The first thing is, I thought it was an ideal time to talk about love. The second thing is, when America talks about “Make America Great Again,” it’s talking about 1962, the end of Camelot, the peak of the promise of the future, jet-fin cars, super fast kitchens, television, everything that if you’re white, Anglo-Saxon, heterosexual, you’re good. But if you’re anything else, you’re not so good. Then when Kennedy is shot and Vietnam escalates, and the disillusionment of that dream occurs, I don’t think that has healed. We’re living in a time where the one percent has created a narrative in which they are not to blame. Who is to blame is them, quote unquote, the others, Mexicans, the minorities. What the creation of that other does, it exonerates from responsibility. It directs hatred in a super streamlined way. The creature is something to everyone. To Michael Shannon, the creature is a slimy dark thing that comes from South America. To Sally Hawkins, it’s a recognition of an essence of herself. To Michael Stuhlbart, it’s a beautiful possibility of redeeming who he is. And for [Richard Jenkins’ character] Giles, Giles is the first one who knows the creature is a god. This is like [Pier Paolo] Pasolini’s Theorum with a fish.
Anatomy: I don’t think they have actual scales, but instead smooth tails like, say, a shark or a whale. Not blubbery, really, but, just, smoother. Don’t appear to have legs inside their tails like some mer-people are portrayed as having. Some of their tails are proportionally much longer than a human’s legs. Their ears are fin-like as well and mimic their tail types. Generally pointier in shape (hence Marinette gives Adrien the nickname “Catfish”). Now, I’m a realistic writer, which means that my sea-people anatomy has to be relatively plausible. This isn’t some “The Little Mermaid” AU where their fins come up and end around their waists like skirts or something silly. In the front, their tails merge up with their skin just below the belly-button. Where their reproductive organs are hidden/protected, there’s a very subtle, hardly noticeable slit (males and females both possess this trait, even if they have actual differing organs). In the back, their tails taper down and start just below their rears. Yes, this means they have BUTTS! I know, crazy! This is fun because Adrien has no apparent modesty (sea-people don’t wear clothes) and it makes Marinette extremely uncomfortable. She makes him wear a long coat when he’s on her ship. Sea-people also have gills on their necks right along the back corners of their jaws.
Social roles are not determined by gender (as humans’ historically are), but by “fin-type.” Fins usually mimic eye color. Two different “fin-types”-
Hard fins:Lila, Gabriel - Warrior types. Fins are hard and durable, tails proportionally shorter. Valued for what is assumed to be inherent strength and leadership skills. Are oftentimes the heads of their families and supposed to be “protectors.” Fins more comparable to shark or whale fins.
Soft fins: Adrien, Chloe, Mama Agreste - Caregiver, “stay at home” types. Fins are thin and easily ripped, tails are longer. Not ideal for combat–too flashy and “weak.” Generally kept out of danger whenever possible. Take care of the children, the home, that sort of thing. Valued for beauty and assumed “quiet demeanor.” Fins comparable to, say, a beta fish in texture.
Adrien: Age 18. Kept isolated by his father for his own safety. Is considered very desirable because of his two sets of long, extravagant fins–one set attached near his hips, another set sprouting out a little ways below–as well as his long tail fins. His tail itself is green and his fins are a transparent mint color. He is very, er, shimmery I guess? He’s very pretty. As is expected, he sneaks out sometimes. In the tradition of a certain disney princess, he’s very interested in the surface and land-people. Basically hates his life. Expects he’ll be mated off soon (arranged marriage equivalent) for “his safety.” His father did teach him self-defense following Mama Agreste’s murder. Because Adrien is considered so beautiful, it’s unsafe for him to even go out alone or, worse, get in contact with another clan. Sea-people are, in the true definition of the word, monogamous–once they have a mate, they physically cannot have another. Which is why Adrien has to be kept safe. Though it would be a crime to forcibly mate with him, once it was done, he would then be the property of that person.
