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Chapter 80: Support System In Company
“Yes…” Donna nods, with the phone to her ear, “I understand… May I ask when the next will be? … Alright… Yes, I will get into contact with the house owner, and request for their consent forms and testimonial submissions… Thank you very much, I understand completely… We may or may not get a lawyer, if Judge Harris is still going to be taking this case… Alright, thank you. Goodbye.” She hangs up, and sighs as she sits next to Yuri, with Luther in his chair. The three of them are in Donna and Luther’s small apartment; a bit quaint, but more than adequate for their temporary stay.
“Trial is still suspended.” Donna reported, “The attackers are still in custody, and the police are still looking for the remaining two suspects.” She gestures with her hands, “The judge is still horribly ill, and he still can’t come in and finish the trial.”
“Unfortunately, Jamal says they had their faces covered,” Yuri said, “The crowbar, duct tape, and can of paint that they used was purchased from a Home Depot, but so far, the detectives haven’t turned up anything.”
“Doubtful that they will.” Luther said, “The officer also said there wasn’t any fingerprints to go on. What about that other witness? What was her story?”
“She’s a bartender at the Land of Oz,” Yuri answered, “Jamal claimed she was dressed as Glenda – in like, a pink sort of get-up and such.”
“And why did she not want to testify?” Luther asked.
“Luther, the Land of Oz is a pretty lewd establishment,” Yuri says, “She either didn’t want to come forward about her line of work, or she really couldn’t find the time. Wouldn’t have done much good though, with how the trial went at all…”
“I just can’t understand where that judge could get off reading off false charges like that. God only knows what would’ve happened if it went on.”
“Not just with Merrick,” Luther said, “That judge was obviously against the gays.”
“I’m no law expert, but I just know they were crossing all kinds of ethical lines and conundrums.” Donna said, “I mean, it’s like we NEED to get a lawyer just to make sure things go right!”
“And what they did to Jamal…” Yuri said, “If Jamal was under any suspicion of recurring drug abuse at all, it should have been reported to me and Adam immediately before any action was taken other than arrest.”
“I thought they had to report to my parents, seeing as they’re the owners of the house.” Donna said.
“They live in Germany, so me and Adam are Jamal’s codependents for any such incident. He or I need to vouch and take responsibility if Jamal were to get into trouble.”
“Which reminds me, you and I will have to sign a few papers about Jamal’s suspicion.” Donna added, “And my parents will have to mail or fax their responses, testifying that they know Jamal hasn’t violated his probation.”
“Christ…” Luther shook his head, “Like we don’t already have enough to worry about.”
“How can things get so complicated so fast??”
“Donna, Merrick is only getting worse.” Yuri says, “This morning, Jamal texted me that Merrick might actually lose his mind because of his temper. Can’t you… I don’t know, work your psychology on him?”
“I would, always, but Merrick doesn’t do therapy.” Donna said sadly, “He will not respond to any approach I try with him.”
“That boy needs to get a drink, or Xanax or something.”
“Drinks don’t work.” Yuri said, “Merfolk can’t get intoxicated like we do. He’s already tried. Last night, when Jamal and Nick tried talking to him, he got so mad, he almost knocked Jamal in for a loop. He stopped himself before anything happened, but it’s starting to get out of hand.”
“I understand he’s mortified, but… Were in the world does all of this anger come from?? To the point where he can barely control himself?”
“He says he gets it from his father.” Luther said.
“How do YOU know?” Donna asked, a little taken aback.
“I talk to the kid.” He shrugged.
“*I* talk to him too, you know!”
“No. You analyze. I talk. Trust me, he’s a guy, I can relate to that.” He said, “Merrick said his father was very strict with him, really a hardass. He’s always had a short fuse ever since Merrick was a… I don’t know, a baby merman? He said once a young rogue merman asked him for help, and his father just outright bellowed at him because he was an outcast.”
“Merrick at least understands his temper is a huge problem and he’s holding it back as best as he can, but with everything that’s happened, I don’t know how he can really take.”
“How bad has it gotten, really?” Donna asked, “He broke the wood wall at your house, and he nearly knocked out Jamal – who is twice as large as him – to what extent can Merrick do?”
“He told me he’s having what he describes as… Blackouts.”
“Blackouts?” Luther quirked a brow, “What does that, what’s that supposed to mean?”
“Like… He gets very pissed off one moment, and then he blinks, and something’s broken, and his arms or legs are sore and bahis firmaları strained all of a sudden.”
