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Azul Ashengrotto by naga07
Literature
Sink or Swimchesters Chap 10Chapter Ten: Pulling my Leg Sam swam towards the pull, feeling it getting stronger by the fin stroke. Excitement and energy coursed through his veins as he stretched his muscles out with the vigorous swim. Finally, something to answer the questions that had been following him for nearly his entire long life. The biggest one, what the hell is that pull?! He slowed marginally when he sensed more than saw something in the near distance. He could tell that the sun was just starting to rise by how the light above was playing on the deep. He stuck mostly to the ocean floor as he swam, expecting the pull to be somewhere low to the ground but was puzzled when it seemed to be higher than that. He got closer and closer and felt it for sure now. Somewhat towards the light, towards the surface. Sam felt a little nervous going up but he told himself that he would go find out what it is. He couldn't back out now. Not when it's this strong and insistent. His heart started to beat a little harder as anticipation was now thrumming through him. Slowing his wing beats and relying more on his hands and tail to swim quieter and more smoothly. He used his wing fins when he had to get somewhere quickly but they often disrupted the poor ocean floor if he beat them too harshly so he kept them tucked in for the most part. Using them more for changing direction minutely instead of moving his hips side to side. Focusing on just moving his tail up and down to propel him forwards. All five fins on each side of his tail moving smoothly, save for the one that that shark had shredded back in his childhood. He could feel some of the muscles cramp up from the impromptu long distance travel. He didn't often have a reason to move fast in his day to day life. But this was important. He couldn't wait one moment longer, and ignored the burn in his body. The area was gradually sloping upwards towards the surface, the waters getting lighter and lighter. More plant life and living things were seen here and he remembered a few of them from his childhood. Recognizing some of it from his memories and dreams. He was about a day's swim from his nesting ground and had to swallow hard to focus on anything else but his past here. Those early days when he was a scared lonely merkid. It didn't matter right now. He felt the pull getting stronger and stronger until it actually started to fade. He abruptly stopped and looked around. Surely he couldn't have passed right by it? He swam in slow circles around the ocean floor which was littered with dappled light coming from the sun, filtering through the seaweed and grasses that stretched up high. He sifted careful fingers through the sand and puzzled why none of it was unique. Why the hell was the pull here? He looked down and around and randomly had the stray thought to look up. Past the kelp and grasses above there seemed to be something floating up there. It didn't look like an animal but it did have a rounded triangular shape to it. A few long deep fins sticking out from underneath it, with several more in a circular pattern towards the rear of it that were black and didn't match the rest of the body. He drifted closer and was a little upset when he realized what it was. Sam's mouth drew into a frown. It was a floating thing. But, not nearly as big as any other that he'd seen before in his two centuries of travel. Was it a baby floating thing? An absurd thought but, he pondered it all the same. The shape was similar to one of his side fins but more symmetrical. It bobbed on the surface of the water without a care in the world. He was about to swim away from it, as he usually did when he sees one but the pull was urging him upwards, towards it. Sam saw a school of fish now swimming in a circle around underneath it and he gave them a bit of space. Wondering if he will see how this thing reacts to the fish. How it would hunt them. Sam kept the floating thing within sight but out of striking distance of himself. He still didn't know how one of the big floating things managed to kill his parents and wasn't about to risk his life just yet. He had to learn more about it. He let himself drift a bit upwards, keeping what must be the front of it, going by the slightly elongated pointed nose, away from himself. The shadow of it gradually started to move as the sun climbed higher. The fish were unconcerned with it and he let some of his guard down at how peaceful it sat there bobbing away up there. Sam slowly rose closer to the surface of the water. Heartbeat pounding out a rhythm in his chest he was sure would have given small fish concussions from the hearty beat. He startled when the school of marlin that were lazing about underneath the floating thing darted away, his long tail flicking upwards and causing a little wave up top. He froze instantly and felt a foreign feeling in his chest. Fear. The pull was now laced with a rising sense of panic and fear. Sam darted down to the ocean floor again, trying to figure out why he was suddenly feeling such a strong sensation that seemed to originate outside of himself. This wasn't like one of his dreams. This was happening now while he's fully awake. He stayed still and silent as his eyes fixated on the thing above. It started to rock side to side slightly. Feelings that weren't his own rushing into his head. Faint, but there. He closed his eyes for a moment and listened. He waited patiently and the frantic movements and thumps from far above slowed down and stopped. The floating thing was alive?! It was alive and waiting. As still as he is. Water passed through his gills quickly before he held his breath to calm down. When he was finally calm and focused again, he could hear some soft thumps from it again, something moving around. Did it eat something and its prey was able to move about the body? He swallowed hard and made up his mind, he would go up to it for a closer look. Confident that this thing couldn't hurt him for how small it was compared to him. It wasn't even as long as his tail. The ones that killed his parents were at least as long as he is now at 212 feet. Maybe more. His memory is a bit skewed since he was so very small back then. He extended his wings a little to keep himself stable, hands coming out to his sides to push at the water. He felt that outside feeling again. Confusion turning to growing fear all over again. Sam grinned to himself. If it feared him, it might not be able to kill him. Confident he was the stronger of the two, he pushed himself up off the ocean floor towards the floating thing. Stopping just short of breaching the surface. His momentum caused great waves to crash against the thing, causing it to move side to side. The feeling of fear turning into great terror. The pull felt like it damn near snapped with how close he was to the source now. It stunned Sam into stopping altogether to stare at the underside of it. The pull stopped and he waited for a moment before reaching up and touching a clawed finger to the underside of the thing. Pushing it upwards and watching in fascination as the whole thing bounced on the surface of the water. The waves surrounding the thing calmed since he was now still and the foreign feelings were finally done with bounding around his head. He poked at it again, pushing it a little more firmly to one side and gasped at how it almost seemed to tip over to that side. The hard skin of it denting slightly at the pressure point. A muffled sound came from above the surface and he recoiled his hand altogether, backing up a bit to stare at the thing. The sound petered out and he could hear what would almost be considered breathing and panting, but different. Probably because it wasn't underwater. Was it dying? He bit his lower lip and poked tentatively at it again. The deep ridged fin that went underneath the thing got poked next. Hearing a renewed shriek of sorts that sounded similar to the higher pitches that dolphins make. Sam pulled his hand back just a little and paused for a moment before lifting his fingertips above the surface of the water. He'd never done anything like this before, quickly lowering his hand and looking at it. Expecting his fingers to be bleeding, injured, or... or something. His parents had warned him against going up to the surface. Punishment would follow. But, he's not really seeing all the fuss. The air didn't hurt his hand at all. The shrieking sound continued on and seemed to be moving around the floating thing in a strange path. Clear thumps were heard from inside of it. Sam stared at the rounded ridge on the bottom of the thing and tapped a few claws at it. It sounded almost hollow. Trailing his fingers along the smooth underside of it. Surprised and delighted to feel the small thumps now. Wherever his fingers went, the thing thumped quickly away as if startled. This was kinda fun! He took a few more deep breaths to center himself and lifted up his hand above the surface again, gently curving the ends of his fingertips to feel around what was up there. He could see the rough shape of it, but the waves continually made it terribly distorted. There was a long white thing that jut out from the center of it on up. The pole was almost twice as tall as the thing was long. Another pole of sorts was along one side of it and waved about as if it wasn't connected securely to the rest of the thing. Moving with the waves. He gingerly poked a finger at the secondary smaller pole and laughed at how it waved and moved away from his finger before swinging back to it. Sam decided to hold the bottom of the floating thing in one hand to stabilize it and found that it would be damaged easily with his claws. Pushing in too far might puncture the thin skin of it and he tilted his fingers back a bit to keep his claws safely away. He didn't want to hurt or kill it. Not yet at least. So far it didn't show any hostility towards him. Right now he just wanted to know what it was. He gripped it gently and grinned at how it still bobbled a bit from the waves caused by his tail that kept on moving to keep himself floating in place. He decided to use his wings as well to even out the crashing waves that seemed to be scaring the poor thing. Now that the bottom was more or less still in his hand, he lifted his other up again to poke at the pole that swings horizontally. Chuckling to himself at how it would swing back towards his finger if he tilted the floating thing just right in his other hand. Finally pinching it in two fingers and rubbing the soft material through his fingers. Sam tugged lightly on the pole and heard something tear. He tried to retract his claws but one got caught in it and tore off a long strip of skin from the pole. He pulled his hands down quickly and stared in shock at the strip of white skin that was still stuck onto his claw. Guilt welled in him that he injured it without meaning to. He wiggled his finger to dislodge it and it came loose and flitted down a little before the current started pulling the white scrap away. He was confused why it didn't smell like blood at all and plucked it up again in his fingers, bringing it to his nose and inhaling the things scent. It wasn't organic. Huh. He looked up when there was a few frantic thumps coming from it again. A rhythmic beat from one side to the other, then up higher than that. Something groaned towards the rear of it and before he could move his hand there was a sound and movement coming from the circular fins. They dipped more fully into the water and started spinning to life. He had to reach forward quickly to snag the front end of the floating thing as it started to move away from him. There was a whirring noise coming to life, and the circular fins were really spinning now. A tiny growling coming from just above. It started to turn in place since his left hand was holding onto the nose of it. The rear turning away from him. He moved a couple claws towards the spinning fins and heard and felt them thumping against his claws. Juttering the whole floating thing and causing it to groan louder before stopping completely. The spinning fins were nearly shredded now and bits of them started sinking downwards. The appendage that held the spinning fins wiggled up and down before staying down and motionless. The growling sound didn't start up again, but there was a tiny whining groaning sound coming from near it. There was this black cloud of stuff coming from it and drifting about up above. Just like how blood drifts in water. It bleeds, it is bleeding. It's injured. Oh no. Sam cast a look upwards at the nose of the thing, and felt it go eerily still and silent. He hurt it! Sam retracted his hands from it, pulling them both towards his chest in worry and guilt. Blurting out, “I'm sorry!” to it. He waited for something to happen but it was almost like it was trembling. The thumps turned to slight taps that moved towards the poles now. He lifted his head slightly to see up top, and moved around to get a better look at it and saw that the tall pole was actually slowly unfurling itself. The horizontal pole too was soon coming undone. The strip he'd torn off of it more apparent now that it's being hoisted up and stretched out. The movement stopped again as something was heard flapping. Moving about as if it was alive, but that can't be right because he'd smelled it. That white thin thing wasn't organic. It moved like kelp did when he waved a fin at it. Sam poked at the side again, trying to initiate another natural movement out of it. Not something caused by the air above the surface. To reassure himself that he didn't kill this thing, that it was fine. It started to move forwards slightly. The air catching in the tall flat white things that unfurled from the poles. Oh! It acts just like kelp leaves caught in a current! He fully let it go, and saw the floating thing pick up a bit of speed. Creating triangular shaped waves in the surface behind it. He smiled broadly. It was alive! But. It was trying to leave. Sam wasn't done with it yet. The pull that's been following him around for ages was centered around that floating thing and he wants to know why it suddenly stopped when