Aquata Cove

Chapter 53: Diverging

Adam pulls himself out of the pool, shaking his soaked hair, and grabbing for a towel, and roughly running it through his hair. It's going on dusk now, but that doesn't seem to stop a lot of other people from splashing, jumping, and sliding into the large pool.

He feels past most of the guilt about what happened between he and Merrick. Now, he's frustrated because Merrick refuses to at least try and work things out - it's as if he WANTS to keep feeling angry.

He groans as he wraps the towel around his waist, and walked away from the pool party. Adam travels to a deserted spot of the deck, where he chooses a beach chair, and lays himself upon it.

"Oh yeah, girlfrriiieeennnd~!" Cheered an effeminate male voice. Queen Jizzelle waltzes along the deck, "Don't miss out on the Shower Line tomorrow~!" She said as she handed out a flyer to a random guest. "Remember, you still have less than an hour to sign up~!" She said with an upbeat tone.

Queen Jizzelle is currently dressed in a very large regal gown - a wide frame to keep the gown round and large, while the outside of the dress is adorned with countless multicolored paper flowers - folded up flyers adorned on her outfit in a row of colors, as if her gown is designed to be a paper rainbow. She also wears long sleeves on her arms to hide any hint of masculinity, along with a sizeable headdress decorated with beads she'd give to other guests. Not to mention the excessive make-up, making her look almost like a royal harlequin.

She drew out a yellow paper, and held it for another guest, "Happy Happy Hour in 5 minutes at the bar: Twice the Happy, Twice the Happy, hehehehehe!" She laughed as she handed out another flyer.

Queen Jizzelle walked along, until she spotted a half naked young man curled up on a beach chair on deck, "Oh?" She struts over to him, "What's the matter, sweetie~?" She asks, "Someone steal your happy pass?"

Adam looks up, and held himself from scoffing at the drag queen, "No, it's just..." He rolled over, "Boy problems."

"Oh, honey, I can tell you ALL about boys and problems~" Queen Jizzelle said, "Need to talk about it, sugar hips?"

"It's ok... You don't need to..."

"Bitch, pleeeaase, I got lots of things to advertise, and the dogs are killing me anyway~" Queen Jizzelle adjusted her gown so she could sit down.

"Hhh..." Adam sighed, "Alright..." He got up, and sat to face the man/woman, "Jizzelle, right?"

"QUEEN Jizzelle, if you please, hun," She corrected, "I didn't spend all those years at Castle of White to lack the dub."

"Castle... White Cas- Pfff" Adam scoffed, "Ok ok, QUEEN Jizzelle... My problem is my boyfriend."

"Oh, my, if I haven't heard one fight or another~" She brandished her hands, "So, what did he do, sweetpea?"

"It's not what he did, I'm the one who fucked up."

"Uh-ohhh. I sense a tragedy."

"A couple of nights ago - the last night we were on the island - I... Got drunk, and I said some horrible things to him."

"Awwooo" Queen Jizzelle pouted, "Had one too many of the bottles, did we?"

"It's been 3 days since then, and he won't talk to me."

"Well honey, did you try and patch things up?" The queen asked, "3 days is quite awhile to go without speaking."

"I did! I bought him flowers, I said I was sorry, but he won't budge. I don't know what to do, he won't give me a chance."

"My God, Brownie Bear," Queen Jizzelle commented as she held her fingertips over her fake bust, "What in the world did you say to make him avoid you so?"

"It's... Kinda complicated..."

Queen Jizzelle put a fist on her hip, and leaned over "Try me." She said a little deeply. Adam huffed and ran his hand through his hair.

"I... Kinda said our relationship was too perfect..."

"That's it?" She said, "That's what he so steamed about?"

"There's more to it than that... I can barely remember it, I was REALLY drunk... I remember bits and pieces of other things I said... I remember saying that I love AND hate that our relationship was so perfect..."

"Well honey, I think he's being unreasonable for not giving you at least a chance to explain yourself."

"Ahhh," Adam leaned over, and put his hands on his forehead, "Why the fuck did I say anything at all?"

"Why DID you?" She asked, "Fallin-over pissed or not, you should've guessed it wasn't going to end well."

"Yeah, I got that." Adam looked back up to the sky, "Question is, what am I going to do now?"

