Chapter 3: Une Fête (Ch. 3 of 5)
Merry, good-humored, approachable, a bit foul-mouthed—mostly Clint— and overall amazing. Those traits seemed to cover Tony’s men fairly well. You were certain that once Tony located his men they’d all be eager to leave, but that wasn’t the case. They were in no rush to depart Amore instead electing to drink and chat the night away. And you listened to every word.
They spoke of the amazing tales—of ghosts and ghouls, sword fights, and treasure—and every word was just as intoxicating as the alcohol you opted not to partake in. These men truly were a force to be reckoned with.
“Remember the first time we all went to Asgard? Man, was that a day or what!” Clint exclaims before he takes another large gulp of beer.
“Yes. It’s rather strange to think that’s where we first came across Thor,” Bruce states almost fondly.
“That and about how much he wanted our heads!”
You blanch at Clint’s bellowed words and you quickly turn to Tony in pursuit of an explanation. He notices your gaze almost instantly and he grins, leaning in close before speaking.
“The big man there used to work for the navy—hell he used to be the captain of his own naval fleet—and boy did they want us dead.”
“It is true. Before these men all became my brothers they were but a menace. Top of the wanted the Captain was, Clint following closely behind.”
Clint winks at you and gives you a thumbs up at Thor’s words, clearly pleased with them.
“I thought if I could capture the crew of the Romanoff and send them off to the gallows then the world would be that much of a better place, but I was wrong.”
Thor’s eyes held a sliver of guilt, but there was something that seemed to relay his relief at having been incorrect with his former theory.
“How so?” you ask softly, reaching out a hand to lay it gently atop his.
He grins that trademark grin of his before siting up slightly, rectifying his posture.
“My country was under siege by the Frost Pirates.”
“Frost Pirates?” you repeat having not the slightest as to what a pirate was much less the ones who seemed to accustomed to winter’s frost.
Thor nods, “Led by my own flesh and blood—my brother—they sought to overrun our country and take it for their own. Our men were strong, prepared to fight, but it wasn’t enough against the Frost Pirates and the Tesseract. Asgard would’ve fallen had it not be for the Captain here and his crew.”
You glance over to Tony with an almost proud smile and he grins, clearly aware that you were impressed by his prowess.
“They all came with a plan and pulled my people from the steely grip of the Frost Pirates, managing to obtain the Tesseract and seal it away in the process. Asgard will be forever indebted and these man, pirates or not, shall always be welcomed in our land.”
“Aww, shucks!” Clint slaps Thor hard on his back and the two begin to laugh, “The big man’s really got a way with words, dont’cha think (y/n)?”
“Uh…I suppose. I’m not exactly an expert when it comes the English vernacular.”
Clint eyes you silently, “You talk like you’re from Asgard too. You from Asgard?”
You quickly shake your head, “No, I’m…not.”
“It’s called having an education, something you clearly aren’t familiar with,” Bruce teases and Clint gives him a lazy roll of his eyes, mimicking Bruce’s words playfully.
As everyone ripples into laughter something dawns on Steve, “You know, we’ve spent all this time talking about ourselves, but we haven’t even bothered to ask the lady about herself.”
Steve’s smile reaches his eyes and is altogether genuine and you’re fully aware he means well, but…
“I don’t mind listening. My life couldn’t possibly be as exciting as yours.”
“Steve’s right. It’d behoove us to learn a bit about our lovely new acquaintance,” Bruce adds politely and you fidget under their curious gazes.
“Ease off boys. You’re making the lady uncomfortable,” Tony teases as he ruffles your hair.
Everyone laughs and the crisis is adverted. You turn your head to look at Tony, eying him gratefully, but he plays it cool only responding with a wink and a devilish quirk of his lips.
The rosy tint spreading across your cheeks in thankfully hidden beneath the yellowish glow of the candles in the tavern and you sigh. Now you’re almost certain. With the way your heart skips, how his voice soothes you, and how his touch entices you to your core, you are certain. Tony has got to be the one.