he made contact with it. This time felt differently than all the other times the pull stopped on him. It was like... that was the last time the pull would stop. In two to nine months, he just knew it wouldn't be starting again like it always had. He did what it wanted him to do. It wanted him here. And now he's here. He accomplished the goal it wanted. If that was even such a thing. But what in the world did the pull want? Sam shook his head and turned towards the floating thing as it started to pick up a moderate speed. Heading off to who knows where. Sam followed along lazily underneath it, flapping his wings every once in awhile to keep pace. The thing turned in a wide arc to his left and kept on turning. Sam stopped and stared at it. It leveled off its coarse and then kept going in a more or less straight line in that new direction. The triangle shaped white things that were attached to the poles up above were angled differently now. He shrugged to himself and turned to follow after it as it swam along on the new path. Sometimes Sam would swim higher to try and get a peek at the wobbly image of the top again as it moved swiftly along the surface of the water. Moving from one side of it to the other with ease since it wasn't very big compared to him. He noticed after a little while that the ocean floor was steadily getting higher. The water brighter. He realized belatedly that it was heading for the shallows and maybe even beyond. Sam had a decision to make. He couldn't follow it if it got to the shallows. He was just too big to swim up there and it made him nervous to think about being able to be seen by things above the water. Here, he had a chance to dive deep if it decided to attack him. To escape if it wanted him dead. So far, that wasn't the case, but maybe... maybe it needed shallow water to attack? And it was leading him into a trap! What if this was the lure and he was the prey? Sam scowled at the floating thing as it kept on going. Same speed and direction. Heading for brighter waters. Sam beat his tail twice to get up to speed again and reached his hand up to poke none too gently at the underside of the thing. Not enough to punch a hole in its hide, but enough to let it know it's not going to get what it wants. Not before Sam gets what he wants first. Which is some damn answers. The floating thing nearly spun off with that poke and the white triangles spun around wildly for a moment. A sound similar to a yelp was heard and a few loud thumps. Sam winced and firmed his jaw again. Not letting it phase him. Sam lifted his hand again and gripped the thing's pointed nose firmly, hearing a crunching sound coming from it and a loud groan reverberating through it. He halted its movements and turned himself to be lined up with it in both hands now, his other gripping onto the back firmly, but not so tight as to crunch that side as well. It didn't feel like any shell he'd experienced, but at the same time, parts of it bit into his skin like a sharp rock blade. His blood dripped a little from his right hand as he took and held a breath. Preparing himself for the confrontation. He planned on pulling it down from the surface to get a real good look at it and to ask it properly what it was doing to him. Why there was a pull bringing him to this strange thing. What it all means. Dean knew he must be loosing his mind because that feeling that took over his mind and body for the last hour that was so intense he was in a constant state of panic, had just stopped abruptly. He was still panicking of course, but now it was all him, not influenced by those foreign feelings coming from below his ship. He panted hard, eyes bugging out as he tried to figure out what to do now. Dean felt the first impact on the hull shortly after the violent waves calmed marginally. He couldn't hold back a very manly yelp as whatever the underwater thing was hit his ship again. Likely the keel or centerboard. He raced around, trying to find the source of the impacts but it seemed to be coming from underneath. The fish finder was useless as it kept on pinging that something big was underneath his ship. No shit. Whatever it was, it was over twice as long as his entire ship. The sonar reflecting back far to quickly. The image was taking up the whole screen now, unable to tell shape beyond the random hole in it's mass, seeing past it to the ocean floor. The whole thing was moving far too organically for Dean's liking. Something then pushed up on the underside of the port side bow and made his whole ship tilt drastically to the starboard side. Dean scrambled for a good hold on the steering wheel and helm to keep himself from going over the handrails. When the pressure abated, the ship immediately sank backwards towards the port side again, and it wobbled drastically in the water, trying to right itself. Dean was praying loudly that it was all over but then just as it seemed to be going quiet, a hard push came up again from underneath and he's not ashamed to say that he screamed. Red faced and terrified because it just wouldn't go away. His scream petered out and he was left panting and praying quieter this time. Just as he was about to let go of the helm he saw it. Huge claws lifting into view from the front bow pulpit. Rounded bulbs connected to the claws underneath raising up just after, moving independently of each other and at different heights. Dean stared wide eyed at it, breathing stopped short for just a few seconds before he belted out another round of screams as the huge black claws turned slightly before dropping back down below his line of sight into the water again going by the splashing sound and displaced water that sprayed up onto the deck. Dean bolted up from his crouch and ran towards the cockpit entrance to the living quarters, feeling more thumps against the hull no matter which way he scrambled to get away from it. He'd hide along the wall next to his dresser and suddenly feel the actual shell of his ship dent inwards behind his back. Running to the galley produced another hard shove from the wall there soon after. It was chasing him and he has nowhere left to go. Dean went to the center of the ship to get away from all of the walls which meant he was wedging himself on the stairs leading topside again. Clear view of those claws as they once again came over the edge of the walls. The rounded things underneath the claws dragged around on the walls for a second before trailing off towards his sail. Dean heard something being hit up top and felt his ship move slightly side to side. He sighed out of frustration and forced himself to shift upwards slightly to see where they were going and gaped at the sight of the horizontal boom being pushed around by the round things. A loud sound came from underneath that sent him reeling back down. He clutched the hand rail so tight in both hands when his ship was suddenly jostled from underneath before stilling completely. Dean knew, without a shadow of doubt, that it had caught his ship. Whatever this thing is, had managed to restrain his entire ship. He felt it tilt to the side and heard another strange revving sound in the waters below as he heard the mainsail being pushed again. It was toying with it. Dean pulled his head up just enough to watch. The huge black claws catching at the sail and then tearing a strip from it without even trying. It recoiled completely and his ship was suddenly let go again. Left to move about with the waves. He was free of it now. But for how long? He knew that he had to get away from it and fast. He swallowed down his fear and knew he'd need to get the engines going asap. So he ran up top and twisted the key hard to start it. It choked on him and he realized that he'd forgotten to fill up the tank all the way. He didn't want to stop halfway during the getaway so he got to the fuel line and hit some buttons, getting it flowing again towards the engine from where it was rerouted towards the generator. Damn his need to watch movies into the night and forgetting to turn off all the unnecessary electronics before bed. Dean raced to prop engine and lowered it back into the water carefully, mindful that he wasn't seen by whatever it was that insisted on terrorizing him. He then went to the helm and started up the engine with all due haste. Eager to get the fuck outta dodge. Before he could even get anywhere he saw those things reach up and actually grip the front of the ship, stopping the forward momentum and nearly making him flip his ass over the helm. The things curled around the front bow and now that he's counting them up, there is five of them. Fuck. They almost look like fingers. Big ass fingers that have two foot long claws at the ends of each one gripping the bow and making his engine struggle in the churning water, fishtailing it sideways since the boat can't move forward. Then there was a screeching sound coming from the engine as it shuddered around like it hit rocks. He tore his eyes away to look at the smoke coming from the rear engine and it finally stopped with a grinding cahchunk. Dean couldn't believe his luck. He let off the gas and turned the key to keep from wasting anymore fuel. Fuck. ok. He gasped as the gigantic fingers quickly recoiled from the bow and dove back underwater. A loud sound coming from underneath again, belting out and making him clutch his ears at the volume. He stayed silent and motionless, even if he couldn't keep himself from shaking uncontrollably. Knee bouncing along to its own rhythm. He had another option than the engine. The sails were still tied up from earlier so he's gotta get those set up while he has this moment of peace. He has to sail on outta here. Perfect. He wasn't that great at the sailing part of this trip. Relying probably a bit too much on the engines. He had to admit to himself that he should have practiced more on the actual act of sailing. Fuck. No time like the present. He knew that any loud movements would just attract more attention from the thing so he tip toed on over to the main mast and started to carefully uncoil the ropes from around it. Letting it pool at his feet. He'll worry about cleanliness later. Hand over hand, he hoisted up the secondary sail as well, even if that thing tore a good long strip of the sail out of it earlier. Damned fucker. The wind had thankfully picked up a little now that the sun's shining again and it caught it beautifully. He kept waiting for the thing under the boat to react to his movements but for now, it looked like it would be alright. Maybe the engines had scared it off? God he hoped so. The fish finder kept on pinging away but at least he didn't see that shape lift up out of the water again. For a few minutes, it looked like it was working. His ship didn't hit anything as it started off and he turned his head to see the area he'd been. A simply massive shadow moved around underwater and he had to keep himself from staring at it too long. Once he's free and clear he can radio again for help, right now, he has to focus on just moving forward. The minutes ticked tensely by and he realized that his ship was headed away from the mainland so he bit his lower lip and risked moving the sails and rudder about to head back to the mainland. No sense going further out from land, and further from help. He looked around himself for the SAT phone again but it was nowhere to be seen. Double fuck. Ok. So long as the CB radio is still working. He took another glance behind himself and sighed with relief that it didn't seem to be behind him. The fish finder indicated that it was far far below his ship, following along near the ocean floor. Why the hell did it feel like picking on him? Fuck. Dean hesitated turning on the CB radio. If this thing was tuned into electronics or engines, it would explain why it reacted to the SAT phone's SOS and the engines being turned on. Right now, it's following him because the ship is still on. Navigation, the fish finder, lights, there's dozens of things that are turned on. Maybe it doesn't like those things. Well.... he can technically sail without the electronics but, he'd be relying on the compass instead of his GPS and navigation. He silently started switching off everything besides the necessities. The rudder was electronic, and he definitely needed that. The sails could be tied off instead of using the computer to make the calculations for the perfect direction to angle them. It would be a bitch, but doable. But before doing that, Dean made sure he was still aiming for land before calmly walking below deck and turning off everything down there. Even the fridge and night lights. Coming back up in the dark with a pocket knife tucked into his swim trunks now. He wished he remembered where he put the flare gun but it was probably moved last minute before he set sail. Too bad he wasn't a fan of guns. He could sure use one right about now. Or a ship cannon. Shit that would be great. Oh well. Dean looked at his gauges for fuel usage and amps being used and grinned to himself. Well below normal. Practically electricity free. But, it might not be enough. He looked sadly at his fish finder and saw that it was pinging merrily away. Probably acting like homing beacon to the monster. Could it sense sonar? He grimaced as he flipped it off and unplugged it for good measure. Before he could cry over it, he turned off navigation, and everything else. Silently coasting along with just the wind blowing and waves around the ship as it steadily made its way to shallower waters. He figured an hour in peace was long enough. The monster probably left by now. He was still cautious as he clicked on the old CB radio and turned to the frequency for Bobby's. Knowing without a shadow of a doubt that he couldn't radio the authorities just yet. No one on earth would believe this tall fish tail. Bobby would believe him. He's gotta. Then Bobby could get all the resources and people together that they need to come back here and take out this monster. Dean lifted the microphone to his mouth and whispered, “CSQ. This is frequency 27.01500, Call Sign The Monster, CB amateur radio ID Number 3876962 Calling Hellsing, do you read? Over.” Pausing for a response back. Hearing nothing. “Hellsing? Damn it, come in