I hope, for those who have read my other stories, this is a nice surprise. I want to thank my new editor for the help. And I hope you guys enjoy the story more now that its editted better
Devin cleaned the last of the debris off his lawn and looked up and down the street. Many people stood on their lawns or roofs or on the street, picking up things that the flood had brought to them. Finally the waters had subsided and people were starting to get back to their routine lives. Devin was glad, his house had hardly been touched by the flood and other then some over watered grass, his house was fine.
"Hi, Devin!" He heard his neighbor call.
"Stoph, how's Steve?" Devin asked looking up. His neighbors had moved in a few years ago from the city, Steve was a cop and had become well known in the town for being fair.
"He's good, how are you? Any damage?" Stoph nodded to his house.
"Nope, all okay here." Devin said. Stoph smiled and nodded.
"Good, Don't think you and Steve will be fishing for awhile though, the whole lake was flooded and there were dead fish all over the place. I doubt there are any left in the lake."
"Damn, what a shame." Devin sighed. Fishing was one of his favorite things to do. On weekends he and Steve would go down and fish for hours. They were two of the few openly gay men in the small town and for the most part they had no problems.
"I need to get inside, Steve is wandering around helping people with the property damages and he should be home soon," Stoph said breaking the moment of silence, "You're welcome to come over for dinner if you'd like?"
"I would be glad to." Devin smiled.
"See you then." He waved goodbye as he watched Stoph leave.
'Maybe I should go check out the lake.' Devin thought to himself. He would have time before dinner and wanted to see how bad the damage was. He got in his truck and as he drove by the rows of waterlogged yards and houses he thought about how amazing it is that something as peaceful and natural as water could be so devastating.
He arrived at the lake and saw that Stoph had been right. Fish lined the shore, which was much smaller then it had been before. The lake looked dirtier and the once clear water was now muddy and stirred up. He stood at the edge of the water and looked inside. He couldn't see anything other then the green brown water and a few fallen trees that floated around, or sat there half underwater. He heard a loud splash and looked over. Ripples spread from a single spot on the otherwise smooth lake. He watched the spot and when nothing else happened he turned to leave.
'I guess there are still a few fish left. Better let them repopulate though.' He thought to himself as he drove off. If he had turned around he could have seen the blue green eyes staring at him from the water.
Stoph prepared a delicious dinner of chicken, peas, and rice. Devin was already there and was helping to set the table when Steve walked in.
"Hey, love." He greeted Stoph and kissed the smaller man. Stoph had a large scar across his face and several other scars across his body that Devin had seen while they were swimming or if he reached for something high up and his shirt was to short. He never asked what happened and Stoph never mentioned it, eventually he had forgotten about it entirely and only rarely remembered that they were there.
"Babe, that was delicious." Steve said, when they had finished eating.
"Glad you appreciated it, but I'm not a housewife you know." Stoph joked.
"Oh, I know, and I'm glad that you aren't. I like you with a dick." Steve smiled and kissed Stoph.
"Come on guys, I just ate!" Devin laughed. They joked around and ended up sitting down to watch TV but soon enough they just muted it and talked. Steve and Stoph cuddled on one end of the couch while Devin sat at the other. Steve and Devin watched a ball game while they talked and Stoph listened.
"So I went by the lake today." Devin said.
"Oh yeah I went by there earlier, doesn't look like there will be much fishing going on. But I think we can get it repopulated in awhile. Will have to get some scientists or something to ship some fish in." Steve shrugged.
"That might not be necessary, I heard some pretty large splashes today, must be some huge fucking fish."
"Well that's good, the strongest survive right?" Steve sipped his beer.
"Bigger fish to catch." Devin laughed. Stoph whispered something in Steve's ear and stood.
"I'm going to bed, night Devin." Stoph said, and walked into their room shutting the door behind him.
"He's a sweet guy." Devin said.
"Yeah, I got lucky. If a certain someone had his way we would have never been together." Steve whispered the last part to himself, but Devin heard.
"Who?" He asked, Steve looked at him.
"Uh, you know, those assholes who are against gay couples and all that." Steve took another sip of his beer. Devin knew it was a lie, but if Steve didn't want to talk about it he wouldn't make him.
