“So how’d you meet Yuuri?” Victor asked of the mermaid seated on the railing of his ship. Phichit had scaled the side without Yuuri’s assistance, showing off the sharpness of his nails. Which he’d polished casually against his own scales upon planting himself on board.
“Stumbled on his cliff a couple years back,” Phichit chirped back, grinning. The resemblance his teeth bore to a shark’s was even clearer up close. “He was singing all by his lonesome. What a tragedy.”
“It doesn’t affect you then?” Victor said, his eyes on Phichit’s shoulders. The sun shone off his golden markings, but that was not his focus. It was the little white bunny-like creatures crawling over them. “His voice?”
“Nah, merfolk aren’t as weak as humans.” Phichit answered, another one of the cute white things making its way around his cupped hands. “Plus there’s nothing he could offer that I wasn’t already happy with. He tried telling me to go away at first, but it didn’t work.”
Victor could imagine Yuuri attempting to order a strange and shiny mermaid to leave him be, then sulking cutely when it didn’t. He would have had that pout on his lips.
“Never thought I’d find him on a ship of all places,” Phichit laughed in continuation. “He hates ships.”
“He likes this one,” Victor defended. The siren was nearby, aiding his crew to change out the sails.
“Ohhhh, I know. He told me. Said he likes something on the ship in particular.” Phichit’s smirk spoke of traded secrets whispered out on the water. “You know that sirens mate for life, right?”
Victor did his best not to choke on air. “No, he didn’t mention that.”
“Oh. Well, maybe that’s something you need to talk about.” The gaze the mermaid cast was pointed. “Anyway, a pirate, huh? You got a lot of good treasure on board?”
“What kind of treasure does a mermaid like?”
“All kinds. That one’s caught my eye,” Phichit said, placing the creature in his hands on his shoulder with the other two.
Victor followed his eyes to see that they were directed at Chris, who was helping roll up the thick sail fabric to set it away. The cook caught their stares and waved at Phichit.
Phichit waved back with his tail, gold scales sparkling in the sun. “Hey there. Fancy a taste of the sea?”
Chris tripped over the sail and Phichit laughed loudly, clearly pleased with the effect. “What?” he asked, seeing Victor’s surprised and skeptical look. “You might not be the only one with a bit of an inter-species kink.”