"You know what would be REALLY romantic~?" Queen Jizzelle held her hands up to frame dramatically, "If you made sure he was watching, and proclaim your love in front of EVERYONE else~!"

"Yeah, not gonna happen." Adam said, "He already tricked me into performing once, and he knows full well I don't like it. And besides, you don't know my boyfriend. He has a short but lingering temper - if he hasn't forgiven me by now, he's not going to forgive me anytime soon."

"Well, suit yourself, Fuzz Boy," Queen Jizzelle stood up, "I must get back to gracing my people~" She turned and pulled out one of the brightly colored flyers that decorates her gown, "Here, we're having a Hot Chocolate Fest tonight~" She gave Adam a flyer that featured scantily dressed African American people looking erotic, "All you can eat Hersheeey~"

"Yeah, that's all I need," Adam tucks the flyer into his towel, "Stuff myself with sweets while I'm upset about my boyfriend."

"Well, all I can say is this," She pats his shoulder, "If he really loves you, he'll come around in no time." With that, she drapes away to the next couple of people, "Sign-Up for Dyno-Dyke Camp! The girls will Blow Your Mind~!"

Adam lowers his head as he groaned, "But he does love me... But he won't stop hating me anyway..." He slowly got up, and walked away from the spot to go back to his cabin.


Merrick rests back as he gazes as the moon, his hands behind his back as he feels the cold breezes flow through his clothing. He's gotten quite used to wearing underpants all the time instead of always being naked.

Only looking at the moon seems to give him peace of mind of late. Dancing lets the music play his soul, drinking gives him a buzz for at least a short time along with a sweet and bitter taste, hitting on guys for tips makes him feel sexy and wanted, but none of that lasts. He misses Yuri - if anyone would understand where he's coming from, she would.

"Tch." Merrick sat up, and slid down the roof, and landed on deck as usual. He puts his hands in his jacket pockets as he walks along and down the stairs, passing by the other guests. His eyes look up to see a random gay couple. They're holding hands, laughing; one of them kisses the other's ear. He frowns as he passes them by, and turns to the railing. His eyes follow the wayward surface of the water as the ship moves constantly. The smell of the sea is almost too strong but to pull him into the deep blue, where he's supposed to belong...

"My my, hello there, Moonlight~!" Came a very weird man's voice.

"Hello, wha-" Merrick turns, and doubles back! There stands a fairly tall... Woman? She wears a large white royal gown, of which has never seen before. The make-up on the face suggest feminine features, but they do little for Merrick's eyes to perceive other wise of the face's physical form, and with the ridiculously large grown on her head, he can't make heads or tails of this person at all!

"Hahaha, why the shocked expression, Golden Boy~?"

"Who or What are you?" Merrick asked brazenly.

"Ahahahahaha~!" The man/woman laughed, "Why, I am no other than Her royal highness, Queen Jizzelle~!" She brandished her hand to hold it up in a glorious salute to the sky.

"... I will NEVER understand you hu- people." Merrick said as he shook his head and crossed his arms, "Are you a man or a woman? I honestly can't tell."

"Oh my honey child~" She said, "You have no doubt ever encountered a beautiful queen such as I, no?"

"I barely know what a queen is, let alone what you're supposed to be." Merrick commented. He turned back around to lean his arms on the railing, "Was there something you wanted from me?"

"Queen Jizzelle NEVER ignores a soul in need~!" She proclaimed, "You look so sad in the moonlight, I couldn't help but see if there was nothing I can do."

"No, there isn't." Merrick gloomily said, "My heart is fractured... I don't expect anyone to understand why. It's no one's business but my own anyway."

"Well honey, how do you know they would understand? Have you tried talking?" Merrick stubbornly stayed silent, "I happen to be a VERY good listener, darling~" The drag queen said.

"... It's my boyfriend..." Merrick finally answered.

"Ah yes~..." She leaned on the railing next to him, "Let me guess... About 5 feet tall, hot fuzzy bod, short hot dark hair, puppy brown eyes, brimming with loneliness and regret?"

"Yes... That's him..." Merrick glanced to the pseudo-woman beside him, "You've spoken to him."

"Ah yes," She clicked her tongue pitifully, "Poor boy told me you won't tell him what's wrong."

"He and I have been together for 8 years." Merrick said, "He says he is sorry, but that's not enough. He doesn't see just how deep my anger is..."

