Fishy Feathers Chapter One
FUCK YEAH I ACTUALLY GOT IT DONE!!!!!!! :D
Here, have some cute baby Avian Lance and Mer Pidge! Aka Chick Lance and Guppy Pidge, for now. :3
She hated thunderstorms. She didn’t like how they made the waves all out of control and rough. Her mother trilled worriedly as the sky darkened and the waves started turning choppy. They had been playing around in one of the rock formations near the coast, the rest of the pod in deeper waters, when her father called a warning about the incoming storm. She whimpered and clung to her mother, her guppy tail not exactly strong enough yet to swim through tough currents like the ones sweeping through the area.
Without warning, a huge wave came out of nowhere and slammed down on her, knocking her grip off of her mother’s fin and sweeping her away. She screamed in fright, her mother’s loud panicked calls fading as she vanished with the wave.
Lance whimpered, looking around the trees and cringing as another raindrop landed on his nose. He didn’t mean to fall from the nest! He just wanted to see that pretty bluebird again! The sky was still dark, the sun not quite risen yet, the storm fading into the distance with the occasional rumble of thunder. He didn’t know how to get back into the nest, his oversized brown and tan wings not quite able to lift him yet, so he stayed on the ground, sad and scared little chirps echoing from his throat.
His Mama was asleep with his siblings, his Papa out on a flight to the nearest human city to buy food. So nobody would notice him until they woke up. He folded his wings around his body clumsily, still not quite used to using them yet. He was only six, still a hatchling. He wouldn’t start flying lessons until he was at least ten or twelve. More droplets splattered his wings, and he huffed irritably. He figured there had to be a drier spot to sit and wait, so he got up and marched determinedly through the forest in search of a warmer and less drippy place.
He stopped at a hill of rocks that tumbled down to a beach, eyes wide. A huge body of water lapped at the white sandy ground and boulders, smooth and rough and his inner chick wanted to climb all over it! Chirping excitedly, he scrambled down the hillside, yelping when he tripped and landed face first into the sand, oversized wings flapping awkwardly in an attempt to stop his fall. He sat up, brushing grains of gritty sand from his cheeks and rubbing his nose with a soft whine of pain.
His head whipped up suddenly. He could have sworn someone had just gasped… getting to his feet, he shuffled forward in the direction of the noise, soft, inquisitive little chirps leaking from his mouth. His Mama always said to chirp before he talked, that way he could get attention on him when he spoke to an adult or stranger. There was a pause, and then something mimicked his chirps back! It didn’t sound like any kind of chirp Lance had ever heard before, it was kinda hollow and higher pitched than his own. Squeaky, like a baby pigeon. He clambered over the rocks to the source of the sound and…
He stared, star struck. Big golden brown eyes stared back, a soft pink mouth full of sharp teeth dropping open in surprise as the pale skinned, green scaled mermaid noticed the goofy, fluffy brown and tan speckled wings on his back. Realization registered to both children, and Lance shrieked and ducked back behind the boulders while the mermaid did the same, curling up into a scaly ball with fins flared and covering her non scaly torso.
After a few minutes of nothing happening, Lance peeked back over the rocks and scanned the ball of green fins warily. Mama had always said that an Avian who got too close to a Mer was sure to be dragged into the sea and drowned. But… then again, Mama said that the Mer were huge and vicious and would attack fearlessly… so why was this one so small? Smaller than him, actually? And… scared? Of him? Why? Plus the fact that she was several yards away from the water, and the rocks looked painful to lay on… and one of her fins, the webbed one on her lower back and further down was bleeding along the base, like something had tried to pull it off. He crawled over, carefully, because he was pretty sure this shaking ball of fish scales couldn’t hurt him right now, plus he couldn’t just stand by and watch her suffer! She probably had a family waiting for her, missing her!
He let out a soft, warning peep before he pressed his palm against the fin covering her face. It wasn’t slimy at all, actually kind of like the really fine spider silk his Mama bought for a dress once, super soft and smooth. The fin pulled back, and the mermaid was staring at him again. Lance offered a reassuring smile. “Um, hi! Are you okay?” He spoke up for the first time that day, words instead of bird sounds. It seemed to startle the guppy girl, because she clicked softly in surprise.
“So, uh, I’ve never met a Mer before, but you look kinda… dry? Do you need anything?” He asked, tilting his head and shuffling his wings nervously. Her eyes followed the movement before she swallowed thickly and blinked back tears. “Wah-der. ’M drai. Owie.” She whimpered, still too young to form proper words but trying to convey the message anyways. Lance recognized the babble as toddler talk, his little brother spoke in it currently. Which meant this Mer was at least two or three years younger than him. “Wah… der? Oh! Water! Okay! I’ll get you to the water then! Um… but first we should bandage your fin… I know!” Lance reached behind his back and tugged at the strings tying his shirt together, the design keeping his front covered and his wings free.
Tugging off the thin fabric, he started tearing it into strips. “Wha’ birdy doin’?” The little mermaid whispered, confused. Lance smiled. “Makin’ a bandaid! Hold still, ‘kay?” He reassured the younger creature, clumsily tying the fabric strips around the damaged fin. He tied it off tightly, so it wouldn’t slip off, and brushed some sand off of the guppy girl’s tail. “Okay, how’s that?” He asked, the mermaid blinking and wiggling her fin experimentally. “Owie bedder!” She squealed happily, propping herself up on her hands to stare to the bandaged fin.