“Hey, kid, you alive?”
You startle and gasp at Tony’s hand waving in front of your face. You look to him expectantly and he begins to speak.
“We’re heading out.”
“Out? Where to?”
As if Tony’s grin couldn’t get any wider, but it does, “To my ship, of course.”
“Your ship? But I thought…”
You ponder about the plausibility of his words as he stands to his feet.
“She’s a little banged up and needs some renovation, but my boys managed to keep my girl above the water.”
“Your ship is female?” you ask as you take the hand he’s extended to you so that he may pull you to your feet.
“Don’t hurt yourself. It’s just a figure of speech,” Tony teases as he places a hand on the small of your back, following after his stumbling men—excluding Steve who firmly remains abstinent of alcohol—escorting you towards the front door.
“Oh, of course. I knew that.”
“No you didn’t.”
“No I didn’t,” you agree as you shake your head, eyes looking down to the flowers in your hand.
You and Tony silently follow after there others and never does he remove the hand resting on your back.
It’s spectacular, you’re sure, even beneath the cover of night. You’ve never been on a ship before, but even still you’re certain that the Romanoff is beyond words. She truly was a sight to behold, damaged or not.
“This is amazing!” you sigh breathlessly.
“Ain’t she? Never seen a ship half as gorgeous,” Clint says as he walks by and over to Tony, who’s been surveying the damage since the ship came into sight.
“Truly. The Romanoff is a vessel unlike any other, though that could simply be my heart speaking,” Thor says with a soft smile as he moves to stand beside you.
“Your heart? Does that mean you can feel her?” you ask, gingerly leaning over the edge of the boat to look down the moonlit waters.
“I certainly like to think so.”
You smile at his words. You could certainly relate. You often fancied thinking you could feel the ocean, as though the salty waters ran through your veins substituting itself for blood.
“She’s definitely going to need some work, but a tough old gal she is. Steve, how close is the next city?”
“2-3 days. Give or take.”
Tony hums in thought and you watch him, heart skipping a beat when he looks to you.
“I was thinking we’d stick around. You know, get Natasha all fixed up. Amore has a lumber shop so,” Clint says as he rubs a hand up and down the wood of the first mast.
“Natasha?” you wonder aloud.
“That’s what Clint calls the Romanoff. Says she’s too good not to have a sexy name…such as Natasha,” Tony helpfully explains with the roll of his eyes.
“Could it be you just want to stay for the festival tomorrow?” Steve asks with a sly smirk.
“Yes, Brother Clint did mention this festival quite frequently back at the bar,” Thor adds in absently.
“Oh sure guys. Just throw me into the sea why dont’cha.”
Bruce chuckles, wiping his hands against one another after he ties the last rope down.
“Hmm…a festival, huh?” Tony ponders aloud, a hand under chin as he contemplates. He smirks and his eyes swiftly flick over to you, “What do you say we stick around for this ‘festival’?”
“I’m looking at you, aren’t I?”
“Yes…it’s just that,” you turn your head towards the lapping waters that seems to circuit—back and forth, back and forth—in time with your heart.
“One more day won’t kill ya…will it?”
The last half of Tony’s question is genuine seeing as he has no idea about the limitations of being mermaid. You shake your head with an amused smile.
“No, it wouldn’t. I’m just afraid my sisters may begin to worry.”
“Sisters?” Steve repeats.
“Well if you’re sisters are half as striking as you are then you may just have to introduce me to them,” Clint says, voice full of mirth.
You laugh awkwardly, “Perhaps it’d be best if I didn’t.”
“Now why in the world would she want to introduce an heathen like you to her sisters?” Bruce asks, brazenly taunting the man.
Hmm…you’d said that less so for your sisters and more so to keep the whimsical man alive. You sigh heavily. A festival sounded absolutely exciting, but…
“I’d love to!” you say ecstatically taking Tony’s hand into yours.