Chloe: Age 17. She is a soft-fin like Adrien. Her tail is blue, like her eyes, and graduates darker out across her fins. She has one extra set of fins up by her hips and is also considered quite beautiful. She’s Adrien’s “best friend” (she’s his only friend) and they’ve known one another since they were kids. Like Adrien, she’s been “kept safe” and, as a result, is her spoiled, annoying self. She doesn’t mind being shut in initially, but eventually begins to enjoy sneaking out with Adrien when they can both manage it. Doesn’t look forward to being mated off as she has very little interest in men. And while homosexual relationships are not frowned upon, as such a beautiful mermaid it’s expected at her social standing that she would pass on those traits.
Gabriel: Gabriel is a hard-fin and is colored a dark, rather muted blue that fades to black in some places. Previous war hero from another clan. Fought to protect current clan from pirates and their intents to basically farm the sea-people for their fins. Clearly, he and his fellows succeeded enough to establish peace as the clan is no longer bothered. He did lose his wife to a pirate, however. He’s very over-protective of his son. Since there’s no clothes in sea-people world, maybe he designs jewelry now? I don’t know. Maybe it doesn’t matter.
Lila: Age 19. Fins are colored an olive green, rather muted as most hard-fins are. Future Maetrarch of the clan (leader). Wants Adrien as a mate. Very skilled warrior.
Pretty typical as far as human history. Story probably takes place somewhere along the French coast. I haven’t decided exactly when this story takes place, but I’ll figure that out eventually. I have to do some research into French history, pirates, and weaponry. I’m not looking forward to it, but it’s necessary.
Marinette: Age 18. Grew up in a small, coastal town. Her family runs a restaurant near the docks and it, therefore, has attracted a lot of “unsavories.” Still, she learned a lot as a result. She has a ship that she and Alya managed to steal as younger teenagers with the power of their miraculouses–the Ladybug and the Fox, respectively. They’re pirates, but they actually “pirate” pirates–meaning they make a point of defending the coast from Hawkmoth and his constant raiding of towns and villages as well as other ships. They’re still notoriously dangerous, however, and considered criminals by the common folk due to the mere fact that they’re pirates. Their ship is called Lady Luck. Marinette is the captain, of course. Her status as a pirate, however, is only one she wears in her Ladybug persona. To her village and her family, she’s Marinette. Due to her long absences, her parents suspect what she’s doing. But they’ve always given her a lot of freedom and so don’t seek to stop her. She’s never been interested in marriage as no “good” offers have ever come her way due to her heritage–being half Chinese–so she makes her own way.
Alya: Age 18. Marinette’s best friend. Her mother has always worked in the restaurant Marinette’s parents own, so they’ve known one another since they were kids. outspoken and not satisfied with her “lot in life,” both as a woman on its own as well as a woman of color. Pirates with Mari quite willingly as a result. Very, very skilled fighter. Is also very good at getting and perpetuating information.
Nino: Age 19. Pirates with Mari and Alya. Known them both since they were pre-teens. Studies magic in secret, though Mari and Alya are aware of it. Alya teases him for it, but Mari believe in and supports his endeavors. He’s in an on and off relationship with Alya–mostly their relationship is focused on sex (for the moment, lol).
Tom and Sabine: Retired pirates–claim they were fisherman. Tom met Sabine raiding a Chinese ship and they stayed together on the sea until an injury forced Tom to retire. Because she loves him, Sabine stayed with him and they set up their small, inconspicuous restaurant in a small, removed coastal town.
How Miraculouses Were Acquired
The fox necklace and ladybug earrings showed up on shore and Mari and Alya found them as young teenagers. Their powers helped them acquire their ship and they became quite infamous both to other pirates as well as to civilians early on. Enemies with Hawkmoth who terrorizes the coastal towns with his pirates and powers. Marinette goes by Ladybug when transformed, Alya goes by Raposa. When they transform, they basically get awesome pirate outfits. I haven’t designed them yet.
