Aquata Cove Ch. 87

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Chapter 87: Putting Things Right

Merrick loving kisses Adam’s lips, before he sits back up. The spoon clinks in the small bowl he holds, before he turns to set it next to the ceramic deep dish containing the rest of the soup. He gets up, and turns around, smiling as he sees the paper fish cards taped up on the wall. He puts his hand onto one of them, opening its flap, and seeing a written message.

[Get well soon, Adam! Karen]

“That’s original.” Merrick muttered, before reading another.

[We all miss you. Get back soon, please? Harold]

[Captain won’t stop riding our asses! Come back ASAP. Francis]

[Hope to see you soon. Reggie]

[You can really take a beating, Bryant, but you’re not getting paid to die on me. Captain]

“Heh…” Merrick reads them, fish by fish, before looking onto the small table, and seeing a whole lot of cards, small gifts, treats, candy bunches, and flowers, all for Adam. He picks up a card with a black and white cat in a paw cast, and opens it up.

{OMG, Quit being such a faker already! You don’t know what pain is until you’ve stubbed your fucking toe while biting the shit out of your tongue in the middle of a menstruate cramp! Get your big fat ass over here, and maybe I might actually respect you! Get well soon, you wet-assed faggot! Chloe}

“Eh heh heh heh… Fuckin bitch…” Merrick mumbled, before setting it down, and picking up a sparkling card with white and yellow lilies on it.

{Adam, I am so sorry for what happened, and I am even more sorry for Chloe’s card, haha. Believe it or not, she really does miss you at the Waltz, nobody can take on her attitude like you can. Stay strong. Raj}

“Hmph…” Merrick smiles as he puts the card down. He looks at the small seashell angel sculpture, and the little arcade box-foldup, taking one of the giftcards to Checkeroni Pizzeria. He pulls over his chair to sit, and he picks up a rather large card.

[You’ll always have a place with us, Adam. You’re one of my best men on the repertoire. Jerry Hurry back! You’re our only Lady Gaga and Ke$ha guy! Tina Stay strong, you still owe me $5, lol. Emmet We miss you. Haley We’re all still here for you buddy. Baron This place just isn’t the same without you. Carla]

Among other short messages and signatures from everyone at the Dream Waltz. He puts it aside and takes a card with a hot man on it, a metal disk headband on his head, a stethoscope, very short green scrub shorts, and wearing nothing else. Opening it, Merrick reads the caption.

{I’m so sorry for what happened, Jamal and I feel real bad about what went down. Come back soon, ok? Nick}

Merrick smiles as he puts it down, and looks at a basket of fruit and candy with a small moon-shaped mylar balloon on it, “Get Well Soon”, it says, with a note that says ‘From Daniel & Jacob’.

He sees a large plastic star-shaped box with small Butterfingers of assorted sizes into it — Adam’s favorite — with a charming glittering tag reading {We all miss you at the Pelican, Adam. I especially miss your Oreo Bars. Beth}

Merrick smiles as he takes another card imprinted with a broken heart with a bandaid on it.

{This is my fault, man. And don’t say its not, cause it is. I’m so sorry, please get better, and please forgive me. I still wanna be your best man, please. Jamal}

Merrick puts it down, and also takes notice of a shiny bucket with a big FH on it, full of neat tackle and small souvenirs, “Heh… That must’ve set Captain by at least $10… Eheheh, $20 if I’m being generous…”

“Oh, Merrick.”

His head turns, and sees a woman there with short, curvy dark blonde hair in office attire. She looks at Merrick like a deer in headlights, holding a blue stuffed dolphin with a plush bandage around its fluke, tail, and left flipper, along with a small decorative box of cookies.

The two of them stand there, at opposite sides of the room, starring at each other, allowing several minutes to just pass by. “Erin…” Merrick said, smiling slightly as he casts his gaze to break the ice, “I take it you heard…” He turns back around and sits next to the table.

“That um… You two are getting married?” She asked, honestly rather nervous to be in the same room with Merrick. They haven’t spoken at all since the day when she came to make Merrick an official U.S. Citizen after the nightmare of the Agency.

“Well…” Merrick looked to the side over at Adam, “I’m not so sure now… You know he doesn’t remember me, right?”

“He doesn’t??” Erin blinked in shock as she looked at him, now sleeping. “What are you talking about?”

“He… He has this mental condition, ammer… Amnea…”


“Yeah, that…” Merrick sighs as he nods, “He can’t remember me; he can’t remember anyone, or anything from his life… And Dr Yuri told me he has short-term memory loss now…”

“Oh my God…” Erin hushed as she comes in.