"I should be heading home, and you have a cute little man waiting for you." Devin gestured to the bedroom.
"Oh, boy!" Steve jumped up like a little kid on Christmas and skipped into the room, he saw him land on the bed before the door closed.
"Bye!" He called out, and he heard the two giggling behind the door. Devin rolled his eyes before letting himself out.
Devin stood on the beach, throwing a football back and forth with Steve. Stoph sat in the shade since he never liked going out in the sun and kept hidden behind his sunglasses.
"Come on, babe come play with us." Steve begged.
"Boys." Stoph rolled his eyes. Steve chucked the football at him and it bounced off his chest and onto the ground.
"Ow." Stoph rubbed the spot on his chest. He picked up the ball and threw it back, aiming for Steve's head, missing Steven by a few inches.
"Asshole!" He swore.
"You're not allergic to the sun, Stoph, I promise."
"You don't know that." Stoph smiled.
"Oh but I do." Steve walked over to him and dragged him out into the sunlight.
"Ooooh, it burns. The pain." Stoph said with no enthusiasm.
"I know what will cool you off." Steve picked him up over his shoulder and headed towards the water.
"Dont you dare Steve! Don't even think about it! Steven!" Stoph began to kick and fight, and Devin couldn't stop laughing. "Steven James Bernard you put me down, this minute!" Stoph struggled but Steve was stronger, and he threw him into the water and watched Stoph come up coughing and spitting. He took off his sunglasses and glared at Steve as the waves pushed and pulled him. Devin and Steve were crying they were laughing so hard.
"Someone is sleeping on the couch." Devin said when he saw the evil look in Stoph's eyes. Steve bent to help him out of the water and was surprised when Stoph pulled him in. Steve came up laughing and Stoph look satisfied with himself. He whispered something to Steve and Devin could have sworn he heard Stoph say,
"I should have stayed in Hell, at least I would have be safe from you!"
Devin shook his head. Why would Stoph say something like that? He helped both of them out of the water and they decided to call it a day.
Devin arrived home after dinner with Steve and Stoph the second day in a row and he realized it was already midnight. He didn't think they had spent that long talking. He undressed and crawled into bed alone and thought about Steve and Stoph. They got along so well and had been in love for years. Steve told him they had met in high school. They took a short break when Stoph had to leave for something, but then they got together again. He was amazed that after five years they still had the love for each other that they had in high school.
He wanted that, more than anything. He just wanted someone to be there for him that he could love and who would love him back. He wanted what they had. He sighed and crawled out of bed, he couldn't sleep when he'd start thinking like this. He got dressed and got into his truck, heading out to the lake. He stood near the water and looked for any signs of fish. But there were none. He heard a sudden extremely loud cracking sound and turned to see a huge, old, tree fall into the water. He covered his ears as it crashed into the lake.
"Damn." The tree was old already and the recent flood had weakened it to the point of breaking. It now sat in the water, roots in the air, and the top of it was dipped into the deeper water. He heard large splashes and saw that in the middle of the fallen tree, underwater, something was stuck. It splashed frantically and he ran to the tree as quickly as he could.
"Shit! Hold on I'll help you." Devin said. He went around to the other side but the pinned man or animal was submerged completely. A hand flailed around in the air and behind him his legs kicked, trying to free himself of the obviously heavy tree. Devin knew he had no hope of lifting it but he tried anyways, and as he expected he had no success. He knew the man wouldn't last much longer and knew he probably couldn't save him. He ran to his truck and broke nearly every driving law created to get to Steve's house. Stopping only to get the spare key from under their mat, he burst in and found them sleeping peacefully in bed. He woke them up and told them what had happened.
"What do you mean someone's stuck?" Steve asked as he pulled on pants.
"I don't know, I was out by the lake and the tree fell. I heard splashing and someone was crushed by it. I couldn't lift it by myself, I tried." Devin sighed. Steve and Stoph stood silently.
"There's no way he's still alive." Steve said, Devin nodded.
"I know. But we have to get him out of there still." He said.
"I know I know, come on." Steve and Stoph drove there with Devin following him. They got to the lake and Devin saw splashing still.
"No way, it's not possible!" Devin ran over and saw the man under the tree still squirming, trying to free himself.