“Then it’s settled. We’ll stay for the festival, get Natasha fixed up, and then get you home safe and sound!” Clint exclaims with the clap of his hands.
“But tonight we rest,” Bruce says tiredly as he runs a hand through his messy hair.
“Agreed. Some sleep would do us all some good.”
“Where’s the kid going to sleep?” Clint inquires as he points to you.
Tony casually drapes an arm across your shoulder with a smirk, “With me, naturally.”
Bruce yawns before he gives Tony this ‘look,’ one of which you couldn’t quite decode.
“Alright, but Tony do keep your hands clean.”
Tony feigns to be wounded and Bruce rolls his eyes.
“I can’t believe you’d even think that had to be said!”
“I mean it Tony. Squeaky clean.”
Tony gives in, clearly putout, nodding his head with compliance. With a firm nod and a goodnight the good doctor heads to his room. The others follow suit, each bidding goodnight before heading to their quarters—though Thor said his farewells with a kiss on your hand.
When they’d all cleared the deck, Tony made way to his own room and you followed behind.
The Captain’s cabin was bit of a mess with extravagant goods and treasures sprawled about the room’s expanse. Whether the state of the room was a norm or the cause of the storm you would likely never know. You move to sit on the bed, bouncing lightly in place as a smile spreads onto your face.
“I’ve never sat on a bed before,” you whisper ecstatically and Tony grins.
“Well tonight’s your lucky night because you’ll be sleeping on that one for the duration of your stay.”
“But isn’t this your bed? Where will you sleep?”
“On the sofa over there…unless you’d prefer I sleep with you.”
Your faces flushes red and you quickly shake your head. You may be fairly clueless—being a mermaid and whatnot—but even you could understand the implication of those words.
“You know, you could’ve at least pretended to have contemplated or looked upset that you had to decline.”
You laugh as you shake your head, "Now where's the sense in that?"
"Are all mermaids this sassy?" he asks playfully as he pulls a blanket from an opened trunk in the corner, nestled up beside the sofa.
You decide not to say anything, hoping Tony wouldn't feel inclined to ask anything more of you and your heritage.
"Well goodnight, (y/n)," Tony says as he bundles up in the blanket on the sofa, turning to have his back face you.
"Oh, yes. Goodnight," you reply as you mimic Tony, slipping beneath the covers and turning your back towards him.
You'd never slept beneath a blanket before. Tony's sheets are soft and smooth, spun from the finest of silk and the blanket is as soft as clouds. You sigh happily at the sensation of the fabrics against your skin and the scent of him before drifting off into a pleasant slumber.
The streets are all but filled with the scent of fragrant flowers, fresh paint, aromatic foods, and laughter. Everyone is bursting with lively energy and you can't help but feel it rubbing off on you. The wind shuffles gently through the air, ruffling through your hair and your (f/c) dress, tangling loose petal in your locks.
“It’s a floral festival!” you say happily, snatching a soft yellow petal from the drifting wind.
“It would seem so,” Bruce replies, lightly patting you on your head before walking off ahead to investigate some plants in pursuit of medical potential.
It was amazing how close you’d grown to these men in the past day and a half. This morning though rather sealed the deal. Needless to say you were rather surprised to find that Steve could actually cook, spectacularly so! Bruce—who you later learned was the ship’s doctor—wasn’t so bad himself either, you discovered as you eagerly watched them work. It was fascinating to see what human could do with their hands, things you could only image doing down below. When you heard the clanking of metal against metal, you leapt from the kitchen counter and headed up to the main deck to find Clint and Thor sparring. You moved further up, climbing the stairs to the quarter deck to obtain a finer view.
It was a sight to behold considering their significant differences in size, but Clint held his own and Thor simply looked pleased to have someone to fence with. It was apparent neither meant the other no harm, rather aiming to assist in the other’s personal growth. Brilliant it was: the ringing of steel against steel, the stealthy movement of swift feet, and furtive—almost clandestine—twists and turns of bodies and jabs of hands. Though you focused more on their feet, loving the quick bout of movement, mesmerized and envious.