Bobby. Over.” Dean grimaced. He let up and heard static for a short bit, repeating the message and double checking that he had the right frequency and that he wasn't on the channel 9 - the emergency band. Yet. If Bobby doesn't pick up in a minute... A familiar voice scratched through, “CSQ. Frequency 27.01500. This is Hellsing. I hear ya, Monster. What's up. It's not time for your check in yet. Over.” “Bobby!” Dean practically cried. “I'm in real big trouble here. There's this.. this... this thing that attacked the Monster, big bad Mother Fu -” Dean got the air knocked out of him when his ship abruptly tilted forward from something that came up from the starboard quarter. The sail swung wildly about, nearly knocking him over with the motions and the flailing ropes he'd yet to secure. Before he could stand up again, he toppled ass end over teakettle when the ship stopped it's forward pace and he nearly cracked a tooth on the cockpit floor. “Monster? Monster are you still there? Over.” Bobby's voice came through the speaker. The CB had been knocked around and hanging by it's plug over the side of the helm. “Bobb-” Dean gasped out as he lifted himself upright again only to loose his breath the next instant at the sight of the clawed hand clutching angrily at the bow pulpit, crushing it in it's fingers and making the ship groan. “NO!!!” he screamed as it continued to knock him and his ship about. He crawled over to the radio and shouted frantically into it, “Bobby! Help!” before another hand rose from the water and gripped the rear stern and encompassed the engines in it's wide palm. Bobby's voice came through the static, ordering Dean to give him his location so he can come find him but Dean couldn't get back to the helm to grab the CB again. The plug coming undone and the whole unit slid right off of the deck and into the water. The ship swayed dangerously back and forth from the clawed hands that moved it around wherever they felt like. Dean threw up and only just managed to avoid falling into the puddle. He tried like crazy to get below deck but his leg was tangling up in the ropes and keeping him from moving very fast. Then the pressure on the front and rear of the ship groaned and squealed with the metal grinding against metal and plastic in a deafening crash as Dean saw the horizon rising up around him. He was being pulled under! “NOOO!” Dean screamed and scrambled but it was no use, the ship was going down, waves crashing past the rails and flooding the compartment below. Once it was full of water, it went down much easier and Dean fought and swam hard to make it past the sails and mast as it slipped downwards past him. Kicking and thrashing like a wild animal to escape the vortex caused by the ship going down at unnatural speeds. He broke the surface of the water and sputtered and gasped as the top edge of the mast slipped down beside him. He couldn't stay here. He chose a direction at random and swam hard, crying for help. Hoping beyond hope that someone heard his SOS from earlier, that somehow there was a passing ship that saw him going down. That overheard his message to Bobby. For Bobby to suddenly be there and help him. Dean had nothing on him to help himself. Just his swim trunks and a pocket knife that was hitting his leg with every other breast stroke he made. Trying in vain to stem the panic that flooded his mind and body. He could sense the creature below him more than see, not wanting to waste any time at all stopping and taking a look at the terrifying death that awaited him below. The monster under the sea-bed. Dean tried to think of what to do now, his arms and legs were turning to jelly as his muscles burned and cramped. Too much adrenaline over too long of time. He didn't even have anything to eat or drink today and now he might end up on the menu himself. He ignored the painful cramps and swam harder. Desperate to get away. A part of his mind suggesting that since it got his ship, it wont be looking for him. He has no electronics on him now. No reason for it to hone in on him. The hand from before rose up underneath, Dean felt it on his feet first before it slid up his sides and gripped him around his shoulders. His scream chocked off as he was dragged underwater and spun around. Thick blood poured out from the hand that held him, smearing all over his sides before the water diluted it. Too fast! Dean swallowed down the small amount of air in his mouth as he squinted his eyes open. It was enormous. The creature was too big to comprehend in its entirety but what did cross his mind was how human it looked despite the colors. It had a face like a man but it was massive! Blue and brown and tan, pointed ears with long brown hair that was probably three times longer than Dean was tall. Dean saw two massive things behind its back lifting and twisting in the water behind it, looking for all the world like wings? It opened up its mouth and Dean saw nothing but how big that gaping maw was. How easily he could fit inside that mouth and he screamed in horror at the sight. Loosing all of his air in a mass of bubbles. His fingers scrabbling at the huge fingers surrounding it and it let him go. Startled at the reaction it got. A couple of the claws scratched Dean's side but he couldn't care about that now. Dean wasted no time at all, swimming towards the surface because his life depended on it. Thankfully he reached the air and gasped deeply. Coughing out the small amount of water that made it into his mouth. Delirious and dizzy he tried to float in place just to get oxygen back into his lungs. Weakly crying for help between great gasps. Sam successfully pulled the hard shelled floating thing down below the surface. Studying its strange shape. He frowned when he saw that it didn't really look like the others that he'd seen his whole life. Similar in design, but this was something new. He traced a claw along the edges of it and saw many things trapped inside it. He shook it and saw a few things start to float up to the surface again. He sniffed at the white triangle and saw the hole that he'd made in one of the sides. He tapped a claw along the edges of it, hoping to illicit another response out of it but heard nothing much coming from it. It was about the length of his arm, collarbone to fingertip, but it appears that whatever made it move, was gone. He brought the opening closer to his eyes and poked around for a few seconds before hearing some splashing noises coming from the surface. Odd. He turned around so that he was belly side up and noticed something small in the water. Moving along at a painfully slow pace away from him. With a new thing to focus on, he let the formerly floating thing go and it sunk slowly to the bottom of the ocean. Few random things drifting out from the mouth of it to scatter around. He could come back to that later, for now, he drifted upwards and took a closer look at how this new small thing moved. Far more like an animal but unlike anything he'd ever seen in his long life. It had four main appendages and they moved independently of each other. Its head was still above water and it was making mewling cries. Sam frowned. Was this the thing that was pulling him all this time? This tiny little thing? It must have been trapped inside the larger floating thing until Sam rescued it from its belly. Sam found himself reaching up his right hand and carefully wrapping it around the small creature. Briefly worried it would bite him, but ignoring the notion soon after. Sam's hand was only bleeding now because he was the one to cut it on the floating thing's shell. This little one's teeth would be far too small to break skin on its own. He solidified his hold and pulled it down to take a better look at it. It struggled against his hand but it didn't have the strength to break his hold on it. Sam noticed that it had a Mer face and arms, but it's coloring was solid throughout its form. No patterns to help it hide in nature. He tilted it forward and saw tiny tiny fingers grabbing at his claw, trying to pry it off of itself. He loosened up a fraction but it didn't seem like it noticed or appreciated the consideration. It looked terrified and now that Sam's really looking hard at that Mer-like face, he suddenly realized it looked familiar. It was his brother's face. Dean. But how can this be? Sam's mouth opened in shock and then wider at how the small thing suddenly screamed at him, letting out an impressive amount of bubbles for how small it is. Startled, Sam's hand opened up and he watched dumbfounded as it swam towards the surface again. Its little limbs waving about in the weirdest way. He supposed it worked for the little one since it broke the surface quickly and made some soft noises while it was up there. A tiny amount of blood was coming from it, but it must have been Sam's blood from the cut on his hand. He didn't remember scratching it. At least, he hoped he didn't scratch it. Sam slowly leaned forward to listen in to the pathetic cries. Watching as the limbs slowed and stuttered their movements. It was getting tired. Or in pain? Sam's heart broke at the sight. It looked almost exactly like his brother and he couldn't deny that he felt a kinship to it. Maybe it somehow was his long lost brother. Maybe the pull was Dean trying to reach him all this time! Sam couldn't figure out what was going on and it made his head and heart ache. His brother, or whatever that thing is, is making all kinds of sad sounds. He saw something trailing down from one of the lower limbs. A thin line of rope like his kelp ropes from long ago. He tugged at it and saw that it was attached pretty securely to the limb and so he used it to pull the little one down under again. Sam wrapped his thumb around the rope to make sure that this thing couldn't escape him again, with his other hand, he gingerly pushed the being over onto its back in his cupped hands. Getting an unobstructed look at it. It had something pale green wrapped around its middle that looked like it was the same inorganic material that he'd torn earlier, but, fitted around the lower two limbs. The thing that looked like Dean was starting to turn a bright shade of pink now, hands going to his mouth and eyes starting to roll around. No doubt trying to see all of Sam at once as well. Sam obsequiously arched his tail up and over to shield little Dean from harm, and partly to show off how big and healthy he'd grown. Hoping for a little bit of that admiration he sought from his older brother ages ago. Sam could cry. First from happiness at finding Dean again after all this time, and then crying from shame. Conflicting emotions welling up and pouring out. This little one looks exactly like his brother did when he last saw him. When Dean was dying. Sam couldn't stop the stream of apologies. “Oh Dean, I'm so sorry. I'm sorry for everything I did back then. I'm sorry for screwing up. I'm sorry you... you died. Oh Dean. Dean do you forgive me? Have you come back to be with me again?” Sam's thumb brushed against Dean's side. More bubbles flitting up from past those tiny little hands. The shade of pink turning to red and even a little purple. Sam's blood drifted out from the cut in his hand, clouding his view of Dean sometimes. Teasing his memories of the last time he'd seen Dean alive, but that time it was Dean's blood that drifted in the water. “I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, Dean. I swear, I swear on my life that I wont let you go again. That I wont leave you. I'm here for you, Dean. I'll always be here for you. I will look after you now. I promise. I promise, brother.” Sam brought his tiny brother closer to his upper chest and face, cuddling with the small form. It pushed against him weakly and he felt and saw bubbles drifting up past his nose and eyes. Tracing them on up to the surface before looking back down at the tiny form. Dean started to convulse in his hands. Gasping in water and flailing his limbs, clawing at his throat and chest. Sam pulled his hands away from his face to see how much pain Dean was in now. Horror dawning on his face at what he had done. What he was still doing. Dean wasn't able to breath water like he used to. He was breathing air before. Oh no. Sam's hands trembled and shook with the revelation as the form went deadly still. His claws accidentally scratching Dean's sides, causing him to bleed more. “No... no I didn't mean... I didn't know!” Sam cried out, shaking the body in his bloody hands. Sam's hand wrapped securely around Dean and he rose quickly to the surface, breaching his hands but not his own head. Desperate for Dean to take a breath. But nothing happened. Blood dripped down from all sides of his hand and Sam wasn't even sure anymore if it was his or Dean's. He sadly brought the body down again and stared at it for a long moment. Unresponsive and still. He killed him. Sam killed his brother. Last time, it was an accident, it was the shark that killed Dean. This time Sam held him underwater until he died. This time it's his direct fault. Not just an accident... oh no. The pull. It was pulling him to his brother. It completed it's goal of reuniting them and he knew that it wouldn't start up again. That Dean wouldn't come back to life again. All this time... all this time he had been seeing Dean's previous lives. Was that possible? Was fate or something else pulling them together and now that it happened, they reunited, that it's done with them? Please no. “One more time? Oh please... please bring him back one more time! Bring him back! I'll do anything! Just please!” Sam begged and trembled. Sinking to the ocean floor. His brother's body in his hands. “I can't wait another nine months. Would he even come back again?” Sam was so caught up in grief that he didn't immediately notice the slight movement in his hands. Didn't notice the flutter of a tiny heart start beating again. The blood from both of them that mingled inside of Sam's hand but also pressed into Dean's limp body by the curled fingers that surrounded him. A gasp of water going into reforming lungs and exhaling out of newly formed gills along his sides. The tiny form shifting and changing. Transforming into something new. Dean took a deep breath of water and opened his eyes....
