okay so im sure I saw a post about mermaids having their own form of sign language bc sound doesn’t travel underwater, but what if they’ve just evolved without hearing at a certain point? in or out of the water, they have to sign to understand one another. (sorry
and maybe a girl who’s deaf or hard of hearing is in a shipwreck, and while the others are shouting for help in a cold and soundless sea, the girl is frantically signing. she knows its useless, but her panic flies through her fingers as she falls deeper and deeper into the ocean. the mermaids watch, unmoved, as the rest of the sailors drown, but they recognize that her hands are making words, though they dont have the same language.
when the girl wakes up, she finds herself on a tiny spit of land, waterlogged but alive, and surrounded by sharp-toothed fish people whose fins shimmer darkly beneath the surface. it takes a bit of doing, but once she realizes that they don’t want to eat her, the girl begins to learn their signs, and vice versa. they feed her and teach her to fish, and she teaches them jokes and sleight of hand.
what im saying is mermaids adopting a deaf or hoh girl as one of their own, and moving their colony closer to the surface in order to be near her and them being a weird fishy/human family and living in their own silent and lovely world