“You just missed him.” Merrick said, “He fell asleep about 5 or 10 minutes ago… I was bringing him lunch, canlı bahis şirketleri right before he dozed off… Before he fell asleep, he told me something.” Erin looks sadly at him as she can make out a rim of moisture around his eyes, “Is that he wanted to keep this moment… He didn’t want to forget anymore.” Merrick huffs and wipes his eyes. “It’s like he was terrified that I was going to leave him all over again…”

“Merrick, I’m so sorry.” Erin said as she comes over, and puts the dolphin plush doll and the small basket onto the table with the others. “I swear, if I had known-“

“Excuse me.” Says a rather hostile doctor peering into the room, “Outside food is not allowed to be eaten in a patient’s room.”

“Um, I’m the patient’s fiancé. And…” Merrick said as he gestured to the table of cards and gifts, “What about all this? Some of this is food too.”

“Hospital rules, sir.” The doctor points to Merrick’s dish, “That’ll have to go, if you please.”

Merrick frowned before he gets up and places his dish and the used bowl into the carrying case, and took up the strap, “Lets go to the cafeteria,” He told Erin.

“Alright.” She gets up with him, and follows him out of the door.


“Sorry about that.” Merrick says as they sit down to a big, empty table, “I can’t keep track of all the human rules.”

“It’s a technicality, don’t think about it.” Erin said as she sits down, also putting her leather satchel on the table.

“What’s that?” Merrick said as he nodded to the case.

“Papers concerning Adam’s case.” She answered. “I was hoping to go over a few things with Adam, but I don’t think that will be possible.”

“Oh, I see…” He nods, “You’ll want to talk to his parents then. I’ll introduce you.”

“Merrick.” Erin sighed, “Let me start out by saying that I knew nothing about what transpired-“

“Before that, Erin…” Merrick said, looking down, “I need to ask you something.”

“Alright.” Erin nods and puts her forearms onto the table and holds her hands, business like. “Go ahead.”

“I um… You’re familiar with the human laws, right? Court and all of that.” Merrick asked.

“Yes, I’ve been studying and practice law a little before the Agency of Oceanic Research was disbanded. After when… Nigel and all that…”

“Ok, well…” Merrick glances to the side awkwardly, “I understand some people are hired for money for cases like this. And… I’m still not all together sure how human money or currency and all that works, but…” Erin chuckles as he talks, “Erin, look, I can pay you, I just really need someone who can…”

“It’s ok, Merrick, I understand.” She says with a smile, “I’m already taking the case.”

“Thank you.” Merrick nods.

“That’s what I was about to say.” Erin continued, “I’ve only recently been notified about Adam’s incident. Which… Is probably why, as I’ve been informed, went very wrong.”

“Adam was accused,” Merrick said, “While he was in a coma, about trying to run over the people who ambushed him, and even something about racism.”

“Yeah, there’s nothing that’s making sense about how Adam’s case even came up.” Erin said, “Technically, there shouldn’t even BE a case yet.”

“What?” Merrick said with a look of disbelief.

“In situations such as this, it is highly unethical to hold a trial when the victim, or else offended party, is unable to defend him or herself in a court of law. The attackers should have been held in custody until Adam was fit well enough to actually appear in court. For some reason, it was allowed, and I wasn’t even notified of it.” She said with a hint of anger.

“Um… Pardon me for asking,” Merrick said, “And please don’t take this the wrong way. But, what does Adam’s attack have anything to do with you? Not trying to be rude,” He said quickly, holding his hands out and open, “I just don’t know how else to phrase it.”

“I’m Adam’s lawyer.” Erin answered.

“Uhhh… Ok, what?” Merrick said, genuinely confused. 10 years since he met Adam, and there’s still so much he doesn’t know about humans and what they do.

“Adam is one of my clients.” Erin said, “If and when Adam needs to go to court, of if he needs legal advice, he calls me on my phone or office.”

“I… THINK I understand.”

“Adam officially hired me about little less than a year after you two were released from the Agency. Call me sentimental, he was my very first client — we kept in touch, and he wanted to be the first one to hire me officially.”

“He… Never told me about this.” Merrick says as he shook his head.

“He said you wouldn’t understand… In more ways than one.”


“You’re a merman, Merrick,” Erin said, “He said law and order is hugely different with your kind and humans. And… He also told me he didn’t know if you would ever forgive me for what I did to you during the Agency.”

“You made things better for me, for what it was worth.” Merrick said, not looking at her in the eyes, “You eased my suffering, and you helped canlı kaçak iddaa us escape in the end.”

