's here?" Danna grumbled, "Lets go, Luther."

"Oh, come off it, woman," Luther said, "Hey look, there's Adam!" He said as their son pulled himself onto the rock with the water rushing off his body. He wildly shook his head to get the water off of his hair, and sat on it.

"Yeah, he BETTER be wearing trunks," Donna said as she saw Adam sporting his blue/golden fish swimming trunks, "He and Yuri the only ones wearing decent swimwear." She pointed out.

Just then, a blue and silver humanoid pulled himself onto the rocks, next to Adam. Webbed hands, gleaming blue and silver skin, a head of shard fins, and no legs, but a long, singular appendage below his waist.

"Holy Jesus, what the hell is that?!" Luther exclaimed. Both he and Donna stared with eyes wide open at the fish-like person next to their son. Adam had turned, laughing as the bizarre creature held up the green and white thong/speedo. Adam laughed as he kissed the creature's mouth, and ruffled the side of its head playfully.

"What in the world IS that?!" Donna gapped.

---

"Babe, you're so crazy!" Adam said as he took the speedo.

"C'mon, man!" Nick said after Adam tossed his speedo back to him, which he tucked into the water, "I'm not used to you yet!"

"I'm not gonna maim you, Nick~!" Merrick said, "I just want to expose and take advantage of you in the water. THAT'S all~"

---

"Why did Adam KISS that thing?!" Donna whispered harshly, "And where's Merrick?!"

"Donna..." Luther said, "I think that IS Merrick..."

"What?? What makes you say that??"

"Look at his wrist. He's wearing that bracelet." Luther muttered.

---

"Easy, babe," Adam said, "Yuri's here, save that kind of thinking when she's not here to spectate."

"Yeah, Merrick!" Yuri said as she aimed her bright orange water weapon, "Are all merfolk this pervy? Or is it just you??" She then shot directly at the merman. Not even flinching, the merman giggled pleasantly as the water ran down his form. He brought his hands up and rubbed down the find of his head, and along his arms.

---

"That HAS to be a costume!" Luther said as he squinted through his glasses.

"I don't think so..." Donna said as he saw the fins on the top of the merman's head flutter a little, "Why would anyone go through the trouble of putting on that much make-up to swim..."

---

Adam chuckled as he kissed Merrick's cheek, "You're so cute, babe."

Merricked turned his head, and chuckled evilly before he slipped back into the water.

Jamal looked up with his super soaker dipped into the water. He winced as he saw the aquatic being come up to him. "Merrick, I'm just reloading! NOOOO!"

---

"Just, how is this possible??" Donna whispered as she saw the fish-like creature break out of the water as Jamal pulled his water gun out of the surface - too late. He howled as the waterman pulled the darker man into the pool. Adam and Yuri howled with laughter from the large splash that came from Jamal's downfall.

Luther nudged her on the arm, and nodded his head to leave, "Come on, Donna. This isn't the time or place..."

Reluctantly, Donna turned around, and walked with her husband away from the cove.

~~~

Dinner is reaching its awkward end. Adam nervously glances side to side as Merrick sat beside him at the table, while Donna and Luther were both staring at the blonde eating his slice of chicken.

Luther kept a sharp eye on Merrick as he hate, trying to figure out where all those fins and scales went. Donna tilted her head a little as she tried to make out SOME trace of the creature she saw today.

Could this boy REALLY be the same fish they saw playing with Adam, Yuri, Jamal, and Nick?

Adam swallowed, and put down his fork, "*Ahem*... U-um... Merrick? Is there something you want to say to Mom?" He said. Merrick gave Adam a heated glare, before sighing, and turning his head to look at the woman.

"... I'm sorry I yelled at you yesterday morning," Merrick said begrudgingly, "I was out of line, and I shouldn't have shouted."

"O-Oh, what?" Donna said, just snapping out of trying to study Merrick, "Ah, that's alright, I already forgot about that."

"... Really?" Adam asked.

"Yes! Don't worry about it," Donna said, "Water under the bridge!"

Merrick sighed again, and pushed his dish, "I'm not hungry," He said before getting up, "I need some air." As soon as he left the front door, Merrick scowled as he yanked off the shirt Adam had him wear.

"... I uh..." Luther said awkwardly, "I need to take my pill..." He said before wiping his mouth with the napkin, and left the table too.

After a pause, Adam broke the silence, "Merrick has... A few problems..."

"I know, sweetheart," Donna said, "So does your father, but that never stopped me." Adam chuckled at that, "I think it's safe to say that dinner is over though," Donna said as she stood up and picked up hers and Luther's plates.

"No, Mom, I got this," He said as he took the plates from her.

"You sure?"

"Yes, it's your vacation. Just make sure Dad takes the right pills."

"Ok, honey." Donna said before turning around and walking away. Adam looked after his mother while he gathered the dishes. He groaned as he went to the sink.

"This isn't going well at all..."