“Impressed, are you?” Tony asks as he makes his way over to lean on the railing beside you—elbows upon the raised wood and chin resting upon his open palms.
“Definitely,” you quickly, eyes hurriedly following their dashing footwork.
“So what is it you find so attractive?” He inquires, almost hesitantly, but you fail to notice the tone in his voice.
“I’m sorry. What?”
You roll your eyes playfully, before leisurely leaning across the wooden railing—stomach flattened against its surface, to point down below.
“Look at how they move. And it’s all because of their feet. Well their legs too, but you know…”
You push off from the railed structure, stepping back and slightly tug your dress up to look down at your own lower appendages.
“I could never do something like that,” you sigh as you let the fabric sweep back down into place.
“Nor can most women. Sword fighting isn’t exactly a sport for the female population.”
“I wouldn’t know. My life is comprised of nothing but a female population.”
“So all mermaids are women?”
You nod slightly with a small smile as you take in a deep breath of the salty breeze. Tony places a finger to his chin before he turns around to leisurely lean back on the railing and face you.
“So how exactly does that work, seeing that you’re all women and whatnot.”
“It doesn’t. Not anymore…”
You trail off preferring not to say anymore and Tony quickly takes the hint and mentally backs away from the topic. You notice Clint stop abruptly, spinning on his heels to face to the archway that led to the lower deck.
“Grubs up!” he exclaims, sheathing his sword and mirthfully making his way down the stairs and out of your sight.
Thor bellows loudly before he looks up to Tony and shakes his head, “I tell you, Brother Clint has the nose a Doberman Pinscher!”
With that the large man heads down below after Clint.
“Grub?!” you ask slightly alarmed as you climb down the stairs, looking over our shoulder expectantly at Tony.
“It means food.”
“Grub means food? Hmm…I’m afraid I cannot condone that word. Especially when you consider that grub is also a term given to a species of larvae.”
“What?” Tony questions, eyes wide and disturbed.
You chuckle softly and having reached the bottom you spin on your heels to face him with an amused smile.
“What? You didn’t know.”
Tony says a string of abstruse words before clearing his throat and moving past you to head downstairs.
“Clint! We have got to discuss your usage of the word ‘grub!’”
With a hearty laugh and a grin you follow that silly human of yours down.
After everyone had eaten and Tony had officially banned grub form ever being spoken on his ship again, you’d all left for the festival winding up where you currently were. Walking beside Tony, hands close enough to touch, but never quite in the way you preferred.
Somewhere amongst you musings everyone had taken off to do as they pleased—Steve though headed for the lumber shop having always been the man to get the job done.
“Oh, Anthony, look!”
Quickly you snatch up his hand, dragging him through one crowd and into another. There were spectacular colorful structures all about the ground, all comprised of flourishing flowers. You grin happily as you tug at Tony’s hand.
“What are they?” you ask almost breathily, eyes never once moving from the gorgeous arrangements of florae.
“They’re flower sculptures,” he manages to utter.
“Flower structures…what do they do?”
“Nothing really. They just look nice.”
“Nice doesn’t even begin to cover it. It’s miraculous! And all of it’s made up of flowers?”
“Humans can be so amazing! So inventive and so appreciative.”
“Well who would waste their time doing this if they didn’t care? Sometimes it’s just good to marvel at what the world has to offer. Back home my favorite thing to do is watch the coral grow. You never quite know what color they’ll turn out to be, but you always know they’ll be just as beautiful as their ancestors before them. A lineage of beauty.”
Tony finds himself stunned, astounded really, at just how much this affects you. He’s never given flowers—or coral for that matter—much thought and less so their ‘ancestor’ before them—if you could even call them ancestors. A creature of the ‘earth’ you just may be. In tune and in sync, completely aware. It’s fascinating. He turns to look ahead, watching as the villager layered flowers upon flowers building a floral masterpiece. Maybe he just never noticed their beauty because no one in his life had bothered to point them out.