“Yes. And I also acted as a double agent, violated your trust, and I sat back and did nothing when that man literally had you ripped apart.” Merrick nodded and he looks at her, piercing his lips. “I’m hoping I can at least make up for the part that I’ve taken in the Agency.”

“Ok…” Merrick nodded. “So… What can you tell me so far about Adam’s case?”

“Simply put, this case is very open-and-shut, it’s not even going to take 5 minutes.”

“Wh… Really?” Merrick says, blinking at her and tilting his head.

“I’ve been able to sort several things out. The trial will take place the day after tomorrow, and those men are facing some very serious jail time.”

“Is this true?” Merrick said, feeling a flicker of hope, “Wait, no… It doesn’t matter…” He growled as he turned his head down, “That judge was the one who screwed things up… Men like him do not listen to the law or morality, they just rearrange reality as they see it.”

“I know it’s hard, Merrick…” Erin said, “But there are some things that even the most bigoted judges are obligated to do or say, or else they’re fired, just like that.” She pats her file case, “And with the information and evidence I’ve collected, we can’t lose.”

“I almost want to hope… But I’m not sure if I can contain myself again if he does this to Adam again…”

“Merrick.” Erin puts her hand on his and leans forward. “I need you to trust me on this.” Merrick’s vivid blue eyes look up at hers, “I know that last time, you called the judge out, and he almost had you arrested. I’ve had to pull some strings for the officials of the courthouse not to pursue further action from your behavior, provoked as it was. I will tell you, right now, this will probably be one of the easiest cases I’ve had to take on.”

Merrick takes a deep breath, and sighed, before nodding, “Ok…”

“Alright.” Erin nodded, and then pauses for a change of subject, “So… What’s that you got there?” She asked, pointing at the padded carrier Merrick set aside.

“Chicken soup.” Merrick said, smiling slightly as he pulls it over, and unzips the top, “When I got home this morning, I made it to bring to Adam.” He removes the unlocked glass lid, letting the golden well steam from it. Erin looks with intrigue as the aroma pulls her face to it.

“Wow, it smells amazing.”

“Do you want a bowl?” Merrick asked as he also took out the Hawaiian King rolls tucked within.

“Sure, I’d love some.” Erin says as Merrick takes the ladle and a clean round bowl that is part of the set, and pours the steaming broth, noodles, and chicken fillets into the bowl.

“I’m starving too.” Erin says as she also accepts a wiped clean spoon, and pulls the bowl to her, before Merrick then places a few small fillets of chicken into the rim of the bowl, as well as placing a roll onto a napkin next to it. Erin sips the soup, and takes a moment to taste. “… Oh my God, this is amazing.” She says, slurping up another spoonful while Merrick pours himself a bowl. “You didn’t make this.”

“Heh heh, no I did. I watch the Food Network from time to time, and I picked up a few recipes and added my own tweaks here and there.

“Mmmm, my God.” Erin says after sampling one of the chicken slices, “Come on, this has noodles in it.”

“Made them by scratch.” Merrick said with a smile.

“Just wish these bowls weren’t so small, I’m already half way done with it.” She says as she rips a piece of sweet bread.

“By all means, I made enough for 3 or 4 people.” Merrick says as he stirs the ladle and adds some more into Erin’s bowl.

“Mmm,” She takes a yew spoonfuls, “How is it even this fresh and hot?”

“The pack,” Merrick pats on the carrier, “Has a built in heater to keep it hot.”

“Mmnn, seriously,” She gestures to the dish, “I’m just tempted to reach over, and chug it all down.”

“Ahahahahaha,” Merrick laughs as he sees that little image in his head. It’s the first time he’s laughed in so long, it’s felt like years…

After 10 minutes, the soup dish is virtually empty, with probably barely enough for two bowls left with a few noodles left in the broth’s remains, and the chicken and rolls are gone.

“So Merrick, I gotta wonder.” Erin said, “How is merfolk laws and human laws so different?”

“It is a LOT more black and white than anything in the human world.” Merrick answered. “Suffice it to say, it’s like taking your Zero-Tolerance Policy to the extreme.”

“Is it THAT hard up?” Erin asked, “Do you have trials or hearings or something between pods?”

“Not exactly. See, we merfolk, we have self-imposed rules within a pod — where if you break one of those, you’d get a slap on the wrist or something else is arranged. But we have something called Sacred Laws.” He explained, “These laws have been with us since the very beginning of my kind. And breaking just one of the Sacred Laws gets you exiled just like that.”

“Are you canlı kaçak bahis serious?”

