Mermaid's Saga Fan Fiction ❯ Blue ❯ Blue ( Chapter 1 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]

Hi there! This is Ysabet, attempting my first songfic (a short one, I
imagine; I'm still pretty new at this) and my first Mermaid-saga
fanfic. You know, I WISH people would write more fanfiction about this
series; Rumiko Takahashi did some of her best stuff (to me anyway)
here, and it really deserves more attention. I mean, guys: immortals,
angst, romance, innocence, LOTS of gory stuff--- what else do you
want?!? Big giganto mecha battle suits? Nekkid wimmin? (That's in the
manga anyway.) C'mon--- write! Anyway. I chose this song, 'Carribean
Blue' by Enya just because I like it, and I just came back from
visiting family in Panama City, Florida, where the beaches are as
white as snow. Really, they are; and the water IS blue. And green. So

And now, the DISCLAIMER: These characters belong to Rumiko Takahashi,
may she live long and prosper; I'm just borrowing them, and suing me
is NOT worth your time, so don't....... Ysabet


By Ysabet

He hated drowning; it had to be one of his least favorite ways to die.

As a wave of bitter salt water slapped Yuta hard in the face, he
choked and clung tighter to two things: Mana (especially Mana), and
the piece of debris that was all that was keeping them afloat. It
wasn't really necessary, he supposed, but instinct and habit died
hard, and ressurrected as well as his own eternal self.

Yuta tucked that thought away for further consideration; he had other
things to think about right now. Like maybe *not* dying this time,
like continuing to hold Mana's head above water, like making sure that
the knots in the rope holding them together wouldn't come apart.....
That last one, most of all. They had to stay together, living or dead.
It was all one in the end, anyway, for them.

He gasped, choking hard on froth and cold water as a wave broke over
their heads; beneath his arm Mana stirred a little, never quite
regaining conciousness. When the cruise ship they had been working on
began to sink, she had been hit hard by something falling--- neither
of them ever saw what it was. It didn't matter. With practiced hands
Yuta had tied them both to something, some kind of surfboard or
skimboard stowed with the ship's leisure equipment. The Marlin was a
small craft, barely big enough for the crew of eight and the
passengers that had booked it; and five centuries of experience told
Yuta that it wasn't going to remain afloat, not in that gale. They had
already lost two men over the side; as he lashed the last knot, he
shook his head over the brevity of human life. Well, most of it,

Another wave dunked them again, and he swore in obscure Japanese as
they resurfaced in the wave's trough. Shit. Even if he and Mana stayed
afloat, they weren't going to be able to stay above water; being
immortal didn't make you stronger or anything like that. The waves
kept pounding on him, the spray kept lashing his face like cold whips.
Cold? This was the Gulf of Mexico--- it was supposed to be *warm*, not
bitter cold! Who knew that hurricanes were cold?!? Of course, the
unspeakably high winds might have something to do with that----

Yuta gasped as his head went below again--- he hated drowning,
dammit!! Dammit, dammit, dammit--- here he went, no choice now. And
Mana..... well, at least she wouldn't be awake for this. As the waves
pounded them harder and harder it seemed to become less and less
important to stay above water; he was losing strength, failing.....
dying..... With the last bits of feeling in his hands long numbed
away, he wedged them together between Mana and the float, circling her
in his arms; her black hair washed against his face, stroking it. She
was what mattered; survival wasn't. It was all one to them.

And as he slipped down into the waves, Yuta could feel it again: that
strange moment when the struggle stopped, when the darkness was coming
and you knew it. Dying again. In the froth and cold turmoil he tried
to compose himself--- he couldn't even fight anymore, he was too
numb--- and, as it had done so many, many times before, his
oxygen-starved brain began to retrace and remember better things.....


.....And so the world goes 'round and 'round

With all you ever knew;

They say the sky high above

Is Carribean blue.

The sun beat down on Yuta's head as gulls circled above, crying for
scraps; the music of Enya's Shepherd Moons album filtered up from the
ship's stereo system. Yuta, long since familiar with English, smiled
at the lyrics and glanced up (he would always be glad of his gift for
tongues; the years and the wandering were made more bearable when you
could learn the language fairly easily). Yeah, it *was* blue, very
blue; you got the feeling after a while that the sky was something
solid, that you could slice the blueness into pieces if you had a long
enough knife.

He glanced across the deck towards the main cabin; he could just see
Mana through the open door, up to her elbows in dishes. Her head was
bent over the sink and there was an absorbed expression on her face;
manual work was still something of a novelty to her. Yuta ducked his
head and grinned a little--- what a strange girl she was, able to find
interest in a sink full of filthy dishes! But, he thought wryly, if
*he* had been raised in the kind of isolation that Mana had come from,
he supposed there'd be something interesting about damn near
*everything*. Even work. It was a pity that she would never be able to
grow calluses on her hands--- the peculiar 'condition' that they both
shared did not allow for any permanent changes whatsoever, not even
the normal growth of hair or fingernails; that meant that calluses
were out, too.

