Honeys!!! It’s Feather’s birthday today!!!🥰 On 20 December 2020 I put her very first words on paper after the idea had been ghosting around in my head for a couple of months, and to this day this baby dragon WIP is a total of 117K words long😳 (Some plotties need to be changed or perhaps even deleted, but that’s not the point haha.) And if you think I’m nearing the end... I’m sorry to tell you, but you’re dead wrong🤣
Anyway, before I start getting really sentimental on here, I’ll just get to the point. I wanted to share something special to celebrate, but I didn’t have anything, so I literally started this yesterday evening and finished today. Is it the best thing I’ve ever written? Nope, lol. But it’s good enough for now haha. So, enjoy!
*Context: Nerezza was dealing with some sort of supernatural being (idk, didn’t think that through yet lol), and then he got stabbed (yikes!). He managed to make his way over to Heaven’s Aid before the injury caught up to him, and he collapsed (bc he doesn’t have all his spiritual energy, so healing doesn’t go as fast anymore). When Nova came to work, he found Nerezza, dead (except not so much), on the floor.* (Word count is 1.4K btw. Idk about you, but I always like to know haha.)
The floor is hard underneath him—and wet, making his robes stick to his torso. A pair of warm hands, shaking lightly, holds up one of his own, and the air is filled with soft, mournful sobs. Why are they so sad? Nerezza wonders.
The first of his movement returns in his fingers. They twitch slightly, and the hands cupping his freeze in place.
“N-Nerezza?” a soft voice tries.
His hand twitches again, and as he slowly regains control of his body, he sucks in a deep breath to fill his lungs with fresh air.
“Nova?” he gently asks the boy—or should he say young man by now?—sitting on his knees beside him. He holds on to his hand for dear life while gawking at him as if he just saw someone rise from the dead. But what really gets to him are the tears. They stream down his face, drowning his heart in his chest. “Why are you crying?”
A breath hitches in the back of his throat, and he points a trembling finger at his chest. “Y-y-you, you were, you were dead,” he finally manages to bring out.
Oh. He feels at his wet robes, and his fingers come away stained with crimson. Oooh.
He sits up to face him, mirroring his position. “Please don’t cry, Nova,” he says softly, suddenly overcome by an immense flood of guilt. It was his fault, after all, that Nova was crying. “I won’t actually die from a regular weapon, and if I did die, the other angels would have come to collect my body,” he tries to explain calmly, though it just feels blunt; not a comfort to him at all.
Another tear rolls down his cheek, and Nerezza can’t help himself from wiping it away.
“How was I supposed to know that?” He snivels.
“I’m so sorry, Nova,” he apologises. That’s the least he can do. “It never got brought up, so I didn’t think to tell you about it.”
“Ah, it’s not your fault,” he reassures, and a hint of a smile crosses his lips. “I’m sure you weren’t planning on getting stabbed.”
Now a smile tugs at the corners of Nerezza’s lips as well. “I can’t say that I was.”
A drop of blood trickles down his back, and he debates whether or not he should ask him—he could ask Ozul as well, but that idea quickly scatters away at the thought of getting scolded by him. Yeah, he’ll have to ask Nova. “Could you do me a favour?”
His eyebrows knit together. “Of course.”
“I’m not healing as well as I should, so would you be so kind as to clean my wound? I would do it myself, but I can’t reach my back.”
“Oh, uhm, yeah, sure,” he stammers before he worriedly adds, “You’re not in any pain are you?”
“Oh, no. It’s just that the blade was probably laced with a toxin, and now it’s interfering with my healing ability,” he states, rising to his feet. He hesitates, just for a second, but then holds out a hand before Nova to pull him up from the floor.
While Nerezza gathers the ethanol and cotton rounds, he peels off the upper part of his robes—his drying blood was starting to itch, and they needed to come off in a short moment anyways. They reveal a pair of broad shoulders, and smooth, pale skin covering well-defined muscles, and his back reminds Nova of one of those marble statues he draws sometimes to study anatomy.