~~~

"I don't get it," Luther said, sitting on the bed "I just don't get it!"

"Me neither," Donna said as she rubbed her forehead, "It's like he's not even the same... Well, the same THING we saw at the cove!"

"Is Adam dating some fish or something? If that's true, then that blonde kid hangin around here is just a cover!"

"That wasn't some fish, Luther," Donna said as she paced around, "I heard that thing talk. Wasn't there some..." She stopped and snapped her fingers a few times, "Mermaids, mermaids... The body thing, where they found some chunks of mermaid in a stomach?"

"Yeah, but the ones in THAT video wasn't blue."

"It just, it doesn't make ANY sense! It HAS to be two different people. I mean, dating a weird fish creature would be... Well, it IS strange to ANYBODY." She said, "I suppose it's only natural to want to hide something like that, but making that blonde lie to us just cover up... It just doesn't seem like Adam... He hasn't hide anything from us since he came out..."

"Would YOU want to know if I were going out with some fish, Donna?"


"I should hope so," Donna said before giving Luther a light slap on the head.

"Look, maybe we should just-"

Then, the door opened. In comes Adam, holding up a small orange bottle. He lightly shook the container of tablets to make it rattle, "Found your pills in the kitchen, Dad..." He said.

"Oh..." The man said as his son put them on the shelf next to the door. Adam leaned back, and crossed his arms.

Almost a whole minute passes by as Adam and his parents looked at each other. Adam uncrossed his arms, and closed his eyes. Taking a deep breath, Adam reopened his eyes, "How long have you guys known?"

"..." Donna paused, and crossed her own arms, "Since this morning." She said.

"So what are you playing at, son?" Luther said as he stoop up, while Donna sat down on the bed, "Are you dating a guy ONTOP of a fish?"

"It's..." Adam said, feeling himself shake a little, "It's more complicated than that... I'm only dating one guy... We were hoping to keep this a secret, but..." Adam hesitated, before walking around to his bed, and slowly sitting himself down, "I think you guys should know the truth... But... You have to keep this a secret too..."

~~~

Merrick gazes up at the full moon as he sits on the familiar cliff, wearing just some satin shorts, and his discarded clothing on the sandy turf. He prays silently to the Sea Mother Atargatis, seeking for a sense of soothing peace in his soul. He wants nothing more than to just jump into the water right now. He feels so far away from his real self, despite having a good time at the cove.

"... Hm?" He hears footsteps. He turned his head to see three people coming towards him. Merrick turns himself further to see it's Adam leading his mother and father to him. He groaned as he stood himself up to face them.

When they reached him, they said nothing, merely looking over him. Merrick's eyes looked straight into the eyes of the three humans before him. They don't need to say a word for him to know what this is about.

"My Mother," Merrick began, "Is an Arctic Veil Mermaid. My Father is a Navyn Fish Merman." He said, to the astonishment of Adam's parents. "I was the Son of the two leaders of my pod, and I was to take my Father's place in leading my pod when I came of age.

"I wasn't 'kicked out of a house' for simply being gay. I was banished from my pod for the crime of mating with a human, and a male besides. So it is virtually the same thing, if you wish to see it that way."

Merrick turned himself around, and tapped the back of his neck, "You see this symbol on my neck? This 'grim reminder' of mine?" He pointed at the tribal heart design imprinted on his flesh, "All banished merfolk are branded with the symbol of their crime. This image on my skin is the symbol of Forbidden Love." He turned back around, seeing Donna's hands over her mouth, and Luther looking at him dumbfounded. This kid... This isn't the grumpy blonde they have been passing by in the house for the last few days.

"I'll never know whether my pod hates me or not for being what humans call homosexual - I broke two of our laws, and so I was punished for it. What they feel and think of the matter is irrelevant.

"I can never see my pod again. And on top of that, I can't even go into the ocean anymore because a creature that hunts banished merfolk is after me, no matter where I am in the sea. So in a way, I am banished from the ocean itself. I may never have a true home again." He said as a sparkling tear rolled down his face.

"If I have seem unpleasant, it's because of all this in my mind, and the fact that I have to hide my true identity from the human world," He turned his face to Donna, who has moistening eyes herself, "And talking about it doesn't help. I am sorry for my outburst yesterday, Donna, but talking about what happened to me will never help me in the slightest." He then turned his head to Luther, "And I am still adjusting to this different way of life, Luther. All I know is to hunt in the sea. I still know nothing of life of human society, and quite honestly, I am very reluctant to learn. I will not abandon who I am."

Merrick huffed as he put his hand to his eyes. He sniffled as he tried the wipe away the tears, "This is what it is to be a rogue..." He muttered. The merman felt the older man walk up to him, and pat his shoulder.

"It's ok, son..." Luther muttered, "It's ok..." Donna came up to him too.

"I'm sorry, Merrick..." She said. Merrick eased up when Adam came to him, and hugged him too.

"We're here for you, Merrick..." Adam said lowly.

It's not the pod he misses so much, but a human family will do...