A sharp moment of pain made him look back down at his hands; *he* was
in the midst of work too, and he had just screwed up. Some of the
paying customers had brought in a good-sized catch late the previous
night--- Yuta had heard them shouting jubilantly about their battles
with sharks and swordfish and had cursed under his breath where he lay
in his bunk; lots of hard work for him to do in the morning (sharks
were a bitch to clean). They'd want to eat the sharks for certain,
just to be able to show off their trophy sets of jaws (which Yuta
would have to carefully remove) and talk about how the meat tasted.
Well, that's how tourists were..... And now he had stabbed himself in
the wrist with the point of his gutting knife.

Well, no problem there. Long habit made him glance around, but the
other deckhands were hard at work on their own fishcleaning; safe.
Still..... Yuta hunched a little over his wrist as the bleeding
stopped and the wound closed up in a matter of seconds, leaving no
trace or scar. It paid to be careful; he remembered..... there had
been that time when he had cut off a finger while patching a deck
(back in the 1820s, wasn't it? Near Malaysia?) and had carefully stuck
it back on, thinking that no-one was watching. Well, he'd been seen,
hadn't he, and tossed over the side of the boat too. Bastards. He went
back to his cleaning.

Really, they had been lucky to find jobs like these. Yuta wasn't
exactly skilled in anything but fishing, sailing, more fishing,
fish-cleaning, and more sailing; oh, he had many, many things he could
do (he'd had the time to learn, after all), but nothing he could write
down in a resume. And Mana wasn't skilled in *anything* at all except
for being Mana. After leaving the mermaid's village where he had found
her, Yuta had asked the young woman where she wanted to go. They had
been sitting on a rocky slope overlooking a sea of treetops, green and
dense with the fullness of Spring; Mana had looked out silently over a
world that was completely new to her, utterly unknown, and had said
simply "Anywhere." So that's where they went: anywhere. Everywhere.
For two years they had traveled the length of Japan, walking, walking,
walking; they earned a little money here and there (as even immortals
have to eat), but mostly they just..... went places, free as birds.
Then Yuta had come across a couple of the Marlin's crewmembers in a
bar, and they needed another deckhand and somebody to work as

She was still washing dishes; Yuta could just see her profile if he
tilted his head a little to one side. Her hair was pulled back under a
bandanna, making her look maybe a little older than the
fifteen-year-old that she would forever physically be. He rather
wished that she *had* been a bit older when she had been fed the
mermaid's flesh that made her immortal; things would be easier then.
He had been.... what, about eighteen or nineteen? No more than that,
surely; he couldn't remember. And anyway, he hadn't paid attention to
that sort of thing then; he hadn't been able to read or write, and who
had cared about counting one's years until old age caught up? He had
been just a poor fisherman. But that was a long time ago..... Hah! And
just what was he *now*, when you thought about it? A poor fisherman,
that's what. The more things changed, the more they stayed the

From the stereo speakers, Enya sang above the shrieking of the gulls:

If every man says all he can,

If every man is true:

Should I believe skies above

Are Carribean blue?

Blue..... They were blue, so very blue; but there were dark clouds on
the horizon, and the sunrise this morning had been wildly scarlet,
amber, flaming orange----- the wind was freshening too. The Marlin
wasn't exactly a new ship, and Yuta had his doubts about some of the
integrity of the rigging, not to mention the rather antique motors.
They had been listing to port a bit more than he liked, and he
wondered for the first time if maybe this wasn't quite as great an
opportunity as he had thought.....


..... cold and dark now, drifting in a vacuum of salt space with the
shadows wrapped tightly around, veiling his sight. No more choking, no
sensation that breath was necessary at all; Yuta was past that, still
drifting and dreaming of moments past.....


We ll, shit; this was just *great.* A high-category hurricane, and the
navigation system had died an ugly death early on. Great. Yuta worked
beside the other deckhands, lashing everything in sight down; he had a
coil of rope wrapped around his left hand while he worked with his
right. Gods damn the weather! Some idyllic job *this* had turned out
to be; if they survived, they'd be miserable until they could make
landfall (wherever they were), and if they went down, he'd have to go
through drowning again and he HATED drowning!!

And so would Mana..... There she was again, her white face at the main
cabin door; she was appallingly unafraid of nearly everything, but she
wanted to know where he was; her one fear was that of losing him, her
anchor. Her Yuta. Well, he felt the same way (when he let himself
think about it); but right now he had other things to think about,
like whether or not the ship's two lifeboats were going to be needed
later..... Of course, if they went down in this storm it wouldn't
matter; the smaller craft wouldn't hold up for a second.