Sink or Swimchesters chapter 9
Chapter Nine: Coalescence To Sam, it was almost a relief when the pull slowed down to a light tug before disappearing entirely. It was starting to get worrisome how it was fading out like that. Sometimes the pull would end abruptly, others, like this, petered out. Eight months waiting this time for it to start anew. Sam celebrated the return with a humpback whale that he'd been traveling with. Well, more like he was following after it like a needy remora or pilot fish. Stuck to the waters underneath the whale to make sure it had a safe journey. He rescued it from a strange metal net that was wrapped around its fins, and now Sam felt responsible for it. He had tried to make it into a pet but it needing air so much kinda made the decision for him. He hated the surface. Didn't feel comfortable in the warmth and sun. Getting any closer to the surface made his skin and scales crawl. He would only go up high enough to grab his kelp and dive deep again. He had never before lifted his head above the surface of the water, and worried for his whale's safety every time it lingered too long up there. Keeping a closer eye out for the source of the metal net. He suspected the floating metal things. Hearing the rhythmic thudding every once in awhile and diving deep until he no longer hears them. They produced a lot of debris and polluted the water wherever they went but he kept himself from confronting them. It had been two centuries since they killed his parents but that only meant that they could be even more cunning now. Sam had no doubt in his mind that they'd be able to kill him too if he went up top. Still. He worried that even going deep wouldn't be enough to save his scales. There had been a lot more of the floating things these past few decades though, as if they were reproducing at an alarming rate. He worried that they would over fish his waters and drive some species to extinction. Noticing that there were fewer and fewer of some breeds in different areas. Usually closer to the coasts. So he avoided the coasts and kept to the deeps more and more. There was safety in the quiet peaceful dark. His whale companion eventually found a mate and Sam let him go, tearfully waving his fins in farewell. He hoped that his whale learned to stay away from all floating things. They only cause trouble. Sure, the sunken ones may have provided him some interesting things to use. Especially in his youth. But that wasn't worth the risk getting them from the source instead of waiting for them to sink first. He's patient. If he wants more of the metal rope, he can wait for it. It is so thin to him now, that he only uses it to clean between his fangs when his claws aren't sharp enough. He remembers back to his youth when the metal chains were too heavy for him to lift, now he has to be careful with them or risk breaking them in his fingertips. His old metal pole and hook had long since disintegrated along with his shark tooth necklace many many years ago. It had turned into his bracelet in his 40's and then a ring when he kept on growing. The kelp strings replaced hundreds of times over but after awhile, he couldn't even see the shark teeth anymore and lost them. Memories were all he had. He started to forget his parent's faces, their colors, voices, fins, mannerisms. When he was a nestling, they were so big that it was hard to picture them as normal Mers. Thinking back, they must have only been around 80 to 90ft long. He's now over twice that. Their images are fading from his mind, but Dean's memory stay nearly unspoiled. He still remembered his brother's face the clearest, surprisingly. That is, it was pretty clear in a few of his restless dreams. If Sam had a bad day, he'd dream of his big brother there, talking and laughing in some strange way he couldn't put his claw to. Sam frequently tried talking back, but it was as if Dean didn't ever hear him, or more likely, was ignoring him since his older brother wouldn't even acknowledge that he was even there. It hurt Sam to be invisible to his brother like that, so Sam learned not to try and talk to Dean in his dreams. Letting them play out behind his eyes instead. Enjoying the sight and sound of his brother while he could. Even if Dean's voice came out strangely in nearly every dream. In some dreams over the centuries, Dean lost his prominent spots on his face, in others his hair was slightly more blond or darker brown, longer, shorter, or thinning and white. The colors of his skin were sandy most of the time in the dreams, with a few times being darker. One odd dream was of a strange creature that had hair all over a pointed face. Patches of color around its long nose and the top of its head. The creature had forward facing brown eyes and a mouth full of sharp teeth but a rounded black thing on the end of it's long face. Like nothing Sam had ever seen before. It was just the one dream, but it confounded him for many years why he dreamt about something so different in the first place. Sam assumed it was a bad reaction to those new blue fish he ate and left it at that. The dreams were very rare, separated by many decades, but they helped keep his brother's memory alive. The faces of his parents were long gone. He blamed himself for not spending as much time with them as he had his big brother. All he remembers was that his mom had similar markings to Dean but with long blond hair. Both had only one very flexible back fin. Sam had many of his dad's markings and traits, as well as the two wing fins, though Sam's had an extra joint in his own. Able to fold it and bend the wing fins better. He didn't know what a 'bird' was but just remembered that that was what his father described his wings as. Sam could even bring them in front of himself unlike his dad, since his ended up being a touch longer, comparatively. He had observed that sick Pod long enough to recognize who was who's relative or offspring. Even if the markings were no longer prominent, their fin count and placement was a dead give away. Oddly enough, Sam couldn't clearly remember seeing the rest of Dean's body in those dreams he has. It was as if they were both floating in the dark, since all of Sam's attention was on his brother's essence and trying to understand the things he was saying. Everything fading out besides Dean's face, and that hairy creature's face as well... for some reason. He knew Dean must have had a body, but, he never bothered to look away from Dean's expressive green eyes as he spoke. The words were gibberish, but, the tone and tempo was the same. Sam wanted to dream of Dean again soon so he could make sure that his memories are still lining up right, but knew that if he did dream of his long dead brother, he'd probably just end up just staring at his unblemished face yet again. Knowing that his body was somewhere below it didn't matter so long as his brother was there and alive. Laughing and talking again. As if Dean forgave him. At least in his made up dreams. Sam's memories were becoming unreliable. So he took what he could get and put the dream version of his long dead brother to memory instead. Sometimes if he was real still and quiet, he could practically hear the memories of his own long dead relatives. But doing that always scared him. Feeling no ill intent from the foreign memories, but worried all the same that it was a sign of impending insanity. Sam vaguely remembered his parents talking about it once, but he wasn't sure if that was real or imagined at this point since he couldn't exactly ask them. But he guessed that if it was true, then he should be able to remember what his parents did as well as his direct ancestors. To delve back into his family history within his own mind. That would be a neat trick. But Sam didn't hold out much hope for it being true, since he couldn't even clearly remember his own parents in this lifetime. How was he expected to remember back before that? It was just too long ago to worry about. The past is the past. Sam hated how old he'd gotten. How massive he'd grown. There was no real way for him to measure how big he was since he moved from place to place so much. The old constants in his life were gone and he rarely ever sought out dolphins anymore. Only the length of his hand on average. Remembering eating fish that big on a daily basis. Cursing himself for thinking of dolphins as food, even for a moment. It hurt to see them playing and to remember back to the one time he and his brother were supposed to be a team. That fateful day. How angry Dean was with him because he wouldn't play by the rules. Sam hugged his tail to his face. Feeling so lost every time he heard a dolphin's distant call. Retreating below for weeks until they were gone. Going through moods where he was desperate for company, angrily driving it away from him, or simply hiding himself from everything in the ocean in some cave like a sad little nestling. His one companion was that pull. But lately, it's been driving him a little mad by itself. He hugged his hands around his chest and fasted for weeks until the hunger in his stomach felt stronger than the pull. It always seemed to be stronger when he was thinking of his family. Punishing himself yet again by starving himself for his heinous crimes back then. If he had just played by the rules of the game, he wouldn't have pissed Dean off and been told to leave. Then he wouldn't have witnessed his parent's deaths, and Dean wouldn't have had to sacrifice himself to save him. The events were fuzzy around the edges but the guilt was still there. Dean's voice echoing in his head about how Sam had messed up. Sam curled into himself tighter speaking for the first time in ages, his voice hoarse, “Why didn't you just leave me, Dean? You'd still be alive if it wasn't for me and my stupidity.” Sam had come to terms with his parent's deaths. Knew that they weren't his fault and that there was nothing he could have done to prevent them, because he still doesn't know what happened exactly. How his parents could have been killed by two big things that float on the water. But Dean? That was all his fault. He was the one that screwed up. He was the one that actually swam towards a damn shark. Sam was the one that froze and got attacked and because of all that, Dean was killed. It had been over 200 years since his family had died. 200 years of dealing with that inconsistent pull. Wishing it would just either disappear entirely or stay put. Never knowing when it was going to start or stop was driving him mad. Two decades passes into this current pull, and he was seriously thinking that he'd lost his mind already. There was just a couple of times in a matter of days, when the pull abruptly changed direction. Going from one horizon to the other. Traveling at one point nearly above him. It was so drastically different from all the other times... that he was tempted to go to the new location but after a couple of days, it traveled right back from there towards where it was for these two decades. Sam had no idea what that meant, but it didn't happen again. The strangest thing though... when he stopped and thought about it, he could have sworn he felt a deep feeling of dread and fear when it was closest to him, when it was nearly overhead. The feeling dissipated the further it went but the whole situation was unnerving and nagged at him. After that, he decided to stop wasting time and energy hating the pull. Treating it like a phantom pain like he sometimes gets in his injured hip fin. Drifting closer towards it since he had no real migration plan otherwise. Sensing it was getting somewhat stronger day by day as he moved towards it. Everything changed when that pull. The one thing that's been chasing him his whole life. The one constant in all the ocean with how persistent and inconsistent it was, was felt closer to Sam than it ever had been before. The absolute strongest pull that fell more like a straight up hard yank compared to the slight nudge he's felt it as for the last 200 years. A siren call that he simply could not ignore anymore. He wasn't even sure if he wanted to ignore it... since it seemed to be coming from the direction of his ancient nesting site. To where his family had died. He wondered if he was meant to go back home again. But that didn't make any sense, that feeling had appeared in different places each time it popped up. Some were nowhere near the nesting site... so why there now? It had been literal centuries since he'd been there. The emotions still too raw for him. But... the