~~~

"C'mon, Mom," Adam moaned, "I save mornings like this for sleeping."

"Oh hush now, you're worse than your father!" Donna said as she stretched herself, getting ready for a morning jog, and dragging Adam along with her.

"Tell me again why Dad can't just go along with you?"

"He wants to take Merrick bowling, just to get to know him better."

"Awwwwhhhhh!" Adam moaned, "I wanna go boowwwllliiing!"

"We'll see." Donna said, "Now lets go."

Adam groaned as the two of them set off jogging down the beach. Donna and Adam jogged lightly away from the driftwood legs, along the rocks and cliff, and onto the beach.

"See?" Donna said as they went, "This is nice!" She said. Adam groaned in response, making her laugh and swat his arm.

Adam rolled his eyes, before he saw something off the corner of his eye. He stopped in his tracks, and turned around. Donna jogged a few feet ahead before she stopped. "Adam?" She looked, and gapped as she stared at the person sitting on the rocks.

A rather large man with black hair on his head, and a pointed goatee. Tan skin, hard, rippling muscles with a few long, wide scars on his chest and abs. He wears a band of Great White teeth around his head, and a string of angler fangs around his neck, and crossbelts of more Great White shark teeth around his body, and wearing nothing else. With one hand on his knee, he holds a long pole with a semi-rusted fish-knife attached at the bottom end of the pole, and a three 12inch spiral shells tied with fishing line onto two detached anchor prongs.

"Who the heck?!" Donna said, "Sir, who-" She stopped talking when Adam held his arm out. Adam narrowed his eyes, glaring at the man's sapphire blue eyes.

He took a few steps toward him, but only a few of them, "I know you can't talk to me," Adam said, "But just so you know, it's far from fair on how you judge your son."

"..." The man scowled and leered at Adam.

"If you think he's abandoned his identity, you're dead wrong," Adam told him, "He's doing fine now, but he's miserable without his pod. I want you to know that." Adam continued, "Or did that not occur to you because we was banished?" The man's fist tightened around his three-pronged weapon.

"Whatever grudge you hold against him, you should know that it was never his fault to begin with. Even YOU should figure that." The man grunted at Adam, before turning, and maneuvering himself off the rocks, and into the ocean.

"... Adam?" Donna started as her son turned around, "Who in the world WAS that?" She asked.

"Well, I think we just had a run-in with Merrick's father." Donna blinked at him as Adam stood there. "I met his mother already, and she is incredibly nice and reasonable. It's his father I have a problem."

"Why was he just glaring at you? I'd feel a little tiffed if you talked like that to me."


"I told you before, contact with humans is strictly forbidden," Adam said, "Come on. Just meeting him pisses me off." He said as he started to jog away.

"O-Ok! Wait for me." Donna said as she quickly caught up with her son.

 

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