"I got help, don't worry." Devin called out to him. He put his hand under the murky water and it landed on a head. He stroked the hair gently, trying to calm him down. Steve tied a chain around the tree and attached it to his truck. He called out to Devin to be ready and Devin took the man's hand in his. Steve started the truck and put the pedal to the metal. The tree began to roll and finally it moved, Devin pulled and finally he saw the mans face. It was pale and he had beautiful blue green eyes. His hair was a sandy blonde color and almost reached his shoulders. His hair was braided into cornrows and beaded at the end. The beads obviously weren't plastic but made out of, what looked like, whale bones. That wasn't what attracted Devin's attention.
Instead of a pair of legs he had a long blue tail. Much like a fish but much larger. His hands were webbed and had blue claws and patches of scales on them. And on the side of his neck were gills. His mouth was open and Devin saw gleaming white teeth. Sharper then a human's but not as sharp as something like a shark. Steve and Stoph climbed out of the car and they stopped when they saw the younger man.
"Merrow." Stoph said shocked. The creature looked up at him.
"Demon." He hissed in a soft voice. It was beautiful and sounded like a well practiced song.
"Ex-Demon." Stoph said. Suddenly the young man gasped and nearly passed out.
"Put him back in the water!" Stoph pushed him back into the water. He turned and dived deeper into the lake, his long blue tail behind him.
"Welcome to the world of demons, angels, and mythological creatures." Steve smiled at him and slapped him on the shoulder.
"Huh?" Devin looked pale.
"Merrow's are.... I guess you would call them mermaids." Stoph said.
"Merpeople." The man poked his head out of the water. He used his hands to tread water and Devin could see his tail through the murky water.
"Right, sorry." He apologized.
"Okay what the fuck is going on here?" Devin asked.
"I guess he washed in during the flood from the ocean." Stoph shrugged. "Wait, I thought Merrow's were fresh water only?" Stoph asked.
"Common misconception, males are also supposed to be ugly. What do you think?" The creature swam up to Devin and pushed himself up on the muddy shore, using his arms. He giggled and began humming, swimming away teasingly.
"DON'T listen to him sing." Stoph covered one ear for each of the men and pushed them down so their other ear was against his chest.
"Why not?" Devin asked. The fish man pouted.
"They're famous for luring men to their death." Stoph said. Steve and Devin nodded.
"Oh." They both said.
"It's not their fault though, they just forget humans cant breathe under water." Stoph smiled.
"Thank you for the help." The small fish man said.
"You're welcome. What's your name?" Devin asked.
"Nice to meet you, Levi. I'm Devin."
"Hi." Levi waved and rolled onto his back and used his tail to paddle backwards. He floated on the water and watched the three men, every thirty seconds or so he would dive underwater or dip his head under to breathe before coming back up.
"Do you have anything to eat? I mean I didn't think there were any fish left." Devin asked when he saw Levi's ribs poking out from his skin.
"No, theres no food here. A few small fish but nothing that will keep me going." Levi twirled and dived under water, coming back up a minute later.
"Can you hold out until tomorrow? I'll bring you something to eat." Devin promised. Levi swam up to the mud again and sat up like a seal.
"I only eat fish." Levi said.
"I figured, any requests?" Devin asked. Levi thought for a minute.
"No, but preferably nothing canned." Levi said, Devin nodded.
"When you come, splash the water three times." Levi swam off before diving into deeper waters and disappearing from sight. Devin turned to Steve and Stoph.
"You two have some explaining to do." He dragged them off towards the cars.
"Actually I didn't know that mermaids existed." Steve said, after telling Devin about how he met Stoph and what happened.
"Merpeople." Stoph corrected.
"So we are on the same page now, right? Ex-demon, now human, merman swimming around, no secrets, yeah?"
"Nope, secret free." Stoph said.
"Good, now, anything else we should discuss about Levi?" Devin asked. Stoph thought for a moment.
"Merrow's are usually peaceful. Most of the malevolent stuff they do is unintentional." Stoph explained.
"Okay, That's good, I think...." Devin furrowed his brow.
"By malevolent you mean..." Steve trailed off.