intensity of it right now. The sudden dragging force tugged him from the safe deep on up into the sun warmed waters again. Sam had no choice but to finally go see what and where that damned pull was guiding him. ~~~~~~~ Dean was born in Lawrence, Kansas in 1997. His parents, John and Mary Winchester were glad to finally have a successful pregnancy. They'd had trouble with Mary's birth control and couldn't conceive for years. So when they finally got that positive pregnancy test back, they did everything possible to keep the baby growing inside her. Reducing stress of any kind on Mary's body and keeping things calm and stable. Mary insisted she wasn't a fragile flower, but gave in to John's insistence that she could take six months off work the second she started showing. Luckily, John had just managed to start work at an auto repair shop in town, and it was a good paying and more importantly, reliable job. John's boss, Bobby Singer had been in the business for a little while and taught young John the ropes. When Dean was born, the little new family was still settling into their home. A simple house that was a foreclosure that put it in their price range. The foreclosure was just for a non-paying buyer, there was hardly anything wrong with the house itself and they'd lucked out again by being the first ones able to see it and say yes. Dean loved to visit his dad at the garage when he was around 10. At that time, John had risen the ranks a bit and took over Bobby Singer's old job which was mainly dealing with custom work on classics. Dean felt a strange connection to the older man but couldn't pinpoint why. He was just a kid and in awe at all things auto and missed his gruff old friend when he moved to Lakeview, Oregon to start his own salvage yard there. An easy pseudo retirement, he claimed. Once settled into his new house, Bobby invited the family to his home for a week. The road trip alone lasted a very long time and Dean was antsy to get out and stretch. His parents took turns driving since they couldn't afford a motel room. Bobby let them drop their things off grab a picnic basket, then took them to the lakeside to relax. Dean was in heaven. He swam for hours, only coming in to reapply sunblock or grab a bite to eat at his mother's insistence. Everyone returned to Bobby's when it got dark. If Dean was older than 11, he would have hitchhiked the seven miles to the lake even after spending a whole day there. Since then, Dean always wants to go see the ocean. He couldn't really explain it. It called to him in a way that felt right, felt natural. He'd heard of other people wanting to go see the beaches and swim in the waves but he wasn't quite like them. Sure he wanted that too, but he also wanted to scuba dive. Or go deep underwater on a submarine or something cool like that. Something about being underwater was so fascinating to him. His parents took him to the lake a few more times before they had to go back home after that week at Bobby's, but Dean was never fully satisfied with those short trips. The Winchesters were quickly becoming too broke to afford any more roadtrips to Bobby's and the friendship just faded with time. So Dean was left with enjoying the water from the safety of the buoy circle at Clinton State park when they went there instead. He'd learned to swim at the public pool when he was just 6 years old and would have become an athlete in the sport if they'd had the money for training or lessons. Every few months, his parents would save up enough to go camping at the local state park. Indulging their only son's passionate desire to swim. But times weren't always easy, so the trips petered out before they ended when Dean was just 15. Dean thought it was something he did wrong for the longest time and tried to make it up to his parents, but they kept insisting that he wasn't to blame for the lean times. That the trips to the lake were as much fun for them as they were for him but he still felt guilty for using up their hard earned cash for his obsession. Dean wasn't allowed to work at John's Auto garage due to strict regulations, so he found a place that restores cars that hired kids under sixteen on the down low. He told his parents he was hanging with friends, when really, he was working his little ass off after school, trying to make some money for the family. Saving up for emergencies. His job was mainly washing the outsides of the cars, and detail cleaning the insides. Working his way up from the bottom. Buying his own minute card cell phone to make sure that his parents never found out about his work calling him in for odd jobs. Dean prided himself on making enough money to pay for his own food and tools for work. Learning all he could about cars in-between car washing. It came so natural to him even the old mechanics were impressed with how fast he picked up on it. A feeling in the back of his mind that he'd seen the whole evolution of cars before, but, unable to say it out loud without looking crazy. Dean pushed the weird thoughts aside and focused on saving up every extra penny for his family when they need it. Having already overheard of a few times his dad had to take illegal jobs just to pay the mortgage. Dean hoped that with extra money in the house, that one day, years from now, they'd have enough to be financially stable enough to afford just one trip to the ocean. Just one. Until he's old enough to move out on his own and find some place right next to the water, if not on it. When other kids are playing outdoor sports, he's doing research on water vessels. A houseboat sounded like absolute heaven to him and he scoured the library for any information on them. His job taught him the value of keeping vehicles and vessels in good condition or else there's corrosion and rust. Adapting his car engine knowledge with engines that run on boats. Even if the two were meant for completely different vehicles, their inner workings were very similar. He was promoted to helping out rebuilding some parts of the various cars they saw at the shop, and the owner offered up an rusty old car that had been sitting behind the shop for ages. It was a gray dinky little thing, but Dean didn't need it for it's looks. He needed it for practice. It would never compare to the cars he worked on, but with some TLC the motor will run again. But, not as a car if Dean had his way. Dean spent a bit of his hard earned cash on a medium sized fishing boat and in his free time welded closed the many many holes in it and built up the walls of it with pieces of his car into a small cabin. After hours of researching and some advice from customers and coworkers, he figured out how to keep it afloat instead of capsizing by adding removable pontoons on each side to make the surface area wider. He sketched out the final design for it to have some kind of visual to work towards. His boss looked at it and mused aloud that if he added netting between the removable pontoons, he could store some things in those instead of cramming everything into the boat. Of course, whatever would be out there would have to be able to get wet because Dean still hasn't figured out how to keep the net he's using from sagging. The project lasted for a couple of years until he had a decently respectable vessel and a healthy wallet in his pocket by doing all the work himself with what was essentially junk parts. All he needed was a blow torch and a soldering iron and he could build just about anything after years of practicing. Some people teased him on his boat, saying that it looked like Frankenstein's boat and he rolled with it rather than getting ticked off. Many insisted it was steam punk and he got a few people asking for schematics and pictures for how to build their own. It gradually became a kind of landmark in their town. Many people giving visitors directions would use it as such since it had yet to see water, and has been in the same place for years outside the auto shop. Dean kept on building onto her until she was nearly too big to haul. His pride and joy. The ship named, 'The Creation'. Sometimes they'd get new customers that would take a look at it and ask if it's for sale, and he'd refuse every time. A grin on his face for making something so beautiful out of leftover pieces from countless vehicles. All he had to do now was wait and save up for that trip to the waterfront. The trailer he was using to hold it up needed to be replaced since it hadn't been moved in so long, rust had taken hold of the wheel axle. Big trailers weren't cheap so it took time to find and buy a newer one. He graduated high school by the skin of his fingernails and chose to keep on working instead of going to some expensive college. He already knew what he wanted to do with his life and no college he knew of, or could afford, was going to have a class on his preferred nautical future. In 2016, a few days before the start of his summer ocean side trip that he had planned for the three of them, the shoe dropped. Dean felt like he had the wind sucked from his lungs when he came back home from work to see his mom collapsed on the floor. All his income, as small as it was, was now badly needed to help his dad out with all the house and medical bills. They soon found out that Mary was suffering from a disease that the doctors couldn't readily identify, and her shitty insurance agents refused to pay for anything until it was identified. Claiming that she neglected to inform them about any health problems before signing up for it, and actually insinuating that it was made up or she was faking the level of pain she is in for pain pills. They tried to fight the insurance company but it ended up costing them time and valuable resources they couldn't afford to loose. So rather than loose everything, they had to buckle down and figure out what they can do for her. Dean knew that he'd have to sell his Creation to pay for a portion of the bills. At first he refused the offers, angry that they'd offered so little for such a masterpiece but, he had to accept or find something else worth selling. His boss gave him his raise early, and tried to raise some money at the shop but times were tough all over. His coworkers donated what they could, but it wasn't enough. When an offer came on his day off, Dean's boss called him up and waited for his reply. Dean could barely say the words, 'do it' over the phone before hanging up and watching a few tears fall to the table. The Creation would only pay for the hospital bills to the end of the month, but at least they were out of debt... for now. Unbeknownst to Dean, his boss had thrown in 2 thousand bucks more than what the buyer had spent, and wished he could have done more. He didn't say anything because his wife would surely have words for him at home about it. Not to mention the accusations of favoritism among his other employees who would no doubt be lining up with their hands out. Dean was one of his best workers and it killed him to see such a bright talented kid deal with so much. Dean refused to look at the spot behind the shop where his boat had been for the last two years and focused on the work ahead. Accepting the fat white envelope with a grimace and a nod, he threw himself into the job before saying a word. Dean was always good with his hands, and helped with the more complicated areas of restoring cars. At the end of the month, they had saved up enough extra to help the three of them move to a more affordable neighborhood. Saving money wherever they could. His mom had improved enough to leave the long term care hospital, and enjoyed spending time at their new trailer house with her husband and son. Dean tried hard to put aside his silly fascination with the ocean to help out around the house and keep the three of them going. However, the change in scenery didn't help his mom. The mystery illness struck again and they were still at a loss for what to do now. The new town's hospitals were just as bad to work with financially, and she begged them to keep her at home, saying that the hospital was more depressing and soul draining to her than anything. They gave in, and she stayed with them for another two months, dying peacefully in her own bed. She didn't tell either of them how close she felt she was to dying, knowing that there was nothing they could do for her. Mary thought that they'd need whatever money they had left for themselves for the time after she's gone. She was cremated and her ashes were spread in the woods where she grew up. His dad was an emotional wreck. Angry with