"Well honey, he isn't a mind-reader..." She paused, "... He isn't, is he~? I've only met the lad once."

"No, he isn't," Merrick rolled his eyes, "The things that he said..." He held onto a cluster of his jacket, "They cut deep..." His fingers tightened.

"Well, one thing that's always worked for me," Queen Jizzelle said, "There's a very simple question you should ask yourself: Do you love him?"

"Of course I do... I love him with all my heart... I love him so much that it hurts... So much..."

"And there is absolutely no way you can forgive him? You're not exactly playing a fair game here, sweetie."

"Tch, fair..." Merrick felt a tinge of heat in his blood, "What does anyone know about 'Fair'?" He shook his head, "... I WANT to forgive him... I do... But every time I think about his face, I remember that night when he told me those things."

"What DID he say, exactly, Moonlight~?" Queen Jizzelle asked, "What could he have said to make you so tittled up inside?"

"... It's the way he said it..." Merrick looked onward to the ocean, "The way he spoke... Thing is, me and my boyfriend have been through so much together... So much pain... Fear, uncertainty... And all of that isn't good enough because we're too perfect of a couple..."

"Oh, honey," Queen Jizzelle rubbed his shoulder, "I'm sure he didn't mean it like that."

"Oh no?" Merrick turned his head for a second, "A friend of mine once told me, 'Drunken Words are Sober Thoughts'. I never understood that until now... Now I know that's how he really feels about our relationship. And with everything else that's going on in my life, makes it hurt all the more..."

"Mmm, when you say it like that, you may have a point." Queen Jizzelle nodded, "But come on, sweetie, the man loves you, you can see it written all over his face."

"And not just him... People as a whole just seem to crave drama... I see it all the time in TV shows, movies, even real life itself..." Merrick looks up at the night sky, "No matter how much pain and sorrow happens to them, everyone just desires more..." Merrick catches site of a bright star, "What is it about humans that makes them so dramatic as to continuously seek calamity?"

"Mm, I know, honey, I know. We can never be content with what we got, can we?" She said, "But you know, there is nothing wrong with wanting a little more when we need a change of pace, hm?"

"It's not just that..." Merrick curdled a little tighter to himself, "My hurt runs deep than that... There's a lot more than what I let on, but I don't have the heart to tell him..." His fingers tighten around his sleeve, "No matter how mad I am... No matter how much it hurts just thinking about it..."

"Oh?" Queen Jizzelle rose a brow, "Well then, why not tell me, moondrop? I promise I'll keep it a secret for you-"

"No." Merrick immediately said, "Just... No." The wind wavers through his bright hair, "I can't tell anyone..."

"Alright, sweetheart," She smiled and looked at the blonde male, whose mood is no higher than it was, "Well, as the old saying goes, Time Heals All, darling."

Queen Jizzelle drew out one of her many flyers from her gown, "Don't forget to vote for the Graceful Gogo Contest. Winners are announced in a few days." Merrick looked, and took the paper, "I've seen you up on stage~" She moved his chin up to look at her decorated face, "Not too late to sign up."

"Hm." Merrick took the paper, and the drag queen went on her merry way.

He squinted his eyes as he strained to recognize the lettering on the flyer. He's beginning to read better these days. He practices now and then, but he's no scholar. There's a man in a G-String on one side of the flyer, and a woman in a feathery bikini on the other.

"... Gr-Graccceeful... Uh... Gogo..." He slowly read the flyer, "C...Conteh... Contest..." He strains to read the fine print on the paper, "S... See the... Bessst... Of... Agh, forget it." Merrick folds up the slip, and stashes it in his pocket.

The next couple of hours just seem to roll by like they were mere minutes. Merrick spent all of that the time resting his head on his arms, looking longingly into the ocean. The spray from the surface calls so severely to his soul, it's almost heartbreaking to have to resist the sea.

"Hnnnhhh..." Merrick's fingers tighten around his sleeve as he bore his forehead down. He took a deep breath before looking back up, his heart pounding with a sudden wave of anxiety. He feels a light dizzy spell before clasping his hand onto the rail. Merrick huffs deeply and pants as he realized his lips feel a little dry.

"Dammit..." Merrick winced as he put his head down again, "Dehydrating..." He growled a little as he looked out to the sea. All this desire, lingering dryness, this hurt and denial of his former home... "If it wasn't for..." He snarled as he pressed his eyes into his sleeve, "No, no! Don't say it... Don't..."