He recalls how there had always been flowers at the manse, every hall and every room ornamented with them. Even then he never noticed. They’d simply been there and they always would be. When the priors died, the maids would always replenish the vases and flowerbeds with fresh ones. It was almost depressing really, how much he’d always felt like a flower in that manse. Trapped within its walls and likely to remain there until he too withered away.
Again Tony is dragged from his former spot and in turn from the wallowing depths of his mind.
“What on earth is that?” you query ecstatically, eyes wide at the sight.
“It’s called magic,” Tony explains softly moving closer to your side, your cheery nature chasing all his mental demons away.
You gasp, crouching down as you watch the man pull a rabbit from his hat, giddily clapping alongside the plethora of children that too were watching.
“Isn’t amazing?” the little girl to your left asks and you nod eagerly.
“It is! I’ve never seen someone remove a rabbit from an empty hat before! Actually, I’ve never seen a rabbit before!”
The little girl giggles before flashing you a bright grin as she reaches into her basket of flowers and removes a white flower. Delicately she arranges it in your hair before placing a kiss on your cheek.
“May Flora bless you!” she says happily before glancing over to Tony, “And your husband too!”
She takes a quick curtsey before waving and heading over to a man and a woman—likely her parents—placing both her hands in one theirs mindful of her basket. You wave as you rise up to properly stand to your feet and quickly turn your smile to Tony. From the corner of his eye,Tony notices the wooden table of flowers being carried by two men and as it passes it by he slyly snatches a (f/c) azalea from the table. He leans forwards and your eyes flutter close at the close proximity of his large hands. You feel his fingertips moving about in your hair and eventually withdraw. You open your eyes, gently placing a hand to your hair noticing he’d place the one he’s snagged beside the white flower. He eyes you with something akin to pride and you smile.
He nods before offering his arm, one of which you take up eager to be as close to this human as well…humanly possible. The day is heavenly. You both run into Clint at a food vendor and the three of you have lunch together. Well you and Tony have lunch; Clint rather shovels it all down.
You run into Bruce and Steve at the parade and you all watch floral floats glide elegantly down the crowded and cheerful streets. As the day grows old and the night begins, candles and lanterns are lit and the festival burns strong. It isn’t until then you and Tony find Thor, drinking pleasantly with an array of women, though he only seems to have an eye for the brunette sitting at his side. Tony laughs as Thor chucks his mug to ground and the women swoon with cries of the wondrous customs of Asgard.
“Do you hear that?”
“What? The music?” Tony questions halfheartedly with a grin as he watched Thor throw down yet another mug. That honestly never got old, unless it was his flatware being tossed hazardously about.
“Yes! Do you dance?”
“Absolutely. Do you?”
You give him a playful flat look, clearly stating that of course you did not dance. He laughs knowingly before taking your hand and pulling you along.
“Would you be interested in learning?” he asks still leading you along and your heart flutters.
You find it impossible to halt the fit of laughter that consumes you as you dance about struggling to copy the other dancers. Tony is, unsurprisingly, a phenomenal dancer. His hands travel from the middle of your back, lingering a while before moving down to your waist. He is swift and elegant and despite your lack of skills, you find that you’re quite enjoying yourself…the dancing as well as his touch. Tony is all smiles as he glides a hand down your arm and to your wrist, gripping your hand and pushing you out and away, only to pull you close and twine his arm about you. Another turn and you’ve slipped under his arms, hands back upon his shoulders and his on your waist. You laugh loudly when you accidentally step on his feet, yet again. He pays it no mind as he twirls you again. With each movement you find it increasingly difficult to keep the pace, your ever present laughter robbing you of the necessary air.
“I…I can’t,” you pause to let out another bark of laughter as Tony smirks wickedly, “Anthony, I can’t!”
“I can’t quite hear you! The music’s a bit too loud!”