Chloe and Adrien found their miraculouses in an old sunken ship shortly before the story starts. Plagg and Bee (haven’t decided on a name for the bee kwami yet) want to go back to shore because they’re meant to be used by humans, not sea-people, and so refuse to tell Adrien and Chloe how to use the miraculouses–mostly for their own safety as they don’t know what the consequences could be.
Ladybug, fox, black cat, and bee miraculouses likely all came from the same ship wreck.
How Adrien and Marinette Meet–A Vague Summary
Basically Adrien has to get Plagg to shore, so he ends up sneaking out in attempts to do so. Comes across the ship, Lady Luck, hidden away in a coastal alcove that most other ships wouldn’t dare try to enter. Because he’s curious, he investigates and meets Nino, Alya, and Ladybug. They’re on board, like, taking care of their recent loot, so they’re there for a few days/maybe a week. Adrien visits them every day since they’re nice to him and aren’t trying to capture/kill him. Ladybug calls him Catfish since he never talks and, thus, never told them his name. They speak the same language, but Adrien’s still too cautious to speak.
Eventually, they leave, Adrien becoming upset when he sees them rowing toward the nearby town. He follows them (because he’s dumb and naive) and sneaks into port. He figures out where his “new friends” went before leaving. Comes back the next early morning and meets Marinette out on a dock that’s, like, off to the side/safer/more discreet than the ones in the main part of the port. Realizes she’s Ladybug because they’re not totally dumb in this AU. Finally gets up the guts to talk to her. She scolds him for coming around because it’s really, really dangerous.
He comes around to talk to her every morning anyway. Until, one morning, he’s injured quite severely by some fisherman stuff (a net? hooks? I don’t know). He can’t swim with the injury and is bleeding rather profusely. Has to scale the nearby cliff side (in the water) until he can heft himself up onto some rocks so he doesn’t get washed ashore where he’d be vulnerable.
Marinette worries about his sudden disappearance and goes to look for him. Finds him, drags him onto the Lady Luck, and patches him up. Adrien is basically stranded on her ship until he’s recovered. And–seeing as Hawkmoth has made an appearance to the north–he’s stuck there even longer as the Lady Luck is about to head out and away from his home (he’s not really upset by this). Thus, the story goes on, lol.
The Lady Luck has other crew members, there’s lots of Pirate shenanigans, etc, etc. This story will be rated explicit.
So yeah, that’s what I got so far (I actually have more, but I’m not telling ya’ll the whole story).
Oh, and Chat Noir will DEFINITELY end up in this AU, don’t you worry ;D
After 5 long hours I finally have set up the decorations and substrate for my betta tank.
So on my fake wood ornament I tied some zip ties. To hold future plants in place via strings. Then I sanded back where I trimmed the zip ties and put a blob of hot glue over the top to prevent any future fin ripping if a plant uproots or something. (Will look much better with plants on it).
Then because of how the fake rock ledge actually sits. It has large gaps between it and the wood. So I got glued some mesh between the fake wood and the rock ledge to prevent the bigger bits of substrate falling down and completely ruining the two tier look I was going for. Then we placed it in the tank.
I then put in the substrate (Eco complete) using a spoon so I could be fussy and make two tiers. I also buried an air stone on the opposite side to the filter. After this was done I was getting pretty excited and incredibly sore as this tank is down quite low.
Then I filled the tank up with water and put the heater and thermometer in.
Its now ready to begin cycling!
This is not the light we’re going to use on it. I’ve still got to buy the plant light for it this is just a spare light for now.
The aftermath was bloody and the amount of lives lost brought tears into eyes that had once stared blankly in the face of death’s jaws. Jean… Sasha… Connie… Gone. Commander Erwin… Moblit… oh god… Armin…
They had fought viciously and hard. Mikasa could see the marks of battle over her fallen friend’s skin, felt the tears cascade down battle torn cheeks as she met the empty blue gaze of Historia. The small girl’s hands refused to let go of the blond man’s body, no doubt the last one he had spoken too before death took him.