“My goodness…” Donna puts a hand to her mouth.
“Any input, Donna? What’s happening with him?”
“He’s trying to suppress his anger AND process his frustration and sadness at the same time – the former is unhealthy enough, but with Merrick’s case, with HIS temperament, what he’s doing is becoming extremely dangerous. If it keeps up like this, it might bring back his PTSD and even risk hurting other people when it comes up again.”
“Adam told me that when he got that violent… He took down a guy about Jamal’s size with one punch – knocked the wind out of him.” Yuri sighed, “Donna, I’m worried about him… What if he injures somebody, and he lands himself into trouble, that would just make him hate humans all the more.”
“Maybe he needs some time to go to the ocean.” Luther said, “Let him spend some time with his roots instead of getting frustrated on land.”
“That may be for the best…” Donna nodded, “But I don’t think he’s going to listen to anyone at this point…”
“If it comes down to it… We have a friend in the police – the bailiff from the courtroom.”
“Oh, really?” Luther asked, “How do they know him?”
“He was apart of the Agency that kidnapped and tortured Merrick and Adam…”
“Oh… Yes…” Donna bowed her head.
“He was one of the security guards, but when the Agency was disbanded, he got a job with the police. He’s willing to pull a few strings if we really need to; even Merrick could appreciate that.”
“And the judge was going to have him escort Merrick out?” Luther asked, “Didn’t you just say Merrick could take him out?”
“That is why we were lucky enough for the trial to be interrupted.” Yuri said, “I honestly don’t know if he’d have the guts to even touch Merrick. Or if Merrick was going to start a fight and get detained… Oh my God…” Yuri moaned as she slips her mouth and nose into her hands.
—Several Days Later—
Some time later after work, Luther sighs as he stands there in the hall of the hospital, once again, watching over his precious son as he lies there, inanimate, unmoving, the beeps somewhat hearable from outside.
“Oh, um, Mr Bryant?”
Luther turns, and sees a handful of men, including Harold, one of Adam’s groomsmen.
“Oh, hello Harold.” Luther nods to them, “You here to…”
“We uh…” Harold says with the other Fish House workers that have arrived, “We came to bring him this…” He holds up a large F-H bucket with a bunch of souvenirs, treats, tackle, merchandise, and so on, “You think it’d be ok if we… See him, and…”
“Yes, go on, of course…” Luther mumbled as he nodded, “Just-Just please be careful, try not to unhinge anything…”
“Ok… Come on, guys.” Harold then bring them in through the door, each guy taking in a single fish card to leave for Adam – different species of fish and sea animals from the gift shop of the Fish House, small fold-up prints to write a short message. Captain always preferred things this way – make a school of smaller fish cards rather than leaving one big card for everyone to sign. One of the men closes the door as they carefully surround Adam.
“He looks a lot better, yeah?” Asked one of them.
“Yeah…” Harold nods, “It’s only been a couple and a half weeks since it happened… And you can’t even see the heavy number they put on his face.”
“What’d you say, he had TWO black eyes?” Another one asked, “Busted knee and a bunch of gashes, right?”
“His uh… Roommate, Dr Yuri,” Harold said, “She says he’s recovering a lot faster than he should. Literally, he’s having a speedy recovery.”
“He must have a kick-ass immune system.” Another fishboy said.
“Bet he goes bareback all the time, yeah??” One of them grinned.
“Hey, come on, not cool.” Some of them softly slap the smart-aleck.
“Where uh…” One of them mumbles as he looks over the small table, already holding a large vase full of flowers and other little tokens of well wishing, “Where we gonna put all our cards?”
“Um… Hey, how bout some tape? Maybe we can get some tape and put them up?”
“Be right back.” One said as he leaves, and trots down the hall, and returns shortly with a roll of scotch tape.
The guys from the Fish House carefully shuffle around the small room, taping their fish-cards around the room – every worker from the Fish House all signed and wrote on a card to send to Adam, and now they’re being arranged here and there on the compact rooms, while the souvenir bucket is placed onto small table, like a small group of diverse fish, all of them talking either amongst themselves, or their comatose coworker as they settle down.
As they walked about, taping up the paper fish up on the walls, Adam’s eyebrows furrowed as the machines skip a beat, before he stops moving.
Merrick swims in an infinite space of light and darkness, his tail undulating kaçak iddaa gracefully as he waves his arms slowly to push himself gently forward. He smiles as he radiates and sparkles with blessed light, twirling idly as his fin wavers as he glides down.