“Tony!” you exclaim, trying your best to come off as serious and failing miserably, as you pull yourself from him, “I can’t breathe!”
Tony smirks as he follows you, tugging you close as you continue to laugh and struggle to catch your breath.
“Honestly, are all humans this much trouble?” You manage to get out as you peer up to look at him, wiping the tears of laughter from your eyes as you swayed in place.
There’s something in his face—his eyes—and your heart skips a beat. It’s as if all of the world has faded away leaving only you and this incredible human. Tony moves to rest his forehead against yours and your breath shudders. He moves in and you’re more than ready, eyes sliding shut with anticipation, but the sudden splash of wetness on your cheek makes you jump back alarmed. You both look to the sky and find that it’s slowly begun to rain. Tony sighs, torn between being upset and relieved that the moment had been ruined.
“I have to go!” you whisper harshly as you pull away, untangling yourself from his hands.
“What’s wrong? It’s just rain…or was it that we almost—”
“No. I can’t get wet,” you whisper leaning in closer so that only Tony could bear witness, “If I get wet, then I change back!”
You give him a harsh look and an anxious huff and it clicks. He swiftly looks down to your feet. There’s a faint pale blue glowing swirling about you and he gaze snaps back to look around and then to you.
You hum in agreement as you shake your head hurriedly. The pitter patter of water has become heavier, only picking up its pace.
“Let’s go!” Tony says as he takes your hand and pulls you along, rushing past people as everyone tried to take shelter from the rain.
You’ve fallen breathless, stumbling as you struggled to keep up and avoid crashing into others.
“Tony, I can’t…I can’t…”
“You have to!” he shouts back as he continues to race away from the town and to the safety of the ship.
“I can’t!” you exclaim just before you run into his back.
Tony has fallen still watching men in black uniforms. He looks around before noticing a darkened alleyway, leaping into its shrouded darkness and dragging you along. You look to him and he hushes you with a finger on your lips. The men rush by, footsteps slapping against the wet ground
“Keep an eye out men! Those pirates are here somewhere!”
In time the footsteps fade and Tony lets out an breathe he’d been holding.
"That was the—”
"Navy? I assumed so."
Tony looks to before chuckling. Intuitive you were indeed.
"Have you done something wrong? Why are they so keen on catching you all? I mean even Thor used to be."
"It's not that we've done something wrong per say, so much as it is we don't see eye to eye."
"That's one way to look at it. You honestly don't know the difference between us pirates and the navy?"
You shake your head sadly, "My sister do not differentiate. All men are men no matter what ship they come from."
At the mention of your sisters Tony recalls his prior goal. The blue is growing stronger and you look to him panicked. Swiftly he sweeps you from your feet and makes his way down the street with you in his arms, never minding the pouring rain.
“Be sure to hang tight!”
You nod into his chest, arms wrapping tightly about his neck as the water and wind whipped against your exposed skin.
Hurriedly Tony takes you to bathroom with the Captains Chambers. When you were in this form water was of utmost importance. Gently he places you into the tub, promptly filling it with warm water and you sigh at the liquid’s addition. With a heavy and exhausted breath, Tony kneels down beside the tub, arms resting on its porcelain edge. You chuckle as you run a hand through his drenched hair.
“This is not funny.”
But at his mumbled words you can’t help but laugh out loud. Tony glances to you fighting a smile and failing miserably as he too falls into a fit of laughter. The laughter seems to go forever and it’s become increasingly difficult to breathe.
“That was pure madness,” Tony sighs and you nod, twirling his hair playfully about your finger.
“Indeed. The rain was so sudden too.”
“You could’ve told me about your whole water predicament.”
“Small amounts are harmless, but rain well…yeah. I normally can tell when it’s about to rain. I wonder why I didn’t this time.”
Tony’s replies with yet another sigh, running his hand lazily through the water and brushing against your tail. You watch as he hesitance fades and finding the confidence he lays his hand down upon your tail eyeing it with definitive awe.