"Luring sailors and other men into the ocean, drowning people they love, hypnotizing people with their singing, ruining fishing spots by feeding there, they're also very venomous." Stoph counted the things on his fingers. The two other men had a look of confusion and terror on their face. Stoph couldn't help but laugh.
"Really though, they're said to be very very kind and good people. They care about nature more than anything else and are careful to not upset the balance, they try and leave nature to itself. That's probably why he hasn't been eating the few fish in the lake. He wants to let them repopulate."
"Huh...." Devin had a strange look on his face.
"You like him!" Stoph exclaimed.
"I do not!" Devin shouted.
"Oh yes you do!" Steve joined in.
"He's a fish!"
"Stoph was full blooded demon when I met him, and I love him."
"That's different." Devin said defensively.
"Why?" Stoph asked.
"I don't know, it just is. You don't have gills!"
"Nope, just had a tail and some horns." Stoph laughed. Devin glared at him.
"Are you going to be okay until tomorrow? I'll bring you some food, any preferences?" Steve said in a high pitched voice, mimicking a love struck girl. Stoph doubled over laughing and Devin threw a pillow at him.
"I need to go shopping." Devin grabbed his keys from off the table.
"For fish?" Stoph called out as he opened the door.
"Shut up." He called without turning around, shutting the door behind him.
Devin arrived the next day with a shopping bad full of fish. He had gotten several different kinds, he didn't know what kind Levi would like. He squatted near the waters edge and splashed three times like Levi had told him. Suddenly the stillness of lake was broken by a pair of eyes peering up at him from the middle of the lake. Suddenly the eyes were gone, followed by a blue tail. Moments later Levi appeared at the waters edge.
"You came back." He smiled.
"I told you I would, and I brought you something." He held up the bag of fish. Levi gave a happy cry and did a back flip and disappeared under water again. He came back to the surface and began singing with happiness. Suddenly Devin felt a strange foggy feeling come over him and he couldn't focus on anything. The bag of fish was forgotten in the mud and he had to chase after that beautiful voice. He Stepped into the water, shoes still on, and followed the singing merman. Levi was oblivious to what he was doing and only noticed when Devin reached the deep part of the lake and, unprepared, took that final step and plunged into the dark waters.
"Oops." Levi dived under and pulled him back to the surface. "I'm so sorry, Mephistopheles was right, our kind do forget about what we can do." He dragged him back to the shore and pushed him up. By now Devin was coming out of his trance and looked around.
"Why am I wet?" Devin said.
"I forgot, I was singing and you followed me. I'm sorry. So sorry. So very very sorry." Levi apologized over and over.
"It's fine." Devin laughed. He reached over and picked up the bag of fish he dropped. And pulled out a fresh salmon.
"Hungry?" He unwrapped the fish and gave it to Levi, who stripped it clean of any meat in seconds. When he finished picking the meat off the bones he swallowed the head and bones hole.
"Okay, well that was disgusting." Devin said with a chipper smile. Levi blushed and wiped his mouth off.
"I know you said no canned fish but I thought you might like them, it's something you can save for later." Devin handed him a can of sardines. He grimaced but opened the can and popped one in his mouth. He chewed for a second before he shrugged and began nibbling on them.
"So if you don't want to be here, and there's no food. Why don't you just go back to the ocean?" Devin asked.
"And how do you suppose I do that?" Levi asked.
"Stoph was talking about how merpeople can turn into humans yesterday. So couldn't you literally get up and walk back if you wanted to?"
"Mephistopheles is correct, we have that and other abilities. But... honestly.... I'm scared. I've never been outside the ocean before, everything I know about humans is from others of my kind or what I've heard from men on boats." Levi shrugged.
"I can take you." Devin offered. Levi still looked scared and shook his head.
"Come on." Devin prodded. Levi shook his head again, and dipped underwater until only his eyes were visible. Devin chuckled. He sat with Levi for awhile longer before standing and handing him the bag of fish.
"That should last you a few days, I'll come back and check on you." Devin said.
"Tomorrow?" Levi raised himself out of the water and onto the mud. Devin smiled silently.
"Sure." Levi gave a chirp that sounded identical to a dolphin and threw himself backwards. He disappeared under the water for a second before he burst from the water and flipped in the air. He landed with a large splash and sprayed Devin with water. Devin laughed and whipped the water from his eyes before Levi came back to the surface smiling.