"Hey." Came a voice. Merrick turned his head, and saw a human male. He's taller than most humans he sees. After a few seconds, Merrick's memory places him in the Shopping Center, when he attacked Daniel and Jacob. Merrick's eyes narrowed as he can see the dumb hostility in this man's face.

"You and I need to have a little talk." Kevin said, "I don't think it was cool the way you-" Merrick pulled his hood up over his blonde hair, put his hands into his jacket pockets, and began to walk away, "Hey! Get back here!"

"Go away..." Merrick said without even turning around.

"HEY!" Kevin strode for him, "I'm talking to you!"

"I don't care." Merrick responded, "Leave me be."

"Hey!" Kevin grabbed his shoulder, and Merrick stopped, "I don't like your attitude!" There was a pause, so he continued, "Alright, so-" Merrick began to walk again, "HEY man, what's your problem??"

Merrick scowled as he continued to walk away, before Kevin reached in, and yanked his arm back, "Listen you little punk!"

"Hhggh!" Merrick's eyes widened as the grip on his arm turned his blood cold. His teeth gritted as he began to seethe - this grip, on his arm, it's exactly how many of the guards of the Agency manhandled him, when they were forcing him the heat cell, or the lab. Merrick's knuckles hardened as Kevin's hand tightened on his arm.

"Now let me make it nice and-" In a whip of a flash, Merrick ripped his arm away from Kevin's grip, before Merrick turned halfway, and seized Kevin's wrist, "AH!" Kevin staggered as that hand felt more like a vice. His eyes looked into the half-hooded one, and suddenly Kevin didn't feel so cocky anymore.

Those eyes. Staring into those eyes is like looking at a razor sharp soul. Kevin stood, frozen as if those eyes were turning his very body into an ice statue. Forget about the tough-guy bravado he was about to display, this blonde shorty looks like he's about to rip Kevin's arm off right from his shoulder!

Merrick glares lethally at the taller man; though his grip was just like any guard that shoved and dragged him, he was never at the Agency. Merrick fights every urge not to flip this man over the deck, and demolish him. He struggles in his mind to fend off these dark, malevolent urges.

He's not even breathing. The blonde is just piercing his soul with those silent, deadly eyes. Kevin's afraid to breathe himself, let alone move or even talk - the freezing intensity even distracts from the pain of his wrist being gripped like a python's coil. One wrong move, one more word might just collapse what shred of sanity this guy might have. If he lets him know he knows he's a merman, this guy might just kill him right here!

"... What..."

Kevin didn't answer. He didn't dare speak. Merrick's eyes quiver as he patches up an emotional dam over his violent impulses, "What do you want from me?" His voice shook as he held the grip to the tall human, paralyzing him with fear.

'Fuck... She was right...' Kevin thought, 'This kid's insane...' He looked to Merrick's killing eyes, not even gaining the courage to blink.

After what felt like an endless standoff between a hunter and his prey, Merrick threw Kevin's hand back, before turning around, and walking away. Kevin simply stood there, watching as he moved further away from him. It took Kevin almost 5 minutes to take a step back, and retreat from the spot.


Merrick slid the cardkey to his and Adam's cabin, and silently entered. His eyes can easily scan the darkness, and spotted Adam curled up alone in the bed.

A part of him wants to climb in, and spoon him from behind. And then, his residual anger flourished into his chest, walking away from the bed, and into the bathroom. He switched on the light, and took off his necklace. He ran the water over his hands, immediately transforming him up to his elbows. He looked drearily at his silver palms, spreading his fingers to see the webbing between each digit.

He sighs as he cups the water, and splashes his face. He rubs the water into his cheeks, forehead, neck and chin. He rubs his forearm, before stopping.

"...Hhh!" He gasps as he sees a few transparent circles on his fingers and palm. Moving his hand, he sees the same little discs sticking to the basin of the sink, "What??" He rubs his hand against his forearm, and gasps as he sees a cluster of thin scales on his palm, "No!" He rubs his arms again, rinsing and wiping off more small scales, as if he was shedding them off!

"No, no, no! Please, no!" He whimpers in panic as the scales keep coming off. The tiny discs continue to pile up in the sink, before he slammed his back to the wall, away from the sink. He grabs a towel to dry himself off, but cries in fear as the scales stick to the towel. He seizes the necklace, and rushes to put it back on around his neck, if only to make the molting stop. The merman feels his body reverting to his human form, with the small clear circles still scattered on the towel and sink.