Upon looking about, he sees someone else swimming though the void nearby. He grins as he makes out a naked human man, gleaming with the same light. Merrick giggles as he swims up quickly and calling out to him.
Adam looks down and beams at Merrick as he flies up to him in his oceanic form, dipping down and paddling his legs until his arms reach the other. Merrick tackles Adam in a tight hug and squeezes him tight. Adam hugs back as dots and sparks of light twinkle away from their bodies.
They hold hands as they loom and dance in the endless twilit sky, until Merrick playfully bites Adam’s neck. Adam scoffs and squirms as his merman coils around him, taking full advantage of his inability to move as he grapples and tickles him.
Adam wriggles around, and nips at Merrick’s nose, grabbing onto him and wrapping his legs around that strong tail as he wrestles him softly. Merrick squeals with giggles as Adam kisses him all over – on the neck, on his chest, on his forehead, on his nose, and then on his mouth.
Merrick slowly moves his face forward, and pushes his mouth onto Adam’s, lapping firmly into his mouth as one hand moved to the back of his head. Adam grunts as his jaw rolls with the kiss, his hands being taken aback, before they gently place upon Merrick’s hips. Merrick nibbles Adam’s lower lip, tugging on his before biting softly back onto his mouth.
Adam kisses him back, the light from his body glowing brighter as they share each other. Merrick moans in bliss as his tail shimmers with gleaming euphoria, his tail shining with happiness as it wavers back and forth. His hand rubs into Adam’s hair as the kiss became deeper and more passionate.
His arms hold onto the merman’s torso tighter as his manly urges began to grow on him, both of them glowing brighter and brighter as they made out in the sea and sky of fantasy.
The kiss parted a little while after, Adam panting as Merrick appeared breathless. Adam caresses Merrick’s cheek with his hand, rubbing his nose against the other. Merrick closes his eyes, wishing this moment might never end.
Adam’s eyes look with sadness into the void behind Merrick… Knowing something is going to happen… Something he can’t control… Something that should never happen. A true hurt that will break them both…
Merrick smiles as he looks up, but blinks in mild shock to see Adam is suddenly about 5 feet away from him, his left hand reaching out for him, but Adam looking tiredly expectant, drifting away from him.
The merman kicks his tail as he makes to catch up with Adam. He swims as fast as he can, pushing his arms out and to the side over and over to get him. And yet, Merrick is unable to move at all; either that, or Adam is moving at a speeding pace just slightly faster than Merrick can keep up.
Adam’s hand just keep reaching out, looking with a calm but pleading look to his heart’s desire, farther and farther he drifts away. Merrick’s eyes start to sparkle with tears of light as he struggles, getting more and more desperate.
Adam grunts as a jagged root of black and red suddenly lurches up the side of his neck, curving and grinding into his chin. Merrick gasps with terror as another arm of thorns clench onto Adam’s torso. Adam grimaces as he clings to a root with one arm, and flails his other arm, trying to reach Merrick.
Merrick calls out as he is bound by futility as another spiny tendril wraps around one of Adam’s leg, until a claw-like hand wraps upon his hip. The merman rages as he waves his tail up and down, his teeth becoming sharpened, the fins on his forearms growing as he swims, still unable to move so much as an inch towards his lover.
Several eye-shaped lights started to open behind Adam, along with jagged mouths who seem to be laughing as Adam becomes more entangled within the blood-letting thorns that wrap and pull Adam away. Merrick shrieks with terror and anger as he does all he can to move, the scales of his body becoming bigger and sharper as he keeps fighting to come, only to feel as if he’s actually moving backwards from Adam.
Adam’s brown eyes twinkle with sadness as the thorns cover all of his body now, pulling him into a shuffling wall of red and black pain, strips and veins of pink running through the tormenting vines.
From the darkening hurt, a woman’s voice sounds through this inversal cloud.
‘But the true abomination is not that it occurred… But that it was allowed…’
Merrick reaches out as the tears kept pouring from his eyes as his human was ravaged by the putrid hatred, no matter how hard he swims, he cannot reach them, to save Adam, to hold him.
‘Adam… My love…’ A different voice sounds, ‘I’m sorry…’
Merrick’s eyes are suddenly overcome by blinding light as more furious shine shoots kaçak bahis from his mouth, his form sudden becoming monstrous, rivaling that of the Leviathan!
*Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep… Beep… Beep…Beep…BeepBeepBeepBeepBeep*
In the hospital, the dawn’s early light peeks from the horizon, giving a tinge of yellow in the otherwise blue realm. Adam’s eyelids shift side to side, his whole body in a very thin coat of sweat. The machine monitoring his pulse quickens and slows in cycles, his entire being almost shaking before things start to calm down.
His hands calm down from the intensity of his endless slumber, his boy still quaking oh so slightly as he lies there, the beeps from his machine eventually reverting to a steady beat.
Within the confines of his locked eyelashes, if one were to look close enough, can see just the slightest bit of moisture, until a drop can be formed at the corner of his eye.
His chest slowly rises up, and deflates back down, his blood pressure remaining on the higher count, but otherwise is still as dormant as ever.
“GHHhhh… HhHhHh…” Merrick gasps awake in bed, shuddering as he pants, feeling a layer of an unpleasant chill all over his shaking body. He whines as he shifts in the covers, feeling strange stirring in his hands, legs, and feet.
He can still remember the dream so vividly… He and Adam together… He was still alive and well, awake and playful… And then… Something took him.
Merrick’s hand moves up, and he looks down at his own shaking palm. His insides pound as if they were disturbingly solid. In that dream… When Adam was being taken away… He can remember he was transforming… Like a beast-like version of himself…
A ripple of fear rings inside of Merrick’s stomach as he thinks about the past days since he came back… He’s been so angry… Yuri and Jamal hasn’t been home in so long… The half of the driftwood fence is still broken, no one’s bothered to fix it…
Merrick sits up in bed starring at the blanket, just sitting there, passing the time…
“Adam…” He mumbled indistinctly, “I… I’m turning into a monster again…” His voice is kept low, “I don’t know what to do… If this what I’m turning into…”
His hands grip his leg, pressing his forehead to his knee, “I can’t… I can’t hope that you’ll come back… If I stay angry, I…” He coughs a little, “I’m only going to hurt someone… I can’t be so weak that I start crying at any given moment… I’m sick of it… I’m sick of… I don’t want to be…”
Merrick pants lightly. No reason, he’s not tired or strained, he can breath fine… He is panting with emptiness.
“That’s just it…” He mumbled, “I don’t want to be.” Merrick grips the blanket, “I don’t want to see what I’m going to be anymore…” He whined. “I don’t want a reflection anymore… I want to refuse the madness of this world…”
He closes his eyes, feeling himself shake with intensity… No anger, pressing sadness, refused optimism…
He hasn’t seen Adam in days.
Merrick turns, panting lightly before getting up to get dressed.
Yuri strolls down the hall with a cart full of medical supplies, time to check up on some of the patients, including Adam. She turns the wall, and gives a light gasp.
“O-Oh, Merrick.” Yuri stops and stares, as Merrick faces her.
“Yuri…” Merrick cast his eyes down, “I… I’m sorry, I can just-“
“N-No, it’s fine.” Yuri said, coming around, her unease haunting her… Until Merrick covers his face, “Oh gosh, Merrick.”
“No, please,” Merrick whimpered, sniffling and holding back an unwanted display, “I’m… I’m fine…”
“Merrick… It’s ok…” Yuri holds his shoulder.
“Yuri, I know I’ve…” Merrick huffs as he shakes his head, “I don’t know how to ‘be’ anymore. But could you…” He turns to her, “Please don’t be afraid of me…”
“It’s ok, Merrick, I understand.” She said, starting to feel slightly less intimidated at the moment as she walks around the cart.
“I don’t like what I’m letting myself do, or what I’m becoming.” Merrick said, “I can’t feel anything else but all this…”
“It’s fine…” She said before pausing, and then picking up a bag full of clear fluid, “I just have to change Adam’s I.V. again…” With that, she leads Merrick into the room, where she proceeded to change the bag, tube, and needle to his set-up.
Adam is no longer wearing a respirator on his mouth. Yuri reports that his ribs have mended to a barely stable level that they are no longer threatening to damage his lungs, and so his breathing has become better.
“Adam in particular seems to be draining these a little too fast.” Yuri noted, “He goes through several bags in just one day.”
“That’s… Probably because of me…” Merrick answered.
“I’m sorry?” She asked as she turned around.
“When I first met Triton Samudra, he told me when merfolk find their mates, they eventually share attributes and traits about each other; as he said put it, we… Evolve together.” Merrick fiddles with his hands as he stands there, “We merfolk, in comparison to humans… We are faster healers, even without the power of a Noita to speed up the process.”
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