"I'll see you later." Devin smiled and walked to his truck. He arrived at home before deciding to stop by at Steve and Stoph's place. He crossed the lawn between them and knocked before letting himself in. They had been friends for a long time and had an open door policy.
"Stoph you here?"
"In the kitchen." Devin followed the voice into the kitchen and found Stoph making a homemade pizza.
"Sweet, oh, did I mention I'm coming over for dinner tonight?" Devin smiled. Stoph laughed and nodded his head.
"You know you're always welcome. So did you go see Levi today?" He asked as he threw on more cheese.
"Yeah, he really is a sweet heart. He was so happy to see me. You should have seen him, he was doing flips when I said I was coming back tomorrow. Literal flips, like a dolphin." Devin laughed and stole a piece of cheese. He reached for another pinch of cheese but Stoph slapped his hand.
"Ow." He sucked on his fingers.
"Mermaids are really friendly. They get their bad rep from old legends and stuff. Back in the 1800's they were going extinct. They had to reproduce and they had no choice but to steal humans from ships to mate with. Unfortunately, because of the way they did such, the humans wouldn't survive." Stoph explained.
"They could just mate with each other?" Devin asked. Stoph shook his head.
"Mermaids can't reproduce with each other. Human's are their usual choice. They can also mate with dolphins and such but... yeah that's kind of creepy." Stoph laughed.
"Agreed." Devin said, a distant look in his eyes.
"So you want some pizza?" Stoph asked.
"Yeah." Devin said with little interest.
"So you're NOT going to be here for dinner then?" Stoph smiled.
"Good, because I was going to take Steve down to the seventh level of hell to have some caviar and guacamole." Stoph said.
"Sounds good." Devin replied, making Stoph chuckle.
"What?" Devin asked, coming out of his own little world.
"Nothing, you weren't paying attention." Stoph giggled.
"No, I wasn't. Sorry Stoph."
"It's alright." Stoph looked at him out of the corner of his eyes. "I thought I should tell you, Merpeople don't discriminate. Male and female, its all the same to them. They believe in loving who you love. Not what makes the most babies." Devin looked up.
"Thanks for the tip." He rolled his eyes.
"And Levi was single." Stoph smiled.
"How do you know?"
"Merpeople are tattooed when they're mated." Stoph explained.
"Isn't that a little... permanent?" Devin asked.
"They know when they've met their mate. As soon as they've consummated their coupling they get tattoos of their mates name and such in their own language. They're quiet beautiful actually." Stoph said.
"You know a lot about this kind of stuff."
"I was the devil's right hand man for thousands of years. What did you expect? I know stuff." Stoph shrugged as he tasted the sauce of the pizza before putting it in the oven.
"True." Devin shrugged and cracked open a beer. This would still need some getting used to.
"Devin!" Levi chirped before Devin even splashed the water.
"Hi." Devin smiled. Levi smiled before turning on his back and doing the backstroke up to the edge of the water, beaching himself in the mud.
"How are you?" Levi asked.
"Good, do you need more food?" Devin asked. Levi shook his head.
"Come swim with me, Devin." Levi smiled. The water had cleared up fast and was almost as clear as it was before.
"I don't know.... I don't have trunks or anything." Levi gave a sad purr and splashed back into the water.
"Besides, I don't really want to get we-" He was interrupted when Levi appeared at the surface again. This time on his back facing away from him, he used his large tail to splash Devin with lake water. Devin sighed.
"Well now you've issued a challenge!" Devin laughed and pulled his shoes off. Levi let out a scream and flipped back and splashed into deeper water. Devin chased him in and dived into the water. He opened his eyes underwater and quickly adjusted. He wondered if Levi could see clear under water but not out.
As soon as he thought this he saw the flowing body of Levi come chirping up to him. His voice was just as clear out of water as in it, even though it seemed he could only make the familiar clicks and chirps as a dolphin. Devin smiled and Levi turned, swimming into deeper water. Devin followed him but had to come up for air.
"Oh yeah..." Levi said when he surfaced.
"What?" Devin asked, pushing the hair out of his eyes.