himself, angry at the world, and angry at his wife for not telling them how bad it had gotten. John stayed out too late drinking, and when he was home, he barely spoke at all to his grieving son. Dean kept to himself most of the time, mourning the loss of his mom in quiet, but also mourning the loss of his only remaining family who was drowning in whiskey and regret. When John's mourning turned to repeated violence against him as a coping method, Dean left and didn't look back. Dean received a few emails and letters, text messages from his dad apologizing for the fights and the belt, but Dean knew that in order for John to truly heal, he had to seek professional help. Anything Dean would do would be enabling at this point. He had to look after himself now. Since Dean had been using all of his own money to keep up with the house payments and electric bill and so on, he knew he'd be able to make it on his own much easier. He wanted his dad to be with him in this life, but it looked like even though John love his son, he wasn't good for him. The letters petered out and eventually they only spoke on Christmas and birthdays. Dean briefly tried to find the buyer of his first boat, but that led to nowhere and he considered building a new one but gave up on that idea until he had a permanent residence. Dean sold his second dinky car for a black rusted old Chevy Impala from his boss. Using up some of his limited funds for it because he needed a new start to his new life. The car was large enough for all of his possessions that really mattered to him, and it was big enough for him to sleep in when the weather wasn't fit for tent camping. It sucked on gas mileage but he liked the classy look of it. Spending a bit of free time fixing her up the way he likes it and making her more presentable and soon to be the envy of other motorists. Dean wandered around for a short time picking up odd jobs and building up quite a diverse resume, before he felt that itch again and started to head west, towards the ocean. He wasn't even fully conscious of the move, and was running out of funds sooner than he hoped. Before he could even start job hunting in eastern Nevada to build it up again, the transmission went out in his car and he had nowhere to go and no money to get there. Stuck in Mc Gill in the sweltering heat. He rummaged around his list of contacts that he'd built up along with his dad, struggling to see if he knew anyone at all in the area and pouring over a state map to see if he recognized any of the cities on the map. One stuck out, but it wasn't Nevada, it was in Oregon, on the southern boarder. Lakeview. Dean flash-backed to a time long ago, swimming until dark, and a gruff man in a ball cap. He dialed up the man's number that corresponded with the Lakeview address in his dad's handwriting. He introduced himself and his plight and swore up and down that he would work to pay off his entire debt with interest. Giving a list of references a few feet long if Mr. Singer had any doubts of his honesty and worth. When Dean finally let up to breathe, Singer interrupted him, and Dean sadly found out that he had lived there a while back, but moved to Baker city to set up a larger shop. Dean's heart sunk, that was basically an entire state away from where he is now. No way would a stranger drive that far for him. But before he could hang up after thanking him for his time, Singer surprised him by saying, “Now hold up Boy, I ne'er said I wouldn't help ya out.” “What?” Dean asked, dumbfounded. “You're John's boy?” Dean nodded but shook his head in confusion, “Uh, yeah, but, what do you mean? You'll still help? I'm hundreds of miles away and you don't know me that well.” Dean could kick himself for giving the man a reason to rescind the offer. “I owe that som-bitch one, that's why. Now shut up and tell me where you're located. It took a few seconds for Dean to sputter out the address of the building he had been able to push his car to to get it out of the road. There was some papers rustling on the other end and Dean bit his lip, waiting anxiously for an answer. “Mc Gill.... Ok, I think I know where that is, close to Ely yeah?” “Yes, Sir.” Dean sat forward in his seat, excitement coloring his voice. “Don't 'Yes, Sir' me, Boy, and just sit tight, I'll get there when I get there. Shouldn't take more than a day. I got some stuff to do at home first. Don't leave your car for too long tomorrow night and keep your phone charged. I'm not gonna wait around all day for you.” “Yes, Si- I mean, thank you, Mr. Singer!” Dean's eyes lit up. He heard a resigned sigh coming through the line. “Keep the praises and accolades to yourself, I expect you to hold up your end, no need to go thanking me just yet. See you tomorrow. Don't wander off.” Mr. Singer sighed again and hung up before Dean got a chance to apologize or say goodbye. Robert Singer had met Dean when he just a little scrap of a thing, so he'll wait to see how well the kid grew up and worked first before offering him the part time job. He figured he'd give the kid a break since he was on his own and had a tough time of life already, but, he wasn't a charity and had a business to run. He'd test the kid's mettle first and see what all he knows about auto rebuilding. From what he remembers of the boy, he was more interested in the lake than anything else. But also of the brief time he'd known Dean before that. A runt hanging on his every word at that old auto shop. Bobby suppressed a grin at the memory of the wide eyed whelp and hero worship he'd gotten from him. Bobby got all the tools he figured he needed to fix Dean's car, hoping it was something simple but figured it wouldn't hurt to bring the tow-truck and just haul it back to the salvage yard, rather than mess with it on the side of the road. He set out to fetch the stranded kid and had to take in the sight before him before introducing himself. He didn't want to get burned on some kind of scam, so he sat in the tow truck for a few hours, watching the kid sit next to the car, on top of the hood, then rest sideways in his car, eagerly watching the street both ways nearly the whole time. The kid helped a little old man with some groceries get them into his car and refuse the money that was offered. That just endeared Singer to the kid even more Dean knew that the old man needed it more than he did and if he was out for money or to scam people he would have taken the cash without hesitation. When dinner time came round, he saw the kid hold onto his stomach and wince from time to time. Pacing back and forth and looking at the store more an more. Clearly wanting to go find food but also not wanting to miss his meeting with Mr. Singer. Poor kid. Bobby drove around the block to come at him from a better direction and stopped the tow truck in front of the car. Dean had been practically bouncing on his heels and eager to introduce himself in person. Bobby walked over to the kid and nodded in greeting. “I'm starved, let's grab something to eat first.” Dean let his raised hand drop from the aborted handshake and licked his lips. “I uh, I don't have any money.” “I figured that out for myself, I never said I was expecting you to pay. I got this one.” Bobby angled his head towards the store and heard the hasty footsteps behind him. Hiding the grin. Over dinner, they discussed what was expected of Dean while at the salvage yard, what he offered his other mechanics that sometimes helped him out on bigger builds. Dean felt his neck ache a little with how much he nodded eagerly along. Dean couldn't believe his luck, he had a semi-permanent job with some guy that was totally fine with taking him on without a resume or even a personal note. Even advancing him enough money for food and supplies. His immediate goal was to get enough food to eat for a few weeks and enough money to fix up his car should Singer want him gone at a moment's notice. The long tow drive back to Mr. Singer's house was spent with good conversation about previous jobs they both had and terrible bosses and co-workers. Then it moved on to hobbies and Dean boasted and lamented his boat that he had to sell. Bobby figured it was a tender topic so he moved it along to another. After a couple of days and a finished rebuild of the Impala's transmission and tune up, Bobby found out that Dean was still living out of his car instead of the motel Bobby had recommended. He quickly offered up the sturdy shed in the side yard for him to crash in instead, so he could at least spread out that 6 ft frame of his. Dean hadn't proved himself as completely trustworthy yet, so the precautions stayed put for now. Dean was just grateful for the extra leg room to sleep and somewhere he could change clothes without painfully thumping limbs inside the car. Dean fixed up the shed's very few amenities in his spare time and Bobby was impressed with the handy work. After just a couple weeks, Dean earned a place in his house, in the room that had formally held storage boxes that were then moved to the more secured shed. Bobby had grown to enjoy the kid's company and they started talking about more than just the jobs for the day. Bobby tossed Dean a beer as they sat back for a mid afternoon break. It had been a little over a year, time flying while working away and only the occasional comment about Dean loosing his baby face and needing to shave daily and buy bigger clothes. He was getting some muscles and bulk on that 21 year old lean frame of his, filling out steadily into his height. Bobby entertained the idea of having the kid be a guard for the salvage yard. Loyal as a dog to the business and his friend. No one would think of messing with someone as big as Dean holding a ten pound wrench. He knew it would be for show, Dean could put on a mean face if he needed to but was really just a pup of a kid. Enjoying his nights relaxing with a cold one watching bad sitcoms. Tonight, there was nothing much on the old TV but a Mexican drama but they both enjoyed it well enough. When a commercial came on for a cruise line, it was hard to miss how Dean's eyes went wider and he sat closer to the TV. Bobby suddenly remembered that he noticed that Dean had a few worn books on marine wildlife and then remembered the kid's long term boat project, and put two and two together. Maybe it wasn't just a pipe dream for Dean. He had really meant to go to the ocean. “You like the ocean, Kid?” Bobby hoped that he sounded casual enough, not wanting to put him on the spot if it was another sore subject. Dean choked on his swig of beer and blushed a little, turning away. He cleared his throat as if it was a guilty pleasure which had Bobby raising an eyebrow. “It's cool, ya know?” Dean muttered, tearing a bit of the beer bottle's label. “How wild it is... we uh, we used to go to the beach when I was a kid. With my folks. Loved it. The cold, the blue waters. I just, I dunno. Felt better when I was in there.” “Do you go there a lot?” Bobby leaned back into the couch. Dean huffed a laugh, “No. That's... that's for rich people.” and hoped Bobby would drop it, staring back at the TV when the show came back on. Pretending that he was much more interested in it. Bobby made an unimpressed noise but let the issue drop. Dinner was a few homemade tacos, and desert was some Little Debbie cupcakes. Dean said he'd go into town in the morning after the delivery guy shows up for the various car parts for customers. Bobby waited till he was gone to go through his funds and see what he could do to help out his favorite employee turned roommate. It wasn't much, but, with the kid living under the same roof, he'd been able to save money by having a mechanic there, ready, willing, and able to help out. Amazingly without complaining and demanding more money for the odd hour jobs. His previous employees and such were a handful and it was sometimes easier for Bobby to just do the work solo. But then Dean shows up and shows him that not all college age kids are out for themselves. Bobby would pay the boy what he paid the others in the past willingly, but Dean would refuse the extra cash every time. So while the kid was gone, he went through all the previous jobs that he had asked Dean to do and added up the cost. It was more than enough for a trip to the coast for a couple of days. It had been years for him as well for a vacation and it would help him see Dean be happy. It always seemed like the kid was yearning for something and Bobby hoped that he could use this trip to figure out what it is exactly that he needed. The trip had