“There are three creeds of merfolk — Pisciens, Amniens, and Holsiens. Within those, we have many similar Laws, and a few differential Laws. Human Association is one such common law — if a merfolk were to be caught talking with a human, they get banished.”

“There’s not even a warning for you?” Erin asked, “They just kick you off?”

“The only ones who get a second chance after breaking a Sacred Law is the royal hierarchy — the Noitas, Tritons, Adras, and Razirahs. One chance though, that’s it. I was guilty of Human Association and Forbidden Love, so I was exiled.”

“Wait, are you saying YOU were royalty?”

“I was the Adra Triton of my pod; I was what you might call a ‘prince’. But… Even if I wasn’t banished, even if I broke up with Adam for good, it wouldn’t make a difference in MY case.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’m gay, Erin.” Merrick shrugs and glances aside, “I was born a homosexual, and the only way to take my Father’s place in leading the pod was if I were to find a mermaid to be my Noita. I was always meant to be gay, and that means in turn, I was never meant to lead my pod…”

“Merrick… I’m sorry…” Erin said.

“I’ll deal.” He nodded.

“Aren’t there any merfolk who are… You know, willing to look the other way? Ignore the crimes of another, if they’re good?”

“Doesn’t work like that.” Merrick shook his head, “It’s half and half, some merfolk are willing to try it, like my Mother, and some of them demand that rules are kept intact, like my Father. But even if I was allowed to stay with the pod, Adam and all, it wouldn’t last forever. Eventually my banishment would be enforced.”

“By who? Do you have police forces?”

“Not quite.” Merrick said, “We have the Ningyo.”

“Ningyo?” Erin asked, “Who are they?”

“Merfolk made of pure gold and lingering thoughts and spirit, and they have one thing, and one thing only on their collective mind. They’re the Law Keepers of merfolk — they are located in the Lost Kingdoms of my kind. A Sacred Law broken doesn’t go unnoticed forever, and if it happens consistently, a Ningyo comes to put a stop to it.”

“What are they like? Are they like judges or something?”

“You COULD say that. They’re the ones who make sure a rogue like me doesn’t get any ideas about coming back to my family.”

“Are they that strict?”

“Very. When a rogue comes back to his or her own pod, a Ningyo immediately goes on the hunt. However long it takes to reach the offending merfolk depends on where they are in the sea. They don’t have emotions or a conscience; heck, I’m willing to bet they don’t even have hearts or souls; they’re just sentinels who hunt down rule breakers.”

“So what happens when a Ningyo gets to them?”

“Depends. A Ningyo would just keep moving until where the Coshiton was last located with his or her pod.”


“It’s our word for ‘Rogue’.” Merrick said. “You see this mark?” Merrick turns around, and pulls the back of his shirt and vest down just low enough to show the tribal heart symbol, “This is what makes me a Coshiton. My Mother herself had to put this mark on me, right after my Father destroyed my weapon as punishment, and when the Razirah took away my connection to the pod — er, Razirah is the word we have for… I guess you could say a shepherd? He’s what kept the pod united.” Merrick turns back around.

“That sounds awful…”

“Anyway, the Ningyo tracks down the place where the Coshiton was last with their pod, and if there’s no one there, it’ll simply return from which ever kingdom it’s from.”

“And… If the rogue is still with his family?” Erin asked, a little hesitant to ask.

“… It strikes. And it packs enough power to be fatal, if not heavily injure whoever gets hit.” Merrick said coldly, “It’ll aim for the Coshiton, but any casualty is possible if someone gets in the way or if it misses. And it will stay and strike again after one sun if the Coshiton doesn’t leave. And God forbid you should defend against it, otherwise it will go on a rampage and liable to kill everyone there.”

“What makes these things so harsh and cruel?” Erin said with disbelief.

“Who knows?” Merrick said bitterly, “They simply do what they have to, what they were created to do eons ago. My friend, Arnaav, he was banished at a very young age, simply for playing with a little girl. His parents prolonged his exile for as long as they could, before the Ningyo came and demand that they banish him. He visits them whenever he can, but he can’t risk staying for more than a day. I actually had a run-in with one before I came home today.”

“Oh my God, you did?? What happened??”

“I was just far enough away from my pod for it to hesitate punishing me. My Father helped make up its mind by showing it his trident to let it know he was the one who was instructing me to leave before things get worse. Good thing too, because I almost challenged it when it seemed to want to attack me, and then I’d REALLY be in trouble.”

“Is there no one to talk to try and reason with them? At least with humans, trials are a case-by-case basis. Merrick, you are clearly a good person, you don’t deserve that kind of punishment.”

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