"Forget humans cant hold breath underwater." Levi smiled.
"No we cant, but I can hold my breath for a decent amount of time." Devin dived back underwater. Levi followed him. Devin had been on the swim team in high school and collage and still had the slim body and swimming skills. Levi spoke underwater and although he couldn't understand the foreign language he was astonished at its beauty. Like a whale and a dolphin combined. The sing song voice could drag any man from his home into the deep sea. Devin surfaced and Levi followed him.
"Your language. It's beautiful." Devin smiled.
"Thank you." Levi smiled. The gaze was broken when Levi swam backwards, splashing Devin with his tail.
"Stop that!" Devin laughed and swam after him. Levi dived underwater and that's when Devin noticed the purpose of the beads at the end of his hair. They weighed down the hair so it didn't float every which way and get in his eyes. It kept his hair as neat as it was while on the surface. Devin chased after Levi but he was much faster then Devin was, and ever would be.
"So how's Levi?" Steve asked, as he was walking from the road checking the mail. "And why are you all wet?" He stopped in the middle of his lawn.
"Levi started it." Devin said with a straight face. Steve raised an eyebrow.
"Uh huh.... Well. You coming over for dinner?" Steve smiled.
"Not tonight, I'm tired." Devin rubbed the back of his neck.
"Alright well I'll see you later."
Devin closed the door behind him and immediately showered and climbed into bed. His dreams were filled with the beautiful sound of Levi's voice. He dreamed about the shimmering blue green scales of his tail and how beautiful he looked underwater.
Devin was woken by a loud banging on his door. He rolled out of his bed and made his way to the front door.
"What what what, Jesus. What!" Devin rubbed his eyes. Steve was at the door looking pale.
"Devin, come on quick." Steve ran towards his truck, where Stoph was already waiting.
"What?" Devin squinted at the bright sunlight.
"They're draining the lake." Steve shouted, without turning around. Devin was awake instantly. He grabbed his boots and ran after Steve barefoot. He put his shoes on in the car. They arrived at the lake to see it almost entirely empty. It was only noon, they must have been draining for hours. Steve walked up and addressed the guy who looked like he was in charge.
"What's going on here?"
"Because of the flood there was a lot of wreckage. We have to drain the lake and clean it up." The guy said hardly looking up from his clipboard.
"I'm the Sheriff here, and I'm going to need you to call this whole thing off." Steve said.
"I'm afraid you don't have any authority on this matter Sheriff. The mayor has requested this and all of the permits are in order." The scientist smiled. Steve cursed and nodded at Stoph and Devin, who raced off around the lake to find Levi while Steve tried to stall the men. They ran around to the back of the lake where they couldn't bee seen by the men draining the lake. And found Levi quickly. There was only a fraction of lake water left and it was obvious he was struggling. He barely fit in the small puddle that had been sectioned off from the main part of the lake. His gills moved quickly, struggling to take in oxygen from the more mud that water substance.
"Levi." Devin gasped. He reached down and stroked his smooth skin.
"We'll get you out of here." Stoph whispered. He looked up towards Devin.
"We need to get him out of the water and dry him off. That will make him lose the tail and grow a pair of legs." Stoph explained.
"Uh, okay here. My jacket." Stoph followed Devin and took off his jacket as well. They dragged a very heavy Levi out of the mud and onto the drier ground. They quickly wiped the mud and water off of him and within no time his tail was gone and a two long legs took their place. He lost the fins on his arms and legs and his gills had disappeared. And when he blinked you couldn't see the second pair of eyelids that reminded Devin oh so much of a shark. It became all too apparent that Levi wasn't wearing anything and without his tale was nude. Devin quickly covered him up with his jacket around his waist and used Stoph's jacket to cover his shoulders.
"Come on." Devin tried to pull Levi up but the smaller merman, now human, only fell back down.
"He's never had legs before Devin. He doesn't know how to stand or walk." Stoph explained. Devin looked down at the frightened helpless merman and bent down, he scooped him up and carried him around the lake. Without being noticed they slipped back into the truck, with Levi sitting against Devin.
"Stay here." Stoph said and jogged over to Steve.