“Pretty strange, huh?” you say mostly to yourself as you lightly run a hand up and down the (f/c) scales.
“It’s different,” Tony replies, shifting to further access your lower half, “It’s lovely.”
“You don’t mean that…” you mumble with reddening cheeks, lightly splashing water in his direction.
“Oddly enough, I do.”
You turn—rustling the water in a small bout of miniature waves, to look to through half-open eyes much too embarrassed to look at him eyes fully opened. There was something there—you could feel it burning your very essence—but you wondered if it were unrequited. Perhaps Tony didn’t feel what you felt. Perhaps he really wasn’t…
When Tony leans in to kiss you all doubts are washed—no pun intended—from your mind. It’s abundantly clear and doubt free. Tony is undoubtedly your soul mate, the other half to your unfinished emotional puzzle. Shifting against the porcelain of the tub you move closer, tailing lightly lapping against the warm water. The hand that settles on the back of your neck is heated, its warmth mingling with your already present and rising temperature. The captain sweeps a tongue across your lips and the sensation is delightfully foreign and you sigh at the feeling.
Tony takes the opportunity slip is tongue past your lips and kiss you whole heartedly, titling you chin up to deepen the kiss. It’s absurd really how taken—smitten—he is with you. Honestly, what good would it do a pirate to fall for a woman, less so a mermaid? But his mind is hazy, muddled and intoxicated by your very existence, and he finds himself no longer questioning the throbbing in his chest.
You pull away from Tony, breathing heavily with hands clinging to his broad shoulders.
“I have something to tell you.”
You nod slowly, face flush from your earlier enthusiasm, “I think your my soul mate.”
Tony’s eyes widen with alarms, “Surely that isn’t your way of saying you love me.”
“No! Well yes, but that’s not why. It’s because of who…what I am.”
With your scent no longer drowning him in insanity, every fiber of Tony’s being is screaming for him to run. To run from this, any form of commitment, to avoid being abandoned.
“Every mermaid has a ‘soul mate,’ though most don’t seek their mates out these days…not with all the tension.
Tony forces himself to stay put and listen because the look in your eyes all but pleads for him to hear you out.
“Before all the problems began mermaids used to await the day their mate would come. They were usually men who were drawn to the sea, men who often took up careers on or near the sea due to this calling. When a mermaid met her mate, or he was near enough, she would go to him and vice-versa.”
You pause to give Tony some time to process everything and when he gives you a nod you continue after a shaky breath.
“We can only be ‘human’ and walk on shore for the span of three days in our entire lifetime. That gives us enough time to find our mate and bond/mate with him before either remaining on land as a human and losing our memories of being a mermaid, as well as our gifts, or returning to the sea to our sisters.”
“But you told me…”
“I sort of lied and for that I’m sorry. It’s just that I wasn’t sure if I could trust you yet, but I had this feeling that you were the one. The one I’d been waiting for my entire life.”
Tony would call you insane; chalk all this nonsense up to you being a mad woman if it weren’t for the (f/c) tail rocking gently in the bath water. Still this was crazy. All this talk of soul mates and destiny, it was simply much too much.
“So that means you have one more day before…”
“Before I have to decide? No…I meant it when I said I was special.”
You look curiously to tail, furling and furling it as you both watched its movement.
“I change when I want to or when I get drenched.”
You bite down on your bottom lip, silently waiting for him to say something—anything!
You take in a deep breath, prepped to apologize, but the sudden harsh rocking of the ship rips the words from your mouth. There’s the sound of rushed footsteps and the door swings open revealing Bruce. The doctor’s face is serious, etched with disquiet. He’s about to speak when he looks to you, eyes widening with both curiosity and alarm.
“That,” Bruce says as he points towards you, “Is something we will have to address later.”
Tony looks to you before giving Bruce a nod of agreement.
“What’s got you all riled up?” Tony inquires as he leisurely stands to his feet, but there’s something in his voice that lets you know he’s attune to whatever this situation is.