to wait though, it was the busy season and money was coming in hand over fist for the work. Bobby couldn't shut the place down right at the moment so he shelved the idea of a trip to the ocean until there was a break in the business. A half year passes and another cruise ship commercial comes on and he catches Dean leaning forward again, peeling the label of his coke bottle to distract himself once it's over. Jogging Bobby's idea of a vacation again. They'd more than made enough for a week long trip now, maybe even overseas to his favorite aquarium for a couple days instead. He hadn't been back to Japan in ages. It would be nice to go with someone else this time around. Bobby found himself treating his employee like his own kid which startled the hell out of him when that thought crossed his mind. He never wanted kids before, and this one... this one looked like he still had his own set of problems to work through. He knew all about the kid's daddy. A real piece of work there. And he wasn't stupid. Dean couldn't have injured his back in that zig zag pattern on his own. Only three lines, but it was enough to show that John had hurt his own son. A son, that had literally just lost his mom and had to help keep a roof over him and his drunk of a dad. Bobby always fumed at the sight of Dean's back, and Dean soon kept a sleeveless t-shirt on even in the hottest days. Bobby didn't know how to broach the subject, without driving Dean away, so he chose to let Dean take the topic of his past at his own pace. Prompted yes, but, never forced to talk. It worked out well enough these past two years working together and living under the same roof. However, never talking about it was making it even harder to start the conversation. Dean came back into the house through the kitchen door, and Bobby hastily closed the folders dealing with his finances. Until he had a good plan going, he wouldn't bring it up with Dean. No sense getting his hopes up for a big trip that might not happen. Bobby wanted to make it perfect because Dean never asked for more than a week off a year. To go where, he never asked, but he suspected it was to go stalk his dad without John knowing. Dean always came back a bit depressed and quiet each time. Over the next few days, Bobby's dream trip for Dean grew. A new favorite side project for the old man. He had one big build left and booked the trip himself that night. Dean woke up to a plane ticket and printed out brochure for an enormous aquarium in Japan sitting innocuously at his spot at the kitchen table. Bobby tried for nonchalance. He really did. However, he couldn't keep a straight face for long and Dean walked over and gave him an incredulous face before hugging him tight. The last time he'd been to any aquarium was with a school trip ages ago, when things were still good, and he spent nearly the whole time staring at the dolphins swimming around. Hands pressed to the glass and his tongue clicking in his mouth, trying to mimic their sounds. He was dragged away from them and put back on the bus to go back. His eagerness to go to the ocean increased a hundred fold from it's original state. He'd always loved marine life, drawing pictures of fish when other people were drawing dogs, cats, people, and houses. Bobby's grin split his face and he pat Dean's back amiably. Ignoring the moisture he felt on his shoulder from Dean's cheek. He gently pushed Dean back a few inches and Dean got the hint and abruptly let go, taking a couple steps back and breathing hard to calm down his emotions. Hands fisting and opening again at his sides as his heart raced. Bobby looked away to give him a moment, busying himself with finishing up the french toast before it burnt any more. “Just gotta get you a passport and then we're off. I haven't been to Japan in awhile so don't ask me what's going on there now. We'll just have to find out. Lucky for you, I already speak the language.” He boasted a bit, standing up straighter. Dean hugged him again, at a loss for words for a few minutes. He finally sat at the table and poured over the brochure like a man given a second chance at life, and reread every word on the plane ticket until he could recite it by heart. Absently eating the french toast and dripping syrup everywhere. The passport was easy to get, and the trip was upon them. Bags packed, Dean was starting to get a little nervous now that they're at the airport and security is going through their things. He'd never flown before so this was a new experience. He started sweating a bit and Bobby had to take him aside once they passed the first inspection to give him something cold to drink. Their plane was boarding a bit ahead of schedule and that meant that Dean had less time to get used to the idea before they were being herded on-board. At the door he could see down through the crack the tarmac far below the huge international plane. Knowing that they'll be in the air for many hours didn't help his increasing feeling of dread. But, he wanted this. He wanted this trip to happen. To say that he went overseas to a different country to spend time in a different culture. Maybe even buy some authentic 'Busty Asian Beauties' magazines from the source. Dean had done some research online to the current fads and media and was looking forward to being immersed in a country that welcomes anime otaku nerds with open arms. He could enjoy what he likes without anyone side eyeing him. But most of all, he was itching to go to one of the worlds biggest and best aquariums. He had to keep repeating the positives in his head as Bobby nudged him along to their assigned seats. Switching them so that Dean didn't have to see out of the window if he didn't want to. Dean was fine right up until takeoff when he was white knuckling it as the massive plane climbed up into the sky. Over a mile above the Earth. It took them a couple of hours but they got to the ocean and Dean's eyes went wide as he finally got up enough courage to look out of Bobby's window. It was amazing and vast and stretched out into near infinity in every direction he could see. The marvel of it lasted for an hour, then, the fear started in again when they hit some turbulence and his mind kept replaying every plane crash in movies on a loop. He hummed some Metallica under his breath and Bobby ordered a few liquors for them both, giving Dean his share to calm him down. Dean had a tough time of the flight and nearly kissed the ground when they finally landed in Okinawa. The hotel they were staying at was extremely tiny compared to anything back in the states but it was enough for him. He had spent time living in his car so this was an improvement. The aquarium was as amazing as he thought it would be. Many pictures taken and souvenirs bought. They had their tickets for four days, and went from opening to closing nearly each time. Bobby left him to it for most of the third and fourth day while he went and checked out what he wanted to see. They ate sushi and had a blast impressing the local kids at their knowledge of all things American. It was surprising how many spoke English so Dean had no problem starting up conversations here and there. The trip back was as scary the second time as the first but Dean knew kinda what to expect so it wasn't as bad but, he wouldn't ever want to fly again if he could help it. Oddly enough, the second flight back he felt something tugging on his heart when they were over halfway over the ocean, closer to home. A kind of urge that he felt he was supposed to go with, but couldn't say why or what it was. He longed to just suddenly be out of this plane and in the water below. Without it crashing of course. To just teleport down there and spend time in there. The urge waned the closer they got home until it was just a background feeling. Easily forgotten. Dean didn't dwell on it for too long. He knew he always wanted to go to the ocean. So it's really no wonder why he would get that urge when he's looking down at it from far above. Just a vast blue space that mirrored actual space. Dean and Bobby were energized by the trip and in their free time, hunted around for a decent sized boat that could survive ocean waves. Bobby could see how much that overseas trip effected his boy, and helped him save up again for a house boat. Saying that he's only helping out financially if he's allowed to use it once in awhile. Dean wouldn't have it any other way and with their combined efforts, they hunted down and bought 'The Monster' as a base to work with. Both had fun fixing it up to perfection. Dean spent days telling Bobby about his old boat the Creation, and ways to improve on the design this time around with what he learned since his teenage years, and using what Bobby already had in the salvage yard. The maiden voyage was in the same lake that Bobby lived close to all those years ago that got Dean into the water in the first place. Tooling around for awhile, testing out the rigging and sails and engines. She had only two leaks that they were able to take care of easily enough. Grateful that they decided on this lake instead of the unforgiving ocean. Dean spent an additional few days with Bobby on the lake just to make absolutely sure the Monster was seaworthy. Training himself on doing the chores and duties that he had only read about for half his life. Taking every scrap of advice to heart from people that had sailed or worked on the water. Dean learned that he already knew a vast majority of their advice, but listened all the same. Glad there were people out there that loved the ocean as much as he does. He didn't feel so alone in his strange hobby like he had when living in land locked states. Eager to get going already, Dean bade his old friend and mentor farewell. Planning on taking the Monster out on the ocean solo for this first time out. Making damn sure that he could live out there on his own before he really set sail and said goodbye to dry land for a month at a time. Returning home to Bobby's to regale him on his adventures and findings. He wasn't going to be out there just fishing and scuba diving the whole time, he wanted to study too. Learn about how ocean currents move trash and contaminates around. Trying to figure out a way to gather up the floating pollution and dispose of it safely. He'd heard of other people around his age working on this problem and wanted to contribute to the cause. First, he'd have to have a base of knowledge of his own to work with. Maybe figure out something they didn't before just because they were coming at it from their own point of view. He wanted to help, but also, didn't want to spend every waking moment on it. That would drive him crazy. He would let himself have some fun first before devoting time to the cause. The ocean felt special to him and he wanted to protect the living things in it. Dean and Bobby stayed close to the shoreline until Dean felt sure that he could handle it on his own. Choosing the harshest weather they could to go out in. Dean eventually dropped Bobby off at the mile long pier, and gave him a tearful goodbye hug. Dean wasn't leaving for good, but, a month is a long time. He had his Sat phone, CB radio and the like, and made damn sure that Bobby had his set course mapped out if they ever lost contact. So everyone would know where to start looking for Dean's dumb ass if he got lost or caught in a storm. Even John called him up to wish him good luck on his trip. An unexpected surprise that warmed Dean's heart. He set sail, heading off straight from the coast into open waters. A thrilling feeling filling his heart that tugged him deeper and deeper into the unknown. Switching from his sails to engines when the wind petered out. Eager to get out as far as he can. A few days into the trip and Dean woke with a start. The Monster had been sea-anchored overnight so he wouldn't drift too far. There was an odd feeling in his chest, like something was stirring in his very soul. Something that grew and grew until he was scrambling for his swim trunks and heading up to the deck to see what was happening. Dean took a look around and found nothing out of the ordinary. No storm had shaken the boat, no real sea life to speak of according to his fish finder. A school of marlin was a hundred feet below but that wouldn't have woken him up. His hand went to his chest as his heart started to beat a little harder. Something was different. God help him he couldn't say what but something.... was just... different. In himself or the water or the air, he didn't know and he was