A tugging at his arm made him turn; Mana was there, hanging on for
dear life and shouting something, vainly trying to be heard above the
roar of the storm. What----? She was pointing to one side, and he
turned to see--- CRASH!!! Something came down on him--- part of the
mast, a pully, who cared; it only grazed him, knocking Yuta to his
knees--- but Mana was down, and the waves were slopping heavily over
the rails and the boat was listing too much, way too goddamned

It was time to go; the ship was heading for the bottom, like so many
others that he had sailed upon in the past. Just another death that he
would survive; the Marlin and his poor shipmates wouldn't be so lucky.
But Mana would..... Yuta caught her up and began to unwind the rope
from his left arm, looking around for something that would float.


Black ness now.


..... and then there was the first slow, dragging breath, and the
nasty moments of coughing up what seemed like an entire sea-full of
salt water. Heart thumping hard like nothing had ever slowed it;
vision slowly clearing, focussing, bringing back the world. Mana---?

She was there, safe in his arms, her head resting on his chest. Yuta
could feel no movement as yet, not even from her heart; Death was
holding her in his arms too. Well, that wouldn't last; she would come
back to him in a little while. In the meantime, where the hell were

Oh; a beach somewhere, with eye-blindingly white sand stretching for
miles. They had washed up, just another chunk of debris among the
heaps of brown-and-green seaweed, driftwood and shells; already the
gulls were shrieking above them, picking the coast clean of edibles
like the grey and white vultures they really were. Still clasping Mana
close, Yuta pulled himself up to a sitting position on the wet sands;
hmmmm, not much left of their clothing, was there? Oh well. He began
to untangle the knots in the ropes that had kept them together. As
they loosened, he carefully eased Mana's still form down onto the
sands, lying her on her side so that the water in her lungs could
(hopefully) begin to seep out of its own accord; in his experience, it
made coming back a little easier.

He draped the remains of his shirt across her still form; they were
both down to basically the ragged remnants of shorts (you lost clothes
when you drowned; that always happened. At least he hadn't come back
stark naked). Then, pushing his unruly hair from his eyes, Yuta
staggered down the beach in search of whatever he could find--- fresh
water, food, a clue to their location; he wasn't picky. Behind him,
Mana lay still and silent..... until one finger twitched slightly.


Wh en he made his way back to Mana, he found her sitting up on the
shore, her arms clasped around her knees. She looked up at him,
smiling; she was still learning how to smile (the mermaids that had
raised her had had very few expressions), but he thought she was
improving. Yuta thumped his burden down on the sand beside her: fresh
water in a washed-up Gatoraid bottle (he had found a good-sized spring
a little ways away, flowing down to mingle with the ocean) and some
kind of sweet, dark berries from prickly bushes gathered in a battered
straw hat with a flowered band that might've come from the Marlin.....
She drank the water gratefully, washing away the brine and the bitter
taste of drowning.

They walked together towards the spring; Mana laughed as the tiny
white ghost-crabs that lived along the shoreline scattered in panic
from their footsteps. Yuta watched her, smiling to himself: Mana.
*His* anchor, as he was hers; his safety in rough seas, his
harbor..... She danced a little ahead, chasing the tiny white crabs
like a child; but she didn't *look* much like a child, not in the
scant remains of clothing that were all they had..... Hmmmm. Better to
stop that train of thought right now; someday maybe Yuta would
continue with it, but--- not until *she* chose to. They had time,
after all.

They bathed in the spring, rinsing away salt and death at the same
time; it was good to be alive. Mana sat drying on the sands while Yuta
began building a small fire to one side of the spring (they'd found a
disposable lighter washed up on the shore that still worked, and Yuta
thanked the gods for *this* little bit of litter). As the wind blew
her tangle of black hair in a cloud around her face, the girl sang
softly in her accented English:

If all we told were turned to gold,

If all we dreamed was new----

Imagine skies high above

Of Carribean blue.....

And Yuta smiled; he couldn't help it. Blue. Well...... He sat back a
little, looking up. The skies *were* blue, as blue as they had been
before: that deep, solid-through blue, the blue of infinity, the blue
of eternity. Blue that went on and on, like the sea that had produced
the mermaid's flesh that had given them immortality, like the sea that
had killed them. Blue.

He turned to Mana, still smiling. "Think we could find some fish or
something? I'm starved." She scrambled to her feet happily, and they
both began walking down the beach to see what they could find.

No worries, really; a ship would find them sooner or later. They had
all the time in the world.

*********************************************************** ***********

So there you go; no big fight scenes or anything like that, but.....
Well; I had fun writing it. I can even tell you where they washed up;
it's called Redfish Point, and I played there as a child. The spring
is real too, as are the little white ghost-crabs. Hah! Please review!
Anybody feel like maybe writing a sequal or something? We could make
this a "chain" fic...... Ysabet