Moving on, Mikasa walked, her eyes searching yet fearing to find the one life she could not bear losing.
In the end… her hopes had crashed around her, seeing the still and lifeless form of her best friend, first love, and eventual brother in arms, held in the arms of the man she had once hated, and now…
“No…” She had cried, launching herself over Eren’s body, heaving as she tried to find a sign of life. Levi had let her, watching with painfully dry eyes as he watched her sob and scream her agony. The wind blew hard around them, lifting and yanking at their hair and clothes before dying down. Her tears never ceased to fall, yet the young warrior had found her composure quick enough to cut off any more heart wrenching sobs.
It’s all over.
“This price is too heavy.“ She had muttered, fingers pushing away the brown and blood matted bangs away from the boy’s face. If she thought hard enough, he would look as though he were sleeping restfully.
“For now…” Levi’s voice came to her like the gentle waft of a breeze. It was as if the simple comment had been enough to stir the wind once more, yet it was not harsh nor biting… but gentle. Glancing up, she met his eyes, aged and worn with pains and agonies of his own, lacing scars that were uncountable as the stars she felt burning against her cheeks.
Pyres were lit and friends cast off into the void. Mikasa had never fit within the faith of the Wallists, cruel and hysterical. Yet, she liked to believe that there was something better out there after death… because if there wasn’t, there wasn’t any point, and that’s a level of despair she would not succumb to.
Hours passed. Days. Weeks. Months.
In the spring, she had ridden out with the remaining expedition of the Survey Corp, hoping to find new lands and to ensure the extinction of their tyrannical oppressors. In a place of rest, she had left her horse to feed, yet her fingers itched for the use of blades that weren’t needed anymore. So she settled for brushing the coat of her steed and tried to forget the silence that now reigned over her head, where jokes and laughter had once been the normal.
Gray eyes glanced up, unable to see the color in the sky above… everything felt so monochromatic… so lifeless. Until a strange scent blew into her nose.
She hadn’t expected it. This light fragrance… blowing at her like a caress. Apple blossoms… There must be a wild orchard nearby…
All thoughts came to an end when she was struck with the abrupt image of her old friends. Of Sasha and how she would stuff fruit in her mouth despite Jean’s annoyed reprimands and Connie’s chortling laughter. Of Eren, who would sit next to Armin and mooch off the apple slices the boy would carve into a bowl—yet Armin would never complain and Eren would always smile.
Tears brought back against her eyes and Mikasa rubbed at her cheeks, hissing when her fingers rubbed against the cuts thick shrubbery had slapped on her.
She heard and when she glanced up, she saw her Captain standing several feet away from her and staring out into a valley no one had ever seen before. “Look.”
Rubbing tears away, Mikasa made her way toward the man, not seeing the splendor he saw. Just another old valley. Big deal. Who cared.
"It’s nice…” She humored him, until he fixed her a sudden fierce stare.
“Look again…” He said, his voice firm and unshaking and it was then that she was reminded of where they were. Of the dreams that had been shared so long ago and when she looked… she saw.
The scent came again, followed by a feeling that rose in her chest like warm air and Mikasa nearly choked. She hadn’t felt this sensation in a long time. She hadn’t believed it ever was there…
And she no longer hesitated, she simply rose a hand and caught his, feeling Levi grip her fingers and letting their hands intertwine in a strong hold that shared the bond. Deepened it more than anything ever could.
Glaukos (Malec Mermaid AU) - Chapter 1 by may10baby
The second chapter is up! Here we have a little more interaction between Magnus and Alec.
“I was wondering if you’d return.” Magnus said. The merman drifted closer, lifting his head out of the water. He opened his mouth, letting out a chirping noise, like that of a bird. Magnus blinked at him in surprise and the creature moved closer, chirping the entire time until he was floating in the shallows of the lake.
“I have no idea what you’re saying.” Magnus answered, seeing the confusion in the merman’s eyes.