But, that’s not the first thing he notices. “You have a tattoo?!” he asks, astonished. A double stranded spiral—an alpha helix, he knows—runs all the way along his spine, with buds and flowers of all kinds growing from the backbone.
Nerezza twists around to face him, suddenly feeling the weight of his gaze upon him. It wasn’t as if he was self-conscious of his body—apart from maybe his wings (but those were safely hidden away, of course)—but this made him feel a little too exposed all of a sudden. Maybe he should have asked Ozul after all.
Before he can say anything, Nova exclaims, “You have two tattoos?!” when he spots another one on his chest.
“Three, actually,” he replies, not allowing his discomfort to peek through in his voice, as he sits down on the chair before him. “But the third one I have when I’m in my female form.”
“Oh, I see.” He takes the cotton round drizzled in ethanol Nerezza hands to him, but his hand stays hovering in the air before he even starts cleaning the injury next to his sternum. When he looks up at the angel, he either looks bored or like he wants to get this over with as soon as possible. First he needs to know, though; “Are you sure it doesn’t hurt? It looks, kind of, not so good.” The blood at the centre of the stab wound has taken a black tone to it.
“Yes, I’m sure, Nova,” he replies calmly. “It’ll be fine once it’s been cleaned out,” he adds, hoping it’ll get him past his worries.
“O-oh,” he stutters. “Good. I would just hate to hurt you.”
“You won’t,” he assures.
And he doesn’t. Nerezza doesn’t even so much as flinch when the ethanol touches his raw flesh. He just stays completely still. A marble statue indeed, Nova thinks. He wouldn’t be able to do that—that stuff stings!
As he dabs the cotton round over his skin, he can’t help his eyes lingering on his tattoo every now and then. It’s a picture of a dead hare that lies on a bed of mushrooms, and out of its ribcage red spider lilies grow.
Macabre? Maybe. But somehow, it fit Nerezza. There was something peaceful about it—something reassuring.
“Do they mean anything?” Nova questions. “Your tattoos?”
“What do they mean then?”
“This one stands for the fact that life always ends in death. However, out of death, new life can also grow,” he answers.
“That’s really beautiful, Nerezza,” he breathes. “What made you decide to get it?”
“I’ve just always liked the certainty of it, I guess. I don’t know,” he half brushes off the question, “I got it when I was pretty young.”
“I like that.” Nova gives him a warm smile, leaning back. “Turn around. I’m done here.”
He does as he’s told and hands him a new cotton round, again—it’s about the sixth because the ethanol keeps evaporating.
“And this one?” Nova asks, stopping himself from tracing a finger along the spiral. It’s just so mesmerising.
“Ah, it’s a DNA strand—but I hope you knew that already.” He looks over his shoulder to see Nova laughing.
“Good, good… The meaning behind it is that, nearly, all living organisms are made up of a set of genes. You, me, Ryuu, the flowers, and the trees, you name it. And while we are all different, our building blocks are the same, and that makes all of life connected… doesn’t it?”
He’s so wowed by what he said, he needs to let it sink in for a moment. “It does.” He smiles, and whispers, “It does.” And when he looks upon it again, capturing all the little details—the ten bases connecting every turn of the helix, how the spiral is not entirely symmetrical, and the blooming flowers—he notices; “It moved! It’s moving!” Nerezza can’t help the soft laugh rising in his throat when he hears the surprise in his voice. “The flowers have opened! Some of them were just buds earlier!” he exclaims as if he just discovered a new species of flower.
“That’s right,” he says. “The flowers close every night, and come morning, they open again.”
“Wooow,” he breathes. “I need me a tattoo like that!”
“Sorry to disappoint you, but you need to have spiritual energy for that.”
He sighs dejectedly. “That’s too bad.”