"Steve, come on we can go fishing another time." He shrugged. Steve looked at him like he was insane and Stoph smiled, blinking innocently, nodding towards the truck. Steve looked at the truck and saw the wide eyed frightened face of Levi.
"Sorry to have taken up your time. Have a nice day." He said to the man with the clipboard before running off with Stoph. They climbed into the truck and drove towards home quickly. They got home and had a second of hesitation before Devin started towards his house. Steve and Stoph followed him inside where he laid the quivering merman down on his bed. He immediately grabbed a pillow and clutched it to him.
"I'll be right back, okay?" Devin said. Levi looked like a frightened animal. Devin stood and left the room closing the door behind him.
"What the hell am I supposed to do with him?" Devin whispered.
"I don't know! Take him back to the ocean? I mean he was afraid to come to the human world right? Land? But now he is already here. So does it matter?" Stoph shrugged.
"Please don't send me back." Levi appeared at the doorway. The three men shared a look.
"Why not?" Steve asked. Levi seemed hesitant.
"You can talk to us, Levi. We're your friends." Devin took his hands. Every time Levi moved his head the beads on the end of his hair would click together making a delightful sound.
"I cannot go back." Tears fell down his face slowly. Devin's heart broke and he took the small man in his arms.
"I wont make you go back." He whispered lovingly. Levi sobbed into his chest and wrapped his arms around him. Devin glanced at Stoph who just shrugged.
After Devin finally got Levi to sleep, he Stoph and Steve sat in the kitchen sipping coffee.
"I don't know why he would be scared to go back. As far as I know Merrow's are very peaceful creatures. They're all very loving and kind." Stoph shrugged.
"He is obviously terrified of whatever is going on there." Steve said.
"But what is it?" Devin wondered.
"Good morning." Devin smiled when he saw Levi's beautiful blue eyes open. Devin had slept in bed with Levi, but stayed dressed and left space between them.
"Good morning." Levi said in his silky soft voice.
"How are you feeling?" Levi shrugged in reply.
"I think you need to tell me what's going on, why don't you want to go home? And why did you lie to me?" Devin asked. Levi lowered his head, it was obvious he felt bad about lying to Devin.
"I just cant go back." Levi said simply.
"Why not? I want details." Devin wouldn't back down. Levi seemed hesitant but gave in.
"I have been banished by my people. If I return they'll kill me. Or the ocean will. Without a family I'll starve. Among other threats." Levi said. Devin thought for a moment, not looking away from Levi's eyes.
"Why?" Devin asked. Levi sighed, like he knew the question would come up but was hoping it didn't have to.
"I had an arranged marriage. I refused to marry him and shamed my family." Levi said.
"Wait, Stoph said that your people value free love and all that jazz." Devin tried to understand.
"We do. For the most part. I'm not a usual case." Levi said vaguely. Devin gave him a look to continue.
"I'm royalty." Levi sighed.
"Now was that so hard?" Devin smiled. Levi glared at him and played with the sheets.
"Like pulling teeth." Devin laughed.
"So is there anything that is actually keeping you in the water? Cant you just live up here?" Devin asked seriously. Levi looked up at him with a face that said the thought had never occurred to him.
"Well, no. I guess not. It's just.... The ocean is my home. I've never left it. I don't even know how to walk, how am I to survive in this world? When it's so different from my own." Levi asked.
"That's what friends are for. Come on, swing your legs over to the side of the bed." Devin stood up from the bed.
"We're going to teach you how to walk." Devin smiled. Levi looked like he was going to be sick but did as he was told. After some struggling he managed to get his long legs over the side of the bed. Devin moved so he was on his side of the bed and, with hands under his arms, lifted Levi so he was leaning on Devin.
"Whoa." Levi held onto Devin like his life depended on it.
"I've got you." Devin promise. Their eyes met and Levi blushed and looked away.
"Now," Devin started. "Walking is almost nothing like swimming, so this should be fun." He laughed, and Levi giggled.
"Stand up straight, I've got you don't worry about falling." Devin promised again. Levi attempted to stand up straight but teetered back and forth ominously.
"Now, remember to stay up straight or you're going to fall. Just one foot at a time okay? Lets start with the right." Devin moved behind him, hands still under his arms, and used his right foot to nudge Levi's. Levi slid the foot forward and looked like he was having balance issues.