Merrick breathes deeply in shock, before slowing taking a look at his hands and arms. His chest heaves as his hands and forearms glow a reddish pink, as if a few layers of skin was rubbed right off of him. They feel tender as the air touches them, but they don't hurt. His eyes looked down at the many scales that has just been wiped off his body.

"I'm ..." He gulps as he shakes from head to foot, "I'm falling apart..." He moans.

"Merrick?" He turns his head to see Adam sitting up, "Merrick, sweetie?" He gets up, wearing his boxers, "Merrick, what's the matter?" The merman just stands there as his boyfriend approached him. The two halves of his heart are once again torn, between loving and hating Adam. "Merrick, baby-"

"Nnh!" Merrick pushes him aside, and strides towards the door. He threw it open, and power-walked his way down the hall.

"Merrick!" Adam rushes to catch up with him, "Merrick, wait! STOP!" Merrick halted as Adam called for him, and turned around. "Merrick," Adam he said, "Baby... I'm sorry. I... I was a horrible jerk to you, I said those terrible things, and you have every right to hate me." Merrick simply leers at him, "I'm sorry for... Merrick" Adam shook his head, "I'm sorry..."

"Yeah..." Merrick said, his tone unfeeling and hostile, "You know what? So am I." He turns around, and starts to leave again.

"... Hey!" Adam runs up to him, and shoves Merrick around, "That's it?? You won't even talk things out with me?"

"No, I won't." Merrick said, "You hurt me Adam. More than anything I've ever felt. And you don't even know why."

"I would if you would just tell me!"

"Forget it." Merrick said, his heart bleeding with reluctance, "Figure it out on your own."

"MERRICK!" Adam yelled, getting angry, "Talk. To me." Merrick glared at him, his chest talking deep breaths, "I'm sick of you acting like a stuck-up priss! I don't know everything, and you're not being fair for expecting me for it!" Merrick's fist shook as his true thoughts spiraled in his head, "Now for the last time: Tell me why you're hating me so much!"

Seconds pass by, before Merrick finally spoke.

"You mocked me." He said, his eyes glistening, "You mocked me. You mocked US, you mocked our love, you mocked my kind, you diminished everything I stand for, and you spat on our lives as if it was dirt."

"What?" Adam said with partial disbelief.

"You stood there, and spoke of my former existence like it was nothing!" Merrick said, "You slandered what used to be my way of life!" Merrick huffed as he tried to contain his emotions, "You trashed all that I held dear-"

"Oh, give me a break, Merrick!" Adam retorts, "You do the exact same damn thing everyday! Everyday! It's always, Humans This, Humans That! You're always scoffing at human society, Merrick! And now you're telling me you're pissed off because of the one time I do it to you?!"

"THAT'S DIFFERENT, Adam!" Merrick shouted, his eyes dripping with tears, "It's not the same!!" Merrick growled as his throat rattled, "You humans..." Merrick shook his head, "You humans have everything. You own the land, the trees, the skies are at your disposal, and even the sea is in your reach. When you lose one thing, you can easily find another. You said it yourself, humans can love and fuck over and over again!"

Merrick then put his hands to his chest, "But us, merfolk? We have very little compared to you. We cherish all that we can hold on to because it's all we ever have! When we lose what we have, Adam, we can't bring it back. And we can't just do it again!" Merrick sniffled as he went on, "You humans, you can AFFORD to lose it all! You humans make such a little deal about changing everything in sight, it's almost sickening to watch!

"We merfolk only have each other, and the Sea Mother! I once had everything I could ever need and could ever want!"


"I once had a playful Sister who could barely be without me! I wanted to see her sing with the other mermaids under the full moon! And now I will never see her again! My best friend was supposed to be the greatest hunter the ocean has ever known, and now I can never see him surpass the Tritons!" He raged, "My Mother had the terrible burden of marking her own Son as a Coshiton! She had to brand me, Adam! She had to burn her hand as well as my flesh!!