And Nerezza feels so bad when he sees his pout, he tells him, “Ah, come on. If you ask next time I’m in my female form, I’ll show you how my snake tattoo wiggles over my skin when you try to poke at it.”
He giggles. “Then you better change appearances soon—it’s the least you can do for scaring me like that this morning.”
He smiles in return, relieved that he’s not upset anymore. “Maybe I will.”
Taglist: @wisteria-eventide @drippingmoon @thelaughingstag @hellishhin @47crayons @oh-no-another-idea @cryptidsandqueers, @notwritinganyflufftoday @void-fireworks
*inhales* i will never, ever, forgive the h2o writers for not capitalizing on the mythology of the four elements during season three and instead introducing bella via some weird oirish colonial trope entirely disconnected from the original storyline
like. cleo, emma, and rikki all have powers over water, but their powers are also tied to one of the four elements; cleo is able to manipulate wind using aerokinesis, emma is able to manipulate water vapour in the clouds which further solidifies her connection to the element, while rikki can control fire and create thunder. it only makes sense that bella, who can manipulate crystal which comes from the earth, would have powers over earth
of course, this would leave the writers in a tricky position for season three, as emma, one of the four elements, is missing from the narrative. however, this could be circumvented in a number of different ways. for example, they could introduce an older (former) mermaid who was connected to louise, julia, and gracie, ensuring that bella’s story is not totally disconnected from the overarching plot. they could strongly imply that, after graduation, the three mermaids would travel to meet emma and complete their elemental group
hell, season three could even have been spent discovering more mermaids and moon pools around the world in similar groups and expanding on the mythos in a more... ahem, organic way. of course this calls the notion of the original mermaids being a threesome into question, but the girls could always meet the fourth member of julia, louise, and gracie’s squad on their travels
perhaps this mermaid, too, transformed somewhere other than the moon pool at mako, and has the same powers as bella. perhaps she is somehow connected to julia, the mermaid that we know the least about in canon. perhaps she has some connection to bella, or other mermaids across the world, who have to come together to face some threat which unites them all not the water tentacle dear god please not the water tentacle
i can hear the charlotte stans champing at the bit, so let me present you with a season three au: charlotte is still around. bella is the fourth mermaid with powers over earth. she, rikki, and cleo travel to find more moon pools and meet more merms. they meet a sociologist mermaid with a theory: it does not matter where a mermaid transforms, her personality is what informs which powers are assigned to her
for instance, had bella transformed at mako, she would still have her jelly/crystal/earth powers. had charlotte transformed anywhere other than mako, she would still have gained the same powers that emma, rikki, and cleo have. the sociologist mermaid has the same powers as emma and cleo; the other member of her 'pod' has the same powers as rikki and bella
charlotte gets an actual apology from rikki and cleo, gets her redemption arc, eventually finds herself in a pool somewhere other than mako on the night of the full moon, finds out she can manipulate water and wind like her grandma, and meets three other mermaids who are missing a fourth member. charlotte's claim in the season two finale, that she wasn't supposed to be a mermaid, is refuted; she was meant to be a mermaid after all, just not with emma, rikki, and cleo (as an aside, i think charlotte would be the only ever documented case of a mermaid losing her tail and gaining it back, and of a mermaid whose powers changed. because she is That Bitch)
anyway i think this would somehow establish a complex social network of mermaids across the globe: i can imagine smaller pods of only one or two mermaids; mermaids who transformed in pairs with only one power each searching for the other members of their pods; older former mermaids guiding the next generation; mermaids who are adults with jobs in the science field discreetly conducting research together and documenting their discoveries; mermaids whose parents and families and communities help to guard the secret; mermaids who are parents and grandparents themselves; mermaids who live at sea full time, too. cleo, rikki, and bella become the de facto leaders of this network of pods who help to protect one another from the rest of the world
but no we got water tentacle save the world from the comet crappy characterisation and piss poor writing insert dodgy irish flute here instead