"When you move one foot, put your weight on the one that isn't moving. Okay?" Levi nodded.
"Next foot now." Devin nudged his other foot and Levi moved it up to his right one.
"No, no. Move the next foot further then your first foot." Devin smiled, trying not to giggle. When Levi had taken a few steps with Devin supporting his weight, Devin moved on to the more difficult subject.
"Now, lets try some balance. Just stand up straight. With your feet apart." Levi did as he was told and looked up at Devin, who had moved in front of him, for approval.
"Good. Now, I'm going to let you go just a little bit, try and stay balanced. I'm here to catch you if you need me." Levi looked worried, but trusted Devin, who slowly let him go. He balanced for a moment on his own and then nearly fell, but was caught by the vigilant Devin.
"Good! Now, lets try this." Devin taught him how to catch himself with his feet if he were to tip forward or backwards. And soon, Levi was able to take a few tentative steps around the room.
"You're a fast learner." Devin smiled. Levi smiled, standing on his own, before he began to fall. He tried to catch himself with his foot but only threw himself farther forward. Devin jumped out to catch him and barely made it. They both fell to the ground with a heavy thud.
"I don't care what you say. Gravity sucks." Levi cursed. Devin giggled and soon the two had a laughing fit on the floor.
Good morning you two." Steve said, watching the two giggle and tickle each other. They looked up, blushing and Devin helped Levi from the floor since he still hadn't learned how to stand up after falling.
"You've been learning!" Steve smiled when he saw Levi standing on his own. He nodded and beamed.
"I brought food." Steve walked into the kitchen. The smell of breakfast floated through the house from a covered plate.
"Levi do you know if you can eat things other then fish?" Devin asked. Levi shrugged.
"I've never tried."
"You seriously mean to tell me that you have NEVER had anything other then fish?" Steve grimaced when Levi nodded. "You poor deprived child, let me feed you." Steve pulled out more covered plates from a bag.
"I don't know, what if it makes him sick or something." Devin worried.
"Stoph said it should be fine, just as long as he doesn't eat to much." Steve nodded.
Steve's statement was soon forgotten as Levi got his first taste of food other then fish. The boy went mad. He stuffed every edible (and some inedible) item into his mouth. He moaned his approval whenever shoving a new piece of food into his mouth. Steve and Devin watched the young man dash around the kitchen, mixing different foods to the point of being just wrong.
"Should we... stop him?" Steve asked, as Levi shoved sausage and bread into his mouth.
"Have you seen the teeth he has? Let him eat. Maybe getting sick will teach him a lesson." Devin shrugged grinning.
"Doesn't that seem a little cruel?" Steve asked, neither of them had removed their eyes from the tornado in the kitchen.
"Eh, he has to learn some how right?" Devin said. Steve nodded silently.
An hour later, most of the kitchen was devoid of anything remotely consumable. The entire contents of the kitchen now sat before Levi in the white porcelain toilet bowl.
"Ooh, it hurts." He groaned for the eighth time. Devin was starting to feel bad for letting him eat so much.
"I know, it will get better, I promise." He held back the beads of Levi's hair and rubbed his back as he vomited again.
"My mouth tastes gross." He whimpered. Devin reached over and grabbed a bottle of mouth wash.
"Here." He raised Levi up and put him over the sink. "Swish some of this around in your mouth. But don't swallow it." He warned. Levi nodded and did as he was told.
"Better?" He gave a weak nod. "Good." Devin picked him up and carried him into the bedroom. He laid him down on the bed and Levi immediately curled up and hugged a pillow. Devin disappeared for a moment before returning with a bowl, just in case. He set the bowl by Levi's bedside and told him if he was going to be sick again, to use the bowl. Levi nodded quietly and Devin crawled in beside him. He spooned against him carefully, rubbing his back and stomach trying to soothe the cramps that plagued the thin man. Soon Levi's breathing became deeper and slower. Devin glanced over at his face and found him fast asleep. He cuddled the other man closer to his chest and kissed the silky soft cornrows on Levi's head. Soon the steady sound of Levi's breathing took over Devin's senses and he was met with the soothing darkness of sleep.