Lance preened, proud of his work. “Okay, let’s get you to the water! I’m gonna hafta carry you though, ‘kay?” The Mer nodded, and Lance wriggled his arms under her body, grunting as he somehow managed to pick her up into a princess carry. “For a small girl you sure are heavy!” He yelped, staggering down the rocks and boulders to the waters edge. She let out an indignant, offended, squeaky pigeon chirp and smacked his cheek with a webbed hand, pouting. “Sorry, sorry, I’m just not used to carrying smaller people with tails. All my siblings have wings you kno- AAAAH!” He cut himself off with a startled screech as he slipped on a particularly wet rock and fell forwards into the shallows of the sea, the mermaid sent flying before she plopped into deeper waters.
She surfaced quickly, worried about the fluffy winged boy, and promptly burst out laughing. High pitched, joyful, amused chirruping trills of mirth practically leapt out of her mouth as she took in the sight of the shocked and soggy birdy boy in the water on his hands and knees, wings puffed up in surprise. Lance blinked and sat back on his knees in the water, still a little stunned. It was wet, yeah, but a different kind of wet. Salty and moving and warm and almost alive somehow. And… he loved it! He made an excited little chirp and spread his large wings wide, sweeping them low and getting them wet. The pigeon chirping mermaid swept closer, still making those happy little giggles, and splashed him with more salty water. His face lit up and he splashed her back, laughing. This was so much different from the rain! The ocean seemed to play with them too, small waves crashing into him when he went too far out and pushing him back to shore, tugging lightly at his shorts and wings, splashing him and getting him thoroughly soaked as he chased the little mermaid around excitedly.
A few hours later the sun was fully up, and he was resting against a boulder with his wings and everything under his waist completely submerged, leaning against his new Mer pal. “So… I never learned your name, by the way?” He asked the tired out guppy next to him, and she hummed quietly. “Mom named me-” a series of clicks and squeaks followed her words, and Lance blinked. “-bu’ my Word name is Kadie.” The mermaid finished, smiling. Lance thought a moment. “Katie? Mm… doesn’t suit you. But Pidge does! Can I call you Pidge?” Lance asked, tilting his head towards her in order to gauge her reaction. Katie’s face lit up. “Like a birdy?” Lance nodded. “When you chirp, you sound like a baby pigeon. So, Pidge!” The newly dubbed Mer clapped her hands excitedly. “Pidge! Pidge! I’m Pidge!” She cried, absolutely thrilled with the nickname.
"I’m Lance! And you’re Pidge!” Lance introduced, Pidge grinning enthusiastically. “Lance! Fluffy birdy Lance!” She cooed, and Lance giggled. The happy fun time was interrupted by distant, loud, trilling calls from Pidge’s pod. Lance perked up at the sound of his Mama calling his name nearby. “Aww…. I gotta go home now…” Lance pouted, Pidge drooping as well. “Play ‘morrow?” She asked the Avian boy, splashing him lightly again. Lance stood up and stretched. “Yeah! Course we can! But it has to be a secret okay? Nobody can know, they’d separate us.” He made a shushing sign with his hand, Pidge mimicking the signal. “Mhm! Nobody know!” She giggled, as her pod called again. “Bye Pidge! I’ll see you tomorrow!” He said, wading onto the beach as his fishy friend waved goodbye before diving into deeper waters.
Pidge pulled the shirt bandage off of her fin, swimming towards her mother. She was instantly engulfed in a crowd of worried pod members, her mother squeezing her tight and clicking furiously about how worried she’d been while her father and brother pressed in close, Matt examining her scabbed up fin. “Where have you been? We’ve all been worried sick!” The pod leader, Alfor, scolded her lightly, and she played with her fingers nervously. “Beached!” She shot back defensively, and gasps of horror echoed through the pod.
Many times a young beached Mer was either killed by drying out or by being killed because of another species looking for easy prey, as guppies hadn’t developed the shifting ability yet. The shifting ability allowed Mer to go on land, but only after puberty hit, around twelve years of age. The first time was pretty painful, and they resembled humans, which is why it was used as a last resort when beached.
Alfor softened instantly. “At least you made it to the water in time… I think you should stay in the cove until you’ve healed, alright?” Pidge nodded, already planning how to sneak out to see her feathery friend on land.
"Goodness Lance, you’re soaked! What where you doing out there, playing in the lake? And where is your shirt!?” His Mama berated him as she flew him up to the nest, his siblings already crowding around and chirping with questions. “Mama! I told you! My shirt ripped when I fell from the tree and I’m all wet 'cuz I fell into a big puddle!” He complained as she fussed over him, ruffling his hair with a towel and drying him off before she bundled him up in warm clothes and blankets, constantly checking for a fever.
His Mama sighed in exasperation. “My little chick, you’re too curious for your own good! Next time you fall from the tree, you climb the branches or wait for someone to come get you, understand? No more of this wandering off!” She scolded him, and he huffed quietly as she started working on drying out his wings.
Now to figure out how to get to the beach tomorrow…
Chapter one is done and I am taking a nap, goodnight- ugh-
*flops onto bed and sleeps instantly*
(The Shance comes into play later, I just wanna focus on the Pidge and Lance sibling dynamic for now ;3)