As dawn broke and the deep orange glow filtered through the small window of the temporary suite, the lovers awoke. Their bones ached having fallen asleep on the floor, lost in the haze of lust and pleasure and the tang of the other on their mouths. Claire’s legs throbbed as Jamie pulled her atop him and clenched her arse in both of his hands. She sighed as he took her, shaking and desperate, the sound of their breathy moans filling the dusky room.
Claire bit against Jamie’s lip as she came to him, her arms shaking where they held her over him. He couldn’t help but cry out as he joined her, his hips rising off the floor one final time. They lay, sweaty and sated, as long as they were able before Murtagh came pounding on the door.
“Come on, ye pair of fiends! We ha’ a ship to catch!” There was an unmistakable air of mockery in his tone, unable to contain the humour he tried desperately to mask with impatience. “I’m sure ye’ve had yer fill of each other by now. Put the lassie down and get dressed, Jamie lad.”
They chuckled as they dressed each other, peppering kisses across each inch of skin they covered with material, making the job twice as long as it should have been. Murtagh was tapping his foot at the bottom of the stairs as the newlyweds descended.
“Ach! Finally, I thought I was going to ha’ to pour water over the both of ye. Glad to see ye suitably dressed.” He teased, a small smile gracing his face through the tirade. Claire noticed him pat Jamie subtly on the back as she went to collect them some breakfast. The trip to the coast would be a short one, but she knew Jamie wasn’t looking forward to their crossing. Neither was she. She’d been on boats before, and never had she seen a trouble-free trip. Still, they had each other now, and that was all that mattered.
Once suitably fed, Murtagh led the horses round, they mounted and were off without so much as a goodbye to their kind Welsh hosts, it being too early for most of them to be up and about. Especially after such a leery night. The few stable maids that were bobbing about did give them a nervous wave as the group departed. Jamie was sure with all of the drama surrounding their arrival that they weren’t all that sad to see them go.
Claire still didn’t feel up to riding alone, so Jamie opted to have her close to him, something that he didn’t really mind. The entire ride he spent admiring the way the movement caused them to slide together, her arse wedged tightly between his thighs. The vast Welsh countryside passed by as the galloped towards the closest port, hoping to make it as soon as possible.
As the daylight dwindled they caught their first glimpse of the sea. They halted for a moment to make sure each was prepared. Murtagh would lead, securing their passage so that Jamie and Claire could remain hidden for as long as possible. They weren’t too worried about them being recognised, but it was always worth being vigilant. Jamie helped Claire to dismount as his godfather disappeared off into the main city. Sitting away from the main road, just beyond the tree line, they awaited his return.
“I’m sorry I dinna have a ring for ye, Claire. But I promise as soon as I’m able, I’ll get ye one.” He took her right hand in his and rubbed her ring finger lovingly, his eyes soft as he kissed it over and over.
“I don’t need jewellery, Jamie. I just need you. So long as we’re together, all is right with the world.” She ran her free hand through his tousled curls as he lay his head in her lap. The smell of cooked meat lingered in the air, the houses close by all clearing up from their evening meals. Claire’s stomach growled noisily and Jamie laughed, neither had eaten since breakfast and it was painfully obvious how hungry they both were.
“Hopefully, once Murtagh has us aboard, I’ll be able to go in search of some bread for ye. Maybe some honey if we’re lucky!” He said, nuzzling his nose into the fabric of her skirts, though he kent that for him, eating before sailing would be a bad idea. Best to get a wee bit of good whisky inside him instead.
As if reading his mind she pulled a flask from her pocket and dangled it in front of his face, his hand pushing against her knee as he sat up and smiled across at her. “Do you mean a wee dram, my lad?” She mocked, her faux Scottish accent making him belly-laugh.
“Aye, I do Claire. We’ll make a Scot out of ye yet!”