"I had a dream, Adam!" Merrick shouted, "My Father trained me, he guided me, he taught me to be a leader worthy of following and protecting everyone!" The merman seethed as he glared at his lover, "I was supposed to be the Triton of the Pod! My role, my place in this world was to follow in my Father's stead, and take over the pod when my time had come! And now look at me! LOOK AT ME! Suffocating on dry land, fainting every so often, and I can't even go back into the ocean, or else I face immediate oblivion!"

"Oh my God..." Adam muttered as his own eyes watered.

"And you," Merrick gritted his teeth, "You humans can fall and break as many times as you want! And you can STILL have a new beginning! When a Coshiton happens, Adam, that's it! Everything, gone! Our existence is forfeit, and we are cast out! Either the Capricorns finds us, or else the sea will punish us first! All from one fateful, incidental wave of happenstance! All from one FUCKING red moon!"

"Merrick, I ha-"

"NO! You wouldn't! You would NEVER have any idea of how much you scorned me on that damn night! You humans have EVERYTHING in the world! And yet you humans NEVER fail to take it for granted! While us merfolk teeter on the balance of the sea! Clinging to everything we hold sacred!"

"M-Merrick-" Adam tried to hold Merrick, but Merrick pushed him off.

"I LOST EVERYTHING BECAUSE OF YOU!!!" Merrick shoved Adam back as he cried tears of anger.

"Merrick-" Adam tried, but Merrick ran off again, "Merrick! Please, I'm sorry!! Give me a chance, Merrick!" He called after him, but Merrick wouldn't even look back as he kept running.

"Dammit!" Adam slammed his fist on the wall, "DAMMIT!" Angry at both himself, and Merrick. Himself, for having caused Merrick so much hurt, and Merrick, for just running away from him again. It's always rage and flee with him, Merrick never wants to talk things out...

"Merrick..." Adam slid down to his knees, slumping his side to the wall, "I'm sorry..."

---The Next Evening---

"Thank you, honeybuns, and happy stripping~?" Queen Jizzelle said as a lady just got done signing her name. The flamboyant drag queen is now wearing an Egyptian royalty ensemble, with her face lined with gold and black. She grins as her eyes look up to see the same forlorn blonde trick from the deck, "Well hello gain, Moondrop~"

"Hey... Queen Jizzelle."

"Yes yes, how may I help you, sweetie~?"

"I want to sign up for the Graceful Gogo."

"Marvelous, darling, marvelous!" Queen Jizzelle said as she took up the Graceful Gogo sign-up sheet, and set it down in front of him, and handed him a rather lofty feather pen. He took a deep breath, and took the wavery feather.

'Alright... You can do this...' Merrick said, 'It's just like drawing... But finer and smaller...' He put the pen tip to one of the lines, 'I... I think it's spelled...'


Merrick tries to remember how his name is spelled, recalling on what it says on his State I.D. he's at least has had to seen it enough times. He trembles as he sees his hand actually writing for the first time.


He moved the pen a little space, "Sorry I'm taking so long, I-"

"Oh, that's alright, honey! You take as much time as you need~!" Queen Jizzelle said.


'I did it...' Merrick felt a small rush of pride and accomplishment; the first time he ever written letters and words on paper. And his handwriting isn't sloppy either.

"Exquisite, sweetheart, simply delightful!" Queen Jizzelle said as she took the clipboard and the feather pen, "Now I suggest you get the beautiful butt into that changing room, and onto the dance floor~!"

"I will. Thank you." Merrick said before he went, and disappeared into the crowd.


The gay and bi men hoot and holler as the Dance Lobby features a watery, soap-bubble theme tonight. Most of the guests are wearing their swimwear, waving and flapping their towels around.

There are a total of 8 dancers for this bash - four of them groove and gyrate in tight white speedos with white towels behind their necks. The other four dance in glass boxes, trapped under a showerhead as they bathe and dance in a cascade of water, completely naked! They rock their manly, bare hips to shake their rounded, soaked butts as their respective members dangle between their legs.

Adam glares at one of the glass cubicles, his heart pounding with profound disbelief and anger as he watches the all-too familiar body of his lover wiggle his toned, smooth torso under the rain of the shower-stages, seeing his own genitals flop from around his smooth thighs as he followed the beat. Adam's face rakes with a strange heat of pseudo embarrassment as Merrick shows himself off in the shower.