starting to get worried. He wasn't on the ocean long enough for for him to get cabin fever, so that wasn't it. He had cooked his meals thoroughly so he probably wasn't suffering from food poisoning. He got plenty of water, sunscreen, took his daily vitamins even if he thought it was unnecessary, Bobby would tan his hide if he didn't. He checked his skin for irritations, nothing. He went down under again to look at his face in the mirror and his pupils looked normal, breathing was a bit high but that might be anxiety. Pulse elevating the more that feeling in his chest grew. Like something was pulling at him. He walked in a circle in the small bedroom, feeling the pull towards the west more than the other directions and felt the need to get back on deck. Maybe this was that feeling that some of the sailors were talking about. Sensing bad weather before it happens. Maybe there was a tsunami just past the horizon and he was somehow picking up on it. Remembering a random fact that dogs and some people could sense earthquakes before they happen. He checked the radar and didn't see anything coming his way but tsunami's could be coming from many many miles away. Oh God. He could die out here. His ship was strong enough to handle normal storms up to violent ones, but a tsunami could take out ocean-liners. Dean frantically went around, tying up the sails, and throwing everything loose into the hold below. He'll sort it out and secure stow it later once he's down there to join it. He tucked the Sat phone into his swim shorts and told himself he'll have to put on a life jacket in a minute. For now, he had to lock down everything topside. Mind racing at how much it's going to suck to be in the belly of his Monster as she spins and rolls in the waves. Hoping that she'll pop back upright once the danger has passed. Dean's heart almost stopped when he spotted it in the west. A large ripple of water. Fuck. Fuckfuckfuckfuck. Dean slipped on the deck, the Sat phone tumbled out of his pocket and he dove after it before it went over the edge. It was waterproof and could float but he didn't want to get into the water to retrieve it when that wave is growing in size before his eyes. He scrambled for the phone and pushed frantically at the side to turn it on. Turning it off on accident because he hit the button one too many times. Cursing even louder at his stupid fingers. He got it on and working and slammed his thumb on the call button three short tones then three long then three short again. SOS Readying himself for what he was going to say once someone answered his SOS. Shit. What was he going to say? That he saw a wave in the ocean and now he's having heart palpitations? Dean's eyes stared out at where the wave once was, wondering if all this was in his head and he was freaking out for no damned reason. Oh man how many people are going to laugh their asses off at his expense if this is just a whale. Dean got to shaky feet, moved to the dash and looked over his fish finder again. The marlin were gone. Maybe it was that school of fish that made the wave. They do that right? The feeling in his chest was still there but stalled somehow. It hadn't grown in a few minutes now that he's regulating his breathing and trying to get himself calm enough to think rationally. What if he had a bad dream and this is all just lingering side effects from it? Dean feels like such an idjit. He turned off the Sat phone and put it on the dash again, plugging it back in to keep it charged for when a REAL emergency happens. No one responded to his single SOS call so it probably went unnoticed. He kinda hoped so now. Even if that thought was a bit disturbing. Being ignored when this could have been a disaster. Fuck. Dean contemplated calling Bobby and having a laugh with his old friend about how he freaked himself out over nothing. Dean glanced down into he hole leading below deck and grimaced at the mess he made of his stuff. All that has to be brought back up and put where it belongs again. Looking up at the tied sails and mast. The ropes and rigging that was still half strewn across the deck. He really made a mess didn't he. Fuck. Dean walked to the mast to unwrap that first. Wanting to get going again. Leave this spot behind in memory alone. No one had to know this happened, and Dean consoled himself in the thought of this being a learning experience. Thinking through what he should do next time when there was a real emergency. What steps to take first. It kept him occupied for about ten minutes until his fish finder blipped at him. The marlin must be back. Dean figured he would try his hand at fishing them while he's got a nice sized school right under his location. He wouldn't mind having it for dinner and saving some in his chest freezer for later when the fish aren't biting. He wandered over to his storage tote and pulled out his gear and set it up on the bow, briefly angling the boat in the direction they'd been in before so he could maybe see them coming from the north side. He was about to sit down and set up when his fish finder blipped again at him, then again, and then again. Huh, must be closer to the boat. Dean walked over to the console, picking up a stray rope that he'd forgotten to secure from wrapping up the sails. He started wrapping up the strong rope with his arms as it trailed around his feet on his way to the fish finder screen. He paused at the image before him. Wow. That is one big spot. His internal encyclopedia of all things ocean related tried to figure out what whale this would likely be in this part of the ocean. Or perhaps shark. He looked again at the scale on the lower left of the screen indicating size of object detected and gaped. That can't be right. Maybe it's a partially sunken ship? One that didn't land on the bottom of the ocean nor had enough air to rise fully to the surface? A submarine? Oh fuck. It has to be that. A 200 ft long sub was coming to investigate his dinky little cobbled together house boat. What did he do to deserve their interest? He got his permits, license, tags, certifications. Why would they take an interest in him? He didn't do anything wrong! The long oval shaped image bent in the middle and elongated further on one side, moving fluidly unlike anything man made Dean had ever known. Suddenly, two huge protrusions extended out from one half of it with two more spreading out and moving around independently of each-other underneath. The other half of the image swung down and the whole thing shot upwards from damn near the ocean bed towards the surface. Much much faster than any sub would safely move. What. The. Fuck. The hair was standing straight from the back of his neck and he turned in place to see a new wave starting much closer than the last had been, and this time to the east. He dropped the rope around his feet when the fish finder started blipping in earnest as more waves were heard and soon seen pushing at his ship from all angles now. Water churning as far as a hundred feet in opposite directions. Dean froze, heart hammering wildly in his chest, eyes darting about as the waves seemed centered dead around his ship alone in the calm ocean waters. Something big was moving around underneath his ship. Organic because no way could mankind make something that moved like this or shaped this way. Some creature that was bigger than anything he'd studied up on. Something that knew he was here and somehow, Dean could feel it in his bones. That tugging sensation growing in intensity until he felt like his heart and soul were falling and flying at once. Whatever this thing was, it was coming for him right fucking now and there was no way he could escape it....

Mature Content

Eels
moray eel merman (OPEN) by artofdroth
[OC] Lamprey merman Stephane by emodroide-douloureux
Colourful sea by emodroide-douloureux
Commission: Adventerous Mer-Bard by SepiSnake
Seahorse
when will your mother get back?! (MPREG) by artofdroth
Leviathan Sea Dragons
Sidney Reference by SepiSnake
Rays
Auction : Ray Merman [CLOSED] by tuesaday
Jellyfish
Mermay 13 Jelly Lance Adrift by ScottaHemi
sea slug cucumber
Glaunnel by Fickledorf
Crustaceans
Mermay #17 Crustacean by Sashka-risovaka
Ichthyocentaur
mertauricorn (OPEN) by artofdroth
Selkies Seals Sea lions
Auction : Lionfish Merman [CLOSED] by tuesaday
Water Reptiles
Kidlad by enghurrd
Mer-Furries
Anpaytoo Maku and Echo by KristKC
Young Amphibians
[Mermay] Golden Tadpole by MrPutt
Oyster Clams Shells
Mermay day 14 by ElaijaUniverse
Prehistoric
Siren song by Aotar-le-quaint
Tutorials
How to THINK when you draw WHIRLPOOLS tutorial! by EtheringtonBrothers
Video or Animaions
[ Comm ] 120 YCH Merman by Shoyzz-Art
Starfish
Mermay day 7 by ElaijaUniverse
Mer-Santa Exchange
Ross Bubbles by CuriousCucumber
Contests Stamps and Fun
Stamp - Fish Censor by AlkseeyaKC
Fishy
Nero and Doc by AlkseeyaKC

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Here you can find all the artists open for commissions or people looking to buy art! Post here your commissions, request, Your Character Here (YCH), or anything your selling.
Also, check out our group's Discord! discord.gg/zRnYHBG Come chat with some of the greatest merman artists this group has to offer!
Commissions: Please post your prices here by ether link or thumbnail to your price sheet or price journal. I suggest posting thumbnails of your work as examples of what you do.
Requests: Please tell me what you are looking for and how much you would like to spend. All requests will be featured in the comments.
YCH: Post a link or the thumbnail to the YCH image(s). I suggest showing some completed YCHs to show what the end results may look like. How to post thumbnails: Journal Thumb: Go to the journal post. Scroll down to where it says "Details" on the right sidebar and copy the "Thumb" code. You can paste that into your comment.
Final Tip: Being that this is a Merman group. There is a high interest in Men and Merfolk. Showing some samples of guys and/or Merfolk might be a good thing.
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Feel free to Affiliate! We would love to!
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Group Info

This is a group for Merman fans! We are here to share our love of mermen for they are awesome!
Group
Founded 11 Years ago
Jan 4, 2010

Location
Global

Group Focus
Common Interest

1,699 Members
2,051 Watchers
199,677 Pageviews

Comments


Add a Comment:
 
:iconkerkevrinus:
kerkevrinus Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2021  New Deviant
Hi ! Thank you for requesting my merman =D 
Reply
:iconalkseeyakc:
AlkseeyaKC Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2021  Professional Digital Artist
Your welcome! Keep up the awesomes! :yay:
Reply
:iconthesketchofawalkyrie:
TheSketchOfAWalkyrie Featured By Owner May 31, 2020  Student Traditional Artist
Thanks for requesting my artwork! ^^
Reply
:iconalkseeyakc:
AlkseeyaKC Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2020  Professional Digital Artist
You're welcome! Keep up the awesomes! Pikachu Yay Plz
Reply
:iconsayuri-stosna:
sayuri-stosna Featured By Owner May 17, 2020  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thanks for adding my artwork to your group! :3
Reply
:iconalkseeyakc:
AlkseeyaKC Featured By Owner May 18, 2020  Professional Digital Artist
You're welcome!! Keep up the awesomes! Pit Thumbs Up
Reply
:iconflyingcarpets:
FlyingCarpets Featured By Owner May 13, 2020
Thanks for requesting my deviation but since it was a mermaid and not a merman I declined because you I feel maybe requesting her was a mistake on your part XD
Reply
:iconalkseeyakc:
AlkseeyaKC Featured By Owner May 14, 2020  Professional Digital Artist
Sorry about that, we don't ussualy make that mistake. Was it the High Voltage one?
I noticed it has 'merman' in the tags and that might have been where the confusion came from. We find all the added art through tags and sometimes it can be hard to tell the gender, maybe due to the pose in the pic.
Either way, You have nice work and keep up the awesomes!!! woot
Reply
:iconflyingcarpets:
FlyingCarpets Featured By Owner May 14, 2020
Yup, that one! Was trying to go for merfolk with the tag, probably hit autofill after 'mer', sorry about that, but yeah I figured I'll save you and decline the request XD
Thanks for accepting my redhead merman <3
Reply
:iconquina-chan:
Quina-chan Featured By Owner May 13, 2020  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for the request and accepting my request to join :D:D
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