“Murtagh gave it to me before, when he took me from the church. I hadn’t much stomach for it then, but I kept it. As a keepsake. I’ll never forget what he did for me –for us. And I’ll never forget what you did for me either.” She sighed, her hands trembling as she thought back over those terrible months locked away. “I love you, Jamie. Not just because of what you did, before that. For your bravery, your strength, your loyalty. I was angry at you for such a long time, especially after you left, but w-what happened made me see – they could’ve done anything they liked to me, but I would never have given you up. Ever. And I know that’s how you felt about your men.”
He’d picked her up and held her to his chest almost without realising, her sweaty palms now clinging to the front of his shirt. He scrunched his eyes shut at the image of her bound, beaten and alone. He kent that all too well. The abject misery, the fear, the hopelessness. Yet she’d never lost faith in her love of him, and that’s what had kept her strong under the most devastating circumstances. His heart swelled at the thought, and he clung to her almost as hard as she clung to him.
“I’m sorry you can’t return to them.”
“No, a gráidh! Dinna be sorry, please. Murtagh was right when he told me I was a daft fool. Aye, they’re my men, and I should be there to lead them. Whether that be into battle or home, but none of that comes close to how much I need ye—how much I’ll always need you. I was away from ye for those months and yet I held you in my heart. Ye never left me, as I never left you.”
She wiped the few stray tears from her cheeks as she kissed the exposed part of his chest, his stock having been left aside during their quick dressing. She felt him swallow, the tiny hairs along his neck tickling her nose.
“I love ye, Claire, I’ll ne'er let ye out of my sight again, do ye hear?” She heard the humour in his voice and snorted.
“Fat chance, Mr Fraser. You’ll have to at some point.”
“Just ye watch me, Mrs Fraser!” He placed a kiss on the crown of her head and wrapped his arms more snuggly around her, both were quiet now, the wee insects making their presence known as the night drew in.
Eventually Murtagh found them once more, curled up against the base of a tree, locked in a tight embrace.
“You pair are making me sick! All this –love–. Time to get ye away though, then I can finally get back t’ some real men, aye!” He gave Jamie’s boot a swift kick, causing them both to jump before gathering their wits.
“Dinna jest, Murtagh. You’ll miss us when we’re gone.”
They kept up their japes until they all reached the edge of the city where Murtagh left the horses, safe for his return, and led them soundlessly to the port. Being well into the night the streets were relatively quiet, with only the odd drunken sailor lumbering by. Claire chose to say a quick goodbye to Murtagh, a peck on the cheek and a ‘thank you’. She’d never been good at leaving people behind and she reasoned that they would see him again soon.
Jamie took his time, making sure his godfather kent all of their arrangements.
“Murtagh, just see them safe, aye? Then make yer way back to us. I need ye.”
“Dinna fash, Jamie. But I dinna think ye should go all the way to Paris, just the pair of ye. Wait in Le Havre, we’ll find each other easier that way, then we can travel on together. I’ve left ye enough coin to seek refuge there for a time. Speak to Jared, and get yerselves settled. I willna be long. Alright?”
“Aye, alright.” With one hug, Murtagh was off into the darkness, leaving Jamie alone on the gangplank. He took one look at the sky, sent a silent prayer and made his way to meet Claire.
As he made it to her side he grasped her hand tight, pulling her into him as the ship hoisted its sails, pulled up its anchor and began its voyage. They both managed to survive their exit from the harbour, watching as the lights from the Welsh village dimmed, flickered and disappeared from the horizon. The sea was eerily quiet, at any other moment it might have seemed spooky, but to Jamie and Claire it signalled peace.
He’d crashed into her life all those months ago and since then they’d weathered an increasingly dark and powerful storm only to come out the other side stronger than ever. A new beginning wouldn’t be easy, but they had each other, mind, body and soul. They turned at the same time, him bending a little as she leaned up in her tiptoes, their noses touching as they whispered their almost silent 'I love you’s’ into the inky blackness, the deck rising and falling with the swell as they journeyed towards a bright future, as one.