That silky smooth young male is supposed to be Adam's, and Adam's alone, and yet there he is, flaunting his sexual energy in the form of gogo-dancing, going Commando in front of all of these men. It was bad enough when Merrick had Jamal sign himself up to strip for Merrick in one of these parties - at least then, it was all in good fun, but now it seems Merrick is doing this to spite him.

"Hey, man," Jamal came up beside him, and then spotted Merrick, "Aw shit."

"Yeah." Adam turned his back.

Merrick looked at the bar, his eyes leering as he sees Adam there, glaring at him. "Hmph." Merrick turns around, running a hand through his moistening hair.

'What right does he have to be mad at me now?' Merrick thought, 'Humans... God I can't stand them, sometimes.' He angrily thought as he twirled his hips. He doesn't feel hatred for all humans at this time - least of all the ones cheering for his erotic dancing. After all Adam has put him though, and he's going to be angry, even after he had to TELL him what he did wrong? Unbelievable.

"So..." Jamal doesn't know quite what to say.

"Merrick told my why he hates me now." Adam stated.

"Ah, really?" Jamal asked.

"Yeah..." Adam slumped down, "It's like this..."


"YOU JACKASS!" Syrinx yelled, "I thought I told you to stay away from him!!"

"I know, I know!" Kevin said. The grip Merrick had on his wrist damn well nearly sprained it, and now he's wearing a spandex wrist-glove to keep pressure on it for it to recover faster. So naturally, he had to tell Syrinx as to why he's wearing such an accessory.

"Did you forget what he did to those two guys at the Shopping Center?! He took a big guy down by knocking the wind out of him with just a punch!"

"I thought he would've calm down! He was the one being a pompous little brat who wouldn't hear me out!"

"No, you weren't thinking at all!" Syrinx said, "You told me, you TOLD me you weren't going to confront him! And then what happened?! You went and did it anyway! The the hell is the matter with you?!"

"I wanted to make sure you wouldn't get hurt, alright?!" Kevin retorted, "You're so freakin afraid of him, you barely wanna go anywhere on the ship anymore, so I wanted to tell him to back off!"

"Kevin, just, please!" Syrinx said, "Just, LISTEN when I say don't go near him!"

"Ok, babe, alright." Kevin said, "Now that I know first hand that he's tweaking, I will."

"Alright then. Now," Syrinx dug into Kevin's suitcase, and fished out his white speedo with red hearts printed on it, "Now put it on!" She threw it at his face.

"Wait, what??"

"That's your punishment for not listening to me. Put it on, and we're going to do every activity at the Game Court." She added.

"You've got to be kidding me!" Kevin said.

"Was I kidding when I told you to stay away from that merman? No. Put it on, now."

Kevin scowled as he pulled down his pants with one arm.


"Shit, man." Jamal said with wide eyes.

"All this time," Adam groaned, his mind half dazed from half a dozen Cosmos, "I thought he was at least ok... I-I mean... I know he was banished from the ocean because he's with me... But merfolk have a different way of doing things, apparently."

"It's been, what 2, 3 years since it happened?" He asked, "He still not made his piece or something?"

"No. Evidently, this is probably going on in his head all the time, and I just dropped the last straw that broke the camel's back." Adam said. He sighed as he rubbed his head, "I still don't see why he can't talk to me about it."

"Adam, this ain't the kinda thing you wanna talk about." Jamal replied, "Think bout it - would you wanna talk about yo parents kickin you out for bein gay?"

"Actually, I would." Adam answered, "Holding in all that stuff isn't healthy at all... Look what it's done to him.

"You're in a relationship, Jamal, but I don't think you understand what I'm coming from. You and Nick just let it happen, you don't really have a firm-bound partnership like me or Yuri."

"Aight." Jamal crossed his arms, "What don't I git?"

"How long have we and Merrick been together? Almost 8 years now. I'm always open with my feelings." Adam said, "Sometimes, I need him to listen to what I vent, what's hurting me, and then he goes to ease my feelings. But him?" Adam shook his head, "He never wants to talk about his own anxiety. I understand that it's never easy to talk about things like that, but that's what romance is for..."

"Well, I never have any problems like that with Nick." Jamal says, "Sometimes he talks too much."

"Exactly my point. Nick is always cheerful because he's always lets people know what's ailing him. But Merrick doesn't even want to talk to me - his own boyfriend - about things that's hurting him. And then he gets furious at me because I couldn't figure it out on my own."

"I still say he needs his space is all, man." Jamal sighed, "I think you pushed him too far."

"No." Adam scowled, getting frustrated, "You're not getting it, Jamal. Merrick believes that we all need to be strong enough to face our own problems, but doing that is driving him insane. If he'd talk to me about these things more often, I never would've said all that shit and started this whole fight."

Adam turned to Jamal, "You get it now? Jamal, we're soulmates, he and I, and he can't even trust me to listen for him. And now he's too mad to even give me a shot to make it up to him." Adam said, "It's like he doesn't want me to be his boyfriend anymore, but is reluctantly going with it."


Merrick twirls and dances under the ever-raining shower. As it seems for the Graceful Gogo contest, all he has to do is strip or dance at every chance he gets, at any party too. It's not how much dancing he does, it's his performance itself that's in question. In the meantime, he's still getting paid for every show he does. Plus, the fact that Adam hates it when he dances gives him at least a glimmer of satisfaction, though he would prefer it if Adam didn't know.

Soon, the dance is over, and Merrick steps out of the glass box with a little help from another dancer. He rushes a towel through his hair, around his face, and all along his body, before taking a rather skimpy speedo, and slipping it on himself.

He took a moment to look at the scale of his necklace. Half of it is still colored; it's still a good while until this one runs out.

"Heya!" Merrick looked up to see it's the same guy from yesterday, the one who approached him after dancing in the lockerroom.

"Hello." He responded, "What do you-"

"Look, I just came to apologize," The guy said, "I know I was an idiot, you just seem like a really hot twink, and I just wanted to see if you wanted to do anything."


Adam sighs as he takes a drink. He told Jamal to go ahead and go dance with Nick, that he needs to be alone for a while. As guilty as he feels about Merrick, he also can't help but feel like he's not being given a fair chance about patching things up. Merrick outright refuses to talk about anything. Now he sees why his mother, Donna, had such a problem with him.

"Hey, man!" Comes a new voice. Adam turns, and sees it's the same chubby guy he vaguely remembers from the last night on the island.

"Oh hey."

"Remember me?"

"Yeah, you're the cute dancer from a few nights ago." Adam said with a smile before rubbing his fingers at that guy's round belly.

"Heh, are you drunk right now?" He said with a blush, noting that Adam was drunk when he sucked him off.

"Naw, not really. Buzzed, maybe, but Cosmos don't really get me that hammered."


"So, no hard feelings, I just wanted to see if you wanted to..." The guy stopped, and see that Merrick is glancing somewhere else.


"A-Anyway, I was kinda hoping..." The chubby guy squirmed a little, looking bashful, would you wanna do something again?


Jamal laughs as he grinds his lap against his Latino's exposed ass through his jockstrap. Nick turned, and they kissed playfully.

Jamal danced more, until he turned his head. He sees Merrick placing a hand onto a beefy man's hip.

"Aw shyit!" He said.

"What?" Nick turned around, looking for what Jamal was eyeing about.

"Fuck, hang on, Nicky," Jamal said, "I gotta go talk to Adam."

"Eh," Nick grabbed Jamal's arm, "Ya might wanna rethink that."

"Wut?" Jamal turned, and spotted Adam patting some other man's shoulder and getting up.


Adam looks across the lobby at Merrck, and Merrick looks back. Both men look at each other with disdain and challenge, as if daring one another to just strip down and fuck these men right here. Would they really think of just letting loose?

"Is something wrong?" Greg said to Adam.

"No... Nothing." Adam answered.


Merrick leers at his lover with the other man. It's not like fucking other men will taint their bond. Why should he care if Adam goes with someone else to pound in the other room? It's not like it'll matter, that's how humans are, after all.

"You ok, man?" Tom asked, "You look like you're mad."

"... Lets get out of here." Merrick answered.


Jamal and Nick watched both Adam and Merrick. Jamal looks as Merrick stood by the taller man, while Nick kept his eyes on Adam putting his arm around the shoulders of a shorter, stout guy.

"You know what?" Jamal said, shaking his head as he and Nick shifted from looking at each of them.

And at the very same time, Adam and Merrick turn away, turning their backs on each other, and walked the opposite direction, both of them escorting a perfect stranger out and off of the Dance Lobby.

Adam to his cabin with Gregory, and Merrick on his way to another cabin with Thomas.

"This isn't good." Nick finished Jamal's sentence.



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